In 2015 I took a contract advising the Egyptian National Institute of Standards in Giza. Cairo had just gone through the Arab Spring, the miliatary take over and the Russian airliner disaster. There were no tourists and the tension on the streets was obvious. I stayed in the Mena House Hotel, a five-star palace adjacent to the Pyramids surrounded by three security rings of armed guards. Some days, I felt I was the only guest.