Posted by: Tamar Bashary
Tamar is from Copenhagen, Denmark, and she is doing her MA in Informational Science at the University of Aarhus. In her free time, she loves bouldering, riding her bike in around Copenhagen and knit sweaters. Currently, Tamar is an intern in the Arava Institute’s Communications department, working with the institute’s Social Media.
Last week, the students and interns of the Arava Institute went on a three day journey into the Negev/Naqab desert. The trip started with a three-hour hike in the Makhtesh Ramon, exploring the geology of the area. After this we saw Miztpe Ramon through the eyes of tourism and urban dwelling, a city placed in the middle of the Negev/Naqab. The night was spent at an unrecognized Bedouin village, at which we were hosted by Salaman al Azazme. The next morning the smell of cardamom and freshly roasted coffee woke us up, before we left to visit the old ruins of Avdat.
We spent the night at Holot Makman, a single family farm, hosted by Rodney who told us stories of establishing the farm, and how he went from being frustrated with his neighbors to becoming their friends. After a visit to Yeruham, we drove to our last stop at Tel Sheva, to visit with Desert Daughter founder Maryam Abu-Rakayek. In the warm afternoon sun, we learned about the Organic Medicinal Herb Learning site she founded, and had a natural skin-care product making workshop. With a little jar of self-made olive oil and rosemary cream, we all left the trip with new perspectives on the complex and diverse life that the Negev/Naqab holds.