Jordan eyes Umm el-Jimal for new world heritage site

STORY: This ancient city may soon be on

UNESCO’s world heritage list

Location: Mafraq, Jordan

Many ancient civilizations occupied Umm el-Jimal

They built settlements, water systems,

and more using volcanic basalt rock

(Fadi Balawi, Director of the department of antiquities)

"What distinguishes Umm el-Jimal? The thing that distinguishes it the most is the architecture, its nature and its location in a remote area. Umm el-Jimal played a big role in the change in civilizations by providing the main elements for life and this is evidence of how humans inhabited the area, adapted to it and were able to tame the environment and transform it from a remote desert area to an attraction point for civilizations over centuries."

An earthquake in the eighth century damaged the city

Now, the local community and government

are restoring and renovating the site

to qualify for a full nomination to

UNESCO's world heritage sites

(Samiha Masaeed, Head of Umm el-Himal preservation society)

"We work on carving on basalt rock. For sure, if the site is added to the UNESCO world heritage list it will develop and become international. We, the society, will benefit on many fronts and will develop our work further."