The Judean Desert offers some of Palestine’s most dramatic and evocative scenery. Vast and arid, it’s home to herds of camels, raised for their milk and meat. And it’s home to nomadic Bedouin tribes. Scattered through the Palestinian countryside, like timeless limpets, are the scrappy shacks and goat corrals of Bedouin tribes. These proud families live off the grid with, I would imagine, a near-zero carbon footprint. Yet, like nomads around the world, they are being driven into a world where people have addresses and send their children to school to learn the prevailing values of that society at large. With the political tensions between Israel and Palestine (the walls, settlements, freeway construction, and aggressive water politics), I was told that Bedouin camps are now less mobile and stick to land near roads where they can tap into water mains. After so many centuries, more and more Bedouin families are finally settling down in towns and villages.
I’ll continue this Holy Land series until November 21st. Then, to celebrate my homecoming, I’ll give a live, free slideshow lecture on Thursday, November 21st at 7 p.m. P.S.T. in Edmonds, Washington. You can attend in person (registration required)…or watch the live webcast from anywhere in the world (no registration required). Learn more at Rick Steves – Holy Land: Israel and Palestine Today.