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Friday, August 12, 2005

A very Ammanish flea market

Amman this summer is absolutely wonderful! There's just so much going on- concerts, festivals, sports events, and even flea markets.

Today, I went to my very first Ammanite flea market, JARA, with it's lovely little wooden chairs, a mosaic of Jordanian art from embroidery to stained glass, and the underexpressed "faya3a" part of the young Ammanite culture.

A flea market in Jordan is not an unknown concept, because one way or another, the shopping areas crowded with "bastat"(sellers selling on rugs) are actually a more ethnic sort of flea market. Yet, the JARA flea market, with it's younger more Westernized approach, is probably the first of its type- I totally loved the semi-spontaneous nature and vendor-oriented open-market layout. My favorite part though was the fact that it's in one of Jabal Amman's old streets, my favorite place in all the world. Jabal Amman's history goes back to the 1930's, making it one of the oldest parts of a new city in one of the oldest countries.

The colorful stalls are laid out along Fawzy Ma'louf Street, a favorite winter retreat of ours. We would buy shawerma, park at it's very end(like many of Amman's old streets, the street ends and stairs start), and enjoy the beauty of Amman's mountains. You can see pictures taken during one of those excursions here. It's a little weird to imagine that the street that today was bustling and hustling with so much energy is the same street in the pictures.

I will redirect you to a post on 360 East to read a more detailed review of Amman's very first flea market, but I will share pictures. The flea market will open every Friday until October, when the street will start looking dreary with Amman's rain season again, and it will reopen come spring.

All images magically grow when clicked.

Jara Flea Market, Amman Jara Flea Market, Amman
Left: I really love mosaics, and this is such a cute way to use them. Right: the Abu Mahjoob booth! Yes, Abu Mahjoob actually has a booth. He even has tattoos.

Jara Flea Market, Amman Jara Flea Market, Amman
Left: General view of bazaar. Right: the Book@Cafe booth and cafe.

Jara Flea Market, Amman Jara Flea Market, Amman
Left: T-shirt competition is hot, hot, hot at the JARA flea market! This booth celebrates the wonders of being a Ammani girl with t-shirts that say stuff like "I survived El-Souq" and "leish za3lan?". Right: selling pottery

Jara Flea Market, Amman Jara Flea Market, Amman Jara Flea Market, Amman
Left: I totally love the first picture, I want those cute little chairs and tables! Center: they even have live music at the flea market, they were taking a break when I took the picture though. Right: A very, very Ammanite scene for you...

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