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

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israeli
X
Carolyn Presutti
July 23, 2014 1:21 AM
The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israel

The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video NASA Focuses on Earth-Like Planets

For decades, looking for life elsewhere in the universe meant listening for signals that could be from distant civilizations. But recent breakthroughs in space technology refocused some of that effort toward finding planets that may harbor life, even in its primitive form. VOA’s George Putic reports on a recent panel discussion at NASA’s headquarters, in Washington.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.

AppleAndroid