Friday, January 21, 2011


Clockwise From Top Left:
(Pyramid, Jesus Christ Crucification, Great Sand Sea Desert, Luxor Hot Air Balloon, Wailing Wall, Nile River, Petra's Treasury, Sunrise at Mt Sinai, Dome of Rock.)

Crater of Civilization!!!

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Sunday, January 9, 2011

Day 1 - Singapore, Amman (Jordan) 18th Dec 10

Our adventure started in Singapore Changi Airport when our Qatar flight from Singapore to Amman was overbooked. Hence, instead of flying on 0205hrs to Amman (transit @ Doha), we flew at 1250hrs to Amman (transit @ Dubai) on Singapore Airline. 
Qatar did a good job to appease us by arranging accommodation at Holiday Inn with transport and breakfast. The real headache was in Dubai airport - getting the ticket for connecting flight took hours & printing the electronic ticket costed US$11, and I thought that Dubai was a first class airport. It was such a disappointment.

Day 2 - Amman, Jordan (19th Dec 10)

A sign that China is going to dominate the world!!! I saw quite a few made-in-china products in my hostel.

"Jerash is known for the ruins of the Greco-Roman city of Gerasa, also referred to as Antioch on the Golden River.Jerash is considered one of the most important and best preserved Romancities in the Near East. It was a city of the Decapolis.Recent excavations show that Jerash was already inhabited during the Bronze Age (3200 BC - 1200 BC). After the Roman conquest in 63 BC, Jerash and the land surrounding it were annexed by the Roman province of Syria, and later joined the Decapolis cities. In AD 90, Jerash was absorbed into the Roman province of Arabia, which included the city of Philadelphia (modern dayAmman)."

Entrance of the Roman Ruins

Corinthium Column

Part of the ancient Roman City.

Roman Pillars

Another View of the Pillars

Roman Amphitheater
(Never been to Rome, so this is a first for me)

Ancient Cobble Street

Another View
I am sure it was a great city, but like everything else, each has its day.

One of the buildings in the complex

Another street view

What is the best way to appreciate the ancient Amphitheater?
Make a public speech! AY was obviously engrossed and passionate about her speech.

The most well-preserved temple in the compound.

It was so important that a police officer was assigned to guard it.


Friends told me that these Roman Ruins is nothing compared to those found in Rome. Well, I said that this is one of the few places in the world where you can hear the Adhan (Muslim Calling for Prayer) in the middle of a Roman ruin. That's uniquely Amman/Jerash.

"Jabal al-Qal'a, also called Amman Citadel is a national historic site at the center of downtown AmmanJordanEvidence of occupation since the pottery Neolithicperiod[1] has been found, making it among the world's oldest continuously inhabited places. The Amman Citadel’s history represents significant civilizations that stretched across continents and prospered for centuries, as one empire gave rise to the next. It also symbolizes the birth of the three great monotheistic religions - Judaism, Christianity and Islam."

A good view of the Amman City

Spending some time alone overlooking the city.
I realized that I am just one out of the billions.
How insignificant!!

I have been to Red City (Jaipur, India) and Blue City (Jodhpur, India).
I would call Amman a Brown City. Apparently, it was mandated by the government that all the buildings got to be in brown, the only variation is the different tones of brown.

One of the most amazing things of the Citadel is its Antiquity Museum. It houses some of the oldest and rarest artifacts I would ever see. I am sure it would beat most of the famous museums in the world. Unfortunately, the authority did not have enough resources or means to do a good job exhibiting, the artifacts were housed in normal glasses.

What are the significance of Dead Sea Scroll? If you are adherent of Abrahamic Faiths (ie. Jews, Christians & Muslims), you should be interested in this. 

"The Dead Sea Scrolls are a collection of 972 documents, including texts from the Hebrew Bible, discovered between 1946 and 1956 in 11 caves in and around the ruins of the ancient settlement of Qumran on the northwest shore of the Dead Sea in theWest BankThe texts are of great religious and historical significance, as they include the oldest known surviving copies of Biblical and extra-biblical documents and preserve evidence of great diversity in late Second Temple Judaism. They are written in HebrewAramaicand Greek, mostly on parchment, but with some written on papyrus.[1] These manuscripts generally date between 150 BCE and 70 CE.[2]"

Ancient Hebrew Scroll
(About 2,000 years old)

I know I am not supposed to touch this 1800 years old Marble Statue, but I just want to make to point that this statue is nothing compared to the rest of the artifacts, hence it was not sealed from the public. I am sure if this marble statues was housed in other museums, it would be highly valued and well-taken care of.

These are the EARLIEST Statues ever done throughout Human Civilization (Early Neolithic period 8000 - 6000 BC). Interestingly, these Statues were created even before the creation of the World (around 4000BC) according to the timeline of the Old Testaments.

Well, I was really fortunate to see these artifacts.

Hercules Temple @ Citadel, Amman

Time to show our strength to honor the God of Strength - Hercules.

Well, the best things in life are always the unexpected ones. At around 3pm, when the Mosques around Amman was calling for prayer (known as Adhan), I had a wonderful experience of listening to Adhan echoing around the city. The surround-sound experience was Awesome and Magical. The video below does not do it justice, and you have to experience it yourself. Never knew that listening to Adhan could be so enjoyable!!

The interesting thing is that I was listening to Adhan in a Roman Ruin. How cool is that! At least, you won't find that in Rome. Enjoy it!! =)