Where time slows down
Jordanians are not very spoiled by the attention of Western tourists, and therefore here you can still meet the Arabic hospitality and goodwill in pure form, without rear thoughts, without finding the benefits. If you are told: "welcome", That will probably not tell the next second: "Buy Papyrus!", As, for example, in Egypt, where the drawing of money from foreigners has developed in the national passion over the past hundred years. Not heard screams: "Baksheesh!", As soon as you pull out the camera. If Jordan does not want to be photographed, he will say it straight, and no handover will change. And when we were going to shoot a movie about the Bedouins of Southern Jordan, many experts said that they do not complain strangers and not like to shoot. Some even offered to bet that Bedouin women will not be in the film. We tried to disputes not to join and secretly pinned hopes on two amazing women who had to open our doors to the world of Bedouins.
Eleonora and Isline
These women are American doctor Eleanor Solter and Australian Nurse Aille Colman. Forty years ago, they arrived in Jordan to treat Bedouins from tuberculosis, very common here. They created a small clinic in the south of the country and traveled throughout Jordan, saving people. Later, they were able to open the hospital in Aqaba, but they themselves were left to live in their clinic, high on the mountain, from where the breathtaking view of Moses Valley opens – Wadi Musa, and even Israel is visible in clear days. Eleanor eighty years old, Isline – sixty-eight, but despite this, they are still regularly sitting in a white jeep and go to the desert, inspect their patients. They know everything – from a simple nomad to members of the royal family. And everywhere take as relatives.
At home, Eleanora and Isline we found a guest of eighteen months from the family, in a pink overalls and with a constant expression of happiness on the face. Crazy Amal and her twin sister were born in the desert, but Amal was too weak to move the winter. In such cases, Bedouin mothers have no choice as to give all the power to raise a healthy child; The weak is doomed. Such fate was waiting for both Amal, if not missionary who took her to themselves. For a while.
The next day was supposed to be a significant for Amal – she returned home. But her house first had to find. After long searches we found a newly left parking lot.
– Everything is in order, "Aylin reassured us, – they could not go far.
And indeed, after another ten minutes, we saw a tent, broken at the foot of the Rocks of Red Sandstone. Crowd a crowd of boys – the Amal brothers fled. In the hands of one of them, Ibrahim, was her chumazay copy – twin sister. Entrance of the family did not have a limit, we were invited to "House of Volos" – Tent, tightly woven from goat wool. The tent is overplicated by trunks for three parts: for sheep, women and men. In the female part there was already a bonfire: prepared "Mensensef" – Traditional dinner nomads – rice with spices and goat or sheep meat.
Eleanor to instruct us, unusual: lunch may not look very appetizing, but there is always necessary – otherwise the owners will be offended. We, however, did not have to persuade for a long time: if it were not for the crunch of sand on the teeth and the goat skull not sticking out of the middle of the middle dishes with the remnants of wool, I would even have turned on their tent to the guide to the section "Recommended restaurants". The owners were very surprised, having learned that we never tried Mensen. The conversation went about the hospitality of Bedouins; By tradition, traders can find a refuge in any family, they will be given all the best and for three days no one will ask a single question.
After lunch, everyone engaged in their affairs. The mother of the family, Noura, fed the next baby, other women saw sheep and goats, and I tried in vain to return my sunglasses, which Ibrahim asked for a minute, just try. After a long dispute, I waved my hand, and Ibrahim became their owner.
This is how civilization comes on trifles. Nomadic tribes lived in these places by millennia. Every year they pass hundreds of kilometers in search of new pastures for livestock, but many now prefer to carry their tents on trucks, and not to appear on camels. Camels – the subject of the pride of Bedouins – of course, in the family remain. More and more people are settled in cities and towns: there is at least a paramedic, and children need to teach. Now in Jordan there are about forty thousand Bedouins, and they are becoming less.
– It’s a pity, "says Isline," but after a couple of generations of real Bedouins will not be easy to find. Very sorry.
Wadi Room – Moon Valley
Wadi Room – one of the most visited tourists of Jordan’s valleys. However, a few spend here more than one day – there are no hotels in the project, and you will pay a lot of money per night in a blown tent, and even in January, not everyone will want. Most limited to a three-hour trip along the valley on camels, donkeys or doppoplated jeeps – there is no big difference between them, shakes the same. Three o’clock is enough to join the story, – it is in these places an English officer Thomas Edward Lawrence collected the tribes of Bedouins to fight the Turks, here are standing "Seven pillars of wisdom" – Red rock, giving the name of his famous book, ruins of his houses. It was here in 1969 filmed a movie "Lawrence Arabian", who became the classics of world cinema.
Actually, Rum – the village of one and a half streets and the old fortress – is at the entrance to the Valley. In the fortress the detachment of the Beduen police is housed, for which we arrived in Rum. The preliminary negotiations on the shooting of their work were conducted by weeks, and in the end of the Amman himself was sent a police captain for coordination, so we and I went to the police station with a light heart. But we were stopped by Mohammed, our guide.
– Wait until it happens, – he said.
The end of January – the height of Ramadan, when Muslims cannot eat until the sunset, and a hungry policeman – a non-political policeman. Mohammed was right.
After a couple of hours, when we came to the fortress, the whole detachment was in a blessing afternoon of the Spirit. We were satisfied with the fire, they gave out a sweet tea in a cup, and an important colonel read us a brief lecture on the history and objectives of the Beduen police. The challenge, in fact, she has one to catch smugglers carrying in the desert from Saudi Arabia drugs, sheep and even refrigerators. Make a film about the hunt for smugglers in the desert was very tempting. But unexpectedly, our desire stumbled upon an overwhelming obstacle: the colonel argued that now for smuggling – not the season, violators can be waiting for weeks, and they catch them at night that for video shooting is not the most convenient time.
We are naught, but not in vain go legends about the hospitality of Bedouins! Not wanting to upset guests from a distant country (and perhaps not to be patronized to the capital captain from the ministry), Colonel proposed. Hire a smuggler for a day and catch it for all the rules in front of the TV game. We looked at: it was not quite according to the laws of television. I confess: sometimes you have to adjust something, but not until the same extent! But the colonel already caught fire. We did not have other chances. On this and broke up.
The next morning we were presented "smuggling". Abu Hussein, the Sukhon’s low Bedouin of Soroka, nomaded in the desert all his life, but a year ago I decided to settle in the village – Times change, the children should go to school. Seced life has not changed him – the stone houses does not recognize, lives in her tent and still holds sheep and camels. For filming, he chose his beloved camel by name.
– And he runs fast? – I asked I.
– Will fly faster than zipper, – assured Abu Hussein, with dignity by taking a fee.
We downloaded the equipment to a police jeep and accompanied by officers dressed at full police-Beduen form – Dolghanti-Dishdash protective color, dagger on the belt, arab handkerchief on the head and rifle, – went to the valley. For us, the caravan camels stretched: Abu Hussein on zippers and other participants.
As soon as the camera was installed and the colonel gave a signal to the beginning, the events came out from under our control. A strange feeling – as if I got into Arab Western (rather, Easter), if such a cytoman existed.
After the signal of the colonel, everything was amended, and a minute later, a camel was shown in the gorge, driven by Abu Hussein. On both sides of the camel, the bags with "smuggling", and it seems he barely woves under their weight. But he leaves the gorge, and two hiking policemen are rushed to him from the ambush, shouting and Pala in the air from guns. Zipper, apparently, did not expect such a reception and went into a gallop. Two policemen on camels – behind him. Abu Hussein was right – his favorite was taken over the guards of the border, and we sincerely thought – it will take! But we underestimated the colonel – the next moment, because of the nearest hill there were three jeeps with machine guns installed on the roof, "criminal" was detained and connected, "smuggling" – confiscated, and the whole procession went back to the village. Our admiration was not the limit. Colonel glowed from pride – his people worked perfectly.
On this surprises did not end. In the fortress for us was prepared review of troops. Camels in combat couliaments were sat in a row, and near each of them the chest had a police drive officer. The climax of the day was to be our walk riding. I doubted: to be honest, I am with caution I treat all animals, even much less exotic. But Mohammed, the wise guide, made it clear that the hosts could not be offended, and he often falls the opportunity to ride at the police camel? Mohammed was right.
Peter – Red Rock
Another night in the tents threatened to us either by inflammation of the lungs or ruin, and we decided not to risk and at the same evening go further – in Peter.
Probably, already hundreds of travelers, researchers and writers tried to convey the uniqueness of Peters in their own way. She was called the city in red, like a rose, and ancient, as time, the city of the dead, the pink city of the desert; It was said that the multicolored stone of her buildings is akin to Rainbow, but perhaps no one will be able to explain that forces each who came here to stop in awe at the sight of majestic temples carved in red rocks.
In 1812, the Swiss traveler Burkhardt first of Europeans visited Peter. He heard legends about the mysterious city, lost in the mountains, and during his expedition on the Arabian desert gave himself for Muslim, who wanted to bring the victim on the grave of the Prophet Aaron, buried there. At the end of a narrow and winding gorge of Sik, the legendary capital of the Nabatie tribes, the rules of Southern Jordan, were found in the VII century to the Nativity of Christ.
About Nabateev a little known: they were nomads and assured in Peter solely because of its geographical position. Through the Petra Valley, the most important caravanways connecting China, India and Arabia with Egypt and Mediterranean were held, water was plentiful, and impassable rocks defended the city from enemies raids. To the i century of our era, the richness of Peters opened envy of Rome, and the Nabatoy kingdom became part of the Roman Empire. Romans brought architectural innovations, but not prosperity: the caravans went throughout the way, and Peter began to lose their influence.
Later, in the VI century, Peter became part of the Christian Byzantium, but because of frequent earthquakes, people began to leave the city. The last buildings belong to the XII century, by the time of crusades, but in the future only local Bedouins lived in numerous caves, temples and mausoleums from rose stone. The rest of the world about Peter forgot.
Now you do not need to repeat the tricks of Burkhardt to get to Peter, is enough to go beyond any tourist bus. In 1984, the Jordanian authorities evicted lives living in the caves, and Peter became the main attraction of the country. Normalization of relations with Israel opened the road to Peter for tourists from all over the world treated on the Israeli coast of the Dead Sea and vacationers in Eilate, – three years ago, the Israeli visa closed the road to Jordan.
Eviated Bedouins are also no offense. They quickly cut down that tourists can bring no less than the goats, and forced "Legend of Rose Stone" His trays with souvenirs. Carpets, knives, postcards "Hello from Petr", Decorations, Clothes, Bottles with Color Sand, "Real Beduinsky" Tea from wild sage, rides on donkeys and camels – in a word, the entire chest Arabian exotic is in abundance. There is even a live camel, drinking Coca-Coke straight from the bottle.
– He can also smoke, – the owner boasted. – But not in Ramadan.
Sellers praise their goods in all languages.
– These decorations are real? – I asked the seller of vintage silver.
– Yes No, fake, of course, he answered in English with the purest Birmingham accent and smiled broadly, satisfied with the effect.
I told Mudrome Guid Mohammed about the meeting with "Birmingem", And he was not surprised at all.
– Tourists learned, – he explained to me. – There is another guy, so he learned English by the BBC transmissions. Listen to him – a clean announcer, but sometimes suddenly begins to hiss and crumple – interference, probably.
Someone else I would not believe, but not always right Mohammed. He knows everything at least in his country. And not only. Seventeen years he was nomaded in the desert with his family, then decided to try his happiness in America. Lived there for several years, married, but the life in someone else was not asked, and he decided to return to his homeland. Here he became a first-class guide and can spend you in the desert from Amman to Aqaba, but Peter remains his favorite place.
– You come here, – says Mohammed, – and time slows down.
We stood high on the mountain, tourists, vendors and camels seemed small and insignificant in comparison with red cliffs.