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Posted on 23rd October 2014


The Nabateans grew out of a nomadic trading culture, most likely Bedouin in origin. But unlike most other nomadic societies of the time, the Nabateans established a fortified base – and held it against multiple invading forces. This base grew into the great and hidden city of Petra, the center of a far-flung network of Nabatean caravanas that criss-crossed the Middle East.

This duality had mystified historians and anthropologists, and they have trouble accurately accounting for the Nabatean influence on the region. They seem to be everywhere and on multiple sides of every conflict – warring with the Romans and Greeks, and then allied with them. Nomadic herders who leave no evidence of settlements behind, and also architects of massive cities.

But what history considers confusion, we know to be Truth. And for the Nabateans, duality was a way of life. Peaceful, until the right time to strike. Kind, until the situation calls for cruelty. Scattered, until they need to come in force.

Too often, we decide we are ONE THING, and let that definition rule our lives – and diminish our choices. The Nabateans teach us that we can be so much more than that. We are protean. We each contain multitudes, and every day we choose to be what we are. And no matter what we think of our limitations, we each have the power to face whatever challenges the world throws at us.