Safety in Egypt

Aug 1st, 2001, 06:23 AM
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I just returned from Egypt last week. I agree with what several people have said. There is so much security that I felt safe at all times. My mother was with me, and she was made very nervous by the very little harrassment we received from some men. I strongly reiterate that dressing conservatively is the way to go. We were there in July, and we saw and spoke with many people dressed in tank tops and shorts who just could not understand why people were hasselling them. Showing that much skin in a country where many local woman still veil is not only stupid, it's disrespectful. That said, if you use the same common sense you'd use here at home, you should have absolutely no problems. The Egyptians we met, on the whole, were hospitable and courteous to the extreme.
Aug 6th, 2001, 09:49 PM
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I was number of places in Egypt (Cairo, Aswan, Luxor, Alexandria), travelling on my own, a 20-something young professional Eurasian woman who had stints years back as a model in the catwalks of New York, Paris, and Milan, therefore has had my share of being harrassed whenever and wherever I step out solo. But you know what, harrassment has never impeded my enjoying the adventures and unexpected pleasures of travel. I actually love all that male attention I get and I often breeze thru all the compliments and flirtations with a smile. That's the secret! That's the best way to handle unsolicited solicitations. Smile! BUT smile as if they should know better. Smile as if there, they have made complete fools of themselves and they should now retreat. If they're utterly persistent, just give them the smile that goes thru their beings, that is at no one in particular. The unmoving smile. The smile of the Statue of Liberty.

The great thing about going on your own is when you get sexually harrass, you can harrass back at the person who you find attractive enough to provide an asterisked interlude in your travel journal. This is what happened to me in Aswan at the Old Cataract, in it's gardens. It turned out the tanned visage with the otherworldly blue eyes following my every move during my predinner stroll turned out to be an Egyptian movie star! I - not him - went up to compliment him of his ravishing sexiness and offered to buy him a drink in the hotel bar. He certainly made me forget the Aga Khan across the river.
Aug 7th, 2001, 11:15 AM
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Oooooh me oh my(sigh),some advice right out of True Romance.How can a "twenty something" remember "stints YEARS back"? To a twenty something years back must be 1998 or so.
Aug 7th, 2001, 09:44 PM
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Mysteryman, it's easy to look back and sound and feel like a has-been when you start a modelling career at the tender age of 15, even if I'm only currently pushing 25. SIGH!, indeed. And don't be so cynical: there's romance everywhere if you know where to look. Why there was that time...oh, don't get me started

By the way, I'd like to comment about those darn ubiquitous Tourist Police in Egypt. I understand that they are there to protect you from local pests and hooligans but I think that they should first inquire if the person concerned wants to be protected. They are such an insulating aspect of the Egyptian daily lives and certainly very insulting to the locals, treating them like lesser human beings than the tourists. They invariably - and this must be their strategy to generate an image of safety - put up a wall between the visitors and the local folks, thereby preventing an authentic build-up of friendship and goodwill encounters.

A case in point: I was in Luxor, just about to leave the premises of Karnak Temple when a cute Egyptian student huried to walk by my side and smilingly introduce himself and his intention to practice his English. Before we could go beyond the rudimentary conversational stage of identifying our hometowns, a car screeched to a halt in front of us, a Tourist Policeman came out and beckoned the boy to approach him and I heard some harrassing tones directed at him. He was fumbling for an explantion (so I perceived), so I quickly went up to offer the true story of what was going on but the TP would not even listen to me. Instead, the boy was told to get in the car and he was driven away. Somebody at my hotel (The Winter Palace - a superb choice and you can get good rates sometimes if you check SOFITEL's website where specials are offered) said that his id would just be checked at the percinct and he would be promptly released. Just a minor inconvenience. Well, I do not appreciate such tactics which to me is tantamount to fascism and denotes a police state like in the old Soviet Union (where my mother's from). I felt miserable for that young man. To think that at that point in my visit I truly wanted to meet up with one just to take mind away from the wonders of Ancient Egypt. I would have wanted to have connected with the modern or young Egypt as embodied (oooohhh, b-o-d-y...)by him. I still remember his name but I won't tell you.

Aug 11th, 2001, 09:45 PM
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In similar boat. Wanting to plan a trip to Egypt; have a friend who's eager and yet, everytime I'm ready to move forward the MidEast situation gets stirred up again. Earlier this year, we'd talked about going in November.

And NOW, I just saw this news report !!! I don't know if I'll ever get to the pyramids . . .

Egypt threatens show of armed force to aid Arafat

THE threat of a wider Middle East conflict is growing as the Egyptian government considers sending its 3rd Armoured Army into the Sinai peninsula if Israel moves into Palestinian territories.

In recent weeks Egypt has come under increased pressure from the Palestinians to help them. The Sinai option was confirmed by a senior Egyptian security source, who said the Israelis had to be deterred from "destroying" the Palestinian Authority and Yasser Arafat, its leader.

Under the terms of a 1979 peace agreement, Israel withdrew from the Sinai, which it had conquered in the six day war of 1967, while Egypt agreed not to keep substantial military forces there.

Palestinian sources said that last month Arafat reminded Egypt's president, Hosni Mubarak, that the country had other obligations: as a signatory of the Arab League's defence treaty, it had a duty to give military support to any fellow member coming under attack.

Arafat, the sources said, urged Mubarak to implement the treaty. Mubarak has so far taken no action, but has said that as long as Ariel Sharon is prime minister of Israel, there will be no peace in the region.

Israeli security sources say the possibility of Mubarak's intervention is now being factored into military planning. Any incursion into the Sinai would be viewed as a violation of the peace accord. Israel would send a substantial force to defend its southern border, raising the prospect of the first confrontation with Egypt since 1973.

Any encounter now would be no pushover for the Israelis. The Egyptian army has improved dramatically in the past 30 years, and is one of the most modern in the world. Its hardware is advanced and almost entirely American; its air force is well maintained and its navy bigger than Israel's, and stronger.

Aug 18th, 2001, 04:49 PM
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Any other recent travellers with feedback on what's up in Egypt? Felt secure?

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