The Christian Science Monitor

Patron of the past: The Jordanian duke who's preserving the soul of the Levant

Mamdouh Bisharat, Jordan’s only duke, looks across the city from his home in East Amman, Jordan. Now a concrete jungle, Jordan’s capital was green and lush with springs in Mr. Bisharat’s youth. Source: Taylor Luck

“Welcome, welcome!” a man in a tattered blazer and a chestnut farmer’s tan says to three dumbstruck university students who have just wandered in off the street and into the faded apartment. “I hope you are hungry.”

The duke, as always, has set a table for six.

“Eat. Then look around and see what Jordan was really like.”

Patron of the arts, archaeologist, environmentalist, curator, host, farmer, king’s confidant, playboy; Jordan’s first and only duke has played many roles in his life – often on the very same day – but there is one he cherishes: promoter and preserver of Jordan’s heritage.

Honoring heritage

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