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Mut (pronounced moot), Dakhla's capital, is a likeable place if you get beyond the ugly rows of low-rise residential tenements that line its main streets. The town's old Islamic quarter, partially obscured by modern buildings, is a fascinating warren of dark alleyways and crumbling mud-brick houses. At least 1,500 people still live in the district, going about their daily routine.
Mut is comprised of
only a half-dozen main streets, but its lack of public transport means that without a car you could be doing a lot of walking. The wide avenues and "countdown" traffic lights suggest a chronic traffic problem, but for most of the day the town's streets are eerily empty.
For travel within the oasis there are service taxi stations at Maydan Tahrir and—less conveniently—about 1½ km (1 mi) east near the hospital. Buses and service taxis also pick up passengers at Maydan Jama‘a, the sleepy square that was once the town's center.
Of the many fortified Islamic settlements that dot the oasis, Al-Qasr is by far the most impressive. Seen from the main road, its mud-brick...
Straddling a low hill, Balat retains much of its medieval Islamic character. The fortified village's covered alleys and wooden gates once protected...