While some people enjoy visiting as many popular destinations as they can on a trip or checking off every “must-see” location, there is always more to see beyond the tourist sites!
Traveling Like Locals? The Accelerator Lab Jordan Did It Better - We Became the Locals! (but also the travelers...)
November 21, 2022
You should hit the streets like a local if you want to learn about a place, and that's the kind of experience we yearned for. We were interested in experiencing Madaba on a deeper level and having a taste of its cultural flair. Therefore, as a part of our experiment about tourism in Madaba, we spent two days immersing ourselves with the locals and discovering new places.
We first headed to Dhiban with Jafar Kawamleh - a local adventure guide - and visited a Roman cemetery that is currently under excavation. On top of that, we had the opportunity to enjoy the scenery at Moujib Panorama and came across a Bedouin café and a display of traditional handmade Jordanian souvenirs and jewelry!
Moreover, Madaba is known for its religious significance as many Sahaba (companions of the prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him) were buried in this governorate and it has five Christian pilgrimage sites. We visited the site where Abu Dharr Al-Ghifari was buried and then headed to meet Adel Hashem, the owner of Barta Valley Tourism Camp at Al Hidan Valley, where we enjoyed the beautiful scenery of the valley.
And of course, Madaba is the City of Mosaic, so it was no surprise to come across the King's Way displayed on the world's largest mosaic mural. Locals and visitors were a part of the creation of this masterpiece.
Furthermore, we can't deny the fact that there is something unique and special about handmade products, as locals put their passion, identity, and mark into what they create. Therefore, we decided to stop at Bani Hamida Weaving Project Centre and Gallery in Mukawir. The project was founded by women in that area to embrace their skills in handmade textiles products.
Our next destination was Mukawir Fortress, which was the site of the beheading of John the Baptist and is located on top of a mountain. We looked over the horizon, without any filter, with our bare eyes and brains open to the beauty of the scenery. It seemed like the perfect place to disconnect from mundane life and connect more with nature, and most importantly, with the history of Madaba.
We learned that cultural immersion is a unique experience that might lead to an understanding of a new place. Although you'll never know an area as much as the locals, you can start to grasp it all a little bit more through immersing. It's also an opportunity to connect with locals through genuine sentiments and shared experiences - and this is what makes it memorable.