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Go to Egypt!

Just returned (Feb '14) back from Egypt with my parents (65+) and 3 children (8-13). We have been more than 25 countries, many of which are third-world like Egypt. Every single one of these countries have majority of people whose aspirations are not much different than those in the first world - to do an honest day's work, bring food to the table for the family, and feel love, security and prosperity

We didn't feel any threat or fear as we covered sites in Cairo, Aswan, Abu Simbel, Luxor, Sohag and Hurghada (mostly by private vehicle).

None of the places are overflowing with tourists, in one of the most well-developed tourist infrastructures in the world, that we have seen. Foreign currencies are 30% stronger against the EGP than 3 years ago. The hotels and resorts (many of them empty or near empty) are offering deep discounts. But best of all, Egyptians are very anxious to please the tourist because so many of their lives depend on tourism industry. And with tourism having slowed down, their lives have been turned upside down, mostly due to scare-mongering by (mostly) western media. There is always an agenda in news reporting. Most news organizations don't say anything that would offend their government's view of another government, in this case, military dictatorship or democratically elected government of Muslim Brotherhood.

We found most people (in talking to various guides, drivers, hotel staff, shopkeepers, some local tourists we found due to it being a holiday week at schools) want the military back to power, essentially laying to waste their march to democracy that started three years ago. Most of this backtracking is borne out of desperation in a country heavily reliant on tourism for sustenance, and where people are really hurting. The few supporters of the Brotherhood feel that the military was so well entrenched in the public and private enterprise, that they never allowed the democratic government to succeed. There is deep suspicion in folks on both sides as to who REALLY caused an act of sporadic violence. Regardless, with every act of violence, everyone hurts.

I don't recall ever having been to any country, including those in the first world, where there is no sporadic violence. As long as you follow local advise and never lose track of common-sense, you will be safe against unruly elements, be it gun violence in the USA, racial tensions in France, South Africa or Australia, drug trade in Colombia or Costa Rica, or political disturbance in Egypt.

Egypt is a beautiful country, the cradle of civilization and a magnet for history buffs. At the same time it has plenty of candy-floss adventure and travel as well. Just go - you are guaranteed a good time.

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