21 April 2017

What is Sinai Stories ?

Sinai Stories is a multifaceted web documentary that encapsulates the essence of the Bedouin culture in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula thr­ough a wide range of cinematic visuals and gripping text.

Facing the heavy influence of stigmas and marginalization, Bedouin integration into the Egyptian society has remained for many decades an axis of discussion on the political agenda that rarely manifests on the ground. Consequently, Bedouins of Sinai continue to live on the edge of a society that sees them solely through lenses of stereotypes and misconceptions.

Through the allure of storytelling and its capacity to transcend cultural discrepancies, Sinai Stories reintroduces Egypt’s Bedouin culture under new light that accentuates the vivid colors of a rich nomadic culture which has stood the test of time.

Who are we ?

Where do we stand ?

Traveling individually to Sinai, French photographer Raphael Pincas and Egyptian storyteller Enas El Masry were deeply touched by the magnitude of natural and cultural richness that lurks in Sinai’s mountain range and seaside, provoking them to dig deeper past the surface.

After coincidently coming across one another’s work online, both authors decided to join forces bringing together what they do best to present a comprehensive, multidimensional documentary which narrates the stories of one of Egypt’s most stigmatized communities through visually appealing photographs and videos as well as inquisitive, eye-opening text.

Having already started to gather material on Sinai before deciding on the collaboration, the authors have solid seeds that form the project’s steppingstone.

After a few visits to Sinai, El Masry walked the 200 km Sinai Trail, a hiking route that stretches from Ras Shitan to Saint Catherine. During the 12-day hike, El Masry was able to form connections with the locals and understand more about their culture and social ecosystem.

Meanwhile, Pincas roamed the peninsula in hopes of understanding a culture that was most foreign to him. Among the stories that Pincas has covered is the Camel Race in Wadi Zalaga – an annual camel race that takes place between the Tarabin and Jebeleyya tribes.

Many stories remain untold, calling the authors back to Sinai – a calling that they are most eager to answer.

Why Support Sinai Stories ?

ORIGINAL STORYTELLING

In a time when mainstream media thrives on stories of war, death and terrorism, Sinai Stories sets out to bring forth a face of Sinai’s Bedouin culture that remains muffled under thick layers of negative propaganda which resulted in tainting one of Egypt’s richest cultures to say the least.

Far from the politicized portrayal of Sinai, Sinai Stories draws a fresh image of the peninsula as told by its locals.

SAVING A WANNING EGYPTIAN CULTURE

Due to decades of negligence, many Bedouin youth are turning their backs on the nomadic ways of the desert – a culture that has been passed down generations through mentorship and practice. Having once relied heavily on guiding trade and pilgrimage caravans through the desert, Bedouins today rely solely on tourism, an industry that has been affected greatly by the inaccurate coverage of the political unrest of North Sinai. With thinning job opportunities in their desert habitat, many Bedouins are forced to take jobs in the hospitality industry, jeopardizing the continuation of the nomadic culture which grows as a thing of the past.

Far from the Northern turmoil, Sinai offers its guests memorable experiences ranging from culture exchange with the locals to paradigm altering journeys worth remembering for a lifetime.

CROSS CULTURAL COLLABORATION

Sinai Stories is a unique experience brought through the collaboration of a Parisian man and a Cairene woman who – despite their cultural differences – have found shared passion for the nomadic culture of Sinai. Deep in the heart of the peninsula and far away from the urban communities, a newfound bond is crafted as the authors venture through Sinai in pursuit of rarely told stories of the Bedouin.

Far from the pandemonium of the city that muffles genuine communication under a thick cloud of white noise, the duo discover how we are more alike than many of us think.

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