Amman map: A piece of Jordanian design history

22/3/2007

Amman Map by Salua Qidan

While doing a Google Image search about Amman, I stumbled upon this rather outdated map of Amman (click to enlarge) on some city guide site. There is a little story about this map I’d like to share.

This map was originally designed circa 1995 by my wife and SYNTAX co-founder Salua Qidan. I also had a hand in producing it.

At the time I was the Art Director and partner of a magazine called Jordan Today, a struggling English language monthly magazine and guide that was published by Osama El Sherif, Zeid Nasser and myself. The magazine never really made any money but was at least breaking even. Remember this was 12 years ago, long before the advent of the current Jordanian publishing boom. It was crazy to publish anything in Jordan at that time. The magazine was eventually sold to AbdulHadi Publishing and they still publish it (i think), under the same logo I might add.

So back in ’95 we needed a decent map for Amman. All we had was a rather poor government-produced map as a starting point. We did not want to show all the side streets, but rather give Amman’s visitors an idea where different things in the city are located. The magazine was small in page size, so not much detail could be shown anyway.

So we marked the famous Amman circles, from the the 1st till the 8th, the embassies, the hotels. main junctions, some landmarks, the names for the districts and the main roads.

Because this was intended as a tourist map, it was biased toward western Amman, but we also showed some eastern districts like Hashimi, Jofeh, Taj and Al-Akhdar to show that there is something beyond downtown! (other tourist maps of Amman totally ignored those districts).

After selling the magazine, I saw the map in some other publications and online. When it was first published, the map credited Salua as the designer. But the geniuses who stole it removed her name from it. :)

It lives on despite the outdated information (don’t try to look up the Amman Four Season Hotel on it :)

I found some old covers of Jordan Today on one of my hard disks.. Enjoy. Jordan Today 1996 Jordan Today 1996 Jordan Today inside pages

4 Comments

  1. Rebecca says:

    Ahmad and Salua,
    Thanks for your efforts! That was the only map I could find when I first came here in 2005, and it was really helpful to get my bearings! Amman’s meandering, turning streets were really confusing to a person who comes from the land of gridded cities!

  2. 7aki fadi says:

    cool :) .

    I love posts like this

  3. Ali says:

    Hi,
    i really like your blog, it’s very informative. I sued to like Jordan Today Magazine as it was the only source of whats in town, as in those days, we didn’t have the 50 local magazines that we have now or private radio stations. But the magazine was good work.
    cheers

  4. shemshem says:

    thankx for ur map its really simple effective to use until these days, good work thankx again :)

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