Egypt and Jordan Travelers Still Going

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Nov 14th, 2001, 09:14 AM
  #41
michele
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Louis,
A friend of ours just got back from Egypt. He went solo ( he's been before), had a great time, no problems of any sort, divided his time between Cairo, Luxor, and Aswan.

M.
 
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Nov 16th, 2001, 04:01 PM
  #42
Louis
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Michele, thank you for the info. I am pleased that there are still people out there that know the purpose of a travel forum.
 
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Nov 23rd, 2001, 10:05 AM
  #43
Simitra
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I am not a stooge or a spindoctor. I am an ordinary professional female from the UK who prefers independent travel. 10 days ago I returned from a trip to Syria and Lebanon. The greatest physical danger I was in was in crossing the road! The people in these countries were genuine, friendly and charming. Unlike some of the bigots I have met in my own country, they were capable of making a judgement which distinguishes individual travellers from the policies practiced by their respective governments. Never at any point was I disrespected because of my nationality. I do not agree with the policies of the British Govt in Afghanistan but my plans to travel to the Middle East were made before 11/9 and saw no reason to change them.
 
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Dec 2nd, 2001, 08:52 AM
  #44
Jimmy
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My wife and I cancelled our trip to Egypt over Christmas one week after the events of 11/9. Our cancelling at this time allowed us not to lose any money.

I have traveled to Egypt (Cairo and Alex) many times on business and this was to be a "trip of a lifetime" for my wife. However, our decision was based on our "uneasiness" with the situation at hand.

We were "torn" about our decision, but felt there would be a better time to go in the future. These feelings of "confusion" are not just held by westerners, as I subsequently had Egyptian collegues cancel a trip to the US due to similar feelings.

As of today we have not decided where we will spend our holidays; however, I believe we made the right decision...for us. The continued turmoiil in the ME makes this situation fluid and there is no telling what might happen over the coming days.

The people of Egypt are kind and welcoming to tourists and I have many Egyptians I consider friends. However, Egypt like all countries in the world have extremist groups that are unpredictable.

If you go, I believe you will have a great time...as for us, based on our perceived risk we decided not to go...
 
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Dec 3rd, 2001, 06:42 PM
  #45
Kelly
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I went to Egypt in early November of this year. I was a bit apprehensive about safety before I left but this fear was unfounded. I felt quite safe there and never felt threatened (unless you count the the unrelenting hounding to buy something). There were police and guards everywhere, and metal detectors in most restaraunts and hotels. I went with a small tour group and had the most wonderful time - my best trip yet. We saw Cairo (the only time I feared for my life was trying to cross the street), Luxor and Aswan, and had a police escort to Abu Simbel which is 3 hours drive south of Aswan. I would definitely recommend going on a tour rather than going at it alone, however, as I can imagine how difficult it would be to arrange transportation to and from different areas. I would also advise not to expect much luxury - the tour leader said to remember it is a third world country, but if you wanted to experience exactly the same things as you would at home, you wouldn't go to Egypt anyway. And they key point to remember is "nothing in Egypt is free". The natives will try and get your money for every little thing, but the fun is in bartering. If you don't like it, I found that not making eye contact worked for me. Nonetheless, it is a great adventure and a beautiful country, and the Egyptian people are very friendly and welcoming.
 
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Dec 3rd, 2001, 09:12 PM
  #46
steve
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I would be very apprehensive about traveling to the middle east right now, especially since Israel's war on palestinian terrorists has escalated so much just in the last few days.

I have been hearing stories of anti-western sentiment in Egypt - not to mention the celebrations in Cairo on Sept. 11.

Maybe a backpacker could risk it, but personally I wouldn't do it with my family or kids.

If you do decide to go - good luck and be careful.
 
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Dec 4th, 2001, 05:07 AM
  #47
tarek
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Steve, please refrain from unfounded claims.
The conflict between Israel and the Palestinians is in no way affecting us here in Egypt.
And I don't know what you are talking about, when you mention celebrations of the horrible attacks on the US.
Unless you have valuable information, please refrain from slandering other countries.
 
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Dec 4th, 2001, 09:32 AM
  #48
steve
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No offense was intended tarek. Sorry if my comments appeared that way.

My point was that tensions are running high right now, and the current war against terrorists may stir up fundamentalists like the ones who carried out the massacre of tourists in Luxor a couple of years back.

Take care,

Steve
 
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Dec 4th, 2001, 09:36 AM
  #49
steve
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PS Tarek -

You mentioned that you didn't know about the celebrations in Egypt on Sept 11, in which crowds of people partied in the streets when they heard the WTC had been destroyed.

There was extensive film coverage of these celebrations, as well as numerous interviews with people who expressed joy about the attack.

There was lots of press as well - I can post links to numerous articles describing these celebrations if you like - perhaps it would be better if I emailed them to you, as I don't want to take up too much space on the forum with this topic.

Regards,

Steve.
 
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Dec 6th, 2001, 03:03 AM
  #50
tarek
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Steve,
Feel free to e-mail me any links you want.
The fundamentalist organiations that were once active in Egypt and that perpetrated the Luxor attack 4 years ago have long ago been dismantled, and their few remaining members have been living in Afghanistan since, were they are now getting defeated by America and it's allies.
AS for street celebrations of any kind following the terror attacks on 11 September , there were none here in Egypt. You must be confusing Egypt with one of its neighboring countries.
There was one story that I have read on a few website about people in a cafe expressing some kind of satisfaction. But that neither does that qualify as "widespread celevbration" nor does it indicated that that twisted attitude was common in any way. If your claims were true, there would have been more stories, not just one that was published in various places. If you would like it, I can e-mail you a few links to articles about expats living here telling how supportive everyone they met were when these horrific events took place.

Tarek
 
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Dec 6th, 2001, 05:04 AM
  #51
steve
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Tarek -

I hope you didn't take my post to mean that all Egyptians are terrorists, or that the egyptian government is not working to deter activity by terrorists in egypt. I am sure there are millions of decent people in Egypt who do not agree with the methods of terrorism, and who did not celebrate on Sept. 11.

But the fact is there is widespread sentiment throughout the middle east - not just in egypt - of support for fundamental islamicism (which is to be distinguised from the Islamic religion) and virulent anti-western hatred.

My only point was that if the conflict between the palestinians and israelis escalates - which it is now in danger of doing, then the entire region could become destabilized.

At any rate, my only point was that people should consider this when traveling to the region, and might consider waiting until the war on terrorism is won and the islamacist fanatics quashed before travel. Of course, this is an individual decision.

PS - plug in the words "bullseye", "egypt" "celebration" and "september" into any search engine, and you will come up with many articles describing celebrations in Egypt and elsewhere on Sept. 11. Also, there was extensive television coverage in the US of these Sept. 11 celebrations in cairo, the west bank, lebanon, gaza, and iran.

Tarek - once again, I mean no disrespect to the people and country of Egypt - I believe this war on terrorism and islamicist fanaticism is something we both believe must be fought and won.

Take care,
Steve
 
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Dec 7th, 2001, 07:27 AM
  #52
Mary C
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Dearest Steve,

Out of curiosity, I tried to access some of those websites you mentioned using the key words "bullseye", "celebration", "September", & "Egypt" and had extreme difficulty in doing so. All I could find were news reports detailing Egyptian peoples' sympathy for the citizens of the U.S. Maybe I'm not using the best search engines, though. I tend to use lesser-known ones such as MSN & Yahoo. Any tips? Perhaps someone who is not afraid to post his/her e-mail address might be willing to give exact website addresses? It would shed light on this matter.

BTW, I never saw news reports here in the U.S. on celebrations in Egypt.

Regards,
Mary
 
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Dec 7th, 2001, 09:59 AM
  #53
steve
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Hi Mary -

I was using Yahoo. The first article that pops up using the keywords I gave is from the Miami herald, in which the celebrations in Cairo among other places are detailed. There are several other articles from reliable US and UK sources documenting the same celebrations.

Also, there were extensive interviews in Cairo aired in the week after the attack, in which people on the street expressed joy and satisfaction that the West 'got what was coming to it'. These interviews aired on both CNN and CBS. I did not mean to single out Egypt however - there were extensive street celebrations all throughout the middle east on Sept. 11. A little research will yield ample evidence from reliable news sources to support this - I hesitate to post actual articles because I do not wish to violate Fodor's TOS for this board.

At any rate, the point of the thread had to do with travel safety. Now, given the threats by Al Qaeda to target westerners, the increased tension in Israel, and the Afghan war, I merely meant to point out that travelers should take extreme care if traveling to this region.

Personally, I look forward to traveling to Egypt once the islamicist extremists, who are many in number (to be distinguished from followers of Islam) and terror organizations in the middle east, such as Islamic Jihad, Al Qaeda, Hamas, Hizbollah etc. have been crushed. Until then however, I would be apprehensive of traveling to that region.

Just my 2 cents - as I said, it's a personal decision of course.

 
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Dec 9th, 2001, 12:27 AM
  #54
tarek
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Steve,
Thank you, but you are absolutely wrong. There was no such thing as "street cetlebrations" in Cairo or anywhere in Egypt after September 11. I live here, I should know, shouldn't I?

There is a website called www.EgyptSearch.com which has a forum mostly used by Western expats who live here. Why don't you visit the site and ask for personal accounts of how they viewed Egypt's reaction to the attacks on America? And while you are at it, why don't you inquire about how safe they feel around here?

None of the terrorist organizations you have mentioned is active in Egypt. Some are active in Israel, some in Lebanon, but none around here.

As a matter of fact, if, as you say, you would like to visit Egypt, you would not dream of a time better than right now. The weather is perfect (a little chilly at night) and tourist sites are not crowded. You'd have the country to yourself and you'd benefit from great deals on everything. I would be happy to welcome you in my country.
 
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Dec 10th, 2001, 03:35 PM
  #55
Muffy
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Terek, this is where I just have to jump in on this .The news about Egyptians celebrating in the streets was shown on TV and that is the reason 4 of us ,all adults cancelled our trip.We would have no reason to make up a story like that.It was on TV.WE saw it.We will travel to Egypt when we have a greater sense of safety and that is what we all pray for PEACE before the whole world gets blown away by terrorists,no matter their country of birth.Right now it looks like they have cells all over the world and with their warped way of thinking no one is safe.The tourist industry in our country is suffering too so Egypt is not alone in that respect.We would also welcome you to our country.It would be a wonderful Planet if all people lived in peace and harmony and enjoyed each others company.Well, we can all dream about it anyway.
Carol




 
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Dec 12th, 2001, 04:33 AM
  #56
chris
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Tarek:

First, I am sorry that Egypt has born the brunt of westerners' fears about travelling in the Middle East. Given the importance of tourism to the Egyptian economy, I know the hesitation to travel is having a disproportionate effect on Egypt. I have never been to Egypt, but it is on my list of places I want to see, and will make it there one day.

Like the others, I did see several "man on the street" interviews with Egyptians in the wake of Sept 11, and found it shocking that every person shown on TV initially expressed sympathy but then said, "but the US had it coming to them." I understand that newsmen and women are more likely to broadcast sensational material and that genuine expressions of sympathy, solidarity, etc. are not attention grabbers like the scenes of Palestinians dancing in the street or others expressing satisfaction that the mighty US was shown to be not so mighty.

It did not help western perception of Egyptians when it was shown that in the days following Sept 11, some Egyptians had loaded onto their cell phone LCD displays a crude rendering of a plane aimed at the World Trade Center with the wording, "We aimed and did not miss." (I would assume that the average cell phone user in Egypt is pretty well off or well educated, which makes the popularity of such a message pretty disturbing from an American perspective. Many here began thinking, "If the people who should know better hate us and can be so callous, what do the rest of them think?")

Also, there have been numerous reports in respected newspapers (Wall Street Journal, etc) of the personal reactions many US academics and businessmen across the Middle East (including Egypt) have experienced. Many reported being accosted about US foreign policy at business lunches, being harassed at meetings, being hounded or "ganged up on" by fellow professors at universities, etc. To say that many of these responses among the more educated / elite (and one would assume, more pro-western) members of society were hostile is an understatement.

I am writing this only to explain the perception created in the US by some very vocal anti-American people in your country and elsewhere in the Middle East. One of my best friends (a Muslim woman) is dating a man from Alexandria, so I know that the average Egyptian does not feel this way. But having this friend and her boyfriend to discuss Sept 11 and Egypt gives me insight that many people here do not have.

I hope you don't think that what I've written is slanderous against your country. Many Americans have a very positive image of Egypt, but many are leery about travelling there at this time. Hopefully, things will get better soon and we will all be back to sharing in your country's beauty.

Take care,
Chris
 
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Dec 12th, 2001, 04:58 AM
  #57
chris
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I forgot to mention - I did NOT see any Egyptian street celebrations in the wake of Sept 11. Those shown on US TV were Palestinian.
 
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Dec 13th, 2001, 02:22 AM
  #58
tarek
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Chris,
Indeed, many Egyptians don't agree with American foreign policies, but they would not start assaulting Americans for that. I would not call that "anti-americanism", rather "disagreement on specific matters." This is not a political forum, but feel free to e-mail me if you would like an insight on what exctly is not apreciated in the way the US handle Middle Eastern affairs. And feel free to post on egyptsearch.com's foeums. Many expats will be happy to give you first-hand accounts on how affected (or unaffected) their lives here were after Sept 11.

As for the mobile phones story, I thought that such labels had spread in Pakistan, not here. I have received a few Bin Laden jokes by SMS but nothing too bad. By the way, your assumption about mobile phone users is wrong. Even cab drivers use them in Cairo. Actually, even guys with a donkey cart who travel through the city buying and selling all sorts of old and used stuff.

Again I would like to assure you that it is perfectly safe around here. Check out the webiste I previously mentioned or even the lonely planet web forum, and you'll see what foreign residents as well as tourists have to say about the level of safety. You'll see that those who made it these days were very happy about the fact that they had the country pretty much to themselves.
Regards,

Tarek
 
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Dec 14th, 2001, 09:24 AM
  #59
steve
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Hi all -

Re travel safety in Egypt and the middle east - earlier I'd voiced concerns that the war on Terror in Afghanistan and against the Palestinians could raise tensions in the middle east, making travel to that region less safe.

Now, I see that the tape of Usama Bin Laden discussing the evil sneak attack has been dismissed as a 'fake', or as irrelevant, or as 'US propaganda'.

I'm curious - do these news reports reflect the views of those living in the region? Do Egyptians believe this chilling record of evil is a 'fake', or is that a distortion of the media?

I'd be interested to know how the Arab world really feels.
 
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Dec 19th, 2001, 08:24 AM
  #60
Phil
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Steve,

Andrea Mitchell from CNBC said she interviewed over 20 Egyptians and all said the tape was a fraud. Makes you think twice about spending the American dollar in Egypt. After hearing that and the anti-american and anti-semetic remarks on Al Jezeera, not a penny from me!
 
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