The Museum of Bedouin Culture (Joe Alon Center) in the Negev Desert was founded with the aim of perpetuating the traditional way of life of the Bedouin, with the understanding that Bedouin society is in an accelerated process of transition from traditional nomadic life to settle in permanent settlements. In addition, the exhibition is spread over two floors; with historical and contemporary items depicting Bedouin life in the Negev and the Sinai Peninsula beginning in the early 20th century.
In the summer of 2005, a huge 257-meter-long Bedouin tent was purchased in the central courtyard and purchased in Syria. The tent is divided as usual into two wings: a guest room (“divan”) and the family wing which is covered with mats and mattresses. Furthermore, in the divan, which can accommodate up to 150 people, a stove for making coffee and tea was set up, and in the family chamber, there is a stove for baking pitas. The museum is the largest of its kind in the country.
Things to See in Joe Alon Center
The museum has several additional exhibits:
Exhibition about the Bar Kochba Revolt: The exhibition presents the story of the revolt inside a cave-shaped space; which was designed to resemble a hiding cave from the period of the revolt.
Five residential caves, hiding and burial, simulating different periods in the history of the southern region; from the Chalcolithic period to the Byzantine period.
A nice presentation dedicated to the activities of the Jewish National Fund. From the establishment of the three observatories and the 11 points in the Negev, there were established in the 1940s till the present.
The Lookout – On the roof of the center’s administrative building, a lookout point offering a view of the Judean mountains and the Negev.
A memorial – For Air Force pilot Joe Alon, after whom the center is named. Here is a link for more about Joe Alon Center.