Egypt – In the Wake of the Arab Spring

On December 16, 2010 by James Watson

Travel photography in Egypt reflects a tension that I experienced from the moments I stepped off the ship and onto port. My first impressions of Egypt were not pleasant. I knew nothing of the politics or what was about to take place, nor could have predicted that the Arab Spring would begin (though not yet in Egypt) while I was there.

I arrived in Nuweibaa on a ferry from Aqaba in Jordan. We had planned on staying along the coast for a few days before going to Cairo, but the local taxi service – if there was one at all – was no longer running at that time of night. The only form of transportation we could find were from literal “highway robbers” who wanted to charge over $160 to take 8 people about 5 miles. The rest of that story is on The Kindred Spirits World Tour.

The images here depict the last destination on a year long journey around the world. A night of frustration followed by a morning of intense beauty. Upon arriving in Cairo and later in Luxor, I continued to encounter both historical and modern struggles between culture, economy, politics, and simple day-to-day life.

I finally left Egypt, not wanting to return for many years. I felt swindled out of my “Egypt Experience,” and though my travel smarts are pretty sharp, the tourist machine combined with the hardship of life simply chewed me up and spit me out.

I do look forward to going back; I’m looking forward to tackling the monster of a spirit that is Egypt.



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