The five minute boat ride from Maadi’s plush shores will bring you back 100 years. The short journey to rural Gezirat El-Dahab (or Island of Gold) harkens back to a simpler era. Its residents sustain themselves with sustenance farming and raising flowers to be sold in flower shops across the capital.
The people of Gezirat El-Dahab don’t have much, but they are generous, warm and welcoming. It is nearly impossible to walk past a family enjoying a meal or tea without being asked to join. Settlements and fields intertwine and span the length of the island which is several kilometres long.
The Ring Road, with all its busy traffic, bisects the island, but you can barely hear the rush of cars from the highway raised dozens of metres above the greenery. Indeed, you will find no automobiles on Gezirat El-Dahab, as the island’s narrow dirt roads are much more suitable for the slow trot of the donkey and cart, or the rare zoom of a rusty motorcycle.