|Statue of Ramses II|
It is an excellent base for touring Upper Egypt, and is a popular holiday destination, both in its own right and as a starting or finishing point for Nile cruises. It is the site of the ancient city of Thebes, and has a population of approx. 150,000.
On November 17, 1997 Muslim militants massacred 58 foreign tourists and 4 Egyptians on the West Bank outside the Temple of Hatshepsut. Police killed the assailants but the attack is believed to have been financed by Saudi terrorist Osama bin Laden.