Update on Tourism to Egypt
by Jimmy Dunn
As we have been doing throughout the events surrounding the September 11th attacks in New York and Washington, we have remained close to people in Egypt, both foreign and Egyptian, as well as tourists returning from Egypt.
There have been some minor demonstrations in Egypt over the past several days, but they have been peaceful, and mostly involve only students. In fact, for the most part they have been limited to campuses. Probably the largest of these demonstrations occurred in Zagazig, which is off the trek of most all standard tours. They have also been tightly monitored by the Egyptian government.
The latest Warden statement from the American Embassy in Cairo was issued October 8th, after limiting services for one day at the onset of the attacks in Afghanistan, states that:
U.S. Government facilities in Cairo and Alexandria will return to full service, including visa processing, notarial services, and libraries, on Tuesday, October 9. American mission staff have been advised that their children may return to school on October 9. We are continuing to monitor the security situation and are receiving excellent ongoing cooperation from the Government of Egypt.
We have received no credible or specific threats to U.S. citizens or interests in Egypt.
Indeed, President Mubarak of Egypt was cited by NBC News as being the first Muslim leader to completely endorse the actions of the United States in its war on terrorism, and as we have stated previously, Egypt maintains a zero tolerance level on this topic.
We have been contacting and speaking to returning tourists as frequently as possible. They have been telling us that their trips have been enjoyable, and that they encountered no problems. Of course, as elsewhere, tourism to Egypt has slowed, so they are also telling us that hotels and cruise ships were not very crowded.
We continue to hear from Americans living in Egypt, all of whom are advising us that they have no concern for their safety in Egypt. In fact, any number of them have expressed feelings they they currently feel safer in Egypt then elsewhere. A notable comment from Gordon on our BBS, when asked advice on safety issues in Egypt, states:
The only place I would advise you to avoid is McDonalds in Luxor. I've never mentioned this before but I think it cheapens Luxor temple a little bit. I hope the person who give permission for it to be built there, had a few sleepless nights. Seriously though enjoy your trip, and visit as many places as you can. You will be welcomed with open arms, especially by the street traders and the kalesh drivers. :-)))