Amman has put on its best Sunday in preparation for the opening ceremonies and festivities of Amman, the Arab Culture Capital 2002, under the patronage of King Abdullah II and Queen Ranya.
The Amman governorate headquarters are embellished with fresh greenery and posters depicting cultural sites in Tunis, al Sharjah, Beirut, Riyadh, and Kuwait. This was topped, at opening time, by children in national dress holding their countries’ flags.
The festivities kicked off Sunday evening with over 150 special invited guests including, media figures, intellectuals, artists and others from Arab as well as foreign states.
Attendants also include Arab culture and information ministers and officials, Arab League Secretary General Amr Mousa in addition to heads of or representatives for cultural, information and media institutions.
The organizing committee hopes to foreground Amman’s cultural contributions and history as well as its tolerance and smooth interaction with other cultures.
However, the official opening ceremonies were postponed due to developments in the Palestinian occupied territories and Israeli incursions into Palestinian cities.
The idea to hold these festivities came in the 1992 in a convention resulted in ratification of a 1988 international agreement to boost cultural dialogue and development through stressing human values shared by all cultures. The cultural capitals program proposed by UNESCO chairman was approved in 1994 in Paris. The Arab group announced the following year an approved Arab culture capitals program and the first host state was Egypt. After Cairo in 1996, the chosen capitals were Tunis, al Sharjah, Beirut, Riyadh and then Kuwait. Amman was selected next during meetings of Arab culture and information ministers in Sharjah 1998. The festival is next to be hosted by Rabat, Sanaa, Muscat, Khartoum, Algiers, and Damascus, respectively – Albawaba.com