If you are starting to learn Arabic then learning about Arab culture is a must, so read here about this wonderful ancient place steeped in Egyptian history, and its very ambitious female community.
Thirty five year old Om Ahmed Anwar Shahin lives in Dahshour and runs her own daycare center where she teaches tourism courses and children with educational activities, oversees an income-generating project and offers hand made jewellery for sale, as well as being a mother of 5. The day care center is a hub for mums who bring their children or are there to work.
Her ambition to help develop the Dahshour community stemmed from the launch of the Dahshour World Heritage Site for Community Development two years ago on 2009. The aim is to assist the community in developing new skills and eventually placing Dahshour among other top travel destinations.
UNESCO declared Dahshour a World Heritage Site because of its culture, archaeology, ecosystems, but most of all because of the spirit and passion of its people wanting to place it high on the world travel map and give it recognition. According to Shahin there is no where quite like it and went on to say that Dahshour has everything to offer the visitor from history to local hand crafted products that are totally unique.
Even though the center is a success Shahin went on to study tourism and gain a certificate through the Ministry of Tourism especially focused on the community of Dahshour. Her passion for her town and what it can offer lead her to begin teaching tourism and raise awareness to its people. She also went on to study craft work, so when the tourists come they will want to buy the unique items and accessories.
The women of Dahshour no longer spend their days just raising their children as these typical country side Arabic women used to, Shahin has given them other interests and ambitions to focus on. Surprisingly the husbands of these women are very encouraging and proud of their wives.
The Snofru Bent Pyramid!
Dahshour is located about 40km south from Cairo on the west bank of the Nile and is well known for the ‘Dahshour Pyramids’, there are several but the most famous are the bent one and a lovely smooth red one. The bent one was the first to be built, but due to engineering problems it never got to the lovely smoothness of the red one, and unfortunately is now badly damage. Of the others the famous red Pyramid was the worlds first ever smooth Pyramid. Dahshour’s Pyramids were built during the rein of Pharao Snofru and is now a Royal Necropolis.
Snofru’s Smooth Red Pyramid!
Apart from its interesting history and special people a very special occurrence happens in the winter when the desert changes into a huge lake giving a variety of migrating birds a sanctuary.
While it may be a long time until we see Dahshour becoming a recognized tourist destination you have to admire the passion and determination of these people.