Cairo Diary: Inside a Trip to the Middle East

Chris Cuomo on camera in Cairo.

As President Obama made his first presidential visit to the Middle East and spoke from Cairo University, Chris Cuomo anchored "Good Morning America" live from Cairo, Egypt. Read his reporter's notebook about the trip below.

Day One: Monday, June 1

6:50 p.m. NYC:

The show is over, the wife and kids are kissed, the bags are packed ... wheels up! Eleven hour flight to Cairo on Egypt Air (motto: our planes smell like Camels. The cigarettes).

I used to dread long flights, but now I sleep. Cairo is seven hours ahead of New York City, so my internal time clock may be a little off-kilter. But in these situations you hit the ground running ... shooting, writing, etc.

I love being on the road and am excited to arrive. I'm a "coverage guy," despite my law and investigative background. The real perk to media life is being a witness to history. This event could be memorable. I've got a copy of Kurt Vonnegut's "Slaughterhouse Five," the classic depiction of a prisoner of war witnessing the Dresden bombing. I've read it before but am reading it again for texture.

"Obama Addresses the Muslim World" is a surreal headline -- are there really different worlds? But it's always a good time to talk peace.

Day Two: Tuesday, June 2

12:20 p.m. Cairo/ 5:20 a.m. NYC.:

Kee-Feck Cairo! (that's hello here) We landed! I couldn't wait to get out and stretch my legs. I slept 9.5 of the 11 hours, so it wasn't too bad. My body is telling me it's the early morning ... I'm no stranger to that feeling. Got my taste of some (very strong) Turkish coffee and got my caffeine fix for the month.

I met up with a fixer (a journalist or local who knows an area and ideally knows something about the story you are covering -- a good fixer is key) named Aya, and a local driver named Taher, who were able to help me navigate Cairo.

On the agenda: Walk the city, shoot some interviews, read some local press, work some scripts, but mostly, make calls on Janet Greer, the American mother who traveled to Egypt in search of a reunion with her daughter, who had been taken there 12 years ago.

2 p.m. Cairo/ 7 a.m. NYC:

"Good Morning America" is just starting live on the East Coast. I'm not on today, but I could've been. ...That's OK, plenty of work to do.

I'm staying at the Marriott in Cairo. I just checked into my room and am about to meet up with my producer Clark Bentson (total pro, lives in Italy, teaches me a ton every time out) and crew (shooter is Bart Price, the best) and head off to our first interview.

3 p.m. Cairo/ 8 a.m. NYC:

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