Drowned City: Jordan to Search for Ancient Site's Underwater Remains

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This July, archaeologists in Jordan will begin an underwater search for remains of an early Islamic city.

Located at the northern tip of the Red Sea, modern-day Aqaba is Jordan's only port. In the Middle Ages, the city was known as Ayla. Archaeologists uncovered the ruins of Ayla only in the last 30 years, and now, they want to know if there's more to be found off the coast.

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Jordan Egypt Photo

Jordanian and Egyptian tourism interconnected, need joint tourism strategy

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 AMMAN — By developing joint tourism promotional offers, Jordan and Egypt can exploit untapped opportunities to boost bilateral and inbound tourism to both countries, officials from both sides agreed.

Speaking at a session organised by the Jordan Inbound Tour Operators Association (JITOA) on Sunday, officials said the “strong” and “strategic” relations binding the two countries were the foundations for cooperation in various fields, including tourism.

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Wadi Rum stargazing and astrophotography

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Astrophotography is simply taking a photograph of an object in space, whether it's with a point-and-shoot camera, the Hubble Space Telescope or any other type of camera. And the subject matter can include anything from the moon to the Milky Way. One of the best places to do this in Jordan is at Wadi Rum, so you would enjoy the calmness, Quietness and the clear sky at night because there is no light pollution at Rum area ( the reserve ). Below are some shots that I've taken using my DSLR camera which is Nikon D5300, the best photos were taken using shutter time of 30 seconds, ISO of 3200 and the Minimum Aperture I have which is 3.5 (18mm Nikor Lense). 

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Little Petra Photo

Archaeologist highlights Nabataean heritage in agriculture

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AMMAN — Despite the harsh desert climate, the Nabataean inhabitants of ancient Petra were capable of growing different kinds of agricultural products, and even making wine, according to researcher and archaeologist Ulrich Bellwald.

In a lecture late last week at the German Protestant Institute of Archaeology in Amman on agriculture and wine making in the area, Bellwald presented a winery located in a valley west of “Little Petra” as a model for the Nabataeans’ agricultural production units.

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Jordan welcomes increasing number of British visitors

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Jordan saw further growth in UK visitor numbers in the first quarter of 2017, January – March, increasing by 15.8 per cent, compared to the same period in 2016.

The swell in travellers follows the announcement that UK tourists to the Hashemite Kingdom also grew by seven per cent in 2016.

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Wildlife returned back to Wadi Rum

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Aqaba Authority Special Economic Zone launched in collaboration with the Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi, in the protected area Of Wadi Rum. A hundred of mountain goats (Nubian Ibex - Capra ibex nubiana) donated by the agency earlier, to preserve this endangered animal due to poaching and hunting.

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Swiss archaeologist examines ancient Nabateans' water technology at Petra

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AMMAN — The infrastructure of Petra, the capital of the ancient Nabateans, still remains a mystery to most people who visit this heritage site. The focus of tourists when they arrive to Petra is to find splendid monuments, temples, shrines, churches and market places, but the water infrastructure and the way Nabateans preserved water for irrigation and drinking is relatively unknown, noted Ulrich Bellwald, a Swiss archaeologist, conservator and architect.

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Jordan an unexpectedly diverse and enriching country to travel to’ hiker

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DEAD SEA — “There are things you can do in Jordan that you cannot do anywhere else in the world,” Andrew Evans said to sum up his experience in Jordan after hiking across the country for over 40 days.

Evans, who is a contributing editor at National Geographic Traveller, has recently completed his hike of the entire 650 kilometres of the Jordan Trail, stretching from Um Qais in the north of Jordan to Aqaba in the south.

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Beautiful Nature Trail Through Dana Reserve of Jordan

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The Dana Reserve is possibly the best known of Jordan's nature reserves. This showplace, set up in 1993, has become an exemplar of how to set up a sustainable, eco­friendly reserve. With its network of guided and unguided hiking trails, its campground, guesthouse and eco-Iodge with their staffs of residents, its dramatic wadis and mountains dropping about 1600 meters from the highest point, there are 320 square kilometers full of things to do and marvel at. Most surprising is not the Nabatean tomb, but the sea urchin fossils, now so far from the sea! Dana's unusual mushroom-shaped rock formations captivate the eye.

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World Economic forum on Mideast and North africa kicks off

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The World Economic Forum (WEF) on the Middle East and North Africa is scheduled to kick off today at the Dead Sea, in Jordan and it will host more than 1000 business and political leaders and representatives from civil society, international organizations, youth and the media from over 50 countries, organizers said today.

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Jordan Trail: A trek through history via ancient villages and wild wadis

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Then draw a route through more than 10,000 years of history, covering Neolithic ruins, Biblical sites, one of the New 7 Wonders of the World, and russet landscapes that wouldn't look out of place on Mars.
That's the Jordan Trail, and only a slice of it.
The 650-kilometer trail takes about 40 days to complete, starting at the northern tip of Jordan in the city of Umm Qais and ending in Aqaba in the south, where hikers meet the country's only coastline.
Jordan is more than just desert, and the cross-section of the nation that the Jordan Trail cuts through is a tour de force in diversity.
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Wadi Rum among '50 greatest adventures' listed by British daily

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The Telegraph daily has ranked visiting Wadi Rum in fourth place on a list of "50 greatest adventures to try in your lifetime".
The valley, located 60km to the east of Aqaba, came after the first-placed Lost World and Angel Falls in Venezuela, the Classic Trail in New Zealand and the Red Centre in Australia. 
The British publication quotes British officer T.E Lawrence in its description of Wadi Rum, some 328 south of Amman, who wrote in his book, "The Seven Pillars of Wisdom", about passing through the area several times during the Great Arab Revolt.

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RSCN confiscates 280 illegally hunted, kept animals last year

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AMMAN — Nature inspectors recorded 280 cases of illegal hunting, possession and trade of wild birds and animals last year, according to the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN).

Foxes constituted the majority of the seized and confiscated animals found with violators, according to the RSCN, which said it has seized and confiscated 10 foxes over the past year.

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Amman designated capital of Islamic culture 2017

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AMMAN — Amman on Wednesday was officially announced as the capital of Islamic culture for 2017.

The Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (ISESCO) selected Jordan's capital for this year's title as part of a programme that seeks to establish pan-Islamic cultural action, said ISESCO President Abdul Aziz Twaijri.

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First guide on poisonous marine species inhabiting Aqaba waters released

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AMMAN — Prompted by a lack of information on the Gulf of Aqaba’s harmful creatures, two local conservationists have released the first guide on poisonous marine species inhabiting Aqaba waters.

With over 500 fish species represented in the Gulf of Aqaba, the sea is considered “friendly” due to the presence of very few hazardous marine animals, but its usually-calm water has left many divers and beach goers with serious injuries because they had unknowingly gotten into direct contact with toxic and harmful creatures.

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Jordan 5th safest Arab country for tourists, 38th worldwide

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Jordan ranked as the 38th safest destination for tourists globally in 2017, and the 5th among regional countries, a recent report by the World Economic Forum stated.

Finland topped the 136 countries listed in the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index 2017, followed by the UAE, Iceland, Oman and Hong Kong.

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Heritage stakeholders join forces to preserve archaeological artifacts

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With the aim of preserving archaeological artifacts at the Jordan Archaeological Museum located at the Amman Citadel, the German Protestant Institute of Archaeology (GPIA), the Department of Antiquities (DoA) and the Gerda Henkel Foundation (GHF) joined forces in the project “Protection of Cultural Heritage in Jordan”, according to stakeholders.

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Aqaba calls for listing coral reefs on UNESCO world heritage list

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AMMAN — Marine conservationists are currently rallying support to list the coral reefs in the Gulf of Aqaba as a UNESCO world heritage site.

Coral reefs in the Gulf of Aqaba, located some 330km south of Amman, cover almost half of Aqaba’s coastline, offering 21 diving locations for the exploration of diverse, colourful and unique coral reefs, Executive Director of the Royal Marine Conservation Society, Ehab Eid, said on Monday.

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Relatively hot weather forecast

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Temperatures are expected to slightly drop on Monday, but they remain 4-6 degrees above their annual average.Therefore, it will continue to be relatively hot in the hilly areas and hot in other parts of the Kingdom.

According to the Jordan Meteorological Department (JMD), winds will be northwesterly moderate to brisk, blowing dust at times.

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Travel website says Jordan ‘best place’ to travel in 2017

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Jordan Tours: AMMAN — Jordan has topped a list of 35 of the “World’s Best Places to Travel in 2017” compiled by travel website Matador Network.

The website, the “world’s largest independent travel publisher”, described Jordan as a “completely safe oasis isolated from the instability of the region”.

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Jubeiha Amusement Park shuts down permanently

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Jubeiha Amusement Park, one of Amman’s oldest entertainment facilities, has closed down permanently due to the deteriorated state of its rides and structures, a municipal official said on Tuesday.

The Greater Amman Municipality (GAM) on Tuesday announced the closure of the amusement park for safety reasons, indicating that most of the park’s rides and structures had exceeded their lifespan.

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Aqaba programme to train first group of professional women divers

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AMMAN — Six women from Aqaba will undergo professional diving training this year to become the port city’s first batch of certified female divers, according to the Royal Marine Conservation Society of Jordan (JREDS).

JREDS is now drawing up the criteria for which women will be accepted into the training programme, according to its Executive Director Ehab Eid.

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JT reporter Samain to launch book on Jordan’s interfaith drive Monday

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AMMAN — The Jordan Times’ reporter Rula Samain on Monday will launch a book that presents and evaluates Jordan’s interfaith initiatives and highlights the Muslim-Christian coexistence which “distinguishes Jordan from other countries in the Middle East”.

Titled “Fortress of Peace: Jordan’s Interfaith Drive and Model of Coexistence”, the book, written in English, comes as the result of years of research on the subject. 

Samain has been reporting for The Jordan Times since 2005, mainly specialised in inter-religious dialogue, a beat she embarked on in 2007.

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Jordan authorities tackle 30,000 violations on water resources since 2013

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AMMAN —  As the national crackdown on violations on water resources and networks enters its fourth year, authorities on Saturday announced that over 30,000 violations on water mains and resources have been prevented.

The campaign, started by the Ministry of Water and Irrigation in the summer of 2013, has seen the retrieval of millions of cubic metres of stolen water and the prevention of the drilling of illegal wells, a source at the ministry said.

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