At the beginning of the 1970s a modernisation and urbanization process was exercised on the Bedouin which profoundly influenced their way of life and hence was detrimental to their traditions. This process involved housing the Bedouin in purpose built urban centres based on western planning models.
In reality, it is since the 50’s that some sort of modernising process has been inflicted upon the Bedouin people of Jordan involving detribalisation and sedentarization, through state sponsored agricultural projects and education.
Rum Village itself is an example of this production of cheap housing, mirroring the typical Jordanian suburb built during the 1970s, which was constructed around the Desert Patrol fort, the school and the rest house.
As a result of this the Bedouin nomadic lifestyle was profoundly changed as they settled down, and hence their customs, houses and ethnic habits were deeply influenced.
A number of academics have studied the complexity of the relationship between culture, housing, identity and user participation. It investigated into the impact of sedentarization on the Bedouin’s new housing environments. It also researched the changes in the perceptions of Bedouin culture as a result of the variety of modifications and extensions carried out by the Bedouin as users of this housing.
For example, the change from a nomadic way of living to a permanently settled lifestyle is demonstrated through the observation that the Bedouin families’ lifestyles have become more diversified between traditions and modernity. Additionally, the housing environment and design influences the way the Bedouin use the living spaces in the houses. Even the availability of basic infrastructure has had some influence on the way of living for the Bedouin.
Authenticity of Bedouin culture and traditions has also been negatively affected through the means of tourism and media stunts such as the filming of Lawrence of Arabia. Many Bedouin traditions are being lost or forgotten through the generations. It is certain individuals and organisations such as the Bedouin Heritage Project which have come to realise this and are working with the Bedouin people to capture this culture before all is lost.