Update on Conditions in Egypt
By Jimmy Dunn
Again, we have been in close contact with Egyptians and Americans in Egypt this morning (October 8th). It was about 4 PM in Cairo when we spoke to a number of people. There is actually surprisingly little reaction to the overnight US attack on the Taliban government in Afghanistan. Specifically, there have not even been any demonstrations according to both private and media contacts. We further understand that tourism is operating as normal.
However, we did receive the following message from the United States Embassy in Cairo:
In light of our attacks against terrorist bases in Afghanistan on 7 October, as a precautionary measure, the U.S. Ambassador has decided to suspend non-essential operations at U.S. Government facilities in Cairo and Alexandria on Monday, October 8, 2001. There have been no credible or specific threats against U.S. citizens or interests in Egypt. We have been in close contact with Egyptian Government authorities who have assured us of their full and immediate cooperation. We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens in Egypt minimize all non-essential movement for the next twenty-four hours, avoid public places and large gatherings and keep a low profile. American mission staff have been instructed not to send their children to school tomorrow, 8 October. We will keep you apprised of any significant information.
Please note that their primary concern is for today only. In speaking to several United States citizens who have been residents of Cairo for many years, we are told that they feel the Egyptian government has tight control over safety issues, and further that they have no concern for their safety.
The Egyptian government has a zero tolerance policy on extremists and militant factions, and safety measures for tourists, which is always high in Egypt, were increased after the September 11th events. There have been no injuries to tourists in Egypt for many years now attributable to such activities.
We further hear from several residents from Egypt this morning on our BBS (one Egyptian and one American) that things are safe and functioning normally: These brief messages were provided in response to safety issues raised by another BBS reader planning on traveling to Egypt in the immediate future:
Everything here seems so fine. I saw many tourist buses going different places, and people inside looks so happy.
I wish as we all do, that this hard time ends very soon.
...there is no safer place to be than Egypt and that includes us single American females.