Customer Story: Kom Ombon – the Temple of the People
Allison Carter, an Atlas Travel® Insurance customer, recently fulfilled a long-time desire to visit Egypt. She shared with us this blog post, the fifth in a series, detailing her experiences exploring Kom Ombo, an ancient temple dedicated to Horus and Sobek. You can find more of her story in the HCCMIS Blog and at the HCCMIS YouTube channel. If you have travelled abroad with coverage from one of our products, and want to share your stories, we encourage you to leave a comment.
Cruising down the Nile by riverboat is one of the best ways to see Egypt. You get to watch modern life slipping by on the banks and many of the ancient sites are conveniently located near the river. We boarded our riverboat and within moments were introduced to the fun, friendly nature of most Egyptians. They immediately started playing pranks and offering us puzzles to solve with toothpicks. The prankster crew proved to be one of the best parts of the entire trip.
We cruised along the river, passing parched desert and almost jungle-like vegetation in turn. That evening, our boat moored beside Kom Ombo, a temple dedicated to two deities: Horus, the hawk-headed god of protection, royalty, and order, and Sobek, the crocodile-headed god of chaos and natural disasters. Surprisingly, this little temple may be my favorite place in all of Egypt.
It is not the biggest, oldest, or the best preserved. In fact, it is small having been built in the later Greco-Roman period. It is also heavily damaged. However, I love it for the juxtaposition of the two gods, the recognition that there is no order without chaos, and no life without natural disasters. More than this juxtaposition of beliefs, I could truly see how this temple affected the life of the people.
Through the years, the temple has served as a hospital as well as a place of worship. The pictures of medical implements similar to our own line the walls. A Nilometer helped people understand how severe or mild the flood would be that year. The amazing Egyptian people have been making history for more than 5,000 years. It was the people, not the pharaohs or gods, which I connected to most strongly at Kom Ombo.
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