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First hikers complete 650km Jordan Trail in 40 days

650km route extends from Kingdom’s north to south, passing through 52 villages

By Bahaa Al Deen Al Nawas - Oct 22,2016 - Last updated at Oct 22,2016

Hikers Mohammad Zayyadeen and Mohammad Homran celebrate completing the Jordan Trail in Aqaba on Saturday (Photo courtesy of Adnan Abu Alhag)

AQABA — Mohammad Zayyadeen and Mohammad Homran on Friday became the first Jordanians to complete the Jordan Trail in one journey, arriving in Aqaba after walking 650km over 40 days. 

The trail, which runs from north to south Jordan, passes through 52 villages, allowing hikers to experience the country’s natural views and local foods, said Jordan Trail Association (JTA) President Muna Haddad.

Speaking at a ceremony in Aqaba, 330km south of Amman, to celebrate Zayyadeen and Homran’s feat, Haddad thanked USAID, the Jordan Tourism Board, the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA), Zain Jordan telecom company and all those who had supported the development of the Jordan Trail. 

Tourism Minister Lina Annab thanked the 50 volunteers who helped place route marks along the trail’s eight sections. 

Citizens do not serve their country from behind desks, but rather “through going out and seeing things on their own in order to create positive change”, Annab said. 

The USAID Building Economic Sustainability through Tourism Project (BEST) provided “the biggest grant to the JTA”, Annab said, adding that “it was sort of a risk because the trail then was just an idea but nonetheless BEST believed in its strength and the people’s determination”.

For their part, Zayyadeen and Homran thanked all supporters of the Jordan Trail and those who helped make their trip a success, urging others to hike sections of the trail and live their own experiences and stories. 

ASEZA Chief Commissioner Nasser Shraideh said that although the trail ends in Aqaba, the coastal city could also serve as the starting point for hikers who wish to go north. 

 

Certificates and gifts were distributed to honour volunteers who helped the trail come to life. 

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