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Opinion: Footnotes
Published in The Egyptian Gazette on 13 - 02 - 2012

CAIRO - May God help the Egyptian people, who are haunted by fears triggered by threats from no other than some of the nation's own children. It is all the more unfortunate that locally manufactured threats are much more serious and destructive than those planned by foreign agents and enemies.
Having been stabbed several times, the bleeding and exhausted Egyptian nation seems to be descending into the unknown. Without exaggeration one can identify locally manufactured threats and conspiracies as the prime danger facing the nation.
This is because the moment the nation recovers from a crisis, the next violent storm arrives, and the Egyptians find themselves confronting even more serious problems.
Only days after the nation was violently shaken by the gruesome massacre in Port Said and the systematic attacks on the Interior Ministry and security departments in several cities, a group of young people made an outrageous call for civil disobedience.
Egypt is desperately struggling to survive and cannot cope with such belligerent calls, nor can the nation's economy, which is declining catastrophically, withstand a general strike.
A series of crises manufactured by this group of young people gives rise to several nagging questions: why did these youngsters decide to abandon Tahrir Square and raise hostile calls with the sole purpose of ruining the nation and its future prospects?
For example, the local tourism industry became the prime victim of systematic campaigns against the nation and the Egyptian people. The tourism industry watches helplessly how its future hopes disintegrate.
Employers and employees in the tourism sector are warning that they are likely to go bankrupt any time soon; tourism projects, hotels, restaurants, bazaars, etc. will be closed and hundreds of thousands of employees laid off.
The last straw was the devilish call for civil disobedience. Bookings by tourists planning to visit Egypt in the summer and winter seasons this year have decline sharply. Charter flights have been grounded and an outrageous price war has broken out to the detriment of tourism revenues.
Even worse, calls warning that Egypt should be avoided have become the rule in tourist-exporting countries. Charter flights have shifted their destinations from Egypt to Israel, Turkey, Jordan, Greece and Tunisia.
Taking these tragic developments into consideration, the chairman of the Egyptian Tourism Federation, Elhami el-Zayat, and the heads of travel associations and chambers should call for an emergency meeting chaired by the Tourism Minister and notable tourism experts.
The meeting should examine the unprecedented crisis the local tourism is facing and how a way out could be found. It is time for the tourism sector to make its voice heard.
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