» 07/19/2012, 00.00
Islamism and insecurity leave Egyptian Red Sea beaches empty
Seventeen months after the fall of Mubarak, tourist executives lament a 70 per cent drop in the number of visitors. Tourist operators call on President Morsi not to islamise beach resorts. Tourists to Egypt in the first five months of this year were down 26 per cent from 2010 with earnings down 24 per cent.
(AsiaNews/Agencies) - For more than a year, Red Sea resorts have struggled with
near empty beaches, silent hotels, shops and malls as well as idle barmen and
waiters. What was once the pearl of Egypt's tourist industry, now is but a
shadow of its former self since Mubarak's fall 17 months ago. Tourist executives
are pessimistic, and look with fear at the new Egypt under the Muslim
Brotherhood. Meanwhile, Egypt's new rulers have not yet said what they would do
with alcoholic beverages, bikinis, mixed swimming pools and dance clubs.
business has shrunk by at least 70 per cent in the past year," said Waleed,
a businessman in Sharm el-Sheik." "Egypt," he explained, "lives on tourism. I think Morsi wants to
islamise tourism in the long run, but for the next few years he won't do anything
because people need to eat."
the Brotherhood's 81-page election programme does not mention beach tourism, which
brings in the most tourist dollars by far. Officials in the movement have said
they have other priorities for now, dismissing the sector as marginal with few
jobs. However, the party does promise to encourage alternatives-cultural,
ecological and medical tourism, and desert excursions.
professionals disagree. They say beach holidays make up as much as 80 per cent
of Egyptian tourism. Before the current drop, the country was a serious rival
to countries like Spain and Turkey as a sunny getaway for millions of
to 15 per cent of Egypt's workforce caters to the needs of foreign visitors,
directly or indirectly. Tourism accounts for 11 per cent of gross domestic
product and a quarter of foreign exchange earnings, economist Samir Makary
said. Most importantly, it has offered jobs to a fast-growing population that
stagnating manufacturing was unable to absorb.
Arab spring unfolded, tourists began staying away, drastically reducing tourism-related
In the first
five months of this year, the number of visitors to Egypt was down 26 per cent
from 2010. Earnings dropped by 24 per cent.
in addition to the
political instability is another factor affecting tourism. Regular demonstrations
and clashes between police and protesters, which have caused 800 deaths, have
scared off tourists.
agents and customers from the West are concerned and nervous about the safety
of travel in Egypt," said Mimi Weisband, Crystal Cruises Public Relations Vice
operators looking at the other side of the Red Sea, many warn of the
consequences of a radical islamisation of Egypt.
Arabia has the best virgin beaches, with soft sands. They have plenty of
airports and good roads," one industry
executive said. However, "not a single tourist
goes" there, "except for the Muslim pilgrimage" to Makkah.
17/03/2017 17:32:00 EGYPT
After the Arab Spring, Egypt sinks into crisis
Tourism is at a standstill, oil supplies are low, prices have skyrocketed. The average family cannot buy basic medicines or necessities. Politically, the situation is more than disappointing: the bosses of the old police state might be gone, but corruption and an outrageous system remain. Yet, there is still some hope for an acceptable life.
14/01/2013 EGYPT - ISLAM
Al-Azhar’s double game to Islamize Egypt and maintain power
In recent years the authorities of the most important Sunni university, supported the youth of the revolution and are now with the Muslim Brotherhood. For the great scholar of Islam Fr. Samir Khalil Samir, such behavior is typical of the University, which has always supported those who govern. The new constitution based on Sharia will not transform Egypt into an Islamic state, for now. It takes advantage of the ignorance of a population that only trusts imams, all formed by al-Azhar. The document is primarily a ideological move by Islamists to appear like "real Muslims" before the Islamic world. Sharia, Islam, religion reassure the population. The future game of the Muslim Brotherhood and of Islam itself will evolve in the coming months on specific topics: jobs, the economy and development.
Muslim Brotherhood leader gets life as secular pro-democracy activist gets out on bail
Abdul Fattah, a pro-democracy activist and blogger who led the Arab spring against former Egyptian President Mubarak, had been sentenced to 15 years for violating anti-protest law. On top of their legal problems, the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood's political wing, the Freedom and Justice Party, are expelled from Qatar, which had protected so far. Turkey might be their next home.
Egypt, headquarters of candidate, ex-Mubarak ally, attacked
Shafiq Ahmed, Premier during regime, could be behind assault himself. The Electoral Commission confirms runoff between Mursi, President of the Justice and Freedom Party (Muslim Brotherhood) and Shafiq. Voting will take place June 15 to 16. Hundreds protest against election results.
Egypt votes for new president amid disappointment and hope
Challenge between Muslim or military candidates, or from Mubarak establishment. Many Christians support moderate Muslim, Abdul Moneim Aboul Fotouh. The Army tries to maintain its military and economic power. The economy suffers from few foreign investments, drop in tourism, high price of food and energy.
Pope: together with the faithful in China on 24 May to celebrate Our Lady of Sheshan
During the Regina Caeli, Pope Francis speaks about the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China, instituted by Benedict XVI. Chinese Catholics must make a “personal contribution to communion among believers and to harmony in the whole society." AsiaNews Symposium on the Church in China is set for this week. Francis appeals for peace in the Central African Republic, and for loving “one another following the example of the Lord”. For him, “Sometimes conflicts, pride, envy, and divisions leave a blotch on the beautiful face of the Church.” Five new cardinals will be named, including a bishop from Laos.
May 24, 2017: 'China, the Cross is Red', AsiaNews Symposium
The event will be held to mark the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China. A title with many meanings: the Cross is red from the blood of the martyrs; From attempts to suffocate the faith with state control; Bceause of the contribution of hope that Christianity gives to a population tired of materialism and consumerism that is seeking new moral criteria. The theme is also about the great and unexpected religious rebirth in the country. Guests to include: Card. Pietro Parolin, Msgr. Savio Hon, the sociologist of religions Richard Madsen, the testimonies of Chinese priests and laity.
24/05/2017 CHINA- VATICAN
19/05/2017 BANGLADESH - SAUDI ARABIA
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