Egypt tourism group calls for Tahrir sit-in to demand security

Ahram Online, Saturday 11 Aug 2012

Coalition says Sinai attack and recent power cuts pose grave challenges for an already troubled tourism industry, as it calls for an open demonstration in late August

Tahrir Square
Cairo's Tahrir Square (Photo: Reuters)

Egypt's Tourism Support Coalition is calling for a sit-in on Cairo's Tahrir Square starting 24 August to mourn the Egyptian border guards killed in Sinai and demand rapid improvements in security, Ahram's Arabic-language news-site reported on Saturday.

The head of the coalition, Ehab Moussa, was quoted as saying that Egyptian tourism faces grave challenges due to a general lack of security and recent repeated power cuts.
A Sunday attack by militants on Egyptian guards near the Rafah crossing with Gaza left 16 dead and seven injured. The Egyptian military subsequently declared a military operation in North Sinai to quash "terrorists".
The coalition is demanding that the Egypt-Gaza border be sealed completely to combat "looting and thugs". Participants in the Friday demonstration will wear black mourning clothes, Moussa said.
Former liberal MP Mohamed Abu-Hamed and media figure Tawfiq Okasha are among those also calling for a million-man march against President Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood on the same day.
On Tuesday, Egypt's newly-appointed Minister of Tourism Hisham Zazou denied that there has been any negative effects on tourism following the attack on the Egyptian-Gaza border.
Zazou told Ahram Online that tourism agencies had received no calls for cancellations, saying that he had personally called them to make sure.
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