The city of Wadi Musa is located in southern Jordan, and is the nearest town to the archaeological site of Petra.
I traveled in Jordan for exactly 18 years ago, and was in Wadi Musa a few days between 11th and 14th of February, 2003. The six photographs presented bellow were taken Friday, 14th of February, 2003.
I had a short talk with the guy on the second photograph.
In my travel diary, I wrote:
”Friday, 14th of February, 2003 - Wadi Musa
He is watching me walking down the street and taking pictures. He comes out of his shop.
"What a nice camera! I had one of those once, too. But I threw it away, I couldn’t find any medium format rolls!"
He laughs. I look at him. He can see that my camera is a medium format. That's very unusual – and on top of that, he had one once but threw it away.
I ask him quickly: "How are you?"
"I'm fine, thank you," he answers. "Would you like some tea?"
"Sure!" I say, happy to be making contact.
The food shop he keeps is very small. Behind the counter there'sa little gas hotplate with a kettle on it.
"Takes an hour to boil the water", he says with a laugh.
He mixes together some honey and condensed milk in a jar, spreads it on bread, then hands me a piece.
"I pray a lot", he says. "I stay here all day long, listen to the koran on tape, and read it as well. Before, I worked as a guide, down here, in Petra. But it’s finished now. I want to be a good muslim."
My impression is that he's happy. He wears a white djellaba, and his beard is neat. He laughs and smiles a lot.
I ask him"Do you think there's going to be a war in Iraq?"
"Yes, I'm sure there is! It’s going to be a nightmare for the USA!"
I take a picture of him in front of his shop."
The Iraq War began officially on 20th March, 2003 with the invasion of Iraq by a United States-led coalition that overthrew the government of Saddam Hussein.
I sometimes wonder: where is this man now..?