The Trust’s projects are created through a request from local nomadic people and often new projects may suggest themselves from existing ones.
At present the Trust is fully committed to its work in the Sinai but there is an intention to develop future projects with nomadic people in the Arctic and in the Kalahari. We are exploring these possibilities.
This project, in the desert Oasis in the Sinai, a settlement dating back to before the Biblical Exodus, was where the foundation of the Makhad Trust’s vision of providing support and working with the Bedouin in the Sinai was formed
In partnership with Ruskin Mill College and the Bedouin garden owners, over a number of years, the oasis gardens have been restored with water, young trees and shelters. The small community has flourished and it has become an attractive place for tourists, where they can visit, take tea and camp overnight. This has provided the Bedouin with an additional source of income, in keeping with their ancient traditions of desert hospitality, in addition to the income from the produce of the Oasis.
There are several ways tourists can reach Ein Khudra: either by vehicle via a long desert wadi or by a short descent on foot down the beautiful White Canyon which leads to the oasis. In spite of the many tourists care is being taken by the Muzeina tribe to protect the White Canyon and keep it clean.
It may be possible in the future to open a disused well in a nearby wadi and establish a garden community with camels; this will enable camel treks to the oasis and help lessen the motor vehicle traffic.
Extending our focus alongside the Nawamis Desert Project improvements to the neighbouring
The Trust endeavours to find projects and develop them in a way that protects the natural environment. Many of its projects relate to the conservation of water and all wells in the Sinai desert and mountains will require a lifting device to raise the water in the well to a nearby storage tank. For many years a bucket and pulley system called a ‘shadoof’ was used, but this was later abandoned in favour of petrol-driven pumps. These machines are environmentally unfriendly and disturb the beauty and tranquillity of their surroundings.
We intend to explore and then promote other methods of raising the water, for example by solar or wind power. We are also investigating a simple system, based on centuries-old Chinese engineering: the Elephant Pump, which may be a suitable alternative.
The Nawamis Gathering
Plans for the inaugural Nawamis Gathering of some of the Bedouin tribes are underway. They have not been able to meet together for some time because of a lack of a suitable venue and are looking forward to an opportunity to discuss how to preserve their history and culture in the face of a fast changing world.
As an important historic area and geographically positioned at the heart of all the tribes, Nawamis provides an ideal meeting place rich with the spirit of an ancient land. The design of the Centre with its walls made from local stone, traditional tents woven from goat hair and the views across the desert, provide a perfect environment for relaxed but serious discussion.
It is envisaged that the Gathering might begin with a simple Bedouin meal followed by discussion in the traditional Bedouin manner. Bedouin musicians would play and women will demonstrate their craft of weaving. Camel racing might be incorporated if the conditions are favourable.
To preserve the culture and traditions of the Bedouin of the
South Sinai Bedouin
Makhad Trust groups will help to prepare the site ready for the Gathering
Sheikhs from the Bedouin tribes