Local Egyptians are tired of international media who exaggerate the danger of everyday life in Egypt. This not only impacts the image Egypt has abroad, but it also has a devastating impact on tourism, one of the main source of income for local populations. When travelling in Egypt last months, we met many people who welcomed us to their country with open arms and asked us to share our good impressions with our families and friends to combat against fake news.
Target groupsChange makers and Public figures and influencers
What if the world could see the real Egypt? What if local populations could show the real Egypt to the world? What if every Egyptian could be empowered to broadcast their real personal experiences to the rest of the world? What if one good experience from tourist could touch not only friends of families of these tourists but a larger amount of people? What if Egyptians and tourist could share a platform to broadcast such life experiences?
Social Media such as Twitter are platforms that already group both target audiences: local Egyptians and internationals. In a world were traditional media need sensational news to make audience, and where everyone has access to a mobile phone and is their own editors, such a refreshing campaign could connect populations around the globe. People interested in Egypt could search for countrywide or regional hashtag to get a real picture of what is going on there.
“We have not seen French people here since 7 years” - Ossama. Bahariya Oasis is decrypted in the news as extremely dangerous, the french embassy’s website shows the area in red on the map strongly recommending not to go there. The Pharao hotel, Luxor, was completely deserted. The owner said the hotel used to be a booming business, but since the revolution, tourists don’t show their faces anymore. These are two very local examples of the devastating effect that news can have on local businesses.
Which field and which area?
Because we have been in Egypt, we have talked to locals and know that this is a problem for all of Egypt. However we would still recommend local hashtags such as #MyLifeBahariya or #MyLifeLuxor in addition to the hashtag #MyLifeEgypt. This identified problem seems like it could be a problem for other countries in the arab region, but our knowledge does not permit us to generalise.
Effects of the problem
If this problem is not solved, tourism numbers in Egypt will continue to plummet. The actual strain on local economies dependent on tourism will become to big for local populations to continue on, leaving many without jobs and money to survive. The cultural beauties that Egypt is full off will not be maintained because of the lack of income, and those treasures might be forever lost.
Through the power of the many, our solution will help internationals and people who have not had the chance of having personal experiences with Egyptian hospitality to slowly view Egypt as a country with amazing culture and “normal” people. Maybe, when a french woman tells her mom that she is thinking of going to Egypt on vacation, her mom will not ask her not to go and rather choose another destination. Maybe, one person at a time, the image of Egypt abroad will match the real Egypt.