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  • Writer's picture Ahmed Elkhouly

Follow the Nile South..

During the days of Ramadan, specially when its a summer hot weather, during the holy month, there are quite a few things to keep in mind while fasting, to make life easier. For the past few years now, Ramadan has aligned with the quite warm season, and I’ve managed to follow a few set of rules that help me get by the lack of food and drink for the whole day.

The longer days of summer, accompanied by the harsher weather of a warm climate country like Egypt, make things a bit tricky during Ramadan. Starting this journey I knew that my set of Ramadan hacks wouldn’t be applicable this year. Traveling was a must, as well as long walks during the day in the sun, a lot of physical activity would be part of my day. Things that would add more stress to being hungry and trusty for a decent interval of the day.

I won’t lie its challenging, but only to a certain extent and I do so because I enjoy it. Part of the teachings of Islam fasting under certain circumstances of travel is optional and despite in this case ticking all the boxes of distance of travel and duration. I have chosen to fast for the sole reason of self discipline as I have been proven time and time again that does wonders to the human soul.

The next few days might test my ability to sustain a fast as the media has been warning against an unprecedented heat wave to hit Egypt. Reaching peak temperatures in the cities I will be visiting next. Hunger and thirst are a reminder that while we fulfill our bodies our souls are hungry, but a deprived body yearns for a nourished soul.

From time to time I feel a bit biased to certain cities while I try not to imply so while talking about a certain city but its feeling I can’t really control. I guess the main source of my biassedness comes from how people great and treat each other in addition to how they care for their city.

This is also accompanied by how they rank on a scale of “How willing am I to live here”. Only a few of the cities Ive visited so far are high on that scale but the ones that are feel very dear to my heart. From here on forward all the cities on the route to my final destination are located o the Nile, and I will be simply following the Nile south getting closer it’s source.

We start with Beni Suef, a decently sized city that seems on the outside like a vast farm land but shows its true colors in the center of the city. Beautiful architecture in every street, wide spacious streets with a simple layout of urban design. Navigating around Beni Suef couldn't be easier and practically everything is within walking distance.

Its one of the less crowded cities that I have visited if not the least, even taxis public transportation seem to be on the low side. People mostly walk, ride bikes and use motorcycles for longe commutes around the outskirts of the city. The Nile divides Beni Suef into two, the east being famous for the University of Beni Suef.

Local businesses seem a bit on the simpler side with nothing overly fancy or expensive while maintaining proper hygiene and quality of service. And for some reason the food here is quite delicious no matter how simple the restaurants may seem. Beni Suef seems to house a population of closely matched individuals in terms of their social standard and to no surprise its a decent one.

Both the city and its people complement one another, they are a perfect match probably why I've come to appreciate this relaxing simplicity. With streets full of beauty and people filled with kindness Beni Suef is without doubt a city I would enjoy visiting again.


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