Traveling through the Deserts of Egypt; From 450 B.C. to the Twentieth Century

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2009-10-15
  • Publisher: The American University in Cairo Press
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For generations, travelers have been lured by the beauty and mesmerizing stillness of Egypt's deserts, leaving behind the comfort of what is familiar in a quest for adventure, knowledge, and escape, and for others still, a taste of eternity. Traveling through the Deserts of Egypt is a compilation of some of the most fascinating and beautiful writings to come out of the experiences of desert travelers through the ages. Seen through their eyes, the desert emerges as possessed of a multitude of identities, a source of majesty and life-giving natural beauty, barrenness and yet incalculable mystery. By reading in the footsteps of those who crossed the desert's valleys, slept in its caves, and rode its camels, we discover that the desert in its boundlessness and utter unpredictability shatters all our notions of time and holds out the offer of an intensity of meaning and renewed self-awareness that is as irresistible as it is rewarding. The collection includes extracts from the writings of Herodotus, Ibn Khaldun, Ferdinand Lepsius, Leo Tregenza, Harriet Martineau, Ahmed Fakhry, and Ahmed Hassanein, among many others.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. 1
The Deserts of the Imagination and Realityp. 5
Where Men Do Not Dwell, 1492p. 5
Limits to Egypt, 1832p. 6
The Deserts Are There, 1991p. 7
The Chains of Barren Limestone, 1909p. 8
The Relentless White Emptiness, 1994p. 8
I Walked Six Hours, 1868p. 10
Free to Wander Where You Will, 1925p. 10
Experience of the Desert, 1820p. 11
Buoyant as Air, 1834p. 12
The Call of the Desert, 1923p. 12
Islands in the Sands, 1819p. 13
Islands in the Sand, 1831p. 14
Coming to the Oasis of the Fayoum, 1846p. 15
The Tourist Sees the Desert, 1913p. 16
Every Man with His Ford Imagines Himself a Livingstone, 1939p. 17
Listening to That Wild Music, 1840p. 19
The Reality of the Desert, 1868p. 19
The Desert Still Calls, 1923p. 20
Return to Life, 1857p. 20
The Western 'Libyan' Desertp. 23
The Libyan Desert, 1931p. 24
The 'Libyan' Desert, 2008p. 25
Egypt and the Western Desert, 1990p. 25
What Herodotus Wrote of the Desert, 1945p. 26
Monotony, 1938p. 27
Gattara Depression, 1927p. 27
Observations on the Deserts-and Their Forest, 1798p. 28
We Saw Nothing but Gloomy Gravel, 1950p. 28
The Natron Valley En Route to Siwa, 1904p. 29
Into die Western Desert, 1838p. 29
Into the Desert by Train, 1922p. 30
The Great Oases of the Desert, 1942p. 30
A Certain Horrour in the Mind, 1698p. 31
Toward Siwa, 1792p. 31
Traveling to Siwa, 1900p. 32
The End of Our Journey to Siwa, 1798p. 33
A Desert Road, 1920p. 34
Siwa: The Beehive, 1798p. 34
The Oracle and the Army That Disappeared, 525 BCp. 35
Travelers Describe Siwa Oasis, 1827p. 35
Siwa Town, 1923p. 36
Desert Mysteries, 1923p. 37
Monastery in the Desert, 1898p. 38
Climate and Life, 1819p. 38
At Kharga, 1698p. 39
The Luxuriant Oases, 1819p. 39
The Oases in History, 1968p. 40
First View of the Oasis, 1832p. 40
Caravan Routes, 1904p. 41
The Road of the Traders, 1968p. 42
The Forty Day Road, 1818p. 42
The Forty Day Road, 1935p. 42
Desert Variations, 1819p. 44
A Garden in the Egyptian Desert, 1875p. 44
The Most Beautiful Oasis, 1990p. 45
If the Sand Had Been Water..., 1820p. 46
From the Top of the Great Pyramid of Giza, 1825p. 46
Shapes in the Desert, 1935p. 47
The Eastern Desert and Sinai Peninsulap. 49
Egypt Beyond the Wall, 1909p. 50
The Eastern Desert, 1925p. 51
The 'Arabian' Desert, 1931p. 52
Across the Eastern Desert, Eleventh Centuryp. 52
Old Roads, 1819p. 54
Treasure in the Desert, 1823p. 55
Desert Treasure, 1847p. 55
Journey to Sinai, 1793p. 56
The Peninsula of Sinai, 1925p. 56
Seeing Sinai, 1856p. 56
From a Monastery in the Eastern Desert, 1837p. 57
A Spectacle so Unexpected, 1818p. 58
Eastward from the Nile-the Colors of the Desert, 1913p. 59
Every Weather, 1931p. 61
The Romans Were Here, 1951p. 62
People and Stones, 1921p. 63
A View to Meditate Over, 1935p. 64
Timelessness, 1921p. 65
Exodus 5-7-Sinai, 1868p. 65
Back to Sand and a Bird, 1949p. 66
Leaving the Desert, 1851p. 66
The Charm of Desert Life, 1857p. 68
Trackers and Theft, c. 1200p. 69
Preparations for the Journeyp. 71
The Month of Safar, 1183p. 72
The Buying of Things Needful, 1492p. 73
Provisions for the Journey, 1873p. 74
The Experienced Traveler, 1834p. 75
Our Party, 1961p. 75
Preparing Ahead, 1876p. 76
Knowledge of Medicine, 1832p. 76
The Contract, 1834p. 77
The Price of Camels, 1929p. 78
The Coming of the Camel, 1920p. 78
An Old-fashioned Sort of Animal, 1834p. 79
The Dangers of the Camel, 1836p. 79
Camels Observed, 1819p. 80
Preparing the Camel, 1813p. 80
Packing the Camel, 1834p. 80
Loading and Saddling the Camel, 1863p. 81
Balancing the Load, 1853p. 81
Approaching the Camel, 1863p. 81
An Appreciation of the Camel, 1849p. 83
The Pleasures of Camel Riding, 1862p. 84
Traveling Counterpoised, 1183p. 84
A Cavalcade and a Tukte Rowan, 1827p. 85
My Camel, 1876p. 85
Why Not Take Camels? 1942p. 86
Arab Catering, 1798p. 87
All Is Ready, 1835p. 88
Starting Outp. 91
What to Ride, 1827p. 92
A Letter from Sinai, 1862p. 92
Singing as You Work, 1925p. 93
As I Never Enjoyed Before or After, 1923p. 93
We Leave Cairo, 1855p. 94
Toward Mount Sinai, 1540p. 94
Pilgrims of the Mecca Caravan, 1835p. 95
An Army Mounts, 1802p. 96
Starting Out, 1832p. 97
Passing through the Desert from Cairo, 1779p. 97
Starting Out, 1847p. 98
An Army Takes to the Desert, 1802p. 99
Starting-Slowly, 1858p. 100
The Start of the Journey, 1825p. 100
Starting from Suez, 1868p. 101
Setting Out, 1913p. 101
On the March, 1898p. 102
Good Omens, 1920p. 102
The Order of March, 1898p. 103
The Desert Dayp. 105
Fellow Travelers, 1855p. 106
The Start of the Day-and of the Journey, 1855p. 107
Sunrise and Dew-and Noontime Heat, 1920p. 108
From Cairo to Suez, 1853p. 109
Passage of the Desert, 1832p. 110
The Desert Wakes, 1923p. 111
The Caravan Wakes, 1848p. 112
Routines of the Day, 1849p. 113
A Hard Day in Sinai, 1891p. 114
The Traveler's Day, 1920p. 114
In the Nubian Desert, 1853p. 116
A Day in the Desert, 1871p. 117
Remounting, 1876p. 118
A Miserable Afternoon in Sinai, 1891p. 119
The End of the Day, 1846p. 120
The Energies of the Soul, 1853p. 120
The Problems of Desert Travel, 1909p. 121
Desert Roads, 1909p. 122
Comforts in the Desert to Suez, 1857p. 122
Taking Refreshment, 1798p. 124
Bread of the Desert, 1942p. 124
Desert Peace, 1938p. 125
About Our Journey to the Great Oasis, 1909p. 125
AJourney by Camel, 1942p. 126
Water for the Camels-and the End of the Desert, 1822p. 128
The Desert Nightp. 129
First Night in the Desert, 1898p. 129
Before the Night, 1920p. 130
The End of the Day and the Evening Prayer, 1853p. 130
The Coming of Night, 1876p. 130
Guiding Light, 1779p. 131
The Sleepy Echoes of the Desert, 1825p. 131
Toward the End of the Journey, 1849p. 132
As Night Gathered, 1854p. 132
Goodnight Grandpapa, 1923p. 133
Desert Nightlife, 1834p. 134
Night Sounds, 1846p. 135
Candlelight and Darkness, 1820p. 135
The Beauty of the Night, 1913p. 136
Marching at Night, 1863p. 136
Attackers in a Convent in the Eastern Desert, 1838p. 138
The Oasis at Night, 1909p. 138
The Majestic Work of God, 1952p. 139
Nature in the Desertp. 141
A Lone Tree in the Sinai Desert, 1869p. 141
Animals of Memory, 1907p. 143
'Cleopatra's Asp,' 1927p. 143
Fable or Fact? 1923p. 144
Feathered Snakes, 1826p. 144
The Dorcas Gazelle, 1927p. 145
Life in the Eastern Desert, 1822p. 146
Abul Husayn the Fox, 1869p. 146
The Jackal, 1834p. 147
Why the Hyena is Not Formidable, 1877p. 148
Many, Many Insects, 1923p. 148
Black Clouds of Insects, 1931p. 148
Birds of the Eastern Desert, 1877p. 149
Monsters of Every Description, 1846p. 149
Arriving at Elloah, 1819p. 150
To the Oases of Thebes, 1818p. 151
The Fruitful Oasis, 1827p. 151
The Date Harvest, 1931p. 152
Plants Appear, 1923p. 153
Leaving Camp, 1951p. 153
Life at the Wells, 1819p. 154
Beauty in Danger, 1949p. 154
Experiences of the Desertp. 157
The Mirage, 1854p. 158
Shayib al-Banat: the Old Man and the Girls, 1922p. 158
Hard Traveling, 1858p. 159
A Challenge Overcome, 1836p. 160
Some Advice to Other Women, 1847p. 161
Colors of Desert Life, 1832p. 161
Nearing the End of the Journey, 1854p. 162
We Journeyed On, 1492p. 163
Undergoing Such Labor, 1967p. 164
The Universe Is Filled, 1923p. 164
The Threats of the Desertp. 165
The Suffocating Winds, 1831p. 166
The Khamsin, 1826p. 167
The Tormenting Wind, 1894p. 168
Storm at Night, 1868p. 168
When the Storm Broke, 1923p. 169
How the Camels Saved Themselves, 1904p. 170
The Effects of Thirst, 1857p. 171
Water, 1798p. 172
Water Rations, 1832p. 172
Hunger and Thirst, 1820p. 172
Silent Danger, 1930p. 173
Falling Sick in the Desert, 1820p. 173
Death in the Desert, 1853p. 174
Thirst and Insects, 1825p. 175
Darb al-Arba'in-the "Forty Day Road," 1909p. 176
No Shade in Sinai, 1929p. 176
The Warning of the Dunes, 1929p. 177
Will It Ever End? 1834p. 178
Still a Dozen Miles to the Nile, 1820p. 179
The Goblins of the Desert, 1835p. 180
Too Much Water, 1923p. 180
The People of the Desertp. 183
The People Who Went Before, 1920p. 184
The People of die Caravan, 1921p. 184
Lovers of Freedom, 1820p. 185
The Ababdeh of the Eastern Desert, 1818p. 186
Our Guides and Their Leader, 1842p. 187
Our Guide, 1921p. 188
A Camel Cobbler, 192 3p. 188
The Merchant Caravan, 1702p. 189
The Sudan Caravan from Asyut, 1793p. 189
Meeting a Merchant, 1920p. 190
The Date Merchant, 1950p. 191
The Slave Peddlers, 1846p. 191
Ghosts of Romans, a Martyr, and the Bedouins, 1926p. 192
No People Wander Less, 1868p. 193
Bedouins in the Western Desert, 1819p. 194
The Dress of our Guide, 1861p. 195
The Storyteller, 1942p. 195
Salaam Aleycum, 1846p. 196
Visiting die Camp of the Bedoweens, 1820p. 196
The Women of the Towarah, 1878p. 197
Our Men, 1904p. 198
Visiting the Bedouin's Chief, 1914p. 198
The Shepherd, 1926p. 200
A Man and his Camels, 1926p. 201
Encounters with Pilgrims, 1857p. 201
Venerable Monks, 1931p. 202
Good Company 1846p. 204
Fantasia in the Western Desert, 1904p. 205
Other Travelers, 1922p. 206
Encounter with the Old People, 1926p. 206
The Return to the Worldp. 207
Departing from die Desert, 1819p. 207
Oasis on the Road from Qus to Qusayr, 1913p. 209
Returning to the Nile, 1820p. 209
Return to the Nile, 1832p. 210
After the Desert, 1823p. 211
Leaving the Desert, 1853p. 211
The Joy of Returning, 1907p. 212
Coming out of the Desert, 1913p. 213
The Bright Flashing Water, 1823p. 213
The Travelers: Brief Biographiesp. 215
Bibliographyp. 227
Index of Travelersp. 231
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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