By: Sue Guay
As a professor who teaches Intercultural Communication, it is advantageous to study different cultures by spending time with the country’s people. Therefore, each year I travel to different countries and research the history, educational system, healthcare, business, religions, and cultural traditions.
At the end of the spring semester in 2022, I traveled to Cairo, Egypt which is in northern Africa. My guide was a female Egyptologist who teaches at the university. My day was spent at the Marriott Mena House in Giza, Cairo. It is located at the base of the great pyramids and is the place where Agatha Christie wrote Death on the Nile. We hiked the national park in order to see the three pyramids as well as the sphinx. I rode a camel so I could get a better view of these architectural masterpieces. It always amazes me whenever I witness ruins that have survived for centuries. A few years ago, I climbed Machu Pichu and felt the same way and wondered why our current construction is not built to last.
The next day we flew to Luxor to see the site of the ancient city of Thebes and tour the Valley of the Queens with a visit to the beautiful tomb of Nefertari, the great wife of Pharoah Ramesses II. Amazing hieroglyphics covered the walls to the entrance and the tomb. We were given a private tour of the entry to King Tutankhamun’s tomb, renowned for the wealth of valuable antiquities.
Afterwards, we boarded a Nile cruiser and sailed north on the river. Remember the Nile River flows from the south to the north of Egypt. I was very disappointed to view the levels of pollution and disregard for the environment. Most of the country exists in a desert condition, but on both sides of the Nile vegetation is thriving.
I spent almost three weeks learning about many aspects of this Muslim country and was most impressed by the integration of its religious sects. Eighty-five percent of the population is Sunni Muslim and fifteen percent is Jews and Christian. All doors are open to welcome each religious group.
It is indeed the Jewel of the Nile, and Egypt gave me a better understanding of its people and custom. Next journey will be the cities and countries along the Danube River.