Festival “Magic of the Desert” – Aurora

Discovering the tourism bedouin in the Negev
Text and photos: Chiquita Levov

Parque Industrial Idán Hanéguev
Industrial Park Idán Hanéguev

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Development Authority of the Negev invite you all to discover the Tourism Bedouin, which is a kind of “Magic of the Desert” with special attractions and unique for the whole family through which you will be able to experience the smells, tastes and the tradition of hospitality bedouin. The development of this new tourism is encouraged by the above-mentioned institutions that invite you to visit all of the Negev. For more information: www.gonegev.co.il or bedotourism@gmail.com

Mariam BatHamidvar
Mariam BatHamidvar

There is an Industrial Park, Idán Hanéguev in which specific dates are set up a tent bedouin hospitality and concerts are offered, and numbers art with musicians of Rahat and Bnei Shimon, activities and circus shows, the market “Shukran” with entrepreneurs of the markets bedouins

Assad, Naama y Amal en Lakia
Assad, and Naamah, and Amal in Lakia

In this area it is advisable to visit the site “the Bat Hamidvar” (Daughter of the desert) with his carp of traditional hospitality and the organic garden with desert plants, located in Tel Sheva, near be’er Sheva, to meet Mariam Abo Rkeek and participate in various activities such as lectures and workshops of authentic secrets of health and beauty of the woman bedouin.

Assad el Assad en el invernadero
Assad Assad in the greenhouse

Mariam also tells about her life which by the way is very interesting. She is one of the main women in the bedouin society both in social as in terms of tourism and business. Studied business administration in England about 20 years ago and returned with a vision that their resources are their sources, to the small bedouin village of Tel Sheva.
He explains that long before the institutionalization of the terms “environment” and “ecology” bedouin society lived a life of sustainable and eco-friendly, so that the daily use of herbs and plants for medicine, food, and natural cosmetics were their tradition.

El Palacio Huria
The Palace Huria

Currently and with the advent of technology, Mariam implements the knowledge he acquired in his youth, returning to the use of active substances in plants of the desert soaps, body lotions and much more.

El director de Wadi Attir Proyecto de Agricultura Ecológica
The director of the Wadi Attir Project of Ecological Agriculture

Besides learning about the herbs, you will be able to understand the model for female entrepreneurship in the bedouin society, which is going through an interesting process of modernization.

Gaber en la cueva en el Monte de Drejat
Gaber in the cave in the Mount of Drejat

Visiting Lakia, it is suggested to visit three projects: the embroidery workshop, the nursery of the desert and the palace Khoury. Each season offers a new and stimulating activity, its development speaks of the history of the local people and a variety of workshops for all the family
The Embroidery Workshop of the Desert, directed and founded by Naamah, AlSana is in reality an Association of improvement of the status of women, bedouin, and offers business support.
In your local you can see the magic and charm of works that reflect the desires of the hearts of several women. The products are for sale and are very varied and of high quality. There is also the experience of the workshops of tissues and preparation of bracelets, using the wool. Khadra AlSana is the precursor that has established the project of tissues in the bosom of bedouin women for the employment them of freedom and improve your situation.

La pintoresca Drejat
The picturesque Drejat

In the vicinity is the farm nursery of Assad, The Assad where you can discover the wonders of the healing plants of the natural medicine bedouin, the use of utensils and the explanation on the use of herbs according to the ancient tradition of bedouin. Also listen to the story of Assad who was raised in a village not recognized and his dream was to work with the plants and to connect nature and people, and succeeded in a big way. Sometimes there are here musical performances and workshops.

Salem y su esposa en Rahat
Salem and his wife in Rahat

The Armón Huria (Palace Huria) located in a building in the surprising dating from the period of ottoman rule and belonged to a large merchant of spices, which arrived in the area from Gaza to Beer Sheva and to Lakia to do business. Over the years the palace was left empty and abandoned. Until a few years ago, the granddaughter of the merchant Amal Abu Fund, a registered nurse, decided to restore the building and build a luxury resort within this building of historical style-eco. Visitors will enjoy special workshops of drawing, preparation of falafel, a workshop to make the dish bedouin “maklubeh”. The entrance to all the sites in Lakia is free and serves tea / coffee, free for the workshops are paid a small fee that includes the materials that are used in the same.

El shuk (mercado) en Rahat
The shuk (market) in Rahat

Another suggestion is to visit “Wadi Attir” where is the wonderful agricultural project with international recognition, is an innovative initiative of the bedouin community of the Negev worthy of imitation and which is the pride of the people of the area. In a vast space and established a farm only based on the traditional knowledge of the bedouin society. You can visit the greenhouses for the cultivation of herbs and organic vegetables, the center of the seeds only collected from the bedouin settlements that went through genetic modifications and participate in workshops for making cheese, or games and crafts using colored sand.

You can visit Drejat one of the most picturesque villages and unique in its style in the Negev, inhabited by the so-called fellahin. It is a small town pastoral of great charm, with only about 1,000 inhabitants, but has one of the highest percentages of enrollment of studies in the arab sector and 0 percent unemployment. The desert landscape is impressive, and makes in a village that offers a tourist experience fascinating for those who want to be exposed to a culture slightly different. The experience includes a guided visit to the cultural heritage of the residents that currently live, the fellahin

Construcción en Rahat
Construction in Rahat
Naamá in the Center of the Embroidery

During the tour you can enjoy the hospitality and authentic in the best traditions of the inhabitants Falah. Hear about the fascinating human story, where the life of the people is intertwined to preserve the traditions and ancient culture, and characterizes the bedouins: the family hospitality, the warm reception, kindness and generosity. But what is more important is the guided visit to the cave of mt.
Drejat was founded in the mid 19th century by the peasants of the hills south of Hebron, to the south and the Negev and settled down on the edge of the valley of Arad.

El invernadero de Assad el assad
The greenhouse Assad assad

Gaber Abu Hammad, one of the leaders and entrepreneurs of the town Drejat, is the owner of the old cave on the mountain. (Mearat Hahar) and a tourist resort. Invites you to go to the village with stories about the rich history of the place, from the antiquity until the modern times, passing through the modernization of the impressive people. On the route there are stations, you can pet goats, meet the camels, donkeys and horses, conferences, and familiarity with insects, snakes, birds, herbs, plants, station, make cheese, conferences, and workshops in sustainability and the environment, workshop of baking for children, sales of cheeses, honey products and organic cosmetics and more.
The local bedouin of Rahat also offers tours, culinary experiences and its inhabitants invite the tourists to discover this southern town, which is the bedouin town largest in the country. The visits are carried out in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Development of the periphery, the Municipality of Rahat, and community centers. It is suggested to start the walk in the industrial park “Idan Ha Negev” to the side of Lehavim, which is next to the company “Sodastream”.
The professional guide Salem Abu Busiam resides in Rahat, and knows all their secrets. We note that this is a bedouin town that combines agriculture with the industrial, urban and rural, where one can perceive the elements of progress and technology, without affecting the tradition and tribalism. Takes visitors through the streets of the city and the market. Receive the tourists well in your home where there is a bedouin tent with authentic that you can taste the flavors prepared by his wife and listening to stories and enjoying the hospitality bedouin.
We also recommend a visit to the Centre, Joe Alon is a tourist site and educational it is dedicated to the topic of civilization in the Negev, and where is the only museum of bedouin culture in all over the world. Here you can see the old crafts inspired by the old villages and where we will also offer interesting workshops for the whole family.


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