Caritas Jordan launches the “Jordan Biblical Map"

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Caritas Jordan launches the “Jordan Biblical Map"

By Munir Bayouk-en.abouna.org

On Tuesday, February 5, 2019 Caritas Jordan, represented by its Director Wael Suleiman, celebrated the inauguration of the ground mosaic tableau named, “Jordan Biblical Map” located in front of the Greek Melkite Catholic Church in Madaba.

The event was launched under the patronage of French Ambassador to Jordan David Bertolotti in the presence of Archbishop of Petra, Philadelphia and entire Jordan Bishop Joseph Jbarah, Secretary General of the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities Issa Gammoh. The event was also held in cooperation with the faculty of archeology and tourism at the University of Jordan.

This map is an initiative in the project “Improving the Coping Strategies of Displaced Iraqis in Jordan and the Vulnerable Jordanians’ in Madaba”, a project which started in 2017 and was funded by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the sum of 250,000 euros. The initiative, which involved intensive work, was intended to design the first Biblical map of Jordan as a mosaic floor surrounding the Greek Catholic Church in Madaba city.

Caritas Jordan cooperated with the department of tourism and archaeology at the Jordan University on scientifically verifiable Biblical locations of the current political map of Jordan and prominent ruins from the biblical period that particularly highlight Christian presence in Jordan in relation to the Holy Bible.

The process involved intricate collaboration with supervisors and experts in mosaic work, starting from the graphic designing of the mosaic stones as well as to the cutting and placing of the mosaic stones creating the map. This was achieved by 17 Jordanian citizens and Iraqi refugees who have been trained through the project to be mosaic expert producers, in addition to a group of technicians and experts who ensured proper execution across all stages of production.
The Biblical Map of Jordan is the first effort of its kind and may also be the first mosaic floor produced and laid around a church in Jordan since the early Christian period. It is worth mentioning that this map consists of more than 1,700,000 pieces, achieved in 50 working days, with 5,200 working hours.

The ceremony, attended by a number of ambassadors, Parliament members and representatives of the local community besides Caritas Jordan administrative board and staff, started with a welcoming speech by Fr. Mu'in Al-Hilou, the Melkite priest in Madaba followed by speeches delivered by Bishop Joseph Jbarah, Ambassador David Bertolotti, and Mr. Wael Suleiman.

In his address, Bishop Jbarah said that Jordan, with its land, river and people, is always present in the Old and New Testaments of the Holy Bible. This is only to emphasize its importance in the history of ancient civilizations and the sanctity of its land which was honored by the presence of the apostles and prophets, especially Lord Jesus Christ.

French Ambassador David Bertolotti said: “We are very proud of our long-lasting partnership with Caritas and I am very glad to see that a humanitarian project that started in 2017 is fulfilled today. This place was two years ago a shelter for the forcibly displaced Iraqis and today it turned out be a be a benchmark in the city, a reference for cultural and religious tourism and a milestone in the Christian heritage.”

Mr. Wael Suleiman expressed his gratitude for all who participated in this project. While mentioning that the first stage of the arrangements is over, he said, “Today we are conclude the second phase which is establishing a new touristic site in Madaba, the city of mosaics, mercy, and love garden, a garden that spreads the spirit of human brotherhood and a model of how humanity can be when we cooperate and work together for the good.”

Then, the French ambassador officially inaugurated the “Jordan Biblical Map'' and toured the site where he listened to a briefing on the map presented by a Caritas Jordan team.

At the end, certificates of appreciation were presented to all those who contributed to this project which expressed Caritas Jordan’s deepest gratitude for all esteemed institutions and individuals that contributed to this achievement. This work is subject to constant development and fine tuning, that Caritas Jordan considers as a stimulator for further knowledge production, artistic and vocational innovation that will hopefully contribute to the promotion and development of historical discourse, enhancement of the mosaic industry, religious and cultural tourism in Jordan.

Tue, 02/05/2019 - 19:20
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