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Just one year after the Arab Spring, the ousting of President Mohammed Morsi marked the beginning of what has become known as the Arab Winter. The ensuing civil unrest left the Egyptian tourism industry in near decimation. Most of the country – the Nile and Cairo included – was deemed unsafe for foreign travel. Forced to close or heavily discount prices, by December 2013 only the Red Sea resorts at Sharm El Sheikh and Hurghada remained open to tourism.

Titanic Beach is one such resort struggling to make ends meet. Once past the armed guards and metal detectors, you are overcome by the stale smell of cheap tobacco, the sheen of polished marble and gaudy plastic Santas. Within, Russian and English tourists isolate themselves with sun, food and free drink, from a country in turmoil.

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