FAQs about Habiba Community
How do I get to Habiba Community?
The closest airport is Sharm el Sheikh International Airport. Taxis from the airport to Nuweiba cost 600 EGP(about 30 Euros). Habiba Community will be more than happy to arrange the transport from and to the airport.
From Cairo, tickets can be purchased from Turgoman East Delta bus station in Ramsis or in Abbasiya. The ticket to Nuweiba costs 220 EGP and the trip takes around 8 hours. Buses are safe and very clean. From the Port of Nuweiba, taxis can be taken to Habiba Community for 50 EGP. The locals know the way, and a taxi taken from outside Nuweiba will frequently stop to ask people on the street for directions. Don't worry, this is normal. It's best to negotiate prices before getting in the taxi. If the driver does not speak English, they will find someone to translate for you, but they all speak enough English.
When traveling through Sinai, it's important to keep your passport at hand as there are many security checkpoints that may require it.
What kind of work is there on the farm? How many hours will I work?
Work varies by season and the most critical time is autumn (starting mid-September), the tomato planting season. Plant maintanence is necessary all year, in addition to working with compost and sifting soil for the Sinai Palm Foundation. Innovation and self-motivation is highly encouraged. Maged El-Said, the founder and chairman of Habiba Orgabic Farm, is eager to share ideas and plan new projects with volunteers. A typical day for volunteers begins at 8 am in Winter and 7 am in Summer and continues for 6 hours. Fridays are half days with excursions to the Sheikh Salim Market in Dahab.
Where will I stay?
Habiba Community provides accommodation and meals for all volunteers at Habiba Beach Lodge, a beachside resort 15-20 minutes walk from the farm. The room includes a bed, a closet, and bathrooms and showers are communal yet very clean and have hot water.
Is there internet access?
There is wifi available at the Beach Lodge. An internet cafe is located in town, about a 20 minute walk. USB WiFi sticks are also available, which are cheap and could run as hotspots on MACs with enough speed for 3-4 users.
What should I bring?
You should bring the following for sun protection:
Lightweight clothing to cover your head, neck and shoulders,
and a sense of adventure ;)
Most of the above is available in shops around Dahab and Nuweiba, but its perferable to buy your quality shoes and cargo gear before arriving. Winter gets chilly, even in Sinai, especially in January and February, so bring warm clothes for the evenings.
Do I need to speak Arabic?
No, but any that you learn will certainly help! Maged El-Said and his family speak fluent English and Italian, and many workers at the Village and locals speak English. What you should do is learn Arabic during your stay; one more language is always good. Habiba Organic Farm is more than happy to arrange private Arabic tutors that will teach you at the village, the farm or on the beach after your work hours. Reduced prices are available for every volunteer. You can learn colloquial and talk like an Egyptian, or learn formal and write like a professional.
What kind of food is served?
The chef at Habiba Beach Lodge can satisfy all of your culinary wishes, but any special reqirements should be communicated prior to arrival. Traditional Egyptian cuisine is our standard. Volunteers are free to cook their own meals with the ingredients provided by the Lodge or any other ingredients they wish to buy from local markets. The meals provided are mainly vegetarian to rhyme with our concept of farming and self sustainability. Our organic veggies from the farm make superb salads, soups and sauces.
What other opportunities do I have during my stay?
While you're volunteering, Habiba Organic Farm will help you pursue other subjects that might be of interest to you. We believe that you should learn like a student and live like a tourist as much as you work like a farmer.
A good example is joining the Habiba Camel Riding School, which will offer you the standard three-day camel riding course that will teach you how to feed, load, and ride your camel in a professional manner. The course entails a list of survival skills such as following the starts for directions, learning about dangerous plants, finding edible plants, and finding water in the desert. All instructors are Bedouin natives of the Sinai, all camels descend from pure Sinai breeds.