This research was triggered by an interest in examining the changes that took place in Bedouin communities, especially when it comes in the framework of a development process. The existing writings on this topic are divided into two camps: one maintains that change within Bedouin communities was very minimal, and to a great extent inconsequential, whereas, the other argues that changes therein were quite considerable. This thesis, through examining the local Awlad 'Ali community of el­Hammam, holds the latter view. Thus, the research traces the recent changes in their area and compares and contrasts the changes that their society has undergone in light of the broader context of Bedouin communities. In the outset this research states the theoretical framework, within which the study is conducted, and the studied group is situated. A definition of the word "development" is also offered, being a key concept in understanding the transformation that affected and still affect the evolution of Bedouin communities vis-a-vis sedentary ones. As for research methodology, the ethnographic approach is employed, the researcher, however believes that being a female herself, she will be able to give a different and more intuitive perspective of the group and the social issues related thereto. As such the research aspires to offer an important insight into a way of life that is constantly shifting, if not disappearing, and especially into the gender relations and the role played by women in a significant sector of a Middle Eastern developing county.

he research then undertakes the review of some of the literature written on Bedouins, and traces the developments and changes that occurred in their communities. The objective is to give a comprehensive and realistic picture of

Bedouin life, in the past and the present, to counter the current circulating images based on fairy tales. A whole chapter is dedicated to the practical study. Where interviews with participant men and women in el-Hammam are examined regarding their perception of their past and present. Also, particular emphasis is laid on their perception of change and development that affected their community, and forthcoming transformations. Finally, the conclusion situates the experiences communicated in the practical study to the theoretical framework, discussed earlier. Furthermore, it links this study to the literature written on sedentarized Bedouins, and underscores the transformations brought about by development. It is hoped that this study will be a contribution to the literature written on Bedouin communities, with particular reference to the case of Egypt. Moreover, it is hoped that it will dispel misconceptions held about such communities and particularly their capacity to adapt to development and change.


School of Humanities and Social Sciences

Degree Name

MA in Sociology and Anthropology

Date of Award


Online Submission Date


First Advisor

Dr. Donald Cole

Second Advisor

Dr. Soraya Altorki

Third Advisor

Dr. Mark Peterson

Document Type



p. 73


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