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Emergency Message for U.S. Citizens: Cairo (Egypt), Ongoing Unrest in Tahrir Square (November 22)

Near East > Egypt > Cairo

This emergency message is being issued to alert U.S. citizens of ongoing unrest in Tahrir Square.   U.S. Embassy staff will be permitted to depart early on November 22 due to the call for a large gathering around Tahrir Square.  All U.S. citizens should avoid Tahrir Square and the immediate surrounding area.  We also alert US citizens that there are restrictions on photographing military personnel and sites, bridges, and canals, including the Suez Canal.   Egyptian authorities may broadly interpret these restrictions to include other potentially sensitive structures, such as embassies, public buildings with international associations, and some religious edifices.  The Embassy has received reports of foreigners detained for photographing security forces and unfolding events in Cairo and other cities.  U.S. citizens in Egypt are subject to Egyptian law.  Foreign laws and legal systems may be vastly different from U.S. laws and legal systems, and criminal penalties may vary.  U.S. citizens are reminded that a U.S. passport does not prevent arrest or prosecution of those who violate Egyptian law.

U.S. citizens resident in Egypt should monitor local news broadcasts for updated information about locations of demonstrations.  U.S. citizens visiting Cairo should seek information from their hotel or tour guide in planning their activities.  Even demonstrations or events intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and possibly escalate into violence.  The Embassy reminds all U.S. citizens to avoid areas where large crowds are assembling.  The Embassy reminds U.S. citizens to review their personal security plans and remain alert to their surroundings at all times in Egypt. 

The Embassy reminds U.S. citizens to review their personal security plans and remain alert to their surroundings at all times in Egypt.  For the latest security information, U.S. citizens traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department of State’s Internet website where the Worldwide CautionCountry Specific Information for Egypt, Travel Warnings, and Travel Alerts, including the current Travel Alert for Egypt, can be found.  You can also follow the Bureau of Consular Affairs on Twitter and on Facebook.  Up-to-date information on security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada, or, for callers outside of the United States and Canada, on a regular toll-line at 1-202-501-4444.  These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). 

U.S. citizens are advised to maintain valid travel documents and enroll with the Department of State or the U.S. Embassy Cairo through the State Department Smart Traveler Enrollment Program website,  For further information, U.S. citizens may call the Embassy’s American Citizen Services Unit at 2797-2301 during business hours, Sunday to Thursday from 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.  For emergencies after business hours and on weekends and holidays, U.S. citizens can contact the Embassy Duty Officer via the Embassy switchboard at 2797-3300.  The Embassy is located at 5 Tawfik Diab Street (formerly known as Latin America Street), Garden City, Cairo.