TODAY   |  October 13, 2012

Pyramid reopens despite turmoil in Egypt

Tourism in Egypt dropped after the Arab Spring, when tourists became worried about the security situation and stopped coming. The Egyptian government has opened the pyramid Kefra to visitors as part of an effort to invite the world back to the pharaohs. NBC’s Stephanie Gosk reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> back now with an ancient wonder. one of egypt 's iconic pyramids being reopened to the public. but will tourists visit given the country's political unrest? stephanie gosk takes a look.

>> reporter: at the time they were built, the pyramids of giza were a symbol of power unlike none other. now they are the symbol of a country hoping to rebuild. the egyptian governor 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 kefra built his pyramid just a hair shorter than his fathers 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 passageways are newly ventilated. if no less claustrophobic.

>> can you do something about the height of these passageways?

>> reporter: this man has worked as an archaeologist here for 13 years.

>> this is a message, come, we are ready for you. egypt is ready.

>> reporter: the passageway leads to the pharoah's burial chamber . it was a legend that a blue-eyed spirit protected the pyramid, but it didn't protect them from stealing everything, except this granite that was carried from hundreds of miles away . the government has made tourism a appropriate, but there are things out of their control, like the violent protests, and the state department 's latest travel advisory that warns female missionaries they might be targeted by terrorists. christians being persecuted because of their religion don't help egypt 's image either. but he believes the most powerful positive message his country can send is here.

>> i am so optimistic. i believe in the future everything will be so good.

>> reporter: one of many egyptians putting their hands in the future in the hands of the pharoahs.