Israel, being part of Asia in the Middle East, has many "Desert Dwellers" or "Bedouins" as they call themselves, in its desert lands.
Descended from Nomads who lived in the Arabian and Syrian deserts, the Bedouins are an Arab semi-nomadic ethnic group which is devided into many tribes or clans. They usually are seen herding camels and goats.
In modern days many Bedouins abandoned their nomadic and tribal style and started living an urban life, though they still retain traditional Bedouin concepts, such as: music, poetry, dancing etc. "Urbanised Bedouins" also hold traditional camel riding and camping in the deserts because they live within close proximity to deserts and other wilderness areas.
Livestock and herding, principally of goats and dromedary camels comprised the traditional livelihoods of Bedouins. These two animals are used for meat, dairy products and wool. Most of the staple foods that made up the Bedouins' diet are dairy products.
Camels, in particular, have numerous cultural and functional uses. Having been regarded as a "gift from God", they are the main food source and method of transportation for many Bedouins. In addition to their extraordinary milking potentials under harsh desert conditions, their meat is occasionally consumed by Bedouins. As a cultural tradition, camel races are organized during celebratory occasions, such as weddings orreligious festivals.
Oral poetry is the most popular art form among Bedouins. Having a poet in one's tribe is highly regarded in society. In addition to serving as a form of art, poetry is used as a means of conveying information andsocial control.
Many of the Israeli Bedouins live in the Negev and Judea deserts. All Israeli Bedouins have Israeli Citizenship since 1954. About 1,600 Bedouin serve as volunteers in the Israel Defense Forces, many as trackers in the IDF's elite tracking units.
Famously, Bedouin shepherds were the first to discover the Dead Sea Scrolls, a collection of Jewish texts from antiquity, in the Judean caves of Qumran in 1946. Of great religious, cultural, historical and linguistic significance, 972 texts were found over the following decade, many of whom were discovered by Bedouins.
Our Bedouin experience tours begin in a Bedouin Village where you'll be welcomed with the delicious traditional Bedouin tea. After that, you'll go for a Camel ride or a Jeep tour to see the sunset from the cliffs watching the Dead Sea and the Jordan desert just below you.
Camping with the Bedouins is an amazing experience! After the sun sets you'll be surrounded by the magical desert night and the fire will be lit just to show you the surrealistic images of Bedouins making you dinner: a tasty meal of chicken and lamb meat accompanied by the famous Bedouin tea - all made on the fire in front of you while the stars shine bright above your heads, sitting on mattresses and cushions upon the desert ground.
Bedouin folklor tales will then be told, and fill your imagination with Desert spirits and heroes holding swords to defend themselves against evil demons. You'll learn a lot from these stories about the Bedouin tradition and life-style.
After waking up to the orange and pink colors of the morning sky, you'll get into the Jeep and continue your journey into the desert landscape. Parking above a deep ravine, we'll start climbing down on foot into the beautiful desert canyons of the Judea Desert. Your eyes will be amazed by the magical vistas: waterfalls, pools of water, cliffs and canyons in the middle of the desert, some of them can be used for a cold swim in contrast to the hot climate of the desert.
In that point you'll notice a lot of high dry waterfalls, some of them with pools full of water at the bottom, which we'll be able to rappel down using professional rappellling equipment. Our professional rappelling guides will teach you how to use them so you rappel safely to the ground and experience one of the most amazing extreme adventures there can be in the desert: canyoning and rappelling!
Driving back in the jeep with a big smile on your face will take you back to the Bedouin village where some hot tea will wait for you to refresh yourself from the journey.
After relaxing a bit, you'll get served with a great meal, all made in the Bedouin traditional recipes including Bedouin pita bread, salads ,delicious rice and vegetables ‘Magluba’ dish, a traditional ‘Matfuna’ dish - a whole stuffed chicken, delicious home-made kebab and side dishes, hot tea and black coffee.
The basic dining habits of the Bedouins have remained unchanged over time.
They eat simple foods that reflect their pastoral roots. Based on uncomplicated but careful preparations, the everyday diet of the Bedouins who continue to maintain a primarily nomadic way of life relies heavily on bread and dates, lamb, mutton, goat and occasionally camel meat, and the milk of these animals, along with game and wild berries found in the desert. Despite this seeming simplicity, Bedouin cooking is often delicate, aromatic and rich with natural flavors.
The rules of courtesy and hospitality that surround traditional Bedouin dining are also rich. To dine in a Bedouin home is to accept not only the hospitality, but the protection of one's host. So formalized are the rules of hospitality that it is known that for three days after a meal, even if a guest has traveled many miles in that time, he remains under the protection of the family with which he dined. At traditional meals, nearly all food is eaten with the fingers, a custom far more sophisticated and difficult to master than most Westerners realize.
The drive home will be a mix between reality and a faded dream about the experience you just had, and you'll have for sure a memory which you'll never forget in your entire life!
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