If you are about to embark on your journey to Jordan, have always dreamt of traveling to Jordan, or have come back from the beautiful experience, I have compiled 6 books that provide some insight and history into the magical Kingdom of Jordan. While one can easily embrace their imagination lost in the pages of these wonderful books, the best experience of course is the first hand experience in visiting yourself.
Jordan is a land of desert, mainly landlocked by Israel to the west, Syria to the north, Iraq to the Northeast, Saudi Arabia to the east, and Egypt to the south, with the exception of the southern tip with 16 miles of shoreline along the Gulf of Aqaba with access to the Red Sea. Needless to say, there is a lot going on in the Middle-East and Jordan has found itself in the center of it all, acting as a diplomat for many, a well-respected government from both the east and the west.
While mainly a desert land, one can cool off by the water at the Dead Sea or Red Sea. Camp in Wadi Rum or the dozens of other campsites around the country for a few nights, then drive an hour south to the coastal town of Aqaba, on the Red Sea for some Marine Life Excursions. Or visit the Dead Sea for luxury spa treatments from the capital of Amman, just an hour away.
For adventurers hoping to relive the Indiana Jones’ journey, the scene of Petra has enticed many to visit this UNESCO World Heritage site. Beyond Petra and Wadi Rum, there is so much more to see, do, eat, explore. If you are religious, or are curious to learn about religions including Islam, Judaism, Christianity and more, there is no better place than Jordan as history was born here. Visit the site where Jesus was baptized while witnessing just a few feet away, the country of Israel. If you are a foodie like me, embrace yourself for the best Middle-Eastern culinary excursion of your life!
6 Books to Prepare your Journey to Jordan
I traveled to Jordan in March this year, on behalf of the Jordan Tourism Board North America and found the country very safe to travel through, even as a woman. Traveling solo would be safe as well, although I highly recommend dressing conservatively as respect to their culture. Not only do they have tight security for those entering and exiting, the Jordanian Government welcomes and values tourists to their country as it is a driving force in their economy. Since 9/11, the tourism has gone down to 70% due to fear of traveling to the region and in much of the west, a serious case of “Islamophobia”.
The Jordanian people welcome you with open arms. They hope you will visit and enjoy their beautiful country, while temporarily suspending your pre-conceived beliefs of the middle-east. Immerse yourself into the culture, outside of the western media-driven hype that only focuses on the negative.
Jordanian culture is relatively more liberal (politically and religiously) than the surrounding countries and women are highly educated with more opportunities here. Wearing a hijab is optional unlike Iran or Saudi Arabia. There are more women enrolled in universities than men. They become doctors, teachers, parliament, pilots, military officers and generals. Queen Rania of Jordan is a well-respected figure and a prime example of Jordanian upbringing.
I had such a delightful time, I did not want to come home. The hospitality of the people were among the best I’ve ever experienced and I continuously feel gracious for the time I spent there with the many hosts we came across, whether a brief visit for tea, to vegetable/fruit vendors, or for overnight stays in the desert. These books are just the beginning of your journey to Jordan, but enjoy them and do make a visit soon.