DAMIETTA The city ·of Dumyat (DamiettaJ is on the E bank of the Damietta branch of the Nile. Its importance is such that it has the status of a province. It is a large port with thriving industries. (Railway and bus stations.) Although Damietta is the NE coastal counterpart of Rosetta on the NW, it has suffered much less as there is no city as large as Alexandria nearby. Its ancient history is obscure but it was probably always an important site dealing with the trade between Egypt and the eastern Mediterranean coast and Cyprus, the W tip of which lies due N. After the Muslim invasions its importance increased and when Egypt achieved independence and extended its influence into Palestine it became a vital link. During the Crusades, however, it proved to be a point of weakness. Several times it was occupied by the Christians in 1167-68 and 1218-21 but it was repossessed by Sultan al-Kamil. It was captured agaili by the forces of the Sixth Crusade under Louis IX and from here the Crusaders advanced into the Delta. Louis was checked at al-Man~i’lrah and finally captured. In 1250 the ascendant mamh1ks razed the city and the river was made impassable. A new settlement was soon founded to the S and persisted through the Mamliik and Ottoman periods. Here the last Ottoman pasha, Mu.I:iammad Khusraw, surrendered to the bays just before the rise of Mu.I:iammad cAli. Damietta, like Rosetta, has several areas where Ottoman buildings
are excellently preserved.

Leaving Banha to the NW and crossing a bridge over the Damietta branch of the Nile, the Hl passes (15km) Minshat Sabri with the H16 W to Shibin al-Kawm, and (15km) Birkat al-Sabac and on to (27km) Tanta. Although this is the capital of al-Gharbiyyah province and one of the principal cities of the Delta, it retains a thoroughly rural atmosphere. (Railway station and bus station for local and longdistance coaches.) The Museum contains material from the Delta and the Delta headquarters of the Dept of Antiquities. It also has a university and several higher institutes. Hotel. Arafa, 3*. She. alSikkah al-Gadidah.