Bringing Egyptian Tourism Back Strong

Ex-militant to run bloodied Luxor tourist region

(Reuters) – A member of the movement whose gunmen killed 58 foreigners at a temple in Luxor in 1997 was sworn in by Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi on Monday as governor of the vital tourist region.

Adel Mohamed al-Khayat, who now represents the Building and Development Party, political wing of the once violent al-Gamaa al-Islamiya movement, was one of 17 new governors, several of them Islamists, who took their oaths with the president.

Tunis, Cairo … Libreville?

An article by Penelope Chester on UN Dispatch caught me entirely unaware. In brief, from the article,

"When autocratic, kleptomaniac Omar Bongo … died in the summer of 2009, elections were promptly held. About 15 candidates from various political parties were in the running for the August 30 vote, Gabon’s first ever “true” democratic election.

"Omar Bongo’s son – Ali Bongo – was declared to have won shortly after the election, both by the national election commission and the country’s highest court. Ali Bongo’s victory was met with a burst of violence from opposition supporters….

"A few weeks ago, on the same day that Egyptian protesters started taking to the streets en masse, opposition candidate Andre Mba Obame … (declared) himself president and (appointed) his own cabinet…. Obame holed up in UNDP’s headquarters, encouraged his supporters to imitate their brethren in Tunisia and take to the streets. These protests were violently suppressed by the government, and opposition leaders have allegedly been kidnapped."

Search Google News and the most recent story about the situation is from 28 January. It's titled Gabon copycat revolution fails. 28 January was two weeks ago. What else has happened!?

Dominoes Never Had It So Good

The domino theory that meant to justify America's Vietnam adventures was just wrong. Everybody says that now. Anybody notice that right now, dominoes are everywhere you look?

In the Eurozone, first were Greece and Ireland, then it's Portugal, then Spain, then maybe Italy, then maybe Belgium. In the Middle East it's Tunisia, then Egypt, then Yemen, Algeria, Jordan, you name it.

Tahrir-o

From a balcony at the then Nile Hilton, now the Nile Hotel, these are photos from around Tahrir (Liberation) square, the focus of today's revolution. These photos are from a very polluted, otherwise clear day several years ago.

Here's hoping that whatever happens, happens with minimal loss of life.

Tahrir2

See the Egypt Gallery at EarthPhotos.com.