AMMAN — Watan’s week, an initiative launched by Jordanian Twitter user Omar Sukhon, promotes the Kingdom’s governorates and cities through tweeting information about them.
Two weeks ago, Sukhon who uses the twitter handle @sukhonomar, said he created the “hashtag” Watan’s week in Arabic “Usbu’u Watan” to engage local tweeps in talking about their country from a positive perspective rather than continuing a negative tone that dominated their tweets last month.
Following the riots in the country over the government’s decision to lift fuel subsidies, negativity dominated the majority of tweets, according to Sukhon, who decided to create this hashtag and allocate a week for each of the Kingdom’s governorates or cities, highlighting its sites and attractions.
Tweets last week focused on Salt city in Balqa Governorate, while this week it is Irbid Governorate.
A main goal of the initiative, Sukhon said, is also to promote different sites in the country as tourism destinations in order to attract visitors and help them economically.
The initiative will not only be restricted to the cyber world, he added, with a visit organised to the city of the week at the end of each week.
“After the end of Salt week, we visited the city, and even a few of the tweeps who are originally from that city were not familiar with some of its sites; this was a good opportunity for them to know more about it,” Sukhon told The Jordan Times in a recent interview.
Tweeps familiar with the destination of the week tweet what they know about it, including information on historical sites, traditions, customs, cuisine and prominent community figures, he explained.
Even accents of different cities are being tweeted about, Sukhon said, noting that the younger generation is being introduced to Jordanian culture through Watan’s week.
Jordanian expatriates are active contributors as well.
“What hurts me most is that I cannot take part in the visits organised to the governorates,” tweeted Bushra Majali, who lives in the UAE and uses the twitter handle @beshomajali.
Others asked for developing the initiative to include Palestinian cities, @amer_hmoud tweeted.
Some tweeps also volunteered to develop Watan’s week, according to Sukhon who said a Jordanian living in Dubai is designing a logo, while others created a Facebook page.
“I invite diplomatic missions to join us in the trips, because they’ll be different from any other visit with a tour guide… as they include eating traditional food, going to the old streets and meeting the local people,” Sukhon said.