Thursday, March 7, 2013

Reports of Suspicious Men Trying to Pick up Kids

In the past few days a few reports have been circulating on facebook regarding suspicious men driving around offering lifts to school kids.

Although the reports remain unverified outside of eyewitness reports, it serves as a chilling reminder of how drastically Egypt has changed in the past few years. Whereas 5 years ago Egypt was considered a very child-friendly country, one where you rarely had to worry about kidnappings outside of those that happen among broken families, in the post-Revolution period in Egypt kidnappings for ransom have risen dramatically. Just today, 2 British Tourists were kidnapped and later released on their way to Sharm el-Sheikh. It's almost a running joke now, trips to Egypt should be marketed as adventure holidays!

But the thought of kids being snatched from the street by random individuals presents a much graver worry. The first report indicates that two men were seen in Mubarak 2 driving a white Jeep. They were approaching children who were waiting for the school bus, offering rides to the kids. When the children refused, the two men insisted, saying they had snacks inside and were friends of the child's parents.

The second report was of a van driving around with two men in the front, and allegedly a third in the back. Similarly, the van was stopping by children and offering rides.

Whether these incidents are the same and warped as the story circulates, the point remains the same. Parents should remain vigilant during these times of uncertainty and ensure their child's safety. Last year, around the same time, I posted a blog detailing other reports of children being snatched in Hurghada. The timing of the incidents really makes me go "hmm."

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