The Sweet Dates and Bitter Olives of Siwa Oasis (Libyan Desert)

DIANABUJA'S BLOG: Africa, The Middle East, Agriculture, History and Culture

Siwa, the Oasis of Jupiter Amon:

Recipes – found at the end of this blog:

  • Spice Braised Chicken with Dates and Almonds
  • Rice with almonds and dates (Ruz bil-loz wa bil-tamar)
  • Brined Fresh Olives

Some of my fondest memories of living and working in Egypt are the times that I traveled to the Oasis of Siwa, in the Libyan/Great Western Desert (near the Libyan border).

Siwa is an extraordinary oasis famous for its olives and its sweet dates, which have been exported to the Nile Valley and beyond for several thousands of years. It is the farthest west that the Macedonian conqueror, Alexander the Great, traveled during his extensive conquests. His trip to Siwa  in 330 BC was to visit the renowned Oracle of Jupiter Amon, whose temple remains at Siwa can still be visited today.

Apparently, the oracle gave good advice, because, after founding the coastal city of…

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