Safety & Security in South Sinai // Expedition 2015
“The interior parts of South Sinai have never seen an attack against tourists. They’re said to be the most hazardous by governments but – statistically – they’re the safest.” Huffington Post
Many people ask us ‘Is South Sinai safe to travel to?’ This is a complicated question to answer and ultimately each person visiting the region must make their own judgement about their own safety and risks in light of the information they have available to them. This blog post aims to give you some thoughts and places to go to find out more.
Safety of Climbing
When trying to give guidance on the subject of safety of climbing and safety of South Sinai as a destination we pose the question ‘Is it safe in relation to what?’ Are you not in danger when you have a shower at home or drive your car to the supermarket? With regard to climbing if we look at the statistics is seems that ping pong is apparently more dangerous a sport than climbing: Risk of dying and sporting & Activities An interesting document that sheds light on comparisons of deaths related to different sports.
Safety of ‘Sinai’
What is real and important to realise is that contrary to the picture the media portrays, there is a very significant difference between North Sinai and South Sinai. North Sinai is situated next to Israel and Gaza. Troubles that exist are mainly centred in the North Sinai area and these are often reported as ‘Sinai’, not differentiating between North & South. South Sinai is hundreds of miles away from this and is a separate region. Our trip will focus on the interior of Sinai. There have been no attacks on tourists in the interior of South Sinai, according to a report in the Huffington Post.
However, we do not wish to say there are no risks. There are risks in everything we do in life. It is very important that you feel comfortable with your decision if you decide to join this trip to South Sinai. We urge you to research for yourself using a range of sources to make an informed decision.
A personal perspective on risk – Dave & Maiju Lucas
Dave and I feel much more safe spending time in South Sinai towns, villages and mountains than we do in a lot of UK cities or towns. We have many western friends happily living in the area with their small children and we feel that this gives a different perspective to the risk levels perpetuated in the media.
A personal perspective on risk – Emily Pitts
As the founder of Womenclimb, as a mother of a 14 year old and as someone with a host of family and friends who I love I can confirm that I want to live. Risk is something that I consider on a daily basis, perhaps more so being a parent. It’s something that enters my thoughts when planning climbing trips and whilst climbing. I would describe myself as fairly risk averse in terms of personal safety. If I think that I may not have prepared properly for a route or if it doesn’t feel right I am happy to back off and come back another day – other people sometimes feel that I am too risk averse, but I have to make my own decisions about this, as do you.
When I told my mum that I am going to Egypt to climb later in the year the first thing she said was ‘you’re going to get killed by Islamic State terrorists.’ To be fair I hadn’t done much research other than trusting Maiju and Dave’s skill, experience & knowledge, so I decided I had better make sure for myself. These are the sources I have used to assess the safety for myself and to make the decision to go ahead on this trip.
Sources of Information – Risks & Safety in South Sinai
Matthias Scholz: Masters in International Relations and Diplomacy – Thesis : This is probably the strongest empirical evidence that I could find, which gave me peace of mind that our trip is based on a common sense approach to risk management.
Huffington Post Article : This well written and researched article gives a flavour of how a trip to Sinai can help make a real difference to the lives of Bedouin people in South Sinai. Responsible tourism is important to me and this article reinforced some of the reasons that I want to go on the trip.
Go tell it on the mountain : A superb website with a host of valuable information about the bedouin people and South Sinai. It’s a brilliant read and a good preparation for what you might expect on the trip.
Article written by Maiju & Dave Lucas & Emily Pitts