Sunday, January 9, 2011

1001 reasons for 1001 fabulous things

Recently, Egypt has faced a lot of difficult times. Widening poverty gap, population explosion, overburdened public schools and universities, rising food prices and accompanying food crises, water scarcity and growing levels of pollution. The most recent terrorist attack this New Years 2011 on a Coptic Church in Alexandria is a sign of the growing sectarian divides being further fueled by the worsening socio-economic conditions.

Yet, despite the difficult situation, Egypt is a raw sea of unleashed potential. 
It has some of the most innovative, resourceful people on the planet. It has great extents of kindness and humility and laughter - in the face of poverty. There is a beauty in the Middle East and in Egypt, a hospitality and a way of welcoming you like I've never felt anywhere else. Richness lies around every corner, from its amazing history to its fabulous golden sun.

I'm a Canadian who has been living here for 4 years, and traveling here for over a decade now. When I first came to Egypt, I was amazed, astonished, and in love with the country. I still am. The recent challenges the country has been going through however, had the effect of dampening my spirits, and I'm sure those of the Egyptians as well.

The initial idea for this blog was sparked when I became so frustrated by the negative things I was seeing around me that I decided to try to come up with a list of the small things that made me love this place in the first place. 

About a week after I had this idea (a few days ago), I happened to come across a TED lecture, featuring Neil Pasricha, the author of the blog and book 1000 Awesome Things, which gave me the courage to try to share my list of fabulous things I love about Egypt with others (thank you Neil!)

I hope that this blog can remind the Egyptians of the fabulous things they do have at a time when so much focus is on the negative, and also serve as a window to the rest of the world into the simple beauties of this much misunderstood region.