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Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Exploring Egypt: Gharb Sohail blends Nubian culture and Aswan's natural beauty

Samar Nasr , Wednesday 22 Nov 2017
Gharb Soheil
The nile scenery in Gharb Soheil (Photo by Ayman Hafez)
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To visit a Nubian village is to experience something completely different from any other Egyptian village scene.
 
At Gharb Sohail, a village of about 3,000 inhabitants a short distance from Aswan in Upper Egypt, visitors have the privilege of getting to know a little the Nubians’ unique culture, language, traditions, music, art, crafts and food.
nubian home beside the Nile
A colurful nubian home beside the Nile (Photo by Ayman Hafez)
 
When visiting the village, you will feel that you are in a calm, natural paradise: the Nile, the mountains, the huge green areas.
 
Most importantly, visitors will also get to experience the Nubian residents’ famous generosity, cheerfulness and modesty.
party in the heart of nubian desert
A night party in the heart of nubian desert (Photo by Ayman Hafez)
 
It takes only about 30 minutes to reach Gharb Soheil by car from the train station, or 10 minutes from Aswan International Airport.
 
The first sight is the beautiful colourful walls of the village's houses along the banks of the Nile.
 
The houses are built out of stone, clay and sand, and the arched roofs are usually covered with reed and grain stalks. Their walls are covered with flowers and their traditional shape provides a naturally cool environment inside, so no need for air conditioning.
Sand boarding
Sand boarding activity in the Nubian desert (Photo by Ayman Hafez)
 
Nubians also have their own cuisine: they bake bread in their own own way, and create dishes such as "fatta ads," "tagen lahma” and "Aswanian egg.”
colurful nubian home beside the Nile
A colurful nubian home beside the Nile (Photo by Ayman Hafez)
 
Cold "doum” (palm fruit) juice and hibiscus are the official drinks in Gharb Soheil, as well as in the rest of Aswan.
 
To explore the village, take a felucca or a motorboat from one side of the river to the other, as there are no bridges, and take the opportunity to enjoy the Nile beautiful scenery all the day time. Visitors can also hire a taxi or "hantour" to explore Aswan or go to the downtown market.
Nubian Egyptian dishes
Sand boarding activity in the Nubian desert (Photo by Ayman Hafez)
 
The village also offers the opportunity for activities like sand boarding, desert hiking, taking sand or mud baths, or taking a camel ride. 
cheerful coloured nubian homes
A sample of the cheerful coloured nubian homes in Gharb Soheil (Photo by AYman Hafez)
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