‘Amman je t’aime’ or ‘Amman, I love you’ is a short film about a common man and his undying love for the city of Amman in Jordan, where he continues to live and provide shelter and food to several cats, pigeons, and dogs. “Everyone should have pets so that they become compassionate,” says Kareem, a security guard at the German Jordanian University who along with his friend has been taking care of all the neighbourhood cats and pigeons for 25 years.
Directed by Deema Shahin, ‘Amman je t’aime’ reflects upon the changing environment of the city. Jordan Revival Company has asked Kareem to vacate the house, in the film he talks about his struggle to keep the shelter going, of how people shouldn’t tear down the old city of Amman.
In the film, we see two men feeding cats around their old, worn down home. Just like the city of Amman, Kareem’s house is a safe haven. When asked what he would say to Amman if it were a person, he says, “Everyone comes here, thank God there are no wars here.” According to UNHCR, the city provides shelter to 172,977 refugees. His plea to not reshape their heritage is part of a larger appeal, for people to preserve the Arab world, for people to value life and to give peace a chance.
The director’s love for the city is infectious, as she follows the characters around the protagonist’s home, you wonder about her presence in the film. She shares something in common with Kareem, his wish to preserve the beauty and the essence of a city that is part of who they are. The film provides a different perspective to Amman, a city where people come from all across the Middle East to find peace, love and resolution.