Amman- 7 July 2020

Within the framework of the UNESCO project entitled “Employment opportunities for cultural safeguarding in Jordan” (financed by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit /GIZ GmbH); Prof. Ignacio Arce, Associate Professor - School of Architecture and Built Environment (SABE) at the German Jordanian University (GJU), won the development of the two UNESCO projects for the  Development of  Site Maintenance and Tourism Development Plans (SMTDP) for the World Heritage Site of Petra, and the Village of Rihab (Mafraq Governorate) and its Mosaics.

The aim of the two proposals is to set the basis of the research and related work to be conducted to develop the final project and implementation proposals for these two Site Maintenance and Tourism Development Plans (SMTDP).

The main objectives of the UNESCO framework project “Employment opportunities for cultural heritage safeguarding in Jordan” are, firstly, the basic rehabilitation and conservation of cultural heritage sites for heritage safeguarding and tourism purposes; and secondly, the short term employment generation for Syrian refugees and Jordanians living in host communities, and their training (through a pioneer “cash-for-work” scheme).

This project offered to our Master students the opportunity to participate in an actual project with UNESCO, gaining unique practical training, and in some cases, their first job as professionals specialized in conservation.” Prof. Arce clarified.

Prof. Arce explained that the achievement of this contract between UNESCO and GJU was the result of an open and competitive call of proposals among all Jordanian universities, which demonstrates also how in only three years GJU’s Master Program in Conservation has achieved the highest standards of quality and is the best program in Jordan and at regional level. He added that it also represents the recognition by the inter-governmental agency in charge of the education and preservation of Cultural Heritage (UNESCO) of this strength and quality of GJU's Master Program in Conservation.

Prof. Arce pointed that the outcome of these projects will represent a major achievement for the conservation of Jordan Heritage, and for the promotion of Cultural Tourism, understood as an engine of social and economic development, through new strategies, which will reinforce the identity and the social fabric of Jordan. Besides, it will help SABE-GJU to further improve its levels of excellence in the training of a new generation of professionals in this key sector for the future of Jordan, built on the preservation of its past.  

SABE-GJU team, directed by Prof. Ignacio Arce, started working one year ago with the preliminary preparation of the proposal for the competition phase in Summer 2019. At the end of summer 2019, the SABE-GJU team was granted the project, and began working tirelessly in coordination with UNESCO, DoA, and PDTRA, even during the lockdown period, despite the Coronavirus crisis. The current design phase is foreseen to end at the end of July, while the implementation phase will last until the end of the year.