A spiritual journey to Egypt
Modern worshippers visit ancient sites
April 6, 1997
Web posted at: 2:15 p.m. EDT (1815 GMT)
From Correspondent Gayle Young
GIZA, Egypt (CNN) -- Tourism in Egypt has entered a new age -
- almost literally. People who believe in the power of
pyramids, crystals and meditation, sometimes known as "new
agers," are flocking to Egypt in record numbers to visit a
site they consider a source of great mysticism and energy.
Unlike other tourists, they are not seeking a good time, but
something a little more complicated.
Some, like California therapist Franklyn Smith, believe in
reincarnation and that they lived in Egypt during ancient
"For as long as I remember, I've had an affinity for anything
Egyptian," Smith says. "I've done past life regressions. Some
are vague. Some are more specific."
Egypt has had tourists since just about the time the pyramids
were constructed. But initially officials were wary of new
agers. who wanted to visit the pyramids at night and during
certain phases of the planets to chant and meditate.
Abbas Nadim of Visions Travel Inc, which puts together some
spiritually oriented visits to Egypt, said that some late
night visits were arranged by paying guards under the table.
But now officials are loosening up. In return for a steep fee
of several hundred dollars per group, special tour groups are
being allowed to enter the pyramids before sunrise. One such
tour, led by author Dannion Brinkley ("Saved by the Light"),
meditated in the heart of the Great Pyramid of Cheops before
Tour operators estimate there are 17 million so called new
agers in the United States, and many of them dream of coming
to Egypt. The new arrangements can be mutually beneficial --
visitors say they had an unforgettable experience, and
officials got some badly needed revenue.
Still others say the trip was simply magical.
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