For years I've noticed a group of people who would appear here in our area with herds of cattle and unusual patterns of dressing. They often split up into small groups of cattle who graze on the stubble of the corn fields and they told me that they were from Zagazig in Sharkeya province. On our ride to Dahshur we came upon this camp under the palms near the lakebed. Our hostess for lunch told me that these were the cattle people, a group of Bedouin who travel throughout Egypt in a huge loop and have a base of sorts near Zagazig. The army apparently rents the lakebed to a man who has been harvesting the reeds from it until the last couple of years when the lake wasn't filled. This year he rented the lakebed as grazing land for a few weeks to the Bedouin.
I came to Egypt as the wife of an Egyptian/Canadian businessman and the mother of our children in the late 80's. My husband is no longer with us, the children are pursuing careers abroad, but Egypt is still my home, albeit, a rural rather than urban one. You can reach me at msgabbani at gmail.com