Beyonce has mentioned the powerhouse of women in this world and so have many female artists as well. No one can doubt that once male-dominated spaces are slowly being taken over by female powerhouses, travel and tourism is not new to this. With that, when coming to Jordan, you may be so inclined to Google the safety of the country or what it means to a female traveler, however, here at Global Tribes, we have got you covered with a round-up of female tour guides in Jordan you need to book with now!
These female tour guides are locals and causing a wave in the travel and tourism world, especially with their innovative preservations to culture and bridging the gap between past and present.
1. Umm Mustafa
Since 2011, Umm Mustafa has been making homemade products and handicrafts from her homestead and sharing traditional recipes from the North.
Using mostly ingredients from her homestead, she was known amongst her family members and neighbors for making delicious food and preserving old traditional recipes.
The word-of-mouth marketing served her well and the idea to share these experiences was birthed out of the encouragement of her community members, all of whom invested in her success.
After creating a community kitchen, the request became more frequent and so did the unique ideas.
All in the backdrop of her beautiful home in Jerash, which overlooks the valley and is surrounded by livestock, almond and olive trees, as well as different fruit and vegetable trees, her environment highlights the beautiful diversity of Jordan and its greenery in the North.
One of those unique ideas is sun-dried tomatoes. Taking a twist on “moajanat,” a bread pastry that gets stuffed with different ingredients, a community member started encouraging her to sundry different goods since her rooftop provided ample space and environment for it.
Now, she loves sharing these recipes with travelers and locals alike, citing that when children come and make different shapes of the moajanat, it creates new life in each creation.
By putting sustainable efforts at the forefront of her experiences, nothing that Umm Mustafa creates goes to waste.
In fact, each of the recipes that are shared, handmade, and done with travelers all goes back to the soil that keeps her homestead thriving through compost and she always looks at locally sourcing her ingredients first before seeking out other methods.
2. Umm Omar is one of the best female tour guides in Jordan
The queen of jams, over 24 different kinds.
The love of creating jams began through working alongside her grandmother who would take fruits and vegetables in season to create different types of jams.
The love of creating jams never left her and inspired her to create a full-time business. Now, in her 10th year, she enjoys using the ingredients locally sourced in her neighborhood or on her homestead to create unique blends and experimenting with different ingredients.
How unique? Let’s put it to the test: watermelon, hibiscus, oregano, and chili pepper are just some of the blends to name a few.
Some of the jams she creates are created through the stories in which travelers exchange the tastes of their homes which Um Omar uses as inspiration to create blends where she honors the local ingredients of Jordan and the people she meets along the way.
With nothing going to waste, Umm Omar will mutter in the few words she knows in English “they are organic,” taking pride in the labor of love she has created and using the compost to go back to her green homestead.
The methods in which she creates her jam are still done traditionally by putting a large pot on the fire and stirring it slowly to simmer down, a long and arduous process that makes it all the more delicious.
In preserving the art of making jams, she also still employs different traditional techniques like making taboon bread over fire and homemade dough as well as creating homemade butter that pairs deliciously with the jams.
When visiting Umm Omar, not only will you be treated to delicious handmade goods, but you’ll have the opportunity to learn how to make them yourself, being part of the
an ecosystem of making and creating homemade goods, contributing to traditions and unique blends for stories that will be shared for years to come.
From the countryside of Umm Omar’s homestead, ventures into As-Salty City to meet Thaera.
Known by members of her community as the “Sheikha” of As-Salt city, there is not one person who doesn’t recognize her or know her. Which makes her an ideal local female tour guide as she will be able to take you to see every nook and cranny in the city.
With an extensive history of As-Salt City, she enjoys sharing parts of her home and that history with locals and visitors alike.
More impressively, she has been sewing ‘Hadab’ on a shemagh for over 27 years and has her own shop in As-Salt city where people can purchase the designs that she has handmade and see the intricate designs she creates.
The love and passion she holds for keeping this tradition alive can be seen by the many people who visit her to learn how to sew ‘Hadab” on the shemagh and the generations of women she has employed to keep this tradition alive.
‘Hadab’ designs, while simple to the eye, are very intricate in the way they are sewn and the meanings they hold. Each frill sewn onto the ‘Shemagh’ holds a different meaning and story as to why it gets placed and sewn the way it is.
After getting to learn how to sew ‘Hadab’ on a shemagh, you also have the opportunity to try on traditional As-Salt clothes which she still has hung up in her shop, so you can get the full experience of feeling like a resident of Salt as well.
As-Salt’s hefty round-up of local female tour guides continues with Omama!
Omama, an original Amman resident became an AS-Salt transplant after falling in love with the city and being married into an As-Salt family.
During her own solo visits to As-Salt City, she guided herself and started wandering around, getting lost and discovering everything there is to see.
As she started showing up more to As-Salt, she started building connections with As-Salt residents and listening to their stories.
Her passion continued to grow.
Even when going on a local tour with Omama, her energy and passion for As-Salt seep through. She is readily available to share small snippets of stories, highlight some of the old architecture and even showcase some of the well-known and less-discovered areas.
Location: Mukawir – Madaba
Upon walking into her homestead, you are instantly transported to the mountains of Madaba to a nice, calm place where the love of nature meets with the preservation of the love of weaving.
Haleema learned the old art of weaving from her grandmother where she still proudly displays the first piece she ever made framed on her wall.
The yarn that was used during her ancestors’ times was mostly used in homes and came naturally from sheep. The dyes used and still used today by Haleema are naturally dyed and preserved, using no chemicals.
For Haleema, allowing travelers to come to visit her at her home, keeps these traditions alive and so alive, in fact, that she has even named her home, translated roughly from Arabic as “The Home of the Guests.”
When guests come to Haleema’s home and learn how to weave, they get to take a piece of what they weaved with them back home and share stories and be part of a lifelong tradition that would have otherwise gone extinct if it weren’t for women such as herself.
Part of taking people to her homestead in Mukawir is also showing them old cooking methods where she proudly still holds an underground cooking method that brings old cooking, new life.
Part of being a female local guide in Mukawir and increasing visibility to her area has also provided many opportunities for her to train other women as well in her craft.
From the Mountains of Madaba to As-Salt’s unique architecture and Jerash’s greenergy, Amman lies in between.
This concrete jungle is a land between the old ruins and new life. The bustling city became a great place for a local female guide, Diana to take people on a “D Tour.”
Inspired by visiting another country and walking on foot on a walking tour, she brought that practice home and started her tours by guiding people on foot in Amman, showcasing the 7 Hills and the stories of the artwork, old practitioners and new businesses.
Her tour not only highlights the hidden gems of Amman but also highlights the accessibility of the city on foot where she encourages people to walk, explore and heighten their senses of everything Amman has to offer.
Also giving insight into daily life in Amman. For Diana, being a female tour guide in the country often gets a lot of surprising looks or even questions from people visiting the country, but for her, it is another proud statement where she can represent her city and the stories that live here and are waiting to be discovered.
An artist, naturalist and environmentalist, Sawsan has found a way to put all of her passions together.
From taking old art techniques and utilizing them from natural resources found in Jordan, you’re sure to be astonished.
Coming from an industrial design background, Sawsan became interested in reviving traditional arts and natural crafts from the region using watercolor, block printing and mosaic making from natural stones found in her own backyard.
Now, she invites people to the iconic neighborhood of LWeibdeh, one of the 7 Hills of Amman where they can take a turn at creating art of their own with earth pigments.
As a female local guide, Sawsan also holds an impressive amount of knowledge about Amman and its change from the past to the present.
8. Umm Jihad
Umm Jihad, a Palestinian-Jordanian, resides in one of Amman’s oldest neighborhoods which is situated near the iconic Amman Citadel.
She is a mother, daughter, sister and preserver of family traditions and cultures.
When her husband passed and her children grew up, starting to have families of their own, she started hand-making Za’atar. First, passing it out amongst family members in 2012 and then slowly grew with the circulation of messages and word of mouth about the delicious hand-made spice blend she put together.
Za’atar, adorned in many recipes, especially in breakfast recipes, has a beautiful aromatic smell and when paired with warm bread and olive oil, you will not be able to stop eating it.
In this cross-cultural engagement, visitors get to learn how to hand-make Za’atar, be part of Umm Jihad’s story and lastly, get to try it themselves.
9. Umm Sameer
Umm Sameer resides in the North of Jordan, Ajloun to be exact.
Everything made on her homestead is worked on, produced by or even handmade by herself.
For her, the labor of love starts by working with her hands. Taking people to the patio of her homestead where they can overlook the scenery of Ajloun just adds to the ambiance of homemade as you sip on tea.
First, she starts by taking you on a tour of her impressive homestead and highlighting all of the things she has made by hand as well as the homemade products that have been preserved and so lovingly made with labor. Then, she shows you an impressive feature of basket weaving from naturally sourced wheat found in Ajloun.
For Umm Sameer, she loves to show her skill set and then give you a chance to try it. She works fast in building baskets, but then when you try it on your own, you will be just amazed at the amount of skill set, effort and hard work it takes to not poke yourself with the needle.
Led by Locals, Experienced Globally… are you ready to book your ticket to Jordan to meet one of these female tour guides in Jordan?
10. Umm Ibrahim
Location: Umm Qais
Umm Ibrahim, located in Umm Qais keeps the art of hand-made basket weaving alive.
Basket-weaving, while visually aesthetically pleasing, takes a lot of intricacy, detail and practice.
Learning from her mother and her sister, Umm Ibrahim eventually passed down basket weaving to her daughter, Maram.
She first started by giving her a needle and teaching her how to make a small one and was delighted that her daughter learned how to make this handicraft.
This mother/daughter duo is continuing their craft and passing it to generations to come.
Whether it’s touring the 7 Hills of Amman or going to the countryside of As-Salt and everything in between, don’t miss out on seeing the country with one of these powerhouse female tour guides in Jordan. If you’re looking to visit the country, why not do it with us? Led by Locals, Experienced Globally. Who runs the world? You know…