General Overview

Universities and academic institutions have a significant and effective role in managing and implementing theoretical and practical research programs and studies to develop teaching methods and scientific research; serve local communities; and to contribute preserving the cultural heritage of human societies and physical landmarks, specifically those that fall around the geographical location of the universities. Matching with Al al-Bayt University’s goals in serving education and scientific research; integrated methods are used in science, research methods, and community service to explore the historical and cultural potentials of urban and archaeological areas to employ them in sustainable tourism. Since the establishment of Al al-Bayt University; the field studies of history, heritage, culture, and environment were introduced to achieve cultural, social and, economic development at the national, regional, and global levels. Upon this vision, the idea of the international conference came under the title:

Mafraq Cultural Heritage and its Environmental Surroundings (International Tourist Destination)

This conference focuses on the environmental, cultural, archaeological and heritage resources in Al Mafraq and its surroundings as the second largest governorate of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.  Al Mafraq governorate passes through many historical and heritage stages from the ancient Stone Age civilizations to the classical Greek, Nabataean, Roman, Byzantine and Islamic eras, and up to the modern era. This legacy included environmental, nature and geological resources of volcanic caves and tunnels, vital resources of water sources and water harvesting systems in archaeological sites of basaltic Hurra, the historical sites of palaces and castles, and the Hijaz railway and its stations. It also included many archaeological sites such as Umm al-Jimal, Al-Fdain - Mafraq, Burqu Palace in the Badia, and the legendary site of Java in Wadi Ragel in the Jordanian Hurra. It further involved the archaeological sites in Deir al-Kahf, Umm al-Quttin, Sabha, al-Dafyana, Rakis, al-Aqib, al-Ba’aj, and Umm al-Sarab, Jaber, Sama Al-Sarhan and Al-Khansari.

In historical villages and towns, there are archaeological monuments and Byzantine churches in the towns of Rehab, Al-Madwar, Hayyan Al-Mashref, Balama, Khirbet Al-Samra, and other archaeological sites. In addition, there are the possibilities of creating new, non-traditional forms of sustainable tourism, such as Badia and desert, meditation, geo-tourism, cave, adventure and camping, astronomy observation, and cultural and religious tourism. Given the material and immaterial social and cultural diversity, possibilities are available to innovate tourist pathways, and organize types of cultural, social, urban and folklore tourism with the participation of community bodies, which will have a positive and developmental impact on the local community and enhance the economics of tourism.

The disclosure of the heritage and cultural storage of Al-Mafraq Governorate helps achieve development programs that provide practical productive opportunities for the local community and be able to participate in development projects. Therefore, the conference seeks to reveal these possibilities in light of the region's rich archaeological, heritage, and cultural resources, as well as the presence of Al al-Bayt University with its facilities and through its scientific, administrative, and technical participation in sustainable tourism development programs, to make Mafraq and its surroundinggs tourist attractions at the local and global levels.