Jewel of the Nile

Photo essay: Aswan, a thousand years later

by Keyvan Tabari
Aswan is a rare place. It’s a living community amidst the ruins of old settlements. It was a strategic gatekeeper at ancient Egypt’s southern frontier. Yet it absorbed the very people it aimed to keep out. The Nubians of the south are now almost indistinguishable from the Egyptians. They were the early Christian converts in this corner of the world who were later integrated by intermarriage with the Egyptian converts to Islam. In this largely Sunni city, the legacy of the Shiite Ismaili rule still competes with those of the Romans and Greeks. All of these relics are ingénues compared with what is left of the Pharaonic age. In the ruins of Abu one finds the magic of this place >>> full text

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