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Queen visits International Circassian Cultural Academy

By JT - Oct 10,2018 - Last updated at Oct 10,2018

Her Majesty Queen Rania visits the International Circassian Cultural Academy in Amman on Wednesday (Photo courtesy of Royal Court)

AMMAN — Her Majesty Queen Rania on Wednesday visited the International Circassian Cultural Academy (ICCA) in Amman, where she learned about their efforts in preserving Circassian-Jordanian heritage, and watched a performance by the Highlanders Circassian Dance Troupe, a statement from Her Majesty’s Office said.

Established in 2010, the International Circassian Cultural Academy is a non-profit organisation that aims to preserve Circassian culture and spread awareness about it, both locally and internationally. It offers Circassian language courses and has published the first ever Arabic-Circassian dictionary, which will be supplemented with an interactive mobile application.

Her Majesty met with the academy’s board representatives and staff, including its President Laila Khawaj, and vice president, Yanal Hatk. 

Addressing the members, Her Majesty said she admired the academy’s various social and philanthropic activities, and renowned cultural contributions. 

“Your efforts in preserving the Circassian-Jordanian heritage, enriching diversity, and instilling these ideals in upcoming generations, are enhancing Jordan’s artistic culture,” she said. Following a performance by the academy’s dance group, the Highlanders Circassian Dance Troupe, Her Majesty commended its accomplishments and its positive representation of Jordan on various international stages. 

The Highlanders Circassian Dance Troup consists of 200 members aged between 6 and 26 years. In 2016, the group was awarded “best show” for its performance at the International Folklore Dancing Festival in Russia. Its 2017 and 2018 concerts at the Jerash Festival were performed to a full house. 

Queen Rania has supported the group in the past by attending one of their performances.

By providing a safe environment for self-expression, the academy aims to help young Jordanians realise their potential, embrace their cultural identity, and harness their talents.

With assistance from the Ministry of Planning, the academy recently established a tailoring workshop to generate sustainable income, which also offers courses in handcrafts.

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