The Native Inhabitants: the Bedouins
Bedouin society, based on tribal bonds and fierce loyalty to family, is now subject to profound and radical changes that will most likely result in a progressive loss of identity. With their traditional grazing and camping grounds now being developed, and the lure of tourism dollars too great to withstand, many are giving up the old more difficult life of shepherding in favor of new careers as taxi drivers, tour guides, and even hotel owners.
The classic tents, a symbol of the nomadic way of life, are becoming increasingly rare, replaced by shacks made of sheet metal, cardboard and bits of wood. As the Bedouins succumb to these modern changes, the rarity of their once flourishing lifestyle and traditions has transformed them into a Sinai novelty and tourist attraction.
They have watched Sinai’s history unfold before them, enduring conquests and wars, living under an array of despots, kings and Caliphs, sadly, it is the modern incursions of development and tourism that most dangerously threaten the Bedouin’s existence.