From the Melanin Man:
I’m glad I brought along the book Wonderful Ethiopians of the Ancient Cushite Empire by Drusilla Dunjee Houston to read during the trip. I’ve had the book almost a year without reading it, but I picked the right time to start while cruising the Nile. The chapters on Ancient Egypt (Kemet) resonated as I was able to see some of the cities and temples firsthand that were referenced in the book. This book is an excellent reference piece when you are able to actually visit places like Egypt, Persia, and India.
Due to current world politics, I probably won’t be able to make it out the land of Ancient Persia (where Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan reside.) I guarantee I will make it out to India before I’m forty.
Sailing down (up!) the Nile from Luxor, I could not help but to admire that scenery surrounding the river and the beautiful weather during this time of the year. Palm trees of a different breed I’ve never seen before. Local farmers and livestock peacefully going about their daily activities. Papyrus reeds scattered along the river’s shores. The air was fresh and clean and was nary a cloud in the air (I didn’t see a plane in the air spraying chemtrails for once.) It’s amazing that a good part of Egypt doesn’t see rain but only once every five to seven years, and it’s only a light rain that evaporates by the time it hits the ground! Even with the desert within a mile or less of the river, it reminded me of a paradise from a long forgotten time. I frequently daydreamed visions of donning Egyptian (Kemetian) attire as if I was a high priest or royal prince in the golden age of Black glory.
Shores of the River Nile
Papyrus reed farm
It felt like I returned home. Especially when one of the other tour guides I met on the ship greeted me with a “Welcome Home.” AND with the countless merchants and panhandlers hounding me to buy (“Only One Dolla”, “Buy, Buy!”) their products, trying to massage my ego by calling me brother, cousin, or by saying that I look Egyptian. I admit my ego was massaged, but I didn’t “buy.”
Along the way to Aswan, we stopped in Kom Ombo to visit the Kom Ombo temple which was insightful to say the least. During the visit we learned how the Ancient Kemetians began to honor the crocodile as gods to protect themselves from crocodile attacks (which there are none currently in that part of the Nile thankfully.)
Kom Ombo Temple
In the adjoining gift shop, I found this wonderful sculpture of the God Min that impressed so I had to acquire. It spoke to my soul.
The God Min statue
Side note 1: Min shares many similarities to the Greek God Pan, who is also a fertility god. Pan is also the basis for the Baphomet symbol, which the uninitiated associate with the Devil. An intriguing connection.
Side note 2: The food that was prepared on the cruise was some of the tastiest, yet light food I ever had in my life. Three meals a day (breakfast, lunch, and dinner), which I definitely don’t do back at “home” in the States, was served and the food didn’t feel taxing to my body. Bowel movements were consistent and frequent (TMI I know lol.) Crops are raised with natural fertilizer from the water buffalo and the cow minus the pesticides and insecticides. From my knowledge no preserved food was prepared, everything was prepared within a day or two of being farmed. I couldn’t help but think how screwed we are back in the States.
From Kom Ombo we arrived in Aswan, which if you ignore the older buildings of the skyline, is one of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever visited. It had a different vibe, a relaxing vibe than the other cities I had been to in Egypt. It seemed like the sun shined brighter in Aswan; my stress levels were at all time low. Maybe it was all the felucca boats that sailed the river that gave the setting a serene feel. Maybe it was the ethnic makeup of Aswan that got me feeling super duper comfortable. The further we sailed down (up!) the Nile River, the darker the people became, the less Arab and more African the region is (I’ll explain momentarily.)
The River Nile in Aswan
Our time in Aswan was the best part of the trip. We visited the High Dam, which is ten times longer and five times wider than the Hoover Dam! It was a marvel to behold.
Aswan High Dam
We took a boat ride to Philae Temple, which had an incredible view as we arrived on the island. Due to constant flooding of the Nile, the temple was moved to its current location on higher ground after the construction of High Dam in the 1960s.
Philae Temple, view from the boat
Front Entrance of Philae Temple
We stopped by a perfume shop as well, which gave us a demonstration on glass-blowing perfume bottles and the perfumes itself. The shop gave a exhibition of their perfume-making procedures and explained how their perfumes are used as the base for the major perfume/cologne sellers in the world, e.g. Old Spice, Tommy Hilfiger. They claimed that one or two drops of their perfumes could be added to a small bottle of water and transform it to a usable vial of perfume. Yeah, the sales pitch got me and some of my tour mates. I bought four 60 ml of four different perfumes for about $170 bucks. We’ll see if their claim is accurate; if not, you live and your learn. I gotta hand it to them, their marketing skills is on point.
Perfume I purchased
We also visited a ancient quarry that had an unfinished obelisk. Pretty amazing considering the fact that the tools that were used to shape the obelisk from the stone was granite. There was a crack in the obelisk, so that may have been the reason it was not finished by the ancient quarrymen.
Then, we took another plane ride from Aswan to the Abu Simbel Temple, which has to be the most stunning and unbelievable achievement by man I’ve ever seen with my human eyes. Completed during Ramses II reign for his wife Nefertari (not Nefertiti.) The temple and it’s four sitting Pharaohs, which one of them is partially destroyed, were cut into the stone. The temple originally was located within the boundary of Lake Nasser, one of the largest man-made lakes in the world, and was moved to higher ground to prevent it from being flooded under the lake. I’ll be honest, the entrance of the temple is the only part of the temple worth seeing, whereas inside of the temple the hieroglyphics were not impressive whatsoever. For some reason it didn’t match the glyphs from the earlier temples we had already visited. It was the first and only depictions of war that we saw during the entire time. According to my tour guide, Ramses II, which was oddly mentioned frequently throughout the trip, was the infamous Pharaoh in the Exodus saga in the Bible. Very interesting.
Front entrance of Abu Simbel
Inside of temple, Ramses II slaying adversaries
I wouldn’t be surprised if part of the Abu Simbel Temple was altered after the fact.
Upon returning to Aswan, we made a 20-minute boat ride to a nearby Nubian village. This part of our trip was the most enriching part of the entire trip.
Fun Fact: Aswan sits on the edge of the Nubian region (Nubia means gold), which extends well into modern-day Sudan. Ancient Egypt (Kemet) derived its origin from Nubia, which was also the site of the Ancient Kushite Kingdom. There are just as many pyramids in modern-day Sudan as there are in Egypt that are not broadcasted to the public. The Nubian people are the darker Black-African race, the ones that look like some of my own family members and loved ones in the States! Back in ancient times even up to modern times, it was a unwritten rule for Nubians not to marry or procreate outside of their kind. If that rule was broken, the offending party would practically be disowned by the family, according to Wonderful Ethiopians of the Ancient Cushite Empire.
The village was very colorful with various paintings on the walls that were very unique. The architecture of the Nubian village is slightly different with the Nubian vault roof which is a curved surface. The Nubian home we visited was an open-air home with floor of sand, which is used to keep the home cool and to track wildlife such as scorpions, snakes, foxes, etc. The home had running water, bathrooms with toilets and showers (no hole in the ground setup), and the kitchen had a refrigerator and stove powered by gas. It was more modern than I anticipated, although the fact it was open-air was a sign the inhabitants were not that far removed from their roots, from nature. The Nubian family also had a couple of crocodiles in the home to honor them and for good luck, just as the Ancient Egyptians (Kemetians) did. I learned that within a Nubian family, when a Nubian man marries a Nubian woman, they move into the bride’s mother’s home and the home extended horizontally. It is in contrast with Egyptians of today, which is now based on Arab influence, where an newly wed Egyptian bride and groom move into the groom’s father’s home and the home is extended vertically. African, Black society has been matriarchal throughout eternity whereas Arab and European has attempted to be patriarchal with devastating consequences to the African, Black, melanated races (reference The Destruction of Black Civilization by Chancellor Williams.)
Nubian Village, view from boat
Entrance into Nubian home
Outside lounge area, Nubian man making fresh coffee
Sitting area within Nubian home
Dead crocodile for good luck
My little Nubian cousins from another mother!
Last part to come soon…
Peace and Love to my melanated family,
The Melanin Man