While enjoying the effortlessly beautiful views in South Africa, we got an email from the Jordan Tourism Board inviting us and a bunch of other bloggers for a trip to promote Jordan’s tourism. We were thoroughly skeptical about this; after all, Israel and Syria are the neighboring countries and if you follow the news and read the newspapers, you will never get enough confidence to venture into this country.
My impressions about Jordan as a regular Middle – Eastern country got pushed away completely as I was learning surprising new facts everyday during my stay here.
Discussing religion is RUDE!
For a country in a region witnessing high political instability, Jordan is a refreshing break. Our guide, Walid, tried to answer all our inappropriate questions about religion and politics as subtlety as possible and with a certain degree of constraint.
He explained to us that people treat each other as humans and Christianity, even though a minority, is extremely well accepted. Walid’s own brother is married to a Christian woman and they are all quite well – versed with the Bible as well!
Having been brought up in Saudi where religion is strictly enforced and after seeing a milder version of it in the other countries, it was only natural to accept Jordan along the similar lines. What I saw and heard from the local people about their country was honestly very heartening.
Jordan is extremely SAFE:
Surprisingly, I found Jordan safer than South Africa! I learnt the crime rate here is only 72 amongst 10,000 people and some of the crimes even include petty ones like not paying rent on time! I saw women walking around in regular clothes in the middle of the night and enjoying their time out in the European like streets with sheesha.
They have accepted almost over 4 million refugees from neighboring countries and each of these people are well settled in Jordan and are taken care off. Inspite of the large number of people walking into the country every year, Jordan has still managed to keep the streets safe for the locals and the visitors alike.
Jordan has an extremely rich history:
Yes, I knew about Petra and the other historical sites like Jerash but with every explanation that I heard in each of these sites, I was taken aback by the number of times Jordan was mentioned in the Bible! In both the New and the Old Testaments, Jordan played an extremely important role starting from the time of Moses feeding the people of Egypt using the water spring, to Jesus being baptized in this country.
The country has kept most of these ruins alive and the majority of the tourists come in here to visit these sites. As I walked through each of these sites, especially Petra, it was just extremely hard for me to digest the fact that these ruins were atleast 2000 years old! Walid’s detailed and beautiful explanation of the entire history of Jordan helped us understand the history and importance of each place.
People are just wonderful:
This is my first country with the maximum number of local interactions with the people. Starting from talking to a shopkeeper to a mule owner in Petra, I found them extremely easy to talk to and warmed up to them quickly.
People have a great sense of humor. They love their simple life and good food. They enjoy socializing and having a 2-3 hour dinner with their coffee. They accept tourists and travelers into their home and are always ready to point out the right direction and help.
Jordan has been in our bucket list for too long and it does feel great to cross it off !