Jordan's culture is a pleasant jumble of old and new, and Amman (its capital) has rapidly become one of the most sophisticated cities in the Middle East.
Jordan has diverse communities with many different ethnic groups living in this small country, where 95% of Jordan's population are either Bedouin or from Palestinian origins. The remaining 5% come from different ethnic origins such as Circassians, Chechens, Armenians and Kurds.
Jordan is a Muslim country where Islam is the major practiced religion, yet almost 10% of the population practice Christianity.
The culture of Jordan follows Arab traditions as the Kingdom is in the heart of the Middle East. The official language is Arabic although English is widely used in commerce, government and taught at public and private schools.
Alongside traditional culture, Jordan's younger generation are producing new forms of music, arts and theatre. As such, new cultural hotspots are appearing with cafes, bookshops and galleries especially in Amman.
Amman is built on seven hills, or jabals, each of which more or less defines a neighbourhood. It has a little something for everyone; you can enjoy the historical sites, or go to the Down Town for a true local experience and enjoy the old Souks for buying souvenirs or spices and try out the local authentic food in the small restaurants there.
You can also head to Jabal Amman with its long paved streets and enjoy a walk there and experience all the culture with a modernized feeling and more hip restaurants, cafes and shops.
Amman in Jordan is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. It is ranked a Gamma global city on the World City Index and named one of the MENA best cities according to economic, labour, environment and socio-cultural factors.
It is also considered as one of the richest and most Western-oriented cities in the Middle East.
Amman has a rich and old history with many civilizations going back to ancient times. First in record was during the Neolithic period where evidence of a settled life and growth through discovered artistic work suggests a well developed civilization. After that Amman was called Rabat Amon by the Ammonites. The Assyrians conquered it afterwards followed the Persians and then Macedonians that changed the name to Philadeiphia, which later became part of the Nabatean Kingdom up until 106 AD when it came under Roman control and joined the Decapolis. Byzantine era came after and churches from this period are still present.
The name Amman came during Ghassanian era. It grew and flourished under the Caliphats of Umayyads (in Damascus) and Abbasids (in Baghdad).
Several earth quakes and natural disasters destroyed the city until the Circassians arrived from the Caucasus region of western Asia in 1878 due to Southward Russian expansion. They started re-building the city and this is when Amman's "Modern" history began.
The Hejaz railway during Ottoman Sultan period helped as it linked Damascus and Medina; that made Amman a major station and put it back on the commercial map.
In 1921 King Abdullah I, chose to settle in Amman for his newly created state of Emirate of Transjordan, which was later selected to be the capital of the kingdom.
Travel tip shared by Larissa Qat