The Ramak family consists of 70 people, who belong to the Sarahin clan of the Azazma tribe, living on the Negev Highlands near Mitzpe Ramon.
The family has lived in this area for hundreds of years and resides in its current location, on the outskirts of Mitzpe Ramon, thanks to the help of Col. (res.) Eliezer Oliver, a friend of the Ramak family’s patriarch. The acquaintance between Oliver and the family’s father, Jumaa Al-Ramak, occurred in the early 1970s while Oliver was serving as a young military officer at the nearby army base.
During a routine patrol in the “Borot Lotz” area, Oliver encountered a female shepherd who was giving birth all alone in the desert. He helped her and brought her to a camp near the base. As it turned out, that woman was the wife of the head of the family, Juma’a. From that moment, a wonderful friendship was forged between the two men that continues to this very day.
The community counts 12 families – about 70 people – that keep flocks of sheep near their homes. Some work for the Mitzpe Ramon local council in the town’s Parks and Environment department and some were absorbed by and educated in the town’s educational institutions.
In 1972, the family was allowed to settle north of the stone quarries of Mitzpe Ramon. The abandoned quarries are currently subject to restoration. The Mitzpe Ramon Local Council is negotiating with the Israel Land Authority, the local planning directorate, and the Bedouin Settlement Development Authority, to ratify the family residency at this location, recognize it and integrate it as a traditional tourist neighborhood into the Mitzpe Ramon municipality.
The members of the family provide the tourists with hospitality services, inviting tourists to accompany herds of goats to the pasture, meals and lodging.