Faux Arabesque meets 80's flash back

Arab time machine


The duke's diwan

Call shop

Ammani modernist cinema architecture

Downtown vegetable market

Coca Cola

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17 responses to “A quick walk through downtown Amman”

  1. sabri Avatar

    great pix

  2. Lizard of oz Avatar
    Lizard of oz

    lol! I didn’t know we still have these things in Amman!

    Thnx for sharing

  3. Khalidah Avatar


    Its good to see these things in pictures because I don’t dare to go there personally

    Thanks Ahmad

  4. Mazen Avatar

    I am particularly affected by Khalidah’s remark that she would not dare go there herself. I can imagine at least one legitimate reason why a woman may feel reluctant to go to our (few) public spaces. But whatever her reasons, it is very sad indeed that the parts of Amman that have the most “heritage” are “off limits.”

  5. orange Avatar

    lol about ma7dadet flaifel, khalas faddoo esherkeh! aw thawash ma3 awlado! :P

  6. M Arrabi Avatar
    M Arrabi

    why not? you should definitely do a tour of downtown Amman. It’s very safe and full of culture. You should try to eat Mansaf at Al-Quds restaurant, and if more daring, then definitely have some Hummus at Hashem, and then a cool drink from the Kharoub or the Jallab Lobnani place. If the weather is cold, then go for the Ammani-Style Sahlab. Knafeh at Habibah in the narrow Arab Bank alley. Buy the latest banned books from Abo-Mansour’s book stand.

    Finally, right before leaving, look for the old black man who sells roasted peanuts! that stuff is amazing.

    Ah…., ya Amman

  7. M Arrabi Avatar
    M Arrabi

    ah, not to forget, swing by the Roman Ampitheatre, buy some fake Ottoman coins, and watch the mess at the Raghadan bus station. If you’re a smoker, you should find a plenty of old (used to be Iraqi women) selling Marlboro at discounted prices. Afghani shop for metalic works.

    Ahmad, why did you not take pictures of all these places? we need another “comprehensive” tour of downtown Amman on your blog :-)

  8. Lina Avatar

    Mazen… I agree with you, it’s sad… I had a little experience with that yesterday that I was planning to write about – hopefully soon ;)

    Mohammad, how could you forget “karkadaih” at Balat Al-Rashid?! You’re right that even though people stare and sometimes comment when they see young women walking downtown… it’s pretty safe! My friend and I had a full down-town experience for an article I wrote some months ago, with the “Amar Eddin” juice along with the crowds standing in front of those small juice and cocktail places, Falafel Sandwiches from Hashem (although for us it was take away), Knafeh at Habibah, shopping for accessories at Al-Bukhariyyeh, and a bunch of other stops ;) that place is full of amazing details…

    Thanks for the pictures Ahmad :) But Khalidah, it’s nothing like the real thing; the noise, the smells, the vibe…

  9. Khalidah Avatar

    Don’t get me wrong guys … I do go downtown although not too often .. only when I have to .. when I need to go to souq mango or basman street or bukhariyeh … or when my mom needs a lift ;)

    I guess it goes back to the days I had to commute via public transportation and it is somehow connected in my mind to all the bad experiences I had back then … but I don’t enjoy crowded places that much and I certainly would not go near ma7dadet flaifel :) or the Cinemas

    I used to go downtown with my friends but it always ended up with us being so annoyed with all the catcalls and whistling .. staring is also not nice … so I try to make my visits there as scarce as possible … nobody likes remembering bad experiences :D

  10. Hala Avatar

    I feel sad when I hear people saying they didn’t know such things existed or that they don’t dare go there.

    such things are our heritage, whether we like it or not, downtown Amman is OUR Amman, our beloved city, our mother, and trust me there is nothing wrong for anyone to go there, and once u go u’ll feel the taste and get addicted.

    personally, I have to go have a walk downtown at least once a month, stop by Abu3ali and “Abu Samra” the peanut seller, and have my coffee at Balat Al Rashid,

    And of course i do my monthly veggies shopping in souq el khodra fe share3 talal

    believe you me ladies, people downtown are very simple and caring if you just treat them with the right attitude meaning if u don’t make them feel they’re aliens or scary creatures, bel3aks downtown u will find protection if anyone bugs u will find tens to help u and treat u like a daughter or a sister, because u are.

  11. wedad Avatar

    you cant feel that you are in jordan unless you go to these places………. i love going to balad ana zarka ect………. amazing you can see different people and personalties :) you cant see it anywhere else..

  12. Ajnabiyeh Avatar

    I’ll be visiting Amman next week for the first time and I intend to visit downtown. But I have a question for those of you who wouldn’t dare go there: where are the places that you enjoy going?

  13. Nado Avatar

    To Ajnabiyeh:

    I guess you are in amman right now! I go downtown and take my big dark body guard friend with me. you will have to do a lot of tolerating for our [edited] jordanians, they are somewhat living in their own little dishdash and 3abayeh world.

    i enjoy mecca mall, blue fig, all the restaurants in the buildings around abdoun mall (but not abdoun mall, its a tiny joke).. the mall starts and finishes at the same spot, its maybe some rich guy’s house who decided to start a mall in his living room. go to dunes club, or the orthodox club. or maybe there is a new golf club i hear! in the summer time you can go to waves the aquapark.

    for good clothes shopping sweifieh & jabal amman. for groceries only go to cozmo, everywhere else is becoming disgustingly old. (no renovations to supermarkets? what’s up with that?????) if you must go somewhere other than cozmo go to abella. forget safeway blechhhhh.

    outside amman go to the dead sea. wadi rum camping. petra. ajloun if you have lots of time on your hand.

    i hear the weather sux. the best time to go to amman is in the spring. that is the green season in amman. picnic season. and the best time to hop into a car and drive to the dead sea for a swim.

    And advice: carry your passport with you. my two cousins (guy and girl) went down there.. and just as they reached the dead sea check point they sent them back coz she looked like a foreigner and didnt have her passport and was with my other cousin who is a guy GOD forbid!! real [edited] at that station.

  14. Pheras Avatar

    actually I love the downtown here, it’s a very nice atmosphere, I love going to the traditional bars at Basman street with some of my close friends who also appreciate such pubs that truly represent the pub culture, I usually go to Kitkat, which is somewhat nice, but don’t go with girls there, cause honestly people there are somewhat ignorant. but there’s another bar that serves great barbecued lamb meat and Baba Ghanouj, also the atmosphere is much better than Kit Kat, since people are more educated, as many journalists, poets and writers come to this bar, and some come with their wives (not whores) and I always brought some of my friends who are girls, and everyone was very polite and nice to us. and Nado, get urself a life instead of just critisizing Jordan, really, Queen Elizabeth called and she wants her obnoxious attitude back. :D

  15. Salam Avatar

    I love downtown Amman, when ever I wanted to get in touch with reality I go there. Although, I had my shoes stolen last week after the Magrib praying at the al-Husseini Mosque, I still love going there. I am sure the person who stole it needs it more than me (I know that is no excuse for stealing).

  16. wadi rum Avatar
    wadi rum

    bedouin camping – camel rides – jeep tours – climbing – scrambling – trekking – hiking – desert guide


  17. Bridget Avatar

    Hello! i have so many stories to tell about downtown AMman. i am american i lived in downtown for 3 weeks behind the arab bank. its an ugly alley i did not grow up wealthy but this alley is very ugly. part of it. anyhow. i told people were i lieved and it seems like downtown has a bad reputation with jordanians. its shameful to them to know that there is an old part of town. I loved it. i was there during ramazan it was so much fun i didnt have money so i went out and walked in downtown for hours. alone :( but worth it;. i know people thought bad things about me, but i met a lot of the vendors they knew who i am and they respected me. Anyhow. i was going through the fruit section, and i hear the cat call.. what is that? i have never in my life heard a man do that.. some one needs to explain :) i have a ton of pics of downtown… i had good times and bad times but i am dying to return..