Jordan | A Culture at Risk

role: Founder and Project Director

 

“How do you capture the entire character of a culture that has no written record, has lived for centuries in relative isolation and exists in complete harmony with one of the world’s most extreme environments?” The Bedouin Heritage Foundation

Bedouin reside in every principal country in the region.

Unlike most indigenous tribes who eventually get displaced by immigrants, the Bedouin represent the common heritage of the Arab people. By understanding their history and culture, we can better understand the middle east, overall. The knowledge, wisdom and history that is at risk forms the historical foundation of all Arab people’s.

The Bedu have maintained a quasi nomadic quasi sedentary existence for centuries living in equilibrium with their surroundings, integrating into their host countries while never losing their own identity.

By safeguarding their traditions and unique knowledge, we can provide valuable insight for a world trapped by unsustainable development and globalization.

Most importantly, Bedu throughout the Middle East face the loss of their intangible cultural heritage due to political forces, modernization, mass tourism, displacement, war, and generational changes. By working with the Bedu to value and protect this culture, we can ensure that bedouin children for generations to come will have access to their own heritage in the manner it was meant to be transmitted.

The Bedouin Heritage Project; a team of 20 photographers, videographers, ethnographers and student interns from all over the world; worked together with the Bedouins over 5 years to capture and safeguard the oral traditions, lifestyle and culture of the people living in the Wadi Rum reserve.

The principal goal of the project is to safeguard the main features of the lifestyle and oral history of the Bedu that have developed in Wadi Rum region over the course of millennia and that are being lost due to inevitable societal changes.  In order to achieve the project’s goals and deliver a living memory to the Bedu themselves, new methodologies for authenticate representation of intangible heritage and oral traditions were required and, now, serve as best practices for similar projects around the world.

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