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'I was in Petra' launches new 'out-of-the-box' projects to boost tourism

By Renad Aljadid - Aug 16,2018 - Last updated at Aug 16,2018

‘I was in Petra’ initiative will promote the World Wonder, among other projects (Photo by Camille Dupire)

AMMAN — The entire Jordanian economy will revive when boosting tourism, which is tied to all other sectors and offers job opportunities to the youth, said the founder of "I was in Petra" initiative Mohammad Farajat, who uncovered new "out-of-the-box" tourism projects in nine aspects to boost tourism in the Kingdom.

During a press conference on Wednesday, Farajat introduced the voluntary initiative, which seeks to introduce Petra one of the Seven Wonders of the World, through the global hashtag #I_was_in_Petra and the collection of 1 million photos of the ancient city.

He said that the tourism in Petra increased by 65 per cent after the campaign was launched, noting that they aim to initiate more projects to shed light on other touristic destinations and monuments in the Kingdom.

The first aspect they announced is displaying the initiative's photos in a gallery, which will also host the sculptor Samia Hawamdeh, a Jordanian female who sculpts copper. 

Nour Thatha, the initiative CEO said that they already launched a website that displays these photos, noting that the website counts more than 1.6 million visitors so far.

Another aspect is reviving Amman's Citadel through art and music, Thatha said.

The promotion of the Nabataean's "Elixir of Life" is also another aspect they announced, which will go under the umbrella of therapeutic tourism.

"The elixir is a healing air rich with all the periodic table natural elements. It increases immunity, stimulates the blood circulation, and boosts the efficiency of several body organs including the lungs and the brain," the founder said, adding that the "elixir" was found available in a district adjacent to Wadi Araba and overlooking the Dead Sea.

He said that they made an agreement with the district women to fill the air in cans and label them "Live Longer, Look Younger" to be sold to the district visitors, noting that the larger portion of profits will go to the entrepreneur women.

The initiative's sixth project is launching a digital "time capsule", which will store all the living creatures' digital DNA including animals and plants in addition to storing data on pharmaceutical and food industries, as well as 10 million ideas and messages for the future, according to Farajat.  

He said that the capsule will be  "our storage for the future generation" as the capsule will be stored in 2025 and should be reopened in 2250.  

The seventh aspect entails the introduction and promotion of the Dolmens in Jordan, which represent a "unique type of prehistoric architecture" and can be seen in several areas across the Kingdom.  

 The "Global Melatonin Village" is the eighth project, announced Farajat, who said that they found an area in one of the Jordanian deserts which enjoys an oxygen-rich air that stimulates the secretion of Melatonin, the body hormone responsible for aging and sleeping quality.

Farajat, who is also a geologist, spoke of the ninth aspect, which is the establishment of an environmental camp near a"meteorite crater", which is located in the east and was announced to the public in 2006.

 "The crater can be a strategic astronomical observatory, a geology museum, and an important site for scientists," explained the geologist.

Farajat said they made several attempts to coordinate with the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, but they were "faced with rejection".

Ola Dabbas, the deputy CEO of "I was in Petra", said that they are seeking to sign agreements with universities to involve the youth in these projects, emphasising the need for further financial support to implement these projecton reality.

Farajat called on scientists, professors and researchers to join forces with the initiative through studying these ideas and laying  scientific foundation to the treasures of the country, stressing that the announced projects are not only ideas on paper, but "executable plans" that can boost the economy and fight unemployment. 

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