Wondering, if you have ever experienced a desert holiday, in one of the bedouin tents, without the air conditioner, the comfort and facilities of your hotel rooms, the well-laid pavements of a tree-lined street or even the elegant malls and markets. Well, none of these are there, but life seems to take a different turn once you get into the shoe of a bedouin life.
Come and visit Oasis Dakhla (a part of the seven oases of the Western Desert in Egypt, a part of the Libyan Desert) and meet some of the real-life Bedouins who have never left their traditional ways of life. Let’s get familiar to their life before you actually start planning on a bedouin vacation.
Their Tent – Handwoven Masterpiece
Living in a tent brings forth a feel of adventure and the travellers isolation which he/she enjoys during a trip. A Bedouin’s tent is purely a home with limited facilities, or you may not know what treasures may lay in there.
The tent is usually woven from goats’ hair, so went it pours, the woven pattern contracts, not letting the water to get soaked and drip inside. During the heat waves, the interior of the tent remains pleasurably cool and during winters the effect is reversed. When it’s bitter cold outside, its warm and cosy inside with a small fire lit.
Their Music – Haunting & Soulful
The simple, fun-loving Bedouins are not great rockstars but they truly don’t need anything else to make music, except their voices and the rhythmic clap of hands. The haunting melodies, their dance and the blissful mood make them feel strong, united and encouraged.
Their songs have been passed down by their forefathers and families which usually talks about being happy. There are several songs for the camels to inject hope and strength in the ‘ship of the desert’. Once you’re on the camel, you can feel the positive vibe by the way your body moves.
When twilight creeps in, the fire is lit and the songs are sung with drums and a samsomeja (a typical instrument similar to a guitar) to entertain the guests.
Their Food – Simple and Gratifying
Bedouins love fetir (a kind of pancake) which is eaten with hot milk or soup. They also relish in Moraras, a pancake with samna (a kind of fat), sugar and honey.
You might not be able to carry all other food stuff into the desert; your food, in that case, will be simple and tasty. They can cook anything with rice and flour and you’ll also get a variety of freshly baked breads to dip in your curries.
Their Attire – Graceful and Pleasing
They love to wear a long gown type dress in various colours and protect their head from the cold and heat with shaals. Well, there are various ways to wear shaals and especially the males have this kind of attire.
The women frequently dress in a bright long gown, but while going out, they dress in ‘abaya’, a long black coat, maybe with embroidery. They always cover their head and hair while leaving the house. While the older generation uses ‘burqah’, the younger generation use a ‘tarha’ (shawl) to cover faces.
Their Hospitality – State-of-the-Art
Bedouins treat their guests with love, care and with tremendous hospitality. They have this belief that their homes are poor without guests. After a meal the men discuss. They enjoy sitting in a circle, or a semi-circle, reclining on a cushion or pillow and spend hours talking and smoking pipes or hookahs.
Guests are not allowed to pay anything; everything is bore by the host or the whole family. In every season, inside the tents you can see glorious smiles. They truly know how to enjoy life with whatever they have!