At the magnificent and gorgeous site Petra in Jordan you will meet several people from the tribe: Bedul Bedouins. They will tell you that they still live in caves around the site. This to impress the tourists. The truth is that they now live in a city nearby, having water, electricity, telephone and Wi-Fi.
For thousands of years up until recently, the Bedul Bedouins lived inside the caves that you can still see in Petra’s extraordinary landscape. However, around thirty years ago, the Jordanian government relocated the cave dwellers to a nearby village in an attempt to preserve Petra. In this village they have all modern facilities.
Another misconception that most tourists visiting the site have about the Bedul Bedouins is that they are very poor. While this is certainly true for Bedul Bedouins outside of Petra. It is not true for those working inside Petra, selling souvenirs or transporting tourists on horses, camels and donkeys. They are pretty wealthy. This because the Bedul Bedouins monopolize trade and tourist services in Petra, and do not accept others to join them.
Today, most of the Bedul Bedouins children go to school. Nevertheless, many also drop out to work in the tourism sector. Due to lack of awareness and neglecting of education you will see many children at the tourist site. Therefore it is strongly recommended not to give money or buy souvenirs form the children at the site, as they should attend to school.
Though many families still have their caves, they do not use it as their permanent residence. It is forbidden by the government for them to live there, and therefore nobody lives in them. Others claim that there is still a few families living in their caves.
Whatever the truth is. When you walk inside Petra, you are surrounded by glimpses of the past. The Bedul Bedouins true fascinating culture, so different from ours back home. Tradition, heritage and the positive creation of human labor is the most beautiful part of experiencing Petra. Because unlike most other cities in the world, you can imagine what it looked like two thousand years ago, an image that is not too dissimilar to what we see today.