Born in El Minya city in Middle Egypt, Mohamed enrolled in 1994 at the Faculty of Tourism & Hotel Management where he studied Egyptology for four years. In 1998 he began guiding tours all over Egypt with a predominant focus on Upper Egypt. Mohamed is currently living in Luxor, continuing his career in tour guiding.
Q: How did you fall into tour leading?
A: Ever since a young age, I have loved history. I grew up in a city where I was surrounded by monuments. The questions of how, why and when were always haunting me in my childhood. At school, our history course was basic and did not answer the many questions I had. In addition to that, watching tourists from all over the world visit my city increased my curiosity. It seems that my history bug infected other members of the family as my sister followed my footsteps and became an Egyptologist as well.
Q: What do you like most about tour leading?
A: Travel is education and I love it for many reasons such as meeting new people, exchanging cultural views and gaining new experiences. Travel makes me and travellers recognize that we all are the same with a little cultural twist.
Q: Where is your favourite part of the world?
A: Karnak temple in Luxor. Out of all locations and places I have visited, there is something different about this location. Imagine walking in a place that used to be, many 1000s of years ago, the cultural and political capital of the developed world.
Q: What has been your biggest travel highlight?
A: My greatest experience was in 2010 when I led a group of 16 travellers who came to Egypt to volunteer. We went to an orphanage in Luxor and worked for five days helping to improve it. There were 40 boys in total and all of them were involved in the work. We had to paint the walls and fix chairs, beds and desks. It was an amazing cultural experience for all people involved. I will never forget this experience.
Q: What’s the craziest request you’ve ever had from a client?
A: A client once asked to join the “Table of the Merciful”. In the month of Ramadan, many wealthy Egyptians make what we call “Table of the Merciful” where daily meals will be served to the poor and anyone who wants to eat. Food is served twice - at sunset and sunrise. These are the two times Muslims would have a big meal during Ramadan. So a traveller once asked to go and eat there, which we did and it was great.
Q: Which famous person would you most like to travel with?
A: Sandra Bullock!