Monday, 30 May 2011

Getting good quality guides

Currently there a big clamp down on the use of foreign guides include so called silent guides. This is where an Egyptian guide will accompany the group but the foreign tour leader will give the talk. With English speaking tour groups this often happens because some Egyptian guides can be dated in their knowledge and a tour leader wants to make sure the most accurate information is given.
I do understand but I think there is another solution, by having high quality lectures outside the sites with the guides in attendance. So the Egyptian guides learn more and the guests get great Egyptology. Everyone wins and this is the holiday I am offering.

Jane's Egyptology Course in Luxor

3 comments:

Feluccas in Luxor said...

I was told by a guide friend of mine after having a discussion about this new ruling, that there are lectures held regularly by the Tour Guides Syndicate, but they are not well attended.
Apparently the guides are tested every couple of years or so, and now they have managed to get that changed to every 10 years.
Not good enough in my opinion, it should be every year, and compulsory

Jane Akshar said...

Every 2, 1 or 10 years really does not matter because they are tested about their knowledge of books from the 1970's. They are not expected to know anything about uptodate excavations even those being undertaken by Egyptian archaeologists. The only way I can see to change this is by hoping my courses are really popular which means I have to use loads of them and I can train them!!!!!!!!!!

Stephen said...

The quality of an Egyptian guide's knowledge is unimportant if that guide can't speak English well enough or clearly enough to be understood.

During my three weeks in Egypt in 2007, some of the guides were pretty good, but others were terrible. I have no idea if their knowledge was up to date because I simply couldn't understand more than a word or two in each sentence. The people in my group were looking at each other and asking what is he saying? did you understand that? and so on.

A lot of times I simply told them what I knew, especially in places where the guides can't do their thing, like inside Abu Simbel, and the folks later told me they were glad that I was along because I seemed to know more than the guide did and they could actually understand me.