Jordan: Bedouins, a lifestyle in disappearance

Improvements in the economy and technology have prevented Jordanian Bedouins from keeping a truly nomadic existence, and their way of life is slowly disappearing.

Currently, around only 15 families permanently live in tents in the protected area of Wadi Rum (South-West Jordan), formed of 720 square kilometers of narrow canyons, sandstone mountains and sandy valleys. Most of its inhabitants have moved to small villages  surrounding the protected area. Now, the main source of income is tourism, where mainly Bedouin men work. Bedouin women are responsible for the house and goat herds, a traditional lifestyle that provides the family with milk, meat and “jameed”.

Gallery

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Wadi Rum was declared a protected area in 1998 and since then the government of Jordan has implemented a conservation programme. The government has built a visitors centre. An entrance fee applies to all visitors.
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The Bedouin are a tribally organized society, once nomadic but largely settled pastoralists by the beginning of the twentieth century. In Wadi Rum seven Bedouin tribal groups remain in the area.
 MRG-GAL-3503
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The Zalabia is the most numerous tribal group. Most of them live in Rum village, the only village within the protected area.
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People lived in Wadi Rum for thousands of years. Within the protected area there are several rocks showing inscriptions (Thamudic and Nabataen) and drawings of humans and camel caravans.
 MRG-GAL-3505
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Rum village inhabitants run the Rum Tourism Cooperative. It provides tourism services like jeep and camel tours or stays in desert camps (in the picture: sunset from the Wadi Rum Star Light Camp).
 MRG-GAL-3506
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Date: 18/03/2015

Countries:

Jordan

Categories:

Culture and Tradition
Indigenous Peoples

Press Contact Information

Name: Laura Quintana Soms

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