Green Strips Besides The Nile
Land And People

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"The Nile is Egypt" tells an Arabian proverb.
The country has a total area of 1,000,000 km 2 , but only 4% can be used for agriculture. The biggest part consists of deserts. Most of the life takes place in the narrow, 1000 km long river-oasis on the banks of the Nile and in the fertile delta-mouth of the Nile. To the west is the Libyan Desert and in the east, the Arabian.
The variety of colours and forms of the different desert scenery is most impressive.

The dividing line between the agricultural area and the desert is mostly abrupt and without blending. Where the water of the Nile doesn't reach, the land is dry and without vegetation. From Luxor to the south the rainfall is virtually nil.

The farmers in the country never built their villages in the bed of the valley. The fertile soil was too valuable to settle. Therefore the villages lie picturesquely on the mountain slopes.

Water mostly must be fetched from wells deeper in the valley. This is traditionally the work of the women and children. sent for water sent for water

Corn, rice, cotton grows where water from the Nile reaches the soil, and as you can see here, near Luxor, sugarcane. The agricultural work is still mostly manual labour. Draught and pack-animals like donkeys, cows or camels are still common. harvest of sugar cane harvest of sugar cane
harvest of sugar cane harvest of sugar cane harvest at the Nile

Camels were imported frequantly from the south, mainly from the Sudan. This camel herd we met between Luxor and Assuan. camel herd camel herd

Also in the town, as you can see here in Luxor and Assuan, draught animals, here mainly horses and donkeys, are part of the traffic. Maybe with the exception of the main streets of Cairo at rush-hour. There is the most terrible traffic I've seen ever in the world. Traffic regulations, even traffic lights at best are decorations. The most important things for getting ahead are a loud horn, good nerves and a resolute facial expression. Luxor, horse-drawn carriage street in Aswan

As with all Arabs, the Egyptians are of course very business smart. Souvenir Shops for tourists, refreshment stalls, bootblacks and much more, everywhere merchandise and services were offered . Price tags exist only for the foreigners. To simply pay the price on the price tag is normally unusual, prices are haggled. But to the Egyptians, tourists are part of life. Tourism in Egypt has been going on longer than in other countries. Souvenir Shop in Cairo Grocer's Shop in Esna
Refreshment Stall in Luxor Bootblack in Luxor

At the hottest time in the early afternoon you can see groups of men everywhere at midday rest. But in spite of modernisation, a woman in such a group -- unthinkable!

The "pedestrian precinct" of Assuan. The Bazaar only gets busy in the evening. The street, the noise, the smell, the people, everything gives a very exotic feeling to a European. Arabian and African (Nubian) influences are mixed to a strange atmosphere.

The pictures at the bottom show a butcher's and a bakery.
Bazar of Aswan Bazar of Aswan
Butcher's in Aswan Bakery in Aswan

If you visit Egypt, don't miss a sunset at the Nile! Sunset at Nile Sunset at Nile

May I recommend you the following interesting books and other informational material:
 Travel Books Egypt  History of Egypt  Egyptian Archaeology  Amazon Store Egypt

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