The Nile and Nubia

Nubian boy in Aswan

As we sail south along the Nile River the complexion changes.  We are heading to Aswan and the Nubian people.  Nubia or Nuba is an ancient Arabic word for Gold so Nubia was the land of Gold.  Originally Sudan was part of Egypt.  To give your a geographical reference, Aswan is very close to the Sudan and even closer is Abu Simbel.  The coast that lines the Nile River on both sides is dotted with tombs and temples from the Pharoac period thousands of years before christ, most of which are the oldest but are not in good condition.

Headmaster at Nubian Village


We visit one of the oldest Nubian Villages, Gharbsuhel, that is still in its original location and did not have to move because of the Aswan Dam as most Nubian Villages did.  This is the first time I’ve gone so far along the Nile River to a Nubian Village, thanks to our guide and Egyptologist Mostafa Hasaan.  This is the most beautifil pat of the Nile with narrow passages passing the botanical gardens, other villages, some of the best rock and plant formations along the way.  This is very much like a santuary.

In the village school is out but we became the students as the head master gives us a lesson on Arabic and Nubain ABC’s and 123’s.  We were very good students and eager to learn as we each wrote our name on the board in Arabic.

The Nubian people should be revered for their sacifice for the greater good of the country.  They gave up their land and agreed to be relocated so that Egypt could build the Aswan Dam and harvest water that saved Egypt from the drought that has so drastically affected other countries.

Finishing our Nile Rive Cruise we have lunch in Aswan at a Nubian restaurant, Dokka  and have a Nubian Tangine.  Tangine is clay pot cooking of meats like chicken, beef and fish in a tomato sauce.  It’s then served with rice, bread, babaganoush, salad and tahini (sesame seed paste). After lunch we head to the Temple of Philae.  Philae was also moved to higher ground and is surrounded water.  After touring the Temple with it’s Greek and Roman symbles and graffitti left behind by Napolean we sit along the water at the outdoo cafe fo coffee and watch the sun as it begins to set.

It’s hard to leave Egypt.  This is a special time to be here.  Arriving in Cairo just two weeks after Mubarak stepped down giving the people victory for change was electric.  We felt like we were part of the process just being there.  Finishing with a Nile Rive cruise to a slower paced vacation on an all-suite ship, the Sonesta Star Goddess.  Entering the empty airport in Aswan.  All flights but one were canceled and all the groups and individuals we met along the way were on the same flight.  We’re already reminesces about our journey and experiences.

Ou next stop is Dubai, UAE, same language, same religion, a short 3.5 hour flight but we know will be worlds apart from Egypt.

See you in Dubai!

Me and Egyptian @ Hatsheput’s Temple


Mosque along the Nile in Aswan