The Siwa Oasis enjoys a unique cultural heritage and a society rich in native custom and tradition. Descendents of the Berbers, or Imazighen, North Africa’s original inhabitants, Siwans share more with cultures to its west than with Egypt. Siwa is the easternmost reach of Berber culture, and the oasis features rites, traditions, dress, tools, and a language distinct from the other oases of Egypt’s Western Desert.
While most Siwans speak Arabic, Siwan children first learn to speak the Siwan language, called Siwi. Siwi is a dialect of the northern branch of Tamazight (the Berber languages) and is closely related to dialects spoken in other Amazigh (Berber culture) communities in Libya, Algeria and Morocco.
Siwa has always been an agricultural society producing two main crops: olives and dates, and farmers continue to use many of the same harvesting techniques and practices as their forefathers