Amman is a vibrant sprawling capital city of about 3 million people. Since the peace accord with Israel in 1994 it has seen steady growth uninterrupted by politcal uncertainty as well as the smooth passage from the beloved King Hussein to his son, King Abdullah in 1999.

Amman has all the amenities and advantages of a modern European city yet is decidedly Arab in appearance and sounds. In the center of the city are ancient Roman ruins atop a hill that overlooks an enormous restored amphitheater where concerts and dramatic performances take place.

An important aspect of this city’s life are the countless outdoor cafes where men and women gather to smoke, talk and eat with friends–and offer strong-minded opinions about the world and the country. There are some gay-friendly cafes.

Read the stories about gay Jordan