AMMAN — Kicking off with a performance of the national anthem by the Amman Orthodox Scouts and Guides Group, children took centre stage at the 58th Annual International Diplomatic Bazaar of the Mabarrat Um Al Hussein Institute, held at Al Hussein Youth City on Saturday.
HRH Princess Basma Bint Talal, inaugurating the bazaar, said in her opening speech that assisting the institute’s children, the beneficiaries of the entirety of the event’s proceeds, is the ultimate goal of the bazaar.
Representing a united effort between approximately 30 diplomatic missions to the Kingdom, the event featured a colourful variety of culturally representative handicrafts, ceramics, jewelry, clothing, textiles, toys, foods and other goods up for sale.
In her address, Princess Basma reflected upon the human solidarity and diplomatic goodwill that the event brings to the table, noting that the funds raised will go directly to the aid of the institute, allowing it to continue its work with children aged 6 to 18 in the Marka district in eastern Amman.
Through efforts of the diplomatic missions participating in the event, the Mabarrat Um Al Hussein Institute is able to prepare and empower children to “become successful and engaged members of society,” the princess added.
The bazaar symbolises the “human values that everyone aims to uphold, preserve, and pass on” to the next generation of young people, the princess said, commending the diplomatic missions’ dedication to the event, and their fruitful partnership with the institute and its children.
Princess Basma also expressed her gratitude to the supporters of bazaar’s virtual editions that were held the previous two years during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mabarrat Um Al Hussein Institute Director Zina Karaki emphasised the organisation’s mission to “foster a generation of young people who are confident in their abilities, aware of their rights and responsibilities, and are motivated to pursue their hopes, dreams and goals”.
The institute’s goal, she said, is to provide a stable and secure family environment for orphaned children, and children who can no longer live in their family environments for a variety of reasons.
Becoming a “hub” that offers training in in-demand subjects, such as digital literacy and computer skills, especially to girls, is among the institute’s top goals moving forward, she noted.
The bazaar had a variety of stations in which countries’ cultural goods could be purchased, and at some booths, cultural activities were available for kids. Such activities included origami demonstrations at the Japanese booth, an opportunity to “try-on” the traditional Bulgarian national costume and a Thai “taxi”, called a tuktuk, photo prop.
Ana, a 31-year-old American attendee with two children in tow, told The Jordan Times that this is her first time attending the event.
“We were really excited to stop by and bring the kids… so they have the opportunity to experience different cultures from around the world,” she said, noting that it is important to her family to be well educated on the diversity that the world has to offer.
“I did not expect the event to be so lively,” she added, looking around the crowded room. “There’s so many people coming; everything is very colourful and with a lot of diversity, so we are very happy about that.”
Ana added that thus far, she had purchased some “really great” Thai food, some stuffed animals and “of course, Palestinian za’atar”.