What is your travel experience / background?
I am a graduate from Cairo University (the faculty of tourism and hotels guiding department since 2004). I was a guide for the first 4 years after my graduation and have now been a leader guide since 2008 with Peak. I have been independently leading trips for 5 years.
My work has taken me from the Pyramids, down the Nile, through the desert, up to Alexandria and the Red Sea.
What is your favourite activity /event on the trips you lead?
My favourite activities within Egypt are the Felucca (boat) trips, especially when they are at least 1 night. The safari through the western desert, I really enjoy the white desert. The Red Sea is also a favourite as it is more relaxing and has fun activities like snorkelling and diving.
What is the best thing about your job?
The best thing about my job is that I get to share my passion and knowledge about Egypt and its ancient and modern history with people who share my interest. I love to take people to the Pyramids, Abu Simbel, Karnak and Valley of the Kings as they are my favourite monuments and I like to see other people’s excitement of these sights. I also enjoy meeting people from all over the world and experiencing different cultures and being able to learn new things about the world every day.
What is the funniest thing that has ever happened on a tour?
In the desert tours we tell everyone to leave their flip flops in the jeeps as the foxes come out in the night and like to steal anything small that is not secured. One morning very early I was woken up by my tour group yelling and laughing, when I got up I saw a fox running away in the white desert with a flip flop and one of my group running after it. It was one of the funniest things I have seen as the foxes are really fast and there was no chance he would catch it.
What is the best place to visit in your country?
I believe the best place is Karnak temple in Luxor because they represent the glory of the ancient Egyptian kings and they show the power Egypt once held amongst the world in ancient times. I also believe they are a great place to visit not only for the history but also as Peak has developed a program with the horse carriage men. This program encourages and teaches the local horse men of Luxor to look after their horses properly, which makes me proud to take my tour groups on them.
What is the most interesting custom in your country?
One of the most interesting customs is the meeting of 2 male friends. In the Arabic culture the greeting is a very warm personal greeting as we hug and kiss each other on both cheeks whilst saying Salam alay coom (peace to you) and responding with Alay coom el salam (peace to you too). This is because as Arabs we are known for being strong and to outside people this custom may seem strange but to us it represents strong friendship.
What is the most important phrase to know?
“La Shukran”, meaning No thank you. This phrase is important as in Egypt there are people trying to sell you things or get you to come into their shop everywhere you go. These people are only out to make a living and it is hard for them to compete against each other. I strongly feel it is important to be polite and respectful whenever possible.
What are the most important items to pack for your tour?
There are a few essential items that need to be included on any tour. A torch, sunscreen, hat, mosquito repellent and a camera.
When is the best time to visit and why?
The best time to visit is between October and November. This is because it is the beginning of winter. İt is still sunny and warm all day but cooler in the evening. İt is also the beginning of the tourist season so these months it is not as busy as christmas time, which makes visiting the sights a better experience.
Please could you come up with a short statement, that describes you experience.
I have been working in tourism for 9 years, it was my dream and is my passion. I love being able to share everything I have learnt, my culture, my history and my country with people who come to Egypt. We have some of the most amazing sites in the world that I feel should be enjoyed by everyone, such as Karnak temples and Abu Simbel.
Could you mention an interesting facts about your region?
There are lots of temples that were submerged completely by the Nile after dams were built and had to be relocated, such as Abu Simbel which took 4 years to remove the temple piece by piece (1,042 pieces) from the river and reconstructed on higher ground.
The Nile is Egypt’s main source of water and as the desert makes up 90% of Egyptian landscape it was said by the Greek historian Herodotus, “Egypt is the gift of the Nile”.
The Egyptian revolution in 2011. This was a very important time as it brought the people together and started a change towards improving the lives of every day Egyptians and building a better future.