The Real Face of Dangerous Places

As another uneventful day unfolds, my coworker showed me “where to put the brochures”. Not that I don’t know where they go. Besides, I’ve been putting away brochures for 3 years since I started working here. I simply wanted to get another idea that I may not already know and probably to amuse myself as well. That backfired but what she told me was rather interesting – for me, at least. She thinks we don’t sell tours to Egypt or Israel because of civil unrest. I was laughing inside because civil unrest in these countries has been going on for ages. But, I can’t blame her for that mindset because the news makes it seem 10x worse than many years ago.  Maybe, it’s time to update myself on what’s truly happening in the world today given that media has always been blowing things out of proportion.

Besides, I grew up in the Middle East -> including Lebanon! After 25 years, my days in Lebanon are still vivid to me and I cannot remember a time that my life was actually threatened by border wars. I arrived in Lebanon(from U.A.E.) right after it’s decades of civil war. Sure, our school’s structure  “shakes” every time Israel bombs the South of Lebanon or there were military checkpoints every 5 kilometers on the road but it’s just part of the day to day life. Everyone had to learn to be street smart, learn self-defense and that was taught in school. The Middle East, particularly Israel and its borders have been in civil unrest since forever and yet, my parents and their friends traveled to Syria, Jordan, and Israel from time to time.

On the lens of a western person, traveling to these “dangerous” places sounds horrible but that’s further from the truth. It’s life and you live it. Whether you believe it or not, people from these “war-torn” places are still flourishing and having fun-> even businesses are doing good. I just saw pictures of my friends having coffee at an upscale cafe in Beirut, and tourist tv ads for Tel Aviv are non-stop online. Even Lionel Messi visited Egypt last year. These places are no different from living in a city full of crimes like Regina or Saskatoon!

I’m not saying that it’s safe to travel to Syria nowadays though.