Ten Indian reporters visiting Egypt to cover the India by the Nile 2015 festival participated in a week-long press tour designed for them by Lady Egypt Tours.
Sidharth Bhatia, Juhi Chakraborty, Smitha Verma, Shilpa Venkatarathnam, Sai Prasad Patil, Jayanta Kumar Mandal, Rahul Vaishnavi, Faridoon Shahryar, Tahir Shaikh, Dency Mathew arrived in Cairo from Mumbai, Delhi and New York on March 29 with one mission – to make sure themselves that Egypt is perfectly safe for tourists. As journalists they of course attended the main event that brought them to Cairo – the opening ceremony of annual cultural festival “India by the Nile”.
As long as the festival officially was inaugurated on March 31 by famous Indian actor Amitabh Bachchan, and the journalists had some free time, they were taken for sightseeing. The first thing to be seen in Egypt are doubtless the Great Pyramids and the Sphinx. Another not-to-be-missed thing for everyone coming to the Land of Pharaohs is trying local cusine, which Indian guests of Lady Egypt Tours experienced at one of Cairo restaurants. In the evening they dined at Ambassador’s house.
On March 31 media representatives participated in a press conference at Marriott Cairo, where the Ambassador of India to Egypt Navdeep Suri said that the main purpose of the event was strengthening ties between India and Egypt. “Culture is not about bringing performances and getting applause, it’s about creating connections,” Suri stressed.
“Through the festival and the presence of Indian journalists and Mr Bachchan, we hope to join the Ministry of Tourism to show that Egypt is a country that is stable, safe and ready for tourism,” he continued, Ahram Online reports.
Amitabh Bachchan in his turn thanked Egyptians for greeting him “warmly” upon his every visit to the country. “It’s great to find so many Egyptians watch our movies and appreciate our work,” Bachchan stated.
After the press conference the guide of Lady Egypt Tours took the reporters to the Egyptian Museum of Antiquates and later transferred them to Cairo Opera House, where Bachchan was having a dialog with one of the Indian journalists Sidharth Bhatia. Later the same evening journalists were taken to the Pyramids plateau for the official large lunch with Bollywood megastar.
The next day reporters visited the city of Alexander the Great, where they were able to see the most important sculptures and monuments of Roman and Greek period. They returned to Cairo the same day.
On April 2 nine journalists (excluding Sidharth Bhatia, who had an appointment at Indian Embassy) flew to Luxor. After seeing ancient Karnak and Luxor Temples on the Eastern Bank, they had a dinner and moved to Steigenberger Nile Palace Luxor Hotel.
The program tailored by Lady Egypt Tours included as well a hot air balloon ride and a visit to the West Bank of the Nile full of ancient monuments. The representatives of Indian press explored Valley of the Kings, Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut and Colossi of Memnon.
On April 4 the journalists took a domestic flight back to Cairo, where they visited the Saladin Citadel and Khan el-Khalili Souk. The same day the group of Indian reporters left Egypt taking to their home country a lot of wonderful memories of their trip.