The Bedouin society living in the driest regions
of the Sinai Peninsula are among the last nomadic societies demonstrating
traditional strategies of survival in arid and hyperarid regions receiving less
than 50-30 mm on average, subjected to long periods of droughts. These
strategists were practiced during the last hundred years and were probably
inherited from ancient pastoral and nomadic societies inhabiting these desert
regions for thousands of years.
Several case studies, documented in Central
Sinai region during the years 1970-1979, will be presented:
1: The Ahiwat Bedouin tribe, living in Central
Sinai along "Darb el Hag', was exposed to 5 years of drought following the
great flood event in Wadi el Arish drainage basin at 1975. However, this
Bedouin community, subsidized mainly on herding of goats and camels, showed
high adaptation to the long-term extreme aridity. During the successive drought
years, the herds were directed to grazing areas in increasing distance from a
main central well. At the fifth year of drought, the distance between the well
and the grazing area, organized in a circle around the well, reached 40 km.
Camels were sent to the well to carry water to keep the goat herd alive.
Inspite the harsh desert environment imposing poverty on this society, people
of this tribe remain proud and happy.
2: Grazing and dwelling strategies practiced
among Bedouin families living in the Egma Plateau, the most isolated and dry
region of Central Sinai. These strategies were enabling rehabilitation of the
natural vegetation after heavy grazing.
3. The development of local water resources by
the Bedouin inhabitants of Central Sinai, mainly by the excavation of new well
in selected locations based on good understanding of the local geodiversity and
The special adaptation skills demonstrated by
the present Bedouin population of Central Sinai are shading light on the
ability of ancient nomadic- pastoral societies to occupy this harsh desert land
for centuries, inspite climatic fluctuations that were imposed on this land
during the Holocene.
The extended abstract and supplementary material