Laura Augustyn

My trip to Egypt - Part 3

For the next leg of my trip, I was off to Aswan. My flight to Aswan took off in the early am. I sat next to a Filipino woman and her husband on the plane who told me they were Catholic. I told them that I too was raised a Catholic in America. I asked them how they felt living in Egypt, they said they felt completely safe even though Catholics make up only about 1% of the population, they loved Egypt.

Everyone respected them, they had their own community of people called "Patriots from Overseas" working in Egypt and they were freely able to worship Catholic Mass at their Church.

I arrived in Aswan and for this part of my journey, Nasir would be my tour guide. He had a couple from lndia and their baby with us as well, so we were a small group that got to see the Aswan Dam and Lake Nasser. Nasser was the Egyptian President after King Farouk was overthrown in 1952. Abdel Gamal Nasser rose to power on themes that mixed Arab and Egyptian nationalism. Nasser's first priority was to end subordination to Britain which meant most urgently removal of British bases privileges and acquire greater control over the Suez Canal. Egypt had asked USA for money for the dam, but it was actually the Soviet Union that helped give the funding to build the dam. Nasser's successors were Anwar Sadat and Hosni Mubarak. The Camp David Peace Accord was signed in 1978 with Jimmy Carter, Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat. The Arab Spring of 2011 forced the resignation of Mubarak from power and resulted in multiparty elections, that has raised questions over the future of Egyptian nationalism. As of today, President El Sisi has been elected and he was an army general as well as Sadat and Nasser. The people of Egypt seem to like the Army. They have a presence in Egypt. I saw many roads being built, and the Army is there to help and assist. I must say that I felt very safe in Egypt, in all honesty, I felt safer there than I do here in America. There are no guns that the private sector uses. There is a lot of security to preserve the historical sites and the police and army are very nice and hospitable.

I was now ready to board the cruise along the Nile, from Aswan to Luxor. I got to know the staff on the cruise ship, who lwas able to help with a few words of English, and they in turn would teach me a few words of Arabic. Everyone was very nice. The cruise allowed me to see much of Egypt and how the Nile is considered Life through the Ankh, as it gave life to the meaning. I saw a part of the Nubian tribe in southern Egypt near Aswan, who were darker skinned and lived close to the Sudan. They invited me into their homes. I got to visit Abu Simbel, Ramses temple, the great Pharaoh who had over l-00 children and many wives. Out of all his wives he loved Neferteri the most and built a temple next to his to honor her. Every year on October 22,there is a special sunrise celebration where the sun rises and shines directly on the rooms of his temple and his as well' I was there to witness this and it was truly amazing. I grew to love the sun too as part of my spirituality. On the last day of the cruise, t had so much history and facts, that I was ready to embark on my own off the cruise ship as they were going to go on another tour.