Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Jewels of Jordan: Irbid

A view from Dar As–Saraya Museum, Department of Antiquities, Ministry of Tourism & Antiquities.

Dusty Dubai, UAE, from the air. The airport was disorganised.

Beit Arrar (The Cultural House of 'Arrar'), located on the oldest hill in Irbid, is a shrine to one of the Arab world’s greatest poets and the Kingdom’s first celebrities – Mustafa Wahbi Tal, whom was known to the literary world as Arrar.

The Roman Catholic Church

Dar As–Saraya Museum

Ancient Periods Hall, Dar As–Saraya Museum.

Dar As–Saraya Museum

Mosaics Hall, Dar As–Saraya Museum.

Sarcophagus, Dar As–Saraya Museum.

Family heirloom and memorabilia

On–board entertainment system

Spent some mornings on the rooftop looking at the scenic view while soaking up some Vitamin D. Olive trees and wheat fields were a common sight in many parts of the country.

Beit Arrar (The Cultural House of 'Arrar')

Old seals, Dar As–Saraya Museum.

Clay human figurines, Dar As–Saraya Museum.

Juglets (top), plates, lid, and Umayyad lamp (below), Dar As–Saraya Museum.

Mosaics Hall, Dar As–Saraya Museum.

Courtyard, Dar As–Saraya Museum.

Nabilse House


Downtown Irbid

One of the alleys in downtown Irbid

A beautiful residence

The local dabka (dance) during a wedding party

Photos by SkyJuice and Qusai Alazzam.
© All rights reserved.

The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan was my main travel destination recently. Why Jordan? Well, it isn't exactly a popular travel destination for Southeast Asians, but that's one of the reasons for my choice. Exploring less crowded places (off the beaten track or the road less travelled, as I call it) is more rewarding for me. Jordan, like Syria, was part of Sham hundreds of years ago.

My adventures in Jordan began as soon as I touched down. I was greeted by my local friend's family and relatives. They raced on the streets during a two
hour journey from the capital city, Amman, to the second biggest city, Irbid. There were several cars and I was in one of them. Imagine that! Feel free to drive on Middle Eastern streets if you had a death wish or something. My friend's family hosted a big welcome party for my friend and I, which included a feast and dance, and lasted until midnight. What a way to start a long holiday, aye?

Spent many days in Irbid getting to know the locals, learning the culture, as well as picking up more Arabic words and phrases. Being a guest in Middle Eastern homes was one of the most memorable moments of my trip. True to words, the Jordanians, like many other Middle Easterns, treat their guests really well, like kings and queens, if I may say so. I could certainly get used to being a guest over there for as long as I can!

Stay tuned for more travel stories soon.


Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hi Skyjuice:)

Excellent photos showing glimpses of various interesting things and places that you visited. Jordan,Syria etc. are ancient towns and I really enjoyed your photos.

My eldest son worked in Dubai and he didn't like the climate particularly dust storms. He found a job in Bombay and he left the job in Dubai. He told the Dubai employer that there is a wedding at home otherwise they will not let him go.

You have have gained a wealth of knowledge and first hand experience of these interesting places. What I found in the photos is that there are very few tress and greenery. Otherwise they are very lovely places and life must be generally tough on account of the climate. Here in Kochi we have a very moderate climate neither too hot nor too cold. In fact, we don't need warm clothes at all. I have a trunk full of warm clothes which I bought when I worked in Madhya Pradesh. Now they are totally useless.

Many thanks for taking me around this enchanting places. I can see you have thoroughly enjoyed your trip to Irbid.

It is good that you have taken the less traveled road because all suspense,mystery and unexpected thrills, happiness, and adventures lie there.

Have a wonderful day:)

SkyJuice said...

You're welcome, Joseph. The pleasure's mine. I love visiting ancient places. That explains my fascination for the European region.

Yes, the climate can be quite extreme for some parts of the Middle East. Riyadh is infamous for its sandstorms as well.

It's summertime in Jordan now. Hence, the lack of green. Springtime is a different story. There was still some green in some parts of the country when I visited. You'll see it in my future travel posts.

I live in a place with a moderate climate too. It's nice not having to wear layers of warm clothes. I dislike winter for this reason. Do keep your warm clothes. Who knows, they might come in handy someday.

Have a good weekend! :-)