IT IS natural for any aviation accident, whether deliberate or due to technical reasons, to cause fear in the aviation circle or security agencies. However, the clamor and fear caused by the crash of a Russian airliner on Sinai desert and how the media narrated speculations even before the official joint investigation is completed, clearly indicate some suspicious countries are hiding something about the whole incident.
Indeed, it is not surprising for a plane to encounter accidents or terrorist acts, just like what happened in various countries which are leading in stirring unjustified fear.
For instance, in the United States of America, four planes were hijacked and used for one of the horrific crimes in the 21st century on Sept 11, 2001.
In Britain, Spain and other countries, trains were blown up and the terrorists attempted to smuggle explosives hidden in their shoes on a civilian plane. Despite all that, we did not hear the clamor about security procedures we are currently hearing.
Nevertheless, the tourism industries in those countries were not affected, neither travel advisories were issued against them and this makes us wonder: Why is Egypt targeted in this manner by the media along with the political pressure imposed on it?
In the past nine months of this year, about nine million tourists visited Egypt and only a few of them went to Sharm el-Sheikh. In addition, the national income of Egypt is about $885 billion and 10 percent which came from the tourism sector.
In spite of the fact that Egypt hosts three quarters of the world’s antiques and has many tourism sites, its national economy does not depend on this sector. Therefore, the confusion caused by the crash of a Russian airliner will not affect Egypt’s economy.
The departure of 50,000 or even 100,000 tourists will not affect the national economy of this country as much as people have assumed, just like how the chaos that followed the Jan 25, 2011 revolution and the period of Muslim Brotherhood’s rule did not affect the tourism industry that much.
Certainly, this horrific and sad incident will motivate the move to enhance security measures, not only in Egypt’s airports but also in all airports in the world. The incident will lead to security cooperation between Cairo and other capitals involved in the Middle East conflict, especially the capitals which failed to cooperate and share, as it should have been, intelligence with Egypt’s government in relation to this incident.
Furthermore, it is self-condemnation for the countries which failed to share information and cooperate with concerned authorities in Egypt, because these countries hid information and this led to the loss of innocent lives.
Perhaps, these governments are investing to achieve political gains through such incidents, something that will never be achieved as long as the people of Egypt are decisive in their affairs—in electing their leaders and firmly moving towards stabilizing their country and its establishments.
By Ahmed Al-Jarallah
Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times