Dahab Sinai Retreat

Fred Schlomka

For the next few days I'll be working from a Bedouin Tent on the beach of Dahab, on the east coast of the Sinai Peninsula. The tent is equipped with broadband wireless internet which makes it convenient to update the web site, post to the blog, email, and internet phone calls. Of course my Israeli cel phone works here too, and my other phone which temporarily has an Egyptian sim card in it for local calls. The communication revolution has definitely come to the Sinai.

While I am lounging on cushions doing business in the tent, my two teenage children are off scuba diving in the reef. And this other world is just 7 hours from Tel Aviv.

Dahab is a lovely low-key resort catering to divers and others looking for an off beat vacation. Our hosts are a mix of local Bedouin and Egyptian entrepreneurs who buy or lease property from the Bedouin and invest capital in tourist businesses. Many Egyptians also come here from Cairo to work. In addition there is a sprinkling of foreigners from all over the world who have made Dahab their home, running dive centers, guest houses, or working for Egyptian-owned businesses.

Unlike the Negev Bedouin who are under siege by the Israeli government, having their land confiscated and their homes demolished, the Sinai Bedouin were given rights by the Egyptian Authorities after the peninsula was returned by Israel in the 1980s. Today there are Bedouin entrepreneurs, business owners, taxi drivers, employers and landowners. The situation is not perfect. There are conflicts between the native Bedouin and the Egyptian immigrants. However the Bedouin hold their heads high and retain the proud traditions of their people amidst modernity.

Under development at ToursInEnglish.com is an alternative Sinai tour, which would begin in Israel with visits and overnight stays with the Bedouin of the West Bank and the Negev Desert. Then the tour will head south across the border for an exploration of the status of the Sinai Bedouin. After visiting the tribespeople in the interior the tour will pause in Dahab for some recreation and meetings with local Bedouin. After a few days of beach time, diving and rest, the group will be returned to israel.

We are currently exploring a seven-day and a ten-day option and will have the trip planned and online by the end of August with the first tour scheduled in December.

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1 comment:

  1. If you call this a retreat??? About 1 hour from Dahah you have Ghannah Lodge, this is a retraet to relax and enjoy wellness.
    http://ghannahlodge.wordpress.com

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