This week’s events in Egypt were truly historic, and brought to life in real time the expression “the revolution will be televised.” Now that Mubarak has stepped down, the traffic is returning to Tahrir square, the big job of cleaning the streets has begun, the Egyptian stock market is preparing to open again in a few days, and life will begin to return to normal at a very slow pace. But a pace nonetheless. The military, now in charge, has dissolved parliament, and has reiterated that they will only remain in power for six months – long enough for a new civilian democratic government to be established.
If you have ever considered a visit to Egypt, consider it now. Keep yourself updated on the status of key tourist destinations and as soon as the pyramids open again, begin making your plans. Sites like Luxor, Aswan, the Valley of the Kings, the Egyptian Museum, and many more are not to be missed. Adding that to the context of recent events will make a visit all the more impactful, and would be an experience to tell to your friends, grandkids, puppies, goldfish, plants, or whomever or whatever you define as your family. Travelling to Egypt will not only help our Egyptian friends with much needed tourist dollars, but it will be among the best times to visit. I travelled to Nepal in September 2001 not only right after September 11 but also very soon after events in that nation included the murder of members of the royal family. Not only were the Himalayas and the Annapurna circuit absolutely empty of tourists, but the people were so welcoming and happy that we were there that it made for a unique and unforgettable experience. To hike the Himalayas almost alone [I only ran into one group of westerners from Scotland the entire time I was hiking] added another layer of mystery and excitement to an already mysterious and exciting journey.
And for those naysayers, have you been to Washington, DC or Baltimore lately? Have you checked the murder rates in these cities? Before you worry about how dangerous it would be to visit Egypt, check the facts. Things are not always what they seem, and even still, if Baltimore had 7000 years of extant archaeological sites to see, I would still go. But that’s just me.