By Aswan in the River Nile is Elephantine Island. It houses temple ruins (including the ruins of a step pyramid), two nilometers (structures measuring the water level during flooding season) and a luxury Mövenpick hotel. Most interestingly, though, Elephantine has a considerable Nubian population, living in three villages on the island.
Nubia is a really great name, isn’t it, conjuring up romantic visions of wild, warring tribes, courageously fighting pharaonic imperialism. Once Nubia was an independent kingdom. Today, the name Nubia is no longer in use, at least not officially. The former region of Nubia is now divided between Egypt and the Sudan.
Two years ago when sailing up the Nile, we got a Nubian, Mohammad, to show us his village on Elephantine. In a very halting English interspersed with Arabic and Nubian, he told of Nubian life in present-day Egypt. The gist of it was that it’s a bit of a challenge preserving the Nubian way of life. Same goes for the language. Nubian is a very complex language and it does not exist in written form. As if that isn’t enough, dialects vary so much, they’re not mutually understood and Arabic is used instead. Sad, somehow.
After strolling through the village, we stopped by someone’s home and were given tea. My then 6-year-old immediately spotted a glass cage with four live baby crocs. She loved them instantly and wanted to take them home. They didn’t have a lot of space, poor creatures.
This post is part of DeliciousBaby’s PhotoFriday series. Have a look at other great photos here.