Behind red walls

Free art in Amman

Overlooking downtown Amman and its sunny hills, Darat el Funun is a colorful hidden gem for art lovers. Tucked away behind high red walls, next to a mosque and alongside a 6th century Byzantine church, the art gallery is located in three traditional 1920s buildings which were renovated by the owners before the opening in 1993.

A self-declared “haven for all arts”, Darat el Funun aims at promoting contemporary creativity with a special focus on visual arts. The works of Jordanian, Palestinian and other Arab artists have been exposed there for the past two decades. Although the gallery showcases art works like any other museum, this art space is also dedicated to debates, lectures, film screenings and artists’ residencies. There is also an art library open to all visitors.

An eventful program is scheduled on a weekly basis all year long. During the March sessions of these “Tuesdays at Darat,” experimental short films screenings linked to the Israeli Apartheid Week (March 12 to 18), a talk with the Iraqi artist Adel Abidin and a lecture by Dr Faisal Darraj entitled “How to read Mahmoud Darwish” will be held. Currently, the work of Syrian sculptor Ala’a Abou Shaheen is exposed. His small bronze sculptures mix animal silhouettes with human expressions in a very intriguing way.

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