Sunday, April 05, 2009

Tourism and its effects … but what about Culture and the effects of development?













Commendable that there is yet another ‘conference’ to tackle issues of concern to society. Issues are raised, papers written, conclusions made …. But what is the difference … something akin to the sorry state of Arab summit affairs?

When Princess Sumaya al Hassan says “This conference comes at the right time now when our culture and civilisation faces the danger of irresponsible human actions, pollution and fast demographic growth," we should all be taking her seriously enough to incorporate preservation into all our laws and bylaws to curb irresponsibility for the greater good.

Raising concern over the effects of tourism on the social and cultural fabric of society is nothing new. We just don’t heed the lessons of the past when economics and investment overtake the need for preserving our cultural heritage, whether it’s a tree (airport road as in above picture) or an ancient handicraft, such as shibriya making. A challenging point when one considers the cause and effect of tourism on the local economy …. culture will always loose out to big bucks. Such a pity that this issue is not debated to a logical conclusion, (ie culture must be protected at all costs), at our preeminent house of parliament. Ooops silly me, forgot these are the people driving the development train!

So who do we turn to when culture is forced to give way to development, and we the people object ? Sad to think that in GAM’s 100th anniversary year, their drive for development in the name of investment, sees fit  to consign one hundred years of cultural urban heritage into the annals of history; (see below) … and this at a time when Amman is trying to make its case to become the world cultural capital of 2016! If we don’t respect the past, what message are we sending to our children ….I suppose the only consolation is that all this modern, faceless, insensitive building in the name of development will also suffer the same fate twenty years down the line!

When are the tourism masters going to understand that tourists visit Jordan for its archaeological sites and history; its quaint and charming little shops and staircases, handicrafts and sense of the old; the delights of floating on the Dead Sea, and basking and diving on and in the Red Sea; its ancient landscape and pristine environment untouched by human hand, (nothing quite like walking in the footsteps of the prophets around Mount Nebo and beyond). They come to Jordan to escape development and immerse themselves into a Jordanian cultural and social experience, as the people are at the heart of the matter regardless of stature .....     J


http://www.jordantimes.com/index.php?news=15506 Amman to make case for world cultural capital title …2016
http://www.jordantimes.com/index.php?news=15634 Officials explore tourism’s impact on heritage, culture
http://www.jordantimes.com/index.php?news=15498 Dagger makers survive fall of empire, struggle with GAM eviction notice

1 Comments:

Blogger joladies said...

I so agree! T

Sunday, April 05, 2009  

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