Sinai Trail: 1st Egyptian and woman

Congratulations to Asmaa Amr Alawii, who recently became the first mainland Egyptian – and the 1st ever woman from anywhere! – to complete the Sinai Trail. She walked the trail downhill, starting in St Katherine and finishing in Ras Shetan, on the shores of the Gulf of Aqaba. It was a tough, gruelling hike, over 12 days, but Asmaa finished, and we are sure her example can inspire many other Egyptians and people from all over the world to follow in her footsteps and discover the beauty of the trail. You can read a full interview with Asmaa in the What Women Want Magazine.

Sinai Trail: Guide Training

A few days after winning the prestigious BGTW Tourism Award in London, the Sinai Trail team set to work on a course to train a generation of new guides to work on the trail. Three promising young guides from each of the three Bedouin tribes involved in the Sinai Trail were selected for the new training programme. The classroom for the training was the trail itself, which was done in its full 200km length, with the young guides walking it head to toe, from the town of St Katherine to Ras Shetan, on the Gulf of Aqaba. Along the way the guides received training in first aid and navigation from accredited outdoor professionals from Jordan and Europe, along with training in how to be a Bedouin guide from the head guides of all three tribes, which was the most important thing of all. The aim of this training course is to equip these young guides with the technical skills and knowledge they need to guide hikers in the modern era, but above all, to train them to be Bedouin guides in the rich, proud traditions of their fathers and grandfathers, who have guided people through this ancient land for centuries. The training fostered strong bonds between young guides whatever their tribal affiliation and also between the younger and older guides. The young guides will continue their professional development now working as apprentices on real trips, under head guides. They are the future of the Sinai Trail.  

 

BGTW Tourism Award

In November 2016, in a glittering award ceremony at London’s Savoy Hotel, the British Guild of Travel Writers named the Sinai Trail the best new tourism project in the Wider World. Sheikh Ahmed Abu Rashid of the Jebeleya tribe attended the ceremony on behalf of the Sinai Trail, meeting the Governor of South Sinai, the Egyptian Minister for Tourism, and the Egyptian Ambassador to the UK. This is wonderful news in the Sinai Trail’s opening year and will help bring the kind of attention with which the trail can reach out to wider audiences around the globe. A big thank you to the BGTW for giving the trail such a prestigious prize, especially when tourism is down and most newspapers are too afraid to feature it in their travel sections. And an equally big thank you to the hundreds of people who helped us develop the trail along the way; many small acts of help and kindness together became something much bigger, carrying this project further than it could ever have gone alone. The award belongs to everybody who helped this trail and we want to dedicate it to the most beautiful place in the world: the Sinai and all its wonderful communities.