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Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Egypt hits back: Cairo is a safe city to visit

Alan Thatcher
Alan Thatcherhttps://squashmad.com
Founder of World Squash Day, Squash Mad, the Kent Open and co-promoter of the Canary Wharf Classic. Launched the Squash 200 Partnership to build clubs of the future. Talks a bit.

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The courts at the Al Ahly Club in Cairo
The courts at the Al Ahly Club in Cairo

Airport and police offer extra security with Al Ahly venue situated on an island in the Nile

By Alan Thatcher, Squash Mad Editor

The Egyptian Squash Association has hit back at nations who have withdrawn from the World Team Championships by claiming that Cairo is a safe city to visit.

In a letter to the South African Squash Federation, Egypt Squash President Assem Khalifa maintains that Cairo has no security issues at the present time and that the Al Ahly Club, situated on an island in the middle of the River Nile, is a safe venue for a major squash tournament.

However, the release of his document coincided with a firebomb attack on a restaurant in Cairo killing 16 people.

Mr Khalifa writes: May we give you a little further background on the Men’s World Team Championship arrangements that were outlined in the earlier letter which indicated the protection arrangements that are in place.

First, though, let me emphasise that there is no need for any protection in principle as Cairo is a city not on any alert – but of course we want to provide complete reassurance for safety and security of all participating teams.

Following meetings with three Vice Ministers of the EgyptianGovernment Interior Affairs Department, the government have confirmed full support in all areas, as generally outlined in the earlier letter.

1: The Chief Officer of Cairo Airport Authority has taken full responsibility for arrival arrangements so that visa, processing and exit are smoothly and effectively handled. (This includes airside meeting and escorting).

2: Police escorts will be provided for all transfers and shuttle movements for added security and speed of flow (though other than the number of cars on our roads causing delays there are no problems).

3: They will supplement normal hotel and venue scanner / X-Ray security with their own officers and equipment, plus sniffer dogs, as necessary.

To repeat, Cairo is no different than a normal active city, but, as mentioned before, in addition to all these measures, the hotel and venue are on a small, more controllable island in the Nile, so more self-contained than the city itself.

We look forward to welcoming your team to Cairo.

Assem Khalifa
President of the Egypt Squash Association

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