Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Citadel

My fellow blogger, J, has alerted us again to the development of the citadel for tourists. I find it a dilemma which isn’t new to tourism or to Jordan.

My husband had been involved in the International Hotel Association for the past 20 years and we faithfully went to their annual meetings. One debate that was ongoing among this group was the development of national sites, be they natural or man-made, as opposed to protecting them. Jordan is loaded in both natural wonders and historical places which are a part of its rich history. We could opt to close Petra to visitors in order to protect it. Then what? We could do the same for Jerash, Wadi Rum, and the ruins in Karak and Madaba. Then we lose a thriving tourism industry that gives jobs to people and hard currency to the country. Obviously protecting sites is not the absolute answer. Careless exploitation is not the answer either. Responsible development should take place and in most cases it is responsible or at least we hope so.

To be honest I haven’t followed the proposed plans for the Citadel, which by the way is one of my favorite places. I am not a museum enthusiast but I find the little museum there excellent. I have always found the openness and emptiness there soothing. At sunset the call to prayer reverberating up to the mountaintop from mosques all over Amman is a memorable experience. I do hope that whatever the plans are for the Citadel they are respectful of the site and its history both in architecture and function. Places that are too dangerous, unstable, or precious to develop should be cordoned off and forbidden to tourists. There should be no investment at a national site that reflect personal vested interest like the small Starbucks Coffee shop we saw inside the walls of the Forbidden City in China! Thanks J for the reminder. Maybe we can trigger some valuable discussion about the Citadel.



Blogger 就是這 said...

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Friday, February 05, 2010  
Anonymous オテモヤン said...

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Friday, February 12, 2010  

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