BEDAWI is the initiative of Mohamed Abu Harby and Rayya Willy de Jong, an Egyptian/Bedouin couple from South Sinai.
"We want to welcome guests to share our love for our Sinai and introduce them to the culture of the Sinai Bedouins: Their wisdom, values, traditions, their deep knowledge of their land and the seas with respect for nature and of course their famous hospitality."
"The image of our people is either romanticized or politicized (into criminals, kidnappers, smuggles and enemies of the state). But behind these images, painted by others, our people are virtually silenced with little or no power to influence these images, unless they get the chance to meet people who, in spite of all this, yet will travel in our Sinai."
Rayya Willy is born and raised in the Netherlands, fell in love with Sinai's natural beauty and its people. After 4 years of friendship, Mohamed conquered her heart. They got married and she settled with him in Sinai.
Her travel experience and professional experience as a hostess, nurse, pedagogical care worker, mentor, organizer of survival tours, guardian, branche manager, project co-ordinator, auditor, coach, implementation manager and customer service manager, all proved beneficial in setting up BEDAWI.
"Over the years we have witnessed that development aid for the Bedouin people rarely ends up to benefit the real target. The Bedouins have seen these projects and their well-meaning, ever changing staff pass by with promises but they hardly ever got anything out of it. They simply lost faith in such projects and we felt we needed to do something. That's why we started BEDAWI."
Mohamed is a Sawalha Bedouin from South Sinai. He worked from a young age to support his family. He worked hard in all kind of jobs but in his heart he is still a fisherman. He worked for 10 years in tourism in Sharm el Sheikh.
"BEDAWI is not a charity, a project or a foundation, because these don't really work well in our country, but a regular tax-paying company that offers work to those who are able and willing to do or to learn the job. By job creation people can take control over their own life and build on their own future, without patronizing or dependence. That works, literally and figurally, many times better than to hold up your hand. However, if there are people in need, we will be there for them according to our ability with practical and sometimes financial support. We prefer small initiatives with lasting effects and prefer action over words. How can we not help? They are our people."