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With a population of approximately 20 million, Cairo is a city where ancient civilization meets hyper-urbanization. Egypt is the cradle of a rich culture and priceless artifacts, yet many of its inhabitants live off less than $2 a day. Flying into Cairo; you feel a rush of energy and excitement that engulfs you and you’re carried from the airport, into the Cairo flow. The relentless traffic, busy plazas, and prayer call’s echo through the streets dusted in sand blown in from the desert.

The capital is alive, it sprawls along the Nile river; the vein of life which has provided fertile lands for the Egyptian people for the last 7,000 years. The air is thick, it lays a dense blanket over the city that fades away mid morning. From the Citadel of Egypt, the skyline is scattered with mosques and buildings in construction, with the Giza plateau and the Western desert fading into the horizon.

The grand Pyramids seem like a mirage, you can’t help but rub your eyes staring at them while cars buzz by and venders offer their merchandise. Camels, modern vehicles, horse and chariot; it is truly a melting pot of history, religion and globalisation. Meanwhile, the new Cairo museum is being built just across the highway.

A pulled back perspective of the Giza plateau at dawn.
Full moon, Giza.
Giza; The Khufu Pyramid is lit up during the sound and light show. This pyramid was constructed as the tomb for the Pharaoh Khufu, who the people saw as a living god.
Morning commutes in Giza.
Apartment buildings between central Cairo and Giza.
The Great Sphinx, with the Khufu pyramid in the background.
Overlooking Cairo from the Egypt Citadel. Hyper urbanization with the great pyramids at the Giza platau in the background.
Another perspective; A horse and charriot rides behind the great pyramids at the Giza plateau.
The Giza Plateau: Walking through the site of the great pyramids, the Khafre pyramid is the second largest construction in Giza.
Camels are a means of transport while visiting the pyramids.
The Giza Plateau looking back towards Cairo. The centre pyramid Khafre appears the largest however it is only so because it was built on higher ground.
The Egypt Museum: The first images taken by Harry Burton upon the discovery of the Tomb of Tutankhamun in 1922-25.
A family visits the Giza plataue.
The rooftop details of the Mosque of Muhammad Ali, Located at the Egyptian Citadel. The Mosque first opened in 1848.
Etchings on the wall at the entrance to the Mosque of Muhammad Ali.
Giza Plateau: Left is the Pyramid of of Khufu also known as the great Pyramid, to the right is the Pyramid of Khafre.
Cairo, El Hussein square. Known as one of the holiest places for islamic Egypt.
Cairo, El Hussein mosque. A young boy sells bread in front of the El-Hussien Mosque.
Cairo, Khan El-Khalili bazar. Street venders sit selling their items in the laneways of this famous market square.

Luxor and The Valley Of the Kings.

Following the Nile river south 650km is the city of Luxor. Although much smaller than Cairo, Luxor is one of the most important cultural sites in the country. The dry climate in Luxor’s desert provided the ideal conditions for the tombs of the Pharaohs. The Valley of the Kings as it is now known feels lifeless and barren. Yet when stepping down into the mouth of these tombs the etchings and hieroglyphs on the walls are beaming with colour and stories of God’s as they enter the afterlife.

Luxor is home of many ancient sites besides The Valley of the Kings. Pictured below are the temples of Karnak and Luxor. Archeological feats that remain marvels of engineering to this day. When wandering through these temples I am forced to fathom the methods used to construct such grand structures over 4,000 years ago. It is not merely the size of the structure; but the details, the etchings cut into the stone, the devotion to gods that such temples were built for.

Surrounding Luxor, new discoveries are constantly being made. Archeologists and the local people work together, slowly uncovering tombs and hidden lairs buried beneath the surface of the rocky desert.

Luxor. Birds fly over the full moon at dawn.
Luxor, Karnak Temple: Looking up at the details beneath the gigantic stone pillars. The architraves on top of the columns are suspected to weigh 70 tones.
Luxor, The Valley Of the Kings: A detailed image of the paintings inside the tomb of Ramses 57.
Luxor; A view from the Nile: Hot air balloons rise up over the Valley of the Kings.
Luxor, The Valley of the Kings: A mud-brick archway in front of the Hatshepsut temple.
Luxor, The Valley Of the Kings: A tomb opening appears in the face of the mountains surrounding the temple of Hatshepsut.
Luxor, The Valley of the Kings: A cave in the surrounding mountains of Hatshepsut temple.
Luxor, The Valley of the Kings: The Colossus of Memnon.
Luxor, Street Market.
Luxor, The Valley Of the Kings, statue details from the temple of Hatshepshut.
Luxor, The Valley Of the Kings: Local stone cutters wait outside their store.
Luxor, The Valley of The kings: Colour heiroglyphs are etched in to the Tombs. This image represents the god Ptah-sokar-osiris.
Luxor, The Valley Of the Kings. A sign directs down into the tomb.
Luxor, The Valley Of the Kings: A supermaket is painted with ancient Egyptian heiroglyphs on the outskirts of the Valley.
Luxor: A young horse and cart driver poses for a portrait with his horse.
Luxor: Inside an essential oil dispensary.

Edfu & The Edfu Temple.

Edfu, A man rides his bike on the streets that hug the Nile River.
Edfu Temple, Light shines through to illuminate the large pillars inside the temple.
Edfu: A detail of the God of Horus. The history of the Temple was cut into the stone of the walls of the temple.
Edfu, The main means of transportation in Edfu is by horse and cart. A Police officer smokes while making sure all is in order.
Edfu temple: The facade of the temple.
The interior of the Edfu Temple.
A drawn Back perspective of the facade of the Edfu temple.
Edfu, Street scenes.
Sunset over the Nile.

The Nubian Temples, Abu Simbel. Southern Egypt.

Nubia, Southern Egypt, Located on the boarder with Sudan. Abu Simbel consists of 2 temples that were constructed by Ramses II. The temple pictured was deveoted to Ra, Amon and Ptah. Originally the temples were located closer to the Nile river. However in 1964 the Nubian monuments were shifted under the management of a multinational team and UNESCO. The reason being is that during the construction a lake Nasser the temples would have been flooded.
The Nubian Temples, Abu Simbel. This detailed image shows where the monument was cut during it’s relocation in 1964-1968.
The Nubian Temples, Abu Simbel. Inside the main temple.
Abu Simbel, One of the main structures was badly damaged during an earthquake.
Abu Simbel, Inside the large temple.

The ‘Garb Sohail’ Villiage, Aswan.

Nubia is a region along the Nile river encompassing the area between Aswan in southern Egypt and Khartoum in central Sudan. Nubia was once known as the trade route between Egypt and tropical Sudan. It was the seat of one of the earliest civilizations. Nubia was home to several empires, today the region of Nubia is split between Egypt and Sudan.

Ancient Nubian people were known to be great fighters and particularly skilled archers. They were driven out of their territory by the construction of the Aswan high dam, which provides valuable irrigation during droughts but could not hold back the annual flood of the mighty Nile River. Nubians had no choice but to leave the area due to the devastating floods caused by the overflow of Lake Nasser in the Abu Simbel temple region.

Many of the Nubian people spread throughout Egypt and have since created communities on the western banks of Aswan. The following images were taken in the village of Garb Sohail.

Garb Sohail is covered in colorful hand painted murals and peopled with villagers in vibrant clothing. The scent of the markets wafts in the warm air; incense, tea, and cardamom. Children ride camels on the roads as motorcycles weave past them.

The animal and the symbol of the crocodile plays an important role in Nubian culture. Often raised from hatchlings, crocodiles are kept as pets. When fully grown crocodiles are released into the wild. If crocodiles die before maturity their skins are attached to the front of their families houses.

The Nubian Village; Garb Sohail, Aswan.
The Nubian Village, Garb Sohail, Aswan: Camels and coloured houses.
The Nubian Village, Garb Sohail, Aswan. Young kids hanging out with their camels on the edge of the Nile river in southern Egypt.
The Nubian Village, Garb Sohail, Aswan: A man with leads his camel through the unpaved streets of the village.
The Nubian Village, Garb Sohail, Aswan. A young boy rides by on his camel.
The Nile river as seen from Aswan.
The Nubian Village of Garb Sohail, Aswan: Children play in the streets.
Sunset over the Nile in Southern Egypt.

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