Egypt has been on my list of potential travel destinations for the past few years, so I’ve followed the uprising in Cairo with great interest for the past 18 days.
What’s going on there? Why is it happening? How poorly have the people been treated? What are their demands? Why is this taking so long? Why doesn’t Mubarak seem to get it?
So many questions have filled my mind.
I’m not a Middle East scholar, but I do my best to try to understand what’s happening.
The first order of business most mornings has been to flip on the news to get the latest information about what’s been happening in Cairo. During the day, Al Jazeera English’s online broadcast has been on in the background of my computer. The last order of business at night has been watching CNN.
Somewhere in the hours between turning off the TV last night and flipping it on this morning, Feb. 11, something changed. Mubarak decided to resign. The official announcement came about an hour after I got up this morning and I’ve been glued to the TV screen since then.
The celebration in the streets … MSNBC’s Richard Engel swarmed by happy Egyptians sending out their messages to the rest of the world … all of it incredible to watch. What it ultimately will mean remains unknown.
Will a peaceful, more prosperous country arise? If the people’s peaceful nature throughout the 2 1/2-week revolt is any indication, they’d like for that to be the case. Will a group with more sinister goals hijack the movement and create a worse situation? Only time will tell.
The resolution — in the short term, at least — has made me all the more curious to travel to Egypt at some point in the next few years. History was made today, and so much more will be made during the next few weeks, months and years. It’s something worth experiencing first-hand, while still visiting the traditional historical sites such as the Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx, sailing down the Nile or camping in the White Desert.
Intrepid Travel continued to offer it’s Egypt tours on its website throughout the uprising. It will be interesting to see how those trip itineraries might change as the country changes as a result of the events of the past 18 days.