I’m lucky enough to have been able to travel to some pretty beautiful places. Bermuda, Bali and the Caribbean to name just a few. Wanna hear something crazy? Nowhere is as beautiful as my home country Egypt. And that’s genuinely from an unbiased point of view.
Clear blue sea, white, fine, infinite sand, gentle breeze… and those are just the beaches. No other country has the dearth of history, the privilege of being the first. It’s been a bit cray the past few years, what with the revolution and the ousting of seemingly President after President but hopefully that’s all set to change.
Regardless, it is a phenomenally beautiful country and deserves that title, deserves to be seen, deserves to be revelled in. While studying Creative Advertising as a BA in London, Egyptian student Mariam Makram-Ebeid created a campaign to bring tourism back to Egypt, capturing and curating the nation’s scenic soul on popular social media channel Egypt Represent. I caught up with her to find out more.
Hi Mariam! What inspired you to start this campaign?
Originally, Egypt Represent started out as my graduation project. From the start I knew I wanted to use the power of advertising to contribute to the world in a positive way and, being Egyptian, I automatically looked to my country for inspiration. After the recent revolution(s), tourism has declined drastically – being one of the main major sectors of our economy, its prosperity is key to Egypt’s development, now more than ever. We’ve been blessed with a beautiful country, one which has much more to offer than what the media has been showing, and Egypt Represent is my way of trying to restore and strengthen positive perceptions of our country, allowing travellers, both foreign and domestic, to discover places that no guide book, nor billboard has or will show them.
What do you wish people knew about Egypt?
Well, there are actually a lot of things I myself don’t know about Egypt, so it’s hard to say, but I do think the people of Egypt are noteworthy and at times underrated – the Egyptian people are one of the warmest, most welcoming, most generous people with the best sense of humour and the biggest hearts. The revolution has shown how brave we are, and how well we can come together when we want to. I hope people don’t take that for granted because in the world today, that can be hard to find.
Egypt has some of the most stunning locations. What is one of your favourite places to visit and why?
Working on Egypt Represent has actually lead me to discover lots of gorgeous spots I never even knew existed. It’s impossible to choose just one, each place has it’s own charm and satisfies a different desire. However, I do have love for the Red Sea. There’s something so perfect about floating atop the clear water, different shades of blue stretched out in every direction, basking in the warm Egyptian sunshine.
How do you think the election of President Sisi will impact tourism in the region?
It should restore stability in the country, which is a positive change in terms of tourism. Additionally, Arab tourism will increase because generally speaking, the arab region favours Sisi and will support Egypt through its new regime. For example, arab investments will pour into touristic projects as well as infrastructure projects – building new roads, airports and so on, which will ultimately aid Egypt’s tourism.
Other than things like your campaign, what do you think can be done to combat negative stereotypes and raise awareness of the beautiful things Egypt has to offer?
Since starting Egypt Represent, I’ve noticed a lot of similar campaigns pop up, which I find to be a big step in the right direction in creating a movement. Other than a social media campaign, however, I’d really like to see people attracting positive attention to Egypt in many different and hopefully, creative ways, because I’ve found that it’s not just about attracting the world’s attention, it’s about keeping it.
Check out Egypt Represent on Instagram and book your flight to Egypt today.