Thursday, August 12, 2010

Nubians & Elephantine Island

Down in Aswan there’s a little boat you can get on that will ferry you across the Nile to Elephantine Island. 

It’s so far away from the typical things people go to Egypt to see, but when I go back to Egypt, insha’allah, I really must make it all the way back down to this magical place. There are a few things to see there: a museum, an archeological site and the nilometer, but the best part about this place for me was the interaction with the people, followed closely by the beautifully painted buildings and homes.
This is the museum. It’s very small, and the building itself might have been my favorite part.

And then there was the archeological area, so clearly pointed out on this sign:

This is the view from the archeological sight. It was beautiful up there.

This is the nilometer.

It was used for centuries by many different conquering peoples to measure the level of the Nile, which would then determine what sorts of taxes should be imposed.

We had free time after leaving the museum to explore and experience the island, so Adam and Will and I started doing just that. I fell in love with the homes and the colors of the buildings.

We saw another member of our group, Sean, with some little boys who were playing soccer in a big dirt field. Adam and Will joined the group and I took pictures and basked in what a beautifully remarkable experience it was… down in the southern Nubian-inhabited edge of Egypt, on a tiny island with all these little boys having the time of their lives playing with two big American boys. And the best part was, we could communicate with them.

I loved every minute of it. In fact, I loved it so much, I was moved to make my first souvenir purchase of the summer: a scarf from a little weaver’s shop. 

Supposedly the scarf was made right there on the loom… I tend to disbelieve that, but I love it nonetheless.


  1. wow. what great pictures and what cute kids!

  2. Wow again. You take gorgeous pictures. Can't wait to hear more. When do you get back home?