LIFE&STYLE

[Herald Design Forum 2018] Preserve past for better future: Princess Dana Firas of Jordan

By Shim Woo-hyun
  • Published : Aug 28, 2018 - 16:06
  • Updated : Aug 28, 2018 - 16:19
Princess Dana Firas of Jordan will speak at the Herald Design Forum 2018, to share her ideas and experience in cultural heritage preservation and public policies concerning the issue.

Princess Dana is the wife of Prince Firas bin Raad of Jordan. She is also the chairperson of Petra National Trust, a nongovernmental organization dedicated to the preservation and protection of the World Heritage Site of Petra.

Under the theme of “Designing Future, Inspiring Past,” Princess Dana will reiterate the importance of preserving cultural heritage. Creating a sustainable future requires preservation of the past to carry it forward into the present and future, according to Princess Dana. 


Jordanian Princess Dana Firas (Courtesy of the speaker)

An advocate of cultural heritage preservation, Princess Dana says that preservation of cultural heritage is crucial not just because it involves historically valuable monuments, but because it provides specific markers for humanity.

Cultural heritage offers people a sense of identity, where they are from and what makes them who they are, she says.

Alongside its cultural value, the preservation of cultural heritage can also bring economic benefits to people. For instance, a growing tourism industry can generate economic activities and create jobs, both directly and indirectly.

According to the World Travel and Tourism Council’s Travel & Tourism Global Economic Impact & Issues 2017 report, travel and tourism directly accounted for 3 percent or $2.4 trillion of total global gross domestic product in 2017. The figure is expected to reach around 3.5 percent or $3.5 trillion by 2027. When indirect contributions are included, travel and tourism accounted for 10.2 percent of the global GDP or $7.9 trillion in 2017.

The figure rises when countries with heavy reliance on tourism are taken into account. In Jordan, for example, the total contribution of travel and tourism to GDP in 2013 amounted to 20.3 percent. Employment from travel and tourism, including jobs created indirectly by travel and tourism, accounted for 17.9 percent of total employment in the same year. The majority of visitors to Jordan visit Petra.

In light of the financial benefits it could bring, the preservation of cultural heritage has become more important. It is perhaps obvious that cultural heritage should not be exploited but preserved to ensure sustainability.

Princess Dana will give a speech on the first day of this year’s Herald Design Forum on Sept 14. Princess Dana will also join the “Premium Talk,” a conference dinner during which she and other speakers will hold a Q&A session with participants.

By Shim Woo-hyun (ws@heraldcorp.com)