Monday, July 26, 2010

Saturday and Sunday

We went to the Citadel and the Roman Theatre on Saturday morning to beat the heat of the day.  The Citadel is on top of Jebel al-Qala'a, the highest hill in Amman (and the breeziest!).  This is the site of ancient Rabbath-Ammon.  Artifacts found date back to the Bronze Age.  The hill was a fortress or an open space for politics.  The pillars you can see for miles in Amman are the remaining pillars of the Roman Temple of Hercules.

There was a museum at the Citadel called the National Archaeological Museum which has a great collection of artifacts ranging from 6,000 years old skull to the Dead Sea Scrolls found in 1952.  It was cool to be able to view the Dead Sea Scrolls so close up and really, all by ourselves.

From the top of the Jebel al-Qala'a, we had a great view of the Roman Theatre.  It is a remnant from Roman Philadelphia.  It was built somewhere around 2nd century AD.

Notice the old and new.

We had to walk down the hill to the theatre itself through a winding path that led us behind homes and onto streets. 

Once down near the theatre, it was more obvious how it is in the middle of the city.  You can hear the cars honking and see the smoke from the trucks while inside this incredible theatre that once entertained the Roman people.

There are two museums at the theatre, one is the museum of popular traditions - which contained costumes, jewelery, face masks and mosaics.  It had beautiful items and clothing.  The other is called the folklore museum, but unfortunately, that one wasn't open.

After the theatre, we walked back into downtown near the souq (market place) and ate lunch at Hashem.  This is a restaurant known for their falafel - which is one of my favorites here. Then to Habiba - the sweet shop known for their kunafa. 

This is not from Habiba, but this is what kunafa looks like in the sweet shops.
This sweet is Jolanda's favorite.  I prefer other delicious goodies.

Saturday night was a few of us together in my hotel room drinking some purchases from Madaba and having snacks.  While we were sitting around, we heard another wedding party arrive.  There were drums playing and the sound of a flute or bag-pipe.  All the guests clapped for about 15 minutes before the bride and groom exited the car.  We opened my window and watched.  This is the only shot I could get:

Beautiful bride and such a warm reception by the guests!

On Sunday we had Arabic class where we are beginning to talk in sentences....well some of us.  I am still trying to process it all. :)

We swam a little bit before we needed to head down to Rainbow Street for the night.  We wanted to do some more shopping at the handcraft places.  We had to meet the author, Rana Husseini, at 7:30 at Books@Cafe. (not a link)

Rana was wonderful!  She explained a lot of her book (Murder in the Name of Honor) and answered all of our questions.  She has written some amazing articles that push the envelope here in Jordan, and has brought a lot of attention to some very important women's issues. 

And she is human!  She talked about her fear of taking the U.S. GRE for grad school.  We assured her with a book on her resume, she should be just fine getting into a school in the U.S.  She is also involved with the women's soccer (football) team here, and invited us to come watch practice tonight!  I am definitely going because it amazes me to know they have a soccer team for young women.  Physical activity isn't promoted much after a certain age in Jordan.  And boys and girls are usually separated from any sport activities after about age 11 or 12.  Knowing that they are pushing for a national women's soccer team peaked my interest in this area!

Here we are with Rana:

And then "you know who" wanted to meet her and he did!

Thanks to Rana for being a great sport!

So today is Monday - our last Monday here.  It is getting so close to the end, but we still have a lot to accomplish this week.  I have been working on my projects today.  I have a few ideas to get underway also.  We have meetings every day this week with some wonderful people.  I want to soak up as much as I can before Saturday.

I am off to shop, the soccer practice and a meeting with a man who will be explaining Islam to us (I am VERY excited for this meeting!).  I must pack my headscarf, as I will be wearing it during this meeting. 

I hope all are well and those of you in Wisconsin, I hope you are dry too!

No comments:

Post a Comment