Here is another installment of the Small Town series. Today's country is Egypt. All of these small towns have 50,000 inhabitants or less. I will be covering 10 different towns in today's post. I have included as much as I can about each small town.
Matai is a city in the Minya Governorate in Upper Egypt. It lies between Samalout and Beni Mazar.
El Zarqa- 40,010 inhabitants
El Zarqa is a city in Damietta Governorate, Egypt. The city president is Mamdouh Mohammed Hagrus. In antiquity, El Zarqa was known as Maximianon in Greek and Maximianum in Latin. It had a Roman fort guarding the road from Koptos to Myos Hormos.
Safaga- 32,944 inhabitants
Port Safaga, also known as Safaga, is a town in Egypt, on the coast of the Red Sea, located 53 km south of Hurghada. This small port is also a tourist area that consists of several bungalows and rest houses, including the Safaga Hotel, with a capacity of 48 rooms.
The Siwa Oasis is an urban oasis in Egypt between the Qattara Depression and the Great Sand Sea in the Western Desert, 50 km (30 mi) east of the Libyan border, and 560 km (348 mi) from Cairo. About 80 km (50 mi) in length and 20 km (12 mi) wide, Siwa Oasis is one of Egypt's most isolated settlements with about 33,000 people, mostly Berbers, who developed a unique and isolated desert culture and a distinct dialect and language different than all other dialects called Siwi; they are also fluent in the Egyptian dialect of Arabic which is called "Masry" meaning Egyptian. Its fame lies primarily in its ancient role as the home to an oracle of Ammon, the ruins of which are a popular tourist attraction which gave the oasis its ancient name Oasis of Amun Ra. Historically, it was part of Ancient Egypt.
Dahab is a small town on the southeast coast of the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt, approximately 80 km northeast of Sharm el-Sheikh. Formerly a Bedouin fishing village, Dahab is now considered to be one of Sinai's most treasured diving destinations.
El Tor, also romanized as Al-Tur and At-Tur and known as Tur Sinai, formerly Raithu, is a small city and the capital of the South Sinai Governorate of Egypt. The name of the city comes from the Arabic term for the mountain where the prophet Moses received the Tablets of the Law from God; this mountain is designated Jabal Al Tor. At-Tur itself appears to have been founded in the 13th century near the site of the ancient Raythou (medieval Raya). The El Tor strain of cholera was discovered there in 1905. It was a quarantine camp for Muslim pilgrims returning from Hajj (the Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca).
Marsa Alam- 10,000 inhabitants
Marsa Alam is a resort town on the Red Sea in Egypt. It’s renowned for its sandy beaches and coral reefs. The U-shaped Abu Dabab Bay is known for its sea turtles and dugongs (sea cows). Kite-surf site El Naaba Lagoon is separated from the open sea by a coral reef. Wadi el-Gemal National Park, south of the town, encompasses desert, seagrass beds, reefs and islands.
The Farafra depression is a 980 km2 (380 sq mi) geological depression, the second biggest by size in Western Egypt and the smallest by population, near latitude 27.06° north and longitude 27.97° east. It is in the large Western Desert of Egypt, approximately midway between Dakhla and Bahariya oases.
Farafra has an estimated 5,000 inhabitants mainly living in the town of Farafra and is mostly inhabited by the local Bedouins. Parts of the town have complete quarters of traditional architecture, simple, smooth, unadorned, all in mud colour — local culture and traditional methods of building and carrying out repairs have been supported by its tourism. Often grouped within Farafra are the hot springs at Bir Sitta (the sixth well) and the El-Mufid lake.
Al-Qasr at the foot of the limestone cliffs and on the edge of the lush oasis, is little changed from medieval times. With a population of around 700, the town was built from the it's Roman ruins and has narrow covered streets. There are 54 lintels, some dating from the Ottoman and Mamluk era which adorn the old houses, one of which dates to about 924 AD. The mosque dates back to the Ayyubid period. It has a three-story mud-brick minaret, 21 meters high, and wooden lintels decorated with inscriptions from the Koran at the entrances. The local madrassa has been renovated, along with an old house which are open to tourists. Other local sites of interest include a pottery factory and an old corn mill. Mud bricks are still made in an ancient manner and there is a foundry where men still work mettle using bellows flamed fires.