Breathtaking desert landscapes, a guided camel ride, and camping in this peaceful valley will be a relaxing change of pace for students participating in the Amman program. With experienced guides pointing out the important historical sites of this large expanse, students will be able to gain a first-hand perspective on how the desert impacts daily life in the Middle East.
Explore and discuss the history of the Bedouins in Jordan--especially as it pertains to their nomadic lifestyle and how this has been altered by their reassignment to government-built villages. Ample opportunity for interaction with locals will be provided, making for an enriching intercultural experience.
Observe how traditional Bedouin food is cooked (we will attend home-cooked dinner in the desert), and have the opportunity to ask the local guides questions about any aspect of this way of cooking.
Engage the camel-handlers in conversations about their lifestyle and about the importance of camels Bedouin history, commerce and culture.
Experience an evening concert of traditional local music, and use music as a conversation starter to facilitate deeper intercultural learning.
Gain familiarity with Jordan's ancient history as it pertains to the desert "highways" connecting Mecca,Jerusalem and Damascus through Petra, in the south of Jordan.
Better understand 20th century history, as well as lasting repercussions of WWI for the modern Middle East,through discussions of two key historical figures: T. E. Lawrence and King Abdullah I. These figures are discussed during a visit to the rock where their likenesses are engraved.
Be aware of the strategic importance of the large underground water reserves, Amman's number one source of potable water. Be exposed to statistics about the water resources in the region and the underground pipeline that transports water from this part of Jordan to Amman.