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Tuesday, July 18, 2000

Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah meets with experts in the fields of culture, arts and media for the Amman Culture Capital of the Arab World for the year 2002

Amman Culture Capital of the Arab World for the year 2002 is envisioned as a springboard promoting Jordan culturally on the local, Arab and international levels said Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah on Monday, stressing that the momentum created by the event for the Kingdom's cultural movement should be sustained in the years and decades to come.

In a discussion with approximately forty Jordanian artists, painters, poets, writers, musicians, media representatives, as well as film directors and producers, Queen Rania, who heads the National Higher Committee for the Amman Culture Capital of the Arab World for the year 2002, listened intently to the views and suggestions of the experts on their visions for the event, as well as the cultural movement in Jordan in general.

During the meeting, Queen Rania stressed that the forthcoming event should be seen as a boost to the Kingdom's cultural movement. The Queen also suggested that the committee members and the experts define priorities for the preparations and begin the groundwork for the event.

During Monday's discussion, there was consensus that the event should go beyond the boundaries of the capital, and extend into the remote villages and towns across the Jordan.

Experts also suggested that Arab artists and musicians be invited to perform during the year. The experts agreed during the meeting that the event is a unique opportunity for Jordan to showcase its achievements and work in the fields of theater and arts, while noting the challenges that will need to be addressed.

With experts pointing to the challenges in their respective fields, several expressed concern that Jordan is losing some of its cultural heritage sites as a result of poor protective legislation as well as insufficient tracking methods of the treasures of Jordan.

In her regular trips to the Kingdom's governorates, the Queen has visited cultural heritage and tourism sites to assess their condition on the ground.

The issue of fundraising also topped the discussion on Monday, with several options being discussed including tapping into national institutions and private sector donations.

Several suggestions were also made to establish a national media committee for the event that would focus on marketing Amman as Culture Capital of the Arab World for the year 2002 across the Kingdom, the Arab World, and on a global scale.

Amman was chosen as Culture Capital of the Arab World for 2002 by UNESCO two years ago during the Arab Cultural Ministers Meeting, which was held in Sharjah.

Several other Arab capitals have hosted this annual event, including Beirut, Cairo, Tunis and Sharjah.

The Greater Amman Municipality held a conference in November with the concerned parties to discuss the upcoming event. The recommendations emanating from the conference included: forming a national higher committee for the event, assessing the status of the cultural life in Jordan and the challenges faced, ways to foster young cultural talent at the school and college levels, documenting Jordanian history and heritage in books and on the internet, and activating the role of the cultural community across the Kingdom.

Monday's brainstorming session was also attended by members of the National Higher Committee, including President of the Jordan Press Foundation Khalid Karaki, Greater Amman Municipality Mayor Nidal Hadid, Jordan Tourism Board President Marwan Khoury attending on behalf of the Minister of Tourism, and Secretary General of the Ministry of Culture Salah Jarar attending on behalf of the Minister of Culture.