Luxor governor defends demolitions

The Governor of Luxor Samir Farag said the city’s development is a work in progress, and that the government "will remove anything that stands in the face of development, even if it is a mosque or a church." He added, "we are working according to a development plan which will end in 2030, and no one will threaten me, or force me to leave the track, because I am like a train."

Speaking at a symposium hosted by the Heliopolis Lions Club chaired by Safia Metwally, he added, "No one can scare me. No one is more important than the government, and I will not be threatened by the media or the press."

He continued, "I demolished four mosques and no one uttered a word, but when I tried to demolish the house of a priest behind the church, the world was on fire. Some people claimed that the house belongs to the church, and they ask me how I am willing to demolish a church? I ask them why the Muslims did not refuse to demolish the four mosques?"
Farag insisted that he never makes decisions individually, and that all the people affected by the decisions are to be compensated appropriately. All the development works being carried out in Luxor are approved by a committee that is chaired by Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif, and filled with members from the Ministries of Culture, Housing, Investment, Irrigation, Administrative Development and Tourism. Faraq proclaimed, "Bring me one person from the people whose houses were demolished that has not been payed compensation."

He also revealed a security plan for Luxor, in which the city will be linked with electronic circuits and cameras that were imported from London recently, in order to maintain security and prevent terrorist attacks in the city. Female police will also begin working in schools for girls in the city.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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