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Isle of Gold

Secluded from modern day cairo, Geziret El-Dahab seems to exist in a different era


Roughly 11,000 people live on Gezirat El-Dahab without proper facilities and services (Photo by Aaron T. Rose)
Roughly 11,000 people live on Gezirat El-Dahab without proper facilities and services
(Photo by Aaron T. Rose)

 

Listed as a natural reserve, Gezirat El-Dahab residents have a tough time obtaining help from the government (Photo by Aaron T. Rose)
Listed as a natural reserve, Gezirat El-Dahab residents have a tough time obtaining help from the government
(Photo by Aaron T. Rose)

 

The island does not have a school in it, leading to high rate of illiteracy  (Photo by Aaron T. Rose)
The island does not have a school in it, leading to high rate of illiteracy
(Photo by Aaron T. Rose)

 

Most of the residents earn their living by tending to farms on the island (Photo by Aaron T. Rose)
Most of the residents earn their living by tending to farms on the island
(Photo by Aaron T. Rose)

 

The families subsist on simple Egyptian foods like fuul and arugula, which they are happy to share with passersby (Photo by Aaron T. Rose)
The families subsist on simple Egyptian foods like fuul and arugula, which they are happy to share with passersby
(Photo by Aaron T. Rose)
The only way on or off the island is via privately-owned Nile ferries (Photo by Aaron T. Rose)
The only way on or off the island is via privately-owned Nile ferries
(Photo by Aaron T. Rose)

 

Known for its quiet setting, the island is sometimes visited by city-dwellers for day trips (Photo by Aaron T. Rose)
Known for its quiet setting, the island is sometimes visited by city-dwellers for day trips
(Photo by Aaron T. Rose)

 

The lack of support from the government means that almost all of the roads are not paved (Photo by Aaron T. Rose)
The lack of support from the government means that almost all of the roads are not paved
(Photo by Aaron T. Rose)

 

Right across from Gezirat El-Dahab is the neighbourhood of Maadi (Photo by Aaron T. Rose)
Right across from Gezirat El-Dahab is the neighbourhood of Maadi
(Photo by Aaron T. Rose)

 

A common sight is the piles of garbage that rot for days on the secluded island (Photo by Aaron T. Rose)
A common sight is the piles of garbage that rot for days on the secluded island
(Photo by Aaron T. Rose)

 

Due to the lack of civil planning, homes are built right next to each other (Photo by Aaron T. Rose)
Due to the lack of civil planning, homes are built right next to each other
(Photo by Aaron T. Rose)

 

The five minute boat ride from Maadi’s plush shores will bring you back 100 years.  The short journey to rural Gezirat El-Dahab (or Island of Gold) harkens back to a simpler era.  Its residents sustain themselves with sustenance farming and raising flowers to be sold in flower shops across the capital.

The people of Gezirat El-Dahab don’t have much, but they are generous, warm and welcoming.  It is nearly impossible to walk past a family enjoying a meal or tea without being asked to join.  Settlements and fields intertwine and span the length of the island which is several kilometres long.

The Ring Road, with all its busy traffic, bisects the island, but you can barely hear the rush of cars from the highway raised dozens of metres above the greenery.  Indeed, you will find no automobiles on Gezirat El-Dahab, as the island’s narrow dirt roads are much more suitable for the slow trot of the donkey and cart, or the rare zoom of a rusty motorcycle.

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https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2013/11/20/isle-of-gold/
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