The village of Lakiya is one of many Bedouin communities in the Negev, but it stands out for the local leadership provided by women in developing their community. Established in 1998, Sidreh is an organization focused on the empowerment of Bedouin women living in Lakiya and in the Negev at large. Its founder, Khadra Al Sana, struggled after moving to the Negev in 1994. She and the other Bedouin women of this area stayed in their houses most of the day with nothing to do; they were unemployed and did not know how to read and write. Khadra shared the same concerns as the other young women – how can we improve our lives and society and create a better life for our daughters?

For two decades, Sidreh has helped women through reading and writing courses in Arabic, Hebrew, and English; awareness of their rights; and promoting local leadership initiatives. In Lakiya, it has set up a renowned weaving project in which traditional weaving skills are used for the manufacture and sale of hand-woven carpets, cushions and accessories. Beyond courses and manufacturing, the women are also engaged in organizing alternative  tourism experiences among the many Bedouin communities of the Negev.

Sites in the Beersheva Region:

Abraham’s Well

In the dusty dry Negev desert, water is not exactly what first comes to mind. But the story of Beersheva centers around the gushing oasis of its historic well, traditionally associated with Abraham.

Beersheva

Beersheva, the “Capital of the Negev”, has been a place of diversity since the time of Abraham.

Roman Roads

Two thousand years ago, Roman roads were the height of new technology, facilitating the spread of ideas like a walkable internet.

Tel Arad

To walkers without a background in archeology, the fortress on the hill may appear as another site with walls and stones strewn around. But Tel Arad is a site of mystery and drama in the development of monotheism.

Yatir Forest

Enjoy the shade of a 10,000-acre woodland planted on the edge of the desert.