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Is Egypt Safe for American Family Travelers?

Is Egypt Safe for American Family Travelers?

Feb 29th, 2008, 06:40 AM
  #101  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,525
As an engineer, I work with numbers.

So in assessing how safe a place is, I would to to the statistics related to crime for that area. That would give me more of a feel for the relative safety of one region versus another.

So, if someone could compare the murder/crime rate of....District Of Columbia versus Cairo, or USA in general versus Egypt, that would help towards satifying me. What is hard (impossible?) to do is separate the tourist incidents versus the locals.

I believe what Grcxx3 is saying is that statistically, you are safer. And having lived there, she can go beyond statistics to the 'personal'

What often gets 'corrupted' is our view of a region based on hearsay, TV coverage, and incidental stories.

I remember all too well the number of posters here that wanted to cancel their Paris trips due to the car burnings and other incicents in the banlieux. Similary, after the bombings in London. But in retrospect, and if local input had been listened to, there were no issues on travel to those places. Should I have cancelled a trip to Washington when I heard it was the murder capital of the USA?

Perspective. Egypt is not perfect. It is not Disneyland. But the questions was, is it safe? should you go? Part is the acceptance that there is a different level of risk going to any foreign country. And if guns distrub you (even though it could also be viewed as an outward sign of the peace being maintained) then that could affect your choice. But I would tend to accept the input of people who have been or even better have lived there.

My nephew went to the West Bank last summer for 2 months. If he had asked on this Forum should he go, what would you have said? If you asked him afterwards what was it like, what would he say?





Michel_Paris is offline  
Feb 29th, 2008, 07:01 AM
  #102  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 10,823
There were a few times my mother-in-law would email asking if we were "safe" or if we were thinking of "coming home" because of news reports she saw. I had to assure her...WE WERE FINE!

The "stuff" that she was watching on the news was localized, controlled, and FAR away from where we lived and generally far away from tourist areas.

After 9/11 - I had EVERYONE I know with "connections" (from major corporations to the US Air Force to the Pentagon) offering us ways to get out the country. We had no intentions of leaving. We felt perfectly safe. Our company is incredibly "risk-averse" and they had no plans to evacuate their personnel.

Egypt is NOT perfect - but I don't consider it "unsafe." Could something happen tomorrow...or next week...or next month? Sure! But - the chance of something happening is slim, and I refuse to live my life based on the "fear" that something "might" happen.
Grcxx3 is offline  
Feb 29th, 2008, 07:25 AM
  #103  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,862
I think that, given the random violence we hear about daily in the U.S., alanRow's initial post was not inappropriate. I'm wondering how much longer I can live in a country that is as crawling with gun-toting crazies as the U.S. is.

I think that we keep the rare news of tourist-centered violence with us for a long time--making a place like Egypt SEEM unsafe. And that might be a good reason to stay away, if it means you'll be on edge the whole time you're there. But I believe you are statistically safer there than D.C.
Cimbrone is offline  
Feb 29th, 2008, 07:31 AM
  #104  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,021
Egypt is no more 'unsafe,' I believe, than England, Spain, Italy - or many other tourist destinations.

Just my personal opinion ...

Steve

Steve_James is offline  
Feb 29th, 2008, 08:52 AM
  #105  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 8,675
If you want to see the military out in force, visit Israel. Everyone carries a weapon, but few arbitrary killings of their neighbors or strangers.

Did you forget how our military was out in force after 9/11, not only in NYC and Wash, DC... on the streets, tourist sites, transportation systems and airports.

Believe me, the miliary with weapons in Egypt, Israel or Turkey, even in NYC didn't phase me at all.

Egypt was wonderful, as two women traveling alone, we were never hassled; visited the bazaar alone and had a grand time. Walking a deserted alley where jewelry shops were closed on Sunday, a small boy was encouraging us to visit "special shop" - "yeh, right, I don't thing so." But we decided... "we're bigger than him, if he pulls anything, we'll just scare him off." We followed him farther into the alleys and then he heads up stairs... we held back figuring "okay, now we'll be sold into slavery." We went anyway and found the most fabulous shop and the most gracious shopkeepers.

We saw lots of parents with children, mostly Europeans, but also a few American families. Whether tourists or living in Egypt, I can't say... but they were all having a great time.

There are many dangerous places around the world, some of which we'd least expect to have incidents, but they have. The IRA bombing London indescriminately for years, Bali, Madrid, recent bombings again in London, riots in Paris... did everyone cancel their trips to these locales?

During the recent upheaval in Kenya, for those who travelled had wonderful times, no safety issues, no tourists targetted. Sad all around for those directly impacted, but whether in Africa or many other destinations - all depend on tourist money. Even major cities in the US. NYC and Wash, DC were hurting after 9/11 till the visitors returned.

I recall a thread on the Africa/Middle East Board, about 2/yrs back, family - mom, dad and grandpop, with twin 5/yr olds, visited Egypt, Zanzibar and Kenya and had a perfectly safe and thrilling adventure.

Would I go anywhere for the sake of going? Of course not. But as long as the bombs aren't falling or metal flying past my ears, my bags are packed and off I go. With knowledge of where, what, when - move out of your confort zone and head for the roads less travelled. They will be well worth it.

sandi is offline  
Mar 10th, 2008, 11:24 PM
  #106  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 34
Wow! I am the original 'poster' of this question about whether or not it was safe to go to Egypt with my children. I have been out of commission for some time now, and was absolutely flabbergasted to read the passionate opinions of so many different people when I did finally log on!

I am new to this site and alan Row I am very sorry to have accidently posted this question in the incorrect Forum. I was also researching Scotland and Ireland at the time of posting, and had an oversight. Yes, I am flawed, so please forgive my ignorance! But do be aware though that I am very knowledgeable of Egypt's location at the North Eastern tip of Africa, but more importantly adjacent to the Middle East.

Dawnnoelm, I still live in Bangkok right off of Sukhumvit Road. We are in our 12th year here. My 9 year old daughter was born here, my 12 year old son was born in Australia and my Husband and I are American EXPATS who have been living overseas for 14 years now. Thailand is a beautiful Country (as you said) with it's ups and downs, goods and bads; just like any other Country.

In general though I feel that it would be ignorant not to acknowledge that the intensity and severity of these differances(the 'goods' and 'bads') directly correlates to the level of danger present, depending on the Country in which you are taking issue with AND the political Global Circumstances presently at hand. I mean that is just common sense. Unless you are an American Soldier toting weapons for protection (God Bless Them and keep them safe), It is just common knowledge that going into the Middle East and some of it's surrounding territories (where specifically Americans and Brits for example have been beyond alienated from) statistically is putting yourself at risk. And 'lets go 39, I agree wholeheartedly that specifically when Children's safety are involved one should take the utmost sensible precautions in making decisions, and be a responsible parent.

But does the Global 'unrest' and presence of terrorist everywhere...frighten me... yes! It would be unfathomable for me to not feel fear for my children's future and the world they will grow up and live in. I am always aware of it. But does it stifle me and keep me fearful of living day to day, or going on adventures with my family, or teaching my kids that life goes on even after tragedy...HELL NO!

I was in the Twin Towers 3 months before 9-11. After returning to Thailand I would sit at the very long red traffic Light on soi 3 (Nana) on a daily basis where many of the Middle Eastern shoe makers, Shops and Eateries are. Many would be sitting outside talking and just enjoying their tea and taking intermittent puffs from there long smoking pipes. The outside T.V.'s would always be on after 9-11, and as the screen repeatedly showed the image of the planes going into the towers, and the buildings collapsing... many of the customers would cheer and clap, over and over again. It was a bitter taste of reality. But when I dropped off my floral arrangements at the USA Embassy...the tables were mounded with other mourners from all over the world.

When the London Bombings occurred in the Underground and on the red Double Decker bus that terrible Friday morning, I held my families plane tickets for our England summer holiday, scheduled for 7 days later, in my hands. I was scared, but we went on that trip. And you know what? While we were in transit on the Underground the second bombing (that thankfully failed) took place. My family of 4 just exited back to the street level, dumbfounded. That night we had tickets to see Chitty- Chitty Bang- Bang with a Women who lost her Husband and 3 children in Thailands Tsunami

Reggs is offline  
Mar 10th, 2008, 11:50 PM
  #107  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 34
Wow! I am the original 'Poster' of this question about whether or not it was safe to go to Egypt with my children. I have been out of commission for some time now, and was absolutely flabbergasted to read the passionate opinions of so many different people when I did finally log on!

I am new to this site and alan Row I am very sorry to have accidently posted this question in the incorrect Forum. I was also researching Scotland and Ireland at the time of posting, and had an oversight. Yes, I am flawed, so please forgive my ignorance! But do be aware though that I am very knowledgeable of Egypt's location at the North Eastern tip of Africa, but more importantly adjacent to the Middle East.

Dawnnoelm, I still live in Bangkok right off of Sukhumvit Road. We are in our 12th year here. My 9 year old daughter was born here, my 12 year old son was born in Australia and my Husband and I are American EXPATS who have been living overseas for 14 years now. Thailand is a beautiful Country (as you said) with it's ups and downs, goods and bads; just like any other Country.

In general though I feel that it would be ignorant not to acknowledge that the intensity and severity of these differances(the 'goods' and 'bads') directly correlates to the level of danger present, depending on the Country in which you are taking issue with AND the political Global Circumstances presently at hand. I mean that is just common sense. Unless you are an American Soldier toting weapons for protection (God Bless Them, keep them safe, and bring them home to their families), It is just common knowledge that going into the Middle East and some of it's surrounding territories (where specifically Americans and Brits for example have been beyond alienated from) statistically is putting yourself at risk. And 'lets go 39, I agree wholeheartedly that specifically when Children's safety are involved one should take the utmost sensible precautions in making decisions, and be a responsible parent.

But does the Global 'unrest' and presence of terrorist everywhere...frighten me... yes! It would be unfathomable for me to not feel fear for my children's future and the world they will grow up and live in. I am always aware of it. But does it stifle me and keep me fearful of living day to day, or going on adventures with my family, or teaching my kids that life goes on even after tragedy...HELL NO!

I was in the Twin Towers 3 months before 9-11. After returning to Thailand I would sit at the very long red traffic Light on soi 3 (Nana) on a daily basis where many of the Middle Eastern shoe makers, Shops and Eateries are. Many customers would be sitting outside talking and just enjoying their tea and taking intermittent puffs from there long smoking pipes. The outside T.V.'s would always be on after 9-11, and as the screen repeatedly showed the image of the planes going into the towers, and the buildings collapsing... many of the customers would cheer and clap, over and over again, everyday. It was a bitter taste of reality. But when I dropped off my floral arrangements at the USA Embassy...the tables were mounded with other mourner's flowers from all over the world, all Nationalities. The day after 9-11 many of the American and British Schools were closed and security was beefed up everywhere. No guns, just more staff, more personal I.D. required to get places, and checking under vehicles with mirrors on sticks when entering EXPAT inhabbited places. The places I didn't feel safe...we stayed away from, we were sensible. We also retired our,'I LOVE NEW YORK' shirts to the bottom of the pile for some time, as they suddenly looked more like a BULLS EYE instead of a statement. I now wear them again all of the time, and so do many other Nationalities.

When the London Bombings occurred in the Underground and on the red Double Decker bus that terrible Friday morning, I held my families plane tickets for our England summer holiday, scheduled for 7 days later, in my hands. I was scared, but we went on that trip anyway. And you know what? While we were in transit on the Underground the second bombing (that thankfully failed) took place. My family of 4 just exited back to the street level, dumbfounded. That night we had tickets to see Chitty- Chitty Bang- Bang with an amazing Women who lost her Husband and 3 children in Thailands Tsunami. After the show was over, without hesitation she just walked down to the Underground...and life went on. I said my prayer and we followed to get back to our Hotel. which we did safely and somberly.

Logos999 I thank you for pulling up all of the articles. I want to find the one where the American family were abducted that I originally wrote about in the first entry. My husband and I watched it on CNN here in Bangkok...it did happen. The Ronald McDonald thing was hysterical!

What you have all taught me is that I have to make my own decision and go with my instinct. I thank you all for that!

Reggs is offline  
Mar 11th, 2008, 12:35 AM
  #108  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 10,823
I would also be interested in the article about the American family. As I said - I was living there around that time and don't recall anything.
Grcxx3 is offline  
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