Jordanian architect Mohammad al-Asad hates the al-Sweifieh district. He unleashed his anger in this article.

A few days ago, my wife and I wanted to buy clothes for our two children. So all of us went to Sweifieh (Suwayfiyyah is a more accurate transliteration), one of Amman’s better known shopping districts, to look for clothes. I rarely go to Sweifieh, and this recent excursion there reminded me why that is so.

A few weeks ago, I wrote an article stating that Jabal Luweibdeh is Amman’s most beautiful district. In this article, I argue that Sweifieh in contrast is one of the city’s most unpleasant districts. The area is one where chaos rules supreme. If you need to drive through it, brace yourself for a most unpleasant experience. One is overwhelmed by extensive traffic congestion, coupled with bad driving habits.

The parking situation is nightmarish. Vehicles are parked everywhere in just about every conceivable manner. The arrangement of parked vehicles resembles what you get when a child throws his toy cars on the floor.

The state of the sidewalks is pathetic and they do not seem to conform to any design standards. Continuous stretches of sidewalks are simply nonexistent. We walked through a small stretch of Sweifieh, desperately trying to find an area where we might walk comfortably and safely without worrying about moving vehicles, poorly paved sidewalks, and sudden level changes.”

Source [The Jordan Times]

I completely agree with him. Sweifieh really is becoming intolerable. When I’m in Amman, I try to avoid it as much as possible, something now achievable thanks to the advent of malls in the Kingdom.

I also salute Al-Asad’s proclamation that Jabal al-Weibdeh is the most beautiful place in Amman. Really, where else can you see buildings of such distinctive architectural style located in lush and intact old neighborhoods?