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7000 years and counting ...

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    Kodak Agfa posted a photo:

    The smoke from Shubra's big fire smoke is still there and can be see from Nile street in Agouza #Cairo #Citizenjournalism #Blogger


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    Kodak Agfa posted a photo:

    A Minolta 430 Ex camera for 110mm films #cameras #vintagecameras


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    Kodak Agfa posted a photo:

    Good morning and blessed Friday #Blogger #Citizenjournalism #Egypt


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    Yesterday, Saudi-owned Al-Sharq Al-Aswat newspaper published news about the Saudi-led Arab Ground forces in Yemen claiming that the Egyptian ground forces would the Arab ground forces in Yemen soon.
    A war warning " A front-page headline
    from 1960s Al-Akhbar newspaper
    over the Yemen crisis during then

    Today afternoon Reuters published a report that turned Egypt’s social media upside down. Quoting two anonymous military sources, Reuters said that Egypt sent as many as 800 Egyptian soldiers to Yemen on Tuesday.
    Four Egyptian units of between 150 to 200 troops along with tanks and transport vehicles arrived in Yemen late on Tuesday, two Egyptian security sources said.
    This is from Reuters.
    Same thing was reportedly published by DPA in Germany.
    It caused a lot of noise whether in Egypt or Yemen.
    Needless to say, the Yemenis were not welcoming that move and her I am referring to the Yemenis who fed up from both the Saudi-led coalition and the Houthis.
    A group of Egyptians have launched this hashtag to express their refusal to send Egyptian ground forces in Yemen “#Egyptians_against_Egyptian_interfere_Yemen”
    As I hinted before, Egyptians have a deep wound called “The war in Yemen of 1960s” where thousands of Egyptian soldiers and fighters got killed for useless war.
    Hours later, Egyptian Pro-regime Youm 7 quoted unnamed presidential sources denying the Reuters’ report.
    This is not the first time we hear and read about Egyptian ground forces in Yemen. If you remember in April, there were rumors that Egypt did send ground troops but they were denied by the Official spokesperson of Egyptian armed forces during then.
    I remember that during then it was said that Egypt sent the rapid intervention forces to Saudi Arabia.
    TO send additional troops especially ground troops, El-Sisi has got to meet the National Defense council according to the constitution and issues a presidential decree published in the Official state gazette.
    Already the Egyptian armed forces announced a new escalated military operation in North Sinai against Daesh-affiliated Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis. It would be a bad move to send Egypt’s top ground troops units now to Yemen instead of North Sinai.
    Personally, I would say that I would be surprised if he sent ground troops now with all the talks about huge Egyptian Saudi disagreement over Syria.
    Already King Salman cancelled his visit to Egypt next week where as a high-security delegation from Damascus reportedly visited Cairo earlier last week.
    Nevertheless to be honest for couple of months,  I wondered if El-Sisi sent the troops in secret to Yemen whereas he followed "The Wag the dog" plan to divert attention through the latest corruption cases creating noise in Egypt.
    El-Sisi knows that he would lose a lot of popularity if he sends boots to the Yemeni ground , Egyptian generations are raised over fearing that Yemeni war curse.
    Egypt has been participating in the Saudi-led coalition’s operation against Iranian-backed Houthis since day one in March with Naval units protecting the Bab El-Mandab strain.
    The Egyptian air forces also participated in strikes as part of the coalition in April.
    Anyhow there is no smoke without fire.Reuters won't published something like that except if there is happening. 

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    Al-Sharq Al-Awsat's Front Page on Friday
    "Hossam Bahgat"
    On Wednesday, unnamed sources in the presidency denied in the past 48 hours that there were Egyptian ground troops in Yemen like Reuters and Saudi newspaper Al-Sharq Al-Aswat had claimed
    Now on Friday, Al-Sharq Al-Aswat published a news that 4 Egyptian combat units arrived  Yemen and joined the Saudi-led coalition in addition to the 800 Egyptian soldiers currently in the country according to the unnamed security and military sources.
    This is the second time Al-Sharq Al-Aswat publishes such news this week !!
    Will the Egyptian armed forces official spokesperson be kind enough and tell us what is happening in Yemen?
    Shall we wait the upcoming Sanaa liberation battle led Saudi Arabia where we lose a couple of soldiers and then the army or presidency addresses the matter?
    Some transparency for God’s sake !!
    Updated :
    The official Saudi Armed Forces spokesperson "yes Saudi forces" denied that there were Egyptian or Sudanese ground troops currently in Yemen in a short interview to Saudi state-owned News channel "Al-Akhbariya" Friday afternoon.


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    The state security prosecution renewed on Wednesday the detention of Freelance photojournalist Esraa El-Taweel pending investigation for another 15 days.
    Esraa has been in detention after being forcibly disappeared from the street in front of Chili’s in Maadi for nearly 104 days if I am not mistaken.
    Esraa smiling last Wednesday to her family and friends 
    The young cheerful outgoing girl who loves life and her friends is facing the charges of belonging to a banned group and sending false photos to news outlets to defame Egypt.
    Esraa is accused of being a member in the Muslim Brotherhood, a group which is officially designated as a terrorist organization in Egypt.
    On Wednesday, more photographers and video-journalists came and filmed Esraa in her way to the interrogation at the State security Prosecution.



    Esraa El-Taweel in her way to the state security prosecution
    From all those photos taken for Esraa on that day, those two photos show the difference between her, the smiling girl who loves ladybirds and those who detain her.
    "Youm 7" 
    "Youm 7" 
    This video below was made by Esraa’s sister Duaa about her after 100 days in prison. Omar, her friend who was arrested with her and currently is facing a military trial appears in that video.
    Esraa El-Taweel spent 100 days in prison
    Earlier this month, Amnesty International published a statement about Esraa demanding her release to complete her treatment.
    I hope and pray that the next time that the next time I will write about Esraa El-Taweel, she will be free along her friends Omar and Sohip with their families.
    By the way speaking about detainees, a Pro-low ranking policemen Facebook page published a photo showing detainee Mahmoud Mohamed who has been detained pending investigations for more than 600 days now since 25 January 2014 showing him arrested with Molotov cocktails.
    The pro-Police Facebook page claims that he is a thug. I do not know what kind of a thug would wear a T-shirt against torture "A nation against Torture" .
    Mahmoud wearing the T-shirt against
    Torture 
    According to his brother Tito Tarek, Mahmoud was tortured in his detention before that shameful.
    Already those photos are illegal according to my humble legal knowledge.

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    From few minutes ago, the cabinet led by Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab has resigned and President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi has accepted its resignation.
    The current cabinet will remain as a caretaker for another week according to Presidency.
    President El-Sisi has assigned Sherif Ismail , the minister of petroleum and mineral sources in Mahlab’s cabinet to form the new cabinet.
    Sherif Ismail with President El-Sisi "Presidency"  
    Ironically on Thursday , PM Mahlab held a cabinet meeting where it was announced that there would be no more resignations after the minister of agriculture’s resignation earlier last week.
    Now the whole cabinet has resigned !!
    And Mahlab is going "Reuters"
    That’s a tough week for Mahlab. Starting with the minister of agriculture’s resignation because of his involvement in Corruption case to his latest embarrassment in Tunisia.
    There were rumors that at least 9 other ministers in Mahlab’s cabinet were involved in other corruption scandals by the Administrative Control Authority “ACA”.
    Now regarding Sherif Ismail.
    Graduated in 1978 as a mechanic engineer, Ismail was appointed as the minister of petroleum and mineral sources in Egypt on 13 July 2013 serving in all the cabinets under Adly Mansour and El-Sis's administration.
    New PM Sherif Ismail
    Since 1979, Ismail has been working in the petroleum field in Egypt.
    I do not know if choosing Ismail was the best choice considering Egypt's huge economic problems.
    By the way, a new cabinet will be formed after electing the new parliament in November or December if  I am not mistaken. So technically, Ismail's cabinet will live nearly 4 months and then submit its resignation to the parliament according to the Constitution.
    The news is developing.

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    It has not passed a few hours when suddenly we found that Egypt’s Newest PM Sherif Ismail got very interesting history.
    As journalists began to search online for more information about the new Prime minister, they found
    his name appearing in very interesting cases when it comes to corruption.
    PM Sherif Ismail 
    First of all, it turns out that PM Ismail’s testimony in the famous Mubarak era’s Egypt-Israel gas deal trial. If you remember in this trial Mubarak’s minister of petroleum Sameh Fahmy and Mubarak’s best friend Hussein Salem as well their associates were accused of squandering public funds in the highly controversial gas deal with Israel.
    In 2005,  the Egyptian government agreed to export gas to Israel with lower prices than the international average prices. Egypt lost millions.
    In the same year, Sherif Ismail who was occupying the undersecretary of Egypt’s ministry of oil was appointed as the CEO of the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company “EGAS” till 2007.
    In both positions, Ismail played a role in the agreement as a witness.
    In 2012 Hussein Salem and Sameh Fahmy were both sentenced to 15 years in jail by Cairo Criminal court for squandering public funds in the gas deal.
    During then, Fahmy’s legal defense team said that ousted President Mubarak was the “sole architect” of the deal with Israel.
    In March 2013, Egypt’s court of cassation ordered a retrial for both Fahmy and Salem.
    In August 2014, Sherif Ismail testified in court as the ministry of oil’s undersecretary during the deal in 2005. Ismail claimed that Mubarak did not play any role to make the deal with Israel pass or to assign the natural gas export to his best friend Hussein Salem. He also claimed that there were no losses or harms to Egypt from that deal officially ended in 2012.
    Sawt Al-Oma published the testimony of the current prime minister in the court in Arabic.
    That testimony allegedly played a critical role in acquitting Sameh Fahmy and five others associates in February 2015


    FYI, Hussien Salem is still on the run or rather is still in Spain enjoying his life as a proud Spanish citizen.
    I wonder if he will cut a new deal to return Egypt after all with the new PM.
    Now in January, Sherif Ismail stated Egypt did not mind importing ‘yes importing’ gas from Israel.
    The negotiations are still on.
    Of course the question here is not only about Israel and the controversy surrounding its gas but how Egypt turned from gas exporter to importer.
    Anyhow, luck seems to be on our side because late August Italian energy company ENI announced that it found a huge gas reservoir in the Zohr field. That discovery was labeled as the biggest discovery in Mediterranean. Nevertheless, Ismail disappointed many people that that discovery would not undermine the private-sector negotiations to buy gas from Israel or Cyprus.
    Realistically speaking, we are in the bad need of gas now and Zohr is not available for use on the short term.
    Now after ten years of that controversial agreement, Sherif Ismail has become Egypt’s Prime minister ironically.
    This is the first thing the Egyptian journalists found about the new prime minister. You can debate about the role of Ismail in the Egyptian-Israeli gas debate till next month or even year. Already I am not on the wagon of accusing him of being the man who orchestrated the deal because we know that it was Mubarak, Salem and Omar Suleiman. The ministry of oil was ordered by Mubarak.
    Nevertheless, there is extremely another dark spot that is already overshadowing him. That dark spot is his relation with self-claimed journalist/Politician Mohamed Fouda.
    Now for the foreign reader who is clueless about that interesting character, Mohamed Fouda is already arrested and detained pending investigation in the corruption probe in the ministry of agriculture. That corruption scandal is believed to be one of the main reasons behind the resignation of Ibrahim Mahlab’s cabinet.
    Already Fouda was convicted before in an old corruption case during Mubarak’s era involving pieces of lands where he used his connections as the minister of culture’s chief of staff to bribe Giza governor.
    Nevertheless, he made a powerful comeback in 2013.
    Mohamed Fouda deserves a standalone post.
    The man for all ages already got a very interesting story that can be perfect a Non-fiction drama about politics, money, power, media, sex and corruption in a third-world country like Egypt.
    Now we found photos online showing Fouda meeting Ismail at the oil ministry as well with him at Fouda’s homeland in Gharbia governorate inaugurating a project to build some gas station last year.
    Here is a photo for them circulating online from a meeting between the two men in April 2014 at the ministry where the two men discussed building that gas station in Gharbia.
    Mohamed Fouda with minister then Sherif Ismail
    at the later's office in ministry of petroleum 
    From his side, Fouda wrote that op-ed praising Sherif Ismail describing him as a warrior in Pro-regime Youm7 website.
    Knowing how corrupted Fouda is, people are asking questions about the nature of that relation between the new PM and him.
    Notorious Pro-regime and close to presidency TV host Ahmed Moussa defended Fouda as well the new PM claiming that he met him as a journalist.
    I am afraid the name of “Mohamed Fouda” is like a stain now !!
    Speaking about Fouda
    Here is Pro-regime notorious bigger-than-life Mortada Mansour attacked Ismail and even dared to criticized Abdel Fattah for appointing him.
    “Ask Sherif Ismail how many times he met with Fouda !!” Mortada Mansour said on LTC TV channel during a Sports TV channel speaking to El-Sisi asking him to “revise his decision” and “not to be like Mubarak”
    Mansour to El-Sisi : Do not be like Mubarak
    Mansour already slammed Ismail in August for allegedly appointing his wife and her brother as well her niece in Egypt’s Engineering for the Petroleum and Process Industries “ENPPI” against the law.

    It is worth to mention that Mansour was angry from Sherif Ismail and ENPPI in particular because some footballer’s deal. ENPPI got a football in the Premier league.
    There is another video about the new PM making rounds. If you are a fan of El-Sisi’s alleged audio leaks , you would appreciate that reference. In the infamous leak released in February about Gulf financial aids to Egypt , allegedly Abbas Kamel , El-Sisi’s chief of Staff is heard mocking disrespectfully Sherif Ismail , the minister of oil then describing him as “ That loser boy”
    Of course we can be sure of the authenticity of such leak.
    This audio found its way to the Pro-Muslim Brotherhood pages as Al-Jazeera TV channel.The MB pages are now calling Ismail “Loser boy” !!!
    This is our new PM and You can imagine how things will be for him if in less than 24 hours , we got all that stuff against him.

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    This is how the day started in Egypt on Sunday.
    Earlier Sunday a bunch of Pro-Daesh social media accounts online published photos for alleged clashes between their militants and the Egyptian armed forces in some place in the Western desert. The photos were not clear and they only showed the Daesh militants opening their fires in some
    desert location and vehicles moving away after being attacked with RPG.
    Allegedly those vehicles were the Egyptian armed forces as the group claimed.
    In the same statement which I won’t post its link due to its graphic nature, a photo of a beheaded old man was included. According to the Daesh’s militant group calling itself as “Egypt Province”, that man was Saleh Kassem, a local from the Western desert who was beheaded for cooperating with Egyptian authority.
    Late 60-years old Saleh Kassem smiling "Al-Shorouk"
    The Official Egyptian armed forces spox FB page did not publish anything about that.
    The Egyptian mainstream media ignored that statement in compliance with the new terrorism law. Later those events seem to be the key to what happened later.
    At 8:54 PM CLT, human rights lawyer Amr Imam wrote the following.

    My relative , my best friend and my brother died… the army hit Awad by an APACHE helicopter in the Wahat desert by mistake along with 22 tourists. I won’t leave Awad’s righ , I swear by Seif’s life. “Emam’s newly born baby”
    At 8:58 PM CLT , Safari organizer’s FB page “Sahara Safaris Club”

    تحذير....بعد استبشارنا بفتح الصحرا البيضا والسفارى تانى قبل العيد ظهرت حوادث مؤسفة آخرها النهارده.نرجوكم ﻷمانكم وأمان ...
    Posted by SaharaSafaris Club on Sunday, September 13, 2015
    Warning: After being optimistic that the White desert and Safari are open before the feast “Adha” , very sorrowful events took place today.
    For your security and the security of those coming with you , please contact your guide from the locals in Wahaht to check and recheck from permits with the security Whatever happens , we will know more details about inshallah in the upcoming hours but your security is top priority especially this week. The Egyptian desert and Safari tourism have been always respectful providing living for many respectful people. Please do not attack them because they are trying to do the best they can in very difficult or semi-impossible conditions. Inshallah God will protect poor people and its respectful people. May God protect this country and make it safe forever.  
    Sahara Safaris club’s admin is from the Safari trips veteran organizers with more than 10 years experience.
    No more details were given but in the comments began to speak about Awad and his group.
    Later Amr Imam on twitter began to reveal more information as much as he could.

    Awad was a tourist guide and hotel manager, he was with a tourist group in a safari trip in the desert when they were spotted by an Apache helicopter and were killed.
    Imam added that from 5 hours ago then, 8 Egyptians and 8 Mexicans were killed because of an airstrike and that there was no statement from the army.
    There was nothing in the media either that can confirm or deny.
    At 12:11 AM CLT Monday, unofficial Egyptian police Facebook page published the following Status.
    عاااجل اﻷن : تصفيه 7 ارهابيين في اﻷشتباكات الدائرة اﻷن بين عناصر ارهابية و قوات الشرطة بمنطقة الواحات .. و اﻷشتباكات مستمرة حتي الساعه
    Posted by ‎الشرطة المصرية‎ on Sunday, September 13, 2015
    Breaking now: 7 terrorists were liquidated in on-going clashes between the terrorists and police forces at the Wahat area, the clashes are still going on.
    قوات الجيش تنضم لقوات الشرطة في اﻷشتباكات الدائرة اﻷن مع جماعه ارهابية بالواحات .. و مقتل 10 ارهابيين حتي اﻷن
    Posted by ‎الشرطة المصرية‎ on Sunday, September 13, 2015
    The army forces join the police forces in the clashes going on with the terrorist group in Al-Wahat…10 terrorists have been killed so far.
    I just wonder how they knew in four minutes the death toll in the enemy lines in Al-Wahat while the admins of that FB “mostly police officers” are in Cairo.

    بيان لوازرة الداخلية بعد قليل حول ااشتباكات الفرافرة و التي لقنت فيها قواتنا درسا قاسيا لجماعه انصار بيت المقدس وكبدتهم خسائر فادحة ..
    Posted by ‎الشرطة المصرية‎ on Sunday, September 13, 2015
    @12:36 AM CLT, a statement for the ministry of interior soon about El-Farafara oasis clashes where our forces gave Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis unforgettable lesson.
    I thought that clashes were near Al-Wahat oasis, not Farafra oasis !!
    @ 1:30 AM CLT , the Ministry of interior issued the following statement

    بتاريخ 13 الجارى وأثناء قيام قوات مشتركة من الشرطة والقوات المسلحة بملاحقة بعض العناصر الإرهابية بمنطقة الواحات بالصحراء...
    Posted by ‎الصفحة الرسمية لوزارة الداخلية‎ on Sunday, September 13, 2015
    On the 13 September and during a chase against terrorists by a joint force from the army and police at Al-Wahat area in the Western desert ,  the 4x4 vehicles of a Mexican tourist convey “were dealt with according to literal translation” by mistake as they were in restricted area. The incident result in the death of 12 people while 10 others from Mexicans and Egyptians were injured and transferred to the hospital.
    A team was formed to stand on what happened and why a tourist convoy excited in that restricted area.
    This was the official statement of the Egyptian government and for the record, it admitted that security forces made a mistake despite blaming the convey later of being in a restricted area.
    When I read the official statement of the MOI now hours later, I found out that there was mention on how “they dealt with the convoy”. It did not mention an exact location or time.
    The statement was translated to English and sent to foreign media. Interestingly the MOI said that security forces “fired by” mistakes at the convey.
    The MOI statement in English
    Heba Farouk
    So if we take in consideration what lawyer Amr Imam said at 8 PM CLT, we would know that the attack could have taken place at about 2 PM or 3 PM at least. So for nearly 10 hours, the Egyptian government did not announce that disaster.
    Needless to say most Egyptians were asleep but on the other side of the Atlantic, Mexico was just waking up on the news that at least 7 of its citizens were killed.
    @3:58 AM CLT, Mexico’s President Enrique Nieto announced that Mexico condemned the attack against its own citizens and that the government of Egypt is demanded to have a thorough investigation.

    @4:38 AM CLT, the Mexican Ministry of foreign affairs announced that two Mexican nationals were killed in the attack and that the injured were transferred to Egypt’s top dar El-Fouad hospital in Giza.

    La SRE informa que un grupo de turistas mexicanos, en un número indeterminado, fue atacado en el desierto del Sudoeste...
    Posted by SRE on Sunday, September 13, 2015

    The morning came and the official statements in Egypt as in the minister of foreign ministry spoke with his Mexican counterpart explaining what happened from the Egyptian official point view saying that the tourists were in a restricted area. Egypt’s Ministry of tourism issued another statement slamming the tourism company organizing that trip for the Mexican tourists claiming that it did not have permits to be in a restricted zone.
    The Mexican officials were certain that at least 2 were killed while the Egyptian officials were speaking about 7 Mexicans killed in the attack.
    Yes , almost everybody forgot about the victims and focused whether the tourism company got a permit to be in a restricted zone or not.
    Already according to my humble knowledge, no one can go into Sahara safari in Egypt except after receiving permits from the military intelligence and police till the end of that list. Not to mention the fact, almost those who started the Safari tourism in Egypt were former military in the first place !!
    The statement of tourism ministry made many tourist guides angry.
    Suddenly we found online a copy the permit Egypt’s Tourism Police to the tourism company “Windows of Egypt Tours” which organized the trip.
    The permit 
    The leaked document showed the complete program of that Mexican convey with where and when the convey would visit in Egypt along with the name of their guide.
    Late Egyptian guide
    Nabil El-Tamawi
    "Facebook profile" 
    We did not know the name of the tourism company at first, but now we know. Checking from its official website , the company had Al-Wahat desert among its programs to the tourists already so it
    knows what permits it should get.
    I called the company and one of its representatives answered me sadly confirming to me that it was their tourist convey.
    According to the company’s representative, they had all the needed permits from Tourism police and the group was accompanied with a policeman during the trip.
    The tourism police also confirmed this making the ministry of tourism look bad
    There were4 Egyptian drivers and a guide who were accompanying the Mexican tourists along with a policeman. Aside from the 6 Mexican survivors who were lucky enough to be injured, one driver and a policeman survived the attack. According to his knowledge , they did not enter any restricted zone.
    There were 8 Mexicans killed including one dual citizen , American-Mexican. "Yes the U.S embassy in Cairo sent its people to the hospital"
    He also told me angrily that the bodies of the victims had been left in their place since 2 PM Sunday till the moment we were talked Monday afternoon.
    The locals were not allowed to transfer them. The bodies were left till the arrival of the prosecution to inspect the location !!!!!!
     According to eye witnesses from local, the bodies were charred. Judging from the awful photos, I can imagine.
    By then , the names of the Egyptian victims began to be known starting with late Awad Fathi , the owner of Qasr  El-Bawity Hotel and local guide who joined the convey. The group was already going to stay at that hotel according to its program. Awad was a friend of human rights lawyer Amr Emam. Nabil El-Tamawi, driver Ahmed Awis and driver Wael Abdel Aziz.
    Late Awad Fathi
    There were lots of talk and theories about what happened then. I won’t go into the silly disrespectful theories but speaking with couple of Safari organizers in the area who contacted the area , there was one common story. The story is as follows : Earlier Sunday , there was indeed some sort of chase between security forces and locals from one side and militants who abducted and killed Saleh Kassem who was from the well-known locals to the Safari organizers already. Of course no one knows where that chase was in that vast desert.
    For the misfortunate of that Mexican tourist convey that it allegedly came in the crossfire in an unrestricted zone.
    Three Safari trips organizers with contacts inside Al-Wahat reported this version.
    It turned out that there was a restriction on camping overnight for the tourists whether Egyptians or locals for some time but that restriction was left up recently.
    There are no signs in the area indicating that there are restricted areas away from the road in the middle of the desert.
    One organizer told me already this time was the beginning of a new season for Sahara Safari in Egypt in Western desert after the end of Summer season. Already checking late Awad Fathi’s events on Facebook , I found out that he was organizing for Egyptians trips to the White desert with offers in his hotel starting from next 24 September 2015 aka the Eid. This did not seem that it was restricted area that it is turning into a military operation zone !!
    Back to Mexico , Mexican foreign minister Claudia Ruiz Massieu announced in a press conference that the Mexican survivors told the Mexican ambassador that they were bombed by a military helicopter and an aircraft while they stopped for a break in the western desert.
    Mexican FM Massieu speaks about the incident
    Despite this is an important allegation against the Egyptian army , there has been no official reaction or statement regarding this official Mexican statement.  When asked by the New York Times about that , Brigadier General Mohamed Samir , the official Spox of the army told the US-based Newspaper that tourists were the responsibility of the ministry of interior and not the army even if they carried a joint operation together !!
    The Mexican minister headed to Cairo then with the families of the victims on the board of the Mexican Presidential airplane.
    The testimony of Sherif Faoruk
    Monday evening , one of the Egyptian survivors spoke about what happened. According to driver Sherif Farouk , the convoy had to stop at 260 km in Al-Wahat highway at 2 PM and enter the desert to have a break after a lady told them that she was hungry.
    They left the highway road  for about 1.2 kilometers in the desert till they found a clean spot so they could set-up a place for the tourists to have lunch.
    As they soon as they set up the place , they heard a shooting sound and suddenly they were hit from above.
    The vehicles after the mistaken attack "Reuters"
    Farouk said that he was injured but he quickly left the place to get to the main road to he would get a signal on his mobile phone and call for help. The policeman did the same and called the tourism police.
    Farouk also added that they were staying in an unrestricted area as it was 1 km from the main road with no signs or warnings.
    Late tour guide Nabil ElTamawi
    with Mexican victim Late
    Rafael Bejarano "El-Tamawi's FB"
    On Tuesday , The Prosecution announced that it found amazingly in the weapons and ammunitions warehouses in that desert area and that the security forces announced that that area was a restricted area for military operations prior the attack by 24 hours !! Okay, why did not the tourism police inform the convey ??
    Now this incident raises many questions on the friendly fire in Egypt.
    Already there is a lot of attention given to the incident that was the news of the day in Egypt due to the fact that the victims are foreign tourists. Usually, if the victims are Egyptians, they will be ignored and you can find a good example or rather horrifying examples unfortunately in North Sinai Where the army battles Daesh-associated Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis.
    The people in Sinai were actually on how they were being ignored where as the government officially pays respect to the foreign victims and ignore their on-going misery for three years now
    I am not a military expert but, I know that the more locals fall because of friendly fire with no proper apology or compensation or respect can turn the locals against you.
    Not to mention there is a huge and clear problem when it comes to the rules of engagements in general in Egypt.
    There should be warning shots with better judgement.
    There is another problem when it comes to coordination between the different security forces.
    After all, if you have a military operation zone, you should inform the checkpoints all over the desert as well the policeman accompanying that convey.
    There is nothing wrong for the state or the army or the police to admit that it made a huge mistake and apologize instead of blaming the tourist company as well tourists themselves, unfortunately.
    Officially there has been nearly official accusation to the tourism company by the ministry of tourism and the Pro-regime media.
    Unofficially, the Pro-regime supporters did nothing on Facebook or twitter in Egypt except blaming the Mexican tourists wondering about their true intentions to visit Egypt and that holy restricted zone using all the stereotypes you can imagine.
    In the end, May God bless the souls of those people who were killed on that afternoon in the Western desert because of stupid grave mistakes. My deepest condolences to the Mexican people especially the families of the victims. I have nothing to say except that I wish that 8 people would have come and left Egypt with lots of souvenirs and lots of wonderful memories about my country instead of returning back in coffins.
    The families of the Egyptian victims waiting at
    Zenihom morgue in Cairo "Cairo Today" 
    My deepest condolences to the poor families of the Egyptian victims. My deepest condolences to the victims of those have been killed by mistake in the past 4 years in Egypt.

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    Bringing down the famous Mohamed Mahmoud #graffiti wall 😥😥 #Egypt #Egypt #Blogger #Tahrir #jan25 September 17, 2015 at 01:39PM via Instagram http://ift.tt/1NzmQaN

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    Kodak Agfa posted a photo:

    Demolishing Mohamed Mahmoud graffiti walls


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    Kodak Agfa posted a photo:

    Demolishing Mohamed Mahmoud graffiti walls


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    Kodak Agfa posted a photo:

    Demolishing Mohamed Mahmoud graffiti walls


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    Kodak Agfa posted a photo:

    Demolishing Mohamed Mahmoud graffiti walls


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    Kodak Agfa posted a photo:

    Demolishing Mohamed Mahmoud graffiti walls


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    Thursday afternoon, many people were surprised to find out that there were municipal workers demolishing the famous graffiti American University in Cairo “AUC” wall in the famous Mohamed Mahmoud wall.
    I headed there and I asked them what was going on and workers who were puzzled on why young people were photographing them told me that it was by the orders of Cairo governorate.
    Demolishing Mohamed Mahmoud graffiti walls
    Working and breaking down the wall on Thursday. 
    According to the AUC media office, the University decided to demolish its Science building in the AUC Tahrir campus Mohamed Mahmoud street as part of the Tahrir renovation plan of Cairo governorate.
    Demolishing Mohamed Mahmoud graffiti walls
    They started with that part of the wall 
    The AUC science building will be replaced by a garden accordingly as it has not been used since the AUC campus was transferred to New Cairo. The Tahrir AUC Campus already is turned into a cultural hub.
    It turned out that this plan was announced last month and nobody paid attention to.



    Demolishing Mohamed Mahmoud graffiti walls
    A graffiti commemorating young graffiti artist Hisham Rizak, who was killed in
    strange circumstances in July 2014
    Now there are conflicting reports about the fate of the famous Graffiti AUC graffiti wall.
    Demolishing Mohamed Mahmoud graffiti walls
    Opmissitica graffiti showing the famous smile of activist Ahmed Douma who is currently
    serving several jail sentences including illegal protesting 
    The media center in the AUC says that it will be completely demolished and replaced by a fence while the AUC professors say that the wall will be kept and that part demolished will be turned into a gate.
    When it comes to the graffiti, the AUC said that it documented all the phases of the graffiti painted on the wall in photos which will be used in exhibitions later.
    Demolishing Mohamed Mahmoud graffiti walls
    An old man reading the plaques on the wall where martyrs and revolutionary
    poetry are inscribed. 
    Personally I have a suggestion, instead of demolishing graffiti wall , the AUC can split the wall into graffiti murals and transfer them to other places or put them in that garden they are planning like what happened with Berlin Walls.
    Demolishing Mohamed Mahmoud graffiti walls
    A mural commemorating the martyrs after 3 July including late 18-years old artist
    Essam Eissa.  
    Anyhow , this is like an end for the graffiti era in Mohamed Mahmoud street because after all despite there are graffiti paintings and murals all over the street yet the most famous are the AUC walls part , which looks over Tahrir square.
    Demolishing Mohamed Mahmoud graffiti walls
    This graffiti commemorating Suez martyr Bassem Mohsen watches over
    Tahrir square. Mohsen , who lost an eye in Mohamed Mahmoud 2011,
    was killed in clashes in Suez in December 2013 
    Now most of the famous young graffiti artists in Egypt have left Egypt. I think painting anti-regime graffiti murals now can be a criminal act according to the law if I am not mistaken recently.
    Demolishing Mohamed Mahmoud graffiti walls
    I do not think that graffiti slamming the Ministry of interior will be welcomed.  
    The only type of graffiti now allowed in Egypt are the state-sponsored graffiti/coloring initiatives like “We are going to color it”
    Demolishing Mohamed Mahmoud graffiti walls
    Or that graffiti slamming the MOI's central security forces 
    By the way speaking about graffiti, I can’t ignore the fact there are Arab graffiti artists featured in Banksy’s Dismaland including Egyptian graffiti artist El-Teneen.
    This is the graffiti painting of El-Teneen in the not-so-usual amusement park.
    By El-Teneen 
    El-Teneen already got a painting currently on the Mohamed Mahmoud AUC graffiti wall.
    The king and his pawns "El-Teneen" 
    Of course, I will seize this opportunity to post my Graffiti photo album as usual.


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    I have just seen this short video clip now by Photographer Mohamed Hossam El-Din from Al-Masry Al-Youm about that famous inflatable swimming pool in Manshiyat Nasser slums and I believe it should be shared because it brings to me hope.

    I have a dream in my life! from Mohamed on Vimeo.
    Now  I do not know if Mahmoud filmed this earlier this summer or in August because I read that when Youm 7 broke the news first and made a report about that inflatable swimming pool in early June , the municipal workers came and broke it threatening to fine its owner not less LE 10,000 for having illegal swimming pool in the extreme poor area.
    By Mohamed Hossam for Al-Masry Al-Youm
    Tabloid Pro-regime Youm 7 called the swimming pool  “The poor guy Porto” in reference to the famous Upper-Middle Class resorts “Porto” in Egypt.
    I think this is another inflatable swimming pool because the owner this time is a man whereas in the story of Youm 7 it was a woman.
    This small act of goodness despite their poverty, show that there are people who really care despite all hardships in the society.
    Call me crazy but that citizen who bought an inflatable swimming pools for kids to enjoy their time can play a bigger role in his community in elected local councils if he is given prop knowledge with civil rights and community rights not to mention if there is true democracy after all.
    I once read about the democratic transition in Brazil and how in poor areas people began to get engaged in the political process through those small steps from making their public spaces and so. .
    Anyhow I should not build a whole pyramid from a simple beautiful clip that gives you hope in humans after all. 

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    Dear friend and talented Egyptian AP photographer Mosa’ab El-Shamy is currently in the Holy land in Saudi Arabia covering the annual "Hajj" Pilgrimage which climax will be next on Sunday.
    Mosa’ab El-Shamy took photos in both Mecca and Medina showing the Pilgrimage from another perspective.
    I like two photos most from that collection , the Mecca pigeons at the Holy Ka’aba and the ladies walking with the deadly crank that killed over hundred people in the Holiest place of Muslims during a thunderstorm last week.

    The fallen crank in the back "Mosa'ab El-Shamy for AP"
    The Ka'aba pigeons, it is prohibited to hunt them 

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  • 09/21/15--16:48: DSC09585 [Flickr]
  • Kodak Agfa posted a photo:

    DSC09585

    Most buys come and choose sheep comparing its prices , weight and type


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  • 09/21/15--16:48: DSC09581 [Flickr]
  • Kodak Agfa posted a photo:

    DSC09581

    At least two weeks prior to Eid Al-Adha , livestock markets are set up in areas, mostly popular areas to sell sheep and cows
    More about Eid Al-Adha
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eid_al-Adha


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