Category Archives: This Egyptian Life

Life, the Universe, and The Red Sea

Moored at Gordon Reef
Moored at Gordon Reef, Straits of Tiran

To live and dive 

Gloriously wedged between the Sinai Mountains and the Red Sea, Sharm el Sheikh is a city blessed by good geography. World class scuba diving in waters teaming with marine life and boasting one of the healthiest coral reef systems in the world. The sparkling sapphire of the sea is offset by the golden hues from the dramatic mountain range that limits Sharm’s size and access. Desert adventures include hiking Moses Mountain, jeep safaris to colored canyons, camel trekking, and rock climbing. Sea side activities top out with scuba diving and snorkeling on world famous reefs.  The winter winds paint the sky with long  strokes of colorful kites: the surfers- artists as they ride the currents.

It’s a pretty spectacular place to be.  My job:  Scuba Instructor & Tour Rep.  My Life:  Married to an amazing man who brought home a puppy five months into our new homestead.  I’m not gonna kid you, this life is pretty sweet.

MMD
MMD: I’m married to this guy

Ever since my first dive in the Red Sea, I knew that I wanted to live here.   Good thing MMD agreed.  We spent the next three years in Houston, Texas working toward that goal.   We worked at dive centers, we became instructors, we were very active in the local diving scene.  We took a couple trips to Egypt and explored more of the Red Sea and just kept re-affirming our decision to make this our new home.

Finally, on August 1, 2012 we landed in Cairo and migrated to Sharm a few weeks later.  18 months on, I realize I’m starting to feel less like a stranger in a strange land and more strange in an even stranger land.  I guess I might be settling in a bit.

Everyday is an amazing adventure whether I’m above or below the water line.   There’s been misunderstandings and frustrations, revolutions and revelations  that converge together to make this expat life so colorful.

So relax and take a look around this blog.  I’d like to tell you some stories.  About Life, the Universe and the Red Sea.

The Red Sea is a unique and special eco-system.  An informative website by Dr. William Alevizon includes some interesting and easy to digest information about the Red Sea and it’s amazing reefs.

 

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Stories Under the Pyramids: Lives Threatened by Egypt’s Revolution

The Pyramids of Giza are incredible. We’ve started tours to Cairo from Sharm about 4 weeks ago and people are thrilled to be able to go back again. Guided tours are the best way to see Cairo so relax and book your trip!

Egyptian Streets

By Mohamed Khairat, founder, EgyptianStreets.com

Once one of the world’s most visited tourist attractions, Egypt’s Pyramids have been void of tourists since the 2011 revolution. For thousands of Egyptians whose incomes rely on tourism at the Pyramids, the lack of tourism has hit hard.

Near the Pyramids, once vibrant shopping streets now feel cold: tour operators have shut down, souvenir shops are soulless, and cafes once popular with tourists are empty.

At the Giza Necropolis – housing the Great Pyramids of Giza – hundreds of vendors and horse and camel operators are desperately searching for hope that tourists would return. In 2010, 14 million tourists from across the globe visited Egypt. Today, that number has declined by more than 50 percent – with the majority of tourists visiting locales along Egypt’s Red Sea.

Nevertheless, local Egyptians working in the tourism industry at the Pyramids remain hopeful that tourism – their…

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Egypt Through Time: Photographs From 1800-2013

Take a quick historical photo journey through Egypt from 1800 to present day.

Egyptian Streets

Since the 2011 revolution, old photographs of Egypt and classic films showing an elegant and prosperous Egyptian society have sporadically appeared on social networks. Essentially, many are searching to learn and be inspired by the past in order to build a brighter future.  Below, is a collection of photographs of Egypt (mainly from Cairo and Alexandria) taken between the 1800s and present day.

1800s

1900-1939

1940-1999

Present Day

[Photographs sourced from various locations – many without credits. Some sources include Egypt Zaman, The Denver Post, LIFE, and The New York Public Library]

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Dahab Does Ras Mohammed

adventure travel
Dahab and his woobie

My name is Dahab Hassan.  My title is Head of Security and Customer Relations at OTA Diving & Travel.  Today we are taking one of our guests to Ras Mohamed National Park.  What’s unusual about this trip is that usually we go by boat, but today we are going by car.  A new adventure awaits!

So we get into the car and I find a spot on the towel and I go to sleep….the car ride is smooth and comforting and all my people are around me.

National Park
The stone arches are a gateway to Ras Mohamed Park

Ras Mohamed is only about 15 kilometers from Sharm el Sheikh and when we get to the gate we get our tickets and pass right through.

We drive on a bit and come to the Arches which mark the Gateway to the Ras Mo beaches.

We pass a rock on the way and stop for directions.

National Park
We stopped here to find our way to the beach!

The car stops and I jump out and immediately survey the area.  No bad guys here, now off to find a suitable place to set up camp.

national park
I am scouting out a good spot for the day

I find a nice shady spot and I call over to the humans and tell them to set up camp here.

My humans lay out a blanket and bring out all their dive and snorkel gear while I continue to explore the area.

While my people are working, I take a walk by the water….lick lick, yucky…too salty! Then some big hands pick me up

National Park
Look! I found a seahorse!

and set me in the water…..whoa! This feels strange and I paddle like crazy to get back to shore!  There is lots of laughter from the humans.

Look! I found a seahorse!

National Park
Nice lady congratulates me on saving the seahorse

I find a seahorse on the shore and help get him back into the water.  Then this nice lady comes by and congratulates me!

The humans take a lot of photos and start to pose like this……then the girls take off on the trail and I stay behind with my daddy.  But I want to follow the girls…so I start off on the trail.  Daddy is following me!

We start to climb the rock up to Shark Observatory, but there is a lot of stopping and posing for photos on the way!  Soon Daddy is following me, seems like four legs are better than two!

National Park
Here is my mom on the left and our guest, Susan on the right. Posing!
National Park
Dahab climbs the rocks!
National Park
Daddy helps me get up some of the hard parts

I can run and climb the rocks here

much faster than the people

not only because they keep stopping to take photos of themselves or me in the spectacular scenery here.

Up near the top of Shark Observatory there are some high stairs that my little legs cannot climb.

I get carried up the last stairs to the top and then I’m set free to run!

I run to join my family at the summit of the Observatory!

This has been a great day out and I can’t wait to come back to Ras Mohammed National Park!

National Park
Here I am with my family at the top of Shark Observatory

“Then what is this penis for?”

asked the vet after a brief inspection of the puppy I placed on the table.   I had  just told him the puppy was a female.  So his question left me wondering why she has a penis and what would she use it for.

She had just become He.  

Several complications immediately cropped up in my mind, foremost, all that agonizing over naming the furry little thing had been for nothing.  I had settled on a name finally:  Bella, short for Bellady.  Now, well, he wasn’t looking so Bella anymore.  Puppy had only been with me for 36 hours at this point and a name was paramount, and now we had to start over.

The vet handed me Puppy’s passport with the name field left blank and we went home.  We struggled for two days with pronouns….she’s so cute, she’s gotta go out….she, she, she.  Using our puppy training techniques:  correcting each other, being patient, and rewarding each other for getting it right, my husband and I retrained our lexicon: he needs to go out, he’s biting his tail, take him with you 

When my husband proposed to name him Dahab way back on Puppy Day 1 (6 days ago now), I shot it down.  After leaving the vet, the husband started up with the Dahab name again.  He was gaining ground what with the gender revelation and all.  Dahab seemed a perfectly reasonable and logical naming convention.   He found puppy sitting on a street corner in Dahab when he happened to walk by.  A little jump, a swat of his little paw, a little puppy yelp and husband was smitten.   Puppy was scooped up and promptly relocated to Sharm el Sheikh.  Puppy is now living the dream:  steady food, water and a prominent place in our pack.

Fine, Dahab it is.

She’ll always be Bellady to me though.