The ACOR Hostel—A Home Away from Home for Curious Travelers to Jordan

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Hallway leading to rooms and private apartments in ACOR’s hostel. Photograph by Miriam Saleh.
Hallway leading to rooms and private apartments in ACOR’s hostel. Photograph by Miriam Saleh.

For almost 50 years, ACOR has provided a safe space for curious travelers. Still, it is not common knowledge that our research center has hostel facilities where researchers and interested parties can have a residence in Jordan. Our private rooms with en suite bathrooms and individual apartments are directly above the ACOR Library, one of the premier research libraries in the region. The library collection contains more than 40,000 volumes and periodicals which focus on archaeology, anthropology, Arabic language and culture, art and architecture, conservation, ancient and more contemporary history, and Near Eastern studies. All travelers are welcome, but the happiest visitors are those whose ideal home would be filled with old books. One of ACOR’s greatest offerings is the simple pleasure of reading a good book.

Whether a student, scholar, or traveler, the ACOR hostel provides an inviting, comfortable place to stay while in Jordan. While the hostel space itself is bright and airy, filled with textiles and modern art, much of the facility’s warmth comes from our housekeeping staff, Cesar Octavo, Janet Lumbang, and Norma Costales. Remembering her early morning arrival to ACOR, visiting scholar Lisbeth DaBramo recounted, “I arrived at 4 am. It was such a long flight. I have no idea what I was thinking, picking a flight that got in at 4 in the morning. As soon as I got to ACOR, Caesar said, ‘Welcome to your new home!’ He gave me a tour, showed me the kitchen, and said I could come eat at any time in the night.”

ACOR excels at providing hearty meals for its guests. Our award-winning kitchen staff includes Head Chef Mohammed Adawi (Abu Ahmed), who was recently honored with the ASOR W.F. Albright Service Award, and his nephew, Assistant Chef Ghassan Adawi. The Adawi family provide a generous lunch (and delicious desserts) each day at precisely 2 pm. When asked about these weekly meals, Liz DaBramo laughs, “I gained a lot of weight, eating those desserts.” Lunches at ACOR offer a unique opportunity for scholarly discussions, integrating diverse perspectives while enjoying a buffet full of comfort food.

In addition to enjoying ACOR's 2 pm lunch, hostel guests can also use the facility's well-equipped kitchen to prepare their own meals. Photo courtesy of Georgetown Arabic Program.
In addition to enjoying ACOR’s 2 pm lunch, hostel guests can also use the facility’s well-equipped kitchen to prepare their own meals. Photo courtesy of Georgetown Arabic Program.

More than simply a home on the road, ACOR provides the ideal support structure to international and domestic researchers, allowing them to focus completely on their work. In the words of former CAORC fellow Bridget Guarasci:

In every way, ACOR has been an invaluable asset to my research. [Director] Barbara Porter went out of her way to introduce me to key people in the community in Amman. The ACOR scholars were invaluable interlocutors as I worked my way through questions arising out of my fieldwork … I want to acknowledge the hard work of the entire ACOR staff to make the operations run as smoothly as they do. Absolutely everyone was welcoming and approachable. It made all the difference in making my stay enjoyable and productive.

A view of a standard room in ACOR's hostel. Photograph by Miriam Saleh.
A view of a standard room in ACOR’s hostel. Photograph by Miriam Saleh.

Indeed, most visitors find their time at ACOR incredibly productive. ACOR has attentively crafted a rich environment to share ideas, learn languages, exchange cultures, and conduct research. Adam Volka, a Ph.D. student at La Trobe University, stayed at ACOR while participating in fieldwork at Wadi Hammeh, a Neolitihic site near Pella. He was surprised by how rapidly the center’s director, Barbara Porter, was able to connect him to a broad range of services—everything from a Jordanian Arabic coach to a conservation laboratory for cleaning, sorting, and cataloging archaeological finds. “Remarkably, Barbara even invited me to an ANZAC ceremony. Are you familiar with ANZAC? I certainly didn’t expect to find this in Amman. It was held at the Citadel, at dawn. There were over a hundred people there.”

ACOR Director Barbara A. Porter looks on as archaeologist Gyozo Voros (right) discusses his new book with Dr. Fawzi Zayadine. Photograph courtesy ACOR.
ACOR Director Barbara A. Porter looks on as archaeologist Gyozo Voros (right) discusses his new book with Dr. Fawzi Zayadine. Photograph courtesy ACOR.

At ACOR we are personally invested in adding complexity and depth to any research experience in Jordan. Barbara always makes it a point to invite guests to local lectures that intersect with their research. Thus, residing within our research center connects you to a community of like-minded scholars and students. In staying at ACOR, you will feed your intellectual curiosity, forge new networks and friendships, and gain a more in-depth understanding of Jordan’s remarkable history, heritage, and people.

To make a reservation at the ACOR hostel, please visit our website.

From left, Yusef Abu Ali, Andrew McCarthy, Katerina Mavromichalou, Humi al Ayoubi, and Samya Kafafi. Photograph by Barbara Porter

ACOR's spacious balcony offers a wonderful place for scholars, students, and visitors to meet and get to know each other. Photograph by Barbara Porter.
ACOR’s spacious balcony offers a wonderful place for scholars, students, and visitors to meet and get to know each other. Photograph by Barbara Porter.

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