Just need to say huge ‘well done us’ Emily O’Mara, Jessica Jacobs and Andrea Morreau crucial team members of the Our Past Our Future (OPOF) AHRC funded workshop in Southern Jordan who have just been awarded the Newton Prize by the Newton Fund. Working on this Newton Prize winning project as been so rewarding and special.So happy that the OPOF workshops we developed with the women in Faynan have now been expanded into two new projects focusing on gender equality and sustainable development goals establishing women’s handicraft initiatives with the University of Petra. What a team we make!!

‘Our Past, Our Future, All Together in Faynan’ AHRC 2019-21
Faynan is an impoverished region of southern Jordan that is mostly populated by members of four different Bedouin tribes. It has a remarkable landscape of archaeology that has received more than 40 years of research, principally by UK, US and German research teams. The Department of Antiquities, supported by the AHRC has begun to develop a local museum with the joint aims of developing eco-tourism to generate income into the local community for sustainable development, and build community engagement with the museum for social cohesiveness and well-being. This project will build community engagement with the Faynan Museum and facilities for eco-tourism to support social cohesiveness, individual well-being and sustainable economic development in Faynan. The two year project is structured into six different sub-projects. Jessica, Emily and Andrea worked on the sub-project  ‘Local Voices’ running a series of workshops with members of the tribal communities in Faynan. Our role is to work with the local community to devise, design and manufacture ‘community history/story maps’ using wool felt, and other local materials. By sharing our skills and building on the amazing craft heritage skills of the local women of Faynan we will create handcrafted storymaps about their lives. These maps will be displayed in the museum alongside video and other material gathered during the research period.

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