2007/10/11, Ray Saintonge <saintonge(a)telus.net>et>:
I think that many of us look forward to visiting Alexandria and, if we
can make the time, the rest of Egypt. The press tends to blow the
occasional criminal or terrorist incident completely out of proportion.
The American media in particular attaches a far greater degree of
tragedy to the one or two Americans that die in such incidents then the
200 local individuals who also perish. I do not attach a lot of
importance to whether a country is "democratic"; that is not something
to be decided by outsiders I regret the concerns of the LGBT people,
but sometimes it is simply not possible to adjust to all the interests
of special interest groups.
I did not hear of visa problems at Frankfurt, but it affected many
people who would have liked to attend in Boston. AFAIK, unfortunately
and ironically, the only people that were kept from Taipei because of
visa issues were the Egyptians.
For the record, in the process of organizing, the WM07 Taipei office dealt
with visa issue very carefully. We tried our best to get visas to everyone
who wanted to come to Taiwan. Our visa assistance was mainly provided for
people from Bangladesh(1), Cape de Verde(1), People's Republic of China(8),
Tajikistan(1), Russia(1), India (3), Venezuela(1), Chile(2), Serbia(1),
Turkey(1), ect. In these cases, Bangladesh, Tajikistan and Russia attendees
used visa on arrival, and others used application visas. And it is quite
hard to apply visa document for PRC attendees, but we made it, while
TzuChiang signed many Letter of Guarantee.
For our Egyptian friends, some of them applied for scholarship, and the
scholarship committee decided to give 2 of them scholarships to come to
Taipei. And we here prepared with letters of guarantee and also visa on
arrival for our Egyptians friends. However, they finally gave up to come,
and till today I haven't known the reason. :)
I expect that visa issues will continue to be a factor in choosing
American hosts at least until after they have had a
change of government.
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