Jordanian flea market blends old and new

Established eight years ago, the Jara market runs every Friday starting from May and continues throughout the summer months, which enlivens old Amman by kickstarting a new shopping season. (Reuters)

Shopping is on top of the list of things to do for every traveler, whether the destination is a huge mall that offers international brands, or an outdoor market that features more eclectic items.

The annual Jara market, which stretches along a 180 meter street, attracts shoppers in droves to the older district of the Jordanian capital, Amman, every year, hosting a broad range of antiques, handicrafts, as well as souvenirs.

Established eight years ago, the Jara market runs every Friday starting from May and continues throughout the summer months, which enlivens old Amman by kickstarting a new shopping season.

Its location, Jabal Amman, is known for large, old houses, where the late Jordanian kings Talal and Hussein use to reside. Between 2008 and 2010, the area underwent extensive renovation worth millions of dollars to transform the old neighborhood into a booming tourist hub, now dotted with art galleries, restaurants and shisha bars.

The country is a melting pot of refugees from the Arab region and former Soviet Union states. Shoppers and residents alike say the market meshes cosmopolitan Jordanian culture with its unique character, its handmade products on display hinting neighboring influences.

Artists and art collectors say the market provides a great opportunity for them to showcase their creativity.

JARA Director of programs, Akef el-Kousous, says the aim of the market is to encourage the sale of local products and promote talent and not be profit-driven.

The Jordanian government is encouraging poor families that live on state-funded micro-projects to take advantage of the market which attracts a large proportion of Western visitors and sell their crafts.

Comments »

Post Your Comment »

Social Media »