Hello, my dear readers! مرحبا! How are you doing? Myself, I’m still trying to figure out who I am, and where I am heading. It has been long since I started looking for answers, but since these questions are difficult to answer, I’m not getting worried. One of the things I’m sure of, though, is that I want to visit Petra one day. You may ask: what is Petra? Well, it’s one of the most beautiful places in the world, and it’s located in Jordania. What is so special about it? It was carved in rocks!
Remains of Petra are evidence of the past greatness of Nabataeans. They were Arabic people, who inhabited Northern Arabia, and as much as we don’t know much about them it is assumed that their empire was truly big, and they were a force to be reckoned with. The interesting thing is that probably they were very few illiterate people in their kingdom, yet there are no written records of Nabateans’ life as if they refused to write anything down for future generations. They faded away as mysteriously, as they appeared, and left us with very little, aside from stunning Petra. In 106, The Romans claimed the Nabataean kingdom and renamed it, Arabia Petrea, what means “Stone Arabia”. Along with Arabia Felix and Arabia Deserta, it was what we basically call the Arabian Peninsula now.
Moreover, Petra – as a capital of Nabataean’ empire – was a thriving city of wonders, the innovative heart of a great kingdom, which ruled lands from modern-day Israel and Jordan into the northern Arabian Peninsula. Some historians claim that one day everyone left it swiftly, for an unknown reason, so it became a ghost town, just like Machu Picchu. For sure, Petra has some secrets to reveal, as about 85% of the city still remains underground – untouched and undiscovered. Since 2007, it’s one of the new seven wonders of the world.
Now you might think… “Wait, I have never been there, but I saw it somewhere!”. You’re not crazy: you have probably seen the Hollywood blockbuster “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusadewere”. Some of the scenes were filmed in marvelous Petra. Still, the world is yet to fall in love with Petra, but that’s okay since less crowded places are better to visit. More than 500 thousand tourists per year still support Jordan’s economy quite well.
To sum up, Petra is one of these places, which will forever be on the top of my to-visit list, no matter how much I and my preferences change, and I believe it could fit your list as well. Possibly.
As I enjoy ending my posts with poems, I would love to do it now. Ladies and gentlemen, I have a pleasure to introduce you a poem by Wisława Szymborska – a brilliant Polish poet, and the Nobel Prize Laureate.
Nothing can ever happen twice.
In consequence, the sorry fact is
that we arrive here improvised
and leave without the chance to practice.
Even if there is no one dumber,
if you’re the planet’s biggest dunce,
you can’t repeat the class in summer:
this course is only offered once.
No day copies yesterday,
no two nights will teach what bliss is
in precisely the same way,
with precisely the same kisses.
One day, perhaps some idle tongue
mentions your name by accident:
I feel as if a rose were flung
into the room, all hue and scent.
The next day, though you’re here with me,
I can’t help looking at the clock:
A rose? A rose? What could that be?
Is it a flower or a rock?
Why do we treat the fleeting day
with so much needless fear and sorrow?
It’s in its nature not to stay:
Today is always gone tomorrow.
With smiles and kisses, we prefer
to seek accord beneath our star,
although we’re different (we concur)
just as two drops of water are.
Translated by Clare Cavanagh and Stanislaw Baranczak
That is all for today. Thank you for sticking with me!
Have you ever been in Petra or Jordan in general? Are you interested in visiting the Middle East? What are your dream places to visit? Let me know in comments, please!
Have a lovely day,