Bedouin populations in Southern Sinai are broken into 8 tribes. The Management Resource Protected Areas of Nabq and Abu Galum are inhabited by two of these tribes, Al Mezeina - one of the largest and most powerful tribes - inhabits the Southern Gulf from Nuwaiba to Sharm El Sheikh and the El Tarabin, the area from Nuweiba to Taba . The total Bedouin population in these areas is approximately 3000 individuals.
Bedouins have traditionally occupied the Sinai Peninsula. Within the limits of declared Protected Areas they retain their traditional rights and continue to occupy their settlements, women graze their sheep and goat herds and men fish. Activities that are likely to damage habitats or reduce their biodiversity are now regulated by EEAA staff in cooperation with concerned Bedouin. Bedouin staff have been contracted by the EEAA as Park Rangers or to provide services to the Protectorates.
Bedouin culture has been founded on strict tribal laws and traditions. Nature is respected, water is consumed sparingly, small water reservoirs are constructed on hillsides to assist wildlife, the relationship between coral reefs and fisheries is clearly understood and damage to reef areas is limited. Tribal law prohibits the cutting of "green trees", the penalty could be up to three 2 year old camels or their equivalent value. Bedouins have said that "killing a tree is like killing a soul". Much can be learned from that statement.
Last Updated: June 15th, 2011