My efforts over the last few months to bring businesses in Luxor together to discuss and to plan how to improve Luxor; solve some of our problems; make it a better place for ourselves and for tourists; to plan our own marketing, has all come to nothing. Why did I want to do this? Mostly because I have not seen anyone else do it since Jan 2011 and because I woke up one morning and realised we have all been sharing in a delusion!
I have come to the conclusion that nobody really wants to change anything here – nobody who is in a position to do so that is. The ordinary guys in the street, they are willing – heck they are craving for life to change and get better. But I have been banging my head on the wall trying to get anyone to work with me on new ideas. Now I am going to admit that the problem might in some conceivable way be mine – maybe I have a personality problem. Maybe some people find me too hard to handle, too hard to take, too impatient, too pushy. Yeah, it could well be my dreadful personality.
Either way, the facts are clear, two people whom I believed were excited about my Souk Project, and had told me they were going to introduce me to the new Governor – didn’t. In fact they did not even let me know he had arrived. But they did have their meetings with him. One person whom I trusted most did tell me the new Governor was here but wasn’t seeing anyone because he was gathering information first.
I have tried in vain for the last 6 months to get the bigger hotels interested in getting together to work on ideas for the future; ideas to bring back the tourists. Though they promised attendance – they never showed up. The top hats of the Tourism Industry apparently all met with the Governor last night – including presumably the one who told me we have no problems here in Luxor so I guess he just went along for the ride, as usual. Finally, the ‘man of action’ from a previous blog, has not organised the promised meeting of the hotels, but I understand they have met with the Governor also – I guess I was foolish to think that any of the would think of letting me know or inviting me.
So, this morning, since I had already compiled a 10 page report analysing the problems facing Luxor and an array of possible solutions to those problems, I went off to see if the Governor, General Tarek Saad El Din would see me for just one minute so I could put it into his hands. In other words so I could be sure he would actually get it. Well, that was a stupid thing for me to do because things no longer work as they did in the ‘old days’. You see, in the old days you could walk into the Governorate building and get to see the Governor. Not any more.
His office man – don’t know what his title is, told me wait in the waiting room, left me there for half an hour then asked me what I wanted. He told me I could not see the Governor. I said I didn’t want to talk with the Governor, I just wanted to give him something and it would only be one minute. “The Governor is not here”. (his car was outside) “The Governor is in a meeting.” “You can’t see the Governor without an appointment” – were the three responses I got one after the other
“That’s ok, can I make an appointment?”
He handed me a yellow sticky pad and instructed me to write down my name, what I was doing in Luxor and EXACTLY what did I want to see the Governor about. I started to write down the answers then I thought to myself. “Hang on, this is not making an appointment. This is being ‘pre-approved’ to see the Governor! Hell!, I’m not going to tell this guy EXACTLY why I want to see the Governor so he can decide if I am worthy or not! Forget it! And I certainly am not leaving my analyses with him! He should have told me I needed an appointment as soon as I arrived, NOT left me sitting there for half an hour. I scrapped the paper and walked out.
There and then I decided that’s fine. Enough. What kind of an idiot was I being? This is not even my country, what am I doing running around trying to tell people I have great ideas on how to make things better when nobody wants to listen anyway – and it seems the Governor is not going to have open house like his predecessors to hear people’s problems etc so, who cares?! What on earth have I been doing since 30th June? Facebook, Twitter, blogs 24/7 trying to get the word out about what is really going on in Cairo and what is NOT going on in Luxor? Sticking my neck out, and putting my business – non-existent business, on the line, writing suggestions, sending them off to people who are not even interested! “Get a life, Girl!”
A few days ago we had no mobiles and no internet for about 6 hours. We had one power cut a few days ago. We had TWO today, one as I write this by light of the computer screen and an emergency light. Yeah, we have no problems at all here…..whatever!
Finished worrying, finished planning, finished suggesting, finished trying, finished tweeting, finished updating on Egyptian politics on Facebook, finished fighting for Egypt. From today on it’s nose to the grindstone – or rather the keyboard and get those books written (the ones I have been promising to write since forever!) because it’s going to many a long day before Luxor gets back to any business and I gotta find some other way to make a living but more importantly – I have to find something positive to do with my days.
I have 2 books on my mind….one about my life in Egypt and one about “The Little Girl Who Could Do Magic!” Of course I am presuming someone will think they are worth publishing!
As for my blog, this has become mostly a ‘release’ for me and I’m quite safe writing anything I like here, because nobody I know is reading it – not family, not friends, not people I have anything to do with here. How do I know this? Because every time I meet them, they ask me “what’s been happening?” I look at them a bit oddly and ask “Have you not been reading my blog?” No, they are not. Well…….if I wanted to know what was going on with someone I would be reading their blog!
On a positive note the guy from the mosque up the street arrived with a front loader (you know for moving earth) this morning and cleared some of the rubble from the street for some unknown reason – being pessimistic it is probably because they are going to start building again and need the space for sand etc. So yes the street is marginally improved today!