I realize that this is a bit of a cheating or false tip. It is not really a direction to see a specific site outside of Amman, but rather a suggestion that visitors to the capital, or those on long, rigid tours of the holy sites, take some time to discover the natural beauty of the countryside. My route was often circuitous, and it gave me the opportunity to experience the splendours of a country that includes rocky deserts, desolate plains, and brilliantly green groves of old trees. My preferred spots were both the road out to Mt. Nebo and Madaba, and the hills just north of the city of Jerash.
Iraq Al-Ameer Women Cooperative Society
History, Creativity and Hospitality
The Society was found by Noor Al-Hussein Foundation in 1994 with the support of Swiss Government. 10 old houses were renovated to create the vocational village that managed to train 156 women from surrounding villages on handicrafts.
The society was self dependent in 2001 the vocational village aims to maintain and sustain the unique heritage of area and to provide training for members and non- members on different topics
Hand-made fabric workshop
At this workshop, hand-run looms are used to create textiles in different colors, designs and sizes.
The products are used to produce curtains, bed covers, shawls , bags , folk dresses upholstery and many other hand-made and embroideries .
Hand-made paper workshop.
The goal of this workshop is conserve and environment through processing plants residues and turn them to hand-made paper.
Okra, Banana, Reed, Lawn, palm leaves, esparto, and other plants are used to produce different sizes of paper than can used for drawing , printing and writing . Out of the paper , the workshop is producing greeting cards, frames, album, paper bags ..etc
Inspired by the area's history , a showroom was established close to workshop. All the society products are displayed in the showroom where visitors can enjoy shopping in comfortable place.
The tourist center is located in Iraq Al-Ameer village , 20 KM west of Amman.
It was established in 2008 , to attract tourist to visit ancient archeological sites, the natural caves , the spectacular landscape and the running stream.
The center provides recreational services, including well furnished air conditional rooms.
The restaurant provides both local, international Cuisine and seasonal locally fresh fruits.
Clear Soap workshop
At this workshop, the soap is produced in the traditional methods , where only pure olive oil is used. The final products have different shapes and colors.
Pottery and Ceramic workshop.
At this workshop, ceramic and pottery are produced either by wheel or molds.
The workshop can produce different items, such as murals, jugs, vases, frames, dining plates ..ect. Addition to the ability to produce any special orders.
Or contact me Dr.Khalid Shobaky
It is very easy use Amman (or Madaba) as a base and do daytrips from there.
I went for daytrips to Salt and Jerash from Amman.
It will also be possible to do to Madaba and the surround (like the Dead Sea) from Amman.
I used public busses for these short trips, which was a very cheap option.
This is a fabulous short sight seeing trip from Amman as its only 30 minutes away. You can take either the Airport route or head down the King's highway for a more scenic route but this does take longer.
This town is famous for its unique 6th and 8th century mosaics and for being inhabited for at least 4,000 years. If you are a history buff then you will totally enjoy coming closer to the history of the Holy Land.
After exploring Madaba make sure you drive a little further to Machaerus the hilltop of Herod the Great. This is the spot were John the Baptist was beheaded.
west of Madaba, less than ten kilometres away. Mount Nebo is approx 700- 800 metres above sea level, and has Syagha and al Mukhayyat valleys surrounding it. Travellers can observe the West Bank, the Dead Sea and Jordan River on the plateau , Bethlehem and Jerusalem can also be seen amongst the wonderful views.
Southwest of Madaba are the thermal mineral springs of Zerqa Ma'in and Zara, where you can soak in a hot springs or have simple thermal treatments .
This is a really cool castle is located just 1 1/2 hours away from Amman. It's usually good to combine this with a trip to see Jerash as it is only 30 minutes from that site. Supposedly it has spectacular view over the Valley of Jordan but you might want to go on a clearer day than I did. However, the fog did create a feeling that old ghosts were going to appear at any time. Among the ruins there's a small museum near the entrance. It's worth looking at as well.
The history is all presented in a nice little explanation given at the castle. In 1184 (Islamic year AH 580) Izz ad-Din Usama ibn Munqidh, a commander and nephew of Saladin, built a small fortress on this site. It was built to contain the progress of the Latin Kindom in Trans-Jordan at the time of the Crusades, and as a response to the building of the castle of Belvoir on the shores of Lake Tiberias. Another major objective of Saladin was to develop and control the iron mines in the area of Ajlun.
After Usama's death the castle was enlarged by Aibak ibn 'Abdallah, major-domo of Al-Mu' azzam Isa. He added a new tower in the southeast corner and built the gate, which is decorated with pigeon reliefs. In the middle of the 13th century AD, the castle was conceded to Salah-ad Din Yousef ibn Ayoub, the King of Aleppo and Damascus. In AD 1260 the Mongols destroyed sections of the castle, including its battlements. Soon after the victory of the Mamluks over the Mongols at 'Ain Jalut, Sultan al-Dhaher Baibars restored the castle again.
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