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An Insider's Guide to Amman

Canadian journalist and humanitarian Sonia Verma takes us to her favourite spots in the capital of Jordan.

Sonia Verma

In 2016, former Torontonian Sonia Verma moved to Amman from Qatar, where she reported for Al Jazeera, to work with Doctors Without Borders as an advocacy advisor. While she’s a fan of the ancient ruins found smack dab in the heart of the city, her favourite thing about Amman is how easy it is to get out of town. “My family loves the outdoors – on weekends, we hike in the nearby wadis or snorkel in the Red Sea.”


1. Foron Rex

On Friday mornings, my son and I visit this small, homey bakery in the west end of the city. They can’t bake their baguettes, ciabatta and croissants fast enough to keep up with customer demand – my son loves the pain au chocolat and grabs one straight off the tray before it even lands on the counter.

foronrex.com

Darat al Funun

Photo: courtesy of Darat al Funun – The Khalid Shoman Foundation

2. Darat al Funun

Housed in six historical buildings with an archeological site in the garden, this gallery is a celebration of modern Arab art, from sculptures and paintings to video installations. It’s an oasis in the city, peaceful and green, with ancient ruins outside that the children love. Some kids play on monkey bars; mine play on Byzantine ruins.

daratalfunun.org

Melograno

3. Melograno

This casual Italian restaurant epitomizes Jordan, with its mix of local and international diners, and is run by a husband and wife who have become dear friends. The tortino al parmigiano with truffle sauce and organic date tomatoes is one of their specialties, and it’s incredible. We go whenever we have something special to celebrate.

facebook.com/melograno.jo

The Citadel

Photo: Veeravong Komalamena / Alamy Stock Photo

4. The Citadel

When you climb the highest hill in Amman, you’re rewarded with an amazing, panoramic view of the city, with the Roman Theatre down below. You can easily get lost among the ruins of ancient civilizations at this site, from the Bronze Age to the Umayyad era. On breezy days, we come here to fly kites and feel like we’re floating above the city.

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AMMAN     INTERVIEW