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7000 years and counting ...
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    Liberty and freedom are the true meaning of this week’s best photos from my humble simple point of view.
    The first photo of the week is that photo taken by Palestinian photographer Mustafa Hassouna of Anadolu News agency on Monday 22, October at the Mediterranean Sea as protesters tried to end Gaza blockade by sea for the 13th time.
    Anger and liberty lead the people in Gaza
    Anger and liberty lead the people in Gaza 
    In the first glance, you will be amazed by how beautiful this photo capturing that moment of defiance and dignity at that Gaza seashore.
    In the second glance, that photo will remind with none other than that famous painting representing the French revolution
    That one
    This is 1830-“Liberty leading people” by Eugene Delacroix.
    That’s a Delacroix’ living photo with doubt and it is about liberty.
    The hero of that photo that looks like a modern day David standing against Israeli Goliath is named A’ed Abu Amr and he goes to protests with that same flag he was carrying in the photo.

    “If I get killed, I want to be wrapped by the same flag,” He said as there is a fear that he will be identified and killed by Israeli snipers. I fear that but I think his world fame now can give him some protection, hopefully, it will.
    In statements about his new fame, the young man from Gaza said that he and other Palestinians were demanding the right of return and the dignity of the future generation.
    The Palestinians want to be free, want liberty for real.
    They want to break that inhuman blockade that stripped them from all the basic needs in the world. They will break that blockade sooner and later.

    The second photo is sad and I believe if Eugene Delacroix or any of those romantic lithography painters saw it, it would inspire them as some Arabian tragedy.
    That photo is the photo of Salah Khashoggi, the son of late slain journalist Jamal Khashoggi while receiving condolences from Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Salman “MBS” and King Salman Bin Abdel Aziz on 23 October in Riyadh.

    Salah El-Khashoggi shaking hands with Prince Mohamed Bin Salman in Riyadh    If looks can kill indeed.
    Salah El-Khashoggi shaking hands with Prince Mohamed Bin Salman in Riyadh 
    If you know the background well of this photo, you will find it chilling on my levels.

    If you do not, then let me introduce to you to the man on the left Salah El-Khashoggi, the second son of late Saudi journalist Jamal El-Khashoggi who was killed earlier this month reportedly at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul and the man on the right aka MBS is believed to be the man standing allegedly behind the murder.

    Journalist El-Khashoggi did not like the policies adopted by MBS recently and demanded liberty for his follow Saudi critics and activists currently in prison.

     The leaks released by Turkish investigators to the Turkish local media on October 10, the late journalist who openly criticized MBS worldwide was brutely tortured and killed by a group of 15 men mostly from Saudi police and military.

    According to investigative news reports, one of the main suspects in the murder whose name is Abdel Aziz Muterb was like a frequent bodyguard and companion to MBS in several trips who made abroad earlier this year. 

    Two close aids to MSB were relieved from their duty last Friday by royal decrees: Major General Ahmed Al-Asseri, the former deputy chief of Saudi intelligence and Saud Al-Qahanti, the man who controlled mainstream media and social media. Despite Saudi Arabia has not declared the relation between Khashoggi's murder and those two men officially but most people say they are connected.

    Back to the photo, can you please attention to its most important moment?

    A mutual look between Salah Khashoggi and MBS
    A mutual look between Salah Khashoggi and MBS 
    If looks can kill indeed.
    The look of Salah to MBS says a lot.

    The one good thing that came from that failed PR photo which fired back at MBS is the fact that it put a spotlight on Salah and Jamal Khashoggi’s family that could not leave the country for a year.

    Salah got an American passport as he was born in the States and thus when it was known he could not travel allegedly it created an uproar among US journalists and human rights activists.

    After two days, we heard the good news that Salah Khashoggi left Saudi Arabia to the United States as US secretary of state Mike Pompeo told Saudis to let him go !!

    Back to that awkward meeting, here is its video and it is quite interesting.
    I do not know about the royal court manners and traditions in Saudi Arabia but in Arab culture when you present your condolences to a family of such renowned journalist from a renowned family that was loyal to the Kingdom since Abdel Aziz Al Saud declared it then the meeting must be warmer.
    They only shook hands and that’s it.
    Even MBS did not hug the young man who is younger than him with a couple of years.
    It is so “Western” condolence.
    I saw photos and videos of King Abdullah of Jordan and how he treated families of fallen soldiers or officers and it is warmer than that.

    Aside from how warm that meeting is, social media users from the Gulf as well Egyptians living there raised the attention that the Jellabiya or it is called in Gulf Thawb which Salah Khashoggi wore in the meeting with the King was not ironed.

    According to them, if a member of the tribe or the community is going to meet another member who is higher and senior in the social status then his Thawb must be cleaned and ironed to show respect.
    Some say Salah Khashoggi’s appearance was an evidence that he brought abruptly to the Palace while I personally I think it could be Salah sending a true rebel anger message himself.

    Personally, I believe King Salman did not know about the alleged plan to kill or even kidnap late Jamal Khashoggi because of his health condition and the fact that he was pushed back to the backstage in the past months by his son and his cronies.

    Now the old king is facing a challenge he and his son have never anticipated.

    An old follower to late Jamal Khashoggi, I believe that he would have posted the Liberty leading people in Gaza photo on his twitter account. 

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    It is early Saturday morning and Gaza is currently being shelled by Israeli forces and deep night turned into a familiar apocalypse scene from hell the people there know it very well.
    Gaza on Saturday
    Gaza early Saturday as Israel began to target Hamas spots 
    In response, Palestinian resistance factions began to shell the illegal Israeli settlements with its rockets in retaliation and it goes on.

    Early Friday morning, Oman made a rare major unfortunate news appearance when its reluctant Sultan Qaboos received none other than Israeli Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife as well the director of Israeli intelligence service aka Mossad Yossi Cohen in an unannounced visit.
    Bibi and the rest of the goons at Muscat
    Bibi and the rest of the goons at Muscat 
    Despite Oman does not have any official relations with Israel “I do not know why”, its relations with the Zionist state goes back to 1970s along with Morocco.

    Israeli PM Netanyahu and Sultan Qaboos on the right on Friday in Muscat
    Israeli PM Netanyahu and Sultan Qaboos on the right on Friday in Muscat
    Both countries played role in the Egyptian-Israeli peace agreements and they also rejected to boycott Egypt when all Arab countries decided to boycott it and transfer the League of Arab states from Cairo to Tunis following Camp David.

    This is not the first visit for a high Israeli official to the Gulf state nor the first visit to be highlighted in the Omani media like that.

    Late Israeli PM Yitzhak Rabin visited Muscat in 1994 followed by PM Shimon Peres in 1996 where he was received in a very warm reception. In 2008, Israel's former foreign minister Tzipi Livni visited Oman too.

    Perez and Qaboos
    Former Israeli PM Shimon Perez and reluctant Sultan Qaboos
    It is interesting timing that Sultan Qaboos highlight the visit in the media like this.
    The official Twitter account of the News section Oman's state TV pinned the tweet showing the reception in the video !!

    Some say that Bibi’s visit is related to the visit of the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas “Abu Mazen” to Muscat last week.
    Abu Mazen and Qaboos
    Abu Mazen and Qaboos 
    I think this visit is interesting on another level if Qaboos and Oman mediating between Israel and the Palestinian authority “PA”.

    It means that Sisi and Cairo are no longer doing that.
    Some say that Cairo lost the PA because President El-Sisi and his regional partners aka UAE want Mohamed Dahlan “ probably the evilest person in the Middle East” to replace Abu Mazen.

    It is no doubt that Cairo still owns cards and those cards are the Palestinian resistance factions in Gaza especially Hamas which rules the besieged sector.

    Ironically on Friday, I read from Haaretz that Egypt through its General Intelligence service managed to find a truce between Hamas and Israel.
    I think it is another short failed truce.

    Back to that visit of Bibi to Oman, it seems that there a wave of neutralizing relations with Israel that taking the Gulf by storm this week.

    Earlier Boycott Divest Sanctions “BDS” activists in Gulf as well the Arab world were angry on how Israeli athletes were received officially warmly in both Qatar and UAE in different sports championships.

    Both Qatar and UAE do not have official relations with Israel and yet they got very warm relations with the Zionist apartheid country that does not respect any international laws or human rights when it comes to the Palestinians.

    Needless to say, Oman is not an oasis of democracy or human rights and its mainstream media is controlled by the Sultan’s loyal man yet a group of BDS activists expressed their rejection online in a hashtag.

    We got two opposing hashtags active in Oman right now. The first is #Oman_the_gate_of_peace in Arabic praising Qaboos' efforts for peace in the Middle East while the other one is #Omanians_against_neutralization "with Israel" as well a twin hashtag #Omanian_against_neutralization and both are in Arabic.

    In Egypt, as usually political satire and mockery were the best reactions.
    Memes were shared madly about Sultan Qaboos and his meeting with that corrupted Israeli goon.
    Bibi and Qaboos
    “Who are you my son? Where is prophet Jacob?”
    Nevertheless, I believe some folks in Riyadh are happy that they are no longer the focus of the news

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    This photo is another indication that Sykes-Picot agreement is still alive and kicking and Arab as well Non Arab people who live in Syria still have no power over their own destiny.
    Where are the Syrians? "France 24"
    Where are the Syrians? "France 24"

    Leaders of Germany, France, Russia and Turkey met on Saturday in Istanbul where they called for a ceasefire and the formation of a committee to write down a new constitution.
    There is no direct representative of Syrian people here in that photo.


    Erdogan is in the photo representing his own government’s agenda whatever it is. He always speaks about defending the Syrian people’s rights but actually for PR purposes mostly.
    Just remember how many times he said he would not allow any chemical attack to occur or how he would not allow Al-Assad to enter Aleppo bla bla bla bla….

    Putin is in the photo representing Bashar Al-Assad regime which tortures and kills Syrian people and wants to rule forever after.

    Angela Merkel is in the photo because she does not want any more refugees in Europe.
    For me, Macron is standing because he or rather France considers the Levant aka “Syria and Lebanon” part of its colonial empire.

    By the way, those leaders can find and bring Syrians to represent truly Syrian people to their meeting if they want. But it seems that they are not interested in that.

    By there is an important question I can’t find a logical answer to since I have read the news: How can Syrian people sit with members of the Al-Assad regime to write down a constitution?
    How can Syrian people who call for the unity of the country sit with Syrian Kurds who want to join the future Kurdistan area?
    Constitutions are written by people who want truly to live together and build a future, by people who respect laws and human rights. I do not see Al-Assad regime is ready for this.

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    I am sorry for being rude, so rude to choose this headline. I know it is but it is the only suitable thing I can see.
    Algeria’s ruling party National Liberation Front “FLN” declared on Sunday that President Abdel Aziz Bouteflika was going to run for the presidency in the upcoming Presidential elections in April 2019 according to official Algeria Press Service “APS” news agency !!
    Algerian president Bouteflika casting his vote
    Algerian president Bouteflika casting his vote in the last presidential elections
    Algeria has seen "Reuters"
    I could not find the exact news on the official APS website but I found news reports like Former elected MPs called Bouteflika to run for the fifth time and the National Rally For Democracy Party calls President Bouteflika to continue that building the nation process and to run for the office again !!
    It is on France 24 and the Algerians have not denied so the news is true.

    Back to APS news reports, well I am familiar with that crap of supporting the great president for life. I am Egyptian and I see and hear that talk 24/7.

    Abdel Aziz Bouteflika who is currently 81-years-old suffered a stroke in 2013 and has been confined to a wheelchair since then.

    The man who has been in rule since 1999 in Algeria does not look healthier or better now.

    He does not attend any events except meeting foreign guests. The hypocrite officials in Algeria put a big photo for him like a cutout in public events he can’t attend due to his heath !!
    In fact, he needs to resign and rest in his house.
    Bouteflika and his bodyguards "Reuters"
    I do not understand why the Algerian army generals who run the show actually insist that the man who unfortunately became a joke among new generations in the Arab world when they can find someone else corrupted enough to keep their interests what so ever !!

    According to YouthPolicy.org, 30% of total Algerian population is between 15-29 years old and 70% of the population is under the age of 30.  Young people below 30 years old represent 72% of all unemployed people in the country.

    As we are in the Halloween season, it seems that we are in front of old strongmen coming out of the crypt to remind us that they are still ALIVE in the worst way ever.

    First, we saw Sultan Qaboos receiving Israeli Prime minister in an unannounced visit on Friday and it was just the start as we find Bouteflika telling him to hold “his beer” because he is going to run for the fifth time for presidency !!

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    Happy Halloween from Cairo’s Khan El-Khalili.

    Those creepy Egyptian puppets I found in Khan El-Khalili market are found all year but they always remind me of Halloween with their dark circle eyes around their eyes.

    Egyptian Puppets at Cairo's Khan El-Khalili
    Creepy puppets indeed 

    Certain gated communities and compounds in the upscale Cairo upscales like in Sheikh Ziyad or 5th Settlement began to organize Halloween trick and treats rounds for the children.
    Needless to say for conservatives, this angers them which is something expected.
    Personally, I like kids to dress up and take candy.
    Having fun in those hard times is not a bad thing.

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    At least 7 Egyptian Christians were killed and 14 others were injured Friday afternoon in a terrorist attack near a desert monastery in Upper Egypt’s Minya Governorate Friday afternoon in one of the desert roads.

    In the first early reports that unknown gunmen opened their fire on a bus carrying people coming from Minya to visit a monastery in the desert.
    A child survivor
    A child that survived the attack
    and his face says everything
    "Orthodox Church"
    The Coptic Orthodox Church issued a more detailed statement about what happened.
    Gunmen opened their fire on three buses heading back from Saint Samuel the confessor monastery in the desert of Minya using a back route.

    At least Seven people on one micro-bus from Minya city were all killed whereas at least 13 people of another microbus from Minya also were all injured and currently being treated in hospitals.
    A bus carrying 28 passengers from one family coming from Sohag to attend the baptizing of a baby from the family was also attacked but only 6 passengers were injured.
    According to the list of victims killed in the attack released by the church, May God bless their souls, six of them were from the same family.
    Many of the injured victims were women and children.

    As you can see the Church is the one that issuing statements by names and details not the government as supposed because we are speaking about Egyptian citizens.
    This attack is a copycat of the attack that targeted also a group of Christians heading to St. Samuel the Confessor also in May 2017 if you remember it.

    You may ask where the security was and why this would happen again after a year and a couple of months. Well, security officials say that that convoy used a back unguarded route because the main guarded rout was closed down.

    With my all due respect, I find that excuse is insulting because I thought along with many Egyptians that such convoys were accompanied with security vehicles. My aunt asked me that direct question as she heard the incident "Where are those security vehicles that follow them? It seems that we assumed wrong after all.

    The response of the officials is always too late when it comes to the media.

    The first source that spoke before anyone, as usual, is Father Makarios, the Bishop of Minya and Abu Qirqas who spoke to the media first before the Coptic Orthodox Church issued its official report or even the government officials.

    Currently attending the World Youth Forum in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi tweeted from there sending his condolences to the families of the victims asserting the intention of the Egyptian government to continue its efforts against terrorism.


    He also spoke with Pope Tawadros II, the head of the Coptic Orthodox Church.
    No national mourning has been declared so far.

    It seems that the focus of the Egyptian state-owned and mainstream media are focusing alone on the second edition of the World Youth Forum “WYF” in Sharm El-Sheikh.
    Some Pro-regime media figures and supporters say that that the attempt of the “black terrorism to spoil the WYF”, Well I think the terrorists who did that do not care much about WYF in its second edition.
    Blood on the buses
    Blood in one of the buses
    You can see blood everywhere
    "Orthodox Church"

    They want to send a message that they are still here to both the regime and the world.
    Publicly, the Egyptian people were caught off guards on Friday as millions of Egyptians are following the final CAF Champions leagues football match between Ahly SC and Tunisia’s Esperance in Egypt.

    Personally, knowing how the Egyptian authorities react based on past experience, the trips to desert Christian monasteries will be suspended until further notice.

    Within hours at most 48 hours or less, a some-Daesh-affiliated group will declare its responsibility.

    Updated: 

    Daesh has claimed its responsibility on social media for the attack claiming that 13 people were killed instead of 7.
     It claimed that the attack came as retaliation for the arrest of "pious sisters" earlier this week by the " Egyptian apostate" government. 

    On Thursday, the Egyptian authorities arrested a number of 19 human rights, activists and people, mostly related to the Muslim Brotherhood. 

    That's a very quick alleged reaction in less than 24 hours considering the fact that the attack was at a back route in the desert of Minya. I think that cell in Minya is too active to the level of planning and executing an operation like this in 24 hours. 

    Many of them are women according to what I read including prominent lawyer Huda Abdel Moneim and Aisha Khairat El-Shater, the daughter of the MB deputy Khairat El-Shater who is currently in prison. 

    Personally, I think Daesh is seeking new supporters among the MB young members and supporters who are angry currently because of the current raid against the MB sisters. 

    Either way, that statement is technically throwing those women under the bus as publicly it gives the Egyptian government a solid evidence to present to the world and the Egyptians on the connection of Daesh and MB, which MB leading figures deny. "Those abroad outside jail of course" 

    Needless to say the MB or whatever branch of it that still runs Freedom and Justice Gate in Arabic ran a piece saying that the attack with false flag operation. 

    Days later, Egypt’s ministry of interior will declare the liquidation of some terrorist suspects liquidating in Minya desert and people will forget till I am afraid the next terrorist attack.

    It is like a freaking Deja vu that does not want to stop. I feel that I have already known what certain people in Egypt will say and do.

    The attack this time came before Christmas, which means there is enough time to secure Christian Churches and gatherings as well.

    May God have mercy on all of us. May God bless the souls of the dead and bring patience to the living.

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    There is a big distance for real between the city of Sharm El-Sheikh in Sinai and the city of Minya in Upper Egypt. According to google maps, it is 557.1 km by car but earlier Saturday it seemed that there are 557.1 light years between there.

    In one city, hundreds attending a mass-funeral in a Coptic Orthodox church to mourn the victims of the latest terrorist attack in Egypt while in another city thousands attend a glitzy forum on the same day.

    On Saturday, Hundreds of Egyptian Christians attended in a Minya-City-Church the mass-funeral of seven Egyptians who were killed on Friday near Saint Samuel the confessor in the desert of the Upper Egyptian governorate in the second attack of its kind in two years.

    Mourners at the Church by Mohamed El-Hakim
    Mourners at the Church by Mohamed El-Hakim 
    Angry and grieving at the same, the mourners could not stop themselves to express their anger publicly when Churchmen began the usual “Thank you Egyptian government officials”.





    I totally understand the anger of those grieving mourners.
    Once again the current Egyptian regime let them down and they express their anger in the only possible safe way.

    On the other hand, President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi inaugurated on Saturday the second edition of the World Youth Forum in the city of Sharm El-Sheikh with thousands of attendees.

    Those who were killed on Friday were not there, they were not remembered much from the speakers except Nadia Mourad, the Nobel Peace Prize 2018 recipient as I understood from the news as she tasted the same kind of poison in her own land.

    The Egyptian mainstream media whether TV channels or newspapers have focused only on the WYF, the big event that is sending an important message to the World.
    The show must go on so the terrorists won’t win !!
    Mourners at Minya desert on Saturday "Alaa el-Kamhawi"
    Mourners at Minya desert on Saturday "Alaa el-Kamhawi

    The news and photos of Sisi riding a bicycle in Sharm El-Sheikh and attending Pre-opening discussions and sessions on Friday made the front page on Saturday in the State-owned newspapers in the center while the news of the massacre was a side news.
    State-owned newspapers on Saturday
    "President Mourns the victims of the terrorist attack"
    I have been following international media and it seems to me that the only news that captured the attention of the world in the past 48 hours is that horrifying massacre in Minya desert not that forum in Sharm El-Sheikh despite all the money spent on its publicity.

    I am afraid that I am from the generation that was raised to stop any sort of festivities or celebrations for three days if a neighbor loses someone in his or her house. Egyptians have old traditions when it comes to mourning and grief.
    Mourners at the Church on Saturday included Muslim women too in Minya
    Mourners at the Church on Saturday included Muslim women too in Minya
    "Roger Anis" 
    The families of those seven people along many others do not ask the cancellation of such a big event sponsored by at least two state-owned banks but a little consideration and a little respect to their grief would be nice.

    The conference will be over by Tuesday yet the sadness and anger will continue among the families of the victims and other concerned Egyptians.

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    King Tutankhamun was brought to life again literality when Howard Carter discovered the first step of his famous untouched tomb at the Valley of the Kings on 4th November from 96 years ago in Luxor.
    King Tutankhamen's mask at Cairo's Egyptian Museum
    The famous Tutankhamun mask 
    For that occasion, I share a bunch of photos of famous Tutankhamun collection at the Egyptian Museum of Cairo.


    The Young King and his controversial family “his father is king Akhenaten in case you do not know” were meant to be forgotten in a plan by Amun priests and the army generals who had the eye on the throne as well restoring the power of Amun in the country.

    King Tut's Golden sarcophagus at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo
    King Tut's Golden sarcophagus at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo

    Well, history has another saying or as I believe “The Lord acts in a mysterious way” because now the King and his father they conspired against and removed their names of all records, became the most famous Egyptian pharaoh.
    King Tut's Large Scarab of stone at Cairo's Egyptian Museum
    King Tut's Large Scarab of stone at Cairo's Egyptian Museum

    He was not the greatest nor the best or anything as far as we know but he became Egypt’s ancient Egyptian icon worldwide.
    By the way, those photos were taken in Winter 2015-2016 during my visit to the Egyptian Museum of Cairo in Tahrir.
    King Tutankhamun collection is going to be transferred to the Grand Museum in Giza.
    Part of King Tut's collection
    Part of King Tut's collection

    I wish it remains for another 100 years in the Tahrir museum.

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    Earlier Monday, Egypt’s interior minister Mahmoud Tawfik visited in Cairo Pope Tawadros II, the head of Coptic Orthodox to present his condolence officially for the tragic death of seven Christian citizens in the terrorist attack on Friday.

    Now why minister Tawfik visits the Pope on Monday to present his condolences after three days, well he is acting according to an authentic Upper tradition: Not mourning, no condolences except after getting the revenge.

    From the funeral of the victims on Saturday Roger Anis for Masrawy
    From the funeral of the victims on Saturday Roger Anis for Masrawy 
    On Sunday, the Egyptian ministry of interior announced that it killed 19 suspected militants allegedly involved in the terrorist attack in the desert of Minya near Samuel the Confessor Monastery with no further details on who they were.

    The MOI published graphic photos showing some dead bodies.
    No one was caught alive to be interrogated or to stand a trial.
    The MOI says that it had no choice to shoot them down because they opened their fire first.
    Thus after avenging for the attacking of those citizens on Saturday, the minister can present his condolences !! "According to the traditions, the families of the victims should take their own revenge not the government if we are speaking per the Upper Egyptian book of revenge !!"

     The words “Avenge” and “Revenge” were used repeatedly in the mainstream media.
    I am sorry but fighting terrorism according to the law books is something and taking revenge for the victims is another thing that it is opposite to the state of law.
    Needless to say many have their doubts about that revenge operation and their doubts raise questions.
    Tahrir Institute Research director Allison McManus also hinted out that those suspects had the same set of “Jihadi literature” that was found in a similar raid in 2017.

    Anyhow, I do not know if those guys were involved or not but I know that MOI should be a symbol of the state of law not an enforcer of the jungle law !!
    Back to Minya city, it turned out that there are small protests by Christian youth in the past two days and the security forces dispersed them.
    Those people are angry because they believe that it could have been stopped if there was more security as it should.

    I am not surprised that there are angry protests by angry young Christians but I am surprised to know that the Egyptian mainstream media ignores all that is happening.
    So far the World Youth Forum in Sharm El-Sheikh is the main event in town.
    The people’s source of news so far was the news websites and Facebook.
    This is so frustrating on many levels.

    Back to the meeting between the Pope and the minister of interior.
    I wonder if Minister Tawfik apologized for the mistakes of the security that led to that incident. People from Minya say that there was not enough security on both roads whether the formal or informal to the monastery despite the 2017 attack.

    Survivors say that security came late at about 4.30 PM when the attack happened at 1.30 PM which actually explains why the Churchmen in Minya issued statements first before any other official in the country.

    The Egyptian Christians do not need avenging reactions, they need proper protection till those horrifying attacks are stopped.
    Fighting terrorism should not be done according to the book of the jungle but rather according to the book of law.  

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    Some think that the World is over with Jamal Khashoggi’s murder as suddenly the media pressure on Saudi Arabia began to loose a bit.
    Yes, the media pressure on the Kingdom began to a bit because it is busy in covering the US midterms but I believe that this murder, this crime will be an important catalyst for major changes in the Middle East, especially in the Gulf.

    Jamal Khashoggi
    A file photo dated May 6, 2018, shows prominent
    Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul, Turkey. "Anadolu"
    It is not the end yet.
    I have been working on a timeline for the murder compiling all important details as well and its planning as revealed by Turkish authorities and press in addition to a timeline to the Saudi officials’ too many statements.

    I mainly complied timelines made by France 24, AP, New York Times, CNN and Washington Post as well as Turkish newspapers. I could not do it alone with the efforts of tens of journalists.

    Some of the information has not been confirmed officially and they won’t be confirmed officially anytime soon like for the instance the fact that Turkish authorities knew what happened on that night in the Saudi consulate because they were spying on it or why he was killed like that.
    I was planning to post this timeline after one month of late Khashoggi’s murder but I could not as at the same time we had the tragic Minya attack in Egypt.
    Tonight marks the 40th day of his disappearance and murder, it is an old important day in mourning traditions in Egypt. It is a strange coincidence.
    I post the first part of that timeline today and I will post other parts throughout the upcoming days.

    Jamal Khashoggi’s murder Timeline “From 5 June to 10 October 2018”

    The start of this timeline did not start in October 2018 but rather18 September 2017 when Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi published his first op-ed in both Arabic and English declaring to the world that he became self-exiled citizen criticizing the policies of Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Salman aka MBS in the Washington Post.
    Since that date, Khashoggi became a regular columnist in Op-ed section of the Post. In a year, Jamal Khashoggi became one of the most famous Saudi dissident vocal voices against MBS and his men keeping his stance at the same time to support Al Saud as well the monarchy.
    • On 5 June 2018, Jamal Khashoggi speaks with Canada’s Global News about granting the right to drive to women expressing his fears of what might happen to him if he stayed in the Kingdom. The interview was released by Global News on 24 October 2018.
    • On 7 September 2018, the British intelligence allegedly knows according to London-based Express Daily that there was something sinister being planned by Saudi regime for Jamal Khashoggi because he allegedly wanted to expose the use of chemical weapons in Yemen by his country.
    The screenshot
    The screenshot Dehghan posted it last before he
    deletes it.



    • On 28 September 2018 at 11:50 AM Istanbul local time, Khashoggi visits Saudi Consulate in Istanbul asking for documents to prove his divorce from Saudi wife earlier to marry his Turkish fiancée political researcher Hatice Cengiz per Turkish laws. The consulate tells him to come for another appointment. This information was revealed by Turkish President Erdogan in his speech later.

    29 September 2018



    • On 29 September 2018 at 2:31 PM: Saudi Military attache in Istanbul Ahmed Al-Mozaini leaves Istanbul to Riyadh on a flight from Sabiha Gökçen International Airport.
    Saudi Military attache at Saudi consulate
    in Istanbul Ahmed Al-Moazini 


    1 October 2018

    • On 1 October 2018 at 4 PMSaudi military attache Ahmed Al-Mozaini returns back to Istanbul. Later that day, Al-Mozaini scouts Belgrade forest in the outskirts of Istanbul
      A screen capture from Turkish CCTV showing Al-Mozanini after his return from Riyadh on 1 October "Sabah Daily"
      A screen capture from Turkish CCTV showing Al-Mozanini
      after his return from Riyadh on 1 October "Sabah Daily" 
    • On 1 October 2018 Later that day at 5:08 GMT he tweets that he would leave London to Turkey after participating in a forum about Palestine where he met researchers and activists who believed in the just cause of Palestine regardless of how powerful the Israeli lobby was. This would be his last tweet written by himself. He returns back To Turkey.

    2 October 2018

    • 3:28 AM Istanbul local time,a Saudi private charter jet owned by Riyadh-based Sky Prime  Aviation arrives Ataturk airport carrying on board15 Saudi National men “suspects” who are Saudi security and Royal court as well intelligence officers. Some of those men had diplomatic passports. Booking rooms for three days, they checked in to two hotels including Movenpick near the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul’s financial district.
    The photos of the suspects as published by Turkish Daily Sabah on 10 October
    "Daily Sabah"
    • 11:03 AM: Turkish CCTV footage shows a number of those Saudi men including civilian Mustafa Al-Madani entering the consulate from its front door. Al-Madani is wearing a blue checkered shirt, dark blue trousers and dark sneakers
    Mustada Al-Madani and another suspect
    Mustafa Al-Madani and another suspect
    "CNN"
    • 1:14 PM leaving his two mobile phones with his fiancée Cengiz, Jamal Khashoggi enters the Saudi consulate from its front door. He never comes out. 
    That moment Khashoggi entered the consulate in Istanbul "Turkish press"
    That moment Khashoggi entered the consulate in Istanbul "Turkish press"
    Madani leaving Saudi Consulate from a backdoor wearing khashoggi's clothes "CNN"
    Madani leaving Saudi Consulate from a backdoor wearing khashoggi's
    clothes "CNN"
    • 3:07 PM, Turkish CCTV footage shows Saudi diplomatic vehicles leaving the consulate heading to the Saudi Consul residence, which is 1.2 km away reportedly carrying on board Jamal Khashoggi’s body to get rid of it
      A screenshot from CCTV showing the diplomatic vehicles leaving  the Saudi consulate in Istanbul
      A screenshot from CCTV showing the diplomatic vehicles leaving
      the Saudi consulate in Istanbul
    •  4:06 PM, Madani and another suspect appear walking at the Blue Mosque in Istanbul to create a false trail.
    Madani and the other suspect carrying a plastic bag near the Blue Mosque in Istanbul according to CCTV "CNN"
    Madani and the other suspect carrying a plastic bag near
    the Blue Mosque in Istanbul according to CCTV "CNN"
    • 4:29 PM, Madani reappears in the CCTV footage wearing his clothes he wore when he entered the consulate after changing his clothes at W.C of the popular destination. The other suspect carries a white plastic bag believed allegedly to contain Khashoggi’s clothes.
    • Madani wearing his original clothes with the other suspect at
      the Blue Mosque "CNN"
    • Time unknown, Madani and the other suspect get rid of the white plastic bag in a dumpster near Movenpick hotel where they are staying.
    • 5:15 PM, another Sky Prime Aviation private jet carrying Six Saudi officials landed at Ataturk airport
    • 6:2 PM, that Saudi private jet arrived at 5:15 PM takes 6 suspects and heads to Cairo, Egypt.
    • 9:31 PM, Saudi military attache Ahmed Al-Mozaini leaves Istanbul to Riyadh from Ataturk airport.
      Saudi military attache at Ataturk airport "Sabah Daily"
      Saudi military attache at Ataturk airport "Sabah Daily" 
    • 10: 25 PM, Madani checks out of Movenpick.
    • 10:46 PM, the private jet arrived earlier on that day departed Istanbul for Dubai carrying 7 suspects from that team of Saudi officials
    • At 11 PM, Two another suspects take commercial flights directly from Istanbul to Riyadh.
    • When Jamal Khashoggi does not show up, Hatice Gengiz reports his absence to the Turkish police. Word spread online that he has been kidnapped inside the consulate.

    3 October 2018

    4 October 2018

    • For the first time, the Saudi consulate speaks officially and says that it follows the case of Khashoggi and his disappearance after leaving it. The news is published on KSA's official news agency SPA.

    5 October 2018

    • The Bloomberg’s interview with MBS is published where he claims that Khashoggi left the consulate according to what he understood and nobody buys what the crown prince said.
    • Washington Post publishes a blank page dedicated for Jamal Khashoggi saying that he is a missing voice

    6 October 2018

    Saudi Consul showing reporters that there is no Khashoggi in that cabinet !! "Reuters"
    Saudi Consul showing reporters that there is no Khashoggi in that cabinet !!
    "Reuters"

    7 October 2018

    9 October 2018

    • The Turkish CC TV leaks began to find its way to the Turkish press showing Khashoggi entering the embassy.
    • Turkish public prosecutor starts an official investigation into Jamal Khashoggi's disappearance. On the same day, it announces that it will search the consulate.
    As you can see only after 5 days the Turkish authorities decided to investigate into Khashoggi’s disappearance.
    Jamal Khashoggi’s murder has become like the murder of late Khaled Said in Egypt and the tragic death of Bou Azizi in Tunisia in its own unique way.
    It is like some sort of poetic irony that Jamal Khashoggi was from the very few journalists and commenters that supported publicly the Arab Spring till the end.

    It won’t bring revolutionary changes to the conservative monarchy but it may bring political reforms to the Kingdom if I may say.
    After the murder of Khashoggi, the world began to pay attention to the war in Yemen and suddenly we find the Americans want it to end.
    After the murder of Khashoggi, the human rights’ file of Saudi activists detained in jails is being discussed openly in the media.
    Last week, news came from the Kingdom that some Al-Saud princes who were allegedly detained because of their criticism to MBS were released including Prince Abdel Aziz Bin Fahd and Prince Khaled Bin Talal based on photos posted by their relatives from the Saudi Royal Family. “Bin Talal allegedly was released in the same week of his brother Al-Waleed’s bizarre interview with Fox”
    I hope the next move will be releasing the Saudi activists currently detained especially women activists whose efforts for years to get a simple right like driving, were ripped off so MBS can sell his image as a social reformer in the West.

    This is not the end and I think I will keep updating this timeline for some time in the future because it is uneasy to get justice in our part of the world.

    0 0

    Last Saturday, Egypt’s ministry of antiquities announced seven new tomb discoveries at Saqqara area. It is a huge announcement.
    Three of the tombs belong to the New Kingdom era while the rest four tombs belong to the Old Kingdom.
    Very beautiful artifacts were found at those tombs.
    Now interestingly those three New Kingdom tombs were used at cat necropolis.
    The people are amazed by this fact but I am not surprised because in the end ancient Egyptians worshiped cats and they buried them in groups in tombs like those which were discovered in Saqqara.
    Now I seize this opportunity and share bunch photos I took in December 2015 from the animal's section at the Egyptian Museum of Cairo.
    Ancient mummies of animals at the Egyptian museum of Cairo
    There is a whole small section dedicated to animal mummies including cats as you can see at the Egyptian Museum of Cairo.


    Ancient mummies of animals at the Egyptian museum of Cairo

    There are mummies and skeletons of cats and other types of animals like monkeys and crocodiles in that small section.
    Ancient mummies of animals at the Egyptian museum of Cairo
    There are mummies of birds as well in that section.
    Yes, I am the one in that reflection.
    Ancient mummies of animals at the Egyptian museum of Cairo
    That small section is located on the second floor of the Egyptian museum in Cairo.

    I apologize for their quality because I took them with my iPhone 5S as my camera battery died during that day which was total as I had a very fine company accompanying me in that old beautiful museum.

    0 0

    Right now things are escalating between Gaza and Israel after the Israeli decision to end the Egyptian-sponsored cease-fire and truce that took nearly a month to reach if I am not mistaken.
    The airstrike on Al-Aqsa TV station tonight in Gaza
    Another familiar brutal scene in Gaza tonight from the airstrike on Al-Aqsa TV channel 
    It all started when at least seven Palestinian people including a leading military El-Kassem figure were killed earlier Monday in a failed Israeli special military operation in Khan Younis.

    The Palestinian fighters killed a high-ranking Israeli officer during the failed Israeli military operation that made Bibi return from France ASAP.

     Israel was showered by nearly 200 rockets or something targeting the illegal Zionist settlements on its borders as a retaliation after that failed Israeli military operation so Israel fired back with airstrikes

     It bombed the building of Hamas’ Al-Aqsa TV station studios in Gaza but once again the broadcast of the TV channel is back. Four civilian buildings in Gaza were turned in to rubble.It also bombed a very famous hotel there called Al-Amal.
    The airstrike on Al-Aqsa TV station tonight in Gaza
    The airstrike on Al-Aqsa TV station tonight in Gaza
    Gaza government declared that it suspended study in all the schools in the besieged sector while Israel is going on more air strikes.

    An Israeli bus carrying IDF conscripts was hit and one person was severely wounded according to Israeli and Palestinian media.

    It will be another long sleepless night, familiar to both sides and to us. Israelis are luckier than those besieged Palestinians as they got bunkers.

    Now I have got two question to ask because what happened several times before to the level that I have lost counting :

    How many truces sponsored and brokered by Egypt in the past two decades between Israel and Gaza were ended in less than a week or two weeks maximum because Israel decided to kill some big Hamas or Kassam leadership?

    Till when Egypt will take the word of Israel that it won’t escalate matters then hell breaks loose?

    Already Israeli leadership is making Egypt and the General intelligence officers look bad in the region seriously speaking.

    0 0

    Earlier Thursday, Saudi Prosecution general held its first official press conference to declare the latest findings in the Jamal Khashoggi’s murder investigation.

    The Saudi prosecution announced that it was accusing 11 suspects in the murder of Khashoggi and that it was seeking the death penalty for five suspects in the case for ordering the murder of Khashoggi and killing him. We do not know the rest of the charges in the case.
    The infamous doors of the Saudi consulate in Istanbul "Reuters"
    The infamous doors of the Saudi consulate in Istanbul "Reuters" 
    The prosecution added that there 21 detained person in the murder investigation above them the former deputy Saudi intelligence chief “Ahmed Al-Assiri” whom it did not name directly as the man who gave orders to “negotiate with Khashoggi to make him return back to the kingdom”.
    The prosecution used the following expression in Arabic that amazes me “to restore Jamal by force !!”  literality.

    The word “abduction” is bad but anyhow any good Arabic speaker would be astonished on the level of terms used in that presser to sugarcoat and whitewash a horrible unimaginable act.

    A new narrative for the crime is presented this time too.

    That team or rather three groups were sent by Al-Assiri to “restore” Jamal back to the Kingdom aka to convince him to return back but things developed in to fight and he was injected by a sedative agent then he was suffocated. The hit team then dismembered his body transferring those parts outside the consulate by 5 suspects with the help of local Turkish contractor.

    The crime was planned on 29 September 2018 and that former deputy Saudi intelligence chief “Ahmed Al-Assiri” ordered the formation of that hit squad.

    Jamal Khashoggi’s body was dismembered at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul then those pieces left the consulate through the help of local Turkish man, the prosecution shared a drawing of that suspect. “Turkish prosecution asked for his phone number and his name but got none according to Turkish press”.
    It is worth to mention that the Saudi prosecutor general denied that there was a local contractor from Turkey as far as I remember.


    KSA’s Prosecutor General made it clear that Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Salman aka MBS was not implicated in the Khashoggi’s murder and needless to say most people following the case do not buy it.

    Except for Saud Al-Qahtani “who is under investigation and is banned from travel” and Ahmed Al-Asiri indirectly “Saudi deputy intelligence chief”, the prosecution did not disclose the names of the suspects once again in the case.

    Officially and unofficially, that’s the seventh time the Saudi government changes its narrative and it is getting closer to what the Turks have been saying after denials.
    Maybe next time, we will get a hit !!!

    Boldly enough, the Saudi prosecution claimed that it would not disclose the names of the suspects because “the criminal procedures system in Saudi Arabia does not allow the disclosure of the names of defendants/suspect”.

    I remember when women rights, human rights activist and critics were arrested in that campaign in the summer, nobody respected that system and their photos and names were shared everywhere.
    Despite being suspects who have not stood a trial yet, those detainees were called “#The_embassies_agents” !!
    Defaming Saudi activists
    That design featuring detained activists
    labeling them as traitors went viral online and offline 
    Ironically all those hashtags and infographs, as well as media coverage in general slamming that detained reform and human rights activists in summer, were organized by one man, Saud Al-Qahtani.
    Following the pressers of Saudi prosecution and foreign minister.

    Salah Jamal Khashoggi announced that “The absent prayer”, which is technically the funeral prayer without a body will be held at Prophet Mohamed “PBUH” Mosque in Madina Friday Dawn and after the Friday prayer at the Holy Mosque in Mecca.

    Jamal Khashoggi’s house in Jeddah will be opened for memorial service next week for men and women.
    Just like anything in the world, there is a good side and a bad side for the Khashoggis’ announcement.
    I will start with the bad news that this announcement means that the Khashoggis lost hope that there is a body somewhere.
    The good news is that Jamal Khashoggi’s wish came true and his funeral prayer will be held not only at the Prophet Mohamed “PBUH” Mosque in Madina, his hometown but it will be also held at the Holy Mosque in Mecca, which is probably the highest honor any practicing Muslim can get after his death.
    My eyes are bit teary honestly because that’s what he wished for.

    By the way , the Saudi narrative asserting that Prince MBS has no knowledge what so ever with the murder of Khashoggi and its planning is actually insulting to him because it shows him inexperienced who let his right hand “Saud Al-Qahtani” and thus he can’t be trusted to be the next King of a kingdom with the size of Saudi Arabia.

    Needless to say, some of the Western partners, especially in the US, think that his Royal Highness is one hell of a burden as everything he touches, he destroys and the evidence is what happened in Yemen as well in the Khashoggi-gate.
    This is not the end. It is just another chapter

    0 0

    Earlier Saturday, I found people sharing a screenshot of a famous Egyptian actress boldly attacking Egyptian Media Group, Egypt’s biggest empire on social media asking whether the army or the intelligence was behind it only because she wanted a higher pay as usual.
    Late Friday, famous Egyptian actress Ghada Abdel Razek posted a post with the photo of her daughter and two granddaughters “Yes, she is a granny” with an unrelated surprising caption. "She removed it"


    Dear fans , I am being fought by a group called Egyptian Media that does not want me to work in drama this year. It is not only me but many people including artists and they say that we will make you stay at home if you do not like and if you ask them on behalf of whom you speaking , they will say on behalf of the army or the intelligence. Is that true ? This is a question because the whole field “actors”are asking with me whether it is truth or a lie. Please someone answers.
    The actress who became a fixture in Ramadan drama annual race with a TV series posted that on her Instagram wisely closing the comments.
    Instagram screenshot
    A screenshot of the controversial Instagram post
    In no time, a screenshot of that post was shared and went viral. Some say she is outing the truth about the media empire whose alleged affiliation to the General Intelligence service was brought up over and over.

    In a few hours, “#Ghada_Abdel_Razek_is_most_failed_actress” topped Egypt’s Top Twitter trends amazingly to the level I wonder when it had all that time to top all other hashtags.

    Aside from the people who make fun of her and the people who gloat, most of the tweets in the trends are repeated by twitter e-flies “as Jamal Khashoggi used to call them” aka trolls attacking in the most disgusting way sharing infamous inappropriate photos of her to the rest of that crap.
    Ghada Abdel Razek has been pro-regime since the time of Mubarak.

    She already was the celebs who led the infamous Mostafa Mahmoud square protests “demanding Mubarak to stay in the rule” when the world was echoing Tahrir square’s call for him to leave.
    Abdel Razek then supported Egypt’s strongman Abdel Fattah El-Sisi since he was a minister of defense and publicly supported him in a way that made Bassem Youssef make fun of her in that famous episode that he paid its price dearly.

    She did not change her hear or her political beliefs but according to some of her problem with the Egyptian Media Group is not its monopoly but rather her paycheck.

    Ghada Abdel Razek
    Actress Ghada Abdel Razek
    "Layalina"

    One of the highest-paying actresses in Egypt, Ghada Abdel Razek got LE 22 Million ( USD 1,238,180)  for her latest TV series in Ramadan 2018.

    Now rumors say that she is demanding LE 50 million for her upcoming TV series in Ramadan 2019 and that the Media Empire that controls main TV channels in the country refuses such high numbers.

    Rumors say that it is not Ghada Abdel Razek that is bitter because she is staying at home but other big stars who demand ridiculous numbers have joined her too.
    Some say the economic crisis has hit the media city and it is not speculations.
    Famous director Kamla Wagih Abou Zekri wrote a post on 28 October 2018 telling people that the filming of most Ramadan TV soap operas was suspended this year and she did not know the reason behind that.
    Abou Zekri reminded people that Ramadan TV soap operas season was a source of living for nearly two million Egyptians aside from the big stars, but rather a big crew of technicians, editors, make-up artists and etc.
    I believe Kamla Wagih Abou Zekri and her concern more than Ghada.

    Now Ghada Abdel Razek has spelled the bean about Egyptian Media Group and most Pan Arab and Arab news website whether a serious one or partisan one or simply tabloid one is sharing the news that Egyptian Media is owned by the Egyptian army and intelligence.
    Maybe she will pay the price and maybe she will not.

    But for she was not the first celeb to brought up the connection between Egyptian Media Group and the intelligence agency or the state.
    Former footballer and current Sports TV host / Zamalek sports club fanatic Ahmed Hossam aka Mido said on his official Twitter account that Sports Media company “Presentation Sports” was a state-owned when he was attacking it for signing a sponsorship contract with Al-Ahly Sports club in October.

    Mohamed Kamel , the CEO of Presentation which is owned by the state , cries because he sponsors Al-Ahly club saying that if he dies today , he will be happy despite he sponsors Zamalek too. Today , the state confirms what we have been saying that the state favors Al-Ahly club and the proof is in Mohamed Kamel and Presentation !!
    He said and aside from that the fact that the state does not favor Al-Ahly and he is just bitter in a way that I can’t understand it but he mentions a naked truth about Presentation Sports, the country’s biggest sports media company.
    Presentation Sports company is one of the Egyptian Media Group’s companies.
    Following his attack on Presentation, Mido was a subject of constant attack in Egyptian Media’s Youm 7 in the last month of October.

    Pro-regime supporters, Mido like Ghada Abdel Razek did not have a true problem with Egyptian Media Group or its true owners as long as they are not harmed nor their interests are harmed.
    People like do not have a problem with media monopoly or how the state controls media in 2018 as long as they get paid and Presentation sponsors Zamalek only forever.

    But some people actually have got a problem and even they spoke about it publicly in a state-owned media publication.
    On 31 August 2018, renowned Egyptian poet and journalist/writer Farouk Gouida wrote in his half-page column in Al-Ahram Newspaper about the financial crisis in the private Egyptian TV stations.
    “ We should know the true new owners of those private Egyptian TV stations adding that “it was better for the State to spend its money on the State-owned TV and fix its problems”.
    Yes, he did not reveal any info or speak about certain companies but it was interesting to bring up that in Al-Ahram Daily.

    Now, I expect that Ghada Abdel Razek will remove its post sooner or later but that won’t solve the current financial crisis and how it hits TV drama industry in the country or it will change the facts about Egyptian Media Group.

    0 0

    Happy Mawlid Nabawy from Egypt to the Whole Muslim world.

    Tonight, a billion and a half Muslim celebrate the anniversary of Prophet Mohamed “PBUH” ‘s birthday according to the Hijri Date “Rabi’ I 12, 1440”.

    Egyptian Chronicles wish that this anniversary will bring so much peace and stability to all people especially in places like Yemen, Syria, Rohingya, Uyghurs and Palestine where they cannot truly celebrate this beautiful occasion, which is equal like Christmas Eve.

    Here is a photo I captured Monday night at famous Siyada Zeinab Quarter where Egyptians buy the famous “Halawat Al-Moulid” aka “The Mawlid sweets” at very ate time.

    Buying Mawlid Sweets in Egypt's Cairo شراء حلاوة المولد فى القاهرة
    Buying Mawlid sweets in the streets of Cairo 
    By the way, due to economic reasons and the high prices of Mawlid sweets “The prices are higher from a year to another”, mothers began to share recipes on how to do it at home using nuts, peanuts and other stuff with caramel.

    Mawlid Sweets go back to to the Fatimids era and I feel happy when I find it continues year after year whether we got caramel coated peanuts or marshmallows.
    Modern Mawlid doll
    Yes a modern Mawlid doll with Nutella
    Maltesers and marshmallows 

    "Islam Salheen

    0 0

    Here are couple of photos of the Great Al-Sayeda Zeinab Mosque on the Mawlid Nabawy or Moulid eve “as we say it in our Egyptian Arabic accent”.
    I wanted to snap photos on Tuesday for Al-Sayeda Zeinab’s famous seasonal market beside her famous mosque and shrine but I realized that I was too late and I could not go it on the Moulid’s eve because it is the climax of celebration.
    El-Sayeda Zeinab Mosque in Cairo مسجد السيدة زينب بالقاهرة
    Al-Sayeda Zeinab Mosque on the eve of Moulid 
    Luckily I snapped a couple of photos for the great Mosque and Shrine for Al-Sayeda Zeinab “Lady Zeinab”, the grand-daughter of Prophet Mohamed “Peace upon them” in the heart of Cairo.

    The old mosque which was renovated in 1940 by orders of King Farouk was beautifully decorated with green lights "Sufism plays a role here" for the religious occasion.

    El-Sayeda Zeinab Mosque in Cairo مسجد السيدة زينب بالقاهرة
    The mosque receives many visitors on such occasions

    Wikipedia says inaccurately that the mosque was demolished and rebuilt in 1940 but according to an old photo I found that dates to 1890, the mosque had the same façade.



    The Mosque in 1894
    Taken in 1894 "Mohamed Abbas " and if you pay attention to the mosque's details,
    you will find it the same. 
    I won’t enter the debate about whether Lady Zeinab Peace Upon her was buried in Cairo or in Damascus “Iranian revolutionary guards think she is in Damascus and that’s why they invaded the city”  but there is fact that the old mention of the mosque as a a shrine for the Prophet Mohamed’s Grand-daughter was in the 16th century Ottoman records that mentioned the renovation works.

    El-Sayeda Zeinab Mosque in Cairo مسجد السيدة زينب بالقاهرة
    The mosque's facade at night 

    Personally , I tend to believe that Lady Zeinab who is considered the Islamic Saint Patron of Cairo lived in Egypt till her death because I find it hard to believe that she would stay in Damascus, the capital of Umayyads who killed her brother in a brutal battle.

    El-Sayeda Zeinab Mosque in Cairo مسجد السيدة زينب بالقاهرة
    The mosque's facade at night 

    Also, Egyptian Sufi orders keep a very detailed history of the arrival of Prophet Mohamed “PBUH”’s family to Egypt that amaze you.
    The famous seasonal market turns in to a place to sell Moulid sweets and its famous sugar dolls and knights. Hopefully next year, I will speak more about it.
    I visited that makeshift market before Ramadan and I believe you should see and share those photos again because they are beautiful. I am biased I know.

    0 0

    Last week US President Donald Trump spoke about Jamal Khashoggi’s murder.

    On Tuesday, he issued a statement that was shocking to many people as he took office the side of the Saudi Arabian regime or rather Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Salman.
    The statement was shocking on many levels whether linguistically or politically but it started with the correct phrase “The World is very dangerous”, indeed it is.

    In that statement , President Trump who reminded us that Iranian regime and Syrian regime killed and have been killing people too revealed that Saudi officials had said that  {Jamal Khashoggi was an “enemy of the state” and a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, but my decision is in no way based on that – this is an unacceptable and horrible crime.}

    Trump and MBS
    Trump and MBS in the White House in 2017 "AP"
    And “Our intelligence agencies continue to assess all information, but it could very well be that the Crown Prince had knowledge of this tragic event – maybe he did and maybe he didn’t!” because screw logic !!
    Aside from the fact that’s one of the worst presidential statements I have read“I read and make news out of them and let alone from the White House”, there is a phrase I could not ignore.
    The United States intends to remain a steadfast partner of Saudi  Arabia to ensure the interests of our country, Israel and all other partners in the region.”
    So among the main reasons that Trump is okay that MBS would get away with the murder of Khashoggi is that “he ensures the interests of the United States, Israel and all other partners in the Middle East.”

    Seriously speaking if we use our brains in a logic, one must answer why Trump thinks that only MBS will serve the interests of the United States and Israel !!
    Then comes his media statements on Thanksgiving Day.

    In a press conference and a teleconference with the Military on Thursday, Trump was on fire for real.



    If you look at Israel, Israel would be in big trouble without Saudi Arabia. So what does that mean? Is Israel going to leave? Do you want Israel to leave? We have a very strong ally in Saudi Arabia. We have an ally that says that it did not commit – at the top level, the Crown Prince, the King – this atrocity
    And
    The fact is they’ve been a very strong ally. They create tremendous wealth and a tremendous amount of jobs in their purchases. They keep the oil prices down – if you want to see a global depression, raise the oil prices by $50 a barrel
    I believe as an Arabs we should be very thankful for President Trump’s honesty because after decades, there is a US president that was honest enough to tell the rest of the World the naked truth we all know about from very long time : All the West leaders care for really in the Middle East are Israeli Safety and the oil.

    They do not care about human rights, they do not care about democracy and that’s why they have been dealing with and welcoming the worst kind of dictators and strongmen in their countries.
    As long as those dictators will keep Israel safe and the prices of oil stable then there is nothing wrong in keeping them around especially that the public in the Arab world is supportive to the Palestinians and hate Israel.
    It is not a secret.
    Even Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu admitted that during his speech in front of the Knesset during the 40th anniversary of Sadat’s historic visit to the Israeli parliament that the “Arab public opinion is the main obstacle for the normalization of relations between Israel and the Arab world unlike the Arab leaders”.

    The problem is in the Arab people themselves, not their unelected and undemocratic leaders.
    In the past two years, in fact, the past three months witnessed unprecedented push between Gulf states and Israel whether in Omanit had relations with Israelis since the 1970s” or in UAE or Qatar “both are competing and at the same time attacking each other in the media that the other cooperates with Israel”

    I do not need to say that that the most of the public in those countries are against that normalization and are in the support of a boycott to Israel and its apartheid occupation policies but they do not have a podium to express that freely except in the social media only.

    Ironically and logically, that continuing support to the Middle East strongmen because of Israel will create even more hatred to it among young Arabs.
    It is a fact that Arab people know that since the 1973 oil crisis, the United States and the West leaders had made sure that that the oil embargo would not be used as a weapon.
    We also believe as Arabs that King Faisal of Saudi Arabia paid the price of that daring move on the hands of his own nephew Faisal Bin Musaid.

    From 1973 oil embargo led by King Faisal to Israel would be in trouble without trouble without Saudi Arabia or rather its MBS crown prince, the Kingdom went too far.
    I feel angry on many levels but seriously I am thankful that Trump spoke about that elephant in the room without sugarcoating it.

    0 0

    After a few hours from now, Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Salman aka MBS will arrive Cairo for a two-day visit as part of his current regional tour in the Arab world before his big international comeback at the upcoming G20 meetings in Argentina.

    That’s first regional tour for the crown prince since the assassination of late Saudi writer and journalist Jamal Khashoggi. It is a cheap PR tour to show that MBS is still in control and powerful among the Arab countries especially after the support he got from US president Donald Trump.
    There are few people who spoke up and did not welcome MBS in his big PR visit to Egypt.

    I have to highlight those people because the Egyptian mainstream media ignored them totally and I hope that the future generations not to blame us and wonder why nobody spoke up.
    Egypt’s left-leaning Civil Democratic Movement parties issued a statement not welcoming Prince MBS.

    The Civil Democratic Movement said in its statement it issued on Saturday after its meeting that it rejected his visit to Cairo saying “he is not welcomed in the country”.


    The movement has not forgotten that he was one of the main architects of taking over Egypt’s strategic Tiran and Sanafir islands crime.” said the movement at the beginning of the statement reminding us with that painful unforgettable and unforgivable tragedy.

    The movement also lists what it believes crimes of the distinguished guest which the Egyptian Presidency issued a statement welcoming him Monday afternoon.
    The movement mentioned that his tour was an attempt to beautify his distorted image following the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi "which all the evidence available show that he ordered personally its execution"

    The movement slammed "the rejected visitor" for his support to Israel quoting the recent statements of both Trump and Benjamen Netanyahu of Israel supporting MBS in the Khashoggi's crisis.

    " MBS' biggest crime is the war of Yemen and the air strikes of the coalition led by his regime which resulted in the Yemeni people to have the biggest humanitarian catastrophe in its history," said the statement listing the famine, disease to the rest of the disaster Yemen is currently suffering from right now.
    Over 100 Egyptian Journalists from the members of the Egyptian Journalists syndicate issued a statement denouncing and rejecting the visit as well.

    The statement is published by Amr Badr, the head of the Freedoms committee in the Egyptian Journalists syndicate yet that statement does not represent officially the position of the syndicate. 

    The statement says that MBS is not welcomed in Egypt for humanitarian, professional and patriotic reasons. From a humanitarian point of views, those journalists remind the world how Ben Salman and his regime do not respect any human rights whether for Saudi citizens or non-Saudi citizens in the Kingdom. 

    When it comes to the professional reasons, the Egyptian journalists who signed the statement made it clear that they reject totally the murder of their colleague Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
    Patriotically, those Egyptians journalists also reject the US-Israeli support to MBS for sake of Israel reminding us that they have not forgotten Tiran and Sanafir islands.

    The Egyptian journalists called their syndicate to follow its sister Tunisian Journalists National syndicate in Tunis and to declare its rejection for the visit but Egypt is not Tunisia for real.  

    Tunisian Journalists National Syndicate or the Syndicate National des journalistes Tunsiens”SNJT” is the only Journalists syndicate or union in the Arab world that declared officially its complete rejection for the visit.
    The SNJT official headquarter in Tunis "Twitter"
    "You are not welcome Bin Salman in the land of  Revolution Tunisia"
    The SNJT official headquarters in Tunis "Twitter"
    In an open letter to Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi issued on Friday, the syndicate asked him not to meet the crown prince of Saudi Arabia for his alleged role in the murder of Khashoggi.


    No to the desecration of Revolution  Tunisia  "SNJT"
    No to the desecration of Revolution
    Tunisia  "SNJT"
    " The SNJT denounces the visit of Bin Salman to Tunisia as he is considered a danger on the security and peace in the region in the region and the world as well a true enemy of freedom of expression" The Statement added.

    The SNJT did not stop at that Open letter or the fact it put up a very big banner of MBS depicting him carrying around a saw saying that he is not welcome in Tunisia, it also organized a conference for it and other 15 NGOs and unions in the country declaring their rejection for the visit on Monday.

    On the same day, SNJT announced that it filed a lawsuit against MBS for crimes against humanity in Yemen aiming that the Tunisian prosecutor would file a lawsuit accordingly at the International Criminal Court against the Saudi prince in an unprecedented move !!

    The SNJT is not the only party or entity that filed a lawsuit against the man who hailed to bring reform to the conservative kingdom from a couple of months again in the West, not less than 50 Tunisian lawyers filed a lawsuit based on Jamal Khashoggi's murder to stop his visit to their country. "I do not know if they are able to do this according to the law in the first place but the message is clear"

    Another 13 NGOs including Association Tunisienne Des Femmes Democrates "The Tunisian association of democratic women" issued a statement denouncing and rejecting the visit. 

    Association Tunisienne Des Femmes Democrates also put up that banner on its headquarters in Tunis.
    The flagellant of women is not welcomed
    "Association Tunisienne Des Femmes Democrates's Facebook" 

    Monday evening, hundreds of Tunisians protested against MBS in the famous Bourguiba Avenue in the capital.
    Tunisian protesters against MBS in Tunis City
    Tunisian protesters against MBS in Tunis city
    "Tarek Hussein" 
    Tunisian protesters against MBS in Tunis City
    Tunisian protesters against MBS in Tunis City
    "Tarek Hussein"


    There are unconfirmed news reports that MBS canceled his visit to Tunisia.
    I wish that this is true. Either way, the civil society in Tunisia proved it is a beacon of hope in the Arab world. 

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    Kodak Agfa posted a photo:

    Ancient Egyptian King Djoser at Egyptian Museum of Cairo تمثال الملك زوسر فى المتحف المصرى

    The famous statue of ancient Egyptian King Djoser at the Egyptian Museum of Tahrir in Cairo. The Statue is from the old kingdom. تمثال الملك زوسر من عصر المملكة القديمة فى مصر القديمة


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    Kodak Agfa posted a photo:

    Tourists at the Egyptian Museum of Cairo سائحين فى المتحف المصرى بالقاهرة

    Tourists at the Egyptian Museum of Cairo مجموعات من سيائحين فى المتحف المصرى بالتحرير


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    Kodak Agfa posted a photo:

    An ancient Egyptian necklace at the Egyptian Museum of Cairo عقد اثرى فى المتحف المصرى بالقاهرة

    An ancient Egyptian necklace made of gold and turquoise at the Egyptian Museum of Cairo. عقد من الذهب و الفيروز فى المتحف المصرى بالتحرير


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    Kodak Agfa posted a photo:

    Ancient Egyptian bag at the Egyptian Museum of Cairo حقبية اثرية فى المتحف المصرى بالقاهرة

    An ancient Egyptian bag that survived all those centuries at the Egyptian museum of Cairo حقبية مصرية قديمة فى المتحف المصرى بميدان التحرير


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    Kodak Agfa posted a photo:

    Ancient Egyptian Jars at the Egyptian Museum of Cairo اوانى فخارية فى المتحف المصرى بالقاهرة

    Two ancient Egyptian jars made of pottery and an old surviving plant at the Egyptian Museum of Cairo اوانى فخارية فى المتحف المصرى بالتحرير


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    I have to publish this post because I do not like misinformation.

    For the three years, a certain photo went viral through Pro-Royal and Pro-Nostalgic Egyptian Facebook pages as the photo of late King Farouk’s magnificent chess set which he received as a gift from his former brother-in-law, late Shah of Iran Reza Pahlavi.

    It is a very ugly chess set and thankfully it is not the real chess set. I will share it later in this post.

    Here is the real and only King Farouk’s chess set as exhibited in Alexandria’s Royal Jewelry Museum.

    King Farouk of Egypt's Chess set at Royal Jewelry Museum شطرنج الملك فاروق
    The real chess set of King Farouk at the Royal Jewelry Museum 
    Made gold and encrusted with gemstones, that chess set is another remarkable piece of art from the East.
    King Farouk of Egypt's Chess set at Royal Jewelry Museum شطرنج الملك فاروق
    It was a present of Shah of Iran Reza Pahlavi to King Farouk of Egypt and Sudan 
    The chess set is model after Indian kings and fighters. Do you know that chess originated in India? Do you know that its name in Arabic Chaturang, which directly comes from its original game in India “Chaturanga”?


    King Farouk of Egypt's Chess set at Royal Jewelry Museum شطرنج الملك فاروق
    The chess set is so beautiful with two Indian armies set facing each other
    Now I have got one simple question as I checked back the photos of that magnificent chess set: Where is its matching chess board? 

    King Farouk of Egypt's Chess set at Royal Jewelry Museum شطرنج الملك فاروق
    Where is the matching chess board of that beset?l set?
    I do not think that Reza Pahlavi sent that chess set without its chess board and surely that glass board is not its true chess board.
    King Farouk of Egypt's Chess set at Royal Jewelry Museum شطرنج الملك فاروق
    Something is missing indeed when we speak about this chess board 
    Even that hideous game of the throne type chess set got matching chess board !!
    The fake and ugly chess got a matching board

    Yes, that the hideous game that reminds me of GOT
    By the way, I do not think that King Farouk nor Shah Reza Pahlavi even knew how to play chess because if they had done, they would not have lost their thrones like that.

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    In the past 72 hours, Egyptian actress Rania Youssef made headlines nationally and internationally thanks for the media priorities in Egypt.
    As you may have heard she is going to stand a trial next 12 January 2019 in front of a Cairo misdemeanor court on accusations of committing acts that incite debauchery and lechery.

    The 45-years-old actress wore a “revealing dress” to the closing ceremony of Cairo International Film Festival "CIFF"  that was the talk of the country on Thursday and Friday then on Saturday we found three lawyers left all the problems facing the nation and decided to teach Youssef and her sisters a lesson !!
    Rania Youssef
    Ms. Rania Youssef and her revealing dress "AFP"
    First thing I am amazed that the misdemeanor court acts that fast as usual, it takes time to get in the system. Already we got hundreds of Egyptian activists lingering in pretrial detention for years now without a trial.

    Second thing, I am more amazed at how suddenly the mainstream media focused on Rania Youssef and her dress ignoring things that really matter like for instance the recent updates in Giulio Regeni’s murder case.

    According to Italian and British media, Italian prosecutors named several officers of Egypt’s national security agency as main suspects in the investigation and would reveal them soon in a new pressure move on Cairo.
    The Italian media did not reveal any names but the Guardian published names of the alleged suspects“Major Sherif Magdy Abdel Aal and Osman Helmy of Egypt’s national security agency”
    The Egyptian media ignored those updates and focused on how the Egyptian House of representatives regrets how Italy’s Chamber of duties decided to suspect their parliamentary bilateral relations till the on-going investigations into the murder of Regeni reach to true results.

    Economically, I am angry on how mainstream media as well social media ignores the fact Egypt’s external debt ridiculously rose to become USD 92.64 billion at the end of June 2018.
    Those debts are actually burdens on the Egyptian people that they have to pay their prices heavily whether in the current time or in the future whether financially or economically or politically too.

    Earlier Saturday, I found that there is a rise in customs in Egypt as the ministry of finance decided to float the price of the USD custom rate for “non-necessities and leisure commodities” including deodorants, mobile phones and laptops for one month “December” !!

    The importers expect that there will be an increase between 10%-15% in the prices of those commodities !!

    I do not know what to say really but computers are not “non-necessity commodity” those days. Egypt does not manufacture computers for God’s sake.
    Also, deodorants and shampoos are not leisure commodities.
    Now there is no proper coverage for that decision and its implications and effects on importers who are technically struggling to remain in the business.

    Does anyone  follow the latest updates of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam “GERD” ? The latest I know that there have been arrests among the Dam’s officials on corruption charges but we as Egyptian people ignore what is happening in the talks between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan.

    The people of Giza’s Warraq island woke on Wednesday to find out that the Prime minister issued a ministerial decree to confiscate their land in the latest episode of the fight between the government and the islanders. Vowing to fight the Egyptian government alone with very shy media coverage, the islanders say that they will never leave their homes.
    The people of that island are the real modern manifestation of David against Goliath and there is no media that could cover that fight fairly.
    I can’t find a proper media coverage for those main alarming issues this week.

    Instead , the media is focusing on a dress and an ass “pardon my French”.

    Some say that "Rania's dress" affair is just clever distraction made up by the regime to make the people look the other way and forget things that matter. The "look to the birdie" technique which has been so successful and so disastrous to Egypt's image abroad.

    FYI , Rania Youssef issued a statement on her social media accounts on Saturday apologizing for wearing that revealing dress blaming the fashion designers and stylists for influencing her choice.

    By the way , I can’t ignore how Egypt’s actors syndicate issued a statement saying that “it would investigate the actresses who wore revealing revealing dresses” on Friday !! That statement actually threw Rania Youssef under the bus for real.

    I do not know if that investigation will include actress Rogina who wore a so-called “revealing dress” in the opening ceremony of Gouna International Film Festival. Rogina is married to Ashraf Zaki , the head of actors syndicate and he accompanied her in both occasion and was so proud of her in front of the cameras.

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    Phoenix Laundry Service

    Seen in Giza: The phoenix laundry service and I do not know why it’s owner named it that iconic name.
    I do not know why or how the owner thought of naming his laundry service after a mystical bird the old Arabs spoke about in their old literature.
    In the old Arab literature, the Phoenix or the "Anka" was the hugest bird the earth had seen living away from humans and it had magical characteristics.
    Historically speaking, the Phoenix' first appearance was in ancient Egyptian mythology then spread in the rest of the ancient world. 
    The Phoenix or the Anka is commonly known in Arab Culture as one of the three impossibles or myths.
    It is mentioned in a very famous poem verse from the Pre-Islam days in Arabia saying that there are impossibles in the world: The ghoul, the Phoenix and the honest good friend.


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    From two weeks ago or something when the “Gilets Jaunes” or Yellow Vests movement began to gain attention worldwide with their protests rocking France , I received a WhatsApp message from a Pro-regime TV host and journalist saying that the protests were sponsored by the CIA and Trump as an answer for the French President Emmanuel Macron call’s for a European army.

    I laughed and did not pay attention then to the message as he is used to sharing those wild anti-Arab spring pro-conspiracy theories all the time.
    Tonight I found non-politicized friends on Facebook sharing the same post copied from each other, unfortunately, which means it began to spread.
    Yellow vests in Paris "AFP"
    Yellow vests in Paris "AFP"
    For the regime supporters, the CIA and Trump “whom they actually like” are not the only usual suspect to blame in that “violence” threatening the French republic.

    The Islamists or to be specific the Muslim Brotherhood are blamed also for the Yellow vests movement.
    Nabil Naim, the former leading figure in Islamic Jihad the so-called expert in the Islamists affairs told Al-Masry Al-Youm “AMAY” Daily that the Muslim Brotherhood members from Algerians, Tunisians and Moroccans who live in the shanty towns of France were participating in the violent protests.
    “The way that those protests are being managed show the Muslim Brother is behind them without a doubt !!!!” He said with all confidence.
    He also added that the CIA and Trump were behind those protests but they let the MB do their dirty work for them because Macron spoke about that European army.
    It is always the MB.

    Dubai former police chief Dhahi Khalfan also wondered if the Gilet Jaunes protests had to do with the arrest of Tarek Ramadan, the grandson of MB’s founder on charges of rapes and that the MB made up those protests !!



    I do not know if that man is playing dumb or he is dumb for real.
    Once an independent newspaper that supported the January 25 revolution, Al-Masry Al-Youm “AMAY” paper published a report about the negative similarities between Gilets Jaunes protests and the Arab Spring.
    According to AMAY, the similarities are murder, looting and destroying public and private properties only.
    The reasons or the results similarities between the two movements are completely ignored.
    It did not stop at there as those Pro-regime supporters expressing their gloat that Paris was burning openly “because Europeans always speak about protesters’ human rights and did not care for national security so they can drink from their own poison now” but it extended to share and explain news according to their own right-wing mindset “and directives as well” .

    For instance, Pro-regime supporter Media figure Ibrahim El-Garhi on December 2nd.


    In less than 24 hours , France will deploy its army to restore security in the streets and so our good kind people should know that in Europe and developed countries , armies are used in the necessities and no DOG says it is military rule.
    Well in less 24 hours of writing that pathetic Facebook post, French Prime minister Edouard Philippe announced that the fuel taxes rises were postponed for six months.
    Yes, the French government began to listen to those Gilet Jaunes who burned down Central Paris without sending the military to drag them down in the Champs-Élysées.
    He removed that post from his official Facebook page after it became the joke of Egyptian social media but he posted another interesting post on his Personal Facebook account, which he shared publicly to everybody.
    Macron learnt nothing from the “Arab autumn” experience. He started to present concessions because he imagines it will calm the streets. Yet “the smell” of those concession warms up “the glue sniffers” because it makes them feel that they are important and their work got value. The government will give up and the protests will increase and the demands’ ceiling will raise !!”
    The Arab Autumn” refers to the Arab Spring and “The glue sniffers” is a derogatory term referring to the Non-Islamist Pro-25 January protesters by pro-regime supporters describing them as drug addicts.
    Well Macron does not need to learn from the Arab Spring protests because his democratic country learned very well the meaning of Public anger in the famous May 1968 protests.
    Personally, I wish Mr. El-Garhey and his brothers read more about the political history of France before opening their mouth.
    By the way, Ibrahim El-Garhey gives lectures about media and social media in universities like the American University in Cairo as well in the military academy.
    I forget to mention in my post series about Media Empires in Egypt that Ibrahim El-Garhey was attacked in Egyptian Media group’s newspapers because he criticized how TV channels currently were full of symbols of ignorance as TV hosts. The former TV host used to have TV and radio shows in channels owned by the Group but they were suspended.
    Also, I could not ignore that message from a Kuwaiti concerned citizen Adel Youssef to President Macron telling him to strip the French citizenship off some of the protesters who do not respect France’s history so the rest would stop protesting !!

    Needless to say, most replies were mocking such suggestion but the thing is Mr. Youssef mentioned a very common practice in the Gulf region, which is to strip political dissidents off their citizenship and nationalities to become stateless.
    It happens in all Gulf states without any exception whether in Saudi Arabia or Kuwait or Qatar or Bahrain or UAE. It is another weapon besides imprisonment, torture, abduction.
    Mr. Youssef represented honestly how the regimes in the Gulf region as well the supporters think when dealing with opposition.
    Sadly enough he and his compatriots in Egypt spoke about France and its great history, ignoring or forgetting the role the French people played since the 18th century in shaping the modern democracy as well republic as we know it.

    On Thursday, I began to read on Twitter rumors that the industrial security shops would not sell any yellow vests for construction companies or individuals except when they see a permit from a police station and official documents from the companies !!!!!!!!

    I totally understand the fear of Egyptian regime as well the Arab regimes in general that the Gilets Jaunes may give thoughts, especially we are near from the anniversary of Arab spring start in Tunisia and its proud baby “whether they like it or not” in January 25 revolution in Egypt but this is madness.
    They learned nothing from the Arab Spring.

    By the way, Pro-MB supporters are now sharing posts claiming that the French people are braver than the Egyptian people as a poor attempt to provoke the public as usual from them. I Just want to tell them that the Egyptian people went to the streets and died while knowing that there is no law or constitution to protect their rights, unlike the French people who are lucky enough to know they would protest and return back home safely.

    The Egyptian people are exhausted, a thing which nobody can deny. They are also very patient people but patience got limits, the world knew that in January 2011.


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    Earlier Friday, we found out that Egypt’s Urgent Matter Court scheduled a hearing 23 December 2018 to demand the parliament to look into a lawsuit demanding constitutional amendments that will cancel the presidential terms limits officially.

    A ballot box at a polling station in Egypt's Giza
    A ballot box at a polling station in Giza during the
    Constitution referendum in 2012
    The news was originally published by Egypt’s Official State-owned News agency MENA and according to it, a bunch of concerned citizens from lawyers “they are always good citizens” want to amend article No.140 of Current Egyptian Constitution that limit the presidential terms to two four-years-terms in the office.

    Those citizens want to change the article because they want to re-elect current president Abdel Fattah El-Sisi from here to eternity as long as “the public wants it”.
    Article No. 140 stipulates the following :
    The President of the Republic shall be elected for a period of four calendar years, commencing from the day following the termination of the term of his predecessor. The President may only be reelected once.
    I did not support or vote even for that constitution as I was so sick during its referendum but I have to say that this was one of its best articles.
    According to article No.226, the articles of the constitution can be amended by the request of the president or one-fifth of the MPs in the House of the Representatives and that request must be discussed within 30 days.
    The amendment of one or more of the Constitution articles may be requested by the President of the Republic or one-fifth of the members of the House of Representatives. The request specifies the articles to be amended and the reasons for the amendments. In all cases, the House of Representatives will debate the request within 30 days from the date of its receipt. The House issues its decision to accept the request in whole or in part by a majority of its members. If the request is rejected, the same amendments may not be requested again before the next legislative term. If the amendment request is approved by the House, it discusses the text of the articles to be amended within 60 days from the date of approval. If approved by a two-thirds majority of the House’s members, the amendment is put to public referendum within 30 days from the date of approval. The amendment is effective from the date on which the referendum’s result and the approval of a valid majority of the participants in the referendum are announced.
    The argument of those who want to amend it and to change to infinity and beyond is that Presidents like El-Sisi don’t have enough presidential terms in hard times “that never ends in our place in the worlds”.
    Some say that we must have it like the French “5 years” but ironically the French presidents also have only two concessive presidential terms.
    I do not need to remind them the President of the United States aka, the leader of the Free world and the West only has got two presidential terms.

    This is not the first time we got calls in Egypt to “unlimit” the presidential terms constitutionally if you remember last year but this time it seems really serious especially with that lawsuit and media campaigns as well the parliamentarians leading for public campaigns as well.

    We got figures like Pope Tawadros II, the head of the Egyptian Orthodox Coptic Church commenting for the first time about the demands to amend the constitution publicly.
    In an interview with Ten TV channel last week, Pope Tawadros II said that if there was a need for a constitutional amendment then there should be an amendment as the constitution is “man-made”.
    It is a diplomatic answer that was considered as an endorsement in the media. “In the same interview, Pope Tawadros II praised Prince Mohamed Bin Salman of Saudi Arabia

    In the media, Pro-regime TV hosts and journalists like Mohamed El-Baz and Moatez Abdel Fattah speak about the importance and the necessity to amend the constitution day and night whether in their columns or TV shows. “Spare me from linking to their work”

    Future of homeland Party has been leading a popular campaign to gather signatures for petitions across the country to amend the constitution.
    Future of homeland party is considered currently unofficially the largest party in the parliament.
    According to the Constitution, as I mentioned above, you only need one-fifth of the MPs to request an amendment to the constitution to force the House of representatives.

    I do not hear voices opposing to those amendments especially by those who originally drafted the 2014 Constitution including former Presidential Candidate Amr Moussa who founded along others an NGO in 2016 to protect the Constitution. 

    "The Egyptian Institution to Protect the Constitution" NGO made a small news earlier November as Moussa declared that it was participating in amending the controversial NGOs law.

    Mada Masr published a very interesting report about the plans to amend the Constitution saying that the whole issue is being led by none other than Mahmoud El-Sisi himself, the current President son who works in the General Intelligence Directorate.
    It is not the first time one reads his names in such news reports.

    The report which quotes an anonymous source claims that there would be other amendments in the constitution that would limit the role of the parliament and its authority as well as to restore the Shura Council !!

    If the Mada Masr report is true then I believe that it would be better to save an effort to restore back the 1971 Constitution !!

    The call to amend the constitution comes at the same time a bunch of so-called “seculars” in Egypt are demanding a constitutional amendment to allow the dismissal of Al Azhar Sheikh Ahmed El-Tiyab because he is allegedly conservative block who is opposing to El-Sisi’s plans to modernize and change the religious discourse in Egypt.
    Article No.7 in the current constitution “which most of those so-called seculars support too” stipulates the following :
    Al-Azhar’s Grand Sheikh is independent and may not be dismissed. The Law shall regulate the method of appointing the Grand Sheikh from amongst the members of Council of Senior Scholars.
    Those so-called seculars do not give a damn for the constitution or the political freedoms or true freedom of expressions or thought or human rights for real.

    Now personally I believe if the advocates of constitution amendments try to attract seculars or there is an attempt to get rid of El-Tiyab by amending article No.7 along with article No.140, it will yield an opposite result and actually will be a dangerous game for the regime.

    Simply Grand Emam of Al-Azhar Ahmed El-Tiyab and Al-Azhar are popular are in Egypt outside the social media and mainstream media bubble.
    It is Al-Azhar and its grand sheikh, the protectors of Islam in Egypt.
    I would dare and say that amending that article is actually more challenging than amending the Presidential terms limit articles.

    Historically, the Egyptian Constitution of 1971 was amended in 1980 to allow the President then “Anwar Sadat” to run for the office forever after. “Former First lady Jihan Sadat says that her husband did not intend to so

    An Egyptian voter casting his vote at a polling station in Egypt's Giza
    An Egyptian voter casting his vote a polling station in Giza during the 2012 referendum 

    To make the amendments acceptable publicly, the second article of that constitution which originally stipulates that “Islam is the official religion of the State” was amended to become “Islam is the official religion of the state and the Islamic Sharia is the official source of legislation”.

    Despite the news of that lawsuit is important and alarming yet no one is paying attention.
    Maybe because it is Friday or maybe the news is not covered as it should whether in the social media or the mainstream.

    The mainstream media focused on issues like that Danish photographer and his girlfriend who filmed themselves while having sex at the top of the great pyramid of Giza.
    On the other hand, the social media was still speaking about Rania Youssef, the crazy Danish couple and that usual football fight between Ahly SC and Zamalek SC that reminded me personally of the ol’ good days of Mubarak.

    The mission is done perfectly and nobody is focusing on things that truly matter whether political or economically as well.

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    The reactions in our dear part of the world over what has been happening in France whether from protests or official reactions.
    In the past 48 hours, Egypt made headlines internationally once again in an awkward way as it turned out that the Egyptian authorities did restrict quietly the sale of yellow vests for fear of copycat protests especially January 25 anniversary is a couple of weeks away.
    On Tuesday, Alexandria prosecution ordered the detention of a leftist human rights lawyer for 15 days pending investigations for posting a photo online wearing a yellow vest !!
    Local Alexandrian activists like Mahinour El-Masry say that lawyer Mohamed Ramadan was accused of inciting protests because he posted a photo while wearing a yellow vest on his Facebook profile in solidarity with French protesters.
    I thought the officials got the memo in 2011 that the Egyptian people do not need yellow vests to protests or start a sit-in in a place like Tahrir square.
    I do not understand this frenzy or phobia especially there are no calls for mass protests in Egypt in any kind.

    Anyhow in the past few days there has been a lot of misinformation about the movement and the decisions taken by the French government.
    I can’t ignore that video which was shared by hundreds of thousands of times across the Arab world social media with the wrong translation and synopsis to bash the Arab Spring.
    First of all here is the original video from Agence LDC News with English translation. “Thanks toMatsdash News Fact checking Facebook page



    Shared thousands of time on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube,  the video titled “A French policewoman cries and tells the protesters to kill her and not to destroy Paris like Arabs have done with their nations” went viral and found its way to news websites like Youm7 and its sisters in Egypt as well in the Arab world.

    The news was like copied through the news websites in an automated way.
    Many websites including Youm 7 cited the Arabic version of Russia Today “RT” as the source of the video and one can’t be surprised. I do not know what the Russian government wants but RT Arabic is a hub of misinformation in the Middle East and nobody is doing anything about it.

    Those websites and similar social media account did not think for one second that there are French speakers among us who could know easily what that lady was saying as well as her background story.

    It turned out that lady was from the Yellow Vests protesters and she was begging the policemen not to attack the protesters without any mention from near or far to the Arab spring or those stupid Arabs who revolted against their dictators.

    Several websites had to edit and to correct the news but the headline is still the same in websites like in Ahram Arabic Gate and Sawt Al-Oma but the damage is done.

    Sadly enough many Arab news websites shared the news from none other than right-wing Islamophic Arab hater Paul Joseph Watson who did not mention Arabs or Arab Spring in his original Tweet.
    RT took his tweet not so surprisingly and the Arab news websites as well as TV news channels with the same copy/paste text “at least in Egypt” followed blindly.
    Yellow Vests
    From the Yello vests protest at Champs-Élysées in Paris, France, November 24, 2018 "Reuters"
    That was easy to debunk but sometimes it is hard to counter mass economic information when it involves numbers spread in popular TV channels and social media.
    French President Emmanuel Macron announced that a €100 per month increase in the minimum wage starting from 2019 without extra cost to employers “If the government can increase minimum wage without extra cost to employers, why did not it do before ?”

    In Mid July 2018, the minimum wage in France was €1,498.47.
    Now we got a bunch of  media figures who claimed in the Egyptian media that this minimum wage was too close to Egypt’s minimum wage which is LE 1200 “Thanks to a big labor rights battle
    I do not know if those media figures think that the people are stupid and naïve or they are the ones who are stupid to think so !!

    One Euro equals LE 20.37…. shall I say more?  Shall I speak about their purchasing power parity aka PPP?
    Shall I speak about the services the French people get for their taxes?

    Maybe I have to speak in a simple way.
    Using the ridiculous iPhone X Index which determines how many hours you have to work to get Apple’s Most pricy iPhone, you can say Egypt tops the world with 1,0662.2 hours the Egyptian must work it to get iPhone X while in France you have work 102.4 hours to buy it.

    I feel that I am speaking all the time on social media about the obvious and basics of economics all the time.
    Pro-regime Media figures are still angry that Macron turned to be a soft French guy who did not crack the protests violently.
    They also forget that the public opinion in France has been supporting the movement.

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    Cairo and Giza got beautiful architectural jewels that are hidden in the rough that we are losing them fast those days.
    Those hidden jewels are the residential palaces, villas and residential buildings with private gardens in side streets that nobody pays attention except when they are demolished and replaced by ugly cement buildings or to be precise cement blocks.

    In Giza’s old Dokki, there are many hidden villas and palaces with a very unique architectural style that stand in a race of time.

    Some of those palaces and buildings got very interesting stories about their owners who were once famous people and played an important role in the modern history of Egypt.

    One of those places is the magnificent Palace of late physician Dr. Salem “Bey” El-Hendawy in the heart of Dokki, Giza governorate.

    The Palace of Salem Hendawy's Facade
    The Salem El-Hendawy palace's beautiful entrance 
    All that I know about that palace that was built in 1932 and some say that it was a gift from King Fouad I to the late famous Dr. El-Hendawy for his services. Already the palace is located in Abdullah El-Kateb street, which was used to be named El-Hendawy street after the late doctor.
    The original name is still kept in Google Maps in some kind of irony.

    Historically the area where the palace is located was packed with palaces owned by members of Mohamed Ali Royal Family as well the Pashas but that palace truly stands out with its distinguished Neo-Islamic style.

    Not so big palace
    The Palace and its garden occupies 1200 meter square 

    I do not know its architect was but I think it could be legendary architect Mostafa Pasha Fahmy because he was fond of that Neo-Islamic style.


    After more than 80 years, the daughters of Dr. El-Hendawy put it up for sale with demolishment license for a price tag equal to LE 83 Million in April. Listing it in OLX “Egypt’s equivalent to eBay” was enough to catch the media’s attention in April.

    A Closed small palace
    It is abandoned now as Dr. El-Hendawy's daughters want to sell it
    Despite looking monumental, the ministry of antiquities stated in April that the palace was not regarded or registered as a monument officially.
    Quranic verses on the palace's facade
    "Enter ye here in peace and security" Quranic verse {Ch.15 - Al-Hijr Sura: Verse 45} decorating the
    entrance 

    Born in Mounfia’s rural Sinjilf village, Dr. Salem El-Handawy was graduated from Kasr Al-Ainy School of Medicine in 1910 as an ophthalmologist where he worked in Al-Abbasy hospital.

    He was appointed in 1918 as the general manager of Ophthalmology Hospital at the Bimaristan of Qalawun “the hospital was not demolished in 1910, it became an Ophthalmology hospital only” in Islamic Cairo, Egypt’s oldest working hospital since the 13th century.
    Mashrabiya style windows in the palace
    A wooden Mashrabiya style window 

    In nutshell in 1925, Egypt had sent as usual its “Al-Mahmal parade” which had carried the Holy Kaaba’s Kiswah from Cairo to Mecca on the back of a camel in the protection of Egyptian armed military unit accompanied by a military musical band along with its official pilgrimage delegation.
    According to historical accounts , the Egyptian military band had that usual cheerful entrance when it entered Mecca “ I swore by God I can’t imagine this so easily now” which the locals in the Holy City liked and welcomed but one of the armed zealous Wahabi groups from King Abdel Aziz Al-Saud’s allies stationed there did not like or want music.

    In an act of foolishness, that group attacked the military band and in return, the armed Egyptian military unit opened their fires to protect the Egyptian parade and it turned in to a diplomatic fiasco that the relations were severed and cut for a while.

    Egypt used to send the Kiswah from middle ages till Nasser stopped because of his fights with Saudi
    El-Hendawy on the right with King Abdel Aziz
    Al-Saud in a later visit to the Kingdom 
    Arabia in the 1950s and 1960s. Its procession was a big cheerful event the King used to attend along Egyptians.

    A couple of years later, Dr. El-Hendawy’s fame reached Saudi Arabia as an excellent ophthalmologist that King Abdel Aziz Al-Saud requested that he would come to the kingdom to treat his son and crown prince then Saud but our doctor apologized because it was hard for him to treat his patient in the hot weather of Saudi Arabia. “It seems that it was during summer with no air conditioner what so ever”.

    In a smart move, the Egyptian government along with King Fouad I officially invited Crown Prince Saud to Cairo to receive treatment and King Abdel Aziz accepted that invitation considering it as a new page between Egypt and the newly founded Kingdom.
    Interestingly, I found a photo for Dr. El-Hendawy with King Abdel Aziz Al-Saud along with another Egyptian physician.

    Back to the palace, well I respect the wish of El-Hendawys to sell it because I know we got hard economic times in Egypt but at the same time I am praying that the palace will stand still for another 17 years so it can be monumental according to the law and won’t be demolished. 
    Islamic style small palace
    The entrance with marble
    I began to notice Salem El-Hendawy Palace from a couple of years ago when I guess AMIDEAST Egypt rented it as an office in Dokki for some time.
    Surrounded by ugly cement towers
    The Palace is overshadowed by ugly modern cement blocks 

    Personally, I wish that that palace will turn in to some sort of cultural venue serving Dokki and Agouza before it is too late.