Egyption History & Travel - 2010

correspondence with Lord Carnarvon, his sponsor, are also there to see. We all wished we could linger longer in his home so that we read more of these journals. After all his years of work, the sheer joy and fulfillment of finding Tut's tomb, the only one to that day that had never been pillaged by grave robbers, can be read in his own handwriting. A meeting with a fascinating person in a very interesting way—a visit to his home and a peek into his journals! O UR G UIDE When we travel to foreign countries and have a guide who is a native, that person is definitely our most important link with the country. What we learn, how we interpret what we see and experience, the impression we take away with us of the citizens of that country are most most often formed by our interactions with the guide. We were very fortunate in our OAT guide, Hany, a 33 year old University of Cairo graduate in Egyptology. He has been guiding for several years and still retains his enthusiasm for teaching others about his country's long, intricate, and grand history. His command of English was excellent to the point that he understood sarcasm, could joke and take kidding in English, and he expressed himself easily and fluently in English. He made our trip the fine, enjoyable experience that it was. He was very competent at solving problems, making things happen, and even in getting us out of Egypt early because of Kathy's continuing debilitation; and he made it all look easy. He was personable and kind and attentive even when he himself was ailing. A great guide and good ambassador for his country. One thing that he expressed to us often was a foreshadowing of what has happened in Egypt since we left: the huge divide between the 10% rich citizens and the 90% who struggle to survive, the thoroughgoing corruption in the government at all levels, the total lack of opportunity to succeed and get ahead in employment and careers, the breakdown of public services, the unpunished aggression of the police, the perverted justice system, the systematic loss of farmland to speculators in housing construction which makes Egypt more and more dependent on importation of foodstuffs, the failing school system for anyone except the children of the rich.

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