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About Amman

An Arab city whose ancient roots stretch back and deep in history; to 8,000 years BC, Amman, throughout the ages stood a witness to the alternating fortunes of great civilizations that had risen and fallen, leaving in their wake imprints that stand today as living testaments to the citys ancient heritage. Amman has its share of ancient caves and round walls made of giant rocks that were once dedicated by early settled humans as temples to the worship of their favorite deities of the sun, the moon and the stars, such as the round cave found on the side of Jabal Amman overlooking Wadi Saqra. The Heksus who ruled Egypt, left their marks here when they crossed paths with the city, carrying with them the seeds of ancient Egyptian civilization. Those were followed by the tribes of the ancient Giants, and then the tribes of Bani Ammon (Sons of Ammon or the Ammonites) who gave the city its name- Rabbat Ammon, which means the capital, or the sovereign domain of Ammonites. With time, Rabbat was dropped and Ammon was transformed into Amman.
The city of the Ammonites came under the control of the Assyrians followed by the Babylonians, and in the 4th century BC, the Greeks. In the year 284 BC, the city fell to the Ptolemaists under Ptolemy Philadelphus who then built a new city on the ruins of the ancient one and gave it a new name derived from his own: Philadelphia meaning the city of brotherly love. Philadelphia joined the Decapolis - the league of the Ten Roman Cities in the region - when it came under the control of the Romans in the 1st century BC.


It was during the Ghassanid reign that Amman acquired the present form of its name. In the following centuries the city flourished under the rule of the Umayyad and the Abbasid dynasties, yet it also suffered several earthquakes and disasters that wreaked havoc on the city and caused major destruction.
The year 1887 marked the arrival of the first wave of Circassian Muslims, namely the Shabsough tribe, which emigrated from the Caucuses Mountains and took up residence at the foot of Jabal Al Qalah (Citadel Mountain). That area, to this day, is still known as the Shabsough Quarter. The characteristics of a Circassian town dominated the Citys feel and look until WWI.
The first municipal council for the City was established in 1909, and the City was made the seat of a district in 1914. Its population then numbered some 300 families 1500-2000 persons, however the Citys thriving commercial activities drew large numbers of merchants from various cities such as Sult, Damascus, Nablus, Yafa and Jerusalem. During WWI, Amman gained added importance when it became a mobilization center for the Ottoman war effort due to its proximity to Al-Hijaz railway station.


With His Majesty King Abdullah II assuming the mantle of leadership, the forward march that was started by the Founding King, Abdullah I, persisted under the late King Talal, and infused with great momentum under the late King Hussein, continues today unabated; a march towards stability and greater prosperity, and bringing our glorious Arab nation together.
When speaking of Amman of the present, and that of the future as envisioned, it is a story of vast ambition that looks beyond material limitations; for the story of Amman, the capital of the Hashemite Kingdom, embodies a unique example of mans endurance and challenging spirit, and his magnificent ability to perform under extraordinary circumstances.
The city has been deeply impacted by the exceptional circumstances that dominated the region during the past few decades, which overwhelmed city-planners and gave rise to haphazard and rapid construction. Amman, and the population increased to about 2.2 million in 2004 , has undergone an exceptional expansion and population growth within a relatively short period of time, thus placing greater demands on city planners and services in all areas.
The City Hall of the Greater Amman Municipality (GAM) lies in the center of town, surrounded by public squares and parks. The City has a staff of 18,000 employees serving the needs of a population spread over an area of 1400 km2.
GAM is divided into 27 administrative regions each has full staff of employees. As far as the administrative bodies of the City are concerned, GAM Council is made up of 47 members and headed by the Mayor. The Council is divided into 14 various committees.
GAM has several service departments working diligently to keep the City functioning, clean and presentable. The Municipality is also keen on supporting cultural and artistic activities as it sponsors many festivals and events throughout the year.
This is Amman. Though a city that dwells not near seashore nor is bisected by a major river, yet a city always embracing and welcoming. An Arab capital; faithful to its ancient roots and Arab heritage; recognized for its indomitable spirit, stability, hospitality and determination, the sort of which that looks upon challenges not as mere hurdles to be overcome but as great opportunities on which to build.  Amman is indeed a superb example of what the human spirit can accomplish when presented with challenges, as it skillfully and resolutely employs its creative capabilities not only to meet sometimes extraordinarily difficult circumstances but to do so triumphantly.

Copyright 2008 Greater Amman Municipality- IT Department - Egovernment Section, All Rights Reserved