Gloucester resident finds herself in midst of Egyptian protests

by Quinton Sheppard - Posted on Feb 09, 2011 - 05:20 PM

Photo: Gloucester resident Kathy Klein recently returned from a trip to Egypt and Jordan, and witnessed first-hand some of the protests in those countries that have dominated the international spotlight. Photo courtesy Kathy Klein.

Gloucester resident Kathy Klein recently returned from a trip to Egypt and Jordan, and witnessed first-hand some of the protests in those countries that have dominated the international spotlight. Photo courtesy Kathy Klein.

When Gloucester resident Kathy Klein landed in Cairo, Egypt, on Jan. 13, eager to begin her first trip to the country, little did she know her tour would end in a time that country was faced with protests and anti-government rage.

The protests against Egypt’s long-time President Hosni Mubarak have held the international spotlight since the situation erupted late last month in that large Middle East country.

Klein, who is now safe at home, said she never felt she was in any danger, though she witnessed first-hand some of the protests in Alexandria and in nearby Amman, Jordan. She said her tour company, Odyssey International, quickly made changes in travel, often before Klein and others on her tour realized the need, as tense situations erupted around them.

Klein’s trip to Egypt began on Jan. 13, when she flew from New York directly to Cairo. She remained in the capital city through Jan. 16. While in Cairo, Klein stayed in a hotel between the Nile River and Tahrir Square. The view from her hotel, she said, was the same view she saw days later in media coverage of the protests.

On Jan. 17, Klein’s group flew south to Abu Simbel, near Egypt’s southern border. The travelers then took a boat trip from Abu Simbel to Luxor, an city about 300 miles to the north.

On Jan. 25, the day about 20,000 protestors spilled into the streets of Cairo, Klein flew from Luxor to Cairo. She was not in Cairo very long that day, as the tour immediately boarded a northern-bound bus for Alexandria, an Egyptian city bordering the Mediterranean Sea.