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Muslim women, Bahariya Oasis, Egypt

Bahariya consists of many villages of which el-Bawiti is the largest and the administrative center. Qasr is el-Bawiti's neighboring/twin village. To the east, about ten kilometers away are the villages of Mandishah and el-Zabu. A smaller village called el-'Aguz lies between el-Bawiti and Mandishah. Harrah, the eastern most village, is a few kilometers east of Mandishah and el-Zabu. El-Heiz is the southern most village, but it may not always be considered as part of Bahariya because it is so far from the rest of the villages, about fifty kilometers south of el-Bawiti.


Agriculture is still an important source of income, though now the iron ore industry close to Bahariya provides jobs for many Wahati people. Recently there has also been an increase in tourism to the oasis because of antiquities (tombs, mummies and other artifacts have been discovered there), and because of the beautiful surrounding deserts. Wahati and foreign guides lead adventure desert tours based out of Bahariya to the surrounding white and black deserts, and sometimes to Siwa or the southern oases. Tourism is a new and important source of income for locals, and it has brought an international presence to the oasis.


The people of the oasis, or the Wahati people (meaning "of the oasis" in Arabic), are the descendants of the ancient people who inhabited the oasis, Bedouin tribes from Libya and the north coast, and other people from the Nile Valley who came to settle in the oasis.

The majority of Wahati people in Bahariya are Muslims. There are some mosques in Bahariya. The nature of social settings in the oasis is highly influenced by Islam.

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Taken on October 3, 2010