I spend a few weeks feeling extremely lovey dovey towards Amman after every time I travel. I stop complaining about the heat, I stop complaining about the crowded streets, and I stop complaining about the grouchy people. The truth is, the weather here is gorgeous, the crowded streets are actually not crowded at all, and sometimes grouchy is good.
Naturally, in a few weeks, I’ll yell “chowb!” every single time I feel hot, I’ll start whining about the crowd especially the one that’s a result of the hellish Abdoun detour, and I’ll start wondering why my fellow citizens don’t smile more often. Afterwards, I’ll compare our tiny streets to the elaborate infrastructure of Riyadh, our unhappy people to the life-loving people of Lebanon, and our early-to-bed-early-to-rise routine to the energetic 24-hour day of Cairo.
And honestly, I’m not much of a whiney person.
For now though, still feeling sticky from a city a lot more humid than my own, I’m indulging in this city of stone.
I would guess that during the millenia of pattering feet against its floors, many other people have indulged in this city, where the first record of a well-developed civilization traces back to around 6500 BC in ‘Ain Ghazal in eastern Amman. In the 13th century BC Amman was called Rabbath Ammon by the Ammonites, and was later conquered by the Assyrians, the Persians, and then the Greeks, who renamed it Philadelphia. The city became part of the Nabataean kingdom until AD 106 when Philadelphia came under Roman control and joined the Decapolis. In 324 AD, Christianity became the religion of the Roman empire and Philadelphia became the seat of a bishopric during the beginning of the Byzantine era.
Philadelphia was renamed to Amman during the Ghassanian era, and flourished under the Ummayyads and the Abbasids. It was then destroyed by several earthquakes and natural disasters and remained a small village and a pile of ruins until the Circassians settlemed there in 1887.
Naturally, the rest is history.