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Nazlet El-Samman : People Fear displacement as simple as that

On Monday, clashes erupted in Giza’s Nazlet El-Samman area as security forces continued its campaign to evict and demolish buildings built illegal blocks away from Egypt’s pyramids plateau.

According to news reports, not less than 20 young men who work mostly as tourists guide in the area were arrested while protesting.
The locals say that they were protesting peacefully chanting “Peacefully , peacefully” when the security forces fired tear gas grenades and arrested some of them.
Sources in the security forces say that they fired tear gas grenades when the locals or the protesters hurled rocks at them first.

On Wednesday, 18 arrested locals were ordered to be detained 15 days pending investigations for “resisting authorities, illegal assembly and injuring a police sergeant”
The security forces came to continue an eviction and demolishment order of those buildings built illegally started four days earlier.

Things escalated to reach this confrontation from five days ago when Al-Ahram Daily published a report showing photos of buildings built illegally blocks away from Egypt’s pyramids plateau.
A photo of those buildings built illegally
near the great pyramid 


Those buildings were said to be built in a direct violation of the 1982-law regulating the protection of monuments and antiquities in Egypt.
That law prohibits the construction in the premises of a monumental location.

Exactly there were reportedly four buildings built illegally in Zone “A” which is considered a prohibited area.
Three buildings were under construction and were demolished in the past couple of days.
The building that was demolished on Monday was 3-stars Bed and Breakfast motel.
Of course, we must wonder how that motel operated successfully under the eyes of the authorities and got its license from the ministry of tourism when it was built in a direct violation to the law in a prohibited area.

Updated: The locals say that those buildings were built legally on the land they owned according to legal contracts !!!!!!!
Same goes to all the shops and buildings built and operating in that area.

I checked its page on Trip Advisor and Booking.com and I found out that it was very successful in its degree giving tourists from around the globe an opportunity to stay in place few meters away from the only remaining original world wonder “The great pyramids” for a very cheap price.
Here is a video showing the protest being dispersed by tear gas grenades.



Scary and stupidly enough I saw a video for security forces telling the hotel staff to evict the tourists from that hotel or motel circulating online.

Now the real reason why the locals were protesting in Nazlet El-Samman is the fear to be forcibly displaced for sake of urban development plans by the government.
Nazlet Al-Samman people are afraid of being evicted and forced to leave the area just like the people of Maspero Triangle.

There are plans to “renovate” and “upgrade” the area but just like in “Al-Waraq” Island, the people in Nazlet Al-Samman do not know what those plans are and what the intentions of the government towards them and most importantly they do not want to leave their village.

Giza governor denied that there were plans to displace the locals or demolish their houses.

There is news here and then that Nazlet Al-Samman people will have to leave the place because of the mega-plans to renovate the whole pyramids plateau area especially before the upcoming inauguration of the New Mega Grand Egyptian Museum “GEM”.

Following the sex photos over the pyramids of that Danish photographer and his girlfriend in December, the Egyptian government decided to assign the management of the Pyramids plateau to Orascom.
Owned by the famous Sawiris family, the company will start working next 29 January 2019 according to Naguib Sawiris himself on Twitter.

I have not found anything online concerning the plans of Orascom regarding Nazlet El-Samman or whether it is included in the plans in the first place.

There is no mention so far about any Emirati investments in the project or Pyramids plateau management officially as it has been claimed.
Rumors spread like fire online that the government would sell the area of Nazlet El-Samman to Emirati investors in the past 72 hours.
There have been rumors in the past that an Emirati company would manage the Pyramids plateau area but the government has always denied it.

Needless to say, UAE is the new Qatar when it comes to the rumors like that.

The mainstream media is ignoring the pleas of the Nazlet El-Samman’s people to the government and the President not to be displaced and to include them in any discussion about the future of the area.
The mainstream media either is ignoring the whole matter or focusing and stressing that the people in Nazlet El-Samman were breaking the law and harassing tourists…etc.

Publicly Nazlet El-Samman and its people got a bad reputation for two reasons Egypt unfortunately.

The first reason is that there is an unfortunate reputation that the people of Nazlet El-Samman are involved in the ancient Egyptian antiquities illegal excavation and trafficking.

There have been people from Nazlet El-Samman who have been involved in those actions indeed but it is unfair to stain the whole community technically speaking nor it is fair to punish them collectively because some people were searching for a quick way to become rich.

In the past few hours , I have found several Pro-regime Facebook pages and Twitter accounts repeating and spreading claims that the government started “this eviction campaign” because there were people there involved in illegal antiquities excavation and trafficking.

The second reason is that during the 25 January revolution, it was associated with the “Battle of the Camel” on 2 February 2011 in Tahrir square.
On that unforgettable day, Mubarak regime figures including influential NDP figures organized an attack of thugs led by camels and horses brought from Nazlet El-Samman against the Tahrir protesters.

Many Pro-revolution youth have not forgotten this and they blame on the people of Nazlet El-Samman for participating in that attack.

Ironically during the protests of the locals in Nazlet El-Samman that were filmed and shared online, I heard 25 January chants like “Peaceful, peaceful”, “One hand, one hand”.

I also heard an angry citizen pleading for the President to save them and at the same wondering why the security forces fired tear gas grenades when we are days away from the 25 January revolution anniversary.

Going back to the infamous “The 2011 Battle of the Camel”, those NDP figures were acquitted and they have returned to play a role in the society and politics as if there is nothing happened above them Mohamed Abu El-Ainin, the famous businessman and owner of Sada El-Balad TV Network and bigger than life and loudmouth Zamalek club president Mortada Mansour.

Nazlet El-Samman’s famous NDP member Abdel Nasser El-Gabry was among the suspects in the case but he passed away in September 2011.
El-Gabry is considered one of the big families or clans in the area along with Fayed clan “Not related to London-based Egyptian billionaire Mohamed El-Fayed”.
There were at least four young men from El-Gabry clan and Fayed clan each were arrested on Monday.
From Mada Masr’s report about the protest and the clashes, I knew that the locals have formed an association to support their community.
The name of the association is The National Association for Nazlet El-Samman development and it was officially registered as an NGO in 2015 to serve the area.
It is interesting to see that the community began to organize itself.

There has been a Facebook page publishing updates about the situations in the area with videos and photos but on Tuesday that FB page disappeared.
I am waiting to see what is going to happen next.


This post first appeared on Egyptian Chronicles, please read the originial post: here

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Nazlet El-Samman : People Fear displacement as simple as that

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