Bedouin Hospitality

Visiting Israel, it is likely that you will travel through some portion of the Negev Desert. The Negev accounts for over half of Israel’s land area and is rich in topographical variety. You will encounter starkly beautiful vistas during your trek, be it a brief or long one, with the fiery sun and innumerable, coldly shimmering stars lighting your way.

Seeing such landscapes, however, is only half of the experience and you will need more than the sun and stars as guides. A traveler needs a respite from the heat and conversely desires the warmth of cultural exchange; of hospitality. Of those who make their home in the Negev Desert, the Bedouin have perhaps the most to offer in this regard both in terms of interest and experience.

The Bedouin and Bedouin hospitality have a long history and a legacy that endures to this day despite encroaching modernization: you can enjoy Bedouin hospitality, as well as other aspects of Bedouin life, still. Perhaps you will be walking over a dune, or some rocky hill, and spy figures riding towards you. You are thirsty and tired. If you choose, you can forgo the tiresome treading of sand and request to join them upon one of their camels so you might obtain passage through the unforgiving desert. Bedouin hospitality is such that you will likely be escorted to their community and offered succor, i.e., water, dates, pita and succulent, roasted goat. All the while, you shall be regaled with stories that reflect their culture and deepen your appreciation for Bedouin hospitality.

Encompassed within the practice of Bedouin hospitality is the full consideration of the guest’s comfort and accommodation; close the night pondering the bonfire’s embers as they dance along with the elder’s words into the expanse of darkening, desert sky.