Friday 3 August 2012: The Egyptian President, Mr Mohamed Morsy
Our recently elected President Mr Mohamed Morsy visited Luxor today.
Flying in from Cairo, he stopped at Qena to pray, arriving at Luxor Temple at 13.30 to meet The Governor of Luxor, Dr. Ezaat Saad
The streets were lined with Military Police facing the Nile, Presidential Guards positioned outside the Temple perimeter and within. Army Personnel sat in jeeps awaiting their orders, as I walked to the Temple along the Corniche.
Soldiers had one last practice on the regimental walk. Officers checked uniforms and straightened hats. Police trucks with sniffer dogs sent Alsatian dogs into Police Vans, ensuring there were no suspicious items inside.
All last minute checks before the first elected Egyptian President in over 30 years and indeed in the history of Egypt, arrived for the very first time in Luxor.
He came to talk about Tourism, with the new Minister of Antiquities, Mr Mohamed Ibrahim. Tourism is the main industry in Luxor and the lack of since the Revolution, has had devastating effects on the local economy, the people and in turn the animals. Through the power of the media and the internet, he chose the Temples of Luxor and Karnak, to address the Nation and the World, regarding these issues and to assure them that he was very much FOR Tourism and was doing all he could to bring the tourists back.
He spoke of the warmth that the Egyptian people emanate and how they welcome their guests. He told us that there were marketing strategies and promotions in place for the outside World, asking people to return to Egypt, because it is safe and Tourism is essential to us.
He also talked of the Cairo to Aswan River Nile Cruise being opened (After 15 years of being closed) in time for the start of the Season in September.
After Luxor Temple, he visited Karnak Temple ending with the Conference Centre. Here he was to meet with those directly involved with Tourism; Caleche drivers, hoteliers, felucca and motorboat men, shopkeepers and taxi drivers etc
It was all a little surreal for me. I felt very honoured to be there and was glad to have had the experience, I truly hope that he can turn Egypt around, as we all feel he has the most arduous task ahead of him.