Sed Ali dug his heels into the hindquarters of a small, gray, Arabian-style horse, weaving through a pack of dilapidated camels as he trotted across the sand. Ali was giving our group of Northeastern University students a guided tour of the great pyramids in Giza, a family business he has been a part of since he was 6.
Before we set out, Ali asked that we send the Egyptian government letters praising his business. He is concerned that the government’s modernization efforts at the historic site will mean the end for the independent camel operators who depend on the pyramids.
“Without the camels, the place, it will die,’’ said Ali, 33, whose family has done this work for three generations.
Egypt’s Supreme Council for Antiquities, which oversees this and other historic sites, is looking to protect the Giza pyramids by transforming the area’s largely unregulated industry of camel drivers, docents, and peddlers into a carefully controlled tourism complex by October, according to officials.
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