sad news for me and Egypt

You have probably seen or heard that there have been more clashes in Tahrir Square in Cairo. I am safe in Siwa and hope my friends in the other cities will also remain safe. But it is perhaps because the situation here is unstable, and may remain so up to and following the September elections, that tourist Visa renewal is being refused.

This is very bad news for me. The Passport and Immigration office, Mogamma, Cairo has apparently been given instructions NOT to issue extension visas to any foreigners from now on. All foreigners without a valid visa will have to leave Egypt after the grace period of two weeks.

I am fortunate to have my Visa extended already until late November, but after that I may have to leave my beloved Egypt. I am beside myself with worry over this, as I do not want to leave. I must just hope that things change again before November.

This is also of course very bad news for all the Egyptians who rely on tourism income, and their families. I know it is difficult enough for everyone with tours being cancelled because of the revolution and the world economic situation, but this action on Visas will add to the damage. Tourists who wanted to come for more than a month will not be able to do so, and you really need more than a month to see and experience even the surface of Egypt. Maybe those in Europe will consider coming for less time, but to come all the way from Australia, with the airfare and travel time involved, you really want to be here for longer.

Let’s all hope things change soon, for the better.

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