It may not look like much on the outside, but Amman is treasure trove of history and hospitality. Also, beer. After nearly three months in Muslim-majority countries we were pretty psyched to find freely flowing beer.
This was home to the Ammonites of Biblical fame, which fell to King David, but was rebuilt by the Ptolemaic ruler Philadelphus. The city was renamed Philadelphia in honor of the new ruler, making it the original City of Brotherly Love. We can assure you that it still lives up to its old motto. Jordanians on the whole are the most welcoming, nicest people we’ve met on our journey so far.
Our first few days in Jordan were spent here in Amman in order to get our bearings and learn a little of the history of the country. The Jordan Museum was a wonderful start, with artifacts dating back to 15,000 BC to the very first known carvings of human statues.
There was a wonderful temporary exhibition dedicated to Ibn Al-Haythim, the “man who discovered how we see.” It’s a beautiful exhibit about light, optics, and vision. He’s also credited with saying what is now one of my most favorite quotes: “The duty of the man who investigates the writings of scientists, if learning the truth is his goal, is to make himself an enemy of all that he reads.” This is good advice, especially with all the fake news running around these days.
If you’re headed to Jordan, don’t miss spending a day or two in Amman. The museums and old ruins are worth the time. And make sure you stop into Hashem Restaurant for some of the very best falafel you’ll ever have.