Two posts today, covering two days of events in Nuweiba – this on the camel race, then see a slideshow of the Bedouin gathering at https://siwasoul.wordpress.com/2012/10/17/bedouin-gathering-nuweiba/
I was fortunate to attend these events; there were about 10 foreign tourists at the camel race, and I was the only foreigner at the Bedouin meetings.
The background: the Egypt Tourism and Environment Development Association held meetings with Bedouin to discuss community issues, over two days at Sayadeen Village (a hotel) in Nuweiba. At a diner gathering on the first night, enthusiastic speeches were made by many of the representatives and awards were given to Bedouin leaders. Between meetings, the visitors from the Association enjoyed the beautiful setting of the hotel on Mezena Bay. For many it was their first visit to Nuweiba and this area of Sinai and the Red Sea.
A film crew accompanied the visitors, documenting the meetings and the Nuweiba and South Sinai area, including filming on the beach at Sayadeen and at the camel race.
Arriving in trucks, jeeps and with camels, the Bedouin sent their finest animals around a large track in a series of races. The camels toed the start line showing as much impatience as horses about to run the Melbourne Cup. There were many exciting moments as the young riders urged these beautiful animals on, kicking up clouds of sand dust until their arrival at the finish line, which was marked by vibrant flags. A grandstand seated the official and important visitors, with plastic chairs trucked in to complete it for the day, but most of us watched the races perched on the built-up sandy sides of the racetrack. The event was attended by the Governor and other officials, and cups and prizes were awarded to winners of each race.
a short video of the race http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mu6gQcwTq3A&feature=youtu.be