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7000 years and counting ...

older | 1 | .... | 137 | 138 | (Page 139) | 140 | 141 | .... | 163 | newer

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    And this is one Happy Easter indeed :)
    Cairo's criminal court acquitted Aya Hijazi, her husband and the rest of the defendants in the "Beladi foundation" trial earlier Sunday after three years in detention on charges of several charges including human trafficking and sexual exploitation of street children.
    This is one of the best news I have heard recently.
    Aya Hijazi
    Aya Hijazi smiling to her husband Hassanein inside the court's cage
    "Reuters" 
    The 29-years old Aya Hijazi, her husband Mohamed Hassanein and the 6 other member team were accused of trafficking, kidnapping, and the sexual exploitation and torture of children.
    The George Mason University graduate and her team were arrested in May 2014.
    For the Past 33 month "Over 1000 day", Aya and her team were detained in custody whether pending investigation or pending trial illegally.

    According to the Egyptian law, the maximum period of pretrial detention is 24 months.
    Aya Hijazi
    Aya Hijazi and the victory sign at court "Elsam Gomaa" 
    To be honest I did not expect Hijazi and her team to be acquitted of all charges on Sunday.
    I expected that she would get a presidential pardon eventually but after a long time in jail just like Mohamed Sultan, Peter Greste and Mohamed Fahmy.

    Many are speaking about the effect of Sisi's visit to Washington D.C from two weeks ago and how the American administration.
    Some are saying that it is not the American administration but rather the U.S Congressmen and Senators especially the Democrats who adopted Aya's case.
    It is worth to mention that president Abdel Fattah El-Sisi made it clear in his interview with Fox News Channel that he does not interfere in the judiciary.
     He also added that he was willing to pardon her if she was found guilty.

    This is his usual answer when asked about certain trials.
    Anyhow back to the happy sweet couple Aya and Mohamed.
    Mohamed Hassanein told journalists that he would continue helping the street children in Egypt.
    Aya also confirmed their plan.

    I do not know if they are really going to stay in Egypt or they will head to the United States.
    They suffered a lot and it is enough how they have been defamed by cheap pro-regime media.
    Unfortunately, they cannot be compensated for the time they spent in custody.
    Aya Hijazi and her husband
    The couple in court's cage "Sharif Kouddous" 

    The couple and the other 6 people will be released later this week.

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    First, Belated Happy Easter to all those who celebrated it around the globe especially the Egyptian Christians who had real tough week.
    Second, Happy Sham El-Nassim to all Egyptian around the globe.
    Happy Spring Feast
    Here is an old Kawkab issue's cover showing young Soad Hosni celebrating the spring feast in 1960.
    Soad Hosni
    Soad Hosni on the cover of El-Kawkab
    "Misr El-Mahrousa zaman FB page"
    A decade later, legendary Honsi became the queen of spring when she sang "El- Donia Rabe'i" in her blockbuster " Amira, my love"

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    Usually, the military spokespersons are very specific and careful about what they say. After all , they represent their armies as well their governments or regimes.
    On Sunday , a video clip went viral in Saudi Arabia and Egypt. It started in the Kingdom before reaching Egypt's social media realm causing anger and astonishment.

    In an interview with Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya News General manager and prominent journalist Turki Aldakhil on Sunday, the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen official spokesperson Major General Ahmed Asiri spoke mainly about the coalition and its start in 2015 and its progress.

    In a 45-second video clip, Asiri speaks about President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and howhe offered to send between 30,000-40,000 soldiers as ground forces in Yemen.
    Asiri speaks about El-Sisi's alleged offer

    Here is what was said translated into English:



    Turki Adakhil : Egypt offered the coalition ....
    Ahmed Asiri : Yes, it is well known that his excellency President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi offered the Saudi government and the coalition that the Egyptian government government would send ground troops on ground but the "methodology" then "and I mentioned that several times before" did not demand having non-Yemeni forces in Yemen.; Why ?
    Because Yemenis should first defend their land and their freedom
    Turki Adakhil : and the Egyptian forces ?
    Ahmed Asiri :Now the Egyptian forces are participating with Navy and air forces but at that time we were speaking about number 30,000 to 40,000 soldiers
    Turki Adakhil : ground forces ?
    Ahmed Asiri : Yes , ground forces in addition to Saudi forces on the borders as well the other forces that would join for a ground operation.
    So according to Major General Ahmed Asiri, Egypt's president Abdel Fattah El-Sisi offered to send between 30,000 and 40,000 Egyptian soldiers in March 2015 to join Saudi Arabia and its coalition to liberate Yemen from Iranian-backed Houthi rebels through ground operation but the Kingdom or the coalition rejected the offer kindly because Yemen needed its children then ..etc.
    Throughout September 2015, we had too many rumors about the participation of Egyptian ground troops which were denied by the Coalition spokesperson aka Ahmed Asiri himself.
    Major General Asiri
    Major General Asiri "Reuters

    And Yes, Egypt's official participation in the coalition involved naval and air forces units only.

    On Monday, there was complete official silence on the Egyptian front.

    Still, unofficially Al-Shorouk Daily Newspaper quoted anonymous Egyptian informed source who denied completely what the Saudi military official said. The source was amazed on why Asiri would make such mistake and say that in a TV show.

    On Tuesday, Major General Asiri retracted what he said.
    He claimed that he was not referring to Egypt's Participation in the ongoing Yemen war but rather to Sisi's failed Joint Arab force project that was suggested at the Arab summit in Sharm El-Sheikh in March 2015.
    He said in statements to Al-Arabiya that Egypt offered 40,000 ground forces to join that joint Arab forces that never saw the light.
    That's why I translated the whole clip. Asiri was specific in what he said about Egypt in the Yemen war.
    Saudi officials like Asiri and media figures like Aldakhil do not speak of their minds easily or make mistakes like this easily.

    I totally do not understand why he would say that and then he retracted.
    This is more than interesting because it seems to the whole world that aside from Tiran and Sanafir saga and Muslim Brotherhood reconciliation with the state, the level of Egypt's military participation in the ongoing war in Yemen is among the main points of disagreement between the Egyptian and Saudi regime.
    It is not a big secret but all media reports speak on how Saudi Arabia and UAE were unsatisfied with the level of Egypt's participation in the coalition and wanted Egyptian boots on the Yemeni ground but Sisi and his administration refuse it.
    Sisi knows very well how the Egyptian public looks to Yemen war in the 1960s as our own Vietnam war.

    By the way speaking about Tiran and Sanafir isles, Egypt' administrative court set the date of 6 June to rule on legal jurisdiction dispute about Tiran and Sanafir isles.
    The lawsuit was filed by activist and lawyer Khaled Ali following the Urgent matters court's verdict against the Supreme administrative court's verdict that annulled the Egyptian Saudi maritime demarcation agreement.
    According to Khaled Ali, the administrative court decided to set the date for its verdict from the first session in the lawsuit.
    Needless to say that the regime is insisting that it is Saudi in the media.

    Also on Tuesday, Iraq's leader of Shiite National alliance bloc in Iraqi parliament MP Ammar El-Hakim started an official visit to Cairo where he met President El-Sisi and FM Sameh Shoukry.
    I do not know what is really going between Cairo and Riyadh but it seems that it is too complicated.

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    And Aya Hijazi returned to the United States, that is the main and sole news Egypt was speaking about on Friday.
    Egyptian-American Hijazi arrived the United States on Friday along with her husband Mohamed Hassanein on a special plane accompanied by a top adviser to Donald Trump personally.
    Their plan to stay in Egypt and to restart their project to help Cairo's street children seemed to be doomed.
    Even after their full acquittal from all the shameful charges like child exploitation and human trafficking last week, it will not be an easy to start again an independent NGO like "Beladi" now with the new NGOs law and its strict regulations.
    It is not like 2011 or even 2013 in Cairo.
    Hijazi and Hassanein returned to D.C along with Dina Powell, Donald Trump's deputy national security advisor for strategy
    The Egyptian-American whose star is shining recently among Trump's White House staff came to Egypt and met with El-Sisi last week according to the Washington Post's report about Aya's return to the U.S.
    No journalist or reporter as far as I know in Egypt spoke or even knew that Dina Powell was in town except Washington Post. She was not alone in Cairo as U.S secretary of defense Jim Mattis was in town as well.
    Aya arrived in Washington and hours later, she and her brother Bassil were received warmly in the White House.
    Interestingly, the US president refused to answer any questions or let the media ask any question. It was clever to end at that point because the no.1 question would be: You lifted the human rights condition when it comes to the relations with Egypt but here you are sitting with one of those human rights cases !?
    The 30-years old Egyptian-American sat on the same chair like Abdel Fattah El-Sisi from two weeks ago.
    Aya Hijazi and Trump
    Aya Hijazi shaking hands with Trump
    on the same chair like El-Sisi "Reuters"

    I feel sad that I did not have got the opportunity to rant about Sisi's big visit to Washington D.C.
    Sisi and Trump
    Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and Trump from two weeks ago
    "Reuters 
    Hijazi also took the same photo with Trump in the oval house just like El-Sisi but it was not spread like the above photos.
    The Egyptian-American girl also took a picture with Ivanka Trump.
    Aya Hijazi is a true Egyptian girl with her formal black and white cute look.
    Needless to say, knowing the role Dina Powell played, it was expected to see Ivanka in the picture and not Steven Bannon.

    According to the Washington Post as well the official statements coming from D.C say that Aya Hijazi and her Beladi team were freed after "Trump's intervention" explicitly.Here is the US departement of state's Arabic account quoting WH press secretary Sean Spicer speaking about "Intervention".

    A senior Trump administration official told the WaPo that agreement for Hijazi’s release was the product of Trump’s “discreet diplomacy and no favors were presented to Cairo in return.
    In another indirect way, there was intervention in Egyptian Judiciary's work.
    It is worth to mention that last week, Cairo's First-degree criminal court acquitted Aya and her team of all charges.
    El-Sisi has repeatedly that the Egyptian judiciary was independent and when he was asked about her in his Fox News interview, he said that he would use his legal power aka pardon after the verdict.
    For the record, Trump is saying that there has been no deal in Aya's case but all the news coming from the States speak about "intervention".

    The Egyptian foreign ministry has not issued any Comment about this matter yet.

    The Reality TV superstar president has not wasted any time in seizing the moment and using Aya's case to raise his popularity.
    Aya Hijazi and Trump
    Hijazi and Trump at the White House "Reuters" 
    Among his supporters and bad media, Donald Trump has succeeded in what Obama failed to do in three years: To Free the American citizen Aya Hijazi without any deal.
    He forgot that the US NGOs workers and Mohamed Soltan return back home as well during the time of Obama.
    There is always a price in such deals.
    Trump also is sending another indirect message that he is not against Muslim Americans after all Aya is a Muslim.

    Trump threw the current Egyptian administration under the bus for a publicity stunt.
    All the foreign media is speaking about is that brutal crackdown against the NGOs and we are back to that "coup that removed democratically elected president".
    Ironically, the man shared a patriot nationalist song on his personal account the WaPo article that slams the Egyptian regime.
    Pro-Sisi supporters are still in shock. The Pro-regime media in Egypt is furious. TV shows are attacking the young lady madly
    Shamefully, they are attacking Aya Hijazi and claiming that she is an American spy on the social media as well on TV channels boldly !!

    I read a crazy tweet of Pro-regime supporter saying that she must be a high ranking officer in the CIA to received in the White House like that !!

    Because if she were not a spy but why the President of the States sent her a military aircraft and received her at the While House !!??
    Anyhow wild theory went viral that she was exchanged with Egyptian Spy Mostafa Awad who was arrested spying on US for the sake of Egyptian intelligence !!
    There has been no swap of spies because there is not Egyptian spy detained in the United States in the first place and Mostafa Awad is not Egyptian but rather a Saudi-born !!!

    Sisi and Trump
    Sisi and Trump earlier this month at the White House "AFP"
    Ironically, those are the same people online who have been cheering for Trump and were so happy from two weeks when Sisi went to D.C.

    I totally understand their frustration and anger.

    This is the second time Trump shocks them. The first time was his also stunt raid in Syria.
    Anyhow those people forget the fact that officially she was not accused of espionage but rather a set of charges related to exploitation of street children.

    Another fact, Aya did not raise up the US passport except in a very time when she found herself detained without any trial year after year.

    The US government did what it should do from helping a citizen in a trouble abroad.
    Just like how the Italian government is doing with Regeni's file.

    This is what governments do but unfortunately, we do not have this concept in our part of the world.
    Only VIPs and officials as well security officers got this special treatment.

    That's why we find people accusing Aya of being a spy or a CIA agent just like late Giulio Regeni.

    Also, people forget how ousted President Mohamed Morsi himself intervened to release Egyptian journalist Shaimaa Adel from detention in Sudan in 2012. 

    Those facts should not be forgotten.

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    Kodak Agfa posted a photo:

    The famous palm trees of Orman garden

    The famous palm trees inside Orman public garden


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    Kodak Agfa posted a photo:

    Flowers everywhere at Egypt's Flowers show 2017

    Flowers pots with flowers from every shape and color


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    Kodak Agfa posted a photo:

    Inside a partition of a landscaping company in Egypt's flowers show 2017

    Inside a partition for landscape company in Egypt's Flowers Fair 2017


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    Kodak Agfa posted a photo:

    Inside a partition of a landscaping company in Egypt's flowers show 2017

    Inside a partition for landscape company in Egypt's Flowers Fair 2017


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    Kodak Agfa posted a photo:

    Inside a partition of a landscaping company in Egypt's flowers show 2017

    Inside a partition for landscape company in Egypt's Flowers Fair 2017


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    Kodak Agfa posted a photo:

    Inside a partition at Egypt's Spring Flowers show

    A lady buys a flower pot at one of the partitions at Egypt's Spring Flowers show


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    Kodak Agfa posted a photo:

    Flowers at Egypt's Spring Flowers show

    A collection of cheerful flowers at Egypt's Spring Flowers show


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    Kodak Agfa posted a photo:

    Flowers at Egypt's Spring Flowers show

    A collection of cheerful flowers at Egypt's Spring Flowers show


    0 0

    Kodak Agfa posted a photo:

    Flowers at Egypt's Spring Flowers show

    A collection of cheerful flowers at Egypt's Spring Flowers show


    0 0

    Kodak Agfa posted a photo:

    Flowers at Egypt's Spring Flowers show

    A collection of cheerful flowers at Egypt's Spring Flowers show


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    Kodak Agfa posted a photo:

    The flowers arc at Egypt's Flowers show 2017

    People taking photos at one of the partitions under some type of metal arc covered by flowers at Egypt's annual Spring Flowers show


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    Kodak Agfa posted a photo:

    The flowers arc at Egypt's Flowers show 2017

    People taking photos at one of the partitions under some type of metal arc covered by flowers at Egypt's annual Spring Flowers show


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    Kodak Agfa posted a photo:

    The pyramids of flowers at Egypt's flowers show 2017

    Pyramids made of flowers at an entrance of one of the partitions in Egypt's annual Spring Flowers show


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    Kodak Agfa posted a photo:

    The pyramids of flowers at Egypt's flowers show 2017

    Pyramids made of flowers at an entrance of one of the partitions in Egypt's annual Spring Flowers show


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    Kodak Agfa posted a photo:

    Taking photo at the flowers arc

    A young man taking a photo of his friend under an arc covered by flowers at Egypt's annual Spring Flowers show


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    There are a thousand thing for real I want to write about now whether Sinai or the Pope's visit or the internal debt but this is urgent and can not wait.
    Egyptian president Abdel Fattah El-Sisi has just ratified the controversial judicial authorities law officially issuing it late Thursday.
    The law has been issued in a supplement of the Egyptian State's official journal late Thursday. It is currently in effect.
    Sisi and judges
    Sisi and the judges at the Supreme court in April 2016

    This law gives the Egyptian president "head of executive power" the right to choose the heads of judicial authorities and main courts in the country out of three deputies proposed within each judicial authority.

    The old judicial authority law stipulates that the heads of judicial bodies are selected based on seniority by their judicial councils and that the president simply ratifies the council's selection.
    The Egyptian House of Representative passed the law already only on Wednesday in a 15-minutes-session without any deliberation or discussion at all.

    It was approved by two-third of the parliament.

    Only 35 MPs including some of pro-regime MPs as well MPs appointed by Sisi himself objected and did not vote. Some are totally against the law and others were against on the voting process itself.
    The parliament passed the law which will technically what so ever left from Judiciary independence in Egypt despite the complete rejection of judicial authorities.

    Already, the Egyptian State council rejected for legal and constitutional reasons the law twice when it was a draft and demanded the parliament to amend in accordance with the law and the constitution.
    We are speaking about 10 constitutional articles violated in that law according to the State council.

    The judges say that the new law ends the judiciary's independence and the separation of powers. Check my old post about this law please to know what the judges are referring to.
    Indeed, it ends both the independence of the judiciary and the separation of powers as it gives the president the right to choose the heads of the judicial authorities.
    I am wondering what the judges will do next and what really the opposition powers and parties in this country can do now.

    After the decision of the parliament to pass the infamous law, the Judges club's board held an urgent meeting calling all the judges' clubs' boards in the country to join it to discuss their next move.
    After hours, the board of judges' club canceled that their joint meeting other boards and had a separated meeting.
    The Club demanded the president not to ratify the law. The board of the club is going to appeal in front of the courts against the law to annul it.
    The Judges' club also announced that it would hold a general assembly meeting next 5 May.
    The State council club board also held an urgent meeting on Wednesday. The board demanded the president not to ratify it.
    The law in the official journal
    The law in the officialjournal

    The State council club has been more vocal against the law than the Judges' club in this crisis.
    The judges of the State council have to be vocal because this law is made specifically for them.

    Nearly all the country knows this law is made after the Tiran and Sanafir's historical verdict and administrative court judge who issued it.
    Judge Yahia El-Dakroury who ruled in June 2016 that the two isles were Egyptian annulling the Egyptian-Saudi deal to redraw the maritime borders was going to be the head of the State council according to the old law.
    Now, everybody knows that the judge who is known for his court rulings against government won't get it.

    The judges won't be able to organize any true meeting or mobilization as the Pope of the Vatican is coming to Egypt on Friday.
    Technically, Cairo is nearly locked down for that important visit in the upcoming two days.
    It is the perfect timing to pass whatever controversial unconstitutional laws without noise. People will get busy in the coverage of Pope's visit.
    It is frustrating. It is like Mubarak's judicial authorities law in 2005 but even worse.
    At least in Mubarak, the judges and civil society protested.Yes, the Constitutional court can annul this law for violating the constitution but it will be late.
    It turned out that the boards of judicial authorities should present their nominees to head their authorities within days, otherwise the President will appoint the heads by himself !!
    Damage is done.
    Now the Egyptian has a full legal control on both judiciary and media.
    I know the Pope's visit is important and historical. Still , this is more important and dangerous actually.

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