The city of Ajloun is the head of the Ajloun governorate. It derives its name from the Aramaic, from the name of a king who lived in the 9th century BC. This documentary is about the heritage of the town of Ajloun, capital of the governorate of the same name and situated in the north of Jordan.
Ajloun Governorate is situated at the northwestern corner, in reference to the Capital Amman, and 76 km far from it. Its boundaries extend to Irbid Governorate to the north and west (Jordan Ghour region), which is 32 km far from, Jerash Governorate to the east, which is 25 km far from, and Balqa Governorate to the south, which is 72 km far from.
Ajloun Governorate consists of two counties, two districts, and five municipalities with a total population of (176080) inhabitants. It is considered a connection point between Greater Syria and the Mediterranean coast, and a strategic region between the lands of the Euphrates and the land of the Nile. From a military perspective, Ajloun Castle (Fortress) overlooks the main natural passes, most importantly: Kufranja Wadi, Rajeb Wadi, and Al-Rayyan Wadi. Its position is considered a strategic one for its capability of controlling the transportation roads between Syria and its southern regions.
As it includes Christian sites, Ajloun Governorate has been declared by the Vatican as a Christian Pilgrimage Destination to Mar Elias Church, and Church of Our Lady of the Mountain. The declaration has been announced during the Papal Pilgrimage of the late Pope John Paul II to Jordan in 2000.
According to Saladin’s historian Baha ad-Din ibn Shaddad, the fortress was primarily built-in order to help the authorities in Damascus control the Bedouin tribes of the Jabal ‘Auf.
‘Ajloun’s strategic position commanding the Jordan Valley, as well as the three small valleys leading to it, made it an important link in the defensive chain against the Crusaders, who spent decades unsuccessfully trying to capture the castle and nearby village. The fortress is built upon the apex of the hill above ‘Ajloun, and offers a breathtaking view of the surrounding countryside. On a clear day you can see the Dead Sea, the Jordan Valley, the West Bank, and Lake Tiberias (the Sea of Galilee).
International travelers, historians and great people have given a great deal of attention to Ajloun for being a connection point between the Greater Syria and the coasts of the Mediterranean, and a strategic location in between the land of the Euphrates and the Nile River. The Muslim leader Salah Al-Din Al- Ayouby (Saladin) had acknowledged these facts about Ajloun, so he instructed one of his Generals in 1184 AD (580 Hj), Izz Al-Din Osama, to build a fortress on top of Mount Ouff in Ajloun, which was situated at (1023) m. The castle stands on the ruins of a monastery, traces of which were discovered during archaeological excavations. The castle has been the nucleus of a settlement that has grown to become the present town of Ajloun.