Egyptians Hopeful Economic Recovery Ahead

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CAIRO, Egypt -- When millions of Egyptians took to the streets, many complained of economic hardships under ousted President Mohammed Morsi.

"The electricity was often going off. No benzene. No solar. And the life of the Egyptians became very, very difficult," Father Antoine Greiche, spokesman for Egypt's Catholic Church, told CBN News.

Perhaps the hardest hit sector has been the tourism industry, which was devastated in 2011 after Egypt's first revolution that deposed former President Hosni Mubarak. Not many visitors came to see the Great Pyramids of Giza or the Sphinx.

Many of the tour guides from the pyramids rode into Tahrir Square to protest, saying the uprising was driving business away. Today, the industry still hasn't recovered.

"Since the first revolution in 2011 business is very bad," Michael, a tour guide at the Great Pyramids, told CBN News. "There is not tourists at all -- just very few. Eighty percent from the tourism is down. For example, I used to make a tour trip every day in the Pyramid area. Right now I just make one tour every couple of days."

Michael has been a tour guide at Egypt's pyramids for more than 20 years.

"You know, the people not want to come here because the people not feel safe," he continued. "When the people feel safe, many people want to see the pyramids. This is one of the Seven Wonders [of the world]. And we used to have thousands of people here. I think it will take time, but people will start to come back again."

It's a hope shared by many Egyptians.

"I will ask all the viewers to pray for us and I will tell them to flourish our economy by visiting Egypt and sending many, many tourists as they can," Father Greiche said.

Michael hopes they come back to this one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

"I want to tell the people all over the world come and see our place," he said. "It's very good place and it's very safe and no problem. In Egypt people are very good. And I'll still ask all the Americans to please come here because they are the best! It's true. It's not a compliment. I hope the American people come here a lot!"

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