Thursday, July 17, 2008

Keeping a Cultural Mix

A Washington Post article on the boom in business for the Cairo Hard Rock Cafe which is owned by the Binladen family underscores the wonderful mix that is Cairo. When the Grand Hyatt was built a few years back, it was advertised as a 5 or 6 star hotel, but when a Saudi bought it recently and poured the entire alcohol stock into the Nile, making it a DRY hotel, it's star rating plummeted in the eyes of many tourists. We used to like the sushi restaurant in the Grand Hyatt, but I do like my sushi with a beer. Now most of the guests who want to refresh after a hot summer day are wandering over to the Hard Rock Cafe which is in an annex to the Grand Hyatt. I love the quote in the article from the Cafe manager who when asked about the fact that both owners are Saudi commented that no two fingers on the same hand are alike. That is so true and is the saving grace of the world. In fact, not all Saudi's are followers of the Wahhabi sect and many of them are not enamoured of the strict rules that the Wahhabi's enforce.

So raise a glass to variety!

copyright 2008 Maryanne Stroud Gabbani