- Associated Press - Monday, July 27, 2015

July 27—JERASH — Newcomers to the Jerash Festival for Culture and Arts’ bazaar voiced hope on Sunday that their first experience would be a positive one and that many customers will come their way this year.

The bazaar is part of the 30th edition of the festival, which opened last weekend and will run until August 1.

Tamam Yasouri, who makes wallets featuring traditional embroidery, said she is participating in the bazaar for the first time.

“I noticed that there are many women participating in this event and so far I have made enough profit during the first days of the festival. I am still optimistic for the coming days,” she told The Jordan Times at her booth.

Yasouri noted that the festival offers a chance to meet potential trainees who want to learn the method she employs to produce handmade products.

Naifah Zu’bi, who sells traditional pastries, said although she did not make a lot of money during the first days of the festival, she has managed to win over new customers.

However, seasoned merchants at the bazaar said business has so far been slow compared to last year.

Faisal Salah, who sells handmade products, said although thousands of people attended the opening ceremony, the number of visitors has been limited after that.

“The number of visitors depends on the popularity of the singer or the participating troupe. This year, they did not invite so many famous artists,” he argued.

Salah noted that most vendors depend on the audience coming to the South Theatre, where the major concerts are held, because a limited number of visitors head to the North Theatre.

Ruwaida Yaseen, who is participating for the first time, said she did not expect business to be “slow”.

“I think that they put the stalls in a location that is not suitable and visible for many visitors. They have to put them in areas close to where people walk or near the theatres,” she added.

The Jerash festival is an annual celebration of local, Arabic and international culture during the summer. It is held in the ancient Greco-Roman town of Jerash, known in old times as Gerasa, and located some 48km north of Amman.

The festival continues on Tuesday, with a performance by Al Jeel Club troupe showcasing Circassian folklore in the South Theatre, while Palestinian band Ibdaa will be performing in the North Theatre.

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(c)2015 the Jordan Times (Amman, Jordan)

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