Photographer's Note

I just got back from Wadi El Gemal, which litteraly translates into "Valley of the Camels", one of Egypt's southernmost protected areas. The desert Wadi spills out onto the coast of Marsa Alam into mangroves.

The wadi is inhabited by wild camels but this fellow is trained and "operated" by Beshari bedouins, the thread in his nose indicates that he is not a wild camel.

The community of the area is composed of three tribes: Bishari, which represents the majority of the population, Ababda, a smaller tribe, and Rashayda, a minority with only a few thousand people.

The first two tribes both originally spoke different dialects of a spoken language called To-Bedawie, more commonly known as Rotana. The Ababda tribe now speaks Arabic, while Bisharin still cling to their mother tongue — though they also know Arabic.

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Additional Photos by Betty Khoury (Betty) Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 25 W: 0 N: 33] (145)
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