Monday, June 18, 2012

Egypt's Elections May Change Tourism There - And Not for the Better

Given the NEWS TODAY about the religiously fundamental Muslim Brotherhood winning Egypt's national elections over the weekend, I'm glad Diane and I were able to go to and tour Egypt when we did.

My review of our trip is HERE, and you can see pictures I took while there on my Photostream HERE.

At the Giza Pyramids in 2010

With the election results, Egypt might not be as open, friendly or accommodating to western tourists going forward. I recall reading a while ago that one thing the Muslim Brotherhood was considering if it won power was that it would legislate that all tourism would have to be solely for educational purposes and - of course - the country would not allow tourists to wear things like bathing suits, shorts or any form of dress considered immodest by their religious standards. That is basically the same as them saying, "western tourists not welcome." Tourism is such a huge element of their economy, that such policies would be - to me - economic suicide. And that won't be good for anyone in Egypt or in the Middle East. For example, you think Israel is excited about the prospect of an economically depressed Egypt run by fundamentalist Islamic party?

But hey, if the majority of Egyptians want a conservative religious political party running their nation and voted them into power democratically in hopes that their approach will help lift masses out of poverty and division, all we can do from afar is sit back and see how it goes. I'm  not confident, but we'll see.

In the meantime...we went to Egypt in calmer times, saw it, had a great time and am glad we can count that among our lifetime achievements.

NOTE: Above photo taken by me, Marc Osborn. It is not authorized for any use without prior written permission from me.

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