​Egypt Pyramids Warning To American Citizens From Embassy​​

June 4, 2021

Egypt’s Antiquities Ministry has criticized a U.S. Embassy message to American citizens in the country about recent incidents near the pyramids with a stern warning.

Egypt Pyramids Warning

“U.S. citizens should elevate their situational awareness when traveling to the pyramids, avoid any late evening or night travel, utilize a recommended or trusted guide, and closely guard valuables,” according to a security message on the embassy’s website last week.

A ministry statement on Saturday says the warning is “baseless.”

An embassy message earlier this week urged Americans to “elevate their situational awareness” when visiting the pyramids because of a “lack of visible security or police” presence there.

It noted incidents of “angry groups of individuals surrounding and pounding” on cars with visitors, sometimes trying to open car doors.

The ministry insists the pyramids’ area in Giza, Cairo’s twin city, is “totally secure” and that the overall situation for tourists has improved.

Security deteriorated following the 2011 uprising that ousted longtime ruler Hosni Mubarak and tourism took a sharp hit.

The message indicated that vendors at Egypt’s pyramids who are desperate to make money in a deepening economic crisis are using aggressive and even violent means to get tourists to give them some business, frequenters of the tourist spot say.

Visitors going toward the ancient complex, roughly an hour’s drive in traffic from central Cairo, are encountering Egyptians who work in the tourism sector and surround and pound on tourists’ taxis and cars in what the embassy says may be an effort to pressure visitors to ride in their horse-drawn carriages.

In some cases, angry vendors have tried to open vehicles’ doors, frightening visitors, the embassy said.

Egypt’s minister of antiquities, Ahmed Eissa, insisted the Giza pyramid complex is safe. He said neither his office nor the tourism police have received complaints, according to newspaper reports.