July 10, 2014

0432, 1139 JORDAN - Wadi Rum Protected Area (UNESCO WHS)

Posted on 26.12.2012, 10.07.2014
Placed between Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Syria and Israel, sharing control of the Dead Sea with the latter two, and its only port, at the Gulf of Aqaba, with Israel, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia, Jordan consists of an arid plateau in the east and an highland area in the west, with arable land and Mediterranean evergreen forestry, part of the region considered to be "the cradle of civilization", the Levant region of the Fertile Crescent. Controlled by the ancient empires of Persians and Macedonian Greeks, and later by the Nabatean kingdom and Roman Empire, it became a heartland for the Arabic Islamic Empire, and in 1516 was incorporated in the Ottoman Empire. During WWI, the Transjordanian tribes fought against the Ottoman Empire as part of the Arab Army of the Great Arab Revolt, supported by the Allies. The chronicle of the revolt was written by T. E. Lawrence (in the picture, on the first postcard) who, as a young British Army officer, played a liaison role during the revolt, and become the basis for the iconic movie Lawrence of Arabia. In 1922 Transjordan came under the British Mandate, which ended in 1946.

Located at 60km to the east of Aqaba, Wadi Rum (transcribed by archaeologists as Wadi Ramm), also known as The Valley of the Moon, is the largest wadi (a dry riverbed, that contains water only during times of heavy rain) in Jordan, cut into the sandstone and granite rock. Due to its iconic desert landscape, renowned for its spectacular series of sandstone mountains and valleys, natural arches, and the range of narrow gorges, towering cliffs, massive landslides, and dramatic cavernous weathering forms displayed, but also due to the evidence of long-term patterns of pastoral, agricultural and urban human activity (25,000 petroglyphs, 20,000 inscriptions, and 154 archaeological sites, stretched over a period of at least 12,000 years), Wadi Rum Protected Area became an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2011. In the West, Wadi Rum is best known for its connection with T. E. Lawrence, who based his operations here during the Arab Revolt of 1917-1918, so in the 1980s one of the rock formations in this wadi (in the picture) was named The Seven Pillars of Wisdom, after Lawrence's book with the same name.

About the stamp
On the first postcard
The stamp, depicting a Calotropis, is part of a series with flowers,about which I wrote here.

On the second postcard
Both stamps are part of a large series of definitive stamps, Triumphal Architecture, Jerash, about which I wrote here.

Wadi Rum - Wikipedia
Wadi Rum Protected Area - UNESCO official website
Flowers - Stamps of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan

sender 1: Mervat Salman (direct swap)
sent from Amman (Capital Governorate / Jordan), on 01.12.2012
photo: Mohsen Ulama
sender 2: Marius Vasilescu
sent from Aqaba (Aqaba Governorate / Jordan), on 23.03.2014

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