Published online at GlobalTVEdmonton.com on February 2, 2011.
Linda Hoang, Global News: Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Unrest in Egypt cancels high school trip
Nearly 50 high school students in Edmonton can put their suitcases away after their trip to Egypt was cancelled.
The trip for travel club students at Strathcona High School was cancelled because of turmoil currently taking place in Egypt.
“A whole lot of bad things have happened in the middle east in the past ten days and unfortunately there’s just no way on earth we can go to Egypt,” Les Farrar, a Strathcona High School teacher and head of the school’s travel club, told students on Wednesday.
“It’s just not possible.”
The trip had been in the works for a year but because of a number of protests, anti-government demonstrations and violent riots erupting in the country over the last two weeks, the school decided it wouldn’t be safe to go ahead with it.
EF tours, the company Strathcona’s travel club had arranged the trip through, decided it was in everyone’s best interests to cancel the trip as well.
“It became increasingly apparent to us as teachers… and our principal… that this just wasn’t a safe place to expose our kids to,” Farrar said.
In fact, the hotel the class was set to stay at is near the central square in Cairo where a number of riots have specifically taken place over the last few days.
The cancellation has left a number of students in the city disappointed, especially as they’ve been learning about the country in preparation for their trip.
“I was really looking forward to seeing the pyramids and Tutenkhamen’s tomb and things like that,” said travel club member and Grade 12 student Candace Farrar.
“The thing I really wanted to see was the national museum in Cairo which is supposed to be amazing and full of breathtaking sights.”
EF Tours said Wednesday that they’ve cancelled more than 30 other Canadian class trips to Egypt.
But the educational tours company has arranged to re-book trips for their customers to their second choice destination, so students won’t be losing any money.
For Farrar and the travel club, that means the students are now headed to Japan at the end of March instead.
The growing unrest in Egypt has forced cancellation of three Edmonton public schools trips, with two others on the verge of cancellation.
With files from Ryan Ellis