Everyone keeps warning me about Egypt!!

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May 8th, 2005, 04:37 AM
  #21
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
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Let me guess.. your from the US? People thought I was crazy too when I said I was going to Jordan. I just got back and I had a wonderful time.
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May 8th, 2005, 04:47 AM
  #22
 
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My wife and I returned from a tour of Jordan and Egypt three weeks ago. It was indeed the trip of a lifetime. Simply marvelous. Wonderful accommodations, food, and treatment by everyone we encountered. Never felt safer anywhere because of very visible police presence. There always will be those who tell you that "the sky is falling," but we can only speak from experience that both Jordan and Egypt were splendid.
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May 8th, 2005, 07:59 AM
  #23
 
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While I can see attempting to be considerate of the feelings of close family members worrying at home, I can not agree that your travel decisions should be governed by parents' adult children's anxiety about your travel - you I presume are an adult. My mother is worried when I cross the street (well, maybe a slight exaggeration) so if I avoided travel that would make her nervous, I would stay home in my bunker.
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May 8th, 2005, 01:55 PM
  #24
sandi
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Another solution -

"don't tell anyone until you return!"
 
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May 8th, 2005, 05:36 PM
  #25
P_M
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Sandi, how funny you should bring that up!! That was always my rule for talking travel to my late grandfather. I never told him anything about my trips until after I got home. Granddaddy was a dear man, but his only world travel experience was when he served bravely in WW2. This left him with a very bad impression of what it's like to be outside of the US, and he never got past that.

One time at a family gathering, another family member let it slip that I was going to Greece in the next week. Granddaddy took out his hanky, cried, and begged me not to go. I did my best to assure him I would be fine, but he just didn't buy it. I called from Greece to let everyone know I'm OK (mainly for his benefit) and once I got home he was able to relax.

Granddaddy is gone now, but maybe this s/b my approach to future trips when dealing with certain other relatives.

P.S. I must say in my grandfather's defense that he was an elderly man who knew little about the world outside of his home. I hope nobody will judge him harshly for his opinions about world travel. It just goes to show that people who don't travel can't always know things we travelers know.
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May 8th, 2005, 07:36 PM
  #26
 
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"Travel is fatal...to prejudice, narrow mindedness, and ignorance."

Mark Twain
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May 8th, 2005, 07:55 PM
  #27
 
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Unfortunately 'incidents' have always happened, all across the world, imagine travelling 100 years back!! How safe was that?! There will and always have been crazed people, things 'happen'. What I don't agree with is paranoia about not going to places that are overall safe, of course it is terrible when such things happen and I don't have the statistics but surely the chances of getting injured or worse in such rare occurances is certainly less risk than most people take every day of their lives.
People seem to accept that there are dangerous places and dangerous people where they live or in a close by neighbourhood but accept it because it is part of their daily lives, being streetwise, checking anyone who comes to the door etc etc, well when you travel there are risks too but it doesn't mean you don't travel any more than you don't go to work or leave your own home!

There are too many people making too many people just plain 'scared'.
It doesn't help when it seems a craze now for authorities to give out these warnings without giving people a balanced perspective on the real situation.

Also, I 'thought' that everyone was going on and on about how we musn't be intimidated by crazed fanatics yet it appears certainly in the West that there is almost hysteria about anything that happens across the seas, again, disregarding day to day risks.
On the Europe board there is a similar thread relating to a small explosion in Turkey that did not affect any tourists and yet people are worried, becuase it's like they have been 'told' to be worried.
Just look at US or Europe statistics for daily crime/attacks/injury/death etc and compare that with countries people are warned against. Perspective.
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May 8th, 2005, 10:11 PM
  #28
 
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I'd like to add a few words to discussion.

I joined the africa forum a few months ago in order to learn useful tidbits on East Africa. I am delighted to say that in July that's where I will be.

I had originally planned on making a stop in Cairo on my way to East Africa.
However in light of recent events in Egypt I decided that I will travel non-stop from Europe and avoid spending time in Cairo.

It's a shame. I was in Cairo in 1989. Being at the pyramids, hearing the morning call to prayer from the mosques are unforgettable, unique experiences. The Egyptians are a kind group of people. However, Egypt is different today from 1989. One cannot ignore a reemerging extremist element in Egypt these days.

Risk is a game of probabilities. Though the risk of being a victim of terrorism is small, it goes much higher if one ventures into a venue where the probablity of such events is higher.

Even during the peak of Palestinian bombings in Israel it was likely to be safe in most areas of the country. However, no one in their right mind would say the risk would be comparable while riding on an Israeli bus.

For now there is a palpable risk to visiting Cairo. Each individual is then responsible for determining their own comfort level and seeing where palpable risk becomes unacceptable risk.

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May 9th, 2005, 03:50 AM
  #29
 
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There was another freeway shooting in Los Angeles yesterday ... it is more dangerous than Cairo. And it doesn't matter if you are a tourist or not ... get in the way of the bullet and you won't care who was targetted.

Avoid LA ... random shootings take more lives so far this year than in Cairo.
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May 17th, 2005, 12:07 AM
  #30
 
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PM, I just got back from speding a month over there, for my honeymoon. I got the same reaction, gasps and "oh my god"'s or even "you're certainly brave".

IT WAS FINE, it felt no different, safety-wise, than being in any major US city.

There is a heavy police presence everywhere, but it didn't bother me in the least.

I did not make it a secret that I was American, although I also didn't walk around waving the US flag. When Egyptians asked where I was from, I told them honestly. They were immediately captivated and wanted to practice their English on me. The average Egyptian bears no animosity or hatred to Americans and I had many fascinating conversations and made many friends during my journey. There was Moustafa in Cairo, and Moustafa in Luxor, and there was also a lovely man named Moustafa in Sharm El Sheikh.

I'm kidding of course - we did meet many men named Moustafa though - very common name.

My husband was also offered 150 camels by someone on the street who wanted to buy me.

Also, because I am a natural redhead, I had many people who were quite openly curious about my hair color, and children especially.

Only one thing to note: If you are a woman it is very important to dress respectfully. Our tour guide explained the reasoning behind it and we saw examples of disrespect first hand. If you want to be treated with respect, you must SHOW respect for their culture. Women should cover their shoulders (by wearing short sleeve shirts, nothing shorter than that, the longer sleeves the better) and also covering your legs (by either long pants or an ankle length skirt.) Women who bare their legs, belly or shoulders, in a devout Muslim's view, are behaving like a prostitute.

Western women do NOT have to cover their hair, but the clothing part of it is a MUST, IF you want to be treated with respect. Just because you are a westerner does not mean you are exempt from their code of morals. One woman in our tour group ignored our guide's clothing suggestion, she wore a no sleeve top with a pair of shorts, and she ended up having her breasts groped by a stranger. While I am not saying that what happened to her was right, she was dressed quite provocatively, and in a country where that is frowned upon, when you are advised in advance about it, you have no right to complain if that kind of thing happens to you.

I never had any problems, I dressed respectfully in cool linens trousers or jeans, and white button up oxford shirts with sleeves rolled to the elbows, and the people were quite respectful back, although as I said, quite frankly, very curious about my red hair.

Go, and have a great time. IT'S NOT A WAR ZONE. It's a democracy, and perfectly safe and fine. I was there for a month DURING the bombings and demonstrations, and barely noticed it. Life went on as usual and 95% of the city was unaffected by it. Cairo is a fascinating city filled with interesting contrasts, and it's a place I am glad I did not miss.

When people advise you not to go, they are speaking out of ignorance and/or prejudice.

You'll be so glad when you come back with all those wonderful memories of such a warm and inviting people and place.
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