The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is one of more moderate Arab nations. Led by King Abdullah, the royal house is distinctly Western looking, and the nation is almost entirely Muslim. The crazily-shaped kingdom was created by European imperialist powers, who carved up the the old Ottoman Empire in the Middle East after World War I, to serve Western interests. I visited in 2004, entering from Elat, Israel, to al Aqabah, Jordan, by the Red Sea. In February 2004, such land crossings for U.S. citizens were possible. I had very positive interactions with nearly all Jordanians. When I told people I was an American, the universal reply was, “Welcome to Jordan.” I visited the amazing Nabatean ruins of Petra, near Wadi Musa, and the Wadi Rum, a region of rock cliff faces that rise like mighty islands in the desert. The area was the scene of Arab uprising in World War I,involving “Lawrence of Arabia” and Bedouin tribesmen. It ranks as one of the most breathtaking landscapes I have seen on the planet.

Bedouin Guides from Wadi MusaFriends for a DayWadi RumScene of the Arab UprisingSunrise on Wadi RumWadi Rum Trekking