Exodus in Egypt: US Suggests Fleeing As Soon as Possible

The US tells citizens to consider leaving Egypt as soon as possible. Dozens of wealthy Egyptians beat the rush and flee on private planes.

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Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu, | updated: 12:46

Protest in Egypt
Protest in Egypt
Israel news photo: Wikimedia Commons

The U.S. embassy in Cairo has told its citizens to consider leaving the country as soon as possible and has warned against traveling in the country.

Approximately 90,000 Americans are estimated to live, work and study in Egypt, and several companies have told their employees’ families to leave.

The warning is more severe than the previous statement to citizens to avoid non-essential travel in Egypt.  

Dozens of wealthy Egyptians beat the rush Saturday night and fled on private planes as the flames of rebellion continued to burn. Relative quiet has returned to the streets, but thousands of protesters continued to appear Sunday morning to call for the resignation of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Jordan also are organizing flights to evacuate their citizens, while Israel was the first to do so. Relatives of diplomats and dozens of tourists were flown home, but senior diplomats remain in Cairo, although their offices are closed.

In the United States, sympathizers with the opposition movement rallied Saturday outside the United Nations and in Chicago, Atlanta, Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles.
 


People want the ‘Pharaoh’ to leave,” said Dr. Zaher Sahloul, chairman of the Council of Islamic Organizations for Greater Chicago, according to the city’s Sun-Times newspaper. “Egypt is asking for the right of its children to dream.”

The protesters also turned their wrath on U.S. President Barack Obama, whom they accused of being too mild in his comments Saturday night that President Mubarak should guarantee freedom of expression to opposition activists and to halt the violence that has claimed more than 100 deaths.

The marchers compared the anti-government unrest in Egypt to the thirst for democracy that drove the American Revolution.

“You cannot be neutral between right and wrong,” Mahmoud Hamad, an assistant professor of politics at Drake University in Des Moines, told the Chicago newspaper. “You cannot be neutral between a dictatorship and freedom.”