Shotgun Wedding

M-16 actually but shotgun sounds better. When Suleiman invited us to his wedding in Wadi Rum, we knew we couldn’t pass up the opportunity. After telling some of my colleagues in Amman that I had been invited to a Bedouin Wedding, their reactions told me how special it was: my boss said “Jonathan how is it that in 25 years I’ve never once been invited to this type of wedding and you’re here for a few months and… ??” I had little idea of what to expect other than lots of sugary tea, chain smoking, and guns. We were not disappointed on any count.

We headed down to Aqaba to stay with Katrina and get our crew of ajnabis together. All together we were five: Paco, Alcira, Katrina, Victoria, and I. The following morning we piled into the Sunny and headed for Wadi Rum. Paco and I considered trying to find dishdash (Arabic robes) and keffiyeh (traditional headdress) but opted out as we didn’t want to show up looking too ridiculous, offend anyone, or shell out the money to buy them. The girls however came prepared. Katrina secured three traditional Egyptian dresses for them to wear. 

When they got ready and we were about to head to Wadi Rum Paco said “You guys look you’re ready for the circus.”

We showed up to Rum Village around 1pm and were picked up in the parking lot by one of Suleiman’s buddies. He drove us a short distance in the sand to a group of long L shaped open goat blanket tents. There we met our friend and the groom of the day.

The Groom

Continue reading


Rum Diary

When I accepted this post last July and knew I would be moving to Jordan, the first place that came to mind was Wadi Rum. My Dad’s all time favorite movie is Lawrence of Arabia and I think I was about seven when I watched my first installment of the four hour marathon. Anthony Quinn, in his gruff voice, barks something like “Welcome to Wadi Rum” and that really dramatic music comes on as the camera opens onto the valley. Though I probably fell asleep a half hour into the movie, even then I remember thinking how incredible the desert looked. Recently I spent a weekend in Wadi Rum and got my first real taste of the place.

Rakabat Canyon on the Eastern side of Jebel Um Ushrin

I would like to say I’ve always had a love for the desert but in truth it was Edward Abbey that moved me in that direction. After reading Desert Solitaire a few years ago, I have thought about planning a trip to the red rock of Southern Utah almost constantly. As of yet I have not made it but  Wadi Rum had a similar appeal.
View from Camp facing Jebel Khazali