Umm Qais with Maha Anabtawi 

Anabtawi - Russan

The sun hung low on the horizon, casting a warm, golden glow over the rugged landscape as our group of eager guides gathered at the entrance of Ammon university. We were about to embark on a fascinating journey back in time, guided by our knowledgeable and enthusiastic mentor, Maha Anabtawi, who had a deep passion for history and a knack for making it come alive.

Her deep knowledge of the places in Jordan we explore, whether they be ancient archaeological sites or vibrant modern cities, is second to none. Anabtawi’s ability to weave stories and historical context into her tours makes every journey with her a memorable and enlightening experience. Beyond her extensive knowledge, Maha’s warmth and genuine interest in her audience create a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere that fosters curiosity and a desire to learn. She is not just a guide; she is a mentor who encourages us to explore, question, and appreciate the world around us.

Umm Qais, also known as Gadara in ancient times, was a once-thriving Roman and Byzantine city. Its rich history and stunning ruins drew us like a magnet, and Maha Anabtawi was about to be our bridge between the past and the present. As we started our tour, her engaging storytelling brought the ancient city to life. She used  Irbid museum as “seduce & intrigue” technique – Thus, first stop was Irbid museum ..

Irbid Museum offered a fascinating glimpse into the past, with its extensive collection of artifacts from various historical periods, including the Ammonite, Roman, and Islamic eras. We marveled at the beautifully preserved pottery, intricate jewelry, and ancient sculptures, each piece telling a story of the people and civilizations that once thrived in this region.

The museum’s well-curated displays provided a rich tapestry of Jordan’s history, and it left us eager to learn more about the country’s heritage.

Our visit to Irbid Museum under Anabtawi’s guidance was not just an educational experience; it was an inspiring introduction to the wonders of Jordan’s cultural heritage, setting the stage for the adventures that awaited us in our beloved country of Jordan.

Irbid Museum
Irbid Museum
Irbid Museum
Irbid Museum
Umm Qais Museum

Our journey continued to our second stop, the Umm Qais Museum, which offered a unique opportunity to deepen our understanding of the site and its rich history. As we perused the exhibits, we were struck by the array of artifacts on display, each with its own story to tell. The well-organized displays included intricate mosaics, ancient pottery, sculptures, and other relics from various time periods, such as the Roman and Byzantine eras.

The Umm Qais Museum visit under Anabtawi’s guidance was not just an opportunity to view ancient relics but also a chance to gain a profound understanding of the historical, cultural, and architectural layers of Jordan. Maha’s expertise transformed our visit into an enriching and immersive learning experience, leaving us even more excited about the adventures that lay ahead into the site.

We passed through the stone archway that served as a portal to the past, and our footsteps resonated with the echoes of centuries gone by. The ancient ruins and artifacts came into view, and we knew that we were embarking on a journey that would connect us with the rich history of Umm Qais and the civilizations that once thrived there. With Anabtawi as our mentor, we crossed the threshold into a world where history and culture intertwined, and the adventure of exploration began.

Umm Qais - Past VS Present
The Byzantine Basilica - Umm Qais
The Byzantine Basilica

Umm Qais is home to the remains of a Byzantine basilica, which highlights the Christian history of the site. The basilica features a well-preserved mosaic floor that depicts various Christian motifs, making it a significant historical and religious site for those interested in early Christianity.

Gedara Roman Theater
The Roman Theater

Built during the 1st century AD, it could accommodate up to 3,000 spectators. The theater is remarkably well-preserved and offers stunning panoramic views of the surrounding landscape, including the Sea of Galilee and the Golan Heights. The theater was a center of entertainment and cultural events in ancient Gadara.

Private Transfers in Jordan
The Colonnaded Street

Umm Qais boasts an ancient colonnaded street, which was a typical feature in Roman cities. The street is flanked by well-preserved columns and would have been lined with shops, cafes, and various businesses. It provides visitors with a glimpse into the daily life and commerce of the past.

umm qais The Mausoleum
The Mausoleum

The Mausoleum at Umm Qais is an impressive structure that once served as a burial site. Its architectural details reflect the grandeur of the Roman era. The Mausoleum’s design includes intricate carvings and decorations that showcase the artistic and architectural achievements of the time.

The Decumanus Maximus:
The Decumanus Maximus

During the Severan period (193 – 235), the Decumanus Maximus was greatly enhanced and prolonged into the city areas which had continued growing westwards. Estrades with numerous statues of honour, colonnades and porticoes as well as other monuments of urban representation were built on both sides.

The Viewpoints in Umm Qais
The Viewpoints

Throughout Umm Qais, there are several viewpoints that provide breathtaking vistas of the Jordan Valley, the Sea of Galilee, and the Golan Heights. These viewpoints offer visitors a chance to appreciate the geographical and strategic significance of the location.

Umm Qais is a treasure trove of historical and archaeological wonders, where visitors can trace the evolution of the city through the ages.
Each of these sites and areas within the complex contributes to the broader narrative of this ancient city and its role in the region’s history and culture.

Maha Anbatawi14.10.2023

Our visit to Umm Qais with our professional mentor Maha Anabtawi, was a truly unforgettable experience. Her passion for history and his ability to make it accessible and engaging left a lasting impression on all of us. We left Umm Qais with a newfound appreciation for the rich tapestry of history that shapes our world and a deep gratitude for a teacher who had shared her knowledge and passion with us on that remarkable day.
In the way, as always, she started her ritual of questioning us and speech dysphasia examining.

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