Ras El Bar

Ras El Bar (Arabic: راس البر, transliteration: Ras El-Bar), which means "head of land" or the "golden triangle", is a city located in the Governorate of Damietta, in Egypt.

Geography

Location

The city of Ras El Bar lies in a peninsula on the coast of the Mediterrenean Sea, and it is bordered on the western by the Damietta Nile branch. The area of "Lessan" is located in the extreme Northern part of this peninsula, and it is at this point where the Damietta Nile arm flows in the Mediterranean sea, which gives Ras El Bar the shape of a triangle.

Climate

The climate of Ras El –bar is moderate, dry, and contains a high percentage of iodine.

Shores

The uniqueness of Ras El Bar as one of the world's rare points where a river meets the sea has offered it a great advantage which is having shores that overlook both the Nile and sea. It's even said that Ras El Bar existence is a result of that unique meeting as both the sea and the Nile left sand and alluvium.

Nature

Type of sand

For Ras El Bar to be a sandy beach instead of an alluvial farming land like the rest of the delta takes us back to ancient prehistoric ages. Initially, the Mediterranean Sea covered the whole delta, and then it began to fall back and the river deluged over the delta and covered the lower areas with alluvium. When it comes to Ras El Bar the sands of the sea played a main role in turning the spot into a sandy beach instead of normal muddy farming land. These sands are believed to have great medical benefits especially in noon times.

Animals and Plants

* Many dolphins visit Ras El Bar shores
* Many kinds of wild birds actually live in the Manzala lake
* Also in the fall season many of the immigrating flocks of European birds pass by Ras El Bar in her course to south Africa

Demographics

There are approximately 15,000 to 25,000 inhabitants in Ras El Bar. However, during the summer season (July - August), it becomes a well known local resort and receives between 200,000 and 250,000 visitors during that period.

Infrastructure

Houses

The land renting system started back since 1898, then started building houses and villas that were named "e'sha" (hut). In 1902, the first civic time for that town was implemented, and it was considered that the streets are straight and parallels to maintain the town’s beauty. At the very beginning those huts were built of wood and other simple materials, had only one floor and hosted only one family. Actually they were built at the start of the summer and removed at its end. Nowadays, Damiettans preserved the design of the town and the spaces between every villa and the other. They built new villas using cement and bricks. Now single blocks have twelve units most of them with a garage. They are still named "e'sha" (hut) among locals, but in reality they follow the structure of a villa.

Roads

Inner:
* Port Said Street: is the main access in Ras El-Bar and it connects its entrance to the beginning of "Lesan".
* Nile Street: more like a shopping centre full of shops and hotels, and it exactly parallel to the Nile.

External:
* Older roads that links Ras El-Bar with other governorates are available all year long.

Sports

* There are many kinds of sport like Beach sports; swimming competitions which involve crossing the nile from Damietta to Ras El Bar.
* Many clubs and gyms for sports like football, volleyball, handball, cong fu, karate, judo, etc.

Health

There are three main hospitals located in Ras El Bar:1. "El Yoom El Wahed" (the sole day)2. "Ras El Bar El Markazy" (central Ras El Bar)3. "Da'wet El Hakk": which is a smaller one but offers a variety of medical services.There are also many small medical centres that deal with beach injuries.

Education

Ras El Bar as a summer resort has a small number of settled families all year long, therefore one finds lesser number of schools and universities.

Economical activities

Since early ages, Ras El Bar has been a main port for all kinds of goods that pass through the Nile and/or come from the sea.

Agriculture

Fishing

Ras El Bar is a huge centre for fishing boats that leave into the Mediterranean sea and returns loaded with different kinds of fish that helped in enriching this industry all over the country. It is also a spot for manufacturing ships of all kinds and sizes especially fishing ones.

Maritime transport and trade

Ras El Bar is closed the the main port of Damietta, which handles international trade.

History

Pharaohs

Actually Ras El Bar has been called many names since the Pharaos. Pharos called it the Mediterranean Sea (the great green sea), then came the Romans and called it "The Romans Sea" on 30 AC, and the spot where sea could meet a river was called (Be Tamosh) and it meant the place between two waves or two seas. The name itself Ras El Bar came from some sailors who felt that this place can be the shelter from the sea’s dangers. "Ras" is the start and "El Bar" is the land so it is the start of land and the shelter of any sailor. This place was mentioned in the Holy Quran for three times only to stress out the mighty power of god that made both river and sea meet with a separator that can never be seen and stops them from blending.

Greek and Roman eras

Damietta was known as "Tamiats" during the Greek and Roman eras, and it was known as "Tamiat" during the time of Veterans Copts.

Islamic era

According to the Historical Documents, "Tamiats" was an important Coptic Bishopric during the Fifth Century. The name "Demt", which means "the ability" in the Syriac Language, was also mentioned in a verse sent to the Prophet "Idris" or "Herms". The sense behind the name is the ability that combined the fresh water and the brine water together in that place.

After the revealing of the Holy Quran and before the Islamic Opening for Egypt, it was mentioned that Omar Ibn Al Khattab recalled Prophet Muhammad's words as follows "Omar, you will open two ports in Egypt, Alexandria and Damietta. About Alexandria, it was destroyed by barbarians. About Damietta, its people are martyrs; this who will. For a night will be with me along with the other Prophets at Al Kuds".

According to Anas, who was one of the Prophet Muhammad's friends, he said that the Prophet Muhammad said "Muslims will open a port that is considered the "ability" place, in which the olds of my 'Ummah' will live; a one night in this place is better than a thousand months worship; it is the "ability" place for those who sacrifice their souls for God." Then, Anas said "and what is that "ability" place, Prophet?" The Prophet Muhammad said "It is the place that is spelled with D, M, and T"

Damietta was also mentioned in the Torah as "Kaftor". Being mentioned and described in the three Holy Heavenly religions is a great pride that Damietta had out of many beautiful places.

Crusades

Damietta' position on the west bank of the Nile river is a strategic location that urged many enemies' fleets to conquer the city, and that also urged its people to build a number of fortifying castles and towers to protect the city.

In 1218, The Crusaders started to approach Damietta, and they made a dike surrounded by a bailey to protect them, and they settled there where they initiated their assaults against the strong resistance from the Dumyaty people. The resistance stilled strong for four months, but the Crusaders condensed their attacks and they surrounded the whole city abandoning it and its people from any coming support. However, the Dumyaty people stand strong and kept resisting till the summer season came, and the flood filled the Nile river with water till the baileys were destroyed, and the dike became like an island surrounded with water. After that, the Crusaders were seeking a conciliating treaty to get out of the city and the whole country. After thirty years, the Crusaders came back to conquer Egypt as a starting point for invading Palestine and the other Arab countries.

In 1248, the king of France at that time Luis IX sailed from south France with a great fleet till he reached Damietta' beaches. At that time, the Prince Fakhr El Din left the city with no army and ran away. However, the Dumyaty people resisted that fleet. The burnt their shops and everything that the enemy can make use of, and they retreated to the jungles and the inner places in the city to inveigle the enemy. Then, they started their enchorial stood out and they beaten the French in a number of battles. The last battle was at Faraskour, which is a city on the Nile River, where Dumyaty people killed a number of ten thousand men from the French, and they captivated the others along with the king Luis IX, and they imprisoned him. Later on, King Luis IX paid four thousand Egyptian Pounds to be released along with his men, and he left the Damietta in May 8th, 1250, and that date became the National Day of Damietta later on.

Modern Era

Damietta started to create a new path towards peace and safe life after struggling against invaders. The new path is representing its natural rule that it was created for, which is tourism.

Recently, an alleyway by the side of the Nile River was made at the city of Ras El Bar. The other side of the alleyway contains a number of shops and restaurants till it reaches the area of "El Lesan". "El Lesan" is the place where the Mediterranean Sea meets the Nile River, and it was also developed to compete with worldwide tourist places.

References

# Ras El Bar in Brief - Mubarak Public Library (Damietta branch)

External links

* [http://www.domyat.gov.eg Damietta Governorate]


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