Destination: Egypt

Cairo, Egypt

Cairo, Egypt REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih

An Egyptian worker leads his horse past clay and plaster figures, in an area popular for pottery and plaster works, in Cairo.

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Aswan, Egypt

Aswan, Egypt REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih

A guide and a tourist look at hieroglyphics on the wall in Fiela Temple in Aswan

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Abu Simbel, Egypt

Abu Simbel, Egypt REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic

A man walks with his hunting falcon in a desert near Abu Simbel, some 1,300 km south of Cairo. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic

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‘Uppitiness is Not Well Tolerated Among Egyptians’

“Call me paranoid,” writes Gigi Douban in The Morning News, “but I think the grocery store clerk was sending a message loud and clear, horse-head-in-the-bed-style.” The alleged uppity crime? Sprinkling a little English with Arabic when ordering groceries in Cairo.

Freed Tourist: ‘At a Certain Point We Thought it Was All Over’

So says one of the 11 European tourists kidnapped at gunpoint in the Gilf al-Kebir region of Egypt and finally freed Monday. Remarked one of the Egyptian guides who was also kidnapped: “They told all the Egyptians to stand in one line and they cocked their weapons, and at that moment we thought we were dead.” As we noted yesterday, the Christian Science Monitor reports that the kidnapping “highlights new risks for adventure tourists in the western Egyptian desert due to the instability in neighboring Chad and Sudan.”

Tourists Kidnapped in Egypt Are Freed*

The 11 European tourists and their guides taken hostage by bandits in the Gilf al-Kebir region of Egypt roughly a week ago are finally free, the BBC reports. A number of their kidnappers were reportedly killed in the rescue operation.

* Updated, 5:45 p.m. ET: Observes the Christian Science Monitor, “The rescue ends an ordeal that highlights new risks for adventure tourists in the western Egyptian desert due to the instability in neighboring Chad and Sudan.”

Tourists Kidnapped in Egypt*

Eleven European tourists and eight others, including guides and drivers, were abducted while on an off-road tour near the Gilf al-Kebir plateau, the BBC reports. Egypt’s tourism minister said bandits demanding a ransom, and not terrorists, were responsible. Officials are apparently working to negotiate a release. Add: Reuters has confirmed the kidnappers have taken the hostages out of Egypt.

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Tags: Africa, Egypt

Women-Only Beaches: The Debate Continues

Every time a new women-only travel option makes the news—recently, we’ve noted the revival of women-only hotel floors, and even an all-female hotel in Saudi Arabia—the question is the same: Is this new development a rare oasis for women, or an obstacle to full equality?

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Tags: Africa, Egypt

Egypt Plans to Ban Hustlers, Peddlers From Giza Pyramids

The area surrounding the pyramids used to be “a zoo,” Zahi Hawass, Egypt’s chief archaeologist, told the AP. Now the area will be modernized, with a new entry building, X-ray machines and a 12-mile-long security fence.

Understanding America Through the Eyes of Weird Al Yankovic

The man and his accordion wield some intriguing power abroad, at least for one expatriate family in Cairo.

King Tut Mummy Moved to Climate-Controlled Luxor Digs

Photo by jparise via Flickr (Creative Commons).

We’ve apparently been loving our favorite Egyptian boy-king to disintegration. Archaeologists in Luxor’s Valley of the Kings removed King Tutankhamun from his stone sarcophagus in his underground tomb last weekend and placed a climate-controlled glass box in his underground tomb, according to the AP. “The humidity and heat caused by…people entering the tomb and their breathing will change the mummy to a powder,” said Egypt’s antiquities chief, Zahi Hawass. “The only good thing (remaining) in this mummy is the face. We need to preserve the face.”

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Women’s Travel E-Mail Roundtable, Part Two: The ‘Feminine Card’

All this week, four accomplished travelers -- Stephanie Elizondo Griest, Liz Sinclair, Terry Ward and Catherine Watson -- talk about the rewards and perils of hitting the road alone as a woman.

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‘Down the Nile: Alone in a Fisherman’s Skiff’

Rosemary Mahoney's new book doesn't just chronicle her unlikely journey down Egypt's great river. Reviewer Julia Ross finds it also deftly explores the uncertain waters that split genders and cultures.

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The Gift of the Nile

For 5,000 years, the slow, timeless rhythms of Egypt's great river have enthralled everyone from Mark Antony to Aunt Phyllis. Chris Vourlias takes a felucca trip to see if he, too, can feel the magic.

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