Just west of Amman lies the village of Iraq al Amir and its mysterious ruin, known as Qasr al-Abd (Castle of the Slave or Servant). It is thought to have been built by a local governor about two hundred years before Christ and was surrounded by a canal or pool; some suggest this was a defensive feature, others that the structure was actually a country retreat and the pool was decorative. The ruin has been partially restored and is a two-story structure which boasts several unusual lion motifs and statues. It’s an interesting ruin to visit, partly because of the mystery surrounding its origin and purpose, and partly because it is seldom visited by tourists. Just down the road in the village is a women’s co-operative that manufactures and sells traditional hand-made paper, hand-woven cloth and clothing, and ceramics, which is an interesting addition to a visit to Qasr al-Abd.