Feb 9th, 2009, 03:14 AM
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 142
Thanks SF7. I found it!
partypoet is offline  
Feb 9th, 2009, 06:28 AM
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 2,598
<<The bottles were large ones. We found it strange, though, that they weren't provided by OAT. They provide them in Mexico, Central America and India. Why not in Egypt?>>

I wondered that too since drinking the local water is not an option. OAT provided water for us in Morocco and our program director told us to take the water that was left from our meals since it had been paid for, but in Egypt our p.g. insisted that we leave it in the restaurants.

Luisah is offline  
Feb 9th, 2009, 11:07 AM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 2,619
Here's the response from the US Embassy in Cairo:

"The safety of foreigners traveling or residing in Egypt is solely the responsibility of the Government of Egypt. The US Embassy in Cairo is not in the position of interfering in security measurements required by the host country officials to protect the interest or wellbeing of foreigners in Egypt."

I don't know if the guards were required by the Egyptian government or by OAT, but the ground operator was adamant that they were required to have those guards.

ShayTay is offline  
Feb 9th, 2009, 12:07 PM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 10,823
I believe the guards are required by the Egyptian government for all large tour groups and for people (individuals or tours) traveling in certain out of the way areas.

We never had guards for our small private tours, but we were stopped on our way to Fayoum at a checkpoint and we were required to have a guard accompany us to the city and he even spent the night at the hotel we stayed in. We didn't really want him with us when we went out to the old Roman ruins, so we headed back toward Cairo and dropped him at the checkpoint. We drove on a little further and then cut thru the desert to get to the ruins. Lesson learned - whenever we headed to the Fayoum area for camping....we cut thru the desert before we hit the checkpoint.

However, we were never required to have guards when we drove to Sharm or El Gouna.
Grcxx3 is offline  
Feb 10th, 2009, 12:28 PM
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 2,598
<<I don't know if the guards were required by the Egyptian government or by OAT, but the ground operator was adamant that they were required to have those guards.>>

OAT does not require the guards, it's the Egyptian government. There would be guards if you took a tour with another company.
Luisah is offline  
Feb 10th, 2009, 01:14 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 171
The reason for the guards is employment. All young men are required to serve in the army. Because Egypt does not have a large standing army most of them must serve as tourist police. Thus all the security police.
KIBOKO is offline  
Feb 24th, 2009, 05:51 AM
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 142
I naively felt so safe when we were in Egypt. What a shock to hear that a bomb was detonated in the very spot where we stood. How sad that dissidents need to express their anger with bombs!
partypoet is offline  
Feb 24th, 2009, 11:44 AM
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 1
I am planing to leave on an OAT trip, first to Jordan and then to Egypt until 3/17. I find the bomb explosion very disconcerting but my friend and I are going ahead with the trip. I called OAT to discuss the situation and they stated no one has canceled and they feel the situation is safe. The postings have been incredibably helpful. Because of my busy schedule I have not done a lot of reading so this has filled in a lot of gaps.
rosierd is offline  
Feb 25th, 2009, 09:30 AM
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 754
I too felt safe while in Egypt last month and stood where the bomb exploded. However, I understand that bombs and other terroristic attacks can happen anywhere and at any time. Some can be foreseen, others not. It is impossible to predict the time or place. That being said, I would proceed on any trips planned.
To say to be careful is merely a cliche - after all, what can one do to be careful? Keep a watchful eye? Yes. Not go to tourist spots? I don't think so. OAT has armed guards travelling on the bus and that is certainly a help - but nothing can help you if you are in the wrong spot and the wrong time.
Rosierd - go on the trip and enjoy yourself as best as you can. Egypt is a country with wonderful historic sights and culture. Have a good time - and - BE CAREFUL!!!
Lolo12 is offline  
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