Aqaba, as it is now called, was know during Islamic times as Ayla, the jewel of the Red Sea. The city holds a vital place in Jordan's history as a holder of its marine and Islamic heritage.
The project aims to revitalize the Islamic city of Alya and
expand the area’s appreciation and focus on marine heritage. This began with an
underwater exploration of the coastline, the first of its kind ever attempted
in Jordan. SCHEP has brought together experts from the Department of
Antiquities, University of Chicago, and JREDS together, along with a group of
international experts in order to ensure that these explorations were done
using best practices and the most responsible methods. Ultimately, SCHEP hopes
to create a new, education, and community based way for visitors to experience
Some of the most tangible results were a Site Management
Plan and more than 15 employment opportunities, more than 50% female.