You asked for more on food…this book on Siwan cooking was compiled by the writer of two excellent books on Siwa and Siwan women (see earlier entry on books about Siwa), and he tells me he has a other book on the way soon.
I hope to learn exactly how to prepare some of the dishes in this book directly from the Siwan women. Many of the recipes in the book appear very similar, as they use the base ingredients grown in the oasis, so I suspect many of the variations must be in the actual mixing, shaping and cooking techniques.
On a more Westernized note, I have found in Siwa what I think must be the world’s smallest chocolate bar. These 13 gram fingers are sold alone, they are not part of a pack of mini sized bars we are familiar with in Australia. Trust Cadbury to have capitalized on the market for smaller, less expensive sweets here. I think that two mini Halawa for the same price as the mini choc bar are the better option – and of course I like the pyramids and palm tree imagery on the wrapper. Those pyramids pop up everywhere here, even on plastic chairs – I’ll post a photo of those some day.