I’m not an idiot.
I know that Egypt is the cradle of civilization.
I’m aware of the fact that some of the most incredible historical artifacts in the world are here. Even our kids have listed the pyramids among the things they wanted to see on this trip.
And from the moment we began to dream about this trip and wrote our very first list, Egypt came in high.
And then the so-called “Arab Spring” happened. The people spoke loud and clear and buildings trembled and burned in their wake.
At home in Toronto we watched it happen. Our hearts broke for the people as their leader turned his back. We wished them safety and success. And when Mubarak finally fell and the protests turned to celebration we cheered for them and with them.
But where we refused to commit was on taking our family to visit. “Too risky,” we thought.
We’d wait and see how it all shook out.
Things seemed to calm in the months that followed, and then they flared and then they calmed again.
We sought out the advice of friends and family. Should we go? Was it safe?
Everyone had an opinion. Those who love us weren’t interested in seeing us take the risk. Those who know our love for the planet wanted us to see this amazing spot. There was no unanimous decision and time was running out. We had to make one.
So we did.
And we’re here.
It’s a lesson I’ve learned many times on this trip.
There are no dangerous countries in the world. There are only dangerous situations. There are places where the times and the circumstances have created a greater likelihood of danger. Those times have happened in Cairo. They’ve happened in Bogota. They’ve happened in New York City.
And when they do, there is little you can do to stop them.
On this trip we’ve been to Nairobi, Colombia, Delhi, Vietnam and other so-called “hot spots,” there has never been one moment when we felt that we were at risk.
Now we’re in Egypt.
We’ve climbed pyramids, stood with the Sphinx, visited the Mohammed Ali mosque, explored the Egyptian Museum.
Today we went to Tahrir square. That Tahrir square
And you know what we found there?
People out walking, living their lives and crazy traffic.
No danger. No fear. Just a place.
One of many in Egypt that are waiting for visitors to come and explore them again so that those who depended on tourism can resume doing what they’ve come to do best.
I think the people will come back eventually. Over the next few months Egypt will complete their elections and hopefully things will begin to stabilize.
In the meantime, I’m glad we’re here. I like what it’s teaching all of us.
Fantastic, Heather. So glad you’re having a wonderful time there. How was the museum? I was so sad to see all the pillaging that happened there.
It was fine! Really. And so incredible. They have so many pieces and thousands more in storage so whatever was done was minimal. And that museum is a must see; ditto for library in Alexandria.
Great post! Thanks for your perspective, I think it also applies to life in general regarding things we want to do and the fears that come along with it.
You’re so right Julian! I’ll need to remember that.
I love your story, perspective and pragmatism!!!!ABC
Thank you. Might be the parents who raised me. ;)
I’m so glad you posted this and were truthful about your concerns. When you get back, perhaps you can have a sit down with my husband and explain this – in these perfect words – “There are no dangerous countries in the world. There are only dangerous situations.”
happy to! There’ll be burgers, right? ;)
Absolutely! 100% kid friendly Canadian food. Your kids will love me :)
I love that you distinguish between dangerous countries versus dangerous situations. This is what we explain to friends when we discuss travel destinations. There isn’t a place on earth I wouldn’t want to explore with my family, it just has to be at the right time.