News / Middle East

Tourism Protests Keep New Luxor Governor Away in Egypt

A protester carries stones in one hand and a beer bottle in the other as he kneels in front of burning tires set by protesters in front of Luxor governorate building to protest against the newly-appointed governor, Adel Mohamed al-Khayat in Luxor, Egypt, June 19, 2013.
A protester carries stones in one hand and a beer bottle in the other as he kneels in front of burning tires set by protesters in front of Luxor governorate building to protest against the newly-appointed governor, Adel Mohamed al-Khayat in Luxor, Egypt, June 19, 2013.
Reuters
A hardline Islamist appointed governor of Luxor stayed away from his new office on Wednesday as protesters barred access and demanded Egypt's president revoke a nomination they fear will hurt local tourism.

Adel Mohamed al-Khayat, appointed by President Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, is a member of al-Gamaa al-Islamiya, the movement accused of killing 58 foreign tourists at the Temple of Hatshepsut in Luxor's Valley of the Queens in 1997.

Determined to stop Khayat from entering his office, up to 100 protesters blocked a road leading to the building with burning tires. Locals employed in Luxor's tourism industry, already suffering from more than two years of unrest, fear visitors will be scared away from the city on the Nile.

Nearby, a similar number of Islamist supporters of the governor, many of them Gamaa al-Islamiya members, gathered in a square beside one of Luxor's most prominent pharaonic temples. They chanted: “Welcome, new governor! Welcome, tourists!”

Khayat, 60, told Reuters on Tuesday he had never had any role in militant activities. He promised to welcome tourists and keep them safe, together with Luxor's temples. Some Islamist hardliners have called for destroying pre-Islamic shrines.

But the tourism minister, an independent technocrat, described his appointment as a move with “dire consequences” for a sector vital to Egypt's economy. He tendered his resignation in protest late on Tuesday, adding to the pressure on Morsi to rethink - though the minister is staying in his post for now.

Mohamed Bakr, an official in the Luxor branch of Gamaa al-Islamiya's political, said he was unsure when Khayat might arrive in the town to take up his post.

“There is an agreement to postpone his arrival to avoid clashes,” he said.

Khayat could not immediately be reached for comment.

He joined Gamaa al-Islamiya in 1975 as a student. The movement, which fought an armed insurrection against the state in the 1990s, renounced violence more than a decade ago. It has moved into public life since Hosni Mubarak was toppled in 2011.

You May Like

Video Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change More

2014 Sees Dramatic Uptick in Boko Haram Abductions

Militants suspected in latest mass kidnapping of over 100 people in Gumsuri, Nigeria on Sunday More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid