TODAY | October 11, 2012
>>> we're back now at 7:44. one of egypt 's iconic pyramids being reopened to the public. will tourists visit given the country's political unrest? stephanie gosk, good morning to you.
>> reporter: good morning, matt. well, this is one of those locations in the world that needs no explanation. the pyramids at giza are an incredible sight, especially in person. tourism in egypt is the second largest industry, or at least it used to be until the revolution. after that, people concerned about security stopped showing up here. the opening of the pyramid is the new government's latest effort to reinvite the world back to the pharros. 4,000 years later, they are the hope of a country looking to rebuild. after a long, slow restoration, the egyptian government is reopening the pyramid to the public along with six ancient tombs hoping to jolt a struggling industry. tourism here dropped a third after the arab spring. what better way to bring visitors back than to give them access to one of the world's greatest wonders.
>> fantastic. absolutely fantastic.
>> reporter: some historians believe the fourth dynasty built his pyramid just a hair shorter than his father's out of respect. although not as high as the great pyramid, it is no less grand. it is the only one still capped by the original limestone blocks. inside, the millennia old passage ways are newly ventilated. it's no less claustrophobic.
>> can you do something about the height of these passage ways? he has worked as an archaeologist here for 13 years.
>> so this is a message for us. for the whole of the world. come, we are ready for you. egypt is ready.
>> reporter: the passage way leads to the burial chamber , carved directly out of the bedrock.
>> there was a legend that a blue-eyed spirit protected the pyramid, but didn't prevent the graverobbers from coming in and stealing just about everything, except this sarcophagus, black granite carried originally from hundreds of miles away . the new government has made tourism a priority, but battling events unfolding around him outside his control. like the violent attack against the u.s. embassy last month after the release of the now infamous anti-islam film. and the state department 's latest travel advisory that warns female missionaries they might be targeted by terrorists. reports of christians being prosecuted for their religion don't help egypt 's image either. but he believes the most powerful, positive message the country can send is here.
>> i'm so optimistic, i believe everything will be good.
>> reporter: one of many egyptians putting their faith in the future . what happens on the streets of cairo has a direct and immediate effect here at giza . the director here told us that the afternoon after that u.s. embassy attack, they started receiving cancellations for tours. matt?
>> stephanie gosk in giza , egypt this morning. stephanie , thank you very much.