But the increasing violence in the country has kept many tourists away. The Russian plane full of holiday makers that was brought down by a bomb has cast a pall over the area.
Extremists have made easy targets of tourists.
Tunisia has had its formerly lucrative tourist industry shattered by terrorists who killed 22 tourists at the national museum in Tunis and then, a further 38 were murdered at a beach resort a few months later. The resulting collapse has left those who depended on the tourist industry without means.
Libya is far too dangerous for tourism. It’s tourism industry collapsed as that country descended into civil war in 2011. It has been reported that many of the Roman ruins have been looted and damaged since chaos has come to that country.
If you decide to travel to Egypt, be sure to heed the advice of your government information services. The Canadian advice page, dated today, still lists Hurghada as a safer place to travel. Other than that it advises Canadians to avoid all non-essential travel to that country.
Canada Travel Advice
He made the plea while attending the Toronto International Film Festival(TIFF). As it happens, Clooney’s wife, Amal Clooney, is one of Fahmy’s lawyers.
Many in Canada are wondering what the Canadian government has done over the past year and a half to free Fahmy, a Canadian citizen. There was some publicized diplomatic intervention early in the men’s ordeal, but little has been seen lately. The minister of foreign affairs who was handling the case, resigned before the upcoming federal election. Since the second trial and subsequent sentencing, the Canadian government has applied for Fahmy to be deported, but he still remains in prison.
The imprisonment of the three journalist employed by Qatar based Al Jazeera News may not be about the conduct real or imagined of the journalists, but an attempt to strike at the network itself. Egypt has accused the rulers of Qatar of being sympathetic to the now outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.
Comments made on twitter regarding this incident to the BBC support the contention that the area of attack was a “safe zone”.
For instance Western Desert Tours has been operating in the area offering tours of the sand and oasis. It received an award of excellence in 2014 from the customer rating service Trip Advisor. Many other companies are offering safaris to the area.
Egypt borders on states in N. Africa that have become unstable in recent years. Libya and Sudan on the west have become conduits for terrorist and counterrevolutionary activities. On the east where most of the attention has been focussed recently, Egypt shares borders with the Palestinian Territories(Gaza Strip) and Israel. The military government has been demolishing homes in the Sinai Desert to prevent unauthorized border crossings. The military there has come under increasingly deadly attacks.
Egypt relies heavily on other countries for direct aid to finance itself but it also gains significant foreign currency from its tourist trade. Since the military coup in that country, the tourism industry has declined. At its high point over $12 billion USD was collected from travellers in one year.
The news corporation Al Jazeera has kept up ongoing publicity about their employees but that has failed to budge the Egyptian power brokers. Australian Peter Greste was released and deported in February of this year. Greste still has the Egyptian court sentence hanging over him.
February saw Fahmy and Mohamed released on bail. Fahmy carried dual Egyptian/Canadian citizenship. He renounced his Egyptian citizenship under the advice that it would facilitate his deportation as well. It was to no avail.
The latest postponement will mark the tenth time that their liberty has been denied.
There is speculation as to why they are still being held without verdict. One reason may be the visit of US Secretary of State John Kerry’s visit to Egypt. Talks were held concerning security in the Middle East region between Kerry and Sisi. Kerry is known to have lectured the foreign minister on the subject of human rights. In the end the fight against terrorists in the region trumped and pledges of friendship and military aid were made.
A second reason that has been floated is that no disruptive news is to be allowed to spoil the party attendant on the opening of the newly expanded Suez Canal.
Meanwhile two award winning journalist remain trapped in Egypt as the promise of a new and more democratic Egypt fades as repression grows.
The Washington Post
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