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The Old Musician
While walking around Petra one can hear some music from afar. Beautiful and nostalgic music, charming but somehow suffering, coming out of an Oud, the Arabic lute. It’s always old people who play. As it happens in many other cultures, music in Jordan has been a way to say things without actually saying them. Musicians were used as ambassadors to send a message to somebody else. It could have been a message of love, esteem, or a reprimand. It seems even here music has fallen in value. These musicians come down from the mountains they live in to Petra every day, to play their instruments. And even if they do collect some money, I don't think this is the main reason that leads them to do it. Tourists sometimes don’t even notice them. They seem to be some sort of a background music, a folkloristic thing. One can see the disappointment in their eyes, the longing for old times in which music played a major role. I take a picture. “Thank you,” I say. They look at me, without saying a word.

© Anna Raisa Favale