Jordan: Roses House’s founder and owner talks about her involvement in CROSSDEV
In today’s feature, Wijdan Malkawi, founder and owner of Roses House in Umm Qais, northern Jordan, speaks about her involvement in CROSSDEV project, designed to empower women through business in four selected areas of the Mediterranean: Jordan, Italy, Lebanon and Palestine.
My beginning in agriculture started as a hobby from childhood. I love nature, and this is what encouraged me to establish my small nursery at our home. My husband is my main support, he also loves nature and we both are concerned about the threatened plants in our area.
I started growing ornamental plants because I have a little space and my greenhouse was very small, certainly not enough to protect all my plants in cold winters. Then, I started focusing on medicinal wild plants found in nature, such as thyme and the Ixiolirion, which became endangered due to overgrazing. We started developing seed balls to widespread the plants in the region and working with tourists and other community members encouraging them to cultivate in this very simple way.
I am in cooperation with CROSSDEV in Umm Qais, northern Jordan, with project’s partner JUST (Jordan University for Science and Technology) to attract conscious tourists in this beautiful area, to select our most valuable attractions and hopefully manage to get a large number of visitors in the near future.
Our love for nature plays an important role and we are currently working to produce compost with kitchen’s leftovers from vegetables and garden leaves. We are trying to create natural fertilizers, and this goes with CROSSDEV’s goals to encourage and empower sustainable businesses.
It’s not always easy. We encountered some difficulties, such as doing marketing the right way and fighting summer’s water shortage, but we are learning how to improve our way of working, also thanks to the trainings and other project’s activities. We’re also having the chance to network with other businesses around the region. I got to know Al Baraka Company, through which I got to know the MEDA Foundation, which provided me with a grant and training that led to the development of my project.
At the beginning of the pandemic emergency, I was pretty anxious. I was worried for our health and income and it took me sometime to embrace positive thinking, focus on work and make the most of my time.
Her Majesty Queen Rania and Princess Iman visited us last year. It was a big support and encouragement to keep working towards our goal.
We are proud of what we are doing, me and my husband, and we are trying to sustain our project and to improve ourselves through continuous development. We aim at being effective community members, and try to spread awareness among people. We’re getting better at doing this also thanks to CROSSDEV. Together, we’re growing to become a stronger community.