Putting West Amman on the Map. Literally.

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.



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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

12 thoughts on “Putting West Amman on the Map. Literally.

  1. LOOL! Awesome 🙂
    I use Google Earth for the map, there’s this thing I downloaded, it’s like a layer of open-source Amman information and it has every single thing you can imagine, even explaination of Jordan University and stuff.
    Pretty cool though, it’s nice to have a jpeg image, thanks for sharing 🙂

  2. You can easily get this map too if you go to the Royal Geographic Center (I think that’s the official name) and ask for it, it’s about JD 1 I think. They have tons of maps, they have maps of every mu7afatha in the country, and they have this Amman touristic map (the one you showed) in both Arabic and English. I went there and got it along with that of el mu7afatha, I have this one on the wall in my office.

    However, I was disappointed that I had to first know about this place, then go all the way to it and pass a security gate in order to get this map. This map should be around every corner.

    But the thing that disappointed me the most was the lack of pictures of Amman, I literally spent hours driving from one place to the other looking for poster size pictures of Amman and couldn’t find a single one. I went to the ministry of tourism, they told me to go to hay2at tanshee6 el seya7a, I went there and all they had were posters of other places in Jordan; Petra, Kerak, Jerash, Ajlun, Dead Sea, Aqaba, but nothing for Amman. The guy said there weren’t any.

    I’ve seen many cool pictures of Amman in local magazines and even on the back of this same street map of Amman, but none were made available alone.

  3. Hamzeh, yeah i know what you’re talking about, I think I have that same map as you do but not of west amman. The problem is over here I can get a map of toronto at an gas station at any book store or even supermarkets, but in Amman its like you have to know where to look so i dont know how a tourist must feel.

    as for posters, tell me about it! I spent hours and hours driving around to find posters of amman that are nice enough to frame and nutin! we should start a company

  4. This reminded me of a tourist we encountered weeks ago in Amman, she asked me where she can get some maps of Amman, to be able to drive if she rented a car.I was speechless:???: I told her to go to the municipality. Nothing else occured to me at the moment.

    Anyhow, there a couple of brochures that come out every year such as “Look out directory” which has all stuff about Amman from Restaurants, Hotels, Hospitals,Art, leisure directories with all activities listed. Its quite cool. But rather focuses on the 5 star niveaux places which is a pity for a tourist who’d like also to see the more traditional and typical areas of Jordan…

  5. what is the planes in the arae of Mraj Al Hamam, i hear there will be some big project, i was there 2 yaers back and im palning to go back in 4-6 months, do u have any idae about that
    thanx

  6. Taher, sure no problem. This is part of a plan called the Royal Metropolis. The first phase of it consists of the two sky scrapers being built beside Amra Hotel called the Royal Gates and the one in Marj al Hammam is the Royal Village which is basically a gated residential community complete with homes, buildings, hotel, facilities etc.

    you can read more about it here

  7. Hi there..
    I’m doing research on Amman and have actually assembled a street map of Amman, will all the names. From small ones already on GAM website.
    Email me if you’re still interested, and i’ll send it over. It’s quite big, so i’ll have to figure a way around it.
    I think i also found the boundary between west and east Amman.. 🙂

  8. hi,

    I am doing research on east amman, informal settlement in amman (focusing on jabal Natheef) and social services provided there. Can anyone help me with some maps about this area, especially jabal natheef, and the boundary between west and east amman?

    thanks a lot

    Karolien Debel
    A. Latourstraat 3
    9050 Ledeberg
    Belgium

    debelkarolien@hotmail.com

  9. I have travelled all over the world, Europe, Far East, The Americas and the Mddle East (gulf) and finally arrived in Jordan. The most beautiful country in the world. The Ministry of Culture / Tourism are missing an opportunity of putting Jordan on the tourist map. You must be more agressive in promoting your fantastic country.

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