The Khamsin خمسين Sand Storms of Egypt


The khamasin, خمسين, blows in from the Sahara between March and May, announcing the heat of summer. In Luxor, on the few occasions when I have observed it, the sand wind will blow in quickly transforming a blue sky into a dim, claustrophobic aquarium of dust. Sometimes it stays for days, and sometimes just a few hours. This one I photographed came and went within a matter of minutes, hiding the qebel (mountains) and revealing it again. It is an odd feeling one has in the midst of it, a sudden since of isolation and apocalyptic fear: you can’t help but wonder, what if I never see the sky again?

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