Egypt, why the media is ruining tourism, and why it’s actually safe to go there.
Since announcing 2 blog posts ago that Ana and I intend to relocate to Dahab, Egypt. We have had many people ask us if “that is such a good idea”
Most of this has been down to poorly written articles from the media which are often incorrect and cleverly worded to “stir the pot” to try and draw as many views to ‘their’ view on the current situation and conflicts out in Egypt. The knock on effect this has is terrible, and for someone who feels pretty close to the country itself, quite heart wrenching as well.
My intention from this post is to attempt to show people a different view, one based on proven facts and information, collectively with my own experiences and additionally information from friends I have currently living across Egypt…obviously I’m biased and ‘Pro’ travelling to Egypt, and here’s why.
Lets start with our friends from the tabloids. The media have been rubbing their hands together and spinning stories to do with Egypt and it’s conflicts for a long time. For example I remember back in 2013 when the same “dead” person was shown to be “dead” in 3 separate locations from 3 separate reporting/news companies, I can imagine how that phone call went…
“OK we have a job for you, we need you to act dead in multiple locations…”
2 weeks ago there was an attack in the Northern Sinai, in an area called Sheikh Zuweid, one of the most Northern parts of the country, it is 453km away from Sharm El Sheikh by car, so at best a 6 hour 30 minute drive and it was being labelled as “just a few miles” away by a few newspapers, last time I checked ‘a few’ meant 3…or another small amount.
Yep, definitely just “a few miles” away.
What really infuriated me was this image below doing the rounds
It’s so misleading, its amazing how many people I saw actively replying/posting about it “look, they’re so close! Egypt is dangerous”
The Northern Sinai has been a “No travel zone” as advised by the FCO for as long as I can remember. Also those killed, were not tourists, they were militants, members of the Army, people doing what they can to make the world a safer place, it’s horrible to say but what they’re doing is a risk they take on knowingly.
Also recently, there was a reported attack in Cairo, see the below map.
Cairo has been a city of conflict and risk for a long time now, but recent media spinning keeps making it sound like this is all recent and new. Yes things are bad in Cairo but does that mean you shouldn’t travel to Egypt overall? Not at all. Going by that, not travelling to Sharm due to issues in Cairo/Northern Sinai is like not going to London because of problems in North Wales.
Currently, the FCO have Egypt as a country as ‘Severe/High’ and have done since the early 90’s (maybe even earlier than that, but I cannot confirm this) – other countries which are also labelled as high can be seen below.
By the same rating system England is just as likely to an terrorism attack than Egypt, along with multiple other countries.
Going back to the FCO the following is stated on their page regarding Egypt
And also one final part to note
Over 900,000 British nationals visit Egypt every year. Most visits are trouble-free.
For our intentions of travelling we plan to base ourselves out of Dahab (you can see it on the maps above, North of Sharm El Sheik) I have visited Dahab 5 times in the past 2 and a half years and have felt nothing but safe there. Nobody walks around in fear of something happening. None of my friends live there wondering if there is going to be an attack any minute…all traffic in and out of Sharm El Sheikh (and further afield) is heavily monitored and controlled by the military with multiple checkpoints. It’s one of the most amazing & magical places I have been lucky enough to visit so far.
What it ultimately boils down to is this. The governments & the FCO will always know far more than they ever release, they are saying it’s ok to travel to Sharm, which being the neighbouring town to Dahab, is good enough for me.
The day they change this statement, is the day I will reconsider my future.
In the meantime take a few minutes and watch this video – https://vimeo.com/48561076
You’ll see why I love it so much 🙂
What’s being done?
Both the US & British Military are working closely with the Egyptian Army to tactically tackle these terrorists, and despite the uprising from them in the past few years they are being pushed back, and they are losing ground (going from the latest reports) – I, like most people hope for a day where terrorism is no more, but I live in the more with the view that somewhere in the world will always be a threat of some description, do not let it control you. When you do, they terrorists are winning.
I’ve ranted enough, I hope this has shed some more accurate light on the situation at hand.
Anyway, on a more cheery note, I’m off to Dahab in Egypt this very Thursday! and I cannot wait 🙂