Studium Theologicum Salesianum
Salesian Pontifical University : Faculty of Theology - Jerusalem Campus

from Petra, back to Jerusalem (Day 4)


1 April 2016, Wadi Rum, Jordan
By Patrick Sebyera, M.Afr

After three wonderful days experiencing some of Jordan’s important sites including, Pella, Jerash, the Citadel of Amman, the Baptismal site, Kerak, Madaba, Mount Nebo, the place of the Execution of John the Baptist (Machaerus) and Petra, on the fourth day we set out on our return journey back to Jerusalem.

The last day of our study trip, we visited “Wadi Rum” in South Jordan and “Eilat” in the south of Israel. We had a tour in the desert in jeeps, each jeep carrying six people. This experience allowed us the experience of an amazing view of the desert, on a sunny and windy day. We celebrated Mass and enjoyed our lunch in the desert before proceeding to the border of Jordan and Israel, hoping, if time allowed, to pass by Eilat and visit the Aquarium. Unfortunately by the time we crossed the border, the site had closed and therefore the visit was not possible. However, we had the bonus of passing by the Red Sea, in Eilat. We stopped there for some minutes, to enjoy its terrific view.

Wadi Rum, also called Desert Valley, is located in South Jordan. It has been inhabited by many human cultures since prehistoric times, including Nabateans, leaving their mark in the form of rock paintings, graffiti, and temples. Other inscriptions were made by traders and caravans from Yemen and Arabia as they stopped in the Wadi for water. According to our guide, Mr. Mohamed, Wadi Rum is the richest place in water in Jordan. Wadi Rum may be best known for its connection with the British officer T. E. Lawrence, who passed through several times during the Arab revolt of 1917-1918. Parts of the historical movie, Lawrence of Arabia was filmed in Wadi Rum. In the 1980s one of the rock formations in Wadi Rum was named “The Seven Pillars of Wisdom” after Lawrence’s book written in the aftermath of the war. In this interesting place there are Bedouins who, working with climbers and trekkers, have made a success of developing eco-adventure tourism, now their main source of income. The area is one of Jordan’s important tourist destinations and attracts an increasing number of foreign tourists, particularly trekkers and climbers, also for camel and horse safaris. Popular activities in the desert environment, include camping under the stars, riding camels and horses, hiking and rock-climbing among the massive rock formations.

We thank God for this study trip during which everything went well. For all who collaborated to make it possible, for the knowledge we acquired during our four day trip, for the wonderful views and discoveries in different sites, and for His Divine Providence and protection throughout our stay in Jordan, may the name of the Lord be blessed forever.


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