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Posts Tagged 'cairo'

What the revolution means to Egypt

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011
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The beginning of 2011 saw an eruption of protests in Egypt as revolutionaries took to the street in demand for a world call for change. They sought equality and equal distribution of resources as well as rights to political participation, and so Egypt was launched into the world’s spotlight.


Photo By Crethi Plethi

We all sat with bated breathe, glued to our television sets, internet forums and social networks, in wait for the latest breakthrough in the Egypt revolution - crossing our fingers for the common ordinary people, seeking freedom for all! Of course, as with all revolutions, unrest is the norm; and accordingly Egypt saw a time of civil unrest as the state of the nation became increasingly unstable, leading many to predict a civil war break out.


Photo By Traveller.within

Fortunately for all parties involved these predictions did not come to pass. However, the question stands some 4 months later: What did the revolution in Egypt actually manage to achieve? Are the people of Egypt in line for a shift in government policies and regimes? Is there a way forward? What is the status of Egypt at present? Mubarak and his regime held a very tight fisted reign over Egypt and did so for well over 30 years. It was this stifling controlling factor that led the ordinary Egyptian to stand up and break the mould that Mubarak had shaped for himself and the state.


Photo By Political Worlds

The revolutionaries are of the mindset that the state and the government are to exist as a consequence of the will of the people, and not the other way round. Thus the Egypt revolution quintessentially attempted to show that the power lies in the hands of its people. As time went on the protests led to a massive change in mindset for many Egyptians “bringing the Berlin Wall inside people’s minds crashing down”.


Photo By shehabsecond

Ultimately, Mubarak was forced to resign, which he did on the 12 February 2011, relinquishing his powers to the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF). According to an interview with Jadaliyya Co-Editor, Mohamed Waked, SCAF is merely attempting to ‘recreate the old regime’. He says the post-revolution months have seen thousands of ordinary Egyptians being tried by military courts (run by SCAF), who cite various ridiculous reasons including the crime of ‘baltaga’ (hooliganism).

The sentences passed on these types of ‘crimes of the state’ are extreme - 3-5 years of imprisonment - a rather harsh sentencing for someone trying to practice their freedom of speech I would say. Waked states that this kind of over-the-top discipline is the main reason so much tension exists between the Supreme Council and the citizens of Egypt. It seems the general impression so far is, that although not an entire waste of time, the revolution in Egypt has not changed much in the way of the lives’ of the ordinary citizens. The fact that the revolution was needed, to create a place of solidarity for the ordinary working-class Egyptian, is of course priceless. However it is yet to be determined what the long term affects of the revolution will be.


Photo By Andre Bohrer

One thing can definitely be learnt from the Egypt revolution - In unity there is power, and when the people have had enough of struggling and putting up with the dregs left to them by their ‘leaders’, the people will revolt and affect a radical change. Long Live Freedom!

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Tags: cairo, civil-war, egypt, mubarak, political-atmosphere, revolution, scaf, supreme-council-of-armed-forces, unrest

Huey’s Trip Diary - The ‘Best of Egypt’ - Part 1

Monday, January 10th, 2011
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One of our intrepid travellers, Huey, travelled on the 'Best of Egypt' 14 day accommodated trip which started on the 5th December 2010 in Cairo, and wrote us a daily diary! Here is the first part of her series of diary entries....

Day 1 - Cairo Meeting up with our tour leader, Dave, at Havana Hotel in Mohandisseen was a breeze - we got briefed about the paperwork required (travel insurance, passport copies etc) & met our fellow travelers over some beers & dinner - all ready to embark on the adventure of a lifetime together tomorrow!

Day 2 - Cairo (Egyptian Museum, Pyramids of Giza & Sphinx) The first day of the trip cannot begin in a better or grander way - the morning will be well-spent in the huge Egyptian Museum where some of the more important & famous artifacts & Pharaoh mummies are stored.


Our Egyptologist guide was invaluable in explaining the history background & stories behind the artifacts & major historical events of this ancient civilization where he gave us a quick lowdown on the key artifacts and a thorough introduction to the most important boy-king of all time, Tutankhamun. His various treasures & of course, his infamous 110kg pure gold death mask were all on display for us to marvel at.

Some of the other highlights at the museum are also the Royal Mummies Room (entrance LE100) & the Animal Mummies Room, which is very fascinating to see mummies from millennia back still in great state of preservation. After lunch, it is the moment all have been waiting for - the Great Pyramids of Giza! As we approached the Giza plateau, which is only at Cairo's city fringe, the amazement of finally seeing the giant structures cannot be described with words. As we walked towards the Great Pyramid of Khufu, the sheer scale of it all just kept us speechless as we pondered how ancient Egyptians had the intelligence, knowledge & means to put together such majestic structures which still remain standing after 4,000 years.


The camel ride across the Giza plateau where the Step Pyramid of Saqqara is visible from afar is also an experience not to be forgotten. Riding the camel which the people of the desert have used for centuries while approaching the Pyramids certainly made us feel like we've travelled back in time, to those ancient days where Gods & Goddesses were beyond divine, to inspire construction of the Great Pyramids.

We visit the Sphinx next, which is also equally awe-inspiring considering how it was carved out of one solid block of sandstone! Of course, with the Pyramids as its backdrop, our pilgrimage to the classic Egyptian icons were complete. However, there are many more amazing sights that await us for the next 2 weeks!

To find our more about overland trips in Egypt and the Middle East contact the OverlandingAfrica.com team or post your comments below.

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Tags: best-of-egypt-trip, cairo, cairo-museum, egypt-overland-tour, giza-pyramids, sphinx

Cairo to Cape Town - Original Trans Africa Trip

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009
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The ancient overland route from Cairo to Cape Town is the ultimate in Trans Africa Expeditions! This is REAL overland travel at its best! If you want air conditioning, hot showers every night and a cook then this expedition is not for you. Expect to get "stuck in" as you cover the major sights between Cairo and Cape Town, both on and off the beaten track.


From the awe-inspiring Great Pyramids of Giza head south through the Western Desert, cross Lake Nasser, the Sudan Desert, historic and ancient Ethiopia and enter bustling East Africa. Trek to the rare Mountain Gorillas, see the migrating herds in the Serengeti and chill out on Zanzibar Island.

Relax on the shores of Lake Malawi, cruise through Zimbabwe to walk with Lions and raft the mighty Zambezi at the base of majestic Victoria Falls. Southern Africa awaits with Botswana's famous Okavango Delta and Namibia's jewel - Etosha National Park - and the glorious Namib Desert with its massive sand dunes.

Finally cross into South Africa and finish up with Table Mountain. Whew! And that's not all of it! A true ADVENTURE OF A LIFETIME! So go do it!! Next trip departs  16th October 2009 - don't miss out! Contact OverlandingAfrica.com for discounts and specials. Check out all information on Overland Tours through Africa or post your comments and questions below.

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Tags: africa, cairo, cape-town, epic, overland, trans