I never realized Egypt was so close to Greece until I happened
to be in the American Express office in Athens and I saw a sign that announced round trip fares to Cairo for only a hundred
bucks. I thought "When is the next time I am ever going to have an opportunity to see Egypt?" I bought a ticket the next day
although a hundred bucks was a lot of money for me at that place and time. But now I am glad I did it. What an experience.
And a memory to savor. This is a street scene in Cairo. Cairo was reasonably safe at the time. Jimmy Carter was president,
Sadat was still alive, and there was an era of good feelings toward the United States. People would stop me on the street
and ask me -in English- "Excuse me, but are you an American?" Then they would say something like, "You are welcome in our
country. You are our brothers. May Allah smile upon you." Walking down a Cairo street, I saw a construction project an empty
bags of cement on the ground. On each bag was printed this messsage, "This cement was donated to the people of Egypt by
the people of the United States." I have the feeling that somebody in our government back then really knew how to build bridges
instead of burn them.