Danny Glover to be honoured at Luxor film festival and he is today in Cairo







The Luxor African Film Festival begins on Tuesday with a screening of Guinea-Bissau’s The Children’s Republic, starring Danny Glover

The third Luxor African Film Festival will begin on Tuesday.

The festival will open with a screening of Flora Gomes’s The Children’s Republic, a joint production between Portugal and Guinea-Bissau, about a small, fictional country in Africa where children rule after every adult abandons the place. The country prospers, but the children can no longer grow.

The film’s director, as well as its star, Danny Glover, will be present at the opening ceremony in Luxor’s famous temple. He will be receiving an honourary award for his long and fruitful career in film.

In the Long Narratives competition, Egypt is taking part with The Mice Room, while in the Short Narratives and Short Documentaries competition, Egypt’s contenders are El-Bostan El-Said Street, Sidhom and Erkie. In the Freedom Films competition, Egypt’s entry is Logical Revolt, while I Am the Film Director, another Egyptian film, will be screened in the out-of-competition selection.

Forty-one African countries are participating in the festival with more than 55 films, in addition to nine non-African countries taking part in the Freedom Films competition.

@Ahram online


Replica Tutankhamun tomb set to open in Luxor

A painstakingly accurate replica of King Tut’s tomb is set to open in EgyptLuxor

Its existence will present visitors with the moral dilemma of paying to see the original tomb or helping to preserve its future existence by visiting the facsimile version instead. 

The Supreme Council of Antiquities commissioned carefully-crafted replicas of the tombs of Seti I, Nefertari and Tutankhamun back in 2009.

The move was a bid to stave off further irreparable damage caused by decades of tourists flocking to see the boy king’s burial chamber and other ancient tombs.

Wall painting of Tutankhamun flanked by Anubis and Hathor
Changes in temperature and humidity, say experts, is causing the intricately painted plaster to crumble away from the walls. Visitors could soon be completely banned from entering them


A Madrid-based company, Factum Arte, which has worked with museums all over the world to produce facsimiles of endangered art, used high-tech 3D scanners to create the replica of King Tut’s tomb in a process that has taken several years to complete.

November will see the new version of the tomb of Tutankhamun installed just outside Howard Carter’s house, around half a mile from where the original lays in Luxor‘s Valley of the Kings.

Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon at Opening of King Tutankhamun's Tomb

On November 4th 1922, after years of toiling away in the Valley of the Kings, British archaeologist Howard Carter sensationally discovered Tutankhamun’s tomb and revealed one of the most significant Egyptian excavations of all time.

The fascination with Carter’s story and the perpetual promise of more discoveries has seen tourists pouring into the sun-drenched site although there has been a significant dip in tourism this year as the country has suffered from ongoing political protests.

One of the Factum Arte team, Briton Adam Lowe, is hopeful that the replica will become as popular as the orginal as visitors ‘become part of the force that protects it [the original] rather than a force that is leading to its destruction.’

He told the BBC: ‘They will have the thrill of visiting something they know is 3,000 years old and they have the guilt of knowing, as they look at it, that their presence is part of the reason why it won’t be there in another 100 years’ time.’

Source: dailymail

Classic Egypt back on map as FCO relaxes advice for tourists visiting Luxor and Aswan

British tourists wishing to visit the Valley of the Kings, home to Tutankhamun’s famous tomb, can once again do so safe in the knowledge that they will be covered by travel insurance after the British government relaxed long-standing advisories.

The FCO is still warning against all but essential travel to a large part of the country including Cairo and the North Sinai but destinations such as Luxor, Aswan and the Abu Simbel temples in Nubia are back on the map.

A spokesperson for the FCO said: ‘We continue to urge British nationals already in Egypt to follow the instructions of the local authorities and obey curfews where they are in place. There remains a high threat from terrorism throughout Egypt. This has not changed.’

They continued: ‘As always, the safety of British nationals is a priority. We continue to follow developments carefully, and keep our travel advice under continuous review.

‘British nationals should continue to monitor FCO travel advice closely for any updates and stay away from any demonstrations or protests.’

Speaking at a holiday industry conference in London last week, Egypt’s minister of tourism Hisham Zaazou told journalists: ‘More than 18 countries have lifted the travel advisory on Luxor and Aswan. As soon as the FCO revises its travel advice for the UK, we will work tirelessly with our valued media, travel agent and tour operator partners to communicate that the whole of Egypt is open.’


A message From the Minister of tourism in Egypt

The official message of H.E. HISHAM ZAAZOU, Egypt’s Minister of Tourism. The Message is addressed to the tour operators (Egypt’s professional partners).
on the official YouTube Channel hisham Zaazou

Egyptian Tourist Authority on Hunt for Marketing Agency

Click Me The Egyptian Tourist Authority is looking for global integrated marketing support as it aims to rebuild its severely crippled tourism industry almost two years after an Arab Spring-inspired revolution, Ad Age has learned.

It’s understood that a number of PR and ad firms from all of the large holding companies, including WPP, Publicis Groupe and Interpublic Group of Cos, have received the brief from the organization’s headquarters in Cairo. The objective will be to promote tourism in Egypt among various international regions, according to industry executives familiar with the matter.

The account fees will likely be sizable, according to people familiar with the review, but promoting tourism in a revolution-worn region with a new administration will be no piece of cake. The revolt, which took place in January 2011, saw the ouster of then-President Hosni Mubarak. The region later held a democratic presidential election, won by Muslim Brotherhood President Mohammed Morsi. U.S.-headquartered firms will have to decide whether or not the uncertainty of the new government might create an ethical conflict in the future.

“Tourism accounted for more than a tenth of Egypt’s gross domestic product before the 18-day revolt that was driven by widespread anger at poverty and high-levels of corruption,” reported Reuters just last month.

In 2010, the country touted almost 15 million tourists. But the January 2011 protests and violence put a dent in that robust headcount, causing a decline of more than 30% for the year, according to a number of reports. On the heels of the upheaval last February, The New York Times reported that Egypt’s tourism industry was losing $1 billion a month.

This year, however, Egypt projects a 20% boost in tourists. An aggressive marketing campaign should support the government’s tourism goal, which, according to various reports, is to attract 30 million tourists by 2020 and generate $25 billion in industry revenue.

The Egyptian Tourist Authority couldn’t be reached by press time.The Reuters story noted that at an industry event, Tourism Minister Hisham Zaazou cited strong recent occupancy rates at hotels and almost 9 million tourist visits in the first nine months of this year. He expects that the numbers should “return to 2010 levels by the end of 2013 depending on the security situation.”

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€82 million of European investments to be approved

Promoting joint investments, technology transfer and human resources development are some of the talking points on the agendas of the EU Egypt Task Force Business and Tourism Summits

The EU Egypt Task Force Business and Tourism Summits will be held on Tuesday in Cairo. The summits organised by the Egyptian business unions will be followed by a series of meetings between representatives from the Egyptian and the European sides.

The joint task force that was put into practice in Jordan and Tunisia will convene for the first time in Egypt. It is a new mechanism for dialogue that was implemented to foster cooperation between Europe and the Arab Spring countries. This innovative mechanism is intended to complement the already existing exchange channels; the Egyptian European association council and technical sub committees.

Among the agreements that are expected to be signed during the summit, there is a €20 million trade and domestic market enhancement programme, a €22 million agreement for support through agricultural small enterprise and a €40 million fund to support the third metro line going from Imbaba to the Cairo airport.

The meetings will be attended by the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton, the European Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship Antonio Tajani, the European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Stefan Fule, the President of the European Investment Bank Werner Hoyer, the foreign ministers of eight EU countries, the head of the European chambers union and more than 150 chairmen of European companies, as stated by the president of the Egyptian European chambers union Nader Riad.

Egypt will be represented by Prime Minister Hisham Qandil, and the ministers of foreign affairs, investment, industry and foreign trade, planning and international cooperation, scientific research, electricity and energy, facilities and transportation, said the chairman of the Egyptian chambers union, Ahmed El Wakil.

The tourism summit will be headed by the Minister of Tourism Hisham Zaazou and Antonio Tajani in the presence of the leaders of the unions of tourism, hotels and ships and the presidents of the big European countries working in the field.  The meetings will discuss an action plan for attracting European tourism and touristic investment focusing on the sustainable tourism and tourism development in Upper Egypt, clarified the head of tourism chambers union Ilhamy El-Zayat.

The chairperson of the Egyptian industries union Galal El-Zorba added that this summit is a part of the union’s programme to provide growth opportunities for the

, and to create jobs for the Egyptians, he added that the objective of the meeting is to put a roadmap for development, to open communication channels between companies on both sides of the Mediterranean, to create investment and commercial partnerships, and to maximise the benefit from the aid and finance mechanisms available for the Mediterranean area that exceed €22 billion.

The president of the investors’ associations union Mohamed Farid Khamis said that the summit is in line with various activities that aim to create alliances between Egyptian business unions to attract investments, promote exports and to innovate the industrial and services sectors . These activities include participation in international exhibitions and conferences and the connectivity between Egyptian and European companies targeting joint industrialisation or common action to enter regional markets, as well as many meetings aiming to resolve the problems of Egyptian and foreign investors and exporters and opening foreign markets for Egyptian products.

Promoting joint investments, technology transfer, human resources development, attracting European tourism mechanisms and megaprojects in infrastructure are on the agenda of the meetings, said the Secretary General of the summit Alaa Ezz.

Is Egypt Safe for Tourism? Yes.

Egypt has had its share of problems over the past two years and the country continues to work to get its political house in order. During that time Egypt has remained safe for foreign tourists. With the exception of a short period of time in 2011 — as the old regime was collapsing — and and for another short period of time before law and order could be restored, the country has not been dangerous.The issues that brought about the Revolution and its iconic mass protests and demonstrations were largely domestic political issues and we did not see foreign tourists targeted even during this period.Some foreign journalists who refused to heed advice and headed out into rowdy crowds with cameras were attacked in isolated incidents during the Revolution, and a few Western students in Egypt who foolishly decided to participate in some of the protests and who themselves engaged in illegal behavior (like throwing rocks and bottles from rooftops) ran afoul of the law and wound up in trouble with the local police. Although these incidents got widespread coverage back home, they were certainly not the norm for Westerners even during the height of the Revolution.

After the Egyptian Revolution ran its course, tourist operations in Egypt picked back up and continued, although with far fewer tourists visiting throughout the rest of 2011. Our company,Middle Eastern Adventures, returned to Egypt in early 2012, and we have had nothing but great experiences with our groups of American guests ever since. We coincidentally had groups in Egypt during the parliamentary elections and during both rounds of presidential elections in 2012 – periods during which the media back home often portrayed the rallies for new presidential candidates and parties as the same revolution-style mass protests seen the year prior – but everything with our groups went smoothly and our clients enthusiastically attested in their unedited, end-of-trip video reviews that they felt completely safe traveling to and around Egypt with us.

There were a couple of unusual – and again isolated – incidents out in the largely ungoverned Sinai region in which local bedouin held up or detoured tourists for up to 24 hours to get the attention of the central government back in Cairo, but they occurred in areas that are not currently recommended for unaccompanied tourism, and in all cases the tourists had ignored the warnings and ventured out anyway without proper accompaniment and security. Our groups always travel with government-provided security within Egypt, even in areas where it is perfectly safe to travel alone.

But disregarding the authorities’ advice as well as the common wisdom is the quickest way to find yourself in a sticky situation no matter where you’re traveling. The Egyptian government does an excellent job of securing the popular tourist areas, and travel and tour companies are partial to avoiding risks. Hence, it’s always best to follow sage advice, and the crowds, when traveling in the developing world.

More recently, the incident in which a few rogue protestors climbed the U.S. Embassy wall in Cairo and took down the American flag in the compound’s courtyard was a legitimate cause for concern. This type of activity is highly symbolic, and it was quickly condemned on all sides of the political spectrum. But even then, tourism in Egypt continued uninterrupted. In fact, clients on our recent women’s group trip that visited Egypt from mid- to late-October reported that they felt completely safe, welcome, and warmly received as they traveled around in style with Middle Eastern Adventures and our highly attentive American staff on the ground in Egypt.

The truth about Egypt is that its recent restlessness is more about internal domestic issues and about a proud and awakened people yearning for freedom and dignity. That’s what the Egyptian Revolution in January 2011 was all about, and the country continues to make its way toward this goal. Ordinary Egyptians all over the country warmly welcome foreign tourists, especially Americans, and they are always incredibly happy to see us returning.

Our media back home continue to perpetuate the myth that Egypt is unsafe for foreign tourists, and they love to play old clips of rallies and demonstrations in one tiny square in one city of Egypt from specific days every time a story on Egypt is reported. The funny thing to those of us actually on the ground in Egypt every month is that we see these same news reports and stories on TV from our hotel rooms, then we look out the window and see life on the streets of Cairo going on as normal – calmly and peacefully. Then we look back at the TV screen and see clips being played from months or even years ago now and we can’t help but laugh.

Those who can see past the facade and who are willing to come visit Egypt are always surprised to find out how amazing the experience is, even now, and the fact that tourism is depressed generally across the region means that it’s the perfect time to come see this country without the congestion and crowds that you normally see at Egypt’s world-famous sites and monuments


A picture of an Egyptian protester during the ...

A picture of an Egyptian protester during the 2011 Egyptian revolution holding the Egyptian flag. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

IIPT panel at World Travel Market to feature Egyptian Minister of Tourism HE Mohamed Hisham Abbas Zaazou

The International Institute for Peace through Tourism (IIPT) is proud to announce that HE Mohamed Hisham Zaazou, Minister of Tourism, Egypt, will be a featured speaker at this year’s IIPT event at World Travel Market in a panel discussion on:

Building Bridges of Collaboration for Sustainable Tourism Development in the Mediterranean Region.

Other featured speakers will include: UNWTO Secretary General Dr. Taleb Rifai; HE Nayef Al-Fayez, Jordan Minister of Tourism and Antiquities; and Mr. Elhamy ElZayat, Chairman and CEO, EMECO Travel, Egypt. The panel will be moderated by HE Akel Biltaji, Special Advisor to HM King Abdullah II and Ambassador at Large for IIPT.

The Mediterranean region is the world’s most-visited destination. UNWTO projections are that it will be adding 10 million more international arrivals a year for a total of 500 million by 2030. The region is currently challenged with economic downturns in source markets, political transitions of the Arab Spring in Northern Africa, preserving natural and cultural heritage, and the impacts of climate change. The session will explore opportunities for collaborative strategies to achieve sustainable tourism development in support of the UN Millennium Development Goals; attracting visitors from new and emerging markets; and nurturing tourism, culture, the arts, and sport in promoting a “Culture of Peace” throughout the region.


The session will be held at the ExCel Center, Tuesday, November 6, from 1530 to 1630 hours in South Gallery Room 20.


IIPT is dedicated to fostering and facilitating tourism initiatives which contribute to international understanding and cooperation; an improved quality of environment; the preservation of heritage, poverty reduction, and the resolution of conflict – and through these initiatives, help bring about a more peaceful and sustainable world. IIPT is dedicated to mobilizing travel and tourism, the world’s largest industry, as the world’s first “Global Peace Industry,” an industry that promotes and supports the belief that “Every traveler is potentially an Ambassador for Peace.”