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Messages for U.S. Citizens

Emergency Message for U.S. Citizens No 32: Demonstrations Planned for Monday, February 11, 2013

February 11, 2013

On Monday February 11, traditional and social media outlets are reporting that opposition groups and “Black Bloc” activists are calling for demonstrations at al-Ittihadiya (Presidential) Palace in Heliopolis. Reports also suggest that groups may attempt to disrupt traffic on October 6 Bridge and unidentified metro stations. February 11th marks the anniversary date that Hosni Mubarak stepped down from power and opposition groups are using this date to call for large protests against the Muslim Brotherhood and Presidency. Other common themes of the protestors are amending the constitution as well as compensation for the families of protestors who have died in clashes with security forces.

According to local press, marches will set out from gathering points in Abbasiya and Nasr City towards Ittihadiya Palace, from Sayada Zenab and Ramsis Square to Tahrir Square. Some groups have announced that protest activities will escalate if the government does not meet their demands.

Gatherings are expected to start at 3:00 pm.

In Alexandria, the Kefaya movement has called upon Alexandria University students to join with the liberal parties at 4:00 pm near Victoria Square and march to Derbala, Mostafa Kamel St., El Saa Square and the Gobrial area.        

Previous demonstrations where opposition groups and “Black Bloc” activists have congregated have had the propensity for violence, therefore the possibility of clashes with security forces and opposition groups is likely. U.S. citizens are advised to avoid those locations associated with the gatherings/marches beginning the afternoon of Monday, February 11.

As a reminder, U.S. citizens should raise their level of alertness during these periods of protest and political unrest even for areas beyond those typically identified with protest activity. The possibility exists that groups or individuals could use the distraction of protest to carry out violent activities elsewhere in the country, including public venues, such as shopping markets and hotels.

The restriction on train travel for Embassy personnel has been lifted; however, sporadic demonstrations have continued near the Sidi Gaber station in Alexandria. Travelers may wish to use Misr train station as an alternate destination when traveling to downtown Alexandria. 

As a matter of general practice, U.S. citizens should avoid areas where large gatherings may occur. Even demonstrations or events intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and possibly escalate into violence.  U.S. citizens in Egypt are urged to monitor local news reports and to plan their activities accordingly.

The Embassy reminds U.S. citizens to review their personal security plans and remain alert to their surroundings at all times in Egypt.  For the latest security information, U.S. citizens traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department of State’s Internet website where the Worldwide Caution,  Country Specific Information for Egypt,Travel Warnings, and Travel Alerts, can be found.  Follow us onTwitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook, and download our free Smart Traveler iPhone App and the Android marketto have travel information at your fingertips.  

Up-to-date information on security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada, or, for callers outside of the United States and Canada, on a regular toll-line at 1-202-501-4444.  These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). 

U.S. citizens are advised to maintain valid travel documents and enroll with the Department of State or the U.S. Embassy Cairo through the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program website.  If you enroll we can keep you up to date with important safety and security announcements and can also help your family and friends get in touch with you in an emergency.  U.S. citizens without Internet access may enroll directly with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. 

For further information, U.S. citizens may call the Embassy’s American Citizens Services Unit at 2797-2301 during business hours, Sunday to Thursday from 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.  Please refer to the American Citizens Services Facebook page at:  www.facebook.com/USEmbassyCairo.  For emergencies after business hours and on weekends and holidays, U.S. citizens can contact the Embassy Duty Officer via the Embassy switchboard at 2797-3300.  The Embassy is located at 5 Tawfik Diab Street (formerly known as Latin America Street), Garden City, Cairo.