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Opening of „Cultural Worlds“ Exhibition at Yarmouk University

29.07.2019 - Pressemitteilung

On Sunday, 28 July 2019, HE Birgitta Siefker-Eberle, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, and HE Prof. Dr. Zeidan Kafafi, President of Yarmouk University, jointly opened the exhibition „Cultural Worlds“ at Yarmouk University, Irbid.

Opening Cultural Worlds Exhibition Yarmouk University
Opening „Cultural Worlds“ Exhibition Yarmouk University© Botschaft Amman

The exhibition displays 15 highlights of Germany’s Cultural Preservation Program world-wide. It ranges from the restoration of an open-air museum on the site of the sun temple of Heliopolis in Egypt, to the creation of a sound archive in Afghanistan. As for Jordan, the exhibition displays Cultural Awareness Programs in the ancient city of Gadara (modern Umm Qays), one of the country’s most important cultural monuments. The aim is to protect the cultural heritage in the region in general and in the ancient city of Gadara in particular, as well as to preserve and pass on knowledge about the buildings, techniques and day-to-day life. Since 2010, the German Archaeological Institute (DAI) and its partners have offered wide-ranging initiatives to foster sustainable education programs in culture and nature in Jordan. These initiatives have been realized in cooperation with Jordanian experts in heritage management and nature conservation and with local communities.

Opening Cultural Worlds Exhibition Yarmouk University
Opening „Cultural Worlds“ Exhibition Yarmouk University© Botschaft Amman

Ambassador Siefker-Eberle said „Cultural heritage is an expression of a society’s vision of itself, of its history and identity. Every culture is a world in itself. These worlds of culture must be preserved and developed. That is the aim of the projects on display here at Yarmouk University.“ In this context, Ambassador Siefker-Eberle recalled the highly successful international conference on „Cultural Heritage: At the Intersection of the Humanities and Sciences“ that brought experts from all over the world to Amman from 16 to 18 April. This conference of the „Alexander von Humboldt“ Foundation was directed and coordinated by Prof. Dr. Hani Hayajneh, Ambassador Scientist of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation to Jordan and Dean of the Faculty of Archaeology and Anthropology of Yarmouk University, who also introduced today’s exhibition to the invited guests.

Opening Cultural Worlds Exhibition Yarmouk University
Opening „Cultural Worlds“ Exhibition Yarmouk University© Botschaft Amman

Prof. Dr. Zeidan Kafafi welcomed HE the Ambassador of Germany to Jordan and the guests representing high ranking foreign and local institution working in the field of cultural heritage. He said: „Cultural heritage gives us orientation and support; it is part of our identity and our memories. Its destruction is much more than a physical loss, but aims at the heart of civilization, the dignity of man. This makes our efforts to protect cultural heritage at the national and international level all the more important.“ He also thanked the Federal Foreign Office as a faithful partner in supporting German Archaeological institutions with which Jordan has strong and long ties.

In his introductory note to the exhibition, Prof. Dr. Hani Hayajneh, the coordinator of the exhibition, highlighted the strong ties between the Faculty of Archaeology and Anthropology at Yarmouk University and German and foreign partners and also emphasized that „the examples exhibited in this foyer show that archeology has not only something to do with lifting old stones. Our institutions worldwide should work together to design an active future, with the aim of preserving the “cultural memory of humanity.„

Opening Cultural Worlds Exhibition Yarmouk University
Opening “Cultural Worlds„ Exhibition Yarmouk University© Botschaft Amman

Dr. Claudia Bührig from the German Archaeological Institute (DAI) provided today’s guests with a tour of the exhibition and focused on the project in Gadara, which she has been overseeing as its director.

The exhibition will be on display at the Prince Al-Hussein Bin Abdullah II building of Yarmouk University until 27 August 2019.

The Cultural Preservation Program of the German Federal Foreign Office, launched in 1981, is a sustainable instrument of German cultural relations and education policy. The Program aims to protect and nurture cultural diversity and to raise people’s awareness of national identity. The sharing of German expertise in the fields of conservation and restoration fosters cultural dialogue in a spirit of partnership. Experts from the partner country and the local population are involved in implementing the projects, which also include a local training component.

Cultural property is exposed to threats from many quarters: natural and climate disasters, illegal trading, pillage or illicit excavation, but increasingly also armed conflict. Cultural property becomes trapped between the fronts, or is deliberately destroyed in terrorist acts. As a result, not only parts of humanity’s cultural heritage are endangered, but also the foundations for the cultural identity in individual states or regions.

The German Federal Government has committed itself to protecting cultural property and preserving the Cultural heritage in crisis-hit regions. Respect for other cultures and the recognition of cultural diversity form the foundations for peaceful coexistence.

More Information on the program can be found here.

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