Egypt, Experience and Invest in the FIFA World Cup

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The world’s eyes are focused on the soccer games in Russia.  It is an event where world nations share sentiments, excitement and memorable moments. In an un precedented step, the Egyptian government decided to seize the moment by launching its campaign “Egypt, Experience and Invest” at the grand event.  It is obviously a worthy chance to retain the world’s attention in a suitable connecting occasion.   Being an Egyptian living in Europe I am always keen to uncover how people of the world view Egypt. Consequently, I surfed the net to probe what visitors to Egypt had to write about their “Experience” as I am fascinated by human stories more than economic surveys or advertisement.  I found a piece titled “Egypt: A single woman’s experience” published by the Wander Lust Kitchen website in 2017. The writer is a young lady from Oregon United States named Anetta.  In Feb 2017 Anetta took what was planned to be a 30-day trip to visit Portugal, Egypt, Jordan, Israel, and Hungary that dragged much longer.  After Portugal she had a booked tour with a group of 20 to go to Cairo, Luxor, Aswan, the Sinai Peninsula and on to Jordan.  About her trip to Egypt she wrote: “After a week in the Nile Valley, we crossed the Suez Canal and headed to Dahab, a sleepy beach town on the Sinai Peninsula. The moment we arrived I felt a deep connection to the place and dreaded the idea of leaving in two days to head to Jordan. I had made friends with a fellow solo female traveler in the group, an Aussie named Taliha, who was planning on simply staying in Dahab. She had been on the road for 3 months already and wanted some down time to relax by the beach.  We had been snorkeling the reef that morning, and she and I had spread out on some beach loungers to dry off and drink some tea. I was bemoaning the idea of leaving Dahab the next day when it suddenly hit me that I didn’t have to.  I’m self-employed and can work from anywhere if I need to. I was already on the other side of the world with a well-stocked backpack. I could just… stay!” then she adds “We hiked Mount Sinai in the middle of the night and slept on the side of a cliff to see the sunrise.  We camped in the Wadi Rum desert…”.  I am quoting her words from another blog she titled “Why I’m not coming home.”

In the first mentioned blog article Anetta wrote she talked about her friends and family responses when she had first told them she was going to Egypt. They said: “when I told them I was going to Egypt, I got a bunch of questions such as:

  • “Are you crazy?”
  • “Is it safe?”
  • “Shouldn’t you maybe wait a few years until, you know, things are more… stable?”
  • “Are you going to buy a burqa?”
  • “Do you think you should dye your hair darker?”
  • “What are you going to wear?”
  • “Aren’t you afraid of those scarab beetles?”

Then in her article she goes on describing her experience from which I quote: “Eating in Egypt is awesome. The food is affordable, delicious, and even reasonably healthy. Meals can be drawn out over several hours, and there’s always plenty of tea being served.”  “Egyptian History. Where to begin? You’ve got the Pharaonic Period (with the Old, Middle, and New Kingdoms), Ptolemaic, Roman, and Byzantine Periods, all the way up to the Modern Era.”  “By and large I found Egyptians to be welcoming, polite, and very supportive of tourism. Cairo was perhaps the least “friendly,” but it’s a city of 30 million people and if I lived there I would be grumpy, too.”  “The Nubian family I met outside of Aswan were charming, full of laughter, and supremely beautiful. The Bedouins I met throughout the Sinai Peninsula were excellent cooks, proud of their heritage, and incredibly friendly. As a traveler, many of the people you encounter are workers in the service industry (drivers, waitstaff, hotel employees, etc.). Everyone I encountered was helpful and attentive, even if they were a bit shy to talk to me.”  Furthermore, she shares her experience about the Felucca ride on the Nile, she adds “This was my very favorite part of the trip. Three days and two nights aboard a felucca, a traditional Egyptian sailing vessel, cruising up the Nile with absolutely nothing to do. Truth be told, when I planned this excursion I was a bit worried about what it would be like. I don’t always do well with **nothingness**, so I loaded up my devices with books and music to keep me occupied. As it turns out, I didn’t even turn them on.  Sailing on a felucca is quite the experience, for a few different reasons.  First, there is no bathroom on board. This was definitely the number one thing I was worried about. Was I supposed to just jump in the Nile? Aren’t there crocodiles? As it turns out, there were 7 other ladies on the boat and we ended up stopping every two hours or so for a break. We probably could have stopped less frequently if we weren’t drinking so much beer.”  Then she adds: “Lastly, the issue of entertainment. Like I said, I thought I would be going out of my mind with boredom but I actually had a fantastic time.  Part of this could be attributed to being with a great group of people, but also the time just seemed to fly by. There’s so much to look at as you sail up the river, plus you seem to always be either on your way to or just leaving from a bathroom break.  Someone in the group had the foresight to bring a deck of Uno cards, which was completely brilliant because it’s a well-known game and very easy to teach.”  In conclusion and after she goes on about the rest of her very detailed will narrated description and advices of the rest of her trip she says: “A lot of people are hesitant to travel there right now, but that is even better news for those of us that do. No lines! Awesome photos! Cheap prices!  I truly recommend traveling to Egypt. There’s really nowhere like it on the planet!”

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