Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Desert dwellers

DESERT DWELLERS -- for today's ABC Wednesday.

Our bus stopped in the middle of nowhere on the Jerusalem-to-Jericho Road to let this family get off.
The women, in their finest clothing, walked across the highway and climbed over the side barrier and returned to their encampment.

Some Bedouin still prefer to live as nomads, as shepherds tending goats, sheep, and camels.

Enlarge these photos and look for goats feeding at the troughs, the corrals, the tin structures, the black goat hair tents, the car in its carport.

I love the desert.
I admire the desert dwellers.


Leo said...

a nomadic colony? very nice photographs of the desert dwellers :)

photowannabe said...

I love the juxiposition of the cultures. Tents versus cars in the carport.
A very interesting people. Thanks for sharing.

Jørgen Carlsen said...

Four interesting photos of a 2010 reality, which - I guess - has been the bedouins way of living for very long time - but in a way they follow the time by having a car.

Gramma Ann said...

I learned something new again today. What a fascinating D Day post. I wonder if the cars run, or are just parked there. A very Different way of life, for sure.

B SQUARED said...

A concept that is so foreign to us in the west.

Leslie: said...

Um...I'm wondering about toilet facilities here.

Dimple said...

Amazing. I'm fascinated by the corral made of shipping pallets.

Sara said...

Fascinating to look closely at the photos and see all the details. I notice some structures also have a bit of a green garden too, among all those bare brown hills.

Roger Owen Green said...

very interesting. I think I'd be DOOMED if I were to live in the desert.

ROG, ABC Wednesday team

wenn said...

nice shots!

Julie said...

Their desert is a dry desolate place, Dina. I would not like to be there when a wind comes a howling. I love them in their finery crossing the highway and clambering the fence. I love the insight you are able to provide across the divide in Israel.

Pietro said...

The desert is so fascinating. Great shots, Dina.

Petrea said...

I might have had a romanticized picture in my mind for "Bedouin," but what you show here is reality. Thanks for another astounding post, dear Dina.

Sarah said...

I enjoyed your post Dina...living in the desert would be a difficult type of life style but some people prefer to do it beacuase of their own reasons so it's admirable!

Reader Wil said...

In these photos old and modern times meet. Are there really people who prefer the dusty desert to the green woods and mountains?

mrsnesbitt said...

Worlds apart yet united each Wednesday! Wonder of technology!

Thanks so much
ABC Team

JM said...

I also love the desert and I really enjoyed you have showed us their encampment.

GreensboroDailyPhoto said...

I love the desert too. The ecosystem is really quite diverse and the people who live there have got to be the world's toughest and most resourceful!

Eki said...

It looks like it's a tough life there. How do they feed their cattles, Dina?

Stefanie said...

The road between Jericho and Jerusalem reminds me of the parable of the Good Samaritan, is that right?

Dina said...

Shalom Stefanie, right you are!

And just last year the Inn of the Good Samaritan took on renewed life. (I have not seen it yet.)
Here is the good news from the Israel Antiquities Authority website:

"Today, 4 June 2009, the Museum of the Good Samaritan opened to the public. This is the only mosaic museum in Israel, displaying mosaics and other finds discovered in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip.

The site, located on the main road between Jerusalem and Jericho, is identified with the biblical Ma'ale Adumim, which was located at the junction between the lands of the tribes of Benjamin and of Judah (Josh. 15:7; 18:17). In the Byzantine period it was identified with the inn mentioned in the Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25–37). This parable includes men of three different faiths: Jesus, the founder of Christianity, Jews, and a Samaritan who performs a merciful deed. Accordingly, the museum exhibits mosaics and artifacts from both Jewish and Samaritan synagogues, as well as from churches.

The mosaics are divided into two groups: those on open-air display and those inside the museum building. In addition, various artifacts from different places are on exhibit.

The museum is situated within the Inn of the Good Samaritan site, which includes Second Temple-period remains such as dwelling caves, cisterns from different periods, and the reconstructed Good Samaritan Byzantine church. These remains serve to underline the importance of the site for Christians through the ages.

The site was developed and restored by the Civil Administration's Staff Officer of Archeology and Antiquities and the Israel Antiquities Authority, financed by the Tourism Ministry with a total investment of 10 million shekel.
The Inn of the Good Samaritan is conveniently situated on the route frequently traveled by pilgrims and tourists traveling from Jerusalem to the holy sites in the Galilee.
Other sites of particular interest to Christian tourists in the area include the baptism site of Qasr el Yahud on the Jordan river which is in the final stages of a major renovation program, and the archeological site of Qumran."
Other interesting webpages about the place are

Dina said...

Eki, I think you mean livestock? The Bedouin don't have cattle (cows).
I'm not sure of the answer for you.
Goats are browsers and can eat tough plants, I know. Maybe they manage to find a little bit to eat during the summer. When the rain starts, around October, more (but not much) vegetation will sprout in the desert.
I guess meanwhile the Bedouin have to buy feed for their sheep and goats.
I'll try to find out more.

Dina said...

Reader Wil, that is a good question. I wish I had someone to ask.
The State's policy on the Bedouin is complex and problematic. I am not the one to explain it.
I guess when I wrote "Some Bedouin still prefer to live as nomads" I meant that they prefer that to being "settled" in a city like Rahat or in villages and living in houses instead of tents.
The Bedouin in northern Israel have it a lot greener.

Dina said...

Sarah, so glad to see you again and glad you found a way to be able to see blog photos again! Welcome back!

Petrea, romanticized, yes, good point. Come to think about it, as a teenager in Chicago I went to see "Lawrence of Arabia" so many times. I think it influenced me to move to the Mideast. And I STILL want to see Wadi Rum.

Julie, yes, true. And not only wind. Last February the country had torrential rains. Flash floods came down on these poor Bedouin who were encamped in or near the wadis and much of their livestock was swept away.

Sara, yes, isn't that wonderful, the one place with greenery on it?!
I wish I could go in and visit.

Dimple, ha, yeah, pallets are very versatile and Bedouin are very resourceful.

Leslie, umm, good question. ??

Gramma Ann, Photowannabe, and Jorgen, I hope the car works. It would take a long time to get to the nearest civilization on their donkey.
Buses are not so frequent, and none run at night.

Leo, not sure how you are defining colony. I'd say they are probably of one "chamoola," which is Arabic for clan or tribe.

B Squared, Roger, wenn, Pietro, Denise, JM, Jan of Greensboro, thank you all for contributing your thoughts. Shalom!

jay said...

Fascinating! Love the shelters built for the animals and cars! And .. is one of those tankers for water? Modern twist on an ancient culture!

VP said...

It was a tourist thing, but I spent a very interesting couple of hours with some Bedouins under their tents.

Jew Wishes said...

What wonderful captures of life. And the blend of simple architecture, cars and the desert environment.

Thanks for sharing a bit of history re the Bedouins.

Kay said...

We met some Bedoins in Jordan. I remember remarking that the black clothing must be awfully hot for the women. The fellow told me it was quite comfortable because the black color made it difficult to look through so the women could use a very light material. I found this hard to believe. I like to avoid black in the hot sun because it absorbs the heat. Ah well...

Dina said...

Jay, yes, I imagine that is a water tanker.

VP, you did well to book a tour that included Bedouin hospitality.

Jew Wishes, thanks. Simplicity is always best.

Kay, I also find black to be the worst to wear in the hot sun.

Studies have found that even in sunny Israel certain populations suffer from Vitamin D deficiency rickets. Childbearing-age women and sometimes their newborns suffer from this in the Negev Bedouin communities and also in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish sector, because they have to cover the body so much for modesty reasons and get hardly any exposure to the sun.
The high pregnancy rate in both groups may cause further depletion of vitamin D stores in women
already at risk.
The dark skin that many Bedouin have is also a factor that
reduces the penetration of light required for the production of
vitamin D.