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Modern Bedouin

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Modern Bedouin

A young Bedouin man dressed up in a clean black robe with a fancy white headscarf and shining black sunglasses sat down next to me as I sat in the shade of a pavilion drinking a $1.50 can of cold Sprite.
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Wade from Vagabond Journey.com
in Jordan- May, 2009
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From his demeanor and sharp dress I got the impression that he was not going to try to sell me something. He seemed far too high class to beg scraps from a mere tourists. I could tell that this man was one of the shining success stories of modern tourism. He had money.

And he had a big smile on his face.

But he was still a Bedouin, and he still rode a donkey.

“My donkey’s name is Michael Jackson,” he told me.

His donkey was pitch black, though I did not want to smash the Bedouin’s intentions by explaining to him that people in the West don’t often refer to MJ by that color.

“The donkey has internet,” the Bedouin continued.

He showed me.

Sure enough, out in the desert of Petra, the donkey had a laptop computer attached to his rump with internet access. The Bedouin laughed as he repeated, “The donkey has internet.”

At least he found it as ironic as I.

Behind the curtains of “Old Petra this and that Tourist Show,” Petra is very modern.


Old Petra sandstone caves.

Modern Bedouin

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Filed under: Culture and Society, Indigenous People, Jordan, Middle East

About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 76 countries. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to Forbes, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3048 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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