Cairo - Post Report Question and Answers

Morale among expats:

Not great. With two evacs in two years, crime on the rise, and a general anti-American sentiment everywhere you go, morale is pretty darn bad in Cairo. - Jul 2013

Not terrific with the ordered departure. But there's a divide between people who are on their first tour or who have served only in Western Europe (on one hand) and those who have been in tough assignments before (on the other). Morale is much lower for the first group. - Jul 2013

Most are very unhappy, but it's what you make of it. - Jun 2013

This depends on who you talk to and who you spend time with. Many people really like it here, others cannot wait to leave. It really is what you make of it. - Jun 2013

I would say mostly low. Things are changing, and there is an uncertainty in the air. No one knows where the country is going,s and most change that occur appear to be negative. - May 2013

Extremely low. Post management was too late in spotting and/or admitting that Cairo is getting worse, not better. Post management is highly unsympathetic to the plights of the little people, and they live a fairly sheltered life with teams of bodyguards and walled villas --- while we hope we don't get sexually assaulted or mugged on the way from our apartment to the Maadi House. - May 2013

At the moment it is pretty low because of the uncertainty. Crime is on the increase, and people are worried---not sure what is going to happen. The U.S. Embassy community is struggling because of our location right near all the activity of the last two plus years. But, having been here four years, I don't regret it. I have enjoyed my time here and, if I had a choice, would have done it again. It's been good for family. But I definitely see that many people are unhappy. - May 2013

Moral here is mixed. Really, it depends on who you spend time with! Many USG personnel prefer to spend their time only in the USG community. For many folks, it seems like Egypt is their first (and possibly only) developing world post - these folks often seem to be generally negative (i.e., it's dirty, people are like home, etc.). It's true that life in Cairo has its quirks, but It is a fascinating place. Egyptians are a generally nice people (who love kids), and life here is relatively easy in terms of amenities. That said, as in many places, the people who thrive here are those that can laugh at the quirks of the developing world and those who make sure to get away for breaks on a regular basis! - Feb 2013

Among those I interact with it is very poor. Pessimism about the situation pervades life here. People don't feel safe and don't see any prospects that Egypt is going to improve in the near-term future. Even some long-time residents are packing up and heading elsewhere. - Feb 2013

Extremely low since the revolution - this place really is bad now. It seems that everyone you talk with is counting the days until they leave or they are contemplating curtailing. - Mar 2013

Long gone. People are waiting for the end of their tours. The use of alcohol is increasing, and rumors about the deterioration of Egypt are circulating everywhere, including at school. - Mar 2013

Extremely poor. Everyone is trying to get out at the earliest opportunity. It has clearly not always been that way, but the country is going downhill fast. - Feb 2013

Poor. Egypt has always been very dirty and frustrating, but for some people it used to be fun and exotic. Now, with the increasingly poor security, deteriorating infrastructure and criminality, and sense of entitlement of its population, most people---Egyptians included---are desperately trying to flee. Morale at the Embassy is poor, with people hoping for an evacuation. - Jan 2013

Mostly positive. Demonstrations wear on moral, but overall people are happy. - Nov 2012

Middle of the road, depending on happiness of their kids, sickness due to pollution, issues with driving, etc. - Sep 2011

Varies wildly. One wonders why some people ever leave their birthplace. - Aug 2011

Most people have kind of a love/hate relationship with Cairo, but overall, it's an enjoyable post. There are a lot of perks -- nice housing, good weather most of the time, lot's to do, but things are loud and crowded and dirty, so it's easy to let it get to you. - Jul 2011

Very high, lots of social activities. Everyone gets along and helps each other out. Strong Embassy morale and Diplomatic expat community too. - Jun 2011

Morale is mixed. You'll find some like me who have found their niche and love living in Egypt, and then you'll find those who typically are overwhelmed by the noise, the garbage, and the crazy driving and so hate living in Egypt. You usually won't find many people in between. - Sep 2010

Varies. For those of us with large families living in GOVT housing, morale is pretty low. - Jun 2010

Generally great! - Dec 2009

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