Held at Set el Baiet Restaurant, Naama Bay

Attendees: 17 – (we have been advised since the meeting that there was a security alert in Sharm and this may be the reason for the low attendance at such a central location)

Our thanks to Set el Baiet restaurant which kindly provided us with soft drinks and a 20% discount on dinner.


Before the meeting, Arine passed around a list of companies, whom we are planning to approach for vouchers for the Anniversary Party Tombola so that anyone familiar with these companies could help by approaching them. It is hoped that all attendees of the party will be given a voucher as in the previous year for prizes such as dinners, spa days, etc.

We were also reminded that tickets for the party must be purchased in advance to ensure sufficient numbers (45).

The first presentation was from Mr Osama, General Secretary of the Egyptian Desert Association (EDA)in Sharm.

The association is concerned with the desert and mountain environment and cleanliness, the improvement of the life of the Bedouins living in South Sinai and preservation of their culture.

Mr Osama talked at length about a new biological product which will be available in the near future to treat sewage tanks so that when this water is used for plants irrigation it will not have the bad smell we are all familiar with. This treatment is being developed in Japan and is a treatment using “good” bacteria rather than chemicals and so is environmentally friendly.

The EDA also operates the Peninsula magazine, which will be published soon.

Anyone wishing to join the EDA can contact the general secretary Mr Osama Abdallah (Arabic, 012 7677322) or Mrs. Sanjaa (English, 010 7243995)

Next was Mr Ramadam, Manager of The Cultural Palace, Sharm el Sheikh and Producer of the Sharm International Festival of Arts.

The aim of the Cultural Palace is to promote women’s activities including passing down the Bedouin heritage to the next generation and organising cultural festivals. There is a presentation of Bedouin heritage and handicrafts display. Everyone is invited to come and see these displays. It is located near old market behind, close to the beach of the Beach Albatros hotel and the new Public Beach in Sharm el Maja, close to Sinair Flower Shop.

The Cultural Palace also needs sponsors to enable them to make improvements. You are welcome to visit Mr. Ramadan in the theatre and have a look at the place, or to call (Arabic only: 010 5186589)

Our final presentation was from Mrs.Omeija from the National Council of Women, under the auspices of Mrs. Susan Mubarak, on women’s development and empowerment.
The objectives of the council:
To enable Bedouin women to have an independent income so that they can take care of health and education of their children and themselves and give them more rights. To enable this, they are being educated in how to adapt their handicrafts to the commercial and tourist markets.

· Bedouin women do have the right to vote in their local elections and need to be made aware of the importance of exercising this right. They are being encouraged to vote for women so that they are better represented in the Bedouin councils.

· Organisation of literacy classes and courses such as handicrafts/jewellery making.

A Centre has been opened in Sinai for computer training for marketing and foreign languages useful for the tourist market (English, Russian, Italian). These courses are free to Bedouin women in the mornings and chargeable in the afternoons to bring in funding for the centre.

There is also a Health Centre, low-cost guest house for students, and kindergarten.

A Womens Development Centre is also to be opened in Sharm open 20 hours a day. This will include shops to be used by Bedouin women selling environmental products such as olive oil and dried fruits. There will also be an oriental restaurant, a small guest house and a 24 hour kindergarten open to all.
Limited funding has been received for this project but further funding is urgently required. Anyone interested in helping this project can call Omejia on 010 1159690 or (069) 3776498 or email OMSM2003_330@hotmail.com


Last but not least an announcment: An International Festival of Arts will take place from the 25 April – 2 May and will have two locations at Laguna Vista, Naama Bay and il Mercato and will include many free artistic workshops.
More info from Sarah 010 227 2757 (English) or Mohamed 010 4312252 (Arabic)

Next month is NO normal meeting but the
8th Anniversary Party of the SWC
on Thursday MAY 8, 2008

Write to party2008@sharmwomen.com TODAY to reserve your ticket!


In the name of all, who read this: Thank you, Marina, for the minute writing!!!!!!!!!