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Saturday, April 6, 2013

Was it Safe in Egypt?

It sure seemed safe.  There was plenty of excitement in places that we didn't go near, like the presidential palace or the Muslim Brotherhood headquarters.

But how could you not feel safe when you have a bawab and family who watches everyone's comings and goings?  And our bawab even has a guard dog who keeps a sharp eye on things.

And the front of our building now has a 24-hour tire dealer not to mention the 24-hour pharmacy a couple of doors away.

Regular followers of this blog might like to read about Rick Steves' trip to Egypt.  He has just arrived and is describing his experiences here.
... I begin with a nighttime welcome-to-Cairo stroll under once-elegant French façades, now weathered to a pulp and caked in soot. A four-lane street is now barely two lanes, choked with clothing racks swinging for sale under commercial neon. Women in scarves browse through displays of daring dresses in windows that light the commotion filling the sidewalk.

This nation has a young, fast-growing population, and no cushy oil revenues to fall back on. Egypt needs to work for a living, and tourism is a vital part of its economy (four million people work in tourism and many more indirectly). However, since the revolution just over two years ago, there has been almost no tourism here. I mention to a local guide, "The airport was quiet today." He says, "That's not the word. It is dead." Pointing to a towering Sofitel Hotel, he laments, "Only two floors are open out of twenty. This is killing us."
 So think about visiting Egypt soon.  It's safer than a lot of places you might go in the U.S.  For example, in Chicago, this was the headline at the start of the week:

2 Dead, 21 Wounded In Weekend Gun Violence

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