It was a hectic time in UK... hence my lack of Blog updates... but back to Cairo and trying to get on with 'normality'.
I want to put those worried by recent news reports at rest.
Cairo is unsettled- of course, they have no actual government in power... so thing cannot really get to any sort of 'normality' until after the elcetions in November. There were 'riots' last night in Cairo which were very localised beside the ministry of interior, a police station at giza and the Israeli embassy. Those riots were by people who are angry by govermental policies and want political reform- they weren't running riots in the streets burning down peoples houses and small businesses just to get their hands on a new phone of plasma TV.
The protests yesterday in Tahrir weren't troublesome at all, and it was only a fraction of those people who went to the embassy to tear down a wall that the army put up to 'protect' the embassy- the army however stood back and watched the protesters tear it down- not trying to stop them at all..... which is strange behaviour, no? anyway- there are of course lots of conspiracys- which in this country often are later revealed to be justified. Egypt is now in a state of emergancy- which might seem news to the rest of the world- but since they have been for the entirety of Murabaks 'reign' then its of no surprise to Egyptians. What it means in practical terms for life in Egypt... we shall see. so far the police holidays have all been cancelled- which is a good thing. the police are needed on the streets.
So- at the moment- things are happening... but as yet- Cairo is working fairly normally and is safe. Most of us go about our daily business as normal and are totally unaffected by what you all see in the news. (other than of course hoping and praying for a good outcome of it all for our country- yes i feel Egypt is my home...!) Dont worry - plus if you were intending on coming to visit- please still come (just maybe avoid Tahrir square on fridays!!!)
The only thing thats of EXTREME IMPORTANCE TO TOURISTS TO EGYPT is that you will very soon be unable to buy a entry visa on arrival. Which means you MUST apply to the Egyptian embassy in your own country in advance of your visit! http://www.almasryalyoum.com/en/node/494265
I do not know if the new visa laws will apply to trips to Sinai or not ( since sharm does seems to have different visa regulations all of its own already and also since most tourists there come via organised tour groups which will be unaffected by the new changes!) but it would be best to check! Anything can happen here- the powers that be who have made this ruling may have their eyes opened by the tourist sector ( who are very distressed about anything which could harm Egypts tourism more http://www.almasryalyoum.com/en/node/494000.) and withdraw the law before its even put into practice.... but my advice if you intend to travel within the next few months to Egypt is GET YOUR VISA IN ADVANCE!!!
Come ................. Egypt is wonderful... the touristic places are all well protected.... the streets are in my opinion still safe to walk in, I chose to live here.... . the people are friendly.... they just want a better life for themselves and their children...some may have extreme ways of trying to get this- but they have always been up against extreme policies. A country needs time and patience and education to change patterns of many lifetimes..... we need to have patience, tolerance and understanding and stand by Egyptians as they work out how to get and run the Egypt they dream of.
See you in Cairo soon!!!!