Photo Of The Moment: Madonna Visits Jordan’s Petra

AP PHOTO – U.S. Pop star Madonna, walks out from the Siq, during her visit to the ancient Roman-era city carved out in red stone of Petra, South of Jordan, Thursday, Sep. 3, 2009. Madonna, 51, has wrapped up her world stage tour with a sightseeing trip to Jordan’s famed ruins in Petra.

Madonna, 51, was flown by helicopter into this ancient Roman-era city carved out in red stone in a trip arranged by Queen Rania, the wife of Jordan’s King Abdullah II. The pop star, in a white shirt and white slacks, was escorted by Jordanian security and an armed bodyguard during her 15-minute tour Thursday. [source]

The visit of course came after some brilliant journalism from Skynews and Ynet.


  • Just 15 minutes, Helicopter and armed guards ?, Well i guess they’re afraid someone do something to her since she’s a supporter of Israel, How come queen rania wasn’t with her ?

  • Well you didn’t mention that she held few concerts in israel and spent a few days sightseeing.
    No concerts in Jordan i guess 🙂

  • 15 whole minutes, Bravo Madonna!!! And Bravo my dear government, you should leave a good impression, and show to another idiot what the Jordanian hospitality is. Although I am sure that our Jordanian security would have been better preparing his ftoor at home, and the money spent on the helicopter could have been used for something else. Anyways, maybe Madonna payed for all that with her millions, although I doubt it!!!

  • Ajloun and Irbid up in flames, Karak starving, Aqaba striking, all the while taxes being “justified” by our 7ukomeh il rasheydeh..and what do they do? They fly out the Kabbalah pro-Israel queen to Petra for 15 minutes (ma il banzeyn bi balash la nas ow nas) complete with tafran Jordanian guard. I love that she didn’t even bother to throw a concert in Jordan. Its about time the whole external PR wheel stopped focussing on hosting celebrities and looking good to people who don’t give a damn about Jordan or Jordanians and started to actually look at what people need internally(and it ain’t Madonna’s awe in Petra!).

  • To me, what’s outrageous is the 15 minute thing. I almost feel sorry for Madonaa for having such a lifestyle, where only 15 minutes of her attention can be give to something as amazing as petra.

    Love it or hate it, external PR is important for Jordan. It doesn’t mean we forget about our internal problems. But if you want to play on the global stage, this celebrity stuff (as much as i find it absurd) is a big driver of attention.

    I think its also about time we all found something other that the ‘government’ to vent our anger at. Wastefulness, hypocrisy, impracticality are rampant across many strata of society, including the middle class and not just the super rich.

  • Ahmad,
    1- Give me evidence that it works..For example out the x tourists that visist jordan how many were pursuaded by madonna’s visit or for that matter any celebrity’s visit? I am dead serious, why don’t the entity resposible for tourism in jordan sample some of the tourists and ask them why they visist jordan, if reading about celebrities visiting jordan brought a significant number of them then I am for it.
    2- OK, do you think that the headline was good for petra? As a “prospective” toursit, do you think that I will be more likely to visit petra when I hear that it took madonna 15 minutes to “see” the city?
    3- Where in the report does it say the “government”, it clearly states that the queen arranged for the accomodations.
    4- If it is that great, then why don’t we see it reported in the jordanian media..Not the visist only, but the whole report?

  • @Humeid: i have to admit, that’s a very interesting angle, so thanks for leaving the comment.

    To play devli’s advocate:

    I think it is incredibly difficult to gauge the degree to which celebrity can generate tourism. When I was in toronto, they launched SARS fest about a year or two after the pandemic killed tourism for the city. The event alone brought in thousands of people. How sustainable it was, I don’t know. I think it helped in re-creating the city’s image and declaring it “sars free”, which is a stigma that under normal circumstances may have taken awhile to overcome, as opposed to a week long concert.

    These celebrity driven “events” offer bursts of tourism.

    And I see Mohanneds point that there seems to be little evidence to suggest there is a correlations between celebrity and increases in tourism. Then again, I see the difficulty in getting that kind of evidence.

    The Pope is probably one of the biggest celebrities out there, and was capable of driving a decent amount of “religious” tourism to Jordan during his visit. How sustainable that was in the long term, i don’t know. Are we still getting decent numbers because of that visit, i dont know. Knowing the country’s track record and its consistent failure to capitalize in the long run, i doubt it.

    Lastly, madonna’s visit, and other celebrity one-night-stands with jordan, doesn’t seem to be designed with the purpose of highlighting jordanian tourism. If you want to see genuine capitalization look at what the Israelis do every time a celebrity comes to visit. Coming here for 15 minutes doesn’t qualify it as a visit designed for such a purpose.

    Her visit, like many others like her, is actually reminiscent of the fact that many tourists who come to Israel are given a package to go to petra for a day trip, and many of them are thus convinced that petra is actually a part of Israel, and not Jordan. Local tourist operators have put up quite a fuss about this in the past.

  • How come celeberities takes them 15 minutes only to tour Petra, evern if she was using a Seagway, she needs more time to understand the history and stories behind Petra. Im a huge Madonna fan but couldn’t she afford flying to Petra or maybe Israel should pay for her visit, anyways we are a country and people who love to show off and favour such celeberity news.

  • i see why some people aren’t happy about her visit or the way it was conducted. but Jordan needs international publicity to be able to surface on the global map. in the west, many people follow Madonna and follow her news. me myself never liked her or any of this celebrity B.S. we must not forget that Jordan has stiff competition for international recognition in this region with players like Dubai, Israel, Qatar, etc. unfortunately, we need a lot more of this to prosper!

  • معلش يعني وقديش كلفتنا رحلة مدانا ؟وهل الملكه ستدفع الفاتوره من جيبتها؟

  • Madonna (biggest friend of israel) receives the red carpet treatment, and Khaled Mashaal (who has a jordanian passport) given 48 hours to leave the country after his father’s funeral….no comment really…

  • Time for Change …. lets build a name for Jordan not for individual people … lets learn from Dubai …The whole world knows Dubai or Qatar Not Many Knows Sheikh Mohammed Almaktoom Of Dubai Or Sheikha Muza Almessnad Of Qatar …… God Save Jordan & Our King..

  • For god sake , Dubai , the bankrupt sheikdom that was bankrolled by another sheikdom Abu Dabi , you want learn from those دول العبودية والاستغلال

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