An introduction to Jordan

Read more about SPANA's work in Jordan

SPANA Jordan director Dr Ghazi Mustafa treating a light brown donkeyDr Ghazi Mustafa is our country director in Jordan. He has worked for SPANA for 20 years and studied to be a vet in Syria.

What is it like working for SPANA in Jordan?
After I left the army I joined SPANA –Jordan in 1995, and I have learned so much about animals. I have really enjoyed helping all kinds of different animal. I have never wanted to feel that I have been unable to help an animal so I have dedicated my life, day and night, to helping them. Animals in Jordan suffer from a variety of different problems; mostly ill-treatment due to ignorance. Educating owners and the younger generation is the key to changing the future for animals in Jordan to ensure they are treated with kindness and well looked after.

What is the best part about your job?
I have treated many different kinds of animals and as vet I feel so happy when I see animals recovering after an operation. If an animal requires surgery then it is because they have really got to stage where they are very sick. When they recover I feel incredibly satisfied and happy. Without SPANA providing all the facilities and the medicine then it would be impossible for us to help these animals.

What has been a memorable experience whilst working for SPANA?
Years ago as I used to leave my house to go to work, my children would notice me going. One day my oldest child, my daughter, decided she would like to join me. After that she wanted to come back every day to help the animals. When she was younger she had always said that she wanted to be a dentist, but the effect of seeing these animals in need meant that after she finished school she actually decided to become a vet. I’m so happy that the younger generations are moving in to careers that improve animal welfare, and I hope that my daughter will continue to help animals for many years to come.

What is your favourite thing about Jordan?
The Jordanian desert is incredibly beautiful. You have to see it to believe it as it’s like another planet. In the summer the night sky looks amazing. If you are very lucky you will be able to see so many wonderful creatures in the desert; including the camels that SPANA helps to treat. There are many animals that migrate over Jordan to Africa so we get to see them during the year as well. Of course I have to mention our ancient cities such as the one at Petra; it is a World Heritage Site that is a very important part of human history and culture.

All about Jordan

Landscape of buildings in JordanJordan is officially known as the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. It is found in the Middle East and shares borders with other countries such as Saudi Arabia. Jordan became an independent state in 1946. It is located in a very good strategic position and so has been under many different rulers in its history including the Pharaohs of Egypt, the Babylonians and the Romans.

Parts of Jordan are considered desert, especially in the East. They do have some water though from oasis and some water streams that appear in different seasons. Other parts of the country are forested and also used for farming. The climate is generally warm but can get colder at times; in fact it can snow in winter in some places such as Amman.

Agriculture counts for nearly half of all products and services in Jordan in a year. In rural areas many people rely on working animals in order to transport themselves and goods. They are also used in farming and different animals work to plough fields.

Camels are used throughout the country for transportation; they are reliable, hardy animals that cope well with travel through desert areas. Bedouins keep camels for a variety of different reasons. Some are used to travel through desert regions, some are used for racing and others as a food source; milk.

Jordan is a popular tourist destination as it has many historical sites. Petra is a famous city in Jordan that has been used in many different films and it receives hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. There are many other historical sites across Jordan. Many people choose to visit these sites by camel or have a donkey help to carry their load. These animals help their owners to generate an income from tourism.


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