I participated for a week in the Mapping of abandoned buildings held by Studio-X Amman (Studio-X Amman is a regional platform for architecture design and research run by Columbia GSAPP and the Columbia Global Centers). The project was very eye-opening and showed me a lot about the history of the old parts of my city which is considered the downtown of the Jordanian capital. The aim of the project was to answer some stressing questions such as; do we need to extend to outside the capital, are we making good use of the of the available spaces and buildings. Throughout our long walks and talking to people I could see how the downtown area, more locally known as “The Balad” has gone through tremendous transformations.
One could see the clear presence of the early settlers of the city “The Circassians” through street and neighborhood’s names such as the “Shabsough” and “Qabartay” streets. And I could see its glory days when it was a posh place to live at through the villas and residences of some wealthy families at that time.
While talking to people many were welcoming, however, others were a bit suspicious of the reasons why we were doing this research, my group members and I had to explain sometimes that this is a research to understand the archeological history of the downtown area.
One very interesting place was called “The Duke Diwan” which is the former building of the first post office in Amman built in 1924.
Here are other photos I took throughout our discovery journey: