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Charter Planes Evacuate Americans from Egypt, Families Anxious

Mon January 31 2011 10:43 am  http://www.arlingtoncardinal.com/?p=37056
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Anxious relatives are awaiting the return of Americans from Egypt. The first chartered flight carrying Americans out of Egypt is arriving in Cyprus. Meanwhile, demonstrators in the U.S. continue to show support for protesters in Cairo.

Cairo’s international airport was a scene of chaos and confusion Monday as thousands of people flee the unrest in Egypt. Countries are organizing chartered planes to evacuate citizens. The United States has promised they will have enough charter planes to evacuate all U.S. citizens (about 2,400) that want to leave. There area an estimated 50,000 Americans in Egypt.


The U.S. Department of State recommends that people stranded in Egypt communicate by phone with people in the United States that have access to the Internet, and check for updates and information needed.

In the event of demonstrations, U.S. citizens in Egypt should remain in their residences or hotels until the situation stabilizes. Security forces may block off the area around the U.S. Embassy during demonstrations, and U.S. citizens should not attempt to come to the U.S. Embassy or the Tahrir Square area at such times. The U. S. Embassy is open for emergency services for U.S. citizens only until further notice. As always, any change to Embassy hours will be posted on the Embassy website. U.S. citizens in Egypt who require assistance, or those who are concerned that their U.S. citizen loved one in Egypt may require assistance, should contact the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Embassy in Cairo at [email protected], or at 1-202-501-4444. Please follow the directions on the Embassy website for all other consular inquiries.

— U.S> Department of State January 31, 2011


The State Department is prepared to evacuate thousands of U.S. citizens from Egypt on chartered planes, but it is relying largely on friends and families in the U.S. to relay that information to stranded Americans.

According to the U.S. Department of State, there are restrictions on photographing military personnel and sites, bridges, and canals, including the Suez Canal. Egyptian authorities may broadly interpret these restrictions to include other potentially sensitive structures, such as embassies, other public buildings with international associations, and some religious edifices. Visitors are advised to refrain from taking photographs of any uniformed personnel. Consider the contrast of the state department warning with news that Egyptian protesters were taking pictures of their children with military personnel.

Qatar-based news service Al Jazeera said six of its English service journalists were freed Monday after being detained, a day after the news network was told to shut down its operations in Egypt.

The local equivalent to the “9-1-1” emergency line in Egypt is 1-2-2.

Recent reports received from multiple news sources of robberies, looting and roving gangs of vigilantes or militia in the streets.

Before the demonstrations, the crime rate in Egypt is reported to be low. While incidents of violence are rare, purse-snatching, pick-pocketing and petty theft do occur. Travelers are strongly cautioned not to leave valuables such as cash, jewelry, and electronic items unsecured in hotel rooms or unattended in public places. Unescorted women are vulnerable to sexual harassment and verbal abuse. The Embassy has received increasing reports over the last several months of foreigners being sexually groped in taxis and in public places. Travelers are cautioned to be aware of their surroundings and to be cautious going anywhere with a stranger alone.

The United States Embassy in Egypt had received increasing reports of U.S. citizen women subject to domestic violence, sexual harassment, verbal abuse, and rape in Egypt. Women have been groped in taxis and public places. The Consular Section strongly encourages women who seek our assistance to take legal action against perpetrators in order to bring them to justice. Some Egyptian NGOs (non-governmental organizations) provide assistance to victimized women within the Egyptian community. Women victimized overseas may be entitled to receive compensation for counseling and/or other services such as relocating back to the U.S. For further information visit the Office on Violence Against Women.

See more …

Specific instructions and travel updates …
http://travel.state.gov

U.S. Department of State Egypt: Public Service Announcement for American Citizens

U.S. Department of State Country-specific information for Egypt …

U.S. Department of State Worldwide Caution

CLEAR SKIES?  Weather Data for Monday, January 31st, 2011

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IMPORTANT NOTE: All persons referred to as subjects, defendants, offenders or suspects, etc. are presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.


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