Published: 2017-10-06 00:26
Last Updated: 2017-10-06 10:12
Did the Jordan Tourism Board (JTB) really beg Lebanese tourists to visit Biblical sites in the Kingdom?
A billboard with pictures of Al-Maghtas, Mount Nebo and other religious sites, accompanied by the promotional slogan "For God's sake... come visit," left some Jordanian social media users furious this week.
In Arabic slang, the phrase "for God's sake," or "mishan Allah," is used when someone begs or urges someone else to do something.
Critics of the advertising campaign argued that the slogan implies that the JTB is "begging" Lebanese tourists to visit Jordan.
However, the JTB explained that the phrase "For God's sake... come visit" simply invites Lebanese Christians to "get closer to God" and to visit Christian archeological sites in the Kingdom, in other words, to visit those sites "for the sake of pleasing God."
They noted that the slogan was suggested by a Lebanese advertising firm and that it was "blessed" by Christian religious men before it went public.
Abdel Razzaq Arabiyyat, General Manager of the JTB, said that the campaign has been received well by Lebanese people so far.
One of the most notable religious sites in Jordan is The Baptism Site “Bethany beyond the Jordan” (Al-Maghtas). It is located in Jordan on the east bank of the Jordan River.
It is considered by the majority of Christian Churches to be the location where John the Baptist baptised Jesus, and is a Christian place of pilgrimage, according to UNESCO.