Siwan's traditional houses are very economical, as all building materials are obtained from our own gardens or from the salt lakes. The houses are built with karsheef, a stone made from a mixture of clay, salt and fine sand that forms on the shores of the salt lakes. When joined with clay, the karsheef walls become a single solid unit and are quite strong. Roofs and doors are made of palm wood, and mud and olive leaves help strengthen the roof against rain.
Siwa House Museum
The Museum at Siwa is an example of what the traditional house looks like in Siwa Oasis, Siwa House Museum also has a great collection of displays for daily-life tools and accessories used by Siwan people.
The Siwan house ceilings and doors are made of palm wood, and mud and olive leaves help strengthen the roof against the rain. Most of the houses in Siwa as we can see them during Egypt Tours have two floors and a rooftop terrace, where they sleep in the summer or sit in the evening for dinners and chats in the open air.
The second floor of the house in Siwa has bedrooms, a sitting room, and a kitchen. If we go to The first floor through Egypt Day Tours usually have one room called the winter room, or “gear fit nshtee.” It’s a very warm room because it’s small, down below and has small windows. On the cold winter evenings, the whole family sits around a heath called “al kor” – a plate of glowing hot olive wood coals placed in the middle of the room. The rooms of the houses of better classes are large and high.
Underneath there are two storage rooms next to each other. It is only used to enter from outside the house from the street. They are used to store garden tools and other things.
The door used to be also from wood with a decorated lock. Most of the houses have a kitchen on the first floor.
In the hot summer evenings, men used to sit outside their doors on low mud benches drinking tea and talking to each other.
Siwa Oasis is not as close to Cairo as the White Desert and Bahariya Oasis so we can not read Siwa during Cairo day trips or Cairo Overnight tours and we have to stay not less than 2 nights.