17.9.12

Break Glass in Case of Emergency

I have been getting a lot of e-mails and messages from concerned family and friends back home asking about the protesting happening here in the middle east, so I thought I would give you an update/what would happen here in case of emergency.
Before I say anything else, let me reiterate: I am SAFE here, 100%.
We live in Gabel Asfar, which is a small area of Cairo on the very outskirts of the city. We live about an hour and a half away from downtown Cairo where all the protesting and rioting has been happening. The school is thirty five acres, and completely walled with only one main gate which has a guard monitoring it 24/7.
Pretty much secure.
Egypt is one of the safest countries in the middle east right now, as far as all the rioting goes. Many of the surrounding countries have evacuated all non-essential American personnel, but nothing has happened here to make that necessary. The protesting at Tahrir square has grown to a few thousand people, but in previous years when they evacuated the school those numbers were closer to 100,000. As far as we can tell, things have not escalated much in severity here, but it all climaxes Friday night because that is the big night of prayer in all of the mosques. If anything was going to happen it probably wouldn't occur until this Friday night.
IF something were to happen that would put us in danger, here is what would happen:
We (all of the American teachers) have been instructed to have all of our essential belongings ready to grab so that on ten minutes notice, we can have a suitcase prepared for the airport. We all have copies of our passports made, and all of our paperwork in one safe consolidated location. We would be driven to the airport by Egyptian workers who have already been notified of their responsibility if this is necessary. Most likely we would be flown somewhere in Europe - last time two years ago they were flown to Greece. At most, we would be there (wherever we are flown) for two weeks. After two weeks, we would either be brought back to Egypt or flown home to America. If we are flown back to America, the likelihood of being brought back to Egypt is slim so we pray that that doesn't happen.
For the girls, it is safer to look like Muslim woman than a Christian woman, so we have be taught how to put on a hijab using a scarf. 


I feel like I look convincingly un-American... haha. As long as I have Mary with me, I will probably be fine.
We heard gunshots for the first time outside the wall this evening, but we have yet to witness any protesting. Word from the outsides places Gabel as pretty much safe for the Americans right now. We are for the most part convinced that there is a very very slight chance of being sent home, unless things completely turn around right now.
Somehow that all seemed so somber... next post I'm sure it will be more cheerful! Information seemed necessary though, so I will keep you updated if any of this changes.
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