Landmark achievement

Yamaan Safady

Yamaan Safady

Back in June I blogged about how a tour-guide friend from Jordan, Yamaan Safady, had been shortlisted for a major award – the Paul Morrison Guide Awards 2009, run by Wanderlust magazine in the UK.

I was at the awards ceremony last night, at London’s Royal Geographical Society, and I can report that Yamaan took the Silver Award – a landmark achievement that confirms him as the top guide in Jordan, and one of the best in the world. Hearty congratulations to him, to Tejendra Singh, who took the Bronze Award, and to Diego Torres, who took Gold.

Yamaan also got the biggest laugh of the night. All three guides were asked by Wanderlust editor Dan Linstead to say what their clients most often wanted to know during a trip. The others said that guests asked how long they had been guiding, or which was their favourite destination. Yamaan just said “Are you married?” Brilliant.

I wish him every success. He says he wants to use his £2500 prize to qualify as an International Mountain Leader, which would make him the first Jordanian to do so and enable him to represent his country abroad. “This will allow me to lead hiking groups all over the world and promote my beautiful country – a dream come true!”

Good for you, Yamaan.