Jordan impresses and depresses – Sun2Surf

the Monastery at Petra

the Monastery at Petra

Jordan impresses and depresses by Tan Siok Choo, Sun2Surf, Malaysia – 5 hours ago

“IMPRESSED and depressed – this is what I felt when I visited Jordan for the first time in early May. I was impressed because Jordan offers historic ruins, religious sites and natural landscapes; its tourism industry is well organised and the country appears to be exceptionally open minded about former foreign occupiers and about Islam.

I was depressed because Jordan’s positives serve only to accentuate Malaysia’s negatives.

Its top tourist sites are Petra, Jerash and Wadi Rum. Petra is a city with spectacular temples and tombs carved from multi-coloured rock 2,000 years ago by the Nabateans. Equally stunning is the narrow, canyon-like passageway known as The Siq – a single rock rent apart by tectonic forces, the Lonely Planet guidebook says …

… Equally praiseworthy are indicators of Jordan’s religious tolerance. Mosques and churches were in close proximity to each other. In Amman, the King Abdullah mosque is situated directly opposite the Coptic Orthodox Church, while nearby is a Greek Orthodox Church.

Although Jordan’s population is more than 90% Muslim, biblical sites feature prominently in the itinerary suggested by the Jordanian travel agency. Two much-visited places are Bethany-beyond-the Jordan river where it is believed Jesus was baptised, and Mount Nebo where Moses is reputed to be buried.

In short, Jordan offers exceptional visual delights and a tourist-friendly, multi-lingual and tolerant religious outlook that Malaysia would do well to emulate.”

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