Welcome to Asyut
Asyut offers a very different view of Egypt than one might gain from Cairo or Luxor: it belongs to the provinces, a capital not of the country but of the area's farming communities. Settled during Pharaonic times on a fertile plain west of the Nile, it has preserved an echo of antiquity in its name: as Swaty it was the ancient capital of the 13th nome of Upper Egypt. Sitting at the end of one of the great caravan routes from south of the Sahara via Sudan and then Al Kharga Oasis, it has always been important commercially, if not politically. For centuries, slaves were one of the main commodities traded here and caravans stopped to quarantine them before they were traded, a period in which slavers used to prepare some of their male slaves for the harem.