Cafeteria's demolished in Ramla, West Bank?

What is it like to live in Luxor? Share your experiences of Luxor's culture.

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Re: Cafeteria's demolished in Ramla, West Bank?

Post by Bombay »

newcastle wrote:Some time ago this forum (and others) contained allegations of villas and apartments being constructed on the West Bank either "illegally" or with permissions acquired "improperly".

Any sign of demolitions of residential buildings?
2.5 m EGP Villa on way into Tiba apparently demolished.

All shops etc at the Luxor Hotel are being evicted or in process of.



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Re: Cafeteria's demolished in Ramla, West Bank?

Post by Major Thom »

When you mean "Big Fish" Newc do you mean businee's built on the Nile Islands? Because it is supposed to be illegal to build on Islands.

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Re: Cafeteria's demolished in Ramla, West Bank?

Post by A-Four »

Major Thom wrote:When you mean "Big Fish" Newc do you mean businee's built on the Nile Islands? Because it is supposed to be illegal to build on Islands.
Well, I have an idea what you mean about the Islands, not just in Luxor but also Asswan, though regarding the rich and powerful, I do know of a few, one of which owns a hotel not a million miles from the Lotus Hotel in Luxor, who is still eating 'Hubble pie' and paying the price for it.

Even though I am not in Luxor these days, it's still wonderful to have friends in what some would call low places. :wi .

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Re: Cafeteria's demolished in Ramla, West Bank?

Post by Who2 »

The government knocked our camp Al Salam down twice. We rebuilt it better every time.
Just wait until they knock all those houses down for the new corniche.
That'll put the cat amongst the pigeons..... 8)
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Re: Cafeteria's demolished in Ramla, West Bank?

Post by Bombay »

Who2 wrote:The government knocked our camp Al Salam down twice. We rebuilt it better every time.
Just wait until they knock all those houses down for the new corniche.
That'll put the cat amongst the pigeons..... 8)
Yes a lot of people should breath a sigh of relief over the years I have seen a number of properties demolished along the riverbank from the ferry through Ramila. There are supposed to be no buildings within 50 meters of the river.

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Re: Cafeteria's demolished in Ramla, West Bank?

Post by carrie »

Well it's like a war zone down there, houses have been demolished all the coffee shops gone, trees uprooted (how dare they grow there). People are locking themselves in their homes but have been told that if they are in the building or not they are coming down.
Protests being made that the gov. has provided them with water meters and electric meters charged for them, why if the buildings were illegal? Word is they are moving inland soon. Soon as my back is turned everything starts to kick off, I came across on the ferry yesterday and just didn't recognize the west bank.

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Re: Cafeteria's demolished in Ramla, West Bank?

Post by Zooropa »

Perhaps i havent been paying attention Carry but roughly whereabouts do you live - not on the west bank as i thought/presumed?

Further out?

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Re: Cafeteria's demolished in Ramla, West Bank?

Post by carrie »

Yes I do live on the west bank, I was coming from the east on the ferry and could see the ramla area and it looked bleak, had a walk down later to be faced with devastation. I live not far from the first benzine garage that you come to from the ferry on the left hand side.

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Re: Cafeteria's demolished in Ramla, West Bank?

Post by Hafiz »

Others will probably know better but there is a long section in the PDF (on line) of the Theban Mapping Project which sets out some of the legal issues about the west bank.

Thebes was designated a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 1979, but none of Unesco’s
documents correctly defined its boundaries. They were supposed to have included both the East Bank temples of Karnak and Luxor and the West Bank “necropolis, funerary temples, royal palaces, and a village of craftsmen and artists.” SCA officials have been no more precise about its East Bank borders, but they are more precise about its limits on the West Bank. They argue that the WorldHeritage Site begins at the Nile, then extends west through agricultural land into the desert beyond the Valley of the Kings. The northern boundary includes the archaeological zone of al-Tarif; the southern, Malkata and Birkat Habu.

.....Indeed, a law defining the River Nile as the eastern boundary of the site was passed by Egypt’s National Assembly in 1983. It was based upon official amlak (cadastral) surveys of the area. This was reaffirmed in 2005 by the Luxor City Council, when it gave orders to demolish new construction along the banks of the Nile. The reasons cited were that such construction was unsightly, detrimental to the landscape, illegally built on government land, and in violation of antiquities laws. In 1980, President Sadat decreed the West Bank to be a Cultural Heritage Site, and prohibited any building activity that encroached upon it or altered its character. In 2004, President Mubarak reaffirmed the 1980 decree, and further declared that SCA-owned lands should be surrounded by a 2km-wide “buffer zone” in which only limited building activity would be permitted. http://www.thebanmappingproject.com/abo ... VM_CH1.pdf

There is also a map at page 6 which explains some of this. The map is unclear to me.

I think this raises more issues than it answers.

There must have been valid traditional titles from the 19th century and more modern titles from after 1952 when the large farms were broken up.

Many of those titles would predate the 1983 law.

The constitution protects seizure without compensation so therefore the 1983 legislation has to be read as subject to that right of compensation. It used to be article 6 of the 2011 constitutional declaration and I think its in the new one somewhere.

Its also possible that a valid pre-1983 title passed in sale after that date might also, on general principle, have claims to compensation.

Its all a bit academic because the government never looses in the courts, except when its trying to jail corrupt people and, anyway, the courts are for all purposes suspended at the moment.

But Thebes isn’t the Red Sea Coast it has been traditionally owned for a long time and titles, in some form or other, must exits to every inch of what is the irrigated area. I think that its very unlikely there was very much government land on the west bank and a look at some of the maps of the General Survey of Egypt 1920 (?) there is also a US 1940 set on maps of all Egypt. From memory some of the older maps give the names of the skeik owners. When these farms were broken up after 1952 some records must have been kept.

Of course I accept that there has been a lot of informal activity and some outright gangsterism.

As regards Farag's activities on the east bank the older houses on the Nile must have had valid traditional titles going back to the Kedeive but whether anyone would take any notice of that is another matter.

The Military lives or dies on its maps so you would think that the government would have a good collection of them.

In general land and town planning has been one of the weakest aspects of government since 1952 and its been pretty much open slather and dog eat dog with little overall control except for the occasional megalomaniac governor with Pharonic delusions.

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Re: Cafeteria's demolished in Ramla, West Bank?

Post by Bombay »

There is the plan that was developed in the USA which was to take 25 years where all Luxor was to be a museum site with most buildings demolished and the population moved to new developments which Tiba and New Gourna are part of.

The Avenue of the Sphinxes was part of this with all the West bank from the River to Habu out past the Valley of the Kings was to be closed in with no residential properties within the area or vehicles. Transport was via the disneyesque trains such as at VOK nowadays.

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Re: Cafeteria's demolished in Ramla, West Bank?

Post by newcastle »

Egypt's Plans for Luxor: Vegas on the Nile?
By Abigail Hauslohner / Luxor Thursday, Oct. 21, 2010

Luxor has long been Egypt's prize possession. It was here that the ancient Egyptians at one time built their capital of Thebes; where Pharoahs dedicated massive temples to their gods; and where Howard Carter unearthed the world-famous boy King, Tutankhamen, in his tomb full of riches in 1922. "It has been one of the biggest and most famous tourist attractions for at least 200 years."says Francesco Bandarin, the head of the World Heritage Center at UNESCO. Adds Mansour Boraik, who oversees Upper Egypt for for the country's Supreme Council of Antiquities, "30% of world monuments lie in Luxor, and 70% of the monuments in Egypt are in Luxor."

In an effort to preserve the riches — and beef up the number of tourists they attract — local authorities have been pressing an ambitious project to reinvent and revive Luxor; rehabilitating tombs, and expanding the city's tourist infrastructure at a dizzying pace to the tune of hundreds of millions of U.S. dollars. Egyptian authorities are in the process of excavating an ancient "Avenue of the Sphinxes," a 2.7 kilometer pathway once lined with the human-headed lion statues from the pharaonic past; after it has been resurrected, the avenue will link the Luxor Temple on one end to the colossal Karnak temple on the other. The plan is to turn the city into an open air museum by the year 2030. "Luxor needs a pioneer project like this to preserve it for the new generation," says Boraik of the ongoing work.

(From TIME's Archives: The bitter aftermath of the discovery of King Tut's tomb.)
However, all this construction may be at the expense of the current generation of Egyptians living in Luxor. On the project's agenda is the creation of protective "buffer zones" between local communities and the ancient relics. That is, as some critics suggest, keeping the natives away from the treasures. To turn Luxor into a modern city of five-star hotels and wide pedestrian avenues, the authorities want to push back the crowded slums and mismatched buildings that arose in recent decades. The American consulting firm Abt Associates, which came up with the master plan, describes the eventual results as "reclaimed lands." Luxor residents say it is more likely to be the fruit of forced evictions.

"They're sending us to the desert," says Leila Mohammed Ahmed el-Tayyib, whose house is one of hundreds being demolished to widen the street that will run alongside the Avenue of the Sphinxes. "We want TV cameras to come and film this. It's like Palestine here," she says, gesturing to the bulldozers. Many of Luxor's residents have watched the transformation with disgust. "Ninety percent of the people here are angry, but there is nothing they can do," says Abu Quzaifa, a shopkeeper. Much of the anger lately has swirled around the Avenue of the Sphinxes, where the mass displacement is currently focused. One British archaeologist, who has worked in Luxor for more than a decade, says Luxor's governor Samir Farag wants to move the city back to the pharaonic period. "Nothing else can exist."

The government says each family they move is compensated with either 75,000 Egyptian Pounds (about $13,000) or a brand new apartment. But residents say they're often given far less — or nothing at all. "Half of the house is gone," says Fatima Abbas, 50, who lives in a partially collapsed shack on the edge of the construction zone. "We were sleeping when they did this and we woke up when it collapsed on part of our house. Our cow died. The refrigerator and furniture were destroyed," she says. "They offered us 15,000 LE to leave. Where? We don't know."

A polished socialite with gray-blue eyes and a politician's smile, Samir Farag is not shy to acknowledge his opposition. "It was very difficult to convince the people that this is a master plan is for the sake of them," says the former chairman of the Cairo Opera House. "Everybody thinks about himself, what the benefit is for himself." Indeed, Farag is the man who resurrected the development plans, which Abt Associates had first presented in 1999 only to see the project languish for six years.

In the five years since Farag took office, the rapid pace of change has shaken this city to the core. Authorities have widened streets, and cleared out the old souk, adding a new design, public toilets and new cafes. The government knocked down homes and paved a huge piazza in front of Karnak Temple, pushing back the locals it claimed were encroaching. The Abt report calls for 6,600 new hotel rooms, and officials say that 18 new hotels are already under construction, including the sprawling 34,000-square-meter Luxor Four Seasons, on the bank of the Nile. The McDonalds has a spectacular view of the 3,300-year-old Luxor Temple, and the colonial-era Winter Palace Hotel nearby is getting a heavy-duty facelift that will expand the hotel right up to the lip of the temple.

To some, Farag is a visionary who has done great things for a developing world town with a lion's share of archaeological riches. "Luxor, in my view, is very well managed," says Bandarin, the UNESCO World Heritage head. "This is a place where 10 years ago, the situation was very bad, physically. Now everything is full of flowers." To others, however, the new Luxor seems more Vegas than Egypt. The original plan, says the British archaeologist, "was dismissed by the international community at the time as a pile of rubbish. Basically what they were doing was the investment side of it: how money could be made from Luxor."

Worse, some critics complain that the dream of a recreated pharaonic Luxor actually is potentially destructive to the antiquities still beneath the surface. Many scholars are angry about the bulldozers and backhoes at work at construction sites — violations of modern archaeological standards — and by what they view as complete disregard to any cultural heritage that isn't from the age of the pharaohs. In 2007, the village of Gurna on the west bank of the Nile was demolished and its residents relocated, due to what authorities said was a damaging proximity to ancient tombs. In the process, Egyptian authorities hastily destroyed a unique village culture that had existed in the hills around the tombs for more than a century, says one Egyptologist. Now located further from the tourist zone, residents of the New Gurna complain of cramped housing and few job opportunities.

And then there is the question of the spectacular Avenue of the Sphinxes. Some experts say that many of the sphinxes were destroyed over the millennia, hacked to pieces or harvested for stone by the civilizations that followed the Pharaohs. "[Egyptian authorities] were told that by every archaeologist and Egyptologist: that if they found anything, it was going to be fragmentary," says the British archaeologist. The plan moved forward anyway." Says one Egyptologist: "There's nothing there."

Some locals question whether the enterprise makes economic sense. How can Egyptians benefit from all these projects, residents ask, when package tourists stay increasingly cloistered in their boats and hotels, and locals eager to make a living are being quite literally pushed out of town. "When you fly in now, there's this huge grid next to the airport of streets and electricity and lights but no houses," says the British archaeologist. "And that's where they want Luxor people to go. To live in this shithole in the desert, in the undying heat."

Meanwhile, on the west bank of the Nile, where the prized Valley of the Kings sits, thick bushes of pink flowers along the roadways cannot completely obscure the mud-brick poverty and trash-filled irrigation canals of the villagers who say they have been cut out of the governor's plan for prosperity. "Samir Farag says, 'Oh, the streets are wider now, it's better,'" scoffs one shopkeeper, who declined to be named for fear of the authorities. "All these are lies. Tourism is going down and the hotels are empty."

In the end, many with a stake in Egypt's most celebrated city are wondering what the new version of Luxor is going to look like. Some see a major success; some predict Disneyland; others see a sick joke. Says the Egyptologist: "I think it will be very shiny."

http://content.time.com/time/world/arti ... 94,00.html

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Re: Cafeteria's demolished in Ramla, West Bank?

Post by carrie »

I remember Stan and I making a visit to Samir Farag, we were given a CD which explained the plans for Luxor up until 2031, it did include plans to move all the Egyptians out of Luxor to make it an open air museum. I am sure the funding came from UNESCO, some of the plans have been implemented, the knocking down of properties on Station Street and the widening of the road, giving a view of Luxor Temple from the train station, extending the corniche up to Karnak, not
yet finished and now abandoned seemingly.
The Avenue of the Sphinx, well we all know what happened to that.
Shift all the people out to Tiba.
Perhaps Luxor will not only be empty of tourists but Egyptians too.

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Re: Cafeteria's demolished in Ramla, West Bank?

Post by HEPZIBAH »

I remember all those large ideas and the discussions we all would have at the time. I remember I envisioned Luxor as becoming a bit space age with huge domes over the whole of it - east and west together - climate controlled a bit like the Eden project in Cornwall but on a much larger scale.

All that seemed to happen was the badly handled demolition of hundreds of homes both sides of the river with inadequate or no replacement homes.
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Re: Cafeteria's demolished in Ramla, West Bank?

Post by newcastle »

HEPZIBAH wrote:I remember all those large ideas and the discussions we all would have at the time. I remember I envisioned Luxor as becoming a bit space age with huge domes over the whole of it - east and west together - climate controlled a bit like the Eden project in Cornwall but on a much larger scale.

All that seemed to happen was the badly handled demolition of hundreds of homes both sides of the river with inadequate or no replacement homes.
I suspect ....maybe I'm wrong.....that the 2011 revolution had something to do with it all going tits up :tk

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Re: Cafeteria's demolished in Ramla, West Bank?

Post by DJKeefy »

Many Videos on the internet showing the government carrying out Sisi orders to destroy all illegal buildings on Government land. So it looks like they are carrying this order through for once.

Not sure if this is Alex or Hurghada
phpBB [video]


Dangerous way to pull down a building :sd
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Re: Cafeteria's demolished in Ramla, West Bank?

Post by Bombay »

DJKeefy wrote:Many Videos on the internet showing the government carrying out Sisi orders to destroy all illegal buildings on Government land. So it looks like they are carrying this order through for once.

Not sure if this is Alex or Hurghada
phpBB [video]


Dangerous way to pull down a building :sd


Homes Under The Jack-Hammer :)

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Re: Cafeteria's demolished in Ramla, West Bank?

Post by Zooropa »

Usual Egyptian safety standards apply i see.

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Re: Cafeteria's demolished in Ramla, West Bank?

Post by Dusak »

Wow, never seen the price of an apartment drop so quickly.
Life is your's to do with as you wish- do not let other's try to control it for you. Count Dusak- 1345.

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Re: Cafeteria's demolished in Ramla, West Bank?

Post by Hafiz »

Bombay is right a US company abt was hired (as usual it had no relevant skills or experience) at great cost to develop a long range plan which I think included moving a fair bit of the city south to Tod/Tud. Some of it got done.

The Tod/Toad tourist development plan was part of his plan. http://www.abtassociates.com/reports/20 ... _46568.pdf at page 15 for the Tod ‘idea’

A new residential area with 46 x 5-7 story apartment blocks and hundreds of villas surrounded by dust and stones seems to have been built about 12-16 k's south of the city a k or so inland on the desert although Farag promised at the time that it would be built ‘(at) locations which takes into account the presence of green spaces and parks to be an outlet for residents of those units”.

What also got built there was a mega 1200 bed International Youth Hostel which might be the subject of another post if anyone is interested.

As it turned out it was way out of the town, little transport and local infrastructure, set way back from the river with no views – it must have been visionary thinking overcoming reality. In reality its hot dry and treeless, just like the forecourt of the Luxor temple and the Corniche.

Also in the 'good old days' he was more forthcoming and said he was going to build 20,000 tourist bedrooms in this Tod area, spend $US500 million on a marina as part of a total $US1 billion redevelopment program. Wonder how much got spent? http://today.almasryalyoum.com/article2 ... eID=230798

There were even plans for an Olympic stadium, but as many know this ended up in criminal charges. Legal charges against Farag seem to have been ‘inconclusive’. http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent ... d-in-.aspx although his co-accused PM Nazif was convicted at the time of numerous frauds but more recently acquitted of all. http://www.madamasr.com/en/2015/07/22/n ... lion-fine/

Where the money came from I'm not sure. Can't find much international money mentioned but there were a number of very distinguished excellencies, who subsequently left the country, who seem to have made some well timed strategic acquisitions.

Like much is was only half done, probably not a great idea to begin with and ordinary people ended up paying a price and probably footing the bill. Typical top down command and control decision making that has made Egypt what it is today. Also its a thinking which says build the hotels and the tourists will come - sort of supply side thinking gone mad.

Was there ever, even in the boom times a major shortage of rooms and isn't Luxor just a 6 month destination with a 3 month peak? Why overbuild on fixed assets?

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Re: Cafeteria's demolished in Ramla, West Bank?

Post by Miss scarlett »

There is a fundraiser on Gofundme for the coffee shops and restaurants that were bulldozed. They are trying to raise £1000 to help the poor owners who have lost their businesses. They believe these businesses have been demolished to make way for a new concrete tourist attraction.......... I presume the monies will be shared out equally between all the aggrieved owners.

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