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."