Posts filed under Culture

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.

A Bedouin Cautionary Tale - Treat your Camel Well

A Bedouin Story: The story begins many years ago during the time Bedouin people did not have Jeeps. If there was anywhere you wanted to go you relied on your camel, your donkey or your feet.

A young man ... decided he wanted to travel to some family members tents ... He owned one camel at the time... he had not always treated this camel well....

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?

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.

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.

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...