Involvement of local people
Yallajabaleya! operates in partnership with the local Bedouin tribe, the Jabaleya.
All campsites are owned by the Jabaleya. All guides belong to the Jabaleya. Our camel teachers are Jabaleya. The Ecolodge is managed by a Jabaleya family. The Herbal Garden is owned by Oda. The Camel School is owned by Mohamed Musa. All trekking is organised through Sheikh Mousa, who runs the local Jabaleya cooperative, ensuring the fair distribution of work through the clans and families of the tribe.
Development of new skills and social projects
By visiting the Herbal Garden, visitors will be helping to support the efforts of Oda and his family to sustain traditional gardening methods.
By joining the camel school, pupils will be helping support new skill development amongst the young Bedouin as they learn to pass on their riding skills in structured lessons.
A women’s area has been constructed in the garden of the camel school where Bedouin women can feel comfortable in passing on their experience to Western women.
The star school is fostering a retrieval of old Bedouin star lore that has virtually disappeared, We are also training Bedouin guides in the identification of constellations so that they can assist visitors when trekking.
Visitors will have an opportunity to buy crafts from Fansina, http://fansina.net, an initiative run by local Bedouin women.
There are opportunities to visit the women in Abu Silla and Tarfa who weave Bedouin rugs from the wool of goats, camels and sheep. Guests are welcome to purchase the rugs directly from the families.
The Jabaleya have traditionally used the local herbs for medicinal purposes. By promoting herbs in our Herbal Garden, we are helping to sustain traditional practices.
In the past, the High Mountains would receive several days of rain in the year, enough to supply the underground aquifers, springs and wells. Then for 10 years the area suffered a severe drought. Many wells dried up and gardens became desiccated. Fortunately, the drought broke in 2011 and garden have been coming back to life again. Nevertheless, we continue to be economical in the use of water. All toilets are dry composting toilets. For drinking, only bottled water is used.
Service and hospitality
The Jabaleya have generations of experience assisting visitors and pilgrims to the Mount Sinai region. All of them are attentive to the needs of visitors. Simple hygiene measures are taken in the preparation of meals. Our camel teachers have been trained to supervise their pupils at all times when on camelback. Some have better English than others, but all are skilled at communication. Visitors will receive the hospitality that is an enduring Bedouin tradition, providing vital support in the sometimes hazardous conditions of desert life.
Concerns and suggestions
Central to our vision is the exchange of experience between our guests and the Bedouin. Guests are encouraged to engage in a dialogue with their hosts.
Information on tribal structure and recent social changes will soon be appearing on our website.
Despite all our efforts to provide a supportive framework, oversight or misunderstanding may still give grounds for complaint. Our guests are encouraged to direct all suggestions, concerns or complaints to our director, Gordon Wilkinson, who will do his best to address all issues.