Monday, December 05, 2011

Travel : Siwa Oasis

Al Ahram Weekly (Ameera Fouad)

Once upon a time, the ancient Greek historian Herodotus said he knew a fountain of the sun that ran coldest in the noontide heat. Once upon a time, Queen Cleopatra made herself a bath and a spring in which to bathe in the middle of the Western Desert. Once upon a time, a temple was built in Siwa to honour the ram-headed god Amon-Ra, housing an oracle whose fame had spread by about 700 BCE. Once upon a time, the ancient Greek poet Pindar, who lived between 522 and 443 BCE, wrote a poem about the oracle at Siwa and carved it on a stone stele.

Once upon a time, Egyptian egyptologist Zahi Hawass, former secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, made headlines when he announced that archaeologists had discovered the world's oldest human footprint while exploring a prehistoric site in Siwa. Once upon a timeÒê¦ many figures could be cited at this juncture in connection with Egypt's Siwa Oasis, though it is the "fountain of the sun" at Siwa that is perhaps the most celebrated.

Siwa is like no other oasis in Egypt.

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