Ethar El-Katatney

AUCians visit the Camel Market

Posted in Dimensions (AUC) by Ethar El-Katatney on February 5, 2006

Last Friday the Office of Student Housing organized a visit to Egypt’s Camel Market, the Ramses Wissa Wassef Art Centre, and a tour of Saqqara. Nesmah El Kestawi, Biology senior and resident director of the housing office, and Alexander Guindy, resident director of the housing office, were in charge of the visit.

The bus left the dorm bright and early and headed off to the Camel Market, where hundreds of camels were milling around. The group then headed to the Ramses Wissa Wassef Art Centre, which is located near the village of Harrania on the Saqqara road. A veritable treasure trove, the Centre houses a museum full of exquisite tapestries woven by men and women who have been doing so all their lives. A single piece may take years to complete, and those for sale can range from 500-70,000LE. Suzanne Wassef, daughter of the founder and current director, believes in her father’s vision, and says that “every individual has the gift of creativity, and here we seek to nourish this gift—from early childhood and throughout their lives.”

Students then lunched at an open buffet at El-Ezba restaurant—where camel and horse rides where available, in addition to many booths that sold souvenirs—before departing to Sakkara.

An American tour guide accompanied the students to the step pyramid, the Tomb of Mere-Ruka and inside the Titi pyramid, providing a comprehensive lecture at each site.

When asked what she thought of the trip, Nimrah Karim, study abroad Economics junior, said that “I really enjoyed this trip. My favorite part was the Camel market—it was fascinating visiting and experiencing the warmth of the traders. I would recommend this trip.” Fatema Khimji, study abroad Political Science junior, echoes this sentiment by saying, “I really like the trip a lot; it was a great cultural experience…But more Egyptians should come, since I believe that many haven’t seen any of the things we have seen today.”

“We try and have a trip every week if we can,” says El Kestawi. “We’ve already had a trip to Khan El Khalili, one to City stars, and one to Al-Azhar Park.” Anyone can come to these trips, and another one is scheduled this Friday to visit ancient residences in Cairo.

For more information about the trips, stop by the Hill House in room 218/219, or contact Alexander Guindy at ext. 5768 or Dina El Ghazali at ext. 4638.


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