I own a little boutique hotel in Luxor, Egypt so it is natural for people to assume that when I say Egypt is as safe as anywhere else on earth that I am merely attempting to make business. I could be. It would be natural. But think on this for a minute – I will be 60 years of age this year and, without any panic or sadness, I realise that 2/3 of my life has actually passed. Do I need to spend the last 1/3 making a fortune? Am I going to take cash with me to the grave? So, no I am not trying to make business – Mara House is doing quite well. But now and again there is a little something in me that calls for expression, so I write…
Another thing I realise is that life is incredible short when one reaches a certain age and looks back….and the only people who insist on harbouring hate, instilling fear and ruining other people’s lives are those who have not yet realised their lives are at an end – they don’t have much time left so why spend the remainder consumed by evil?
Now that my little philosophical ruminating is at an end – I just want to say I drove around Luxor today with my wonderful guys from Mara House to do some shopping. It was great because today I stayed in the car and just people-watched as the men did the shopping. I have been reading Facebook posts and tweets and blogs etc where the writers beg for tourists to return for the sake of the Egyptians – I understand, but I am not enamoured with that kind of writing – I detest asking for pity and handouts.
What you look for – you will find. I know the above mentioned writers mean well but my focus today made me realise it would be nice if greater numbers of tourists came to Egypt – but not for the sake of the Egyptians, – for their own sake. As I people-watched today (yes, there were some faces etched with tiredness, anxiety and hardness as there is anywhere) the majority of the faces I saw were happy and smiling. They smile and wish peace on those they are acquainted with, they hug and kiss on both cheeks those that are closer to them – especially the men, they do it a lot!
There were lots of smaller kids, younger than school age sitting on doorsteps with grandparents, playing with makeshift toys, or walking to the shops with mum, little boys playing ball and being scolded for raising the dust near the washing lines that hang above the narrow streets.
I can wax lyrical for another hour here, but I have to go change come curtains in the house with the guys – so let me finish off by saying – the world might be a better place if more foreigners took a step back in time and see how happy a country can be with the basics of life in a country like Egypt. It would be marvellous if more people ventured forth into the world to see for themselves there is nothing to fear from our neighbouring countries except fear itself – especially people of my age. It is sad the world is controlled by fear and sadder still that so many die, without knowing – there was nothing to fear all the time, it has mostly just been planted in the imaginations.
Best people to ask about the Middle East and whether it is safe to go, are those who visited us recently