Beach View
Laïla Ezzat
Hana Beshir

Week Without Walls; Marsa Alam

“because he had no place he could stay in without getting tired of it and because there was nowhere to go but everywhere, keep rolling under the stars…”
― Jack Kerouac, On the Road

Growing up, my family was always more interested in traveling outside the country on holidays. There were so many places here in Egypt that I wanted to visit but never got the chance to sadly. A few weeks ago, February 2015, it was “week without walls” at my school. Now if you don’t know what week without walls is it’s basically a school week where we can choose to go on trips in all these different places. There were many tempting options like Italy, Berlin, Ne-pal and Holland. But as I was thinking of where I wanted to go, something really stood out to me, Marsa Alam. I thought that it would literally be easier for me to go Italy or any of these other countries in Europe than to go to a local trip with my family. So I decided to sign up for Marsa Alam and tell some of my close friends to come with me and I am so thankful they did. That was the best decision I had ever made. We were only about 11 students and we came back like a close family. Marsa Alam was more beautiful than I had ever imag-ined it could be. We swam with dolphins, snorkelled, hiked for 34 kilometres and learned a lot about nature and the beautiful things we sadly don’t get to see in the city.
It occurred to me that there are MANY other places that I could eas-ily go to in the country that are even more beautiful. My family was never really interested in local trips until I showed them the pictures I took of all the beautiful things they were missing out on. It’s truly amazing how we felt like foreigners in Marsa Alam. It didn’t feel like home because we were so used to cairo especially with it’s gloomy weather lately. We were shocked that this was in our beloved country and that we were missing out on all of this beauty be-cause we were blinded by the idea that western countries had something more. I guarantee people in Europe feel the same about their countries, exploring things right outside your city makes you learn so much specially with the right people by your side.

Marsa Alam was the most extraordinary place I’ve been to, even in Egypt. I didn’t really expect it to be that beautiful, but the activities and the people we were with made it more then just fun. Marsa Alam’s coral reefs are just beautiful, and hiking with a view is more then I actually expected to do. We swam with dolphins and even saw camels. We would wake up before sunrise, watch the sunrise, and do our daily activities, and then we would go stargazing at night. We learned many things such as tying ropes, building rafts, and all about dolphins and how they get affected from humans especially. We learned how to build tents on our own, and even start a campfire without any help.
Then ate S’mores after that of course. Stargazing was personally my favorite, because you really wouldn’t see that amount of stars in Cairo at night. The amount of charity work people also do there is unbelievable, it’s the most ecosystem friendly countries I’ve been to and was very surprised that all of these stuff happen here in Egypt. Marsa Alam was one of the most interesting places I’ve traveled to and if I had the chance, I’d definitely go back to Marsa Alam on weekends with family and even more friends, because it reminds me of how beautiful Egypt really is.
By the beach
Learning how to build tents