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Bedouin women in the Sinai Peninsula defy tribal tradition and help their families by selling handmade crafts pushing the economy forward.
27.09.16 | Source: Al Monitor

earing her embroidered face veil and Bedouin-style gown, Salmiyya al-Gebaly stands in a corner, ready to welcome visitors from outside the Sinai Peninsula. With her eyes lined with kohl — a traditional form of eye liner — she offers the visitors handmade crafts that several local women have produced themselves.

Gebaly, a woman in her 40s, first began to work in embroidery when she was 15 years old and living in the mountains. She gradually started exporting her wares to foreign countries, mostly the United States and Germany.

Gebaly first began operating outside the Bedouin community in 1998; she left the mountains for the town that surrounded St. Catherine’s Monastery in the eastern Sinai, where she showed her wares to the local officials. She told Al-Monitor that she then began to take part in exhibitions through a European Union grant, which provided her with funding for two years.