Thursday, May 14, 2009

Horrific Expereince of a British family visitng Sharm el Sheikh on Holiday

From The Electric New Paper

Treat this as a cautionary tale, but hope for the best, if you plan to travel into Egypt shortly, especially if you have a Mexico stamp in your passport.

THEY expected a great family holiday in Egypt - and encountered fear instead.
14 May 2009

THEY expected a great family holiday in Egypt - and encountered fear instead.

British engineer Stewart Harbut, his pregnant wife Sasha and their four young children, aged between 2 and 8, had a hellish time when armed guards held them in quarantine.

They claim Egyptian guards, in what was seen as an act of panic in the midst of a possible Influenza A (H1N1) virus outbreak, 'pinned them down' at the country's Sharm El Sheikh International Hospital while doctors forced them to give swabs.

Mr Harbut, 37, told Sky News Online that his family spent £6,000 ($13,400) on their holiday.

But as soon as he and his family arrived at Sharm El Shiek airport, their holiday was anything but enjoyable.

He said: 'We were queuing up with the rest of the holidaymakers, looking forward to the break. All of a sudden, we were surrounded by armed guards and police. There must have been about 30.

'All the kids were crying, my wife was crying and I could not believe it. It felt like something out of a drug-smuggling film.'


Mr Harbut said he and his family saw guns trained on them as they were bundled into the back of a van and sent to the hospital with a police escort.

He thought his family was singled out because their passports showed they had visited Mexico six months ago.

Mr Harbut said he was promised that he and his family would be released in a few hours, but instead, they were held in a dusty room with just five beds.

He said: 'The kids were pinned down and instruments were put down their throats. The Egyptians were in a complete panic.'

When he tried to leave the hospital, he was confronted by three armed guards who blocked his way.

He said: 'There was absolutely no way out - there were large iron gates slammed shut at the front of the hospital and as I walked towards them, three armed guards came towards me holding their guns.'

The Harbuts were only allowed to leave the hospital yesterday after all of the tests were confirmed as negative, nearly 24 hours after landing in Egypt.

Speaking from their Red Sea resort hotel after his release, Mr Harbut said he had been treated like a drug smuggler.

He said: 'This was absolute hell. We're just hoping that the kids aren't too traumatised.'

Mr Harbut wanted to warn travellers about the current level of panic over the H1N1 virus in the country.

1 comment:

Mo said...

Our security apparatus jails people with HIV/AIDS, shackles them to hospital beds while their blood is being tested, and hunts down anyone associated with them. The Harbuts were lucky they weren't put in handcuffs while they waited for their results.

Unfortunately in a country where ignorance of disease and basic sanitation is so rampant, the health authorities have no other choice but to induce a panic so that people are more vigilant.

Where else in the world have you ever seen people brainwashed into thinking that they should stay indoors during an eclipse. Do you remember that whole episode a few years back? People were told not to look directly at the sun during the eclipse. Repeated enough times, the message became "The sun is dangerous, don't even think of leaving the house". As if the sun we'd been living under for thousands of years was miraculously replaced by a death-causing ball of flame...

Ignorance = Disaster

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