Nawamis Desert Project Overview

Description

After a request for help from the Muzeina villagers of Nawamis in the South Sinai desert, Egypt, the Makhad Trust is in the process of setting up a project to benefit the economy of this area. It will enable the Bedouin villagers to remain in their desert homes and maintain their traditional way of life based on the hosting of travellers in the desert.   It will also provide a special meeting place where Bedouin tribes can gather and celebrate.

Blending with the stunning landscape, an attractive Centre has been constructed which will provide accommodation for visitors and a place to display traditional crafts such as weaving and silk bag making.

Visitors will be able to take a camel ride to explore the desert and visit the nearby Nawamis Burial Chambers.  The camel economy will be increased and a Camel Clinic is planned once the Centre is well established.

A geographically significant area to three of the great religious traditions, Nawamis is an ideal space for different groups to meet.  The Centre’s tented rooms, easily adaptable, provide friendly and symbolic spaces to host small or large groups.

A Nawamis Society Egyptian NGO (Non Governmental Organisation) has been set up to include all the villagers in the management, protection and development of the Centre.

Purpose

To revitalise the Muzeina Community

To provide a meeting place for the Bedouin

To encourage and protect traditional crafts

Beneficiaries

The villagers:  An increased economy based on trade from the Centre will benefit all the Nawamis villagers who will be able to remain in their desert homes.

The wider Bedouin community: Bedouin tribes will be able to meet and discuss their history and traditions and celebrate with camel festivals.

Visitors:  An important exchange of cultures will occur with visitors from many different countries.

Project Work

Practical work provided by Makhad Trust Groups from the United Kindgom, including Universities and Colleges, has included the construction of stone walls and the making of environmentally friendly earth bricks from sand and clay.

Partners

Faraj Sabah Hodair, elder of the Muzeina tribe

The Nawamis community

Bedouin Tribal Elders

Current Status

The Centre has been completed and attractively furnished ready for daytime and overnight visitors. The tented rooms with their comfortable cushions, the flowering shrubs,palm trees and many beautiful potted plants make a welcome resting place. Hot and cold drinks are available and simple freshly prepared meals can be supplied on request. Mirjam, the resident manageress, can be contacted for bookings and to advise on excursions in the area.

Contact: Mirjam – tel +20 (0)19 133 6805  email nawamiscenter@gmail.com