he story of Egypt is written on a ribbon of time that tells tales both grand and small, past and present – from the reigns of pharaohs to the farmer who still tends his land with an ox as did his father and his father’s father. Egypt today is also stepping toward the future as it begins to encompass concepts of gender equality.
While many nations are blessed with archeological treasures, few can compare with extraordinary Egypt, still a preeminent destination for scholars and students, archeologists and travelers, and for all who are fascinated with the history of humankind. Ancient Egypt has drawn visitors for millennia to discover its extravagant monuments from the pyramids of Giza, to the royal tombs in the Valleys of the Kings and the Queens, to legendary cities of Cairo and Alexandria. Away from the cities, Egypt’s oases have historically played a vital role to the trade routes through the desert. They offer a wealth of personalities from the small oasis of Farafra in the White Desert, to Wadi Al-Hitan, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with its with fossils of some of the earliest forms of whales. Through the heart of this ancient world meanders the magnificent Nile River, its banks graced with tall red dunes and dotted with palm trees and patches of greenery. But Egypt is not simply a monument to its past. It is a country moving into the future, and if you look closely you will notice something more – threads of change. Women have been slowly making their way into economic mobility, primarily through tourism, which has been an important means for women to find economic independence and success. Slowly, tourism is helping to improve gender equality and opportunity.
We chose to expand programs to include more visits to women-owned tourism enterprises, as well as increasing opportunities for our guests to interact with Egyptian men and women. While travelers may be hesitant to visit places where headlines focus on turmoil, we have an obligation as educated travelers to look beyond the headlines to understand that our tourism dollars are even more vital in such times.
From Big Five Tours