Created by many, conducted by none

Visitors to Egypt may arrive with a certain expectation. Firstly, whether their luggage has made it with them, or whether they indeed have landed in the right country at all. But one is immediately surprised by the warm greeting that beholds the visitor when entering the impressive spectacle that is Cairo International Airport.

But walk out of the front gate and with the first crossing of the road, you quickly realise that it is either you or the car, that is gently speeding towards you, that will successfully make it to the other side, before something tragic is likely to happen. But that is part of Cairo’s irresistible charm; to fend off persistent taxi drivers, to inhale the heady and dusty air, to understand and enjoy the composition of sounds created by many, conducted by none.

Of course we were swiftly brought back to reality when we met our fellow participants, who related to us the same expectations, the same surprises and the same impressions!

It became apparent that we were an incredibly diverse group, having travelled afar from Estonia, Germany, UK, as well as several nearby countries such as Lebanon, Jordan and Tunisia. Some had taken a plane, some trains or buses. One decided to brave the dangers of the Negev Desert and hitch-hiked from Palestine!

To enable us to get to know each other better, our trainers led us through a ‘serious’ series of name games during which we revealed much more of ourselves than we expected. What adjective would you use to describe yourself, using the first letter of your name? And what does it say about a person, describing him or herself as ‘magnifique’, ‘adventurous’, or ‘extreme’? An idea perhaps, of the week to come…

Khalid (UK) and Tina (Germany)

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