Bedouins, Not 'Egyptians': Characteristics and Features of the Bedouin Tribes of Sinai

Nadeem Ahmed Moonakal, Matthew Sparks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Bedouin tribes of Sinai have experienced a range of interventions in their way of life that have brought them into contention with different states and state agents. The self-identity of Bedouin tribes in Sinai has been drawn upon in struggles between Bedouin and governing authorities, which in recent history have included two empires and two nation-states. Even now, the Bedouin of Sinai exhibit minimal ties with the religious and political authorities of Egypt, a continuation of trends stretching back to the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. This article examines different facets of contemporary Sinai Bedouin life and explores the complexity of identity of the Sinai Bedouin through their traditional practices, including oral traditions that provide them with the counter-narratives by which they define themselves.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-242
Number of pages24
JournalNomadic Peoples
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 2022


  • Bedouin
  • Egypt
  • identity
  • Israel
  • Sinai
  • social cohesion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography


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