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Luxor kidnapper just wanted to see his kids...
The hostage saga involving a tour guide from Luxor and four German tourists is over. No one was injured in the incident, which ended when the kidnapper gave himself up to the police in the early hours of Thursday morning. The apparent motive behind the crime was the kidnapper's desire to see his children, currently living in Germany with his German wife. His attempts to travel to Germany to see the children had failed, and this was a last ditch attempt to change the situation, it seems. In the last few hours of the ordeal, the kidnapper told the press that his wife had finally agreed to bring the children to Egypt to see their father.
The incident received quite a bit of coverage in the English press. In the article Egyptian Tour Guide Frees Germans,
the kidnapper is quoted as saying, "It was just talking to attract attention. I don't approve of violence in any form. I am sorry that I forgot that I was a human being for a moment..." Meanwhile, there are quite a few question marks surrounding the hostage-taking itself. Foremost amongst them is: were the tour guide and the four hostages friends, who cooked up the scheme together? Asked about reports that he and the four Germans staged the hostage-taking situation to bring back his sons, Moussa said: "This was not arranged. It happened suddenly. It is possible that I got the idea from one of them ... one of them suggested it (the hostage-taking) and thought that a phone call could move the issue." In Mubarak, Schroeder Deal with German Hostages in Egypt
the important point is made that "local officials also ruled out that the kidnapping has adversely affected Egypt's tourism industry, saying that there were no political motives behind the incident and it was purely a personal matter."
In the Arabic press, Al-Ahram provides a picture of the formerly happy family and Al-Akhbar quotes the kidnapper as saying
the hostages were his friends.
British Copts to get church
British Queen Elizabeth II has given the Coptic Egyptian community in the UK a church to use for their religious and social activities. The old church is in Norfolk, outside of London. Most papers featured this piece of news on their front pages this week. Pope Shenouda accepted the offer from Elizabeth, and members of the community have begun occupying the church.
Carpets in Kafr El-Sheikh
Kafr El-Sheikh will be hosting a trade fair for high-quality carpets and klims during the second half of March, reports Al-Akhbar. The fair will also include woodwork and foodstuffs. Most of the items on display will be produced by youth projects supported by the governorate.
Plane race stops in Egypt
The London to Sydney Air Race stopped in Egypt on Wednesday, with 38 planes from eight countries participating. The planes touched down at 6 October Airport near Cairo, after starting the race in London on Sunday March 11. The 28-day race will cover 22,000 kilometers and features 30 stops. So far an Australian team of pilots is in first place. The race will continue on to Luxor on Thursday on its way to Australia.
Are you ideal?
This year's ideal mother and father will be announced on March 21. The entries have been coming in from across the country and are currently being narrowed down by the selection committee, reports Al-Wafd. The qualifications for the ideal mother are basically that she be a simple woman who helps improve her family's welfare via a small project. She must know how to read and write, have three kids at most, and be familiar with current events. The ideal mother has to have been married for at least 25 years to qualify, while ideal fathers have it a little tougher, having to have been married for at least 30 years.
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