Welcome to Jordan! An ode to Zuhair

“Welcome to Jordan!” Our leader said.
“It’s a peaceful country, there’ll be no bloodshed.
With me the best guide in Jordan you’ve got,
So listen to me, and smile a lot!
Listen to me, and don’t worry at all,
You’re in my safe hands no matter what might befall.

I’ll save you from hyenas and the crafty fox
Who lie in wait out of sight just behind those big rocks.
So if you’re frightened at night then just give me a call,
I’m here to save you so don’t worry at all.
If the wild beasts try to visit your tent in the night
I’ll save you from getting a terrible fright.”

“Welcome to Jordan!” said Zuhair our guide.
“For a week in the desert I’ll be by your side.”
But though he rolls out this statement with pride,
You’ll soon find it’s important to keep up with his stride
If you fall too far behind, he’ll hide in a cave
And laugh as you pass him with a cheeky wave.
“You were talking too much, with your heads in the air.
Why didn’t you notice that I wasn’t there?”

“Welcome to Jordan!” said Zuhair our guide.
“There are sand dunes to climb, and camels to ride.
And on the way I’ll tell you about my strange life,
My adventures in Jordan and my search for a wife.”
When he tells a story, he likes to put on a show.
He’d have made a marvellous actor, you know.

He tells us the history of his country with pride,
About brave men who conquered and tyrants who died.
He recounts wondrous stories from his holy book
And incidents involving our driver and cook.
But I’m afraid to say that we stifled a laugh
At the story of the lady with the sweet-smelling scarf.

He likes elaborate detail when one sentence would do,
But the benefit is that we learn something new.
Whenever he speaks, it’s with passion and verve
Though sometimes his “eloquence” gets on our nerves.
But it’s always done with the best of intent
And if we occasionally yawn, no disrespect is meant.
Though he sometimes might leave us feeling mystified
We’ve all learned a lot from Zuhair our guide.

“Welcome to Jordan” our fearless leader said.
“You are my family, from breakfast till bed.
You must always be happy in this country of mine
With beautiful landscapes and vistas sublime.
The desert, you see, is a wonderful place,
So you must spend the whole day with a smile on your face.”

For every good deed you’ll get ten points from God
And only one point deducted for anything bad.
I don’t know how many points I’ve earned on this trip.
I hope I’ve smiled enough for the balance to tip
In my favour because I’ve had a fabulous week
A better time in the desert I’d struggle to seek.
From the hiking and scrambling to the campfires at night
It’s a wonderful country — our leader was right.



This entry was posted in Jordan, Middle East, poems and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s