August 4, 2014

To Our Friends in Egypt

Authors’ Note: Travels with Gannon & Wyatt Egypt

At the time of writing this authors’ note, the nation of Egypt is in a state of unrest. The country’s current situation is much too complex to analyze from afar. However, what is clear to everyone who follows the news is that the good people of Egypt are suffering. Amidst political turmoil and violence, many Egyptians struggle daily to provide for their families. Their jobs, safety, and general welfare are in jeopardy.

Great Pyramids of GizaEgypt was home to one of history’s greatest civilizations, and much of the country’s spectacular antiquities remain unspoiled. To tour Egypt today is to marvel at the potential of human achievement. For these reasons, Egypt is a very popular travel destination. Many of us have wondered what it would be like to see the relics of ancient Egypt with our own eyes—to descend into the tomb of Tutankhamen, to walk among the ornate pillars of Karnak’s Hypostyle Hall, to reach out and touch one of the massive stone blocks at the base of the Great Pyramid.

Tourism is a critical component of the Egyptian economy. In recent years, however, vacationers have been foregoing trips to Egypt, citing fear for their safety as the primary reason. Such concerns are valid given the current instability. In time, though, a visit to Egypt will once again prove enticing, for at its roots Egypt is a magnificent place.

Egyptian Friends in LuxorDuring our trip, we experienced Egyptian kindness and hospitality firsthand. People would frequently stop us and ask, “Where are you from?” When we told them that we were from the United States, the response was always friendly. “How are you enjoying Egypt?” was the question most people asked next. In Luxor, a family even invited us into their home for dinner. These gracious hosts opened their door to complete strangers, foreigners no less.
The Egyptian children, like all young people, were playful and innocent. Interacting with the youth was a clear reminder of why we can be hopeful for the future. Inherently children are open-minded, pure in thought, and compassionate of others. It is our responsibility to strengthen these virtues within our children, thus instilling in them a lifelong tolerance and understanding of other people and cultures. To quote John F. Kennedy, “For, in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s future. And we are all mortal.”

To our friends in Egypt, we send our best wishes. May your future be blessed with opportunity, peace and happiness.