Sun, beach and a machine gun. Is it dangerous for Russians to go to Egypt?

Sun, beach and a machine gun. Is it dangerous for Russians to go to Egypt?

Egypt is waiting for Russian tourists. However, it is not so simple.

11 April (for the first time after the terrorist attack 2015) resumed flights between Moscow and Cairo. Explorer “AIF” visited Sharm El-Sheikh, in order to ascertain the extent of the local resorts safe for the citizens of Russia.

— Your documents!

— Please.

Soldiers in body armor at a checkpoint near the village of Taba long compares your passport photo with my face, then walks away and somewhere calls. Near 30-degree heat was the heavy black shape: box reinforced with armor plates on all sides to repel a sudden attack. The driver of my cab says:

Most often, the suicide bomber is flying at breakneck speed, trying to RAM into the thick of the military. The sniper will not help here, but the gun is very even.

The front is located a few dozen kilometers closer to the North of the Sinai: the Egyptian aviation bombed the positions of radical Islamists, which for five years can’t smoke from the underground labyrinths. On the way to Sharm El Sheikh (250 km) I met a lot of roadblocks with armored vehicles and barbed wire — on the twelfth I stopped counting. Our car reluctantly checked only at two checkpoints: the others nod sleepily, waving his hand, happy way.

See, we drove, but saw no village? All local Bedouins went to fight for the “Islamic state” (IG — an organization banned in Russia). Russian tourists are gone, here’s the problem… I’m with you in this way $ 50 picked up, and once drove over 300.Muhammedanism

That’s right — visitors from Russia did not fly to Egypt from 31 October 2015: the day the terrorists of ISIS planted a bomb in airliner, “Kogalymavia”, EN route from Sharm El Sheikh to Petersburg, and was killed 224 people.

“When will the Russians come?”.

The tactical situation is changing at the entrance to Sharm El-Sheikh. Everything is beautiful — palm trees, camels and the sea, but hotels became more armed guards. Mohammed welcomes servant, who opens the gates of the hotel. “We’re relatives, says the driver. — My sister married his uncle.”

That is, whether in a taxi explosives, it would have passed quietly to the door of the complex, where live hundreds of tourists — easily, an acquaintance.

Many things in Egypt still had to rely on chance, and no terrorist attacks this lifestyle will not change. Charter flights from Russia do not fly here for 2.5 years, but the local seaside “resorts” is not deserted as the first time after the ban on flights. In the largest hotel “sunrise”, I was told: they have filled 60% of the rooms, although hotels are not doing so good — free 85% of the rooms, despite the huge discounts. Who eventually replaced us in Egypt?

Now live here 300 Ukrainians, 200 residents of various Arab States, including Saudi Arabia and Palestine. But, believe me, we are waiting for Russian tourists. There is in Sharm El-Sheikh, say — and the traders and businessmen longing for guests from Russia.Karam Metavillage hotel

The question is, when you come from Russian, asked me in Egypt, everything from employee checkpoint on the border with Israel to soldiers at checkpoints and airport staff. “Are you from Russia? Really? — surprised the Egyptian offering at double the price of a trip to the desert. — You finally come back? I’m happy. O Allah, as we’re waiting for you.” Frankly, Egypt wants not specifically about us, but about our money: it vacationers from Russia are the most generous, less haggle over Souvenirs and leave the staff the best tips. Management of hotels Sharm El-Sheikh does not hide — perhaps Russian tourists will return, prices will rise.

We will lose Arab guests, but it’s not a disaster Russia is more important for us, — confessed the Bong the owner of the resort. — Also, stop playing with fire — among holidaymakers from countries like the Sudan, Iraq or Libya could be infiltrated by terrorists. Yes, the things of the guests were searched at the entrance to any hotel, but you know: shit happens. Russian in this sense, much safer Arabs.

Vacationers in black

The attacks in Sharm El-Sheikh happened before — in 2005, when suicide bombings killed 88 people and 150 were injured. Now the militants in the Sinai Peninsula seized the settlements, dozens of soldiers killed last November when a terrorist attack on the city of bir-El-Abd the victims were 300 civilians. On the beach in the war do not want to believe.

Far — reach — slaughter, blood, bombing. And then the tanned girls in bikinis, music, ice cream, swimmers in masks, looking at the beautiful fish among the waters of the incredibly azure sea. Could it be in the same country? Yes, in Egypt, a similar situation is a reality.

Arab tourists in hotels behave generally the same way. Men don’t even go to sea — they do not come off from the bars for an “all inclusive”, absorbing an incredible amount of alcohol (in their countries alcohol is prohibited), dancing in the pool and sing songs. Women in black robes with veils completely closed persons sit all day on the beach (not swimming) and look after the children. European tourists looking at them with undisguised surprise — before the representatives of the Arab States in hotels was not, and now it’s like two worlds colliding. The Egyptians (and Palestinians and visitors from Sudan) rooms 3 times cheaper than the Europeans. Explain: with the disappearance of 4 million Russian tourists from Dahab, Sharm El Sheikh and Hurghada hotels industry otherwise it will not survive.

Not those searched?

At the airport of the resort security was noticeably better. If immediately after the explosion, airliner “Kogalymavia” in November 2015, I calmly walked into the relegation zone, without even a passport (!), now it is absolutely impossible. At the entrance checkpoint is testing taxis for explosives at the entrance looking printouts of e-tickets — without them, the airport is not allowed.

Check the quality: three of the cordon with translucent rays and metal detectors, some people (suspect) stopped and details sorted out your hand Luggage. Chaos and mess is no more.

Commendable, but that’s a bomb on Board the Russian plane carried no passengers, and some bastard from the airport staff. The airliner before departure now examine carefully the security services, check the chairs, the toilets on the presence of foreign objects. It’s a pity they didn’t do anything like this before.

I fully understand the desire of our people to relax cheaply and fly for a modest price at sea at least once a year. The more that we — and in Sochi and in the Crimea — for so many years failed to provide the visitors with good service and low prices. Let everyone decide for themselves, to take the risk and go to Egypt or not. Just consider: in this country, not too far from the resort areas conducted a full-scale war. The militants announced foreign tourists by the object of his hunt and kill them repeatedly. This problem will not go away. Going to sunbathe on the beach, surrounded by checkpoints, tanks and machine guns, you know — alas, there are many people who want to kill you.

The Egyptian authorities are obliged to guarantee security for Russian citizens: especially after the horrific terrorist attack that claimed the lives of hundreds of residents. However, while we’ll go to Egypt continue at your own risk.

Georgy Zotov