I regularly get asked, “Is Egypt safe?” and have written a blog to answer the question just as regularly.  These days, I get asked about the safety situation in Egypt in light of the ongoing conflict in Gaza.  In response, I refer to the experience of my own childhood and adolescence in Ireland in the 1960s and 1970s.  The country crossroads where I lived in southern Ireland was a mere 5-hour car drive from Belfast in Northern Ireland.

Life was peaceful around me, and the only gunshot I ever heard was that from a farmer’s gun shooting at a crow or a rabbit.  Meanwhile, children in Belfast grew up amidst an atmosphere of guerilla warfare, shootings, house raids, kidnappings, and bombings.  Outside of Northern Ireland, the war in the North was euphemistically referred to as “the troubles in the North.”  We, along with the rest of the island, watched the atrocities every night on TV – for us, a world away.  That was a world before social media was born, and truth became a casualty of technology and manipulation.

In the South, at least for us children, it was as if nothing was amiss in the world.  When it came to tourism, Irish people did not understand why anyone might be afraid to visit the south, east, or west of Ireland.  In fact, thanks to various government bodies, our tourism industry took off and eventually flourished despite the troubles in the North.

Reflecting on my time in Egypt since 2000, the global apprehension towards visiting the country was always disproportionate to the realities of our daily lives.  I watched world travel agents, foreign media, and governments discourage visits to Egypt, citing a succession of events that never actually affected our daily lives.  World events had little or no effect on life in Egypt.  Even the 2011 “Egyptian revolution” only affected Tahrir Sq in Cairo.  We had apartments just a 10-minute walk from Tahrir, and life went on as normal.
Some of the world events that have kept tourists from visiting Egypt in recent years are:
  • 2001 the events of 9/11 in the USA
  • 2003 war in Iraq
  • 2011 Egyptian “revolution,” which in reality was merely a drama enacted for foreign news cameras in one location, Tahrir Sq in Cairo.  A fake “Reality TV” show that captured the imagination of the world thanks to social media but managed to shut down the tourism industry and throw the Egyptian economy into chaos. Watching the daily drama at Tahrir was the biggest lesson in my life to NEVER believe what I see on TV.
  • 2011 Arab Spring, War in Syria
  • 2013 Egyptian army “coup”.  This was only a coup in the heads of foreign governments and their media.  It was, in reality, the rescue of the Egyptian people.
  • 2019 – 2022 Covid.  In Egypt, if someone caught covid they went to the hospital, got treated for two weeks, went home for another two weeks to rest, and returned to work.  Fatalities were among the frail and/or elderly who had underlying conditions and a few outside that age bracket who had serious underlying conditions.   If I could choose to be anywhere during covid, my choice would be Egypt!
  • 2023 and we have the war in Gaza.
  • What next?

If you don’t think now is the right time for you to come to Egypt and let me show you this amazing and magical country – will Egypt forever remain an unfulfilled item on your wish list, the unrealized dream?