The Province of El Fayoum is the largest and westernmost of the several oases scatterred across the western desert. It feeds on an off shoot of the Nile and is a center of a cultivated area. El Fayoum, being an isolated land provided protection to the early centers of Christianity. After the Arab conquest, a large number of the population of El Fayoum accepted Islam and some Muslim Bedouins came to settle in the area. However, it remained a great center of Christianity for a long time.