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Snorkels for Democracy

Reality is beginning to dawn in North Africa and the Middle East. Without the economic growth necessary to support the development of stable and effective democratic governments, the wave of optimism that accompanied the Arab Spring has fallen flat.

There are lots of problems with the MENA economies, but a decline in tourism — an important industry for many countries in the region — isn’t helping. The industry is down by 25% in Egypt and 50% in Tunisia. This is a primary reason for much of the depressing economic news coming out of these countries, such as the slowdown in annual GDP growth from an average of 4.4% to a mere 1% in Tunisia.

This is a natural aftermath of revolution — Tahrir Square might be a little too exciting for your next vacation destination — but many places in Egypt, such as the beautiful water sport outposts scattered along the Red Sea coast of the Sinai peninsula, are safer than ever and the costs, reasonable at the best of times, are heavily discounted right now.

Snorkel for democracy, scuba for peace: I hope Via Meadia readers will do their part to build a better world.

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  • PetraMB

    Mhm, last I heard is that Egyptian police isn’t really in control of Sinai any more — it now belongs to the Bedouin weapon smugglers who provide Hamas in Gaza with plenty of rockets and explosives, and occasionally blow up the gas pipeline to Israel. Maybe they won’t bother the tourist resorts, but to consider them a safe place?

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