The Bedouin Man

A man of the desert spawns miles and miles across his vast land. In this existence he survives on pure happiness, isolated from modern complexities of the contemporary world, where life for him is rooted on age-old traditions deepened by family, honor, respect, and an immense passion for nature. This sets the Bedouin man distinct from the common man. The legacy of a Bedouin depends on the environment he is born in. A man born in the valley of mountains or near the sea will always settle in the same setting whichever place he chooses to dwell in. Starting at the age of four, he is introduced to essential means of survival; he is taught to make bread, to cook food for his family, to help his mother with her chores, to serve tea for guests, to look for water sources, to plant crops, to weave garments from camel hair, to ride and care for a camel, to herd goats, to climb mountains, to write poetry, to fish, and to live alone in the desert with keen awareness of signs delivered through his surroundings. When he reaches 18, he can marry the bride chosen by his father and apply his learned tradition to his own family.

Among tribesmen who are distant from civilization, like Bedouins living deep in the desert and in mountain valleys, their inbred traditions remain intact. Some have managed to cross to the mainstream in order to get higher education and live among Westerners, intermittently bouncing back to the peaceful desert life that they’re accustomed to. While there are those born in modernized cities like Sharm El Sheikh, Dahab, Nuweiba and El Tur, whose lives have become intertwined in the thriving system of tourism, working as taxi drivers, divers, and tour guides since the Israeli era. And as characters bred with hospitality, it is a pleasure for them to display their culture through Bedouin dinners, smoking a communal shisha, performing music around a bonfire, desert excursions, and camel rides.

At the heart of their renowned hospitability is a proverb: “Trust in Allah, but tie your camel first”. It means that they extend their heart to their guests with a vigilance of a warrior; thus they could be your best friend if you treat them with the same patience, respect and honor that they give you or your worst enemy if you break your word and betray their trust.

Visit http://www.desert-scout.com to learn more on Bedouins and their culture.

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