The Beja People:
“The Beja are nomadic tribes that live mainly in the Red Sea Hills of the Sudan. This mountainous, semi-desert region lies parallel to the Red Sea coast from southeastern Egypt through northeastern Sudan into Eritrea. The Beja roam these mountains between the Red Sea and the Nile and Atbara rivers and also the plains that slope down westwards to the Nile river valley. They are a non-Arab, Hamitic people, numbering 1.8 million, who call themselves Bedawiyet and speak a Cushitic language called To-Bedawiye. Most Beja speak some Arabic as a second language, and in the south some of them speak Tigre.
The Beja have lived in this area for some 6000 years. They have a remarkable resemblance to some people seen in ancient Egyptian monuments. The Romans and Byzantines called them Blemmyes, and the Axumites called them Bega or Bougaeiton. They were converted to Christianity in the 6th century through the influence of the Nubians of the Nile Valley. In the 13th century, under growing pressure from Mameluk Egypt, they became Muslim at the same time adopting genealogies linking them to Arab ancestors.”