Nabatean

       Since 1985, Petra is a UNESCO world heritage monument. The region is considered to have been habited by the Nabatean, an ancient civilization that was victim of a natural disaster (see Prophet Salih). Some Bedouins still live within the famous caves of Petra. They claim the heritage of the Nabatean's civilisation, no one truly knows how long they have inhabited the caves neither do we know their origins.  For the ease of tourism and the preservation of the site, the Jordanian government built a well-equipped village nearby to allow the Bedouins to settle at ease away from the caves. In the late 20es, a full migration of 35 families, 6 tribes, 4 000 persons moved from the caves to the new village. 

 

After some time living in the village, few families could not adopt the modern life in the village. They tremendously missed the caves, therefore few families went back to the caves preferring the quietness. The cons of this nomadic lifestyle are that children go to school riding a donkey for over 40 minutes. Childrens are also exposed to an inherited dialect (a mixture of pure Arabic and Aramaic language) therefore they have some difficulties at school. The nearest hospital is an hour and half away. A total exclusion of modern facilities, the Bedouins of the caves enjoy this secluded life and feel proud to perpetuate the tradition. 

Although most of the new generation have settled in different parts of Jordan, some still work on the site, they sell their art crafts for a living and propose guiding tours for tourists. In the evening they recite poems and stories of past generations around tea and sweets. 

After a meeting with Ahmed who lives in

the caves, he says: " Sometimes is hard to

unite with the citizen of Petra because they

don't value us and don't accept our lifestyle,

but we are happy and proud to be part of

Jordan and we are all Muslims and that is

what matters at the end. Many Westerners

have bought our caves and come for summer

vacation as they have been over pressured

by their stressful lifestyle. No one can judge

if living in a cave is comfortable or not until they have tried it themselves. "

Meeting with Abdullah, owner of Candle Hotel, one of the nearest hotels from the site, claims to have a long family heritage living in Petra: " Life is quiet in Petra, we enjoy welcoming the tourists, they make us travel. We have a pretty safe community here, we enjoy sharing our mystical history of past civilisation. The Bedouins are helpful but stay aware, we never know who we can truly trust. We have a range of activities, don't just go for the picture a front of the famous facade (treasure), there is so much to do here that you need at least a week to discover it all."

 

Petra's cave

Petra's cave

Kitchen in cave

Kitchen in cave

Ahmed

Ahmed

Ahmed waiting to enter in the cave

Ahmed waiting to enter in the cave

Caves of Petra

Caves of Petra

Bedroom inside a cave

Bedroom inside a cave

Cave

Cave

Water supply for the Cave

Water supply for the Cave

Corridors are rocks

Corridors are rocks

Crafting skills

Crafting skills

Rocks

Rocks

Few from the caves

Few from the caves

Bedouin's food

Bedouin's food

Tourism in Petra site

Tourism in Petra site

Museum in the site

Museum in the site

IMG_20190620_1518454

IMG_20190620_1518454

IMG_20190619_1018328

IMG_20190619_1018328

Unitywithindiversity

Unitywithindiversity

Candle Hotel in Petra

Candle Hotel in Petra

View from Candle Hotel

View from Candle Hotel

Wadi Rum

Wadi Rum

ABOUT US

         

Taiba Riaz holds a BA (hons) of Arabic and Islamic Studies at SOAS University of London. Currently a Master student of Civilisation studies at Ibn Haldun University in Istanbul. Her travels are detailed throughout this website, she provides a depth understanding of the Muslim community. The range of theological perspectives within the Islamic dogma. In addition to the various historical sites that recalls the narration of Prophets and Saints in the Holy Qur'an.

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