Faridoon Shahryar's Blog

Monday, March 30, 2015

"Amitabh Bachchan is God": Day 1 of my Egypt Diaries

"Amitabh Bachchan is God," said a shopkeeper in the busy local market in Cairo, Egypt. The entire day was spent being Bachchan-struck. Egypt seems to be majorly in love with Big B. Mr Bachchan will be the guest of honour at 'India by the Nile' festival in Cairo. He shall arrive in Cairo tomorrow March 30, 2015 on a chartered flight and he will be felicitated by Indian and Egyptian dignitaries in two separate functions tomorrow. A press conference will be addressed by Mr Bachchan on March 31 morning and the day shall end with a memorable evening at Pyramids with Big B.

Today started early for me as I boarded an Egypt Air flight in the morning. I read 'My name is Abu Salem' by Hussain Zaidi on the flight. It is a gripping book about the life and times of dreaded gangster Abu Salem. Some startling facts have been revealed in the book. I shall talk about the book in detail in a separate post.

The media delegation was escorted in a bus to the hotel. Our guide is an amiable guy named Sheriff Hassan who proudly spoke about the colossal history of Egypt. He was realistic when he spoke about the adverse impact of the 2011 revolution that negatively impacted the tourism of this country to some extent. Cairo has a burgeoning population of 23 million and it boasts of 4 million cars. Petrol is extremely cheap at 3 liters/1 USD.

We are staying at Movenpick hotel in Cairo that overlooks the Pyramids. The first sight of the massive beauties was a surreal experience. In the evening we met Mr Navdeep Suri, the Ambassador of India in Egypt at India House. Magnificent view of Nile from his house was a treat. Mr Suri came across as a genuine guy who has made solid efforts to create awareness about Indian culture in Egypt and in promoting Indians thronging Egypt as a tourist destination.

We shall be going for a city tour in Cairo tomorrow. We shall also be going for a couple of days to the historically refined city of Luxor and there will be a day trip to the biggest Port town in Egypt, Alexandria. I am really looking forward to absorbing every single experience during this trip. Bring it on! As of now...looking forward to a good night's sleep. Catch you later :-)

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