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Wadi Humaysara

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The place where nobody had sinned

In the middle of the Muslim month of Shawwal, more than 20,000 Sufis from across Egypt venture out to the totally isolated valley of Wadi Humaysara.
The story goes that the Sufi leader, Sayyid al-Shazli asked God that he should be buried in a place where nobody had ever sinned. Out here, in the barren mountains he was placed after his death in 1258.
Sufism is incorrectly labelled part of Islam, but rather it is from pre-Islamic cults that have taken on an Islamic cloak, simply to survive Muslim intolerance; see Taqiyya-religions and Sufism.
Nevertheless, Sufism today is accepted by large parts of the Muslim community, and in 1957 the shrine of Shazli was restored by Egyptian authorities, and a road was cleared all the way out here.
There is today a fine complex around Shazli's tomb, allowing for the temporary facilities during his festival. Rituals are typical to Sufism, with dhikrs, repetitive acts like repeating a sentence or dancing.
For 2007, the festival should occur in late October, for 2008 in the middle of October, for 2009 in the first week of October, for 2010 in the around the last weekend of September.

Eat and Sleep
Camping appears to be the only thing out here. Should you venture out here, you will soon be informed about practicalities.

Arranging mainly from Qift in the Nile Valley, there is only one way of handling this: Ask around. Buses and shared taxis do the trip, but you need to book a few days ahead at least.

Going Next
100 km north: Junction of the main road between Edfu and Marsa Alam
180 km northeast: Marsa Alam
250 km northwest: Edfu

By Tore Kjeilen