Picturing Jordan

Sharing Jordan with the world — one picture at a time.

Buying Bedouin Fabric in Amman

Several reams of colorful fabric stacked vertically in a shop in downtown Amman.

Reams of colorful Bedouin fabric on sale in downtown Amman

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!

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Saint Thaddeus Church at Sunset

Church in typical Armenian style with pointy blue roof and the city behind it.

Iconic Armenian Church in Jabal Ashrafieh at Sunset

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!

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Cleanliness Comes From Faith

Graffiti with Arabic inscription depicting someone putting trash in a trash can

Graffiti in downtown Amman appeals to the faithful

There is a popular notion that cleanliness is an important part of the Islamic faith, though you wouldn’t know it from walking around Jordan. I have never seen people throw coffee cups, half-eaten sandwiches, tissues, etc on the street so carelessly — and often times with such finesse — as here in Jordan.

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