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    Following the escalation in the torture case of Luxor, a new political graffiti appeared in the Upper Egyptian city that says a lot.
    That graffiti painting surfaced days after the death of Talaat Shabeeb last Tuesday in the police custody.
    No Hatem has ever stood a trial

    It says “Is this chaos ?? No Hatem has ever stood a trial” depicting from a silhouette of a low ranking police officer.
    Hatem and the Silhouette depict the character “Hatem”, the corrupted low-ranking police officer in Youssef Chahin‘s last film “Is This chaos !?”.

    I can tell that the graffiti was inspired by the film’s poster.
    The film's poster
    I do not know who is the graffiti artist behind it.
    Portrayed by late Khaled Saleh , “Hatem” has become a symbol for the corrupted and much hated low ranking police officer  and police officers in general.  
    The words in the graffiti come from the fact that very few police officers and low-ranking officers stood trials in the past years for torture-related charges.
    Eye witnesses in Luxor city say that it is spread but to be honest I have not seen more photos for it in Luxor in various area.
    In 2012 during my visit to Aswan and Luxor, I saw several political anti-regime/anti-SCAF graffiti paintings. I saw more graffiti in Aswan city than Luxor. Most of the graffiti paintings had that sign of Ultras groups.
    It was right after that bloody night in Port Said Stadium.

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    Ismail Alexandrani 
    Egyptian political researcher, Sinai Expert and award-wining investigative journalist Ismail Alexandrani was detained upon his arrival from Berlin Sunday afternoon at Hurghada airport on

    He was detained for more than 9 hours in the airport where he was reportedly questioned by the National security without lawyers.

    I knew it from his friends and his wife , Khadija Gaafar who kept updating his status on Sunday and Monday.

    Ismail Alexandrani returned to Egypt because his mother is sick.

    After so many hours about wondering on his whereabouts , political science professor Rabab El-Mahdi then revealed that she got a call from him telling her that he was referred to the State prosecution in Nasr City in Cairo.

     Khaled Ali, the former presidential candidate and leftist human rights lawyer is going to attend the investigation with him

    تلقيت اتصال من اسماعيل الاسكندراني سيعرض غدا صباحا علي نيابة أمن الدولة بالقاهرة و سيحضر معه خالد علي
    Posted by Rabab El-Mahdi on Monday, November 30, 2015

    According to the political researcher and investigative journalist’s friend, he was allegedly detained due to a memo issued by the Egyptian embassy in Berlin allegedly for cooperating with with an international human rights organization.

    Journalist and political researcher Abdel Rahman Ayyash , it turned out that last October and he and Ismail Alexandrani as well a group of Egyptian political analysts were invited to Berlin to speak in a workshop organized by The German Council on Foreign relation.

    The workshop was about “Deconstructing Islamist terrorism in Egypt” and it was attended by experts from UK , Germany, Lebanon and the States. Since Day 1, it seems that the Egyptian embassy in Berlin disapproved the workshop and the Egyptian participants in it.

    It even sent a message to the workshop organizers that the Egyptian participants were all members of the Muslim Brotherhood. The Egyptian FM even intervened and made the Egyptian ambassador contact the German ministry of foreign affairs.

    The organizers were alarmed and told the Egyptian participants about that and two Egyptian participants even decided not to leave Egypt.Ismail Alexandrani was not worried about that but it seems that he was wrong.
    In other words , he was detained allegedly  because of the Egyptian embassy in Berlin's memo over what he said in Germany about Sinai

    Needless to say , he is not a supporter of Egypt’s current regime and is extremely critical for its policies in Sinai.

    This reminds me so much with what happened with Hossam Bahgat.
    I hope that Ismail Alexandrani will be released soon just like Bahgat.

    Now when it comes to Alexandrani and his expertise, I can say that he is from best and few true experts who understand Sinai and what is happening in it.
    His only side in that war on terrorism in North Sinai is the people of Sinai’s side. He only focused on the people’s agony.

    Personally , I believe the army should listen to Alexandrani and his views on North Sinai and ISIS affiliated group there. I pray actually that this day comes because we do not need crazy conspiracy theory generals who live in the 1960s but rather researchers like Alexandrani.

    Originally from Alexandria , He is internationally award wining investigative journalist.

    The 32-years old sociopolitical researcher and his wife have been living in the United States for more than a year now. He was a visiting researcher at Wilson center.
    I hope that he is released on Tuesday inshallah.

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    Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi represented the country as well Africa in the UN Climate Change “COP21” in Paris where he spoke about the need of international support whether technically or financially to combat climatic change impacts.
    The Climate summit in Paris "COP21"
    He spoke about how despite Africa was the least producing continent when it comes to emission, it is paying the most according to statistics.
    As the representative of the African Nations at the UN Climate change summit, the Egyptian president presented the two African initiatives the world countries.
    The first initiative is about the renewable energy and it is very important one. I do not understand the second initiative, but I think it is about the technical support to Africa to combat the global warming ..etc.
    Egypt also presented its project to have the biggest
    The Sisi’s speeches to the world in COP21 were fine and great but as usually they contradict what the Egyptian government or administration is doing in reality from projects that will affect Egypt’s environment negatively.
    Egypt is going to rely on coal for 25% of its energy by the year 2030.
    Sisi spoke about the impact of emissions on Africa and forgot about the impact of coal emissions in Egypt.
    BY the way according to a UN report in the COP21, the construction of coal power plants will increase emissions predictably 4 times higher the 2 degrees target by 2030. 
    It is worth to mention El-Sisi in his speeches that it wanted the target to be 1.5 degrees if I am not mistaken.
    How are you going to achieve this in your own country if you are going to building coal power plants?
    Of course, the advocates of coal say that it is no longer pollutant thanks to new technologies and that the solar energy can not be relied upon yet !!
    I would like those advocates to see India and Germany.
    I know that India is still struggling with coal but still, it is solar energy initiative is impressive.
    The ministers in Egypt justify their decision to depend on coal that they would not let people hungry. Seriously, Sisi should have shared the statements of his ministers in this matter with the COP21 guests and activists about coal.

    Unfortunately, it is not about the people because there are whole villages in Egypt without electricity access in the first place.
    Then we have that mega project of Dabaa Nuclear power plant which we will millions to construct in very hard time in order to generate electricity in 2024 !!
    Instead of building coal and nuclear power plants that won’t operate any time soon or feed the hungry people of Egypt tomorrow , we have to expand the solar energy use.
    The Sun is another gift of God to Egypt and if we have already wasted the Nile , we still got the sun.
    It will provide jobs, energy and preserve climate.
    In India since 2003 , not less than 1700 villages were provided with electricity using Solar power and more villages are joining them.
    Why not ask help from India, it is already providing training in Africa to the women villagers in rural villages on how to maintain solar energy.
    If I were El-Sisi , I would go and immediately ask for Indian expertise in spreading solar energy in Egyptian villages.
    I am not a scientist to say but villages in Upper Egypt can produce to solar energy enough to light the country and even to export it if it is done in the right way.
    Instead of investing fancy mega-projects that may not see the light anytime soon, we can start in adopting solar energy and its projects. We can even export energy to other countries. Morocco already is constructing the biggest Solar plant in the world where it is expected to provide half of the country energy needs by 2020 and even there will be spare for export.
    This is a mega-project that is worth investing in.
    It is the future.
    Already we played some role in the solar energy history after all !!

    Updated :

    I found out that the European Bank for reconstruction and development “EBRD” has allocated up to $ 500 million for 2016 to finance Egypt’s new solar energy programme. According to the EBRD’s statement “ The solar energy programme aims at constructing utility-scale solar projects within the private sector with a generating capacity of 2,000 megawatts, with many of them to be located in Upper Egypt”
    This is a great start but still I wish we end that coal and nuclear projects focusing instead on renewable energy. Let’s take India and Germay as example in 2015 !!

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    That moment when you realize that your neighborhood is making headlines worldwide .. for all the wrong reasons, unfortunately.
    Earlier Friday at nearly 6 AM, at the Upscale Nile Street in Agouza a fire broke out at a nightclub killing and injuring a number of people.
    Soon enough, it turned out that the fire broke out due to a Molotov Cocktail attack.
    Unfortunately, 16 people were killed in the attack including 5 women and a child. Do not ask me what a child was doing there. Three others were injured.
    Now I live in this area and this place actually just three blocks away or even less from where I live.
    It is not a big nightclub,  it is not known to many people as a nightclub because it has got the sign of a seafood restaurant "Al-Siyad"
    It is a tiny shady place.
    From Andalou news agency 
    It is not “Flying Fish” restaurant which is located at the same street as too many people confused between the two places.
    Unfortunately, foreign media took the news as a bomb attack because BBC reported that it was a fire ‘bomb’ and we are currently in the terrorism frenzy.
    It is not a terrorist attack, it is a fight between the owner and some people according to the owner of the nightclub himself.
    Now I got two questions on why there was no safe exit in that place and why a fight would escalate to the level of the Molotov attack like that.
    Updated :
    The security forces arrested two suspects accused of throwing the Molotov cocktails at the place. The two fled Cairo and were arrested in Suez. The first suspect is 18 years old and the second is 19 years. They are from Imbaba, the low Working Class populated area neighborhood. According to Press, they said that they did because the bouncer refused to let them in because they looked from a poor class.
    This is the saddest thing I have read. 

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    And the High Elections Committee “HEC”” announced the final results of the Parliamentary elections 2015 on Friday.
    The second stage of the elections’ runoffs were held last week already.
    Now to the big results, to the big official numbers.
    From a polling station in the elections

    The average turnout in the parliamentary elections 2015 reached to 28.3% where 15,206,100 out of 53,786,762 eligible voters.
    This is independent MPs parliament as 316 independent MPs were elected while 239 party affiliated MPs were elected

    According to the official results, 21 parties made it to this parliament. The Free Egyptians Party made a historical victory with 65 seats yet the Liberal party does not have the enough seats to form the majority nor to form the government according to Constitution and House of Representatives law. It needs over 300 seats to form the government. This actually was expected since day.

    The second big surprise in those elections was the landslide victory of the New Future of Homeland Party that is led by a 25-years ambitious young who wants to become Egypt’s PM. The Pro-Sisi party is believed to be the next NDP in its own way.
    In the upcoming two weeks, there will be elections in four constituencies.
    I did a quick comparison between the parliamentary elections in 2011 and 2015. Of course in 2011, we had a historical turnout comparing to 2015.

    It is also worth to mention that we had different elections and people’s assembly laws with a different system than the current elections and House of representatives law. One of the main difference is that we had a better Party Proportional list system that allowed bigger representation for the parties than in 2015.
    I did a small comparison between the parties that made it in the parliamentary elections in 2011 and in 2015.
    Of course, the map changed completely. We used to have an Islamist domination in the parliament whereas we have a Nationalist domination when it comes to the parties this year. From economic views , we are still having a Neoliberal policies domination in this parliament.

    Only 8 parties made it from 2011 People’s assembly to 2015 House of Representatives. Those parties are: Free Egyptians Party, Al-Wafd Party, Egyptian Social Democratic Party, Reform and Development Party, Freedom Party, Tagammu Party, Conservative Party and Democratic Peace Party.

    Al-Wafd Party and Egyptian Social Democratic Party lost seats.
    It is worth to mention that NDP offshoot parties achieved to secure seats through the “In Love of Egypt” List.
    The Pro-Sisi "In Love of Egypt" List secured all the List-based seats , the 120 seats in the House of Representatives.
    It is expected that the Non-party affiliated members in the list are going to form a parliamentarian coalition to be supportive to Sisi of couse. 

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    As the weather is getting cold in Giza, I love watching video clips from summer and warm places in Egypt.
    I think I will seize this opportunity and post here this wonderful video made by Abdel Rahman Gabr for his upcoming book “Faces of Egypt”.

    Faces of Egypt ( Siwa ) from Abdelrahman Gabr on Vimeo.
    That video was shot in Siwa oasis.
    It is very beautiful video. I really love the work of Abdel Rahman Gabr
    Here are some photos Gabr released online from that beautiful quiet place in Egypt.

    A young man from Siwa by Abdel Rahman Gabr 
    An overview for one of the lakes in the oasis
    by Abdel Rahman Gabr
    An amazing scene for the Milkyway Galaxy in Siwa by
    Abdel Rahman Gabr. Zoom into the photo to see a comet flying by 
    I hope Siwa remains as it is, I hope it remains safe.

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    In the upcoming days, Sotheby’s in New York is going to put up for an auction a collection of ancient Egyptian artifacts, heritage activists back in Cairo believe that they were taken out of the country illegally.
    On 8 December, Sobthey’s will present what it described as“a sale almost exclusively dedicated to ancient Egyptian sculpture and works of art, the first auction of its kind in recent memory.”
    Unfortunately, I only knew about it now thanks to heritage activist Sally Soliman. 
    The Egyptian Press spoke about as I searched online since November and yet the ministry of antiquities and our embassy in the States did nothing as far as about that auction.
    That sale or auction includes ancient Egyptian statues, busts and pieces believed by heritage activists to be taken out of the country illegally.
    Needless to say, I found a fragment from Karnak temple up for sale in that auction. I do not think that Egypt sold pieces of Karnak Temples complex before legally.
    The fragment from Karnak Complex temple
    Estimated price between $ 2000 to $5000
    A Large Egyptian Wood Mummy Mask,
    25th/early 26th Dynasty, circa 750-600 B.C.
    Price estimated between $ 300,000 to 500,000
    " Sotheby's"
    An Egyptian Basalt Bust of Tuthmosis III,
    18th Dynasty, reign of Tuthmosis III, 1479-1426 B.C.
    Estimated price between $200,000 to $300,000
    An Egyptian Steatite Figure of the Lady Iset, Chantress of Sobek,
    19th Dynasty, Reign of Ramesses I/
    early in the Reign of Ramesses II, circa 1292-1250 B.C.
    Estimated price $600,000 to 900,000
    Interestingly, I found among those pieces up for sale, a small statue for ancient Egyptian goddess Sekhmet that was owned by John Lennon.
     A Monumental Granite Figure of Sekhmet Enthroned, Thebes,
    18th Dynasty, reign of Amenhotep III, 1403-1365 B.C.
    Its price estimate between $3,000,000 to $5,000,000
    Reading about John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s little adventure in Egypt in Amr Ali’s blog , makes me believes that that Sekhmet found her way to the Big Apple illegally.
    I know it is too late but one must try everything possible way.

    By the way , Those are not the recent artifacts related to Egypt that are going to be sold in Sotheby’s NY this week.
    On 9 December as well a magnificent diamond necklace that was once owned by Queen Nazli of Egypt is going to put up for an auction.
    That 1939 Van Cleef & Arpels necklace expected to be sold for a price between  $3,600,000 to $4,600,000 departed Egypt with former late Queen Nazli in 1949 when her son King Farouk expelled her and his sister Fathia.
    In a big original Middle Eastern Royal Drama , the last King of Egypt expelled his mother and sister stripping them from their royal titles after the marriage of Princess Fathia from her personal secretary, Riyad Ghali.
    Ghali was originally a Christian and despite he converted to Islam , the King rejected the marriage and it was one hell of a crisis in Egypt with protests against the king mocking him for having no control on his wild mom and sister.
    King ,Queen Mother and Sultana
    Queen Nazli wearing the necklace in some Royal Dinner and besides her, King Farouk
    of Egypt and Sudan and Sultana Malk, the eldest member of the Royal Family then 

    The sad story of Nazli and Fathia did not end well in the United States where they lived till the end of their lives.
    It was tragedy after tragedy like a Classical Egyptian drama.

    In Mid 1970s , Riyad Ghali who became a violent alcoholic killed Fathia in their house in Los Angeles.

    Queen Nazli wearing her legendary Tiara
    and necklace 
    Queen Nazi already sold that Necklace and more pieces of her fancy jewelry in mid 1970s in a public auction to pay her bills.
    The diamond necklace made in 1939
    for the late Queen of Egypt 

    This is the second major piece from her legendary jewelry collection to find its way to the public.
    I wonder what happened to her diamond Tiara.

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    Kodak Agfa posted a photo:

    Setting up a billboard in #Downtown #Citizenjournalism #blogger

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  • 12/07/15--09:33: December 07, 2015 at 07:33PM

  • Setting up a billboard in #Downtown #Citizenjournalism #blogger December 07, 2015 at 07:33PM via Instagram

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    Do you remember when people start to feel that there was something wrong with our relation with Sudan lately ? Do you remember that incident of that Sudanese citizen who was tortured in a Cairo police station and his case caused a crisis between Egypt and Sudan from couple of weeks ago ? During then , some people in Cairo said that there was no crisis in Egypt and Sudan adding that the Muslim Brotherhood was behind those rumors of crisis !!
    Well it turned out that this crisis was actually the tip of an ice-berg or rather the start of a bigger crisis. Remember how I hinted out that the Sudanese media was unexpectedly highlighting it and that there was something going. Well, here it is crystal clear.
    On 5 December in a special interview from Dubai on Al-Arabiya News channel , Sudanese President Omar El-Bashir said that Hala’ib triangle was a Sudanese territory and that Egypt occupied it in 1995 adding that it was a main issue between the two countries.
    Omar El-Bashir : Hala’ib was occupied by Egypt in 1995
    He also revealed that Sudan presented a complaint to the UN security council against Egypt for holding parliamentary elections in Hala’ib triangle. BY the Egypt is officially a member of the UN security council in its current term.
    Also Hala’ib tribes have been participating in both Egyptian and Sudanese elections for a long time. Most Egyptian and Sudanese people ignore that fact thanks to the media.    
    It seems that we got a big crisis with Sudan , it is not about Sudanese citizens’ abuse in Egyptian police stations.
    First I spoke about Hala’ib triangle dispute several times in my blog since 2010 using my great Grandfather geography book.
    Omar El-Bashir , who is officially a wanted war criminal international is playing some sort of a game with the current Egyptian administration just like he did with Morsi administration and Mubarak administration.
    Omar El-Bashir with El-Sisi earlier this year
    in Sharm El-Sheikh during the economic conference
    "Egyptian Presidency" 
    Yet this time , he is using explicitly the Grand Renaissance Ethiopian Dam talks as a leverage.
    Anyhow, it seems that the Egyptian administrations got no problem in working with that war criminal until he starts acting like that every single time !!!!
    Personally, I said it before. I believe Hala’ib triangle is Egyptian territory but we can create an economic zone or open border zone between Sudan and Egypt in this area like before where everybody wins. 
    What amazes me is that this man announced that announcement while he was in a visit in UAE , El-Sisi’s biggest supporter in the region if not the world.
    Some hint out that his statements in Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya News TV channel were another sign that the relations with the Saudi Kingdom were not okay.
    I am waiting to see the next move from Egypt honestly.
    So far Egyptian officials in the Egyptian ministry of foreign affairs including the official spokesperson refuse to comment in the media.
    On the other hand , the mainstream media including the State-owned newspapers and websites began to publish the same reports of the Egyptian identity of Hala’ib triangle along with interviews with the Chieftains of tribes there to say that they are Egyptians.

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    The Freedoms committee in Egypt’s Journalists syndicate in Cairo launched a campaign earlier this week and it is called “We are going to treat them and set them free...Journalism is not crime” in order to release 32 journalists currently imprisoned and detained  in Egypt.

    On Wednesday, the committee organized its first stand at the famous journalists syndicate's staircase demanding the release of those 32 journalists including Photographer Mahmoud Abou Zeid “Shawkan”.
    The stand at the Journalists syndicate in Cairo by Amira Howaidy 
    The stand at the Journalists syndicate in Cairo
    " Freedom of Shawkan FB"
    Mahmoud Abou Zeid “Shawkan”, the freelance photographer has been detained for more than 800 days now. After few days, he will stand in front of a court at last.
    The photos of Shawkan dominated the stand
    "Momen Samir" 
    The photo of Political activist Ashraf Shehata
    who was forcibly disappeared in January
    was also there "Momen Samir"
    Shawkan has been detained since the dispersal of Rabaa in August 2013
    while doing his job "Momen Samir" 

    The stand was attended by a group of Egyptian journalists, photographers and human rights activists.
    The Freedoms committee says that that stand was the first step in its protest against the detention of those journalists.

    Posters of other journalists like photographer Omar Abdel Maksoud
    and Youssef Shaaban were there "Freedom for Shawkan" 
    The Freedoms committee also held a press on Wednesday at the syndicate about the situation of the detained journalists as well political detainees in Egypt in general.

    According to famous human rights activist Aida Seif , the head of Nadeem Center who spoke in the press conference, the center recorded about nearly 307 medical negligence since the start of 2015 till the end of the November. She also added that during that period 77 people died during their detention.

    Tonight on the occasion of the Human rights Day , the Freedoms committee will hold a presser about the Forcible disappearances and torture in Egypt.
    Back to Shawkan , the young freelance photographer who is suffering from Hepatitis C sent a letter to the world earlier this month.

    Amnesty International published the letter. 
    Here is what it says

    In the next few days, finally I’m going to at least know my destiny. But, I do not know: how am I feeling? In no way do I feel like it will be my justice day.I do not want to disappoint you, I am just trying to be real. In my country we have lost meaning of that kind of words.Of course after more than 850 days in the black hole without fairness and justice, I am lost in limbo.Just because I was doing my job as a photographer. I am in jail without even knowing why am I here?! I’m sorry to tell you that “I became a person of full of hopelessness.”This is my new me. However, I keep resisting my new me because of you and only because all of you, all the people and all supporters who are standing by me.You keep me feeling that I’m not alone. You all have become my power and my energy and without all of you I cannot go through this.I want to send my deep love and respect and my appreciation of all what you are doing for me. I feel so lucky to have such kind people like you. And indeed it’s my honor to count you as my friends.“KEEP SHOUTING, JOURNALISM IS NOT A CRIME”
    ShawkanTora Prison1.Dec.2015

    I have nothing to say more except praying that he will be released inshallah in the first session in court.  

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  • 12/10/15--04:33: December 10, 2015 at 02:33PM

  • At the egyptian museum in #Cairo #blogger #citizenjounalism #ThisisEgypt December 10, 2015 at 02:33PM via Instagram

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  • 12/10/15--06:26: December 10, 2015 at 04:25PM

  • From the Egyptian museum in #Cairo #citizenjounalism #blogger #ThisisEgypt December 10, 2015 at 04:25PM via Instagram

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  • 12/10/15--06:31: December 10, 2015 at 04:31PM

  • A granite " I think" sarcophagus at the #Egyptian #museum in #Cairo from ancient Egypt. #citizenjounalism #blogger #ThisisEgypt December 10, 2015 at 04:31PM via Instagram

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  • 12/10/15--07:00: December 10, 2015 at 05:00PM

  • A closer look to the sarcophagus at the #Egyptian #museum in #Cairo #blogger #citizenjounalism #ThisisEgypt #Egypt December 10, 2015 at 05:00PM via Instagram

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  • 12/10/15--07:06: December 10, 2015 at 05:06PM

  • The sarcophaguses section at the #Egyptian #museum in #Cairo #ThisisEgypt #citizenjounalism #blogger December 10, 2015 at 05:06PM via Instagram

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  • 12/10/15--15:35: December 10, 2015 at 05:10PM

  • A sarcophagus with an ancient #Egyptian man engraved on granite with #hieroglyphics on it at the #Egyptian #museum in #Cairo #blogger #citizenjounalism #ThisisEgypt #Egypt December 10, 2015 at 05:10PM via Instagram

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  • 12/10/15--07:24: December 10, 2015 at 05:24PM

  • The #Egyptian #museum in #Cairo #Egypt #ThisisEgypt #citizenjounalism #blogger December 10, 2015 at 05:24PM via Instagram

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    Kodak Agfa posted a photo:

    #Egypt's unknown solider memorial in #Cairo #citizenjounalism #blogger #ThisisEgypt

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  • 12/11/15--06:38: December 11, 2015 at 04:38PM

  • #Egypt's unknown solider memorial in #Cairo #citizenjounalism #blogger #ThisisEgypt December 11, 2015 at 04:38PM via Instagram

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