CAIRO: Minister of Antiquities Mohamed Ibrahim called on the development of the security system in and around the Giza pyramids, reported al-Ahram Friday.
In a surprise Friday inspection tour the pyramids, Ibrahim called on the Interior Ministry to upgrade the site’s security by installing more surveillance cameras to command a view of the antiquities’ storehouses along with entrances and exits of the site.
“I call on the tourism police dept. to broaden the security range around Giza Pyramids and to clear from it street vendors and unlicensed tour guides,” said Ibrahim, who has been conducting several inspection tours to Cairo’s various archaeological sites in the past two months.
He also called on the stakeholders to lay asphalt and improve the condition of the site’s inner roads linking between the pyramids.
“The road going from the Great Pyramid up to the third pyramid has been in a horrible condition since the halt of the area’s development project initiated by former Minister of Antiquities Zahi Hawwas in 2011,” said Mahmoud Fares, a tour bus driver told The Cairo Post.
Ibrahim also visited the Sphinx area and ordered the installment of signboards that contain historical background about the Sphinx and the adjacent Valley Temple of Pharaoh Chephren.
Most archaeological sites throughout Egypt, particularly Giza Pyramids, have been badly affected by the security lapse followed the January 25 Revolution, freelance tour guide Hamed Moustafa told The Cairo Post.
“Vendors, who are trying to sell the tourists postcards and souvenirs, are being more aggressive to their clients day after day,” said Moustafa, who confirmed that many of his guests were either sexually harassed or forced to buy souvenirs during their tour at the Giza pyramids.
Donna Huget, a Canadian tour operator that used to visit Egypt with tourist groups before 25 January Revolution told The Cairo Post that vendors in archaeological sites, except for those who work in Giza Pyramids, have been friendly and polite while dealing with her clients.
“Egyptians are friendly. I and my guests understand that vendors are working hard to earn a living and this happens all over the world but some vendors at Giza Pyramids seem to be aggressive persistent in selling their stuff,” said Huget who expressed her gratitude to the efforts of the tourism policemen.
“My tours to Egypt stopped three years ago but I am confident that they will resume once the ongoing security conditions are improved,” Huget added.
Egypt received around 2 million tourists in the first three months of 2014, a 30 percent drop on the same period the previous year, according to a Tourism Ministry official statement in April.