Becca Doten, Gabr Fellow. June 17th 2013

“The past week and a half in Egypt has been an amazing, awe-inspiring and thought provoking experience. Touring Cairo, Alexandria and Luxor has allowed me to glimpse into the lives and experiences of Egyptians from across the country and soak-in the incredible history of the region. The presentations and lectures have created a foundation of understanding regarding the current situation in Egypt and provided background information that we see come to life as we drive through the streets, eat a meal at a local restaurant or experience the grandeur of one of the ancient temples. And while it is an amazing country to visit, Egypt is a country in great turmoil. Perhaps one of the most striking and concerning examples we see of the current regional strife is the near total lack of tourism. Time and time again, we are the only or one of the few tourist groups at the historical sites which have the capacity for thousands of tourists per day. This drastically impacts the economy and negatively effects individual Egyptians and their families. For instance, one of our tour guides, a trained Egyptologist and Archaeologist, last led a tour group a month and a half ago. Additionally, because of the current government's policies, archaeology has all but stopped, leaving him without either kind of work for months at a time. And this is just one example. With so many factors that will influence the immediate future of Egypt (revolution, tourism, water, power, religion, politics), it will be a long road to recovery. My hope is that the country and the people of Egypt can come through this tough period quickly, ending with the creation of a stronger country where more people have the opportunity to thrive, the economy grows strong and tourists will once again flock to the region to experience the same amazing history and sites that I have experienced these past days.”
Becca Doten, Gabr Fellow. June 17th 2013