Jordan underwater survey finds parts of ancient port

The discovered ruins are believed to be part of the centuries-old Red Sea port of Ayla, near the modern city of Aqaba. (Flash90)
Updated 28 February 2018
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Jordan underwater survey finds parts of ancient port

AMMAN: Officials say Jordan’s first underwater archaeological survey has detected the outlines of a stone barrier, believed to be part of the centuries-old Red Sea port of Ayla, near the modern city of Aqaba.
Ehab Eid, head of the Royal Marine Conservation Society of Jordan (JREDS), said on Tuesday that the survey spotted an underwater barrier with an L-shape that is about 50 meters long and eight meters wide. He said experts expect to find other port facilities in the future.
The port of Ayla was active from the 7th to the 12th century, part of a trade route linking the Levant with other parts of the Middle East, Asia and Africa. Initial excavations in search of Ayla’s ruins were conducted along the beach of Aqaba from 1986-1997.
According to a report published in The Jordan Times, the unearthed port dates back to the Umayyad period toward the end of the Fatimid period (650-1116 AD), according to the findings of the survey.
JREDS, which implemented the survey project in partnership with different stakeholders, announced the results during a conference in Aqaba.
It implemented the survey in partnership with the USAID-funded project “Sustainable Cultural Heritage Through Engagement of Local Communities,” and in cooperation with the Department of Antiquities.
The Jordan Times quoted JREDS President Princess Basma bint Ali as saying the society seeks to protect the marine environment while also ensuring sustainable development.
“Understanding our cultural and historical values is a tool to increase our commitment toward Jordan and the conservation of its heritage and values.”


UAE's Hussein Al Jasmi to perform at the Vatican's annual Christmas concert

Updated 11 December 2018
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UAE's Hussein Al Jasmi to perform at the Vatican's annual Christmas concert

  • Al Jasmi is the first Emirati artist to perform at prestigious Vatican event
  • The concert will be broadcast worldwide on Christmas day

DUBAI: Emirati singer Hussain Al Jasmi is scheduled to perform at the annual Christmas concert in the Vatican on Saturday.

Al Jasmi, a UN Goodwill Ambassador, will become the first Arab artist to perform at the event. His participation in the concert will be alongside the Grand Orchestra under the direction of Maestro Renato Serio.

 “I have always been pleased to contribute to charitable work in order to create an environment conducive to a dignified life, respect, equality and peace, the values that we have grown on and inherited from the late Shaikh Zayed.” Al Jasmi wrote on social media.

His performance is a nod to the policy adopted by the UAE to consolidate the values of inter-faith tolerance, moderation and intercultural exchange, as well as to continue creating channels of communication with all peoples worldwide, regardless of their ethnic, religious and cultural backgrounds. Notably, The UAE is the first country to establish a ministry for tolerance, the Ministry of Tolerance.

The performance will take place at Paul VI Audience Hall on the eve of Christmas, and will air on the fifth Italian Channel as well as several channels around the world.