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Hussam Hussein
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Hi and thanks for visiting my profile :) My name is Hussam, I'm a blogger-researcher-journalist, member of the European Youth Press’ Middle East and North Africa Committee (MENAC). I studied in Italy (Trieste/Gorizia), England (SOAS, London), and Poland (College of Europe). Academically, my background is mainly in Diplomacy and International Relations, with a focus on Environment. My interests are climate change, water, development and international cooperation.


Traditions and development: the case of the bedouins

Published 12th April 2010 - 5 comments - 4445 views -

Recently, I've been in the northern part of Jordan, and I had the opportunity to talk to some bedouins as well as to some experts in the development of that area. An important issue for many NGOs dealing with development and bedouins is whether that could be done while retaining the bedouins' traditions.

In the Badia region, in the north of Jordan, live only a small part of the Jordanian population, even if this region covers 3/4 of the Kingdom. The Badia is inhabitated by more than 15.000 bedouins, and their situation is taken into account by the NGOs working in this region. Develop this area doesn't mean only deal with its natural resources, but also with its population. In the last decades, some projects dealing with this population failed because they were aiming in "improving" the life of this population through settling them and forcing them in changing their habits, teaching them "how to become" sedentary. In Jordan, some bedouins have been integrated into the urban life, but the majority prefer their nomadic style of life: moving across the borders in search of grazing land to feed heards of sheep. For this reason, a good project would be to focus on the fight of the raising desertification in the region. This could have a good impact on the bedouins, that will still have the opportunity to keep on with their nomadic style of life, while staying in the same area (and not moving far away from this Jordanian region). In effect, the life of the bedouins in this region is strictly linked to that of their animals; therefore, it has to be fought against desertification, that would not let any grazing land to the bedouins to feed heards of sheep.


In the picture the Queen Rania of Jordan with some bedouins of the Badia region

Category: Poverty | Tags:


  • Iris Cecilia Gonzales on 13th April 2010:

    Interesting piece. It’s actually my first time to read about the bedouins. Thank you. Very valid question indeed?—can real development happen while preserving culture and tradition of people?

  • Lara Smallman on 13th April 2010:

    Very interesting - one rarely hears about the Bedouin lifestyle.

  • Stefan May on 13th April 2010:

    Very interesting article! But I don’t really understand how one can fight overgrazing by keeping the traditional life-style. Could you explain that please? Thank you!

  • Aija Vanaga on 13th April 2010:

    The question form Iris is a nice one, what does it do with culture and traditions? What is way to eliminate good from bad ones?

  • Hussam Hussein on 21st April 2010:

    Thank you very much for reading my article and for your comments (and questions). I’m writing in these days a post concerning bedouins traditions and development: a solution. So I’ll link it here as soon as I’ll be done with it. Thanks again for your interest!

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