Category Bedouin life

The Sinai Trail – a 220km hiking odyssey across the desert

The Sinai Trail is a 220km epic walk accompanied by Bedouin guides through the mountains and desert of South Sinai

Hiking 200km through the desert: the Sinai Trail – part 1 – Anticipation

You know that feeling of needing a soul-stirring adventure? A little challenge to get your pulse up and give you that “alive feeling” again? That was me, stuck in my office a few months back. Bored and flicking through Facebook I found something that rang my bell: the opportunity to hike 200km through the Sinai […]

A fascination for the Sahara

Sahara is the Arabic word for desert.  Visit a desert or two, and you will find out that the desert is a magical, ever-changing landscape and not just a huge pile of sand:  huge golden dunes,  flat packed desert,  a moonscape scattered with strange rock formations or craggy and colourful mountains. If you care to spend a few days […]

What ever happens to the bracelet girls?

“Fatima, when are you getting married?” I asked 14 year old Fatima. Fatima is one of the bracelet girls who plies her colourful wares to tourists laying stretched out on sunbeds, baking themselves red-raw under the hot Egyptian sun along the beachside promenade of Dahab. Not that I expected her to get married any time soon, it’s just […]

Desert Days – spending time with nomads

Recently I had the privilege of spending a couple of days in the Sinai desert with a nomadic family. They are not quite as “nomadic” as they used to be, as modernity and necessity has crept into their lives, forcing them to adapt in different ways. Whereas children used to learn survival in the desert (how […]

The Interesting Characters of St Catherines village

The Bedouin Jebeliya tribe of the St Catherines area (South Sinai, Egypt) is full of interesting characters. In fact, I have never met so many interesting people in one place. Being around these people, with all their knowledge, fascinating old skills and wisdom, is a privilege and I learn something new every time I visit. Jamil Attiya […]

A fistful of Fata (and it’s not goat cheese)

Sitting in the dark, gravel-floor lean-to at my old Bedouin neighbours house, sipping on a glass of hot, sweet black tea, two little girls came in and said something to me in Arabic. I didn’t quite get everything they said, since my Arabic is not that great (yet!), and also since they speak another dialect, but […]

Changing Bedouin lifestyles: from the tent to a house

Times are changing fast for the Bedouin tribes of the South Sinai. Up until around 30-40 years ago most of them used to live a nomadic lifestyle in the desert, moving with the seasons to feed their herds of goats and camels on the fragrant desert herbs. They lived in tents woven from goat and […]

IN THE MOOD FOR A STORY

The electricity had gone off, but this was a good thing. There was to be no tv tonight: there was something better in store. Everyone, six children and two men, sat cross-legged in a circle, all eyes on Salameh, his face glowing in the light of the single candle, stuck to the bottom of an […]

Cars, camels and chaos – a day at the Bedouin camel races

When the chance to have a cultural experience comes along, I always take it.  So when I heard about the Wadi Zalaga camel race, there was no doubt in my mind that I had to go. This Bedouin camel race, held high up in the desert of the Sinai peninsula, Egypt, was a competition between […]