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Reggs Feb 25th, 2008 02:53 AM

Is Egypt Safe for American Family Travelers?
Hey, I live overseas and I know there are places where I (as an American) do not travel too. Even specific places in Thailand which is where I have lived for 12 years. My safety concern is for my children. About 3 years ago I was considering booking a 3 week trip to Egypt. At that very time an American Family on Holiday there in Egypt had been abducted. Is was on CNN followed by a report on places not safe for Americans to travel. Here it is 3 years later and I so would like to bring the family to Egypt this summer. Is it safe for Americans? It would be either 4 or 5 of us. Children age 10,12 and 18, My Husband and Myself. The 18 year old hasn't committed yet.

Any input would be appreciated, Reggs

alanRow Feb 25th, 2008 03:09 AM

It's safer than going to Washington DC where you won't be subjected to drive by shootings, muggings at the point of a gun or be accosted by aggressive beggars.

You are more likely to be a victim of crime driving to your local airport than you are in Egypt

alanRow Feb 25th, 2008 03:09 AM

BTW Egypt is in Africa

ira Feb 25th, 2008 03:21 AM

Hi R,

There are bad people all over the world.

Can anyone guarantee that one of your kids won't be snatched from a Disney World hotel?

Check the US State Department report on Egypt.


chartley Feb 25th, 2008 03:24 AM

We went to Egypt nearly ten years ago because our son was working in Cairo. The place is certainly a culture shock for anyone from a developed country. The crowds, the dust, the poor facilities, the begging and all the other differences from the developed world made it hard work for the Western tourist. You can escape by staying in western-style hotels, but that is not seeing the real Egypt.

Whether it is safe is a different question. We stayed in an ex-pat area which had uniformed teenagers with Kalshnikovs guarding the streets. They were friendly, but it was a little unsettling. It was near the American school, and we were surprised to see big yellow American school buses parked in the streets. That seemed to be advertising one's presence a bit too much.

I would have thought that if you had all adjusted to life in Thailand, and had travelled outside Bangkok, that you would be able to make the necessary adjustments. The vast majority of Egyptians will be welcoming and friendly.

hetismij Feb 25th, 2008 03:31 AM

I would suggest you repost this question on the Africa/Mid East forum, where you will find lots of help.
Egypt is probably considerably safer than southern Thailand, but there is, sadly, always the very very small risk of a terrorist attack, no matter where in the world you are. And not just for American citizens. You are probably no more at risk in Egypt than anywhere else.

logos999 Feb 25th, 2008 03:39 AM

The Kalshnikovs everywhere are a problem. I'll never get used to be forced of walking through their line of fire. Soldiers there don't aim high or low, they aim right at you or the next fellow. It gets (a litte) disturbing to have your hotel guarded by armoured vehicles, and soldiers behind barricades.

However, most Egyptians were nice but many are very much aware of the tourist and WILL hassle them for money. (it's a constant nuisance) It gets better once get away from the other tourists.

Last time the immigration officer wanted a bribe, don't pay them, it might get yourself into more trouble than it's worth. And yes, you have to pay $15 I think arrival tax at the airport. (That isn't the bribe :D)

logos999 Feb 25th, 2008 03:53 AM

However, should any soldier feel the need to get to heaven sooner by killing american tourists, he just has to pull the trigger. :D But without the army, the whole country would have been fallen to religious extremists anyway.

Grcxx3 Feb 25th, 2008 03:55 AM

I know this should be on the Africa & Middle East board - but I will go ahead and answer here.

I am a little confused by your mention of an American family being kidnapped a few years ago. I lived there for 4 years, leaving in mid-2005 and I don't recall any story like that. As Americans - and since my husband was a security warden for his company - I am sure I would have heard about it, even if if occurred soon after we left. Do you remember any of the details?

Cairo/Egypt is as safe as anywhere - and probably safer than many places. The Egyptian people love kids and in my years there - I can only think of 1 "uncomfortable" situation with an Egyptian and that was with a taxi driver right after 9/11 and I was by myself.

Assuming you will stick to the major tourist areas, you will see lots of security. Guards at all major sites, hotels, shopping centers. Metal detectors at many of the same places.

Yes - there are lots of young kids with machine guns. We just got used to it. There were stationed all around the school and they were never anything but friendly.

Cairo has a HUGE American population - easily 8-10,000. I can't tell you what to think/fear - but my advice would be to GO and enjoy it! Egypt is a fabulous place.

Please keep in mind, however, that it is VERY, VERY hot in the summer. Lots of sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, and water!

Also - when you start planning your trip - ask your questions on the A&ME board. THere are some great folks there with LOTS of advice.

USNR Feb 25th, 2008 03:58 AM

We traveled from the Nile delta upstream as far as Abu Simbel, always accompanied when in town by an armed bodyguard, as required by the Egyptian government. He was a fit, young, well-dressed, and completely unobtrusive officer dressed in civilian clothes.

At no time did we feel in the slightest difficulty. On our own and at night, we walked anywhere our good sense told us to. Again, no problems.

The people were friendly, helpful, and anxious to please. Would we go back to Egypt? Certainly.

Pinchme_iam_dreaming Feb 25th, 2008 04:41 AM

"Author: alanRow
Date: 02/25/2008, 07:09 am
It's safer than going to Washington DC where you won't be subjected to drive by shootings, muggings at the point of a gun or be accosted by aggressive beggars."

Egypt is safer for American vacationers then Washington DC...

WOW now that's a statement!

logos999 Feb 25th, 2008 05:05 AM

I'm quite sure you'll find more aggessive beggars in Egypt than in Washington D.C. I'm also sure that Egypt is safer for american tourists. Just compare the amount of americans you'd find in Washington to that of Egypt. :D. And even the local dictator (president) is pro american. Not many places in the middle east have such a pro american policy.

bardo1 Feb 25th, 2008 05:18 AM

alanrow, I think you are watching too many movies. Have you spent any time in DC? (or the USA for that matter?). Your comment is so far off base I hardly know where to begin. I've been in DC for almost three decades - in every neighborhood - and have never been a victim of a crime. The chances of a tourist, especially in the tourist areas, seeing anything like you describe is about zero.

tripgirl Feb 25th, 2008 05:24 AM

agreed bardo,
I have lived here in DC for almost 20 years and what Bardo says is right on!

Pete_R Feb 25th, 2008 05:24 AM

<i>The chances of a tourist, especially in the tourist areas, seeing anything like you describe is about zero.</i>

I think that might have been alan's point.

Travelnut Feb 25th, 2008 07:34 AM

When I think of Egypt, I have difficulty letting go of this incident:

I know, it's random and I don't think it's been repeated but.....

Grcxx3 Feb 25th, 2008 08:21 AM

Travelnut - that horriblly tragic incident was a big &quot;wake-up&quot; call for Egypt. Many things have changed since then - including vehicular access to some sites and heavily increased security presence at sights and with tour groups and security screening at some sites.

Will all the &quot;increased&quot; measures guarantee that another incident won't occur? Of course not. But I don't think that the &quot;fear&quot; of something potentially happening should be used as an excuse for not visiting a place.

Tourism is Egypt's major industry. When something terrible happens - people are devastated. We were in Luxor 2 months after 9/11. As tourists - it was great.....we had the whole Valley of the Queens to ourselves and there was no waiting in the tombs in the VofK. BUT - seeing so many shops and souvenir stands closed because there were so few tourists was heartbreaking.

logos999 Feb 25th, 2008 09:16 AM

These ARE regular events.

logos999 Feb 25th, 2008 09:18 AM

logos999 Feb 25th, 2008 09:24 AM

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