Since immemorial time, life continued as it always had for the desert nomads of the Wadi Rum region. Following in the footsteps of their ancestors, they practiced transhumance as a means of sustaining a viable livelihood. They roamed the desert landscape in search of natural browse and water for their large herds of goats, sheep and camels. These resources were sparse and intermittent, thereby, necessitating migratory movements over vast distances, varying seasons and extreme conditions. In the words of the Bedouin elders, “Life in the past was simple yet very hard.”
But all of this began to change during the 1950s when the lands in and around Wadi Rum began to experience drought conditions. Reduced levels of precipitation exacerbated the already fragile ecosystem of the Eastern Hisma or desert, ultimately setting into motion a dynamic chain of events that continue to affect the area and the people to this day.
The Bedouin’s transformation from nomadic to sedentary to participants in the local tourism trade highlights their intrinsic aptitude to adapt to the ever-changing wor ld around them. Known for their hospitality, they provide their guests with a unique opport unity to experience the traditions and customs of a way of life that is quickly changing. It is this mixing of the old with the new that makes the Wadi Rum Protected Area a vacation destination like no other