As a participant of a recent press trip to Jordan, I can unequivocally claim that there was never a time when I feared for my safety during the 10-day stay in the Hashemite kingdom. On the contrary, I was given the chance to experience the longstanding fact that Jordan is irrefutably one of the most peaceful countries in the Middle East.
For my own personal experiment, I took it upon myself to put this to test by ditching my hiking “partners” during a four-hour hike in Wadi Dana. Instead of hiking, I mostly ran through the trail because of a very clear objective: to come in contact with local people and see how they would react. As a result, I had a few cases when I encountered Bedouin people, and their reaction was always the same–smiling faces that showed their unquestionable curiosity to find out who I was. I was offered tea and a ride along the way, but done so in a way that was non-intrusive. They respected my space as much as I respected theirs.
Based on my most recent trip, Jordan is safe. But, my personal account should not be regarded as the country’s official statement. This is a duty for a person of authority to make such a statement. In Jordan’s travel and tourism industry, there is no better person who is qualified to make such a statement than the country’s tourism minister herself, Haifa Abu Ghazaleh.
In the below video shot on April 3, 2011 at the Movenpick Hotel in the Dead Sea, Jordan’s tourism minister tackles issues that are significant for tourists and for the world to know. The footage was recorded on a device that was intended to aid in transcribing the interview, hence the shoddiness in some parts. However, due to the nature of the video’s content, eTN has decided to release it to the public.