Jordan's explorer: Osama Zyoud

“Over the years I found out that tour leading is one of the best jobs in the world,” says Osama Zyoud, who’s approaching his ninth year of Peregrine service. With an encyclopedic knowledge of his home country, there’s no better man to show travellers around the incredible land of Jordan.

Where are you from, and where do you live now?
I am an indigenous Jordanian, I was born and raised in the city of Zarqa, and there I went to the university to obtained a degree in tour guiding and archaeology. In 2006 I graduated from university and started working as a tour leader. Shortly after that I moved to Amman, where I have been living for six years.

If someone had just one day to spend in Jordan, where would you take them?
I take them down to Petra, which is a world heritage site that was carved out of the rose red sandstone because it's a unique place and people can't find any similar experience anywhere else on the world.

What is your favourite part of being a tour leader?
Many reasons make me love being tour leader including meeting different people from different backgrounds and cultures. Another reason make me proud of being a tour leader is seeing my clients when they finish their tour and leave the country with a different perspective about my county my culture and my religion.

What is your favourite meal to share with travellers?
Mansaf is the national dish of Jordan. The ingredients start with very flaky bread, which is placed at the platter in which the meal is served. Rice is then placed on the top of the bread. Then chunks of lamb meat are cooked in yoghurt. When cooked, the lamb and yoghurt are poured over the rice and garnished with almonds and chopped parsley.

What is your favourite place to take people?
Taking people in a city tour in Amman, where they can see the normal things that any guidebook will talk about like the Roman ruins at the citadel and the Roman amphitheater. Besides these highlights, I like to take people on a walking tour through the central part of Amman where travellers can see how Jordanians really live. We can walk through the traditional Arab 'Souks' market places like the gold market and the fruits and vegetables market.

Downtown, most people like to stop by one of the old coffeehouses to try the Arabic coffee with cardamom and to have an apple flavored water pipe - shisha. Stopping by the grand mosque of Amman, King Abdullah I Mosque, is another highlight that is worth visiting in Amman.

How do people respond the first time they see Petra?
The main response when they see Petra's large facades, especially when they have the first glimpse for the treasury 'Petra's main facade' is to release their “wows” in admiration of the intricate workmanship.

We’re currently celebrating 20 years of local leaders by offering you a chance to win 20 trips in 20 days. Enter the draw to win a spot on our Jordan Explorer trip. 

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