AUC Press's Description
In The Lost Oases, Egyptian diplomat Ahmed Hassanein tells how he set out by camel from Egypt’s Mediterranean coast west of Mersa Matruh, heading for the oases of Siwa and Kufra and into the unknown reaches of the Libyan Desert. His perilous eight-month journey in 1923 took him around the western edges of the Great Sand Sea to El Obeid in the Sudan, a distance of 2,200 miles, and led him to the discovery of the lost oases of Arkenu and Uweinat at the extreme southwest corner of Egypt.
At Uweinat, Hassanein was amazed to find rock drawings of animals, including lions, giraffes, ostriches, and gazelles. He was deep in the trackless desert, but what he had found was evidence of a flourishing human existence ten thousand years ago, and proof that the Sahara was once green. Hassanein’s discovery excited the imaginations of later European explorers such as Ralph Bagnold and Ladislaus Alm?sy, the model for the eponymous character in The English Patient. But Hassanein was there first, traveling by camel with Bedouin guides, encountering the mysterious Senussi brotherhood in Libya, and confirming the existence of the long-forgotten oases.
First published in 1925 and long out of print, The Lost Oases is now available for another generation of readers in this new edition, which includes a foreword by author Michael Haag on Hassanein, his life, and his accomplishments. Copiously illustrated with Hassanein’s own photographs, this is a gripping travel narrative by one of Egypt’s most important explorers.