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7000 years and counting ...
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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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    On Wednesday, the World commemorated the World Refugee Day and it seems that the situation of the refugees worldwide is not getting better but rather worse especially for Arab refugees.

    The UN’s Refugees watchdog “UNHCR” says the number of refugees worldwide has reached at the end of 2017 in total to 68.5 million people displaced from their homes in its annual report.
    This is the highest number of refugees the world has ever seen. Forget about the World Wars of the 20th century, the number of refugees has been increasing for the past 6 years and it does not want to stop.

    According to the UNHCR’s numbers, 2.9 million people have become refugeesin 2017 only worldwide.
    The number of people forcibly displaced from their homes worldwide is 44,000 people every day. That’s an unfortunate record rate as well scary one.
    The UNHCR is reporting that31 people were newly displaced every minute in 2017
    Unfortunately, that increase comes at the same time the World is witnessing an awful scary return of right-wing fascism that rejects refugees worldwide.
    I do not think that the world has seen such hateful attitude against foreign refugees we are currently witnessing since the World War II.
    Now out of those 68.5 refugees who are forced to their home because of conflicts, wars and human rights violations; only 25.4 million refugees are registered with the United Nations’ refugees agencies.
    Arabs as in Palestinians and Syrians are still making the biggest group of refugees technically speaking.
    Palestinian refugees in 1955
    Palestinian refugees in a refugee camp in Jorda
    in 1955 

    There are 5.4 million Palestinians registered UNRWA.
    Palestinian refugees are the biggest group of refugees displaced from their homes even before 1948. For more than 60 years, the world has ignored them.
    They are the only people in the world that the United Nations created a special refugees agency for other than the UNHCR.
    The Palestinian refugees are also the first people in the world without a truly independent country to return to.
    In case you ask why, well simply because their land where they lived there all their history was taken away and was occupied by Zionist settlers thanks to Europeans who decided to get to rid of all Jews in Europe and send them to Palestine so they “Jews” and Arabs go on with an endless fight.

    I won’t go into details and explain what has been said thousand times. This is the only way to put it.
    The future of Palestinian refugees and their right to return to their homeland are one of the unresolved issues in the Middle East’s peace process.
    As US President Donald Trump and his administration think that they resolved the unresolved Jerusalem issue with his stupid decision by recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
    The Trump administration decided to cut its funding to the UNRWA in order to force the Palestinian people to accept their terms. 
    Rich Arab Gulf countries can bail out the UNRWA if they stop to fight each other simply.
    Now his son-in-law , the Miracle child of US politics Jared Kushner is touring the Middle East just like a salesman to offer that deal that resolve both the Gaza siege and the refugees in Gaza as well : USD 1 billion investments in Gaza’s economy aka constructing bunch of economic and development projects that will benefit Gaza in North Sinai.

    You read it right: in North Sinai. Once again the talk about resettling part of the Palestinian refugees in North Sinai is back at least online in Egypt.
    The fact that thousands of Egyptians have been evacuated from their homes in the border city of Rafah in the past three years as part of Egypt’s war on terrorism scares many people. Some Egyptians believe that it could be an introduction to the resettlement project and that the not-so-good economic conditions of Egypt will be used as a negotiation card.
    One important fact people also tend to ignore is that neither the Egyptians people nor the Palestinian people will accept this deal.
    Syrian refugees in Jordan
    Little Syrian refugees in Jordan's Zaatari camp, the biggest UNHCR camp since the WW II
    Moving to the Syrian refugees, the second biggest group of Arab refugees in the world
    Out of 19.9 million refugees under the UNHCR Mandate, there are  6.3 million Syrian refugees in the World so far. The Al-Assad regime in Syria says that its population has reached 18 million in 2018.
    I do not think that Syrians refugees will return back to their homeland any time soon as long as Al-Assad regime is there protected by Russia and Iranian-backed sectarian militias. I do not think that rich Arab countries that helped in turning the Syrian revolution into a civil war by proxy

    There are currently 129,507 Syrian refugees out of 228,941 refugees registered with the UNHCR in Egypt according to its official numbers in June.
    The Syrian refugees make up 57% of the refugees registered with the UN refugees body.
    Most of those Syrian refugees are concreted in Cairo as well Nile Delta yet there are other undocumented Syrian refugees communities in Upper Egypt.
    Unofficially, some are estimating that there are half million Syrian refugees in Egypt.
    It is worth to say that President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi always says that Egypt is currently hosting 5 million refugees.

    Now interestingly, Egypt and EU reached in December some agreement or understanding accordingly EU countries like Britain and Netherlands are going to take some of the refugees staying in Egypt and resettle them in their territories.
    That had been done already in the past few months according to the Egyptian ministry of foreign affairs.
    Updated: Portugal offered to resettle 400 refugees residing in Egypt in 2018 and 2019 in its territories.

    Despite economic hardships Egypt is facing, I think Syrian refugees who decided to settle down in the country are doing well. From time to time I hear and read about those wonderful projects made to help the Syrian refugees whether through the help of the Syrian community in Egypt or with the help of NGOs and international organizations.

    In February, I have read about that beautiful small sports academy to train Syrian kids in Alexandria. I have read also about similar sports academy dedicated to Syrian children in Cairo.
    In May, I have known that the UNHCR decided with local authorities to develop and upgrade the famous Syrian street in October city. 

    I wanted to talk about the situation of Myanmar’s Rohingya refugees but I guess it will be too much for this post.

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    Egyptians watch world cup 2018 Egypt KSA game

    Watching the game between Egypt and KSA in the World Cup despite both teams are out of the 16th round.
    Cafes in Cairo are full of customers watching the match. 

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    The Egyptian House of Representatives has been very active in early June approving and passing several laws that technically kill any freedom of speech margin left in the country especially in the social media realm.

    On 5 June “Special cursed date indeed”, Egypt’s parliament passed after many months the Cybercrime law which regulates social media and web content as well ISP surveillance.
    If the law of Supreme Council of Media “SCM” puts popular social media network accounts, the newly approved Cybercrime law puts all Egyptians online under the law whether they are popular and have more than 5,000 followers or subscribers or not.“5000 followers out of 100 million Egyptians technically are a threat to the Egyptian national security.”
    bloggers with 5,000 followers or subscribers under that law, the
    Thanks Facebook banner in those days of January 2011
    There are many articles in that law that technically can be described as loose and vague anti-freedom of speech articles directly based on what I have read in the past few days online.
    Article No.7 stipulates that the authorities have the right to shut down or block any Egypt-based or foreign website that incites against the Egyptian state or threatens its national security through the use of digital content.

    This article can be used to block radical terrorist websites as well as opposition, human rights and independent news websites as we have seen already without that law.
    Egypt has currently blocked over 400 websites mostly news websites and human rights websites.
    On Sunday, “The writer” website was blocked in Egypt after its launch by 10 hours only !! That website was dedicated to freedom of press and expression in Egypt.

    Article No.15stipulates that anyone accesses any website banned in Egypt whether intentionally or unintentionally by mistake, should be sentenced to jail for not less than a year and to be fined LE 50,000.
    So anyone may find himself or herself in jail or fined because he or she wants to check the news of the Turkish presidential elections on the official Turkish TV website which is banned and blocked in Egypt !!!!

    Article No.25 stipulates that anyone writes online what can be considered as incitement against the family values of the Egyptian society can be sentenced to jail for not less than 6 months and to be fined not less than LE 50,000.
    What are these “family values of the Egyptian society”? What can be considered an incitement?
    Another article speaks on how the ISPs should keep their clients' info from browsing history for 180 days or they will be fined.

    Cairo-based News website Mada Masr, which is already blocked in Egypt published a very nice report on how that new Cybercrime law could send you to jail.
    You must read it.

    It is another blow to Egyptian bloggers and citizen journalists. In fact, it is a blow to anyone thinks to use social media in order to share his opposing views.
    The Cybercrime law has not been ratified by President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi.

    I do not have doubt that some are waiting for it to be in effect to end the spread of that anti-Sisi hashtag “#Sisi_degage” on Twitter and Facebook dominating their top hashtags for days now.

    The thing is that social media is actually a vent for the public now, it is better to leave them express their anger virtually than to make them blow up suddenly in an explosion of anger in the real world.
    Some people do not learn from history, they do not even want to learn.

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    Egypt’s Royal Jewelry Museum got too many beautiful items and things that will make anyone blogger or journalist or photojournalist wonder which item or thing to post from it first.
    Located in Alexandria, the museum got beautiful things to share whether its beautiful architecture or its history or its content from items that used to be owned by members of the Mohamed Ali Royal Family.
    According to official statements, the Museum hosts 11,500 pieces or items previously owned by the members of the Mohamed Ali Royal Family that ruled Egypt from 1805 till 1952.
    In May, Egyptian Chronicles presented a small post featuring the royal orders in the Museum.
    Now, this post will feature a beautiful small collection of watches at that Museum.
    Like for example, this beautiful watch owned once by King Farouk’s first wife Queen Farida.

    Queen Farida's diamond watch at Egypt's Royal Jewelry Museum
    Queen Farida's watch
    Despite its black strap, that watch is encrusted with diamonds and emeralds.
    That watch overshadowed the other watch on the left made off the leather strap and big golden body.

    If you remember one of King Farouk’s watches, a-Patek Philippe watch was sold in a Christie’s auction in Dubai in March for US$ 912,500 ( LE 16.3 Million) to a phone buyer.
    Most of the watches owned by members of the Egyptian Royal family had a similar fate. The few survived and made it to that small museum in Alexandria.
    There are not too many wrist watches in the museum but there is a nice collection of gold pocket watches.
    Golden pocket watches at Egypt's Royal Jewelry Museum
    Golden pocket watches 

    Some of those golden watches were made in the 19th century for a number of Egypt’s rulers and their wives.

    Three Golden Pocket watches at Egypt's Royal Jewelry Museum
    I think the one in the middle got the name of King Farouk encrusted with diamonds on it 

    All of those watches were custom-made for the Egyptian Royal family in Europe.
    A golden painted pokect watch at Egypt's Royal Jewelry Museum
    I tried to understand what was written on that watch but I failed

    I am trying to make out what is written on that watch but I have failed so miserably.
    A Painted golden pocket watch encrusted with Jewels at Egypt's Royal Jewelry Museum
    Ellhamy Hussein Pasha's name encrusted with diamonds in Arabic 

    That beautiful painted golden watch was owned by Ellhamy Hussein Pasha.
    His first name was encrusted by diamonds on the watch.
    Ellhamy Hussein Pasha was Princess Shivakiar’s fifth husband.
    Princess Shivakiar was King Fouad I or to be accurate Prince Fouad’s first wife.
    Princess Shivakiar had a marvelous collection of jewelry at the Museum that deserves a standalone post.
    Here is another beautiful pocket painted golden watch.
    Golden painted pocket watch at Egypt's Royal Jewelry Museum
    I like this pocket watch so much

    The kind of precession in drawing and the fact that it is keeping its beauty after maybe a hundred years is amazing.
    Khedive Tawfik's Golden pocket watch at Egypt's Royal Jewelry Museum
    Khedive Tawfik on a pocket watch

    Here is Khedive Tawfik’s Golden pocket watch with his face painted on it.
    Needless to say, we considered Khedive Tawfik as the worst ruler of Egypt in the modern history as he welcomed and supported the British occupation to the country ousting his father Khedive Ismail.
    Ibrahim Pasha's Golden Pocket Watch at Egypt's Royal Jewelry Museum
    Ibrahim Pasha's golden watch

    Here is Ibrahim Pasha’s Golden watch. I think the effect of time is shown in the painting depicting the Egyptian army’s greatest commander in the modern age.
    Golden pocket watches at Egypt's Royal Jewelry Museum
    I think the painted scene on the watch on the left depicts a war from Bonaparte's wars

    Those two golden pocket watches are also beautiful.
    On the left, the painting on the golden watch depicts a scene from Napoleon Bonaparte’s wars.
    While on the right, there is a beautiful gold watch that once was owned by Khedive Saeed of Egypt with his face painted on it.
    Egypt-Turkey flags on a golden pocket watch at Egypt's Royal Jewelry Museum
    Egypt and Turkey or rather Ottoman Empire golden watch

    I do not know the exact history of that golden pocket watch but it got both Turkey or Ottoman Empire flag and Egypt’s flag on it.
    A big colored Golden pocket watch at Egypt's Royal Jewelry Museum
    A very big pocket watch

    I do not remember who owned that big red pocket watch but it is so big to the level I can’t imagine how to attached it the clothes easily.
    and last in our collection, that snuffbox encrusted with diamonds and a clock.
    A clock box
    A snuff box and a clock at the same time 
    I think that was from Sultana Melek’s collection.
    In May 2002, Christie’s sold in Geneva a group of an Art Deco Jewelry in Switzerland for CHF 8,365 “LE 150,737” including a-Movada Ermento-watch owned by King Farouk.
    Art deco jewellery
    The watch above was owned
    by King Farouk 
    In November of the same year, Christie’s sold another pocket watch in London mostly probably was owned by King Farouk. It was made by Swiss Gübelin circa 1940. 
    The golden watch with the Egyptian crown and "F" on its back
    The golden watch with the Egyptian crown and "F"
    on its back
    A golden open faced pocket watch, it has the Egyptian crown and letter “F” on its back.
    It was sold for GBP 4,780 “LE 112,862”
    Three years later in May 2005, Christie’s sold in Geneva also a pocket watch or rather a dress watch previously owned by King Fouad I for CHF 40,800 “LE 734,872”.
    The watch
    The watch with the emblem
    Is it Farouk or Fouad? 
    Made specifically for King Fouad I by Paris-based Breguet luxury watches house, the watch was made of 18k gold and silver carrying the emblem of either King Fouad I or King Farouk. Christie’s says that it is an emblem of Farouk but I believe it is his father’s.

    It is unclear how that watch ended to be under the hammer in an auction house in Geneva in 2006.
    Those are few examples of watches owned by the former ruling family of Egypt.

    Three things for sure one must remember when he or she reads this post, the members of the Mohamed Ali Royal Family loved their watches to be fancy and the Post-1952 coup presidents and their government could not keep the Egyptian National history’s heritage as they should.

    There are more Egyptian Royal family’s watches out there in the world when they should be exhibited in that small palace turned in to a museum in Alexandria.

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    I am currently on a vacation so I will try to keep things light in Egyptian Chronicles as much as possible.
    Disney in Egyptian” Facebook page announced recently about competition for amateur artists and illustrators to depict Disney’s Princesses in Egypt and as Egyptians in Egyptian Facebook group “Draw” and the results are amazing.
    The popular fan Facebook selected the best 202 illustrations showing Disney’s princesses as Egyptian women living in old and modern-day Egypt. “There is an extra post with over 200 illustrations as well
    Here are my favorite illustrations.
    Disney princesses as modern day Egyptian girls
    Disney princesses in Modern-day Egypt "From left: Veiled Jasmine, a shabbier Ariel, cool Snowhite
    Preganent Cinderella, bookworm Belle and a poor but casual Aurora" by unknown artists
    Ancient Egyptian Pocahontas, Snowwhite dancing while Jasmine is playing the harp by
    Bassel El-Kadi

    Plus size Ariel
    Ariel in Egypt getting fat because she is always eating stuffed vegetables by Mohamed Nagy

    Ariel, the Nile Mermaid by Noha El-Sherif "I guess"
    Mulan and Li Chang
    Mulan and Li Chang as Fatima Koshary and Abdel
    Ghafoor as a famous couple of the famous TV show
    "The Egyptians will relate" by Mariam  

    In another realm, Jasmine was Aida Riyadh in her famous scene with Adel Emam "again Egyptians will relate"

    Ancient Egyptian Vanellope by Leen Khubieh

    Princess Jasmine
    Princess Jasmine escaped the palace and disguised as Bent El-Balad
    by JSU 
    The illustrations of Egyptian Moana are more than amazing especially since it depicts her as “Bent Al-Balad” or the girl from the popular working class of the old days.
    Moana , the Egyptian version
    Moana by Amal Samir and this illustration is best of the
    best indeed

    Another version of Bent El-Balad Moana
    Nubian Moana by Dalia El-Khayat
    I love Moana and her movie.
    She looks more Egyptian indeed than Princess Jasmine of Agrabah.
    From a couple of days ago, Moana fans compared her to Egyptian rising-star Asama Abu El-Yazid after her latest photo shoot.
    Asama Abu El-Yazid
    Asama Abu El-Yazid, an Egyptian actor and singer 
    Talented Abu Zeid can fit to be a living version of Moana “She can sing too but she does not have Polynesian roots” but she is thinner than her I believe.
    If you remember “Disney in Egyptian” led a very loud campaign to make Disney’s cartoons dubbed in Egyptian Arabic dialect in 2016.
    The campaign was successful and Disney’s animations are going once again to speak Egyptian Arabic

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    On Wednesday, Egypt’s Supreme Council for Media Regulation “SCM” issued a media gag order against all what is published or broadcasted about the 57357 Children Cancer Hospital and its current controversy saga about the public donations that ended at wrong pockets till the end of the current investigations into its matters.
    The state-of-art biggest children cancer hospital in Egypt is facing accusations of corruption and embezzlement of donations.
    Al-Masry Al-Youm “AMAY” Daily published in June a series of investigative op-eds or reports to be accurate by famous screenplay writer Wahid Hamed about the hospital and its general manager Dr.Sherif Abou El-Naga questioning the way he runs the medical facility. (1,2,3,4,5) {They were pulled from the official website of AMAY but they exist online}. 

    57357 Children Cancer hospital's building  n Cairo
    57357 Children Cancer hospital's building  n Cairo

    Basically, Hamed accuses Abou El-Naga and his family of monopolizing the board of directors and of having high salaries when the hospital depends only on donations.
    As the accusations began to increase, many people began to fear that their donations did not help in curing sick children for free but rather in the pockets of famous doctors.

    In late June, Egyptian Social Solidarity ministry which monitors NGOs and charity hospitals announced that it formed a committee to investigate those accusations.
    The committee is made up of judges and auditors.

    The hospital and its general manager deny that accusations accusing Hamed of being part of a systematic campaign against them. They say the campaign actually started at Veto before moving to more popular and readable AMAY.
    Wahid Hamed and Veto are not the first one to raise questions about the NGO hospital that has got the biggest ad campaigns I believe among the NGOs. “Tarek Nour communications, its advertising agency says that it is doing it for free”

    Dousky Ahmed at less known website also published a similar investigative reported in June 2017.

    Many people are stunned that the SCM would issue a media gag order like that when it is actually one of Prosecutor General’s power in Egypt.

    Well, it is also one of the SCM’s powers according to article No.26 of its law issued in 2017.
    The article says that without compromising the power of the general prosecution, the council has the right to act on its own in banning any material whether published or broadcasted whether definitely or indefinitely if it receives a complaint or it finds a violation to journalistic and media standards.
    The SCM says in its statement about the decision that it took because “ It is keen to let that noble internationally recognized medical establishment to continue its work” regardless of the accusations while waiting from the judicial committee’s final say.
    This is the first time the SCM uses that power to issue a media gag order in a public opinion issue like that.
    Yet, it is not the first time it uses its power to stop or pull certain material from a broadcast.
    It has been active since it came to life in 2017 in banning improper ads and TV programs.

    I do not think that this media gag order will actually help that hospital and its public image in the Egyptian society.
    On social media, people believe that there is something rotten there and that gag order was taken in order not to expose it.
    According to what I have seen on the social media especially on Facebook, people are mistrusting the hospital.
    The order comes after the announcement that the hospital GM Dr. Sherif Abou El-Naga has hired controversial attorney Mortada Mansour to defend him as well the hospital.

    I hate to be the bearer of bad news but unfortunately, the hospital will lose more donations and donors because of that controversy and how its administration dealt with it.

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    This news came quietly last week and nobody paid attention despite it is quite interesting.
    On 5 July Thursday, Egyptian Media Company announced that it acquired Al-Hayat TV Network and according to its CEO Tamer Morsi, the Egyptian Media would reboot the network with new material that would make the TV channels return to the lead of Egyptian TV channels.
    Very short news but behind there is a lot to say.

    In September 2017, Tawasul which is a subsidiary of Falcon International Group announced that it acquired the once-successful-but-currently-troubled-AL-Hayat TV network from its founder, businessman and former New Wafd Party leader El-Siyad El-Badawy for allegedly LE 1.4 billion or USD 79 Million pounds.

    Since the acquisitions, we have been reading a lot about restructuring TV channels and the network attempting to attract big names of TV hosts and TV executives but in vain.
    Tamer Morsi and Yasser Selim
    Tamer Morsi and Yasser Selim "Youm 7"
    I do not know honestly why Falcon International group which is said to have connections with Egyptian General intelligence service; decided to put it on sale.

    Now it is acquired by none other than Egyptian Media which was acquired too in December 2017 by Eagle Capital For Investment.

    Eagle Capital is also said to allegedly have connections with Egyptian General Intelligence Service as well !!!
    It is not clear how much Egyptian Media paid for Al-Hayat TV Network, it was not mentioned in its price release about the acquisition.

    Egyptian Media also issued another interesting statement on Thursday. It declared that former intelligence officer and current media executive Yasser Selim was appointed as the vice-chairman of Egyptian Media.

    Yasser Selim was appointed as the chairman of Al-Hayat TV Network in April 2018 by its previous owner, Tawasul. 

    Egyptian Media which already owns 16 media companies or subsidiaries in Egypt is headed by businessman and producer Tamer Morsi, who used to be Yasser Selim’s business partner in the past few years.

    Unlike what I expected that Dalia Khorshid, the CEO of Eagle Capital is not the queen of the media in Egypt; it was actually Tamer Morsi who is the new king of the media in the country.

    Before I forget and as I speak about the Egyptian Media group, I remember something interesting.

    In the black-comedy press conference held by the Egyptian Football Association “EFA” about the reasons on why the Egyptian football team failed so miserably, the EFA President spoke about Presentation Sports Media revealing a very interesting info.

    The FIFA council member Hany Abou Rida said when asked about Presentation “that it is owned by the state” denying any relation between it and him. “Not true actually as far as I know.”
    “I respect the contribution of the company which sponsors EFA and supported the National team with all its force” He added.

    “Presentation Sports” controls local sports media in Egypt and 51% of its shares are owned by Egyptian Media as its previous CEO Ahmed Abu Hashima acquired  51% of the shares in June 2016.

    I believe that Abu Rida said that to scare and to warn the journalists not to go too far with their attack and criticism of “Presentations”
    Hany Abu Rida is the first Egyptian official to say that Presentation was actually “a state-owned company.”
    So far no official has issued any comment about what Abou Rida said and he meant by “ a company owned by the state”.
    Did not I tell you that it is interesting info?

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    Kodak Agfa posted a photo:

    First waterfall in Egypt's Wadi El Rayan protectorate

    The first waterfall in Fayoum's Wadi El-Rayan protectorate in Egypt

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    Kodak Agfa posted a photo:

    First waterfall in Egypt's Wadi El Rayan protectorate

    The first waterfall in Fayoum's Wadi El-Rayan protectorate in Egypt

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    Kodak Agfa posted a photo:

    First waterfall in Egypt's Wadi El Rayan protectorate

    Water goes down the first waterfall of Wadi El-Rayan protectorate in Fayoum, Egypt

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    Kodak Agfa posted a photo:

    First waterfall in Egypt's Wadi El Rayan protectorate

    The first and highest waterfall in Wadi El-Rayan waterfalls of Fayoum in Egypt.

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    Kodak Agfa posted a photo:

    Danger Sign at first waterfall at Egypt's Wadi El Rayan protectorate

    "Danger !! Jumping into waterfall can lead to fracture or death , with the best regards of someone who tried it that" A warning sign at the first waterfall of Wadi El-Rayan Protectorate in Fayoum, Egypt

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    The vacation is on a verge to an end so I gather a couple of interesting news to share it with because they are to be ignored.
    I can not ignore something like this below especially it has been creating buzz as well as endless memes in Egypt’s social media universe.
    From left to right: Minister Hala Zayed, CEO Ahmed Zaki Abdeen and minister Ashraf Sobhi
    From left to right: Minister Hala Zayed, CEO Ahmed Zaki Abdeen and minister Ashraf Sobhi

    Egypt’s health minister decides to make hospitals all over the country play the national anthem daily

    On Tuesday, newly appointed minister Hala Zayed issued a decision to make state-run hospitals play the national anthem daily in order to bolster patriotism as well the medical oath to bolster professionalism among the hospital staff.
    As soon as the news hit the social media, it turned into a meme but seriously speaking it drew huge criticism as there are bigger and more serious problems in state-run hospitals and its staff from doctors than bolstering their patriotism.
    Despite the criticism, Minister Zayed insisted in a meeting with editors in chiefs on Wednesday that she would not pull her decision back because it will bolster the patriotism and professionalism among the listeners.
    On Wednesday the decision came into effect and Al-Warraq Central Hospital was the first in the Arab Republic of Egypt to play the national anthem like that.

    President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi held a meeting with PM Mostafa Madoubly and health minister Hala Zayed on Thursday where he urged them to work on developing the health sector in Egypt aka the new health insurance system.
    I do not think that he meant by developing the health sector in Egypt that the national anthem should be played loud in the public hospitals’ sound system !!
    Minister Hala Zayid of health and population
    Minister Hala Zayid of health and population

    Anyhow that national anthem decision put more media pressure on the 50-years old academic doctor who is already in hot water thanks to the 57357 hospital controversy.

    Before becoming a minister, Hala Zayed was the CEO of the Health Science Academy following 57357 Hospital. She is trying to distance her “to show there is no conflict of interest” by ordering an investigation into the famous charity hospital.

    Minister Hala Zayed was appointed in the new cabinet as the minister of health and population in Mostafa Madoubly’s cabinet which swore in June.
    Zayed is the first woman to hold the position of health minister in Egypt.
    Madoubly’s cabinet got 8 women ministers; which is the highest number of women ministers in any cabinet in Egypt since the 19th century.
    I think that decision of hers proves my point about women empowerment in countries like Egypt.

    Egyptian government to transfer more than half million cubic meters of Nile River Water daily to New Administrative Capital

    Former minister/governor and current CEO of Administrative Capital for urban development  CompanyAhmed Zaki Abdeen said on Monday that the currently-being-constructed main water plant in the city will transfer more than half million cubic meters of Nile River river water to the New Administrative Capital mega project.
    Ahmed Zaki Abdeen
    Ahmed Zaki Abdeen
    According to the plan, nearly 850 thousand cubic meters of Nile River water will be transferred to the new administrative capital on daily basis.
    Since 2015, Egyptian officials spoke openly about how we entered the “water poverty era” and the official numbers supported that.
    After being a country that has exported rice for too long, Egypt became an importer to save Nile river water so I do not know how officials do not see a problem in taking all that amount of water to the Administrative Capital city !!

    Egypt is seeking to host the World Cup again

    It is not only the ugly faces of Mubarak era’s faces that are having a nasty comeback but also his era’s most failed projects and plans.
    Newly appointed youth and sports minister Ashraf Sobhy said on Tuesday that Egypt aims to host World Cup in 2030 and the Summer Olympics games in 2032 because Egypt owns the financial and tangible abilities to host such events.
    Egypt indeed managed to host a number of international and regional tournaments but not the level of hosting the World Cup or the Olympics !!
    Ashraf Sobhi
    Egypt's minister of youth and sports Ashraf Sobhy
    For the love of God, the Egyptian football fans have not returned yet to watch the matches in the stadium !!
    Already Egypt wanted in 2004 to host the World Cup in 2010 but failed miserably to the level that no one voted for us.
    Up till this moment, we do not know what happened in the infamous World Cup Zero scandal’s investigation.
    What I know for sure about it is that the man who was responsible for Egypt’s file in front of FIFA were Gamal Mubarak’s friends.
    This is just a very bad Deja vu.

    I have always wanted to continue presenting news like that from time to time and I had done it before.
    Hopefully, I will continue doing it more often.

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  • 07/15/18--07:03: July 15, 2018 at 03:26PM

  • via Instagram All degrees of #blue here. From a nice #beach at #Egypt’s #NorthCoast. #SidiAbdelRahman beaches are one of the best hidden secrets of Egypt. #Summer #Mediterranean #Nofilter #Egypte #Egipto #Sea #Africa #MENA #EverydayEgypt #ThisIsEgypt #مصر #سيد_عبد_الرحمن

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    Cairo tower
    Cairo tower from October bridge
    It seems that Egypt’s Cairo tower celebrated France’s victory in World Cup 2018 in Russia too.
    I took that photo shortly after France was crowned for the second time in its history as the winner of the World Cup.

    It seems that officially Egypt was supporting somehow the Les Bleus boys too as tourism minister Rania Al-Mashat saw the football match along with France's ambassador to Cairo Stephane Romatet at the French Culture Center in Downtown Cairo.

    Al-Mashat was supporting France so enthusiastically to the level that I believe she was a graduate of some French high school in Cairo.

    FYI currently Egypt and France have got very strong economic as well as political and military relations. France has become among the top sources of arms to the Egyptian armed.

    Egypt has become one the biggest arms customers to France to the level that human rights' criticisms do not concern the French Republic anymore. 

    The French investments in Egypt reached 4 billion Euros according to minister Saher Nasr of investment in June. 
    France's President Macron is also expected to visit Cairo in the upcoming months

    I was supporting France's too. My family cheered for it too. I like the Les Bleus and let's be frank, Les Bleus represent Africa too in the Mondial.😆
    They are also the sons of migrants who came to France searching for a better opportunity and despite all hardship and difficulties, they did it.

    I am happy that the French team made it because that victory sends a strong message to the right wing across Europe as well the United States and its president who believes that "immigrants changed Europe".

    Unofficially, most Egyptians were supporting Croatia because its team was a true underdog and most Egyptian men like Croatian president Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović.😑😑
    I am kidding but truly Croatia was the undisputed underdog team that won hearts and minds in this Mondial. 

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    Sotheby’s in London auctioned items that were once owned Egypt’s last King, King Farouk I in early June and once again there has been a complete silence on how those beautiful things that are part of the Egyptian National heritage found their way to the famous auction house.

    The items were sold as part of Fine Jewels auction held earlier June.

    Here is a quick look to the items previously owned by King Farouk that were sold in early June 2018

      ✽Lot No.199: Tie pin and cufflinks as well Ruby and diamond tie pin✽

        There are tie pin and cufflinks made of 18-carat gold mounted with coins depicting young King Farouk of Egypt. The other tip pin in the lot is more beautiful.
        The coins and the tie pins "Sotheby's"
        The coins and the tie pins "Sotheby's"
        It is decorated with the Egyptian kingdom’s crown set with calibré-cut rubies and single-cut diamonds.

        The two tie pins and cufflinks were sold in their original green leather pouched stamped with the following in French “AH. Naguib Rey, Fournisseur de Sa Majsete’ Le Roi D’Egypt. Le Cairo-Paris” which is translated in to “A.H Naguib Rey {I think it Bey}, the fournisser of his Majesty King Farouk of Egypt {specialized in buying fancy stuff for the king}, Cairo and Paris.

        AH. Naguib is Ahmed Naguib or as known in the Egyptian modern history Ahmed Pasha Naguib, King Farouk’s special Jeweler.

        Historically, King Farouk I met his second wife Nariman at the Naguib Pasha’s Jewelry shop at Abdel Khalek Tharwet street in Cairo when she was searching with her family for engagement jewelry for her first engagement.

        Interestingly, Ahmed Pasha Naguib used owned one of Presidency villas beside Heliopolis Palace where ousted Mubarak used to stay and there has been a battle between Naguib Pasha heirs and the state about it. That villa should return to them but what you know !!
        The family of Naguib Pasha is still working in Jewelry business in Egypt.
        Back to the auction.
        Originally estimated at GBP 220-350, those two tie pins and cufflinks were sold for GBP 4,000 “ LE 95,825”
        Sotheby's did not release online information related to how it acquired those items or when they were made.

        Judging from the fact the pouch had the stamp of Ahmed Naguib as Bey, which was an honorary title less than Pasha; I would assume that they were made for King Farouk when he was still a young king.

        Either those items were with King Farouk when he left Alexandria to Napoli on that morning of 24 July 1952 or they were sold in those shameful 1954 auctions or they left Egypt illegally and it won’t be surprised for me because Sotheby’s got a long history of selling historical items that left Egypt illegally.

          ✽ Lot No.200: Diamond Brooch by Van Cleef & Arpels ✽

            French Van Cleef & Arpels was among the favorite Jewelry companies of the Egyptian Royal Family and its members and I think that beautiful diamond golden brooch depicting a bird standing over a branch.
            The diamond golden brooch "Sotheby's"
            The diamond golden brooch "Sotheby's"

            The body, beak and the feathers of the bird were carefully made from 18-carat gold whereas its eyes are made of diamonds. The bird is also standing on a coral gemstone.

            Originally estimated at GBP 700-1,1500, the brooch was sold at GBP 12,500 “LE 299,411”

            Again Sotheby’s does not say how it put its hand on that brooch and whether it was sold in the infamous 1954 auctions or left the country illegally or King Farouk himself took it with him into exile and then sold it.

            FYI Van Cleef & Aprels sent its representatives to the 1954 auctions and bought some of their old customers’ valuable items.

              ✽Lot No.201: Diamond purse handle ✽

                The diamond purse handle "Sotheby's"
                The diamond purse handle "Sotheby's"
                There is not much information on who made that diamond purse handle or how it ended up to be used as a bracelet.

                The only thing that is known about it was that was owned by King Farouk and somehow it ended at Sotheby’s.

                The diamonds are real as you can see them.

                Originally estimated at GBP 2,200-3,500, the diamond purse handle was sold at GBP 9,375 “ LE 221,864”.

                Those three beautiful items that are worth a fortune in Egyptian pounds are the latest items owned by Egypt and Sudan’s last king.
                Christie’s Dubai sold in March 2018 King Farouk’s beautiful 18k-carat gold Patek Philippe watch for USD 912,500 “LE 16 million”.

                That was a record price in the Middle East.
                It is unclear who bought it but I won’t be surprised to know if it were MBS or MBZ, I will be angry and sad because they do not deserve that watch or to be compared by King Farouk who did not harm anyone compared to them.

                Quick online search in major auction houses like Sotheby’s or Christie’s, one can find many precious items owned by members of the Egyptian Royal Family that found its way to go under the hammer in a mysterious way instead of being in a museum.

                To their own credit, Sotheby’s and Christies’ say if the items in their auctions are part of their own collections they had acquired for nearly nothing in the infamous 1954 auctions only to sell for millions of Egyptian pounds 60 years later.

                King-in-exile Ahmed Fouad II stated that all his family’s belongings are now part of the Egyptian people’s heritage and that it was the duty of the Egyptian government to restore that lost heritage.