Travel Safety in Egypt

edited February 2011 in - Egypt
If you're wondering whether it's safe to travel in Egypt at the moment, here's the latest info on what's happening in Egypt:

In January, calls for an uprising gains support in Egypt over issues like poverty, unemployment, and government corruption, inspired by the revolt in Tunisia. Sentiment is against President Hasni Mubarak, who has been in power for nearly 30 years.

January 25th: Huge demonstrations are held in Cairo, with thousands taking to the streets in anti-Mubarak protests. The demonstrations spread to Alexandria, Suez, Mansura and Tanta in the Nile Delta, and Aswan and Assiut in the south.

January 26th: Protests continue in Cairo and Suez, with demonstrators clashing violently with police.

January 27th: Violent demonstrations take place in Cairo and Suez, as well as the Sinai area Sheikh Zuweid. Lawyers stage protests in Alexandria and Toukh. The government responds by cutting off all access to Facebook, Twitter, and Blackberry Services in Egypt, as demonstrators have relied heavily on social networking.

January 28th: The government disrupts all cellular telephone and internet access in Egypt. Riots continue, and President Mubarak dismisses his government while holding on to power for himself. A 4pm curfew is imposed countrywide.

January 29-30th: Soldiers are dispatched to protect the National Museum in Cairo, which has been attacked and is in danger from nearby fires. Omar Suleiman is named Vice President. The military is deployed to the resort area of Sharm el Shaikh. The US government advises all citizens to leave Egypt as quickly as possible, and UK authorities advise against all nonessential travel. Turkey announces it will evacuate its citizens. Google and Twitter create a speak2tweet technology to allow Egyptians to comminicate via social networking.

January 31st: Protests continue in Cairo and Alexandria as the EU calls for elections. World leaders speak against the government.

February 1st: President Mubarak announces he will not seek re-election and announces elections in September.

February 2nd: Clashes between pro-Mubarak and anti-government groups continue in Cairo and Alexandria.

At present, most governments are advising against all travel to Egypt, if not actively evacuating their citizens. Ongoing violent protests in Cairo, Alexandria and Suez make the cities dangerous for travellers, and communications are still difficult as internet and cellular networks are still down. There are reports that airports (which must abide by the 4pm curfew) are chaotic as expatriates attempt to flee the country. Many tour companies are evacuating their clients from all areas in Egypt and cancelling tours scheduled through mid-February.

I'll continue to update this post as the situation changes.


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