Dear Agency Partners,
Fast forward this video from Egypt to the 43:50 mark. Do it now, you won’t be sorry. That is when Farah Abouseif talks about the whole reason we love heading out in Cairo in the evenings to focus on non-tourist neighborhoods. The perception people have of each other or their cultures combines equal parts assumption based on what we have heard, association based on what others do and assimilation of others’ opinions.
At dinner, I love how Farah, speaking from her experience working with the UN on women’s rights in Egypt, very eloquently explains how tourism is helping break the stereotypes set for women, and about some of the misperceptions about Egypt and Islam. More than a dinner party, this is a conversation on gender equality, truly a story worth telling.
Now, rewind the video to minute 31:52. One of the attendees, who I think the world of, got a bit emotional and shared that experiencing Egypt had been her dream since she was ten years old. To know that the conversation and the dinner brought out her story was so powerful. This reveals the exact intersection where dreams and travel merge.
The beginning of the video takes you to an evening in Cairo. The sun has set and dinner awaits. Now, my mother is from Sudan so I naturally developed a love of certain Arabic foods, especially Falafel and Tahini, famous in most restaurants. You explore other foods you won’t find on most menus back home, including pigeon, and a dish that I grew up on, Ful, cooked fava beans cheese and vegetables. The best drink with this food is Karkade, served hot if you want it as a desert, or cold if you want to cool off after a hot day. Well, on this particular evening in Cairo, some daring travel advisors joined my alter ego, Flat Ash (you meet him in the video), and my infamous sister, Farah, for dinner. I consider her a little sister because we have known each other since we were kids, even with a little over a decade separating our ages. Still it never ceases to amaze me how much Farah can relate to any guest, of any age, with any beliefs.
Every dinner party has a powerful moment where a dream was revealed. This was no longer merely a dinner, it was an evening event with great companions sharing animated conversations, so we decided to broadcast it on Big Five TV.
If you are ready to pack your bags, here are some of the logistics to enter Cairo. You need a PCR negative test maximum 96 hours prior to your flight into Cairo, so if you are connecting through Europe, then 96 hours prior to that flight, considering the time differences. As always, don’t plan your test so you arrive right as the 96 hours expire. We suggest sticking with the 72-hour window. Print two copies in case one gets marked up as you transit through Europe if that is your connection. You will need proof of health insurance, your insurance card, and we recommend also having a travel insurance policy.
While these current measures are necessary, trust me, you won’t remember a bit of it as you sit down to your dinner in Cairo. Discover Big Five’s Egypt.