The Christian Science Monitor

In rural Jordan, pulling power from the wind to make change on the ground

Mamdouh Al Rafoua, a community leader in Tafila in southern Jordan, stands amid rows of barley on his farm, which he has leased to the Tafila Wind Farm, April 25, 2018. Source: Taylor Luck

Mohammed, 14, walks, as he does every day each spring, with his flock of 200 sheep along the still-green slopes of southern Jordan.

Above them, fan blades 170 feet long whirl in the sky.

“That is the future,” he says, pointing his wooden staff toward the wind turbines. He nods to his sheep. “And this is our present. Side-by-side.”

In a troubled tribal town in Jordan, residents are turning to wind energy to lift the region up from underdevelopment, unemployment, and unrest, and as a model for green energy.

In the town of Tafila and surrounding villages, known collectively as the Tafila governorate, 100 miles south of Amman, some 96,000 residents have long lived in the shadow of the capital.

There is little investment or industry. Most private-sector enterprises are farms and mom-and-pop grocery and supply stores. Most Tafila residents have long relied on government jobs such as the police and the army. The

Overcoming distrustLandowner rightsUrban flightMore wind farms on tap

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