Safety in Egypt / seek updated information
Replies: 54 - Last Post: Dec 8, 2012 6:18 AM Last Post By: Kulafey
Nov 22, 2012 9:07 AM
Safety in Egypt / seek updated informationHi. I know this has been much discussed, but I'd to know the latest information about safety for American travelers to Egypt. I was in Cairo a few years ago, but a lot has happened since then. I'm thinking that this December would be a good time to go, less crowded than most Christmas/New Year's periods. I imagine Americans are not especially popular right now, but I found Egyptians very friendly, and I enjoy the challenge of a good political discussion (as I had during some taxi rides before-- and my views are not those of the Americans they most dislike anyway). I didn't do the typical trips to sites on the Nile before--went to Tunisia instead--because of the likely crowds, but I'm hoping it would be a bit less this year.
Thanks for updated information.
Nov 22, 2012 9:24 AM
1You need to hope a poster called Molsons answers. He lives in the country and has done so for many years. His opinion is completely unbiased and has no hidden agenda. His vast experience of the country knows no bounds and you would rather him answer than someone who has never lived there, only went ever once for a ten day holiday, goes home after having a bad experience (or must have done) and then scours the internet for negative reports to post on here in a trolling fashion.
Nov 22, 2012 9:24 AM
Nov 23, 2012 1:49 PM
3Good evening. Wow, I am impressed. The Good Doctor Mark (psychology) has slagged me before I even posted.Good work Doc but as your patient I must protest your breach of confidentiality.
To the OP, just read the news. Violent demonstrations have erupted all over Egypt as of this Friday. According to the news agencies, which Doc Mark would call trolls, it is the Muslim Bros against the libs this time. In any case, in the interests of balance, I will post an article about the latest mayhem. This time from the Washington Post.
Let me repeat, to be brutally clear, the demos are all over the country-----not just in TS.
Have a fun trip.
Nov 23, 2012 2:06 PM
4Hi. I can read the news but being there, you have a better idea of what's really going on. Specifically, would you advise reconsidering a trip to Egypt in the last 3 weeks of December. I would be in Cairo, Luxor, Aswan, and perhaps other areas. Usually demonstrations don't affect travelers that much. (War, as in Syria, is a different story of course.) An advantage of going now is less tourist congestion and also I am interested in the political situation and would like to talk with local people about their views.
Nov 23, 2012 2:54 PM
5molsons, I said, ".....and then scours the internet for negative reports to post on here in a trolling fashion." That means it is you and not the media that I liken to a troll - but of course you actually realise this but feel that twisting the words serves your own purpose. Sad really.
Anyway, darwinist, when you say, "Hi. I can read the news but being there, you have a better idea of what's really going on." I admit I may have led you astray somewhat as regards molsons, my original comment may have been misinterpreted. In effect this is where molsons admits he isn't in the country, has not been for a couple of years(?), has no connection to it and then only spent about ten days there as a tourist (any of that untrue molsons?)
His expertise as regards the country and its situation is entirely long distance and internet based rather than as a long term on the ground resident.
Please don't hold this against him, he is trying to help.
Bless his little cotton socks.
Nov 23, 2012 3:32 PM
6Hi darwinist, your question is a little complicated to answer, partly because it involves predicting what things are going to be like in the last three weeks in december and I personally have promised myself never to make predictions about what's going to happen in post-revolutionary Egypt.
However, I can tell you that I was around several different parts of Cairo today, and outside the city centre everything was completely normal.
Even in parts of the city centre relatively distant from Tahrir, life was going on pretty much normally.
My recommendation to any tourist in downtown Cairo at the moment would be to stick to the area north of Talaat Harb Square or east of Muhammad Farid Street - once you do that, you shouldn't have any problems, and probably wouldn't even notice that there was anything going on.
So, for example, today you could have visited Islamic Cairo or Old Cairo or the Pyramids or the Citadel or the Northern Cemetery without the slightest concern.
Generally this has also been the case throughout the last year whenever there has been trouble in Cairo.
Off the top of my head, I don't think that in the last year, anything has happened that would have caused problems for tourists in Aswan or Luxor. I don't believe Luxor has seen any disturbances, while apparently there was some stone-throwing at a protest in Aswan - but any sensible tourist will be staying well away from protests.
We may be in for a rocky ride over the next couple of weeks - as I said, I'm not going to make predictions - but I wouldn't cancel any tickets at the moment.
Nov 24, 2012 4:37 AM
7Dr. Mark should know about the facts of my visit to Egypt. Afterall, he spent considerable time researching my past posts looking for evidence of mental illness.
Mrs. Molsons and I were in Egypt for about 21 days before the Arab Spring/Copt Winter. We traveled around the country as independent back-packers, staying in cheap guest houses and eating the local street food. We saw one demonstration at that time but didn't realize the significance of it.
To the OP, don't count too much on 'meeting the local people.' As a tourists/traveler your contacts will be almost exclusively with those in the tourist industry. Egyptians in this industry do not have a strong tradition of fair dealings with clients. Every transaction that you have with them will be a struggle to avoid being cheated, even if the amounts of money are relatively small.
Given the ongoing violent unrest in Egypt may I suggest Turkey as an alternative. I was there recently for three weeks. Turkey has ancient ruins, great scenery, a well developed infastructure and an advanced transportation system. Other than the area near the Syrian border it is safe. The women are uncovered and so far Turkey has not fallen under the sway of Islamism. Give it time and of course it will but so far so good.
Nov 24, 2012 7:00 AM
8Dr. Mark should know about the facts of my visit to Egypt. Afterall, he spent considerable time researching my past posts looking for evidence of mental illness. = 14 minutes flicking through them to conclude, even after such a short space of time, that you are obsessive enough to post them and narcissistic enough to think we don't see through them.
Nov 24, 2012 7:26 AM
9I've been to Egypt before and to Turkey 4 times. It's always possible to meet local people (easiest in Turkey for sure). I was just interested in an update on safety from people living there or other travelers who are there now or, like "fear_rua" have been there during the revolution. I don't stay in the big tourist hotels, which reduces the risk a little.
Nov 24, 2012 1:30 PM
Nov 24, 2012 2:11 PM
11Dr. Mark!!! You only spent 14 minutes flicking through my posts but you diagnosed me as an Obsessive Compulsive. Amazing. For a psychologist like yourself this is very fast. Should I report you to your professional association for excessive speed?
As you know, I am a neurosurgeon who currently lives in Tel Aviv (according to Cat W). I would never make such a quick diagnosis. Here I was thinking that you had been thorough in your diagnosis of me.
If you are as quick to offer advice on Egypt as you were to diagnose me, heaven help the travellers who take your advice.
To the OP--there are many cool places to vacation without resorting to Egypt which is in the middle of a violent Islamic revolution.
Nov 24, 2012 4:30 PM
12Basically, it is open to anyone reading these recurrent Egypt safety threads to (1) believe Molsons or (2) listen to what people who live in Egypt have to say and compare it to the travel advice on the websites of, say,
the French ministry of foreign affairs
the English ministry of foreign affairs
the Irish ministry of foreign affairs
the Italian ministry of foreign affairs
The appealing coloured maps on the English and (at the bottom of the Securité tab) French sites may be particularly interesting.
Nov 24, 2012 6:48 PM
13Molsons and DrMark: why don't you carry on your email conversation among yourselves? It is not contributing much to help here. I appreciate those trying to answer my question.
By the way, when you say that in Turkey "the women are uncovered," it seems you have only been to the modern parts of Istanbul and the coastal tourists areas. In villages throughout Turkey, most women cover and the areas are conservative. This is especially true in some of the Kurdish areas in the southeast (but some other Kurdish areas are quite different). I found people in all areas of Turkey friendly and helpful, and it's one of my favorite countries to visit.
But my question was about Egypt.
Edited by: darwinist
Nov 25, 2012 11:22 PM
14molsons, you actually have no idea do you? Even the OP fronts you up about your lack of knowledge, in this case concerning Turkey.
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