Khalid Shoman

Khalid Shoman's interest in the Arts made him start in 1988,with the help of his wife, the collection of the Arab Bank and the Abdul Hameed Shoman Foundation of works by Arab artists. His support to his wife in directing the activities of the Foundation in the fields of the Arts, led them both to the establishment in 1993 of a "Home for the Arts", the Darat al Funun.

Overlooking the heart of Amman, the Darat al Funun is housed in three historical buildings of the 1920's alongside the archaeological remains of a sixth century Byzantine church built over a roman temple. When Khalid and Suha visited the site for the first time in 1992,the main house had been abandoned for many years; windows and doors falling apart and the archaeological site in the garden was unattended.

An atmosphere of desolation and sadness permeated the buildings. Snakes and scorpions called the area home. Despite this, they could see the great achievements of those who came before and their pride in what they had accomplished.

All this rich past made Khalid and Suha determined to bring this unique site in Amman back to life again so that the future generations would appreciate their cultural heritage and know the history of their nation.

The buildings were restored and renovated, the antiquities were excavated and protected. The Darat al Funun was conceived as a specialized art center, incorporating exhibitions spaces, a research and video library ,open workshops and studios, visiting artist's residence and venues for the performing arts.While the thrust of its programs maintains a constant focus on the visual arts, the Darat al Funun strives to be a haven for all the Arts, where the public may experience the visual arts in harmony with other forms of self-expression .

Today, seeing the Darat buzzing with life, Khalid and Suha know they have fulfilled their mission: The Darat al Funun is now a symbol of the continuity between the legacy of the nation's past and the consistent labor of the present leading to a prosperous future.

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