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1. Al-Qasr

2. The Friday Mosque

3. The madrasa

4. Street scenes

5. The museum

6. Qalamoun

7. Ottoman tombs

8. Mut

9. The ancient city

10. Deir el-Hagar

11. Muzawaka Tombs

12. Magic spring

13. Fish pond

14. Rashda

15. Budkhulu

16. Bashendi

17. Balat

18. Gedida


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Balat village

Balat village, Dakhla Oasis, Egypt

Balat village, Dakhla Oasis, Egypt

Balat village, Dakhla Oasis, Egypt

Why spend a fortune going to Mecca, if not telling others about the adventure? People of Balat are just as vain as anyone else.

Balat village, Dakhla Oasis, Egypt

Balat has its moments. Many of its quarters appear just as they must have done centuries ago. Walls and street are well-kept, colours often bright, doors worn down yet more beautiful than any new door can be. Many walls are illustrated, telling passers-by about the owner's trip to Mecca for the pilgrimage.
Balat has unlike several other villages of Dakhla a living old town, and what is even better, is that the mosque has not yet been replaced with a Cairo-designed pre-fab mosque. Look inside, and you will see delightfully thick columns (as they are made from clay and brick they have not the same carrying capacity as stone or cement), and only smooth curves; never a straight line.
Balat village, Dakhla Oasis, Egypt

Houses and streets and stairways are all one and the same structure. Nice!

Balat village, Dakhla Oasis, Egypt

Inside the old Friday mosque, still used for worship.

By Tore Kjeilen