Bedouins by the Lake

Environment, Change, and Sustainability in Southern Egypt

Ahmed Belal
John Briggs
Joanne Sharp
Irina Springuel

Sustainable development and environmental change have become two of the watchwords of the new century. But what do they mean for ordinary people livin

English edition
200 pp.
20 illus., 17 maps
ISBN 9789774161988
For sale worldwide


Sustainable development and environmental change have become two of the watchwords of the new century. But what do they mean for ordinary people living in some of the harshest environments in the world where survival is the driving force? This book sets out to examine these issues and how they affect, and are affected by, Bedouin communities living in the arid areas of the Nubian Desert in southeastern Egypt. Written by a joint Egyptian, Russian, and British research team, this book seeks to examine how the Bedouin of this area have coped with the environmental changes brought about after the construction of the Aswan High Dam and resulting formation of Lake Nasser. After documenting the nature of these changes, the authors show the practical and strategic ways in which the Bedouin have responded by adapting both their use of environmental resources and the social and economic dimensions of their community. Bedouins by the Lake argues that people in these communities are active agents of change and must not be seen as passive victims. For them, sustainable development and environmental change are not abstract academic debates, but real-life, everyday issues around which they must organize their lives.

Ahmed Belal

AHMED BELAL has a B.Sc in physics from Cairo University and a Ph.D from Leningrad State University. He established the Unit of Environmental Studies and Development in South Valley University, Aswan, Egypt in 1993. JOHN BRIGGS is professor of geography at the University of Glasgow. He has researched and taught in Africa for over thirty years, and has worked extensively in Egypt, Sudan, and Tanzania. His interests are in the field of environment and development issues. JOANNE SHARP is senior lecturer in geography at the University of Glasgow. Her research interests are in the role of gender relations in development. She has worked extensively in southern Egypt, as well as in Tanzania and South Africa. IRINA SPRINGUEL has a B.Sc in biology from Leningrad State University and a Ph.D in plant ecology from Asyut University. Since 1981 she has been advancing higher education and multidisciplinary research in Upper Egypt and contributed to the declaration of Wadi Allaqi as a conservation area and UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

Irina Springuel

Irina Springuel, a professor of plant ecology, graduated from Leningrad State University and continued her postgraduate studies in Egypt. Her PhD research work on the First Cataract Islands near Aswan led to their declaration as a protectorate in 1986, conserving these unique habitats. The author of numerous published works, she has worked in Upper Egypt for almost thirty years on diverse ecological and environmental research topics and in promoting environmental education.