|Tank in front of our hotel in Cairo.|
The Canadian government is impotent and spineless.
It was of no help to us in getting out of Cairo.
Today I ready news stories noting that an evacuation flight from Cairo for Canadians was cancelled due to lack of interest.
If so, then it was lack of interest on the part of Canada to help its citizens.
Mike and I were stranded in Cairo on January 29 after our Lufthansa flight was cancelled. The curfew imposed by Hosni Mubarek prevented its scheduled 04:50 takeoff.
We eventually got through to the Canadian embassy and were treated to a recording. We were cut of. Eventually we got through again and after pressing a succession of numbers were transferred to an emergency line and were cut off again.
According to the back page of the Canadian passports we can contact the British consulate for help.
That is how great the response from our federal government was.
Instead that day, January 31, we returned to the airport where we'd been spending the bulk of our time since the 29th.
Other Canadians there had been in touch with the British consulate and were told of a possible evacuation flight Monday afternoon.
We managed to get out on a Lufthansa flight that afternoon. We were lucky. On Saturday a Lufthansa rep showed up at the airline's office four hours late and hand rescheduled flights for us. Mubarek suspended the Internet and all social media. The airline did the best it could for us with its limited resources and put us on a connector to Calgary for February 1.
We went back to the airport each day. On Sunday we tried to get documentation from Lufthansa for our insurance claim. Eventually we gave up and decided to get it later from Frankfurt or from home.
We had an expensive hotel for two nights near the airport as we were advised to not return to the city proper due to the curfew. For the third night we decided to stay at the airport. When we arrived Mike went to the Lufthansa office about 11 a.m.(our flight was the next morning at 04:45) and was told a flight was leaving now and to go to the gate now.
We didn't make that one, but our tickets were honoured for an afternoon flight. We stayed overnight in Frankfurt. We got the documentation we needed. Our ticket for the connecting flight to Canada was honoured and we got home.
Many others waited for the evacuation flight or bought tickets on another airline such as Egypt Air. Those who did made sure their flight left between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.
Canada did not even have the decency to have a human being answer the phone at the consulate. No information was available on the recordings. My country clearly had no plan for anything and only acted after the US moved to get its citizens out.
As well, Canada is making its people pay for the flight. This galls me no end.
It is doing very little, only acting because everyone else did so first, and is making its citizens pay for the privilege of this feeble offering.
I love my country. I have never been so happy to be back on Canadian soil.
But I am ashamed of my government and its feeble, impotent spinelessness.