Is Cairo safe?..Again!
It’s been a long time since I have written a blog. Life got in the way and my new project I was doing all last year www.cairobellydance.com which will be up and running by the end of the week fingers crossed. Then I didn’t realize my web hosting expired. Lol , then the blog site disappeared which was a pity because it had some good info on it and pics and revolutionary things which we have lived through in Cairo for the last 3 years.
Anyways, so now I’m back. I hope to share inspiring, insightful and useful information in my blog and crazy things about my life because to be honest Cairo is a crazy city, but it is full of life and interesting things.
Which brings me to today’s post. Recently, I read some rumors on Facebook that Cairo was so dangerous and Ahlan wa Sahlan and Nile Group might be cancelled in the summer, and Randa of Course in May might have been cancelled. Well I did not confirm Nile Group yet, but I did go to Raqia Hassan’s house and she told me Ahlan Wa Sahlan is still on for the summer and the Folkloric Festival which will happen March 15-21, 2014. I also spoke to Mohamed Shahin and he told me that Randa of Course is still scheduled to run. In fact I will be teaching at Ahlan wa Sahlan Festival and I hope to see you there!
Cairo is not without problems, but honestly no city in the world is without problems. Yes we have crazy things going on. The Muslim Brotherhood supporters refuse to accept the fact that the military took over when President Morsi was ousted last year. But currently protesting has been banned and the government is doing everything it can be bring stability to Egypt. There are incidents of clashes, and the occasional bomb is found, but this happens even in New York City. We do have many check points and recently they have even searched my bag while I was in a taxi but I prefer that then having the alternative, which is having a city that is unsafe to move about in. We no longer have curfew and I feel that life in Cairo has returned to normal.
I also don’t feel that it’s as dangerous as it used to be. I feel safer now than I have felt in a long time. As with any country, please know where all your belongings are at all times and be aware that people can come by and steal your bag/purse. The problem with a revolution is that much work has stopped and people still have not recovered so stealing can be a common way to make a living. There have been some incidents also of people being stopped on the expressway and getting robbed, but this has been going on for 3 years and it’s much better now I feel, because the police have taken back the city. There are no more weekly protests and random clashes with the police force, and tear gas bombs, and even when that did happen it was mostly in Tahrir or whatever area they decided to target at the time.
All of the dancers who stayed through the revolution are still here with the exception of a few that left because work was not able to sustain them. The dancers who were able to work are still here and I’m sure that if it was so dangerous we would all have left.
I hope I have answered many questions for you and you feel safe to come. If you don’t you should not come, but I do NOT know of ONE dancer who was shot/killed in the last 3 years. As with any country, don’t go anywhere with men you don’t know, watch your personal belongings, be careful of where you walk, (ie. Don’t walk at night alone on any bridge for example) and just be mindful you are in a Muslim country so respect the customs. Don’t wear revealing clothing in the street and if you want to come to the festival most of the time you are in the hotel so you are perfectly safe there. I am not saying you are 100% safe, but I also would never say that about any country or city in the world.
I hope to see you in Cairo soon and if you do come, if you can write about your experience on your FB and share with friends would be great. Cairo needs tourism and support. So if you can do your part to help that would be great. J