Travel advisory – reader forum
“Buried Alive in Egypt” [May 13] was a disturbing article. I am not surprised that American citizens and their loved ones are being harassed overseas. I think the people in the article would have been framed or imprisoned whether or not they were gay. Americans are being targeted for crime and political violence. There is a common perception that Americans are wealthy. Another danger is anti-American sentiment. In many countries the locals feel that all Americans, tourists or not, are to blame for the war in Iraq.
American embassies usually do not help American citizens who have been harmed physically or mentally. The embassy staff are frequently arrogant and sarcastic toward the “expats, backpackers, and tourists” who seek assistance.
I lived overseas in Slovakia and Eastern Europe. The situations were similar to what you described in Egypt. Your story brought back many unpleasant memories. The police of Eastern Europe may not target you for being gay, but they will target you because you are perceived as a wealthy foreigner.
Anna Smith, Glendale, Calif.
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