Learn Arabic as it is really spoken. Listen to and read Egyptian Colloquial Arabic.

Yomna tells us about why she loves “the dark, beautiful land” of Luxor and Aswan.

 اهلا بيكم. السنه دى ٢٥ يناير كان بالنسبه لى يوم له اهميه خاصه جداً، مش لاسباب سياسيه و لكن لانه كان بداية رحله جميله جداً قمت بيها انا و اسرتى الصغيره لاحب مكان الى قلبى: الاقصر و اسوان. علاقة الحب بينى و بين المكان ده بدات من حوالى ١٠ سنين لما رحت هناك اول مره. كنت ساعتها طالعه فى رحله تبع جمعية بيوت الشباب. و قضينا انا وصاحباتى ٧ ايام كانوا من اجمل ما يمكن، لدرجه انى قعدت فتره بعدها بادور جدياً على شغل فى اسوان عشان اروح اعيش هناك بصفه دايمه. و يمكن يكون حبى للمكان ده كان من ضمن اسباب ارتباطى بجوزى اللى جاى من نفس الارض السمرا الطيبه زى ما بحب اسميها. نرجع ليوم ٢٥ يناير، اتحركنا من القاهره بالاتوبيس مش بالقطر. بصراحه كنت متخوفه شويه يكون متعب، لكن على العكس، كانت الرحله مريحه لانه السفر كان بالليل و كان الولاد نايمين. استغرقنا ٨ ساعات و وصلنا الاقصر الصبح الساعه ٩. المفاجاه اللى عملهالنا احمد جوزى كانت انه احنا مش نازلين فى فندق، انه كان حاجزلنا فى رحله نيليه. يعنى هنقضى ٥ ايام على باخره وسط النيل و الخضره و الارض الطيبه. كنا متحمسين جداً كلنا. و بمجرد وصولنا حطينا شنطنا، و بعد الاكل اتحركنا مباشره على البر الغربى لمدينه الاقصر. اول حاجه اتوجهنا لوادى الملوك. و لما دخلنا شوفنا مجسم كبير بيوضح شكل الجبل و المقابر اللى محفوره جواه، اد ايه هى عميقه و متشعبه. نزلنا فعلياً ٣ مقابر منهم، و عجبنى اوى نقوشات مقبره رمسيس السادس. لما جيت قبل كده زمان دخلت مقبره توت عنخ آمون، اللى طبعاً كانت روعه، بس المره دى مكانتش مفتوحه. بعد كده اتحركنا على معبد الملكه حتشبسوت. طبعاً ده رمز للجمال والفخامه. ازاى عملوا الصرح الانيق ده جوه الجبل!؟ و مش بس المعبد اللى مبهر، لكن كمان لو وقفنا قدام المعبد و ادينا ضهرنا ليه و بصينا، هنشوف منظر المدينه كلها من فوق الجبل. منظر مش هتنساه. معبد حتشبسوت على اد الابهار اللى فيه لا يضاهيه فى الجمال من وجهه نظرى الا معبد ابو سمبل، اللى انا بعتبره شخصياً دره المعابد المصريه القديمه، اللى فعلاً تجربه الوقوف قدامه لا يماثلها شئ. الموضوع لسه طويل. هاكملكو الحكايه المره الجايه.

Hello. This year, the 25th of January was a day of a very special importance for menot because of political reasons, but because it was the beginning of a very beautiful journey that I took with my small family to the most beloved place to my heart: Luxor and Aswan. This love between me and that place began 10 years ago, when I first went there. At that time, I was on a trip with thet youth hostels organisation. Me and my friends spent seven days [there] that were simply wonderful. So much so that I took sometime after that to seriously look for a job in Aswan, so that I could go live there permanently. And maybe my love for that place was one of the reasons for my getting together with my husband, who comes from the same good, dark land, as I like to call it. Getting back to the 25th of January, we set off from Cairo by bus, not by train. To be honest, I was a little afraid that it’d be exhausting, but on the contrary, it was comfortable because it was at night and the boys were sleeping. I took us eight hours, and we arrived in Luxor at 9 a.m. The surprise my husband, Ahmad, made was that we weren’t staying in a hotel, [but] that he had booked us on a Nile cruise. That meant we’d be spending five days on a ship surrounded by the Nile, the greenery and the good land. We were all very excited. And as we arrived, we put away our bags, and after eating we went directly to the west bank of Luxor. First, we headed to the Valley of the Kings. When we went in, we saw first a large mockup showing the mountain and the tombs dug in it, and how deep and manifold they are. We went down into three of the tombs, and I really liked the engravings in the tomb of Ramses VI . When I came [here] years ago, I entered King Tut’s tomb, which of course was magnificent. But this time it was closed. After that we went to the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut. It is a symbol of beauty and might. How did they make that elegant building inside the mountain!? And it’s not only the temple that is impressive, but also if you stand in front of the temple with your back to it, you’ll see a view of the whole city from upon the mountaina scene you’ll never forget. The Temple of Hatshepsut, with all the dazzlement in it, from my point of view, can only be rivaled by the Abu Simbel temple, which I personally consider as the jewel of the ancient Egyptian temples, where really the experience of standing in front of it is a priceless experience. There’s still a lot more to tell. [lit. The subject is still long.] I’ll finish the story for you next time.