Glimpse of Jordan

Danah Tuffaha, Hanan Al-Amad and Nedaa Elias

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Between the folds of this book, we have illustrated a fairytale adventure. Our heroes are lime plaster statues from Ain Ghazal. These Gazelles came from ancient origins to visit their hometown, Jordan, meandering their way from the north to the south. Starting in the ruins of Umm Qais where the honey is as sweet as the flowers, they make their way from Irbid, the bride of the north, to Mafraq city. Here, they meet the desert pearl, Umm Al Jimal. The magical sounds of bagpipes entice the Gazelles to move from the Ayyubid Rabad Castle in beautiful Ajloun, to the vast and fertile land of Jerash. The Gazelles reunite with loved ones in Zarqa and visit Al-Azraq Palace, basking in the oasis where migrating birds flourish, and the Arabian Oryx found its home. They stumble upon the river of Zarqa, where their remarkable civilization first saw the light, but the roads continue to call to them, leading them past Al-Salt’s historical markets and abstract yellow mosaic houses.

Smells of lemon and Jasmine lead them to the warm homes of the capital city of love and safety: Amman. Artworks of hope and love drift around them through staircases and facades. Friday finds them gathering for Mansaf and Knafeh. Words of wisdom from the elderly and cheers from both children and vendors in the streets can be heard around each corner as the Gazelles celebrate and ululate in their traditional Shemagh and costumes.

The Gazelles decide to have a vacation in the Dead Sea, but quickly crave the sound and sweet smells of the Mehbash brewing Arabic coffee. Traveling further south, the Gazelles leave ancient Madaba and enter the welcoming arms of Al-Karak castle. The beckoning of adventure still nudging at the Gazelles, causing them to continue south from the unique wildlife in Tafilah to Petra, a miraculous carving in rose mountains. Nighttime leads them to camp at Wadi Rum, and when they wake up, they travel to the southern bride’s ancient arches in Ma’an. The adventure finally comes to a close when the magical sea life of Aqaba and the sounds of the Simsimiyya overwhelm the Gazelles who, enchanted by their journey in the land of Jordan, gather once more to reflect on their memories.

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Three creative friends came together to share their passion for the colorful life of Jordan. A storyteller, an architect, and an artist desired to inform the world of the rich culture through a medium all can enjoy, while allowing all to contribute their own creative energy through this coloring book. Oftentimes, people only get to see a small portion of what Jordan has to offer through the most visited attractions. In this coloring book, children and adults alike can learn the rich history and culture by immersing themselves page by page, color by color, from north to south. For many, this book is about embarking authentically into a world new to them, and for those whom Jordan is home to, nostalgia lives through each carefully crafted illustration. The authors hope that by exploring this book, you will find the hidden treasures that have long made Jordan a cherished and unique gem in our world.

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