Traveling in Egypt

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Jun 21st, 2013, 11:29 AM
  #1
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Traveling in Egypt

My husband and I have booked a trip to Egypt in October but it seems like all I hear in the news is negative so we're starting to have second thoughts. Anyone able to offer some insight on safety and any other travel concerns or issues?
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Jun 21st, 2013, 12:45 PM
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Debbie (Casual_Cairo here) will have your best "on the scene" advice.

My gut feeling is to stick with your trip. As long as you are doing typical tourist sights with a qualified guide- you should be fine. But it's been years since I lived there and I would probably have a higher tolerance for "stuff" than most would.

But....am hoping CC will chime in and offer her opinion.
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Jun 22nd, 2013, 07:39 AM
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Hi. Thanks Grcxx3 for the vote of confidence.
pclay - you are right - everything sure sounds like Egypt is imploding, doesn't it?
Well, it's not. I can't say it won't on the 30th when the next BIG protest is planned, but on that same note, I'm not leaving and will stay here to sort things through after the 30th. My guess is it won't be THAT big of a mess, and certainly if it is on the 30th, or immediately after, it will all be sorted out and semi back to normal by October. We have 3 months for things to settle down. I don't think anyone is expecting this to turn into Syria.
Hang onto your tickets until the end of July anyway and see what is going on then. Like Crcxx3 says, if you go to the normal tour sites and if you use qualified guides that can escort you through some of the more annoying touts, you will be fine. NO ONES beef is with the foreigners exactly, so they will most likely not be anywhere you are.
We have American tourists coming in as I type and they will be out at the Pyramids tomorrow. I'll let you know if anything out of the norm happens.
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Jun 22nd, 2013, 12:22 PM
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Casual_Cairo, Thanks so much for your comments. They are definitely reassuring. Please do keep me posted. If you could offer me some regular updates, that would be great. I understand from someone I know who traveled to Egypt in March that transportation was an issue because of gasoline scarcity. Is that a major concern? We are going to be traveling with a group to the major tourist sites.
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Jun 23rd, 2013, 03:29 AM
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If you are with a group tour, don't worry. They will make sure their buses are filled up.
The diesel shortage comes and goes.
When the city has electricity pretty much all day long, then there are shortages of fuel for trucks and buses. When there are no lines at the diesel stations, then we end up getting a couple hour long electric cuts a day. If you are in a decent hotel though you shouldn't notice much change as they should have generators that kick in. Sometimes the AC and elevators stop working though for that hour.
Morsi is a knucklehead (IMHO) and if we are lucky he will understand he took a job he is completely unqualified for and he'll step down. If he doesn't we may still be having these diesel shortages in Oct. Who knows?
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Jun 23rd, 2013, 07:19 AM
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P.S. Contrary to popular reports - my clients went to the Giza Pyramids today with an Egyptologist and in a private car. I was given the report that ONLY ONE MAN came out in the road to pretend like he knew better than us where the ticket office was (in other words, they try to get you to take a turn into their stable area so they can sell you a carriage, horse, or camel ride before anyone else has the chance)and other than that the tour was peaceful and they were able to do everything they wanted to do. Will the US Embassy make sure FOX NEWS hears about this? Probably not.
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Jun 23rd, 2013, 08:55 AM
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pclay, My wife and I are in an similar situation. Some months ago we did a lot of research and booked a dream trip to Egypt in October-November. (Casual_Cairo, thanks again for your help back then!)

Then we took a wait and see position before sending out our money to the outfitter. We started to think that planning for trips is supposed to be fun and not stressful. Reading about the events in Egypt was stressful, so were tempted to cancel. On the other hand we see the opportunity of a fantastic trip right now.

As it turns out it looks like my wife will need some major surgery that we'll likely have to schedule for September or October, so that will be the deciding factor. At the moment we are still holding on to our Egypt flight tickets, but are now doubtful we'll make it this year.

Good luck with your decision and have a great trip if you go.
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Jun 23rd, 2013, 01:19 PM
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Your planning sounds like exactly what we did -- we spent January researching and planning and decided on the late October trip for our 25th wedding anniversary. We have our flights booked and put down a deposit, but are now trying to decide what to do before we have to pay the full amount. I know what you mean about the stress. It was supposed to be exciting, not something we have to worry about. It sounds like your decision is going to be made for you based on your wife's surgery. I wish ours was going to be made for us.
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Jun 24th, 2013, 06:59 AM
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Yes, an almost identical situation except for the 25th anniversary part. We've got more than a decade on you, but congratulations.

We were giving ourselves until the end of July / early August to reach a final decision. Unless something very decisive happened even then it would be a tough call. We are reading a lot of news sources so trying to get a balanced view.

Odds are the trip would be totally fine, but there is that low-level underlying concern.

I can tell you that don't want your decision being made due to a scary surgery! Good luck.
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Jun 24th, 2013, 05:10 PM
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Politically, I think quite a few things are going to come to a head on June 30th with the military basically giving an ultimatum to the President. Time will tell......
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Jun 27th, 2013, 05:22 AM
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My advice is to wait at least one year, don't go there in october
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Jun 28th, 2013, 02:52 PM
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I agree with Canuck and Mariana. So now, does the US State Department.

Egypt is a great location, but it will be there six months from now or a next year.

Egypt

June 28, 2013

The U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens traveling to or living in Egypt to defer non-essential travel to Egypt at this time due to the continuing possibility of political and social unrest. On June 28, 2013, the Department of State authorized the departure of a limited number of non-emergency employees and family members. U.S. citizens are urged to remain alert to local security developments and to be vigilant regarding their personal security. This Travel Warning supersedes the Travel Alert issued for Egypt dated May 15, 2013.

http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_p.../tw_egypt.html
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Jul 2nd, 2013, 01:19 PM
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Blaming FOX News? I see the same stories in my daily NY Times. You can't attribute the apprehension of unrest to media you don't like. I think Egyptians are doing a bang up job writing and selling the story themselves. Clearly they need no help in making travelers uneasy.
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Jul 3rd, 2013, 12:54 PM
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Hello everyone,

I am tacking on another question to this thread-- I am traveling to Nairobi on EgyptAir, and have an 11 hour layover in Cairo. I called EgyptAir yesterday, and they said they could not advise until something actually happens. I was just wondering if anyone knows whether or not it is still safe to at least stay inside the airport there.

Thanks for any input!
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Jul 3rd, 2013, 02:29 PM
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Not looking good . .

Egypt's military deposed the country's first democratically elected president Wednesday night, installing the head of the country's highest court as an interim leader, the country's top general announced.

"Gen. Abdel-Fatah El-Sisi said the military was fulfilling its "historic responsibility" to protect the country by ousting Mohamed Morsy, the Western-educated Islamist leader elected a year ago. The country's constitution has been suspended, new parliamentary elections will be held and Adly Mansour, the head of the country's Supreme Constitutional Court, will replace Morsy, El-Sisi said."

http://www.cnn.com/2013/07/03/world/...html?hpt=hp_t1

al Jeerza is strangly quite . . they may have been shut down.
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Jul 3rd, 2013, 03:05 PM
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The BBC is reporting that security forces were reported to have raided the Cairo offices of al-Jazeera's Egyptian television channel Mubasher Misr, arresting several workers.
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Jul 3rd, 2013, 03:55 PM
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It looks like the Egyptian people don't want to become another Iran. Good for them. I just hope Obama doesn't come to the aid of the Muslim Brotherhood. He's talking about suspending aid. How terrible that would be.
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Jul 3rd, 2013, 04:42 PM
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"The BBC is reporting that security forces were reported to have raided the Cairo offices of al-Jazeera's Egyptian television channel Mubasher Misr, arresting several workers."

That makes sense . . they have no updates since mid afternoon
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Jul 4th, 2013, 12:22 AM
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It surprises me how many people are outraged that the Egyptian people did NOT want Morsy and his band of pirate clowns in office any longer and took advantage of a military that supported them in their efforts. Have I not read a million times on the Internet how afraid the American public is of Islamic law taking over their land and Sharia Law becoming the law of the day?

HELLO! That is exactly what the VAST majority of Egyptian people are saying they do not want either. THAT, my friends is the difference between a sane Muslim and a fanatic. 30 million Egyptians + (mostly Muslim) did not want that kind of law in their country either.

If you are interested what is really happening here, I suggest you get on Facebook and start watching a page called Egyptian Streets. They report in English so you can see what is happening.
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Jul 4th, 2013, 01:28 PM
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Hi Casual Cairo, glad to hear you're safe. I have an Egyptian Coptic acquaintance who returned from Cairo several months ago. He still owns a house and business there. He was very depressed and distraught about the conditions in Egypt. He reported that Coptic Christians and moderate Muslims and the few remaining Jews were frightened of their future. The Morsi regime was becoming increasingly repressive. The so called constitution would bring about sharia law and repression of women had begun. I've been following the crises on the BBC for I find them to be better than the American press. We complain about the fear of Sharia law in the US yet appear indignant whn a so called constitution is removed. We should watch the situation and Obama has again blown his chances to get friends in the mid east. He backed another loser.
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