Yesterday while activating the satellite radio in my car, I asked the man on the other end of the line who was walking me through the process where he lived. He responded, “Egypt.” and asked if I’d been there. It delivered me back to an amazing experience I had there last year. Here’s the beginning…..

After a trip through Israel led by our wonderful guide Aviad Amiti and Deepak Chopra, three of us went on to Jordan and Egypt.  I’m so grateful to have done that because being in an Israeli environment followed by two Arab countries helped me understand that there are no easy solutions to the issues in the Middle East. There’s no better way to shift into neutral than to spend quality time and break bread with the locals. In Israel I did that plus I have a wonderful friend Lesly, who is an American now living in Tel Aviv who was my seatmate during that part of the trip and gave me a crash course in the psychology of her adopted country.

While planning this trip, we talked about climbing Mt. Sinai in Egypt. For one, I’m terrified of heights. And secondly, it’s a 7,000-foot ascent. In the dark! The idea is to avoid the scorching sun of daylight and to reach the top before sunrise. It’s always crowded this time of year with nearly 1,000 people who are adventure seekers and spiritual pilgrims walking in these steps of Moses.

This is a region of Bedouins who are ancient nomadic tribes. Darkly featured and Muslim, these tribes herd goats, ride camels, have several wives, loads of kids and are street-wise in the desert sense. They live in rectangular shaped thick insulated tents woven by the women of goat hair. Wives and goats on one side, husband and kitchen on the other. Next…Part 2