A Houseboat on the Nile and A Link to Egyptian Fattah in 1866 (served on a houseboat)

The Nile at Old Cairo

The Nile at Old Cairo. Wikipedia

Unsigned plate of a dahabiyeh  attributed to Antonio Beato

Houseboats on the Nile were the rage for decades, and during my years in Egypt houseboats were still quite popular, though I think this is no longer so.  In any case, the dahabiyeh – houseboat – has been an endearing feature of life on the Nile.  Here are a few words about them from an Oriental Institute (Chicago) book:

The dahabiyeh, a house barge, was recommended by Baedeker’s Egypt guide as late as 1929 as the perfect accommodation for “travellers to whom independence of action and economy of time are more important than economy of money.” The vessels rode low in the water, with passenger rooms, a dining salon, a library, and even a piano, located aft.

The raised deck was reserved for the use of the passengers, and the lower deck was frequented by the crew of the craft. Dahabiyehs were slow-traveling vessels, and men and animals had often to tow them against the current of the Nile.

As temperatures rose in the spring, the demand for the boats decreased, and most of the crews returned to summer farming until autumn again brought the return of tourists.

From:  Oriental Institute-Lost Egypt:  The Epigraphic survey.  1992, OI-Chicago

In the 19th Century some people lived and travelled on a dahabiyeh, as did Lady Duff-Gorden for a number of years, until her demise of TB.  See this blog:  Fattah, a Favorite Egyptian Dish: Recipe of 27-August-1866, Bulaq-Cairo.

About dianabuja

With a group of BaTwa (pygmy) women potters, with whom we've worked to enhance production and sales of their wonderful pots - fantastic for cooking and serving. To see the 2 blogs on this work enter 'batwa pots' into the search engine located just above this picture. Blog entries throughout this site are about Africa, as well as about the Middle East and life in general - reflecting over 35 years of work and research in Africa and the Middle East – Come and join me!
This entry was posted in Colonialism, Cuisine, Egypt-Recent, Food, Recipes and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to A Houseboat on the Nile and A Link to Egyptian Fattah in 1866 (served on a houseboat)

  1. Pingback: Libya – Prehistoric Links with the Nile Valley « Dianabuja's Blog

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