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Siwa Oasis (wikipedia.org)
35 points by zeristor on July 14, 2019 | hide | past | favorite | 10 comments

My family visited here in 1998/99 when my dad (USA Air Force) was stationed at "Peace Vector 3" in Ismailia, Egypt. The Siwa Oasis was a fascinating place - people still lived in the ancient mudbrick houses that have been around for hundreds of years (so we were told). The whole neighborhood looked like Dr. Suess buildings because torrential rains that came once a decade warped everything and then re-dried. Just like everywhere we visited, the people were welcoming and generous, the street food was amazing, and there was more to experience than we had time for. I'd love to go back some day.

Also, we went on a tour of the dunes and salt flats and the guide started his jeep with a flathead screwdriver. That was a culture shock for my 12yo american kid self.

My dad's family is from Ismailia (I grew up in Cairo but went to Ismailia on an almost monthly basis and would often spend summer months there). It's such a beautiful town, hope you get to enjoy it too.

One of the most intense experiences of my life was a "sand bath" at Siwa Oasis. You get buried in unbearably hot sand with supposed healing powers. I didn't have any particular problem, just read about it in Lonely Planet and wanted to see what it was like. Definitely recommended for a crazy intense life experience.


> The Siwa Oasis (Arabic: واحة سيوة‎, Wāḥat Sīwah, IPA: [ˈwæːħet ˈsiːwæ]; Coptic: (ϯ)ϣⲉϣⲁⲙⲟⲩ (Di)Şeşamu; Berber languages: Isiwan, ⵉⵙⵉⵡⴰⵏ ) is an urban oasis in Egypt between the Qattara Depression and the Great Sand Sea in the Western Desert, nearly 50 km (30 mi) east of the Libyan border, and 560 km (348 mi) from Cairo.[1][2][3]

Oddly enough, there was a plan to flood the Qattara Depression with Mediterranean seawater to bring rain to the Sahara. It involved the use of hydrogen bombs:

> In the 1970s and early 1980s, several proposals to flood the area were made by Friedrich Bassler and the Joint Venture Qattara, a group of mainly German companies. They wanted to make use of peaceful nuclear explosions to construct a tunnel, drastically reducing construction costs compared to conventional methods. This project proposed to use 213 H-bombs, with yields of one to 1.5 megatons, detonated at depths of 100 to 500 metres (330 to 1,640 ft). That fitted within the Atoms for Peace program proposed by US President Dwight Eisenhower in 1953. The Egyptian government turned down the idea.[22]


a fictional version of which appears in this video game, as the home of the protagonist:



That's mentioned on the Wikipedia page, [1]. What isn't mentioned is that the game Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory [2] from 2003 also contains a map called Siwa Oasis.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siwa_Oasis#In_popular_culture

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolfenstein:_Enemy_Territory

had some great times here in ET - didn't realize it was a real place. :)


Agreed, the title rang such a strong bell in my mind that I had to know if anyone else remembers this map and the game in general... The number of hours on that game laughing and having fun with regulars from all over Europe...

Definitely! I got banned from multiple servers for repeatedly shooting rifle grenades into the tunnel the attackers had to pass through. Good times! :D

What I liked was that the riflenades are so predictable that on some maps you learn just exactly at what wall to fire them. Having a field ops behind you giving you ammo and shooting grenades into a tunnel is a solid tactic :D

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