The Sinai Trail is 100% Bedouin-run. It is managed by a small cooperative representing three Bedouin tribes: the Tarabin, Muzeina and Jebeleya. These three tribes are involved because the trail runs through their land. Each tribe manages the particular part of the trail in its own land. The Tarabin manage it in Tarabin territory; the Muzeina and Jebeleya, in their areas. When something affects the trail as a whole, decisions are made collectively. All decisions about the trail and its future development are made by local Bedouin tribes. The Bedouin coopearative is supported by a wider Sinai Trail Team, including men and women from across mainland Egypt and Europe, who add extra skills and strengthen the project in key areas.
Faraj Mahmoud (Jebeleya) Faraj grew up in the highlands of St Katherine and belongs to a tribe known as the Jebeleya: the Mountain People. One of the Sinai’s most respected outdoorsmen, what he doesn’t know about hiking probably isn’t worth knowing! He is a consultant for several NGOs, he organises research programmes for the University of Nottingham, and he helped fix the BBC documentary The Frankincense Trail.
Faraj Suleman (Muzeina) Faraj belongs to a tribe called the Muzeina, and grew up in Nuweiba, near the start of the Sinai Trail. He began working as a cameleer in his teens; today, he is a guide and camel breeder, and is also helping to develop sustainable agriculture in Nuweiba. Every year, he enters his camels in the Tarabin vs Muzeina camel race; he hasn’t won the coveted top prize, but has high hopes for his newest camel.
Musallem Abu Faraj (Tarabin) Musallem is one of the Tarabin tribe’s most experienced, trusted guides. As well as hiking, he has been a pioneer for mountain biking in the Sinai, developing many new routes. One of Musallem’s greatest passions in life is passing his knowledge of the Sinai and its Bedouin culture to younger generations. He is developing a new Sinai Trail training programme. His dream is to run his own Bedouin school.
Nasser Mansour (Jebeleya) Nasser grew up in Abu Seila, a small village near St Katherine. He began guiding when he was young, and has a formidable knowledge of the mountains, admired even by Bedouin elders. His other area of expertise is the Sinai’s plants and animals. When he’s not guiding, Nasser still spends his time in the mountains, walking with his children, caring for his camels and tending to his orchard.
Sheikh Ahmed Abu Rashid (Jebeleya) Sheikh Ahmed grew up in the mountains of St Katherine, working as a guide until his 30s, when he became one of the youngest Sheikhs in the Sinai. As well as a Sheikh, he is the chief bridge between the Monastery of St Katherine and the Bedouin community. He is a key part of the Sinai Trail team, helping with outreach into new tribal areas, and representing the trail officially.
Cristina Gheza (Italy) Cristina grew up in a small mountain town in north Italy and began hiking at a young age. She trained as an accountant but, in her 20s, swapped Italy for Egypt, moving to Sharm el Sheikh to work as a diving instructor. Fast forward 25 years, she is still here! Cristina was part of the first group to walk the Sinai Trail in 2016; now she manages long hikes on the trail, and develops community outreach initiatives.
Nada el Shazly (Egypt) Nada became one of the first Egyptian women to hike the Sinai Trail in 2016. She grew up in Cairo and fell in love with the Sinai on a trip to St Katherine five years ago. She worked as a dentist for a decade, before changing her career and moving to the Sinai. Today, she is a key part of the Sinai Trail team, developing its short trips, managing its social media accounts, and working on community outreach projects.
Mostafa Abu el Fadl (Egypt) Mostafa was born in Egypt and spent his childhood in Saudi Arabia, where he began discovering the great outdoors. Since then he has hiked all over the Sinai and even as far away as the Himalayas, but is based in Cairo, working in geological exploration. Mostafa handles the assessment and training of would-be thru hikers for the Sinai Trail in Egypt, and manages the Cairo community of Sinai Trail hikers.