The Bedouin community in St Catherine’s – and throughout the Sinai – is severely marginalized to the extent that the Egyptian authorities do not even collate official statistics on them. Few Bedouin work in the region’s hotels, restaurants and travel agencies, and guiding is generally the only legal form of employment available – little surprise that some Bedouin become involved in illegal activities. A few NGOs are working to improve the situation, including the Community Foundation for South Sinai (w southsinaifoundation.org), which is based in St Catherine’s and supports sustainable development, education, employment, health and conservation projects.

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