Egypt is a land of contrasts. The ancient, the modern and the traditional all seem to coexist peacefully, quite comfortably here. It’s a place where tombs and sarcophagi are present in the Egyptian Museum. King Tut’s relics are there including his throne and a full sized funeral sculpture which looks like it was just finished last week. I have always been fascinated by Egyptian history. From the days when I was a little boy I wanted to get up-close to these relics. Today that childish longing was satisfied.
Then, there is the Arab Republic which is totally encompassing in the city. Everywhere one looks there are Muslims. Women in head scarves and sometimes veils. Mosques are everywhere. This is the traditional Egypt. Colorful, restrained, exotic is this one’s possession in the city.
Finally, there is the modern. It must not be forgotten that there was a revolution here in the last few months. Morsi, Mubarak, Moslem Brotherhood are all names to be regarded carefully in Cairo.
Certainly there are signs of the revolution in Cairo, but generally life goes on as it has for centuries. I never felt afraid while I was there recently. I must say that the city seemed very much like Mexico City. There is traffic everywhere with horns blaring, people selling things from shops which appear as though they were, only yesterday, in the 1950s. The people are charming, warm hearted, polite and helpful to foreigners.
So, my advice to your, dear reader, is to go now while the prices are still low and many people think that it isn’t safe. Here’s the big surprise, it is safe. No one gets hassled. It was one thing that I heard from everyone in the States, before I left, “be careful it’s dangerous over there.” Not true.
Oh, I know that it’s a long trip to get to Egypt. It’s 11 hours in an airplane but the voyage is worth the effort. The word which kept coming to me was authentic. I loved Egypt, give it a chance you’re going to love it, too.
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