Our first touring day around Amman. We went to the Citadel, ruins of several civilizations which have inhabited this area. From the top of the hill we could also see the Roman amphitheater. There is a small museum on the hill with artifacts found at the site. The bus took us down to the amphitheater which also had displays of various costumes in Jordan. A walk through the market showed us produce and spices, clothing and gold. We ate a traditional Jordanian lunch at the Hashem restaurant: bread, falafel, hummus and vegetables. We also went to an old mosque near the market; the women in our group had to dress up to enter. We did not actually go into the women's prayer area but rather they let us in to the main area once we had on our women's wear. There's were a lot of men lying on the floor napping. We did see a lot of women go into the dressing area and then on to their special prayer area.
In the evening we went to a more formal restaurant with a Don Quixote theme. Lots of vegetables, yogurt, hummus and a mixed grill.
Our guide is Christian, a minority in Jordan. We have talked a bit about the refugee situation in Jordan, and he told me today we will continue to discuss the current climate, including issues surrounding women. Most women I noticed in the streets today were covered; Jordan does not require covering, but rather it is a matter of faith. The layers of history we saw today in Amman reminded me of how fleeting an empire is and of how complicated our human relationships are.