Last week we asked you to submit questions to us that we could forward on to our guides in Egypt. Below are the most commonly asked questions that you sent in, along with answers from our people on the ground. We hope this offers a unique perspective on what it’s like in Egypt at the moment, from the people who would know best: the Egyptians themselves.
1. Some valuable artifacts have been looted from various places in Egypt, most notably Saqqara and the Egyptian Museum. Are these places open for business, and are they safe?
Eman El Sheikh: “The Egyptian Museum is now open for visitors, and so are the pyramids. We had 2 guests visiting them recently in fact. (That would be our Get Rid Of Me winners Katie and Evan!) And YES they are safe.”
Saleeb Mikaeel: “Answering the first question, the total number of looted artifacts not that many: about 8 small statues from the museum and few side wall pieces from Saqqara tombs” … “The Egyptian museum and Saqqara are open and I did a tour two days ago when those places were open.”
2. How do you feel about the future of the country? What challenges does Egypt face?
Mohamed Alam: “What we all feel here in Egypt is that life here won’t be worse than it was in the last 20 years. All that we are worried about these days is to protect what we already achieved by changing subjects in law, especially the ones which is against human rights and that’s what we are concerned about the most and any other things will come after. The Egyptian army is controlling this to assure that will happen and life gets back to normal.”
Haytham Youssry: “For our future, the people already started to prepare for it, but the only challenge I think we have is how to change ourselves after 30 negative years, was impossible for us to say NO.”
3. We all watched events unfold on television, but what was it like to live through the protests?
Saleeb Mikaeel: “All protests were peaceful facing tough police, but peace wins all the time. Living with protests was the real freedom and making dreams come true, Egypt got its freedom.”
Eman El Sheikh: “Well; not all of us had that chance to be there; some were helping by keeping their work running on time, trying to get visitors safe to the airport till they are back to their hometown.
For myself; I went to Tahrir Square for cleaning up after the President stepped down. I was impressed to see the square clean more than even before; we had thousands of Egyptian youth re-painting paths, pavements, gathering rubbish… some of them were our tour leaders who went there very early in the morning, even for the ones who could not share by cleaning; they shared money.
Those days we –the ones who were not there – we were praying that Egypt will stay safe as it has always been.
Overall; it was something beyond description……. it was just very EGYPTIAN.”
4. Finally, we’d like you all to know that many passengers who loved their time in Egypt with you have been wishing you all well and their thoughts and prayers have been with you. If you’d like to add a message for people who have travelled with you, please feel free to do so.
Saleeb Mikaeel: “I would like to say as Saleeb that I do appreciate all feelings and prayers of our passengers and clients and wish if they come back to see NEW EGYPT, on behalf of all Egyptian tour guides I want to say to all tourists: You are welcome to NEW FREE EGYPT your second home.”
Haytham Youssry: “Thanks a lot for the outside supporters, who at least opened the television to see what is going on here, and they were like a magical card helps to change our destiny. Thanks for those who prayed for us, and for the people who even asked about us.
We wait everybody, came before to Egypt or not, to see Modern Egypt…… This means a lot for us.
Proud to be Egyptian…. proud of 12 nights I spent in the Tahrir square.”