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Great Cairo Guide-Rasha Elashmawy

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Collierville
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Great Cairo Guide-Rasha Elashmawy

Subject: Cairo

Location: Cairo, Egypt, Africa

Title: Our day in Cairo with Rasha Elashmawy

We only had one day in Cairo and Rasha Elashmawy was highly recommended to us by friends. She picked us up from the airport as promised (although we had to wait about 15 minutes for her). She came with a driver and a comfortable, air conditioned van. We were able to visit ( in 10 hours!) the Pyramids and Sphinx at Giza, Egypt Museum, Mosque and Khan al Khalili bazaar. She described Heliopolis, City of the Dead, and different things as we passed while driving. She gave us a good idea of the history of Egypt.

Rasha spoke clear, fluent English. She and her driver were very efficient. She gave us good information on the sites we visited and told us exactly what to expect. She delivered as promised. She negotiated with the camel drivers and got us a good price (20LE p/p) for a camel ride at the pyramids from an honest man who did not charge us extra to take photos or charge us more to get us down from the camels.

She was very informative at the Egypt Museum. My teenager was enthralled, especially by the King Tut exhibit. We were nervous about shopping in the bazaar and she agreed to go with us and was helpful with my young son in teaching him how to bargain. Plus, we were hassled a lot less when she was with us. (I was traveling with my 2 children without my husband).

Rasha also took us to 2 delicious take-away restaurants for kofta, shwarma and kebabs!

We enjoyed our day with Rasha and would recommend her to others to use as a guide.

London, United...
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1. Re: Great Cairo Guide-Rasha Elashmawy

Thank you for your report. It's a shame that Rasha seems to have been the focus of your trip to this wonderful country- I notice that you haven't posted anything else on Egypt. You didn't just come to Egypt for the day did you?

My experience of Rasha was very negative and I don't want people to get the impression that Rasha is always so brilliant- as there are, I'm sure, many brilliant guides.

A friend visiting Cairo for a couple of days in January (we were on our way to Sharm for a conference :-)) wanted a guide for one day for her and her 8-year old daughter- primarily because they wanted to get the most out of seeing the pyramids.

Rasha was an obvious choice given all the mentions on TA. I contacted her to ask if she was available that day, she wasn't but said she has a number of people working for her so it would be no problem getting my friend a guide.

She quoted $85 for my friend and $75 for her daughter. I thought it was quite steep but left it up to my friend to decide (I didn't want to go on the trip).

My friend was picked up from where we were staying in Heliopolis at 9.30 (I mention this because it means that 3 of the hours would have been spent on the road). We were quite surprised that at mid-day she called to let me know that she was being dropped off at 2 and that they were almost done! The trip included the pyramids, the Cairo museum and Coptic Cairo- which need a day altogether.

My friend and her daughter told me later it was a case of "here are the pyramids, now let's go" with very little information on what they were visiting and even that information was suspect (Moses is buried in Ben Ezra synagogue and Tutankhamum has a hole in his skull as that's where they took his brain out from after his death because it was too late to take it out through the nose, as is the usual custom???)

They also complained she spoke far too rapidly and her accent was hard to follow. We felt it was a rip-off for $170 for a condensed tour and a guide with poor knowledge.

They were also taken to a papyrus shop (which sell papyrus at 1000% markup) despite Rasha's policy of "no shopping"

$170 is more than a senior doctor earns in Egypt per month! When you pay that amount you expect a professional

Orlando, Florida
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2. Re: Great Cairo Guide-Rasha Elashmawy

<< Rasha spoke clear, fluent English >>

I know I'm playing the Devil's Advocate here...but how would someone from Moscow know if an Egyptian is speaking clear, fluent English?? Sorry if my question appears ignorant.

Collierville
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3. Re: Great Cairo Guide-Rasha Elashmawy

I reside in Moscow, but am a native English speaker, from the USA.

Collierville
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12 posts
31 reviews
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4. Re: Great Cairo Guide-Rasha Elashmawy

Our experience with Rasha as a guide in Cairo was the focus of my report. I reported on my hotel in a hotel review. There are no "guide" reviews, so I posted on the forum as TripAdvisor suggested.

We stayed in Sharm el Sheikh, but unfortunately only had one day in Cairo. We flew from Sharm to Cairo and back to Sharm in a 12 hour period. I felt she did a good job showing us the main sites in a very short time and gave us a lot of information. We enjoyed our time in Egypt and look forward to returning and seeing much more.

Collierville
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12 posts
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5. Re: Great Cairo Guide-Rasha Elashmawy

That does sound like a rip-off! I'm sorry you had such a bad experience. Fortunately, we had a good experience with her. I'm sorry for your friends.

Orlando, Florida
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6. Re: Great Cairo Guide-Rasha Elashmawy

Thank you much for the clarification :-)

Collierville
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7. Re: Great Cairo Guide-Rasha Elashmawy

No worries!

London, United...
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8. Re: Great Cairo Guide-Rasha Elashmawy

I know- you've been lucky! Others haven't been- and I'm not just referring to my own experience

Liverpool, United...
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9. Re: Great Cairo Guide-Rasha Elashmawy

Hello I would like to clarify something here, as this is getting a bit out of hand.

KP58, I know that your have been mentioning the issue of your friends visit repeatedly - about 4 times, and think it has not gone rather off point.

In your original comments you said that you booked with Rasha El Ashmawy, but on the day she was not able do do the tour and sent a collegue of hers. I phoned Rasha one day about another subjet and we also talked about this subject. So some clarification is needed :

- Rasha El Ashmawy informed you and your friend that she would not be available on that day but would provide an alternative guide and this was accepted.

- The day included all the entrance fees, the guide, transpotation and lunch, therefore the fees are correct and as agreed upon.

- The tour took place at the weekend so traffic was light, this reduced the travel time considerably, the sites were also not busy, to time for getting tickets etc. were less than usual.

- Most visitors like to have explanation and then time on their own to explore, but in the case of your friend and young child (who was not really interested, as is often the case), they did not take advantage so this also made the day shorter than it would normally have been

Rasha has written emails to you and your friend after the complaints, but has not had any replies

Thought I should explain these details, as all of these factors do make a difference.

Regards

Wendy

Australia
Destination Expert
for Cairo, Egypt, Nile River Valley, Luxor
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10. Re: Great Cairo Guide-Rasha Elashmawy

Im still gobsmacked that your friends did the pyramids, museum and coptic Cairo in 4 & a half hours KP58. I spent four hours in Coptic Cairo alone, did they get out of the car? lol