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(2009) Travelers’ observations on Sinai and the Monastery of St. Catherine from the 4th to the 21st century
For generations, travelers have been lured by the beauty and mesmerizing stillness of Egypt’s deserts, leaving behind the comfort of what is familiar in a quest for adventure, knowledge, and escape, and for others still, a taste of eternity. Traveling Through the Deserts of Egypt is a compilation of some of the most fascinating and beautiful writings to come out of the experiences of desert travelers through the ages. Seen through their eyes, the desert emerges as possessed of a multitude of identities, a source of majesty and life-giving natural beauty, barrenness, and yet incalculable mystery. By reading in the footsteps of those who crossed the desert’s valleys, slept in its caves, and rode its camels, we discover that the desert in its boundlessness and utter unpredictability shatters all our notions of time and holds out the offer of an intensity of meaning and renewed self-awareness that is as irresistible as it is rewarding. The collection includes extracts from the writings of Herodotus, Ibn Khaldun, Ferdinand Lepsius, Leo Tregenza, Harriet Martineau, Ahmed Fakhry, and Ahmed Hassanein.