Natan Odenheimer

Back to Sinai

Natan Odenheimer
Back to Sinai

On the eve Succot, Israelis crossing the Taba border to Sinai received official warning pamphlets of the security dangers lurking behind the mountains of the Egyptian peninsula. The terror attacks and abductions of Israeli citizens in Sinai in the past 15 years have killed the Israeli tourism scene at the pastoral beaches on the Red Sea. As a result, many of the resorts previously populated by Israelis became deserted. But the winds have changed and today Ras HaSatan beach and The Big Dune compound are overbooked with Israelis who disregard the travel warning, and vacation in the only place in the Arab World where Israelis are somewhat welcomed.

That the wave of Israelis returning to Sinai hit the shores of Sinai on Sukkoth is symbolic. In Sukkoth we celebrate and remember the nomadic life Beni Yisrael maintained crossing the mighty Sinai deserts for 40 years. Appropriately, even though there are some semi-fancy hotels in Sinai, the vast majority of Israelis prefer to stay in Sukkah-like cabins made of bamboos locally called a Husha. The cabins, usually made of one room, often floored by carpet and sand and roofed by thin bamboos, are few steps away from the water.

Continue reading in the JPost published October 23rd 2017