Jordan Culture

Jordan History and Culture


Between the III and the I century. to. C. the territory of Jordan was marked by the presence of three peoples: Greeks, Jews and Nabataeans, while immediately afterwards the region was transformed into a Roman province. According to usprivateschoolsfinder, it then passed under the Byzantine rule, in 636 it was conquered by the Arabs. During the first crusade a part of the country’s territory fell under the dominion of the Christians and a part remained under the dominion of the Arabs. From the sixteenth century. until the twentieth century, the area was affected by Turkish domination, which ended with the Arab rebellion against the Turks following the First World War. In 1916 Great Britain took control of the present Jordan (treaty of Sikes-Picot) with the aim, never successful, of creating a single Arab kingdom.


Also in Jordan, history and modernity coexist in a system that progressively tries, in an increasingly convincing way, to merge the two dimensions, bringing out their value and particularities. The goal of preserving the forms of Jordanian culture and tradition is pursued through numerous institutions and events that the state promotes. Festivals, cultural centers, museums and galleries, seasons and musical and theatrical companies are the main cornerstones on which this program revolves, supported in more than one case by private initiatives. The Jordan Association of Artists, the Royal Cultural Center, the National Jordanian Orchestra and the Royal Film Commission are just some of the active realities. The latter, for example, is a government body responsible, on the one hand, to encourage and subsidize the development of Jordanian cinematographic art and, on the other, to encourage the use of the numerous historical sites in Jordan as locations for productions. international (here are the famous scenarios that were the background to the sequences of Lawrence of Arabia and Indiana Jones). Among the most important events there is undoubtedly the Jarash Festival, a review of art, theater, music, dance and literature that promotes many Jordanian artists, as well as Arabs and internationals, and which since 1981 takes place, between July and August, in the evocative setting of the Greek-Roman theater of the homonymous town. The efforts aimed at making Jordan an increasingly popular tourist destination are linked to the enhancement of culture, commitments that have been specified by the government in a detailed program, Jordan’s National Tourism Strategy 2004-2010, with the aim of giving increasing prominence to everything that is heritage in Jordan: archaeological sites, intangible cultural heritage, holiday resorts, typical products. Investments in infrastructures, agreements with international partners, funds and reliefs for those who produce culture in the country also pass through here. The aim is to create and strengthen the cultural system, within national borders, but also outside, in a wider Middle Eastern dimension, with implications that could have positive repercussions also and above all in the political and social sphere.


Jordan preserves endless traces of a millennial and grandiose past that can be relived through prehistoric finds, sculptures and paintings preserved in caves, castles and temples, remains of cities, churches and many other artistic testimonies scattered throughout the country. Jordan’s flagship is Petra, a true complex of wonders of art and architecture from the 3rd century BC. C., made up of palaces, tombs, colonnades and dozens of other constructions carved into the rock and visited by millions of tourists. Petra, as a seal of its splendor, was included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985, like Qusair Amra (1985), a “castle” in the desert rich in frescoes, and Um er-Rasas (Kastrom Mefa ‘ a) (2004), a complex of remains in which some precious Byzantine mosaics are preserved. In this regard, Mādabā, the “city of mosaics”, located south of ʽAmmān, along the road of the kings, must certainly be mentioned: it preserves the mosaic of the map of Jerusalem and the Holy Land, made up of about two million colored stone tiles. Jarash must still be included among the most important historical sites, already mentioned for the International Festival of art and culture that takes place there, which is one of the best preserved Roman cities in the world. Finally ʽAmmān, once called Philadelphia, contains in the Citadel several examples of the cultures that have alternated there, with the Temple of Hercules, the Umayyad Palace and the Byzantine Church. Just outside this historic core of the city, stands the Roman Theater which, with its 6000 seats, is still used today for many shows. The capital is also home to, among others, the Jordan Archaeological Museum, in which works ranging from the prehistoric era to the threshold of the modern age are preserved. Beyond the magnificent signs of a sumptuous past, in Jordan the visual arts have followed, over the centuries, a development characterized by the imprint of Islamic culture and the contribution of Middle Eastern artists, from Lebanese to Egyptians, has always been consistent.. Contemporary art sees many exponents active in the country, such as the painters Ghada Dahdaleh (b.1963), Hani Alqam (b.1977) and Nawal Abdullah (b.1951), representative of abstractionism, or the sculptors Rajwa Ali (b. 1968) and Mona Saudi (b.1945). Rassem Badran (b. 1945) is a prominent figure in contemporary Islamic architecture.

Jordan Culture