Egyptian Newspaper Blares Obama's Schedule

Disclosure of speech forum raises security concerns

An Egyptian newspaper spilled the beans on what were supposed to be secret plans regarding President Obama's visit to Cairo next week.

For security reasons, the President's itinerary -- including the site of his main event speech next Thursday -- were supposed to be hush-hush. But word has gotten out, according to The New York Times.

“He is speaking in Cairo University,” storekeeper Ramadan Abdel Al, 40, told the Times. “I read it in the paper.”

The newspaper, Al Masry Al Youm, announced the sensitive detail on its front page. While the White House would not confirm that the newspaper had the schedule right, the leak raises concerns for the President's security in a crowded city of 18 million where animosity toward the U.S. runs high.

Cairo University is in a large gated area in the Giza section of Cairo. The Times reported that it has undergone something of a makeover recently, with fresh paint and landscaping work. And the Times got this clue from Galila Mukhtar, a university spokeswoman: “We are very proud to host the president of the United States.”

President Obama chose Cairo to address the Muslim world, not just the Arab world. White House aides have said the speech is aimed at softening the U.S. image. But one student who spoke to the Times wasn't buying it.

“Just leave us to concentrate on our exams,” she said, giving only her first name of Dina. “I’m not expecting anything. Americans don’t like us and we don’t like them. They think we’re terrorists, and we don’t like them because of what they’re doing in Iraq.”

Contact Us