Wadi Rum desert. The magic of Bedouin Jordan

September 6, 2021
September 6, 2021 Beduin Guide

Wadi Rum desert. The magic of Bedouin Jordan

According to my subjective classification, the most beautiful place in Jordan and one of the most beautiful in the world.

Travel teaches many things. As time goes on, you gain distance and learn that it is really impossible to plan everything the way you want. And if we have to make adjustments somewhere, it is often while traveling. It was like that on that day, when I left Petra somewhere behind the clouds and headed towards the desert, which, according to the plan, I was to visit later. You will see Petra tomorrow, the driver said to me, Inshallah! God willing.

Travel is also like a movie. They take us out of everyday life and take us into a different reality. It is not often a place that impresses me as much as the one I got then. As it turned out, I had seen them many times before.

Wadi Rum is part of the “Golden Triangle” of Jordan’s tourist attractions, along with Aqaba and Petra. The protected area is also one of the four UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the Kingdom. The desert valley was mentioned in ancient Greek and Roman historical accounts and was also described by Lawrence of Arabia as “vast, echoing, and divine.”

Movie.

Go ahead, Armstrong. – says the hero of Martian played by Matt Damon. A long time has passed since man’s first step on the moon. However, humanity takes the next big step – it sends the first human to the red planet. The Puritan scenery in which this really good movie takes place does not require a long journey. It was the Wadi Rum desert that played Mars and did it amazingly. When a person reaches this place, the imagination begins to work harder, more intensely. It is enough to sit down for a moment and imagine that we are the only ones on the whole planet.

Wadi Rum has been the setting for more than one movie. The Red Planet from 2000. Star Wars from 2016. All the money in the world from 2017 and much more. However, two productions leave the strongest mark on this point – the aforementioned Martian and the 1962-winner and seven Oscars – Lawrence of Arabia.

Lawrence of Arabia.

If someone has never heard this name, he will hear it many times while in Jordan. The story popularized by the cinema is the story of a real man who wrote a very important chapter in the history of the region. The history of modern Jordan dates back to the beginning of the last century, when the great Ottoman empire was on the verge of collapse. This is how the domination of the Turks ended and the period of Arab revival in the region began. After centuries of collapse, the entire region was inhabited mainly by nomadic tribes, over which it was difficult to rule. The year 1918 was the moment when the Turks were finally ousted, largely due to the successful Arab uprising that lasted from 1916. The character of Thomas Edward Lawrence, known to this day as Lawrence of Arabia, played a huge role.

Great Britain, which at that time played great politics in the region along with France, promised the Arab tribes freedom and the creation of a great Arab state in the region. Instead, after the victory over the Turks, the lands were divided proportionally among the great European colonial powers. The created states, formally ruled by Arab rulers, were in fact directly under the control of Britain and France.

A film based on the experiences of T.E. Lawrence tells the story of an officer who joins the army of the leader of the Arab uprising, Emir Faisal. Thanks to the daring action of capturing Fort Aqaba together with a small detachment, Lawrence gains a reputation as a hero among his countrymen and Arabs.

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