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

Australia Knights Prince Philip, Sparking National Outrage

Abbott's surprise reintroduction of knights and dames in the country's honors system last year drew criticism that he was out of touch with national sentiment More

SAG Award Boosts 'Birdman' Oscar Hopes

Individual acting Oscars appear to be sewn up: SAG awards went to artists who won Golden Globes: Julianne Moore, Eddie Redmayne, Patricia Arquette, J.K. Simmons More

Katy Perry Lights Way for Super Bowl's Girl Power Moment

Pop star's selection to headline US football championship's halftime show extends NFL's trend of selecting artists who appeal to younger viewers More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sidesi
X
June Soh
January 23, 2015 10:03 PM
The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.
Video

Video US Marching Bands Grow Into a Show of Their Own

The 2014 Super Bowl halftime show was the most-watched in history - attracting an estimated 115 million viewers. That event featured pop star Bruno Mars. But the halftime show tradition started with marching bands, which still dominate the entertainment at U.S. high school and college American football games. But as Enming Liu reports in this story narrated by Adrianna Zhang, marching bands have grown into a show of their own.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid