Friday, November 28, 2008

Hidden beauty

Al-Ahram Weekly

Throughout history, Nubians have managed to keep their traditions and lifestyles relatively uninflected by outside influences, and yet they have still interacted with different cultures surrounding theirs. Although many Nubian villages had to be resettled elsewhere due to the impending need to build both the Aswan and High Dams, some fortunate settlements have stayed put in their original locations. Such is the case in the area west of Sihail.

Due to its privileged location, for many years investors tried unsuccessfully to purchase these lands, in a bid to build hotels that would have no doubt become renowned because of the impressive views they would have offered, the breathtaking sunrises guests might have witnessed as the Nile spread before them. Still the Nubians refused to sell.

One may wonder at first what changes have caused the Nubians -- traditionally cautious of foreigners -- to now begin to more warmly welcome tourists on their lands.

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