Two young Jordanians from Madaba, Mohammad Al Homran and Mohammad Zayadeen, are set to be the first Jordanians to complete the 650 km Jordan Trail, from Um Qais to Aqaba, in one go. Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, H.E. Lina Annab, is supporting their journey and today joined them for their hike from Beidha to Petra along with a team from the Jordan Trail Association (JTA).
JTA and the USAID Building Economic Sustainability through Tourism Project (BEST) are also supporting these enthusiastic hikers to achieve their goal.
While the trail has been operational for over a year with numerous hikes along it, Al Homran and Al Zayadeen are the first Jordanians to trek the full trail in one go, estimated to take 40 days. The two may even arrive in Aqaba sooner than the expected date. They started on 13th September, have completed 445km, and are expected to reach Aqaba around 21stOctober.
H.E. Lina Annab said, “I’m so happy to be joining these two courageous Jordanians on their hike in Petra today and hear about their adventures as they near their destination. I am excited about their bid to be the first to hike the Jordan Trail all the way through and we are all very proud that they represent Jordan in doing this.”
Muna Haddad, Jordan Trail Association President, said: “Long distance hiking is physically and emotionally challenging, it is not easy to go on for 40 days camping out in the wilderness and away from the comforts of daily life. Al Homran and Zayadeen are very courageous and it is inspiring to see their eagerness to explore their own country and meet its people. It is an incredible achievement and we hope to see more people attempt to hike the trail whether attempting to complete a day, a 4 day section, or the entire trail."
Mohammad Zayadeen explained, “We wanted to be the first Jordanians to hike this trail, everyone talks about the hospitality of Jordanians and we really got to experience it on our hike with the many cups of tea we were invited to”. Mohammad Al Homran added “The hike has been a challenging but life-changing experience that made us realize the wealth and diversity of our home. We invite anyone to join us along the way, and see with their own eye’s how our country is beautiful.”
USAID BEST is supporting JTA develop and promote the national Jordan Trail over the next year and ensure the sustainability of the JTA by developing the trail and a strategy that fosters adventure tourism, and enables service providers to run tours and trips along the trail. USAID BEST and the JTA will create investment opportunities for local communities along the trail, focusing on two of its sections: Um Qais to Ajloun and Dana to Petra. In addition, USAID is supporting marketing and promotional activities, building the capacity of JTA staff and training 20 guides.