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Egypt, my homeland:

How would I describe Egypt in one word?

Egypt is an ancient land, witness to a rich and diverse history, spun by some of the world's most grandiose civilizations. From the Pharonic civilization that stands out by virtue of its longevity and level of achievement, to the Islamic civilization that was the only one ever to climax in both the physical and moral domains of societal life, to dozens others in between, including the Greco-Roman and the Coptic Christian.

Today; however, Egypt is a developing country with little to be envied for. It is at best a regional power, relatively unimportant on a global level - though most Egyptians wish to believe otherwise. I feel pity and sadness as I feel Egypt possesses more than the necessary resources to be a major world player in all the various facets of civilization.

Notwithstanding this honest acknowledgement of status, Egypt remains a wonder to behold and experience.

Typically, Egypt is a hot tourist spot owing to its rich Pharonic heritage that still remains marvellously intact. A most unique place where ancient monuments still stand high, allowing us a glimpse of one of the world's first, and most glorious civilizations. To a lesser extent, Egypt's allure to the traveller lies in its equally delicious Islamic experience. Old town quarters gorgeously adorned in Arabesque architectural styles, beautiful old mosques, bazaars, and city walls. Last but not least are the people and culture that are unmistakably unique to the visitor. The warmth and friendliness of the street folk, and the chaleur and passion of the Egyptian street, cafes, and restaurants - indiscriminate to day or night - are definitely an Egyptian trademark. Life is easy going, and people just seem happy.

Today however, Egypt is much more. In addition to its traditional tourist attractions that remain as desirable as ever, Egypt has emerged as a world class beach nation. For the first time in centuries, many tourists flood Egypt primarily in pursuit of its luxurious beach resorts, and do not even venture to Cairo, or upper Egypt. Egypt's beach story is not of one great seaside town or another, but of a string of towns, and resorts: a Riviera - actually two. The first one, "El Sahel el Shamali" (The North Shore), extends west of Alexandria on the Mediterranean sea. State-of-the-art Resorts plodded along the sunny sea shores are bustling with tourists from Egypt and abroad. The area which enjoys excellent weather is a site for many sold out concerts, and a generally pulsating summer season. The second is in the gorgeous sun-splashed red sea beaches of the Sinai. The Sinai, irrespective of its new identity, is a majestic place in of itself. A place of sand, mountains, palm trees, and the sea. Its beauty and calm border on the spiritual. Indeed it is forever tied to unforgettable biblical experiences, Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Jesus and a multitude of other prophets all walked the Sinai, whether seeking refuge in the land of Egypt, or from it. It was on Mount Sinai, that God spoke to Moses, and it was its red sea waters that God split for the Hebrews to escape the advancing Egyptian army. Today, though the Sinai's natural, and spiritual sights are as authentic as ever, the peninsula has took on a new allure. Fierce developments across the southern shores have resulted in whitewashed, sun-drenched resorts that are a worldwide attraction. The weather in the Sinai Red Sea Riviera is to die for, the sea is as clear as glass, and the sands white of the purest kind. The region is also rich with some of the world's most attractive, exotic aquatic life. From vivaciously colorful coral reefs (ranked as the world's top), to ornamental fish, to sea-horses, to dolphins, this is a place for the "marino-phile". Not least of all, the Sinai Riviera has won itself an international reputation as a major diving, and windsurfing location.

I encourage all who have not visited to definitely make it a point to check Egypt out. I guarantee you will love the people, the culture, the food, the history, and of course the beaches. I have yet to meet a tourist who did not vow to return. A large part of the euphoria is owed to the crazy hospitality that is just out of this world. I myself, though originally from Egypt, am always culture-shocked by how friendly and charming the locals are, it really tickles.

Egypt's Major attraction regions are:

  • The town of Giza with its famous Pyramids and the Sphinx.
  • Cairo with the old town, Khan Khalili bazaar, Al Azhar Mosque (the world's first university), the Citadel, night-life, cafes, restaurants.
  • Alexandria, a delightful Mediterranean atmosphere, a main regional city.
  • The North Shore Riviera
  • The Sinai with its Red Sea Riviera (Sharm el Sheikh, Hurghada, Taba, El Arish, Dahab, etc.), and the Biblical sites up north (the Holy Mount Sinai, St.Catherine's Monastery - the world's first, etc.).
  • Upper Egypt, the sun-baked south which includes a much more delightful portion of the Nile, old picturesque villages, and of course the bulk of ancient Egyptian monuments in the grand cities of Thebes, Luxor, and Aswan.