I haven’t blogged for a while – been writing some articles for other sites and I have also made some in-roads on my book!  This blog is a rant and also an expression of “I don’t know, I just don’t know…..”  I am just going to let ‘it’ pour out..  It all depends on where our focus is and lately mine has been, in spite of my best intentions, on global news and events.  As per usual the bad, depressing and downright alarming always gets the highest and longest coverage.  It would, in the light of the ‘news’ appear that the world is in bad shape and in some ways it is.I walked my grand-daughter to school this morning and passed rows and rows of cars, all parked outside their owners’ houses.  18 months ago every one of those parking spaces was empty, the car owners were at work – today they are at home, jobless.  Between natural disasters and economic ‘hard-times’ the world appears to be in bad shape.  But more importantly, it seems the humans who inhabit this world are in bad shape.  I am not referring to those out of work, though I think most are probably in bad shape one way or another financially.  No, I am referring now to those lucky ones who are still working.  I am referring to those who work in the governments and big corporations mainly.

In the late 80’s and early 90’s I was in bad shape, financially – times were tough and Ireland was in a depression.  But some things were different then (feel free to tell me it is just me choosing to remember the good times),  we learned new skills, we dreamed up new business ideas, CUSTOMER CARE became the buzz word of business,  ISO 9000 etc. was invented  We had community centers where we came together and sought solutions.  We swapped services with our neighbours and we helped each other out.  For many it became an enriching and growth experience, what followed became known as the Celtic Tiger.

So, why are we not looking after each other today?  Apart from the ‘you scratch my back and I’ll scratch your back’ antics the politicians play – nobody seems to care about their jobs, their customers, whether they even have customers and those in high places with power to influence the economies and world events are playing ‘silly-beggars’!  The Western Nations invade Libya – I wanted them to invade Libya because I believed Gaddafi & Co. were killing their own people.  We shall see if their motive was humanitarian or otherwise shortly.  Yet, they stay ineffective in regards to Syria and Bahrain – for their own ends.  Enough on this.

My main rant today is personal.  It concerns the US State Dept and Trip Advisor.  The following is a Tweet from the US Embassy in Cairo

@USEmbassyCairo US Embassy Cairo
#US Asst Secretary #Feltman: we have no more important relationship in the #Arab World than our partnership with #Egypt #Cairo #MiddleEast

22 Aug via web

To which I replied via Twitter on 31 Aug

@maraegypt Mara

@USEmbassyCairo then why don’t you change your travel alert – it still says there is a curfew in Cairo

You see, it is one thing when someone stays stupidly dumb – it is another thing when they make a statement like the US State Dept. above.  That annoyed the shit out of me!  Why?  Because I have been tweeting or posting on the Facebook pages of the US Embassy in Cairo, the Egyptian Ministry for Tourism, the Egyptian Consulate in London, the Egyptian Prime Minister, Dr. Essam Sharaf, and Trip Advisor, not to mention my ‘followers’ on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, and Google+.

I have been shouting the fact that the US State Dept. has not updated their Travel Alert for Egypt since 28 April.  The travel alert states “The Government of Egypt continues to enforce a country-wide curfew. As of April 28, the curfew hours are from 2:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. U.S. citizens should respect the curfew and remain indoors during these hours.”  Do you want to go to a country under curfew?  Of course not, few do.  It makes you feel unsafe.

The travel alert was 100% inaccurate in stating there was a ‘country-wide’ curfew in Egypt.  There was NEVER a country-wide curfew.  It was only in Cairo, Alexandria and Suez.  Luxor and Aswan, two of the main tourists locations had next to no public unrest, was never under curfew and has been devoid of tourists since February due to fear on the part of prospective tourists.  Luxor is about 900 km from Cairo (I think).  The curfew in Cairo, Alex and Suez was lifted on 15 June – two and a half months ago.  Yet, the US State Dept. has not seen fit to update the alert to reflect the true position in Egypt.  Is this because they are unaware of the lifting of the curfew?  Does it mean the entire staff of the State Dept are inept and inefficient?  It has to be one of the first two – otherwise we are into conspiracy theories and speculating as to why the US State Dept might want to damage the Egyptian Economy and Tourist Industry………

The Egyptian Minister for Tourism is chasing his tail around the world courting tourism, but in the wrong way, it’s not working – why can’t he sit still for a few hours and re-visit the situation, address ‘minor’ details like the US State Dept Alert, the cost of flights to Egypt via Egypt Air and the cancellations of major tour operators to Egypt?

Now comes the conclusion I have reached through the Egyptian Revolution, the Trip Advisor situation, the US State Dept Travel Alert debacle and my dealings with government officials in general – in any country.  THEY JUST DON’T GIVE A DAMN!  They are safe in corporation, conglomerate and governmental positions.  It doesn’t matter if they are careless or don’t perform.  Their jobs are safe.  (Like the global Bankers!) They just have to clock in, clock out and shuffle the papers.  They are accountable to nobody – certainly in their minds they are not accountable to the billions unemployed – you know that an ‘unemployed’ person becomes a ‘non-entity’ to be hassled and harassed?

The Egyptian Economy – of which I am a component – has been going downhill since January 2011 – that is 7 consecutive months.  Have my followers and buddies of any nationality re tweeted or recirculated my US State Dept. tweets or posts?  Not to any great extent.  Being a human being – that hurts me because it equates to ‘they don’t care about me!’  Irrational, I know – but I’m sensitive!  Has any person in ‘authority’ even deigned to answer me?  NOT a SINGLE ONE!  That I have an even bigger problem with because all of us, employed and unemployed, of every nationality, are in their hands.  Our global economy is in their hands and their lack of action and lack of common courtesy in responding to a verbalised problem is most distressing and alarming.

I find that very, very sad.  I think it is sad that while some of us are becoming more aware that everything we do affects the lives of someone else, more of us seem to be shutting down our personal ‘humanity’ program, looking out for ourselves and to hell with everyone else!  I long for a return of genuine Customer Care and wish for a attitude of solidarity, caring and responsibility from those who ‘have’ towards those who ‘have not’.  I wish those who have jobs and positions of responsibility would just do their jobs conscientiously.  I wish those who do not could be fired!

I will end on a positive note – a note of ‘Thank You’ to the European billionaires who have put petitions together across France, Germany and Italy asking the governments to raise their taxes for the next two years to get the economies back on track – Thank You!

For anyone interested I will update this IF anyone does anything – on the other hand if you tweet, like, share, email or circulate this in any way – the subject of the US State Alert might be addressed by someone – YOU would also be helping not only me and my business but the Egyptian Economy, Tourist Industry and People!

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One Comment

  1. Hi Julie & Everyone! I am over the moon – obviously I embarrassed somebody enough to have them change the alert!! The following offending wording “The Government of Egypt continues to enforce a country-wide curfew. As of April 28, the curfew hours are from 2:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. U.S. citizens should respect the curfew and remain indoors during these hours.” copied only earlier today from the Travel Alert has been quietly removed – without acknowledging the error because they failed to change the update date to to-days date!

    Nonetheless, that’s fine. Since the rest of the “Travel Alert” is a load of rubbish and warns of nothing which people of common sense should be aware of anyway – I hope they will soon have the good sense to delete the alert entirely!