Egypt's Al-Samata village apologises to Canadian ambassador over death of Canadian tourist

Ahram Online, Saturday 12 Nov 2011

The Youth of the village of Al-Samata where a young Canadian tourist was accidentally shot Wednesday have offered their condolences to the Canadian ambassador.

The group, calling themselves the Free Youth of Al-Samata, released a statement on Saturday offering their apologies to the Canadian ambassador. They further invited him to visit the village so that they can offer their condolences to him personally.

The village is where 23-year-old Jeff Francois, a Canadian citizen, was accidentally shot in the chest when he was caught in the middle of a tribal feud between the Al-Arab tribe from Al-Samata village and Al-Ashraf tribe from Al-Showaykhat village in the governorate of Qena.

Francois died from his wounds on Friday in the Luxor International Hospital.

El-Samata youth insist that their village is a victim of Mubarak-era corruption.

“We are victims of the former regime, which helped spur tribal feuds in Upper Egypt as well as increase the poverty in the area,” the youth wrote to the ambassador.

One of the group's members, Mohamed Abdel Aziz, told Ahram Online that the village of Al-Samata has always been welcoming to visitors.

“No visitor has ever been murdered in our entire village’s history,” Abdel Aziz said. “It never mattered what their nationalities were, but I believe that the Canadian citizen died as a result of the lack of security in the village.”

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