Fikri and the Nubian cultureFikri and the Nubian culture

Once upon, a time… Yes, “once upon a time”. A young boy lived in an Egyptian village. Not any Egyptian village, but one from down south, in Nubia, along the longest river of the World, which is facing an incredible view. Between the deep blue of the waters and the skies, between the deep green of the wild forest of palmtrees and the light terracotta of the high plateau of the western desert, lied, half covered by sand, the Temple Ramesses, beloved by Amun.

Every day, going to school and on his way back, playing with his friends, going to the market, that boy was staring at this amazing view, which, surprisingly – or not – never stopped fascinating him.

Later, our boy left the heat of his Nubian village for frozen Switzerland. His father opened an oriental restaurant in Lausanne, giving the boy the opportunity to study in some of the most reknowned Swiss universities and schools : history of the Arts, musicology, egyptology, as well as hotel managment.

Unesco saved the Nubian temples. But who saved the Nubian people ?

Several years passed, working in Switzerland and in snowy French Haute-Savoie. Our boy, now a man, discover skying. Spent a couple of years in Paris. And finally faced the eternal question of “the future”. “Come work with me in my restaurant”, said his father. But during all those years in Europe, under the snow, our grown-up boy never stopped thinking about his temples, and his people. “The Unesco saved the Nubian temples of Abu Simbel. But who saved the Nubian people ?” was the boy’s answer. So he decided to come back to Nubia, and try to do something for his kind and for his dying culture.

He started as French-speaking tour guide on the Eugenie, the first ship to sail on Lake Nasser, designed in the style of an elegant turn-of-the-century Nile steamship. Ten years passed, our man deepening his knowledge of the history of his country, and his understanding of the expectations of tourists in Egypt.

This not really a hotel. It is a house for Nubians.

In 2005, he started to build a house in Abu Simbel. Meant to be his personnal home, he built it the traditionnal way, with almost forgoten techniques, and Nile mud coming from Aswan. Soon, the obvious came to him : he will make a hotel of this traditionnal house. A place where he could keep the Nubian culture alive, through architecture, gastronomy and music… A hotel, but a real cultural center. “Eskaleh Ecolodge” was born.

Years later, “Eskaleh Eccolodge” is a total success.By word of mouth only, it achieved a tremendous reputation, which attracts tourists from all over the world. Some of the fans of the hotel even describe it as “a destination in itself”, “a rather unique concept in Egypt”.

But the greatest achievement lies somewhere else. The boy who lived on the Nile shore facing the Temples, who traveled to Europe and back, this boy, now a grown man, still comes every night on his hotel terrasse to enjoy the lake breeze and welcome some family or friends. Fikri el Kashef, the boy of our story, owner and founder of the Eskaleh Ecolodge, sometimes still seize his oud and start singing for, and then with, some of his guests. He meant to create a Nubian house more than a hotel. And indeed, this is his greatest achievement. This not really a hotel. It is a house for Nubians. Where you will, yourself, feel at home.

Welcome to eternal Nubia.Once upon, a time… Yes, “once upon a time”. A young boy lived in an Egyptian village. Not any Egyptian village, but one from down south, in Nubia, along the longest river of the World, which is facing an incredible view. Between the deep blue of the waters and the skies, between the deep green of the wild forest of palmtrees and the light terracotta of the high plateau of the western desert, lied, half covered by sand, the Temple Ramesses, beloved by Amun.

Every day, going to school and on his way back, playing with his friends, going to the market, that boy was staring at this amazing view, which, surprisingly – or not – never stopped fascinating him.

Later, our boy left the heat of his Nubian village for frozen Switzerland. His father opened an oriental restaurant in Lausanne, giving the boy the opportunity to study in some of the most reknowned Swiss universities and schools : history of the Arts, musicology, egyptology, as well as hotel managment.

Unesco saved the Nubian temples. But who saved the Nubian people ?

Several years passed, working in Switzerland and in snowy French Haute-Savoie. Our boy, now a man, discover skying. Spent a couple of years in Paris. And finally faced the eternal question of “the future”. “Come work with me in my restaurant”, said his father. But during all those years in Europe, under the snow, our grown-up boy never stopped thinking about his temples, and his people. “The Unesco saved the Nubian temples of Abu Simbel. But who saved the Nubian people ?” was the boy’s answer. So he decided to come back to Nubia, and try to do something for his kind and for his dying culture.

He started as French-speaking tour guide on the Eugenie, the first ship to sail on Lake Nasser, designed in the style of an elegant turn-of-the-century Nile steamship. Ten years passed, our man deepening his knowledge of the history of his country, and his understanding of the expectations of tourists in Egypt.

This not really a hotel. It is a house for Nubians.

In 2005, he started to build a house in Abu Simbel. Meant to be his personnal home, he built it the traditionnal way, with almost forgoten techniques, and Nile mud coming from Aswan. Soon, the obvious came to him : he will make a hotel of this traditionnal house. A place where he could keep the Nubian culture alive, through architecture, gastronomy and music… A hotel, but a real cultural center. “Eskaleh Ecolodge” was born.

Years later, “Eskaleh Eccolodge” is a total success.By word of mouth only, it achieved a tremendous reputation, which attracts tourists from all over the world. Some of the fans of the hotel even describe it as “a destination in itself”, “a rather unique concept in Egypt”.

But the greatest achievement lies somewhere else. The boy who lived on the Nile shore facing the Temples, who traveled to Europe and back, this boy, now a grown man, still comes every night on his hotel terrasse to enjoy the lake breeze and welcome some family or friends. Fikri el Kashef, the boy of our story, owner and founder of the Eskaleh Ecolodge, sometimes still seize his oud and start singing for, and then with, some of his guests. He meant to create a Nubian house more than a hotel. And indeed, this is his greatest achievement. This not really a hotel. It is a house for Nubians. Where you will, yourself, feel at home.

Welcome to eternal Nubia.