It's something most people (esp in the UK) take for granted. the freedom of having a passport, not only that but the power to travel almost anywhere with that passport.
The majority of Egyptians dont have a passport and wouldn't be able to get one. To travel you have to have done your national service (or have proof that you are exempt) , you need money in the bank or property (so they know you are going to come back), you need a reason to travel (a holiday generally isn't enough reason!) which therefore involves letters of invitation and guardians abroad who will vouch for you...........etc etc................ The Egyptians who do travel usually either have dual nationality, a lot of money or know people in high up places............
It's a subject I was forced to think about because for the majority of the time I spend in Cairo I have my passport taken off me. In order to obtain a 'green' card to work as a foreign dancer here in Cairo, you have to submit your passport. They hold it in mogamma (goverment offices) until you exchange the card again for it each time you travel. Thankfully so far I only had one flight I missed because the mogamma wouldn't release the passport in time.........
and today i got my 'burgandy freedom' in time for travelling on thursday morning, so the pressure is off! phew!
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
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