The fascinating Jordan: one of the richest sites of the Arab culture
I believe many of those who will read this article, just like me, have never had Jordan on their traveling bucket list. There are those who recognize it as the country of the archaeological city of Petra and nothing else; Others talk about Jordan because of the Dead Sea (it can also be visited through Jerusalem in Israel, but it is not the same experience as it is on the Jordanian side). And those thinking of visiting the East are most likely to go to Dubai, Abu Dhabi or Morocco. But few go to Jordan.
Jordan is such an amazing country of an unrivaled cultural richness that moves you, especially if you are a keen and sensitive-minded observer. Most of the country follows the Islamic religion, and only 3% of its population follows Christianity. Religious customs are strict there: women wear burqas, do household chores, hardly leave their home. Those who go out, and some with whom I had the privilege of exchanging glances with, gave me the impression of a natural and genuine feeling of curiosity with a mixture of affection and respect, and I shared the same feeling. I keep these impressions so clear in my mind to this day.
There are many men in the streets and in shops, and they obey strictly the five prayers known as Salá, practiced at certain times of the day - according to where the sun is - and always turned to Mecca. These are scenes that can be seen a lot in the capital Amman, with 12 million inhabitants, a figure that until 2010 was just 5 million and suddenly grew due to the asylum of Syrian refugees. This place arouses a huge fascination about how they dress, how they behave, how they live. The population comprises Jordanians and Palestinians, since Jordan was the only Arab country to integrate 100% of the Palestinian refugees, decades ago when the Palestinian-Israeli conflicts began.
In Jordan I met some of the most wonderful people in my life; wholehearted people who “devote” themselves to others that moved me. People who are happy when you are surprised to discover different aspects of this exciting culture; happy when you love and compliment the typical food: how magnificent, tasty and varied it is!
Jordan is a country of great traditions and many surprises, where you can see the traces of some civilizations that no longer exist. It is a place where religious customs set the tone for the way society behaves, and where cooking can be easily considered one of the best in the world. Still little visited and perhaps underestimated. In your next journey, dare to meet and be enchanted by Jordan.