29 June 2016
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  • mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato


    » 07/19/2012, 00.00

    EGYPT

    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.

    Cairo (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.

    "My 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."

    In fact, 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.

    Industry 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 cost-conscious Europeans.

    Some 12 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.

    As the Arab spring unfolded, tourists began staying away, drastically reducing tourism-related employment.

    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.

    For Makary, in addition to the Islamist threat, political instability is another factor affecting tourism. Regular demonstrations and clashes between police and protesters, which have caused 800 deaths, have scared off tourists.

    "Travel 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 President.

    With tourist operators looking at the other side of the Red Sea, many warn of the consequences of a radical islamisation of Egypt.

    "Saudi 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.

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    See also

    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.

    16/09/2014 EGYPT
    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.

    29/05/2012 EGYPT
    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.

    23/05/2012 EGYPT
    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.

    29/07/2011 EGYPT
    Tens of thousands of people in Tahrir Square to protect Egypt’s Arab and Islamic identity
    Organised by Muslim parties, the peaceful protests included secular groups and Copts. Similar demonstrations are held in Alexandria and Suez. The power of the Muslim Brotherhood is growing; the group could use Ramadan for electoral purposes.



    Editor's choices

    CHINA - VATICAN
    Vatican silence over Shanghai’s Mgr Ma Daqin causing confusion and controversy

    Bernardo Cervellera

    For some, Mgr Ma’s blog post praising the Patriotic Association and acknowledging his mistakes is nothing but “dirt”. For others, he chose humiliation for the “sake of his diocese”. Many wonder why the Holy See has remained silent about the article’s content and the bishop’s persecution. Some suspect the Vatican views the episode in positive terms. Yet, the Ma Daqin affair raises a major question. Has Benedict XVI’s Letter to Chinese Catholics (which describes the Patriotic Association as “incompatible with Catholic doctrine”) been abolished? If it has, who did it? A journey of compromises without truth is full of risks.


    CHINA – VATICAN
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    Mons. Taddeo Ma Daqin

    Four years after quitting the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association, the bishop of Shanghai “admits” his faults on his blog, praising the organisation that controls the Church. We publish his article, almost in its entirety. Translation by AsiaNews.


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