News / Middle East

Luxor in Fury Over New Governor With Terror Ties

Egyptians chant slogans during clashes between supporters and opponents of Egypt's president and his Muslim Brotherhood in Luxor, June 19, 2013.Egyptians chant slogans during clashes between supporters and opponents of Egypt's president and his Muslim Brotherhood in Luxor, June 19, 2013.
x
Egyptians chant slogans during clashes between supporters and opponents of Egypt's president and his Muslim Brotherhood in Luxor, June 19, 2013.
Egyptians chant slogans during clashes between supporters and opponents of Egypt's president and his Muslim Brotherhood in Luxor, June 19, 2013.
Elizabeth Arrott
Opponents and supporters in the tourist city of Luxor remain in a standoff over a newly-appointed governor tied to the group accused of a terror attack there in 1997.  The incident highlights growing nationwide political chasms ahead of planned anti-government protests later this month.
 
Supporters and opponents of the new Islamist governor of Luxor remain outside government headquarters in the tourist city. A spokesman for Adel Mohamed al Khayat says the governor hopes to talk to his detractors soon.

Badawi El-Masry, head of media for the Luxor governorate, says al Khayat wants to explain his plans to develop the region and push the development of tourism.

Tourist workers and others are furious over the appointment of al Khayet, who hails from Gamaa Islamiya, the group accused of carrying out the grisly massacre in Luxor in 1997 of four Egyptians and 58 foreign tourists - including a five-year-old boy.  
Luxor, EgyptLuxor, Egypt
x
Luxor, Egypt
Luxor, Egypt
Egypt's tourism minister Hisham Zaazou tendered his resignation over the appointment, though he remains at his post. Luxor's historic environs include the temple of Karnak and the pharaonic tombs of the Valley of the Kings.

Al Khayat has denied any involvement in the attack, which appalled the Egyptian public and prompted Gamaa Islamiya to renounce violence.

Mohamed Bakr, of the Luxor branch of Gamaa Islamiya's political wing, says the group remains committed to peace.

Bakr says people are calling his group terrorists with violent tendencies, but argues if that were true, they would have clashed with the governor's opponents.  The leadership, he says, decided not to.

But critics argue that the appointment shows not just a disregard for the group's violent past,  but of some members condemnation of Egypt's pharaonic, pre-Islamic monuments as idolatry.

Political activist Hisham Kassem said the appointment "gives a terrible message that the Muslim Brotherhood government are against tourism simply by appointing someone who believes that monuments are idols and should be demolished."

Luxor spokesman el-Masry says Khayat's past comments about idolatry have been exaggerated.

But Kassam also believes the government may have had the context of the nation's deep polarization in mind when giving the post to an Islamist rival.  He notes the call for early elections and mass demonstrations against President Mohamed Morsi on June 30.

"It's a clear message they're splitting things among the different Islamic factions hoping that they will support them in their upcoming battle with more or less the Egyptian nation,” said Kassem.

If so, any gain in support may likely be offset by the furor among the residents of Luxor.

You May Like

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said To Be Improving

Experimental drugs have been tried on six people: three Westerners and now, three African pyhysicians More

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities residents rebuild their lives, but many say everyone is being treated with suspicion More

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

Girls learn to object; FGM practitioners face penalties from jail sentences to stiff fines More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improvingi
X
Carol Pearson
August 19, 2014 11:43 PM
The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.
Video

Video For Obama, Racial Violence is Personal Issue

The racial violence in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson is presenting U.S. President Barack Obama with an issue to which he has a deep personal connection. To many Americans, Obama's election as America's first black president marked a turning point in race relations in the United States, and Obama has made ending the violence a policy priority. On Monday he issued a new call for calm and understanding. Luis Ramirez reports from the White House.
Video

Video Clinton-Obama Relationship Could Impact 2016 Election

President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have a long and complicated relationship. That relationship took another turn recently when Clinton criticized the president’s foreign policy. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports there is renewed attention on the Clinton-Obama relationship as Hillary Clinton considers running for
Video

Video Iran Looks to Maintain Influence in Baghdad With New Shia PM

Washington and Tehran share the goal of stopping Syrian-based militants in Iraq. But experts say it's Iran, not the United States, that will most influence how the new government in Baghdad approaches internal reforms and the war in Syria. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

AppleAndroid