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“失去灵魂”的约旦古城

更新时间:2018/1/19 17:51:07 来源:本站原创 作者:佚名

Jordan's ancient town 'without a soul'
“失去灵魂”的约旦古城

“Here is my house,” Ahmad Alomari announced. Preoccupied with navigating the rubble underfoot, I almost missed his declaration entirely. I glanced up at the roofless black basalt and white limestone structure in front of us.

"这就是我以前的家,"阿赫马德·阿罗马里(Ahmad Alomari)这么说。我那时正专注于在脚下的砾石,几乎都没听见他在说话。我抬起头看着我们面前的那幢没有屋顶的,由黑色玄武岩和白色石灰石建造而成的建筑。

“Wait, here?” I asked in disbelief. A golden glow from the early morning sun shone through the door and window frames, illuminating the weed-covered interior. I assumed from Alomari’s jovial nature that he was joking. After all, we were standing inside the ancient ruins of Gadara in the north-western corner of Jordan. And, unless Alomari is a spectre, he certainly wasn’t around in 63BC when the city became an important part of the infamous Greco-Roman Decapolis, a powerful network of 10 cities formed after the Roman conquest of Ancient Palestine.

"等等,这里?"我不敢相信地问道。清早金色的阳光穿过门框窗棂,照在已经杂草丛生的屋里。阿罗马里是个风趣的人,所以我以为他是在开玩笑。毕竟,我们当时站在约旦西北角的加大拉(Gadara)遗址里。而且,除非阿罗马里是个幽灵,不然当这座城市在公元前63年成为了恶名昭彰的低加波利城邦联盟(Greco-Roman Decapolis)的一部分时,他不可能在场。低加波利是在罗马征服古代巴勒斯坦之后由10个城市组建起来的强大同盟。

“Yes, here,” he repeated, his smile stretching wide across his face. “This is my home.”

"是的,这里,"他重复了一遍,脸上都是微笑,"这里就是我家。"

Lonely columns that once supported three open-air theatres, a basilica and a temple dotted the hilltop. From Alomari’s home, I took in the dramatic view of the Sea of Galilee and Israel. A little further east, Syria’s south-western corner spread out before me.

如今散落的石柱曾经是支撑小山顶上三座露天剧场、一座会堂和一座神庙的柱石。从阿罗马里的家望出去,是以色列和加利利海(Sea of Galilee)的如画风景。再往东面一点,叙利亚西南角的国土在我眼前展开。

Forty-five years ago, Alomari was born in this very place – a humble house built from ancient stones left behind by Roman-era inhabitants.

45年前,阿罗马里就是在这个地方出生——在一座由古罗马时期居民留下的石料建造而成的简陋的房子里。

But the site of Alomari’s childhood home has a history dating back to the 7th Century BC; the Ptolemies and then the Seleucids occupied the city before the Romans arrived in the 1st Century BC. Strategically positioned along trade routes, Gadara enjoyed a golden age of economic and cultural growth, with artists and scholars flocking to the city. But after several centuries, Gadara’s popularity and influence began to decline. Changes in trade routes and a series of earthquakes that destroyed the city’s infrastructure in the 8th Century likely contributed to Gadara’s ultimate abandonment. What was left of the Roman-era structures lay empty for a millennium.

但是阿罗马里童年住宅所在的这片土地的历史可以追溯到公元前七世纪。在罗马人于公元前一世纪抵达这里之前,托勒密王朝(Ptolemies)和塞琉古帝国(Seleucids)都曾占据过这个城市。因为它在商道上占据着非常重要的地理位置,加大拉也曾享有一个经济发达、文化繁荣的黄金时代,众多学者文人都来到这座城市。但在几个世纪后,加大拉的繁荣与影响不复以往。商路改道,再加上第八世纪时的一连串地震破坏了城市的基础设施,这两项因素很可能使得加大拉最终被遗弃。那些罗马时期的建筑就这么被遗忘了一千年。

In the late 19th Century, new life came to the ancient acropolis. “At that time, the people here were nomadic, pastoral and farmers,” Alomari explained. When one group – including some of Alomari’s ancestors – discovered the skeleton of the former hilltop city, complete with water wells and building materials, and in close proximity to farmable land and the Yarmouk River, they decided to put down roots. Alomari’s great-grandfather was likely one of the first people to take up residence in the ruins and help build a new village on the foundation of the ancient city.

到19世纪末,这座古老的卫城终于迎来了新生命。"那时,这里的人民多半是游牧者与农民,"阿罗马里解释道。有那么一群人——包括了部分阿罗马里的祖先——发现了这座山顶上的城市遗迹,这里有水井和建筑材料,并且靠近可以耕作的土地和雅莫科河(Yarmouk River),他们就此决定在此定居。阿罗马里的曾祖父可能就是第一批在这个古城遗址中住下并且在古城基础之上建造新村落的人之一。

“These are 2,000 years old,” Alomari said, running his hand along the rocks that form the walls of his former home. “But my father built this house less than 100 years ago.”

"这些都有2000年历史了,"阿罗马里一边说,一边用手挥过砌成他故居墙壁的石块。 "但是我父亲建造这个房子的时间还不到100年。"

In the 1960s, Jordan’s Department of Antiquities declared Gadara an archaeological site; it’s now awaiting consideration for Unesco World Heritage status. Stoves and other elements not considered to be of cultural and historic value were removed, and the homes built by Alomari’s community fell into disrepair. “The Department of Antiquities forbade us from doing maintenance on our homes,” he said.

在20世纪60年代,约旦的文物部宣布加大拉是一个考古遗址;现在正在等待联合国教科文组织评估是否将其列入世界遗产。像炉灶这样的被认为不具有文化和历史价值的元素被移除,阿罗马里的村子建造的房屋也逐渐失修。他说:"文物部禁止我们维护自家的房子。"

“The first excavation I saw was in the late 1970s,” Alomari recalled. Shortly thereafter, Gadara’s 1,500 residents were told to relocate.

"我看到的首次考古发掘是在20世纪70年代末,"阿罗马里回忆道。那之后不久,加大拉的1500名居民被要求迁走。

Some families moved out almost immediately, purchasing modern homes in nearby Jordanian cities like Um Qais. “Life wasn’t easy in the village,” Alomari explained. “We had to bring water from the well, wash clothes by hand. It was dusty. There were snakes and scorpions. And we only had electricity for a few hours each evening, provided by a generator.”

有一些家庭几乎是连夜搬走了,在附近的约旦城市例如乌姆盖斯(Um Qais)购买了现代化的住房。"村里的生活不易,"阿罗马里解释道,"我们必须从井里打水,手洗衣服。那时一直尘土飞扬,蛇蝎出没。而且我们每天只有晚上的几个小时有电,要靠一台发电机。"

But even as a child, Alomari recognised that the heart of a place is its people. “Without the families, the village became a body without a soul.”

但即使还是个孩子的时候,阿罗马里就能认识到一个地方有人居住,才会有"心"存在。"失去了那些家庭后,这座村子就变成了一个失去灵魂的躯体。"

Growing up in the archaeological site, Alomari loved sharing village life with visitors; Gadara has long been a site of Christian pilgrimage, with many believing it to be the place where Jesus Christ cast the demons from two men into a drove of pigs. Alomari’s interactions with foreigners remain some of his first and favourite memories.

在这片古迹中长大,阿罗马里总是喜爱向访客分享村里的生活。加大拉长期以来都是基督教朝圣路线上的一站,很多人相信耶稣基督就是在这里驱除了附在两个人身上的魔鬼,并将魔鬼赶入了猪群。阿罗马里与外国人的交往经历仍然是他最初和最珍贵的回忆之一。

“When we lived here, travellers visiting Gadara would come to our house,” he said. “They’d sit here on our terrace, drink tea and eat with us.”

"我们住在这里的时候,来到加大拉的旅行者会来到我们屋里,"他说,"他们就在这里坐在我们房子的露台上,和我们一起喝茶吃东西。"

He stood up from the stone window sill and I followed, stepping down over the derelict rectangular stones piled in front of his former home. “The first time I spoke to a tourist, I was about eight years old,” he recalled. “It was in here,” he said as we approached the entrance to the restored Roman theatre on the western side of the site. “My friends and I also played hide-and-seek here,” he added, his voice bouncing off the curved basalt seats surrounding us.

他站到了石头窗台上,我跟着他,沿着堆积在他以前的房子前面的废弃的长方形石块走下来。"我第一次和游客交谈时,我大约八岁,"他回忆道,"就是在这里。"我们来到了西边,站在已经修复的罗马剧场的入口处的时候,他说,"我和我的朋友们也在这里玩捉迷藏,"他补充道,声音在我们周围圆弧形的玄武岩座席上回荡。

We continued our walk through the ancient city, making our way past the abandoned trader stalls along the paved Roman road, and up the hill towards the cluster of free-standing columns that mark where the basilica once stood. “We used to play football here,” Alomari said. “These were our goal posts.” On this day, there were no children running or playing; in fact, there wasn’t another person in sight.

我们继续在这座古城里漫步,沿着铺着石块的罗马路,走过被遗弃的小商铺,爬上小山,走向那里的一堆各自矗立的石柱,那是罗马会堂的所在地。"我们以前在这里踢足球,"阿罗马里说。"这就是我们的门柱。"在那天,并没有孩子在奔跑或玩耍;实际上,视野中空无一人。

“And that,” he added, glancing at an upper terrace dotted with modern tables and chairs, “is a restaurant now. But it used to be my school.” Alomari’s voice dropped and I detected a distinct sadness.

"而那里,"他补充道,视线指向一个有现代桌椅点缀的楼顶露台,"现在是一家餐厅。但那儿曾经是我的学校。"阿罗马里的声音变得低沉,我可以感受到他明显的忧伤情绪。

“When my family moved to the new house in Um Qais in 1987, I refused to leave my village,” Alomari said. He was just 14 years old at that time. “I stayed three days by myself. I slept in a tent on our roof in the old village, with just my donkey and bicycle below.”

阿罗马里说:"当我的家人在1987年搬到了乌姆盖斯的新房子时,我拒绝离开我的村庄。"那时他只有14岁。"我一个人待了三天。我睡在老村房子屋顶上的帐篷里,下面只有我的驴和脚踏车。"

A few years after his family relocated, Alomari heard the archaeologists were seeking English-speaking assistants to help with excavations. Although his language skills were extremely limited, his determination was boundless. “They called me in and asked if I could speak English. I knew if I said no, they wouldn’t give me the job.” So he stretched the truth and they hired him. Although he struggled to communicate, Alomari devoted his time to assisting with the excavations and improving his English over the course of the six-week assignment.

在他们一家搬走几年后,阿罗马里听说考古学家们正在寻找能说英语的助手来帮助发掘工作。 虽然他的语言能力非常有限,但他的决心并未受到约束。"他们打电话给我,问我能不能说英文。我知道,如果我说不能,他们就不会给我这个工作。"所以他夸大了真相,并被雇用了。虽然他的沟通需要一番努力,但在六周的任务期间内,阿罗马里投入全部时间来协助发掘工作,并提高他的英语。

His hard work paid off: he was offered a job as a live-in guard in the small antiquities museum located inside the archaeological site. “I didn’t even ask about a contract or payment,” Alomari said. “The only thing I cared about was that I could finally live in my village again.”

他的辛勤努力得到了回报:他得到了一份工作,在位于考古遗址内的小古迹博物馆里当了一名常驻警卫。"我甚至没有问过合同或报酬,"阿罗马里说,"我唯一在乎的是,我终于可以再住回我的村子里了。"

He made the most of the opportunity – working with archaeologists and interacting with tourists by day, and studying everything from English to archaeology by night. “I was in the museum alone at night, so I read everything I could,” he said. “My first salary was about 100 dinars. And I used a quarter of it to buy my first Arabic-English dictionary.”

他充分利用了这个机会——白天与考古学家一起工作以及与游客交流,晚上学习从英语到考古学的一切知识。"晚上就我一个人在博物馆里,所以我什么都读。"他说,"我的第一份薪水是大约100第纳尔(约913人民币)。然后我用其中四分之一的钱买了我的第一本阿拉伯语-英语词典。"

That dictionary came in handy in his conversations with colleagues, tourists and even a special someone. “I fell in love with a German girl who visited Um Qais,” Alomari confessed. The two spent much of her holiday together, communicating in English as neither could speak the other’s native tongue. “When she returned home, I wrote her a letter in English – only about 10 lines that took me three or four hours to write!” When she replied with her own 14-page letter, he had to pull out his dictionary and his romantic side. “I started to read and write poetry,” Alomari said, smiling.

那本词典在他与同事、游客交流时都十分有用,还包括了一个特别的人。"我喜欢上了一个来乌姆盖斯的德国女孩,"阿罗马里承认。在她假期里的大部分时间两人都在一起,用英语交流,因为他们都不会说对方的母语。"当她回去时,我给她写了一封英文信——只写了大约10行字,花了我3到4个小时才写完!"她的回信有足足14页,他不得不拿出他的字典,还有他的浪漫情怀。"我那时开始读诗,写诗,"阿罗马里笑着说。

Although the young lovers never met again, Alomari found happiness living and working at Gadara. While he no longer lives within the archaeological site, he continues to assist the Department of Antiquities in its preservation efforts and guide visitors around the ruins. But the absence of life at his old village still haunts him.

虽然这对年轻的情侣再也没有见面,但阿罗马里在加大拉的生活和工作中找到了幸福。他已经不再住在考古现场,但他继续协助文物部门保护文物,并带领游客参观遗址。但是他的老村子里仍然没有生气,这点仍然使他困扰。

Alomari’s dream is for the former villagers to once again inhabit their homes inside the site, but he knows this is not possible. So he’s found the next best option: partnering with community-based tourism initiatives like Baraka Destinations and The Jordan Trail to facilitate engaging experiences such as homestays and cooking workshops. Alomari also hopes to one day host his own guests at a countryside homestay he is developing.

阿罗马里的梦想是让以前的村民们再一次回到他们的房子里居住,但是他知道这是不可能的。因此,他找到的第二选择是:与以社区为基础的旅游项目进行合作,比如"巴拉卡目的地"(Baraka Destinations)和"约旦小径"(The Jordan Trail),以促进类似寄宿家庭和烹饪工作坊的体验。阿罗马里还希望有一天能在他正在开发的乡村住家里接待自己的客人。

“I already have the name,” he said, his smile wide once again. “It will be called, ‘Philodemos’.” Philodemus was a 1st Century BC philosopher and poet of Gadara – not entirely unlike Alomari himself.

"我已经给它取好了名字,"他的脸上又绽放出微笑,"它的名字是斐洛德穆斯(Philodemos)"。斐洛德穆斯是公元前1世纪加大拉的哲学家与诗人——与阿罗马里本人颇有类似。

“And do you know what his name means?” Alomari asked. “Philos is ‘friend’ or ‘lover’, and demos is ‘the people’.”

"而你知道他的名字是什么意思吗?"阿罗马里问我,"斐洛(Philos)是'朋友'或者'爱人',而德穆斯(demos)是'人们'。"

“Friend... of the people,” I said aloud. As Alomari described his vision of welcoming visitors into his countryside home to share stories and break bread, I couldn’t help but nod enthusiastically. Without the people and the stories, the archaeological site – stunning as it may be – is simply stones.

"人们……的朋友。"我大声说道。当阿罗马里向我描述他的愿景:迎接游客来到他的乡下小屋,一边切面包一边分享故事,我忍不住连连点头。没有了居民和故事,那些考古遗址——无论多么令人震撼——也只是石块而已。

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