Supporting local tourism initiatives, Jordan’s Queen Rania Al Abdullah visited Dana Village, taking part in a portion of the ‘Thru Hike’ programme, organised by the Jordan Trail Association (JTA).
Queen Rania was welcomed by Muna Haddad, the President of the Jordan Trail Association, and Bashir Daoud, the General Manager of the association.
The Queen then joined Andrew Evans, a National Geographic writer, and Tony Howard and Di Taylor, Authors of three outdoors books on Jordan, and the first to conceive the idea of the Jordan Trail, along with other internationally renowned writers and Jordanian volunteers, for a walk towards the village.
At the village, the Queen stopped by Dana Shop and the Mini Souq, where she watched local women bake traditional “shrak” bread using a “saj” oven. She also took part in conversations with local community members, about the touristic programmes that help bolster their economic opportunities.
The Queen then met with some of the Jordan Trail Association staff members, attendees from the local community, volunteers, and hikers, who have previously crossed the Jordan Trail.
At the meeting, the Queen commended all ideas contributing to the creation of exceptional local innovations, like the Jordan Trail. She also stressed the vital role that the Jordan Trail plays, in promoting tourism and giving participants a distinct view of Jordan and its local communities, while creating income-generating development opportunities.
Hikers who have previously walked the trail, also shared their experiences with the Queen. Speakers included the first three women to hike the entire trail.
The Jordan Trail Association was established in July, 2015, with the aim of developing and maintaining The Jordan Trail and supporting the development of economic opportunities, along its 52 participating villages.
The trail constitutes a 650-kilometre path, stretching from Um Qais in the north of Jordan to Aqaba in the south. It requires a total of forty continuous days of walking to be completed.
The first official Thru Hike – the crossing of the entire trail – commenced on Mar 31, and will end on May 13. The Thru Hike is intended to become a yearly event open for public participation.