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Festive in Jordan

Celebrating Christmas and New Year, Jordanian Style

Christmas is very visible in Amman and both Christians and Muslims enjoy celebrating the festive season. The shopping and dining complex at the Boulevard in Abdali area turns into a strip of kiosks and markets with lavish decorations and carol singers. This year The Boulevard hosts its third Christmas festivities, with groups singing traditional English carols (along with some Arabic versions), gift stalls, visits from Santa and the lighting ceremony of a 15-meter-high Christmas tree. Similar scenes are found across the country, plus Christmas Eve services in Jordan’s churches, which are some of the world’s oldest and most revered. The capital makes the perfect winter base for exploring the region. A popular day trip from Amman is to the town of Fuheis, in Balqa, 20km northwest in the Valley of Jethro (Wadi Shueib). Famous for its fresh-grown fruit and 19th-century churches, Fuheis’ history dates back to around 2000 BC. While its residents are predominantly Christians, local Muslims join them in celebrating the festive season.

A popular event is the Fuheis Christmas Festival, with a huge decorated tree as its focal point, traditionally members of Jordan’s royal family attend the tree-lighting ceremony. In 2008, HRH Queen Rania lit the tree, marking the festival’s official opening, and her sons, Crown Prince Hussein bin Abdullah and Prince Hashem did the same in 2013. Local restaurants such as Zuwwadeh enter the party spirit with short days and cold nights.

Petra winters can be taxing but there is still much of this historical gem to enjoy in winter. After a bracing walk through the mile-long Siq valley, climb to ad-Deir (the Monastery), Petra’s largest carved facade. In the evening, join as people gather for a festive cuisine course at Petra Kitchen, which runs regular cookery residential courses, where you’ll help prepare a Jordanian Christmas feast. The concept involves cooking your own dinner under supervision from the chef with her own traditional recipes. Then it’s time to feast on such winter specialties as makloubah (a dish of rice, lamb, and vegetables) and warm lentil soup enjoyed by all Jordanian families.

Every year there is a huge Christmas celebration in Madaba, 30km southwest of Amman, throughout December. It features horse-drawn carriages carrying a gift-laden Santa Claus, who hands out chocolates to children. Every weekend there is a musical extravaganza with songs from a violinist and choirs. The main pedestrian-only street that goes from St George’s Church to Madaba’s Visitor Centre becomes a bazaar selling local products.

For a uniquely Jordanian New Year’s Eve, make a late afternoon Jeep tour of the moonscape desert terrain at Wadi Rum, arriving at a remote campsite deep in the heart of the protected area. Where better to see out the old year than a Bedouin party tent with folk dancing and musicians, then learning first-hand how to make a traditional Bedouin coffee and bread. All this before a countdown and fireworks beneath a beautiful sky of stars.

Muddy Healing

What if we told you there is a product out there that can tackle acne, cellulite, hair loss, and arthritis? Wouldn’t it be at the top of your wish list? Ours too! Mud from the Dead has stood the test of tune in terms of effectiveness and is still being used for a myriad of skin illnesses, bone disorders, and exfoliation treatments. Today Due to high concentrations of magnesium, sodium, calcium, and potassium, Dead Sea mud is rich in healing properties and is perfect for those seeking natural remedies for a change.

Those suffering from psoriasis (plaques of red skin), eczema (rough and inflamed skin) and acne (we all struggle with our own version of this) can find some relief in the mud. It’s unbelievably soothing and can be applied easily all you have to do dwelt a few minutes after application and you’ll notice a difference. It’s always a good idea to do some light maintenance every few weeks. So keep the mud handy in case an emergency exfoliation is required. The best part is that Dead Sea mud works on all types of skin. From oily and dry, to a combination of both. Dead Sea mud can take you back in time given that it is the ideal natural remedy for wrinkles. So skip the hundred dollar products and let some mud save the day (and your wallet). A mud mask can minimize pores, facial lines, and even recover your face’s elasticity. Try to ignore the burning sensation, because the more the mud dries, the more toxins it kills. Take a little discomfort for a fully refreshed and clean face you’ll see a dramatic difference in the tone, texture and clarity at your skin after just one application.

Hair loss is something both men and women can relate to, whether the case is heredity stress or the wrong product. We’re all actively looking for a solution. For long-term hair care, Dead Sea mud prevents further loss by stimulating blood flow and circulation. Which brings vital nutrients and oxygen to hair follicle cells and carries away toxins to stop the fallout. Just leave the mud in your hair for 10 minutes, then rinse and apply your shampoo and conditioner.

Another pro for the Dead Sea’s miracle mud is that it can help those experiencing severe cases of cellulite. Which unfortunately is one of life’s more difficult disorders to deal with. As it does with hair follicles. Dead Sea mud contains minerals that promote blood circulation, which relaxes the nerves in the affected areas, fight those built-up fats and body fluids by massaging the mud in the problem area in order to cleanse toxins out through the pores. Say goodbye to those offending bumps and say hello to smoother more radiant skin.

Looking for arthritis pain relief?  Mud extracted from the Dead Sea can help ease the pain of knee aches and other pangs by relaxing the body’s nerves and generally stimulating the circulatory system. The therapeutic product can also treat rheumatic conditions. sports injuries, and tendonitis, so athletes can also find comfort thanks to the mud’s high concentration of minerals. It can tackle the ailing parts of your body after just one massage.

So what are you waiting for? It’s time to get muddy!

Care for Petra

Petra is the most famous archaeological site in Jordan. Its worldwide reputation is due to the funeral monuments carved into coloured sandstone cliffs by an ancient caravan people, the Nabataean.
Petra site was occupied since the prehistoric time and became during the Antiquity an important crossroad between the Arabian Peninsula, Egypt and the Mediterranean world. Nabateans elevated the place to the rank of capital around 200 BC and developed a unique funeral architecture mixing styles of diverse origins. An ingenious hydraulic system extended to the mountains and gorges surrounding the site allowed a wide urban development during the Nabatean. Roman and Byzantine times. Due to its rich historical remains as well as to its surprising geology. Petra is a unique and valuable treasure that thousands of visitors come to admire every year. It has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1985 and one of the Seven Wonders in 2007. Protecting this huge site from the impact of mass tourism doesn’t go without challenges. With time going. Experts noticed impacts induced by the continuous and increasing presence of the tourists in the archaeological park. The erosion of the fragile sandstone is accelerated under the steps of the visitors and loaded animals. The working animals are subject to overworking and the local communities incur the pernicious effects of commercial activities involving their children. It became clear that efforts must be conceded for preserving not only Petra treasuries but also the balance of the communities living from it and the welfare of the animals conveying the tourists on the site. Care for Petra is a large scale responsible tourism initiative, which results from the collaboration between governmental and non-governmental organizations and the tourism industry. The campaign has been officially launched under the patronage of His Excellency the Prime Minister of Jordan in October 2014. Recognizing that the visitor is a key partner, Care For Petra involves him in a more sustainable development of the site. This vision marks a turning point in the protection of Petra site as well as for the populations intimately linked to the site.