Go to far west Egypt and you’ll come to Siwa – an isolated desert oasis only 50 km east of the Libyan border in the heart of Egyptian sand dunes. Here you’ll find Siwa; the town lost in the rain.
Historically, Siwa is part of Ancient Libya.
Between the shady groves and mud-brick villages, winding roads with donkey carts and motorcycles.
The women who wear the traditional suits, are often transported on donkey carts which is driven by a young boy, possibly the son. Spread over the oasis is crystal clear springs, as a wonderful respite from the harsh heat. Siwa is like a step back in time; a reflection from the past, brimming with some 70,000 olive trees and 300,000 palm trees. The town ooze of slow oasis life.
For centuries the oasis had contact with only few caravan traders that passed along this way and the occasional determined pilgrim seeking the famous Oracle of Amun.
Siwa the town lost in the rain
In 1926 heavy rain literally liquefied many of the townhouses. They were traditionally constructed of sand, salt and mud. The Berber Siwa, the town lost in the rain
leaves behind extraordinary ruins in this lush enclave in the middle of nowhere. Some of the original town structures remain, and is quite easy to explore.
Siwa’s geographic isolation has helped protecting a unique society.
The oasis stands distinctly apart from mainstream Egyptian culture.
Originally Siwa was settled by Berbers (roaming North African tribes) and no more than a few hundred years ago, Siwa was still practically independent. In Siwa the local Berber (Amazigh) language still dominate.