El-Wahat el-Bahariya or el-Bahariya meaning “the Seaside Oasis” is approximately 370 km away from Cairo.
The beautiful oasis of 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.
The people of the oasis, or the Waḥātī people are the descendants of 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 Waḥātī people in Bahariya are Muslims. There are some mosques in Bahariya. The nature of social settings in the oasis is highly influenced by Islam.
Traditional music is very important to the Waḥātī people. Flutes, drums, and the simsimeya (a harp-like instrument) are played at social gatherings, particularly at weddings. Traditional songs sung in rural style are passed down from generation to generation, and new songs are invented as well.
Due to the distance and isolation of this people from the rest of the country, a very different and unique culture can be appreciated, and together with the geographical beauty of the oasis makes it a wonderful place to visit.
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