(MENAFN - Jordan Times) Visitors to the capital's vibrant Rainbow Street will now be able to find a variety of traditional items inspired by Jordanian heritage and handcrafted by rural women from all over the Kingdom.
Just around the corner of the Jabal Amman thoroughfare, the Society for the Development of Rural Women opened a permanent showroom on Tuesday, showcasing handmade products by 500 women from the countryside.
Embroidered dresses and carpets with modern and traditional designs and jewellery that borrows from symbols of Jordanian culture are featured at the showroom to catch the eye of tourists and local residents alike.
"All our sales will go to the benefit of rural women, their families and children," Seeta Al Hnaity Al Hadeed, the society's president, told The Jordan Times at the opening ceremony yesterday.
But she stressed that the venture cannot be sustained without proper marketing.
"We need tourist guides to know about this place and bring their groups here," Hadeed said, noting that the showroom costs the society over JD1,000 per month.
But she remained hopeful.
"Officials at the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities have offered to help us and so has the Jordan Tourism Board."
Established in 1990 to empower women in rural communities and promote their handicrafts, the society also uses proceeds of the sales to support schools in these areas.
The permanent exhibition is supported by the USAID Jordan Tourism Development Project II (Siyaha), which has been cooperating with the society since 2010, providing members with administrative and financial training and upgrading their equipment, according to Siyaha.
USAID Jordan Mission Director Beth Paige commended the society's latest project as an example of ways for Jordanian women to actively participate in the tourism sector.
"Hundreds of women from rural communities all around the country are both helping keep alive an important part of Jordan's heritage and earning a living, and the visitor can take home a beautiful handmade souvenir from Jordan," she said at the opening ceremony.
Paige inaugurated the showroom with Tourism Minister Nayef Al Fayez, after a performance of the traditional dabkeh dance by Al Amaneh Troupe for Arts and Folklore.
Fayez also commended the project, describing it as an enriching addition to downtown Amman that helps preserve Jordanian heritage.
"We might be famous for the mosaics that ancient civilisations left behind, but our most beautiful mosaics are the Jordanian people, with their diversity and their rich customs and traditions," he said.