Christmas holidays brought all the kids to Egypt and we spent most of that time in the Sinai. A couple of days in Dahab to explore under water, walk, run, climb and relax, and then a four-day camel trek in the Wadi Arada area of the El Guna plateau (which aligns East-West part of the road between Dahab/Nuweiba and St. Katharina). No words can do justice to the desert like pictures, at least not mine.
Very good, but less so is that one feels a bit like wandering about an occupied territory. Many (most?) Bedouins don’t feel they are looked after by the Egyptian government. Their wealth, be it from extractives (oil, gas, mining) or tourism is seen as being syphoned off without much in return.
And then there is the ugly…not yet North Korean calibre but getting there. With thanks to the Arabist:
On the other hand, I believe Egypt doesn’t stand out as far as propaganda goes. Brainwashing of the populace is a universal. Ease of access to alternative information may vary across countries, as does sophistication of the agitprop and what it targets, but we’re all being bamboozled to some extent.
By way of antidote – up to you if that refers to the beauty of the desert, or the beast of the man – enjoy a bit of Dutch anarchism, by slam poet Maarten Teerlinck, who unfortunately died at the very young age of 26.