copy Excellent Adventures in Egypt

Enter here to share Joni's adventures living and working in Cairo courtesy of the U.S. Fulbright cultural exchange program. Our ability to reach unity in diversity will be the beauty and test of our civilization. - Mahatma Ghandi

1/13/2005

Ras is Egypt’s first protectorate, established in 1982. Although protection languished for much of the Park’s first 25 years, over the last 5 years the Nature Conservation Sector (NCS) has taken many steps to conserve the area’s natural resources. Guidelines for underwater behavior were developed with local diving clubs, and dive guides are part of the awareness and enforcement program. (Now if they could just change that video…) Protectorate status was recently extended along the entire coast from Sharm to Taba (located at the top of the Gulf of Aqaba), with beach setbacks and construction standards now in place for resort development. These development regulations are implemented through an environmental impact process jointly administered by NCS and the Ministry of Tourism. With European Union financial aid, NCS also recently built an impressive environmental training center and a brand new visitor center at Ras. Lots of exciting projects underway. Ras’ major attraction is the afore-mentioned coral reefs. As Mary drove us - bouncing, swaying and birding - along the parks’ roadways we saw dozens of dive boats clustered into quiet coves with hundreds of nearly naked European tourists spread out across the beaches. Being mountain people, we did not, of course, venture so much as a toe into those tranquil aquamarine-and-emerald waters, but the Russians (presently dominating the mass-tourism market here) clearly loved it. My favorite theater-of-the-absurd moments came while watching TV-style video cameramen follow their tour groups around, recording every moment of the tourists’ glorious vacation in the sun. Said tourists were clad in the skimpiest of costumes (g-strings and thongs), with various rather unattractive parts bulging out in all sorts of unlikely places - not a scene I would personally care to have recorded for posterity. (We all agreed that no human male should be allowed to wear a g-string in public after the age of 18.) And all of this taking place in a conservative Muslim culture… Dina's shot of a typical Ras scene. Posted by Hello

3 Comments:

At 1:44 PM, Blogger nope said...

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