Maryem Abu Arkaik
The beauty made in the Negev desert
In 1980 a group of young Bedouin women decided to join forces to improve the situation of women in their community and take advantage of what Israeli society has to offer because they are Israeli citizens.
Under the leadership of Amal El Sanaa they created the Arab Jewish Center for Equality, Empowerment & Cooperation. This association became an official NGO in 1996, working in Lakia with an international embroidery centre Desert Embroidery headed by Naama Al Sanaa who welcomes tourists from all over the world to their showroom.
For Maryem Abu Rkaik the experience is different. After studying in Israel, she flew to England and learned how to make cosmetics. When she returned to her village of Tel Sheva in the Negev, she decided to use the ancestral recipes of her grandmother, who was a healer and with whom she had lived in a tent for several years.
In her kitchen, she started making soaps from desert plants and camel milk, which she distributed around her. One thing led to another, she made skin care creams, not to mention a whole range of ointments and drops to treat all kinds of dermatological problems, from baldness to mushrooms, etc.
Today this beautiful and brilliant young woman owns her company, a showroom that came out of the ground near the thousand-year-old sister tree where she receives her customers from all over the world, drives in a luxury four wheel drive and travels around the world to market her products known under the brand name The Desert Daughter.
This, if necessary, is another example of what these Bedouin Israeli women are succeeding in their country, for their country and their community.