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30,000 students to raise awareness on archaeological sites

By Khetam Malkawi - Apr 22,2014 - Last updated at Apr 22,2014

AMMAN — Efforts should be exerted to stop the recurrent sabotage and violations against archaeological sites in the Kingdom, officials said on Tuesday.

Munther Jamhawi, director general of the Department of Antiquities (DoA), said the country’s archaeological sites should be preserved and protected from vandals and thieves, and not only through the “traditional methods”.

“Archaeology is one of the country’s treasures, and it is our responsibility to preserve it,” Jamhawi said at a ceremony to announce the launch of the “Our heritage is our identity… Let’s protect it” campaign.

The DoA official explained that adopting new methods to protect historical sites will help the concerned authorities, who seize many stolen and smuggled artefacts every year.

Launched in cooperation with the Higher Council for Youth, the campaign seeks to train more than 30,000 school and university students to help authorities raise awareness on the importance of the country’s heritage and archaeology.

Young Jordanians can play an important role in protecting the Kingdom’s heritage, Jamhawi said.

Tourism Minister Nidal Katamine shared the views of the DoA director general, stressing the importance of protecting archaeological sites and noting that they provide a source of income to the country.

Throughout the campaign, which will be officially launched on May 1 and run until the end of the year, partners will organise 30 days of training for the participants.

The workshops will take place at major archaeological sites, according to DoA officials.

On the sidelines of the ceremony, an exhibition at Al Hussein Youth City showcased stolen archaeological pieces that authorities managed to retrieve and others that were brought back to the country after being smuggled abroad.

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