Egypt and Jordan ..safe?

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Sep 22nd, 2002, 05:07 PM
  #1
Jill
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Egypt and Jordan ..safe?

We have a trip planned to Egypt and Jordan in Dec. We will be traveling with a tour group. Is it wise to travel to the Middle East with the talk of war?
 
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Sep 23rd, 2002, 03:21 AM
  #2
gail
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Who knows? I hope you get a lot of opinions here that will help you make your decision. We were in Egypt prior to 9/11, but it presents a whole new set of things to worry about now. Talk of war has been going on in that part of the world for thousands of years, but if it were me personally, I might be more hesitant to be there at this time.

Check your travel insurance or tour info - some now allow you to cancel if the US Dept of State has issued a travel warning. While both Egypt and Jordan are relatively stable governments and countries, if hostilities increase between Israel and someone or US and Iraq, the problem of angry citizens and crowds could be worrisome. A tour provides both positive and negative - you are more easily identified as tourists, and will be identified as from US even if you are not (like Canadians, etc.); however, a tour may have more resources at hand to avoid trouble or get you out of it if it should find you.

Obviously, the decision is yours and you are just seeking opinions here. As much as you have planned for this trip, if it were me, I would stay home.
 
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Sep 23rd, 2002, 11:32 AM
  #3
x
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I have friends that go regularly and I have been but not in war times. What friends tell me is avoid American tour groups and maybe the south if you are really concerned. Remember it is not a democracy and the fundamentalist do not get public sympathy they intimidate it out of most. If you read any Egyptian newspapers around September11 Mohamed Atta's father was publicly humiliated, many Arabs were appalled and embarrassed. That is what I read anyway and don't forget we support and help keep in place the non-democratic government of Egypt so they have plenty to be pissed about at home. I am sure that there are people in Egypt that think what happened was just for US deeds in the region but I think most who thought this are not going to take matters into their hands by terrorizing U.S citizens. Just like there are U.S citizens pissed off at Arabs want them out of the country but not all (even directly after 911)of them were organizing lynch mobs to do it. Just what I think.

Look at the State Department warning list. If Egypt is on there I would abide.
 
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Sep 24th, 2002, 08:15 PM
  #4
Traveler
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Traveling in Egypt has not been really safe for tourist for the last few years. The government is not a demoncratic government. One or more of the Islamic groups has been targeting tourists in an effort to destroy the tourist trade. Not frequently, you here of a group of tourists that have been attacked and even killed.
Get yourself a Canadian flag or pin and put it on your clothing. You are less likely to be targeted.
 
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Sep 25th, 2002, 01:52 AM
  #5
gail
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I have to respectfully disagree with "Traveler", especially with regards to "last few years". It is true that a group of German tourists were ambushed at the Valley of the Kings about 6 years ago. It was such a big news story because it was so rare. Since then, the Egyptian government has gone to great lengths to offer both real and a sense of security to foreign tourists, since they realize it is their biggest industry. Their are armed "Antiquity Police" on every block - at first this made us nervous, but we became accustomed to it. Our tour had a guard with it. There was never any hint of reason for either of these precautions - we found the only real "danger" was risk of being scammed or bothered to buy useless trinkets manufactured in some other country.

It is difficult to imagine what good a tiny Canadian flag would do - if someone is going to shoot you from a mountainside or kill you in a riot (neither of which we considered real risks), I doubt they will ask your nationality.

We found Egyptians to be pleasant and welcoming. The majority of those we met were just trying to make a living off tourism and I am sure have suffered economic loss with the dramatic drop in tourism.

That said, Islamic anger towards the US and other Western countries is rising and surely will continue to if the US attacks Iraq. We were there 18 months ago - prior to 9/11 which prompted anti-US demonstrations in Cairo, and obviously prior to escalating Arab/US tensions. As I said in above post, as much as I loved Egypt, I don't think I would go now.
 
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Sep 25th, 2002, 04:36 PM
  #6
jill
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Thanks to everyone that has replied to my question.It is always interesting to hear other opinions.
The tour company assured me that they would not take us anywhere that was unsafe and go by the state department recommendations.We have the trip insurance and have the option of canceling right up to the day before we leave. For now, we are still debating!
Any additional comments would be welcomed.
 
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Sep 26th, 2002, 11:06 AM
  #7
orgy7
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I just hope you go too Petra it's one of the nicest places I've been too..
 
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Sep 29th, 2002, 03:50 PM
  #8
jill
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Yes, I am happy to say our tour includes Petra!!
 
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Sep 29th, 2002, 05:19 PM
  #9
Laura
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I was in Egypt with a tour group in June of 2001. The security was very tight. I stayed at the Mena House in Cairo which is a gated facility. I counted seven armed guards at the gate. On the service road to the airport guards are stationed every few feet. Everywhere we went we had guards. The Egyptian people were very nice. My tour guide was an Egyptologist from the university in Cairo and he was very knowledgeable. He also sent out of his way to be nice. We took a cruise ship on the Nile and disembarked to visit various sites including the Valley of the Kings. Guards were on the ship and they were on the docks. I might be a little reluctant to go to Egypt right now, but I did feel secure while I was there.

I'm thinking about going to Israel and I'm sure that it is more dangerous than Egypt.

If you do go, you will love it!
 
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Oct 5th, 2002, 04:41 AM
  #10
lestat
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I will be in Egypt in Dec. as well - and am more excited about the return than worried. I am Canadian, and frankly, am more worried about the rash actions taken by the american gov't right now than by what would happen to me in Egypt. I will be riding a bike, however, for a charity cause to help emergency aid for Afghanistan, and am unlikely going to be a target of violence - and I honestly have found the Egyptian attitude less militant than many reactionary people in the U.S. As far as democracy goes, I guess it depends on your definition - the latest poll for Mr. Bush's presidency is hardly that of the majority of people in America - thus, not any more democratic than Egypt's present President. Enjoy your glorious visit - if there is a war, it will be world wide the way it is going now.
cheers,
*the Canadian democrat*
 
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Oct 28th, 2002, 02:29 PM
  #11
KS
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I am a US Citizen who is currently living in London. I just returned from Egypt last week. I was surprised at how safe I felt there ~ in fact, I felt more at ease in Egypt than I do in London. The people are extraordinarily friendly ~ you will have a fabulous time!!!
 
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Oct 28th, 2002, 04:45 PM
  #12
Jill
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MSNBC news reported on the web todayquot;KIDNAPPING TIP
On Sept. 27, the U.S. government said it received uncorroborated information that a member of Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaida network was considering kidnapping U.S. citizens in Jordan." In view of the killing of the US diplomat today we are seriously considering canceling our trip to Egypt and Jordan. It doesn not seem very stable. Any opinions?? Thanks!
 
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Nov 3rd, 2002, 01:36 PM
  #13
Heidi
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RE visiting Jordan now/soon - I have a trip scheduled to Jordan (from London)in mid-December, and am at this point still planning to go. Jill, I had not heard of the prospect of kidnappings, and I don't know enough about MSNBC to judge whether it's a reliable news source. Neither the UK nor the US currently has a travel warning for Jordan - let's see if that changes in the next few days.

Based on what I have heard from friends in Jordan, both Jordanian and European, the climate hasn't changed much in recent weeks - the 28 October killing of Laurence Foley caused a big stir, but it is being treated so seriously by the government that people are reassured that everything is being done to catch the killer - who, after all, may have been a nut acting alone or someone with some personal motive. A letter to a UK newspaper from a militant group called Shurafa al-Urdunn, claiming that the group had carried out the shooting in protest of US intervention in the ME, is now believed by British and Jordanian authorities to be a hoax.

Jordan has long been regarded as one of the safest places in the ME, and despite the fact that ordinary Jordanians naturally have sympathy for the Palestinian cause and resent US support of Israel, there have been only 2 very isolated incedents (a February bombing in Amman, which killed 2 people, and the October shooting) which could even be considered to be directed towards/threatening to Americans or other westerners.

One caveat - if the US actually did attack Iraq, it's very reasonable to expect that the repercussions in Jordan, especially economic, will be swift and severe. If that happens, all bets are off.
 
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Nov 7th, 2002, 10:04 AM
  #14
silvana
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i am an american who lived in egypt all my life. through all 18 years i spent growing up there, all the while being about the town with my very american-looking friends, not once did we encounter danger. i was there just two months after 9/11 and it was of course wonderful. the egyptian people are friendly and helpful and truly kind. stray from the tour group if you can every now and then.. you will find the true egypt when mingling with the people and being immersed in the life. i envy you- have a great trip
 
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Nov 16th, 2002, 12:25 PM
  #15
Ed
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Jordan is a nice country. It's too bad that there is so much turmoil between governments and politicians worldwide. As far as safety, I don't think crime is particularly bad in Jordan compared to many countries in the world. As far as terrorism, the war with Al Qaeda will continue for the next 30 years or more. If Al Qaeda becomes unorganized, someone else will continue the fight. Remember how Abu Nidal was the bad guy in the 80's? If someone wants to avoid crowds or crowds of American tour groups, this is reasonable.
 
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