US Ambassador in Cairo Jonathan Cohen visited Luxor’s Esna city, on Sunday, accompanied by Egypt’s Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Khaled El-Anany and Luxor Governor Mostafa Alham to inaugurate the recently renovated caravansary, “Wekalet El-Geddawy”, as part of the US-Egypt partnership in cultural heritage preservation.
Wekalet El-Geddawy was built in 1792 to store goods and lodge traveling merchants.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) invested $8.6m to revitalize cultural tourism in Esna, in partnership with the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, the Ministry of International Cooperation, and local partners including the Takween Integrated Community Development.
During the inauguration, Ambassador Cohen stated, “Over the past 25 years, the United States has contributed more than $102m 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 US has been 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.