Saturday, October 25, 2008

Characters of Egypt fest celebrates tribal heritage

Egypt Daily Star News

The brainchild of Wadi Environmental Science Centre (WESC) and the Egyptian Desert Pioneers Society (EDPS) the “Characters of Egypt” festival (Oct. 29-31) is a three-day extravaganza celebrating the cultural heritage of tribes from seven desert areas of Egypt: Siwa and Farafra from the Western Desert, North and South Sinai, Nubia, and the Eastern and Southern Deserts which stretch from Marsa Allam to Alba Mountain.

Held in the pristine Fustat Wadi El Gemal National Park, 45 km south of Marsa Allam on the Red Sea, this first cultural event of its kind will showcase the diversity of fauna and flora in the area and the intricacy of tribal costumes and jewelry. Attendees will also learn how to shadow-read, navigate the desert and will participate with the tribesmen in a variety of activities including music, dance, poetry, sports, games, food tasting, a camel race, educational lectures on the tribes and the environment.

Despite the fact that approximately 300,000 people from 45 tribes lead a nomadic existence in Egypt, according to Founder of the EDPS Walid Ramadan, they are almost always forgotten.

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