Lonely Jordan

When you visit a country located between the Syrian civil war, the ongoing conflict in Israel and the crisis-ridden Iraq, the questions are inevitable: Isn’t it dangerous, how is it in terms of security and are you harassed? For those people who are considering to visit the country must be said, Jordan is a highly cultured country with well educated, English speaking people. There is no formal security risk and they are less problems than in London or Paris. The only real challenge is, to start the trip without preconceived opinion, which is anyway pulverize in the country after a short time.

In Jordan, you will quickly realizes that power is getting a new dimension: power over oil, power over water, power over the military and with it, the unlimited opportunity to assert also non-legal claims. Jordan is a good example of how innocent people suffer from the proxy wars of the here ruling forces like, Saudi Arabia, the US, Iran or Israel. Even plain numbers about Jordan make the pictures spinning like a head carousel and create an inevitably amazement. The local situation of the Jordanians release a mixture of humility and anger about the naivety of central European perspectives.

The population of Jordan has multiplied from around 500,000 inhabitants in 1950 to 9 millions today and consists largely of refugees from Palestine and Syria. In addition, there are more than 2 million refugees from the current war zones such as Syria or Iraq. On the other hand, just 5 percent of Jordan’s area can be used for agriculture and the only usable resource is phosphate. Jordan is considered a water-scarce country with the availability of approx. 120 qm3 of water per person and year (FAO < 1000 qm3= arid) and had many disputes with Israel (= more power) about the water use of the Jordan for years. 

Despite everything, it is impressive to see what people do with nearly nothing in hand. If you hasn’t had a taste till yet, you will love products such as hummus, coffee or Jordanian dates (top). The openness towards strangers with a surprising willingness to talk, is extremely positive and personable. Although tourism is still low (unfortunately Petra is an exception), you are moving historically in places, that can be compared socially and culturally with the Roman Empire. Furthermore, it is of course the unique landscapes around Wadi Rum or the Dead Sea that characterize the country and create this unique magic of quiet moments.

In 2019, Jordan is ranked on place 6th of the TOP travel destinations in the world.