Bedouin wedding in Jordan

The Bedouins responded to my smiles with even larger ones, so having been invited to cover not one, but two weddings in Petra starting out from the Bedouin Village, I was soon part of their day.

The weather is scorching hot, with brilliant blue skies, and cups of sweet tea are very much in order.  The men sit separately from the woman, as is usual in my experience of Muslim weddings, in black tents in the arid desert landscape, below huge rocky outcrops. The celebrations began the night before, but it takes me so long to drive down from Aman, along the Dead Sea and into the mountains to find them, following a last minute invitation to shoot these Bedouin weddings, that I only catch the tail end.

Two separate brides hold court in rooms in houses in the village, then after much dancing amongst the girls, the “thrones” are packed onto a pickup truck and everyone heads out towards the desert.  The drivers stick their feet against the door while driving to let more air in and to show off I guess.  People cling onto vehicle roofs, and hang out of windows while horns blast away almost drowning the car radios and jubilant sounds.

My host, himself was born in a cave, as he proudly proclaims, so the desert presents itself as a magnificent arena in which the rest of the day unfolds.

A water tanker has been hired to hydrate everyone, but some squabbling breaks out amongst the children, though nothing serious.  They all want to have their picture taken, and pose relentlessly!

The food is prepared in the largest of cauldrons imaginable –  rice and goat meat.  I am vegetarian, but for today I know I must accept the fare offered.  More cups of tea, and happy chatter…

Some young men show off by racing horses and donkeys across the sand, and barefoot children scale the huge rocks – showing no fear at all.

By nightfall hands are washed and we all tuck into our communal platters of goat and rice.

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