|Completed Mosaic panel at the work shop displaying Jesus in company of children|
|An out standing wall hanging work of Mosaic craft|
Later during 5th century when Christians started occupying the city they excavated early mosaics remnants from the ruins. It was then understood mosaics were lavishly used on the building floors and walls as decoration during the time. Making of mosaic there fore was an ancient art and existed in Madaba from the time immemorial.
Social set up of Jordan
Jordanians live in a relatively secular society. I have quite a few Jordanian Muslim friends, majority of them identify them selves as liberals. They consider religious practices should be a private matter that must be differentiated from social and political life. Majority of Jordanian population is Sunny Muslims, though there are few other minorities and Christians forms a sizable percentage. Unlike other states they live in harmony in the neighborhood with mutual respect and I was given to understanding they even marry inter religion particularly between Muslims and Christians.
|Young olive trees flowered in Madaba|
Olive is easily grown in Jordan and they have a saying Olive trees are planted for the children just as the ancestors did for the present generation.
|Mosaic map of Holy land on the cathedral floor|
Olive trees seldom dies easily, there are very many trees in Jordan ages one thousand years and above. The oldest trees I have seen are the olives of Gethsemane garden. Older the trees better is the quality they say because best quality olives and oil come from the trees 40 years old and above.
Mosaic Map of Madaba
A large 6th century Byzantine-era mosaic map of Holy land was discovered accidentally in 1897 while renovating the old church for Greek Orthodox Christians. The map measuring about 25 square meter (according to church authorities the present panel is only one fourth of the original which was of 94 square meters in size) is a unique piece of art.
It represents a topographical view of the biblical land from Egypt to Lebanon, including Sinai, Palestine and Jordan keeping Jerusalem as the center of attraction of the map. The mosaic map still serves as floor of the Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Madaba which is closely situated to the Madaba visitors center.
Mosaic workshops of Madaba
|Resurrection of Jesus, |
my favorite mosaic panel
Mosaic school of Madaba
Madaba known as the city of mosaics, runs a regular Mosaic school, started by the Italians for training local Jordanians to restore ancient mosaics found in Jordan as well as to train them in traditional and computer aided modern methods of mosaic production.
|Mosaic pottery on display|
The students of the school are able to take university bachelor degree in archaeology with a two years extended study (lately I am given to understanding this opportunity is withheld for the time being, interested personnel are advised to contact school directly). We have been able to visit one of their workshops and watch their exquisite skill of craftsmanship in mosaic making. They produce mosaic panels smaller to very large ones and you can buy them at the workshop or at so many souvenir shops found in Madaba if you do not consider the cost.
|Blue wall hanging plates on display - Hand painted|
Foods of Jordan
If you do not leave Jordan heavier, there is something wrong with you, such irresistible is their food. Multi cuisine extravaganza is the spread; you really cannot be bothered if you are a weight watcher. Hummus, Falafel, Tabouleh, Mautabel, Kofta, Mixed grill are some of my favorites.
|Grilled mixed meat|
|The green drink - lime in mint, |
an internet picture
Sorry, I am an ardent lover of Jordanian,Turkish and Lebanon foods; habit formed because of my long stay in gulf countries. Do not leave Jordan with out picking few packets of authentic Jordanian sweets like Kunafa, Baklava etc for the home.
|Hummus - olive oil and lime in chickpeas paste, |
an internet picture
Madaba is a must see place while in Jordan and it lies close to Mount Nebo, a place of great religious significance from where Moses first glimpsed the promised land and is said to be his final resting place although it is controversial.