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"Just being in these mysterious places you have a personal
transformation, an out of this world experience."
So now her busy life reflects the true
spirit of multiculturalism -- family get
togethers with exuberant music, Greek
and Egyptian food (the latter very
similar to Lebanese cuisine), various
languages because it was commonplace in
Alexandria's melting pot to speak Greek,
French and English as well as Egyptian, and
reminiscences across the generations, all
combining with her own successful career
and happy personal life.
A passion to bridge the gap between
East and West is something Roberta has
inherited from her father and an important
impetus for the annual trip, a date set in
her calendar from December 3 to 17.
"We choose that time every year
because it's the cooler months and the
Egyptian winter is just like our spring.
And it allows people to be back home for
And providing a setting so far removed
from daily life back home in Australia,
a combination of ancient mystique and
exclusivity and all the comforts of a five
star experience, allows participants to
sense for those two weeks at least some
of the intense spirituality of ancient Egypt.
As Roberta explains it, "We operate
on a surreal level while we're in Egypt.
Sometimes we are the only people in a
temple or a chamber so it feels as if we
are stepping back in time. And we feel we
are doing something for peace. We
encourage our participants to be
ambassadors for peace to bridge that
gap of understanding between East and
West. I think when we approach people
on this sort of level that's how change can
The tour begins every year with a stay
at the Mena House, an old palace set in
glorious gardens in the shadow of the
Great Pyramid at Giza, with views of the
pyramids from most of the rooms. " I
remember the first time I saw the pyramids
just rising out of the desert -- it was
absolutely awe inspiring," says Roberta.
As well as hosting royalty, presidents
and celebrities, the Mena House has
historical significance playing an important
role in the leadup to the signing of the
Camp David Peace Treaty in 1978 to cease
hostilities between Egypt and Israel.
Other highlights include private access
to the Kings Chamber deep inside the
Great Pyramid with the chance to meditate
for "an hour or two", a rare and highly
valued privilege at one of the world's great
tourist attractions. "When Napoleon was
in Egypt he spent time by himself in the
Kings Chamber and it's documented that
when he came out he was a changed man,"
"It is a profound place where you can
sense all the vibrations over the centuries.
Just being in these mysterious places
you have a personal transformation, an
out of this world experience."
A Nile cruise to the town of Aswan,
a centre of traditional Nubian art and
craft, sunrise at the feet of the Sphinx,
a private lecture by Dr Hawass on the
latest discoveries often before they turn
up on the Discovery Channel, beautiful
temples to Isis, the Goddess of Love, at
Philae and Hathor, Goddess of Joy, Music
and Dancing, at Dendara, also the site of
the world's oldest astrological wheel, are
other annual highlights.
Everyone who undertakes the Journey
of Discovery has their own particular
transformative moment and for most it
is climbing to the top of Mt Sinai to reach
St Catherine's Monastery, reputed to be
the oldest working Christian monastery
in the world and a World Heritage Site.
While many walk the whole way, a steady
climb talking about 3.5 hours, others take
the camel route. Whatever the means, the
climb is accessible to all ages, says Roberta,
and the pilgrimage seems to live long in
Her own special moment is usually
time spent in the company of the Goddess
Sekhmet, the powerful Goddess of War
often depicted as a lioness, who has an
area dedicated to her within the Karnak
"At Karnak which has such a powerful
masculine energy she is within her
natural environment and you can feel her
powerful vibration. But she is also a
healing goddess. I find I resonate with her
particularly and I draw a lot of strength
from her in my business and personal life."
And on her next trip "back home"
this coming December, Roberta will be
honouring a pledge she made when
looking into the gold mask of King Tut,
another of those rare and deeply personal
private moments that define this tour.
"I made a solemn oath when I was there
last and when that 12 month marker
comes up hopefully I'll be able to keep that
And what is it? Ahhh. Another of those
mysteries of Egypt.
To fi nd out more about the Egyptian trip,
call 1300 733 642 or go to
www.qcseminars.com and click on the
appropriate link. Mention this article for a
tour guide and an authentic Egyptian gift.
A Journey Home
from page 12
With the statue of the Goddess Sekhmet in a
sanctuary at the Karnak Temple.
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