Tag Archives: Sharm el-Sheikh

A postcard from Egypt

 

Whilst I write this, I sit in a classroom near central Cairo along with a group of 25 mostly Egyptian students. As part of a Model United Nations conference, they are discussing terrorism in Central and Western Africa. They do so not in their native Arabic, but in English – and across the corridor, there is a similar discussion being conducted in French. They have researched the countries they are representating, they are speaking confidently and knowledgeably about the topic, and they show more respect for each other in their debating skills than many of their adult counterparts. Their ages range from 12 to 18.

Many people here are finding the UK’s decision on Sharm el-Sheikh airport a difficult one to follow. They understand the need to protect the UK’s citizens, but are confused by a need to protect their own. Egypt’s economy depends on tourism to a massive extent – from sun seekers in Sharm and Hurghada, to historical voyages to Luxor, Aswan and Cairo itself. The country also has a young population, with an average age of 25, and youth unemployment as high as 1 in 3.

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