Fayoum Oasis is Egypt's largest oasis,
populated by more than 2 million. It is not a pure
oasis like the other ones of Egypt, as most of its
water comes from the Nile.
But it is a depression, and it has its own
artesian wells, allowing water to reach the
surface from underground reservoirs.
Fayoum's history goes back in time as far as
Egypt's. Its earliest recorded name, in the
time of the pyramid builders, was To-She.
With the construction of irrigation canals
in the 19th century BCE, the oasis became
the most fertile region in Egypt. The 4th
century BCE king Ptolemy 2 Philadelphus
named it after his sister/wife Arsinoe.
With the introduction of Roman control a few
centuries later, a new taxation system
ruined local farmers and resulted in a
decline of the oasis that would last for
almost 1600 years, before Mohammed Ali
introduced new programmes, promoting