It my first mail to this list, and needless to say i am very late :) (and that's probably because one of major downsides Majorely told about, lack of info on the wiki). But i have few things to say on this thread.
First of all, i want to thank Majorely for his frank and clear criticism, that lead to this constructive discussion that should make a lot.
Many of the mentioned problems could be avoided by the local volunteers team i think, things like infos regarding shuttle schedule for example. Actually i am an alexandrian (and somehow i am proude to be), but unfortunately i wasn't able to help organizing the conference because of my conscription status (think about me as a part time prisoner), and most likely if i were within the volunteers i couldn't make a difference, i think the staff were exelant just as volunteers, but none of theme was really proffessional, and they couldn't expect all possible situations, but something like this i guess should be expected for wikimedians (the largest contribution driven community), but that doesn't change the fact that there shalt be more work on wiki, or by early promotion of communication mediums like the irc channel and this mailing list where all of us could share infos, i would clarify that most of Egyptian attendees were more than ready to help about anything involving info about the conference or even any help needed about Alexandria, Cairo or arabic translation, actually most of them would be gratefull to provide help.
Unfortunately, most aspects and downside couldn't be avoided by organizers, as you can say these points are defects by design,that's what the mix of popular ignorance, poverty, social disorder led by administrative corruption can do, a corrupt policeman could illustrate all the scene, these strange picture in your memory with all its contrasts, you can call it Egypt in decadence. But i would like to affirm you that your comments are highly regarded, I know it is not the appropriate place to talk about politics, but most deffects might never changes with only goodwill, i can't give you a schedul, but come back few years latter and i hope some changes will be done, some are already under the way, but we [egyptians] have to wake up from our nightmare, because however you unliked the current state of Egypt, Egyptians suffer the most.
I like Kizo Naoko's word:
Mt. Sinai gave me a lesson; there is no special place in
this globe but we can change our world and invite to create the place
we feel comfortable, in our own labor and diligence.
Next time anyone want to visit Egypt, please contact your friends, friend of friend, or anyone you can trust here, or at least someone already visited Egypt, for Egyptians friends you can ask him/her for guidance and companion in their cities.
Another point of view, which is already discussed, there is no mean to keep the monopoly between the first world, specially when it comes to Wikimedia, i bet i benefit from Wikipedia for example more than you :) i am not joking, i mean projects like this and like Wikiversity, Wikibooks are more valuable where education is corrupt and/or expensive, that's clear i think, and that's why i am more loyal to Wikimedia than most of you ;D even if i have less to contribute.
The most flourish part in this thread IMHO, is Ptricio's mail, which promise a lot for next Wikimania i hope (and expect) it will be much better, though some points may remain:
But if you walk the city, you'll meet poor people, at night you may find families
of waste pickers, you'll see homeless. Sorry about that. We are not
able to hide them for you and I think we don't want to do so.
they are not the organizers responsability, but i am sorry to say, poverty is the responsability of all of us, all this planet residents, i am not just talking in the flow, but i know there is something to be done, and i know Wikimedia took it seriously by launching projects like Moulin, WikiAfrica and the more to go.
I hope if i can attend Wikimania2009 (visiting Argentina is an aim by its own), though most probably i will not, but that is not the end of the world for me, and hopefully i may attend some years latter, but for now, i will try to keep active on wikipedia during my conscription. I will revise.