Building Economic Sustainability through Tourism Project

From shepherds to Jordan Trail coordinators

In September 2016, two shepherds from Madaba set out to walk the entire Jordan Trail to explore their country, many parts of which they had never seen before.  Mohammad Zayadeen and Mohammad Al Homran began in Um Qais and reached Aqaba less than 40 days later; they were the first Jordanians to walk the full trail in one go. Many followed their 650-kilometer journey on social media, drawing attention to the natural beauty and diversity of Jordan’s landscape. Less than a year later, both have been hired by the Jordan Trail Association (JTA) as Trail Coordinators.

“We are shepherds from Madaba, but I also worked as a farmer in the Wadi Hidan area,” said Mohammad Zaydeen. “We are cousins too,” added Al Homran.

The two heard about the Jordan Trail from their friend who is a tour guide and decided to walk it. “We walked the first 80 kilometers on our own because it was way-marked,” said Al Homran, “but we contacted the Jordan Trail Association for help in providing a GPS device so we could finish.” 

The Jordan Trail Association had received a grant from USAID BEST in May 2016 to support development and promotion of trail. This enabled them to help the two young trekkers complete their journey, and document and share their experiences on social media to create awareness of the trail among Jordanians. USAID BEST supported way-marking parts of the trail, developing a strategy to foster adventure tourism, and promoting the trail and encouraging service providers to run tours and trips along it.

The hike was the first time Mohammad and Mohammad had traveled outside of Madaba. It gave them an unforgettable experience and a deeper love for their country.

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