Adventures in Egypt

Leena Alzafarani

After five years, I was presented with the opportunity to reunite with my entire family in my home country, Egypt. Over the past few years, things had drastically changed within my family as my uncle got married, two new baby cousins were born, and everyone had moved on to different stages in their life. As we arrived at my grandpa’s house, we were greeted with people who have been patiently anticipating our arrival. My mom’s relatives flocked into the living rooms; I was bombarded by all these people who know me, but I didn’t recall who they were. There must have been hundreds because I lost count after greeting 30 of them. The people who I had been eagerly waiting to see were my childhood friends. Prior to my immigration to America, I used to spend my summers with them. I got to know my grandpa better and I even found out that he served as the governor of the province at some point before the country’s civil war! 

Egypt is famously known for its world wonders – the Egyptian pyramids, dessert, and camels. The residents speak in Arabic, English, and some French not to be confused with hieroglyphics, Muslim or Egyptian. The three famous, immense pyramids are named Khufu, Khafre, and Menkaure. To get to them, I alternated between a camel and a horse since it would have been exhausting to walk these great distances on foot and very dehydrating. As I stood next to these astounding architectural structures, I felt like a speck of sand in comparison. 

Leena Alzafarani
A camel rests in the sand.

While Egypt may be directly associated with the words: pyramids, sand, desert, camels, tents, these words only describe the Giza region in Cairo, where the pyramids are located. The pyramids are located on a tiny strip of land, while the rest of Egypt is like N.Y.C. but, to people’s surprise, cleaner.

As I traveled throughout Egypt, visiting places that my memory had forgotten, I was reminded of how beautiful Egypt really is. I spent a considerable portion of my summer in the North Shore of Alexandria because that’s where my parents are from, founded by Alexander the great, thus gaining its name. We bought a new family house near the beach and enjoyed the beautiful weather. 

Leena Alzafarani
Egyptians soak up the sun on a pristine beach.

Houses in Egypt are made entirely different from American ones due to the weather. They are massive and made of concrete to allow for less heat to be trapped inside the house, making their lives more comfortable in the summer but more difficult in the winter. In an average home, there would be literally considered a million-dollar house or more in N.Y. This is due to Egyptians endless hospitality. They have an additional living room to welcome visitors in, a guest room and bathroom  

The North Shore of Alexandria is commonly known as the Sahel, famous for its Mediterranean Sea beaches. The Mediterranean is the only thing that separates Alexandria and Italy, allowing for a rich cultural blend, which can be observed through the architecture. In Marina 2, there is a theater named the Roman Theater. The area is extremely safe and well-guarded that we were allowed to ride in the trunk of the car as long as the vehicle was driving slowly.

From its green palm trees and plants to its massive shopping centers, Alexandria is astonishing. The palm trees and plants were so green, perhaps even livelier than those down in Florida, satisfying to the residents when taking in the beauty of the nature around them as they sat in their balconies or looked outside their windows. 

Leena Alzafarani
The many souvenirs at an Egyptian stand captivate tourists.

Moreover, in the more urban part of Alexandria, near the Alexandria beach, a castle is located there that dates to the 1900s, in perfect shape. Many of the souvenir shops are set up by this beach and its famous castle, while the rest can be located near the Egyptian Museum or the pyramids. Around it are cafes, luxurious hotels, and enormous shopping centers that by far outshone any American Malls. The primary two are Carrefour and San Stefano. The internal structure and design, along with the lighting, is overall dumbfounding. Their movie theaters were more luxurious than any cinema I have ever gone to.  Near these centers, there were cafes by the Alexandria Beach and historical monuments, significant to Egypt’s history. 

Escape to Egypt to experience the lush greenery, pristine cities, and clean beaches for yourself! It is a nation filled with the history of people long gone, as well as modern comforts.