“It’s a part of Egypt that’s ignored and we know nothing about, to some extent,” Ms. El Samra said that she drove through the gravelly sandy sand. “This is a part of Egypt where you feel very safe with the people. It’s very nice, it’s pristine, it’s undiscovered. It’s very different than most of what we do all over Egypt. And I like building some muscles.”
Ms. El Samra was part of a smaller but steadily growing group of Egyptian endurance and adventure athletes and travelers turned to running, hiking and triathlon racing after the collapse of Egypt’s revolution in 2011. The activities were seen as an opportunity to express frustrations, gain independence or to simply discover their country.
Hiking It is still an uncommon activity in Egypt. The Before the outbreak, the Sinai Trail was home to a handful of hikers. of 2020. In 2021, the number of people affected by this disease plummeted to a few. of Travel restrictions. More hikers came back this year than ever before, with 70 visitors from all over the globe joining us for a weekend hike that was tied to the United Nations’ annual climate conference (COP27), which took place in Sharm el Sheikh the next month. If everything goes according to plan, Sinai Trail will be hosting its first end–to-end hike. of Next October, the route will be 350 miles.
Returning to the traditions
The trails offer Bedouins a chance to go back to their roots, and to make a living from the mountains.
Many Sinai Bedouins moved from the desert to the coast or the Nile Valley during a period of drought in the 1990s. of the Alegat tribe, who spent two years with Mr. Hoffler mapping out the trail’s South Sinai routes and served as a guide during the COP27-related hike in October. Modernity, and the fall of Tourism in the first decade of this century also attracted Sinai Bedouins. Mr. Barakat, 36, returned to the mountains to work on the trail after working as a cook in his family’s restaurant in Abu Zenima on the west coast, he said.
The After a meal, Mr. Barakat said that Bedouins had been made to adapt. of After a delicious meal of grilled lamb and vegetable soup was served, Mr. Barakat sang a traditional song about love while playing a tabla.
“We have internet, we have phones,” He said. His people and he were done. “become like the Egyptians,” He stated.
However, the Sinai Trail gives Mr. Barakat an opportunity for his tribespeople to return to their traditional way of life. of life.