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Felucca rides in Aswan, Egypt: Meet (and help) the children of the Nile

This is the English version of my blog GDAMAS (Portuguese language, online since 2010). I'm still working on it. English is not my native language. Please, feel free to correct me.


Felucca is a small, primitive wooden sailing boat traditionally used in Egypt. Especially in Aswan, tourists love to be part of a felucca ride in the Nile River. While observing the exotic nature, maybe singing and dancing with the tour guide and the small crew, they suddenly see a curious scene: Children in a huge effort to approach the felucca.

Felucca ride in Aswan
Felucca ride in Aswan.
Children on the Nile River
We suddenly see the children on the Nile River.

The kids use rudimentary mini boats.

Very smart and kind, they know popular songs from many countries. By paying attention to how a tourist speaks, they identify where he or she comes from. Then, they sing a popular song from the tourist’s country. For this reason, the children are sometimes called singing kids of the Nile.

Children on the Nile: singing kids

In fact, the kids are trying hard to captivate our attention to get some money — a tip, or baksheesh, as we say in Egypt. Yes, it’s an astute strategy, but at the same time we can feel the innocence, the candidness that involves them. They are extremely humble. They don’t want to just ask for money. The kids prefer to offer “a service” in exchange for the money.

Heart touching.

An Egyptian kid sings for tourists

I will publish here a special post about felucca rides on the Nile, with lots of photos and tips for your ride. Today, I come just to talk about those kids and to ask you one simple favor: to pay attention to them. To see the beauty in what they do. And … to give them some money. I mean, baksheesh.

Agreed?


G. DAMAS
I live in the Algarve (South of Portugal). My first fiction book, for young adults, was published in 2001 in Portuguese language — a time travel adventure that won thousands of readers. I also wrote some travel and tech books and manuals.
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