Thursday, 28 January 2010

Living In Amman In the 90s

Amman this crazy city that we call home, A city that deliberately is killing her past and continues to do so every day. World cities live in a collaborative process they build their future on a defined past. The past is celebrated and manifested but a new modern city like Amman prefers to destroy its past and establish a new future somewhere else. Its evolution is purely linear and dependent on external references.

To look at some of the cases where this theory is best places one must look at some of its historical buildings that once were and now they are dust.

First example is ( makha lajamea alarabia) the first and most important café in the city that was destroyed couple of years ago to give place to another building. Another example is the Cinema Gallery . those who lived in the 90s in Amman they remember it to be the only hanging place and the coolest place to be , Showing the latest America movies. Of course Gallery cinema had killed another cinema as well like the urdon cinema and alkhayam but in the later cases the buildings still stand but gallery was destroyed to give place to another gigantic building designed by Khalid nahhas, A renounced architect of this time.

The second example s abdoun mall, this huge building introduced the culture of one shopping center but apparently missed up few things and was not enough to satisfy the eagerness of its occupants. Few years later comes its pierce in the total opposite direction and takes the crowd away leaving this expensive to build sculpture into a deserted island.

Other 90s examples like the Jabal Hussian being the best shopping place until the monstrous swaifieh takes its place, the cute little Haya Center and Filfeleh restaurant that now its glittery shine has vanished, Shuman library that was replaced by invasion of internet in the Jordanian houses.

Along with many examples this process weakens the infrastructure of the city and leaves it falling under its internal exposition. Sustainable development is the key for these major issues. Not only planting trees ( which we don't ) but to reconsider the using of old building instead of demolishing them and creating candy like buildings.


  1. nothing stands in the way of progress! technology will eat us all! of all the good things that we used to have technology will replace us with better things! it's the way of the world.

  2. i guess you're right about a few buildings that were demolished to make space for other newer things but most of the things you mentioned like abdoun mall or shoman library which is surprisingly still running quite fine like i saw just a few days ago, (except the kids section where i spent my childhood is gone :( ) Better things will always come and that doesn't mean we want to destroy our past, but what has a strong past will never be destroyed even if better things come along, bil 3aks old is becoming the new 'it' nowadays with al balad, jabal amman, lwebdeh etc. There's the old and there's the new, and to each there's a complete sector to serve :)

  3. @slash sweetie it is not about the technology! and stop pointing my technophobia! :)

    @oh Seriously : i agree with you that some buildings have to give place for some new future to be drawn but the point is that this development in amman in not contestant and it is driven by personal benefits for some investors or rich people they all fall under HERITAGE category!. it is beautiful what is happening in lwaibdeh and jabal Amman and albalad but yet a lot of the places we used to go to in the 90s and the 80s that dont fall under any category and they are still under developed and becoming dumpsters waiting for the dust to be removed of their surfaces.