Salt, al-

views updated


A small, picturesque town in Jordan.

Al-Salt is located about 20 miles (29 km) northwest of Jordan's capital, Amman, in the hills overlooking the Jordan valley to the west. It contains some beautiful examples of Islamic residential architecture. The archaeological evidence shows that Salt has been inhabited since about 3000 b.c.e. It was the principal town in Transjordan in the 1920s and one of the gateways from Palestine to Transjordan and countries further east and south. Salt suffered a steady decline, as other population centers flourished in Jordan and routes to Palestine moved south or north. It has never fully recovered from this decline, although it is a regional capital (Balqa district) and boasts several "firsts": the first hospital and the first secondary school in Jordan. The latter lays claim to having educated many of Jordan's prime ministers, most of its ministers, and a large number of prominent members of Jordanian society. Salt also has a substantial Christian minority that enjoys cordial relations with the Muslim community. The population of al-Salt in 1994 was about 56,000.


Gubser, Peter. Jordan: Crossroads of Middle Eastern Events. Boulder, CO: Westview, 1983.

jenab tutunji