Category: Architecture

  • Ghost in the theatre

    Ghost in the theatre

    How many ghosts of yourself have you left lingering in this city? Can you remember where you left them?

  • Beauty & tragedy

    Beauty & tragedy

    Tread carefully as you walk the streets of your city. Your eyes might be catching a glimpse of great beauty, but your feet may be touching a site of great tragedy.

  • 600 mornings

    600 mornings

    For 600 mornings I stood here. Dressed in beige, exactly like the other 1000 teenage boys, standing in a formation of straight columns on the concrete tarmac.

  • Jabal Al-Hussein. Revisited.

    Jabal Al-Hussein. Revisited.

    Amman. Hard to explain. Temporary permanence. Self denial. False starts and fruitless hopes. A story forgotten before it can be remembered.

  • The 80′s refusing to leave: Shmeisani and the death of Ammani human-scale urban modernity

    Occasional visits to my dentist in Shmeisani sometimes end with a walk retracing the footsteps of my teenage days in Amman, spent studying for exams or getting introduced to newspapers like The Guardian at Abdulhameed Shoman public library, meeting computer geek friends upstairs in the computer lab in same building, eating Shawerma at a corner…

  • Taj Mall opens: the (still dusty) crown of Jordan’s shopping?

       The opening of a major mall in Jordan in this post-financial-crisis era is certainly an event to watch. We live in very different times compared to, say, 2005, when we were awash in Gulf money and grand real estate dreams. Can developers and retailers pull off another mall in a market were people are…

  • Seriously GAM.. What on earth is going in King Faisal Street?

    Why does a promising urban rehabilitation project like the one GAM is doing come with so much agony, dirt, carelessness. This fiasco has been going on for too long. Every reasonable person knows that a major rehabilitation of a street will result in disruptions. But the way the construction work in Faisal Street has been…

  • Rescue downtown Amman from the “Bab Al-7ara” attack!

    King Faisal Square in 1958. From Getty Images: Does the Amman Municipality and do Ammanis want that Amman’s downtown is turned into a a cheap-looking touristic area? Because that’s EXACTLY what is happening at an alarming speed. I had breakfast at Hashem, the famous Hummous and Fuul restaurant yesterday and then went for a…

  • Open City: Refuge urbanism in Amman, Cairo, Beirut, Istanbul

    The Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts in Jabal Luweibdeh will host the exhibition “Open City: Refuge Urbanism” which is part of the 4th International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam 2009-10 (IABR), opening today Sunday 18 July 2010, at 6 pm. Refuge Urbanism (Part of the Diwan Collaborative Research Network, directed by Philipp Misselwitz & Can Altay)…

  • Teacher, artist and, yes, the Sheikh of Amman!

    When the self proclaimed “Sheikh of Amman” comes walking through the door at the SYNTAX offices, its not an ordinary day, especially when he comes unannounced. It’s now over 21 years that I’ve met Ali Maher for the first time, on my first day of being an Architecture student at the University in Jordan, sometime…

  • Counterparts – Ammani House 28 in transition

    Photo: Dina Haddadin House 28 on the corner of Rainbow Street is in a state of flux. The old landlady and her old, bed-ridden husband have passed away. It seems like yesterday she was showing Ahmad Sabbagh and me through the apartment under the main house. That apartment became what I called the “SYNTAX house”.…

  • The NYTimess writes about Amman (and my fellow bloggers and tweeps complain)

    I really love my fellow Ammani bloggers and tweeps. I really think that they are one of the best things that happened to us in the last ten years. I love that many of them have give a voice to Amman’s urban issues and urban activism. But sometimes they have me shaking my head with…