Diwan al Duke
Abu Al Alaa Al Maari, Amman, Jordan
Diwan al DukeThis historic townhouse has served as Amman’s first post office, the Ministry of Finance, and a hotel. It’s been left in the same state since 1924 and, while rather rundown, is an intriguing place that welcomes all comers. The walls display paintings by noted Jordanian artists like Ali Maher, Ali Jabiri, and Princess Fahrelnissa as well as locals showing their work for the first time. Jordan’s only duke, Mamdouh Bisharat, runs things and is often on hand, ready to share one of his fascinating tales. If you’re lucky, you might get a plate of kinafa, a cheese pastry, delivered to you on a tray attached to a rope that he slides down the balcony to the shop downstairs. It’s never a dull moment with this man.