March 2016—Mohammad Khalid Al-Sa’idiyyin, an experienced Jordanian trail guide who has worked informally in the tourism sector for years, is one of two site stewards at Bi’r Mathkour working to educate others about the community’s local relics.
Household cultivation holds a place at the very heart of Jordanian customs and traditions. Visit your everyday Jordanian homestead and chances are you will come across the family olive tree, garden or orchard.
"Our dreams are very simple. To have a decent living that would allow us to be sufficient and not put out a hand to beg. We want people to look at us as humans, because we’re just like them."
Assem Abdallah, 20, is much like the typical university student in the United States—bright, eager to learn. He was forced to flee his home in Idlib three years ago because of the conflict that has torn his country apart.
The town of Al-Mafraq—"the crossroads" in Arabic—was a major intersection of civilizations throughout history. Today, with the conflict in Syria only 10 kilometers away, the town is at a new “crossroad” as it has received a large influx of Syrians fleeing violence. During the two years since the conflict began, Jordan opened its border to more than 540,000 Syrians—housing the majority in local communities rather than refugee camps—straining Jordan’s already limited natural and financial resources.
Last updated: January 17, 2017