Siwa, a fortress in an oasis
An oasis located between the Qattara Depression and the Egyptian Sand Sea, it has been a gateway to the Western desert since ancient times. North of the current modern city lies the ancient city of Aghurmi, while just to the south of the modern city center is Shali, a more recent fortified town built circa 1203 AD. There are thousands of mountains and hills such as Gebel al-Mawta, riddled with caves, sometimes used as tombs.
From an ecological point of view Siwa is a refuge for threatened species, home to migrating species such as flamingoes. The greatest significance of Siwa is mainly due to its agricultural practices, in particular in date and olive production. Siwa has a rich history and is home to architectural structures such as the city of Shali built out of Kersheef, a mix of clay and salt. It is also home to the Eocene Great Sand Sea, which was covered by the Thethys sea and has many fossil remains.
Siwa is inhabited by a traditional people that are a mix between Arab and Berber culture and have a very distinctive Siwi language.
What you’ll experience
The program we offer demonstrates the complexity found in Siwa. By understanding a culture with its own traditions, and language. Learning about the learning about the relationship between land and architecture and how eco-friendly Siwa was. Finally, getting an understanding of how tourism can impact this Oasis.