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July 21, 2004



Sounds good! Whatta country!


As long as you do not have a big beard, do not wear the veil, do not sound too much like you've just graduated from Medinah, have zero political opinions, you'll be fine. Enjoy...


For the record, women with big beards ought to wear the veil ...

Anna in Cairo

If you want to know specific sorts of information, do send me an e-mail Praktike and i will try to answer your questions without any snark, as I have lived here for 6 years.

the aardvark

Yes, someone like Anna would be the best source of up to date information. The last time I was in Cairo was two years ago, and though I doubt it has changed that much it is always best to get current info. I've personally always had mixed feelings about Cairo... it is a tough, crowded, somewhat surly place, and the tourism factor can make daily life and interactions unpleasant.

What's more, from a political scientist perspective, the political system is embedded in such interminable layers of bureaucracy that conducting meaningful interviews or research can be a chore. In, say, Jordan or Palestine you can call up a member of Parliament or a political party leader or a newspaper editor and have lunch with him the next day, more often than not. In Egypt, it's more likely that you'll talk to a secretary of a secretary who will ask you to fax your resume and a list of questions, and maybe you'll hear back and maybe you won't.

On the other hand, civil society is chock full of brilliant, interesting individuals who are incredibly generous with their time and their insights.

But I don't know what you're planning to do in Cairo, so that might not be the kind of information you want... I could tell you some hotels to avoid at all costs, and some restaurants, too... but hopefully they've been condemned in the last two years!

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