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- 08/08/17--15:51: _Seen in Cairo : Zam...
- 08/13/17--13:00: _And we are back to ...
- 08/18/17--16:51: _Free Shawkan and ot...
- 08/19/17--15:28: _Seen in Cairo : The...
- 08/24/17--04:40: _We do not need Spid...
- 08/25/17--12:33: _Tales of Cairo : Th...
- 08/26/17--08:28: _Internal displaceme...
- 08/29/17--16:41: _And here it comes :...
- 09/03/17--12:55: _September 03, 2017 ...
- 09/09/17--17:27: _Rebellion in Egypt’...
- 09/10/17--15:24: _Days at the Egyptia...
- 09/13/17--06:14: _Kodak Agfa presents...
- 09/17/17--16:32: _Does not this mean ...
- 09/23/17--10:40: _Seen in Cairo : Ano...
- 09/23/17--18:30: _The Media Empires i...
- 09/29/17--14:34: _How to lose your UN...
- 10/01/17--16:50: _Seen in Giza : A Ni...
- 10/06/17--13:22: _Muchas gracias Span...
- 10/08/17--07:31: _Seen in Giza : Gett...
- 10/08/17--14:48: _Seen in Cairo : Cel...
- 10/08/17--18:22: _And Egypt is headin...
- 10/12/17--15:45: _Another New State o...
- 10/14/17--15:44: _1973 War special : ...
- 10/17/17--13:11: _Seen in Cairo : The...
- 10/19/17--15:14: _An Indian Style bra...
- 10/19/17--15:14: _An Indian style pea...
- 10/19/17--15:14: _An Indian style pea...
- 10/19/17--15:14: _An Indian Style pea...
- 10/19/17--15:22: _Golden earnings at ...
- 10/20/17--16:38: _El-Wahat 135 km : T...
- 08/08/17--15:51: Seen in Cairo : Zamalek underground blues
- 08/13/17--13:00: And we are back to that Presidency ever after talk !!
- 08/18/17--16:51: Free Shawkan and others : More than 1000 days behind bars
- 08/19/17--15:28: Seen in Cairo : The old house and Satellite dishes
- 08/25/17--12:33: Tales of Cairo : The Workshop window
- 08/26/17--08:28: Internal displacements by Conflicts in 2017 : Still not so good
- 08/29/17--16:41: And here it comes : Privatization of Railways in Egypt
- 09/03/17--12:55: September 03, 2017 at 09:55PM
- 09/09/17--17:27: Rebellion in Egypt’s Clubs : Beyond Classism
- 09/10/17--15:24: Days at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo : Mariette Pasha's Tomb
- 09/13/17--06:14: Kodak Agfa presents : A 2016-Ramadan night in Khan El-Khalili Market
- 09/17/17--16:32: Does not this mean bigger external debt for Egypt ?
- 09/23/17--18:30: The Media Empires in Egypt : The Egyptian Falcon
- 09/29/17--14:34: How to lose your UNESCO’s chair Egyptian way for dummies
- 10/01/17--16:50: Seen in Giza : A Nile view with concerns
- 10/08/17--07:31: Seen in Giza : Getting ready for the big game
- 10/08/17--14:48: Seen in Cairo : Celebrating World Cup Qualification in Tahrir square
- 10/08/17--18:22: And Egypt is heading to World Cup Russia 2018
- 10/12/17--15:45: Another New State of emergency in Egypt : It never ends
- 10/14/17--15:44: 1973 War special : The Nubian Sergeant
- 10/17/17--13:11: Seen in Cairo : The Yacoubian box
- 10/19/17--15:14: An Indian Style bracelet at Royal Jewelry Museum of Egypt [Flickr]
- 10/19/17--15:14: An Indian style pearls set at Royal Jewelry Museum of Egypt [Flickr]
- 10/19/17--15:14: An Indian style pearls set at Royal Jewelry Museum of Egypt [Flickr]
- 10/19/17--15:22: Golden earnings at Egypt's Royal Jewelry Museum [Flickr]
- 10/20/17--16:38: El-Wahat 135 km : The Carnage
|Zamalek's Metro route and station are dangerous the lives of the residents and the architectural heritage|
Let's keep Zamalek together.
The people are afraid that digging tunnels in the island will affect its buildings, which are mostly old. Nevertheless, the Egyptian government does not care for the details people whether rich or poor.
In the past year the people of Zamalek thought that they managed to stop the project but for the wrong reasons claiming that the metro would bring poor classes to the island.
Now it is a reality they have to live it. I know that there is still an active group of Zamalek residents who are trying to organize themselves to protest and to stop the project. I wish them luck.
The project started last week and the traffic has become a living hell already.
Needless to say the Zamalek people are angry. My aunt was there last week doing some shopping and she overheard the one of Zamalek ladies speaking with the shopkeeper complaining about the traffic changes in the small island.
My aunt told me that the lady accused the president and his government of "closing down" Zamalek to force the foreign embassies there to leave it and head to the New administrative capital built in New Cairo.
It is true that the New Administrative Capital got a special embassies area.
It seems that President Sisi began to lose his popularity among Zamalek ladies after all.
Sadly, those ladies who cheered and supported him massively now can not organize one big protest for the sake of their island thanks to the protest law !!
First of all I must present my deepest condolences to the families of the Alexandria train tragedy. I can not express how much I am angry as I watch the media coverage of that horrifying incident or rather the lack of media coverage of that incident in the media
What makes me even angrier is the fact that it won’t be the last horrifying train accident of its kind if the current way of governance continues. If we continue not to hold the government truly for its actions , we will continue to have those disasters. I am working inshallah on a post dedicated to that train disaster.
Do you remember how I spoke in the second half of the post on how some people wanted to change our Egyptian Constitution for the sake of an infinite presidential term ?
Well , last week those people returned to the scene boldly.
On Thursday , a MP in the House of Representatives announced that he would represent a parliamentary petition to amend the current constitution once again as soon as the Parliament started its upcoming session in October.
It is the same MP from February , MP Ismail Serg El-Din of Helwan who presented this petition. MP Serg El-Din wants to amend 6 articles in the current constitution because the current political circumstances demanded those amendments.
He wants to amend article No.140 to so the president aka Abdel Fattah El-Sisi would stay in his current presidential term for additional 2 years.
He wants to change the Presidential term to become 6 years instead of 4 years.
The Helwan MP wants to allow Abdel Fattah El-Sisi to be reelected for endless terms instead of another ones reelection only.
Ismail Serg El-Din wants to amend article no.190 concerning the duties of the State Council.
Oh yes , the State Council which is currently in odds with President Abdel Fattah and his administration.
Article No.190 stipulates the following :
The State Council is an independent judicial body that is exclusively competent to adjudicate in administrative disputes, disciplinary cases and appeals, and disputes pertaining to its decisions. It also solely competent to issue opinions on the legal issues of bodies to be determined by law, review and draft bills and resolutions of a legislative character, and review draft contracts to which the state or any public entity is a party.Other competencies are to be determined by law.
Now the MP wants to have a very small amendment to that article which will have a bigger impact on the independence of judiciary and separation of powers in Egypt. He wants to remove the word “Solely” from that phrase which I have highlighted.
I think according to that suggested amendment any other court in the country like for instance the urgent matter court can “issue opinions on the legal issues of bodies to be determined by law , review and draft bills and resolutions of a legislative character and review draft contracts to which the state or any public entity is a party”.
I am not a legal expert but this is how I understood it.
I think I missed covering the latest escalation in that fight
State Council chose Judge Yahia El-Dakroury as a head of State council but El-Sisi decided to go on with his law in July and chose another judge , the fourth senior deputy of the Council’s seven-senior-most deputies.
El-Dakroury did not give the fight thought. In July , he filed a grievance with the presidency according to the law against the decision to bypass him for head of the council as the most senior sitting judge.
In August , He filed an appeal with the High Administrative court to suspend the President’s decree in another escalation that has not been covered as it should in the mainstream media.
Anyhow back to the upcoming 2018 Presidential elections.
Before Ismail Serg El-Din went public with his parliamentary petition , Pro-regime TV hosts and journalists showered us with Op-eds and news reports calling for amending the Constitution they originally supported.
More MPs including prominent faces in the Support Egypt Bloc declared their total support to that suggestion.
Interestingly, the Chairman of Constitution 2014 committee and former Presidential Candidate Amr Moussa appeared once again publicly defending the constitution and slamming the attempt to amend it in order to extend the Presidential terms in an official statement.
He said on his official twitter account the following :
The Constitution is a sign of stability in the nations, respecting the constitution is a sign of sophistication in the people’s political life.
Calls to amending the constitution in the year to elect the President raises question marks about the political maturity of those standing behind those calls. Egypt is in a need to deepen stability and not to spread tensions , it needs a respect to the constitution and not to doubt it. The constitution is not above amendments but it is wisely to choose a time that is perfect politically for the sake of Egyptians and Egypt especially in those hard times.
This matter “The Constitution amendments” should be discussed by the society in parallel with smart politics before any move to suggest or officially discuss amendments.
The Constitution should be protected by the Egyptian people especially by the House of Representatives which I trust to be responsible enough to activate the Constitution instead of amending it.
In 2016 , Moussa and a group of Prominent figures including members of the Constitution committee announced the launch of “The Egyptian Institution to protect the Constitution” NGO to raise awareness about that 2014 Constitution against the calls to amend it then.
During then , late MP Sameh Seif El-Yazel stated that the articles concerning the President’s powers should be amended.
Back to 2017 , Amr Moussa is currently being attacked by the Pro-regime supporters on social media claiming that he is a MB supporter !!!!!!!!
I feel that there will be more talk and more attempts to delay the upcoming presidential elections.
By the way the Egyptian Parliament approved in July a law to eliminate judicial supervision of Elections by 2024
|Shawkan behind bars by Eslam Gomaa|
Shawkan, an Egyptian young man who was only doing his job as a photojournalist at Rabaa sit-in when he was arrested along hundreds of people.
The young photographer and 738 other defendants in the trial known as “Rabaa sit in dispersal” in the media are facing nine charges in this trial including forming a militant assembly, cutting highways and attempted murder.
Shawkan and other defendants are facing the death penalty in this trial if they are found guilty.
A freelancer, Shawkan is not a member of Journalists syndicate and I do not think that the current Pro-regime administration of the syndicate cares for him.
The fact that he got Hepatitis C while is in detention and is currently in a need of medical attention do not play any role in his release nor it gives him the right to receive proper treatment in a hospital
I do not know when Shawkan will be set free to enjoy his life for real.
I hope and pray for a miracle that on Saturday the judge will order for his release.
It is not only Shawkan who needs to be released from detention, there are many people like who were arrested and were locked up for infinity and beyond whether in pretrial detention or detention pending trial.
There are lots of names, lots of people who that need to be released from detention and to receive proper medical treatment.
Among those names I remember frequently, the name of Ibrahim Halawa pops up.
Egyptian-Irish Ibrahim Halawa spent the past 4 years behind bars too whether Pre-trial detention or detention pending trial after his arrest in the clashes of Fatah Mosque, the next day following Rabaa Massacre in 2013.
He was sent to prison when he was 17 years old and now he is 21 years old.
|A photo of Halawa before his arrest from Facebook|
I think they may wait longer till Halwa is sentenced along with other 400 defendants so the President will use his Pardon power and send him back to Ireland.
Halawa and more than 400 other people are also accused of a number of charges including attempted murder. They are facing the death sentence and life sentences if they are found guilty.
Up till now, there are thousands of people in jail following the Rabaa and Nahda sits-in dispersal as well what followed those dispersals from protests.
Many of those young detainees especially who did nothing illegal are frustrated sad and angry.
The former Brigadier General believes that 18-years Mohamed Meghad had done amazing achievement that he should be honored in the upcoming State conference. He also believes that story of that young man and his achievement should be translated into different languages by the State Information Service.
Mohamed Meghad managed to break the Guinness World records in doing the “Spider Walk” faster than anyone in the world. He walked on his hands instead of his legs.
Yup, this is the great achievement which should inspire youth in Egypt as Samir says.
On Thursday, an Egyptian government committee assigned to confiscate and freeze the Muslim Brotherhood “MB” members and their affiliated assets in the country announced that it had confiscated the assets of 16 alleged MB members.
This time the list included the children of famous 90-years old Brotherhood spiritual figure Sheikh Youssef El-Qaradawi who is currently staying in Qatar.
It was no surprise for me because, in July, the security forces arrested al-Qaradawi's eldest daughter Ola “a grandmother” and her husband Hossam Khalaf, the leading figure in Al-Wasat Party on terrorism-related charges.
Yet in that statement, there was a shock for many people including friends who work in business as well friends who cover business news Egypt.
|Alef Bookstore in Maadi|
I did not know who El-Shenety was before that news but I know very well “Alef Bookstore”.
Since 2009, Alef Bookstore became another important cultural venue for Egyptian youth in Cairo.
Soon it began to spread across the country with 36 branches in the 10 governorates past 4 years thanks to a successful franchise model.
Currently, 75% of the bookstore branches are owned by franchisees.
There are 250 employees working in the bookstore chain now and since 2009 more than 1000 employee worked in it.
In 2016, Alef Bookstore opened its first branch in London reaching to a new level of success.
In all those years, as a culture venue Alef Bookstore presented a great opportunity for Middle-class youth to meet with authors, novelists and intellectuals through book signing events or lectures across the country.
Readers had a good opportunity to meet their favorite writers including Pro-regime writers and Novelists like for instance best selling author Ahmed Mourad.
Personally, I believe what happened to Alef Bookstore is a result of the Egyptian intellectuals’ silence towards the closure of Karama libraries founded by human rights activist Gamal Eid in working class areas.
If the regime was faced by bigger and stronger condemnation during the closure of Karama, it would think twice before confiscating Alef Bookstore I believe.
Anyhow back to Omar El-Shenety who is officially accused of being Muslim Brotherhood member. In other words, his name will join the infamous terrorist lists like famous ex-footballer Mohamed Abu Trika for some unknown reason.
The AUC ‘05 alumni is not a member of the Muslim Brotherhood or affiliated to them from near or far according to many people close to him as well close to the Brotherhood.
Omar El-Shenety used to write for both State-own Ahram Weekly and Ahram Online his views about the Egyptian economy. Did somebody dislike what he had written?
He also writes in his blog.
Is it because he supported the 25 January revolution and is a friend of Wael Ghonim !? I found a picture of him with Ghonim as well renowned American Egyptian economist Mohamed Al-Arian in LA in early 2013.
|Omar El-Shenety in some lecture "Facebook"|
El-Shenety is a capitalist investment banker who founded an investment banking company in Dubai.
I think the UAE’s position from the Brotherhood is clear to the level that they won’t accept company related to the MB especially after 2013 in the country.
The governmental committee assigned to confiscate and freeze Brotherhood assets assigned supervisors from State-owned Akhbar Al-Youm investment company to manage and oversee the Bookstore and its branches.
Akhbar Al-Youm financial and managerial supervisors are currently managing Daily News Egypt and Borsa News as well Cairo Portal. Interestingly, Cairo Portal is no longer blocked in Egypt !!
By the way according to Journalists’ gossip in Egypt, Akhbar Al-Youm got debts and losses over one billion pounds so I do not know how those supervisors are going to manage those projects more successful than their owners as the committee claimed in its statement !?
Earlier this week, the committee released another statement announcing that it froze the assets of 18 companies owned allegedly by MB members in that terrorist assets. Among those companies, Delta RS which owns RadioShack Franchise in Egypt.
Yup, RadioShack and its more than 35 branches across the country are currently under government control. Delta RS also owns Computer Shop, Mobile Shop as well Compu Me which it acquired in 2012.
Delta RS was founded in the 1980s by businessman Ali Fahmy Tolba who is being accused officially of being an MB member.
I do not understand how the government or the regime does not believe that such actions of confiscation and freezing assets are not in the best interest of the country.
What kind of a message the Egyptian government is sending to foreign investors when it puts its hand on the assets of someone like Omar El-Shenety !?
What kind of a message the Egyptian government is sending to young Egyptian entrepreneurs when it confiscates a successful project like Alef bookstore?
In the past couple of days, all that I thought about is that the regime does not want any kind of assembly of youth in any way, even if it were a book signing !!!
Young Egyptian entrepreneurs do not want to walk the Spiderwalk, they want to be successful like Omar El-Shenety.
After all, failed states regimes want to rule people who walk using their hands instead of their feet. They are better than the people who read.
A local workshop window that looks like a jail window in famous Cairo's Al-Azhar.
The famous quarter is not only known for its mosques and old houses but also for its shops and workshops for apparel, accessories and what so ever on your mind.
According to the Geneva-based international NGO, conflicts as well violence and natural disasters caused more than 9.1 million people have bee displaced internally in their countries around the globe since January till the end of June 2017.
IDMC says that 4.6 million displacements were caused by conflicts and violence in 29 countries while 4.5 million displacements were caused by natural disasters like earthquakes, floods, and cyclones in the first half of the year 2017.
So far Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, and Syria still lead the world when it comes to internal displacement caused by conflicts and violence whether in 2016 or in the first mid half of 2017.
Here is a graph I made comparing the numbers between 2016 and the first half of the year 2017.
There is ongoing war in Syria and Mosul’s liberation since 2016 forced many Iraqis to leave their homes.
The big surprise for me is to find Congo on the top of the list in both years somehow because unlike Syria or Iraq, there is not enough media coverage of what has been happening there.
Since August 2016, the war between the Kamwina Nsapu militias and Congo’s security forces in Kasai resulted in the death of more than 3000 people and the displacement of nearly 1.4 million others so according to the UN as well the Catholic Church in July. Atrocities are reported hugely in that ongoing war from recruiting children as soldiers, ethnic cleansing, and massacres committed by all parties involved including State security forces. The militias also believe in witchcraft and voodoo too.
|A displaced child holding onto his teddy bear "Getty"|
The IDMC acknowledges this in its report about Egypt on its official website. It only speaks about 78,000 people internally displaced by the eviction in 2014 and 2015
Simply that there is information or enough credible data about the forced displacements in North Sinai because there is a complete media blackout imposed by the government there.
The only official statements coming from North Sinai regarding the War on terrorism there is the official Egyptian armed forces’ Spokesperson and that’s it. It is sad and frustrating because I feel that the people who were forced to leave their homes in North Sinai whether Muslims or Christians are angry that the people back in the valley do not help them as they should.
I am afraid the people of the valley are in the dark for real
Most people focus on refugees who cross their borders in search for a better life yet internally displacement people are also in extreme need of help and care.
On Sunday, Al-Ahram Daily Newspaper announced on its Front page in Arabic that Egypt’s transportation ministry finished drafting a law that would allow the private sector to participate in the railways' projects and services in the country for the first time since the 18th century.
In other brief and realistic words, the transportation ministry is drafting a law that would allow the privatization of railways in Egypt.
According to an informed unnamed source in the ministry of transportation, the new law would end “the monopolization” of the government in the railways sector.
The draft law will be sent to the cabinet to issue it officially accordingly then it will be sent to the State Council for legal and constitutional revision before sending it to the Parliament.
It is not a coincidence that many Pro-regime MPs suggested that the railways should be privatized following the terrifying Alexandria train collision that killed not less 41 people and injured 179 others earlier August
It seems that the government was waiting for some train disaster to push that agenda !!
The informed source told Al-Ahram Daily that the draft law currently got one article only and that it would be in effect till a comprehensive legislation was drafted by the government in cooperation with the World Bank as well law experts for Railways.
The one-article law which stipulates that the Egyptian Railways authority or others whether people or companies can found and operate railway networks on a national level. It also stipulates that the current railways can be operated, maintained and managed by the private sector under usufruct right for maximum 30 years.
If you remember in November 2016, Minister of investment and international cooperation Sahar Nasr wrote an Op-Ed in the Wall street journal announcing that the Egyptian government would “divest” partially from state-owned enterprises and public utilities.
That Op-Ed caused a controversy then.
As I said then, it was only a matter of time.
Now my two cents. Before the Egyptian government goes with its plan to satisfy both the World Bank and International Monetary fund, it should first try to fix the Railways authority as well the railways themselves for real.
I can not count the number of times I have been reading about fixing the railways since the time Mubarak.
I can not count the number of how many millions or rather billion have been allocated to fix authority either !!!
I do not understand how this government or rather this regime spent billion of dollars on constructing a new administrative capital when the railways in the country need to revamped for real !!
Now here is a very sad infograph about the most deadly train crashes in Egypt in the past decade.
The Upper Middle class-Giza club held its general assembly meeting early August and out of 94 thousand members, only 573 attended the meeting.
As a result of failing to meet the minimum number of members eligible to vote on the famous club’s bylaws, the club would be following the guideline bylaws issued by the EOC instead of the Club’s elected board of administration’s bylaws.
|An old 1950s news report in some old|
Egyptian magazine about Cairo clubs
In May, the Egyptian Parliament approved the new Sports law prepared by Egypt’s Sports and Youth ministry“Yes, we have a ministry with such name” after two years of debates and amendments.
In June, President El-Sisi ratified the Sports law aka No.71 for the year 2017.
Aside from creating a judicial body that has the power to judge sports disputes and to regulate spectators’ attendance and violations “aka a special court, not a civilian court”, the law also regulates the relation between the government or the state and sports clubs as well sports associations.
Compiled as much as it can be with the provisions of the International Olympic Charter, the law moves power and control over sports clubs and sports associations to the elected boards of those bodies themselves as well to the Olympic Committee in Egypt. The government represented in the Youth and Sports Ministry and its minister will be monitoring only the sports clubs and sports associations.
Theoretically, this is a huge improvement because now officially and legally the State has got no control on the clubs and sports associations if their General assemblies chose the official guidelines bylaws over their clubs’ bylaws.
According to the Sports law’s 4th article, the social and sports clubs got 3 months since the start of June till 31 August to adopt the new system and to have general assemblies.
There are more than 40 sports clubs in the country classified into Sports clubs, clubs owned by companies and syndicates as well clubs owned by the armed forces and police. Each one of those categories got guideline bylaws issued by the EOC.
Now in August, big clubs like the Shooting club, Gezira club and Smouha SC in Alexandria discovered that they got 30 days only to choose specific bylaws and the concerns were raised for the first time.
People began to share on Facebook the proposed guidelines bylaws of the EOC and their clubs’ own bylaws. Huge campaigns started with the call for a general assembly of the members at Cairo’s Heliopolis Club.
The members were called to attend the general assembly asap and not to do what Shooting club members had done, they should return immediately from North Coast resorts to vote and then return back to the vacations and beaches. They were giving special offers in order to show up.
I am not a member of Heliopolis Club but I was added by friends in an open Facebook group for the members.
I saw first hand what the people thought and wrote aside what was said in the social media that they were just bunch of classists who want to keep off people from lower classes from joining their private old club.
Yes, some members wanted to keep others from their club so it would not be spoiled like “any other thing in the country”.
For example, the EOC’s bylaws allowed, for example, honorary membership without any criteria “membership for army and police officers and judges” and non-university graduates to become members of the Club’s board but it is beyond that.
I read the proposed EOC guidelines bylaws and I found at least three rules that allow a government control on that club and other clubs like it.
For example, the EOC is given the right to amend the guideline bylaws as soon as they are applied immediately without returning back to the general assembly.
The General assembly’s power also in the EOC’s bylaws is limited.
On 22 August, more than 17,000 Heliopolis Club members showed up at the general assembly meeting including Current PM, Hisham Ismail himself.
It was considered the biggest general assembly meeting for the club that was found in 1910.
The majority of the members or exactly 17,273 rejected the EOC’s guideline bylaws and supported their own club bylaws. Only 42 members approved the EOC’s bylaws !!
It was some kind a victory for Heliopolis Upper Middle and Upper Class.
What happened in Heliopolis was a rehearsal for the big show at Egypt’s oldest Sports Club on the island of Zamalek.
Founded in 1882, Gezira Sports Club “GSC” is considered from the most expensive Egyptian clubs with a long history where you can find Crème de la crème of the Egyptian society.
Following what happened in Heliopolis, the GSC members declared mobilization to save their club from a grim future if “the state” controlled it.
Buses were arranged to transfer members from North Coast resorts as well from other far away areas in Cairo like in Heliopolis and some restaurants even declared special discounts for the members.
The common theme in the angry posts for many of the GSC members was that “the guideline bylaws allowed membership without any criteria” which means that its membership would be opened for the rest of the public.
It became hysterical to the level that I found Ali, the son of sports minister Khaled Abdel Aziz posting a video on his Facebook account telling the GSC members to chill out.
Despite telling them to vote for their own club’s bylaws , Abdel Aziz defended the guideline bylines insisting that the membership would not be open to anyone as they thought.
I found also veteran actor and entertainer Samir Sabry in a rare appearance calling people to come to save the club from a grim fate like Zamalek , which is being damaged because of the Metro.
I am not fond of the GSC administration either that loves to poison stray cats in the club from time to time but when 29 August 2017 came, the GSC members amazed everybody.
Paralyzing the streets of Zamalek, thousands of GSC members came from everywhere leaving their cars parked in queues to vote in a historical turnout for the club’s General assembly since early morning.
According to news reports, more than 18,899 registered members came and voted and 18,840 voted for the Club’s own bylaws while only 55 voted for the EOC’s bylaws. It was one hell of a defeat for the EOC and a victory for the GSC members.
|Pro-regime TV host Lamis El-Hadidy and social solidarity minister|
Ghada Wali at GSC during the assembly meeting "El-Hadidy's twitter account"
What puzzles me is how many of Gazeira club or Heliopolis club members understand very well how what the State control means “at least how I understand from their Facebook posts in the last couple of days” and how Egypt turned from bad to worse to worst since 1952 , still they support the repressive policies of the current regime against public and private freedoms.
I totally understand that we are speaking about a special socioeconomic class that panics once its safe havens are in danger.
Upper and Upper Middle-Class clubs like Gazeira or Heliopolis are among those safe havens for certain people in those classes
Personally, I believe it is extremely selfish for those classes to protect their pseudo safe havens and ignore the rest of the country.
Fairly on the same level, I believe that what happened in the past three weeks was an act of rebellion in its own way considering the current situation in Egypt and how the civil society is suffering.
The current regime in Egypt does not give a chance to any kind of assembly so to have this happens now !!
Well, God acts in a mysterious way.
Ironically, some of the proud members of those clubs claimed on Facebook claimed that their electoral victory was like the one in the "30 June revolution that ousted MB Morsi" without realizing that it actually resembled the March 2011 referendum when it comes to the turnout.
This also shows you how Egyptians can mobilize to vote if they know for sure that their vote can do a significant change.
One big difference in Tunisia that made ahead of other Arab countries in the Arab spring that it had already a strong civil society.
May be in the end, those small victories of those battles will lead the Egyptians to a triumph eventually in the war for democracy and freedom.
Just outside the museum in your way to the exit, you will find a big statue standing over a fancy Art deco sarcophagus, surrounded by a semi-circular memorial topped by busts of men.
|Bad iPhone photo for the Memorial|
That's the tomb of French archeologist Auguste Mariette Pasha "1821-1881".
Frenchman August Mariette was the first curator of the first true Egyptian Museum in Egypt as well the founder of Egypt's first official Egyptian department of Antiquities aka the Supreme council of antiquities aka the Current ministry of antiquities.
The big irony is that Mariette Pasha was not the founder of the Egyptian Museum in its current location but he was the founder of the true Museum dedicated to Egyptian antiquities under the supervision of the Egyptian department of antiquities.
|Auguste Mariette Pasha in Egypt|
in the 18th century smoking a very long pipe
In 1855, Khedive Saeed decided to give the whole collection of that museum to the Austrian Emperor of Mexico "yes, you read it right" Maximilian I.
Already, Saeed sent Egyptian troops to fight with the French against the Mexican revolution during then.
Now the whole Egyptian collection of that first museum is at Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, Austria.
In 1858, under the supervision of French Egyptologist Auguste Mariette and with the support of Khedive Ismail, the Egyptian Museum in Cairo was founded in Boulaq area on the banks of the Nile In 1878, that Museum drowned in a flood of the River Nile.
Not only Egyptian antiquities drowned by the flood but also Mariette Pasha's notes and drawings drowned too.
Mariette Pasha and his work were significant in the Egyptian archeology whether in Egypt or Sudan.
Before his death in 1881, Mariette made sure his countryman Gaston Maspero would replace him as the head of the Egyptian department of antiquities.
He also demanded to be buried in the garden of the museum in a fancy sarcophagus like the Ancient Egyptian kings whom he dedicated his life to studying. He got his wish after his death. Mariette Pasha was buried in the garden of the Boulaq Museum.
|Mariette Pasha's tomb at Boulaq Museum "Facebook"|
The statue was made and put in Boulaq Museum.
|The inauguration of the statue at Boulaq museum "Facebook"|
The remaining collection did not move alone because August Mariette's tomb moved with it and he was buried at Giza Museum.
|The tomb of Mariette Pasha in Giza Museum.|
During the rule of Khedive Abbas II, the current Egyptian Museum was inaugurated in 1912
As a sign of gratitude by Maspero, Mariette's tomb was moved to the new location. The new tomb was more sophisticated than just an art deco sarcophagus especially the statue of the pioneer Egyptologist was placed over the tomb.
|An old photo of the tomb at the Egyptian museum in Cairo|
|Mariette Pasha statue overlooking the museum|
"@ JustinC4se Twitter account"
No doubt that Egyptians owe a lot to both Mariette Pasha and Maspero.
|Mariette in an Arab attire|
It is never too late to share with you a couple of photos I took in the famous Khan El-Khalili market during the Holy month in 2016.
It has become an annual habit for me as well many Egyptians like me to spend to have a Ramadan Iftar "breakfast" there and hang around in the famous market's alleys.
In 2015, I went to Khan El-Khalili market also in Ramadan and I spent a good night there.
I entered Khan El-Khalili as usual from Al-Azhar square.
In 2016, Al-Azhar Mosque was still being restored then just like in 2015.
The restoration works have not finished yet as far as I have read lately in September 2017.
|Al-Azhar Mosque was still under restoration works|
|Al -Azhar Mosque and Abu Dabab Mosque|
I also want to know what building is standing beside Abu Dahab Mosque and a school.
|What is that old building?|
It looks ancient to me as well. You can find the word "Allah" inscribed on the top of the entrance.
Reaching Khan El-Khalili on Friday one hour before the Iftar, you would see many people in their way out while shops were closed during the sunset.
|Going home before the sunset|
Most shops are closed in Egypt during Ramadan before the Iftar by one hour and are open to customers half an hour or one hour after the Iftar.
As usual, I discover every year something new in Khan El-Khalili when it comes to the shops there. I discovered in 2016 the following shops.
The precious and semi precious stones jewelry shops.
|Beautiful semi-precious and precious bracelets|
They are not cheap at all. I want to buy them all of those rings and necklaces.
|Precious and Semi-Precious rings|
The beautiful Arabesque products from tables and boxes.
|Arabesque tables and boxes|
And that very small hidden hotel in the heart of Khan El-Khalili "Nour El-Sabah".
|Nour El-Sabbah hotel|
Amazingly, I found its telephone number in the Yellow Pages.
I also found that very old HMV gramophone with an illustration of King Fouad I of Egypt and Sudan on it.
I did not even dare to ask about its price.
There were familiar scenes in Khan in 2016 just like in 2015 especially when it comes to the other shops and products.
For instance, shops are still selling small clay colored figurines.
|Colored clay figurines|
I think in 2016 the latest fashion in small clay colored miniature statues was the Um Kalthoum ensemble.
|Om Kalthoum and her band were a common theme that year in the Khan|
|Thuma again and her band one again|
|The magazine reader figurine|
There are as well the usual beautiful clay non-colored figurines.
|An Egyptian peasant clay figurine|
The beautiful accessories there are still there.
|A seller and a buyer talk about Khan El-Khalili accessories|
|Necklaces and bracelets of Khan El-Khalili|
The handmade copper decorative plates.
|Handmade copper decorative plates|
The textile products
|The textile products from galabiyas, bags and scarfs|
The shopkeepers turned off the lanterns most of the time then because of electricity prices and Selfie photographers.
|My favorite Bab Ghouri|
According to the shopkeepers, people came and took selfies and the lanterns in the background without buying anything.
I saw that first hand those selfie photographers taking photos all the time in that beautiful place.
|Duck face in front of the lanterns, that gentleman on the right |
was also looking into his mobile phone
Kindly enough the shopkeepers turned the light on and the lanterns looked amazing.
|The difference is obvious and clear|
|Lights are on|
|Lanterns and their beautiful light|
|Like some alien eggs :)|
|My favoirte Ramadan Photo for 2016 and 2017 as well.|
I would say that Khan El-Khalili had more visitors in 2016 than in 2015 in Ramadan at least from what I saw.
|A young customer|
Needless to say, the shopkeepers are missing foreign tourists more than ever.
|A shop inside Khan El-Khalili's Badistand gate|
Luckily, I have seen Chinese tourists in the Khan in 2016.
|Inside the Badistan gate of Khan El-Khalili|
Still, the shopkeepers are missing the old times and the Egyptian buyers are not enough.
|Khan El-Khalili at night|
|Khan El-Khalili at night|
Interestingly, I saw more belly-dancing suits and accessories than in 2015 inside the Khan itself.
|Bellydancing suits in a Khan El-Khalili shop|
|Bellydancing suits and galabiyas in a Khan El-Khalili shop|
|Galabiyas and belly dancing suits|
|Sequin canes in Khan El-Khalili|
|Bally dancing suits of Khan El-Khalili|
And of course the original Baladi Tabla is sold there in Khan El-Khalili
|Baladi Tabla sold in Khan El-Khalili|
I did not find my favorite bookshop open during my visit to the Khan in 2016.
I am worried that it was shut down and sold to another shop owner who changed its activity.
I hope that it was only closed on that Friday.
|A closed shop in Khan El-Khalili|
The cafe was buzzing and full as usual.
I got a nice Henna tattoo drawn by a very nice Sudanese young lady.
I had that Henna tattoo for a couple of weeks.
We walked out the Khan through the Badistan gate aka Badistan Way street.
|The Badistan way street|
The famous minaret of the mosque that was reconstructed in the 19th century.
|Al-Hussein Mosque's Minaret|
|Al-Hussein Mosque's Gothic look: Check the windows|
|Neo-Classic European style buildings in Al-Hussein|
Al-Hussein Mosque was buzzing with life in that Ramadan sleepless night with many worshipers inside it seeking the blessings of God and his Saint Al-Hussein bin Ali while a huge crowd outside enjoyed themselves in local cafes and restaurants.
|Al-Hussein shops and cafes|
Before heading back to home, my family decided to order a yummy Egyptian Fiteer aka "pancakes" near the mosque.
They were the best pancakes, crunchy from outside and soft from inside. They are highly recommended.
During that visit, I tried something for the first time and I really liked it. I did a very short live periscope broadcast from Khan El-Khalili in English before the Iftar.
my Periscope channel here.
The first issuance will be ranged between 1-2 billion Euros before the end of 2017 while the second issuance will be ranged between from $4-8 billion in 2018.
|From Google images -_-|
Also in November 2016, Egypt signed an agreement for a three-year $12 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund “IMF”
Now the simple question I have in my mind: Do not those new Eurobonds mean a bigger external debt for Egypt ??
The external debt of Egypt is scary right now.
It has reached in the fiscal year 2016/2017 which concluded in July to $73 billion !!
I did this graph to see the external debt of Egypt from 2010 to 2017 and it is not good.
If you think that something is wrong with the numbers, please tell me.
It seems to me that we are in a loop, the Egyptian government takes loans from here and there, issues bonds and Eurobonds in order to finance huge so-called national projects without feasibility studies and to pay other debts and loans !!
It is scary for real because this is a burden on the future generations in Egypt !!
We need this to stop.
Unfortunately, we do not have right now a responsible parliament or free media or an active civil society.
This over-growing external debt is a true threat to our national security. Anyone who is familiar with Egypt’s modern history in the 19th century knows that very well.
Personally, I hope that the cabinet rejects the request of the finance ministry but I highly doubt considering the amount of loans we receive on a monthly basis.
And who could get bored of a scene like that?
From Egypt’s Giza, an overview of Cairo’s towers and buildings on the other bank of River Nile.
In case you do not know, Egypt's foreign affairs minister Sameh Shoukry expressed official Egyptian concerns concerning the late and delayed technical studies of the Ethiopia's Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam "GERD" at last somehow.
Do you still remember Ethiopia's Biggest dam that may affect Egypt's share of Nile River negatively but Ethiopia denies so ??
|A recent photo of GERD|
The Ethiopians played very well. There is no use now for those technical studies Egypt has been officially requesting and there is no time for doing modifications in the dam's design because the dam has been already built from what I and others have seen in its recent photos.
By the way, Egyptian officials began to ask the help of Europe in that matter.
I do not know when our media will ask questions.
Personally, I am not against the development of any African country or any other country but not at the expense of millions of Egyptians who consider the Nile in their living.
Tawasul, a subsidiary of Falcon International group declared that it acquired the TV Network founded in February 2008 for LE 1.4 billion “ USD 79million“.
Some say that it is the media deal of the decade but the majority of that money is used to pay the channel’s debts according to its former owner and founder El-Sayed Badawy.
Badawy, the current leader of New Wafd Party aka Wafd Party revealed in the media that the debts of the TV network reached USD 57 million “More than one billion Egyptian pounds”.
It was not a big secret in the Egyptian media realm in that the TV network that once had the highest ratings in the country struggled financially in the past two years.
For more than 8 months the employees in the channel did not get their salaries regularly and they had strikes from time to time.
The Egyptian Media Production City“EMPC” took the channels off the air July on Nile Sat for 24 hours for not paying their studio rents for an over a year and filed a lawsuit against Sigma Media for issuing dud checks in the same month.
For months we have heard and read that that businessman or this media company was negotiating with El-Sayed Badawy and in the end, he reached to a good deal with Tawassol group or rather Falcon International group.
The announcement was not just a declaration that Badawy, the famous politician and pharmaceutical tycoon was leaving the media but it was an announcement that there was a new player in the Egyptian media scene.
That player is Tawassol or rather its mother company “Falcon group” and those behind it.
Who owns the Egyptian Falcon officially?Falcon International was founded officially in 2006 by the Commercial International Bank “CIB” as a private security company providing private security, cash in transit, general services, and properties management.
It started as the security department originally in the bank before it was turned into a company with 400 employees that grew into a huge Corporation and a group with not less than 6 subsidiaries in 11 years.
Its customers are multi-national companies in Egypt from big names like Orange to Allianz to the United Nations.
|Falcon security personnel "Falcon Group official website"|
Its current CEO is Sherif Khaled Ibrahim Attaya or Sherif Khaled. In a report about the company in 2014 in Al-Ahram Daily, it is revealed that Khaled was a retired army general who served as the undersecretary of Egypt’s military intelligence.
After leaving the army, Khaled was appointed as the head of the security sector in Egypt’s Radio and Television union“ERTU”.
Usually the head of the security sector in ERTU comes from the army or the state security aka National security.
It is unclear for me at least when he left the army to work in the state TV or when he was appointed as Falcon’s CEO.
Currently, Falcon International is not only operating in the 28 governorates through 13 branches in Egypt but it also operates in Saudi Arabia and UAE with more than 12,000 employees.
Again according to Ahram Daily News’s report about the company in 2014, most of the company’s employees are former and retired officers whether in the army or the police.
Since the inauguration of Egypt’s first private security company “Care Services” in 1979 by former army general Adel Emara to secure the American embassy and that field became a mecca for former military and police personnel.
In 2012, Falcon was also assigned to secure presidential candidate Ahmed Shafik.
Still, it has not been famous publicly in Egypt except in 2014, it was its big year for real. Earlier that year, Falcon was granted the right to hold shotguns officially in the country.
In April, Falcon was assigned to secure Presidential candidate Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and his campaign headquarters across the country.
Not less than 150 of its security personnel allegedly protected his house in New Cairo according to news reports.
|Sherif Khaled and Abdel Fattah El-Sisi at army-owned|
Massa Hotel where El-Sisi presidential campaign stationed
The controversy surrounding that agreement and the clashes that took place afterward.The Ministry of higher education renewed its contract with Falcon for three academic years now.
Following that group became Egypt’s no.1 private contractor securing big evens and VIP personalities as well achieving huge revenues. In 2014, the company increased its capital to LE 100 Million and was ready to list its shares in the Stock market within two years.
In June 2016, Falcon's subsidiary for airports security signed an agreement with British company Restrata to provide training for its personnel after being assigned to secure Sharm El-Sheikh airport.
Now in August 2017, Falcon Group was back to the mainstream media when it was assigned by the ministry of electricity to collect Data from electricity meters.
Ironically the electricity ministry had signed first a contract with a company with unnamed “security apparatus” but had to terminate the contract and sign a new contract with Falcon group as people began to criticize the decision and mock that “security apparatus”.
|Falcon security at Al-Azhar University "Reuters"|
The undisclosed private entities and personnel that got 35% are unknown publicly for real.
Anyhow some are insisting that the General intelligence is behind Falcon and they have very interesting proof.
Their proof is what former Pro-regime self-claimed sarcastic writer Ghada El-Sherif revealed that she was approached by Falcon Group and its CEO Sherif Khaled personally in order to present a TV show on the group’s latest acquisition “Al-Hayat TV Network”.
The oncologist /writer who has turned from a-head-over-heels for El-Sisi to one of his famous critics now said on her Facebook account last week that she was asked to have an interview for that position at the General Intelligence H.Q in Cairo !!!
A daughter of a Mubarak-era minister, El-Sherif even shared the WhatsApp’s message between her and Sherif Khaled in order to prove that she was respected by the regime to those Pro-regime
So far, nobody commented on her Facebook post denying or confirming what said that TV hosts had exams at the General Intelligence HQ.
In July 2015, President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi ratified a law that allows the ministries of Defense and Interior as well official intelligence agencies in Egypt to found security companies.
Falcon International and its wings in the Egyptian media realmTawasul group or Company is the latest known subsidiary of Falcon International Group.
In July, the Group declared the launch of both “Tawasul PR company” and DRN FM Radio channel, as well Radio One For Media production.
DRN FM Radio channel is currently managed by Home Media Company which also is owned by Falcon Group.
I have not listened to DRN whose frequency on the FM wave in Egypt is 93.7 but I know it is not an easy thing to get a permit to open an FM radio channel as the State controls the radio wave for real.
It is easier to open TV channel in Egypt than to open a radio channel in general.
I do not know why Falcon international has got three media companies if I understand correctly.
It has got Tawasul, Radio One for media production and Home Media.
In August, Pro-regime MP and convicted alternative medicine guru/TV host Saeed Hassanein declared that Home Media acquired his TV network Al-Assema “The Capital”.
Interestingly in late December 2016, the Mubarak era’s TV Producer Ehab Talaat announced that his company “Sherry Media” signed a partnership deal with Hassanein.
The two men agreed that from Mid January 2017 the management of that TV network would transfer to Talaat, the veteran TV producer.
On 1 January 2017, the Egyptian army announced that Samir retired and was replaced by Colonel Tamer El-Rafaei.
In Mid January, “Sherry Media” announced that it started managing the TV network and its current manager was its Vice Chairman former Egyptian armed forces spokesperson ex-Brigadier General Mohamed Samir.
|Samir, the second man from the left wearing a suit checking|
the channel's studio in January "Facebook"
Why do I mention all this and what is its relation to Falcon?
Well in late August, Hassanein announced that he sold his TV network to Home Media, Falcon’s subsidiary.
This was the second time Falcon International was mentioned in the media world but no one paid attention as Al-Assema TV network is not A-list TV networks for real.
The price paid to Hassanein is unknown so far but Home Media declared its plans for the Network, turning one of its two TV channels into Sports TV channel.
New media map in EgyptI have been doing my own research on the new media empires in Egypt especially with the launch of DMC Network and the rocket rise of steel tycoon Ahmed Abu Hashima in media.
I wrote a long investigative post about what I found out but it was lost unfortunately following the technical problem I had with PC and forced me to have a clean Windows install.
It is frustrating but I think it is never too late to start from the beginning, the media map is already changing and we are having new players.
Falcon and its companies or rather those behind them are a good example.
|Former minister and Ambassador Moushira Khattab|
Despite the huge campaign the Egyptian government launched in July 2016 with her official nomination, it seems that the same government is doing its best to destroy her chance for that important international position.
Do you remember how the Egyptian security authorities closed down Karma libraries in December 2016 because its founder and owner is Human rights lawyer Gamal Eid?
Ambassador Moshira Khattab said that she would do her best so children were not deprived of the right of knowledge after her visit to one of the closed branches of the library.
Do you remember how the authorities have confiscated Alf bookstore in August because of the Muslim Brotherhood alleged affiliation of its co-founder and co-owner, entrepreneur and economist Omar El-Shenety.
Last week, the security authorities stormed and shut down “El-Balad bookstore” which is exactly two blocks away from Tahrir square. “El-Balad” is owned and founded by Egyptian social democratic Party leader Farid Zahran.
Interestingly it turned out Zahran owns a newspaper called El-Tariq which was stormed by security forces in September 2016.
There has not been an official explanation on why the security authorities closed down the bookstore which became a cultural venue in Downtown Cairo like that !!
I do not know how the Egyptian government can help Moshira Khattab when it closes down bookstores and libraries like that.
It is the worst way to support your candidate to top the world’s most important Cultural organization.
There is another dilemma I think everybody back in Egypt does not speak or want to speak about.
How is ambassador Khattab going to deal with the UNESCO’s open support policy to the LGBTQ rights worldwide ??
Egypt is already known in the UN and its organizations with its position against the LBGTQ’s rights and actually, it is not a surprise for me or anyone.
In fact, how are the Muslim candidates including the candidates of Iraq and Qatar going to deal with the matter?
Needless to say, Egypt is now making headlines in the stupidest way ever after that Rainbow flag in that Mashrou Leila band’s triple bill concert from two weeks ago.
The progressive Lebanese band whose lead singer “Hamed Sinno” is an openly gay and advocate for LGBTQ’s rights in the Middle East, is no longer allowed to perform in the country according to news reports in the Egyptian media.
People are arrested and accused of being gay as well raising the rainbow flag in that concert. “Two people only raised the flag and ironically both are straight human rights activists and it is not the first time that flag is raised actually in a Mashrou Leila’s concert”.
There is a media frenzy speaking about attempts to destabilize the society through spreading gay agenda.
Khattab seems to be abroad visiting world countries in order to win their votes for the big day.
This is the second time Egypt nominates officially an Egyptian official for that post. If you remember in time of Mubarak, the government nominated Egypt’s longest-serving culture minister and Suzanne Mubarak’s personal fashion advisor Farouk Hosni for the post and he lost due anti-Semitism allegations in 2009.
If I remember correctly, he lost because the Zionist lobby in France hinted out that there was allegedly a copy of the infamous “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” in the Library of Alexandria.
I did not support Farouk Hosni for the position then because he did not and does not deserve that position.
Already after the 25 January revolution, we found out that he was working as an informant for the Egyptian government against Arab and Egyptian students while studying abroad.
Back to our current nominee.
When it comes to ambassador Moshira Khattab, well she is not Farouk Hosni and did not have his destructive surreal effect on Egyptian antiquities as well culture generally.
Some say that she was/is a friend of Suzanne Mubarak and that’s why she was appointed as the short-lived minister of family and population thought.
Personally, I think that she is more qualified to be the executive director of the UNICEF than the Director-General of UNESCO with my all due respect considered her C.V.
Khattab was already the vice chair of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child“CRC” from 2002 to 2010.
I wish all the luck to ambassador Moshira Khateb but the current Egyptian administration as well government are not real helping her to win the post for real with those repressive policies and decisions.
This photo was one of my early attempts to snap a 180-degree photo using my old iPhone.
The amazing river Nile is majestic in perfect weather condition in Cairo and Giza.
By the way, this photo shows both banks, the Cairo and Giza Metropolis skyline of ugly buildings we love to hate.
I will seize this opportunity to speak again about the future of the Nile River in Egypt especially after constructing Ethiopia's Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam "GERD".
Last week, an official in Egypt's ministry of irrigation and water resources announced that Egypt was officially suffering from "Water Poverty" and the era of "water abundance" in the country was over thanks to the increasing population.
Now my concern is that if we are suffering from "Water poverty", why the hell does the state allow building new compounds as well a new administrative capital full of swimming pools and fountains !?
|Police arresting voters in Catalonia "AFP"|
According to Catalan authorities, not less than 900 people were injured including elderly.
It shocked me because that scene was too familiar for us in the Mideast, in Egypt in particular.
It reminded me with the violence of the Egyptian police during the 2010 parliamentary elections which considered by many as one of the trigger for the 25 January revolution.
It shocked me because that was happening in Europe. It shocked me because that was happening in Spain , a country that I and other Egyptians look to a successful example of democratic civilian transition.
Since the ouster of Mubarak in February 2011 and many Egyptians looked to the Spanish democratic civilian transition as an example to follow despite the difference between the two countries. Needless to say , I believe that one of the weakness of our Egyptian revolution is the lack of figures like Adolfo Suarez.
Anyhow it seemed that the legacy of Franco is still deep-rooted in Madrid or at least in the Spanish police as the World has seen in the past two weeks.
Just as I and others felt sad to see that scene of Spanish police attacking Catalan voters and activists, others were happy in our sad miserable part of the world.
Pro-Egyptian regime media was so happy with that scene. Pro-TV hosts in Egypt like Amr Adeeb kept showing the attack footage to show that European countries that speak about human rights all the types ignore them when “comes to their National security”.
“ Where is the European democracy in Spain?” He said adding that there was no place for democracy or human rights when it comes to “nations and countries divided in to smaller countries”
A quick look to the regional press and media, I found that Turkish media described what happened in Catalonia was an example of the failure of Western democracy.
I do not know how the EU officials would criticize human rights and police brutality in the Middle East countries when they are silent on what happened in Spain especially in Catalonia !!! It will be hypocrisy.
|A Catalonian lady crying on Sunday during the referendum "El Pais"|
After what the police had done , after that King Felipe’s speech which reminded us with the Arab Spring ‘s ousted rulers , I think more Catalans will be more determinant to get an independence and to revive the Catalonia republic dream again. I know very well because this is how the Arab spring happened in the first place
It is not a big secret that Russian media and its arms on the social media are supporting the independence of Catalonia to create more trouble for the West.
I do not know how the leaders in the EU or the West in general are thinking but I feel that there is a big grin on the face of Putin in Kremlin.
I just hope the Spanish government will rethink the matter and start talks with the Catalans , it must do that and apologize immediately for the crackdown against activists and police brutality against voters before it is late.
I also want to tell the Spanish government and the EU that the human rights violations in Europe echo strongly in our sad part of the World.
It is like a Carte Blanche for repressive regimes from the Atlantic Ocean to the Arab/Persian Gulf to crackdown opposition powers seeking democracy .
Those repressive regimes are really thankful to the Spanish government and EU.
Egypt is going to #Russia for the World cup if it beats Congo in a match millions of Egyptians are waiting for eagerly as the Egyptian national team got better chances for winning.
We will see if we make football history again after 28 years.
Yet this did not stop people in their cars to celebrate Egypt’s victory in its football/soccer game against Congo and being qualified to WorldCup in Russia "More to come here"
Egypt has finally qualified for the World Cup Russia 2018Yes, I need to say this again loud and clear that Egypt has been qualified for World Cup Russia 2018
After 28 years, Egyptian National Football/Soccer team succeeded reaching the World Cup since 1990 FIFA World Cup in Italy.
This is the third time for our National football team to be qualified for the World Cup.
The first time was in 1934 FIFA World Cup in Italy. We were the first African and Arab country to play in the World Cup.
It took 56 years to be qualified again in 1990 FIFA World Cup in Italy also.
This was the first football memory for me as a child. I remember that I cried a lot when Germany won the Cup and wondered why Egypt did not get it.
My family tried to explain the matter for me but I did not get it then.
Now after 28 years, Egypt is going yet again to the World Cup, this time in Russia next year.
I am now grown-up enough to know that we are not a candidate to win the World Cup itself but the honor is enough to reach the World Cup.
|Mohamed Salah "AP"|
Also, the young generation is lucky enough to see our squad going to the World Cup.
Yes, I am bit emotional because I witnessed the happiness of the people first hand and how they headed to Tahrir square automatically as soon as Mohamed Salah, our golden boy scored that penalty.
One night of happiness won’t change anything of the reality we know and live but it will just give hope.
Back to Mohamed Salah, well God bless him as he made a true history for real.
Mo Salah is now the most famous Egyptian abroad and he deserves it.
A side note: The AP photographer who took unforgotten shots from the football match with Congo is photographer Nariman El-Mufti, a woman photographer.
Salah and the rest of the squad were born after 1990 ironically except El-Hadry, our goalkeeper.
If I am not mistaken, he is by far the oldest goalkeeper so far to participate in World Cup Russia 2018.
The best goalkeeper in Africa deserves to be despite his shitty political views.
|Essam El-Hadry and his famous dance|
"Nariman El-Mufti for AP"
|No.10 Mo Salah "Nariman El-Mufti for AP"|
Maybe things can change in those few months in Egypt, for the better hopefully and Abu Trika will be a free man again.
Enough football talk and let’s head to Tahrir square.
I tried to head to Tahrir square to see the happy people for real and there it was already crowded.
The flags sellers had already a fruitful day since early morning.
|At Tahrir square in front of the Egyptian Museum|
The security forces also blocked the way for the cars. Only people on foot were allowed to enter.
Assemblies are still crazy for the security authorities in this country.
|Kids in a car celebrating the victory on October bridge|
But this did not stop me from taking a couple of snapshots and video clips for the Egyptians’ happiness.
People were so happy across the country.
In fact, people across the world including the divided Gulf and Yemen. Egyptians and Arabs in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE and Kuwait united Gulf.
One Gulfie tweep described in the best way “We are happy because we are raised to love Egypt”
We do love Egypt.
Egyptians won’t sleep tonight and they do not care if the regime uses this victory for its own propaganda.
|A copy of the decree in the official|
There is online and ongoing confusion about this declaration as some considered it as an extension of that state of emergency.
El-Sisi declared the state of emergency last April following the horrifying the Black Palm Sunday bombings in Cairo and Tanta.
It is not an extension to that state of emergency which was extended in July subsequently. Sisi extended the state of emergency on 10 July 2017 for three months only in accordance with the Egyptian Constitution.
That 3 months period has ended on Tuesday 10 October 2017.
According to the Egyptian Constitution of 2014's article no.154, the State of emergency can be only extended for another three months only one time.
The declaration is for a specified period not exceeding three months, which can only be extended by another similar period upon the approval of two-thirds of House members.So the president could not extend it for another period. Still, he found a very wicked workaround: To declare a new state of emergency on the same day, the old state of emergency's extension ends!!!
There was a rumor that surprisingly the regime will respect the constitution and won't extend the state of emergency but it is a rumor as we have already seen.
Up till now, I do not know what the need for a state of emergency in Egypt is especially we got a collection of laws limiting the media and assemblies as well protests giving the state and the government unprecedented upper hand !!
The state of emergency declared in April did not stop that horrifying massacre of Egyptian Christians in Egypt's Southern Western desert in June if you remember. The state of emergency has not never stopped terrorist attacks or terrorism in Egypt and you can see the proof in the terrorist attacks since the start of the 1980s till the mid-1990s !!
It seems that State of emergency is an authentic Egyptian presidential tradition !!
Here is a quick look at Egypt’s history with the damned state of emergency which did not stop any bad thing from happening in the country.
Happy Emergency ya People !!
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi honored last Monday 1973 war veteran Ahmed Idris decorating him the Order of the Sinai star for his role in that war.
Ahmed Idris who was born in old Nubia, Aswan is the man behind the secret code which the Israelis could not break in 1973 war despite it was not a real or complex secret code.
Mr. Idris joined the Egyptian army in 1954 as a soldier in the Border guards.
Since the time of the Egyptian kingdom, most of Egyptian Nubians worked in the Border guards.He was stationed in Sinai till June 1967 war aka Six days war.
|Idris with El-Sisi last week at The Egyptian armed forces'|
lecture about 1973 war
During December 1970 our sergeant was reassigned as a driver for one of the army commanders. He recounted that he was driving that commander and his aide after one of the meetings that discussed very urgent and disturbing matter.
A week earlier the Egyptian intelligence knew that Israel managed to decode the signals of the Egyptian army which meant all the communications between Egyptian commanders and officers were known to Israelis.
A new code was needed urgently. As the two men talked about that, Idris interfered in the talk telling them that he got an idea for a code that the Israelis could not know.
He suggested that to his skeptical superiors that the Egyptian army should use the spoken the Nubian language , specifically the old Egyptian Nubian oral language which was not a written one and only old generations of Egyptian Nubians knew it.
In no time, the commander told him to get to the chief of staff and the the minister of defense then immediately to tell them the idea.
In a matter of few hours, President Mohamed Anwar El-Sadat knew about the idea of Sergeant Idris giving his restrict orders that that issue should not go beyond those men who heard it from the Egyptian Nubian earlier that morning.
He also asked to meet Ahmed Idris to know more from him and the meeting took place indeed.
Idris explained to the Egyptian President then how the Nubian language was divided in to branches and dialects. He also asked him to reassign a group of Egyptian Nubians who worked in the border guards to the signal department because they knew Old Nubian language.
President Sadat told him that the army would adopt his plan asking him at the same time not to tell anyone including his wife about that meeting.
Then the weekend came and when Sergeant Ahmed returned to the army, he found that he was transferred to the signal department along with 344 other Egyptian Nubians.
The 344 Egyptian Nubians were divided in to 172 soldiers who spoke Nubiiin and 172 others who spoke Kenzi. A new code was made and the Egyptian Nubians were trained in the signals aka military communication using the Nubian Egyptians’ language.
Those men after extensive training in the Signals department would be distributed to the various military departments holding the secret of the new code of that old language.
Sergeant Ahmed Idris was also given strict orders not to tell anyone that he was behind that idea.
For more than 40 years, nobody knew that he was the man who suggested that Nubian code which Israelis could not break. Even the family of the man who retired from the army in 1994 did not know.
Most of the time, it was said that President Sadat was the one who suggested.
Then in early 2005s , he came forward to the media when some imposter in his 40s claimed in the media that he was the man behind the Nubian code. For the first time , Ahmed Idris felt then he must come forward and tell the world what happened.
Now just as Mr. Ahmed Idris reminds the whole country by the importance of diversity and how that diversity helped us in our bleakest moments , his people are being denied their constitutional right.
Unfortunately, the Egyptian government ignored the Nubian languages but the younger generations of Nubian Egyptians are doing a good job to keep their heritage alive.
In February 2016, a group of Nubian Egyptian activists launched “NubaTube”, the first Egyptian-Nubian speaking language “YoubTube” Channel.
In April 2017, “NubaTube” released an interview with Ahmed Idris where he spoke with the TV host in Nubiin.
Among those who founded “NubaTube”, renowned Nubian Egyptian activist and lawyer Mohamed
Azmi was among the main organizers of the Nubian Return Caravan demanding the right to the original villages of Nubia in November 2016 in according of Constitution 2014. In early September and during the grand Eid , Azmi and other activists organized a very small and peaceful protest to remind the government as well president El-Sisi with the Constitutional promise to return to their rightful villages.
The protest was a completely small peaceful one in Aswan city as its 24 protesters were using the Duf musical instrument singing sad folkloric songs about leave old Nubia in 1960s due to the Constitution of Aswan Dam.
Needless to say, the security forces dispersed it arresting all the protesters.
For nearly month and half , the protesters have not been released , they are currently detained pending investigations for a set of charges like illegal protesting …etc.
Since then the rest of the Nubian Egyptian activists have been demanding their release using the hashtag “#The_dufs_detainees” on Twitter.
In early October, a group of 6 women Nubian Egyptian activists declared that they were starting a partial hunger strike demanding the release of the detainees immediately.
Needless the mainstream media in Egypt is ignoring the matter. I am mot surprised. In fact, I would be surprised if they do the opposite. Forget about the political parties as well.
The Nubian activists are demanding the regime to put a roadmap and schedule for their Nubian villages in according with the current Egyptian constitution besides the release of the detainees.
The Nubian Egyptian activists are also demanding President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi to exclude 16 villages from the 2015 Presidential decree considering them as a military zone.
Article No.236 states that government would work on returning the Egyptian Nubians to their original villages with in a decade.
The Nubian Egyptians are not demanding to split or have their own rule. They are only demanding only 16 villages in old Nubia. They are not Kurds or Catalans.
The story of Ahmed Idris is among the many examples of how loyal the Nubian Egyptians to their mother country, Egypt.
For the sake of Ahmed Idris and his grandchildren, let them return to their own villages.
If you can your read and write Arabia , you can sign that online petition to demand the release of Duf detainees
Seen in Cairo: a very old card box keeping very beautiful and old glassware owned by my late grandma in our attic aka (sandara).
The box had the sticker of “N.Yacoubian” which according to my knowledge was located at the famous Yacoubian building in Downtown Cairo.
It was immortalized infamously in Alaa Al-Aswany’s best-selling novel of the same name.
Built in 1936, the Art Deco building was named after its owner, businessman and the head of the Armenian community in Egypt then, Hagop Yacoubian.
I love the Art Deco font used to write Yacoubian in Arabic as well in English.
I do not know if the store, which was like Tiffany's in the old golden days is still there or was closed. I will check it.
Ironically I passed through that building hundreds of times and I never thought to see it.
Kodak Agfa posted a photo:
An Indian style golden bracelet at Egypt's Royal Jewelry Musuem in Alexandria
Kodak Agfa posted a photo:
Indian style set of Jewelry including colored pearl bracelet , earrings and ring as well a necklace at Egypt's Royal Jewelry Museum. It is also encrused with diamonds and Jewels
Kodak Agfa posted a photo:
Indian style set of Jewelry including colored pearl bracelets and brooch as well a necklace at Egypt's Royal Jewelry Museum
Kodak Agfa posted a photo:
An Indian style necklace made of pearls, gold, diamonds as part of a set at Egypt's Royal Jewelry Museum.
Kodak Agfa posted a photo:
Golden earrings at Egypt's Royal Jewelry Museum in Alexandria
At least 30 security personnel including 15 officers and 15 conscripts have been killed in an ambush according to security forces that spoke with media outlets including Reuters “The number is increasing by the minute” at El-Wahat Highway between Giza and El-Bahariya Oasis exactly at 135 km.
Updated at 1:20 PM, BBC is saying that the death toll reaches 53 security personnel :(
This is the biggest loss for the ministry of interior and the Egyptian government outside North Sinai.
Al-Wahat high is currently locked between Giza and Fayoum governorates according to security sources that spoke with Al-Ahram.
From what I have been reading online, we have technically a battle between security forces and those militants.
I have been trying to locate 135 km on Google Earth but I can not reach it.
Sources speaking to Reuters said the following :
The security sources said authorities were following a lead to a hideout deep in the desert thought to house eight suspected members of Hasm, a group which has claimed several attacks around the capital targeting judges and police since last year.At 10 PM Cairo local time, the ministry of interior published on its official Facebook page a very vague and short statement stating the following :
A convoy of four SUVs and one interior ministry vehicle was ambushed from higher ground by militants firing rocket-propelled grenades and detonating explosive devices, a senior source in the Giza Security Office said.
Intel came to the National security “State security” sector at the ministry about a hideout of terrorists in the middle of the desert at 135 km of Al-Wahat Highway. A patrol was prepared to arrest those terrorists but when the patrol was close to the hideout, the terrorists opened their fire , the thing which led to an exchange of fire.This resulted in the death of some police personnel and some assailants. The security forces are sweeping the region.It did not specify a number at all or ranks.
The initial lists of victims from police officers that have been leaked to the media include National security “State security” officers as well special ops officers.
News websites reported that the Central security forces sent reinforcements including security forces and medical aid.
Helicopters were also sent and it is said that one of them saved 8 police officers including a colonel and transferred them to hospital.
Up till this moment “11:04 PM”, no group has claimed responsibility of any kind.
Already, it has not been over and up till now we do not know when it will be over.
With the first look and the size of the victims and the fact that the fight has been going for several hours now, I would say that it has Daesh’s prints but there are other suspects.
There is Muslim Brotherhood’s offspring Hasm militant group but I will say that if that group is behind that attack with that side then it has been under some kind of scary upgrade.
The second suspect who suddenly returned back to the scene in Egypt only is former special Op army officer and currently wanted by Egypt and Daesh, Al Qaeda-affiliated prince Hisham Al-Ashmaway who is believed to be in Libya for two years now.
The size of the operation and the number of victims say that the militant attackers got one hell of experience and training to fight for hours against security forces like that.
That’s why many people believe Al-Ashmaway, who is known to be an experienced special operations army officer to be behind it.
Anonymous sources began to say that the ex-army officer who was sentenced by a military court to death in absentia last week is behind tonight’s carnage.
Personally, I won’t be surprised if Al-Ashmaway and his group are behind that carnage or any other of the suspected groups. Yet I am worried that it won’t Al-Ashmaway but rather another rogue ex-officer who went radical like many others before him.
The Egyptian TV and radio channels even news channels are in another parallel universe as it seems the orders have not arrived yet.
President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi is supposed to inaugurate New Al-Alamein City as part of the 75th anniversary of the famous WWII battle on Saturday, which means after few hours. It is unclear if he is going to postpone it or not.
He may go on with it to show defiance with little speech that nothing will deter Egypt’s from progress and development.
Up till now, there is a complete silence from the Egyptian Presidency.
For the sake of the families of those people who died tonight, we must ask questions.
For the sake of the future of this country, we must have some answer.
May God bless the soul of the martyrs and bring patience for their families.