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Dahab

I am going to write about Dahab for a long time, connect thoughts with memories and let this chapter fade a little while taking away what it should have given me...

How to start... what led me to go to Dahab and why did I decide to live there?




I have been returning to Dahab in cycles since 2015, always for a short time. And so a person does not actually see the entire context of the given place, but only fragments from which he puts together his own illusion about the given place.

The contrast with European culture is so radical that it becomes attractive and you get a sense of the exotic.


Dahab is a dirty city with dust and stench in the air that is hard to breathe in the hellish summer months.

I learned to breathe so as not to inhale the dirt. I got used to sand, dust, drought, burning sun, lack of things, I realized the price of drinking water.


In some ways, the rawness of this place is a relief, it's definitely nice for a short period of time when you don't have to deal with work responsibilities and constantly worry about whether your electricity and internet will work.



If you need something, for example shoes, someone has to bring them to you from abroad. It is very complicated to order something to Dahab through Cairo, which takes an incredible amount of energy and time, the goods may arrive damaged, etc.


Shopping is something like hunting, you wait in general stores to see when they have what goods, because it can easily happen that they no longer get it. It is difficult to get even basic kitchen tools (a grater was a rare piece of my equipment) and everything is of poor quality, so again it is better to bring your own. I'm not kidding, if I knew, I'd bring a pan from Europe...


Food…. shopping is about going to see what they have from vegetables and fruits and cooking accordingly. It depends on the season, autumn is great, one mango, pomegranate, molasses and tahini was enough for me... that was my favorite combo that I ate most days.

In winter, some green salad is also good, but mainly fruit. Strawberries are a winter fruit for me. With the arrival of spring (erm, warmer European summer), the choice goes downhill and in the summer it's really miserable for some weeks and I ate bananas again with molasses and tahini.

Overall, the supply of everything is bad during the summer, some weeks I didn't even get pellets for the animals, so we cooked rice and chicken for them (we only had chicken for the animals).

Everything spoils in the heat, even more so when you have power outages for varying lengths of time, so frozen foods are a no go.

You will find buckwheat, rice, pasta and legumes that you never know how old they are and take a long time to cook.


You can eat outside, there are many restaurants everywhere. In the finals, we went to about 3 that we knew and knew that we wouldn't get diarrhea from the food.

Intestinal flora was getting busy and after a while I was sensitive to everything, so we cooked at home and only ate at the Blue Hole in Aquamarine.



If Dahab was somewhere else, I would never go back there. So, what is it about this place that convinced me to live there?

Dahab is in the south of the Sinai Peninsula, the original Bedouin village has acquired a global dimension in the last 20 years. About 11,000 people from abroad live there and have made this place their home either temporarily or permanently. Within this community you will connect with people who are there for diving, kitesurfing, climbing, dancing, art, exercise, spirituality...

This community has made Dahab a magical multicultural place where you have no problem establishing contact and help regarding anything that you encounter in your daily worries. Everyone who knows how to do something offers it to others, barter is very common. This is how you can get things that you can't get otherwise (tofu, sprouted legumes, kombucha, etc.).




Dahab is still considered a kind of Mecca of freediving with the famous Blue Hole and a community of freedivers who go there to train. This was my case, why I finally left there.


When you dive under the surface, it's as if you are in another place with the wave of a wand. Along the entire coast there is a coral reef with an amazing life and you can meet many animals there. This underwater world balanced my stay on land for a long time. Every time I dived I had the feeling that I was in the right place and it made sense to me.


I know the Blue Hole perfectly, it was an oasis of peace and quiet for me compared to the noisy Dahab.

I knew that when I leave, I will miss this place and the people at Aquamarine, Ali and Mohamed, because the way they serve freedivers is unique and human.



I have etched in my memories the trips by car to the Blue Hole, about 30 minutes, when you drive through the desert and dust, sweet music plays on the radio and there are camels around. That music in such a special way softened the view of the bare rocky hills that are around Dahab.


The desert became my oasis in the last 4 months of my stay in Dahab. We already lived practically on the edge of Dahab, right close to the desert, and in winter (the last one was cold) it is an ideal place.

It's the only place where it's really quiet when you go deep enough, where there's no more garbage, where herbs grow for the famous Bedouin tea, where you can even smell it!

I went there every day with Goofy, it took us a few days to find out how the local dog packs work, who is the boss, how many there are and how they behave. I've been walking with a cane since one incident where a pack surrounded us in the desert and all I could do was crouch down and protect Goofy with my own body. Since then, I don't need larger groups of dogs, especially when there is someone who will try to convince me that his dog is friendly. This incident also started when there were dogs running around with the owner and they caused the whole conflict because they knew the owner had their back.


A street dog will not attack you even in a pack if you know how to behave. I had many canine companions on the street who had our backs on walks when necessary. Sometimes I brought them food. We met some of them regularly on the beach and gave them deworming pills and medicine against ticks and fleas, which were in enormous numbers in the sand and their fur coats were full of them.



We had two close bitches who used to go to our garden to rest from the street, where someone could attack them. These two had special rights, they helped me raise Goofy, they went to work with me where they waited for me, they went shopping with me. They kept us company at dinners in the restaurant.


Dogs have been in my life since I was little, I grew up with them, I understand them without words and they manage it well. They often went home with us and wanted to go inside. We helped a lot of them and a certain amount of money just always went to food and medicine.

Many of them grew close to my heart, we gave them names and regularly checked them to see if they were okay.


In Dahab there is a rescue center Dahab Animal welfare and Dahab cats, who do incredible work for animals on the street, which never ends. If you would like to support them, you can find their pages on Facebook and I will be extremely grateful for it.

Many people live in Dahab who are not indifferent to the life of animals, and they connect through FB groups when a new dog/cat is found (again) on the street, a dog is run over by a car, and under... these situations are xy every day.


Anyone who knows Baladies, the local street dogs, knows that they are special, extremely intelligent, and the way they communicate with you, they simply win you over. Despite the daily terror on the street, they did not resent a person and each one of them is looking for their place. They mostly group together in packs to protect themselves from other dogs, to occupy their own territory, to protect themselves from children who are really extremely cruel to animals.

Walking down the street was the most stressful part of the day, especially going to the beach or the desert, these were zones where, even though we walked regularly for many weeks, there was always some kind of conflict with other dogs, children, adults...



Living in a poor country taught me a lot, it fundamentally changed my perspective on many things, from relationships, culture and civilization. He showed me a lot about myself, how I know how to react in crisis situations, how to live in permanent noise and know how to create my own comfort zone even when everything around me is falling down.

I became stronger and more sensitive at the same time. I saw my dark sides, I felt incredible anger, confusion, but also reconciliation, relaxation, my empathy and belongingness deepened.

Due to the harsh environment, I softened, learned to perceive the nuances of my surroundings, to be truly grateful for every pleasant moment.

It was an intense period, with many nice moments, like when we were in the desert with friends to observe the Perseids, shared evenings with excellent food (that was one of the things we often talked about) from different parts of the world.< /p>


Little things like good coffee became a real feeling of luxury, having filtered coffee was a pure pleasure. Perceiving the uniqueness of those fleeting moments at pink sunsets... there is much more to it and I will try to bring what I experienced bit by bit. I feel sensitive about writing about personal experiences from this period, because every time I need to return to those strong moments...



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