While the UN will undoubtedly push for international observers in Egypt’s upcoming election, could the country be denying foreign visa extensions as its own retaliation over media coverage during the revolution?
It’s a theory and not too outlandish of one, even Egyptians are contemplating this as the main reason for denying visas.
I went to the Mogamma today, which for those of you that don’t know, is located in the heart of Tahrir Square. What a show this so-called Liberation Square is… Unfortunately I can’t bring a camera into the Mogamma, but let me just tell you, Tahrir Square is full of people that:
- Don’t want to work
- Venders taking advantage of the heat, ie thirst and hunger
That’s a wrap folks.
And with all the security issues, you would think the Mogamma (place for visas) would have tougher security. Wrong. I opened my purse and the woman said, “Do you have a camera?” I said, “No.” And without looking through my purse, I passed through. A second security checkpoint is upstairs with an actual conveyor belt to scan purses with a metal detector (the front of the building usually has this as well, but those machines were missing. What was the person monitoring the metal detector and scanner doing? Joking and grabbing tea from a colleague.
When you go for your visa, you need a copy of your passport, copy of your last visa and one passport size photo ID. My visa expires July 25, 2011, but this just in: because I traveled outside of the country, my visa is apparently no longer valid and I was charged a late-fee on top of paying for a visa that is still to be accepted (there is a 90% chance and higher that it will be denied).
So in going to pay the so-called late fee, it takes ages to determine which window you need. Add that in with the no-concept-of-a-line and then finding out that no one is at the window. Why? In one particular group I monitored, one man was reading his Al-Ahram newspaper while his colleagues ate lunch, a group of women sat chatting and another mixed group sat and listened to some man regale a funny joke. Bravoooooooo.
I was told to leave my paperwork and come back in the morning. As I walked to the car, I literally walked through heaps of trash. While I’ve stressed before that the present protestors are not the same people that started the revolution (affluent Egyptians), it is astounding the amount of rubbish throughout the area. So much for the “Clean Tahrir” intiative.
I wonder if you could draw a parallel between Tahrir Square and Animal House.
|Photo source: Discovery|