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New York October 16, 1999 - Egypt Tour to Familiarize More US Journalists with Egypt

By Bob Van Leer

  1 NabilOsman(NEW YORK, N.Y., Saturday, Oct. 16, 1999) - This evening we saw the musical "Miss Saigon", on Broadway and it was well worth seeing. The story of an American soldier who, unknown to himself, fathered a child by a Vietnamese girl and the aftermath when he finds out about the child later, after returning to the U.S. and marrying. It's a tear-jerker as well as good entertainment.

  I arrived in New York this evening and met up with Jim Kelly, publisher of the Hood River News.

  Tomorrow he and I and two other newspaper people, Peter Wagner of Sheldon, Iowa and Matt Paxton, Lexington, Virginia, are catching an 11:00 p.m. Egypt Air flight to Cairo for a 10-day tour of Egypt.

   The tour is sponsored by the American Egyptian Cooperation Foundation to familiarize more U.S. journalism with Egypt. The tour was by invitation and Betty is not joining me on this trip.  Betty and I left the same day, but she and a friend went to Portland for a workshop of the Oregon State Button Society and I went to Medford for an overnight stay before catching an early morning flight to New York.

  The Medford airport has changed greatly in the years we have been using it. Fifteen years ago for an early morning flight there would be a single bored clerk waiting for a passenger. This morning six counters were open and there were enough passengers for a full load on a Boeing 737 to San Francisco.

  Mayor Rudy Giuliani has made good on his campaign promises and he has really cleaned up New York, both morally and physically. The sex shops on Times Square are all gone. And the biggest change is the piles of garbage bags and most of the graffiti are gone. I saw a few garbage bags in one place and they are even pink instead of the old black.

  Tomorrow Jim and I will do a little looking around New York before catching our late night flight.

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