Bedu, the Arabic word from which the word bedouin is derived, is a simple, straightforward tag meaning “those who live in badawi” or “those who live in the desert”. There are an estimated 3 million Bedouin in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Libya, Egypt, Israel, and Sudan living a semi-nomadic lifestyle within tight-knit tribal communities dependent upon one another for survival in this harsh desert environment.
Which is undoubtedly why this patriarchal society’s ancient history is one of repeated inter-tribal warfare giving way to some sort of centralized rule, and then disintegrating back into chaos; feuds, warfare and instability have always characterized desert life. The Bedouin are to the Middle East what the Indians were to North America’s wild, Wild West. Civilization just never took root in the hostile deserts of the Middle East.
There was plenty of all three on hand the night we rolled into camp. I was feeling a bit like nobility as we arrived for dinner. The Bedouin clan had rolled out the red carpet,
It goes without saying (but I’ll say it anyway) Liz received no less than three marriage proposals before we all left Mount Sinai early the next morning .
But the memories; they were priceless!