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Cairo 2015

Reader comment on item: What Egypt's President Sisi Really Thinks

Submitted by dhimmi no more (United States), Nov 23, 2015 at 18:11

Dr Pipes

I want to share with you and your readers my own anecdotal observations about Egypt in general in September and October of 2015 where I had an extended stay in Cairo and yes much have changed since I came back home to the US like the Sharm al-Shaikh tragic Russian plane crash and the Paris atrocity. Nontheless there is much to be told about my own observations so here we go

1. The Egyptian government is building a huge car garage in the center of Tahrir square Why would Egyptians build a garage in the center of this iconic square is really very hard to comprehend

2. The iconic Nile Hilton hotel and sign are now replaced by The Nile Ritz Carlton It seems that the Ritz Carlton hotels bought this very great location on Tahrir square. I was told that Nile Hilton's room rates in 1970 used to be 6 E pounds per day which is less than one dollar per day The Ritz Carlton? Sky would be the limit

3. Less women are wearing the hijab more so in the affluent middle and upper middle class sections of the city

4. Yes you can buy alcohol all over including a chain of stores called "Drinkies"

5. There is a massive restoration of buildings on Tahrir square as well as the center of the city including fresh paint and repairs and it makes the center of Cairo what it is supposed to be a Mediterranean city And yes with great restoration of the art deco buildings on Shari Sherif

6. Egypt is making lots of money from charging non Egyptians a 70 E pounds for a visa which is about 9 dollars

7 And yes there are lots of tourists in Egypt and yes 14M tourists visited Egypt in 2010 and only 10M in 2014 Nontheless you will find tourists not just from Europe as it used to be but from South Korea, India, China and Mexico

8. The Arabs are back again visiting Egypt. Less were visiting Egypt when the MB was in power and I suspect they avoided visiting Egypt because of instability but also the free for all as in gambling and alcohol and sex were frowned upon by the MB

9. What was most amazing and would put even the US to shame is that you can find free Wi-Fi any place and Egyptians use it and love it And for a developing country this is just amazing

10. What was most interesting to me was the fact that Egypt is back again using the old Egyptian/Coptic dating calendar (in addition to the Hijra calendar as well as the Gregorian calendar) At the Coptic museum you will find a plaque from the days of Mubarak where the Egyptian/Coptic dating is missing and next to it is a more recent plaque where Coptic/Egyptian is included This speaks volumes for el-Sisi and his inclusiveness of all Egyptians Copts included

11. It is very interesting that one can watch RT TV Press TV and France 24 and BBC in Arabic but I will leave this to another post

12. Oh el-Sisi has his own cult which Egyptians call el-Sisawiyya And yes there are many Egyptians who believe that el-Sisi can solve any problem and that Egypt was given a second chance when Egyptians forced MB out of office

13. Iran? The Egyptians that I spoke with are very worried about Iran and its intentions but there is also a very ugly anti-Shia rhetoric which is just as bad as Arab antisemitism

14. I also had the great chance to attend a debate about does religion belong to the private v the public sphere Many young people believe that religion is a private matter

15. Problems that el-Sisi must be facing? They are pollution with too many cars with very congested highways and too many young people that need jobs

16. Security at Cairo airport? No good but I will leave it to another post


Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Submitting....

Daniel Pipes replies:

Very interesting account.

But, as someone who arrived in Cairo in 1971 and whose parents stayed at the Nile Hilton, I can assure you it did not cost less than US one dollar. If memory serves, it cost about $40 a day.

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Reader comments (29) on this item

Title Commenter Date Thread
1The Giza atrocity and Hasm! [115 words]dhimmi no moreOct 21, 2017 09:48241122
News from Egypt that hardly make it to our MSM including Egypt is now the home of 5 million refugees! [427 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
dhimmi no moreJul 17, 2017 12:22240059
1How many refugees in Egypt! [51 words]dhimmi no moreOct 22, 2017 07:51240059
A better man than generally admitted in a much more complicated Egypt than described here. [173 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
Sherifa ZuhurSep 7, 2016 20:05232414
1el-Sisi is facing many problems but he is a sincere man [194 words]dhimmi no moreSep 9, 2016 07:29232414
SRP [218 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
Sherifa ZuhurSep 9, 2016 14:24232414
Assessing Sisi? [104 words]Sherifa ZuhurSep 10, 2016 21:22232414
1al-Mogamaa in Cairo [37 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
dhimmi no moreMay 7, 2016 12:16229334
good bye sisi [8 words]hesham eladawiJan 2, 2016 01:04227414
1Egypt under military coup [32 words]samDec 28, 2015 15:30227327
4Cairo 2015 [668 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
dhimmi no moreNov 23, 2015 18:11226525
1Nile Hilton 1970 [116 words]dhimmi no moreNov 24, 2015 06:58226525
The hypocrites and liars at ikhwanbeb [151 words]dhimmi no moreJan 30, 2015 07:25220773
3The only democracy that ever worked in the Muslim countries [220 words]There is NO Santa ClausSep 22, 2014 07:44218114
2el-Sisi saved Egypt at least for now [236 words]dhimmi no moreSep 20, 2014 12:49218073
1Sisi still finding himself. [260 words]CharlotteSep 17, 2014 19:43217996
2Sisi is OK in my book [128 words]saraSep 17, 2014 19:39217995
2Arab Spring??? [39 words]Barry BlackSep 17, 2014 10:09217978
Sisi as anti-Islamist autocrat [75 words]PezDispenserSep 17, 2014 04:26217971
3He bit the hand that fed him [109 words]Michael Hanni MorcosSep 17, 2014 01:00217965
2Sissi -the King of the South- [93 words]Michael Hanni MorcosSep 17, 2014 00:37217964
2Egypt [161 words]EmanuelSep 16, 2014 20:25217958
1Point Taken [55 words]Barry BlackSep 17, 2014 10:03217958
4El Sisi [220 words]AndrewSep 16, 2014 19:42217957
1Kuddos to El Sisi [137 words]SunshineSep 16, 2014 18:37217953
An interregnum [59 words]David W. LincolnSep 16, 2014 12:23217938
A term paper is just a term paper, not the man himself [105 words]WilsonSep 17, 2014 07:23217938
What to keep in, what to leave out. [68 words]David W. LincolnSep 18, 2014 13:44217938
Wishful thinking? [29 words]Frans GroenendijkMay 6, 2015 15:14217938

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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