So silently and slowly yet so vigorously they move. They creep, they conquer and they obscure. A billion grains of sand or so form a sand dune; and with the effect of wind they move, one by one, constantly travelling in an everlasting form of topographic change. They don't sweep whatever crosses their way; rather conceal and bury, sometimes scattered palm trees, sometimes whole villages. Join Mohamed El-Hebeishy as he unearths one of Egypt's hidden treasures, literally hidden beneath a sand dune.
The location overlooks the Mediterranean, between Baltim and Borg Al-Burullus, next to Al-Atarsah village. It is called Tel Al-Kheshoey and is now a chain of sand dunes with small pockets of cultivation. It was so named after Sidi Mohamed Al-Kheshoey, a holy man originally from Morocco who settled in the area some 13,000 years ago. Once a place for worship and devotion, now the whole mosque is buried. Only the tip of its 30-metre minaret stands the test of time and shifting sand dunes.
In August 1998, an Egyptian archaeological mission working near Baltim stumbled upon the unique Islamic archeological site. Dating as far back as the ninth century, it is considered the first well preserved mosque discovered in Lower Egypt.
Though only the tip of the minaret is visible, the rest of the mosque is buried intact beneath the sand dune, archeologists believe. As a matter of fact, some even believe that the whole village of Al-Kheshoey is buried beneath the goliath sand dune.