52 Portrait Project – 4/52

Faces of Petra is the theme of this week’s portrait project. Even with the stunning view surrounding us when we were in Petra, the locals had their way to make their presence truly felt. I’m talking about the trading locals who filled the area in front of the Treasury, who were there in throngs, with their various items to sell and animals for hire. We’ve got a wide selection of items to buy from them; silver bracelets, necklaces, (claimed to be) authentic old/antic coins, scarfs and postcards. The four-legged variety mode of transportation was also available there. You can choose between camels, donkeys, mules, horses, or, if riding on layers of blankets on top of moving animals is not for you, you can opt to sit like a true tourist princess in one of horse carriages.

Most of the sellers were the local Bedouin from Petra. Back in the 70s and early 80s some of people from the Bedouin tribe actually lived in the caves and resided amongst the rocky ruins around. Not anymore though, as these days no one is allowed to live inside Petra for better preservation of the area, so now the Bedouins are there only during opening hours to conduct their business.

Back to the portraits now. Here’s Salomon. He’s a young teenage boy with kind eyes, high energy and very little English. We started our ‘relationship’ with a misunderstanding over a price of silver bracelets (he wanted to sell by the grams, while I bargained based on the number of items). We ended up spending most of our day there with him (and his borrowed donkeys), because he turned out being very helpful, though not so informative as a guide. Kind eyes can go a long way, I guess.

the donkey charmer, Petra, Jordan

These were the postcard selling girls. These girls were very friendly, playful and giggly. I gave them a Polaroid as a souvenir. They looked so happy.

postcard sellers, Petra, Jordan

These old men were working together in front of Treasury. They dressed as period soldiers/guards, and then went to approach tourists who wanted to take photographs together for some small tips. These two looked tired and a bit sad. After receiving some tips and lots of thanks from us they went off, back to work. On to the next group.

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