June 5, 2012

The Great Oasis of the Libyan Desert: al-Kharga, 1909

The Great Oasis of the Libyan Desert: al-Kharga, 1909
Norma Lorimer

Libyan Desert
Our last day in the desert we spent in doing the Oasis proper, . . . the “fertile spot in the desert” that we had come to see; ... it was, in fact, from first to last an agricultural day, for the picture I saw when I opened my bedroom door was white-gowned men cutting the barley harvest. The fields lay just in front of our house a little way across the desert.

1 thought of my visit to the tomb of Thi at Sakkara, and how similar this desert scene was to the ones depicted on the walls of the pleasure courts of his double. But how very long ago it seemed since I had looked at the lean figure of the overseer superintending the various operations connected with his master’s fine farms. He stood just as this raw stood leaning on his long staff, with that lofty air of superiority that any man in command loves to assume.

... I have now before my eyes, and always shall have, a very vivid recollection of its greenness and beauty, for we visited the new lake and walked under the shade of the splendid palms which surround it, and paid visits to the watery spots, which showed us that magic can be worked in a few months by drilling holes in the desert and forcing it to give its hidden waters.

How cruel nature can be, it is only possible to realise it in a country where the beasts and the birds and every living thing perish for want of water, while the great earth Mother keeps it back and hoards it up in the very bowels of her being.

Can you love a country that has no water, that has no flowers, that gives her children only buffalo’s milk to drink, and whose hens lay eggs so strangely flavoured and so mysteriously coloured. . . .

But it is when Nature is most cruel that we find her spell the strongest, for we are her children, and being still savages below our cheap veneer, we have much of her cruelty in us. In the mildest mother you can see the inherent taint which raises its head when danger menaces her offspring; with the most devout lovers, who can deny that cruelty stalks hand in hand with passion? In the feeblest soul the call of the wild never dies.


Post a Comment

Hi, If you found any copyright content in Ancient Egypt blog please don't hesitant to send an email : ancientegyptblog@gmail.com and will delete within 24 Hours


Follow us

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...