Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Why spoil a good story with the truth!

It is so good to be online and to tell my readers the truth about what has been happening here in Egypt. I have been watching Al Jezera and the BBC and wondering which country they are reporting on, it wasn’t the Egypt I live in. Go destroy our livelihoods why don’t you. According to their own reports before yesterday the maximum number of people in demonstrating was 10,000 in Cairo. This is a city of 25 million, so do the sums .0004 % of Egyptians, Now you might be forgiven for thinking it was at least half the city judging by the news reports. Could they even have been creating the story, it was a tiny minority and the cameras focused on them continually. They did not report the MILLIONS who were not protesting at all. Here in Luxor we believe the protestors were 2-300 out of a population of 500,000, the sums .0006 %. Yet the news reports that it is unsafe to visit Luxor, what a load of poppy cock. I was here the entire time, I had guests visiting the sites, going on sailing trips, smoking shisha in the coffee shops at 11pm at night. I went to the dentist in central Luxor no problems. But that does not sell stories. There was a waiting room full of mostly Christian women and several of them were so angry with the news reports.

I was interviewed by the BBC, I told them it is safe, business as normal. Did you hear any of that, of course not. It is much more fun the scare every tourist away, destroy the economy and the lives of ordinary Egyptians. Al Jezera was reporting at one point that there were tanks in Sharm, BBC World was saying there wasn’t! If there had of been it would have broken the terms of the peace treaty with Israel, pretty irresponsible reporting, well I got to the point I didn’t believe any of them. Al jezera said there were over 2 million demonstrating yesterday, BBC less than a million. All I can tell you is there were no problems AT ALL on the West Bank, Luxor where I live. If it hadn’t been for the TV I wouldn’t have known there was a thing wrong.

I am not going to go into the politics, what happens next etc, that is up to the Egyptian people but I totally resent the way the media has manipulated the story for their own ends and harmed many thousands who are dependent on the tourist trade. My message to the world, support Egypt, support Egyptians and come and visit West Bank, Luxor in total safety.

11 comments:

Thutmose said...

Glad to have you posting again Jane. I too am angry at the reporting that is coming from every one of the news channels. The media wants to portray complete chaos because it gets them ratings and stories. Do they care about the devastation in the lives of the people that will be in the wake of these stories? Not at all, they don't give a damn. They seem to be sympathetic to the plight of people, but in reality the media only cares about itself.

I for one will be back in Egypt as soon as I can arrange it and bring some people with me to do what we can.

tonic said...

I hope to come back to luxor next march.

Kate Phizackerley said...

Just as the situation is rather more complex than the media have suggested, I believe it is also more complex than you are portraying here. There is no doubt listening to the stories of tourists who have returned from Cairo that the situation has been anything but normal. All of them report gunfire and the like. Many have been badly frightened.

I would say there are havens which are safe and could be promoted - the West Bank is probably one. However, generalising that to Egypt as a whole risks people assuming that the situation in Luxor is the same as in Cairo. I think a better approach might be to say that until Mubarak goes most tourists are going to be very wary of Cairo, but in the meantime Luxor remains a safe place to visit - particularly on direct flights when they resume. It's going to be a case of strssing the distinctions between Upper and Lower Egypt.

craig said...

Hello, I spoke to me friends on the West bank who told me ther had been some disturbances and protests on the East Bank but no where near as bad as Cairo. They told me some people had looted shops, set various fires but small in comparison to Cairo and Alexandria. The trouble is this has a knock on effect and tourists like myself, cant get to Luxor - no flight from UK, no insurance if we do try to go and no idea what will happen with this latest statemant from the President. I love Luxor and its people, they have a hard life but with this uncertainty peole will be cautious. I often read Jane's blogs but you also have to read between the lines - this is her business and livlehood. I am not saying Jane is colouring this in any way but there is trouble in parts of Luxor and tripadvisor under 'is there trouble in Luxor' reports on this.

Stephen said...

Things may be calm in Luxor, but everyone flies to Cairo first, which isn't calm at all. If I repeated my trip, I'd have to drive through the protest, and would probably see and hear it from my hotel. But I couldn't do that because there are no flights. They are cancelled. And my governmen tells me to stay away. My boss and several other people were going to Egypt in about six weeks, starting in Cairo, but ending in Luxor for a conference. Cancelled as well. I realize it hurts the people of Luxor economically, but most people I know would have been worried about going to Egypt (or any Muslim country) before, and you can't blame them for staying away now given what's happening.

Jane Akshar said...

As Luxor has a number of international flights that fly direct here. It is important to say what is happening here for those people.

Jackie said...

Hi - I've been following your blog and others for some time and find them fascinating and have been grateful for them. But I have to say I agree with Kate - Luxor may be fine but Cairo clearly isn't right now. I don’t think you can blame the media for showing distressing scenes of destruction and violence when we can see them unfold in real time in front of us.. Tho’ I get that there are some inaccuracies and generalisations too. They have also been reporting (admittedly with some appalling cliches!) how impressive the spirit of some of the protest has been up until today. Finally I agree that the millions of Egyptians not on the streets do deserve to have their voices heard – which can happen in genuinely free and fair elections which is precisely what the protesters are asking for..

Ben Morales-Correa said...

I also agree with Kate. Perhaps the media should also report from localities in southern (Upper) Egypt for the sake of balance. Jane, to compare the number of people willing to protest vs an entire population is not a fair comparison, I think you know that. I'm glad to know that you, your workers and your guests are doing well. That's good news. I hope this situation goes back to normal and for the better soon.

dogo said...

Small protest by Sonnesta Hotel

http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-548746?ref=feeds%2Foncnn

S.L. (Samantha) Stevens said...

Glad to hear that Luxor is stable. I have a couple friends in Cairo and they say it is definitely less than ideal there.

paula said...

All of my family are in Cairo and Alexandria. My three sister in laws, husbands and children left Cairo as they felt it was so dangerous, they travelled by car to Alexandria where they felt it was safer, we spoke to them over the phone after eight days of not being able to reach them, they reported they didnt feel safe in Cairo, were not able to draw money out, ran out of gas and couldnt get any, food was in short supply and prices were very high. None of my approx 45 family members took part but absolutely supported the protest, my husband here in London and everyone of his friends support the protest. i completely understand that the FCO are concerned about travel to Alex and Cairo, but feel sorry for Luxor and the Red Sea. Every family i know who was due to travel to Egypt has now cancelled. i hope business resumes as problem soon but am pleased for the majority of Egyptians who are very happy right now.