More safety concerns for Egypt travel

This is from Frommers blog

Accusations by Members of the Muslim Brotherhood Against Women Who Participate in Political Protests, Should Put a Decisive End to Western Tourism to Egypt
Posted by Arthur Frommer at 3/27/2013 8:00 AM EDT

The recent, much-publicized physical abuse of women in Egypt, resulting in a great many instances of gang rapes, is itself a worrisome development that should concern women planning a touristic visit to Egypt. But far worse are the recent excuses for such attacks by members of the political party that now holds power in Egypt. In an astonishing recent article in The New York Times, prominent members of the political party headed by Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, have been quoted as attributing such attacks to the participation in political protests by Egyptian women. They blame the women who have been raped for not staying safely at home.

The Times quoted Reda Saleh Al al-Hefnawi, a legislator member of the Muslim Brotherhood, as saying "How do they [women] ask the Ministry of Interior to protect a woman when she stands among men?"

As long as such viewpoints are common in Egypt, and are not vigorously opposed by other members of the current Egyptian government led by the Muslim Brotherhood, there seems a clear answer to the question of whether western women should visit Egypt. Though one or two members of the leading party, including one of its rare woman members, have spoken out in protest, the prevailing silence by most others in that party serves as a major reason to warn women against Egyptian tourism. Perhaps in solidarity with these outrageous viewpoints blaming women for the attacks they have sustained, the Egyptian police have been largely inactive in protecting women against rape by crowds of men congregating for political meetings.

Several months ago, I reported with great sorrow my own increasing realization that Egypt was not currently safe for tourism. My judgment on that matter has now been confirmed by uncontradicted news reports. If there is anyone among our readers who has contrary evidence, I'd very much appreciate hearing from them.


  • Myleen...My wife and I returned from Egypt two weeks ago. We were in a group of nine of which five were women. The Egyptian government provided an armed guard. He accompanied us everywhere we went. However, we did not need his assistance at any time. We were warmly welcomed by the Egyptian people.

    I cannot contradict anything you say in your post. I can only say that we did not experience any anti-American or anti-western feelings. Our women were not disrespected in any way at any time. However, we saw few Western tourists. Most were from Russia, Eastern Europe, China and Japan. Even then, most of these people were one-day visitors from cruise liners bused to the pyramids and other significant historic sites.

    One thing I can say. We talked to a number of Egyptians who are having difficulty feeding their families. President Morsi seems only interested in creating an Islamic state. The people don't think he cares or is capable of improving the economy. Already people who depend on their vehicles to make a living spend hours in lines to get gas. Soon, gas is to be rationed. Everyone is waiting for the Egyptian Army to step in and save the country. But, Morsi has removed many high ranking, professional officers and replaced them with Islamists. The people may wait a long time.

    I am glad we went. I can say that because we returned safely....Leo M
  • It was a year ago this past Nov/Dec when we took Taucks trip to Egypt. We were concerned about safety, but thought it may be the last chance to go. We registered with the Dept of State and never received any notices to "not go". There were of course warnings on their home page to go with caution. I did make sure I had all the phone numbers with me for the consulates etc.
    As Leo said, we never ever felt threatened. It was actually a bit sad to see the vendors trying so hard to sell their wares. Sometimes that was a bit scary! We had the sights practically to ourselves. When we left Abu Simbel it was deserted.
    I really don't think Tauck would keep this tour on and put their customers in danger.
  • Hi There,

    At Tauck, the safety safety and security of our guests and employees remain our highest priority.

    In Egypt and all other countries we visit, we closely monitor all events as they develop. We works closely with partners in all regions to monitor any situations with potential to interfere with our tour operations.

    Hope this helps,
  • Where to now?? Our tour has been cancelled for obvious reasons. Have you booked a different tour?. We are going to Peru. Still plan on going to Egypt if we live that long and peace returns.
  • We were on the October 7 tour. The entire situation there is so sad, and it is hard to foresee the outcome. Luckily, we were able to rebook a tour and are now going to Kenya and Tanzania. However, we did take a bath on changing airfare. Last minute fare and an upgrade were not kind to our wallet! As always, Tauck has been very good about helping with the changes.
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