LUXOR, Egypt — Some connected to the tourist trade in Luxor, a city utterly dependent on foreign visitors to survive, seethed with anger Wednesday at the country's Islamist president for his silence over the Tuesday sightseeing balloon crash that killed 19 tourists.
Mohammed Morsi has yet to publicly speak about the tragedy — and some here took that not just as insensitivity to the victims' families but as indifference to the vital tourism trade.
"Morsi should have taken a plane and come here," said Salah Zaky, one of the owners of the five-star Steigenberger Hotel in Luxor. "The whole world is watching and he is asleep. It's as if there is no government."
Morsi spoke by telephone to Luxor's governor to discuss the balloon disaster, according to state media. Hours after the crash, he spoke live on TV at a meeting with political leaders — but only about upcoming parliamentary elections, without mentioning the crash.
"They don't care if this hotel closes. They only care about the ballot box," Zaky said, referring to the Muslim Brotherhood, the fundamentalist group from which Morsi hails and which has dominated all elections held since Mubarak's ouster.
— Associated Press