Aswan governorate launches tourism app for ‘the best winter resort in the world’

Aswan governorate launches tourism app for ‘the best winter resort in the world’
Boats sail in the Nile River in Aswan on the road to the touristic Nubia, south of Egypt, in 2015. The Egyptian Governorate of Aswan in Upper Egypt has rolled out a new app to serve tourists. (Reuters/File)
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Updated 23 September 2023
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Aswan governorate launches tourism app for ‘the best winter resort in the world’

Aswan governorate launches tourism app for ‘the best winter resort in the world’
  • Attia claimed that Aswan is “one of the best governorates in the field of tourism, and the best winter resort in the world”
  • The new app, he explained, allows tourists to access “all necessary information, such as tourist places, hotels, and hospitals”

CAIRO: The Egyptian Governorate of Aswan in Upper Egypt has rolled out a new app to serve tourists.
According to Aswan Gov. Major General Ashraf Attia, the application been well-received so far. “It has significantly contributed to facilitating (tourists’) trips, saving both time and effort,” he said in a video published by the Information and Decision Support Center of the Council of Ministers and on his official Facebook page.
Attia claimed that Aswan is “one of the best governorates in the field of tourism, and the best winter resort in the world.”
The new app, he explained, allows tourists to access “all necessary information, such as tourist places, hotels, and hospitals.”
He continued: “The reaction we have received from tourists who have downloaded the application has been overwhelmingly positive, particularly during meetings with tourists in floating or fixed hotels, or during tours. The program has achieved great success.”
Bassem Halaqa, the head of the Tourism Workers Syndicate, highlighted the assistance the application has provided to Russian tourists, who currently make up the majority of visitors to Egypt, saying it had “significantly eased navigation” around Aswan.
“It underscores the importance of Russian tourists in supporting and revitalizing the tourism sector due to the close geographical proximity between Russia and Egypt, the availability of economical flights, and balanced prices for the services they receive,” he said.
Halaqa noted that Russia is cold for most of the year, and Egypt serves as a “warm haven” for Russian tourists.
“They particularly enjoy Aswan and the beaches of the Red Sea in Hurghada or Sharm El-Sheikh,” he said. “Some (like) to take day trips to visit the antiquities in Aswan and Luxor or travel to Cairo and Giza.”
Halaqa said that proposals to allow closed residential buildings to be converted into hotels are currently under consideration at the Ministry of Tourism. The initiative will focus not only on luxury tourism, but on two- and three-star accommodation as well, he added.


Britain’s maritime agency reports possible Red Sea blast

Britain’s maritime agency reports possible Red Sea blast
Updated 11 sec ago
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Britain’s maritime agency reports possible Red Sea blast

Britain’s maritime agency reports possible Red Sea blast

RIYADH: Britain’s Maritime Trade Operations agency (UKMTO) on Sunday said that it has received reports of drone activity and a possible explosion in the Red Sea’s Bab Al-Mandab strait.
UKMTO said the drone activity originated from Yemen, and called on vessels in the vicinity to exercise caution.
Reuters wasn’t immediately able to confirm the reports.
The incident is the latest in a series of attacks in Middle Eastern waters since war broke out between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas on Oct. 7.
An Israeli-linked cargo ship was seized last month by the Houthi group, an ally of Iran which controls Yemen’s Red Sea coast. The group had previously fired ballistic missiles and armed drones at Israel, and vowed to target more Israeli vessels.
There was no immediate comment from the Houthis on Sunday’s incident.
Last week, a US Navy warship responded to a distress call from an Israeli-managed commercial tanker in the Gulf of Aden that had been seized by armed individuals.


Israeli raids claim hundreds of lives in Gaza, unrest in West Bank heightens

Israeli raids claim hundreds of lives in Gaza, unrest in West Bank heightens
Updated 2 min 50 sec ago
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Israeli raids claim hundreds of lives in Gaza, unrest in West Bank heightens

Israeli raids claim hundreds of lives in Gaza, unrest in West Bank heightens
  • The Gaza media office reported at least 700 people were killed by Israeli bombing overnight
  • Israeli settlers attacked two Palestinian villages in the West Bank killing one man

Israeli air raids on Rafah, Khan Younis and Nuseirat refugee camp killed hundreds of Palestinians, reports from the Gaza Strip on Sunday said, while Israeli settlers attacked two Palestinian villages in occupied West Bank.

Gaza

The Gaza media office reported at least 700 people were killed by Israeli bombing overnight. 

The Hamas-led interior ministry on Sunday said that Seven Palestinians were killed and several injured in an Israeli raid on a house east of Rafah city in southern Gaza. 

The Palestinian News Agency quoted local sources as saying warplanes bombed two homes in the Nuseirat refugee camp, killing at least 13 people. 

While Palestinian health officials reported that Israeli planes destroyed several houses in Al-Karara town near Khan Younis that killed several others. 

The southern part of Gaza, including Khan Younis, is where hundreds of thousands of people displaced from the north of the enclave had sought refuge. 

On Sunday morning, the Israeli military’ posted a statement on X ordering Palestinians the Gaza Strip to immediately evacuate half a dozen areas in and around Khan Younis. 

The military’s Arabic-language spokesman Avichay Adraee instructed them to move to what he described as “well-known IDP (internally displaced person) shelters” west of the city, including south toward Rafah, and included a map highlighting the areas. 

With renewed fighting stretching into a third day, residents feared the air and artillery bombardment was just the prelude to an Israeli ground operation in the southern strip that would pen them into a shrinking area and possibly try to push them across into Egypt. 

‘Safe zones’  

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Saturday that Israel was coordinating with the US and international organizations to define “safe areas” for Gaza civilians. 

But UN officials and people in Gaza say it is difficult to heed Israeli evacuation orders in real time because of patchy Internet access and no regular supply of electricity amid Israel’s military offensive. 

West bank  

Israeli settlers who attacked two Palestinian villages in the occupied West Bank late on Saturday, killed one man and torching a car, Palestinian authorities said. 
The Palestinian ambulance service said a 38-year-old man in the town of Qarawat Bani Hassan, in the northern West Bank, was shot in the chest and died as residents confronted settlers and Israeli soldiers. 
The Israeli military said soldiers arrived at the scene and used riot dispersal means and live fire to break up the confrontation between residents and settlers. It said Palestinians shot fireworks in response and an Israeli and four Palestinians were injured. The incident was being examined and had been handed over to police, it said. 
In another incident, Wajih Al-Qat, head of the local council of the village of Madama near the northern West Bank city of Nablus, said a group of about 15 settlers burned the car and broke the windows of a house with stones. 

A member of the Israeli border police runs during a raid at the Balata camp for Palestinian refugees, east of Nablus in the occupied West Bank on November 23, 2023. (AFP)

 


US vice president calls for restraint as Israel strikes southern Gaza

US vice president calls for restraint as Israel strikes southern Gaza
Updated 03 December 2023
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US vice president calls for restraint as Israel strikes southern Gaza

US vice president calls for restraint as Israel strikes southern Gaza
  • Kamala Harris says Israel has a right to defend itself but must respect international, humanitarian law
  • King Abdullah stresses the need for the US to play a leading role in pushing for peace in Palestine

GAZA/CAIRO: US Vice President Kamala Harris said too many innocent Palestinians had been killed in Gaza as Israeli war planes and artillery bombarded the enclave on Saturday following the collapse of a truce with Hamas militants.
Speaking in Dubai, Harris said Israel had a right to defend itself, but international and humanitarian law must be respected and “too many innocent Palestinians have been killed.”
“Frankly, the scale of civilian suffering, and the images and videos coming from Gaza, are devastating,” Harris told reporters.
On the sidelines of COP28, Jordan’s King Abdullah II and the US Vice President met in Dubai, reported the Jordan News Agency.
King Abdullah stressed the need for the US to play a leading role in pushing for a political horizon for the Palestinian issue to reach peace on the basis of the two-state solution, during his meeting with Harris.
The King called for an immediate cease-fire in Gaza and protecting civilians, warning of the repercussions of the continued war on international peace and security, including further violence and conflict that could plunge the entire region into a catastrophe.
The two sides reaffirmed their rejection of any attempts of forced displacement of the Palestinians internally or outside Gaza, or attempts to re-occupy any parts of the Strip, reported Petra.
King Abdullah also stressed the importance of maintaining the uninterrupted delivery of sufficient aid, including food, water, fuel, and electricity, without any impediments, warning against the targeting of hospitals and hindering the delivery of medical supplies.
Meanwhile, Harris thanked King Abdullah for his continued leadership in addressing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and for Jordan’s leadership in providing vital humanitarian assistance to Gaza, including its three airdrops of medical supplies to the field hospital that it has established in Gaza.
She discussed the importance of the recent pause in the fighting between Israel and Hamas, and the Biden-Harris administration’s commitment to supporting efforts to reach a new deal. She also discussed the US ideas for post-conflict planning in Gaza, including efforts on reconstruction, security, and governance.
The US vice president emphasized that these efforts can only succeed if they are pursued in the context of a clear political horizon for the Palestinian people, toward a state of their own led by a revitalized Palestinian Authority and backed by significant support from the international community and the countries of the region.
In a news conference in Tel Aviv, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said later on Saturday that Israel was continuing to work in coordination with the US and international organizations to define “safe areas” for Gaza civilians.
“This is important because we have no desire to harm the population,” Netanyahu said. “We have a very strong desire to hurt Hamas.”
Harris also sketched out a US vision for post-conflict Gaza, saying the international community must support recovery and Palestinian security forces must be strengthened.
“We want to see a unified Gaza and West Bank under the Palestinian Authority, and Palestinian voices and aspirations must be at the center of this work,” she said, adding that Hamas must no longer run Gaza.
The Western-backed Palestinian Authority governs parts of the occupied West Bank. Hamas seized control of Gaza in 2007 from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ mainstream Fatah party and has ruled the enclave ever since.

* With Reuters 


Israeli strike destroys prestige Qatar-funded Gaza complex

Israeli strike destroys prestige Qatar-funded Gaza complex
Updated 03 December 2023
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Israeli strike destroys prestige Qatar-funded Gaza complex

Israeli strike destroys prestige Qatar-funded Gaza complex
  • The Gaza health ministry said at least 193 Palestinians had been killed since the truce ended on Friday, adding to the more than 15,000 Palestinian dead since the start of the war
  • Israel said it had recalled a team from Qatar, host of indirect negotiations with Hamas, accusing the Palestinian faction of reneging on a deal to free all the women and children it was holding

KHAN YUNIS, Palestinian Territories: At almost exactly the same time Israeli negotiators pulled out of deadlocked truce talks in Qatar on Saturday, Israeli jets sent a prestige Doha-funded housing development in the Gaza Strip up in smoke.
Hamad City is named for the former emir of the Gulf petro-state, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, who laid the foundation stone on a visit 11 years ago.
Inaugurated in 2016, it was still among the newest projects in the Gaza Strip, the housing complex in the city of Khan Yunis boasting an impressive mosque, shops and gardens.
The first flats — more than 1,000 of them — were provided to Palestinians whose homes were destroyed in the war between Israel and Hamas two years earlier.
On Saturday it happened again, a day after a Qatar-brokered pause in the current war between Israel and Hamas expired.
First their phones pinged around noon with an “immediate” evacuation order SMS sent by the Israeli army, which says the system is aimed at minimizing civilian casualties.
Around an hour later, five Israeli air strikes rained down on the neighborhood in the space of just two minutes.
Bombs slammed into the pale apartment blocks one by one, reducing them largely to rubble and sending a huge pall of black smoke into the sky, as people fled and cries of ‘help!’ and ‘ambulance!’ rang out.
“At least we got through it,” 26-year-old Nader Abu Warda told AFP, amazed he was still alive.

The Israeli military has divided the Gaza Strip into 2,300 “blocs” and is now sending SMS messages to residents telling them to leave before they launch the strikes which they say will “eliminate Hamas.”
Around 1,200 people, mostly civilians, died in the Islamist movement’s October 7 assault on southern Israel and some 240 were taken hostage, according to Israeli authorities.
The Hamas-led Gaza Strip government says Israel’s campaign has killed more than 15,000 people, also mostly civilians, since it was launched eight weeks ago.
The United Nations humanitarian agency, OCHA, has highlighted that the warning messages do not indicate where the recipients should go.
Ibrahim Al-Jamal, a civil servant in his 40s, said he does not have any “Internet, any electricity or even a radio to receive information” and that he has “never seen this map” setting out the different blocs.
“Many people in Gaza have never heard of it and it wouldn’t matter anyway as the bombings are taking place everywhere,” he said.
Humanitarian bodies say the most vulnerable in Gaza are the estimated 1.7 million displaced people.
Many of them do not have access to phones and have to rely on warning leaflets dropped by planes, not visible from inside an apartment.

According to the Gaza Strip’s Civil Defense emergency and rescue organization, in recent weeks “hundreds of displaced families” had been taking refuge in 3,000 apartments at Hamad City.
Mohammed Foura, 21, already displaced once from Gaza City, told AFP that half an hour before the strike he had been warned by other residents to flee.
They shouted “get out, get out,” he said, as families piled their belongings into cars or carried them away in enormous bundles.
Nader Abu Warda fled Jabalia, near Gaza City, at the start of the war and no longer knows which way to go or what to do.
He, his wife and three children had been staying in a friend’s apartment in the complex.
“They told us ‘Gaza City is a war zone’, now it’s Khan Yunis,” he said. “Yesterday, they were saying ‘evacuate the east of Khan Yunis’. Today, they say ‘evacuate the west’,” he added, visibly exasperated.
“Where are we going now, into the sea? Where are we going to put our children to bed?“

 


UAE leader meets US vice president, other leaders on sidelines of COP28 in Dubai

UAE leader meets US vice president, other leaders on sidelines of COP28 in Dubai
Updated 03 December 2023
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UAE leader meets US vice president, other leaders on sidelines of COP28 in Dubai

UAE leader meets US vice president, other leaders on sidelines of COP28 in Dubai
  • Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Kamala Harris discuss areas of cooperation
  • Sheikh also meets leaders of Italy, Poland, Albania

LONDON: UAE President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed held talks with US Vice President Kamala Harris on Saturday on the sidelines of COP28 in Dubai, state news agency WAM reported.

During the meeting, the officials stressed the importance of the conference in fostering cooperation to combat climate change worldwide and highlighted their countries’ collaborations on renewable energy and sustainable development.

The meeting also looked at the wider US-UAE relationship and explored ways to advance ties in various fields. A number of regional and international issues of mutual interest were also discussed, including the latest developments in the Palestinian territories.

“The importance of working toward a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip, protecting civilians, providing secure channels to deliver humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza without obstruction, preventing their displacement and identifying a clear political horizon based on the two-state solution to achieve regional stability and peace were also highlighted,” the WAM report said.

Sheikh Mohammed also held individual meetings with Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, Polish President Andrzej Duda and Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama.

The leaders discussed ways to increase cooperation between their respective nations as well as regional and international issues of mutual interest.

Sheikh Mohammed also stressed the need for collective action to achieve practical results with regard to tackling climate change.

The heads of several foreign delegations commended the UAE president’s initiative, launched at COP28, to create a $30 billion fund to tackle the funding gap in global climate action.