U.S. Ambassador Jonathan R. Cohen visited Esna on Sunday, August 29, with Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Dr. Khaled El Enany and Luxor Governor Mostafa Alham to inaugurate the recently renovated Wakalet el-Geddawy, a caravansery built in 1792 to store trade goods and lodge traveling merchants. Together, they affirmed the strong U.S.-Egypt partnership in cultural heritage preservation.
The U.S. government, through USAID, is investing $8.6 million to revitalize cultural tourism in Esna, in partnership with the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, the Ministry of International Cooperation, Luxor Governorate, and local partners including Takween Integrated Community Development.
During the inauguration, Ambassador Cohen stated, “Over the past 25 years, the United States has contributed more than $102 million to preserve dozens of cultural heritage sites throughout Egypt. We look forward to seeing the tourism industry rebound in Esna and across the country. The United States stands with the people of Egypt as we help to make this happen.”
The United States is working with the Egyptian Government and local organizations to revitalize the town’s tourism potential, balancing heritage conservation, tourism promotion, and community development. This support creates jobs, revives tourism, increases public and private investments, and restores historically significant places, such as Esna’s traditional oil press and Al-Qisariya Market.
Since 1978, the American people have invested over $30 billion to support Egypt’s economic development. To find out more about USAID’s work in Egypt, please see https://www.usaid.gov/egypt, and follow @USAIDEgypt on Facebook and Twitter.