Good Afternoon to you dear reader! I hope that you’ve been having a lovely, productive, and fulfilling day! Now many don’t ask us this question you see above, but I thought it might be a good idea to give you a little back story as to how we started our little business because we truly never imagined that we would be doing virtual Bible tours! So let’s start from the beginning…
When we were first married, and moved to Egypt we were thinking seriously about what kind of work could provide for us while working part time. To find part time work in Egypt, is VERY difficult to say the least, especially work that can provide for your necessities. The minimum wage here is extremely low and many have a hard time providing for their families even working full-time.
So there is that aspect. Karim studied Electrical Engineering, and has his degree, but due to certain laws here in Egypt, companies will not hire him, so working for a company was out of the question even if we could find one that hired for part-time. Over time we had friends come and visit from abroad and we would tour them around all the popular sites, and I noticed how much history Karim seemed to know about, partially from growing up here, and partially having a real passion and knack for remembering interesting things.
So one day, I suggested that he could do that for work instead of just for fun. We had a big network of friends who would refer their friends when they would come to visit, and pass along Karim’s info. So Karim started to put together different packages of places to go and different site combinations that could be done in one day. We checked what normal tour pricing was, and tried to come up with something that was reasonable.
Next we really needed a name, and a catchy, memorable one as there are many tour agencies that are called things like: ‘Egypt Tours, Pyramid Tours, Neferteri Tours’ etc. So we really started to brainstorm about the feeling we wanted the people that we would tour to leave with because if you’ve never been to a third-world country, it can be quite intense, and unlike anything you’ve experienced before. Also there are so many misconceptions spread by the media that makes tourists feel even more vulnerable. I told Karim that a big strength he had was in making people feel safe, he speaks English perfectly, and just has natural leadership skills and that would show when we would take people around.
Egypt also is a SWINDLER country, you know trying any little means to get a little extra money from you without you realizing it. They also love to just make stuff up to impress you and get you to buy something. They also HOUND tourists on sites to: “Take a camel around the pyramids!” “Buy this pure Egyptian silk scarf!” Oh and my personal favorite was one time when we went to the pyramids, a man came up to me and offered me this little sculptured beetle that was very pretty, and he REALLY insisted that I take it, so I did not to be rude. After I took it, he proceeded to follow us all around the pyramids, and I couldn’t understand why. Finally, Karim explained to me that he was looking for a tip, and so he argued with him on why would we tip him for offering us a gift? Strings attached for sure. So I gave it back to him, and he left us.
Anyways, I digress, the point being that Karim would protect those he took around the sites, and would prevent many people from bothering them. Taking all these things into consideration we both agreed that to live in Egypt you need to be very street smart, and because we are based in Cairo, the name was born, Cairo Street Smart.
From then on we got a lot of interest and visitors and it was all going well. We got so many questions by email that we realized we needed a website to refer our tour packages so Karim and our brother-in-law started working together to build a website for us. We are forever grateful for all his help in the endeavor.
Business was going well and then THE PANDEMIC and everyone including ourselves had to rethink everything with social interaction. No more traveling, no more visitors. For 4 months we lived on some savings, and it was tight.
Then we had an idea, why don’t we do the tours but write more of a presentation with pictures that people could take virtually while stuck in lockdown? Karim got to work on it right away and, now over a year and a half later this is STILL what we do. How Jehovah provides <3 It cares for our needs, allows us to work part-time, and meet many, many wonderful brothers and sisters. SO FUN!
Karim writes the tours, answers emails, and updates the website, and I’m taking care more of the social media aspect with instagram and as you see here, some fun blog posts. We are SOOOO grateful to have this work, as it’s enabling us to do what we truly love, pioneer!
We hope this little story was interesting for you, and inspired you to take leaps of Faith, and see how Jehovah will care for you.