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The annual Souk Jara reopened its doors to the public this Friday, kick-starting three months of the weekly open air bazaar.
Started some 14 years ago in collaboration with the Greater Amman Municipality, the artisanal market has become an iconic event that Ammanis look forward to every year, giving them a chance to enjoy a friendly outdoor venue to purchase handicrafts and home-made products.
"I have been coming every year and I really love the vibe here. It is such a relaxed place where people can escape and just enjoy their time with their friends and families. This is really a unique event I go to every year," Christine Anderson, a 28-year-old American living in Amman, told The Jordan Times.
Located at the end of Rainbow Street in Jabal Amman, the bazaar offers visitors a peak into the world of Jordan's handicrafts, with items ranging from houseware to jewelry, pottery and clothing, among others.
"I love the original designs we see here, which are not always easy to find, at least in Amman," said Federico, a father of three who came to the market with his family on Friday.
"It is also very nice to be able to watch artists create right in front of you, and play music spontaneously," he told The Jordan Times as he stood behind a painter working on her canvas.
"Souk Jara is a simple place expressing the heritage and civilisation of the past in a modern sophisticated way. Everything you find here offers a high degree of quality and beauty combined," said visitor Tahani Abu Alteen.
The Souk is also a chance for emerging creators to showcase their products and gain exposure to a wider market.
Abd Alrahman Al Kilani, a 26-year-old who displayed his wood carved creations as part of his Ezmeel shop, said the market helps him get orders, even outside of the market itself.
"I do not have a physical shop yet, so having a stall here really helps in showcasing my products and getting people interested," said Kilani, who is taking part in the market for the second consecutive year, adding "most of us are home-based businesses so this really helps us to get known and boost our business during these three months."
In addition to the vendors, the market also features traditional music players, magic shows, a photo booth, as well as a shaded food court where visitors can enjoy freshly squeezed juices.
"I really admire the passion and love that is put in every item. It truly makes you want to support these craftsmen and women. It is also a great walk for a summer day, where you get to smell the jasmine from the neighbourhood houses and engage all your senses," commented Mansour, a Jordanian living in Amman.
“Souk Jara has been and continues to open its arms to all small entrepreneurs to be the starting point of the labour market in the Kingdom and to be the start to compete on a larger level,” Zaid Goussous, chairman and founder of Souk Jara, told the Jordan Times.
The weekly market, which will last through September 28, is open from 10am until 10pm every Friday, according to the organisers.
Managed by I Jordan, the Souk is supported by Zain and Ahli microfinance company, among other partners.