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Thursday, 18 September 2008

Change in temporary residence visas

UPDATE (15/1): Since just before Christmas, the picture seems to have changed again with several people successfully reporting getting renewals of one year touristic visas at the Mogamma. Hopefully this will all now go away!

UPDATE (11/12): I am hearing more and more reports from friends who have witnessed people being turned away from the Mogamma when they go to renew annual touristic visas. I am given to understand that there is no problem in Luxor as yet. I am therefore inclined to think that an existing law is being enforced at the Mogamma but not yet in other areas. A friend and I are going to go to the Mogamma in the next couple of weeks to attempt to find out personally (a) what is the position about renewals - someone said they were told you can have 3 years worth with no problem and (b) what is the application process for non-touristic, how long does it take - what evidence do you have to supply etc etc. I shall report back once we have been.

UPDATE (9/10): There have now been a few people posting on Egyptsearch forum and Luxor4U forum where they have got new visas without a problem so it seems that this issue was limited in scope. However, as ever with all things Egyptian, do bear in mind if you are upping sticks to move here you need a Plan D - it is a foreign country and this sort of thing could happen at sometime in the future.

UPDATE (22/9): Mr Gaddis, the British Consul in Luxor has checked it all out and says its a rumour. Also, this blogger: Zak has also been running around to find the truth.

Some people posted in a couple of places that they had problems renewing their annual touristic visas (which many of us are here in Egypt on) causing quite a lot of distress and after a lot of investigations it appears to not be generally applicable.

Original post now removed to avoid confusion.

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Cairo landslide - how to make a donation - how can I help?


I have been sent an email with the details of how you can help with money, stuff or personal help.

I have extracted it here:

"Dear friends,

I am touched by everyone's concern and offers to help survivors and families affected by the Manshiet Nasser rockslide.

The injured are in one of three hospitals: Sayed Galal, El Zaraa or El Hussein. There are about 21 people distributed over the three hospitals.

Other survivors have been offered tents in a nearby youth center. The capacity is for about 300 people, but as of early this afternoon only 72 people were actually sheltered there. For now we are preparing for 200 meals a day.

People from nearby buildings have been relocated to El Fustat.

The majority of survivors and their families remain on the street near the rockslide area in hope that they will hear any news of their loved ones. It is very difficult to estimate how many they are. The target is to distribute 1000 meals daily and 1000 bottles of water there daily to affected residents and relief workers.

How you can help:

1. El Bedaya is accepting in-kind donations at its premises in Ezbit Bekhit behind the Sheikh Kassem Mosque which is on the main road along the railway. We are at the Community Center (Markaz El Khadamat), 1 Kama'en St, last floor. You can call any of these numbers for assistance in delivery or pickup of donations

Sanaa 012 216 0332
Ashraf 011 2727789
Shefa 012 8684425
Mohamed 012 8401476

Needs include:

bottled water (0.5 liter and 1.5 liter),
200ml and 500ml containers/boxes of milk,
200ml containers of juice
clothing for children and adults (galabeyas for men and women)
floor mats (plastic or straw) 200 pcs needed
dry or canned food

El Bedaya has also started a relief fund for immediate needs, but also to refurbish new homes for those families who have lost absolutely everything they own. The account number is:
Bank Misr, Mouski Branch, El Bedaya Association for Education, account no: 103/1/28910.

2. ADEW (the Association for Development and Enhancement of Women) headed by Dr. Iman Bibars are accepting inkind and cash donations at their offices at 8/10 El Mathaf St., 5th floor, apt 12, El Manial

You can call Magda, Sanaa or Nermine on 016 551 8588 or Magda on 010 154 0486

The needs list for inkind contributions is the same as El Bedaya's (above)

3. Sama for Development (23 Sakr Koreish St., Masakin Sheraton across from Oriental Weavers; call Khaled 010 111 3461) are delivering prepared meals including beverages. You can deliver unprepared or prepared food. They also need manpower to help package and deliver food(i.e. use your own car or pay for a pickup) to the site. Also check out their group on facebook : Ramadan Mo ě«talef

4. Resala Nour Ala Nour in Shabramant are also accepting food donations. You can call 012 860 2602

5. The Food Bank is also delivering prepared meals but they are covered for the next 10 days. They are accepting donations in all major banks account number 888777. You can also call 16060. In the short-term they will be delivering food to relocated families who have lost their homes and belongings.

I have to say, everyone, that the ineptness of the 'system' in the rescue effort is shameful and has caused a lot of anger in the community; but the tireless efforts of local youth and NGO members who have gathered to help gives me hope for this country yet. They are really quite impressive.

Thank you all,"

Also, if you live in Heliopolis, please feel free to use Buzzy Bee preschool as a drop off location.

Other search phrases for search engines:

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Mokatam disaster

Dave's landslide blog: The Cairo rockslide foreseen?

Dave Petley is a Wilson Professor of Geography at Durham University in the UK. He keeps a blog about landslides around the world.

Dave's landslide blog: The Cairo rockslide foreseen?

Cairo landslide - Mokatam

How can I help?

A few people have arrived on my blog from google searching for information about the landslide, so I have decided to make a post adding a few links to reports, photos etc which are now up on the web.

This tragedy occurred on Saturday 6th Sept and is in one of the very poor areas of Cairo - mainly Coptic area - where the Zebaleen people who manage much of Cairo's rubbish and are world famous for recycling live. This is also the area you have to pass through to reach St Simon Tanner which I blogged about earlier this year. The area is also known as El Doweiqa or Manshiet Nasser or Garbage City.

The government have taken a lot of criticism for not helping more especially in removing the blocks. But as Dave Petley - Geography Professor points out in his blog, it is likely that some of these blocks weigh many times more than 2300 tonnes and blasting maybe the only means of removing them (and obviously there will be no survivors - if any one is still alive down there - resulting from that).

Here is a map indicating the approx location of the tragedy within Cairo. The map is my walking route from Citadel (marker on the left) to St Simon (marker on the right) but I have added the top marker in the urban sprawl to give an indication of the location of the tragedy (it is by no means precise but it occurred in this part of Cairo).

View Larger Map

Here are various links:

Egyptian Red Crescent bulletin on the tragedy (pdf file)

photos on Flickr showing the rock slide

Egyptian government portal with story about assistance

One of the many news reports on the tragedy

link to You Tube videos of it

Google search query for news reports about it

How you can help with money and stuff: How can I help?

Here is how you can make a donation to the Red Crescent - I guess you may be able to ask them to earmark your funds for this purpose:

Make a donation to the International Red Cross Red Crescent

Other links:

Egyptian Red Crescent contact details (their website is not working for English at present)

More about the Zabbaleen people

Friday, 5 September 2008

Egyptian female models - wheelchair users wanted

Came across this in my travels round the web - a posting on - a company called who make designer fashionwear for wheel-chair users is wanting to do a photoshoot in Cairo for their Spring Summer 2009 collection.

They are looking for stunning-looking Egyptian women 18-37 years old who use wheelchairs.
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