I toured Jordan in the summer of 1999. You'll see a lot of pictures of historical sites, maybe too many.

Jordan was largely a creation of the Romans, who wanted a local capital with which to rule this part of the world. They built Amman on seven hills because it reminded them of Roman which had a similar number of hills.

Subsequent to that Jordan existed as parts of various Arab empires, Ummayyid, Abbasid, and Fatamid, all left their various remains behind.

To Westerners Jordan is more famous for two things. First, Lawrence of Arabia fought most of his battles here. The famous flight into Akaba (below) was to capture the only port in today's Jordan that could serve as a supply base for his army (and Faisal's). That fight led to British creation of a "Transjordan" governed by the Hashemite family, today's Jordan.

Jordan is more famous today as being a nation of nations. Along with the original Jordanians (red head scarf) are various Palestinians (white scarf) whom the Westerners have encouraged to settle. The Iraqi Civil war sent another group of refugees to Jordan (with the hopes that a peace settlement would send them home). Sure enough, the Syrian civil war have sent more refugees. A symbol of the hoped for unity, besides Jordan's reasonbly friendly peace with Israel (for which the UN pays them buy giving them money for Palestinian refugees it houses) is the marriage between the current king and his princess, a Palestinian.

The Jordanian National Anthem

Jordan Asha Al Maleek (Long Live the King)
(Latin Transliteration):

Asha al Maleek Samigan Maqamuhu
Khafiqatin Fil Maali Alamuhu


Long live the King!
Long live the King!
His position is sublime,
His banners waving in glory supreme.


This is the smaller of the two Roman theaters in Amman.

This is a view of the main auditorium showing the city beyond.

This is the author saying "Friends, Romans, Countrymen, lend me your ears."

This is traditional Jordanian folk dress. Each village differs.

The Temple of Herakles (Amman) at sunset.

These are Greek columns at Jerash, a dead city.

This is an elaborate bath at Jerash.

This is a view of Petra, the Nabatean city.

The site was used in an Indiana Jones movie.

Those buildings, like all Petra buildings, are carved into the mountains.

This is the long road visitors traveled to get to Petra's center.

Lawrence slept here, and so do tourists today (but not Bedouin).

This is known as "Lawrence's Spring" at Wadi Rum.
Yes, D.H. Lawrence found it.

This is Nabatean writing. It says "No camel parking allowed."

The author is thinking: "Ali, nothing is written."

This is more spectacular scenery at Wadi Rum.

Note how this desert differs from the one on the Saudi tour.

This is the author at one of Lawrence's old forts.
It was in a little better condition back then.

This is Aqaba, Jordan's only seaport.

"Lawrence, there are GUNS at Akaba."
"Yes, Ali, pointed towards the sea."

This is the beech.

In Nabatean it says: Have a nice day :)


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