After taking a photo my first morning in Petra, I did as all photographers should—I sought out the young Bedouin in the photo so to give him a copy. As a result, word spread. I took more portraits and shared them.
Petra, the crown jewel amongst Jordan’s great archeological treasures, was once the flourishing capital of the Nabateaens, a kingdom made up of great nomadic traders. They built vibrant trade routes connecting the Mediterranean and Arabian Seas, engineered water conduit systems in a desert landscape, and developed the singular rock-cut architecture that is now heralded one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Then calamity struck—an earthquake—and the Romans Empire took over. The Nabateaen kingdom faded and Petra disappeared. Rediscovered in 1812, Petra has been described by UNESCO as “one of the most precious cultural properties of man’s cultural heritage.”
There are many photos of the Siq, Monastery, and other High Places, but few of the Bedouin who make Petra possible.