GIZA, EGYPT: Once upon a day, I stumbled upon a huge carved rock revealing the head of a human and the body of a lion. For 4,500 years, the huge rock, known at The Great Sphinx of Giza, has been standing still, guarding the Great Pyramids of Giza, as the mystery suggests.
In a visual illusion, I took a photo of what seemed like an old love affair with the Sphinx. This feeling is identical to that of experiencing the Great Pyramids of Giza, which are one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
Looking at the Great Pyramids first from a far away angle, I remembered the story of “Nadia the willful,” a story by Sue Alexander that I read while I was still in school. Nadia, whose brother died in a sandstorm, was so stubborn and strong, just like the Pyramids.
Sand near the Pyramids almost reaches one’s eyes with every movement of the air. That is one of the reasons why you find many people selling the “koufiya,” and other types of scarves to cover the face with, especially while riding the “hantour,” which is a horse cart in Egyptian Arabic.
Riding the horse cart on sandy land is a whole different experience though. It feels like dancing with every low and high land, small and big rock, hitting the cart wheel.
After agreeing with the horse guardian on the required price for visiting the famous three great pyramids, the experience began.
“Patience is beautiful”... "الصبر جميل" read the slogan of the horse cart I rode.
Joined by other family members, and the UBER driver who insisted on staying with us, “so that they offer us good prices,” the journey was just at its beginning.
The 23-year-old UBER driver himself, Ahmad AbdelMenhem, likes to help people who ride his car. He jiggles between his taxi job and his life as a student at Cairo University, where he studies law. Abdelmenhem aims one day to become a lawyer.
The first stop was in front of the biggest pyramid, known as the Pyramid of Cheops or Khufu. That Pyramid was constructed between 2560 and 2540 B.C. Visitors climb the rocks of the pyramid, while having conversations about the mystery of how they were built.
The horse cart guardian advises visitors on how to make a hand gesture that will appear as if one is touching the tip of the pyramid.
I cannot forget to mention the Queen’s pyramid, which is a few meters away, reached by the horse cart as well; this was a whole different experience. It can be entered through very steep stairs, leading to a tomb at the bottom of it.
A human face with a lost nose and a lion’s body, known as the Great Sphinx, was the last stop. Some of the possible fun photos one might be featured in with the mysterious creature is one including kissing the Sphinx, hugging him, or holding him in one hand.
So much light and positivity remain in the visitor’s mind after the Great Pyramids trip. It was a journey filled with mystery, beauty, and culture.
An-Nahar is not responsible for the comments that users post below. We kindly ask you to keep this space a clean and respectful forum for discussion.