Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Bedouin Tents and Trucks

I found Bedouin tents to be quite fascinating. Up close, the fabric looks much like a high-quality extra-thick burlap, often woven with stripes. Made of goat hair, they provide great protection against blowing sand, wind and rain. Some Bedouins are still nomadic, moving as often as every week or sometimes staying a year or more. This Bedouin lady gave our driver directions back to the highway:

These photos were all taken from a moving car and are in wide-angle mode. Click on the photo for a larger view of these tents.

Note the satellite dish under the tree:

Many Bedouins now drive trucks instead of camels or horses. I love the cheerful designs on Bedouin trucks:

This one didn't have such fancy designs but did have lots of eggplant:

Our driver and guide told us that today some of the wealthiest families in Jordan are Bedouin, that they own quite a bit of land. Most of these photos of Bedouin tents and trucks are from the fertile, wetter, agricultural area northwest of Amman where you see greenhouses for many, many miles in every direction. I guess quite a few Bedouins have given up their nomadic wanderings. A man joined us when we were at the ampitheater in Amman, enthusiastically telling us all about the site's history. As we left, we shook his hand and when we offered him a tip, he refused, saying proudly, "I am Bedouin!" We didn't know and didn't mean to offend; evidently the Bedouins have an honor code that includes a certain spirit of generosity.

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