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1. Medinet Madi

2. Qasr Qarun and Dionysias

3. Karanis

4. Lake Qarun

5. Wadi Rayan

6. Fayoum City

7. Water wheels

8. Qasr el-Sagha

9. Umm el-Baragat

10. Dimai

11. Monastery of Gabriel


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Egypt in miniature

Fayoum Oasis, Egypt

Karanis, in Fayoum Oasis, Egypt

Karanis, founded by Greek mercenaries in the 3rd century BCE.

Young people of Fayoum Oasis, Egypt

Fayoum Oasis is Egypt's largest oasis, populated by more than 2 million. It is not a pure oasis like the other ones of Egypt, as most of its water comes from the Nile.
But it is a depression, and it has its own artesian wells, allowing water to reach the surface from underground reservoirs.
The extent of it is quite grand, and the green gardens seem to go on and on. Its villages are simple and far too often filthy, making a stark contrast to the gardens and the splended past.
Fayoum's history goes back in time as far as Egypt's. Its earliest recorded name, in the time of the pyramid builders, was To-She. With the construction of irrigation canals in the 19th century BCE, the oasis became the most fertile region in Egypt. The 4th century BCE king Ptolemy 2 Philadelphus named it after his sister/wife Arsinoe.
With the introduction of Roman control a few centuries later, a new taxation system ruined local farmers and resulted in a decline of the oasis that would last for almost 1600 years, before Mohammed Ali introduced new programmes, promoting agriculture.

By Tore Kjeilen