Last updated on: Apr 24, 2020
The irony of the city of Cairo, Egypt is that there are actually two Cairos: the historical and the hysterical. While visiting the magnificent monuments in Cairo, I felt as though I was literally walking in the footsteps of history. And the fact that these monuments are still standing after 4,000+ years is a testament to the remarkable skill of the ancient Egyptians.
As I wandered through impressive colonnades and admired the craftsmanship and detailing carved into massive limestone blocks, I felt a range of sentiments, from awe to inspiration. It also left me thinking that, if mankind can build things like this, mankind can accomplish anything.
Even though experiencing the historic sites was nothing short of AMAZING, I did not expect to see such extreme levels of pollution and poverty in the city of Cairo. Given Egypt’s architectural heritage, the juxtaposition of ancient ruins with urban “ruins” in parts of Cairo was quite unexpected. Numerous housing developments appeared unfinished, trash littered the streets, and people were fishing in the extremely polluted Nile River. Many Cairenes seemed agitated by the lack of investment. Apparently, the only thing that was building during the tenure of Mubarak was their pent-up frustration, which the Arab Spring unleashed.
The answer to Egypt’s economic woes may lie in Egypt borrowing a page from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which transformed its economy into a financial, tourism, and logistics hub by investing in everything from real estate to biotechnology.
And Egypt has an even better strategic location than UAE due to controlling the Suez Canal, a vital trade route between Asia and Europe.
Regardless of its current state, visiting Egypt is a must-do for any traveler. The ancient Egyptians left a lasting impression, and the splendor of their building works continues to astound the world centuries later. If the past is any indication, I can’t wait to see what the future holds for the new Egypt.
Related post: 10 Most Luxurious Nile Cruise Ships