“The president says you are not allowed to remove anyone without providing him with an alternative he agrees to,” said XXXXXXX, head of the local council for the governate of XXXXXX. “It is impossible. It is against our humanity to force people out.”
But others see a more pragmatic explanation for the government’s approach. “The bureaucracy is heartless and usually heavy-handed unless it will cause bad publicity abroad or wide-scale popular outbreak of violence or rioting,”
Sounds sure like it though.
The Egyptian authorities have evicted hundreds of peasants from this village in southern Egypt because their mud brick houses, which have sat atop some of the world’s most treasured and ancient tombs for centuries, were leaking sewage onto priceless antiquities.
Egypt, trying to avoid unrest, offered houses in New Gurna to peasants living atop ancient tombs, but 80 families are holding out for a better deal.
The families have been resettled nearby in an Egyptian version of Levittown with running water and telephones. But 80 families are holding out, saying they want more from a government so far reluctant to use brute force.