A group of Egyptian youth have started an inspiring initiative with the aim of visiting all 27 of Egypt’s governorates. The aptly named Roadto27 has been going to a different governorate every weekend, exploring its culture and meeting its people. The trips are usually day trips, with up to 25 people joining every time. Hussein Heiba, the man behind the initiative, explains that the idea is to get people interested in local tourism. Even if they do so in their own ways.

“I got a little frustrated by everyone complaining about things but no one taking action. I always hoped that we could stand by one another across all spectra and fully understand every inch of our country. I think after we do that then we are in better positions to give our opinions on how to truly help and change”, Heiba tells Cairo Scene.

Heiba first started the initiative on his own, taking his friend Kareem Ghoneim with him on the first trip, before the idea caught on and more people began joining. The initiative now consists of a core group of 8 people including Heiba, handling everything from videography, PR, social media, tour guiding and planning. The number of additional participants varies from trip to trip.

Although the trips are planned out, Heiba explains that they like to leave room to fully experience a place; “We usually like it to be planned as places to visit but also a be a little bit random to fully get the experience and integrate randomly with the locals”.

Shahd El Lamei joined the group from its inception and has been participating in the trips ever since, even handling the initiative’s PR. “Hussein posted the initiative on Facebook and I was very interested because my dad is from Port Said and I always wanted to show other people the beauty and the hidden gems of my city.”

Teaming up with Heiba, they organised the trip to Port Said, which was a huge success. The trip led to the creation of the initiative’s social media presence on both Facebook and Instagram. Speaking to Cairo Scene, El Lamei explained that although she had been travelling abroad most of her life, she came to the realisation that she had yet to explore her own country. “I realised there are so many places inside of my country that I had no idea about and it was time to start the journey of discovering the 27 governorates. The experience is amazing, I have learned so many things, explored different places and I can't wait to complete the journey.”

The group has visited 10 governorates so far, exploring Cairo, Giza, Port Said, Ismailia, Beni Suef, Alexandria, Minya, Qalyubia, parts of the Red Sea, and Fayoum, whose governor generously hosted the group.