Posts filed under About Wadi Rum

Lonely Planet lists Jordan as a Top Destination for 2019

Jordan it seems is trending, and as the Lonely Planet includes us on their list of top destinations for 2019, those of you who already visited us can feel smug you made it here ahead of the rush. : D.

Those of you who are heading our way soon, we look forward to meeting you, Insha’Allah.

Visitors to Jordan can look forward to an exciting trip where dramatic landscapes, defined culture, and dizzying history collide….

Eid Mubarak from Wadi Rum

Wadi Rum Sand Dune

Eid Mubarak

Have a lovely day!

Hello everyone,

Sorry for a long time we didn't post. We have been too busy (al-hamdulilah) and then focused on Ramadan.

I'm sure you had plenty of other notifications from other pages and websites to keep you busy! ; D

We are closed today for the holiday and open again tomorrow for our guests.

Insha'Allah see you all soon!

Posted on June 15, 2018 and filed under About Wadi Rum, Practical, Culture.

What Do We REALLY Mean When we Say: "Insha'Allah" ...

A blog post about "Insh'Allah". 

I have noticed Westerners sometimes look a little worried when we use the word... I think you are probably wondering:

Does this mean he doesn't really intend to meet me tomorrow at x o'clock?
Does "Insha'Allah" indicate a lack of intent from the person who is saying it? A almost pre-prepared excuse for not showing up or being late?

Tips to Stay Safe When Hiking independently in Wadi Rum

Bedouin Directions Camp is a wonderful place to base yourself to spend some time and just enjoy being in nature. The experience of exploring the desert alone is quite different to the experience when you explore with a guide or by Jeep.

We welcome people who want to join us for a longer stay to "Hang Out" at the camp to do some independent walking.

If you do join us to explore independently here are some tips on how to stay safe:

Whats in a name? All about Bedouin names ...

Jebel Rum 3 - Mehedi & Salem.JPG

Demystifying how Arab names work ...

For Bedouin people our name is a very important thing and from a young age we start to teach our children their full name. 

To our guests in Wadi Rum Bedouin names are a bit of a puzzle... In this post I would like to explain a bit about how Bedouin names work... its not as mysterious as you might think...

I wonder how many of you know the name of your Great Grandfather or your Great, Great Grandfather?

For Bedouin people this is common knowledge because of how we name our children.

Firstly when a child is born they are given their own first name. The parents choose this.

Then his second name is the name of his father.

His third name is the name of his grandfather.

Then his last name is the name of his tribe.

Some people might have another second tribal name if his tribe is a sub branch or a large tribe.

Lets look at my name:

Mehedi - my first name.

You can call me Mehedi when we meet. : D

Saleh - my second name. This is the name of my father. 

You might need this when talking to other people about me. This is how we would differentiate me from another Mehedi in the village. There are not hoards of Mehedi's but there are a few others so to be sure who you mean when you talk about me you would say: Mehedi Saleh.

Sometimes if a person has a first name that is widely used - like Mohammed. Then you might well need his first name, second name and possibly even his third name to be sure who you mean. There is a fair chance if his name is Mohammed there are others with the same first and second name. Then you need to use his third name and possibly even his tribes name to differentiate him from the other Mohammed's.

Mohammed - my third name. This is the name of my Grandfather.

I don't use this so much in everyday life, but if my first name was Mohammed I might need to! However, I certainly know it and this is the name of my Grandfather.

Anyone only needs to know their fathers full name to know the name of their great grandfather. Most people will also know their grandfathers full name, and from that name you know your great grandfathers first name.

abu-Rabia - my tribe name. This is the sub group of a larger tribe.

This reveals the history of your tribe. Where your tribe comes from and your ancestry. Most people can talk about the relevant history of their tribe. How their tribe came to have the name they have, how they got to the place they are now living, and if there is a larger "parent" tribe when the smaller tribe became a sub tribe of the larger tribe.

Al Heuwaitat - my tribe name. This is the large "parent" tribe I belong to.

Finally this name reveals the large "parent" tribe I belong to and the history of my ancestry can be understood. The Heuwaitat can be traced back to the Prophet Mohammed and his daughter Fatima. You can read more about my tribe specifically on Bedouin Directions website HERE.

As you can see there is a lot in a name! 

Women are also given a first female name, then their second and third names are also the names of their father and grandfather. When women get married they don't change their names. All their paperwork/ ID's etc remain the same. 

Once they get married and have their first child they become known as: Um (mother) X (their first child's name). Usually if the first child is a daughter she will have her daughters name, then if she later has a son her name will change to Um (mother) of her son's name. Most people assume this is something sexist.

Perhaps it is, but in my opinion it is not sexist, the reason comes back to the fact that the girls will get married and move away (not necessarily but most likely). In the past particularly that would often involve moving far away from home during a time when travel was difficult and time consuming. The mother taking her children's name is a act of remembrance and we like to remember the present. Therefore, taking the name of your son you take the name of the person who will stay close to home, and it will most likely be his home you stay in when you are old. We see that as a beautiful thing.

Sometimes if the oldest son dies, people will switch to using the name of the second son, this is because they don't like to remind the mother of her loss. Perhaps, with girls names it is the same, because girls are destined to be "lost"....

Posted on November 3, 2017 and filed under Culture, About Wadi Rum.

Wadi Rum for Kids

Wadi Rum is a great place for kids. The desert is like a gigantic playground and will delight children of all ages (probably the adult ones too ; P). Here are some of the features found in Wadi Rum that kids will love... Plus some practical tips on how to prepare for the trip....

One thing EVERYONE should know about Arabic...

There is one thing EVERYONE should understand about Arabic and with this little bit of knowledge you have a key to understanding some of the phrases you hear in the news and other commentary about Muslims and Islam.

Before I go on I should take some time to explain that Arabic is an extremely rich language in it's expression. The language lends itself to poetry and it is no secret that Bedouin people love poetry (as do most Arabs). The depth of meaning and how words can have many layers of meaning all come back to one marvellous thing... wait for it ...

Posted on October 2, 2017 and filed under About Wadi Rum, Culture.

Monday Memories of Wadi Rum

Today I invite you to daydream for a few minutes and read about Frances's memories of her first impression of Wadi Rum: 

My eyes were still closed tight, although my ears were open and I could hear the sounds of people not too far away from me, talking. The sounds were foreign, but somehow beautiful, musical, rhythmic. The sound was Arabic being spoken, not harsh at all like you are led to believe....
Posted on August 14, 2017 and filed under Testimonials, About Wadi Rum, Culture, About our Tours.

Hedgehogs in the desert ... really?

 Taken by Bedouin Directions

Taken by Bedouin Directions

Desert Hedgehogs Rock...

Who can resist the charms of hedgehogs? Well not even Bedouin people it seems. We like them very much. Although mostly because they eat scorpions and snakes, rather than for sentimental reasons. Hedgehogs are surprisingly hardy and do very well in the desert of Wadi Rum.

They can often be seen visiting the camp by night looking for some discarded chicken bones to munch on, or for some water in the bathroom. They may even attempt to enter your tent if you have some chocolate or other goodies in your luggage. Don't worry they are not dangerous visitors : D. They can be seen all year around however, they are most active in the summer months. They will hole up in the mountains during the coldest weather and sleep. 

Look out for their telltale tracks in the sand. Four little prints usually following the same route multiple times, keeping close to the walls or mountain sides as much as possible.

They are easy to catch to get a closer look, but there is a special technique to pick them up without being spiked. If you spot one ask your guide and he can catch it for you.

Of course we always release them again quickly so they can be safely on their way.

Monday Memories of Wadi Rum

Today I would like to invite you to take a few minutes out from your work day to daydream, and read about Pat & Larry Ernst's memories of Wadi Rum:

Our journey through Jordan from Amman to Aqaba  included a 1 day 1 night guide though Wadi Rum with Bedouin Directions. Eid was our guide for the day. There were many things about our desert experience that I remember: lunch prepared in the desert, watching my husband climb the rocks up to the arch, trekking thru the narrow pass, gathering for dinner at camp with everyone sharing stories. I do wish we could have spent more time at Wadi Rum and perhaps one day we will be able to journey back.   

 

If I were to share just one moment of that trek it would be watching the evening sun set and the moon rise over the red desert. One cannot always plan the "perfect" moment but, it was as if everything was in alignment that night. Even tho the temp was cooling off, it was a magical, I could photograph the sun and the moon at the same exact time. And remind myself that I was in the desert in Jordan far far from home. Things like that are priceless, unplanned and totally spontaneous. 

 Taken by Pat Ernst

Taken by Pat Ernst

Wilfred Thesiger Quote, Arabian Sands

 Taken by Bedouin Directions

Taken by Bedouin Directions

 
‘No man can live this life and emerge unchanged. He will carry, however faint, the imprint of the desert, the brand which marks the nomad; and he will have within him the yearning to return, weak or insistent according to his nature. For this cruel land can cast a spell which no temperate clime can match’ – WILFRED THESIGER, ARABIAN SANDS
Posted on August 1, 2017 and filed under About Wadi Rum.

Monday Memories of Wadi Rum

Thank you to all the people that have already responded to my post yesterday and written to my e-mail address with your memories of Wadi Rum... keep them coming... Insha'Allah.

Today I would like to invite you to take a few minutes out from your work day to daydream, and read about Katie Al-Akras's memories of Wadi Rum 

ATTENTION: Calling our past guests - share your memories of Wadi Rum

To all our wonderful past guests, who chose us to be their guides in Wadi Rum. As a part of our new blog we would like to do a weekly post every Monday featuring a memory that a past guest has shared with us about their visit to Wadi Rum...

Submissions should be sent to wadirum.mehedi@gmail.com

Posted on July 30, 2017 and filed under About Wadi Rum, About our Tours.

Why do Bedouin use socks in the desert?

Today while checking the analytics for my website I saw that a google search had lead someone to my site (in vain) trying to find the answer to the above question.

Why do Bedouin use socks in the desert?

I feel bad! This is one question I haven't been asked before and have not previously addressed : D.

I thought I would write a quick post in the hope the person searching for the answer to this pressing question will see it, or perhaps that there are others also puzzling over the mystery of sock wearing Bedouin people...

Fun Camel Facts....

 Camels grazing in Wadi Rum, Jordan

Camels grazing in Wadi Rum, Jordan

Somethings You Might Not Know About Camels ...

Many people will see camels roaming around the desert while they are on their tours around Wadi Rum protected area. They will often then wrongly assume these camels must be wild...

However, all the camels you see roaming alone are not wild, they have an owner. Camels have a homing instinct and they will either return home to their owners tents, or the owner will regularly come, round them up and check on them. The camels also know where to find water in the desert, you will often see camels drinking at Lawrence Spring, they will have walked there themselves to have a drink.

Camels do go missing sometimes, but they can usually be found once the owner looks for them. A female might have gone off with a passing male. Or they might have seen a bigger herd passing and decided to join them. Depending on their desires in the moment...

Fact: When you see camels walking in single file, one behind the other their plan is to go a long way.

Posted on June 28, 2017 and filed under About Wadi Rum.