Protest Tourism: "Heard enough? Time to see!"

#Travel

Wed, Aug 7th, 2013 10:00 by capnasty NEWS

If you're tired of hearing about protests in Cairo and want to see them first-hand, a new service has popped up allowing tourists to see them up close and personal.

A group calling itself Rabaa Tour is trying to attract tourists to the most unlikely of places in Cairo: the central battleground between security forces and Muslim Brotherhood members. For weeks, Brothers and their supporters have been occupying the area around Rabaa al-Adaweya mosque, and Egyptian officials have repeatedly threatened to clear the sit-in. With tens of thousands of people camped out there, any effort to sweep away the protesters, who are clamoring for the re-instatement of ousted President Mohamed Morsy, will surely result in bloodshed. But this is where Rabaa Tour would like you -- yes you -- to come visit in order to learn the truth about the protesters. They even have a slogan: "Heard enough? Time to see!"

This, of course, is not your typical tourism effort, and the campaign is notable in its effort to upset the stereotypes at play in the current Egyptian conflict. Though they don't come out and say it, the young people in the video are Morsy supporters or, at the very least, opponents of Egypt's military coup. That puts them on the Islamist side of the faultline that matters most in Egyptian politics today. But with lack of beards and flawless English, they don't fit the stereotype of the Islamist in the Western imagination -- if such a person even exists at all.

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