It's Official…

Well, It’s official:

Egypt will not be open for US travelers for quite a while yet.  I just got an email from the US Embassy in Cairo, which states that there is a [peaceful] demonstration planned for tomorrow, but they’re taking no chances (I presume that this demonstration is in protest of the fact that the US is the only nation to not have rescinded its travel warning for the country; something that is sorely affecting their tourism, and by extension, their whole economy).  Here’s the information from the email, copied and pasted below:

This warden message is being issued to alert U.S. citizens in Cairo that groups in Egypt have announced plans to hold a demonstration in front of the U.S. Embassy on Thursday April 21 at mid-day.  While there is no indication that the demonstrators intend anything but a peaceful protest, any large gathering has the potential to turn violent.  U.S. citizens with non-urgent business near the Embassy and Tahrir Square on April 21 at mid-day are encouraged to postpone their plans.

The Embassy is working closely with Egyptian authorities to ensure that adequate protection is in place for Embassy staff and visitors on April 21.  The Embassy plans to remain open for all scheduled consular services, including visa interviews.  Should the Embassy need to close suddenly for security reasons, the closure will be announced on the Embassy website at http://egypt.usembassy.gov .  U.S. citizens needing emergency assistance on April 21 should call the American Citizens Services Section at 2797-2301 during business hours from 8:00 am-4:30 pm.  After business hours please call the Embassy switchboard at 2797-3300 and ask for the duty officer.

The Embassy reminds U.S. citizens  to review their personal security plans and remain alert to their surroundings at all times in Egypt.  For the latest security information, U.S. citizens traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department of State’s Internet website (http://travel.state.gov) where the Worldwide Caution (http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/pa/pa_4787.html), Country Specific Information for Egypt (http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1108.html), Travel Warnings(http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/tw/tw_1764.html), including the current Travel Warning for Egypt (http://www.travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/tw/tw_5347.html) issued March 29, 2011, and Travel Alerts(http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/pa/pa_1766.html)  can be found.  Follow us on Twitter (http://www.facebook.com/travelgov?sk=app_53267368995) and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/travelgov) as well.  Up to date information on security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the United States and Canada, or, for callers outside the United States and Canada, a regular toll line at 1-202-501-444.  These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).  

Yup, like I said, Egypt’s not going to be available for a long while yet, least of all for poor me on my Gilman Scholarship :/

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