Wednesday, 2 February 2011

How safe is Egypt?

Firstly I must stress I only know about Luxor but my knowledge is first hand. I have been from the West Bank where I live, across the bridge, into central Luxor, the Christian area, then to central tourist town and back to the West Bank.

The checkpoints are maned as usual, there were mixed army and police but now it is police only.

I have seen two tanks and an armored personal carrier.

I have seen one demonstration of 10 schoolboys on the West bank and another demonstration about 50 youths on the East Bank. Those are the only demos I have seen

I have seen no violence or evidence of violence.

I have heard about tear gas being used on demonstrators which drifted into the Sheraton. A good friend of mine was there at the time, she did not feel under personal attack and left after the tear gas dispersed to go home in safety

The poster of President Mubarack has been removed from the bridge.

Tourists are visiting the Valley of Kings and other tourists sites. Thomas Cook has offered people on two week holidays the option of leaving early if they want. A cruise boat left for Aswan today as normal.

Workers are operating as normal, an archeological dig at the Colossus of Menmon is operating as normal. Some digs have left others have stayed.

Personally I feel completely safe and have no intention of leaving Luxor. A number of ex pats have formed a contact tree and we are in touch both East and West Bank.

My guests at Flats in Luxor are all safe and feel relaxed on the West Bank.

The local people I know are hoping things will return to normal quickly and feel that the freedoms and concessions won are positive. The majority feel that the President has done an excellent job of keeping Egypt out of war for 30 years.

9 comments:

sandra_hummingbird said...

Hello Jane,

My sister and I are booked to come to Luxor on March 2nd. Thomas Cook who we normally use (and Thompson) are not giving people the option of coming to Luxor at the moment, although there are no restrictions on their more popular Red Sea resorts. I very much hope we will be able to come as we know (as we have been coming since 2001) that is important that Luxor has tourists. The trouble is out of the 30,000 British tourists that they estimated were in Egypt, only ~900 were estimated to be in Luxor, so it is not big money for them. Tour companies are giving the option for a refund or to rebook somewhere else. It's a terrible shame, they don't know what they are missing. Our thoughts are with everyone who may suffer as a result of the terrible oversight that Luxor is not Cairo!

Stephen said...

Safe or not, most people go to Egypt to see the EMC, the pyramids, VOK, etc. We all see the damage to the EMC, the graffiti, the stories of looting, the pyramids being surrounded by the army, etc. So, issues of safety aside, is there anything to see in Egypt? Jane said people are still visiting the VOK right now, which is good, but obviously anybody going on the usual two week trip to Egypt won't be able to go to the Cairo Museum now or visit the pyramids at Giza or do many of the things they expect to do. We don't even know how much was damaged and looted right now. I'm sure a lot of people would rather cancel their plans and wait a year until we all know more about the situation.

Ed said...

Hi Jane

I am really pleased I found this site. My wife is in Luxor and has been for over 2 weeks now, She feels perfectly safe there are only minor restrictions. I am due to fly out on 9th Feb and have every intention of doing so. We have booked with Asda Travel/EasyJet and there is no talk of cancelling. I agree people look on the news, especially the BBC, and they think the whole of Egypt is in anarchy. The coverage has been sensationalist. Luxor at the moment is safe.

Ed said...

Hi Jane

I am really pleased I found this site. My wife is in Luxor and has been for over 2 weeks now, She feels perfectly safe there are only minor restrictions. I am due to fly out on 9th Feb and have every intention of doing so. We have booked with Asda Travel/EasyJet and there is no talk of cancelling. I agree people look on the news, especially the BBC, and they think the whole of Egypt is in anarchy. The coverage has been sensationalist. Luxor at the moment is safe.

Peter Kirchem said...

Jane. All very interesting, though I do question whether the mention of the use of tear gas is commensurate with the rest of your comments. It must also be pointed out that to travel against the advice of the FCO is almost certainly going to invalidate travel insurance.

Jane Akshar said...

My mate was one of the ones affected by the tear gas. This is what she said on the Luxor4u forum.

"I was at the Sheraton on the night of the tear gassing. Trust me, it was nothing. We were all on the terrace having a drink, no noise from anywhere, but it was the night they attacked Farag's place. The tear gas must have just drifted down with the wind. My eyes smarted a little and my nose felt like I had sniffed chilli...... but once inside, it had gone in a few minutes. They wouldnt let us leave until it had cleared. Fine with me. But they did keep us there longer than necessary (maybe to spend more money in the bar?) so we escaped via the back door and a motor boat. "

Beverly said...

so glad i found this blog. i miss egypt and have worried about friends during the troubles. so glad to hear things are not as bad as we're seeing in the states. excellent blog!

Beverly said...

seem to have nuked my post.

anyway, glad to have found you. excellent blog and good to hear luxor is safer than the stateside news indicates. heard from cairo friends today for first time in days. i miss egypt and love the land and people.

Mireya said...

Hi everybody, I also live in Luxor, and so far things here are going on as usual. Please come to Luxor and enjoy this extraordinary place, apart from Luxor Temple there are all the Temples on the West Bank, necropolis etc.. + the local culture, let's support the Egyptian people with our presence. I have been visiting various hotels and the need for foreing custom is evident. We will welcome you in peace and joy!