Dahabeah

Dahabeah

[dah-huh-bee-uh]
A dahabeah (also spelled dahabeeyah, dahabiah, dahabiya, and dahabiyah) is a passenger boat used on the River Nile in Egypt. The term is normally used to describe a shallow-bottomed, barge-like vessel with two or more sails. The vessels have been around in one form or another for thousands of years, with similar craft being depicted on the walls of the tombs of Egyptian Pharaohs. Indeed, the name is thought to derive from the Arabic word for "gold", owing to similar, gilded state barges used by the Muslim rulers of Egypt in the Middle Ages.

Before the introduction of steam boats, the dahabeah was the most normal way for travellers to ascend the Nile, and even after that they remained somewhat popular amongst the wealthy. Nowadays, vessels of this type are often made of iron, accommodating between two and about twelve passengers, and are often fitted with motors as well as sails.

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