You’ve probably never pictured a Bedouin, his proud turban and galabeya, hiking up a mountain to do some exercise. But last October, under the sunrays of Jebel Abbas Basha in Egypt’s Sinai Mountains, this is precisely what they did.
Over 60 hikers from countries such as Russia, UK, New Zealand, Austria, Chile and Holland joined the ‘Sinai is Safe’ trek, an event entirely run by bedouins in an effort to challenge mainstream narratives of the Sinai and connect with the world in a positive way.
The group hiked up the 2,383 meters of mount Jebel Abbas Basha, one of the biggest mountains in the region and an iconic out-of-the-radar peak, which boasts an unfinished Ottoman palace at the top. “The walk isn’t just a one off event; one of its legacies will be the growth of the Hiking Club, a non-profit organization that will arrange monthly treks in the Sinai,” says Ben Hoffler, a travel writer who co-organized the hike.
The group is confident that the initiative will create momentum and encourage more tourists, both Egyptian and foreign, to embark on wellness activities. “We are hoping the walk will make more Nile Valley urbanites think about an alternative active outdoors holiday, which in turn can directly benefit local Bedouin communities,” Hoffler told BarakaBits.