People told me not to go. My own mother told me not to go. But I had the chance and the seven-year-old in me — the seven-year-old who loved pyramids and tombs and plagues and pharaohs and the rise and fall of one of the greatest kingdoms on Earth — said “we must.” So, I went to Egypt.
But I get people’s reservations: the uprising of 2011, the riots of 2014, again in 2017, and this week’s horrific bombing of a Sufi mosque that left 300 dead and injured over 100. Not only is this attack the worst in modern Egyptian times, but they are dealing with the ongoing issues with President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who gained power by military coup in 2013, who seems to be going after the rights of women, the LGBT, and more.
Each time Egypt hits the news I feel this pang in my chest, because I know it means fewer tourists, less income from those relying on tourism, and more fear. Worst of all, it means the radiant people I met in Egypt are suffering. I spent a week in Cairo, that’s all. But that’s all it took for me to fall in love.