Lorenzo Zelaschi

Living in Petra, living in the Stone.

Commiteeself-funded   Date: june 2019   Place: Petra, Giordania
During a trip to Jordan, carried out in May 2019, I was
looking for an original theme in which to immerse myself;
I discovered that about 15 families still live in the
caves of the archaeological site of the city of Petra.
To understand what we are talking about, it is first necessary to
understand that Petra, for the Bedouins residing in that area,
is a pole of attraction for work in tourism, and going back twenty
years, and more, the Bedouins who lived in caves were infinitely
more, as it was more comfortable. During the day they worked in
the souvenir and drink shops – or at the riding school located
at the entrance to the site – at the end of the day they returned
home to the nearby caves inside the archaeological site.
However, a few years ago the state, in order to improve the general conditions
of life, built what the locals call “Bedouin Village”, that is a small village adjacent
to the archaeological site built in reinforced concrete houses; however, since
the word “progress” is full of paradoxes, the result – in Beduoin Village – is
that sometimes modern houses are worse than caves, as modern ones do
not isolate from heat – or from cold – while the caves are, and are closer.
But the Bedouins don’t complain, and there is a lot of good energy
in Beduoin Village.The caves/dwellings are very varied, depending
on the economic well-being of the family. Some are very bare – even
if all strictly equipped with solar panels – and it can happen to find a
washing machine in a cave devoid of any kind of furniture. Others (rare)
are real houses, comfortable and endowed with charm and mystery.