The Greco-Roman city of Gerasa will host the silver jubilee celebration of the Jerash Festival for Culture and Arts starting July 25. The South Theatre will be the venue for official opening, featuring Jordanian vocalists accompanied by the National Jordanian Orchestra, Lubna Far, acting general manager of the festival, announced. The festival, which will run through August 17, includes a versatile cultural and artistic programme that will include broad local, Arab and international participation, Farr added. "It will be remembered as a joyous summer celebration welcoming Jordanian families as well as Arab and foreign visitors".

"This year Jerash festival is commemorating its silver jubilee by extending the festivities to 24 days for the first time," she added. Her Majesty Queen Noor, with a committee of volunteers launched the first Jerash Festival in 1981.

An array of activities and cultural events are on the schedule such as "International Oud Day." The pear-shaped, stringed instrument, similar to a lute, is used in traditional Middle Eastern and East African music. The Moscow Ballet will perform Cinderella at the North Theatre, which will also host a variety of classical and folkloric Arab and international performers such as Al Hannunah Group from Jordan, Ara de Madrid from Spain and the Jollanar troupe from Syria. Other activities to be held in the capital include "Bernanrda Alba's House," and MESTO-USA, a multiethnic star orchestra.

For dates and locations of the performances, check the festival's website at

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