Kidnapping in the Sinai

“My host, the 37-year-old Bedouin tribal leader Sheikh Ahmed Hashem, had served me so many glasses of sweet tea that I had lost count. It was a hot afternoon in early July, and we were sitting on the floor of his compound in Wadi Feiran, a remote village deep within Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula.” – Sarah A. Topol

Bedouins have kidnapped at least 4 sets of foreigners in southern Sinai in the past year. We found and interviewed one tribe that claims to have been connected to 3 of those kidnappings, including the kidnapping of two American women.

David Degner / Freelance

Sweet dark tea is obsessively offered to guests, including those that are kidnapped.

David Degner / Freelance

Bedouins have kidnapped at least 4 sets of foreigners in southern Sinai in the past year. We found and interviewed one tribe that claims to have been connected to 3 of those kidnappings, including the kidnapping of two American women.

David Degner / Freelance

Bedouins have kidnapped at least 4 sets of foreigners in southern Sinai in the past year. We found and interviewed one tribe that claims to have been connected to 3 of those kidnappings, including the kidnapping of two American women.

David Degner / Freelance

Mr Atia stands with one of his sons. Two of his other sons were jailed and one was killed by the police leading him to kidnap two separate groups of tourists and demand their release.

David Degner / Freelance

Drugs are grown in the mountains and the growth and smuggling of drugs make a significant part of the south sinai economy.

David Degner / Freelance

Sheik Ahmed Hashem, has a relationship with the Egyptian army and the tribes in his area so he is often called to negation the release of hostages. It is also reported that he led a group of some 150 protesters that detained two busloads of Western tourists earlier this year for five hours at a monastery in Wadi Feiran in South Sinai.

David Degner / Freelance

Sheikh Ahmed's son blinds himself and rests against a wall while the adults talk.

David Degner / Freelance

Bedouins have kidnapped at least 4 sets of foreigners in southern Sinai in the past year. We found and interviewed one tribe that claims to have been connected to 3 of those kidnappings, including the kidnapping of two American women.

David Degner / Freelance

Bedouins have kidnapped at least 4 sets of foreigners in southern Sinai in the past year. We found and interviewed one tribe that claims to have been connected to 3 of those kidnappings, including the kidnapping of two American women.

David Degner / Freelance

Sheik Ahmed Hashem, has a relationship with the Egyptian army and the tribes in his area so he is often called to negation the release of hostages. It is also reported that he led a group of some 150 protesters that detained two busloads of Western tourists earlier this year for five hours at a monastery in Wadi Feiran in South Sinai.

David Degner / Freelance