A visitor to my blog emailed me yesterday to ask me several questions about Amman as he is planning on visiting the city soon. Two of the questions were geographical in nature. The first about getting a map of Amman and the second was concerning “West Amman”.
Now a few months ago the first question would have been almost impossible to answer as getting a map of Amman is difficult unless you know where to go. I’m hoping they provide them in hotels but anyways the GAM (Greater Amman Manicipulaty) is improving its website and has a large map there. You can access that by clicking the first image below.
Warning: clicking this image will load a page with a much larger image that will take awhile to load
Warning: clicking this image will do absolutly nothing
As for the second question i.e. “what/where exactly is west Amman?” I decided to make my own map by unprofessionally photoshoping the original map and simply cropping out parts of the city into a white void as if they never existed. It was a truly greater-than-myself experience.
There is a constant reference to “West Amman” versus “East Amman” in many sociological discussions about Jordan. The “west” and the “east” is something like East and West Germany before the wall came down. The differences are quite the same (of course not exactly) in terms of economics, unemployment, standards of living et cetera.
East Amman is much older than the developing West, and it is there where you will find the old ruins of the original Roman city of Philadelphia. In terms of society, let me offer you a real life example to better clarify the situation. While West Amman has some of the most luxerious homes in the country, East Amman has complete neighbourhoods which were built literally by candle light. This includes areas like Jabal Mareekh (Mars Hill) and parts of the Wehdat Camp. This is because it was illegal to actually live in some of these places as it was government property and people just settled there, so by night they would build makeshift houses by candle light before the authorities had a clue.
Although I’ve discovered upon looking at my new map that it’s not all that big. In fact I think I may have been too generous in the cropping. In the “pink” areas, which represent residential areas, not all these people are actually middle to upper class society. Indeed if one is to take a closer look at the “in betweens” in areas closer to the first circle and onwards to the downtown, or albalad area, it becomes clear that people who are not “well-to-do” are scattered here and there.
I wasn’t exactly aiming for accuracy so don’t kill me for not including an area you live in. I simply wanted to provide the most basic layout of West Amman.
p.s: yes, i got lost after the 3rd circle.
p.p.s: no, it’s not a “guy” thing, i do have a good sense of direction in real life