In 2000, Randy and I traveled throughout Egypt. Of course, we went to Cairo and Luxor, but we hopped aboard a bus and traversed the Sinai to Dahab, Nuweiba, and Sharm el-Sheikh. It’s a beautiful country with some absolutely amazing sites.
While we couldn’t help but appreciate Egypt’s amazing history, we also noticed terrible poverty and lots of unemployed young men with too much free time on their hands. And, it was really no different in the many other Muslim majority countries that we traveled to. Throughout Jordan, Tunisia, and Morocco, we saw basically the same thing. What’s sad is that all of these countries have so much to offer, yet have not done a very good job of providing opportunities for their citizens.
What I always think is the big elephant in the room that seems to not get discussed when it comes to problems in these countries is how they have really limited opportunities for women. You can’t diminish the freedoms for half your population and expect to succeed. Egypt is certainly not as restrictive as countries like Saudi Arabia or Afghanistan , but it’s still a very male-dominated society.
Strong countries are built on providing freedom and opportunities for all of the people who live in them. You don’t need to be a history or political expert to figure this out. Hopefully, there will be a smooth transition to a new government and that the focus will be on providing freedom for everyone – not just those of a certain gender.