Visit the village of Dana and you will feel that you have stepped back in time. It is a 15th century, mountain village built in the Ottoman style. With its stone arches, winding streets and mountain surroundings, it will melt your heart.
Dana sits at the edge of the Dana Nature Reserve. The 14 km hiking trail through Wadi Dana to the archaeological sites of Feinan in Wadi Araba begins at the end of the village.
The people of Dana are from the Ata’ta tribe (العطاعطة or العطاطة) and until recent years, were Bedouin farmers.
The customary land extended from Al-Husayniyah to Qadisyah in the east and Wadi Araba in the west, to Showbak in the south and north to Busayra. The area now known as the Dana Nature Reserve is part of this customary land.
In the early 1980s, most of Dana’s families moved to the nearby ‘new’ village of Qadisiyah to pursue work opportunities and a better quality of life.
The village fell into disrepair when the majority of the villagers left, but a large restoration project is underway.
The Dana Cooperative plays a key role in the restoration process, and the houses still belong to the people of Dana.
The village has terraced gardens and orchards which are slowly being restored. Walk in the gardens, and it is easy to feel that you are in a Mediterranean mountain village rather than southern Jordan.
Although most locals now live in Qadisiyah, Dana is still a great place to observe traditional, Bedouin mountain village life. The locals come to Dana to tend their land, work in tourism or restoration projects, or just to catch up with friends.