Petra, located in Jordan, between the Gulf of Aqaba and the Dead Sea, has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1985 and since July 2007 has been one of the new Seven Wonders of the Modern World.
María Claudia Londoño D
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Jordanian princess, the wife of Prince Firas bin Ra'ad, the son of Prince Ra'ad bin Zeid and Princess Majda Ra'ad, is a global advocate for heritage protection to drive development, practice responsible tourism, political participation, and peacebuilding.
She married Prince Firas in 2017, from whose union there are three children: Princess Safa, born in Amman, Jordan in 2011, Princess Haya who was born in Washington, United States in 2033, and Prince Hashem, who was born in 2010 in Jordan, where they all currently reside.
Princess Dana is very active writing, and these have been her publications and collaborations:
In 2022 she published a book titled "Unique and Outstanding: Jordan's World Heritage Sites" with photographer Bashar Tabbaa. The foreword was written by the Director General of UNESCO, Ms. Audrey Azoulay. In 2015 she published an article in the Huffington Post titled "Goal 18: Global Development Goals and Heritage Preservation." In 2012 she contributed to “Tourism and Archaeological Heritage Management in Petra: Driver of Development or Destruction”. In 2007 she wrote a short article for the State of the World Report and participated in the launch of the report in Washington, D.C. She, with Drs. William C. Clark and Dr. Sanjeev Khagram of Harvard University wrote an article titled “From Environment and Human Security to Sustainable Security and Development” for the Journal of Human Development in 2003.
Princess Dana's intervention is very timely and promising, as Petra is threatened by unsustainable tourism, erosion, and rockfall.
In addition, the floods that occur there have generated alerts such as last December 2022, which led to the immediate evacuation of the 1,700 tourists who were visiting these constructions that were amazed at being sculpted directly into the reddish rocks.
Among the awards and recognitions that Princess Dana Firas has obtained, we mention the following:
In 2022 HM King Carl Gustav of Sweden awarded Princess Dana 2022, the Royal Order of the Polar Star Commander Grand Cross for her services to Sweden. His Majesty King Abdallah II of Jordan bestowed the Order of the State Centennial for his contributions to the field of cultural heritage in Jordan.
She also received the World Monuments Fund 2019 Watch Award for her contributions to cultural heritage preservation worldwide. Coventry University bestowed an honorary doctoral degree in literature for her effective role in cultural heritage preservation and contribution to sustainable development, responsible tourism, and peacebuilding.
Dana, in 2018 became the first woman to win the Arab Heritage Person Award. King Abdullah awarded Princess Dana Firas Order of the Centennial.
This is how she has been promoting tourist activities by increasingly acquiring an approach of greater responsibility and sustainability, so that society is increasingly aware of the impact and repercussions that careless actions or detached attitudes represent for the ecosystem, leaving it in the hands of others, from organizations and activists for the care and preservation of resources and, in the case of Petra, of the historical and representative places of our universal history and culture.
We can also mention rural tourism or solidarity tourism, with which work is carried out to restore natural environments and social or environmental research.
With educational actions, conferences, and writings, Princess Danna aims to instill principles of responsible tourism, such as:
• Sensitize people to carry out responsible actions and achieve the complete and successful transformation of the traditional tourism model.
• Tangible benefits for communities.
• Personal growth fostered by enriching experiences.
All this will result in the following aspects:
• Generate a minimal impact on the environment in Petra and its surroundings.
• Instill responsible consumption and respect for cultural heritage.
• Social and ecological benefits on fauna and flora present.
• Citizen actions to monitor and control resources and heritage.
• Respect for communities, their culture, beliefs, and traditions.
• Promote appropriate economic activities with the protection of the environment.
So, if you plan to include visiting Jordan in your travel plans, visiting Petra will undoubtedly be an unforgettable experience and you should assume the role of a responsible tourist.