The family seems to get along pretty well with each other. The father, tolerant, intelligent, opinionated and calm, radiates authority. Everyone is respectful and obedient toward him but not open too much emotionally. Sons behave irreproachably to him because he's their father and feel they owe it to him to play the dutiful sons. Sometimes they are trapped in a marriage to a person, who they never fell in love with. Sometimes they luckily create an honest-hearted, love-sharing relationship. Whatever case, it is hardly possible to escape from what it has been chosen for them. The mother senses instinctively what their feeling are and ease their worried minds when needed. A woman on a large scale, understandable and charming. They all accept me well, easily and more than friendly. Never has made me feel I am bothering them somehow. I like when we gather around the fire on supper - a noisy, warm and cosy atmosphere, when we eat from one communal dish with hands or using pieces of Arabic bread as spoon. The last time when I held a fork was 10 days ago in Aqaba. Babies are creeping and rolling all around, the family is always discussing something in a wild, vivid manner. I am wondering could I become an Arabic speaker. For sure I am forced at some extent in order to participate in family life. One out of six women (mother, 3 sisters, 2 wives) slightly can cope with English.
Women stay at home. Since they are not allowed to leave the house alone or uncovered, their days are passing either in their dark, cold houses or under the sun in the yard. The moral code is rigid outside the yard but at home a warm-hearted togetherness rules and their bedouin-woman lives can be very cheerful and rather careless. Gossiping, talking, watching Turkish serials, cooking, taking charges of the babies. They're sharing everything they have and barely could stay somewhere secluded. Though they don't realize their lack of freedom as my eyes can see it, sometimes I am feeling uncomfortable having much more rights from them. I can go out in the desert whenever I like, I can smoke in whomever presence I like, I can go outside uncovered and have a walk alone. This is the main reason why I enjoy the male company much more. Though I am aware that sometimes I walk a tightrope, I can be more honest and open among them. As I am noone's wife or daughter they accept me anyway - in a bedouin dress with a covered hair selling artcrafts in the visitor center or bareheaded and gypsy dressed out in the desert camps.
In Wadi Rum people are used to tourists so I am not feeling myself as attraction. Nevertheless I still haven't found my place among these people but except from some uncomfortable conditions and situations, the social barriers are not insurmountable. Afterall, I do trust my soul who knows where to lead me and what experience she needs to pass through.