How a woman business traveler can feel safe in the Middle East
My recent work assignment to an NGO branch has brought me to Cairo – the capital city of Egypt, with an estimated population of 25 million people, with the figure varying up and down in millions. It is a regional hub and entry point for many African and Middle Eastern trades and businesses. For a western European citizen, with our order and cleanliness and rules in everything, this has been a shock. A first-time experience is something like Alice in Wonderland, yet there is something intriguing about it. They say that once you taste water from the Nile (not literally of course), you are doomed – to love coming back. And this is my story of first-time business travel to Cairo.
Arrival is breath-taking if you happen to fly over such an urban area as we did. Completely green Nile delta suddenly hits the desert and there they are – pyramids. Not as I imagined them, in a remote desert, yet right there at the edge of this town. Still a structure worth seeing. The slight nervousness of where to go and what to do is released when I see the agreed welcome sign by the meet and greet the person by Al Thuraya Consultancy, who has agreed to provide me with my travel security while in Egypt. Still, being a woman in a Muslim country, especially with my lack of socio-cultural knowledge I am to risks unknown to me so far.