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Field Guide to Jordan
 
Arts inspired by Petra: writings, music, theatre, visual arts, books about Petra.
 
Petra has inspired lots of artists, and the result was having lots of paintings, sculptures, music, poetry, films and other forms of artwork, on this page we have a list of some of the people and artwork that was inspired or dedicated to Petra, as well as books published about it. We will be adding more artists and books to the list, so keep checking this page.
 
Writings
 
Kalam al Hajar   The talking of the stone, كلام الحجر, 1993, a very beautiful book was published with the help of the French cultural center in Arabic and in French, written by 12 writers French and Arabs, after visiting Petra, it contains some short stories, and a very powerful poem by the great Arab poet Adonis.
 
Petra texts, نصوص البتراء, written in Arabic by Jamal Abu Hamdan, a Jordanian writer, has some beautiful short stories.
 
Music
 
Rum group, is a Jordanian group of young musicians with Tarek al Naser as the composer who was inspired big time by Petra, they have some pieces dedicated to Petra and one of them holds it's name, to download a 445 kb wma file click here. for more about the group please visit their website: www.rummusic.com.
 
Frank in Little Petra   Frank Bechemilh form France, performed live in Beida on 20th September 2001. He was singing and playing with 3 jordanian musicians (drumer, tabla and nai) and two french musicians (bass and guitar). Click here to download "Petra la Rose" 803 kb wma file. For more about the artist please visit his website: www.frankbechemilh.com.
 
Theater
 
Feiruz the Nabataean Queen  

Petra is the name of a musical performed by the great Lebanese singer Feiruz, the play describes Petra at the time of Malchus the second, and the resistance of the Roman military and cultural invasion of the region, Feiruz plays the role of the queen Shakilat and the mother of the little princess Petra.

We have the audio file for downloading in two halves as well as three selected parts that are smaller in size, click to download: the first half (7,123 kb wma file), the second half (6,883 kb wma file), selection 1(736 kb wma file or 1,139 kb mp3), selection 2 (373 kb wma file or 576 mp3), selection 3 (511 kb wma file or 791 kb mp3). Enjoy.

 
Visual arts
 
Abdel Kader Bakhit, coming from Sudan, he lives in Jordan, and Petra was a theme in lots of his water color paintings, he also did some painting on stones with Petra as a theme.
     
Ali Jabiri   Ali al Jabiri a Jordanian artist and architect, did lots of paintings showing the beauty of Jordan, Petra was one of the places he loved.
     
Anees Maani   Anees Maani, a Jordanian sculptor, Petra was a big inspiration and a huge source for learning, more on Petra from my work: http://blog.go2petra.com
     
Feisal Abd al Aziz, a Jordanian artist, has some very good water color paintings of Petra.
     
Gerti Bierenbroodspot   Gerti Bierenbroodspot, a Dutch painter, had some exhibitions about Petra in and outside Jordan, the last of which was at 4 walls gallery, Amman, in June 2004.
     
Ismail Fattah, an Iraqi sculptor who dedicated many of his sculptures to the Nabataean gods.
     
Issam Tantawi, a Jordanian artist, he did lots of photography in Petra, and has very good water color paintings of it.
     
Katie Miranda   Katie Miranda is an American illustrator who was inspired by Petra. She says it's her favorite place in the world. www.theopticnerve.com
     
Klara Amados, a Spanish artist living in Jordan, she worked on the landscapes of Wadi Rum and Petra using sand from there.
     
Larisa Najjar, Russian sculptor living in Jordan, she uses stones from Petra as a material for her sculptures, makes very delicate portraits and uses the colors of the stone in a smart way.
     
Nazih Owais   Nazih Owais, a Jordanian sculptor, in the Jordanian pavilion in Hanover, he handled the piece about Petra, representing the Siq and the Nabataean gods.
     
Rafik al Lahham, a Jordanian artist specialized in printmaking, did works inspired by Petra and the sculptures of the Nabataean gods.
 
  Suha Shouman, having a studio on the way from Petra to Taybeh, through the years she has worked on Petra as a theme, through many forms of art, including video art that was exhibited lately in Amman, Darat al Funun.
     
 
Books about Petra...
 
... in Arabic
the history of the Nabataean state   The history of the Nabataean state, تاريخ دولة الأنباط Ihsan Abbas, 1987, although small and a bit old, it is a very valuable study, covering all the aspects of the history of the Nabataeans.
 

Bait al Anbat, the house of the Nabataeans, www.baitalanbat.org, is a Jordanian NGO established 1997 and based in Wadi Musa, organizes conferences on history, heritage archaeology, cultural dialogue and managing cultural aspects in tourism. One of the project Bait al Anbat is working on is publishing a series of books in Arabic about the Nabataean civilization, five of which are already published:

- The time of Aretas the fourth, a study on coins, عهد الحارث الرابع,Muslim Rawahneh, 2002. With pictures of 42 coins and their detailed information, a very good study on Nabataean coins and history.

     
Water engeneering   - Water engineering and irrigation of the Nabataeans the Arabs, هندسة المياه والري عند الأنباط العرب,Dr. Zaidun Mheisen, 2002, covers the Nabataean water system in Petra and other Nabataean areas, contains 140 photos and illustrations, has also a brief in English.
     
Nabataean Civilization   - The Nabataean civilization through their inscriptions, حضارة الأنباط من خلال نقوشهم, by Dr. Ahmad al Ajluni, 2003, a very good book that tells a lot about the history of the Nabataeans based on actual inscriptions, it is also a good study on the Nabataean language.
     
Cosial history of Petra   - The social history of Petra region, continuation and change, التاريخ الإجتماعي لمنطقة البتراء وجوارها, studies and researches that participated in the conference organized by Bait al Anbat and held on the 29th of August 2001.
 
Petra texts, نصوص البتلراء, written in Arabic by Jamal Abu Hamdan, a Jordanian writer, beautiful short stories.
     
Kalam al Hajar   The talking of the stone, كلام الحجر, 1993, a very beautiful book was published with the help of the French cultural center in Arabic and in French, written by 12 writers French and Arabs, after visiting Petra, it contains some short stories, and a very powerful poem by the great Arab poet Adonis.
 
... in English

Petra, Iain Browning, first edition published in 1973, has a very good study on the architecture in Petra.

Petra, Barbara Culliford, Khairieh Amr, Michael Berthudund, I. Rodis, Editor: P. V. Vivekanand, 1995, with beautiful pictures by Ammar Khammash.

Petra the lost kingdom of the Nabataeans, Jane Taylor, 2001, a very beautiful book about the Nabataean kingdom and its history with pictures taken by the author.

The Petra Siq, Nabataean Hydrology Uncovered, 2003, Edited by Isabelle Ruben, published by Petra National Trust, about the Siq and the work conducted there under supervision of Petra National Trust, it is a good study about the Siq with pictures and illustrations.

All Petra, a wonderland of the past, Mohsen M. Ulama, 2001, nice pictures with a description of the place and a brief about the history, available also in French, German, Italian, Spanish, Dutch and Japanese.

Petra rediscovered, general edition, Glenn Markoe, about the history of the Nabataeans.

Petra, a traveler's guide, Rosalyn Maqsood, 2003, a guide about Petra with suggested hikes in the old city.

Art and History Petra, 2001 Dominique Barrier, Pictures and history and lithographs of David Robert.

Petra Art histoy and Ititeraries in the Nabataean capital, Fabio Bourbon, 1999, history, pictures, maps, and about the restorations in Petra.

 

     
Past and present   Jordan Past and Present, Petra Jerash Amman, 2001, has pictures of sites and a transparant sheet above to show the way it looked two thousand years ago. Past and present
 
... in French

Petra la cite du desert, Isabelle and Roger Normand, 1999, discribes the place with a brief about the history and beautiful pictures.

Petra Retrouvee, voyage de L'Arabie Petree 1828, Leon De Laborde and Linant de Bellefonds, 1994, old maps of the kingdom and old lithographs.

Petra Le dit de pierres, 1993, a very beautiful book was published with the help of the French cultural center in Arabic and in French, written by 12 writers French and Arabs, after visiting Petra, very powerful is the poem by the great Arab poet Adonis, the French edition has beautiful black and white pictures.

Petra and the caravan cities, 1990, edited by Fawzi Ziadine, contains researches in Arabic, English and French that partisipated in a symposium at Petra 1985.

Petra la cite des caravanes, Christian Auge and Jean-Marie Dentzer, 1999, a small book with beautiful pictures of Petra and other Nabataean sites, history and maps.

Petra, 1992, Ingrid Roddis, about the history and about the place, with pictures, available in other languages.

Petra Metropole de L'Arabie antique, Laila Nehme and Francois Villeneuve, 1999, about the history and the place with very good maps.

Impressions de Petra, lithographs of David Robert with comments.

Petra la cite rose du desert, articles about Petra written in the 80's.

 
... in Spanish
Petra, la ciudad de los nabateos (Madrid, 2001) The author is a Professor of the Department of Ancient History, in the Complutense University (Madrid, Spain). Her name is Carmen BLANQUEZ.
 
Other languages
There is another book about Petra and the nabataean civilization (in Spanish). The author is a Professor of the Department of Ancient History, in the Complutense University (Madrid, Spain). Her name is Carmen BLANQUEZ, and the tittle of the book is: Petra, la ciudad de los nabateos (Madrid, 2001).
 
All Petra, a wonderland of the past, Mohsen M. Ulama, 2001, nice pictures with a description of the place and a brief about the history, available in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Dutch and Japanese.

 

 
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