The Martian, the Jerash Festival, and the Regional Turmoil

By Fahed Khitan

تم نشره في Sun 23 July / Jul 2017. 12:00 AM
  • Fahed Khitan

Culture and arts, in their most various forms, are considered some of the most important components of civilisation in progressive societies.

More so, cultural events give countries a good reputation, and add to their global presence.

Festivals also benefit the tourism sector, greatly, more than anything.

In Puerto Rico, a music video was debuted there, by a group of Spanish musicians, featuring American popstar, Justin Bieber.

According to a documented news report, this video landed the small island in the Caribbean, part of the US Commonwealth, an exceptionally global reputation.

Afterwards, travel and tourism agencies there said search hits for Puerto Rico have skyrocketed, and the hotels are preparing to receive tourists in bulks.

A report in yesterday’s AlGhad edition said that Ridley Scott, the world famous director of the renowned movie “The Martian”, staring Matt Damon, has decision to shoot his next movie in Wadi Rum, again.

Millions of people, who saw the movie, were dazzled by the magic of the place.

Now, Wadi Rum has become a global destination.

Even those who never visited the star-lit red expanse are talking about it with such passion and huge respect.

Likewise, Jordan’s cultural festivals have given the Kingdom a respectable reputation.

Chief among those is the Jerash Festival, featuring numerous renowned artists and musicians from across the region and beyond.

This Festival contributed to a great extent to putting Jordan on the map of Arab and international festivals.

Over the years, the Jerash Festival has achieved a prestigious place, linked mainly to Jordan’s.

Intellectuals, writers, and artists from over the world have participated in this festival over its many years. Carrying with them so many beautiful memories back to their friends and families back home.

If anything, the Jerash Festival has reinforced Jordan as a country open to the cultures of the world and the heritages of humanity.

In the more recent years, there have been various festivals in Jordan. Music and art from all around the world now has a place in the Jordanian scene.

From opera at the Citadel to the concerts organised by the Abdul Hamid Shoman Foundation, all indicate a qualitative transcendence in the sector.

A crowd of fans, devoted to the world classical music scene, is coming together here in Jordan, and it is quite an uplifting scene, when you see youths standing in line to buy tickets to concerts by international musicians and artists.

The same goes for the fans who line up to attend a concert by Jordanian musicians, like Yarub Sumeirat or Tariq Nassir and his outstanding band.

Book fares are capturing an increasing crowd too in Amman.

Whenever a cultural event is organised, response to it is hardly ever disappointing these days.

Unfortunately though, there are many among us who do not value the significance of culture and arts.

Every year, the same lot raise their voices in protest against the Jersah Festival or the concerts at the Citadel. Especially when these events coincide with political events surrounding us.

As if these festivals are somehow responsible for the chaos and the wars in our region. It doesn’t save the Aqsa Mosque from further Israeli transgressions to suspend the Jerash Festival this year, or any other year.

Culture, arts, and above all music, theatre, the cinema, and poetry, are the only things binding us to life in this bleak hell-hole of a region.

More so, for Jordan, a country severely affected by the regional turmoil, so much hard work is needed, if we are to maintain our global respect and good reputation. Let alone stimulate the economy!

This article is an edited translation of the Arabic version, published by AlGhad.