Schasli needs no words. When a friend gives him a slap on the back of the head, shaping it with his hands in a pyramid. “Aggressive Egyptians” means, and is here in the oasis of Siwa, far from the Nile to understand in the middle of the Sahara as a serious insult.

Because of the deaf, works in a Café and its own sign language has been invented, is from the tribe of the Berber people. The have not only their own identity, but in the Egyptian oasis, a special bond to nature.

For the character for “Siwa” bends Schasli, therefore, to the front, aimed both arms on the fertile soil, as he wanted to show through him to the roots of his existence. His message: We are here, and this place that belongs to us.


Siwa holds not only its residents in awe, but also travellers and lets go of some of the never again. The green island in the desert is so far away from the metropolises of Cairo and Alexandria, that travelers consider not only in a different world, but also a different time.

The life of Leigh Ann Titus steered into the midst of this parallel world, like the Australian told. Earlier, the geologist was employed by Oil companies and in helicopters. Today she sits in a Café on the outskirts of the historic fortress of Shali, and drinking tea. Fans buzzing over blue tables. For you, it all started with a normal vacation, she says.

Leigh Ann Titus

at the end of 2010, the Australian visited the Land of the Nile and wanted to then get on the plane home. She followed, she says, an Intuition, and landed in the oasis. Meanwhile, the bloody protests of the Arab uprisings began in Cairo, the country was in a state of emergency. Titus remained in the tranquil town of Siwa. To safety, and later out of love. “The energy in this place is anchored in the ground,” says Titus, who is based in Siwa, there is a health centre. You stand firm as a Rock.

the Oracle of Siwa

Only after several hours of travel on jerky roads were built of clay and palm groves of Siwa from the Sahara sand is collected, where about 20,000 people live. The crowns of date palms forming a green carpet, it still sits an ancient clay temple. Behind the flat salt lakes.

“Siwa is one of the key places in the world,” says Leigh Ann Titus. What you told, makes the most rational means of Europeans are sceptical of the “energy field”, the build of Siwa, because it was in a valley below sea level. And sine curves, which would run through this place and, therefore, the vibrations changed.

in fact, but the myth, Siwa was created thousands of years ago. The ancient Egyptians called the place “the most distant oasis,” says Amr Baghi. He is the local inspector of the Ancient and stands on the mountain of the dead with a view over the oasis. In the Interior of the tomb, a priest of the God Osiris rests. In ancient times Siwa was the site besides Delphi and Dodona, the famous Oracle, including Alexander the Great, they sought out in the temple of Amun.

His rise as a hub for the caravan trade, have made Siwa, after the first conquest of the Nile valley by the Assyrians in front of almost 2700 years ago, says the Egyptologist Baghi. At that time the area had not been to the Nile for sure. “Therefore, the trade from Central Africa flourished to the sea via Siwa.” From this time the Greek influence, which is reflected even in the hieroglyphics of the tombs dates back to.

Baghi says that in Siwa, more of the spirit of North-West Africa as the Egyptian-Arab. The Berbers from the borders of the Egyptians from the capital and elsewhere. Their customs, clothes or pieces of jewellery come from, as well as their ancestors from Tunisia, Algeria or Morocco.

“No Internet, No phone”

When it shines in the night in Siwa, and the milky way, there is almost complete silence. The Eco-Lodges around the lakes have usually no power, and the scanty light of burning candles or torches. “No Internet, no phone. People come here because of the quiet. To think time nothing, not work, not Stress,” says Mohammed Gigal, Manager of the hotel Adrére Amellal, as he strips beds in the Morning by the hotel’s own vegetable.

the Hotel Adrére Amellal

the doors of The luxury hostel are made of rough palm wood, behind it a huge room with beds from the salt plates of the lakes. However, the 42 spaces are these days often empty. A few days ago, a group of international diplomats was here, where once even Prince Charles slept.

Since the Arab uprisings of 2011, tourism in Egypt, it is not easy, especially in a place like Siwa, located just 50 kilometers from the Libyan border. “The army fit in here well and monitors the desert,” says Gigal. Even if the areas are away from the cities in Egypt is always safe, there was in Siwa, in the past few years alone. The oasis is also in this respect, a different universe.

A place for travellers and artists

The inhabitants of Siwa are relaxed. However, the Arab world does not deceive your tolerance to tourists and also for historic reasons, a greater openness to homosexuality than in the Rest of the day, this place is one of the most conservative in Egypt.

The men dominate Siwa. In any case, to the outside. Travelers can spend a few days here to get local women face. And if you scurry across the street or on the car seats, which are pulled by donkeys, covered with a veil of body and face.

Siwa is a foreign, different place. And in pretty much every respect. Siwa is a place for travellers and artists, says Titus. She wanted to stay here, also if you live separated from her husband. He had his yacht in Mallorca. Titus went for Siwa. With a Grin she warns potential tourists: “There are some people like me here. We can’t get out of here.”

Siwa oasis in Egypt travel destination and arrival Siwa is located in the Egyptian Sahara, away from the mass tourism. Accordingly, there is less travel provider and not package deals. It is recommended to ask for one of the prestigious Hotels in the city after a Transport from Cairo. The journey from the capital to Siwa can take up to ten hours. Charter flights that land on a runway close to the oasis, are the exception. Travel in the months of may to September should be avoided because of the extreme temperatures of up to 50 degrees. An overnight stay in Siwa for many years no incidents, the oasis is more of a destination for the adventurous and backpackers. Nevertheless, it may be in some of the best Hotels to be really expensive – room for several Hundred euros per night is possible. For all other there are simple accommodations to typical prices (10 to 20 Euro per night). Information Embassy of the Republic of Egypt, tourism Department, Kurfürstendamm 151, 10709 Berlin (Tel.: 030/188 72 46 70, E-Mail:,

Benno Schwinghammer, dpa/abl

Sam Yoon has many years of experiences in journalism. He has covered such areas as information technology, science, sports and politics. Yoon can be reached at 82-2-6956-6698.