The town was settled around 100 BC by Sudanese shepherds, and was later the location of a Roman fortress to protect the oasis against desert nomads. For centuries, it has been a stopping point for caravans, as well as an arena of much religious controversy. The Byzantine rule pronounced Nefta an Episcopal See, escalating it to religous prominence, and in the 7th Century, after being conquered by the Arabs, Nefta was forced to convert to Islam, despite years of brutal resistance. Soon after, the Sufi branch of Islam was begun within this city.
Today, Nefta is known for its religious history and atmosphere, abundance of mosques and marabouts, luxury hotels, oasis, and architecture.
People Born in Nefta
Nefta in People's Lives
Ralph Fiennes: I traveled here in 1995 to film scenes of the movie The English Patient.