Bedouin of Wadi Rum


Virtually all the people living in and around Wadi Rum are of Bedouin origin and, until quite recently, led nomadic lives, relying on their goat herds. Most villagers belong to one of seven tribal groups that dominate the area. Since Rum village is the only village inside the protected area, the Bedouin there are responsible for tourism services and operate many of the jeep and camel tours. These services are organized through the Rum Tourism Cooperative, a locally run society that shares the tourism business between the villagers. Even though most local Bedouin have become villagers, they still maintain goat herds for milk, meat and 'jameed', a type of yoghurt. For parts of the year, some families or family members return to a wandering existence with their flocks. Few, however, are able to continue a truly nomadic existence today and the traditional Bedouin lifestyle is fast disappearing.