Egypt is a country of contrasts. Economic disparity is high. The hustle and bustle of Cairo is a world away from its rich suburbs. Beautiful resorts are only blocks away from slums. Ancient stone statues stand staunchly next to modern buildings. Social liberalism stands alongside social conservatism. Traditional sentiments are the backdrop of contemporary ideas. The distinct and contrasting faces of Egypt were epitomized in my experience at two different universities.
Looking back on what my expectations of Egypt were before I went on the trip and reflecting now on my trip the last two weeks they were very different. I expected to see a place like Agrabah from Aladdin (Disney movie) or a very dirty, brown place and expected to be frightened a lot of the time. When we got there however, it was a totally different world than what I thought it would be.
I have always had a specific and romanticized image of “Egypt” in my mind from all of the children movies I’ve seen and all of the history I have studied. This was before I traveled across the world. I never really thought of how modern the cities are today and I had no idea what it would be like to stand next to the Pyramids and witness first-hand how incredible the ancient Egyptians were.
On our trip we visited many historical sites like the Pyramids, the Sphinx, temples, tombs, and the cities in general. The two places that I really enjoyed and would want to inform others are the day of the Pyramids and the day of the museum.
One of our initial visits and first chances to see a glimpse of Egypt was when we visited Cairo University, Misr University, and Helwan University. Cairo University has an absolutely radiant campus, blossoming in tangerine colored flowers that make the campus glow. It is located in Giza, Egypt.
I had no idea what to suspect when traveling to Egypt. All that I have ever seen is what’s in the history books and in the media. I went to Egypt thinking that the history was going to be so amazing which would over power the whole trip. Yes the history was truly amazing but what popped out the most to me was the Coptic Church’s.
In school we don’t learn about the Coptic religion, but after visiting the Coptic churches I’ve discovered it was a big part of Egyptian history. Reading the bible we learn about mosses splitting the red sea and freeing all the slaves. We also learn about the Romans occupying the land. From all this came the Coptic Church.
When you think of Egypt there are several landmarks that instantly pop in to your mind. On our trip to Egypt we visited several different cities; Cairo, 6th of October Alexandria, Hurgada and Luxor. At each city we saw many historical, land marks and two out of the seven wonders of the ancient world; the Giza Pyramids and the Great Lighthouse of Alexandria, pictured below.
MISR University was my favorite place we had visited in our trip to Egypt 2012. It is a private university, and I was nervous at first, because I did not know what differences we would have from the Egyptian students. I was a little intimidated when our bus pulled up to the magnificent building, but my fears were quickly eased when we went inside and were greeted by the warm and friendly faces of the students and faculty.
Examples of our hotels:
Serenity Makadi Heights, Hurghada http://www.serenitymakadi.com
Sofitel Karnak, Luxor http://www.accorhotels.com/gb/hotel-5552-sofitel-karnak-luxor/index.shtml
Casablanca Le Lido Thalasso and Spa http://www.casablancalelidothalasso.com
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