وادي رم

( Wadi Rum )

Wadi Rum (Arabic: وادي رم Wādī Ramm, also Wādī al-Ramm), known also as the Valley of the Moon (Arabic: وادي القمر Wādī al-Qamar), is a valley cut into the sandstone and granite rock in southern Jordan, near the border with Saudi Arabia and about 60 km (37 mi) to the east of the city of Aqaba. With an area of 720 km2 (280 sq mi) it is the largest wadi (river valley) in Jordan.

Several prehistoric civilizations left petroglyphs, rock inscriptions and ruins in Wadi Rum. Today it is a tourist attraction, offering guided tours, hiking and rock climbing. The Wadi Rum Protected Area has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 2011.

 Petroglyphs at Wadi Rum

Various human cultures have inhabited Wadi Rum since prehistoric times, with many cultures–including the Nabataeans–leaving their mark in the form of petroglyphs, inscriptions, and temple ruins. Currently, the majority is made up by the Zalabieh Bedouins who arrived to the region around 1980. The word "Bedouin" comes from the Arabic word for desert, pronounced badiya in the Arabic language. The root of this word is bad’a, which translates to "clear" and "obvious" in Arabic. One central characteristic for Bedouin tribes is the sense of belonging that tribe members feel.[1]

When they first arrived, the Zalabieh bedouins lived in tents. Their village held about 700-800 people. 80% of those people were either retired from the army or the police.[2]

The camel is the favorite animal of the Zalabieh bedouins. It is a symbol for male pride. Camel racing is an important sport for the Bedouins. These races allow Bedouins to engage in male competition, and establish manhood and power within the community.[3]

Wadi Rum was documented by British officer T. E. Lawrence, who passed through several times during the Arab Revolt of 1917–18.[4] In the 1980s one of the rock formations in Wadi Rum, originally known as "Jabal al-Mazmar" (The Mountain of (the) Plague), was named "The Seven Pillars of Wisdom," after Lawrence's book penned in the aftermath of the war, though the 'Seven Pillars' referred to in the book have no connection with Rum.[5]

Lawrence described his entrance into the Valley of Rumm: "The hills on the right grew taller and sharper, a fair counterpart of the other side which straightened itself to one massive rampart of redness. They drew together until only two miles divided them: and then, towering gradually till their parallel parapets must have been a thousand feet above us, ran forward in an avenue for miles. The crags were capped in nests of domes, less hotly red than the body of the hill; rather grey and shallow. They gave the finishing semblance of Byzantine architecture to this irresistible place: this processional way greater than imagination."[6]

Lawrence also described his encounter with the spring, Ain Shalaaleh, "On the rock-bulge above were clear-cut Nabathaean inscriptions, and a sunk panel incised with a monogram or symbol. Around and about were Arab scratches, including tribe-marks, some of which were witnesses of forgotten migrations: but my attention was only for the splashing of water in a crevice under the shadow of the overhanging rock. I looked in to see the spout, a little thinner than my wrist, jetting out firmly from a fissure in the roof, and falling with that clean sound into a shallow, frothing pool, behind the step which served as an entrance. Thick ferns and grasses of the finest green made it a paradise just five feet square."[6]: 355 

The discovery of the Nabataean Temple (located walking distance from the Rest House) in 1933 briefly returned the spotlight to the desert. A French team of archaeologists completed the excavations in 1997.

^ "The Social Ontology of Institutions: A Reassessment". Contemporary Readings in Law and Social Justice. 9 (1): 132. 2017. doi:10.22381/crlsj9120178. ISSN 1948-9137. ^ "The Social Ontology of Institutions: A Reassessment". Contemporary Readings in Law and Social Justice. 9 (1): 132. 2017. doi:10.22381/crlsj9120178. ISSN 1948-9137. ^ "19 Changing Sex Roles in Bedouin Society in Syria and Lebanon", Women in the Muslim World, Harvard University Press, pp. 399–415, 1978-12-31, doi:10.4159/harvard.9780674733091.c22, ISBN 9780674733091, retrieved 2022-12-03 ^ Ham, Anthony; Greenway, Paul (2003). Jordan. Lonely Planet. p. 212. ISBN 978-1-74059-165-2. Retrieved 30 May 2012. ^ The Seven Pillars? roughguides.com, accessed 19 June 2018 ^ a b Lawrence, T.E. (1935). Seven Pillars of Wisdom. Garden City: Doubleday, Doran & Company, Inc. pp. 351.
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