The fate of my Dialogue of Civilizations trip to Egypt will be decided tomorrow. If the U.S. State Department lifts the travel warning to Egypt, the university will allow our group to travel there in one month. If the State Department doesn’t lift the warning by tomorrow (which is most likely), Northeastern University Provost Stephen Director won’t allow us to travel to Egypt. We will go to Istanbul, Turkey instead.
According to the State Department’s website, the government issues travel warnings when long-term conditions make a country dangerous or unstable to visit. The State Department then recommends that Americans avoid or consider the risk of travel to the country. I wasn’t aware of the various U.S. travel warnings in effect in certain countries right now, such as in Haiti, Sudan, Niger and Uzbekistan. The State Department issued a travel warning to Japan after the earthquake occurred more than two weeks ago.
On Tuesday, the State Department updated a previous travel warning to Egypt from Feb. 18. From my understanding, the main reason for the current warning is because elements of the Egyptian government responsible for ensuring security and public safety are not fully reconstituted and are still in the process of being reorganized. Also, U.S. citizens in Egypt are expected to obey the curfew hours while visiting, which are currently from 2 a.m. to 5 a.m.
According to an article in the International Business Times,
“Most of the countries have withdrawn their travel restriction recommendations against Egypt, which went through a phase of political turmoil and social unrest early this year that ousted Hosni Mubarak.”
Egypt’s Minister of Tourism asked the United States on Thursday to lift its warning recommendation for Americans wishing to visit Egypt (that’s me!). The minister, Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour, made the request during a meeting with the U.S. Ambassador to Egypt, Margaret Scobey.
Please, U.S. State Department. Let my school take me to Egypt. Let us go.
First inserted photo from Wikimedia Commons.
Second inserted photo from Wikimedia Commons.