While Shait Gumbad Masjid (Sixty Dome Mosque) in Bagerhat, Bangladesh might qualify as one of more remote and foreigner-free UNESCO sites we’ve come across in our travels, it’s certainly not a lonely place. Continue Reading »
Our journey through Jordan took us from sprawling Amman to the ancient Roman city of Jerash and Nebatean city of Petra. Along the way, we made our way through canyons, deserts, dusty villages, forests and farmland. We took dips in both the Red and Dead Seas. This is all to say that Jordan packs quite a lot into a small land mass.
Someone on Twitter recently asked us how Jordan was as a photographic destination. We admit we’re a bit biased, so we invite you to check out the slideshow below and decide for yourself. Continue Reading »
If you emerge from a visit to Jordan and you haven’t had enough to eat, you’ve clearly done something wrong. Or in the words of an American friend of Jordanian heritage, “If you don’t leave Jordan heavier, we haven’t done our job.”
Mansaf, the Jordanian national dish.
Whereas we sometimes feel like we know the Romans and Greeks when we visit the ruined cities they left behind, the Nabataeans, the mysterious ancient civilization behind Petra, are people we need to meet. Continue Reading »
Sure, the Rock Bar in Petra has great ambiance and a smooth lemon mint shisha, Luigi’s at the Dead Sea Movenpick has impeccable shisha service and adds a nice belly dance, and Al Rasheed in Amman is the ideal place to chill out in the big city.
But when I think “shisha in Jordan,” where will my first memory go? I’ll remember hanging with the guys in the northern Jordanian town of Rasun. Continue Reading »
Bedouins. Before our visit to Jordan, the term conjured an image of mysterious desert-bound, tunic-wearing nomads.
While in Jordan, we met our share of Bedouins — some camel collectors and shepherds, others guides and businessmen. Upwards of 40% of the Jordanian population is of Bedouin heritage. As a result, Jordanian hospitality, wisdom and culture are all very much a product of their Bedouin roots.
As our Bedouin hosts shared some of their protocols, their wisdom, and their clever ways of looking at the world, we took note. Here’s what we learned. Continue Reading »
On occasion, we are fortunate enough to have an experience or conversation that sends chills for its human quality. Our time with Zikra Initiative and the women of Ghor al Mazra’a was one such experience.
From the moment I passed into the courtyard, Um Atallah took control and led me to a seat on the ground near her. Two other women swapped their attention between their work and us, offering encouraging smiles. These were the women of Ghor al Mazra’a near Jordan’s Dead Sea. And for a few hours, they shared a bit of their lives with us.
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Wadi Rum, the colorful, iconic desert valley many of us know from watching Lawrence of Arabia. It remains the land of the Bedouins who move their tents of woven goat hair, the season depending. Whether they make their way camel by day or pickup by night, they seem to know the placement of every rock and every turn across the sand.
Their land is also the land of some unusual rock formations. Open the panorama to full screen to see for yourself what it’s like to stand atop the Wadi Rum rock bridge and look out over the desert below. Continue Reading »
In Jordan, I spent a lot of time with men. Not only did my immediate company consist of men (our driver and host were both men and I had Dan by my side), but many of our in-home social and cultural experiences were dominated by them, too. Tea and coffee in Bedouin tents was served by and among men, dinners in homes — outside of some interactions with the women of the house – were largely a male affair.
Don’t get me wrong: I enjoy spending time with men and learning about their world, but I also look forward to sharing time with women so that I may get a glimpse into their lives and appreciate their work.
And so I did in Jordan. And for me, three stories stood out. The women I met and their pride as individuals, as mothers, and as breadwinners left an impression on me. Continue Reading »
If there’s any icon associated with Jordan and its history, it must be the stunning facade of the Treasury at Petra. We were fortunate enough to be introduced to the crown jewel of this ancient Nebataean city at night.
If you think the Treasury looks incredible in the light of day, check out what it feels like when lit only by the warm light of hundreds of luminaries (paper bag candles) laid at its base. Open the panorama below (and do it full screen!) to see for yourself. Continue Reading »