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Thursday, 25 February 2010

PETS: Bringing pets to Cairo.

One Fleeting Glimpse has just made an excellent detailed post on bringing her dog in from the US.

Please note that experiences differ from country to country and it seems that the originating airport is the crucial difference, not the Cairo end.

Bringing in from the US seems a relatively painless challenge:

OFG - Moving your dog to Egypt from US

Bringing in from the UK:

OBC - Bringing cats to Cairo from UK Heathrow

Bringing in from Ireland via Germany:

Expat Focus forum post

If you want an Egyptian 'fixer' at this end "just in case", then several people have used the following for getting pets from the air cargo place (I have NOT personally.)

Quick Cargo
5 Tehran St. Dokki
P.O. Box 415 Dokki
Tel: 35390262/3/4/5
Fax: 35390383

Comments about Quick Cargo from someone who was glad she used them (it might not seem the most glowing review but she wouldn't have her dog without them).

"Quick Cargo was chaotic and very very time consuming. For a start no one seemed to know exactly where to find Quick Cargo and it took a couple of hours asking people and driving round in the taxi before someone caught on to the idea of calling them on the number I kept waving.

There were 2 Quick Cargo-ites Fady and Nagy. Fady rode a motorbike and zoomed off with papers here and there and Nagy rode with us leaping out at different buildings. When they found out the dog was at Heathrow it had already been about 4 or 5 hours since we landed.

Next day we set off again at 4.30pm and got the dog at 8.45pm finally. There were some nasty rows between "helpers" and the Quick Cargo men, as the helpers thought they were over charging me. 280$ plus 1,500 EGL import charge. After a huge to do the import duty was suddenly reduced to 300EGL. I could NOT have managed to get the dog without Quick Cargo so to some extent they had me over a barrel, the import thing is so complicated and my nerves were like strings. I thought (Rover) would be dead, suffocated, starved etc etc but she is fine.

I am so grateful to you for suggesting Quick Cargo whatever the cost. I think I would still be looking for the dog now without their help."


Blog post I made with names and addresses:

OBC - Vets in Cairo

I have personally used Dr Rania Kashif ("Vets in Practice" - 6th October City and Maadi)

Friday, 19 February 2010




 And I quote:

"The Cost
If you apply for a British passport overseas you can expect to pay:
·          For your passport (the fee is the same worldwide).
·          The cost of sending your application to us (as you would in the UK)
·          For the secure return of your passport and documents.
In the next 6 weeks we will publish instructions on how to submit your application and advice on using local courier services."

This seems to confirm that the INDIVIDUAL will be responsible for dealing with the postal side of things.

I have just been informed tonight (and have been sent a copy of a letter from the British Embassy in Cairo to prove it!) that from 15th APRIL 2010 it will NO LONGER BE POSSIBLE TO RENEW YOUR (FULL VALIDITY) PASSPORT AT THE BRITISH EMBASSY HERE.


Update from a source:

"Applications direct to Paris and returned to your overseas address via courier (to be paid for by you of course) if you don't trust the post. Embassy only to get involved in emergencies. This will make it really secure........ go figure.......This was from embassy employee last night."

The sooner this is clarified by the Embassy on their Website the better!

Passport renewals are being consolidated in several countries and apparently ours is to be in Paris.

You can still get it by post but (a) consider how utterly inefficient the postal service here is and (b) how impossibly fussy the new regulations for passports regarding photographs are, this is actually going to be pretty well impossible.

Here are print-screens of the letter.

I have also uploaded the print screens here:
British Embassy passport letter page 1 of 2
British Embassy passport letter page 2 of 2

British Embassy in Cairo Website (Not showing changes as of date of post).


Friday, 5 February 2010

Souk El Fustat - Where to go to get quality Egyptian gifts

If you want to get some good quality gifts here in Cairo, then I can highly recommend Souk El Fustat (Souq El-Fustat) which I visited for the first time last Saturday.

Within around 10 minutes walk of Coptic Cairo (Mar Girgiz metro), it has space for about 40-50 small shops selling handicrafts, toiletries, lamps, glassware etc.. There is also a cafe there - we didn't try it this time round, maybe next time!

Another miracle is that there is almost no 'tourist hassle' and shopping here is a very calm experience.  (The quid pro quo is that there is little room for bargaining though a couple of my companions did manage to squeeze a little with the help of an Egyptian friend!)

To get there, come out of Mar Girgiz metro station (on the Coptic Museum) side.  Turn left and keep walking in a straight line! It's on the right hand side of the road, before the recently refurbished Amr Ibn El-A’as mosque.

One of the shops there provides items made by the Zabbuleen (Garbage Collectors) women (read more about the Hay El Zabbuleen in the second half of my post here: St Simon Tanner.  I checked with the shop keeper and he told me that the paper goods are made from recycled paper, but that the cloth goods are made from fabric offcuts from the various factories in Cairo.

Here is a  good article on the aims behind the Souk El Fustat.

Link to my google map showing the walking route (give it time to load! There will be a thick blue line on it when it's finished!) -  click HERE and get it directly via Google Maps so you can play with it!

View Souq El Fustat and Coptic Cairo in a larger map
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