Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Gold diggers dream of riches

Monsters and Critics

In the depths of the earth in Aswan and the surrounding villages in southern Egypt, impoverished locals dig illegally for what they fervently hope will be treasure in the shape of gold - ancient gold.

The treasure hunters also seek out the abilities of 'sheikhs' who allegedly have an uncanny power to pinpoint the locations of the buried ancient treasures.

'One of the sheikhs is invited to the digger's house where the sheikh will inform him whether he should continue digging or not,' says Mohamed Bashir, an Aswan resident.

Although Egypt has its own sheikhs, help is often sought from Moroccan clerics who have a good reputation in this regard, according to Bashir.

Bashir, who runs a small souvenir ship for low-budget tourists told dpa that 'people pay the sheikh around 5,000 Egyptian pounds (840 dollars). Some have even paid as much as 30,000 pounds and never found anything under their houses.'

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