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Traveling in Jordan with Marat Kazykanov

Photo editor of Vokrug Sveta magazine, Marat Kazykanov, was in Jordan at the beginning of May and shared his impressions of the country with Bird In Flight.

Marat Kazykanov, 26

Director of the press service magazine Vokrug Sveta, worked as a photo editor for Time Out in the past. Inspired by the blogs of Theo Gosselin and “We Are The Rhoads” and the work of Robert Capa and Henri Cartier-Bresson.

“What do I know about Jordan? I guess it’s somewhere between Israel and Syria.” These were my approximate thoughts as I sat down on the plane. My knowledge about the country was a postcard with some camels on it and Petra, but instead of taking a travel book I grabbed a biography of Brodsky.

I’m not the kind of person who plans his travels by plotting destinations on a map and changing my schedule, especially if it’s not really traveling, but actually a press tour for journalists, photographers and bloggers with every detail planned out down to the evening dessert menu. So, I decided to learn all of that from a guide once I got there, listening with boredom, occasionally pretending to give my full attention and nodding emphatically.

Paternal consent to hand over their daughter in marriage is christened by the words, ‘Let’s have a coffee,’ and the King here is not just a king, but also general, marshal and field marshal.

It turned out that our guide studied at Moscow State University, and the queen of the country is youthful and vibrant. We loved the hummus here, like we did in Israel, and all of the Muslims were very friendly with Christians. We learned about how Jordan took in hundreds of thousands of refugees from Iraq, how it gained its independence in 1946 and how almost 40 universities in the country have opened. The modern territory of the country managed to leave traces of the Greeks, Romans and Turks, and sometimes it seems like their voices can still be heard. Paternal consent to hand over their daughter in marriage is christened by the words, “Let’s have a coffee,” and the King here is not just a king, but also general, marshal and field marshal.

You can seek out help and assistance from any Jordanian, even from those in uniform, tempering your request with a smile. From your hotel room, you can see Jerusalem and the Dead Sea from one window and the Red Sea from another.

Is it enough? Unfortunately, I don’t think so. I regret that, on the way to Petra, the most popular purchase was a selfie stick, and while everyone was buying souvenirs and drinking coffee at Starbucks, the most interesting things were beyond the bus windows.


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