Nile River Muse
A tourist floating up the Nile in Southern Egypt in a felucca (traditional sailboat) is full of wonder: What discoveries will the temples at Abu Simbel bring? The Temple of Isis? What is life like onboard the huge (and expensive) cruise boats that leave us in their wake? The tall, lateen-rigged felucca sails are quite the sight when they’re maneuvered to duck under bridges—but when and why were these adjustable rigs originally used on this river? …And what if we just kept going south, past Aswan, past Abu Simbel, into Sudan? How far could we go before the river became impassable in this wooden boat?
But what does Captain Yaheya wonder about on his daily commute? Drifting along the Nile each day, transporting tourists, does he give a second thought to the river’s historic significance or his country’s ancient temples? What is his take on the cruisers and their/his rich passengers? Does he ever see Egypt’s wonders through their eyes? What is his view on the country’s future and the revolution’s impact upon his livelihood? How does he feel about the place of minority Nubians—his people—in the new Egypt? Does he wonder, "Are we there yet?"