Reading list inspiration for travel
Books & eBooks
- A Guide to PetraView on ApproachGuides.com* Petra’s temples and tombs — carved into the sandstone cliffs of Jordan’s Negev desert — are a sight to be seen. Our guidebook walks readers through the top sights of this incredible place.
- A Peace to End All PeaceView on Amazon The definitive book on the subject, it tells the fascinating story of the fall of the Ottoman Empire and the creation of the modern Middle East. By David Fromkin.
- Arabian SandsView on Amazon Having spent five years exploring and wandering the deserts of Arabia, the British author (1910-2003) provides deep insights into the nomadic bedouins. By Wilfred Thesiger.
- Bedouin: Nomads of the DesertView on Amazon Invaluable insight into the nomadic people of the desert. By Alan Keohane.
- Jordan: A Hashemite LegacyView on Amazon Intended for both academic and general readers, the authors offer an overview of the history, politics and economics of this fascinating country and its role in a region disfigured by the Arab-Israeli conflict. By Beverley Milton-Edwards and Peter Hinchcliffe.
- Qusayr ‘Amra: Art and the Umayyad Elite in Late Antique SyriaView on Amazon A Cambridge professor looks at the 8th century Umayyad period hunting lodge, which holds the premier secular, figurative Islamic frescoes in the world. It is a rewarding daytrip from Amman. By Garth Fowden.
- Seven Pillars of WisdomView on Amazon. A classic. The riveting autobiographical account of the experiences of British soldier T. E. Lawrence, while serving as a liaison officer with rebel forces during the Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Turks of 1916 to 1918.
- Tales of the Marvellous and News of the StrangeView on Amazon Dating from at least a millennium ago, these are the earliest-known Arabic short stories. Resembling those in The Arabian Nights, these charming, surreal, baffling and beautiful tales are indeed both marvelous and strange. Illustrated by Coralie Bickford-Smith; translated by Malcolm C. Lyons.
- Treks and Climbs in Wadi RumView on Amazon The desert is a big place and this guidebook helps you target areas of interest rather than just delegating to a bedouin guide. By Di Taylor and Tony Howard.
Articles & Academic Papers
- “A New Form of Evidence to Date the Madaba Map Mosaic”View on academia.edu A good background on this mosaic map of the Holy Land. By Andrew M Madden.
- “Ancient Roads in the Madaba Plains of Transjordan”View on arizona.openrepository.com As part of her dissertation, the author argues that the milestones, curbstones, and stone roadbeds that appear as discontinuous fragments in the Transjordanian landscape are parts of a major Roman highway, built by the emperor Trajan in 111-114 CE and known today as the via Traiana nova ("Trajan's new road"). By Karen A Borstad.
- “City of the Lost”View on NewYorker.com A profile of Za'atari, Jordan's refugee city. By David Remnick.
- “Islamic Calligraphy”View on MetMuseum.org An excellent, highly visual review of the subject by the renowned Harvard professor. By Annemarie Schimmel.
- “Jordan’s Quiet Emergency”View on TheAtlantic.com How much longer can the kingdom support a million refugees? By Alice Su.
- “Mixing Times for the Dead Sea”View on Lund University Publications' website A technical article, it provides valuable background information on the Dead Sea, its chemistry (esp. salinity) and water levels. By Raed AI Bashitialshaaera, Kenneth M Perssonab and Magnus Larsona.
- “Representations of Jerusalem in Christian-European Maps”View on The Hebrew University of Jerusalem website A look at early maps of Jerusalem, including the Madaba map. By Tsafra Siew.
- “The Human Figure in Early Islamic Art”View on Archnet.org The author explores the development of the human figure in the arts of Islam from its very beginning in Syria and Egypt to about the sixteenth century in Iran and Central Asia. Valuable if you are going to visit Qusayr Amra. By Eva Baer.
Online Sources & Blogs
- Google Street View | PetraVisit www.google.com An excellent high-level tour of the ancient site.
- Islamic Prayer TimesVisit Islamicfinder.org Get up-to-date times for the five-daily prayer sessions.
- Jordanian CuisineVisit UncorneredMarket.com A good review of the country's distinctive cuisine.
- Quran TranslationVisit Quran.com Offers English translations of all the chapters in the Quran. Invaluable for understanding the meaning behind the Arabic inscriptions you will encounter throughout your trip.
- Travelers’ Health | JordanVisit CDC.gov Get the Centers for Disease Control’s recommendations for vaccines and medicines.
- World Bank | JordanVisit worldbank.org A great resource for the country's quality of living indicators, economy and climate change data.
- The Bedouin | World Routes in JordanListen on bbc.co.uk Moshe Morad goes deep into the southern desert, spending time with two Bedouin brothers, Hisham and Hashim, to find out what it means to be a Bedouin and learn about their traditional music.
- The Entrepreneurial Revolution Remaking the Middle EastListen on smartpeoplepodcast.com Author-entrepreneur Christopher Schroeder discusses his book on how the Middle East is taking advantage of technology to build successful startups.
Just for Kids
- My First RamadanView on Amazon This engaging story follows a boy as he learns about Ramadan. By Karen Katz.
- The Archaeology BookView on Amazon Learn both the techniques of the archaeologist and the accounts of some of the richest discoveries of the Middle East. By David Down.
- Wonders of the WorldView on Amazon Highlighting the seven wonders of the world this book showcases these architectural feats and the marvels of engineering behind these timeless treasures.
Who to Follow
- Twitter: Jordan Tourism BoardFollow @VisitJordan Your source for all things #Jordan - this is the official Twitter account of the Jordan Tourism Board.
- Twitter: Mishelle ShmulovichFollow @MShmulovich Amman-based freelance journalist, storyteller, photography enthusiast. Tell me your tales.
- Twitter: Sara WilliamsFollow @saraewilliams Journalist. @thetimes Jordan correspondent | @middleeasteye contributor. Focus on Southern Syria, Jordan, Northern Iraq, Lebanon.
- Twitter: The Jordan TimesFollow @jordantimes Your local newspaper from Jordan.