Why be afraid of the Middle East?

 

A boundless abundance of sandstone towers over the arid valley of Wadi Musa, intricately eroding, like a vast painting planned 2000 years previously. Even the blistering sun cannot kiss each inch of the land. Walls 200m high permanently hide the Siq in the shadows, creating long canyon passes which breach into the heart of the mountain itself. Utter silence, except the echoing clicks of the mules hooves; utterly breathtaking.

If you’ve been lucky enough to visit the city first hand, you’ll know all too well the feeling of transportation. Losing all sight, with only the weight of your iPhone to bring you back to the 21st century. In order to absorb yourself in all that the city has to offer it can take up to 4 or 5 days, which is why most people stick to the main sights of the High Places of Sacrifice, the Siq’s, Al-Deir (monastery) and The Treasury. With every inch covered in the skilled archaeology and carvings of the Nabataeans. So many have stood in sheer speechlessness and marvelled at the site, somehow still preserved in its beauty after all this time.

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Worryingly, though, within the past few years tourism to the sacred site has dramatically dwindled. Once bringing in over 3000 culture thirsty tourists a day, the average has now dropped to around 300. Jordan shares its borders with the world’s most disruptive neighbours with Syria, Israel and Iraq all bordering the peaceful country. Due to the fear-mongering media, families have been choosing to take their children to visit Disney princesses instead of showing them the true history of royals whom helped build an empire.

 

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Okay so I’ll be the first to admit that choosing Jordan over Disneyland for a chid friendly getaway probably isn’t the best move. Any parent will know its hard enough dragging a child around a museum, let alone culturally diverse ruins. Blistering heat and boring history do not traditionally make for happy kids. However, you have no need to be listening to the fear-mongering media regarding the middle east. Theres no escaping Jordan’s neighboring countries but unless your planing to venture further north and take a stroll through the Syrian deserts there’s really no need to worry.

In this day and age we can’t hide from the threats in the world, but I think it’s especially important that we don’t let fear get in the way of our lives. Anything could happen to us at anytime: From the attacks in Paris, to attempts closer to home in London. If you stopped and thought about it too much you wouldn’t leave the house. So don’t be afraid, you’ll miss out on the adventure of a lifetime.

– Millie Davy-McVay

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