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7000 years and counting ...

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  • 11/14/15--16:55: Paris Attack : Friday 13th
  • And Friday 13th is officially now associated with modern bloody memories in France and Europe following the deadly Paris attacks.
    Over 120 people are killed and other 200 are injured including those are in a very critical condition. It is the biggest attack against France and its capital Paris since WWII.
     It is also the biggest terrorist attack in Europe since 2004 if I am not mistaken.
    Peace for Paris and Beirut
    "Jean Jullien and Kristian Labak"
    Most of the victims are French, but there are 10 nationalities among the victims including Two Tunisian girls and One Algerian violin player.
    Egypt got one injured, a 26-years old young man who is currently in a critical condition. He was in his way to watch the football game at Stade De France when he was injured in the first suicide bombing.
    Sadly enough, Waleed was accompanying his mother and his brother who is suffering cancer and is going to have a surgery in Paris.
    People should pray for Waleed’s mother not lose her boys as well the rest of the injured and their families.
    Not surprisingly, Daesh aka ISIL declared its responsibility for the attack today releasing their statements in Arabic, French and English as well an audio message.
    For hours yesterday, I was glued in front of TV watching the live coverage of the attack whether on France 24 or BBC Arabic or Al-Jazeera.
    Al-Jazeera hosted a French MP, who is a member in the Foreign affairs committee and he said that the French intelligence had info that some sort of attack was going to happen.
    Those words made me wonder if the Russian Plane Crash was actually some sort of a warning to the Western countries that there would be future attacks in Europe and that’s why we saw a huge reaction from UK, France and Russia.
    Now 90% of the reports speak about a bomb planted among the luggage.
    Everyone is speaking about a bomb and Egypt is not saying anything.
    Then we got Beirut’s Southern suburb attack where over 40 people were killed because they were shiite.
    Then came Paris !!
    It came at the same time ISIL is losing land Iraq as it lost Sinjar to US-backed Kurdish troops.
    Does ISIL compensate its losses in Iraq with lone wolves attacks in Europe !??
    Also what kind of coordination and sleeping cells in Europe that can pull such attacks in that way !!
    Unfortunately, the Muslims in Europe and Refugees are going to pay the biggest price for those attacks.
    The right wing parties, El-Assad regime and ISIL are he biggest winners, unfortunately.
    Anti-Assad, Anti-ISIL Syrian blogger and activist Nader Atassi wrote that post which explains why ISIL targets Europe.
    Click to zoom in
    Back in the Arab world, there is an old question on why the world is speaking about Paris and neglecting Beirut or Syria or Turkey even Kenya where over 140 students killed in militant attack in April. Well, it is an old discussion and aside from the fact that we are speaking about global media. Let’s be frank and say that in our part of the world We are used to death and killings on a daily basis and our governments consider us cheap, unfortunately;  Unlike, France or Europe or the rest of the world sadly enough.
    In Egypt, the xenophobia spread in the mainstream Pro-media is now making many Egyptians hostile to the west after Sharm El-Sheikh airport incident.
    We got Pro-Mubarak/Pro-regime TV hosts and radio hosts as well public figures who gloat at France publicly and shamelessly despite France was from the early countries that stood with El-Sisi after 3 July.
    They were not alone, I am afraid. The past two weeks the mainstream media was feeding the public that the west was plotting Egypt and it fired back.
    I had my shares of insults and attacks after translating a couple of tweets of those figures by Pro-Sisi supporters who believe I am biased .etc.
    The Pro-Sisi supporters are over the moon the French president declared that the emergency status and how French human rights activists do not dare to open their mouths.
    The frustrated young people are worried about the visa and Schengen visa as well security requirements to travel to Europe.
    We got also wild conspiracy theories starting that France is being punished for standing with Egypt just like Russia by the United States to the popular theory that Israel is behind it aka False flag to that this attack is the start of a new invasion in the Middle East.
    We also got the old Mubarak rhetoric in the media coming back as “El-Sisi warned the West and they did not listen to him”.
    The Giza pyramids are going to turn into French and Russian Flags tomorrow night. Egyptian tweeps played a role in pushing this issue. I wish they add Lebanon to them.
    Anyhow,  the world after 13 November is different than 14 November, just like 9/11
    May God bless the souls of those who were killed and have mercy on our souls.

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    And the Great pyramid of Giza showed Egypt’s official solidarity with France, Lebanon and Russia tonight.

    In Solidarity with France, Lebanon and Russia
    By Thomas Hartwell for AP
    The flags of the three countries were reflected on the great pyramid of Giza along the flag of Egypt.
    Solidarity with France
    By Thomas Hartwell for AP
    The ministry of tourism also organized a vigil at the pyramid in solidarity with the victims of terrorism.

    The vigil at the great Giza pyramid
    By Thomas Hartwell for AP 
    To be honest, many Egyptians including me believe that the event could be better organized and implemented in a better way.
    Still, it is a good gesture and I am glad that it started as a hashtag on twitter.
    I am glad that Lebanon was included.
    In solidarity with the people of Lebanon
    By Thomas Hartwell for AP 
    Speaking about Lebanon, this photo tore my heart up a part.
    Haidar and the scout boys with their presents
    "From Mustafa Al-Najafi twitter account"
    This beautiful boy is called Haider and he lost both his parents at the terrorist attack in Beirut’s Southern suburb.
    Haider is visited by a group of Lebanese Shia scout boys as you can see.
    I do think that all those presents will heal his true wounds inside after losing both his parents.
    Haider "From Mustafa Al-Najafi twitter account"
    ISIL claimed responsibility for this attack in Lebanon.
    Moving to Paris, Egyptian Walid Abdel Razek who survived the bombing of Stade De France is currently in a stable condition in the hospital.
    On the other hand, the Egyptian Consulate in Paris announced that there is a suspected Egyptian victim who was killed in the Batalacan attack. His name is Saleh El-Gabali and the Egyptian ministry of foreign affairs is demanding any information about him because no ids other than the box ticket was found with him. Already, they knew him through a Moroccan citizen who survived the attack and told them about that Egyptian man he met there before the attack.
    RIP to all the victims.

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    And we woke up early Tuesday to find Russia announcing officially that what brought down the Russian airliner in Sinai was a bomb.
    Putin and his men at the meeting which was filmed
    "Kremlin website" 

    In Moscow, we found out that President Putin held a meeting on the crash of the Russian airliner. with the head of Federal Security Service “FSB” Director Alexander Bortnikov.
    Bortnikov announced in the meeting that through examining the passengers’ personal belongings and luggage and fragments of the plane that crashed in Sinai, traces of foreign-made explosives were found.
    According to the FSB experts, “ self-made explosive device equivalent up to 1 kg of TNT was set off on board”
    In other direct word, it was a terrorist act according to the Russian government.
    From his side, El-Sisi’s best friend vowed to “find the perpetrators anywhere on the planet and punish them”. He also added that Russia “will act in compliance with Article 51 of the United Nations Charter, which envisages the right of a state to self-defence.”
    This is what article 51 of the United Nations charter says:
    Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security. Measures taken by Members in the exercise of this right of self-defence shall be immediately reported to the Security Council and shall not in any way affect the authority and responsibility of the Security Council under the present Charter to take at any time such action as it deems necessary in order to maintain or restore international peace and security.
    Does the right of the self-defence of Russia stops in Russia and the ISIS stronghold there or will it be extended to include Sinai as well ?? This is the question of the hour in Egypt.
    Of course that meeting which was filmed for the Russian public to show much Putin cared for his people, that means Putin already knew about the findings of FSB hours earlier and his words were prepared carefully.
    I do not know if the Egyptian ambassador in Moscow was informed by those results prior to that meeting or not but if he did not then we will be having a bigger problem.
    The Russians also announced a US$ 50 million for anyone with information about the perpetrators.
    It is worth to mention that ISIS-affiliated and North Sinai-based Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis “ABM” aka Sinai province claimed responsibility for the attack without giving any details on how they did it.
    After an hour or even less from this announcement, we found Reuters reporting that according to security officials in Egypt, 17 Sharm El-Sheikh airport staff were detained including 2 men  “Ground crew” suspected to be involved in planting the bomb on the board of the plane.
    The report including this very interesting detail quoting unnamed Egyptian security official.
    The second security official said CCTV footage showed a baggage handler carrying a suitcase from an airport building to another man, who was loading luggage onto the doomed airliner from beneath the plane on the runway.
    So allegedly, that was how the bomb was planted onto the airliner.

    Personally, I thought that ISIS had some lone wolf from Russia or Chechen who came to Sharm El-Sheikh and got the explosives from ABM so he could carry it back to the plane. I thought about that especially when ISIS refused to reveal how it did it.
    Only then, we found the ministry of interior issuing a statement denying that any worker or employee was detained at Sharm El-Sheikh.
    نفى مسئول مركز الإعلام الأمنى ما تناقلته بعض وسائل الإعلام حول إحتجاز موظفين فى مطار شرم الشيخ يشتبه بأنهما ساعدا فى زرع قنبله على متن الطائرة الروسية .. مؤكداً أن هذا الخبر عارٍ تماماً عن الصحة جملة وتفصيلاً .
    Posted by ‎الصفحة الرسمية لوزارة الداخلية‎ on Tuesday, November 17, 2015

    Following that, we had to wait for the Egyptian government to issue a statement regarding the Russian Statement

    Press Release by the Cabinet of MinistersOn the Russian Plane CrashThe Arab Republic of Egypt appreciates and stands...
    Posted by Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday, November 17, 2015

    Well after hours of meeting at Sharm El-Sheikh to prove its safe, the cabinet issued a statement that technically did not say anything new. 

    It said that the Egyptian-led investigations committee has not reached yet to any evidence indicating any criminal intention. The government added that the investigations committee would take in consideration the Russian announcement.
    PM Sherif Ismail also announced that he held talks with Russian officials regarding the return of the Russian tourists !!!!!!!
    I do not know what to say.

    Anyhow those were not the strangest news and statements only today because Tuesday evening, we found a strange a statement issued from the presidency.
    Yes, the Presidency issued a short statement published on State-owned MENA denying the involvement of Presidency staff in the crash of Russian airliner !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    It turned out  some tabloid Lebanese news website claimed that Pro-ISIS/MB presidency staffers were involved in the crash online.
    Ironically, this statement fueled the rumors mill in Cairo.

    Now to the important matters.
    The world believes Russia now and deals with the bombing of the Russian airliner as a fact.
    Unfortunately, the world won’t trust the Egyptian government or regime and it is not about the Western conspiracy against Egypt.

    It is about the lack of confidence due to the incompetence of the Egyptian government as it seems.
    It is about the late reaction of the government.

    The Egyptian-led investigation committee did not hold a press conference except after one week, technically saying nothing more than what was already known in the media.

    In similar circumstances around the world, the Airplane crash investigation committees hold a press conference every couple of days and send press statements with updates to journalists and to the whole world in a timely manner.

    I am afraid the current administration in Egypt deals with the Russian plane crash just like any other disaster in Egypt.

    It seems that does not understand the implications of such incident now in the world, not to mention in the Middle East with all the craziness of the War on terrorism that changed in two weeks the international alliances and we find Russia playing best friends with the West once again.

    If it is truly a bomb then we are in front of a huge fiasco for security in Egypt.

    If it is truly a bomb as professionally speaking we are still waiting for the investigation committee then we are having a huge security and intelligence failure in Egypt despite that war on terrorism we have had for three years,those terrorism-related laws and that crackdown against freedoms for the sake of stability and for fear not to be like Syria or Iraq.

    Now I am thinking about the price the people of Sinai are going to pay.
    I am extremely worried.

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  • 11/18/15--16:52: DSC09890 [Flickr]
  • Kodak Agfa posted a photo:

    DSC09890

    Demolishing the NDP building


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  • 11/18/15--16:52: DSC09891 [Flickr]
  • Kodak Agfa posted a photo:

    DSC09891

    Demolishing the NDP building


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  • 11/18/15--16:52: DSC09892 [Flickr]
  • Kodak Agfa posted a photo:

    DSC09892

    Demolishing the NDP building


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  • 11/18/15--16:52: DSC09893 [Flickr]
  • Kodak Agfa posted a photo:

    DSC09893

    Demolishing the NDP building


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  • 11/18/15--16:52: DSC09894 [Flickr]
  • Kodak Agfa posted a photo:

    DSC09894

    Demolishing the NDP building


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    As you have known in May that the infamous building of the National Democratic Party “NDP” was being demolished.
    I noticed that no one paid attention to the progress of demolishing that building that became of symbol of corruption and power in Egypt for decades and thus I see how far the demolishing process has reached.
    DSC09889
    Once upon time , there was a huge building there for Egypt's ruling party since 1970s
    I took couple of photos for the building while it was being demolished on Monday and it really looked so different.

    DSC09890
    You can see the Egyptian museum as in the old times across the times 
    DSC09891
    It has taken months to reach that level of the building since May 

    You can see the Egyptian museum behind it.
    I say that it will take another couple of weeks before the building becomes just dust.
    DSC09892
    Cairo without NDP building
    DSC09893
    A symbol is gone 
    Honestly speaking the NDP building despite it was a symbol for a certain era but still it is just another building.
    It is not about buildings.
    Already as we are demolishing the NDP building , the former NDP members are having a huge comeback in the parliamentary elections including those accused of corruption whether political corruption or financial corruption as well.
    NDP is 1990s then in 2011 then in 2015 
    According to news reports , nearly 85 former NDP members secured seats in the upcoming parliament whether as independent members or party members. It is one of the biggest political comebacks in the 2015 elections and it says a lot.
    The NDP is still there in a way or another. It is a system more than a building.

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    Today, Non-Islamist Pro-25 January revolution protesters and supporters commemorated the anniversary of Mohamed Mahmoud clashes mostly online as usual.
    In case you forgot, the Clashes of Mohamed Mahmoud erupted in November 2011 following the violent dispersal of a sit-in against the Supra-Constitution principles proposed by SCAF.
    The clashes took place at Mohamed Mahmoud street and surrounding streets. Not less than 40 protesters were killed and hundreds were injured.
    Many protesters lost their eyes in those clashes. 
    Strangely we used to have parliamentary elections during then just like now and I remember that the Muslim Brotherhood leading figures were afraid that those clashes would spoil the elections.
    In November 2012, the clashes renewed once again between protesters and security forces during the commemoration of the clashes in 2011.
    It feels like ages !!
    In November 2013, Once again the clashes erupted when protesters protested in Tahrir square and one protester was killed during the clashes.
    In November 20145, a small group of protesters organized a stand at 6 October bridge Thursday afternoon.
    The stand by Momen Samir
    #Egypt_is_robbed
    #Egypt_is sinking
    #Egypt_is_destroyed
    I have seen this lady in protests since 2011 in many protests 

    To be honest, I do not recall that I stumbled on any invitation or call for a protest or commemoration or a stand by any group in the past days.
    The protesters carried anti-regime banners
    During the stand
    Support the Revolution youth
    If you are against El-Sisi, honk 

    Personally, I think it is April 6 Youth movement.
    Those few protesters called for the release of the detainees above them Photographer Shawkan and April 6 Youth Ahmed Maher.
    Freedom For Shawkan
    Freedom for Maher
    Freedom for Ahmed Abdel Rahman 

    Glory for the martyrs 
    Anyhow, this is a very brave action from a brave few.
    At least 5 protesters were arrested and transferred to a Downtown Cairo police station.

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    And ISIL aka Daesh revealed the secret behind the crash the Russian Plane in Egypt and ironically a Schweppes Golden can be allegedly behind it !!
    The militant group claimed responsibility for the crash of the Russian plane officially in the 12th issue of its Dabiq magazine  revealing its secret: An improvised explosive device in a soda can be
    planted on the board of the doomed plane.

    A screen cap from Dabiq magazine 
    Yes according to the Forward of the glossy militant magazine, the militant group “discovered a way to compromise the security at the Sharm el-Sheikh International Airport and resolving to bring down a plane belonging to a nation in the American-led Western coalition against the Islamic State, the target was changed to a Russian plane. A bomb was smuggled onto the airplane”.
    The IED bomb was allegedly made of C-4 explosives planted in a Schweppes Gold soda drink “Pineapple flavor”

    It is worth to mention that Daesh-affiliated group “Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis” {ABM} claimed responsibility for that twice.

    The Sinai-based group which started as Al-Qaeda affiliated group then swore allegiance in 2014 to Daesh claimed responsibility of the same day, but most analysts thought that they were bluffing because at first it was believed that they downed by a missile.

    The group which named itself “Sinai” province issued another statement claiming responsibility for the Plane’s crash but refused to reveal how.

    Of course , they say that they did to avenge for the Russian air strikes in Syria against ISIL.
    The official Egyptian-led investigation team has not announced yet the reason behind the crash that killed over 200 people, mostly Russians.

    Last week, the Russian FSB announced officially that the plane was bombed and its experts believed that “ self-made explosive device equivalent up to 1 kg of TNT was set off on board”
    Before the Russians, the British, US and Israeli intelligence hinted out to this possibility.

    The possibility that the security was compromised at Sharm El-Sheikh international airport and a bomb was planted on the board of the Russian Plane was behind the reason of banning temporarily British and Russian air flights to the famous sea resort in South Sinai.

    On the other hand, the Egyptian government says that it is taking in consideration the possibility that the Plane was bombed.

    There is no official reaction from the Egyptian government regarding Daesh’s statement.

    Now, there is something else Daesh bragged about in its militant glossy magazine for its western supporters.

    It showed copies of Russian passports allegedly belonged to the late passengers retrieved from the crash site.
    A screen capture from Dabiq magazine 
    We do not know if those passports or that passport to be accurate is original one or not.

    Still if the ABM really retrieved the passports from the site then that their militants in North Sinai messed up the crash site before the arrival of the Egyptian armed forces and they probably left traces on the sand.

    This means that important evidence could have been lost.
    Either ways , I feel that it is another slap on the face of the Egyptian security whether you like or not.

    Now you got the Russians "With one of the biggest intelligence agencies in the world" saying that it was a bomb and Daesh itself claiming responsibility for that bomb. I do not know what the government or Sisi administration needs to admit that there was failure.

    A group of Pro-Sisi supporter and Conspiracy theory advocates say that the photo of the Schweppes IED was an old one using Google Images, but any geek can prove them wrong.

    Anyhow, I see some Pro-Sisi supporters began to accept that the Plane was bombed, but it was not ISIS that stood behind it but rather Turkey !!

    Still there is a serious talk about how possibly a small soda can carry what is allegedly equal to 1 Kg of TNT and brings down an A321 airbus plane from 30,000 feet.

    I am not expert in explosives nor physics, but I am reading reports on how a can like Schweppes gold can carry C-4 explosives and blows up a Plane on a specific altitude.

    A Former Egyptian armed officer called Ahmed Shafik wrote about this in Arabic and actually he makes sense about that.

    Now, Coca-Cola Egypt spends millions every year and I bet they do not imagine or want that kind publicity where news wires services worldwide use “The Schweppes bomb” in reference to what allegedly brought down the Russian airliner and killed its passengers.

    Sadly enough, Schweppes is known in Egypt with its catchy advertising campaigns about the “Secret of Schweppes” that makes so tasty. Now, it is the can that brought down a plane and killed over 200 people.

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    And it seems that there is a new crisis between Egypt and Sudan thanks to the police brutality.
    Since the start of November, the crisis has been growing and the Egyptian media did not care or cover it.
    We all know about it from social media and Sudanese media  in Egypt unfortunately.
    It seems that several Sudanese citizens were arrested and mistreated by Egyptian security forces for allegedly foreign exchange issue.
    According to the Sudanese community in Egypt , not less 15 Sudanese citizens were arrested and mistreated in Downtown Cairo police stations for allegedly illegal foreign exchange and fraud in the past few weeks.
    Most of the reports revolve around Abdeen and Azbakia police stations in Downtown Cairo.
    One of those incidents is creating huge anger in Sudan currently: The incident of Mr.Yahia Zakaria.
    Mr. Zakaria came to Cairo accompanying his sick son and his friend.
    According to Sudanese press , Zakaria and his friend were entering a foreign exchange company to exchange US dollars with Egyptian pounds when they were arrested by under-covered police officers.
    A scan for the Sudanese newspaper with a report about
    the torture of one the Sudanese citizens in Cairo
    "17 November" 
    The 50-years old Sudanese man and his friend spent their night at a police station in downtown Cairo where they were allegedly harassed racially.
    Next Day, they were referred to the prosecution where it turned out that Zakaria had $500 and LE4,000 while his friend had $1600 and 2000 Sudanese pound.
    The two men were released by the prosecution but instead of walking free, the police referred them to the National security after three more days in detention.


    The National security demanded more investigation about them and sent them to Abdeen police station in Downtown Cairo.
    At Abdeen police station , the two men were mistreated.
    When the man allegedly began to scream and demand to return to his sick son at the hotel, He was badly beaten and tortured.
    Photos showing the traces of beating on Mr. Zakaria's body
    "Facebook" 

    He was allowed to call his relatives in Cairo to look after his sick son.
    After his call , his family knew what happened him and his brother came to Cairo.
    He was released and allowed to leave in Cairo but arrived to Cairo airport in handcuffs.
    The Sudanese embassy already presented two memos rejecting incidents of the Egyptian police’s mistreatment of Sudanese citizens that reached over the foreign currency exchange issue and demanding the Egyptian government to stop it immediately.
    The memo sent to Egyptian MOFA
    from Sudanese embassy in Cairo
    "12 November 2015"  
    The first  memo was sent on 2 November and the second memo was sent on 12 November according to Sudanese Press.
    The Egyptian ministry of foreign affairs Spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zeid told a Sudanese newspaper last week that the ministry was investigating the incidents.
    He also added that there was no discrimination for Sudanese people and they were treated like their Egyptian brothers and sisters.
    All what I can say to the Sudanese people is that there is no actually discrimination between Egyptians and Sudanese when it comes to police mistreatment and brutality for real, the Ministry of foreign affairs spox is saying the truth !!
    Police brutality is the norm now to the level to the level that we find people decent and polite officers on Facebook pages as if it is a rare thing.
    A campaign launched in Sudan by the angry people called “We are Zakria” demanding the rights of Zakaria Yahia
    The family of Yahia Zakaria , the victim participated in a protesting stand at the Egyptian embassy in Khartoum on Thursday.
    Other angry citizens participated in it too but soon the stand was dispersed due to the lack of permits.
    The Zakarias met with the Egyptian ambassador and gave him a file with what happened to the man who came only to treat his son in Egypt.
    Now the Sudanese people are extremely angry.
    Online, for several days the “Egypt_is_not_a_Sister_of_ my_country” has been trending on twitter in Arabic.
    I am reading now reports and seeing photos for allegedly shops in Khartoum with banners unwelcoming Egyptians to the level of saying Egyptians and dogs are not allowed.
    Part of the Stand at the Egyptian embassy in Khartoum last Thursday 
    We got a big Egyptian community in Sudan and already the Sudanese is biggest foreign community in Egypt.
    It is more than sad and I think we need a rapid reaction to save our relations with the Sudanese people before the Sudanese regime.
    I totally understand the Sudanese people’s anger, but I know that their media won’t escalate against Egypt in this way except after the Bashir regime’s approval. Either it seems that there is bigger issue between the two regimes in Cairo and Khartoum or El-Bashir is trying to show himself a defender for his people’s rights.
    Needless to say , the Sudanese people have the right to be angry.
    The problem is that the Ministry of interior never admits that it is wrong or issues a proper apologize.
    By the way , this crisis which the Egyptian administration can look it to a trivial matter is affecting the talks about the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam “GERD”.
    The 10th meeting of “GERD” that was supposed to be held in Khartoum on Saturday were adjourned and sources in Khartoum told Al-Masry Al-Youm that the adjournment had to do with the current crisis between Egypt and Sudan.
    The talks are stumbling already following the withdrawal of the Dutch Deltares company from the dam’s technical studies in September.
    Ethiopia does not and won’t stop constructing the dam. According to sources , nearly 46% of the dam is finished.

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  • 11/22/15--17:37: DSC08379 [Flickr]
  • Kodak Agfa posted a photo:

    DSC08379

    A view from Egypt's Countryside in Sharkia governorate , Nile Delta


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  • 11/22/15--17:37: DSC08419 [Flickr]
  • Kodak Agfa posted a photo:

    DSC08419

    A view from Egypt's Countryside in Sharkia governorate , Nile Delta


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  • 11/22/15--17:37: DSC08402 [Flickr]
  • Kodak Agfa posted a photo:

    DSC08402

    A view from Egypt's Countryside in Sharkia governorate , Nile Delta


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  • 11/22/15--17:37: DSC08401 [Flickr]
  • Kodak Agfa posted a photo:

    DSC08401

    A view from Egypt's Countryside in Sharkia governorate , Nile Delta


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  • 11/22/15--17:37: DSC08387 [Flickr]
  • Kodak Agfa posted a photo:

    DSC08387

    A view from Egypt's Countryside in Sharkia governorate , Nile Delta


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    And the second stage of the Parliamentary elections kicked off on Sunday and finished on Monday.
    I did not write anything or cover it. I did not go to the polling stations as I have done before.
    I did not do that not because I find those elections are useless and boring “Which are actually true” but because I am simply sick and have got this nasty flu and cough that did not make me sleep for days. I also had problems with ISP and internet connections that were solved today.
    I do not know if it is me online, but I find people are less interested in the results of this stage in the elections.
    It is less noisy in a way or another like the first stage despite we are speaking about Cairo and Delta governorates.
    Despite the media coverage , the people seem to care less actually following other local and international news. I noticed that people in Egypt were interested in following the news of that awful suicide bombing in Al-Arish that targeted the elections supervising judges in their“Swiss-inn” Hotel earlier Tuesday killing at least seven people were killed. The attack that killed a judge and security personnel was important to the people than knowing the results of the elections.
    The people are not even interested in knowing who won in North Sinai or how the political situation there aside from that never ending military operation.
    Needless to say, there was nothing in the second stage for real.
    The voters, mostly elderly at one of the polling stations waiting
    By Mostafa  Bassim
    I think the turnout in that phase was not that high than the first phase of the first stage.
    Ironically, it seems that people forgot that there were elections in 13 governorates above them in Cairo despite all the campaigns and banners with faces of candidates.
    They do not speak about the elections or discuss the results.
    Still, it was in high in rural areas than big cities. Again, senior citizens were seen more often in the polling stations than youth.
    More ex-NDPians and Controversial figures made it in this round.
    Personally, I think we are in front of some political apathy because the majority of the people feel that there is no use as they see the old corrupted faces returning once again to the parliament using their old ways whether through electoral bribes or electoral lists.
    Now here are some belated quick facts and numbers about this stage in the parliamentary race in Egypt.
    Already from 3,067 candidates in 13 governorates competing over 267 seats in the 2015 parliament.
    The 13 governorates were Cairo, Qalioubiya, Daqahliya, Monufia, Gharbia, Kafr El-Sheikh, Sharkia, Damietta, Port Said, Ismailia, Suez, North Sinai, and South Sinai.
    When it comes to the electoral lists based seat, we had about 195 candidates in 4 lists “In the love of Egypt, Al-Nour party, the Republic alliance and Independence current” competing over 45 seats in Cairo and another 15 seats in East Delta.
    When it comes to the individual seats in this stage, we had about 2,872 candidates competing over 222 seats in 102 Constituencies.
    Now, 9 candidates out of those 2,872 candidates secured 9 individual seats only in the second stage.
    There will be runoffs in 99 Constituencies next 1&2 December.
    The “For the of Egypt” electoral list secured the 60 seats in Cairo and East Delta.
    According to the High Elections Committee “HEC”, the turnout of the second stage reached to 29.83% where 8,412,000 voters only participated in the elections out of 28 , 204,255 eligible voters in 13 governorates.
    The invalid votes were 572,400 whereas the correct votes reached to 7,839,000.
    The turnout in the first stage was officially 26.56% in 14 governorates. We are speaking here officially about 3% increase only.
    People are having their doubts about the official turnout and believe that it is lower than what HEC announced. I am not surprised.
    Strangely and despite the security situation, the North Sinai governorate recorded the highest turnout in the second stage with 41% and here you can search for tribalism effect. The lowest turnout was recorded in Suez with 18%
    Cairo’s turnout was 19.9% and this is considered  a low turnout officially, it comes before Suez.
    Of course, we do not have an overall total turnout for these elections yet to compare with 2011-2012 elections. Still we got the stages’ turnout to see the difference.
    Here is a small graph I made showing the difference between the two elections in the stages’ turnout.

    In the 2011 parliamentary elections, there was a third stage.
    I did not include the runoffs because the second stage’s runoffs have not been held yet.

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    On Friday, Luxor governorate witnessed a huge protest that continued for hours by citizens who protested against police brutality and the ministry of interior.
    That huge protest which started after Friday prayers escalated to become a rally which the security forces tried to disperse but failed.
    Part of the protest in Luxor city "We are all Talaat Shabeeb" 
    Late Talaat Shabeeb
    The citizens were protesting the alleged beating till death of Mr. Talaat Shabeeb while in police custody on Tuesday and the mistreatment of citizens in Al-Awamiyah district in the Upper Egyptian governorate where the deceased used to live.

    The story of 47-years-old Talaat Shaheeb was arrested from a café over alleged drug possession started on Tuesday.
    The police said that Shabeeb was fine at the police station ,then he fell ill and so he was transferred to Luxor international hospital where he died there.
    The police also claimed Shabeeb was a thug and a drug addict.
    His family and the eye witnesses in Al-Awamiyah say that he was arrested after a feud with a police officer at the café.

    Eye witnesses say that the father of four did not have Tramadol pills and actually the officer and their low ranking officers had the pills with them and they saw how a low ranking officer “they know by name” gave the pills to his boss who said that he was arresting Shabeeb because of the pills taking him to Al-Awamiyah police station.

    There, he was beaten to death after half an hour of his arrest according to his family.

    His family says that he was transferred to Luxor international hospital as a dead man and they have evidence on that.
    The smoking gun in their case was the Luxor International hospital's official medical report which stated “The deceased arrived  the hospital as a dead body at 1 AM”



    The Medical report of Luxor international hospital 
    The family also says that traces of beating was found over the body of the deceased as an evidence on the beating. They even released photos video that circulated online showing the body at the morgue.
    The traces of beating shown on the body of Talaat Shabeeb “+18”

    Hours of his arrest and death, the citizens of Al-Awamiyah say that a police force stormed their district and kept shooting live bullets in the air as well gas grenades as well storming houses and scaring women “a huge violation in Upper Egypt” from 2 AM to 7 AM Wednesday.

    This video report in Arabic released by Walad Al-Balad citizen journalism service in Luxor on Thursday, show the testimonies of the whole issue including video clips.

    Luxor : The victim’s family recounts its testimonies "Walad Al-Balad"

    On Thursday, I found this news: Over 20 protesters from the locals were arrested by security forces while protesting in front Al-Awamiyah police station, but they released on Thursday. They were initially accused of illegal protesting.

    Back to the protest started at Al-Awamiyah that  turned into a big rally roaming peacefully the main squares in Luxor till it reached Luxor security directorate.





    From the banner held at the rally, I see that the people had a set of demands and they are:
    The banner 
    1. A just reconciliation between the police and people in Luxor.
    2. To demand the prosecutor general to investigate the incident of Talaat Shabeeb
    3. The ministry of interior has to apologize officially for the police’s violations. 
    4. To compensate the family of late Shabeeb as well the people of Al-Awamiyah
    5. Not to violate the human rights of the people of Luxor.
    I think those demands make sense.
    Here are videos from the protest where the protesters chanted anti-MOI chants

    جزء من مسيرة الأقصر فى ميدان صلاح الدين وغلق الميدان بالكامل إحتجاجاً على مقتل أبنهم طلعت شبيب على أيدى الداخلية ...شير الفيديو وعرف كل الناس .. وكون أنت الأعلام البديل ..شيييييييير .....#الأقصر_تنتفض #الداخلية_بلطجية#كلنا_طلعت_شبيب
    Posted by ‎كلنا طلعت شبيب‎ on Friday, November 27, 2015


    فيديو آخر من مسيرة الأقصر إحتجاجاً على مقتل أبنهم طلعت شبيب على أيدى الداخلية ...شير الفيديو وعرف كل الناس .. وكن أنت الأعلام البديل ..شيييييييير .....#الأقصر_تنتفض #الداخلية_بلطجية#كلنا_طلعت_شبيب
    Posted by ‎كلنا طلعت شبيب‎ on Friday, November 27, 2015
    The people are chanting: “The ministry of interior is thuggery”, “ministry of interior killed Talaat in his cell” and “The dirty MOI”

    The mainstream media did not transfer the news of the protest or the clashes as it should. Few news websites counted on hand did the job and cover the case like Al-Tahrir news website, January Gate and the Al-Bedaia.

    On the other hand, we got now online “We are all Talaat Shabeeb” Facebook page where it described Shabeeb as the new Khaled Said in Luxor.

    Many people are comparing the father of four in Luxor to the young man from Alexandria due to the similarities in their cases.

    The following hashtags are active in Arabic about the Talaat Shabeeb incident and protests : #Luxor , #Luxor_is_on_fire , #Talaat_Shabeeb and #No_Hatem_has_stood_in_front_of_court.

    I have not seen something like that in the past two years. Already, this could be the biggest anti-ministry of interior or anti-regime protest the political conservative Upper Egypt has seen in the past three years over a matter like the police brutality.

    Luxor is not a Pro-Muslim Brotherhood area already and I believe that most of those protesters are not affiliated to any other political group.

    I do not know who organized such protest, I would dare and say that it seems that people are truly angry in Luxor to the level of participating in a protest regardless of the infamous protest law.
    I am not going to jump into conclusion but what I see here is another evidence that the people of Egypt are not sleeping and that 25 January revolution is not dead in a way or another.

    I know that his is the wild wild upper Egypt where tribalism, honor and vengeance are above the religion and law, the only way to live.

    I know also that in the upcoming hours if not in the past hours the government, the ministry of interior are trying to solve the situation and contain it rapidly before it escalates more.

    I know without even having contacts in Luxor that the ministry of interior is having talks with the elderly in the big clans urging them to use tribalism in order to contain the anger of the citizens in Luxor.

    Now the police officers responsible for the reported torture of late Talaat Shabeeb can be a target to a personal vendetta where the Shabeeb clan should preserve its honor by killing the man or the men responsible for his murder even if it will take years.

    This is Upper Egypt and this is what is the MOI is thinking about now.

    FYI  Upper Egypt is the most armed place in Egypt where everybody carries a gun. I am speaking about a level that NRA would be proud of.

    Anyhow, we are speaking about a ministry that does not take any serious step to stop torture or physical in Egyptian police stations, prisons and detention centers.

    By the way, Egyptian human rights activists and organizations recorded only this week  4 cases of torture in police stations where 3 suspects were tortured till death !! It is just like old times !! 

    0 0

    There are new updates regarding the incident of Talaat Shabeeb in Luxor following the escalation of the people there and their angry protests.

    Late Shabeeb 

    As I expected and predicted in the first post, the Ministry of interior “MOI” is trying to contain the anger of the people in the Upper Egyptian city.
    The Assistant minister of interior for South Upper Egypt affairs traveled to Luxor and presented his condolence personally to the family of Talaat Shabeeb.

    The Luxor security directorate was going to organize some sort of vigil, oh yes a vigil at Al-Awamiyah to pay their respect to the victim and his family !!!

    I am amazed not because they are not holding candles and would carry banners but because those are Egyptian police officers doing that in the heart of Upper Egypt.

    Already from three days only, the head of Luxor security directorate said in media statements that Talaat Shabeeb was actually a drug dealer and had a criminal record.

    Shabeeb used to papyrus papers to Tourists at Luxor temples.

    There are media reports that the police officer involved in the death of Shabib was transferred from the police station and he is investigated by the MOI internally.
    The Prosecutor General also is investigating the case.

    Moving to Ismailia , in the heart of Suez Canal cities.

    A similar incident took place last Thursday involving the death of a citizen in police custody and strangely it has the same details like Shabeeb.

    A veterinarian called Afify Hassan was arrested while working in his wife’s pharmacy on Thursday by a police force. They allegedly claimed that he was a drug dealer and that he had a criminal record.
    After few hours of his custody, Dr. Hassan passed away due to a heart attack.

    On the other hand , his wife Reem Youssef revealed that the police officer that arrested her husband used to harass them allegedly to force them to leave the pharmacy for the sake of the building landlord.
    Late Afify Hassan 
    Dr. Reem Youssef says that her husband already suffered from heart disease and fainted at the police station and was transferred to the hospital where he died.

    It is unclear whether he was tortured or what caused him to faint at the police station.

    She also added that the police force that stormed her pharmacy did not have any search warrant in the first place to search the place.

    Dr. Youssef has a proof that her husband was taken from the pharmacy that night according to a surveillance video camera. The footage shows late Hassan roughed up by two persons , allegedly a police officer and a low ranking police officer who took him to the police station.

    This is considered the last time Hassan was seen alive in his wife’s pharmacy.
    Arresting late Dr. Houssni.

    Hassan’s family as well The Syndicate of veterinarians in Ismailia raised the matter in the media.
    The general prosecution is currently investigating the matter.

    The Ismailia security directorate announced that it suspended the police officer involved in the case.

    On Saturday following his funeral, the people in his neighborhood protested and blocked a road in the Suez canal city demanding justice. I think the protest in Luxor on Friday inspired.
    The protesters blocked Mohamed Ali street in Ismailia to denounce
    the death of Afify Hassan in police custody 


    #ياخبر | فيديو من مظاهرات الإسماعيلية بعد مقتل الطبيب ضحية ضابط المباحث محمد ابراهيم.
    Posted by ‎Ya5abar - ياخبر‎ on Saturday, November 28, 2015
    In a bad silly joke , the head of Ismailia security directorate went to attend the memorial service of late Afify Hassan.
    The head of Ismailia security directorate at Dr. Afify's
    memorial service. 
    Moving to October city in Giza, we got another incident but it does not involve death thank Goodness.

    On Thursday,  a police officer is currently detained pending investigation for assaulting a bus driver and falsifying a police report that the bus driver was arrested on drugs.

    Two brave ladies witnessed the incident and reported it to the prosecution.

    In a bad irony, people are thanking the prosecutor who is investigating the case, as if what he did in that case was an extraordinary thing not his job !!

    Later Saturday , President El-Sisi met with the minister of interior Magdy Abdel Ghafar and issued a decision to suspend any officer proved to be implicated in violating the citizens’ rights according to presidency on Saturday.

    Well noise works and the people of Luxor and Ismailia made a good job to deliver their message
    The ministry of interior itself is saying now that those incidents are isolated separate incidents that do not present a systematic policy.
    I think that they are rethinking their move , it seems that they are realized we are in 2010 somehow. 

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