Ammarin Bedouin Camp

The Bedouls of Petra

the bedouls TRibe

The Samaheen

The Samaheen, according to legend, had a feeble-minded ancestor called Salameh who, despite his misfortune, had a very intelligent boy. The offspring took his goats to the Shaubak mountains to herd them, which he did so adroitly that he had a bigger herd than all his relations. When he is maternal uncles heard of his affluence, they prevailed upon him to return to Petra where they married him to two of their daughters.

The Samaheen live in an area of Petra called the Christian Caves, which consists of Nabataean tombs and monuments, converted into Christian churches during the Crusader period. Lancaster Harding described this area in the accounts of his visit to Petra, and he mentioned some of the families (probably Mawasneh) who lived in the Christian caves at the time. The only families who are known to have lived in the Christian caves within living memory are those of Haj Salameh, Haj Mutlag, Haj Ruweide’, and an old man whose name has passed into oblivion. (Haj, meaning pilgrim, is the title of respect given to someone who has performed the pilgrimage to Mecca). Of these, Haj Salameh and Haj Mutlag have passed away.