Al Samaha is an entirely female village in Egypt. It currently houses around 303 single women and men are strictly prohibited.
Any woman who marries is immediately invited to leave. It is located in the city of Edfu, about 120 kilometers from the southern city of Aswan.
The village has been consecrated by the government to widows and divorced people and includes plots of agricultural land to enable them to raise poultry and livestock as a source of income. “The village project started in 1998 when the Ministry of Agriculture decided to allocate two new villages to divorced women and widows only,” said Hamdi Al-Kashef, the village’s general supervisor in Al Arabiya. He reiterated that women live only with their children, without men. Each family is given a house and six acres of land in addition to the additional assistance of the project’s founders and international organizations.
Women are provided with essential furniture and agricultural products and are provided with several short-term loans. The village bungalows were financially subsidized by the government, allowing the woman to reimburse them in installments.
When women get married, the land and the house are taken away, says Al-Khashef. All crops can be grown with the exception of sugar cane, and in case of violation, the lady will no longer receive fertilizer. The project aims to preserve the future of those who have lost family members and to support women who are now the sole breadwinners of their children.