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7000 years and counting ...

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    First of all, due to my own personal reasons I have been away from the blog the past few days but I am back thank God to rant as usual ;)
    It is never too late to share with you a couple of photos I took in the famous Khan El-Khalili market during the Holy month in 2016.
    It has become an annual habit for me as well many Egyptians like me to spend to have a Ramadan Iftar "breakfast" there and hang around in the famous market's alleys.

    In 2015, I went to Khan El-Khalili market also in Ramadan and I spent a good night there.
    I entered Khan El-Khalili as usual from Al-Azhar square.
    In 2016, Al-Azhar Mosque was still being restored then just like in 2015.
    The restoration works have not finished yet as far as I have read lately in September 2017.

    Al-Azhar Mosque and Mohamed Abu Dahab Mosque
    Al-Azhar Mosque was still under restoration works 
    I want to visit the Mohamed Abu Dahab Mosque. The 18th-century ancient Mosque looks amazing from inside already according to the photos I found online and I feel it is so underrated.
    Abu El-Dahab and Al-Azhar Mosques
    Al -Azhar Mosque and Abu Dabab Mosque 

    I also want to know what building is standing beside Abu Dahab Mosque and a school.
    Besides Abu Dahab Mosque
    What is that old building? 

    It looks ancient to me as well. You can find the word "Allah" inscribed on the top of the entrance.
    Reaching Khan El-Khalili on Friday one hour before the Iftar, you would see many people in their way out while shops were closed during the sunset.
    A Khan Khalili sunset
    Going home before the sunset

    Most shops are closed in Egypt during Ramadan before the Iftar by one hour and are open to customers half an hour or one hour after the Iftar.
    As usual, I discover every year something new in Khan El-Khalili when it comes to the shops there. I discovered in 2016 the following shops.
    The precious and semi precious stones jewelry shops.
    A fancy jewelry shop in Khan El-Khalili
    Beautiful semi-precious and precious bracelets 

    They are not cheap at all. I want to buy them all of those rings and necklaces.
    Rings of Khan El-Khalili
    Precious and Semi-Precious rings 

    The beautiful Arabesque products from tables and boxes.
    An Arabesque shop in Khan El-Khalili
    Arabesque tables and boxes 

    And that very small hidden hotel in the heart of Khan El-Khalili "Nour El-Sabah".
    The hotel at the corner in Khan El-Khalil
    Nour El-Sabbah hotel 

    Amazingly, I found its telephone number in the Yellow Pages.
    I also found that very old HMV gramophone with an illustration of King Fouad I of Egypt and Sudan on it.
    A gramophone from King's time
    Old gramophone 

    I did not even dare to ask about its price.
    There were familiar scenes in Khan in 2016 just like in 2015 especially when it comes to the other shops and products.
    For instance, shops are still selling small clay colored figurines.
    Colored clay miniatures
    Colored clay figurines 

    I think in 2016 the latest fashion in small clay colored miniature statues was the Um Kalthoum ensemble.
    Um Kalthoum ensemble miniatures
    Om Kalthoum and her band were a common theme that year in the Khan 

    Um Kalthoum ensemble figurines in Khan El-Khalili
    Thuma again and her band one again 
    My favorite colored figurine was that old man reading a magazine with El-Sisi on its cover ;)
    Clay figurines in Khan El-Khalili
    The magazine reader figurine 

    There are as well the usual beautiful clay non-colored figurines.
    An Egyptian peasant figurine in Khan El-Khalili
    An Egyptian peasant clay figurine 

    The beautiful accessories there are still there.
    Accessories of Khan El-Khalili
    A seller and a buyer talk about Khan El-Khalili accessories 

    Necklaces of Khan El-Khalili
    Necklaces and bracelets of Khan El-Khalili 

    The handmade copper decorative plates.
    Copper decorative plates in Khan El-Khalili
    Handmade copper decorative plates 

    The textile products
    Textile bags and galabiyas in Khan El-Khalili
    The textile products from galabiyas, bags and scarfs 
    My favorite lanterns shops inside the Bab Ghouri gate.
    The shopkeepers turned off the lanterns most of the time then because of electricity prices and Selfie photographers.
    El-Ghuri gate and its shops
    My favorite Bab Ghouri 

    According to the shopkeepers, people came and took selfies and the lanterns in the background without buying anything.
    I saw that first hand those selfie photographers taking photos all the time in that beautiful place.
    A duck face in Khan El-Khalili
    Duck face in front of the lanterns, that gentleman on the right
    was also looking into his mobile phone 

    Kindly enough the shopkeepers turned the light on and the lanterns looked amazing.

    Inside Khan El-Khalili's Bab El-Ghuri gate
    The difference is obvious and clear 
    Inside Khan El-Khalili's Bab El-Ghuri gate
    Lights are on 
    Inside Khan El-Khalili's Bab El-Ghuri gate
    Lanterns and their beautiful light 
    The lamps of Khan El-Khalili's Bab El-Ghuri
    Like some alien eggs :) 
    The colorful lanterns of Khan El-Khalili
    My favoirte Ramadan Photo for 2016 and 2017 as well. 

    I would say that Khan El-Khalili had more visitors in 2016 than in 2015 in Ramadan at least from what I saw.
    A customer smiling in Khan El-Khalili shop
    A young customer 

    Needless to say, the shopkeepers are missing foreign tourists more than ever.
    A shop inside Khan El-Khalili's Badistand gate
    A shop inside Khan El-Khalili's Badistand gate

    Luckily, I have seen Chinese tourists in the Khan in 2016.
    Inside the Badistan gate of Khan El-Khalili
    Inside the Badistan gate of Khan El-Khalili

    Still, the shopkeepers are missing the old times and the Egyptian buyers are not enough.
    Ramadan shoppers
    Ramadan shoppers
    Khan El-Khalili at night
    Khan El-Khalili at night
    Khan El-Khalili at night
    Khan El-Khalili at night

    Interestingly, I saw more belly-dancing suits and accessories than in 2015 inside the Khan itself.
    Inside a Khan El-Khalili Shop
    Bellydancing suits in a Khan El-Khalili shop 

    Women's fashion in Khan El-Khalili
    Bellydancing suits and galabiyas in a Khan El-Khalili shop 
    Galabiyas and bellydancing suits
    Galabiyas and belly dancing suits
    Sequin canes in Khan El-Khalili
    Sequin canes in Khan El-Khalili

    Bally dancing suits of Khan El-Khalili
    Bally dancing suits of Khan El-Khalili

    And of course the original Baladi Tabla is sold there in Khan El-Khalili
    Baladi Tabla sold in Khan El-Khalili
    Baladi Tabla sold in Khan El-Khalili

    I did not find my favorite bookshop open during my visit to the Khan in 2016.
    I am worried that it was shut down and sold to another shop owner who changed its activity.
    I hope that it was only closed on that Friday.
    A closed shop in Khan El-Khalili
    A closed shop in Khan El-Khalili
    After Iftar, I and my cousins went to the famous Fishaway cafe.
    The cafe was buzzing and full as usual.
    The Fishawy cafe
    El-Fishawy cafe 

    I got a nice Henna tattoo drawn by a very nice Sudanese young lady.
    A post shared by Zeinobia (@zeinobia) on

    I had that Henna tattoo for a couple of weeks.
    We walked out the Khan through the Badistan gate aka Badistan Way street.
    The Badistan way street
    The Badistan way street 
     Yes, it turned out that there is a street named after the famous Khan El-Khalili gate leading Al-Hussein Mosque and square.
    The famous minaret of the mosque that was reconstructed in the 19th century.
    Al-Hussein Mosque's Minaret
    Al-Hussein Mosque's Minaret 
    Honestly, it is the first time I noticed the gothic style of the famous Al-Hussein Mosque.
    Al-Hussein Mosque's Gothic look
    Al-Hussein Mosque's Gothic look: Check the windows 
     Also, interestingly you would find old Western style residential buildings built in the famous popular square steps away from Khan El-Khalili and Al-Hussein mosque.

    European style buildings in Al-Hussein
    Neo-Classic European style buildings in Al-Hussein

    Al-Hussein Mosque was buzzing with life in that Ramadan sleepless night with many worshipers inside it seeking the blessings of God and his Saint Al-Hussein bin Ali while a huge crowd outside enjoyed themselves in local cafes and restaurants.
    An Overview of Al-Hussein Square
    Al-Hussein shops and cafes 

    Before heading back to home, my family decided to order a yummy Egyptian Fiteer aka "pancakes" near the mosque.
    They were the best pancakes, crunchy from outside and soft from inside. They are highly recommended.
    During that visit, I tried something for the first time and I really liked it. I did a very short live periscope broadcast from Khan El-Khalili in English before the Iftar.
    I tried Periscope again from a couple of months ago and I believe that I will do it again inshallah hopefully soon. You can subscribe to my Periscope channel here.

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    On Sunday, Reuters said that Egypt’s ministry of finance has asked the cabinet to approve two new Eurobond issuances. According to two sources that spoke with Reuters, the two Eurobond issuance will be in late 2017 and in 2018.
    The first issuance will be ranged between 1-2 billion Euros before the end of 2017 while the second issuance will be ranged between from $4-8 billion in 2018.
    Egypt's external debt
    From Google images -_-
    The Egyptian government has already sold $7 billion in 5, 10 and 30-years Eurobonds on the Luxembourg stock exchange in early 2017.
    Also in November 2016, Egypt signed an agreement for a three-year $12 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund “IMF”
    Now the simple question I have in my mind: Do not those new Eurobonds mean a bigger external debt for Egypt ??
    The external debt of Egypt is scary right now.
    It has reached in the fiscal year 2016/2017 which concluded in July to $73 billion !!
    I did this graph to see the external debt of Egypt from 2010 to 2017 and it is not good.

    If you think that something is wrong with the numbers, please tell me.
    It seems to me that we are in a loop, the Egyptian government takes loans from here and there, issues bonds and Eurobonds in order to finance huge so-called national projects without feasibility studies and to pay other debts and loans !!
    It is scary for real because this is a burden on the future generations in Egypt !!
    We need this to stop.
    Unfortunately, we do not have right now a responsible parliament or free media or an active civil society.
    This over-growing external debt is a true threat to our national security. Anyone who is familiar with Egypt’s modern history in the 19th century knows that very well.
    Personally, I hope that the cabinet rejects the request of the finance ministry but I highly doubt considering the amount of loans we receive on a monthly basis.

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    Egypt's Nile

     And who could get bored of a scene like that?
     From Egypt’s Giza, an overview of Cairo’s towers and buildings on the other bank of River Nile.
    In case you do not know, Egypt's foreign affairs minister Sameh Shoukry expressed official Egyptian concerns concerning the late and delayed technical studies of the Ethiopia's Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam "GERD" at last somehow. 

    Do you still remember Ethiopia's Biggest dam that may affect Egypt's share of Nile River negatively but Ethiopia denies so ??

    Ethiopia's GERD
    A recent photo of GERD
    "Hany Ibrahim"
    Egyptian officials are telling nothing to the public and it seems that they are at last expressing Egypt's concern.This means we should be afraid, very afraid. It is not a big secret that Egypt is alone in that dam's issue "despite Sudan will suffer as well" and it is not a bigger secret that Ethiopia is building the dam giving no damn for real about what our country can do.

    The Ethiopians played very well. There is no use now for those technical studies Egypt has been officially requesting and there is no time for doing modifications in the dam's design because the dam has been already built from what I and others have seen in its recent photos.

    By the way, Egyptian officials began to ask the help of Europe in that matter.

    I do not know when our media will ask questions.

    Personally, I am not against the development of any African country or any other country but not at the expense of millions of Egyptians who consider the Nile in their living. 

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    From two weeks ago, Tawasul group announced that it acquired Cairo-based Hayat TV Network from Sigma Media Company in what was described as the biggest media deal in the past couple of years in Egypt.

    Tawasul, a subsidiary of Falcon International group declared that it acquired the TV Network founded in February 2008 for LE 1.4 billion “ USD 79million“.

    Some say that it is the media deal of the decade but the majority of that money is used to pay the channel’s debts according to its former owner and founder El-Sayed Badawy.
    Badawy, the current leader of New Wafd Party aka Wafd Party revealed in the media that the debts of the TV network reached USD 57 million “More than one billion Egyptian pounds”.

    It was not a big secret in the Egyptian media realm in that the TV network that once had the highest ratings in the country struggled financially in the past two years.
    For more than 8 months the employees in the channel did not get their salaries regularly and they had strikes from time to time.

    The Egyptian Media Production City“EMPC” took the channels off the air July on Nile Sat for 24 hours for not paying their studio rents for an over a year and filed a lawsuit against Sigma Media for issuing dud checks in the same month.

    For months we have heard and read that that businessman or this media company was negotiating with El-Sayed Badawy and in the end, he reached to a good deal with Tawassol group or rather Falcon International group.

    The announcement was not just a declaration that Badawy, the famous politician and pharmaceutical tycoon was leaving the media but it was an announcement that there was a new player in the Egyptian media scene.

    That player is Tawassol or rather its mother company “Falcon group” and those behind it.

    Who owns the Egyptian Falcon officially?

    Falcon International was founded officially in 2006 by the Commercial International Bank “CIB” as a private security company providing private security, cash in transit, general services, and properties management.
    It started as the security department originally in the bank before it was turned into a company with 400 employees that grew into a huge Corporation and a group with not less than 6 subsidiaries in 11 years.
    Its customers are multi-national companies in Egypt from big names like Orange to Allianz to the United Nations.

    Falcon security personnel
    Falcon security personnel "Falcon Group official website"
    Officially and on papers, Falcon is a joint venture between CIB (40% of the shares), CIB Employees Fund (19.59% of the shares), Al-Ahly for Marketing (5.46%) and undisclosed private entities (35%).
    Its current CEO is Sherif Khaled Ibrahim Attaya or Sherif Khaled. In a report about the company in 2014 in Al-Ahram Daily, it is revealed that Khaled was a retired army general who served as the undersecretary of Egypt’s military intelligence.
    After leaving the army, Khaled was appointed as the head of the security sector in Egypt’s Radio and Television union“ERTU”.

    Usually the head of the security sector in ERTU comes from the army or the state security aka National security.
    It is unclear for me at least when he left the army to work in the state TV or when he was appointed as Falcon’s CEO.

    Currently, Falcon International is not only operating in the 28 governorates through 13 branches in Egypt but it also operates in Saudi Arabia and UAE with more than 12,000 employees.
    Again according to Ahram Daily News’s report about the company in 2014, most of the company’s employees are former and retired officers whether in the army or the police.

    Since the inauguration of Egypt’s first private security company “Care Services” in 1979 by former army general Adel Emara to secure the American embassy and that field became a mecca for former military and police personnel.
    In 2012, Falcon was also assigned to secure presidential candidate Ahmed Shafik.
    Still, it has not been famous publicly in Egypt except in 2014, it was its big year for real. Earlier that year, Falcon was granted the right to hold shotguns officially in the country.

    In April, Falcon was assigned to secure Presidential candidate Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and his campaign headquarters across the country.
    Not less than 150 of its security personnel allegedly protected his house in New Cairo according to news reports.
    Falcon and El-Sisi
    Sherif Khaled and Abdel Fattah El-Sisi at army-owned
    Massa Hotel where El-Sisi presidential campaign stationed 
    Then in September 2014, Falcon Group signed a-LE-84-Million Contract with the ministry of higher education to provide security service in 12 Egyptian Universities in academic year 2014/2015 as protests rocked campuses the year before.

    The controversy surrounding that agreement and the clashes that took place afterward.The Ministry of higher education renewed its contract with Falcon for three academic years now.

    Following that group became Egypt’s no.1 private contractor securing big evens and VIP personalities as well achieving huge revenues. In 2014, the company increased its capital to LE 100 Million and was ready to list its shares in the Stock market within two years.

    In June 2016, Falcon's subsidiary for airports security signed an agreement with British company Restrata to provide training for its personnel after being assigned to secure Sharm El-Sheikh airport. 

    Now in August 2017, Falcon Group was back to the mainstream media when it was assigned by the ministry of electricity to collect Data from electricity meters.
    Ironically the electricity ministry had signed first a contract with a company with unnamed “security apparatus” but had to terminate the contract and sign a new contract with Falcon group as people began to criticize the decision and mock that “security apparatus”.
    Falcon security at Universities
    Falcon security at Al-Azhar University "Reuters" 
    What I heard unofficially is that the Egyptian General Intelligence Directorate is behind Faclon and its new media acquisition but as usual there is nothing official to confirm that.
    The undisclosed private entities and personnel that got 35% are unknown publicly for real.
    Anyhow some are insisting that the General intelligence is behind Falcon and they have very interesting proof.

    Their proof is what former Pro-regime self-claimed sarcastic writer Ghada El-Sherif revealed that she was approached by Falcon Group and its CEO Sherif Khaled personally in order to present a TV show on the group’s latest acquisition “Al-Hayat TV Network”.

    The oncologist /writer who has turned from a-head-over-heels for El-Sisi to one of his famous critics now said on her Facebook account last week that she was asked to have an interview for that position at the General Intelligence H.Q in Cairo !!!

    A daughter of a Mubarak-era minister, El-Sherif even shared the WhatsApp’s message between her and Sherif Khaled in order to prove that she was respected by the regime to those Pro-regime
    So far, nobody commented on her Facebook post denying or confirming what said that TV hosts had exams at the General Intelligence HQ.

    In July 2015, President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi ratified a law that allows the ministries of Defense and Interior as well official intelligence agencies in Egypt to found security companies. 

    Falcon International and its wings in the Egyptian media realm

    Tawasul group or Company is the latest known subsidiary of Falcon International Group.
    In July, the Group declared the launch of both “Tawasul PR company” and DRN FM Radio channel, as well Radio One For Media production.
    DRN FM Radio channel is currently managed by Home Media Company which also is owned by Falcon Group.
    I have not listened to DRN whose frequency on the FM wave in Egypt is 93.7 but I know it is not an easy thing to get a permit to open an FM radio channel as the State controls the radio wave for real.
    It is easier to open TV channel in Egypt than to open a radio channel in general.

    I do not know why Falcon international has got three media companies if I understand correctly.
    It has got Tawasul, Radio One for media production and Home Media.

    In August, Pro-regime MP and convicted alternative medicine guru/TV host Saeed Hassanein declared that Home Media acquired his TV network Al-Assema “The Capital”.

    Interestingly in late December 2016, the Mubarak era’s TV Producer Ehab Talaat announced that his company “Sherry Media” signed a partnership deal with Hassanein.
    The two men agreed that from Mid January 2017 the management of that TV network would transfer to Talaat, the veteran TV producer.
    On 1 January 2017, the Egyptian army announced that Samir retired and was replaced by Colonel Tamer El-Rafaei.

    In Mid January, “Sherry Media” announced that it started managing the TV network and its current manager was its Vice Chairman former Egyptian armed forces spokesperson ex-Brigadier General Mohamed Samir.
    Ahmed Samir
    Samir, the second man from the left wearing a suit checking
    the channel's studio in January "Facebook" 
    Samir’s fast return to the scene through media made many believe that it was a plan to control media. Though he did not stay too long in “Al-Assema” as the partnership ended in Mach. Hassanein went back to manage the channel.

    Why do I mention all this and what is its relation to Falcon?
    Well in late August, Hassanein announced that he sold his TV network to Home Media, Falcon’s subsidiary.

    This was the second time Falcon International was mentioned in the media world but no one paid attention as Al-Assema TV network is not A-list TV networks for real.

    The price paid to Hassanein is unknown so far but Home Media declared its plans for the Network,  turning one of its two TV channels into Sports TV channel.

    New media map in Egypt

    I have been doing my own research on the new media empires in Egypt especially with the launch of DMC Network and the rocket rise of steel tycoon Ahmed Abu Hashima in media.
    I wrote a long investigative post about what I found out but it was lost unfortunately following the technical problem I had with PC and forced me to have a clean Windows install.

    It is frustrating but I think it is never too late to start from the beginning, the media map is already changing and we are having new players.

    Falcon and its companies or rather those behind them are a good example.

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    After few weeks, a secret vote will take place at the 202nd session of the UNESCO's Executive Board in Paris to choose the Organization’s new director general. There are currently 9 candidates who have been seeking the word countries' votes in order to replace current director general Irina Bokova. Among those 9 candidates, there are 4 Arab candidates “As usual Arabs could not agree to nominate one in the race because we are ARABs”.

    Moushira Khattab
    Former minister and Ambassador Moushira Khattab 
    Those Arab candidates include Egypt’s former minister and diplomat Ambassador Moushira Khattab.

    Despite the huge campaign the Egyptian government launched in July 2016 with her official nomination, it seems that the same government is doing its best to destroy her chance for that important international position.

    Do you remember how the Egyptian security authorities closed down Karma libraries in December 2016 because its founder and owner is Human rights lawyer Gamal Eid?
    Ambassador Moshira Khattab said that she would do her best so children were not deprived of the right of knowledge after her visit to one of the closed branches of the library.
    Do you remember how the authorities have confiscated Alf bookstore in August because of the Muslim Brotherhood alleged affiliation of its co-founder and co-owner, entrepreneur and economist Omar El-Shenety.

    Last week, the security authorities stormed and shut down “El-Balad bookstore” which is exactly two blocks away from Tahrir square. “El-Balad” is owned and founded by Egyptian social democratic Party leader Farid Zahran.
    Interestingly it turned out Zahran owns a newspaper called El-Tariq which was stormed by security forces in September 2016.
    There has not been an official explanation on why the security authorities closed down the bookstore which became a cultural venue in Downtown Cairo like that !!
    I do not know how the Egyptian government can help Moshira Khattab when it closes down bookstores and libraries like that.
    It is the worst way to support your candidate to top the world’s most important Cultural organization.

    There is another dilemma I think everybody back in Egypt does not speak or want to speak about.
    How is ambassador Khattab going to deal with the UNESCO’s open support policy to the LGBTQ rights worldwide ??
    Egypt is already known in the UN and its organizations with its position against the LBGTQ’s rights and actually, it is not a surprise for me or anyone.
    In fact, how are the Muslim candidates including the candidates of Iraq and Qatar going to deal with the matter?
    Needless to say, Egypt is now making headlines in the stupidest way ever after that Rainbow flag in that Mashrou Leila band’s triple bill concert from two weeks ago.
    The progressive Lebanese band whose lead singer “Hamed Sinno” is an openly gay and advocate for LGBTQ’s rights in the Middle East, is no longer allowed to perform in the country according to news reports in the Egyptian media.
    People are arrested and accused of being gay as well raising the rainbow flag in that concert. “Two people only raised the flag and ironically both are straight human rights activists and it is not the first time that flag is raised actually in a Mashrou Leila’s concert”.
    There is a media frenzy speaking about attempts to destabilize the society through spreading gay agenda.

    Khattab seems to be abroad visiting world countries in order to win their votes for the big day.

    This is the second time Egypt nominates officially an Egyptian official for that post. If you remember in time of Mubarak, the government nominated Egypt’s longest-serving culture minister and Suzanne Mubarak’s personal fashion advisor Farouk Hosni for the post and he lost due anti-Semitism allegations in 2009.
    If I remember correctly, he lost because the Zionist lobby in France hinted out that there was allegedly a copy of the infamous  “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” in the Library of Alexandria.
    I did not support Farouk Hosni for the position then because he did not and does not deserve that position.
    Already after the 25 January revolution, we found out that he was working as an informant for the Egyptian government against Arab and Egyptian students while studying abroad.
    Back to our current nominee.

    When it comes to ambassador Moshira Khattab, well she is not Farouk Hosni and did not have his destructive surreal effect on Egyptian antiquities as well culture generally.
    Some say that she was/is a friend of Suzanne Mubarak and that’s why she was appointed as the short-lived minister of family and population thought.

    Personally, I think that she is more qualified to be the executive director of the UNICEF than the Director-General of UNESCO with my all due respect considered her C.V.
    Khattab was already the vice chair of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child“CRC” from 2002 to 2010.
    I wish all the luck to ambassador Moshira Khateb but the current Egyptian administration as well government are not real helping her to win the post for real with those repressive policies and decisions. 

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    Kodak Agfa posted a photo:

    Egypt's Order of Ismail

    A Second class Order of Ismail "Grand Officer" at Egypt's Royal Jewelry Museum in Alexandria

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  • 09/30/17--16:40: Ottoman medals [Flickr]
  • Kodak Agfa posted a photo:

    Ottoman medals

    Order of Osmani , the second highest order in the Ottoman empire since 1862 till the fall of the Ottoman empire

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    Kodak Agfa posted a photo:

    Egypt's Order of Mohamed Ali

    A second class Order of Mohamed Ali at Egypt's Royal Jewelry Museum in Alexandria

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    Kodak Agfa posted a photo:

    Egypt's Order of Mohamed Ali

    A second class Order of Mohamed Ali at Egypt's Royal Jewelry Museum in Alexandria

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    Kodak Agfa posted a photo:

    Egypt's Order of Virtues

    The Order of Virtue "Nishan El-Kamal" is an Egyptian Order of knighthood presented to women only, founded in 1915 and it is still be being awarded up till in the Egyptian Republic

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    Egypt's Nile River

    This photo was one of my early attempts to snap a 180-degree photo using my old iPhone.
    The amazing river Nile is majestic in perfect weather condition in Cairo and Giza.
    By the way, this photo shows both banks, the Cairo and Giza Metropolis skyline of ugly buildings we love to hate.
    I will seize this opportunity to speak again about the future of the Nile River in Egypt especially after constructing Ethiopia's Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam "GERD".
    Last week, an official in Egypt's ministry of irrigation and water resources announced that Egypt was officially suffering from "Water Poverty" and the era of "water abundance" in the country was over thanks to the increasing population. 
    Now my concern is that if we are suffering from "Water poverty", why the hell does the state allow building new compounds as well a new administrative capital full of swimming pools and fountains !?

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    On Sunday, the people of Catalonia held an independence referendum in defiance to the Spanish government in Madrid and the current Spanish constitution.
    Spanish police in Catalonia
    Police arresting voters in Catalonia "AFP"
    The referendum was held at the same time the Spanish police attacked voters at polling centers dragging them out as well taking the ballot boxes in a scene that shocked many people including myself.

    According to Catalan authorities, not less than 900 people were injured including elderly.
    It shocked me because that scene was too familiar for us in the Mideast, in Egypt in particular.
    It reminded me with the violence of the Egyptian police during the 2010 parliamentary elections which considered by many as one of the trigger for the 25 January revolution.

    It shocked me because that was happening in Europe. It shocked me because that was happening in Spain , a country that I and other Egyptians look to a successful example of democratic civilian transition.
    Since the ouster of Mubarak in February 2011 and many Egyptians looked to the Spanish democratic civilian transition as an example to follow despite the difference between the two countries. Needless to say , I believe that one of the weakness of our Egyptian revolution is the lack of figures like  Adolfo Suarez.

    Anyhow it seemed that the legacy of Franco is still deep-rooted in Madrid or at least in the Spanish police as the World has seen in the past two weeks.
    Just as I and others felt sad to see that scene of Spanish police attacking Catalan voters and activists, others were happy in our sad miserable part of the world.

    Pro-Egyptian regime media was so happy with that scene. Pro-TV hosts in Egypt like Amr Adeeb kept showing the attack footage to show that European countries that speak about human rights all the types ignore them when “comes to their National security”.

    Where is the European democracy in Spain?” He said adding that there was no place for democracy or human rights when it comes to “nations and countries divided in to smaller countries”

    A quick look to the regional press and media, I found that Turkish media described what happened in Catalonia was an example of the failure of Western democracy.

    I do not know how the EU officials would criticize human rights and police brutality in the Middle East countries when they are silent on what happened in Spain especially in Catalonia !!! It will be hypocrisy.
    A Catalonian lady crying on Sunday during the referendum "El Pais" 
    Yes , they believe that the Catalans should respect the Constitution of Spain but on the other hand, violence won’t make them to do so.

    After what the police had done , after that King Felipe’s speech which reminded us with the Arab Spring ‘s ousted rulers , I think more Catalans will be more determinant to get an independence and to revive the Catalonia republic dream again.  I know very well because this is how the Arab spring happened in the first place

    It is not a big secret that Russian media and its arms on the social media are supporting the independence of Catalonia to create more trouble for the West.
    I do not know how the leaders in the EU or the West in general are thinking but I feel that there is a big grin on the face of Putin in Kremlin.
    I just hope the Spanish government will rethink the matter and start talks with the Catalans , it must do that and apologize immediately for the crackdown against activists and police brutality against voters before it is late.

    I also want to tell the Spanish government and the EU that the human rights violations in Europe echo strongly in our sad part of the World.
    It is like a Carte Blanche for repressive regimes from the Atlantic Ocean to the Arab/Persian Gulf to crackdown opposition powers seeking democracy .
    Those repressive regimes are really thankful to the Spanish government and EU.

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    Kodak Agfa posted a photo:

    Princess Shiavkiar's Diamond Tiara

    Princess Shivakiar Ibrahim's Diamond Tiara at Egypt's Royal Jewelry Museum. Late Princess Shivakiar was the ex-first wife of late King Fouad I of Egypt and Sudan
    تاج الاميرة شويكار المرصع بالالماس. الاميرة شويكار كانت زوجة الملك فؤاد الاول , ملك مصر و السودان

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    Kodak Agfa posted a photo:

    Princess Shiavkiar's Diamond Tiara

    Princess Shivakiar Ibrahim's Diamond Tiara at Egypt's Royal Jewelry Museum. Late Princess Shivakiar was the ex-first wife of late King Fouad I of Egypt and Sudan
    تاج الاميرة شويكار المرصع بالالماس. الاميرة شويكار كانت زوجة الملك فؤاد الاول , ملك مصر و السودان

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    Getting ready for the big game after less than three hours for now and flags sellers are in every major street in the country.
    Egypt is going to #Russia for the World cup if it beats Congo in a match millions of  Egyptians are waiting for eagerly as the Egyptian national team got better chances for winning.

    We will see if we make football history again after 28 years.

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    Kodak Agfa posted a photo:

    Hilton Ramses celebrates

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    Kodak Agfa posted a photo:

    Flags seller at Tahrir square after the game

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    Kodak Agfa posted a photo:

    Egyptian kids celebrate World Cup qualifications

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    The Egyptian authorities did not allow cars to enter Tahrir square allowing people only on foot to enter.
    Yet this did not stop people in their cars to celebrate Egypt’s victory in its football/soccer game against Congo and being qualified to WorldCup in Russia "More to come here" 
    via IFTTT

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    Okay this is from the historical important moments that I love to post in my blog

    Egypt has finally qualified for the World Cup Russia 2018

    Yes, I need to say this again loud and clear that Egypt has been qualified for World Cup Russia 2018
    After 28 years, Egyptian National Football/Soccer team succeeded reaching the World Cup since 1990 FIFA World Cup in Italy.
    This is the third time for our National football team to be qualified for the World Cup.
    The first time was in 1934 FIFA World Cup in Italy. We were the first African and Arab country to play in the World Cup.
    It took 56 years to be qualified again in 1990 FIFA World Cup in Italy also.
    This was the first football memory for me as a child. I remember that I cried a lot when Germany won the Cup and wondered why Egypt did not get it.
    My family tried to explain the matter for me but I did not get it then.
    Now after 28 years, Egypt is going yet again to the World Cup, this time in Russia next year.
    I am now grown-up enough to know that we are not a candidate to win the World Cup itself but the honor is enough to reach the World Cup.

    Mohamed Salah
    Mohamed Salah "AP" 
    I think I am lucky enough along millions of Egyptians to witness being qualified to the World Cup twice.

    Also, the young generation is lucky enough to see our squad going to the World Cup.

    Yes, I am bit emotional because I witnessed the happiness of the people first hand and how they headed to Tahrir square automatically as soon as Mohamed Salah, our golden boy scored that penalty.
    One night of happiness won’t change anything of the reality we know and live but it will just give hope.

    Back to Mohamed Salah, well God bless him as he made a true history for real.
    Mo Salah is now the most famous Egyptian abroad and he deserves it.

    A side note: The AP photographer who took unforgotten shots from the football match with Congo is photographer Nariman El-Mufti, a woman photographer. 

    Salah and the rest of the squad were born after 1990 ironically except El-Hadry, our goalkeeper.
    If I am not mistaken, he is by far the oldest goalkeeper so far to participate in World Cup Russia 2018.
    The best goalkeeper in Africa deserves to be despite his shitty political views.

    Essam El-Hadry
    Essam El-Hadry and his famous dance
    "Nariman El-Mufti for AP" 
    This squad has got an advantage than other squads if I may say and it is our players abroad especially those who play in major leagues like the British Premier League, we got four players including Salah, El-Neny, Hegazy and Sobhi. "Sobhi played like shit in this football game"
    Mo Salah
    No.10 Mo Salah "Nariman El-Mufti for AP"
    Seriously, I wished that Mohamed Abu Trika would be the Capitan of the squad in the World Cup. Unfortunately, the legendary ex-footballer is officially on the terrorist list which will make it hard for him to travel to Russia.
    Maybe things can change in those few months in Egypt, for the better hopefully and Abu Trika will be a free man again.

    Enough football talk and let’s head to Tahrir square.
    I tried to head to Tahrir square to see the happy people for real and there it was already crowded.
    The flags sellers had already a fruitful day since early morning.
    Flags seller at Tahrir square after the game
    At Tahrir square in front of the Egyptian Museum 
    Many people had confidence that we are going to win because Congo squad was not strong like in the past but ironically they were strong enough in the game giving us whether team players or fans hard time !!

    The security forces also blocked the way for the cars. Only people on foot were allowed to enter.
    Assemblies are still crazy for the security authorities in this country.

    Egyptian kids celebrate World Cup qualifications
    Kids in a car celebrating the victory on October bridge 
    Soon enough you could hear a helicopter hovering around major squares and streets in Cairo and Giza.
    But this did not stop me from taking a couple of snapshots and video clips for the Egyptians’ happiness.

    People were so happy across the country.
    In fact, people across the world including the divided Gulf and Yemen. Egyptians and Arabs in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE and Kuwait united Gulf.

    One Gulfie tweep described in the best way “We are happy because we are raised to love Egypt”
    We do love Egypt.

    Egyptians won’t sleep tonight and they do not care if the regime uses this victory for its own propaganda.
    Tomorrow is another day. 

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