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    On Monday, Egypt’s National Elections Authority “NEA" announced the timetable of the Egyptian Presidential elections 2018 which will be held in March.
    According to NEA, the presidential bid race will start officially on 20 January when it opens its doors for the Presidential hopefuls to present their official requests for candidacy.
    I forgot in my initial post to mention the requirements for the Egyptian presidential office post in accordance with the Egyptian Constitution articles No.141 and 142 as well the Presidential Elections law of the Year 2017 specifically its article No.1.
    Here are the requirements the Presidential hopefuls must meet to become official Presidential candidates
    • A presidential candidate must be an Egyptian born to Egyptian parents, and neither he or his parents or his spouse may have held any other nationality.
    • He or she must enjoy civil and political rights, must have performed the military service or have been exempted according to the law.
    • He or she should not suffer from any physical or mental disease that can affect her or his ability to perform presidential duties.
    • He or she shall not be less than forty calendar years of age on the day of commencing candidacy registration.
    • He or she should not have been sentenced before by court for a felony or a crime involving immoral act and if she or he were convicted, then they should be acquitted in the appeal or the retrial
    • He or she must be a bachelor’s degree holder.
    • He or she must secure the endorsement of a minimum of 20 MPs or 25,000 citizens from across at least 15 governorates with 1000 endorsement from each governorate.
    Now up till this moment, President Abdel Fattah El-Fatah El-Sisi has not mentioned that he intended directly or officially to run. In previous statements, speeches and interviews, he said that he would do whatever the people wanted him to do aka he would run if the people wanted him to do so.
    Sisi's campaign in 2014
    Sisi's presidential campaign in 2014 "Twitter"
    Interestingly despite he has no declared his presidential bid officially, Popular campaigns to gather endorsements for his presidential candidacy from all over the country were formed and supported financially by businessmen from several months ago.

    The organizers of those popular support campaigns claim that they managed millions of endorsements to secure his presidential candidacy despite he did not declare his intention all that time !!!
    What if anything happened and he decided not to run !!
    It is worth to mention that those campaigns had a green light to collect endorsements from ministries, public sector companies and private companies when opposition parties and activists cannot even organize a peaceful political gathering !!!

    Anyhow Sisi has not only managed to secure the public endorsements but he also managed to secure the endorsement of not less 500 MPs in the past two days as well.
    Amazingly more than 500 MPs suddenly appeared in the House of Representatives in the past two days !! That number did not show up when Tiran and Sanafir isles were given up by the parliament in a disgraceful deal !!

    I think Sisi will address the public and declare his candidacy by next week.
    By the way, If he runs and wins “99.9% will happen”, he won’t be able to turn for a third presidential term according to Constitution article No. 140. I expect that this constitutional article will be amended in the upcoming four years at any time.
    Now there is no strong competitor or rival for Sisi.

    Ahmed Shafik declared that he would not run for the presidency this time last week. I cannot blame him after what happened to him. He is not ready to take the risk, especially that his daughters and their families are in the UAE.
    I won’t forget the role of the UAE in that.

    There are few bets on Khaled Ali that he would stir things in these elections despite that 99.9% he will fail if he manages to run in the first place.
    People forget that Ali has to win the appeal against the 3-month prison sentence handed to him in September 2017 for offending public decency.
    Khaled Ali and his campaign are going to hold a press conference on Thursday to declare their position on whether they are going to continue or not.

    Former MP and veteran liberal politician Mohamed Anwar Al-Sadat who also declared his intention to run the for presidency in October was more realistic and slammed the timetable of the presidential elections describing it as “too short”. The famous nephew of the late President also announced that he would announce his final decision from the elections next Monday.

    Of course  I cannot ignore the first woman who declared that she would run for presidency : The always controversial Mona Prince. Prince is not giving up and she got all faith to support her in her candidacy.

    As you can see this is a single-candidate presidential race.

    I do not think that any person in Egypt including Abdel Fattah El-Sisi himself if he were not the President, if he were a civilian with no opposition or even rival voice allowed in the media in the past 4 years could collect 25,000 endorsements from at least 15 governorates in 9 days !!
    After second thinking , there is only one person who can do it and get more than 70 million endorsements in 9 days from the 28 governorates : Mohamed Salah !!

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    Egyptian activist Nader Attar published a new book while called “Controversial Yet Necessary”. That book presents some of his poems he wrote about his experience in Sweden looking it through the eyes of refugee in exile.

    He thankfully sent me a copy of his book and I promised him to write about it here in Egyptian
    Controversial yet Necessary Cover
    Controversial yet Necessary
    Chronicles months ago. As a girl of her promises, I am writing tonight about it.
    I do not know how to do a review because I am not an English literature poetry critic but there are a couple of poems that stopped me a lot.

    “Alternative World” presenting this comparison between a party girl Swede and a woman illegal immigrant who lost everything in the Sea.
    “The unbearable act of Starring” which I believe that Attar was inspired to write it from the Sad Aylan Kurdi if you still remember him.

    “Me, Myself and My boat” is also
    “Hej…Hej Jimmie Åkesson!” is an angry message to Swede Right-wing leader Jimmie Åkesson.
    Attar’s work with the refugees especially Syrians gave him a first-hand experience with their tragedies and plea for safety in Europe.

    Nader also perfectly criticized the right wing in Sweden if not all the right wing in the West right now in his book especially with that the rise of Nazism once.
    His beautiful poem “Father” about the loss of his father, while he was Sweden, reminded of how many self-exiled Egyptian activists suffer emotionally for the loss of their parents when they cannot come back for security reasons.

    I am so happy that Nader managed to publish his first poetry collection, hopefully, we will read soon his play he is working on.

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    Officially the Egyptian Presidential Elections race has kicked off today and man what a season premiere it is !!
    Egyptian President El-Sisi declaring his presidential candidacy
    Egyptian President El-Sisi
    declaring his presidential candidacy
    Lots of things have been happening on many levels that I wanted to comment on my blog here but unfortunately, my health did not give me an opportunity.
    I have been sick the past week fighting terrible influenza-like hell and up till now I have not fully recovered but here I am, how can I miss that crazy presidential elections race.

    We were all wrong that we assume it is going to be a dull one-candidate show as us and the whole world thought and are still thinking but things changed rapidly in the past three days.
    In the non-surprising 100%-expected news, Current Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi declared Friday evening that he was running for the office after three-days-event/conference presenting his achievements to the Egyptian people in those four years.
    I do not know how many people actually followed that event named “Nation’s tale” but there were strange and interesting claims and numbers that need to be checked for real.

    Interestingly, he said on the last day of that event that “he won’t allow the corrupted ones to run for the office”, I do not know whom he meant but it is not up to Abdel Fattah El-Sisi or the Egyptian President in the first place to allow or not allow people to run for the Presidential candidates.
    It is up to the National Elections assembly to allow or not allow presidential hopefuls to run according to the constitution and Presidential elections law’s candidacy requirements.

    Needless to say, we do not know whom he meant exactly.
    Did he mean former PM Ahmed Shafik or former chief of staff Sami Anan? I am sure that he did not mean Khaled Ali.

    Anyhow hours later following El-Sisi’ announcement on Friday, at 1.05 AM Cairo Local time Saturday the Sami Anan Presidential Campaign released a video for the former 2011 SCAF leading figure declaring his candidacy in a very powerful speech that I could have ever thought that I would hear it for him.

    Here are the most important points in that video statement :
    • Egypt is living a very important and critical phase full of challenges above them the terrorism challenge as well the bad economic living conditions of the Egyptian people.
    • The Egyptian state can no longer is losing its ability to manage the files of the land “Do not know if he means Tiran and Sanafir”, the water “clear reference to Ethiopia’s GERD” and the human sources.
    • All those challenges happened due to wrong policies that held the Egyptian armed forces the complete responsibility without wise policies that would enable the Civilian sector of the state to do with its role along with the army.
    • Enabling the Civilian sector to rule in Egypt cannot happen without pluralistic political and economic regime that respects the constitution and law, believes in law and freedoms and upholds justice and the value of the republic system; which is based upon sharing powers.
    • Sami Anan is intended to present his candidacy papers to the NAE as soon as he is granted the permission of Supreme Council of Armed Forces  “SCAF” to run for the office in accordance to the Egyptian Military laws as he was the Chief of staff.
    • Anan added that he already made his team starting it with a civilian “nucleus” for the presidency and he decided to appoint the former top auditor Hisham Geneina as “Vice president for human rights, transparency and constitution enforcement” and renowned Political Sciences professor as his vice president for economic and political empowerment.
    • Dr. Hazem Hosny is acting as his spokesperson as well “great choice”
    • Sami Anan calls all the State’s civilian and military institutions to stand natural and not to be biased unconstitutionally for the current president “El-Sisi” who may leave his position after a couple of months officially.
    If you remember veteran judge Geneina was dismissed from his position in summer 2016 in a humiliating way.
    I do not have doubt that the one who wrote that very well written and powerful statement was written by Dr. Hazem Hosny.
    I follow Dr. Honsy as a political commentator on social media for years now and I know that he believes in every single sentence in that statement.
    If Anan manages to get the approval of SCAF to run for the position, those two names can draw support for him.

    There is a big possibility that Anan may not get the approval of SCAF especially a couple of journalists who are either close to the regime or were once officers themselves are saying that.
    The Pro-regime mainstream media is now repeating the Muslim Brotherhood’s support accusations to Anan and his team unsurprisingly. The talks about his financial corruption scandals and “being a U.S spy” are back again

    Clearly, Anan is attacking El-Sisi and his administration directly. I do not know if El-Sisi would want him as a rival honestly.
    It is not only the old military man is pushing the right buttons in his speech in a very critical time but I found out that his family got a whole Sufi Order named after them “The Anan” order which means Sufi votes “They do count in the elections” can split between him and El-Sisi.

    Last week, little-known Egypt Arabism party which he founded in 2014 quietly declared that he intended to run for the office and since then we had news reports confirming and denying his candidacy.
    I do not know much about that party.

    A journalist working in Rose Al-Youssef Magazine claimed on Twitter that Sami Anan’s campaign sent that video to TV stations and they refused to air it at 10 PM. “Just like what happened with Ahmed Shafik if you remember”
    This is all happening in less than 15 days following the sudden and surprising dismissal of Khaled Fawzy, the director of the Egyptian General Intelligence “GIS”, which Egyptians knew from Lebanese Al-Akhbar and Kuwaiti Al-Gardia first with no confirmation from Cairo.

    The confirmation came officially in another surprising presidential decree issued in the State’s official gazette appointing El-Sisi’s chief of staff at the Presidency General Abbas Kamel as the acting Spy chief.
    No official information was giving why Fawzy was dismissed in that way.

    Yet close-to-regime writer and MP Mostafa Bakry claimed on Twitter that Fawzy was relieved of his position because he was so ill and that he was going to travel abroad to receive treatment for his alleged illness.
    Crazy times indeed.

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    The drama continues in Egypt’s Presidential Elections on Tuesday , Egypt’s former Chief of staff and Presidential elections Hopeful Sami Anan was arrested and is currently interrogated as the Egyptian army issued an official statement not only rejecting his presidential candidacy as well accusing of number of charges above them forgery and attempt to incite public against army.

    Sami Anan (Reuters)
    Earlier Tuesday, the Egyptian armed forces released a video statement that did not slam and rejected Sami Anan’s presidential candidacy but it also accused the former Chief of staff of incitement against the army with the aim of “driving a wedge between the armed forces and the Egyptian people”.
    The army accused the 1973 war veteran of announcing his presidential candidacy “without getting the approval of the SCAF” or taking the necessary steps to terminate his service in the army.

    I remember Sami Anan said clearly that he would admit his papers to the National Elections Authority “NEA” clearly after getting the permission or approval of SCAF per military laws.
    The statement said that Anan was not retired yet as he was still on the Egyptian army’s reserve list !!!! It accused him of forging official documents.

    Egypt’s Military Prosecutor also issued a gag order on the news related to the investigations into Anan’s case.
    The statement did not specify what Anan is being investigated for except that it is case No.1 for the year 2018 in the Military prosecution office.

    The “NEA” also excluded Anan from the voters’ database because he breached the elections by having his name added to the electoral roll while serving as an officer on the Egyptian army’s reserve list.

    I am quite surprised that the NEA discovered only now this alleged forgery.
    In December 2012, Anan and other retired former SCAF leading figures above them Hussein Tantawy voted for the first in their lives as civilians in the 2012 Constitution referendum.
    Why did nobody speak about that before?

    When Sami Anan founded a political party ( Arabism Egypt)  or when he declared his early intention for the Presidential elections in 2014 “He withdrew too early in the race” , the Egyptian Armed Forces or to be precise SCAF did not issue any statement from near or far declaring the former Chief of Staff committed any electoral fraud, let alone any violation of the military laws !!
    In May 2014, Anan was among the celebs who voted in the Presidential elections and it was his first time as well since retirement.
    Nobody spoke about any fraud or anything then.

    Some journalists did their homework perfectly and searched the Egyptian State official gazette in 2011 in order to find that SCAF resolution No.133  to enlist army officers regardless of their ranks to reserve-list following their retirement and they found nothing.
    To be honest, I did not imagine that Anan would be kicked out of the Presidential elections in that way.
    I thought that old corruption cases would be brought later in the race
    Anan is not the first military who expressed his intention to run for the office and ended up outside the race in a big drama.
    Ahmed Shafik also expressed his intentions to run for Presidency and was planning a tour in the States and Europe but the Emirati officials had other plans with the current Egyptian regime.
    We all saw what happened to him.
    Now Shafik is staying in his house after it was cleaned for weeks. He only meets his party’s officials and that’s it.
    Ahmed Shafik and Sami Anan
    Ahmed Shafik and Sami Anan in Cairo at St.Peter Catherderal
    Before Shafik, there was also 42-years old Ahmed Konosowa who was sentenced 6 years in military prison by a military court in December for violating the military law and expressing political views who wearing a military uniform.
    Colonel Konosowa declared his intention to run for the Presidential elections in a video that went viral in November.
    Unlike Anan or former PM Ahmed Shafik,  Konosowa is not retired and it is true that he violated the military law if we are going to speak the truth.
    But there is a big but here. Konosowa who seemed to be vocal about his political opinions presented his resignation from his military post from several years but the army did not accept that resignation.
    He already was challenging the army in court to accept his resignation.
    Also , we should not forget current President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi declared his intention to run for office in March 2014 while wearing the military uniform as well.
    I did not trust Konosowa and I thought that he would another trap just like the Army officers of 8 April who did not only return to the service following 3 July but also got promoted !!

    Personally, I hope Khaled Ali would withdraw from the Presidential elections on Wednesday. The media regime did not hide that they need him only to present that so-called “civilized scene” in front of the world.
    For the sake of true democracy, I believe Ali should not give them that opportunity in that farce.
    Let it be a referendum.

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    Thursday evening, renowned rights lawyer Khaled Ali declared in a press conference in Cairo that he would not continue in the Presidential Elections due to the lack of any possibility for competition.

    Ali announced that he would not present his Presidential candidacy documents including the endorsements he and his campaign collected to the National Elections Authority “NEA” as planned on 25 January because of the absence of any possibility for true competition.
    Khaled Ali
    Khaled in the press conference "Samir Abdullah" 
    Ali also attacked the NEA for ignoring the violations committed during the nomination phase including the theft of nomination endorsements in several governorates.
    The NEA also rejected to share the number of endorsements he received officially as not his headquarters do not all receive the endorsements but they are sent electronically to the authority from notary offices as far as I understood.

    Technically, most of the political figures and powers “which currently are described as opposition now” I know in Egypt called Khaled Ali and his presidential campaign to quit and withdraw from the race especially after what happened to the former military chief of staff and presidential hopeful Sami Anan on Tuesday.

    Following the arrest of Anan, Ali’s campaign declared that it was holding a meeting to discuss the latest developments on Tuesday. I spoke with his campaign spokesperson that they would hold a press conference on Wednesday as they discussed all the scenarios in front of them.
    Anan is officially arrested and is being interrogated at the Military Prosecution but his family told Mada Misr that they do not know his whereabouts !!
    Thus, it is an officially-one-man presidential race after all.

    Earlier Monday while President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi was attending the celebration of the 25 January as Egypt’s Police National day at the Police academy in New Cairo, his presidential campaign spokesperson and legal advisor Ahmed Bahaa Abu Shouka presented his Presidential candidacy documents from endorsements.

    El-Sisi is the only man so far to admit his candidacy papers. It has become officially a referendum.
    According to the Presidential elections law, he can be declared the winner by the votes 5% of the registered voters only. We are speaking about 5 million voters I think.

    Pro-regime TV hosts are angry and frustrated. They are freaking out that the turnout will be more disastrous than in 2014 Presidential elections’ turnout. They just want to have a scene to the world as well not to embarrass the international allies and partners.

    They are attacking Khaled Ali but at the same time, they feel sad and frustrated. They need someone to complete that charade in a way or another.

    Mostafa Bakry and Amr Adeeb are both hinting out that former Presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabbahi may run again !!

    I know if Sabbahi does it again, he will end his political career for real.
    Time will tell if Sabbahi will do it again.

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    Empty boxes
    Empty boxes
    Seen in Cairo: Empty boxes of food supplies given from the Egyptian armed forces to those in need in different areas and in different governorates.

    via Instagram 

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    First of all happy #Jan25 ya people of the world, especially our great people of Egypt. Tonight we are having a crazy episode of the Egyptian Presidential Elections 2018 race, a violent one
    Second, since early Saturday and Egypt has one thing to speak about: How former top auditor Hisham Geneina was physically assaulted and spent hours in a New Cairo Police Station bleeding till he was transferred to a proper hospital.

    Hisham Geneina after the attack
    Hisham Geneina after the attack
    "Ziyad El-Elaimy"
    Early Saturday, the former head of Accountability of State Authority was heading from his house to the State Council, where he is appealing against the presidential decree that dismissed from his position as Egypt’s top auditor.
    upscale New Cairo to Giza to attend his lawsuit in front the State

    According to his wife and daughter who spoke to the media, he was stopped by another car full of thugs who attacked and assaulted him few blocks away from his house. Geneina called his wife as the thugs tried to get him from the car as far as I understood. Geneina's wife, his eldest daughter Shorouk and the guard as his building hurried to see him only to find the thugs attacking him madly.

    So the people called the police as far as I understood and the police came and took the reformist judge to the First Settlement police station where he was left there without any medical care despite the pleas of his family.

    Soon ,prominent political activists hurried to his support.
    The photos taken at the police state and published by former MP and leftist political activist Ziyad El-Elaimy speak alone
    Hisham Geneina told the activists and lawyers who hurried to his help that thugs were allegedly trying to abduct him but as more people showed up , they beat him brutally.
    After many hours at the police station , he was transferred to the hospital.
    He was admitted to the ICU for 24 hours. As far as I read , he could not answer of the prosecution which is investigating the attack.

    Hisham Geneina after the attack
    Geneina as he was transferred to the hospital
    According to some sources , he was admitted to the hospital after the interfere of the current Prosecutor General Nabil Sadek who turned to be a friend to Geneina since High School.
    Anonymous Sources in  Egyptian interior ministry “MOI” had another version of what happened in the media and that version says Geneina along his wife and daughter attacked and injured three young men who transferred to the hospital to receive treatment.

    Those young men reported the Geneinas claiming that judge did not hit them alone but his wife and daughter gave him a hand.

    According to the doctors that saw the photos of those young men and their injuries online , their injuries were more self-inflected.
    Anyhow that was not first surprise that would blow up that whole story.

    It turned out of the injured young men is a well known thug who participated in the attack against the journalists syndicate in 2016 and already had a similar documented case where he claimed a former police officer attacked him.
    That former police officer was among the police officers who tried to have a union for policemen from couple years ago.
    News Website Cairo 24 reported and published the official prosecution’s documents.
    Shortly after publishing those documents , Cairo 24 was blocked in Egypt !!!

    SO what is the relation between the Presidential elections and Geneina ?
    Well Geneina is among the presidential team of presidential hopeful Sami Anan.
    The former Egyptian army Chief of staff announced from two weeks ago that if he was elected as a president , he would Hisham Geneina as a vice-president.

    Speaking about Anan, his family reported that it was not unable to locate him after his arrest for at least 72 hours.

    On Saturday, renowned human rights lawyer and member of quasi-National Council for human rights“NCFHR” Nasser Amin announced that Anan’s family hired him to defend the Lt.General and he accepted the mission because he believes in his innocence and his right to have fair trial.
    At 6.47 PM Cairo local time , the veteran lawyer announced on twitter that he had just finished visiting Lt.General Anan at the Military prison.

    He did not reveal more information about the case on twitter but BBC correspondent Hanan Razek said on Twitter that Amin told BBC that Anan was facing one only and that is violating military rules by declaring his candidacy for presidency before ending his relation with the army.
    Interestingly, the Egyptian army’s General Command said in its communique that the former leading member of SCAF was facing three charges and not only one
    Interesting things happened at Al-Wafd Party but this is another episode as I can’t open my eyes.

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    Another episode of the wacky and interesting Egyptian presidential elections race 2018 which has proved that it is so interesting than the 2014 race after all !!

    Previously as read on our blog, Egypt’s former top auditor Hisham Geneina is still in the Hospital. Sunday evening, the Prosecution decided to release him considering a victim. The prosecution also ordered the detention of the three men who attacked him 4 days pending investigations.

    The statement in Arabic
    The statement in Arabic 
    Those three men are currently accused now of several charges by the prosecution including thuggery, robbery, theft and possession of unlicensed light arms.
    Moving to a very interesting development took place in Egypt related to the elections also Sunday evening.

    A group of prominent politicians and political activists issued a statement calling for the cancellation of the Presidential elections 2018 because it lost its minimum legitimacy.

    The statement issued on Sunday condemned “all the security practices by the current regime” to stop any fair competition in the Presidential elections recounting what happened to the presidential hopefuls starting with Ahmed Shafik to what happened to Sami Anan and Hisham Geneina.

    They also demanded the suspension of the National Elections Authority “NEA” and dissolution of its board because it covered up the security and administrative interfere in the elections process from the very beginning.

    The statement also called the Egyptian people to boycott the upcoming presidential elections in March and not to recognize its results not because there is no fair competition what so ever but also those policies currently adopted in the currently are paving the way for a constitutional amendment for endless presidential terms for one person.

    “That policy already kill any opportunity to transfer power peacefully in Egypt,” The statement said adding it is calling the opposition forces to unite.
    The statement is signed by former Presidential candidate Abdel Moneim Abu El-Fotouh“Elections 2012”, former presidential hopeful Mohamed Anwar El-Sadat Jr, Hazem Hosni, Hisham Geneina and former presidential adviser for science Essam Heggy.
    If you remember, the famous Egyptian space scientist Essam Heggy headed the presidential team initiative in summer 2016.

    Dr. Hazem Hosni revealed that actually a group of youth made that statement and they needed prominent figures to support it as signatories.
    That statement made the Pro-regime TV hosts go made like Amr Adeeb who printed the statement and kept screaming as usual on ON E TV channel.
    I am so happy that some politicians like Mohamed Anwar Al-Sadat and Abdel Moneim Abu El-Fotouh are no longer afraid to cooperate and issue such statement now.
    It has been so long to see them united.

    Searching for a rival candidate

    The Presidential Elections race in Cairo turned in to a true a black comedy when the regime began to search for a rival to compete against El-Sisi to show the world that we are having free and fair elections aka democracy following the decision of Khaled Ali not to run last.
    On the same day, Pro-journalists and TV hosts began wondering about how Al-Wafd Party should have a presidential candidate in the Presidential elections in a very comic way. Al-Wafd Party was suddenly brought up to the scene after the rejection of Hamdeen Sabbahi to run again in the presidential elections.

    The regime tried to find a rival in none other than Al-Wafd Party and its leader El-Siyad El-Badawy.
    But there are three problems or challenges that made it impossible for this to happen.
    From 14 days ago, El-Siyad El-Badawy declared that his party endorsed Abdel Fattah El-Sisi for a second presidential term after the meeting of the once-liberal party’s high committee.

    In November 2016, El-Siyad El-Badawy told Sada El-Bald that the party would not have a candidate in the upcoming presidential elections and that he personally supports El-Sisi
    He also added that Al-Wafd Party learned its lesson very well after what happened in 2005 when Al-Wafd ex-leader Noaman Goma’a decided to run against Hosni Mubarak.
    “If Al-Wafd has someone capable to compete with President Mubarak, we will nominate him for the presidency,” He said adding that the time that President Sisi does not have any competitor what so ever in the upcoming presidential elections.
    “Any competitor will run, won't’ achieve the percentage of votes El-Sisi will have.” He added.

    Al-Ahram Arabic Gate published on Friday a very interesting profile for El-Siyad El-Badawy describing him as the wise calm politician !!
    Speaking of newspapers, I believe Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Qabas had the best headline describing what was happening in Egypt politically briefly: “The search for a candidate to lose in front of El-Sisi”.

    Back to El-Badawy who already can’t run for presidency according to the law because he got pending Jail sentences due to his checks without balance for years. Just as we are getting ready to have him as El-Sisi’s opponents with memes mocking him going rival, the Youth of El-Wafd Party and its board saved El-Siyad El-Badawy when the party’s general assembly voted against running in the Presidential race 2018.

    The Youth of the party also held a small protest at the party H.Q refusing to be a part of that “Charade”

    And so El-Sisi got no competitor officially and today is the last day for presenting the Presidential elections candidacy’s documents. The Pro-regime TV hosts are angry and sad.
    Now on Sunday, we hear a couple of names as possible rivals for El-Sisi in March from small parties and they are even worse than El-Siyad El-Badawy !!

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    Kodak Agfa posted a photo:

    Super blue blood Moon from Egypt

    This is how the moon looked tonight in Cairo. It was not like other countries but it was bright and big

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    Kodak Agfa posted a photo:

    Super blue blood Moon from Egypt

    This is how the moon looked tonight in Cairo. It was not like other countries but it was bright and big

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    Al-Ahram Newspaper
    State-owned Al-Ahram Daily's Front Page of 31 January 2018 issue 

    via Instagram  

    Egypt’s National Elections Authority “NEA” published its official initial list of Presidential candidates as an advertisement in State-owned al-Ahram Daily's Front page on Wednesday.

    Unsurprisingly, the two only initial Presidential candidates for elections 2018 are current President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and the leader of Ghad Party Moussa Ahmed Moussa.

    The NEA listed as well the number of endorsements each candidate received from MPs in the House of Representatives and citizens in at least 15 governorates across the country.

    Current President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi got endorsements from 549 MPs in the House of Representatives and 161,707 citizens across the country while his last-minute rival, the leader of Ghad Party Moussa Ahmed Moussa got endorsements from 20 MPs in the parliament.

    Ironically, Moussa Moussa "just like Missa Missa of Death Note" claimed in his bizarre presser following his last-minute candidacy on Monday that he submitted 45,000 endorsements from citizens across the country in addition to the endorsement of 20 MPs in the parliament.

    He did not give the press a good or even logic answer on how he got those 45,000 endorsements in that short time. Not to mention, he gave a different number in every interview between 45,000 and 46,000 !!!

    Wait inshallah for a nice post dedicated to Moussa Moussa.

    On the other hand, El-Sisi's Campaign claimed also on Monday that it managed to collect endorsements from 596 MPs and more than 900,000 citizens from every town and village in Egypt !!

    For the sake of time, the campaign presented to the NEA only 170,000 endorsements.

    I do not know if Sisi campaign lies like Moussa Moussa or not but I know that in the past few weeks, people from poor classes were mobilized to issue endorsements for Sisi in notary offices across the country in return of money.

    According to the Egyptian Constitution and Presidential elections law, the presidential hopeful must submit among his candidacy documents, the endorsements of at least 20 current MPs in the parliament or endorsements of at least 1000 citizens in 15 governorates across the country.

    The NEA published this list including the number of the endorsement in Egypt's two major state-owned newspapers Al-Ahram Daily and Al-Akhbar Daily in accordance with the Presidential Elections Law of the year 2017.

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    And on that cold afternoon, the middle age man ran in the heart of Downtown Cairo with all the power and speed he got in order to the building on time, he does not have much time.
    Lawyer Samir Abdel Azim Runnig
     to the NAE HQ in Downtown Cairo "Samer Abdullah"
    The office is going to close in 60 minutes and he must be on time to present his boss’s documents per orders by his higher boss according to the plan. The man arrives the place to find cameras waiting for his boss who will come later, there is no time to media shows now as they will come later. He enters the gate which is heavily guarded with special forces from the army and heads quickly to the office where he should present the documents.

    Already they are waiting for him anxiously as well because they do not have much time either.  The man who is also legal representative of his boss represents the documents to the respectable members of the National Elections Authority “NEA” and rests on a chair to get a breath.
    Samir Abdel Azim
    Samir Abdel Azim speaking on the Mobile Phone after submitting
    the candidacy documents at NEA in Cairo "Reuters"
    At last, his boss is an official presidential hopeful in the Egyptian presidential elections. Winning is not important because actually, his boss knows very well that he does not hold a chance, let alone in real elections he won’t be qualified to run.

    He and his boss, the last minute Presidential candidate are doing what they were told to do. His boss will save the regime’s face in front of the world and completes the show, the biggest show in town those upcoming 4 months: The Egyptian Presidential Elections 2018.
    Moussa Mostafa Moussa
    Moussa Mostafa Moussa leaving the NEA "Reuters"
    I am sorry for this long introduction but these words came to my mind when I saw the iconic photo of the legal representative of initial presidential candidate Moussa Mostafa Moussa running on the 29th January 2018 in Downtown Cairo to reach the NEA in order to present the leader of Al-Ghad party Moussa Mostafa Moussa’s presidential candidacy’s documents.

    The last-minute presidential candidate

    Only very few lines were shared about the background of the man who could be the president of Egypt next April or May by 0.01% chance in the mainstream media.
    He was born in April 1952. He speaks Arabic and French fluently as well English. He is a married businessman and got 3 children whom we do not know their names or age or anything.

    We do not know where he lives. It does not matter because we did not know where Abdel Fattah El-Sisi lived either when he ran for the office in 2014. His campaign HQ’s address has been his residence’s address in 2014 Presidential elections or the current presidential elections.
    We do not know the name of his company or companies.

    It did not matter as it seems because he was truly last presidential candidate.

    An engineer and businessman, he heads the Council for Egyptian and Arab tribes, which seems to be a subsidiary of Al-Ghad Party.
    This can give you a little background about our man.

    Moussa Mostafa Moussa made the news in September 2005 when former Presidential candidate Ayman Nour fired him and other three members including former MP Rageb Hamida who made an amazing comeback in this election from Al-Ghad Party.

    In the same month, Moussa declared himself as the leader of the Party splitting the once-promising party into two fronts: A front that is led by Ayman Nour and another front that is led by him.
    The fight escalated between the two fronts over the Party’s Headquarter in the famous Talaat Harb square in Cairo in November 2008.

    It reached the point of no return when Moussa and Hamida allegedly stormed the party H.Q with thugs who torched it using Molotov cocktails and inflammable materials. Photos showed that Moussa was walking in a parade in the street along with two suspected thugs.
    Moussa Mostafa Moussa in 2008
    Moussa Moussa and Ragab Hamida on his left in 2008
    "Omar El-Hady"  see the arrow 
    The same thug torching the building's gate  "Omar El-Hady"
    The prosecution accused the two groups of hurling Molotov cocktails.
    Surprisingly and amazingly, I found out that trial of torching Al-Ghad Party is still going on and its next session in front of Giza criminal court “should not it be in front of Cairo criminal court !!!?” will be next 10 March.

    In May 2011, the Parties Affairs Committee recognized Moussa as the head of the Party.
    From his side, Ayman Nour called his party’s Front Ghad Al-Thawra.

    Unlike the noise and controversy that accompanies Nour who left Egypt in July 2013 and declared his full support to ousted President Morsi, Moussa and Al-Ghad Party went to oblivion since 2008 seriously speaking.

    Then he came back unexpectedly only last week when it was declared that he would be the man standing against El-Sisi in the Presidential elections.
    Ten days before declaring that he would run for the office, Moussa Moussa and his party as well that Arab tribe council declared their total support to El-Sisi just like in 2013.
    Moussa Mostafa Moussa
    The original cover of Moussa's personal account
    before deactivating it 

    The man had a photo of El-Sisi as his Facebook profile’s cover when Egypt was speaking about what happened to Ahmed Shafik as well what was happening to Sami Anan.

    He had to change it on the same day he declared his presidency as activists pointed out to this irony and deactivated his account later.
    That was not the only thing Moussa had to change or hide.

    There are lots of debate about his university degree. That short bio that was distributed to all mainstream outlets did not include from which university he was graduated and when he was graduated.
    It was only mentioned that he studied civil engineering.

    A rumor spread like fire saying that he got a diploma degree in engineering and people like Ayman Nour and his friend famous lawyer Tarek Al-Awdy confirmed it.
    Al-Awdy already appealed in front of the State Council against his candidacy.
    What enforced the rumor is the fact that Moussa Mostafa Moussa got no membership in the syndicate of engineers in Egypt. He needs to have a membership in syndicate if he works in civil engineering in the country.
    To defend him, Al-Ghad Party’s legal advisor claimed that he was got a bachelor of engineering from the University of Sorbonne in France.
    There is one problem that the renowned University got no faculty of engineering, it became another joke in that farce.
    The former head of Egypt’s Public treasury Abdel Magid El-Molhamy who claims to know Moussa Moussa since school said in a Facebook post that went viral then disappeared that the potential Presidential candidate studied in France’s Ecole Nationale Superieure d’ architecture de Versailles “ENSA-V” for two academic years or cycles and dropped out.
    El-Molhamy hinted out that the documents Moussa published in Weekly Sawt Al-Oma actually proved that.
    Thanks to Masrawy’s informative report about Moussa Moussa and his family, we know that according to his short bio as a board member in the United Holding Co. for building materials that he holds a Bachelor of Science in architecture from France’s Ecole des Beaux-Arts.
    Ecole des Beaux-Arts is different university than ENSA-V !!!

    Why is that important? Well according to the Presidential Elections law as well the Egyptian Constitution, the Egyptian Presidential candidate must have a University degree or its equivalent.
    In real elections race, he would be disqualified over this if it turned out that he did not have university degree even if he were as rich and successful as college dropout Bill Gates.

    The bio published on the UHC official website we know what “he created” besides UHC which is owned by his family and OCI.
    It also states that his family “Moussas” founded jointly with the Algerian government famous Scib Paints Company in Zurich that operated from 1978 to 1980.
    In 1981, Scib Paints moved to Egypt to become one of the big local paints companies in the country. In 2002 , Scib entered a partnership with an Indian Paints company.  Moussa Moussa is officially a board member in Scib.

    Interestingly, Egyptian Journalists found out the name of Moussa Moussa was mentioned in the famous Panama Papers.
    I took the lead and found out that he and his siblings were all mentioned in the Panama papers with companies offshore in tax havens including his two sisters.
    The Moussas were shareholders in African Chemical International LTD along others which was registered in British Virgin Islands from 2003 to 2012.
    Our presidential candidate’s address in that company was Al-Ghad Party HQ’s address which is quite interesting.

    Back to Masrawy’s investigate report, we knew that Moussa Moussa lives in a family house in upscale Zamalek, Cairo governorate. His wife is a housewife and he got Mostafa who is an AUC graduate and Mohra who is still a student.

    Moussa is the son of Al-Wafd party late leading figure Mostafa Moussa.
    Unlike son, Mostafa Moussa had a truly interesting political history. 
    Mostafa Moussa was from the Al-Wafd Party’s left-leaning youth that stood against old as well influential and rich party leading figures like Fouad Serg El-Din during the 1940s.
    The young engineer who was graduated from Cairo University made history when he won in the 1950 Parliamentary elections and became the youngest MP to represent Working Class Bab Al-Sharia Constituency in Cairo.
    In the 1950s, Mostafa Moussa was among the Egyptian politicians who openly supported the Algerian revolution against French occupation.
    Following the independence, Moussa moved to Algeria where he worked for decades there. He was a close friend of both late president Ahmed Ben Bella and president Houari Boumediene
    Before his death, he came back and participated in reviving the Wafd Party as the New Wafd Party with Fouad Serg El-Din.

    Why El-Ghad Party leader? 

    Many political analysts are asking why Moussa Moussa was chosen from all those small as well big parties.
    El-Ghad Party lost its popularity and noise as opposition group for real since 2008 when Ayman Nour left it.
    It did not score any seats in the Parliamentary elections 2014.

    Originally, the regime wanted the leader of the New Wafd Party El-Siyad El-Badawy to run against El-Sisi and it was so close to make that to happen if it was not for two reasons I believe.

    Legally, El-Said El-Badawy would be easily disqualified as he stood and is still standing trials for many dishonored cheques to the level that you can’t count them.

    Then come the Youth of New Al-Wafd party “You read it right” as well other old party members.
    During the General assembly of the famous party, its youth protested against the decision to let El-Badawy run in the presidential elections calling it a farce.
    All the members of New Wafd Party’s general assembly except three only voted against the decision as well including a former NDPian.
    They saw that it would have a very negative impact on the famous liberal party that is currently struggling.

    Following the refusal of the New Wafd party to have a candidate in the elections and found ourselves in front two peculiar names: Ahmed El-Fadaly and Moussa Moussa.
    The regime had to choose Moussa Moussa because El-Fadaly got too many skeletons in his closet as simple as that including his role in the battle of the camel in Tahrir square in 2011 as well his university degree.

    Interestingly, the Party with the highest number of seats “65 seats” in the current Parliament; liberal Free Egyptians Party “FEP” ’s name was not included in that search for a rival candidate.
    All that I think about that the ugly sectarianism of the Egyptian regime is behind that.

    The former liberal party which was founded by Naguib Sawiris and was taken over by bunch of former intelligence and security officers who joined later is headed by Essam Khalil, who is a Christian
    There is nothing in the Constitution against having Christians running for the Presidential office theoretically speaking.

    So far Moussa Moussa is trying desperately to convince the world and the Egyptians that he is not a supporting actor giving all sort illogical reasons behind his sudden candidacy.
    He attacks El-Sisi in a very shy way saying that the Mega-national projects done in the past four years were waste of the Egyptians’ money only, which is actually true but that’s it.

    He has had a single TV interview on DMC last week and it was very sad weak one that you may wonder why a businessman like him would be involved in such farce.

    Anyhow, Moussa Moussa managed to write down his name in history as the Last-Minute Candidate in a poll that is being called elections.

    That will be his greatest political achievement in life so far if there is no miraculous divine miracle making the next President of Egypt.

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    Last week, that video went viral in the world for a good reason. It gave the world for the first time after nearly 3400 years how legendary beauty Queen Nefertiti may have looked like thanks to 3D imaging and forensic reconstruction.

    Originally produced by Travel channel’s Expedition Unknown, Josh Gates and his team borrowed the skull of Nefertiti from the Egyptian Museum in Cairo where her mummy is.
    Queen Nefertiti
    Queen Nefertiti after 3D reconstruction
    Travel Channel 
    The mummy of Queen Nefertiti was discovered reportedly in 1898 by French Egyptologist Victor Loret at tomb KV35 in Luxor’s Valley of the King.
    Many archeologists and Egyptologists believe that a mummy labeled in the tomb as “The Younger lady” was the famous Queen Nefertiti despite her DNA says that she was the mother of King Tutankhamun. Queen Nefertiti is said to give birth to six princesses only.
    Anyhow the photo of the younger lady mummy’s head made me believe that she was Nefertiti thanks to her elongated head.

    Maybe She has a magnificent bust in the Egyptian Museum of Berlin that must return back to Egypt but she also got other beautiful busts in the Egyptian Museum of Cairo.

    Anyhow I will seize this opportunity and take a short break from Presidential elections news as well that new Comprehensive Military operation against terrorism in Egypt to post a couple of beautiful photos for beautiful Queen Nefertiti from the Egyptian Museum of Cairo.
    Queen Nefertiti's unfinished bust
    Queen Nefertiti's unfinished bust at the Egyptian Museum of Cairo

    Unfinished bust of Queen Nefertiti of Ancient Egypt
    Queen Nefertiti's unfinished bust
    There was the usual debate between African Americans in particular and white Americans as well Europeans about whether Her ancient Roya Highness was black or White, well she was an Egyptian from North Africa and the Middle East. She is not black nor white.
    From her busts whether in Berlin or Cairo Museums, I would say that she seemed to be olive.
    Unfinished bust of Queen Nefertiti
    Another unfinished bust of Queen Nefertiti at Cairo's Egyptian Museum 
    There is no whitewash of anything here. Ancient Egyptians are like Modern Egyptians came in every size, shape and color
    When I think about the ancient history of Egypt and see what happened to the dynasty of Akhenaten in the Modern Kingdom and how the Amon priests and military like Horemheb intended to erase their complete existence from history without knowing that they actually immortalized them ironically !!

    By hiding their tombs and erasing their names, their faces, their statues and the capital of Amarna as well the Amon priests thought that they erased Akhenaten and his revolutionary monotheistic Aten beliefs.

    Ironically thousands of years later, we found the tomb of Tutankhamun untouched as well the tombs of Akhenaten and Nefertiti with their statues and treasures that dazzled the whole world.
    Tutankhamun is more famous than Horemheb, hell that teenager became the most famous ruler of Egypt. Akhenaten is considered a revolutionary figure with his religious beliefs and he became more famous than his military commanders and Amon priests altogether. 

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    Happy Valentine’s Day from Egyptian Chronicles to those who still believe in love on the surface of that big sad planet called earth.
    I will seize this opportunity and share a couple of photos for my favorite Royal Egyptian Couple of all times at the Egyptian Museum of Cairo "EMC": Prince Rahotep and his wife Nefret.
    Famous Prince Rahotep and his wife Nofret Statues at the Egyptian Museum of Cairo
    Prince Rahotep and his wife Nefret "ignore my shadow" 
    I told you before that the Old Kingdom’s statues gave a shock to the workers who discovered them as they thought they were alive.
    Prince Rahotep was a prince from the Fourth dynasty.
    He is widely believed by most archeologists that he was the son of King Snefru and the brother of King Khufu.
    I remember reading at the Egyptian Museum of Cairo that he was an army commander but his Wikipedia page says that he was a high priest of Ra at Heliopolis according to the titles inscribed on his statue.
    Maybe he was both.

    After the break, there is a close-up photo of the two without my shadow thanks to a tip given by an Egyptian guide who saw me try in vain in taking a photo without my shadow.

    Famous Prince Rahotep and his wife Nofret Statues at the Egyptian Museum of Cairo
    A close look at the Royal couple after knowing a secret way to snap their photos without reflections 
    By the way, that couple is the best answer to that ongoing debate about Nefertiti's skin color.
    As you can see, Rahotep was a brown man whereas Nefret was white according to the Western definitions.

    The statues of Rahotep and Nefret were found at his tomb in Meidum in 1871 by archeologist and Egyptian Museum’s famous curator Auguste Mariette Pasha. “After I wrote a post paying my respect for his work, I found out that he was against teaching archeology to Egyptians.”
    I am praying that they are left alone at Tahrir museum, at their place in the Old Kingdom partition and not to be transferred to the Grand Egyptian Museum.
    Anyhow Happy Valentine’s Day.

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    Egypt's High State security prosecution ordered on Thursday the detention of former presidential candidate Abdel Moneim Abou El-Fotouh 15 days pending investigations into charges of spreading false news and leading a banned organization. 

    Originally I was planning to write this post about the arrest of Egypt’s ex-top auditor Hesham Geneina but I ended up Wednesday night following in disbelief the arrest of the former Presidential candidate and leader of Strong Egypt Abdel Moneim Abou El-Fotouh.

    It started with a small yet alarming Facebook post by Hozaifa Abu El-Fotouh at 10:13 PM Wednesday Cairo local time saying that his father Abdel Moneim Abou El-Fotouh and the members of the political bureau of Strong Egypt Party.

    At 12:25 AM, Hozaifa Abu El-Fotouh reported that all the of members of the political bureau that were arrested earlier were released while his father remained in custody.

    According to news reports, they were arrested at his house in New Cairo while they were having meeting after his return from London two days ago. “several politicians have been arrested nowadays from New Cairo as far as I could tell !!”
    Abdel Moneim Abu El-Fotouh speaks in his presser
    Abdel Moneim Abou E-Fotouh in a presser in 2012

    At first, there was no obvious reason on why the former MB leading figure and former presidential candidate and it seems that news websites and channels had different reasons.

    Later it turned out that he was arrested because “he had a contact with the Muslim Brotherhood”.

    Updated "@2:01PM Thursday :
    Abou El-Fotouh's lawyers say that they do not know the charges he is facing for real. They were also not allowed to attend his interrogation at the High State security prosecution.   

    I think we all know that Abou El-Fotouh left the MB in 2011 after a big fight and till that day the Brotherhood members hate him even more than El-Sisi because they could not forget how he called early presidential elections during the end of Mohamed Morsi’s era.

    Earlier this week, Abou El-Fotouh had an interview that was aired on Al-Jazeera Mubshar TV channel that was recorded in London.

    He arrived on Friday and recorded on Sunday despite the warnings he got from others not to speak through the Qatari TV channel. You can watch it after the break.

    During his stay in London, the former Presidential candidate also recorded an interview with London-based Al-Araby TV.
    The interview was going to be aired on Saturday but the TV channel aired hours following his arrest.

    He also recorded an interview with the BBC Wednesday morning before his arrest in the evening.

    I have not seen the BBC interview which was on Thursday but I have seen Al Jazeera Mubshar Misr and Al-Araby TV and they reminded me of how Abdel Moneim Abu El-Fotouh became an A-class politician.

    He repeated what he had said in both TV programs attacking El-Sisi only separating behind him and the Egyptian armed forces which he totally supported in its recent North Sinai operation.   He supported the peaceful political movement rejecting all talks of hunger revolution. He called the Muslim Brotherhood, Al-Azhar and the Orthodox Church to quit politics and to stick to their religious role.

    Needless to say, he has been vocal and highly critical of Sisi’s regime and was among the early political figures calling for a boycott to the upcoming presidential elections in March.

    He was among those who signed the first statement calling the National Elections Authority “NEA” for the cancellation of elections following the arrest of former Egyptian army Chief of staff Sami Anan.

    It is worth to mention that Mohamed El-Kassas, Abou El-Fotouh’s deputy in Strong Egypt Party was arrested on Friday allegedly for joining banned group “aka Muslim Brotherhood” and working for that group’s media arm “Mekameeleen TV channel”.

    El-Kassas, who is a former MB that defected in early 2011 denied all those charges.

    For the record, Mohamed El-Kassas is among the best young politicians in Egypt since 2011.
    Of course, I can ignore the arrest of Egypt’s former top auditor Hesham Geneina by the military from two days ago as well.

    Back to Abu El-Fotouh who made it clear that he would spend the rest of days in a jail cell than to leave the country and live abroad.

    The High state security prosecution will interrogate the veteran Islamist politician early morning.

    Abdel Moneim Abou El-Fotouh was imprisoned twice. The first time was in the infamous autumn of fury when Sadat arrested all his opponents from left to right in September 1981.
    The second time was during the era of Mubarak from 1996 to 2001.

    Opposition political powers and parties as well figures began to react to the arrest the veteran politician. Former Presidential candidate.

    Hamdeen Sabbahi was among the first who declared their support and even demanded the release of Abou El-Fotouh on Wednesday with his post on his personal verified Facebook account.

    Former presidential candidate and rights lawyer Khaled Ali has become a member of Abou El-Fotouh's legal team along with Ahmed Abu Ela Mady, the son of Abu Ela Mady, the leader of Al-Wasat Party.

    By making peaceful political change impossible, you are not giving youth too many options.
    Frustrated angry youth who do not know how to represented peacefully through politics.
    Either they will leave the country and immigrate as many of the young people I know in the past 7 years did or they will join militant radical groups.

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    You read the headline right !!
    Egypt is going to export gas worth USD 15 billion from Israel within the upcoming 10 years according to the Israeli Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu earlier Monday.
    Monday afternoon, Egyptians and Arabs found out about this deal through PM Netanyahu’s social media accounts especially on Twitter as those accounts aired Bibi’s speech to the Israeli people translated into Arabic.
    Benjamin Netanyahu stated that he welcomed the deal to export Israeli gas to Egypt describing it as a historic agreement. He also said that that “historical agreement” would bring billions to State’s treasury adding that money would be spent on education and medical service for Israeli citizens.
    He also said that the gas agreement strengthened Israel’s security, economy and the regional relations.
    “Today is a feast,” He said in the video.
    Al-Masry Al-Youm Daily
    Al Masry Al Youm Daily Front Page
    "Israel announces that it exports gas to Egypt"

    What is the deal?

    Israeli Delek Drilling and Texas-based Noble Energy signed 10-year agreement to sell USD15 billion worth of natural gas from Tamarand Leviathan natural gas fields to little-known Egyptian Delphinus.
    According to the agreement, Israel is going to sell 3 billion cubic meters a year to Egypt through Delphinus, which did not hear about it before in the country.

    Despite several Media outlets have spoken like The Economist in April 2017 about the talks of that agreement, most of the public in Egypt only knew about it Monday afternoon.
    Needless to say, it shocked them because just for the past few weeks El-Sisi and his media have repeatedly spoken about his achievement and success in accelerating the production of gigantic Zohr natural gas field.
    Egyptian officials have repeatedly claimed that Zohr natural gas field will enable Egypt to be self-sufficient in the production of liquefied gas by the end 2018 or early 2019 yet now we find out that there is an Egyptian company that will import natural gas from Israel !!!!!

    What is even more ridiculous is how the Egyptian officials in the ministry of oil and Natural gas Regulatory authority claimed that they did not know anything about the agreement !!!
    Already that agreement needs to be approved by the two governments in order to be in effect.
    In 2017, Egypt passed a new Natural gas law that allows the private sector to import natural gas.
    Some officials in Egypt as well some people say that that natural gas from Israel is not imported for consumers in the country but rather to be liquefied and exported once again to Europe.
    Noble Energy said in its press release issued on Monday about the agreement that the Israeli gas “is anticipated to supply industrial and petrochemical customers as future power generation in Egypt”.

    What is Delphinus?

    Little was known in the media about Egyptian Delphinus before that announcement. We all knew on Monday that it is an Egyptian private sector company. We know that is head by a man called Alaa Arafa, of Arafa Holding , the famous textile company that owns Concrete for men's wear.

    1958-Born Alaa Arafa graduated originally as a doctor from the Faculty of medicine in Ain Shams University but it seems that he was attracted to the family's business in textile that goes back to the 1940s than helping in curing people.

     Alaa Arafa's father was said to be a personal friend to Hosni Mubarak as he was also an air fighter pilot like him and that's helped to expand the family business in textile in the past 20 years. He was from the first businessmen to join Qiz agreement allowing him to have business with Israel in order to export to Europe and the States.

    Alaa Arafa is also said to be the second Hussein Salem when it comes to oil and gas investements with Israel

    In January 2016, Egypt’s PM Sharif Ismail announced that permits would not be longer issued to companies importing gas from Israel to Egypt despite Leviathan and Tamar natural gas fields signed letters of intent with Delphinusin December 2015.

    In August 2017, London-based New Arab News website published a report saying that Shell was going to buy Israeli gas from Tamar and Leviathan for Egypt. It seems that deal did not work and Delphinus replaced Shell.

    I think we know that the Israeli government has approved the agreement from that speech Bibi said. The Egyptian government claims that it knows nothing about the deal despite the fact we know it does unofficially.
    Anything related to Israel must pass through the Egyptian government in Egypt.

    I have the feeling that Bibi wanted to use that deal to score some supports in Israel after his corruption scandal throwing the Sisi’s administration back to Cairo to the bus at a very critical time.
    Already I do not understand how the current Egyptian administration is not using the need of Israel to export liquid gas to Europe and score political gains for example like forcing Bibi’s administration to return to the negotiations table or to suspend the expansion of the illegal settlements in the West bank !!
    This is the least the current Egyptian administration can do if it is sincere and committed to the Palestinian cause which is directly connected to the Egyptian National security.
    Needless to say, President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi said it loud during the inauguration during Egypt’s gigantic Zohr gas field that he was not  a-big-mouth politician. I wish he were
    I wonder if his administration knows that there is a dispute between Lebanon and Israel over those particular natural gas fields in East Mediterranean.

    Mada Misr quoted experts in an early report about the deal that actually Israel used that agreement to play a game with the Egyptian government.
    Accordingly, Israel dropped the 2017-USD 2 billion compensation case against the Egyptian government represented in the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation “EGPG” and  Egyptian Natural Gas company “EGAS”  after the cancellation of the deal to export natural gas to Israel in April 2012.
    Amazingly I was writing a post about the latest developments in the cases of Abdel Moneim Abou El-Fotouh and Hisham Geneina but Bibi’s announcement was like another slap in the face on Monday.

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    Egypt’s ministry of interior announced on Wednesday that it arrested 6 fugitives from the banned Muslim Brotherhood at a ranch in El-Behaira’s Wadi Al-Natron allegedly owned by Abdel Moneim Abou El-Fotouh in the latest bad news for the former Presidential candidate following his arrest last week !!

    In a quick reaction, Abou El-Fotouh’s family issued an official statement denying that he owns a ranch or an agricultural land in El-Behaira governorate or any other place.
    The statement added that his wife Dr. Aliya Khalil was the one that owned an agricultural land in El-Bahaira governorate but not in Wadi Al-Natron and that she had leased it for a farmer for 9 years since 2013.
    Abou El-Fotouh’s family made it clear that his wife had no knowledge about what was happening in that land since 2013.
    Abou El-Fotouhs have been very active in defending the leader of Strong Egypt Party refuting the interior ministry’s statements since his arrest like the first statement accusing him of meeting MB leaders in London early February.

    His family released a statement stating that he traveled to London to participate in a lecture organized by former leading MB figure Kamel El-Hellbawy “who is currently a member in Egypt’s quasi-official National Council for human rights and a big Sisi supporter” about the current situation in Egypt and he already announced on his official FB page.
    The statement interestingly reminded the government that Abou El-Fotouh defected unofficially from the brotherhood in 2009 and that defection became official in 2011.

    There are more bad news coming for Egyptian former Presidential candidate Abdel Moneim Abou El-Fotouh and his party “Strong Egypt” after his arrest on Wednesday.
    On Tuesday , a Cairo criminal court designated him as a terrorist per a request of High State security prosecution.
    Accordingly, all his assets will be frozen. The court ruling is appealable.

    Saturday evening members of Strong Egypt Party reported to the media that a police force confiscated the “Strong Egypt” Party Headquarter in Cairo without any judicial order.
    This has got an ominous meaning especially Pro-regime news websites and state-owned newspapers claimed on the same day that the Parties committee was looking into the Party’s case.
    On Sunday, members of the Parties committee told Shorouk Daily that they were not looking into Strong Egypt Party’s case because they have not got any reports from the Prosecution or complaints about it.

    It turned out on the same day , lawyer Samir Sabry presented a petition to the Prosecutor general to designate Abdel Fotouh as terrorist and his party as a terrorist organization.
    It is worth to mention that following the arrest of Abdel Moneim Abou El-Fotouh and his deputy Mohamed El-Kassas within one week, the Political office decided to freeze the Party’s political activities.
    The political office called for an urgent meeting for the Party’s general assembly.
    TV hosts like Lamis El-Hadidy are promoting lies that Strong Egypt Party is a religious party which should be disbanded according to current Egyptian Constitution.
    This is a lie , Strong Egypt Party is not a religious party like for instance Al-Nour Party which should be disbanded according to the Constitution but is kept to please the Salafists despite the fact I believe that it lost them.
    Yes , its founder and some of its co-founding members are former MB members but bylaws , goals and objectives are speaking about social democratic party.
    It is already too close to the Constitution Party which was founded by ElBaradei as social liberal party.

    Rights researcher at Egyptian Initiative For personal rights “EIPR” Amr Ezzat said in a post on his verified Facebook account that Strong Egypt Party has had a very democratic view about religious freedom in Egypt more than many so-called civilian parties. He even added that the Party was against religious totalitarianism of religious institutions in Egypt.

    In his last interviews in London as well in Cairo , Abu El-Fotouh made it clearly that he separated between politics and religion demanding Al-Azhar , the Egyptian Coptic Orthodox Church and the Muslim Brotherhood to stop meddling in politics and stick to worship.

    Now if Strong Egypt Party is disbanded , it will be a true loss for Egypt and its already dead partisan political life.
    It has a potential to play an important role if we will ever again have a true partisan political life.
    By the way , I can not ignore how other so-called Pro-democratic parties under Hamdeen Sabbahi’s umbrella used to ignore Strong Egypt and its members because of Abou El-Fotouh’s past connection with the Brotherhood.
    I believe those parties could have protected Strong Egypt party against the attacks of the regime and its media if they included it in their coalition.
    BY the way, the same goes to April 6 Youth and Revolutionary Socialists movements.
    They have always considered them pariah not to be included in their statements or press conferences.
    It is worth to mention that I have not seen any escalation to support Abou El-Fotouh from those parties other than statements are completely ignored.
    I cannot think of what they can do now but surely they can stir things a little bit.
    It is worrying as there are rumors that the arrest of Hisham Geneina and Abou El-Fotouh is just the beginning for a wide crackdown against politicians and activists in the country from Pro-25 January supporters.

    Since early morning I have been reading that prominent human rights activist and founder of Cairo Institute for Human Rights studies“CIHRS” Bahey El-Din Hassan got a tip that not less than 336 politicians and activists are going to be arrested soon.

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    I won’t comment on the going BBC report by veteran correspondent Orla Guerin about the crackdown on dissidents in Egypt or the crusade declared by the Egyptian regime and its media arms especially the State Information service especially with its Short bitter recent history with the BBC because it is getting sillier by the minute.

    The only thing I can say that Guerin should not have focused on the case of Zubeida especially Egyptian human rights activists working on the forced disappearance file questioned it before and Amr Adeeb should not have accepted to conduct a very odd interview with traumatized Zubeida  and her strange husband at the headquarter of the Egyptian Ministry of interior after claiming it was at her house a day earlier !!!!!!!!!!
    Poor Zubeida for real as she appeared on TV earlier this week 
    By the way, Zubeida’s mother has been arrested and some concerned lawyer sued her in front the criminal court for spreading lies against Egypt and no journalist was able to reach Zubeida and her husband so far except Adeeb.

    P.S There are other cases in the BBC World’s report by the way.
    All what I can say about that ongoing debate about the forced disappearance is the following.

    If we do not have cases of forced disappearance in Egypt according to what the Egyptian president as well the Egyptian government say and that those all disappeared people have joined ISIS “ several cases indeed joined that death cult group” , why does not Egypt sign the United Nations' International Convention for the protection of all persons from enforced disappearance !??

    Former vice president and Nobel prize winner Mohamed ElBaradei reminded us with that on Twitter on Wednesday.
    Already signing this agreement will the Egyptian state looks more committed to the universal human rights internationally.
    It is better than thousand PR campaigns that cost the country millions of dollars.
    The agreement goes with our constitution and our laws.
    This is a very important question and I believe that we should call for signing the International Convention for the protection of all persons from enforced disappearances.

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    Sultan Abu Ela Mosque in Cairo
    Sultan Abu Ela Mosque in Cairo 

     It seems that there is some negative water effect on the ancient mosque and shrine of Sufi Sheikh Sultan Abu Ela in Cairo and noonday is paying attention.

    The Mamluk-era Mosque is already neglected according to heritage activists for reasons beyond me. Already I do not understand how to ignore such beautiful old mosque when it is behind the headquarter of Egypt's Ministry of foreign affairs "You can see it in the back".

    It is also near the Royal carriages Museum !! 

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    MBS is in Cairo right now and we are reading on Monday that Egypt and Saudi Arabia have agreed to create a $10 billion joint fund to develop a 1000 square-kilometers mega-city in South Sinai governorate as part of MBS’ futuristic NEOM project.

    The new deal comes 48 hours following Egypt’s Supreme Constitutional court rule’s on Saturday to void all previous court orders of Red Sea islands deal.

    The court also stated that it recognized the Parliament’s decision to pass the deal as a law “despite the parliament depended on the Court for urgent matter’s rule to go on with the so-quick vote in June 2017”.

    In other simple words, the deal is on legally “as if they need a court order”. We lost, those who believe that the islands are true and genuine part of Egypt.

    Egyptian Tiran
    An Egyptian flag overlooking
    Tiran island "Instagram
    Now according to law and constitution experts, this verdict is considered the end of the road for that path in that particular case but it is not the end for the legal path for Tiran and Sanafir island.

    This lawsuit was about the other lawsuits in front of the different courts but not about the deal itself and whether the islands are Egyptian or Saudi or whether the law issued by the parliament in June 2017 is constitutional or not.
    Now the legal procedures say that a group of brave lawyers should file a lawsuit in front of the High Administrative court regarding the constitutionality of that deal and the High Administrative court should transfer it to the Supreme Constitutional court. I do not if there are any brave lawyers in this country or not.

    Needless to say that there is a complete silence at the front of Khaled Ali and co.
    Khaled Ali has not commented a single comment about the verdict to explain its legal meaning to his followers and supporters.
    I know that he has been busy with the presidential elections which we all knew how it ended as well that #MeToo scandal that shattered his leftist party.
    He also got his own finger trial on Tuesday or Wednesday.

    That Tiran and Sanafir issue created a judicial mess like no other besides the political and strategic mess it created for Egypt.
    I know that officially Egypt and Saudi Arabia presented to the United Nations the new borders deal which means it will be very hard now to restore the two islands but it is not impossible.
    It is just an end of a sad chapter in a long tale in the life of Egypt and its Sinai.

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