Fair Trade Jordan Souq held in parallel with Second World Congress for Middle Eastern Studies (WOCMES2)

Fair Trade Jordan organized a three-day Souq in parallel to the World Congress for Middle Eastern Studies (WOCMES-2) in an attempt to direct its some 1400 participants to the small producers of Jordan, Lebanon and Central Asia.

Fair trade market in Wild Jordan Foundation Photo: IUCN WAME

The over 80 producers offered scholars - who came from different parts of the world to discuss Middle-Eastern issues – products ranging from fresh, organic and home-processed food, to hand-crafted jewellery, ceramics, glass, rugs and embroidery. The event, which was held at the Royal Cultural Center, was an occasion to promote IUCN’s photo book Tales of Water and other publications as well as members from Lebanon – Arz al-Shouf Association - and the Central Asia Mountain Project (CAMP) that sold out all its silk shawls and originally designed bracelets. The table cover seen in the picture went to Jordanian Environment Minister Khaled Irani. Mr. Irani satisfied all producers not only CAMP as they all thrive to make their products environmentally friendly and socially and economically sustainable.

The souk was also an occasion to demonstrate traditional hospitality and customs practiced historically in this part of the world. Representatives from the four tribes of south of Jordan, whose way of life has been proclaimed by UNESCO as a ‘Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Cultural Heritage’, enriched the souk with their presence.

Fair Trade aims to provide WOCMES2’s guests from around the world with an experience of the best of ethical values of Jordan and the region, and to highlight the importance of crafts and fair trade products and markets in economic development of the Middle East. Fair Trade Jordan is an alliance among the Jordanian Hashemite Fund for Human Development (JOHUD), the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN) and the IUCN-The World Conservation Union’s regional office in Amman. All three organizations have a commitment to nature conservation, social inclusion and poverty alleviation .

The three-day Fair trade Jordan Souq is sponsored in part by USAID-funded Tourism Development Project in Jordan ‘Siyaha’; a three-year project aimed at supporting the development of the tourism economy in Jordan . Institutional development of Fair Trade Jordan is being supported by funds from the British Embassy.

For more information, please contact Lianne Romahi, Fair Trade Jordan Coordinator at fairtradejordan@iucn.org

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