Egypt: Current Teacher Status / Job Seeker Advice

Hundreds of our colleagues work in more than 25 international and American schools throughout Egypt.  If you were in Egypt during the protests, here’s a place to share your experience with colleagues. Additionally, are schools endangering their foreign hire staff by asking them to return to Egypt?  How does the future look for recently hired teachers who will be arriving for the 2011/2012 academic year?

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224 Responses to Egypt: Current Teacher Status / Job Seeker Advice

  1. Egyptgiveitapass says:

    Egypt has it drawbacks and it’s positives. However, the entire middle-east has experienced a political shift. Foreign workers, particularly westerners of a white complexion, are not as safe as they once were and anyone who argues otherwise is either ignorant or bereft of a brain. There has been a violent crackdown in Egypt. This crackdown is ongoing, but most western teachers who live in Egypt are very dissociated from what happens to local Egyptians in their day to day lives. In my experience a lot of western teachers either ignore the problem or say there isn’t one because they lack knowledge about Egypt’s history, current political status and regional problems.

    Also, there are civil wars currently raging in Yemen, Syria and Libya and Gaza was decimated yet again not long ago. Lebanon is now also experiencing civil unrest and militancy and terror activities are on the rise in Tunisia and the accompanying Sahel region countries. These regional problems don’t bode well for Egypt.

    It is completely ignorant to think this regional unrest doesn’t affect Egypt, as it does, and note that since Egypt has the biggest and best equipped army in the middle-east the country and government have many internal and external pressures from different stake-holders and agent provocateurs. Don’t believe other teachers who tell you things are fine, as respectfully, most don’t have a clue. Yes, they live in Egypt but many rarely mix with local Egyptians, and what I mean by local Egyptians is in reference to 95% of the population that is quite poor and obviously can’t send their children to private international schools. These people are very dissatisfied with the current state of affairs, are very anti-government and their once friendly demeanor towards foreigners is starting to change (don’t be fooled and think the bedouin and tour guides like foreigners, they often view foreigners simply as “cash cows”). I for one quite like the Egyptian people however it would be remiss of me not to acknowledge this.

    Kidnappings of students near international schools in Egypt has also taken place and the Egyptian government has declared war on militants in the Sinai Peninsula. Western Egypt is also a place of increased militant activity, particularly the porous Libyan border. A Croatian oil worker was also recently kidnapped not far from Cairo and beheaded.

    Egypt, for now, is simmering. The locals are getting agitated due to high prices of food and commodities and the new government of Sissi is very, very unpopular. Also, the President stated openly on television that war with Ethiopia will be declared if the latter doesn’t change it’s high dam policies, and in this one regard the government does have public support as Egypt without a flowing Nile River will naturally experience major water and agricultural problems. I have heard some foreigners in Egypt, who know the country quite well and are “politically literate” predict that war may be a forgone conclusion.

    Many in the local Egyptian community have noticed that foreigners often flout their conservative culture and this is source of great annoyance to them. And who can blame them for feeling this way? They often tell me they feel foreign teachers and workers are not respecting their culture and if I’m frank I would agree with them. Some teachers impinge on local customs accidentally and learn and apologize, and these type of teachers are welcomed and respected. However many of my colleagues simply don’t give a toss and do what they want when they want and this attitude has been noted very well by the public. Also, whilst many locals struggle financially they have also noticed how much better paid foreigners are (often by a factor hundreds of times over what they receive). This is also causing some locals to feel angry and upset and this feeling has only been exacerbated by the rising cost of utilities.

    I really do wish a brighter future for the many suffering Egyptians, their plight is one that I truly empathize with them. However I do worry about some very naive foreigners who go to Egypt and have no idea about the state of affairs there.

    Do yourself a favor, I would stay well clear of Egypt.

    I have given my advice and encourage you to truly research Egypt and the school you may look at working at. Things aren’t what they seem, yes Egypt is more stable than other middle-east countries, but it’s not a matter of “if” Egypt will explode violently, but only a matter of “when” and when I mean explode violently I’m talking about violence that will dwarf what occurred in 2011 and 2013.

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  2. Noha says:

    I want to say that I am really frustrated with the application and assesment system at Hayah internationl academy. The screening tests are very aggressive and do not consider the age of the child. I do not see the point of having 2000 applicants when you will only accept 5, the only rationale is for the school to make money off the assesment which I personally see as un ethical. My son was 2 when he had the assesment for preschool, as he was very young the head of the early school years has told us that there will be no assessment as the kid is clearly very young and she has confirmed that he will be assessed at a later stage. After paying for the assesment and waiting for 2 weeks they have sent us a rejection email. I personally cannot understand how they can reject a child that has not been assessed at all. They refuse to give you any feedback on how your child’s assessment. I personally thought that the way with which they have dealt with us was unprofessional.

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  3. Karma says:

    Any update on life there as a single woman?

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  4. 2011 Revolution says:

    What is happening now? Have teachers decided to renew contracts and return to Cairo? Are families that are staying relocating to the suburbs of Rehab? Has the political situation changed your mind about returning for the school year?

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  5. Serissa says:

    Everyone always fears “fear” itself… Danger is everywhere, it comes in many forms depending on where you are in the world. Chris, will this be your first time living and teaching abroad? I’ve been to China for a year and then Honduras for a year after that… Actually, they say San Pedro Sula, Honduras is the number 1 or 2 murder capital in the world, and if so, well, I had no issues, and I was never scared… I’m glad to know that you have choosen to live close to the school as we are too. I will be with my husband and my twin girls who will be 20th months when we arrive. It will be a blast!

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  6. serissa says:

    E-gypsy, thank you for responding to my email. I am confident that we are making a safe decision, but it sure feels reassuring to hear good things from those individuals who have lived or are still living there! It is just so difficult explaining to friends and family that we will be safe and then having other people say that we will be in their prayers! But then again, the people that I talk to are too scared to leave the country, so what does their opinion matter anyhow!

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    • Chris says:

      Hello Serissa. I too will be coming to Egypt to work at the west campus. I will also live close to the school by myself. I’m very excited to be there at such a defining moment in history for this country. My friends think I’m crazy but so what? I’ve told them I will be safer there than I would be walking to my car at midnight in the Wal-mart parking lot! See you there.

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  7. E-gypsy says:

    When I say “that part of town”, I mean the west campus.

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  8. serissa says:

    My family and my two daughters will be moving to Egypt in August under a teaching contract. I do like to believe that the headlines are not a fair representation of what Egypt is actually like at this time. However, I also believe that things may not be changing for the better. We will be teaching at the American International School of Egypt at the West Campus. We will live very close to the school which is located in Sheikh Zayed City located in Giza. Therefore, we will not be living in “the city” where the protests are taking place. Can anyone give me information regarding this location and whether or not this is considered a safe and hopefully quiet area?

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    • E-gypsy says:

      Hi Serissa, I think you can relax and know that you have made a decision that should be safe for your daughters. I lived in Maadi, an area of Cairo that houses many expats, for four years and just left in July. That part of town is safer than many US cities and AIS is a good employer, according to my friends who worked there.

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    • Tina says:

      Two AIS West teachers had their purses snatched walking out of the school. Both of those teachers lived close to the school and were walking home. These were two separate incidences. The crime is random and it stretches out to Sheihk Zayed City. A parent had her car hijacked, they pulled her out of the and took off without knowing her children were in the back seat sleep. When they realized the children were in the seat, they abandoned the car on the highway. A passerby saw the children and called the police. Teachers at the nearby British School were car jacked as they were pulling into their nearby compound. Go with your eyes open, you could be hit by crime anywhere at any time. Security is not what it use to be in Egypt. The four bombings at different locations a week ago were real.

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  9. Still in Cairo says:

    The best I can describe the situation is a roller coaster ride. Things are up and down. I did not evacuate during last year’s revolution, as I didn’t feel a need to. Things have certainly changed post-revolution. Crime and sexual harassment have increased, thus, behaviors have changed as a result. Given the changes, I still believe Egypt to be a safe place to live. As with any country or city, there are areas that you would think twice about going. Egypt is no different. Other countries (e.g. US) have higher incidences of crime than Egypt, but are not blasted on every media outlet, and many are numb to crime happening in their own backyards. Imagine seeing every major cities’ criminal activities. I suspect perception may not be aligned with reality.

    I think it really depends on what you are looking for. Some embrace the changes the country is experiencing while others want to run as fast as possible.

    I would not come here as a single woman unless I were Muslim, veiled, and spoke the language.

    Good luck with your job search!

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    • Trey Olsen says:

      I have been living and working in Cairo, Egypt since June, 2008. While I agree with most of what “Still in Cairo” has to say, I cannot allow the last comment to stand unanswered.

      I know many single women from all over the world that love living in Cairo. None of them are Muslim, none of them wear veils or head scarves, and most only speak a little Arabic. Each one has a story to tell about unwanted attentions from a local male, but the story always ends at the (woman’s) harsh verbal rebuke of the male in question.

      In how many cities in the world can a single woman walk alone on the streets at 3:30 A.M. and not worry about being sexually assaulted? My girlfriend did that very thing every day during the Egyptian Revolution last year, and never had any problems. I was much more worried about my own personal safety living in Los Angeles during the Rodney King riots than I was ever concerned during the Egyptian Revolution.

      Cairo and all of Egypt are currently changing, and all of the changes are not for the better. But just keep this fact in mind: Cairo is a city of over 18 million people, over twice the size of New York City. NYC probably has more sexual assaults and murders in any one weekend than Cairo has in an entire year. Anyone with an ounce of sense can recognize a potentially dangerous situation and try to avoid it. You will just spend much less of your time doing that in Cairo than you will in most other large cities.

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  10. Mary says:

    Any updates on the situation?
    just wanted to bump this thread and get a feel for the current situation, as I am considering seeking employment in Egypt when my contract is up here in China.

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  11. pen says:

    and today?
    any follow up stories from those who stayed?

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  12. ACT says:

    The country does not feel safe. You are afraid to walk alone in the streets all over.
    You live uncertainty everyday.

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  13. what'sall this fussabout says:

    Have just read some really strange,negative posts abpve?! MES have treated their staff brilliantly! MES is a FANTASTIC school. We all got a bonus of a healthy sum of sterling pounds to cover any emergency expenses incurred by the protest period. For all those complaining above – I think this is a much more civilized way to help your staff out than, for example, shoving them all together in a hotel on a random beach location – forced to be in a place you may not want to be! I Iove my school and I love Egypt!

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    • InCaseofEmergency says:

      As many of you who are contemplating working in Egypt see, the staff at MES is full of energetic, vocal and opinionated teachers, I among them. I have remained quiet until now, because I wish I had looked at my contract more carefully before coming here. I spent several thousands of dollars getting back to the USA and returning to MES in the past month. MES, true to the contract I signed with them, will not cover any evacuation costs (but thanks for the $474.00 the Board generously offered to all teachers who stay through March). So, I have learned my lesson. Keep cash on hand at all times, and keep an emergency fund available for such times. It’s clear that the Middle East will experience unrest and tension over the next several years; a colleague recently compared it to the USA c. 1960 during the race riots: protests are violent but contained, crime is on the rise so you have to be careful, and the local politics may seem uncertain but the state is strong. MES treated us well, and was there if we called them during the emergency. The school was supportive. After returning to school, admin has cancelled all afterschool activities for students who can’t get their own rides home, and has ramped up security. When there were incidents in Maadi last week, Mrs. D. (our school’s owner) called many of us and reassured us by sending security guards to protect us. We have lost some staff since returning to school Feb 20th, and I encourage them to move on, rather than air their problems with the school here. However, I think that the people who are really the stuff of MES, opinionated, strong, positive, adaptive and intelligent, will see through this bias and come join us. This assignment is not for the faint hearted, but it is certainly fascinating! I am staying on next year just to see what happens next.

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      • Disgruntled Cairo Teacher says:

        You are really lucky…. I’ve heard some awful things about the school that claims to be the best in Cairo – to the point of firing staff who they think have made claims about the way administration have treated employees during this whole situation. The fact your owner has sent you security guards says a lot!!!

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        • Facts please says:

          Teachers fired?…name one. Come on, support your gossip-mongering and hateful sentiment with some evidence.

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          • Koochikoo says:

            Is it just me or is MES coming off as some kind of us-against-them place? Is it bullying or is it a reaction to people stirring and being maliciou. Hard to tell but not good for overall impression for newbies.

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  14. Janine says:

    How are things now?
    What is happening with schools who are disobeying the military guidelines? What does this mean for staff if they are attending school and breaking the law?

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  15. Cairo Teacher says:

    How are the British schools dealing with the situation until now? I heard that they are open despite the army enforcing a closure? I had applied at MBIS and now unsure what to do with August.. is anyone else feeling the same??

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  16. Ryan Carrig says:

    To those who complain about the ‘lack of action’ by a number of schools on this site….When you went to interview for your position did you not consider the possible consequences of applying for a position in a country that had been ruled by a dictator for the last 30 odd years and one in which a large percentage of the population live below the poverty line whilst we enjoy a tax free salary? If not..perhaps you should do so when applying for your next position abroad and ask if you can be evacuated if the going gets tough and communications go down.

    Should various schools now implement an evacuation plan etc it will indicate that they have learnt the same lesson as you.

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  17. hammy says:

    Hey,
    What is this I hear about a big March in Cairo
    on Tues/ Wed? If a school is putting in clauses that it is ok to break contract if there is danger in some teacher contracts but not others, why would the do that? What are some of the more danterous areas in Cairo when the neighborhoods had fights?

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  18. Chris says:

    Having lived and worked in Egypt for nearly four years, I now consider Alexandria my home. I had already arrived in England on the Friday when the troubles began and was due to return on the Sunday but my flight was cancelled. I was in constant touch by telephone with my friends and colleagues caught up. Some elected to stay and some elected to go but all have returned now. Trouble can come suddenly to anywhere in the world and the Middle East looks unsafe to outsiders at the moment but I can truly say life is going on as normal here. Sure, ex-pats need to be a little bit circumspect on Fridays after prayers but everywhere I go people are still saying “Welcome to Egypt” and being friendly and helpful. So I would say to anyone wanting to come and teach here at a good international school please look at website and apply.

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  19. Erin Wise says:

    I live in Egypt and teach at AIS. We were evacuated out to Sharm at a 5 star hotel with plans in place to evac. us out to Greece and if that was not enough , they would have sent us home. It was wonderful how my school cared about us all along. They went the extra mile to pick me up right from the front door of my house and take all who wanted to Sharm. I chose to travel to Jordan and then Greece. What a wonderful three weeks , being part of history, being safe, and enjoying life. I am ready to go back to school and meet the many challenges of teaching that have now been created due to the revolution. Some i feel prepared for and some I am not sure I know exist…
    My husband felt safe here in Egypt the entire time, and he chose to remain in 6th of October which is about 30 mins. outside of Cairo and we never heard even one gun shot.
    Back to normal tomorrow, Sunday.

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  20. Carol says:

    As an expat who has been in Cairo for 18 months, I have never felt more welcome. I disagree with the post from Australia…I am very happy to move through the community and almost everyone says welcome or Sabah il Kheer, good morning. It is wonderful to see the sparkle in the eyes of a society who now feels they can speak their minds. Yalla Misr! Go Egypt!

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  21. Carol says:

    My experience is and has been that I am totally safe here. I have been in Cairo for 18 months now and since the revolution I have been even more welcomed than ever. My husband and I stayed through the entire uprising and only experienced two times where we weren’t sure which way things were going to go for the Egyptian people. Never did we feel that we would be in jeopardy though. One night was when the police left their posts on January 28 and the other night was when the people thought Mubarak was going to step down and he didn’t do so, that was Thursday February 10th.
    Many expats left as advised by their countries embassies and that is fine. If a person does not feel safe then, of course, they should go somewhere so they have peace of mind. We could not leave if we had wanted to as our passports were in the immigration office which just happens to be down on Tahrir Square…we did not get them back into our hands until February 12th. This is where we had some anxiety, not being able to leave but luckily we were sure that we wanted to stay so it was not an issue.
    I think that a teacher would be fine to take a job here in Egypt…the only concern I would have is what is the clientele of the school? Some of the international schools will be experiencing a decline in enrollment which may, in turn, result in fewer teachers needed and contracts could be canceled. I am in a 100% Egyptian school and my students are not going anywhere so our jobs are secure. We are teaching by e-learning right now as students have not been cleared to return to school yet. We teachers went in 4 days this week on a shortened schedule, Tuesday was a holiday as it was the Prophet’s birthday.
    I am completely comfortable here in Cairo right now and the streets that I travel daily are hustling and bustling just as before. It’s all Good!

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  22. safetyassured? says:

    Confused why some international schools are returning staff against FCO advice to travel back to Cairo and moreover, against a ruling/ advice from the Egyptian ‘government’ and military? School has been postponed until 27th Feb to ensure safety of students and staff as the streets are still not policed.

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  23. James says:

    Fabulous advice and ideas from other teachers. It has indeed been a scary time here in Egypt recently. It’s also been exciting, inspiring and interesting. Thankfully my school has looked after me very well (so far… we still haven’t got to February payday…!)

    It is important to remember that the revolution that occurred is very different to a ‘war.’ The country is already returning to normal, there is a real feeling of change, vibrancy and excitement among the residents of Cairo (Egyptians and expats alike). A great time to come to Egypt and absolutely safe, as usual.

    xx

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  24. Qbaqi says:

    Eleanor “As for personal safety, even in the moment I feel safer than I did back home in the U.S. and certainly safer than in large cities such as NY and LA.”

    I work at ASA, The American School Of Alexandria, I completely agree with you. I am glad those who felt the need to leave were able to. I have lived here for almost four years and now and I certainly feel safer here than in Los Angeles, CA where I am from. Having been here through out this entire time of protest and change and having roamed around Alexandria talking to people and checking on fellow teachers who chose to stay. I can say based on my experiences that this country was just as safe as it has always been. Now getting involved in a protest might not be a good move but going about your daily business during daylight hours was trouble free in Alexandria. However, night time forays after curfew is not recommended. Neighborhoods have established Neighborhood Watch groups to protect themselves. I refer to them as “Neighborhood Watch Groups” and not vigilantes because that’s what they are. This is the same thing we have in Los Angeles in my Neighborhood. I think a lot more guns would be evident in Los Angeles however(smile.) I love the diversity of Egypt’s expat population so I hope the “good” will return soon. Egyptian’s are a peace loving people for the most part and that hasn’t changed. The clashes that we witnessed on television between protesters from different sides were limited to just that. As for looters, those desperate individuals who chose to probe and prey on any weaknesses they found, they mostly found themselves captured and remanded to the authority of the army. Please don’t forget the Burglary and even worse the Home Invasion Robbery rate in most major cities in the United States. Just like home, you must protect yourself by taking various precautions and locking your door securely at all times. For those who choose not to return, so be it, it will be that much easier to negotiate more money in our next contracts(joke.) I wish you all the best.

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  25. teachertoteacher says:

    The reason many leave anonymous names on this site is because of fear of retribution if negative reviews happen to fall on the wrong ears.

    In reference to many of many of the complaints of certain schools, I would like to remind folks that even on the best of days, life in Egypt can be trying. Simple tasks such as finding an ATM with cash, having water delivered to your home can be quite difficult, or making a medical appointment can be much more difficult than you would expect. So during any kind of crisis finding food supplies, cash, or transportation became near impossible.

    If you choose to work in Egypt, do not rely on your employer to take care of you. Depending on your comfort level with the unknown, you may have to make your own arrangements. Be prepared to have your own back-up plan if needed and if neccessary disregard any advice which contradicts your own intuition.

    If Egypt will be your first experience living outside of America, England, Canada, or any other top deveolped nation you need to have a real sense of adventure. But more importantly, be prepared for any situation as *you* will be the person who is most responsible for your safety.

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  26. ginnypapa says:

    AIS West did an outstanding job evacuating it’s teachers. A week at Sharma El Sheikh, and constant attention to our situation and what our otions were. They were with us every minute. All options were discussed and granted there was tension and frustration, but I give them all A+, and am proud to be working at AIS-West, Cairo, Egypt. I would tell anyone to come join me at a great school and wonderful people.

    Like

  27. George H. says:

    You should also be aware that most travel and even medical insurance policies will not cover you in tge event of civil uprising, Particularly when your govt has issued a ‘don’t go’ warning. To be honest i am quite surprised that any teacher would consider going to Egypt right at this moment. And to take children there at the moment lies somewhere, in my opinion, between recklessness and negligence!

    Like

  28. Dee says:

    NCBIS has been FANTASTIC in supporting their staff from the outset.

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  29. timeincairofinished says:

    I thought this captured most of the current thought well. I know we as expats are sometimes too quick to be selfish and want our ‘lives’ back quickly and without sacrifice, when really there is no sacrifice on our part anyway, and certainly not when we think of the greater good and those whose society we are able to live in at this time only wanted the same liberties that we always enjoy in our own countries and usually take for granted.

    http://shorttext.com/vuh0nhakrff

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    • Anonymous says:

      Yes. For those who want a definitive answer, there is none. Schools are trying to be optimistic, but it is not realistic that things will be returning to normal soon. If a school is located far outside the city, then it may appear normal there. However it must be safe for students, teachers, and other staff going to and from school and doing every day things. What is the point going back if it is not safe for foreigners? Washington Post February 9 states that 17,000 prisoners were let out of prisons.

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      • Simon says:

        I agree anon, whilst some school locations are no doubt very safe and quiet the reality is that most student populations come from all corners and parts of cairo, and ensuring their safe daily transport morning and afternoon at this stage is still nothing short of impossible in addition to being ill advised.

        Uncertainty is the only certainty right now, regardless of what anyone says or claims to know.

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  30. MESCairoTeacher says:

    MES handled the situation very well. Teachers were offered to live at the school and provided hot meals 3 times a day. The school has its own generator for power and had stock piled food/water for teachers and their families. Teachers were also offered to use the school international line and given $200 for emergency money.

    Despite the danger and risks, buses were sent to Maadi to pick up teachers who wished to go to the school. (Not all schools offered this!!)

    Some teachers who wished to remain in their own apartments and some groups of teachers camped out together in apartments across Cairo and pooled their resources together.

    Teachers were advised to remain in Cairo those who wished to leave were responsible for securing their own flights and finding their own transportation to the airport.

    Although the situation was difficult and at times terrifying, the emergency situation brought out the best in MES teachers and faculty. It really felt like a family. The timing of the protests made communication difficult, our director was at recruiting fairs at the time but she provided as much help as she could. The school also had students and teachers abroad for ski trips and training. The American and British heads had the teacher’s best interests at heart and did everything they could to keep everyone feeling secure. Both department heads were the last to leave Cairo!!!

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    • Jane Doe says:

      MESCairoTeacher you should be ashamed, what you have said is grossly misleading at best and at worst it is clear lies, to cover what little already remained of the reputation of some.

      The situation was dealt with poorly, there was no communication and the school came out with a statement that everything was fine when less than half of the faculty had even been contacted. I sat on a plane for the US with 3 other faculty and we compared at great length what had been communicated individually to us. Each time it seemed to come back to there being a clear lack of ability and effective leadership within secondary.

      I would expect there to be visible accountability from the leadership when the time comes, perhaps if there was any sense of professionalism from the secondary heads and much less arrogance they would at least offer sincere apologies for the shameful leadership shown during the turmoil or possibly they would consider offering their resignations on the grounds of poor leadership and their inability to communicate effectively at even a basic level. It was severly lacking and bordered on professional negligence.

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    • EscapingEgypt says:

      Modern English School are now trying to recruit through these information and advice boards! That is a new low, even for them.

      Those with due consideration and attention to detail will be able to see through the leaderships attempts to do everything in protection of their reputation, even at the expense of both conveying the facts and putting faculty safety potentially at risk by not being truthful.

      The only safe element about the school is that it is in the middle of nowhere, with living in the main US and expat area involving a 90 minute round trip commute EVERY DAY on poor roads that are dangerous.

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    • It has been 14 days since we have left our last teaching week at MES; that day happened to be my last day of dialogue with MES admin. As of tonight, I still have not received any contact from the American Secondary Head, Cathy Spencer, nor a direct letter from the Director/Owner Ms. Dajani. The only emails I have received are 1- falsely stating that “all teachers and families were safe and well” and 2- the school trying to track down who they advanced $167 to–mind you, that money will come out of our monthly salary. Their main concern is, once again, money. Since they did not keep proper records of where the meager allotment of cash went during this time of crisis, I can guarantee they have NO CLUE where their staff and faculty are at this moment. According to the school webpage, school is supposed to resume on the 20th of February by whoever constitutes it “safe” to return. According to some in the leadership position at MES it was safe enough to sleep on a cot at the school during the early stages of the protests. The PR director for teachers even claimed that she was not “aware of the US calling all American citizens out of Egypt.” She stated this two days after it had been floating across BBC and CNN’s marque both day and night. The “MES teacher” that wrote the only glowing blog is most likely administration–another falsified statement by leadership. It is clearly not a teacher as it is written with no emotion or attachment. Sadly, there is no family cohesion at MES, as my entire family both stateside and international know my exact whereabouts, whereas, MES has no idea because they played NO role in helping me reach safety.

      Like

      • Anonymous says:

        MES is not the only school with principals and vice principals who have made no effort to contact their staff.

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        • Cairo Teacher says:

          BISC is also guilty of not contacting some staff!! I know two teachers who as far as the Heads at BISC are aware may be dead somewhere!

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      • SuziSheehan says:

        My name is Suzie Sheehan and I work at MES Cairo. I challenge any of the extremely cowardly, vindictive people above to contact me directly and explain how it is that every single member of MES staff was contacted and offered plenty of support and help… all EXCEPT for those posting the nonsense written above?!
        I was at school and WITNESS to the contact procedures being rigorously and thoroughly followed through. Every single member of staff was contacted and accounted for. I am certainly NOT a liar!
        We were NOT ‘advised to stay in Cairo’ at any point! Personally, I feel that your concern about reaching ‘safety’ is laughable – seeing as you were not in any danger in the first place. The great events that happened in Egypt this month were not about YOU! You people really need to get over yourselves!
        Anyone who would like to get an honest, objective opinion please feel free to email me. There are other sane colleagues on this site who have also offered to give you truthful and less ‘sensational’ facts about life in Cairo and at our school.
        ssheehan@mescairo.com

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        • teachertoteacher says:

          I challenge any of the extremely cowardly, vindictive people above to contact me directly and explain how it is that every single member of MES staff was contacted and offered plenty of support and help… all EXCEPT for those posting the nonsense written above?!

          Suzie, I work with you at MES. There is no reason to hold bad feelings toward teachers who post their opinions on here. I think that you and Christine Flake need to evaluate how getting angry at your coworkers who are obviously having an emotionally rough time is productive? I’m happy that you and Christine are content with the way the situation handled. But I would like to remind you that your experience is not identical to every single staff member’s experience.

          I can tell you for a fact that I when I shared my plans of leaving for the airport administration asked me to remain in Cairo for at least 24 more hours.

          Additionally, for your information, the school offered to provide transportation to and from school. However, the school would not allow the bus to bring us to the airport.

          I was shocked that I had been asked to stay, even after seeing trucks full of prisoners attempting to enter the compound.

          Like

          • teachertoteacher says:

            My intention of posting was not to criticize you or Christine Flake but to draw your attention to that right now is when the staff as a whole should unite and support each other.

            I believe that I am a positive member of staff and enjoy working at the school. However, I shared my personal experience with you to alert you to the fact that you are not “all knowing” about each staff member’s experience.

            Belittling staff will not improve the image of the school, it will only create more divisions among staff. Right now, more than ever in the history of MES in the past 20 years, the staff needs to unite and support one another.

            Like

            • teachersunited says:

              The majority of us, more united as a staff than ever, don’t think this is an honorable way for the minute number of anonymous moaners on this site to air their quite creative complaints. you are the only one who is belittling yourself by attacking our school unfairly in this thread. we, the majority, who are self respecting highly professional and happy teachers here, wish you well in your future position.

              Like

        • 2011 Revolution says:

          During this current political turmoil I hope that the current staff follow their Embassy advice. Please remember that while no one can predict the future with 100% accuracy, your Embassy will provide the best advice possible based on the information it has and similar situations that have happened in comparable countries.

          In a developing country like Egypt, the public infrastructure is quite limited. The only way to exit Egypt (of course you can take a ferry across the Mediterranean or travel via bus to the international airports in Sharm El Sheik or Hurgada but this is not always feasible during political turmoil) is through the Cairo airport. Departing through Cairo Airport depends on functioning electricity, supplies arriving, and most importantly flights arriving. Without flights arriving, flights cannot depart. During the revolution, the internet went out. There was a 3pm curfew. Crews could not arrive to work so flights were unable to leave. Airlines canceled flights to Cairo and so flights departing Cairo were canceled as well. Supplies were not being delivered to the airport so basics like water and candy bars were depleted. Then the US Embassy began chartering flights to ferry out stranded citizens. This school still was not encouraging staff to evacuate.

          If your country’s embassy advises all nonessential personnel to leave, follow their advice.

          Like

  31. Egypt changed says:

    ISR ADMIN NOTE: THIS POST WAS MADE FROM AUSTRALIA
    As an American Egyptian I am sad to learn that anti Western sentiments within the mainstream Egyptian society appears extremely high. Egyptian society seems to have renewed its agenda in relation to expat acceptance. The hundreds of locals I speak with on a daily basis have a strong sense of envy and a feeling of betrayal. People feel that Expats have enjoyed Egypt too much for too long, whist society lives in a state of despair, hopelessness and desparation. I fear particularly for the children of the expat community in Egypt and wish only to deliver a simple message. Egypt is in a state of dramatic transition. Locals are angry and seem to have a hatred towards the expat community at this point in time. The feeling I gauge from within society is very disturbing. My well informed opinion is that Expats should leave Egypt ASAP or risk having their children kidnapped and their liberties compromised. I definitely sense that the Egyptian people want expats out.

    Like

    • Carol Q says:

      There seemed to be a naive sense that things will blow over or that they already have. I purposely avoid cnn or al jazeera now as their angle of reporting has shown to be sensationalist. However even the british tv, bbc.com, have said that the protest today is the largest since january 25th (which was before things got bad).

      Expats have to appreciate the position they are in and that they have contributed to some of the feelings held by the locals, so those that are in a point of anger or desperation may begin to target them as they would see it as being left with no other choice if the changes so many demand are not met soon. The longer current problems go on the higher the chance of outward frustration on the part of locals, to who egypt is their loved home rather than just a stopgap, towards expats.

      Like

    • spartaki says:

      Reading the culturally blighted responses of those teachers so tenured overprivileged and insulated that always it is there self preservation that is paramount can we blame the long suffering Egyptians for there reaction?

      Like

  32. Reid B says:

    Things with BISC have been dreadful in the current situation Rebecca. See the comments others have posted.

    Perhaps its worth actually reviewing your decision to go there.

    Like

  33. E-gypsy says:

    Those people who are worried about declining enrollment and (therefore job security) should consider that most of the “international” schools in Egypt serve primarily host nation students. Their enrollment is not likely to drop due to the current conflict. Individual schools, of course, will suffer enrollment decline. But in the broad picture, most schools will not. It depends on the demographics of their student body.

    Like

    • Lisa W says:

      You are right that most of the ‘international’ schools serve primarily host nation students, so it is worth noting what you have said, that teaching professionals coming to teach are not really teaching at truly international schools then.

      Enrollments will drop, possibly significantly. Most schools that have wealthy host nationals, of which ranging from 30% – 50% are dual passport holders. They have the finances and the ability (passport) to go to a better and safer place, many will no doubt exercise that when the situation rumbles on and not mainly from the safety point, but that there is only so much of semester and class time that can be missed before their children will be at a disadvantage, and that is too big a risk for many who place a particular importance on education.

      Like

      • ktomy says:

        I would be more worried about making the mistake of coming to cairo in the first instance than I would be with declining enrollments.

        Having taught at 4 schools in 4 different countries (3 continents) over the past 13 years, cairo as a city and the educational standards and students here are by far the worst I have encountered.

        That is, of course, without any mention of the current problems, which are cause enough alone to give egypt a miss anyway.

        Like

  34. Simon G says:

    Many have not wanted to believe the whole situation that is going on. It is all very sad and a shame and I along with many others, likely significantly many more than would have been expressed here that do not subscribe to this site, are still in shock about the treatment by certain schools to add to the stress of the events that have brought this about. The ‘support’ from many schools, at the main time when people needed it, was severely lacking.

    I would hope this shock does not turn to anger in the coming months when things hopefully settle down, though I suspect for that to be the case then schools would have to answer some pretty tough questions and put guarantees and absolute assurances in place.

    For most schools here sadly, judging by their approach generally and what is evident with their response during current events, I doubt there will be little accountability and likely there will be none. It just does not work that way in cairo, as arrogance rules and things are dictated rather than discussed and agreed on.

    Current events have highlighted and directly stated one thing time and again, that Egypt is corrupt to the core. As a result, this involves the culture and the schools and businsses that operate there. The question is do people want to be involved somewhere that corruption reins and therefore be a part of it. Avoiding it when there is nothing short of impossible, and it can drag on an individuals conscience if you have a high sense of moral integrity and professionalism.

    Like

  35. Patricia W says:

    I left this past summer after it got too much. I would give the place a miss given its dramatic change for the worst in the past couple of years.

    With the recent turmoil in the country, absolutely worth avoiding cairo as a location for the next couple years at least.

    There are some dear people there, but nothing is worth the compromise of ones safety.

    Like

  36. Anonymous says:

    Be careful. A friend teaching there has no received any help from the school. Some wealthy students & families have fled and will enroll in schools elsewhere. Students living incompounds (gated communities) “feel likeprisoners.”
    Don’t forget THOUSANDS of prisoners were let out – not just political prisoners, but also murderers, rapists, pedofiles, …
    How will these criminals be found and returned to jail?

    Like

    • Rebecca says:

      Has BISC not helped their teaching staff?

      Like

      • Koochikoo says:

        Yes, tell us more please!

        Like

        • John S says:

          BISC have done very little to nothing for their faculty during recent events.

          Like

          • Rebecca says:

            Are you in close contact with BISC? I’m due to go in Aug and am keen to know how this current situation is being handled.

            Like

            • Egypt Teacher says:

              BISC is handling the current situation badly and has done almost nothing in assisting faculty.

              I hope that clarifies things as clearly as possible with regards to your question.

              Like

            • Koochikoo says:

              Yes, it does… as did the other posts. Just didn’t want to believe it😦

              Like

            • returningtoegypt... says:

              Please could I request some advice regarding when to go back and what someone should do if I could, from those who are in cairo, those who were but left and any others who can offer objective input from what they have seen, heard and feel. My main concern is for my children and the safety of my family, I would never entertain even the possibility of it being compromised no matter what.

              My hope is that things return to normal and that peace can return with improvements granted for the many people of egypt that deserve it and have suffered for so long. However I am concerned, mainly that schools are either starting to begin back or have given dates in the very near future that they expect faculty to start back.

              I do know that news channels offer a slant on their stories to engage viewers, so I went to official sources instead. I appreciate that some in cairo will say that things appear to be returning back to normal and that all is becoming normal again, but it does not fill confidence that things could not change quickly or that they will continue. Needless to say I am highly worried given what embassies are still saying and dated currently for today. Why would they all say as such if things were even starting to return to normal, let alone back to normal.

              US
              http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/tw/tw_5312.html

              Canada
              http://www.voyage.gc.ca/countries_pays/report_rapport-eng.asp?id=79000

              Australia
              http://www.smartraveller.gov.au/zw-cgi/view/Advice/Egypt

              UK
              http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/travel-and-living-abroad/travel-advice-by-country/middle-east-north-africa/egypt

              New Zealand
              http://www.safetravel.govt.nz/news/index.shtml#egypt

              They all say to avoid travel to egypt, to consider leaving as soon as you can if you are still there, even outside of cairo in any part of egypt to stay indoors, that the situation in cairo in still very fragile, strongly advised against all travel to egypt, and more.

              This is not one message that could be seen as being too cautious, though you never can be when it regards personal and family safety, but all of the western embassies are saying the same thing.

              With this in mind, how can schools be starting back or issuing dates to start back and expect faculty to be there, when it is clearly against what the embassy says (in this case, several of them). Should we just ignore the embassy instruction, should not the school be highly considerate of what such embassies are saying anyway rather than issuing definite start dates. Would parents of children in cairo schools travel back, would the embassy even allow some of them too at the minute.

              I am very confused regarding it all, it has been an emotional time. Any thoughts or advice is most welcome.

              Like

            • marie h says:

              I would also be most welcoming of other educators thoughts on this.

              Like

            • Eleanor says:

              I have worked and lived in Cairo for 5 years. I have remained in Cairo the last weeks. I have many Egyptian friends here. I have not felt particularly unsafe since the protests.
              At the moment, I don’t feel an increase in hostility towards foreigners. It does however exist.
              As for personal safety, even in the moment I feel safer than I did back home in the U.S. and certainly safer than in large cities such as NY and LA.
              Embassies have to be very cautious and recommend what they must as a precaution. Like a mother they might even recommend you stay away from many cities throughout the world including their home city.
              It is hard to speculate what the future holds for any given place, particularly Egypt. If you were truly considering coming here prior to the events then go for it. If you were apprehensive about it at all before, than do not come.
              I have always felt safer here than anywhere else in the world I have lived and still do.

              Like

            • Janine says:

              Oh dear… Has the situation changed now I hear they have returned?

              Like

    • Carol says:

      “THOUSANDS of prisoners were let out – not just political prisoners, but also murderers, rapists, pedofiles, …How will these criminals be found and returned to jail?zzz”

      I don’t know where you got this but this is not true. I am here in Cairo. There were problems in a prison in Fayoum which is not anywhere near Cairo and they were not “let out”.

      Like

      • E-gypsy says:

        Carol, a friend of mine in Alexandria stood on her sixth floor balcony and watched police paddy wagons driven by uniformed policemen release prisoners who were still in prison garb. They had sticks and rocks and were released on her street where they beat on cars and broke out windows. A friend who lives on Road 198 in Maadi (overlooking the prison across the road) watched prisoners being loaded into vans and others reported prisoners being released at locations in Cairo.

        Like

      • Anon says:

        Many people I know spent a terrifying night when the prisoners were let out. They were released deliberately and then rounded up again. Dozens of prisoners were shot dead. I know of one person who found a prisoner hiding, he claimed he was ordered to leave at gunpoint. The prisoners had weapons, there was much shooting around and in many compounds.

        Like

      • Anonymous says:

        the relatives of the prisoners — rightly or wrongly imprisoned– saw a weak moment in the dictatorship and got their relatives out. They all know each other. the guards let their freinds out

        Like

      • Anonymous says:

        The relatives of the prisoners saw a weakness because of the protests and got them out. the guards are family freinds. good for them. most of them are just victims of the system.

        Like

      • Grow a brain cell. says:

        I’m surprised that you missed the prison breaks, and the subsequent attack by prisoners on police stations during which they were able to arm themselves.

        Maadi Prison (yes – there’s one there as well) also had escapees.

        This BBC article references the 17000 prisoners still at large.

        http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-12413840

        Like

    • InCaseofEmergency says:

      Completely false. Rumors spread by the Mubarak Regime to scare people. Political prisoners (like ENT doctors and lawyers) were released. And of the few others that may have been released, they were captured. I think we all know this by now (a month later), but in case someone looks at this months from now, I want them to understand that much of the bad news in the early days came courtesy of the secret police in Egypt.

      Like

  37. anderson paige says:

    Exaggerated, really? You must have missed the news the past couple days then.

    Like

    • Patrick says:

      This article is exaggerated in many senses. The news shows what is happening in Tahrir, 7 miles north of Maadi and 12 miles north of Kattameya where most schools are located.
      I would challenge all the readers of this post to read and watch what you want, but remember that media has to sensationalize the truth to compete for viewers.
      Your educators….which means you’re educated. Let’s act accordingly.

      Like

      • Charlotte says:

        Hello Patrick,

        I am always reluctant to follow what the news says when they report on ’emergencies’, I know it to be slanted and to maintain an element of being sensational or at least to the point of attracting viewers.

        Though in acting accordingly as you suggest, what would your thought be with regards to what all major western state departments and governments are saying, which is to avoid cairo completely still at this present moment? They even suggest not to be anywhere in egypt if you can, and if you are to remain inside. This is current as of now, the early hours of this morning.

        I would suggest everyone who is educated would act accordingly as to what their government suggests. With every state foreign bureau saying the same thing, there must be some absolute credibility in there rather than just some as governments, unlike the media, are not battling for viewers, their job is to be responsible for their own citizens and nothing else.

        Like

  38. Brian says:

    The situation has been coming for a while, it is a dictatorship after all, who are going to dig their heels in and give no concessions to the people.

    Those working in Cairo should leave without letting their arrogance get in the way (‘I can tough this out’, ‘It will be over soon’). I walked through Tahrir Sq two days ago before leaving yesterday, within ten minutes I was asked three time if I was American. The sentiment will grow as long as the US continues to stand back and give ‘strongly worded statements’, it could be stated that they have created this problem anyway having propped up a dictator for 30 years.

    I was in Maadi with my family and felt safe there, though the US embassy advice is to leave – so any US citizens staying are doing so against the direct will of their embassy (particularly foolish) as after a point of expiry no consular assistance will be available if notifications and instructions are ignored.

    Cairo isn’t a particularly great place to live, taken in the context of other places in the world. People that say otherwise either have no other options or have been too lazy to make any effort and try. The problems now may blow over, though the presidential elections set for Sept / Oct this year will be much worse so those thinking of coming here or that have said they will would be best advised to rethink and change their mind.

    They would be crazy to consider any other option than to notify their prospective new school that they have had a change of heart. Any contracts signed or promises made can easily be null and voided given safety and political issues that are out of the control of both parties.

    Like

    • egyptsoo says:

      Seems to me walking through Tahrir Sq was a “particularly foolish” choice.

      You made the choice to leave while others choose to stay and it’s not your place to judge.

      Like

      • egyptsoso says:

        Sorry for my last comments, they were stupid of me. I did not think perhaps that you got stuck there or that you work near there or some situation happened and you did not intend being there.

        It was also stupid of me to say about people leaving and being their choice, as if an embassy says to leave then it is foolish not to listen to their advice.

        Like

        • egyptsoo says:

          I (the one who made the comments), on the other hand, am not sorry for my last comments. Interesting.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            Dude I work at the embassy and I was downtown, we got pushed aside on exit and were shacked up for twenty hours at the side of Tahrir Sq, not our choice.

            Rather than rush out straight away we waited for 20 HOURS before moving until there was no curfew, it was quiet and light.

            Your comments are particularly stupid, you took no time to appreciate that I was not there by choice and you seem to have no appreciation that the embassies do exactly what is best for their citizens, and going against what they say is very naive.

            If you could withhold your comments in future when you do not have knowledge of their context, as was the case here and which I am sure that any dignified individual would apologize for.

            Like

  39. Joe C says:

    I teach at Hayah International Academy (HIA) and I can tell you for the most part, this school is doing everything it can to help the teachers through this. Some teachers have left, many have stayed. We have been offered to go to a beach community a few hours away, but out of the city as a very short-term solution. The ex-pat staff have been together to meet on a daily basis to touch base and check on eveyone. Those that chose to leave are transported by the school as it is the safest way to get to the airport. The hardest part has been lack of Internet, which has only just been re-opened a few hours ago. I will leave other aspects of the school to the school reviews, but as far as the crisis goes, I would say our school made sure we had money to tide us over, has offered a short-term safe haven, answered questions and listened when we voiced concerns. I would tell any teachers considering this country to put everything in perspective and do what you think is best for you. The political unrest may last awhile. Weeks or months, there is just no way to know. Consider all your offers carefully and ask about contingency plans for crisis situations.

    Like

    • Carol says:

      I work in Maadi and we have been out of school for three days but are due to have Wednesday and Thursday off as a February break.
      We are supposedly going back on Sunday…won’t know until late Saturday I am sure as, unlike CAC, we are not so lucky as to be well informed by our administration. The teachers all are well connected and have kept each other advised of the goings on.
      WE have plenty of food, a steadier supply of electricity than we usually have fortunately, water has flowed continuously but I missed the internet intensely.
      We were paid two days late and only paid half of what we are due but that is fine with me. I am happy to be here in Egypt witnessing the fledgling democracy that is being established here. Any and all irritations are worth seeing the people so happy and free to express themselves after 3 decades and more of oppression.
      It remains to be seen how it will all play out and I am sure we are going to see more protests…I hope it stays civilized and look forward to getting back to teaching the youth of this great nation.

      Like

  40. masrexplorer says:

    Does anyone know about the situation at El Alsson School? Have they evacuated their staff? What have they done?

    I had an interview two weeks ago and Im unsure on how to proceed. Many Thanks

    Like

    • Trav45 says:

      I just talked to my friend who is the secondary head there. He didn’t say anything about staff, but he is there and is, in fact, the warden for the Maadi area. He was helping with the patrols, and didn’t seem all the worried about things.

      Like

  41. L says:

    I am a teacher at NCBIS in Cairo. Our school has taken all those who wished to leave to Hurghada, a very quiet resort town on the Red Sea. They have looked after us well and kept us informed. At the moment we have no idea what will happen but we are all booked into lovely hotel (at the school’s expense)for a week here, so its a great “refugee camp”! After that?? I have not personally felt under threat as the local people where we live have banded together like large neighbour hood watch groups to protect the area through the night. This is typical of how we have found the Egyptians, friendly, kind and now apologetic about things happening in their country.

    Like

    • TOH says:

      That is nice for NCBIS staff, as with regards to any financial outlay or assistant for its staff during this time Modern English School has offered NOTHING.

      All outlay has been on the part of the individual, this is not the time for faculty to dwell on that issue as there are others more pressing, but suffice to say there are a significant number disillusioned by the school due to their handling of everything and their support (lack of).

      Like

  42. Janie Beck says:

    I would like to share my experience being in Cairo, Egypt during the unrest. I am a single woman living alone and I was so afraid when the unrest began. I was without food and could not access money in my bank account to pay for an airline ticket even if I wanted to try to leave the country. I got a call someone from our school saying pack a light bag the owners of the school are taking all of its teachers to Sham El Sheik. Teachers (about 250) from all three of the campuses owned by ESOL and was driven to the resort on the Red Sea. We are staying in beautiful room with all meals paid by the school. We are spending a lot of time on the beach, getting to know teachers from the other campuses, a bit of shopping, etc. I was able to relax and feel more safe knowing that we are being taken care of. We were able to get emails out through our sister schools in Dubai, the administration from all of the campuses have been quite supportive. ESOL stepped up to the plate to support its teachers during the challenging time. There was a plan if the situation got worse we would have been evacuated to our home countries. If you are considering teaching in Egypt, I can say working for one of the ESOL schools you would be taken care of in a state of emergency. Some schools left their teachers to fend for themselves. How terrible….
    Before the unrest began, Cairo was one of the safest places I had lived overseas and I truly appreciate the kindness of the Egyptian people.

    Like

    • Anonymous says:

      ESOL has not taken care of all their teachers in Cairo.

      Like

    • Eric L says:

      Well done to ESOL for their measures in place and responding in such a positive way.

      Shame on those who did very little or nothing for their staff. The reflection of that should or will be in the consideration that individuals with a level of ethical conduct give to staying at such a school longer than they have too and also for those thinking of going to such a school to back out now before it is too late.

      Like

  43. The Aforenamed "Redneck Muslim" says:

    Dear All,

    Having lived in the Middle East going on 6 years, I have long dismissed my family and friends’ concerns about my safety in the region. I’m certainly safer here than at my school in Texas where, in the year after I left, one of my students came to school with a hit list and stabbed the first child on this list in the face.

    That said, I have been living in Egypt for the past year and a half. I live in al-Rehab, a very comfortable gated community removed from the city. Nevertheless, food was running out in the grocery stores, ATMs had no money, and the mobile phones and internet were blocked. Even after mobile phone service was reinstated, my family could not reach me from their phones in the U.S. and Australia. However, using Skype out credit worked.

    I left not because I believe something terribel WILL happen, but because I’d rather be safe than sorry. With no money (my school did not give me any – Hayah, when are we having that interview you contacted me about?), no contact from my director, food and phone credit running out, and my neighbors all armed with makeshift spears, knives, and firearms to protect our neighborhood from looters; I thought it was about time to get the heck out of Dodge.

    Problem was, the U.S. Embassy didn’t answer the phone and they’re not admitting people. They are trying to contact people on the STEP registration list, but are having difficulty due to the communications blackouts and overloads. Fortunately, my mother, father, and wife were on the ball and got me on an evacuation flight.

    If you have family in Egypt, know that they can’t read this. Try to use Skype or another internet calling service to get a hold of them if you can’t with a traditional phone. The Department of State website has information on evacuation procedure. As of yesterday, for Cairo residents, it was to procede to the airport and go to Terminal 1, Hall 4 (it is a VIP Hajj terminal). It is an obscure hall and most employees don’t even know about it. It is not in the main body of Terminal 1 but down the road. If you procede to Terminal 1, take the road around and follow the signs for hall 4. Don’t let people send you to Terminal 4. Once you get there, the Embassy staff are all smiles and very helpful.

    They’re evacuating citizens to several countries. I’m currently in Istanbul and about to go take a trip to the Blue Mosque. Yippee!

    Hopefully, everything will resovle itself without major incident to our colleagues. But as yet, some 300 people have already died. Again, with food running out (I saw this with my own eyes) and Mubarak’s concessions being called too little too late, and with him saying the trouble makers will be dealt with, I would recommend that people with the capability leave.

    I don’t know what other embassies are evacuating their citizens; but if you have family or friends in Egypt, you’ll probably need to find out for them. Chances are they don’t know. Still, there’s no need to panic. Getting to the airport is not difficult at all and everyone tried as much as possible to be helpful.

    Like

  44. Fay says:

    Our Internet connection has just been restored – but we have no idea how long this will last.

    I ‘manage’ a school in Cairo and have been teaching here for the past six years. I consider Cairo to be my home.

    I don’t believe that what you have been watching on TV is a true reflection of what is happening. During the past 8 days, as far as I have seen, foreigners have been treated with, as usual, the greatest respect. Many of the parents at my school have shown concern for our welfare with constant phone calls and visits. My Egyptian staff have constantly updated us on the situation.
    I honestly don’t believe that, we as foreigners who come from a different culture and do not have a full grasp of the language, will ever truly understand what has gone down during the past week.
    We have the deepest admiration and highest regard for our Egyptian friends who stood shoulder to shoulder during the recent days and the way in which they worked together to protect not only their families, but us too.
    I have the deepest admiration for all Egyptian people and commend and applaud them for the way in which they have stood together peacefully as one to overcome a cruel dictator.
    To see the Egyptian people form a human shield around the museum was amazing.

    For Egypt we wish that the people remain united, that the road ahead to a free and fair democracy is a smooth one and that the future is peaceful and prosperous.

    Like

  45. Linroy Kilgore says:

    For the past two years I have taught in Alexandria, Egypt at an American school. I am sitting in my hotel room in Washington DC (I just arrived from being evacuated yesterday).

    I know my school and the neighborhood where it is located is extremely safe. For the past three nights, I was in the street outside of our school gate, with 100 Egyptian men who were out there to protect their neighborhood and my school (our school is the oldest American school in Egypt). Don’t let CNN and other news reports fool you, our neighborhood has banded together to take care of each other. We are far from the protest areas and I have complete confidence in its safety. The Egyptian staff, with the exception of two, have been at the school to protect the teachers.

    Unfortunately, our head of school abandoned us and did not even bother to call to check on our safety. Our school board, two days ago, fired her for dereliction of duty and also for failing to cooperate with an investigation about $100,000 USD that is missing from our budget from the first semester. Don’t let one bad apple ruin the bunch. Our interim head of school is top notch and is staying at the school to help watch over it.

    Like

    • SAS Ex-Staff says:

      I’m so glad you wrote about what is happening at Schutz American School. I worked at Schutz from 2004-2007, and I was extremely happy with my time there. The school really is like “family.” I was not surprised one bit to hear that the neighborhood men were outside the school gates to protect the school! I am so sorry to hear about the director abandoning the teachers, but it sounds like it is good riddance. I hope that you and all the staff and students can return to some normalcy soon. I wish you all the best! For anyone thinking of working at Schutz, it is a great little school. It is a small school, which has both tremendous benefits and great difficulties. Overall, I felt safe, supported, and challenged professionally and personally at SAS.

      Like

  46. Mary says:

    I agree with those who have said that the American media often tries to make things more dramatic for viewership.. This “fight” is NOT about America, it is about freedom for Egyptians! I have friends who are teaching at the Cairo American College, they were able to call their mom two days ago, and as of then, they were fine. School had been canceled, but they felt safe and were staying. They have 2 kids so I doubt they would have stayed had they felt threatened. for those of us who have been teaching outside the US for some time, you DO fall in love with your host country and its people, and you see, everywhere, not JUST in Egypt that a people are NOT it’s government. People everywhere want the same things.. to raise and feed their children in safety. I would advise people who only watch CNN to get online and watch something else!

    Like

  47. To go or to stay in an individual decision, so I’m not weighing in on that. However, no matter what a teacher decides to do in his/her personal life, there will be others in the community who might decide to leave. I have worked with many families who have made a sudden departure and it’s a difficult situation. Therefore, I wrote a blog called, “Why a Sudden Departure from “Home” is a Big Hairy Deal”, and it’s also received many comments from those who have been through an evacuation. I invite the readers here to add their comments to the blog, and I hope that you find it helpful.

    http://rebeccagrappo.com/blog/2011/01/30/why-a-sudden-departure-from-home-is-a-big-hairy-deal/

    Like

  48. movieturtle says:

    I just keep praying for it all to end. I have 2 families that I worked with previously in Cairo and I just want to know they are ok. I’m sure they are but everyone stay safe. I am in Mexico and we see all of the drug issues blown way up by the media. I understand the medias indulgences in storytelling.

    Like

  49. Ryan says:

    Does anyone have any information on the American International School in 6th October City? I have not been able to get in touch with anyone. Are they still in the country or leaving for a temporary period of time?

    Like

    • nelle says:

      The company evacuated its teachers to the southern Sinai resort area. Some teachers chose to stay but most were bussed south on Sunday (I think it was Sunday). They are staying in a five star resort!

      Like

    • E-gypsy says:

      I live in Maadi and work east of Cairo, and AIS in 6th of October is way to the west. The only thing I have heard is that they have their staff living out there and there isn’t much infrastructure to make it an attractive place to live. I met a woman from that school who actually moved to Maadi at her own expense to have a more “user friendly” life after school hours.

      Like

      • Connie says:

        AIS during the recent situation have been excellent, they were very quick to respond and even quicker with a plan in place that was suitable and accommodated their teachers and positive treatment.

        This included significant monetary outlay to take their teachers away to a hotel with all expenses. Some school had no plan, some did but were very bad and involved faculuty staying at the school. Some seemed happy to help in any way, as long as the school did not have to contribute financially in any way.

        Like

      • serissa says:

        Hello! I am considering working at AIS at the West campus. What would make this location desirable for a family with 2 small children? If it is quiet, that is good! Despite the lack of infrastructure, are there at least enough grocery stores, restaurants and medical facilities such as pharmacies, dotors, etc.? We are not interested in bars and clubs and lots of things going on around us. From what you know of the location of the West Cairo campus of AIS, does this location seem desirable for what we just described?

        Like

    • Betty Ann says:

      We should keep our answers to what people are asking, which is largely regarding what schools have done for their staff at this time.

      It should not be taken as the time to swipe at schools for other or general things. With regards to how they have been or are in the current situation, then sure.

      AIS 6th took their staff to southern sinai, all expenses paid for a week. Obviously people had the choice.

      If I were putting in my general view of the school, I would here. I will not, but what I will add is given the current situation why are people even still contemplating that they will plan to make the big move across the atlantic to egypt.

      Oh sure, some schools treat their staff well (and some have not, they I am sure will be commented on in due course by those who have had that experience) – BUT those still thinking of heading to cairo (seriously?) for ‘career development’! and asking how schools act in a crises. Would consider Kabul or Baghdad as a place to live then, provided that your employer gave you a nice hotel every time there is unrest, shootings occur or a bomb goes off?

      Of course not, you would simply avoid putting yourself in the situation in the first place.

      Like

      • higgsb says:

        I worked in Kabul. So what? To be honest, I don’t get all the griping. Not only did I accept a job to work in Cairo 2011/2012, I’m trying my hardest to get there in March. This is an historic event and to be part of it while paid top wage is hard for some of us to pass up.

        Like

        • liz wright says:

          What a naive comment higgsb. Where next, downtown mogadishu.

          As for being paid top wage, not really. Most of the school salaries in cairo are medium to good, not really excellent or certainly not ‘top wage’.

          Like

          • higgsb says:

            I don’t know Liz, what’s the pay in Mogadishu?
            As far as what I’m being offered in Cairo, including both after tax salary and housing allowance, it really is top wage, more than I could ever make in America.
            The best part is apparently being made to remove Mubarek, a victory for the protesters. I really wish I was there to see it all.

            Like

            • liz wright says:

              I see higgsb, driven by money. You will likely fit in well.

              Mubarak is not going anywhere, did you miss the news the entire past week. That is what dictators do, the main possibility being that schools will cut back next year due to decreased students on roll and therefore offers of contract will be reneged.

              Like

            • Carol says:

              OOP! Liz Wright! Mubarak is out and I was there to celebrate with the Egyptians on Tahrir Square. I have never experienced anything like that.

              Like

        • serissa says:

          Hello higgsb, can I guess that you want to teach at AISE at the West Cairo Campus starting in March as a Science teacher, I think it is 8th and 10th grade science because the current teacher is taking leave? We are thinking about going as well, but not until August. If I am correct with my guess, let’s chat… ??

          Like

  50. Jeannine says:

    Can anybody give me some reference about Modern English School and how they have treated their faculty during this situation?

    Like

    • rmaldon says:

      Jeannine, are you currently thinking about working there? That is the school I will be at next Fall. The American contact has been great in communicating what has been happening. It would be great to find out however from a staff member’s POV.

      Like

      • Jeannine says:

        Yes I will!! Well, at least those are my plans, but I am still trying to see if everything calms down. Yes, their US contact has been really good about keeping us updated. It is great to know of someone else going to the school!

        Like

      • jerihurd says:

        That’s where I taught, and I currently have friends there now. He is staying, but is holed up with an Embassy friend. Hasn’t been able to get out much about what the school is doing. I’m sure they are closed, but they wouldn’t do anything about evacuating faculty. That would be left up to the individuals.

        Like

      • AVal says:

        I left there a few days ago, very shook up – things would have to change very dramatically with large assurance for me and many others to consider going back. This would be from the western governments too, not from the school who have offered very little to no support or assistance in this episode.

        News events in the meantime have only suggested it has got worse in the days since I departed…

        Like

    • jerihurd says:

      Here is the latest from my friend (via his mom) who is still there:

      “The security situation has improved a lot and he is saying that is nowhere near what they say on the news (journalists tend of course to exaggerate). Maadi, where he is, is a quiet area, and he can go out during the day without any problem. There is no problem in terms of finding food in the supermarkets. All is very normal. He also said that he will try to go to the school in the next couple of days

      You might have seen in the news that some foreigners are leaving Egypt; from what I can understand from different people I have spoken to they are taking a sort of vacation, they are not intending to leave permanently and most countries are not encouraging to do so.”

      Like

      • nelle says:

        Different parts of Maadi were experiencing problems. Especially if you lived near a Police Station.

        Like

      • L De says:

        Thanks for the latest (as of when posted).

        The latest NOW (as of when posted) is that the situation has deteriorated significantly, including in Maadi.

        US embassy has told non-essntial personnel to leave. The next step is an ordered instruction, after which time embassy and consular assistance will no longer be available to US citizens in the country.

        Like

    • JaneDoe says:

      I currently work at this school. And I would whole heartedly warn anyone thinking about coming here to work at MES. It does not surprise me that the American head was in touch with you…would explain where all her energy has gone as I have yet to receive a direct call form her. Of course they are probably scrambling and working the PR to keep those new hires and yet to sign hires for the following year. The American principal is a confident speaker and sells well. Please be careful and look for the value in the responses given. As far as the evacuation the school has done what they can, they have offered free food and free calls home. That is about it. There have been other schools that have bussed teachers out immediately…it took 2-3 days for direct supervisors to get “word out”–phones were only out for one day…please ask if you have any questions I would be happy to continue dialogue.

      Like

      • Mrs. John Doe says:

        I also work at this school (MES) and all that was offered were 3 hot meals a day and a place to sleep at the school. I haven’t heard anything about phone calls. No assistance was given regarding evacuation. I was disappointed in that the school downplayed the entire event and never told us in person or by phone that various embassies were recommending evacuation.

        Like

        • loyal teacher says:

          I have felt ashamed to be involved with this school the past week and seeing this. There was NO assistance provided, we were told that we could go to school and that was it. To hear of schools taking their 200+ staff out to a resort for a weeks inclusive holiday enrages me and some colleagues I have spoken too. It is not the resort or the hotel or such, it is simply that other schools have given some measured response that reflects the interests in their staff. The level of genuine interest this school has in their staff has always been suspected as low, this confirms that it is close to zero.

          Notices were placed on the school website that staff and student family were well, without large numbers of the staff having been contacted or barely any of the students being spoken to. That sort of action seems to describe well how things work there. They are interested only in taking care of the bottom line, their reputation and profit. Further notices have appeared on the site recently, outrageously so and serving to show that the schools main concern, or a concern to any degree of assurity, is certainly not the faculty.

          Primary, including things I have been involved in, have certainly been trying but we can only work with what we are told or given, and we have been given nothing and ourselves left alone to do our best with assisting staff. Secondary seems to be worse, with some horror stories of efforts, or lack of, made by the leadership there.

          I have been a very loyal individual in a position of responsibility here but I just feel ashamed by what I have seen in recent days. It is an emotional time for everyone involved, but my sentiments have been thought out and have impacted negatively on my wishes to remain working at such a school for any longer than I contractually am obliged too.

          Like

          • Jane Doe says:

            Dear Loyal Teacher,

            Well written– accurate to my personal experience as well. Sadly, this blog seems to be the most honest way for teachers at Modern English School to communicate. The only form of communication I have received from the school was the false letter saying “all were well.” The phone trees were basically worthless as no mobile numbers were attached nor actual names. When a school uses two initials to identify their staff of 140+ teachers that simply states, “we don’t care about individuals” I too, am embarrassed to be affiliated with MES and will have to see stronger structures in place for me to return and finish the school year. Financially speaking, it was over 1000 dollars to reach safe ground on a one way ticket. Who in their right mind will pay that all over again to return to M.E.S…s. It will be a mess to return to as my best guess would be that school days will be made up on our remaining Saturdays.

            Like

            • commonsense says:

              Ummm…Jane Doe…sorry you percieve that your experience was so bad. Did you think to call any member of management whose numbers are all issued to staff at the beginning of each academic year. When I was concerned I phoned, and got answers to my questions and the support I needed. You complain about the phone tree (although I am not sure why you chose this forum to do so),we use teaching codes for everything at school and the phone tree is no exception. The information fits concisely onto a single page with codes. There is logic to it for those who chose to appreciate it! Stop your wingeing and please don’t give the illusion that you (or any of the 2-3 of you who are writing such negative comments about MES and using different names to give the impression that its more than that) speak for us all. I am a HOD (actually, I think I might be yours!) and I am ashamed of your comments.

              Like

          • disappointed says:

            I confirm what Loyal Teacher has said here. I am also a teacher there and no one from the school contacted me OR my family despite them having our emergency contact information on file. Given the history of the owners, I fully expected them to be more equipped in a situation like this. Disappointed is really an understatement for what I feel especially considering how mediocre the school is on a day to day basis anyway. I would seriously rethink going there if I were you.

            Like

            • cushiontheblow says:

              It seems that indeed, some are taking this opportunity to have a general dig at the aforementioned MES and while this is not the place to do that, obviously as an employee of the school you would expect a certain degree of support and honesty which should be echoed in your everyday working life. Sadly this has indeed been lacking, and now I am amazed to see fake posts proclaiming to the excellent treatment MES staff got, as if 3 weeks of media propaganda is not enough!
              The bottome line is, a uniform and supportive network was definitely not offered when compared to other similar schools. As a reputable and established school, I initially had faith that MES would provide the help and decisive support that we were all needing as overseas employees and thus in a way ‘responsibilities’ of theirs. But I had to scramble around calling people to get any kind of answer by which time lots of teachers (including senior!) had already left the country, to then be told the option was to go into school or take a flight anywhere, at your own arrangement!!
              I later found out that money was offered although this was only an advance from your wages!
              How can this shabby support (and probably even shabbier gym mats that were offered to sleep on in the school!)be equated with other schools were the whole staff was contacted and accounted for, offered en masse transporting to safe resorts ALL INCLUSIVE paid for a week, then PAID flights back to UK?!
              As said before, the issue is not just financial at such a difficult time the staff were largely abandoned. The absence of accountability of all staff and uniform support network that should have been practised has left a very sour taste of disappointment.

              Like

          • Arlene Campbell says:

            I have never posted on a forum like this before, however, having recently read the comments above attributed to “arls” (not ISR retitled “arls” to read Loyal Teacher), I feel obliged to reply.

            I am a member of the primary senior leadership team at MES Cairo and I am shocked and disappointed that a member of staff would pose as myself to post negative comments about the school. That a colleague would act in such a devious and dishonest way really does say a lot more about them, rather than the school they are commenting negatively about! I hope they can sleep well tonight despite using such underhand tactics to express their point of view. Please feel free to contact me at arlscampbell@hotmail.com if you would like advice from the real “arls” regarding working at MES. If you are the fake arls, I will be in school on the 20th Feb and would be more than delighted to meet with you so that you can discuss your grievances further. On a brighter note, I have always fancied having a doppelganger.

            Arlene Campbell

            Like

    • runningthroughtime says:

      hi Jeannine, perhaps you would prefer the short version of answers to your question. Which is, they have treated their faculty about the same way as they do with anything else = not particularly well at all. Even before this situation it was a school to be avoided, now it could be said absolutely to be avoided.

      Teachers had very little contact from their administrators, those high up being out of the country already. Elementary colleagues seem to have been contacted more by their administrators, but secondary has been horrid. Aside from the contact, the school has done little to nothing. In the way of anything financially assisted or that would involve costing the school. Zero.

      I have not been in cairo that long but do not want to go back and certainly would not endorse it as a place to live. Cairo is an average-at-best place to live when things are going well but now with recent events added, I cannot grasp how people would even be considering making the move there.

      Like

    • SSAP says:

      Not very well at all, particularly dismissive of the whole situation and offering nothing with regards to anything financial. The senior team of the school have been largely invisible and communication very poor.

      Like

    • Michael says:

      The faculty at MES were not treated well during this. The support extended was to go to school and sleep on the floor in the gym!

      The directors were not even in the country and have not yet returned, everything was done through section heads. Primary really tried but there was not really much to play with as nothing was in place from the school. Secondary was bad, the leadership is very poor there generally and this situation served to highlight just how weak and unorganized they are.

      Like

    • C Flake says:

      Hi Jeannine,
      Unlike others here I will use my real name. This is my 4th year at MES and I plan to be back next year. My personal experience with the school through all of this has been fine. I do believe the school was caught off-guard with the strength of the protests, but so was the rest of the world. I was contacted several times by the American section principal with her giving me any information she had on a daily basis. The accusation of the directors being out of the country when this happened is a bit unfair. They were at recruitement fairs as they always are this time of the year.
      If you (or anyone else) who has signed for next year wishes to contact me, feel free to email at christine.flake@hotmail.com or cflake@mescairo.com and I will give you my honest opinion.
      Cairo is a great city, the Egyptian people are fantastic, and I would highly recommend making the move.

      Like

  51. Sheldon says:

    While I agree with both Megan and Hany, this isn’t the start of a civil war and there isn’t much in the way of ‘anti-US sentiment’ in these demonstrations, there are other considerations in the post-revolution Egypt. I worked for ESOL, the AIS Egypt parent company, for seven years in both Saudi and Egypt. I was always dealt with fairly and I’m not surprised that Mr. Abushakra is doing what he can now to safeguard his employees. He is honestly concerned for their safety, but he is also an eternal optimist. This can lead him to tell everyone that everything is going to be OK when that is far from clear. Think about who the school enrollment consists of. It’s no coincidence that two of the world’s largest kleptocracys also have the most ‘International Schools’. Certainly not all of the parents are connected to the regime and involved in bilking the nation, but a lot are. If they are losing power and leaving the country for their second homes in Europe and North America, what is that going to do to enrollment? How many teachers are going to be needed next year?
    Something to consider in your decisions…
    Peace and Freedom to the people of Egypt.
    Sheldon

    Like

    • Considering Egypt says:

      Sheldon – do you know what AIS did for the employees this past week? Did they send them out of the country, encourage them to stay, or what??

      Like

      • lewlew says:

        AIS has sent their teachers to Sharm El Sheikh to wait the situation out. It is expected that teachers will return if the situation gets better, if not there are plans to send teachers back home. All teachers are okay.

        Like

      • OnceATeacher says:

        We are back in Cairo after a week in Sharm. Many teachers chose to go home or extend their vacations (next week was only going to be 2 days long due to a planned break). If things get worse, we have been assured that AIS will pay for our evacuation. If they continue to be safe, school is set to open on 20 Feb. Our attention is toward the reaction to Mabarak’s speech last night, refusing to resign.

        I will reiterate what others have said: the activities are in central Cairo, not surrounding areas, and the Egyptians we know have been protective of us and welcoming.

        Like

        • Beth says:

          How long will can that protection and welcome last when things get desparate and people increasingly blame the US for not doing more in this situation (or maybe doing too much in the way of support for the regime the last 30 years).

          Like

  52. Amanda and Aaron says:

    My husband and I had a Skype interview scheduled on Sunday for an Egyptian school. However due to the circumstances we could not conduct the interview. We have called the school but it appears they have left the country. Now, the school has cancelled the UNI fair. This was one of our top schools and the director actually contacted us. We have sent emails but they have bouced back since their server is down. Any one have any advice on how to get in touch or should we take this top school off of our list?
    Thanks for any advice and good luck to everyone this recruiting season.

    Like

    • Hany says:

      Hi Amanda and Aaron
      The school will understand about the circumstances -The school can not leave the country,it will never be a civil war in Egypt. There was a governmental memorandum in Egypt to close the schools I believe since last Saturday,it also happend to be the mid year governmental school holidays in Egypt now and for 2 weeks. So expect a progress in 2 weeks time – All the scools will do the same – just wait and see
      Good Luck
      Hany

      Like

      • Amanda and Aaron says:

        Hany,
        Thanks for your reply. Our only problem is that we will be attending a job fair this week so as always with these things timing is critical and that is why I fear we will miss the opportunity to work in Egypt since we will have to make a decision at the fair.
        Thanks
        A and A

        Like

    • Deb says:

      I am recruiting at the UNI fair and would be happy to advise you on how to reach the school that you are interested in. Stop at our booth…Hayah International Academy. We will not recruit away from other Egyptian schools and we will give you advice about how to get in touch with a school that you are interested in.

      Like

    • rmaldon says:

      A and A,
      Like the other people are saying, this is about the gov’t not hearing the needs of the people. I am committed and very excited to work over there. I know there is a lot happening, but order will come, and the great thing is we have still have 6-7 months before we leave to the area. I think if you get really want to live there, don’t let this situation stop you. I can’t wait to be the Egyptian people!

      Like

      • Cameron says:

        Hello? 7 months is when the presidential elections will be about, and when the real problems will start.

        A great time to be heading there! People should stop letting their egos get in the way and just assume things will work out.

        Problem: A) Dictator in power who will not leave any time soon and will go to ANY lengths to ensure that. B) Millions of people who want dictator gone and will not back down anytime soon and give ANYTHING to ensure that.

        It does not take a genius to figure out where this is going.

        Like

    • Val says:

      I would have suggested giving Cairo a miss as a regular sentiment, based on my 3 years here. Given the recent events, it is a no brainer. I cannot heartedly conceive why people would still be giving it consideration.

      Would this consideration also be given to work in Iraq, Afghanistan or Somalia too.

      Like

  53. Megan Williams says:

    Hi,
    I am a teacher although not working at the moment. I live in Cairo and we left on Monday. I feel the need to comment because the opening paragraph of this blog really got me upset.

    The comment that “Anit-US sentiment is growing” is a beat up from CNN. The people are interested in a better life, regardless of what CNN reports, this is not about the US! Some people may not be happy that the US has close ties with Mubarak but to even mention anti-US sentiment in relation to these protests is just plan uninformed.

    Secondly, the police leaving is a good thing! The people hate the police, especially the secret police. The police leaving and the army moving in is a tactical measure to try and bring back calm. If the police had remained, the death toll would have risen exponentially.

    I would doubt that many, if any, schools in Egypt would have had an evacuation plan as it wasn’t as hot spot. The school that I have contact with is desparately trying to charter a flight to get their staff out but keep being bumped by emabassies. In the interim, the expat families living in secure compounds have handed over their keys to school administration who have moved teachers into their homes until they can get them out. The last I heard, they were going to Dahab or Sharm for a ‘holiday’.

    As for the couple who remained in Saudi to wait it out, I agree entirely with their sentiments. It’s not about the money. When you live in a country it begins to hold a place in your heart and you don’t want to abandon it. My children and I were evacuated at the insistance of my husbands company however he has stayed. He has no intention of abandoning a country which has given him so much. of course, if the situation turns critical he will leave. But unlike the CNN version, these demonstrations are not all throughout the city (it is a very big city) and with sensible precautions, I know he’ll be fine.

    If you are thinking of taking a job in Cairo, go for it! The expats have just gone to Europe and at this stage, we are all planning on returning in a couple of weeks. Choose your school wisely (some are more international than others) and enjoy a different experience.

    Like

    • Hany says:

      Hi Megan ,
      I am an Egyptian working overseas out of Egypt. My wife is a school teacher in Cairo. She is a foreigner and being living at the school accommodation with no problem since 2 years .
      I fully understand all the worries I am reading on this blog – Thank you Megan you have just said all what I wanted to say.The Young generation in Egypt want to have their voice to be listend to and their basic living needs to be looked after . They have no any other reason to demonstrate . The police forces start to return steadly and quietly and a great nos of the escaping prisoners were captured by the army. Citizens are taking Photoes with the army soliders on their tanks. This seen will be finished soon .There are no 2 armed parties fighting or drug lords controling, just young generation did it for once in their life and will end up soon, do not cancel your contracts teaching in Cairo – Be safe
      My best Wishes
      Hany

      Like

    • jerihurd says:

      Here! Here! American media SOOO over-reacts when anything happens in the Middle East. You can’t even get Al-Jazeera through most US cable stations for Pete’s sake.

      This is an exciting, historic event. The people taking back power from a dictator who has ignored basic human rights for decades. The few Egyptian friends I’ve been able to contact are elated. I’ll repeat my post from above: THIS IS NOT ABOUT FOREIGNERS! It’s about reigning in a corrupt government.

      If you have a contract, stick with it. All will be fine. Mubarek is making more and more concessions as pressure mounts. Whether he will step down or not, don’t know. But the military is refusing to fire on citizens, so I don’t know how long he can hold out.

      As the above poster stated, police disappearing is a GOOD thing. THough also highly suspicious. The general belief is that it’s a government ploy to bring in looters, and blame the entire thing on “hooligans” to improve their legitimacy. (grin–Egyptians love a good conspiracy theory!) That one actually sounds pretty credible to me, though. Mubarek is desperate.

      You will not find an EGyptian school with an evacuation plan because there is no need. I felt safer during my five years there than I ever do at home.

      Like

    • nelle says:

      I like what you have said Megan. I pretty much agree with all of it. I would advise people who are considering teaching in Egypt to continue with their plans to find a job there.
      However, I would say that even if international schools didn’t have an evacuation plan to put into place straight away, they would have all had (I hope!) security that guards the school. I say this because Egypt is a hot spot that has potential to ignite at any time. Egypt is just not as unstable as some other areas in the Middle East.
      Some of the problem areas of the city have indeed been in areas where lots of foreign nationals live. My friends have experienced this first hand. But I agree, that if you take precautions you reduce the risk.
      The question – ‘what is your evacuation plan?’ – is possibly a good question to ask a potential employer. The company that I worked for have evacuated the teachers from the two schools that it owns/manages, down to the southern Sinai and will fly them out of the country if necessary.
      The problems that Egyptians and foreign nationals are now facing together, is the breakdown of community services such as food supply, money in ATMs and even a scarcity of pre-paid phone cards!

      Like

      • lisa r says:

        Cairo is a not great for singles, in fact it can be horrible. For single females, even worse so.

        No reflection on any of the schools there, just the city.

        Don’t do it.

        Like

        • Anonymous says:

          Agreed. Single women are regularly harassed – those who live or explore outside the confines of Maadi are subjected to hissing, propositions, derogatory comments, and ass grabbing. It does not matter if you are dressed conservatively and minding your own business. Many men – teens to old men – see any woman as ‘fair game.’ it is not just western women either. It is a difficult place to live for single women. Those who only stay in Maadi or who live in gated communities may not understand the level of harassment imposed upon women.
          Mubarak & his wife denied that sexual harassment of women is a problem. No matter the outcome of this unrest, sexual harassment, unfortunately is widespread and won’t disappear overnight.

          Like

          • Heidi says:

            Well put anon, if anything the hassle could get worse if people are deemed to be given more freedom and ‘rights’ if they know there will not be as severe a crackdown.

            That may be a narrow way to view it, but things in cairo will not change overnight. I would imagine it will likely be a few years, therefore why some are saying that cairo is worth skiping this time around and then reviewing that in a couple years.

            Like

          • Trav45 says:

            I lived there for 5 years and think this is grossly exaggerated. OK, you occasionally have taxi drivers asking you to marry them, and I got grabbed once on the subway; otherwise, I never had a problem and felt far safer there than I do at home.

            Generally, I find the women who had problems dressed inappropriately for a Muslim country–shorts and tank tops get you noticed.

            As to the hissing, I used to get really offended when bikers would go by and hiss at me, until I mentioned it to my students one day. they started laughing and said that was a “get out of the way” signal.

            Now, in tourist areas such as Luxor you will get harrassed more. I was surprised at the difference in how I was treated when I was there by myself vs. when I was there with a male friend. Believe me, it teaches you to be firm, but, yes, it’s annoying. I never felt threatened, though.

            Like

            • Anonymous says:

              Perhaps you misunderstood. When walking inCairo (not in Maadi and not a gated area), going to a store, pharmacy, bank, gym,.. and minding your own business, it’s not unusual to have one or more men harrass with hissing, come up and grab ass, grab arm and to get your attention and proposition – let’s have sex-very different from “proposal.”
              have you had a cab driver drop you off, then park his cab and follow you two blocks to see where you live, because you turned down his proposition? Have you had a cab driver get out of his cab and shove you against a wall while other people just watched?
              It’s important for women to understand that no matter how much you’ve studied about the culture and think you understand it, it can be a difficult and stressful place.
              If you live in Maadi or gated communities, it is a different experience.

              Like

  54. BOG says:

    We’re planning to accept jobs in Cairo sometime at the beginning of March. I think we have to have a conversation with the school about evacuation plans and such. These things have a habit of dying down as quick as they flare up, so we’ll see how it all pans out, but I want to be up front with the school when we sign, that we’ll be basing our decision on the political situation at that time, and if it deteriorates going into the summer we may have to reassess our plan. I don’t think that is unreasonable, particularly when we have kids in tow.

    Like

    • Deb says:

      I have lived in Cairo for 3 1/2 years and enjoy it and the people. I think most people expect this situation to lose momentum in the next week.

      Like

      • cftexas says:

        It looks like most people were wrong Deb.

        So you would be happy for those millions surpressed for so long under a cruel dictatorship to lose momentum so that you can sit back at your desk and for things to be normal again.

        Perhaps equality and basic human rights for all egyptians is the ‘normal’ that you and everyone else should be hoping for instead.

        Like

        • Deb says:

          What began as a one day protest on Police Day has turned into a revolution. That is what I meant when My previous post said that I did not expect the protest to endure beyond the original planned (one day) event. You should not assume that I do not support it just because I did not expect it. I fully support the efforts of the Egyptian people to gain their rightful freedoms and human rights. They have been suppressed for far too long.

          Like

          • cftexas says:

            That is good to see your point of view Deb. Perhaps you should have referred to ‘the protest’ with regards to saying it would only last one day.

            Your original post however was to ‘this situation’ losing momentum, posted almost a week after police day!

            Like

    • Amy says:

      Perhaps reasses and back out now, as much as it breaks my heart and having 3 kids that were settled there, it likely will not improve.

      Anyone suggesting otherwise is forgetting that the presedential elections are in 8 months, that is when the real fight for power will begin, this is simply the start.

      That is my assessment, I sub at one of the large schools there and my husband works for the government. So I base it on that and the upcoming elections. Those that have been saying it was all be OK pretty soon, perhaps it is worth asking them what they are basing that on (other than ‘hope’).

      Like

    • Richard T says:

      How can you plan to accept jobs in cairo sometime at the beginning of march, have you already been offered them and given over a month to think about and accept, or can you predict the future?

      Like

  55. Scott says:

    Hi. My cousin works at the British International School, Alexandria. He called home on Sunday to say the British Consulate was getting their teachers out to Cyprus or Turkey that night. He also said he hadn’t felt particularly threatened in Alexandria but the other teachers wanted to leave and he didn’t want to be the only one left.

    Like

  56. rmaldon says:

    I have to committed to working in Cairo for the 2011-12 school year. I have been keeping up with the situation and with the school that I will be a part of. Has anyone heard of any foreigners getting hurt as a result of hatred towards them? I have not read or heard about that. I have heard the Egyptian people are incredible.

    Newbie, I also believe this situation will blow over soon. Egyptians are expressing their frustration at what was promised and told that was going to be done, but has not happened.

    I am committed to working there, but also keeping my eyes and ears open to the situation. If things don’t improve or gets worse, I will back out of the contract. My safety is not worth any dollar amount.

    Like

    • jerihurd says:

      NO foreigners are being targeted. In fact, many Eypgtians and ex-pats are working together to watch neighborhoods, protect churches, etc.

      I was in Egypt myself for 5 yeras, and have friends still there. No one is leaving. They are staying close to home, but no one feels threatened. The evacuations are typical over-reaction, IMHO.

      This protest is about the government, not foreigners.

      Like

      • Anonymous says:

        Not true, some friends of mine who were very keen to tough it out are now leaving after a very unpleasant exchange with some locals in Maadi yesterday. The majority are still reportedly awesome but there is growing tensions towards ex pats

        Like

        • allstarring says:

          exchanges are increasing, again it is only the minority but yet it only takes one incident and the increasing tension is visible. we have tried to tough it out but it simply is not worth it and we will leave shortly.

          Like

      • Annette says:

        Not at your time of writing, but as of now and in the previous couple days foreigners ARE being targeted. This includes journalists and expatriates generally.

        I do not buy the CNN angle, however all news outlets are reporting this. Particular hassle is given as requesting documents / passports, worse case is being targeted by local neighborhood groups and locals who place some element of blame at non-egyptians.

        The protest is about the government, increasingly many see the foreigners as having influenced and propped up the very government they are asking to leave.

        Like

      • Trav45 says:

        Update on this:

        Just heard from my friend who is staying. he actually left Maadi as he was growing increasingly uncomfortable there. once all the ex-pats left, the local resentment of foreigners seemed to grow. He narrowly missed being on a street where someone was going up and down shooting at people. He is now out in Kattemaya for an indefinite period, but still isn’t leaving and puts his faith in the Egyptian people.

        Like

        • Patrick says:

          Trav45:
          This sounds alarming to me. I have lived in Maadi Digla for the past 3 1/2 years and at no time, even now with the political uprising…did I feel as if anyone was shooting at me.
          I think maybe your friend was on a street with military shooting their guns in the air, and while I know “what goes up, must come down” it’s hard to believe that anyone was actually pointing a gun at him.

          Like

          • Wendy says:

            There was a stage as some point where expatriates were being targeted, I do not know the current status but there are still warnings for foreigners and being in cairo and including ma’adi.

            This including hassling, physically trying to harm and the threatening with weapons, taking money. There were some particularly uncomfortable days and with 300+ dead that include a small number of foreigners, then it could very well have been that some experienced gun pointing also, so it is not hard to believe and if someone on the grounds had such an experience, we are not in a position to question or dismiss that.

            Like

            • George H. says:

              Foreigners have been held by non- uniformed security and hassled even, in the exPerience of a friend of mine, at knife point

              Like

            • Carol says:

              I live in Ma’adi Degla and have received nothing but thanks from the locals because I have not evacuated. It has been surreal at times but at no time have I felt threatened. There was a uprising in the prison near by which houses political prisoners. Shots heard at night were primarily warnings to any prospective looters. The neighborhood watches and barricades are no longer needed. I have never felt that foreigners were being targeted.

              Like

            • Audrey K says:

              Carol,

              I wonder if you could share your reasons for staying during this time?

              There was obviously time off school and there is not much positive going on in Cairo, so why?

              To say you are staying ‘for the egyptian people’ would be about the most ridiculous thing you could say.

              Like

            • Carol says:

              This is a reply to Audry K. I never left because I never felt like I was in harms way. My school did not provide evacuation so it would have been costly. Most people were evacuated to Cyprus or Istanbul where they spent a lot of money sitting around waiting to find out when they had to return. The bottom line is I never felt threatened and just never felt like leaving. I got to know a lot of my neighbors and shared some quality time with friends including Egyptian friends. The night Mubarak resigned I joined them in Tahrir Square. It was very exciting. I am very glad I was there.

              Like

    • Craig DeVue says:

      There is potential risk in going to Cairo. That risk has increased significantly. It can only get worse, unless the ruling party put their ego to one side (just for once). Highly unlikely. Presidential elections in September or October this year, meaning things will not get better, likely worse around that time.

      Safety is not worth any dollar amount, therefore with the safety issues anyone considering coming to cairo or planning too would have already changed their mind. If not, from this point they will consider doing so. Even backing out of a contract is NOT a problem, due to the circumstances presented that are out of the hands of both parties and therefore nullify any agreements in force.

      I am hoping to an end of things there as soon as possible and peacefully. Though I am trying to be realistic rather than naive, and it does not look good.

      Best,

      C

      Like

    • Kristi says:

      Journalists have been targeted here and there, up until yesterday. It has got worse and now there seems to be a targeting of them under the auspices of being spies. The same is true and increasingly so for foreigners who are suspected of being spies.

      Check any major news outlet, they have all reported on this element. It seems bizarre to say it, but the whole situation is nothing short of bizarre and unpredicatable. My family and I left 3 days ago, I am contracted there until the summer and due to continue next year but we are reviewing that with interest and if able will renege.

      Like

  57. Domhuaille says:

    I lived in the Middle East (Kuwait) between the 2 Gulf Wars and fortunately our school had plans in place to evacuate ex-pats on a ¨temporary¨ basis to Europe or safer areas in the Mid-East.
    If you are thinking of working in Egypt, the first questions to ask are:

    1) Who is in charge of the ex-pat security and evacuation plans for the school and
    2) If there isn’t anyone, what will be done before I/we arrive to have plans in place?

    Like

    • Rob Ed says:

      Some excellent questions worth asking Domhuaille, but I suspect the answers given would be grossly enhanced to ensure everyone was comfortable but yet the real answers to your questions above if they were ever given would really be:

      1. No one
      2. Nothing

      That is the reality of response for schools who are for profit organizations, which is the large majority.

      Like

      • casey orton says:

        I would have chosen to put it differently to rob ed, but I think the point made is exactly right.

        There would be nothing wrong with asking any prospective employer for writen assurances regarding such matters. Those that have objections to providing them would be those not worth giving due consideration to work for or handing over responsibility for your personal safety in the event of emergency too.

        Like

  58. newbie says:

    2 Egyptian schools just canceled at the UNI fair. I had already made an appointment to talk with 1 of them, and the other was in my top 5 list of places to go. I’m disappointed, but I realize they probably had no choice. I’m not sure how to go about contacting them, since all communications there are apparently still shut down.

    I think the situation in Egypt will blow over fairly soon, but I guess I may be in the minority here.

    Like

    • Bindar Dundat says:

      When the bullets started flying around us in Saudi Arabia several years ago, & we decided to leave as a response, I had a revealing exchange with a teacher couple with kids who had decided to tough it out. Like you, the wife said it was likely just a small, localized problem and would blow over soon enough. And then she said “Well, it’s really about one’s comfort level whether to leave or stay…”

      Ostensibly she was trying to imply that one’s level of confidence abroad- or contrarily one’s degree of culture shock- was the big determiner.

      I took it the way she truly meant it. I understood what drove their decision to stay on with kids. I replied, “I see. You mean ‘comfort level’ as in money, whether one can afford to leave or not.”
      I will also assume you’re in a financial situation that encourages you to accept an adverse environment as temporary.
      You believe this trouble will blow over soon… because it simply HAS to.

      As their teachers bail out en masse, hirers will be in a frenzy to promise you the moon. Knowing that, you don’t have to be in a hurry now to commit; not until you actually see the situation resolve.

      Like

      • newbie says:

        Actually, that is not it at all. I believe the trouble will blow over soon because I have been in a similar situation in another country. As others have mentioned, I don’t buy the CNN angle on the story for a second (but keep it up CNN, I’d love to see the pool of candidates get even smaller).

        rmaldon, the school that I was supposed to interview with at UNI has no US contacts, as far as I can tell at this time. The school website is also down.

        Like

        • David White says:

          The CNN angle? What about the angle of every major news broadcaster and at least five western embassies there indicating that things will not improve or blow over anytime soon.

          The pool of candidates would not get smaller, perhaps it would increase. So many students here have dual nationality and come from wealthy families, they would head overseas and attend another school from next year, meaning some possible jobs no longer being available due to decreased student numbers.

          Like

      • Karen says:

        A great point, that some will seem like they are offering the moon but if it seems to good to be true then it always it. You really cannot appreciate what the sound of live bullets really feels (or sounds) like until you actually experience, the stress and impact is worth no dollar amount to even consider putting yourself in such a situation.

        I would agree that people refrain or hold out on committing until you see the situation resolved, or least improved. If they are interested in you and you have a good profile, then they will give you time and particularly in lite of the current situation.

        Were they not to give you time to see the current situation playing out, given that it involved personal safety, then such a school would probably not be worth considering working at as this interest is likely reflective of the interest taken in faculty at a broader level.

        Like

    • Deb says:

      I have been supt at Hayah International Academy in New Cairo for 3 1/2 years, and I feel very safe living in Egypt. We will have one recruiter at the UNI fair (me). I think the website advice that recommends job candidates ask how schools treated their current expat staff in this crisis is excellent advice. Our school (with about 40 expat teachers)held daily briefings, gave them emergency money, and provided transportation to the airport for those who wanted to leave. We had an administrator in the US working long hours to communicate with US and Canadian family members. At this [point, the majority of our teachers have chosen to stay and ride this out.

      Like

      • Loren says:

        Hi Deb,

        I thought a few days on what the current situation is with your faculty and also any information regarding the latest from ‘on the ground’ there.

        Loren

        Like

      • Chris Davis says:

        Hi, Deb. I think about you and the school every day as I follow events in Egypt. I know you are treating everyone well.

        Like

      • ttreyy says:

        Deb, I guess the Cairo Science Fair Contest may be delayed this year, so you will not be needing me as a Judge next month? My son and I were required by my company to evacuate from our home in Maadi, Cairo on February 1st. We are looking forward to returning to Egypt and seeing you again as soon as possible! JAO

        Like

    • Michelle says:

      Cairo American College and Schutz American School have cancelled at UNI.

      Like

      • E-gypsy says:

        Schutz American (Alexandria) has just evacuated its expat staff in the last day or so.

        Like

      • egyptsoo says:

        CAC admin has made the decision to stay in Egypt to focus their attention on the staff and the CAC community and families. We have not been evacuated and hope to re-open school as soon as possible.

        Like

        • Anonymous says:

          With the director of CAC determined to ensure that the school stays a beacon in the community, it begs the question, for whose benefit? Surely not to enhance his own reputation, but as yet another major client evacuates (non-emergency members of the US Embassy) it suggests that it is time for him to change plans. People are going to get hurt. Fortunately the majority of students and their families are no longer in Cairo.

          Like

        • Emily A says:

          CAC are starting back tomorrow — is the latest news! Any US children here with the embassy will not be back for a minimum 30 days, likely longer purely due to the US embassy travel advice regarding Egypt not being changed anytime soon.

          So begins the inquest by every school and every faculty member. I feel it will take a long time and simply will not go away, there are many questions out there that faculty will have of their schools and its administration, and rightly so.

          Like

    • Cairo Claire says:

      Decisions based on an individuals opinion of a recruiter are absolutely vital, if it is the case that the recruiter is not forthcoming with the truth.

      Cairo is not an amazing place to live, it is decent to visit. After the novelty has worn off however it is dirty, polluted beyond belief and corrupt to the core.

      Like

    • Alex says:

      What do you mean by your own evacuation plan?

      Like

  59. themot says:

    I heard from a friend of a friend that his school is/was going to take its staff to Sharm el Sheik on a “vacation” as they wait and see how things shake out.

    Another friend who is teaching there has been all but abandoned by his school and is on his own as far as getting out. (I worked at this school a number of years ago and was involved in a very serious and life threatening medical emergency. The school management, all Egyptian, was completely absent in the aftermath. If it hadn’t been for my fellow teachers banding together to help me I don’t know what might have happened.)

    I interviewed yesterday via Skype with a school in another potential political hot spot in the Middle East, one of my first questions was, “what kind of evacuation plan do you have?” I was told there was none “at this time.”

    Like

    • cac teacher says:

      It is 1.27 on Wednesday Feb 2nd. Internet is up, obviously, banks are opening. Some ATMs are giving money. Food is plentiful in the area that most international school teachers live. Most non-local teachers live in the area of the city that has been safest and well protected. Naturally people have been nervous – prisoners on the streets, one of the prisons not far away, continual gunshot on Friday night, sporadic gunfire since. The situation is still uncertain, but the news that the army will not fire on peaceful protests was an important moment for everybody in the country, both Egyptians and foreigners. While we understand that anti foreign sentiment is growing, that does not seem to be true of the people we know in the areas we live. Many of the international schools have very large Egyptian student bodies.

      Several schools have evacuated either within, or outside the country. CAC (Cairo American College) is open for socialization and recreation for four hours a day. School should open on Sunday. It is hard to tell how many students we will have but possibly about half initially. The administration and board are in constant communication and have had two meetings so far with faculty, with more scheduled for tomorrow. By far the majority of our teachers are still here with only those evacuating whose spouses work for a company that has evacuated. Hopefully we get to see our students on Sunday.

      I realize that many schools are not as solidly backed as we are. I do know that one of the British schools at least has evacuated, another has started their half term early and will be returning to school on Feb 20th.

      Like

      • Cairo Expat says:

        I work at CAC and am glad I decided to stay and wait to see what transpires. I trust our superintendent who has experienced evacuations before and has chosen to keep his family here. In addition, I have never felt threatened or unsafe. On the flip side of that, I understand and respect my friends and colleagues decisions to vacate until things are resolved. We all have to do what’s best for us and our families.

        Like

        • John Yates says:

          What about following the advice of your government and state department?

          Did you and the superintendent miss that or perhaps not understand.

          Like

          • ANNA LOUISE says:

            I THINK THAT THOSE OF US WHO LIVE AND WORK HERE ARE THE BEST JUDGE TO GET A FEEL OF WHAT IS HAPPENING AROUND US – IHAVE BEEN HERE THROUGH OUT AND DO DOT FEEL UNSAFE. SO YOU CANNOT JUDGE. THOSE WHOSE CHOSE TO LEAVE, DID SO.WHILE EVACUATION PLANS OF EACH SCHOOL VARIES GREATLY, EACH EMBASSY DOES HAVE ONE. THE MAIN ISSUE IS NOT EVACUATION BUT WHEN WILL TERM START AGAIN??

            Like

            • Meg C says:

              Excuse my misunderstanding anna louise, but the western embassies said that their citizens should leave. They work there and are also in contact with numerous parties on the ground, rather than say a single person from school that passes on ‘information’ but would not know to anywhere near the Nth degree that embassies would.

              It has nothing to do with if people feel safe or not, it is given as the professional and best advice of respective govnerments to their own nationals in their best interests who are in egypt, and it is particularly foolish and stubborn for people to disregard it because ‘they feel safe’.

              Like

          • CAC Expat says:

            What government are you referring to? The American government? If you are referring to the US, their advice is usually self-serving. If you think their recommendations for Americans to leave the country were based solely on the well-being of Americans, you are mistaken my friend. I make decisions for myself, not the US government. I am pretty smart and the US government embraces fear tactics to get folks to jump when they say so. As such, I have stayed put and will continue to do so until I feel my life is in danger, which it isn’t and never has been. I am glad CAC gave us the option to evacuate as we are responsible adults who should be able to make that decision ourselves.

            Like

            • Qbaqi says:

              @ CAC Expat: You are right my friend. The US Embassy recommends. They do not issue orders. I myself have been here throughout the protests and have not felt unsafe. We have to do what we feel is best for ourselves and my decision was to stay. Meg C It is never “foolish or stubborn” to THINK for yourself.

              Like

      • patrick says:

        Evacuation orders for US citizens are normally meant for tourists and non-sponsored citizens.
        That being said, I do believe that all US companies should implement evac orders based on US Embassy standards.
        We took the voluntary evac not because we felt unsafe, but because things could turn ugly very quickly and we have a small child. Additionally the gunfire heard around our neighborhood was psychologically stressful for all.
        We are glad we left and anxious to get back.

        Like

    • Shashanna says:

      Don’t dream about schools that have evacuation plans because most of them don’t do that anymore. Just another chance you take when you teach in overseas schools.

      Like

      • tommy brayden says:

        So to teach abroad you now have to do without the assurance from a school that they will support your personal safety in the event of any incidents? Surely not.

        Hardly seems worth the risk for some places, certainly not worth the risk for those with current problems (such as cairo).

        Like

        • adam rayfield says:

          I teach at the Canadian International School of Egypt. While we didn’t have a set evacuation plan in place, the administration did an amazing job informing each staff member of developments in the situation and were instrumental in getting all the teachers who wanted to evacuate on the first Canadian government chartered flight out of Egypt.

          As far as returning, our school is monitoring the situation and I have full confidence that we will not be asked to return, nor will the school reopen until the situation is stable. As far as the amount of teachers who plan on returning, there are only a couple who were originally unhappy living in Egypt who will not be returning.

          Like

          • victoria says:

            I work at American International School. Our superintendant, Walid Abushakra, evacuated us to Sharm El Sheik. We went there because there is an international airport and we could be evacuated to Cyprus if need be. AIS is part of the ESOL schools group and they have schools all over, Cyprus being one location. We were housed and fed for 10 days. This was a much better plan than the embassy’ s which involved hours- days at the airport with no food, and being dropped off in Europe to fend for yourself. I am grateful that my school provided for my every need. Since returning, I have felt very safe and very happy. The festive atmosphere is palpable. The people are still celebrating. This is a very exciting time in Egypt. Also, one has to make decisions based on the population. The Egyptian people are wonderful. I am looking forward to another year with these fantastic people.

            Like

            • serissa says:

              Hello! My husband and I and are two girls are dicussing the possibility of working at AISE at the West Campus. Are you still a teacher at the East Campus school? If so, we would value any information you can give us with respect to the West Campus and to AISE in general. How long have you worked for AIS? Will you be teaching there again in 2011/2012? Do you happen to have any children with you? If you don’t mind, maybe we could communicate further about your experiences with AISE. Thanks!

              Like

      • Peter A says:

        Looks like schools in cairo should now be working on their evacuation plans then as it is something that needs to be catered for and one of the first questions potential faculty will have when looking at a school.

        I cannot see reputable administration not putting something appropriate in place, something positive and not just anything. Otherwise there may be a issue with recruiting strong educators, and even less chance of families, to come if people do not have reassurances and worthy guarantees.

        Like

    • notimetocomplain says:

      This time of trouble is no time for expatriates to even begin to complain when current issues that have lasted just 2 weeks are in response too and as a result of 30 YEARS of oppression.

      The following thoughts echo the current situation well.

      http://shorttext.com/vuh0nhakrff

      Like

    • yusaf says:

      I am a teacher from uk and have spent some time in the egypt and the yemen.
      My advice to all foreign teachers is to leave the country.
      it might sound a little dramatic but the situation in egypt is unlikely to stablise till a ‘unity’ government is formed. this is unlikely to happen till well after the ‘sept’ elections – and thts being optimistic!

      Like

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