I took this photo shooting north from the Zeus Temple ruins. It was January and chilly but not too. As you can see in the photo, the sun is setting to the West (left), and I love this soft light edging twilight. This visit is my first to Jerash, and since then I tell anyone willing to listen, “If you want to see Rome in all its magnificent glory at one site, Jerash is the place.”
But to call this place “Roman” is not accurate. The Romans made it what is was and what it is, but as you well know, next come the Greeks, then the Byzantine Christians, then the Muslims, and they all had this terribly beautiful habit of poaching or ruining, but from this they would rebuild magnificent and monumental architectures. For instance, if one wants to understand Gothic churches in Europe, their “design” began in antiquity with Rome; and yet, each city transformed with the arrival of subsequent civilizations (cultures). The architecture of the “church” is grounded in Roman, Jewish, Persian, Greek, Byzantine, and yes, Muslim, ways of thinking and designing.
On this particular trip to Jerash, I was taking suitcases of warm clothing for Palestinians (mostly from Gaza decades ago) living in the refugee camp nearby. Something as simple as gifting suitcases of clothing is not as simple as it may seem. Many Americans, including good people from my home church, Tazewell Presbyterian Church (Virginia), spread the word, gathered the clothing, packed them in suitcases scavenged from donation stores, and then they sent me on my way. I am what I do best and have done for years: I am a mule, and that is the best news of all because the mule visions much of the journey.