I promised our guide in Abu Simbel and others in Egypt that I would do what I can to send this message, even though it may fall on some deaf ears.....EGYPT WAS SAFE!
I used the past tense because I cannot guarantee anyone's future safety anywhere. However, I can share that during our 17 days in Egypt, from Cairo on down to Abu Simbel we never once (exception was landing - see trip report) were threatened, in fear of violence or the victims of any illegal activity. Just the opposite, we found the Egyptians to be warm, welcoming and generally loving people. Yes, there are persistent salespeople -- how persistent would you be if your family was hungry? You just need to learn how to deal with it effectively, as we did.
In the words of one hotel employee, "...we would kill anyone who harmed a tourist."
For some, the chaos, dirt and hussle of a city like Cairo is daunting and wrongly perceived as aggression. And just like any city, you can be in the wrong place at the wrong time, but if you are street wise you can avoid the negatives.
We witnessed a Coptic demonstration in Luxor to protest church burnings and one of the protestors smiled, waved and yelled, "welcome to Egypt." Yes, we should not have been there on that site at that time. It dawned on us and we got out of there. NO mishaps though.
Our guide in Abu Simbel said, "Welcome to Egypt and thank you for being here especially at this time in our history. Please return, 'Insha-Allah' to America and tell the people that we love tourists and that Egypt is Safe for tourists."
Insha-Allah, it will stay that way. There, I have tried.