Ajloun : A city and a history
First broadcast date
The episode deals with the fortress of Ajloun as a strategic spot, the ancient mosque of Ajloun as well as the church. It also shows the relief and general views of youth camps and state institutions in Ajloun.
In addition, an overhead view of the fortress of Ajloun, the Yarmouk River and the moutainous areas, are shown.
The city of Ajloun is the head of the Ajloun governorate. It derives its name from the Aramaic, from the name of a king who lived in the 9th century BC.
JRTV - Jordan Television
Tourism and cultural sites
- Tourism and cultural sites / Archaeological sites
- Tourism and cultural sites / Tourist sites
Credits / Cast
- Naif Khelifa - Director
- Atell Mahmoud - Author of original work
- Atell Mahmoud - Speaker
- Jordan - Transjordan Plateau - Ajloun
This documentary is about the heritage of the town of Ajloun, capital of the governorate of the same name and situated in the north of Jordan. The city has a population of about 55,000. The documentary highlights the Islamic heritage, particularly two sites: the fortress and the mosque.
The town of Ajloun is dominated by a twelfth century fortress, a very good example of Islamic military architecture. Called Qal 'at al-Rabad, the fortress was built in the late 12th century by Izz al-Din, Saladin's nephew and one of his generals. It is surrounded by a moat dug out of solid rock. To reach the heart of the building, three sets of fortification had to be crossed. Located in a strategic position it served as a base for Saladin's armies in their fight against the Crusaders. The site is emblematic of this struggle and inextricably linked with the important historical figure of Saladin, famous for capturing Jerusalem in 1187. In the following centuries the fortress maintained its importance, especially during the Mamluk and Ottoman periods.
For the Mamluk's Ajloun was an administrative centre. The word Mamluk refers to the warrior caste which overthrew the Ayyubid dynasty founded by Saladin. They dominated the Middle East politically between the 13th and 16th centuries and built or enlarged a number of important buildings on the territory now called Jordan. The large mosque, one of the oldest in Jordan, still with its original, slender minaret, was built in the city at this time. The city retained its role as the administrative centre during the Ottoman era, between the 16th and the beginning of the 20th century, although the documentary does not mention this. In fact the Ottoman period is scarcely mentioned in Jordan's official history. Instead the documentary shows Ajloun's importance within the Islamic history of the region and emphasizes the continuity of the city's occupation by various important Islamic civilizations.
The Christian heritage of the city is also mentioned in the documentary, as there are various denominations of Christians in the town. The site of Mar Elias to the north of the city, where the prophet Elijah was taken up to heaven, is now a shrine valued locally for its tourism potential.
Ajloun is also known throughout Jordan for its important agricultural activity, particularly the production of olives. The city is surrounded by pine forests and olive groves which are very popular places for walking. Tourism has developed here since the creation of nature reserves at Ajloun and Dibbin.
The aim of the documentary is to make an area still little visited by tourists known regionally and internationally, by emphasizing the historical importance of the city of Ajloun, but also local folklore, particularly through the social history lineage.
Yûsuf Darwîsh al-Ghawânma, al-Masâjid al-islamiyya al-qadîma fî mantiqa ‘Ajlûn (Les mosques anciennes dans la région d’Ajlun), Amman, Zamrak al-Dirâsât al-Urdnuniyya, 1986.
Martha Mundy et Richard Smith Saumarez, Governing property, making the modern state. Law, administration and production in Ottoman Syria, Londres, I. B. Tauris, 2007.
Cedric Norman Johns, Pilgrims' castle (ʿAtlit), David's tower (Jerusalem) and Qalʿat ar-Rabad (ʿAjlun): three Middle Eastern castles from the times of the Crusades, Aldershot ; Brookfield, Ashgate, 1997.
Gottlieb Schumacher, Northern 'Ajlûn “within the Decapolis", Londres, A. P. Watt, 1890.