It’s truly been some interesting travel days during an interesting time. Kicking off with Egypt for the conference Creative Industry Summit, and l was landing on the tragic day when the Christian minority in Egypt, the Copts, was bombed twice up in Alexandria. The consequences of bombings and unrest has been dwindling tourist numbers and resulted in what seemed to be an almost empty packaged holiday flight terminal in Cairo.
Despite what Egypt had gone through, I was truly blown away with the hospitality and friendliness I met everywhere on my stay in Cairo. It’s a stark reminder that we have to stop alienating countries or people, and that we should never give in to terrorists, fanatics or tyrants – only then will they win. We have to keep going about our daily lives as always, and a visit to the cradle of civilization is a great place to remember; we’re all one big family whether our name is Ahmed or Thomas. Knowing that it’s not always easy to rein in those who aspire towards more power, we do have more in common than we think and we shouldn’t let fear divide us.
The following week I was hosting a conference in Istanbul two days after the election on expanding Turkish president Erdogan’s executive powers. A majority of people in Istanbul voted no, and although one could feel a sense of frustration about the outcome, there was also a strong believe that; “we’ll make it through this as well”. Despite what’s happening around the world, hope is important. Reminds me of the quote; “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” (Guess, it’s from Forrest Gump, right?)