Bedouin tribe holds talks to establish ‘representative’ political party

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ISMAILIA: Al-Tarabin tribe started an initiative to unite all Bedouin tribes in Egypt ahead of establishing a representative political party in a meeting at the Al-Mogahdeen Al-Arab village.

The founders of the initiative said that the party would not be limited to Bedouins but would aim at uniting the tribes, speak on their behalf, and work on the development of Sinai.

The tribe decided to transform a local civil association in North Sinai called "Tarabin Charity Association" into a nationwide one and to create a committee from the tribe’s activists and intellectuals to coordinate between the tribes to prepare for launching their party.

"Bedouins have always been treated by the ousted regime as second-class citizens and were always neglected, so after the revolution we thought how Bedouins can have a certain legitimacy that unites them," said Ahmed Gamal, one of the Tarabin leaders and founders of the initiative.

"The party will comprise all Bedouin tribes from across Egypt and will advocate for democracy, citizenship and respect for Bedouin traditions and laws as a source for legislation," he added.

The party’s president will be elected from a founding association based on his program and credentials and not through his tribal affiliation.

"There won’t be a tribe supporting its candidate, all tribes will be united and integrated within the party," Gamal said.

He said they would compete in the legislative and local municipalities’ elections and might consider fielding a candidate in the presidential elections.

A council of wise men will be chosen from each tribe to end disputes within the tribe and between tribes and to coordinate with other tribes to unite their effort.

"There have been numerous meetings before, some failed and some succeeded so we decided to organize the Al-Tarabin tribe and then coordinate with other tribes," said Abdallah Abu Ghama, Former MP and one of Al Tarabin leaders.

"This opportunity will not come again," he added.

An official invitation will be sent to all tribes to attend a founding conference for the party.

A major conference last Friday comprising all Bedouin tribes called upon by Al Hwayan tribe and attended by presidential candidate, Amr Moussa, at Al Qadesia village near Ismailia, failed after disputes erupted between tribes’ leaders over the speakers.

Bedouins will hold a conference on April 27 in which they will invite all presidential candidates to discuss the Bedouin cause.

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