On the 23rd of September, I went hiking with an amazing group of friends to Al Madsus Canyon; locally known as Wadi Al Jinn which translates to “The Genies Valley” also known as Fifa Canyon.
The canyon is located in Ghor Fifa hence the name. It is close to AlMujib, AlHassa and Alkarak cities, south of Jordan. GPS coordinates “30°58’18″N 35°29’48″E”. The temperature that day was 36 °C, the air was heavy due to the concentration of oxygen in below sea level areas.
Now why is it called Al Madsus I have no idea, but I do know why the natives call it the Canyon of the Genies and I am about to tell you.
According to Islamic tradition, the predominant religion in Jordan, the Jinn are creatures made of a smokeless and “scorching fire” but are physical in nature. Like humans, they are given “free well” & can be good, evil or benevolent. Satan, in Islamic religion, was created a Genie, elevated to the status of an angel, then doomed for his disobedience which tells a lot about the kind of reputation Genies have with the natives.
So what brought the Genies to Jordan, and why this canyon in particular?
Well, this all goes back to the days of King Solomon who ruled humans and Genies alike in an empire that extended to Jordan. According to the stories I heard, he chose to lock them in this valley to separate them from humans otherwise they teach people sorcery, according to a Sofi Scholar Dr Hussein Gharib.
Why did King Solomon choose this valley in particular, I also do not know, religious scholars provide a better answer but my mind kept wondering how sandstone rocks can lock anything? They didn’t look firm enough to me and the avalanches along the way attested to this.
With this in mind, I started hiking wishing secretly to meet a Genie. The one I know is smurf blue, bald, and kinda cartoonish and I wanted the real deal.
Within a few steps, the canyon started to develop a unique character. The sandstone rocks were beyond description. Flash floods and wind have shaped and fine-tuned them into the most amazing rock formation that would beat the work of the best known sculptures. Centuries of sand pile up and cementation created the most amazing colors that glittered in the sun as if beaded with diamonds.
Once the wind began to move, the hollows in the rocks started making sounds as if someone was speaking. That for sure would have spooked anyone into thinking that a genie was present.
We hiked for almost two hours with frequent stops as the heat was picking up. We encountered two elevations that needed robes. Pushing forward for another hour, we faced increased rock avalanches, no water except for a narrow stream further in, excessive heat, Walkie Talkies malfunctioning every now and then, GPS indicating that there wasn’t a path forward, snake sightings, so the group decided not to move forward.
But I wasn’t ready to go back. I had a feeling that if we pushed forward, the valley will show us its hidden treasures and I might meet my Genie. Apparently, a small group shared my sentiment and decided to explore. I quickly joined the ranks.
We started scrambling and the higher & further we got in, the more beauty we saw. A jungle of Palm trees, waterfalls, and small deep ponds covered with algae indicating that it has been a while since anyone last visited. Finally, we came to the end of the canyon. We cooled under the waterfalls, swam in the ponds, enjoyed our small victory and then headed back exhilarated that the canyon allowed us to enjoy its treasures.
Even though happy, I still wasn’t satisfied; I had a nagging feeling that something wasn’t right. I have heard many stories about Genie encounters by now, cases of actual group hallucinations, hospital visits, and doctors incapable of providing medical diagnosis other than psychological stress, all happening in Fifa village. I firmly believed that if there were Genies living in the valley, I would have met them by now and so far I haven’t.
All of sudden, it struck me, the canyon and the village are located near the Arab Potash Company on the Jordanian side and Dimona nuclear reactor which is only 33 km away on the Israeli side! They might be causing these symptoms.
Whether actual Genies live in the canyon, radiation or chemical leaks are the reason behind these hallucinations, I do not know. I am not a religious scholar or a scientist but I do know that when too many people see the same thing frequently or develop the same symptoms, then it either exists or a common factor is triggering it. Usually the common factor is the air we were breathing or the water we were swimming in. By now, I was longing for the comfort of my smurf blue, bald, kinda cartoonish Genie.
Samar M. Salma
Picture credits to Samer, Hassan, Labeeb.
Disclaimer: This article is not based on scientific facts or research. Its based on personal speculations and hypothesis.