Farraj is 13 years old. He is a Bedouin, and he lives in a tent with his mother and four sisters. He lives in South Jordan, 350 kilometers from the capital Amman, in the beautiful, but hostile, desert of red sandstone at Wadi Rum. It’s known locally as the Valley of the Moon.
The vast wilderness of Wadi Rum is the land of the Bedouin people. Their name is derived from the Arabic word badiah, which literally means, “the inhabitants of the desert.” Sixty percent of the Bedouin of the region have abandoned their nomadic ways and settled into villages. But here in the Wadi Rum, the Bedouin have retained much of their tradition and culture despite the attractions of modernization and development. Their society is patriarchal, and the family remains at the heart of the community structure.