All foreigners living in Luxor were invited to a meeting at the Sofitel Hotel last Saturday night – I was really surprised to find there were so many ex-pats living in Luxor!  I am not good with estimating crowds but I reckon there must have been up to 150 people at the meeting with the Governor in the Sofitel Hotel.  General Hafez, whom you will remember I met on my rounds of Luxor in my earlier, naive attempts to get people planning for the future, gave a very interesting and welcome speech on the setting up of a committee of Egyptians and Ex-Pats in Luxor.  The main points of the speech were

  • Committee will meet every Saturday.
  • Committee will meet regularly with Governor
  • Committee will recommend lawyers to help ex-pats with legal matters.
  • Committee will follow up all cases to ensure they are sorted.
  • Governor will have monthly meeting with the full ex-pat community
  • Office will be in the Tourist Information Cente
  • Ex-pats welcome to bring their problems, complaints and ideas to the office during working hours.
  • Web site to be set up for the Committee to disseminate information incl. important phone numbers.

You can listen to the full announcement here.

We then heard from Madam Nagua of the Guides Association and two ex-pats already on the committee (don’t remember their names) – Gen Hafas explained there will be 5 ex-pats elected.  The Governor suggested we elected the members there and then so names were taken of those from the community interested in being part of the committee.  There is to be a meeting every month so it will probably be made clear then who the remaining selected members are.  The rest of the meeting was taken up with hearing some really good and interesting suggestions from members of the community

  • Why are foreign residents only given 6 month visas instead of the 12 month as before?
  • Can anything be done to make it easier for ex-pats to get driving permits etc?
  • Would the Governorate not be able to help or contribute to establishing sporting facilities for children in Luxor and when will the public swimming pool be opened?
  • When will the Calesh people get the food being purchased with the 3 million provided by Min Tourism?
  • When will the EgyptAir international flights into Luxor resume?
  • Could there be more English speaking officers in the Tourism Police?
  • How about the Governorate laying on buses from Hurghada Airport to Luxor for tourists?
  • Could the next meeting be on the West Bank?

The suggestion for bringing tourists from Hurghada

Sound quality was not good on the night and with the trying to collect names for the committee it was difficult to hear and concentrate on the answers to various questions, so I won’t relate answers in case I relate wrongly.  The meeting seemed to end abruptly as the Governor announced he was leaving and he handed over to his associates.

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