Aswan is the location of the first cataract of the Nile River. This made it an ideal location for the Aswan Dam which was built between 1898 and 1902. This created a small lake south of the dam, but it was nothing to compare with Lake Nasser which has been formed as a result of the building of the new high dam at Aswan between 1960 and 1971.
The new high dam was constructed at a time when the Soviet Union was providing technical, economic and military support to Egypt. I remember staying in a hotel in Egypt in 1973 filled with Soviet tourists. In the following years we saw none of them. Lake Nasser stretches south for more than 300 miles. Many of the Nubians who lived in this area had to be resettled by the Egyptian government.
Kitchener’s Island, shown below, was given to Lord Horatio Kitchener for his service in the Sudan Campaign. It now is owned by the state and is the site of a beautiful botanical garden. The Mausoleum of the Aga Khan is visible on the top of the hill in the photo below.
Some scholars identify the Arabic name Aswan with the Syene of Ezekiel 29:10 and 30:6. It may be identified with the Sinim of Isaiah 49:12.