Summiting Jabal Haroun in the Ancient City of Petra

Whether you are a hiker or a pilgrim, summiting Petra Mountains is an exceptional experience. One Mountain, however, offers the most satisfying experience!

Mount Haroun also known as Mount Hor is sacred in the three Abrahamic religions. Moses’s brother Haroun “Aaron” is buried on top so many visit his shrine for pilgrimage.

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But the significance of the location not only lies in its spiritual value, but also for aesthetic purposes.

Located 1.350 km above sea level, the plateau overlooks the range of Shirah Mountains that extend all the way to Yemen, the eastern escarpment of the rift valley, and westward across Wadi Araba, the Negev Desert and the biblical wilderness of Zin “Kadesh”.

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The humble shrine topped by a white dome, the amazing Byzantine monastery, and the breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape conspire to create one of the most mystical experiences one can have in this ancient place.

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In a summiting spree, around 7:30 am, I started hiking from the visitors center in Petra.  I  passed through the Siq, went up Jabal Khubtha to view the Treasury from above,  hiked up to the Monastery “ed-Deir” , and then back to the center of Petra.

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I passed Qasir al-Bint, reached the “Pillar of Pharaoh” which indicated that the third portion of my hike is about to begin.

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Shortly after, I was in valley Thugra passing by the natives as they went about in their daily chores. With tents, small barns, donkeys, little boys and girls running around barefoot one can easily imagine the looks of life thousands of years ago.

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I passed the Snake Monument and the terrain become more rugged and lonely.  All of a sudden, an amazingly beautiful blue Agama Sinaita appeared out of nowhere and kept my company.

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The white shrine was looming from a far indicating that a strenuous climb was waiting ahead.

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Soon it was over and I reached the rocky stairs and climbed to the ancient cistern.

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Then I headed up to the shrine to meet one of the most amazing scenes I have ever scene.

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Windy yet calm, serene, and mystical. I sat down and gazed ahead, dumbfounded by the views surrounding me.  I can honestly understand why monks, saints, and prophets choose tops of mountains for dwelling, for inspiration, or as a final resting point.

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It took me 14 hours to finish my 34 km hike but summiting those three mountains with all the joy, beauty, peace, serenity, and inspiration they offered, made all the effort worthwhile.

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Some more photos from this adventure:

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Writing & Photography

Samar M. Salma

Photos of me were taken by: Majed Dauod, Dr. Mustafa Azzouqa, Menhel Salfiti

30/5/2017

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PS: This blog reflects my personal opinion and my personal take on many issues. Its not a scientific paper, the information used is based on internet searches and some scholarly articles. Its purpose is to entertain and everything mentioned is open for debate and correction.

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