By Mousha El-Haggar
Getting out of Cairo is always my favourite thing to do. I enjoy going to new places and experiencing new things that are outside of Cairo. This time around my trip was to Fayoum, a place I always wanted to go to but never had enough encouragement; people who live in the city are taken in by the city crowd and never want to leave their comfort zone. That; and many Egyptians don’t view travel within Egypt as a vacation, unless, of course, it’s to the beach! Recently, though, I had a friend who was planning a group trip to Fayoum and I decided it was time to go and experience it for myself.
We travelled to a small village in called Tunis (pronounced like Tunisia in Arabic); a picturesque lakeside village overlooking Qaroun Lake famous for its amazing pottery work and pottery schools. The village is a mix between two very different kinds of people, Bedouins and Peasants, a mixture of rural Egypt and desert life.
In the heart of the village is an eco hotel called Zad Al-Mosafer – Provisions of the Traveller, surrounded by lush greenery and very simple furnishings. It’s built in the same simple mud-brick style that is a symbol of the rural houses surrounding it which I loved most. Out here, the atmosphere, the air, and everything is different; it makes you forget all about Cairo’s pollution and traffic.
I can keep going on about how nice it is there, about the richness of the culture, about the wondrous desert and the ancient monuments, but that will need for a book not an article.
It was not possible to see all the places in only three days. The scenery is fabulous in the desert and you are surrounded by fossils almost everywhere you go. It awakens your senses with the scent of ancient times and ignites your imagination to what used to be here before all of us. As I walk, I find fossils of sharks and sea creatures that make my mind drift away to how this place was like 40 million years ago; it was a big sea and now it is a desert land!
Egypt to me is not synonymous with Cairo only; it’s much more, and when I visit such places I start wondering why people are stuck in Cairo. Just because most of the services are in Cairo doesn’t seem like a good reason to me. The more we live in the city, the more our needs grow, and the more we start changing – to the bad not the good.
Getting out of Cairo and seeing real nature makes me feel more spiritual and reminds me of my humanity.
What I notice when I go to any place out of Cairo like Fayoum is that people have a quiet nature and they’re happy and satisfied with what they have, although they don’t have all the luxury that we enjoy in Cairo. They are peaceful; they can sleep at night, because life there isn’t complicated and polluted.
In the short amount of time we have, we seem to be missing out a lot in our beautiful country.
Mousha El Haggar is an up and coming jewellery designer who designs and hand-crafts unique pieces of jewellery, all made of fine silver and natural gemstones, she also loves travel and kite surfing. Have a look at her beautiful collection on her website: Mousha’z and her Facebook page.Tags: Desert, Egypt, Fayoum, Featured, Fossils, Lake Qarun, Pottery, Tunis, Zad Al-Mosafer