The Programmes

The theme of “Blue Velvet In Sinai” is human and dolphin interaction.

The aim of the series is to show how this interaction affects both dolphins and humans; that there is still a need for humans to learn how to interact. Not just with dolphins, but with our natural environment as a whole. We will also give an insight into the reasons why these interactions happen, and why individuals place an importance upon them, where society in general, does not.

To illustrate this, we will show the remarkable relationship between a wild female dolphin in the Red Sea named Olin, who in 1994 initiated a close relationship with a Bedouin fisherman called Abdallah, living in the Sinai desert. In late December 1996 Olin, after mating with a dolphin from a passing school, gave birth to a male calf named Jimmy (by the Bedouin.

An extract from a story by the ancient Roman writer Aleian, about a tragic love affair between a young boy and a female dolphin, will show that human and dolphin interaction is not something new.

Unfortunately, in late July 1997, Jimmy was found dead. In his short lifetime he brought much happiness to the local Bedouin tribe, as well as the many tourists who came to swim with the dolphins, but especially to a young Bedouin boy called Falakh whom Jimmy bonded more closely with.

Falakh and Jimmy have been captured on tape together, and their relationship will be an integral part of the programme, along with Abdallah and Olin.

The programme highlights many aspects of Bedouin life and culture against the vast landscapes of the Sinai Desert. We will catch fish with Abdallah and members of his tribe, show the Bedouin interacting with each other, and compare the differing life styles of the traditional and modern Bedouin.

Interviews with the local Bedouin will demonstrate how the dolphins have influenced their lives and relationships with Abdallah.

We will also include some footage of the Bedouin, taken after the death of Jimmy – to show their reactions and feelings.

Many of this Bedouin tribe, called the Mezzeina tribe, are deaf due to inter-breeding, and talk via sign language. Abdallah himself is partially deaf and, before discovering Olin, had difficulty with speech. Now Abdallah is able to talk freely, and his hearing is said to have improved.

An interview with the Royal National Institute For The Deaf in Britain, will give an insight into how this may have occurred. Also whether the Bedouins’ deafness has any direct significance upon their relationship with the dolphins.

Tourism has played a major influence upon the lives of the Bedouin, and changing the local area and has turned the dolphins into a major tourist attraction.

Interviews with therapists and trainers at The Dolphin Reef in Eilat will further highlight the effect that dolphins have on humans, and how we should respond to them.

Footage of pregnant woman swimming with the dolphins at the Reef, and interviews with women who have undergone water births, are examples of how close we are in nature to these animals. Including the first birth with dolphins in Israel which hit major headlines.

Tourists in large numbers can be seen swamping the dolphins in the water. Being transient, they show little true regard for the dolphins or environment, only perceiving the dolphins as a novelty; as playthings – to go and quickly stroke for the thrill. Olin can be seen to be obviously annoyed at times.

Interviews with tourists will explain their reactions to the dolphins and Bedouin, highlighting the issue of man’s need to connect with nature.

Nature is all too often perceived as being an alien force that is hostile to man – something to fear, something to mistrust. Here, man is welcomed into an environment which embraces with love, and a life force that touches all.