Saturday, May 25, 2013

The Siwa Oasis

The Siwa Oasis (SIWI: Isiwan; Arabic  Wahat SÄ«wah is a oasisin Egypt, located between the Qattara Depression and the Egyptian Sand Sea in the Libyan Desert, nearly 50 km (30 miles) east of the Libyanborder, and 560 km (348 mi) from Cairo. About 80 km (50 mi) lengthand 20 km (12 mi) wide, SiwaOasis is one of the most isolated colonies of Egypt, with 23,000 people, mostlyethnic Berbers who speak a distinct language of the Berber as familyknown Siwi. Its fame lies primarily in its ancient role as the home of the oracle of Amon, the ruins of which are a popular tourist attraction which gave the oasis its ancient name Ammonium. Historically, it is part of Libya.Its old modern name Siwa, first attested in the 15th century (prior Arabgeographers Santariyyah called it), is of uncertain origin. Basset linksit a Berber tribal name swh attested further west in the period earlyIslamic while Ilahiane after Shafiq, the word TashelhiytBerber asiwan binds to a type of bird of prey, and thus Amun-Ra, a ofwhose symbols was the falcon. Agriculture is the main activity of modern Siwi, particularly the cultivation of dates and olives. Crafts like basketry are also ofregional importance. Tourismhas in recent decades become a vital source of income. Much attention has beengiven to creating hotels that use local materials and play on local styles.

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