Omar Attia and Dalia EL Debaiky, Adventerous Souls
When Omar Attia and Dalia El Debaiky, the couple that changed the travel blogging game in Egypt, met in 2012, they both knew they were in love with travel, exploration and photography. They wanted to grow closer in a non-traditional, unique way. Instead of meeting conventionally in their parent’s living room or going out on dates where they would dress up and put up fronts, they decided to go explore new things, but together. The more they explored their country, the more they explored one another. Instead of going to movies and restaurants, they went on walks in historic streets and museums, and rode fellucas.
As they explored their country, they fell more in love with it, thus, fell further in love with each other. To continue their journey together, they decided to have their marital festivities in iconic places around their country. Their engagement ceremony was held on the banks of Nile River, their Katb Ketab in Mohamed Ali Mosque, and their wedding shortly after in Mohamed Ali Palace in Al Manyal.
After their wedding, Omar and Dalia went back and reflected on their photographs from their events and loved them. They decided to take similar photos on their honeymoon in Luxor and Aswan. They didn’t stop there; they also took photos in Hurgada where they went island hopping as part of their trip. After watching all of the pictures they took on their trips and events, they decided, why stop there? Why not share their adventures and beautiful photographs with other people? So they decided to write their own book. In that book, they would include their adventures as a novel, telling the story of their journey as well as offering a guide to other people. A guide in the form of a story.
Aiming to inspire many, Omar and Dalia were encouraged to begin their journey with their own relationship. They began their 60 – nonconsecutive – day expeditions by going to commercial and non commercial places. Wanting to give people a realistic guide on their country, they show people that they don’t need to spend much money or time. Basically, give a realistic guide in a realistic time lapse for people to be able to visit everywhere.
So far, they have traveled for 45 days, visiting various places. In this time span, with a low budget, they were able to see all of Cairo and Giza, Alexandria, the whole North Coast, Al Zagazeeg, Tanta, Banisweif, Aswan, Abu Simbel, Luxor, Edfu, Ethna, Kom Ombo, The Western Desert, Wahat el Bahariya, Wahat el Farafra, Taba, Nuweiba, Dahab, Sharm El Sheikh, Suez, Ras Sudr, Hurghada, El Gouna, and Sahl Hasheesh. To continue their 60 days, they plan on visiting Upper Egypt; Sohag, Asyut, Qena, El Minya, Siwa, the Southern Red Sea coast; Marsa Alam, Halayeb and Shalatin.
So far, out of all the places they’ve visited, Dalia and Omar claim that Aswan is their absolute favorite. They say they find peace in the smiles of the people, as well as the culture in the Nubian Village, the food, the sail boats and the historic tourist attractions they just can’t get enough of.
When asked if they would recommend their adventures to locals, Omar simply responded “definitely”. He said that the main focus of their page was to of course, invite tourists, however, locals are their priority. The reason behind that is the utter disappointment Egyptians feel when tourists know more about their own country than they do. To help overcome that, they are showing people how easy it is to travel so much in little time and with a minimal amount of money.
Omar explains further that the issue is not time or money as there are many places in Cairo and Giza that residents have not visited. He even mentions an attraction he’s been to; The Geological Museum on Corniche El Maadi, accessible to all, and charges 5 EGP per person, showing marvelous dinosaur skeletons found in Fayoum. Not to mention Tal Basta in Zagazeeg – huge temple full of ancient Egyptian, Greek, and Roman artifacts – that is “so unknown that no one came in for 3 hours!”
We also asked Omar whether he enjoys the natural trips or the historic ones more. He told us that he didn’t have a preference; he went wherever his camera led him. Sometimes, they feel the need to relax in beaches and nature like in the White and Black Deserts, observing the unique rock formations and sea shells that lay on the dry desert. Sometimes though, they want to drown in history and visit the temples, museums and sites they take so many lovely pictures of.
Omar and Dalia are two very proud Egyptians. They hope to have inspired people with their blog, and hope to inspire them further with their book. Their book will hopefully be printed by the end of the year, as they’re still looking for a publisher. It will be printed as a series broken down in 6 parts, each part entailing an area they have visited. They hope to publish a partition every year and to reach international markets to inspire everyone.