Anyone who has drank tea in Petra or ate mansaf in Wadi Rum will quickly recognize the unique fabric adorning traditional Bedouin tents in Jordan. These colorful designs are commonly used across the Arabian Peninsula and beyond, from Syria and Iraq in the north to the United Arab Emirates and Oman in the southeast. American musician Cardi B even featured some in the 2017 music video for her song Bodak Yellow!
Shortly after moving to Amman I noticed this unique building on a distant hill and I set out on a sort of scavenger hunt to find it. The walk from downtown to Jabal Ashrafieh is packed with winding streets and steep staircases (some of which go nowhere). To this day the church is one of my favorite landmarks in Amman and I often make the trek there when I’m feeling like getting some exercise and exploring the city. I like to think of it as a pilgrimage — it is a religious site after all!
These days there isn’t much to see of the Greco–Roman city of Pella in northwestern Jordan. Sadly, the ancient ruins here suffer from being slightly smaller, slightly less well-preserved, and slightly less convenient to visit than the similar ruins at Jerash. With a bit of imagination and some historical background, however, they are equally enchanting and even have a unique character of their own.