Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Tourists please come.... The sun is out...

the sky is blue,

and there are only a few clouds, and there are also still protesters in Tahrir square.

Some people are saying ' but its only the muslim brotherhood that are there now'... others, people i know, who have been there in the last couple of days say 'no... its everyone, doctors, lawyers, you name it'. i wouldn't know- i promised the people who worry about me that I would stay out of danger... so that means I am still avoiding tahrir......

although I did go to Khan el Khalili yesterday. The traffic there and back, with so many roads blocked off, was horrific, but once there it was so quiet.. and the vast majority of the shops were open. The really sad bit for me was seeing all the gold shops, open, but with not one gram of gold in the windows. It was all stolen that 1st friday.... and no customers.....

The only other foreigners we saw in the Khan, were a turkish film crew who interviewed me. Unfortunatly, non PR efficient Lorna managed to mourn the loss of the tourists without plugging the fact that i was a bellydancer here!!!

As we walked through the market, all i could hear was
 'Zaboon, Zaboon, fe Zaboon!'
customers, customers- there are customers!....

...you could taste the hope in their voices. While the recent events have no doubt made a very important, and neccesary impact on Egyptian politics, they have unfortunatly also made a massive negative impact on tourism. Most hotels now are completely empty. I spoke to a manager of the el hussain hotel in the khan who was telling me how his guests were saying 'no no, we'll stay...' but when the khan was raided and they heard gunshots, they packed and left the next day. Understandable... but probably more upsetting to local businesses than the looting in the first place. The police are back protecting the streets and things have really quietened down. 80% of Egypts income is from Tourism. Sharm and Luxor have been totally unaffected by the 'revolution' and are praying for visitors.... Now is probably the best time to go to Luxor if you want to see the temples without hoards of people in front of them, getting into your photos!!!

If you love Egypt and like me are impressed by the peoples strength in expressing their need  and right for a voice.... then please do what you can for those same people now... and book your holiday for this year..... i admit i wouldn't recommend this week,.... since we still have a curfew in place and Cairo really is a fabulous place to be at night.... but as soon as that becomes all clear again... come! Please.

Our jobs depend on you....

......and I have 3 spare rooms to rent out to any dancers wanting to come!!! even through the worst of the last 2 weeks, i have had dancers, from all over the world, staying with me in my house and we have managed to do a lot of private classes here in my studio... and I have had 4 other teachers come to the house to teach my guests too. For anyone want to do intensive dance training... there is nothing better than an imposed curfew that means your teacher can't leave the house!!!!

Funnily enough- with my last house guest leaving today...despite everything,  everyone of them said what a memorable, and enjoyable holiday they had had.....and that they would be back.... despite being indoors the majority of the time through a revolution! The friendships made through these events are friendships which will last.....Cairo still charms even in its most volitile moments...

2 comments:

A Daft Scots Lass said...

Great update, Lorna.

I always get distracted by your photo slideshow on the right hand side and I have to read your posts over and over because my eye always falls back towards each changing images of you.

You are gorgeous, gurl!

beafarhana said...

I'm coming on 25th February!!! I'm so happy to be visiting Cairo at such an interesting time, and I'm very happy that my being there will help support the dance world that I love! I'm upping my costume budget, to help the Egyptian economy!