Friday, October 12, 2012

A Matter of Security

The news services are full of reports questioning the level of security at the US Consulate in Benghazi, as well as the embassy in Tripoli and other embassies throughout the region. Safety and security should be an issue for embassy personnel  but what about Americans living in countries where embassies are now open only for emergency services? And what are emergency services anyway? 

Recently, a friend of mine had an emergency and as she has no internet she asked if I would look online for the emergency phone number. Ok, that was easy enough... but wait! The phone numbers don't work! Out of service says the recording in Arabic. Plan B: Let's try the emergency email... within seconds of clicking on the send button I got an automatic reply. The message back was: 

Thank you for contacting the Consular Section at U.S. Embassy Tripoli.  We normally respond to inquiries within three business days. 

Three business days!?! For an emergency!?! There was also a different phone number than the one on their website... but of course that one doesn't work either. So, if you are an American in Libya and you have an emergency... 

You're just out of luck... 
Deal with it....


  1. Some things really don't change.
    In 20 Feb 2011 when things really got hot in Tripoli it was impossible to get any line from cellphones in Tripoli. Some people had sat phones that worked.
    Almost all the embassies had sat phones but some refused to give the numbers because people did not had permission to use them in Libya or because the lines where suppose to be secret.
    Anecdotes belonging more to Catch 22 than real life but that is life in Libya.

  2. I've pretty much figured out that the US Embassy isn't here for Americans. I clicked the 'like' button for the US Libyan Consulate Facebook page and it's just full of PR. If we have a problem we are on our own (well I am pretty sure the people I work for would help me).

  3. Hi, Teri. Yeah, business as usual, right? I have similar feelings of unease. October 23rd should be interesting in Tunisia. If Tunisia can't hold together, how can anyone else? I garden a lot to keep my balance too. Stay safe.
    best, nadia


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