The World Heritage Committee of UNESCO has decided to approve the addition of the Jordanian city of As-Salt, “the city of tolerance and civilised hospitality” to the World Heritage List. The decision was made during the organisation’s forty-fourth session, held virtually in China.
As-Salt is a thriving city situated North West of the capital Amman. Built on three main mountains (the cadital, gadaa and salalem), surrounded by the city square, As-Salt is enclosed by breathtaking views and is a wonderful contrast to some of the westernised sites of Amman. Comfortably perched atop of mountains, As-Salt maintains an authentic society based on affection, brotherhood, and love. The mountainside city also has significant historical relevance, most notably, as the regional capital of the Ottoman Empire.
Reflected in the old mosques and churches residing together in peace, the city of Salt is a living example of inter-religious harmony and coherence within a single neighbourhood. The architecture and ancient houses reflect in the religious writings and symbols common to Muslim and Christian families.
In presenting the city to the committee, Jordan’s Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, Nayef Al-Fayez, said that As-Salt was among the kingdom’s top priorities, because of its importance in demonstrating the characteristics of tolerance, coexistence and social care among its residents.
Mr Al-Fayez added that Jordan and the World Heritage Committee (UNESCO) are sending an important message to the whole world: a message of peace, tolerance and coexistence in line with His Majesty King Abdullah II’s speech at the 2019 International Conference on Cohesive Societies in Singapore, in which His Majesty stressed that “the attack on interfaith harmony and peaceful coexistence is the most important threat in the world, which requires everyone to join forces to resist hatred and exclusion.”
PHOTO – TOP OF PAGE – As-Salt heritage houses (photo JTB)