8 Things You Must Do When You’re in Nubia
by Nadine Arab
Nubia is one of Egypt’s hidden gems — not a lot of foreigners nor Egyptians themselves know much about the place. The region that lies in Aswan, is home to ancient history and a vibrant culture. Below are eight interesting things you could do during your stay there.
Gharb Seheil’s bazaar
Gharb Seheil is one of the most popular Nubian villages. It is known for its colorfully painted houses and lovely people. Strolling down its bazaar is a great choice, especially if you want to buy some herbs and spices, or maybe if you’d like to even make some new friends. You’ll end up going back home with a larger pile of giveaways than that of souvenirs you bought yourself.
If you’re looking for a less crowded spot to spend more time mingling with locals over some Nubian tea, then this is your place. Try to be there by sunset so you can capture some cool shots from high altitudes during the golden hour.
The Nubian Museum
Even if you’re not the biggest fan of museums, this one’s not to be missed. Unfortunately, when it comes to our history, especially the Nubian one, we can be very ignorant. However, the Nubian Museum holds everything you need to know about this. You’d better get ready for some jaw-dropping facts to be revealed.
Agha Khan Mausoleum
Mohammed Shah Aga Khan, one the imams of the Ismaili sect, has his tomb lying on the west bank of the Nile river in Aswan. The magical golden sands of Nubia were the only treatment to his rheumatism, which is why he built his beautiful white villa in Aswan, right below the mausoleum. After he died in 1957, his wife — known as Begum Om Habibeh — used to leave a red rose on his pink granite tomb. She got buried right next to him when she died later on in the year 2000.
Spend a few hours at a local’s place
The best thing about being in Nubia is that you’re literally welcome anywhere. It’s pretty normal over there for locals to have you over for dinner, a cup of tea or just a chit-chat. Just remember to be polite and friendly and leave the rest for them.
Make friends with the local pets
When it comes to pets, you’re probably used to either cats or dogs. You’d be a little bit extra if you have a pet turtle or parrot. However, Nubians have leveled up with this whole pet game, and you probably cannot compete with them. Most locals, especially at Gharb Seheil, will probably have crocodiles at home. If you have the guts, take a picture holding one of those mini-crocodiles. It’s worth it!
The most random thing you could do is take a boat to show you around Aswan. Make sure to have it drop you off for an hour or so at Barbar island, right next to the shore of Gharb Seheil. There, you can enjoy a warm coffee-like Nubian specialty, known as Gabana.
Your whole trip is not complete without some Nubian tunes or Mounir’s hits. Nubians surely know how to get the party animal inside of you.