At Words Without Borders, Nathalie Handal published a posthumous interview and reminiscence of the great Jordanian poet, memoirist, travel writer, and occasional novelist Amjad Nasser, “The City and the Writer: In Amman with Amjad Nasser (1955–2019)”:
In their exchange, Nasser wrote of how he first saw the city, as a boy, “It was a large and shocking city” to how, “Later on, Amman became an ordinary city. It began to shrink.”
He writes of Amman as a Roman city:
Amman is originally a Roman city, and in its Roman era, it was built on seven hills like Rome. Amman maintained its tradition of building with white stone. Amman’s citizens don’t know these details because they live inside of it and whoever lives in a place day in and day out does not discern its details. I also noticed that the architects of the modern era adopted the original Roman urban plan: seven hills facing each other and overlooking a plaza with an amphitheater in the middle, the central locus of activity, which has become modern-day downtown. As if the hills are the city’s limbs and the downtown city center is its heart.
Read the whole exchange at WWB.