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7000 years and counting ...

older | 1 | .... | 152 | 153 | (Page 154) | 155 | 156 | .... | 162 | newer

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    We continue our tale for this year, the tale of the Amazing tales challenge.
    Tonight, we will listen to the 16th episode of our Ramadan Arabian Nights Podcast this year and just like last night’s episode, it was inspired by true events that changed the course of history.
    Taher Abu Fasha was inspired by the Suez war events in 1956 to write the 277th episode of the Egyptian Radio state’s One Thousands Nights and One.
    There is nationalization or support to Algerian rebels and their great revolution here but you will below what I mean.
    I believe that that tale was written and aired following the war.
    You can hear the episode after the break.

    King Saeed knows the Safaleal demons and their king Djarbon are attacking his island in the Djinn Kingdom.
    An illustration from Persia's book  Razmnama
    An illustration from Persia's book

    He sends one of his aide to King Haddam of Ifrits using his flying winged horse to know if that evil king is going to join Safaleal demons in their war or he is going to stick with peace.

    King Haddam claims that he is neutral and won’t go to any war against King Saeed.
    Saeed rejoices and calls for mobilization because he believes that he will the war against Safaleal’s small army.

    Meanwhile back at the Underworld kingdom, King Haddam holds a meeting with Ifrit Queen Frankia revealing her evil scheme.
    Haddam says the Safaleal demons will attack King Saeed’s Kingdom and that both he “Haddam” and Queen Frankia will claim neutrality on the first day of the war.

    On the war’s second day, Haddam and Frankia will order their troops to attack Saeed’s troops from behind as they are busy in fighting Safaleal.
    At the war, Saeed and his army win on the first day to the level that the Safaleal demons ask to collect their dead in the evening.
    King Saeed does not know the scheme that is being planned but he wants to fight King Djarbon of Salafleal directly.
    Till we meet next night inshallah

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    Vogue Arabia has not made such noise since its launch in March 2017 in the World as what meant to be a huge positive image for the Saudi Kingdom is turning into a negative move in a very wrong time.
    Vogue's Controversial cover
    Vogue Arabia's Controversial cover 
    June issue of Vogue Arabia features Princes Hayfa Bin Abdullah Al Saud on its cover behinds of a red convertible car with the big headline “Driving force” in bold
    The fashion magazine which is based in Dubai is celebrating “the trailblazing women of Saudi Arabia” and how they are granted the right to drive their own cars in summer 2018 at last after years of fighting for this simple right.

    The issue features an interview with Princess Hayfa who has been an advocate for women’s rights since the days of her father late King Abdullah with a glamorous photo shoot along with features about rising Saudi women stars in various fields whether sports or modeling or acting.
    Now there is one problem regarding that cover and that special file about Saudi women’s progress in the era of Prince Mohamed Ibn Salman “MBS”.

    It comes at the same time Saudi women activists who worked hard for women’s rights in the Kingdom are being arrested, imprisoned as well humiliated in the worst inhuman way every.
    Just as the Holy month of Ramadan was starting from two weeks ago, Saudi authorities launched a new crackdown campaign against women activists who have worked for decades to grant Saudi women’s basic rights including the right to drive.

    Prominent women activists like Loujain al-Hathloul, Iman al-Nafjan and Aziza al-Youssef were arrested for receiving money funding from enemy elements abroad and working for “undermining social and religious constants” as well recruiting officials in sensitive state positions.
    In other words, those activists are facing espionage charges which can lead them to the death penalty if they are convicted.

    Photos of the first six activists arrested in that crackdown were featured in Saudi Arabia’s biggest newspapers and labeled as “traitors” even without a trial.

    I do not have the slightest idea on why those activists were arrested and humiliated in that way especially there activists among them who praised MBS and the reforms he made so far.
    My only guess is that MBS is trying to please the Conservatives by getting rid of the highest voices demanding  more women's rights !?

    And then the Vogue Arabia’s cover comes featuring the Saudi princess and her car in the desert.
    Many people believe that Vogue Arabia Cover credits the princess something she did not or did not fight for as fiercely as those ladies currently detained.

    The crackdown against those women' activists actually blows up the idea of Vogue’s special file about Saudi women in the era of MBS era.

    People in East and West to be honest angry about that Vogue Arabia and they have too but there is important fact that they are neglecting.

    This is Vogue Arabia, not the Time or The Economist or Even Teen Vogue’s US edition !!
    Vogue Arabia’s editors care less for those Saudi women activists or regular Saudi women.
    Vogue Arabia’s target readers are the A Arab women class, mostly from the Gulf care less about those Saudi women activists.
    I do not know even if Vogue Arabia is distributed in Egypt or not despite Egyptian models, designers and actors as well renowned public figures are constant in its issues since its launch based on its website.
    I have not seen it in newsstand and it is not an issue to bother for me because I know very well that Vogue Arabia and its mother publication Vogue do not regard us, the majority of Egyptian women as its target readers in the first place.

    Speaking about the mother publication , I can not forget how Vogue published a special feature including an interview for Syria’s first lady Asma El-Assad in February 2012 calling her as “A Rose in the Desert” as the protests in Syrian towns were crackdown violently at the beginning of the Syrian revolution before it would turn in to a civil war by the end of 2013.
    Under pressure, Vogue removed the feature which turned out to be Syrian-government -funded-interview and feature.

    Back to Vogue Arabia, its editor Manuel Arnaut does not see anything wrong about the cover. In a statement sent to the BBC, he said that the publication “highlights and discusses key issues related to womanhood in the Arab world" adding that using Princess Hayfa helped magnify their message. This is what he said.

    Anyhow, I like Vogue Arabia’s cover featuring Somali-American Iman and Egyptian/Moroccan Dutch Model Iman Hammam.
    Vogue's Controversial cover
    Vogue Arabia's March 2018 issue
    BY the way, did you know that Iman Hammam could be the first Egyptian Moroccan model to be on the cover of American Vogue ??
    Despite both ladies are not living in the Arab world but still, it was truly lovely cover featuring the two Imans.

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    We continue our tale for this, the tale of the Amazing tales challenge.
    Tonight, we will continue listening to the 17th episode of our Ramadan Arabian Nights Podcast and know the fate of that war that started in the Djinn Realm.
    Though it is named after the legendary tales book, our take for this year was inspired by the 1956 war and its events.
    You can listen to the 278th episode of the original Egyptian state radio’s “One Thousand and One Nights” after the break.

    The next day of battle is on and King Saeed is now fighting not only one enemy but three enemies as King Haddam and Queen Frankria of Ifrits joined forces with Safaleal demons.
     scene from Indian Razmnama from  a book published in 1956 :)
    A scene from Indian Razmnama from
    a book published in 1956 :)

    In short, the battle is so inspired by the 1956 war.
    King Saeed withdraws his army from Safaleal’s front to stop the destruction caused by Haddam and Frankria’s armies but it is not enough.

    They burned down villages. The Djinns fought as much as they can but still.

    Yet things begin to change with the sudden arrival of a hood knight and another army of Djinn to the front.
    The Knight and his army along with King Saeed and his army won the battle with their unity.

    King Saeed went to thank that hooded knight only to know that it is his brother Mosa’ad.
    The two brothers decide to unite and forget the past.

    Now I think we are speaking about the ill-fated United Arab Republic or the Union between Egypt and Syria.
    Till we meet next night inshallah

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    And we will continue our tale for this year, the tale of the Amazing tale challenge.
    Tonight in the 18th episode of our Ramadan Arabian Nights Podcast in Arabic this year we will return shortly to out original tale for short time.
    If you remember, our tale is inside a tale inside a tale itself.
    The original tale is the One Thousand and One nights and inside we hear the Amazing tales challenge tale which is about the tale of King Saeed and brothers against the evil realm of Ifrits.
    You can hear episode no. 270 from the original Egyptian State Radio’s One Thousand and One Nights show after the break.

    Scheherazade turns back shortly to the original tale recounting how wise Sukar was recounting the tale her beloved Anbar found. 
    King Saeed and his brother Mosa’ad want to reconnect with their brother Masood to discuss their father’s will and to say what they can do against the wicked demons they defeated in that epic battle earlier.
    Yama-uba from Japenese folklore

    Saeed sends an envoy to his brother using his flying horse but the answer comes with a shock. Masood captures the horse yet he does not know that his brother, the king can recall that magical horse using a magical ring.

    Meanwhile, in the Underworld Kingdom of Ifrits, King Haddam is angry and sad. The grand priest of Djinns who turned in to a demon wants to marry his beloved Rouh as an award for his treason aka cooperation.

    Haddam agrees and summons Rouh aka Kheina ordering her to show her real self to the groom according to their tradition.
    Priest Nomaan is shocked to see Kheina’s true self. She is not a beautiful Ifrit but rather a very old Ifrit.
    Back to King Saeed’s realm, the young king decides to go and meet Haddam at his realm after seven days.
    Till we meet next night inshallah

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    It is time for a new episode from our Ramadan Arabian Nights Podcast for this year.
    We continue with our tale “The Amazing tales challenge” which was aired in the Egyptian State Radio’s One Thousands and One Nights” in the late 1950s.
    Interesting events will happen in the magical realm of Djinn in the 19th episode of our podcast.
    You can listen to the tale in Arabic after the break after


    King Saeed regrets calling a meeting with King Haddam of Ifrits.
    He calls for a Diwan meeting, a meeting with his advisers.
    While he is discussing whether he should go or not, High Priest Nomaan storms the meeting saying that he regrets his treason.
    A-13th-century Ottoman illustration
    A-13th-century Ottoman illustration 

    The old man wakes up after finding his beloved Rouh is older than him,
    As the Djinns are shocked, the old priest confesses with his treason and how he made the three brothers angry and divided.
    He tells Saeed that Haddam is holding a meeting with his Masood in the Dokhan “Smoke” island at the same moment.
    He tells the young king to use the invisibility cap and go immediately. The old priest commits suicide in a shocking scene after expressing his remorse.
    Saeed uses the winged horse to travel immediately to the island where he lands outside Masood’s palace.
    He wears the invisibility cap and listens to the meeting between his brother and the evil demon in shock.
    Haddam lies once again on Masood making him believe that his brothers are going to attack him. He also claims that he will send one million Ifrit fighter to help Masood against that so-called invasion.
    Saeed goes back sad and angry to his kingdom.
    He does not know what to do next.
    Till we meet next night inshallah

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    Dear all, from 51 years ago on that day the world had changed forever … for worse I am afraid when Israel attacked and invaded Arab territories creating a bigger mess than the one it had originally made in 1948.
    Revising the history and what led to the defeat of the Six days war politically before militarily we know that that defeat did not happen because had military geniuses or better armies but rather number of factors including how the Arab countries were fighting each literality and figuratively speaking just like the heroes of our tale, the Amazing tales challenge.
    Divided, as usual, Arab leaders reconciled too late after that defeat and it did not take too many years to find them also divided plotting against each other.
    “The Arabs agreed to disagree,” We say in our sad part of the world.
    Arab people pray for truthful and rightful unity but it never comes.
    Anyhow, we go back to our tale and our fantasy world which is a good escape from the cruel reality.
    Tonight we are going to listen to the 20th episode of our Ramadan Arabian Nights Podcast.
    You can listen to the episode after the break.


    King Saeed returns back to his kingdom angry after knowing King Haddam’s evil scheme with his brother Masood yet he refuses to attack his own brother.
    Saeed got a very good plan to restore back his brother and to get back at Haddam. He also asks his brother Mosa’ad to go to his brother Masood using the winged horse and invisible cap.
    A palace in the 1001 realm by
    Anton Pieck

    At the same time, he calls King Haddam for an urgent meeting at his palace.

    Haddam comes immediately and asks the young king for a meeting privately behind the closed door. He gets what he wishes despite he sees suddenly the doors of the hall open.
    Haddam claims that he has just known from Masood that he was planning to attack Saeed and that he is warning the kind and even ready to fight with him against his own brother.

    Suddenly a voice comes out of the air telling him that he is a liar and it turned out that Masood was wearing the invisible cap and has heard what evil Haddam has been telling to his brother.
    Mosa’ad comes in and suddenly Haddam turns in to fire and disappears as it turns out that he loses his wicked power as Ifrit when the brothers have united once again.
    The brothers once again reunite their kingdoms into one under Saeed’s rule just like what their father wants. 

    The three brothers live happily forever after in their Djinn realm.
    Back to the Human realm, Sukar finishes her tale and saves her father, Vizier Habhan but she starts a new tale, the tale on how her suitors and the king’s envoy went for a year to search for that amazing tale.
    Till we meet next night inshallah.
    Please pray for those people who were killed on that day whether in Egypt or Syria or in the West Bank.

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    No one would have thought that the man whose voice was an iconic feature of Nasser era’s propaganda machine would die on the eve of that day that put his end to his career from 51 years.
    No one would have imagined it but sometimes life could be stranger than fiction.
    Late Monday 4th of June, news came from Cairo that veteran and famous radio host Ahmed Saeed passed away in his house. He was 93 years old.

    Born in August 1925, Saeed is considered the founder of “Sawt Al-Arab” radio station in 1953.
    Founded by the Free Officers in Egypt and aimed to support Arab countries’ quest for independence, “Sawt Al-Arab” or “The Voice of the Arabs” radio station was the No.1 Nasserite Propaganda mouthpiece in the Middle East region through radio waves for a whole decade.
    The epic moment of “Sawt Al-Arab” radio station when it supported and helped the Algerian independence activist in their quest that France wanted to be jammed in Algeria.

    It supported the independence of other Arab and African countries and Saeed became its voice and face with inflammatory style reminding the world in Arabic that “Sawt Al-Arab or the Voice of the Arabs call the Arab Nations from the heart of Cairo”
    There is nothing bad about independence or freedom or pan Arabism but they can’t be associated well with dictatorship and Totalitarianism as well media control.
    Saeed was the director of “Sawt Al-Arab” from its launch July 1953 till his resignation in September 1967.
    Ahmed Saeed at State-owned Sawt Al-Arab in 1958
    Ahmed Saeed at State-owned Sawt Al-Arab in 1958

    The Defeat/setback radio host

    The fifth of June 1967 changed the lives of millions in the Middle East directly including Ahmed Saeed.

    Since the early morning of 5th June 1967 and as the Israeli air forces' jets were hammering Egyptian military posts as well civilian Suez Cities advancing in our territories, Saeed was stationed at “Sawt Al-Arab” radio station announcing in victorious act that Egyptian air defenses downed tens of Israeli air forces jets and how our troops were too close to Tel Aviv.
    Millions of Egyptians believed for several hours those announcements that actually came from the Ministry of defense or as it was called then the Ministry of war.
    But then they felt something was wrong as word of mouth came about the disaster that took place in Suez Canal cities as well those who lived nearby military bases began to speak.
    Sooner Egyptians began to turn in to BBC Arabic radio service as well as France’s Monte-Carlo’s Arabic service to know the sad truth.
    The Egyptian army was not near Tel Aviv, it was attacked and chased in the desert of Sinai. On that day, the majority of Egyptians turned their back to Nasser’s populist propaganda media to wake up to the worst defeat for the Egyptian army since the 19th century.

    Ahmed Saeed’s own personal career ended on 5 June 1967 when Nasser regime presented to the public to be stoned and crucified as the radio host who lied on the public.
    Realistically speaking, Saeed was only reading the statements issued by the ministry of war in time of Nasser rule. He did not have many options, it was that or he may spend the rest of his life in some prison.
    Ahmed Saeed at Sawt Al-Arab radio
    Ahmed Saeed at Sawt Al-Arab radio
    He was the weakest link and he was presented as a scapegoat to the public.

    The veteran radio host presented his own resignation as the director of “Sawt Al-Arab” in September 1967.
    Despite what happened to him in 1967, Ahmed Saeed remained loyal to President Gamal Abdel Nasser and Nasserism.

    Then he disappeared with all the political changes that took place in Egypt and its regime’s media machine.
    He re-emerged shortly during the invasion of Iraq in 2003 annoyed on how his name was associated with Saeed al-Sahhaf, the minister of information in Saddam’s regime then.

    Unfortunately, his name was no longer associated with the Algerian War of Independence or Aden War of Independence. His name is associated with media propaganda and deceptions.
    Ahmed Saeed’s name is the defeat/setback radio host (The Nasser regime called the Six Days war defeat as a setback).

    A tittle that would accompany him for the rest of his life even in his death especially that nationalist propaganda is back in force.
    Some like the Nasserite experience in Media !!
    The head of Egypt’s Supreme Council for media Hussein Zein issued a statement mourning the death of Saeed on Tuesday and it was really honest statement despite many may disagree.

    He said in the statement that Ahmed Saeed had “purposeful professional media” career with a great contribution in developing and upgrading the Egyptian radio.
    Zein added that many generations learned from him as an example to follow in professionalism !!!!!!!
    Believe it or not, this is a very honest statement to be issued by a man heading a 100% Pro-regime body regulating and supervising Media in Egypt currently.
    That “purposeful professional media” in the eyes of Pro-regime media is what it is currently doing from misleading the public for the sake of the regime.
    Few of them will see it something wrong or even regret it in the future. One thing for sure, the man did not make huge fortunate and wealth as nowadays TV hosts.

    Ahmed Saeed has passed away but his legacy is still there.
    We lived shortly without it for three years following the ouster of Mubarak but it is back with the rise of the alt-right propaganda media machine back in the world.
    Sadly it takes a bitter defeat like the six days defeat to make the people wake up.

    May God bless the soul of Ahmed Saeed and bring patience for his truly beloved ones who loved truly as a human being.

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    And it is time to complete our tale for this year, the tale of the Amazing tales challenge.
    Tonight episode was no. 282 in the long record of the Egyptian State radio’s One Thousand and One Nights radio show.
    You listen to the episode after the break.

    Sukar begins sharing the tale of how she got the full amazing tale with her father and the King.
    It turns out that 4 of her Suitors rest an oasis when they meet the King’s man Mirzaban who explains to them the challenge between the king and his vizier and how he was searching for that tale and ready to pay all the gold he has to get the Vizier’ post.
    Edmund Dulac's Arabian nights
    Edmund Dulac's Arabian nights

    He leaves and goes on with his quest.

    Then Sukar’s beloved Anbar shows at the oasis and meets his rivals, the other suitors.
    The arrogant suitors mock Anbar because of his color refusing to believe that he may marry.
    They even refuse to accompany them but not for arrogance or racism, but for competition.

    Meanwhile, Mirzaban is searching for someone who knows the rest of the tale he got. He stumbles upon brass items and artifacts vendor who knows the story.
    The vendor tells to go into a huge cauldron and to open a tiny door inside it. That door will lead him to another world, he should go to a garden there and asks for Sheikh Etman’s help.
    As soon as the Mirzabn listens to him and disappears inside the brass cauldron, the old mysterious brass vendor put back its top cover.

    Till we meet next night inshallah

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    And our original tale is getting interesting and interesting.
    Tonight we will listen to episode No.22 of our Ramadan Arabian Nights podcast for this year or to be more accurate to episode No. 283 of the Egyptian State Radio’s One Thousand and One show.
    You can hear the episode after the break.

    From Arabian nights b Anton Pieck
    From Arabian nights illustrations
    by Dutch Anton Pieck
    As the Mirzaban is now in another city; another world in the heart of some big brass cauldron, a new company is coming on the way.
    Sukar’s three arrogant suitors show up, one after the other speaking with the vendor rudely and they all end up at the heart of the cauldron in another city, in realm searching for that amazing tale.
    Anbar also shows up and meet that strange vendor who has got a tale for sure. The vendor likes Anbar for his politeness but he tells to search for that amazing tale in the heart of that amazing cauldron.

    Once inside the cauldron, the vendor puts back its lid wondering which one of our four heroes by name will get the tale in the end, of course we know.
    Inside that world inside the cauldron, Mirzaban finds an old man inside a big garden and he asks an old man sitting under a tree about that tale and that old man tells to get and search for his older brother who wears a hair turban while reading a book.

    Till we meet next night

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    Dear friends, it is time for a new episode of our Ramadan Arabian Nights podcast for this year.
    Tonight is a very special night because Egyptian State Radio’s “One Thousand Nights and One” show’s writer Taher Abu Fasha takes a cue from the original One Thousand Nights and One book in our tale.
    The city of brass was from the unforgettable tales in that book.
    Its first mention in the original book was in the 586th night and it was from the tales that mixed real historical figures from the Islamic Arab history with fictions.
    Its main hero was Umayyad military commander Musa Bin Nusayr who was on a quest by the order of Caliph Abdel Malik Ibn Marwan.
    In that quest, Bin Nusayr passes by Egypt and the city of Kairouan.
    It is very interesting considering the fact we are speaking about a book that got originally Persian roots.
    You can read that interesting adventure in English and in Arabic.
    Without further delay go and listen to our episode which was no. 248 in the record of our Egyptian long show after the break.

    The Mirzaban and the suitors as well as Anbar search for the brother of old Sheikh Etman while they are locked into a strange world they entered through a brass cauldron.
    Mirzaban meets the old Sheikh who turned to look younger than his younger brother Etman. In that strange world, people look younger when they get older.
    The city of brass as imagined by  Edmund Dulac
    The city of brass as imagined by
    Edmund Dulac

    The Old Sheikh tells the Mirzaban that to find that tale, he should head to the city and find Princess Maimona in a tower and follow her instructions to know the tale.

    One by one the other men followed the instructions of that strange man in strange place.
    Mirzaban arrives first at the gates of that big city made of brass. The city is lifeless but he finds the tower and enters. At its top, he finds the guards made of brass protecting a dead corpse of a princess wearing beautiful jewelry and surrounded by jewelry.
    Princess Maimona left instruction for whoever comes to her tower and chamber.
    The instructions are mysterious and clear at the same time, the person whoever reads them should fight the greed temptations and maybe he or she will break the curse.

    Mirzaban can’t fight greed and decides to take one of Maimona’s big jewels. As soon as he takes one of the jewels, one of the brass guards move and hit him turning him at once into a brass statue.
    The three suitors follow his steps and fail as well in the test. They are turned in to a brass.

    Now it is time to see Anbar and whether our black knight is going to fall into the trap or break the curse.

    Till we meet next night inshallah

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    We continue our tale for this year, the tale of the Amazing tales challenge.
    Tonight we will listen to episode No.285 of Egypt’s Classic One Thousand and One Nights Show written by Taher Abu Fasha and directed by Mahmoud Shaaban.
    You can listen to our podcast after the break.

    And Anbar wonders in that vast garden in that strange world locked inside a brass cauldron
    The city of Brass as imagined  by Maxfield Parrish
    The city of Brass as imagined
    by Maxfield Parrish
    somewhere. He is asking if anyone can help him in finding that tale , that will be Sukar's dowery. 

    He meets that old man ,Sheikh Etman who tells him to go and search for his older Wahdan and so our black young man does. He meets Wahdan who looks younger than his younger brother. 
    Sheikh Wahdan tells him to find Princess Miamona and she will help him. 
    Anbar finds the strange city of brass and its tower. 
    At its top, he freaks out when he finds the guards, the Mirzaban, and his rival suitors all turned in to brass statues. 
    He finds Miamona as a dead corpse wearing her big jewels and a note besides her telling him about the test and how he should fight the temptations and not to steal her jewels. 
    The instructions also tell him that he should look for the city's key and he will find what he wants The young lover does not care for the jewels , he only wants the tale to marry his love , Sukar. 
    He searches for the key and finds it beside the dead princess. As soon as he takes the keys and even before searching for the door or the gate it will open, a huge sound and smoke surrounds him. He goes down the tower and finds the gate. 
    He opens it. Tomorrow inshallah we will know what he will find in that city of brass

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    We will continue tonight our tale for this year, the tale of The Amazing Tales Challenge.
    Tonight we will return once again to the political indirect messages in our Egyptian State radio show.
    Once again, we got the recurring theme on how important United countries and nations are referring indirectly to Pan Arabism which President Nasser called for.
    I believe our tale for this Ramadan was aired after the 1956 Suez Crisis for sure and probably after the failure of the political Unity between Egypt and Syria that short-lived for three years only “1958 to 1960” according to tonight’s episode.
    Also once again we are going to have a tale inside a tale so pay attention.
    You can hear the 25th episode of our Ramadan Arabian Nights podcast or to be accurate episode 286th of Classical One Thousand and One Nights Radio show after the break.

    Suddenly Anbar sees the city gates when the smoke disappears. The dead princess, her guards and her tower also disappear suddenly just like the smoke.
    He enters the city to find no one answering his hellos or questions or calls.
    In the market, he finds the people turned in to brass.
    In the Royal Court, he finds the King and his aides turned in to brass.
    He freaks out and freaks out, even more, when he finds our dead princess Miamona is resurrected and back to life.
    The Princess tells him that he broke her curse and now he can break the brass curse of the whole city that remained like that for a whole millennium.
    A king and a priest by Henry Justice Ford 
    He should play the brass horn to free the people from their brass status.
    Anbar says he wants to know the story of the city and how it ended up like that first.
    And so Princess Miamona begins recounting the story of her city and its curse.
    Miamona’s grandfather was a powerful king who ruled a vast kingdom and had two sons: Kasseman and Salman.
    Kasseman is Miamona’s father and after the death of his own father, he wanted to divide the kingdom between him and his brother Salman.
    The people and Salman rejected that but Kasseman does not take no for answer.
    He divides the kingdom and begins a crackdown against his own people.
    One night he dreams of the Kingdom’s high priest, Sheikh Etman.
    In the dream, old Etman slaps Kasseman for his cruelty warning him of bad things coming on the way.
    Arrogant and furious, Kasseman summons Etman who is clueless about why he is summoned.
    The cruel dictator sentences Etman to death by putting him to in lead. 
    Till next night inshallah.

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    The world was shocked earlier Friday to know that beloved and renowned chef Anthony Bourdain passed away.
    According to news reports, the award-winning chef and TV personality died of apparent suicide in France.
    Bourdain was a familiar face for me seeing his promos on CNN as well on Discovery and Travel channel.
    To honest, I do not recall watching him and I feel sad that I only knew him after his death.
    I feel angry that I allowed myself to watch old Rosanne episodes "they are not that funny" when I had a chance to see that guy roaming the earth tasting food in very faraway places.

    I also found out that he recorded a beautiful episode in Egypt for his hit TV show “No reservation” on Travel TV channel.
    It was episode 15 from season 4 and you can watch it here after the break.

    Bourdain tried Egypt’s top breakfast “Ful Mamdas” from a street food cart and that’s an excellent choice.
    The best and tasty ful you can get in Egypt is not from fancy baladi chic restaurants but from street food carts. Anthony Bourdain tried also stuffed pigeons from the famous Farahat restaurant in Al-Azhar quarter.

    Stuffed pigeon is a true Egyptian delicacy from the Egyptian cuisine.
    To be honest I do not like to eat it from restaurants because I feel the pigeon must be clean and washed very well.
    In the old good days of Egypt, the stuffed pigeons are stuffed with rice, pigeon liver, raisin, roasted almond, Cinnamon and other spices. After stuffing the pigeons, they boiled and then they are deep fried till caramelized.
    The main course in its own way, the stuffed pigeon can be presented with rice and Molokhia as sides.
    In Upper Egypt, stuffed pigeons are made with freekeh.
    The Molokhia is usually made from the pigeon soup.
    FYI , the pigeon soup is too heavy to the level I do not know how Bourdain drank it so easily.
    Late Bourdain tried also Kushary from the famous and overrated Abo Tarek.
    Kushary Tahrir is much better and more Tasty than Abu Tarek.

    BY the way , the Kushary’s Wikipedia entry is completely wrong.
    Egypt knew Kushary in the World War I when the Indian soldiers arrived to the country introduced “Kushtri” {I hope I wrote it right} to the Egyptians where they cooked lent with tomato sauces. The Egyptians added to it rice and pasta , garlic and onion.
    In less than 50 years , Kushary became Egypt’s common food for working classes besides ful mamdas as its ingredients were cheap to be found.

    Now back to Anthony Bourdain, I wish he discovered more our underrated Egyptian cuisine for real.
    His episode to Egypt to be frank does no stand out yet his episodes from Jerusalem, Gaza and West Bank do stand out.
    Anthony Bourdain did something Arab countries and leaders failed to do in a very simple way , in a visit to a kitchen of a Palestinian lady in the second season of his CNN award-winning TV show Parts Unknown.
    Here is a part of the episode.

    I think CNN should correct the title and say Palestine instead of Israel.
    oh by the way, hummus is not Israeli but rather a Levant appetizer.
    Falafel is not an Israeli food, it is an Arab food too.
    I just wish the Israelis would stick to the Yiddish cuisine and leave our cuisines as Arabs alone. Is not it enough that they took the land but also the cuisine !!

    Back to Bourdain; after watching him, I would say simply showed Palestinians are normal human beings like other human beings to normal viewers in the United States and in the World.
    Anthony Bourdain and Palestinian Children in Gaza
    Anthony Bourdain and Palestinian Children in Gaza 

    “The world has visited many terrible things on the Palestinian people, none more shameful than robbing them of their basic humanity. People are not statistics. That is all we attempted to show.” This is what he said about his visit.

    It took many decades since 1948 that someone in the US mainstream media with such audience to say such thing about the Palestinians.
    He fought for that episode to be aired as far as I read. I am no surprised. Bourdain was vocal when Israel attacked Gaze in 2014. He was more humane compared to many Arab celebrities.

    I feel sad that I did not follow him when he was alive. My only condolence is that his work is there for us online.

    Now I see all that love and admiration Anthony Bourdain as well Kate Spade earned with millions around the globe mourning them around the globe , I wonder if knowing that kind of love and support existed for them would have saved them.
    Please if you feel any tendency for committing suicide , go and seek help with the nearest suicide line.
    Life is tough already. Be kind to each other.

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    And here we continue our tale for this year, the tale of the amazing tales challenge.
    Tonight we will complete listening to the tale of the city of bras and how its people reached that grim fate.
    You can listen after the break to episode no.26 of our Ramadan Arabian Nights or episode No.287 of Egyptian State radio’s Classical One Thousand and One Nights Show.

    Sheikh Etman is in prison because of King Kasseman’s crazy dream. The old priest is waiting for death as the king ordered his men to melt lead and copper and then throw the old man into that hot hill mix. While sitting in his cell, Etman finds the King’s daughter Miamona coming with food and her maid.
    Arabian nights by Anton Pieck

    The princess decides to help him escape with the help of her maid. She gives him the Abaya of her maid hiding his face while her maid will sit at the cell till she gets her out.
    Meanwhile, King Kasseman is mad that Sheikh Etman got followers who protest in the city everyday especially their numbers are increasing.
    The protesters demand unity. They also demand him to step down and to let his brother Salman rule. He orders his guards to crack them down.
    At Night he dreams of Sheikh Wahdan, the older brother of Sheikh Etman. In the dream, Wahdan also slaps him warning him of the consequences of his actions.
    Next day, the King wakes up and summons Sheikh Wahdan to slap him and to sentence him to death for attacking him in the dream !!
    Sheikh Wahdan does not understand anything but he thinks he will meet his brother at a prison.
    In the cell, he does not find his brother but rather princess Miamona’s maid.
    Till next night inshallah.

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    Tonight I was wondering what shall I blog about.

     Shall I write about those disastrous new media and press laws that can put an end to blogging and social media altogether ? or Shall I write about the fiascos of Egyptian Football Association "EFA" and its scandals on the sidelines of the World Cup 2018 as a light subject?

    Well, I am writing this post now and I think it combines human rights and Egypt’s National Team in the World Cup.
    No, I will not speak about the official suites fiasco but rather about a recent incident that happened on Sunday.

    Ramzan Kadryov
    Yup, that's incident 
    On Sunday, the Egyptian National team arrived Grozny in Chechnya where it is staying for the first round of the World Cup 2018.
    The Egyptian Football association “EFA” chose Grozny because it is a Muslim city and I bet it was cheaper.
    Later on that day, the team held its first training in Russia at Ahmed or Akhmad Kadryrov Stadium which is named after the late Chechen president and the father of the current Ramadan or Ramzan Kadryov.
    A close-Putin ally, Kadryov is an original authentic Strongman whose human rights record is not the brightest worldwide.
    Anyhow the Egyptian National Team was received warmly by the Chechen public.
    A Muslim republic, I believe religion plays a role in that popularity.
    When the Egyptian National team showed up at the stadium, they were surprised to find at least 5000 people cheering for them including president Ramzan Kadryrov himself.

    Kadryrov was surprised to find that Mohamed Salah aka Mo Salah aka the Egyptian king was absent.
    We knew already back in Cairo that Salah would not join the first training because of the injury of his shoulder “F*ck you Sergio Ramos” and the news did not reach Grozny as it seems.

    As a strong man who does not take no for answer I suppose, Kadryov did not like the fact that Salah was not there. He decided to go to the hotel and bring him back to the public.
    According to news reports, the Egyptian striker was sleeping in his room when he was wakened up to know that the President of Chechnya was down at the lobby waiting for him to take him to the stadium.

    He had no choice when you think about it.

    Mo had to put on his kit and to go to the stadium with Ramzan Kadryov who thinks that he would win more popularity in his country by just bringing the Egyptian king to the public.
    Kadryov took Salah in his car
    Yes, Kadryov took Salah in his car. 
    Mohamed Salah showed up at the Stadium where he saluted the audience including the Egyptian fans who arrived there.
    Watch that video till the end if You are an Egyptian and living in Egypt now, unexpected mention there.
    Then Ramzan Kadryrov took a couple of photos with him and that’s it.
    Mo left the training to take some rest.

    On Monday, Western media and social media criticized Mo and EFA for beautifying the image of a dictator like Kadryov.
    I hate to remind the Western media that the World Cup is held in Russia itself with its worst human rights records and Putin is using it already for his own sake.

    The fact that the Egyptian team is staying in Grozny is actually small compared to the fact the World Cup is held in Russia itself under the rule of Vladimir Putin after the shit he caused in the world in the past 6 years.

    Do not pick on Mo Salah or EFA losers.
    Mo Salah got bigger problems or rather challenges waiting for him. He got an injury as well a-once-life-chance to show his talents as a player as well a promise to make his people proud and happy back home in the World Cup.

    I do not know what any person in his position should have done without causing a problem for himself or for the team, especially as I think he may not be familiar with Kadyrov's black record.
    Despite Salah's father is a big Pro-supporter back in Egypt, yet the Liverpool star is wise enough to stay away from politics.

    He is smart enough to stay away from politics especially since he saw what happened to his friend and mentor Mohamed Abu Trika.

    The fact that Ramzan Kadryrov went himself to bring him from his hotel to greet people despite his need for rest shows what kind of person he is.

    The EFA losers got bigger problems than staying in some hotel in Grozny, they got corruption scandals back home that need to be investigated ASAP.

    Not to mention, the democratic status of countries and their human rights records have been not an issue for the EFA.
    It is the Egyptian Football Association for the sake of God. We can’t have fans back to the stadiums in Egypt for fear that they will chant anti-regime chants and songs.

    I think international and Western media can present throughout the Mondial a special extensive coverage about human rights and corruption in Russia and the former Soviet Union republics. It is a rare opportunity. 

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    Okay take some rest from the World Cup preparations as well the so-called historical summit between two sick men in Singapore and listen to a new episode of Egyptian Chronicles’ Ramadan Arabian Nights podcast.
    We are getting closer to our finale for our tale this year, only three episodes are left.
    Now without further due, you can listen to episode no.288 from the Egyptian State radio’s Classical One Thousand and One Nights show in Arabic after the break

    Sheikh Wahdan joins his brother Sheikh Etman or that what he thought as he finds Princess Maimona’s maid instead of his brother at the prison cell. She explains to him everything. Next day, Maimona shows up with another maid and she repeats her escape plan to help Wahdan and get him out of prison.

    Now both of her maids are in jail. Meanwhile, for the third night in a row, King Kasseman sees a nightmare in his sleep. This time it is an unknown man who turns him into a brass statue for his injustice.

    When he wakes up angry, he finds a shock waiting for him at the Diwan. He is told that Sheikh Etman and his brother Wahdan escaped from their prison with the help of the two maids. The two maids confess in front of his for fear of death Princess Maimona behind that escape plan.
    Brave Maimona defies her father and defends her political choices as well as her people and their people in front of him.  Angry like hell, Kasseman orders her execution by using brass and lead.

    Suddenly a strange and unknown man comes into the from nowhere with a big bag and inside it a big brass cauldron “Yes, the brass vendor” and it turns out that he is the man the cruel king saw him in the nightmare.
    Because he ignored his warnings through dream medium, that strange man decides to punish Kasseman especially the cruel King refused to listen to that tale about that Djinn king and his sons “yup, that amazing tale”
    The punishment will be a curse that will turn the city and its people above them Kasseman into brass for 1000 years.
    Till we meet next night inshallah.

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    Here we are, close to the finale of our Ramadan Arabian Nights Podcast for this year.
    Tonight we will hear to episode no.289 of the Egyptian State Radio’s One Thousand and One Nights show in Arabic.
    You can listen to the episode after the break.

    The strange brass vendor turned the city into a brass as a punishment for King Kasseman and his
    Edmund Dulac
    By Edmund Dulac 
    cruelty. He also appoints the brothers Wahdan and Etman to protect the city till the curse is broken.

    After knowing the story of the city of brass, our hero Anbar plays the brass horn and suddenly the curse is broken. The people above them king Kasseman.
    After the end of the curse, we find out that Princess Miamona fell in love with our black hero. She offers her hand in marriage to him but he refuses despite she tells that he will be the king.
    He refuses and insists that he loves Sukar.
    Frustrated, Miamona decides to use magic to become more beautiful but that does not work with Anbar, he still loves Sukar.
    Desperate, Miamona decides to use magic to turn in to a copy of Sukar.
    When he sees her as Sukar, he faints.
    Till we meet next inshallah. 

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    And we came to the end of the Holy blessed generous month of Ramadan.
    According to the official calculations, tonight is the last night of Ramadan 1439 and tonight is the last night of our annual Ramadan Arabian Nights Podcast.
    Just like the holy month, it ran too fast.
    I can not thank enough Gramafon Radio for its help to make the show run for this year and hopefully for years to come inshallah.
    Now after the break, you are going to listen to episode No.29 and No.30 or to be accurate episodes 290 and 291 of Egyptian State Radio classical show “One Thousand and One Nights” after the break.

    Episode No.29 or Episode No. 290 of Egyptian State Radio classical show “One Thousand and One Nights”

    Miamona turned herself to Sukar by magic to win the heart of Anbar. She manages to get him to marry her but there is something wrong about this marriage, about this Sukar. Anbar feels something wrong and gets depressed.
    Seeing her love rejecting her and refuses to touch her, Miamona reveals herself to him and confesses what she had done.
    Anbar tells her that he loves but as a wife or a lover but as a sister.
    The wise princess decides it is better to have a brother-sister relation than a husband and a wife relation. The marriage is dissolved.

    Episode No.30 or No.291 of Egyptian State Radio classical show “One Thousand and One Nights”

    Miamona decides to help Anbar, she takes to meet the brass vendor aka strange man who knows the story our hero is searching for.
    Arabian Nights by Eric Goldberg
    by Eric Goldberg 

    She also decides to give her magical ring aka the seal of Solomon. She tells Anbar that if he needs help from any kind, he can summon the ring’s Djinn to bring her and she will come immediately.
    Anbar decides to leave but he insists to take his rival suitors and the Mirzaban. Miamona tells him not to trust after he persists, she turns them into humans once again.
    Near from the Kingdom, the suitors and the Mirzaban decide to turn against Anbar. While attacking him, Anbar used the magical kingdom to summon the Djinn in order to summon Miamona.
    Miamoa saves the day and decides to turn the suitors into cats because cats do not have any kind of loyalty except to their food and the Mirzaban into a donkey because of his stupidity.
    And so Anbar returns to the kingdom while riding the Mirzaban and dragging with him 3 cats. They will return to their human image when Anbar meets Sukar.
    Sukar finishes the tale of the tale and her king as well her father , the vizier listening.
    The king decides to make Sukar marry Anbar. After the marriage , the suitors and the Mirzaban turn in to their human image.
    And they lived happily ever after till death came and separated between people.
    I hope you like our tale for this year. If you want to listen to previous tales, you can find it in Egyptian Chronicles’ archives here.
    Happy Eid to all Muslims around the globe and till we meet next Ramadan inshallah. 

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    Happy Eid Fitar from Egyptian Chronicles to Muslims celebrating the feast today.
    May Allah accept your fasting in the holy month of Ramadan.
    I know there are many things that happened this week in Egypt but let’s enjoy the short Eid holiday as well pray for Egypt and Morocco to win their matches in the World Cup later on Friday in Russia.
    Happy Eid
    Happy Eid from my favorite ad in Ramadan this year
    Dolceka Waffer nailed it 
    Millions of Egyptians have not slept and it is not because Thursday or because it is Eid eve “God knows what it means in Egypt” but they worried about our first match in the Mondial.
    It is a big deal.
    Anyhow happy Eid Fitar ☺☺

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    There are lots of economic and political updates and decisions that have taken place in Egypt in the past ten days and I am just trying to keep up with those decisions because they are all important and will affect Egypt on the short and long run.

    I will start with the new controversial media and press laws which were approved in principle last week.
    Last week the Egyptian House of Representatives approved in principal three draft laws to regulated media and press in the country.

    Originally a draft law presented by the government “by Sherif Ismail’s cabinet”, the Media committee in the parliament decided to divide it into three separate draft laws.

    The laws are regulating the three bodies currently regulating press and media in Egypt.
    We got the Supreme Council of media “SCM” that regulates Private TV and radio channels as well private-owned newspapers and websites, the National Media authority “NMA” which regulates the activities of Egyptian Radio and TV Union “ERT” and National Press Authority “NPA” which regulates state-owned newspapers and press institutions according to the 2014 Constitution.

    Head of Media committee Osama Heikal told journalists that those laws include unprecedented guarantees freedom of journalism and media in Egypt.

    I could not believe what 201SCAF’s information minister said in his meeting with the journalists.
    The Egyptian foreign ministry issued an infogram calling the new “Egyptian law regulating media and press” as a victory of freedom of expression highlighting the Pro-Freedom of expression articles in that law or laws.

    I can’t deny that those articles but something is not right indeed, there must be a catch in those laws. This is not administration or government that supports freedom of expression or thought as we have seen.
    Well, it turns out that those laws got articles that will give the state a true full control of the Media and Social media.
    For example, the law of supreme council of Media “SCM” has got very alarming articles about the social media.
    Article No.19 stipulatesthat social media accounts on Facebook or Twitter and blogs that got more than 5,000 subscribers or followers fall under the law !!
    Closing the current curtains on the current margin of freedom by Doaa El-Adl
    Closing the current curtains on
     the current margin of freedom by Doaa El-Adl 

    Yes, you read right.
    Article No.19
    also stipulates too that newspapers, websites and TV channels are prohibited to publish or air fake news or any incitement to break the law to spread hatred or violence or spread discrimination or racism or radicalism or attack against monotheistic religions or beliefs.

    Article No.19 gives the right to SCM to suspend or block the media outlet including blogs and social media networks’ accounts and pages with more than 5,000 subscribers or followers if they violate what is mentioned in the above paragraph.
    As you can the article gives the right to the SCM to control the social media in Egypt, the last uncensored media medium where people can express their thoughts as well news freely away from censorship.

    The article is also vague as I do not know who will determine news is fake or not. For instance, social media is currently being used to cover the humanitarian condition of people in North Sinai, especially in Rafah and Al-Arish during Sinai 2018 military operation.

    The Egyptian government says the locals are not suffering while those alleged locals say online that they are suffering from displacement and ill-treatment.

    With such law, citizen journalists can lose their blogs and social media accounts and pages for reporting the other version of a story which the government does not include in its narrative.
    If you think that’s bad, wait for more.

    Article No.60 reads that if anyone wants to have a news website then he or she must present a website license application to SCM as well to pay LE 50,000 as application fees.
    SCM will look into the application request within 90 days following the admission.
    Article No.61 saysthe website license is for five years and it can be renewed by a request to SCM 6 months before the end of the license.
    Many Egyptian News websites do not have that sum of money to license their websites in the first place not to mention what’s about all that red tape !!!

    Article No. 67 says that websites, as well as TV channels and radio channels, cannot broadcast or publish their material on mobile phones except after the approval of SCM !!

    It is worth to mention on the same day, the Parliament agreed to add an article to the taxation and customs law in Egypt to collect taxes from the revenues of Facebook ads and Google AdSense.
    The taxation authority believes it can get at least one billion Egyptian pounds from the taxes on Facebook ads and Google AdSense
    Since 2005 or 2008 to be accurate following the role played Facebook in organizing 6 April strike, the Egyptian regime has been trying tame social media in Egypt and I think it has got finally the opportunity.

    There are other articles that are causing as well anger, alarm and controversy among state-owned newspapers journalists and employees surprisingly.

    Article No.35 and Article No.37 of the National Press Authority “NPA” law gives the authority supervising the state-owned press institutions more powers while at the same time, it reduced the number of journalists in the board of those institutions.
    The head of Egypt’s journalists' syndicate Abdel Mohsen Salama said that the Parliament approved in principle the two new laws without sending the final version of the draft laws before passing them so the syndicate could discuss them and send back its remarks.
    Salama adds that the parliament sent only the first version of the draft law and the syndicate had its remarks on it.
    According to the 2014 Egyptian Constitution’s article No.77, the opinion of unions and syndicates shall be sought on draft legislation pertaining to it.

    The pro-regime journalist stated in his statements to Tahrir website that the two laws got pros and cons. Salama believes that among its pros is the taxation of Facebook and google ads.
    At least 400 Egyptian journalists from the Egyptian journalists' syndicate’s general assembly have expressed their rejection and signed a petition against those laws.

    According to that petition, the final press and media draft laws were not sent to the Journalists Syndicate to discuss them and issue its opinion about it in accordance with Egyptian Constitution’s article No.77.

    Aside from calling other journalist members of the syndicate to sign the petition, those journalists are calling their syndicate’s board to meet.
    We will see what happens

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