Promoting Religious Tourism to Egypt

Sent On: 
Mon, 2019-05-20
Newsletter Number: 

A few days ago I was interviewed by al-Monitor about the opportunities for Holy Family tourism to Egypt. Egypt is a country with an extremely rich history. This includes church history with a unique tradition that is still very much alive, and which shows much about Christian day-to-day life in Egypt.


The journalist told me that Egyptians he had interviewed told him that facilities and many sites of the Holy Family are not great. That is true but this is not the major reason why it is difficult to promote visits to these locations. I have spoken with church representatives in the Netherlands and other countries and churches have fear to promote visits to locations of the Holy Family for security reasons. They read about infrequent attacks in Egypt as yesterday on a tourist bus with 25 South African tourists near the pyramids of Giza or attacks on churches or Coptic pilgrims in previous years and this makes them scared.


The attack yesterday concerned in an explosion near a fence and resulted in injuring at least 16 people. Three had to be taken to the hospital. It is not yet known who is behind the bombing, but this was definitely a terrorist attack.


The attack has been reported in international media and raised questions about the adequacy of Egyptian security.


We are seeing all around us that Egyptian security is making efforts to secure places. We currently have 11 students in our office and no one feels insecure. Terrorism attacks, unfortunately, can happen anywhere in the world. Caution is always good but if we become too fearful we won’t be able to leave our houses anymore.


We believe Egypt, with the exception of northern Sinai, is safe. We go out in the streets and meet friends. Egyptians are extremely friendly and hospitable.


Attacks such as the one of yesterday that aim at crippling Egypt’s tourism industry are criminal. Yesterday’s attack won’t deter us  from doing our work.


We were very pleased with Kenyan priest Father John Korir of the Comboni Fathers visiting our student interns today. We are working on building a Learning Center for marginalized students in which our student interns can participate. This is a truly exciting development.



On the photo Father John Korir, two staff members and 10 interns from Germany, France, Egypt, Belgium, Canadan, Brazil, India (2) and Nigeria. Very international!!


Cairo, May 20, 2019


Cornelis Hulsman,

Editor-in-chief Arab-West Report