From witnessing the solar alignment at Abu Simbel to spiritually awakening one's mind, body, and soul to a simpler Nubian way of life, the Rou7 camping festival migrates to Gharb Sohail for an unforgettable life-changing event.
Dating back to at least 2000 BC, the Nubians also known in antiquities as the Kushites, were known for being the most talented archers of their time. Through the millenniums the relationship between Egypt and Nubia would wain and strengthen depending on the rulers of the day. It wouldn't be until the end of colonialism, the establishment of the Republic of Egypt in 1953, and the secession of the Republic of Sudan, that Nubia would find itself divided between the two nations. Although the Nubian kingdom may have fallen, its colourful traditions have managed to persevere through the millennium offering a glimpse into a simpler way of life. Hoping to prove that there is an alternative stress free way to live, the Dune Raiders' Rou7 Festival migrates to Gharb Sohail in Aswan to witness the solar phenomenon at the Abu Simbel Temple and is booking a variety of eloquent poets, talented musicians, spiritual teachers, and Nubian storytellers to provide colourful insight into a culture that is often forgotten, in a unique camping festival experience worth remembering.
Life in Egypt is a complicated affair of endless errands in congested cities that routinely eats up time, leaving many meandering through life amounting materialistic products that fail to inspire a meaningful existence - a stark contrast to the historic land of Kush aka Nubia, where a culturally rich society embraced a simple life that provided more fulfilment to one's soul than any Apple product. Hot off the heels of their incredibly successful, spiritual awakening debut at Zwara Ecolodge in Fayoum, Rou7 returns for Vol.2 aiming to continue building up their community of like-minded attendees looking for a true, natural, spiritual, culturally informative escape from the modern daily stresses currently governing our lives.
Arguably one of the only festivals of its kind regionally, the first instalment focused on spiritual awakening, with a variety of workshops that ranged from meditation and yoga to traditional Sufi performances and spiritual healing. According to one of the festival founders, Khaled Senosi, “Volume 1 was focused on meditation, spirituality, and Sufism, but for Volume 2 we decided to focus on submerging attendees into the Nubian culture and the historic and beautiful natural surroundings of Gharb Sohail in Aswan.” Although there are slight differences, Rou7 plans to keep many of the same activities available, choosing to shift locations from Fayoum to Aswan, focusing on shining a light on the historically important and culturally rich Nubian way of life.
Starting on the 19th of February and running until the 22nd, the Rou7 Festival will be offering attendees the option of enjoying a jam packed schedule of activities under the stars, providing a variety of camping packages accommodating from 1 to 8 campers per tent. Recognising that not everyone is accustomed to outdoor living, Rou7 will also be offering hotel accommodations. “We expect that a 100 attendees will choose to stay in the hotel, with about 200 choosing to camp,” believes Senosi.
Sure to be the highlights of the festival, beyond camping in a beautiful Aswan, are an exclusive private Sound & Light show in the famed Philae Temple, as well as catching the solar alignment that takes place only twice a year illuminating the sculptures on the back wall of the temple. Built by some of the greatest astronomers in history, the temple aligns every year on October 21st and February 21st, and although mind-blowing, is a phenomenon that too few Egyptians have witnessed. It is the reconnection to regional roots that separates the migrating Rou7 Festival from any other, and even though seeing the remarkable sight at Abu Simbel is enough to justify the trip, there is a plethora of activities that are fun for all ages including; horseback riding, yoga, meditation, musical performances, camel trekking, mandala drawing, gong healing, camp fires, Feluka tours, as well as workshops in Nubian language, dance, and handcrafts.
Devoted to making this a stress free event, the organisers have thought of everything from meals and tents to transportation and entertainment. Already many of those who attended the last festival have already booked their tickets for the second installment of this migrating festival. If you are interested in escaping the chaos that is Cairo, and embracing a picturesque environment, taking in the simplicity of Nubian culture, and submerging oneself in the ancient history and witnessing phenomenon that will have you questioning mankind's advancements, then this one of kind festival is your best bet.
For event details, camping packages, and transportation inquiries please visit their Facebook page or follow them on Instagram @rou7_festival.
Photography by: Fouad el Batrawi