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7000 years and counting ...
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    On Thursday, Egyptian Olympic Committee“EOC” rejected a request from The Egyptian Shooting Club to hold another General assembly meeting on Friday to have a new vote on the Club’s bylaws and rules once again.

    The Upper Middle class-Giza club held its general assembly meeting early August and out of 94 thousand members, only 573 attended the meeting.

    As a result of failing to meet the minimum number of members eligible to vote on the famous club’s bylaws, the club would be following the guideline bylaws issued by the EOC instead of the Club’s elected board of administration’s bylaws.

    An old 1950s news report in some old
    Egyptian magazine about Cairo clubs 
    What followed then at upscale and Upper/Upper middle classes clubs in Cairo was hysteria and panic reaching to the level of mobilization for a vote to save the “clubs’ independence and class” that some considered unjustified. Before going on with that August hysteria, I must go back a couple of months to explain what is going on.

    In May, the Egyptian Parliament approved the new Sports law prepared by Egypt’s Sports and Youth ministry“Yes, we have a ministry with such name” after two years of debates and amendments.
    In June, President El-Sisi ratified the Sports law aka No.71 for the year 2017.

    Aside from creating a judicial body that has the power to judge sports disputes and to regulate spectators’ attendance and violations “aka a special court, not a civilian court”, the law also regulates the relation between the government or the state and sports clubs as well sports associations.

    Compiled as much as it can be with the provisions of the International Olympic Charter, the law moves power and control over sports clubs and sports associations to the elected boards of those bodies themselves as well to the Olympic Committee in Egypt. The government represented in the Youth and Sports Ministry and its minister will be monitoring only the sports clubs and sports associations.

    Theoretically, this is a huge improvement because now officially and legally the State has got no control on the clubs and sports associations if their General assemblies chose the official guidelines bylaws over their clubs’ bylaws.

    According to the Sports law’s 4th article, the social and sports clubs got 3 months since the start of June till 31 August to adopt the new system and to have general assemblies.

    There are more than 40 sports clubs in the country classified into Sports clubs, clubs owned by companies and syndicates as well clubs owned by the armed forces and police. Each one of those categories got guideline bylaws issued by the EOC.

    Now in August, big clubs like the Shooting club, Gezira club and Smouha SC in Alexandria discovered that they got 30 days only to choose specific bylaws and the concerns were raised for the first time.

    People began to share on Facebook the proposed guidelines bylaws of the EOC and their clubs’ own bylaws. Huge campaigns started with the call for a general assembly of the members at Cairo’s Heliopolis Club.

    The members were called to attend the general assembly asap and not to do what Shooting club members had done, they should return immediately from North Coast resorts to vote and then return back to the vacations and beaches. They were giving special offers in order to show up.

    I am not a member of Heliopolis Club but I was added by friends in an open Facebook group for the members.

    I saw first hand what the people thought and wrote aside what was said in the social media that they were just bunch of classists who want to keep off people from lower classes from joining their private old club.
    Yes, some members wanted to keep others from their club so it would not be spoiled like “any other thing in the country”.

    For example, the EOC’s bylaws allowed, for example, honorary membership without any criteria “membership for army and police officers and judges” and non-university graduates to become members of the Club’s board but it is beyond that.

    I read the proposed EOC guidelines bylaws and I found at least three rules that allow a government control on that club and other clubs like it.

    For example, the EOC is given the right to amend the guideline bylaws as soon as they are applied immediately without returning back to the general assembly.
    The General assembly’s power also in the EOC’s bylaws is limited.

    On 22 August, more than 17,000 Heliopolis Club members showed up at the general assembly meeting including Current PM, Hisham Ismail himself.

    It was considered the biggest general assembly meeting for the club that was found in 1910.
    The majority of the members or exactly 17,273 rejected the EOC’s guideline bylaws and supported their own club bylaws. Only 42 members approved the EOC’s bylaws !!
    It was some kind a victory for Heliopolis Upper Middle and Upper Class.

    What happened in Heliopolis was a rehearsal for the big show at Egypt’s oldest Sports Club on the island of Zamalek.

    Founded in 1882, Gezira Sports Club  “GSC” is considered from the most expensive Egyptian clubs with a long history where you can find Crème de la crème of the Egyptian society.
    Following what happened in Heliopolis, the GSC members declared mobilization to save their club from a grim future if “the state” controlled it.

    Buses were arranged to transfer members from North Coast resorts as well from other far away areas in Cairo like in Heliopolis and some restaurants even declared special discounts for the members.

    The common theme in the angry posts for many of the GSC members was that “the guideline bylaws allowed membership without any criteria” which means that its membership would be opened for the rest of the public.

    It became hysterical to the level that I found Ali, the son of sports minister Khaled Abdel Aziz posting a video on his Facebook account telling the GSC members to chill out.

    Despite telling them to vote for their own club’s bylaws , Abdel Aziz defended the guideline bylines insisting that the membership would not be open to anyone as they thought.

    I found also veteran actor and entertainer Samir Sabry in a rare appearance calling people to come to save the club from a grim fate like Zamalek , which is being damaged because of the Metro.

    To be honest , I am not fond of a particular class or type of Gezira club members whom I cannot stand online , let alone offline “the elitists, racists and classists “.

    I am not fond of the GSC administration either that loves to poison stray cats in the club from time to time but when 29 August 2017 came, the GSC members amazed everybody.

    Paralyzing the streets of Zamalek, thousands of GSC members came from everywhere leaving their cars parked in queues to vote in a historical turnout for the club’s General assembly since early morning.

    According to news reports, more than 18,899 registered members came and voted and 18,840 voted for the Club’s own bylaws while only 55 voted for the EOC’s bylaws. It was one hell of a defeat for the EOC and a victory for the GSC members.
    Lamis and Ghada at GSC
    Pro-regime TV host Lamis El-Hadidy and social solidarity minister
    Ghada Wali at GSC during the assembly meeting "El-Hadidy's twitter account"
    The Shooting Club members are now jealous of the Heliopolis and GSC members and so they decided to have a new General assembly meeting but as I mentioned above the EOC rejected it.

    What puzzles me is how many of Gazeira club or Heliopolis club members understand very well how what the State control means “at least how I understand from their Facebook posts in the last couple of days” and how Egypt turned from bad to worse to worst since 1952 , still they support the repressive policies of the current regime against public and private freedoms.

    I totally understand that we are speaking about a special socioeconomic class that panics once its safe havens are in danger.
    Upper and Upper Middle-Class clubs like Gazeira or Heliopolis are among those safe havens for certain people in those classes
    Personally, I believe it is extremely selfish for those classes to protect their pseudo safe havens and ignore the rest of the country.
    Fairly on the same level, I believe that what happened in the past three weeks was an act of rebellion in its own way considering the current situation in Egypt and how the civil society is suffering.
    The current regime in Egypt does not give a chance to any kind of assembly so to have this happens now !!
    Well, God acts in a mysterious way.

    Ironically, some of the proud members of those clubs claimed on Facebook claimed that their electoral victory was like the one in the "30 June revolution that ousted MB Morsi" without realizing that it actually resembled the March 2011 referendum when it comes to the turnout.

    This also shows you how Egyptians can mobilize to vote if they know for sure that their vote can do a significant change.
    One big difference in Tunisia that made ahead of other Arab countries in the Arab spring that it had already a strong civil society.

    May be in the end, those small victories of those battles will lead the Egyptians to a triumph eventually in the war for democracy and freedom.

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    The Egyptian Museum in Cairo does not only include the Sarcophagi and mummies of ancient Egyptians who died thousands of years of ago but interestingly it includes the tomb of its original founder: Auguste Mariette Pasha

    Just outside the museum in your way to the exit, you will find a big statue standing over a fancy Art deco sarcophagus, surrounded by a semi-circular memorial topped by busts of men.
    Mariette Pasha's tomb at the Egyptian museum in Cairo
    Bad iPhone photo for the Memorial 

    That's the tomb of French archeologist Auguste Mariette Pasha "1821-1881".

    Frenchman August Mariette was the first curator of the first true Egyptian Museum in Egypt as well the founder of Egypt's first official Egyptian department of Antiquities aka the Supreme council of antiquities aka the Current ministry of antiquities.

    The big irony is that Mariette Pasha was not the founder of the Egyptian Museum in its current location but he was the founder of the true Museum dedicated to Egyptian antiquities under the supervision of the Egyptian department of antiquities.

    Auguste Mariette Pasha
    Auguste Mariette Pasha in Egypt
    in the 18th century smoking a very long pipe 
    Historically, the first Museum dedicated to the Egyptian antiquities was founded in 1835 during the rule of Mohamed Ali Pasha. It was built near the Ezbekeyah gardens in Cairo. Later, it was moved to the Citadel.

    In 1855, Khedive Saeed decided to give the whole collection of that museum to the Austrian Emperor of Mexico "yes, you read it right" Maximilian I.
    Already, Saeed sent Egyptian troops to fight with the French against the Mexican revolution during then.
    Now the whole Egyptian collection of that first museum is at Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, Austria.

    In 1858, under the supervision of French Egyptologist Auguste Mariette and with the support of Khedive Ismail, the Egyptian Museum in Cairo was founded in Boulaq area on the banks of the Nile  In 1878, that Museum drowned in a flood of the River Nile.

    Not only Egyptian antiquities drowned by the flood but also Mariette Pasha's notes and drawings drowned too.
    Mariette Pasha and his work were significant in the Egyptian archeology whether in Egypt or Sudan.

    Before his death in 1881, Mariette made sure his countryman Gaston Maspero would replace him as the head of the Egyptian department of antiquities.

    He also demanded to be buried in the garden of the museum in a fancy sarcophagus like the Ancient Egyptian kings whom he dedicated his life to studying. He got his wish after his death. Mariette Pasha was buried in the garden of the Boulaq Museum.

    Mariette Pasah's tomb in Boulaq museum
    Mariette Pasha's tomb at Boulaq Museum "Facebook" 
    The Egyptian department of antiquities also made a statue of him to commemorate him in the most ancient Egyptian way I would say.
    The statue was made and put in Boulaq Museum.
    Mariette  pasha  statue
    The inauguration of the statue at Boulaq museum "Facebook" 
    In 1891, after Mariette's death by two years, the remaining collection of the Egyptian Museum drowned in the flood was moved to a former Royal Palace in Giza aka Giza Palace.

    The remaining collection did not move alone because August Mariette's tomb moved with it and he was buried at Giza Museum.
    Mariette Pasha's tomb in Giza Museum
    The tomb of Mariette Pasha in Giza Museum.

    During the rule of Khedive Abbas II, the current Egyptian Museum was inaugurated in 1912

    As a sign of gratitude by Maspero, Mariette's tomb was moved to the new location. The new tomb was more sophisticated than just an art deco sarcophagus especially the statue of the pioneer Egyptologist was placed over the tomb.
    Mariette Pasha tomb in Cairo
    An old photo of the tomb at the Egyptian museum in Cairo

    Mariette Pasha statue overlooking the museum
    "@ JustinC4se Twitter account"
    Later, the busts of famous Egyptologists as famous museum curators were placed on the semi-circular memorial around the sarcophagus.

    No doubt that Egyptians owe a lot to both Mariette Pasha and Maspero.
    Mariette Pasha
    Mariette in an Arab attire
    Next time when you go to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, do not forget to visit Mariette Pasha's tomb before you leave.

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    First of all, due to my own personal reasons I have been away from the blog the past few days but I am back thank God to rant as usual ;)
    It is never too late to share with you a couple of photos I took in the famous Khan El-Khalili market during the Holy month in 2016.
    It has become an annual habit for me as well many Egyptians like me to spend to have a Ramadan Iftar "breakfast" there and hang around in the famous market's alleys.

    In 2015, I went to Khan El-Khalili market also in Ramadan and I spent a good night there.
    I entered Khan El-Khalili as usual from Al-Azhar square.
    In 2016, Al-Azhar Mosque was still being restored then just like in 2015.
    The restoration works have not finished yet as far as I have read lately in September 2017.

    Al-Azhar Mosque and Mohamed Abu Dahab Mosque
    Al-Azhar Mosque was still under restoration works 
    I want to visit the Mohamed Abu Dahab Mosque. The 18th-century ancient Mosque looks amazing from inside already according to the photos I found online and I feel it is so underrated.
    Abu El-Dahab and Al-Azhar Mosques
    Al -Azhar Mosque and Abu Dabab Mosque 

    I also want to know what building is standing beside Abu Dahab Mosque and a school.
    Besides Abu Dahab Mosque
    What is that old building? 

    It looks ancient to me as well. You can find the word "Allah" inscribed on the top of the entrance.
    Reaching Khan El-Khalili on Friday one hour before the Iftar, you would see many people in their way out while shops were closed during the sunset.
    A Khan Khalili sunset
    Going home before the sunset

    Most shops are closed in Egypt during Ramadan before the Iftar by one hour and are open to customers half an hour or one hour after the Iftar.
    As usual, I discover every year something new in Khan El-Khalili when it comes to the shops there. I discovered in 2016 the following shops.
    The precious and semi precious stones jewelry shops.
    A fancy jewelry shop in Khan El-Khalili
    Beautiful semi-precious and precious bracelets 

    They are not cheap at all. I want to buy them all of those rings and necklaces.
    Rings of Khan El-Khalili
    Precious and Semi-Precious rings 

    The beautiful Arabesque products from tables and boxes.
    An Arabesque shop in Khan El-Khalili
    Arabesque tables and boxes 

    And that very small hidden hotel in the heart of Khan El-Khalili "Nour El-Sabah".
    The hotel at the corner in Khan El-Khalil
    Nour El-Sabbah hotel 

    Amazingly, I found its telephone number in the Yellow Pages.
    I also found that very old HMV gramophone with an illustration of King Fouad I of Egypt and Sudan on it.
    A gramophone from King's time
    Old gramophone 

    I did not even dare to ask about its price.
    There were familiar scenes in Khan in 2016 just like in 2015 especially when it comes to the other shops and products.
    For instance, shops are still selling small clay colored figurines.
    Colored clay miniatures
    Colored clay figurines 

    I think in 2016 the latest fashion in small clay colored miniature statues was the Um Kalthoum ensemble.
    Um Kalthoum ensemble miniatures
    Om Kalthoum and her band were a common theme that year in the Khan 

    Um Kalthoum ensemble figurines in Khan El-Khalili
    Thuma again and her band one again 
    My favorite colored figurine was that old man reading a magazine with El-Sisi on its cover ;)
    Clay figurines in Khan El-Khalili
    The magazine reader figurine 

    There are as well the usual beautiful clay non-colored figurines.
    An Egyptian peasant figurine in Khan El-Khalili
    An Egyptian peasant clay figurine 

    The beautiful accessories there are still there.
    Accessories of Khan El-Khalili
    A seller and a buyer talk about Khan El-Khalili accessories 

    Necklaces of Khan El-Khalili
    Necklaces and bracelets of Khan El-Khalili 

    The handmade copper decorative plates.
    Copper decorative plates in Khan El-Khalili
    Handmade copper decorative plates 

    The textile products
    Textile bags and galabiyas in Khan El-Khalili
    The textile products from galabiyas, bags and scarfs 
    My favorite lanterns shops inside the Bab Ghouri gate.
    The shopkeepers turned off the lanterns most of the time then because of electricity prices and Selfie photographers.
    El-Ghuri gate and its shops
    My favorite Bab Ghouri 

    According to the shopkeepers, people came and took selfies and the lanterns in the background without buying anything.
    I saw that first hand those selfie photographers taking photos all the time in that beautiful place.
    A duck face in Khan El-Khalili
    Duck face in front of the lanterns, that gentleman on the right
    was also looking into his mobile phone 

    Kindly enough the shopkeepers turned the light on and the lanterns looked amazing.

    Inside Khan El-Khalili's Bab El-Ghuri gate
    The difference is obvious and clear 
    Inside Khan El-Khalili's Bab El-Ghuri gate
    Lights are on 
    Inside Khan El-Khalili's Bab El-Ghuri gate
    Lanterns and their beautiful light 
    The lamps of Khan El-Khalili's Bab El-Ghuri
    Like some alien eggs :) 
    The colorful lanterns of Khan El-Khalili
    My favoirte Ramadan Photo for 2016 and 2017 as well. 

    I would say that Khan El-Khalili had more visitors in 2016 than in 2015 in Ramadan at least from what I saw.
    A customer smiling in Khan El-Khalili shop
    A young customer 

    Needless to say, the shopkeepers are missing foreign tourists more than ever.
    A shop inside Khan El-Khalili's Badistand gate
    A shop inside Khan El-Khalili's Badistand gate

    Luckily, I have seen Chinese tourists in the Khan in 2016.
    Inside the Badistan gate of Khan El-Khalili
    Inside the Badistan gate of Khan El-Khalili

    Still, the shopkeepers are missing the old times and the Egyptian buyers are not enough.
    Ramadan shoppers
    Ramadan shoppers
    Khan El-Khalili at night
    Khan El-Khalili at night
    Khan El-Khalili at night
    Khan El-Khalili at night

    Interestingly, I saw more belly-dancing suits and accessories than in 2015 inside the Khan itself.
    Inside a Khan El-Khalili Shop
    Bellydancing suits in a Khan El-Khalili shop 

    Women's fashion in Khan El-Khalili
    Bellydancing suits and galabiyas in a Khan El-Khalili shop 
    Galabiyas and bellydancing suits
    Galabiyas and belly dancing suits
    Sequin canes in Khan El-Khalili
    Sequin canes in Khan El-Khalili

    Bally dancing suits of Khan El-Khalili
    Bally dancing suits of Khan El-Khalili

    And of course the original Baladi Tabla is sold there in Khan El-Khalili
    Baladi Tabla sold in Khan El-Khalili
    Baladi Tabla sold in Khan El-Khalili

    I did not find my favorite bookshop open during my visit to the Khan in 2016.
    I am worried that it was shut down and sold to another shop owner who changed its activity.
    I hope that it was only closed on that Friday.
    A closed shop in Khan El-Khalili
    A closed shop in Khan El-Khalili
    After Iftar, I and my cousins went to the famous Fishaway cafe.
    The cafe was buzzing and full as usual.
    The Fishawy cafe
    El-Fishawy cafe 

    I got a nice Henna tattoo drawn by a very nice Sudanese young lady.
    A post shared by Zeinobia (@zeinobia) on

    I had that Henna tattoo for a couple of weeks.
    We walked out the Khan through the Badistan gate aka Badistan Way street.
    The Badistan way street
    The Badistan way street 
     Yes, it turned out that there is a street named after the famous Khan El-Khalili gate leading Al-Hussein Mosque and square.
    The famous minaret of the mosque that was reconstructed in the 19th century.
    Al-Hussein Mosque's Minaret
    Al-Hussein Mosque's Minaret 
    Honestly, it is the first time I noticed the gothic style of the famous Al-Hussein Mosque.
    Al-Hussein Mosque's Gothic look
    Al-Hussein Mosque's Gothic look: Check the windows 
     Also, interestingly you would find old Western style residential buildings built in the famous popular square steps away from Khan El-Khalili and Al-Hussein mosque.

    European style buildings in Al-Hussein
    Neo-Classic European style buildings in Al-Hussein

    Al-Hussein Mosque was buzzing with life in that Ramadan sleepless night with many worshipers inside it seeking the blessings of God and his Saint Al-Hussein bin Ali while a huge crowd outside enjoyed themselves in local cafes and restaurants.
    An Overview of Al-Hussein Square
    Al-Hussein shops and cafes 

    Before heading back to home, my family decided to order a yummy Egyptian Fiteer aka "pancakes" near the mosque.
    They were the best pancakes, crunchy from outside and soft from inside. They are highly recommended.
    During that visit, I tried something for the first time and I really liked it. I did a very short live periscope broadcast from Khan El-Khalili in English before the Iftar.
    I tried Periscope again from a couple of months ago and I believe that I will do it again inshallah hopefully soon. You can subscribe to my Periscope channel here.

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    On Sunday, Reuters said that Egypt’s ministry of finance has asked the cabinet to approve two new Eurobond issuances. According to two sources that spoke with Reuters, the two Eurobond issuance will be in late 2017 and in 2018.
    The first issuance will be ranged between 1-2 billion Euros before the end of 2017 while the second issuance will be ranged between from $4-8 billion in 2018.
    Egypt's external debt
    From Google images -_-
    The Egyptian government has already sold $7 billion in 5, 10 and 30-years Eurobonds on the Luxembourg stock exchange in early 2017.
    Also in November 2016, Egypt signed an agreement for a three-year $12 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund “IMF”
    Now the simple question I have in my mind: Do not those new Eurobonds mean a bigger external debt for Egypt ??
    The external debt of Egypt is scary right now.
    It has reached in the fiscal year 2016/2017 which concluded in July to $73 billion !!
    I did this graph to see the external debt of Egypt from 2010 to 2017 and it is not good.

    If you think that something is wrong with the numbers, please tell me.
    It seems to me that we are in a loop, the Egyptian government takes loans from here and there, issues bonds and Eurobonds in order to finance huge so-called national projects without feasibility studies and to pay other debts and loans !!
    It is scary for real because this is a burden on the future generations in Egypt !!
    We need this to stop.
    Unfortunately, we do not have right now a responsible parliament or free media or an active civil society.
    This over-growing external debt is a true threat to our national security. Anyone who is familiar with Egypt’s modern history in the 19th century knows that very well.
    Personally, I hope that the cabinet rejects the request of the finance ministry but I highly doubt considering the amount of loans we receive on a monthly basis.

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    Egypt's Nile

     And who could get bored of a scene like that?
     From Egypt’s Giza, an overview of Cairo’s towers and buildings on the other bank of River Nile.
    In case you do not know, Egypt's foreign affairs minister Sameh Shoukry expressed official Egyptian concerns concerning the late and delayed technical studies of the Ethiopia's Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam "GERD" at last somehow. 

    Do you still remember Ethiopia's Biggest dam that may affect Egypt's share of Nile River negatively but Ethiopia denies so ??

    Ethiopia's GERD
    A recent photo of GERD
    "Hany Ibrahim"
    Egyptian officials are telling nothing to the public and it seems that they are at last expressing Egypt's concern.This means we should be afraid, very afraid. It is not a big secret that Egypt is alone in that dam's issue "despite Sudan will suffer as well" and it is not a bigger secret that Ethiopia is building the dam giving no damn for real about what our country can do.

    The Ethiopians played very well. There is no use now for those technical studies Egypt has been officially requesting and there is no time for doing modifications in the dam's design because the dam has been already built from what I and others have seen in its recent photos.

    By the way, Egyptian officials began to ask the help of Europe in that matter.

    I do not know when our media will ask questions.

    Personally, I am not against the development of any African country or any other country but not at the expense of millions of Egyptians who consider the Nile in their living. 

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    From two weeks ago, Tawasul group announced that it acquired Cairo-based Hayat TV Network from Sigma Media Company in what was described as the biggest media deal in the past couple of years in Egypt.

    Tawasul, a subsidiary of Falcon International group declared that it acquired the TV Network founded in February 2008 for LE 1.4 billion “ USD 79million“.

    Some say that it is the media deal of the decade but the majority of that money is used to pay the channel’s debts according to its former owner and founder El-Sayed Badawy.
    Badawy, the current leader of New Wafd Party aka Wafd Party revealed in the media that the debts of the TV network reached USD 57 million “More than one billion Egyptian pounds”.

    It was not a big secret in the Egyptian media realm in that the TV network that once had the highest ratings in the country struggled financially in the past two years.
    For more than 8 months the employees in the channel did not get their salaries regularly and they had strikes from time to time.

    The Egyptian Media Production City“EMPC” took the channels off the air July on Nile Sat for 24 hours for not paying their studio rents for an over a year and filed a lawsuit against Sigma Media for issuing dud checks in the same month.

    For months we have heard and read that that businessman or this media company was negotiating with El-Sayed Badawy and in the end, he reached to a good deal with Tawassol group or rather Falcon International group.

    The announcement was not just a declaration that Badawy, the famous politician and pharmaceutical tycoon was leaving the media but it was an announcement that there was a new player in the Egyptian media scene.

    That player is Tawassol or rather its mother company “Falcon group” and those behind it.

    Who owns the Egyptian Falcon officially?

    Falcon International was founded officially in 2006 by the Commercial International Bank “CIB” as a private security company providing private security, cash in transit, general services, and properties management.
    It started as the security department originally in the bank before it was turned into a company with 400 employees that grew into a huge Corporation and a group with not less than 6 subsidiaries in 11 years.
    Its customers are multi-national companies in Egypt from big names like Orange to Allianz to the United Nations.

    Falcon security personnel
    Falcon security personnel "Falcon Group official website"
    Officially and on papers, Falcon is a joint venture between CIB (40% of the shares), CIB Employees Fund (19.59% of the shares), Al-Ahly for Marketing (5.46%) and undisclosed private entities (35%).
    Its current CEO is Sherif Khaled Ibrahim Attaya or Sherif Khaled. In a report about the company in 2014 in Al-Ahram Daily, it is revealed that Khaled was a retired army general who served as the undersecretary of Egypt’s military intelligence.
    After leaving the army, Khaled was appointed as the head of the security sector in Egypt’s Radio and Television union“ERTU”.

    Usually the head of the security sector in ERTU comes from the army or the state security aka National security.
    It is unclear for me at least when he left the army to work in the state TV or when he was appointed as Falcon’s CEO.

    Currently, Falcon International is not only operating in the 28 governorates through 13 branches in Egypt but it also operates in Saudi Arabia and UAE with more than 12,000 employees.
    Again according to Ahram Daily News’s report about the company in 2014, most of the company’s employees are former and retired officers whether in the army or the police.

    Since the inauguration of Egypt’s first private security company “Care Services” in 1979 by former army general Adel Emara to secure the American embassy and that field became a mecca for former military and police personnel.
    In 2012, Falcon was also assigned to secure presidential candidate Ahmed Shafik.
    Still, it has not been famous publicly in Egypt except in 2014, it was its big year for real. Earlier that year, Falcon was granted the right to hold shotguns officially in the country.

    In April, Falcon was assigned to secure Presidential candidate Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and his campaign headquarters across the country.
    Not less than 150 of its security personnel allegedly protected his house in New Cairo according to news reports.
    Falcon and El-Sisi
    Sherif Khaled and Abdel Fattah El-Sisi at army-owned
    Massa Hotel where El-Sisi presidential campaign stationed 
    Then in September 2014, Falcon Group signed a-LE-84-Million Contract with the ministry of higher education to provide security service in 12 Egyptian Universities in academic year 2014/2015 as protests rocked campuses the year before.

    The controversy surrounding that agreement and the clashes that took place afterward.The Ministry of higher education renewed its contract with Falcon for three academic years now.

    Following that group became Egypt’s no.1 private contractor securing big evens and VIP personalities as well achieving huge revenues. In 2014, the company increased its capital to LE 100 Million and was ready to list its shares in the Stock market within two years.

    In June 2016, Falcon's subsidiary for airports security signed an agreement with British company Restrata to provide training for its personnel after being assigned to secure Sharm El-Sheikh airport. 

    Now in August 2017, Falcon Group was back to the mainstream media when it was assigned by the ministry of electricity to collect Data from electricity meters.
    Ironically the electricity ministry had signed first a contract with a company with unnamed “security apparatus” but had to terminate the contract and sign a new contract with Falcon group as people began to criticize the decision and mock that “security apparatus”.
    Falcon security at Universities
    Falcon security at Al-Azhar University "Reuters" 
    What I heard unofficially is that the Egyptian General Intelligence Directorate is behind Faclon and its new media acquisition but as usual there is nothing official to confirm that.
    The undisclosed private entities and personnel that got 35% are unknown publicly for real.
    Anyhow some are insisting that the General intelligence is behind Falcon and they have very interesting proof.

    Their proof is what former Pro-regime self-claimed sarcastic writer Ghada El-Sherif revealed that she was approached by Falcon Group and its CEO Sherif Khaled personally in order to present a TV show on the group’s latest acquisition “Al-Hayat TV Network”.

    The oncologist /writer who has turned from a-head-over-heels for El-Sisi to one of his famous critics now said on her Facebook account last week that she was asked to have an interview for that position at the General Intelligence H.Q in Cairo !!!

    A daughter of a Mubarak-era minister, El-Sherif even shared the WhatsApp’s message between her and Sherif Khaled in order to prove that she was respected by the regime to those Pro-regime
    So far, nobody commented on her Facebook post denying or confirming what said that TV hosts had exams at the General Intelligence HQ.

    In July 2015, President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi ratified a law that allows the ministries of Defense and Interior as well official intelligence agencies in Egypt to found security companies. 

    Falcon International and its wings in the Egyptian media realm

    Tawasul group or Company is the latest known subsidiary of Falcon International Group.
    In July, the Group declared the launch of both “Tawasul PR company” and DRN FM Radio channel, as well Radio One For Media production.
    DRN FM Radio channel is currently managed by Home Media Company which also is owned by Falcon Group.
    I have not listened to DRN whose frequency on the FM wave in Egypt is 93.7 but I know it is not an easy thing to get a permit to open an FM radio channel as the State controls the radio wave for real.
    It is easier to open TV channel in Egypt than to open a radio channel in general.

    I do not know why Falcon international has got three media companies if I understand correctly.
    It has got Tawasul, Radio One for media production and Home Media.

    In August, Pro-regime MP and convicted alternative medicine guru/TV host Saeed Hassanein declared that Home Media acquired his TV network Al-Assema “The Capital”.

    Interestingly in late December 2016, the Mubarak era’s TV Producer Ehab Talaat announced that his company “Sherry Media” signed a partnership deal with Hassanein.
    The two men agreed that from Mid January 2017 the management of that TV network would transfer to Talaat, the veteran TV producer.
    On 1 January 2017, the Egyptian army announced that Samir retired and was replaced by Colonel Tamer El-Rafaei.

    In Mid January, “Sherry Media” announced that it started managing the TV network and its current manager was its Vice Chairman former Egyptian armed forces spokesperson ex-Brigadier General Mohamed Samir.
    Ahmed Samir
    Samir, the second man from the left wearing a suit checking
    the channel's studio in January "Facebook" 
    Samir’s fast return to the scene through media made many believe that it was a plan to control media. Though he did not stay too long in “Al-Assema” as the partnership ended in Mach. Hassanein went back to manage the channel.

    Why do I mention all this and what is its relation to Falcon?
    Well in late August, Hassanein announced that he sold his TV network to Home Media, Falcon’s subsidiary.

    This was the second time Falcon International was mentioned in the media world but no one paid attention as Al-Assema TV network is not A-list TV networks for real.

    The price paid to Hassanein is unknown so far but Home Media declared its plans for the Network,  turning one of its two TV channels into Sports TV channel.

    New media map in Egypt

    I have been doing my own research on the new media empires in Egypt especially with the launch of DMC Network and the rocket rise of steel tycoon Ahmed Abu Hashima in media.
    I wrote a long investigative post about what I found out but it was lost unfortunately following the technical problem I had with PC and forced me to have a clean Windows install.

    It is frustrating but I think it is never too late to start from the beginning, the media map is already changing and we are having new players.

    Falcon and its companies or rather those behind them are a good example.

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    After few weeks, a secret vote will take place at the 202nd session of the UNESCO's Executive Board in Paris to choose the Organization’s new director general. There are currently 9 candidates who have been seeking the word countries' votes in order to replace current director general Irina Bokova. Among those 9 candidates, there are 4 Arab candidates “As usual Arabs could not agree to nominate one in the race because we are ARABs”.

    Moushira Khattab
    Former minister and Ambassador Moushira Khattab 
    Those Arab candidates include Egypt’s former minister and diplomat Ambassador Moushira Khattab.

    Despite the huge campaign the Egyptian government launched in July 2016 with her official nomination, it seems that the same government is doing its best to destroy her chance for that important international position.

    Do you remember how the Egyptian security authorities closed down Karma libraries in December 2016 because its founder and owner is Human rights lawyer Gamal Eid?
    Ambassador Moshira Khattab said that she would do her best so children were not deprived of the right of knowledge after her visit to one of the closed branches of the library.
    Do you remember how the authorities have confiscated Alf bookstore in August because of the Muslim Brotherhood alleged affiliation of its co-founder and co-owner, entrepreneur and economist Omar El-Shenety.

    Last week, the security authorities stormed and shut down “El-Balad bookstore” which is exactly two blocks away from Tahrir square. “El-Balad” is owned and founded by Egyptian social democratic Party leader Farid Zahran.
    Interestingly it turned out Zahran owns a newspaper called El-Tariq which was stormed by security forces in September 2016.
    There has not been an official explanation on why the security authorities closed down the bookstore which became a cultural venue in Downtown Cairo like that !!
    I do not know how the Egyptian government can help Moshira Khattab when it closes down bookstores and libraries like that.
    It is the worst way to support your candidate to top the world’s most important Cultural organization.

    There is another dilemma I think everybody back in Egypt does not speak or want to speak about.
    How is ambassador Khattab going to deal with the UNESCO’s open support policy to the LGBTQ rights worldwide ??
    Egypt is already known in the UN and its organizations with its position against the LBGTQ’s rights and actually, it is not a surprise for me or anyone.
    In fact, how are the Muslim candidates including the candidates of Iraq and Qatar going to deal with the matter?
    Needless to say, Egypt is now making headlines in the stupidest way ever after that Rainbow flag in that Mashrou Leila band’s triple bill concert from two weeks ago.
    The progressive Lebanese band whose lead singer “Hamed Sinno” is an openly gay and advocate for LGBTQ’s rights in the Middle East, is no longer allowed to perform in the country according to news reports in the Egyptian media.
    People are arrested and accused of being gay as well raising the rainbow flag in that concert. “Two people only raised the flag and ironically both are straight human rights activists and it is not the first time that flag is raised actually in a Mashrou Leila’s concert”.
    There is a media frenzy speaking about attempts to destabilize the society through spreading gay agenda.

    Khattab seems to be abroad visiting world countries in order to win their votes for the big day.

    This is the second time Egypt nominates officially an Egyptian official for that post. If you remember in time of Mubarak, the government nominated Egypt’s longest-serving culture minister and Suzanne Mubarak’s personal fashion advisor Farouk Hosni for the post and he lost due anti-Semitism allegations in 2009.
    If I remember correctly, he lost because the Zionist lobby in France hinted out that there was allegedly a copy of the infamous  “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” in the Library of Alexandria.
    I did not support Farouk Hosni for the position then because he did not and does not deserve that position.
    Already after the 25 January revolution, we found out that he was working as an informant for the Egyptian government against Arab and Egyptian students while studying abroad.
    Back to our current nominee.

    When it comes to ambassador Moshira Khattab, well she is not Farouk Hosni and did not have his destructive surreal effect on Egyptian antiquities as well culture generally.
    Some say that she was/is a friend of Suzanne Mubarak and that’s why she was appointed as the short-lived minister of family and population thought.

    Personally, I think that she is more qualified to be the executive director of the UNICEF than the Director-General of UNESCO with my all due respect considered her C.V.
    Khattab was already the vice chair of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child“CRC” from 2002 to 2010.
    I wish all the luck to ambassador Moshira Khateb but the current Egyptian administration as well government are not real helping her to win the post for real with those repressive policies and decisions. 

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    Egypt's Nile River

    This photo was one of my early attempts to snap a 180-degree photo using my old iPhone.
    The amazing river Nile is majestic in perfect weather condition in Cairo and Giza.
    By the way, this photo shows both banks, the Cairo and Giza Metropolis skyline of ugly buildings we love to hate.
    I will seize this opportunity to speak again about the future of the Nile River in Egypt especially after constructing Ethiopia's Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam "GERD".
    Last week, an official in Egypt's ministry of irrigation and water resources announced that Egypt was officially suffering from "Water Poverty" and the era of "water abundance" in the country was over thanks to the increasing population. 
    Now my concern is that if we are suffering from "Water poverty", why the hell does the state allow building new compounds as well a new administrative capital full of swimming pools and fountains !?

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    On Sunday, the people of Catalonia held an independence referendum in defiance to the Spanish government in Madrid and the current Spanish constitution.
    Spanish police in Catalonia
    Police arresting voters in Catalonia "AFP"
    The referendum was held at the same time the Spanish police attacked voters at polling centers dragging them out as well taking the ballot boxes in a scene that shocked many people including myself.

    According to Catalan authorities, not less than 900 people were injured including elderly.
    It shocked me because that scene was too familiar for us in the Mideast, in Egypt in particular.
    It reminded me with the violence of the Egyptian police during the 2010 parliamentary elections which considered by many as one of the trigger for the 25 January revolution.

    It shocked me because that was happening in Europe. It shocked me because that was happening in Spain , a country that I and other Egyptians look to a successful example of democratic civilian transition.
    Since the ouster of Mubarak in February 2011 and many Egyptians looked to the Spanish democratic civilian transition as an example to follow despite the difference between the two countries. Needless to say , I believe that one of the weakness of our Egyptian revolution is the lack of figures like  Adolfo Suarez.

    Anyhow it seemed that the legacy of Franco is still deep-rooted in Madrid or at least in the Spanish police as the World has seen in the past two weeks.
    Just as I and others felt sad to see that scene of Spanish police attacking Catalan voters and activists, others were happy in our sad miserable part of the world.

    Pro-Egyptian regime media was so happy with that scene. Pro-TV hosts in Egypt like Amr Adeeb kept showing the attack footage to show that European countries that speak about human rights all the types ignore them when “comes to their National security”.

    Where is the European democracy in Spain?” He said adding that there was no place for democracy or human rights when it comes to “nations and countries divided in to smaller countries”

    A quick look to the regional press and media, I found that Turkish media described what happened in Catalonia was an example of the failure of Western democracy.

    I do not know how the EU officials would criticize human rights and police brutality in the Middle East countries when they are silent on what happened in Spain especially in Catalonia !!! It will be hypocrisy.
    A Catalonian lady crying on Sunday during the referendum "El Pais" 
    Yes , they believe that the Catalans should respect the Constitution of Spain but on the other hand, violence won’t make them to do so.

    After what the police had done , after that King Felipe’s speech which reminded us with the Arab Spring ‘s ousted rulers , I think more Catalans will be more determinant to get an independence and to revive the Catalonia republic dream again.  I know very well because this is how the Arab spring happened in the first place

    It is not a big secret that Russian media and its arms on the social media are supporting the independence of Catalonia to create more trouble for the West.
    I do not know how the leaders in the EU or the West in general are thinking but I feel that there is a big grin on the face of Putin in Kremlin.
    I just hope the Spanish government will rethink the matter and start talks with the Catalans , it must do that and apologize immediately for the crackdown against activists and police brutality against voters before it is late.

    I also want to tell the Spanish government and the EU that the human rights violations in Europe echo strongly in our sad part of the World.
    It is like a Carte Blanche for repressive regimes from the Atlantic Ocean to the Arab/Persian Gulf to crackdown opposition powers seeking democracy .
    Those repressive regimes are really thankful to the Spanish government and EU.

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    Getting ready for the big game after less than three hours for now and flags sellers are in every major street in the country.
    Egypt is going to #Russia for the World cup if it beats Congo in a match millions of  Egyptians are waiting for eagerly as the Egyptian national team got better chances for winning.

    We will see if we make football history again after 28 years.

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    The Egyptian authorities did not allow cars to enter Tahrir square allowing people only on foot to enter.
    Yet this did not stop people in their cars to celebrate Egypt’s victory in its football/soccer game against Congo and being qualified to WorldCup in Russia "More to come here" 
    via IFTTT

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    Okay this is from the historical important moments that I love to post in my blog

    Egypt has finally qualified for the World Cup Russia 2018

    Yes, I need to say this again loud and clear that Egypt has been qualified for World Cup Russia 2018
    After 28 years, Egyptian National Football/Soccer team succeeded reaching the World Cup since 1990 FIFA World Cup in Italy.
    This is the third time for our National football team to be qualified for the World Cup.
    The first time was in 1934 FIFA World Cup in Italy. We were the first African and Arab country to play in the World Cup.
    It took 56 years to be qualified again in 1990 FIFA World Cup in Italy also.
    This was the first football memory for me as a child. I remember that I cried a lot when Germany won the Cup and wondered why Egypt did not get it.
    My family tried to explain the matter for me but I did not get it then.
    Now after 28 years, Egypt is going yet again to the World Cup, this time in Russia next year.
    I am now grown-up enough to know that we are not a candidate to win the World Cup itself but the honor is enough to reach the World Cup.

    Mohamed Salah
    Mohamed Salah "AP" 
    I think I am lucky enough along millions of Egyptians to witness being qualified to the World Cup twice.

    Also, the young generation is lucky enough to see our squad going to the World Cup.

    Yes, I am bit emotional because I witnessed the happiness of the people first hand and how they headed to Tahrir square automatically as soon as Mohamed Salah, our golden boy scored that penalty.
    One night of happiness won’t change anything of the reality we know and live but it will just give hope.

    Back to Mohamed Salah, well God bless him as he made a true history for real.
    Mo Salah is now the most famous Egyptian abroad and he deserves it.

    A side note: The AP photographer who took unforgotten shots from the football match with Congo is photographer Nariman El-Mufti, a woman photographer. 

    Salah and the rest of the squad were born after 1990 ironically except El-Hadry, our goalkeeper.
    If I am not mistaken, he is by far the oldest goalkeeper so far to participate in World Cup Russia 2018.
    The best goalkeeper in Africa deserves to be despite his shitty political views.

    Essam El-Hadry
    Essam El-Hadry and his famous dance
    "Nariman El-Mufti for AP" 
    This squad has got an advantage than other squads if I may say and it is our players abroad especially those who play in major leagues like the British Premier League, we got four players including Salah, El-Neny, Hegazy and Sobhi. "Sobhi played like shit in this football game"
    Mo Salah
    No.10 Mo Salah "Nariman El-Mufti for AP"
    Seriously, I wished that Mohamed Abu Trika would be the Capitan of the squad in the World Cup. Unfortunately, the legendary ex-footballer is officially on the terrorist list which will make it hard for him to travel to Russia.
    Maybe things can change in those few months in Egypt, for the better hopefully and Abu Trika will be a free man again.

    Enough football talk and let’s head to Tahrir square.
    I tried to head to Tahrir square to see the happy people for real and there it was already crowded.
    The flags sellers had already a fruitful day since early morning.
    Flags seller at Tahrir square after the game
    At Tahrir square in front of the Egyptian Museum 
    Many people had confidence that we are going to win because Congo squad was not strong like in the past but ironically they were strong enough in the game giving us whether team players or fans hard time !!

    The security forces also blocked the way for the cars. Only people on foot were allowed to enter.
    Assemblies are still crazy for the security authorities in this country.

    Egyptian kids celebrate World Cup qualifications
    Kids in a car celebrating the victory on October bridge 
    Soon enough you could hear a helicopter hovering around major squares and streets in Cairo and Giza.
    But this did not stop me from taking a couple of snapshots and video clips for the Egyptians’ happiness.

    People were so happy across the country.
    In fact, people across the world including the divided Gulf and Yemen. Egyptians and Arabs in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE and Kuwait united Gulf.

    One Gulfie tweep described in the best way “We are happy because we are raised to love Egypt”
    We do love Egypt.

    Egyptians won’t sleep tonight and they do not care if the regime uses this victory for its own propaganda.
    Tomorrow is another day. 

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    And President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi issued a decree on Tuesday “10/10/2017” to declare a state of emergency in Egypt for three months starting from Friday “Tomorrow” 1 AM Cairo Local Time.

    Egypt's official gazette October 2017
    A copy of the decree in the official
    The decree was published in Tuesday’s issue of the Egyptian State’s official gazette.

    There is online and ongoing confusion about this declaration as some considered it as an extension of that state of emergency.
    El-Sisi declared the state of emergency last April following the horrifying the Black Palm Sunday bombings in Cairo and Tanta. 

    It is not an extension to that state of emergency which was extended in July subsequently. Sisi extended the state of emergency on 10 July 2017 for three months only in accordance with the Egyptian Constitution.

    That 3 months period has ended on Tuesday 10 October 2017.

    According to the Egyptian Constitution of 2014's article no.154, the State of emergency can be only extended for another three months only one time.

    The declaration is for a specified period not exceeding three months, which can only be extended by another similar period upon the approval of two-thirds of House members.
    So the president could not extend it for another period. Still, he found a very wicked workaround: To declare a new state of emergency on the same day, the old state of emergency's extension ends!!!
    There was a rumor that surprisingly the regime will respect the constitution and won't extend the state of emergency but it is a rumor as we have already seen.

    Up till now, I do not know what the need for a state of emergency in Egypt is especially we got a collection of laws limiting the media and assemblies as well protests giving the state and the government unprecedented upper hand !!

    The state of emergency declared in April did not stop that horrifying massacre of Egyptian Christians in Egypt's Southern Western desert in June if you remember.  The state of emergency has not never stopped terrorist attacks or terrorism in Egypt and you can see the proof in the terrorist attacks since the start of the 1980s till the mid-1990s !!

    It seems that State of emergency is an authentic Egyptian presidential tradition !!
    Here is a quick look at Egypt’s history with the damned state of emergency which did not stop any bad thing from happening in the country.

    Happy Emergency ya People !!

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    For the first time in 44 years following the 1973 October war, a forgotten hero has been decorated Egypt’s highest military medal for his role that gave Egypt an edge over the Israelis.
    Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi honored last Monday 1973 war veteran Ahmed Idris decorating him the Order of the Sinai star for his role in that war.

    Ahmed Idris who was born in old Nubia, Aswan is the man behind the secret code which the Israelis could not break in 1973 war despite it was not a real or complex secret code.
    Mr. Idris joined the Egyptian army in 1954 as a soldier in the Border guards.
    Since the time of the Egyptian kingdom, most of Egyptian Nubians worked in the Border guards.He was stationed in Sinai till June 1967 war aka Six days war.
    Ahmed Idris and El-SIsi
    Idris with El-Sisi last week at The Egyptian armed forces'
    lecture about 1973 war 
    Now according to him, after the defeat late chief of staff Abdel Moneim Riad decided to reassign a group of the border guards officers and soldiers training them on various missions including driving tanks, special forces courses and signals aka military communications for 3 years.
    During December 1970 our sergeant was reassigned as a driver for one of the army commanders. He recounted that he was driving that commander and his aide after one of the meetings that discussed very urgent and disturbing matter.
    A week earlier the Egyptian intelligence knew that Israel managed to decode the signals of the Egyptian army which meant all the communications between Egyptian commanders and officers were known to Israelis.
    A new code was needed urgently. As the two men talked about that, Idris interfered in the talk telling them that he got an idea for a code that the Israelis could not know.

    He suggested that to his skeptical superiors that the Egyptian army should use the spoken the Nubian language , specifically the old Egyptian Nubian oral language which was not a written one and only old generations of Egyptian Nubians knew it.
    In no time, the commander told him to get to the chief of staff and the the minister of defense then immediately to tell them the idea.
    In a matter of few hours, President Mohamed Anwar El-Sadat knew about the idea of Sergeant Idris giving his restrict orders that that issue should not go beyond those men who heard it from the Egyptian Nubian earlier that morning.
    He also asked to meet Ahmed Idris to know more from him and the meeting took place indeed.

    Idris explained to the Egyptian President then how the Nubian language was divided in to branches and dialects. He also asked him to reassign a group of Egyptian Nubians who worked in the border guards to the signal department because they knew Old Nubian language.
    President Sadat told him that the army would adopt his plan asking him at the same time not to tell anyone including his wife about that meeting.
    Then the weekend came and when Sergeant Ahmed returned to the army, he found that he was transferred to the signal department along with 344 other Egyptian Nubians.
    The 344 Egyptian Nubians were divided in to 172 soldiers who spoke Nubiiin and 172 others who spoke Kenzi. A new code was made and the Egyptian Nubians were trained in the signals aka military communication using the Nubian Egyptians’ language.

    Those men after extensive training in the Signals department would be distributed to the various military departments holding the secret of the new code of that old language.
    Sergeant Ahmed Idris was also given strict orders not to tell anyone that he was behind that idea.
    For more than 40 years, nobody knew that he was the man who suggested that Nubian code which Israelis could not break. Even the family of the man who retired from the army in 1994 did not know.
    Most of the time, it was said that President Sadat was the one who suggested.
    Then in early 2005s , he came forward to the media when some imposter in his 40s claimed in the media that he was the man behind the Nubian code. For the first time , Ahmed Idris felt then he must come forward and tell the world what happened.

    Now just as Mr. Ahmed Idris reminds the whole country by the importance of diversity and how that diversity helped us in our bleakest moments , his people are being denied their constitutional right.
    Unfortunately, the Egyptian government ignored the Nubian languages but the younger generations of Nubian Egyptians are doing a good job to keep their heritage alive.
    In February 2016, a group of Nubian Egyptian activists launched “NubaTube”, the first Egyptian-Nubian speaking language “YoubTube” Channel.
    In April 2017, “NubaTube” released an interview with Ahmed Idris where he spoke with the TV host in Nubiin.

    Among those who founded “NubaTube”, renowned Nubian Egyptian activist and lawyer Mohamed
    Mohamed Azmi
    Mohamed Azmi
    Azmi was among the main organizers of the Nubian Return Caravan demanding the right to the original villages of Nubia in November 2016 in according of Constitution 2014. In early September and during the grand Eid , Azmi and other activists organized a very small and peaceful protest to remind the government as well president El-Sisi with the Constitutional promise to return to their rightful villages.

    The protest was a completely small peaceful one in Aswan city as its 24 protesters were using the Duf musical instrument singing sad folkloric songs about leave old Nubia in 1960s due to the Constitution of Aswan Dam.
    Needless to say, the security forces dispersed it arresting all the protesters.
    For nearly month and half , the protesters have not been released , they are currently detained pending investigations for a set of charges like illegal protesting …etc.
    Since then the rest of the Nubian Egyptian activists have been demanding their release using the hashtag “#The_dufs_detainees” on Twitter.

    In early October, a group of 6  women Nubian Egyptian activists declared that they were starting a partial hunger strike demanding the release of the detainees immediately.
    Needless the mainstream media in Egypt is ignoring the matter. I am mot surprised. In fact, I would be surprised if they do the opposite. Forget about the political parties as well.
    The Nubian activists are demanding the regime to put a roadmap and schedule for their Nubian villages in according with the current Egyptian constitution besides the release of the detainees.
    The Nubian Egyptian activists are also demanding President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi to exclude 16 villages from the 2015 Presidential decree considering them as a military zone.

    Article No.236 states that government would work on returning the Egyptian Nubians to their original villages with in a decade.
    The Nubian Egyptians are not demanding to split or have their own rule. They are only demanding only 16 villages in old Nubia. They are not Kurds or Catalans.
    The story of Ahmed Idris is among the many examples of how loyal the Nubian Egyptians to their mother country, Egypt.
    For the sake of Ahmed Idris and his grandchildren, let them return to their own villages.
    If you can your read and write Arabia , you can sign that online petition to demand the release of Duf detainees

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    Yacoubian box

    Seen in Cairo: a very old card box keeping very beautiful and old glassware owned by my late grandma in our attic aka (sandara).
    The box had the sticker of “N.Yacoubian” which according to my knowledge was located at the famous Yacoubian building in Downtown Cairo.
    It was immortalized infamously in Alaa Al-Aswany’s best-selling novel of the same name.
    Built in 1936, the Art Deco building was named after its owner, businessman and the head of the Armenian community in Egypt then, Hagop Yacoubian.
    I love the Art Deco font used to write Yacoubian in Arabic as well in English. 
    I do not know if the store, which was like Tiffany's in the old golden days is still there or was closed. I will check it.
    Ironically I passed through that building hundreds of times and I never thought to see it. 

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    For hours now, Egyptian security forces have been battling unknown militants at Egypt’s Western desert near El-Bahariya Oasis“350 km away from Cairo”.

    At least 30 security personnel including 15 officers and 15 conscripts have been killed in an ambush according to security forces that spoke with media outlets including Reuters “The number is increasing by the minute” at  El-Wahat Highway between Giza and El-Bahariya Oasis exactly at 135 km.
    Updated at 1:20 PM, BBC is saying that the death toll reaches 53 security personnel :( 

    This is the biggest loss for the ministry of interior and the Egyptian government outside North Sinai.
    Al-Wahat high is currently locked between Giza and Fayoum governorates according to security sources that spoke with Al-Ahram.

    From what I have been reading online, we have technically a battle between security forces and those militants.
    I have been trying to locate 135 km on Google Earth but I can not reach it.
    Sources speaking to Reuters said the following :
    The security sources said authorities were following a lead to a hideout deep in the desert thought to house eight suspected members of Hasm, a group which has claimed several attacks around the capital targeting judges and police since last year.
    A convoy of four SUVs and one interior ministry vehicle was ambushed from higher ground by militants firing rocket-propelled grenades and detonating explosive devices, a senior source in the Giza Security Office said.
    At 10 PM Cairo local time, the ministry of interior published on its official Facebook page a very vague and short statement stating the following :
    Intel came to the  National security “State security” sector at the ministry about a hideout of terrorists in the middle of the desert at 135 km of Al-Wahat Highway. A patrol was prepared to arrest those terrorists but when the patrol was close to the hideout, the terrorists opened their fire , the thing which led to an exchange of fire.This resulted in the death of some police personnel and some assailants. The security forces are sweeping the region.
    It did not specify a number at all or ranks.

    The initial lists of victims from police officers that have been leaked to the media include National security “State security” officers as well special ops officers.
    News websites reported that the Central security forces sent reinforcements including security forces and medical aid.
    Helicopters were also sent and it is said that one of them saved 8 police officers including a colonel and transferred them to hospital.
    Up till this moment “11:04 PM”, no group has claimed responsibility of any kind.

    Already, it has not been over and up till now we do not know when it will be over.

    With the first look and the size of the victims and the fact that the fight has been going for several hours now, I would say that it has Daesh’s prints but there are other suspects.
    There is Muslim Brotherhood’s offspring Hasm militant group but I will say that if that group is behind that attack with that side then it has been under some kind of scary upgrade.

    The second suspect who suddenly returned back to the scene in Egypt only is former special Op army officer and currently wanted by Egypt and Daesh, Al Qaeda-affiliated prince Hisham Al-Ashmaway who is believed to be in Libya for two years now.
    The size of the operation and the number of victims say that the militant attackers got one hell of experience and training to fight for hours against security forces like that.
    That’s why many people believe Al-Ashmaway, who is known to be an experienced special operations army officer to be behind it.
    Anonymous sources began to say that the ex-army officer who was sentenced by a military court to death in absentia last week is behind tonight’s carnage.

    Personally, I won’t be surprised if Al-Ashmaway and his group are behind that carnage or any other of the suspected groups. Yet I am worried that it won’t Al-Ashmaway but rather another rogue ex-officer who went radical like many others before him.

    The Egyptian TV and radio channels even news channels are in another parallel universe as it seems the orders have not arrived yet.
    President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi is supposed to inaugurate New Al-Alamein City as part of the 75th anniversary of the famous WWII battle on Saturday, which means after few hours. It is unclear if he is going to postpone it or not.
    He may go on with it to show defiance with little speech that nothing will deter Egypt’s from progress and development.
    Up till now, there is a complete silence from the Egyptian Presidency.

    For the sake of the families of those people who died tonight, we must ask questions.
    For the sake of the future of this country, we must have some answer.
    May God bless the soul of the martyrs and bring patience for their families.

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    Seven Days later following the horrifying attack that killed at least 16 security personnel in Egypt’s Western desert and no group has claimed its responsibility for that attack.

    Seven Days later following the incident that shocked Egypt for real and the Egyptian Presidency has not declared a single day of national mourning for some unknown reason.

    Ironically and sadly, Jordan declared a-three-days-National mourning in solidarity in Egypt !!
    On Monday, Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi told France 24 in Paris that Egypt was in still in the first stage of investigations regarding the attack.
    He also added that the Egyptian-Libyan borders were 1,200 kilometers and up till now it could not be fully secured as it was part of Sahara desert.

    That’s very important statement and it was not surprising or shocking one for me because I know that the SCAF asked the Americans for equipment and expertise to control the Egyptian Western borders.

    Yet, many people remembered how in September 2016, Sisi said in a speech how the Egyptian army could mobilize its units in six hours only to protect the Egyptian state and its institutions.

    On Sunday and after 48 hours of that Al-Wahat Shootout incident where at least 16 security personnel were killed in a shootout with an anonymous group of militants, Sisi issued a statement condemning the attack and vowing for revenge.
    Only after 48 hours of complete silence, the President held a meeting with the ministers of defense and interior as well the head of Egypt’s General Intelligence agency and other officials.
    Sisi in meeting
    President Sisi in the meeting following the shootout by 48 hours
    "Egyptian Presidency"
    Chief of Staff of the Egyptian army Mahmoud Hegazy did not attend the meeting that discussed what happened in the Western desert on Friday.
    He was in the United States attending some meeting related to the coalition against ISIS.

    Only after 48 hours following the attack, we heard from the Presidential palace what many people including myself to be said regarding the condemnation of that awful attack and a promise of revenge.
    Many people including some of El-Sisi’s supported criticized him for not speaking earlier and for participating with a big grin at Al-Alamein battle of WWII’s 75 anniversary when the victims of that ambush were just being transferred to Cairo.

    The official death toll

    The Egyptian President was not alone late when it comes to the reaction.
    On Saturday and after nearly 24 hours following that attack, the Egyptian ministry of interior issued a detailed statement of the shootout/ambush/attack with figures unlike the first one issued on Friday.

    According to the statement, the security forces got intel about a hideout for training and hiding of a terrorist group inside the Western desert at 135 km Giza-Al-Wahat highway and that two patrols from Giza governorate and Fayoum governorate headed there.
    The first Giza patrol was spotted by the militants who opened their fire using their heavy weapons from all directions.The Giza police patrol fired back and there had been an exchange of fires that lasted for several hours.
    The shootout resulted in the death of 16 security personnel and the injury of 13 others.
    The MOI stated that only 11 police officers, 4 conscripts and one sergeant had been killed.
    The injured breakdown is 4 officers and 9 conscripts.
    It also revealed that one officer is missing.

    The statement also included a list of names and ranks of those who were killed.

    The statement also added that following the attack, the security forces managed to comb the area and to kill as well to injure 15 militants who were evacuated from the scene.
    The MOI stated that it released that statement as it managed to evacuate the dead and the injured and they were still combing the area.
    In the following statement, the MOI released a very unclear photo of two alleged terrorists who were killed and it seemed that their bodies were left in the scene. 

    There were interesting points in those above-mentioned statements, especially how the official death total was less than the unofficial death total that reached 54 or 55 in the wires service and news websites which quoted anonymous security sources including Gulf News websites.

    It is strange that the Egyptian government ignores the fact Gulf news websites spread on its social media similar higher death toll like Al-Arabiya and Sky News Arabia directing its anger on BBC and Reuters.
    Interestingly, waited for that statement for nearly two hours since 2.43 PM when I found the head of Sky News Arabia’s office in Cairo Samir Omar announcing that there would be a statement from the Ministry of interior regarding “Al-Wahat” incident.

    Samir Omar has always those scoops from Cairo as usual.
    Personally, I do not believe that the BBC and Reuters did a huge mistake because after all the Egyptian government or the Egyptian interior ministry did not release the correct numbers except very late not to mention the use of “militants” in English is not positive as the SIS thinks.
    Anyhow, I wished that the Egyptian government was that angry at the regime’s favorite TV host or the regime’s favorite MP.

    The Media leaks Circus 24 hours later

    Infamous Pro-regime TV host Ahmed Moussa appeared on Saturday airing an edited audio recording for allegedly “one of the survivors” speaking about what happened and it was horrifying.

    In that alleged recording, that man speaking about how the mobile phones were not working in that location in the desert and how the security forces were facing not less 200 terrorists as well how they attacked them in an ambush from a mountain.

    Knowing that nothing on Moussa’s TV show is aired for the sake of freedom of information and for the love of transparency, I have been wondering how he and his team could air that recording that showed the security forces were not prepared well and how the “terrorists” won for real in that battle. I had million and one question and objection to release that recording in that time and in that way.

    Then it turned out that what Moussa aired on his show was edited and that recording had a different story that can be more shocking it turned out to be true.

    Independent political “Al-Mawkef Al-Masry” Facebook page published the whole audio recording on Saturday at 8:12 PM before Moussa’s show as allegedly a young police officer sent it to the page on the same day.

    According to the page, that man speaking in the audio recording was a doctor working at the Police Hospital in Agouza who spoke with the survivors from officers and soldiers.
    That doctor spoke on how the security forces were deceived by an informant who tricked them and made them go unprepared to that place deep in the desert where they faced heavy armed terrorists.
    He spoke about how they did not get a back up in time and about how the terrorists divided the police officers and conscripts to kill the officers and to injure the soldiers.
    Allegedly the survivors told him that the terrorists were young men between the age of 20 to 22 and they were led by an older masked man.

    “Al-Mawkef Al-Masry” Facebook page says the recording was authentic as Ahmed Moussa aired it after editing and removing the parts that showed the government’s neglect jeopardized the lives of the officers and caused their death.

    Sunday there was an uproar against Ahmed Moussa and I thought we could get rid of him just like Tawfik Okasha.  At 1 AM, the MOI issued a statement denying the authenticity of that recording and they were completely false.

    The semi-official Media syndicate issued a statement declaring the suspension of the notorious TV host for broadcasting the recording.

    That suspension would create a fight between the Media syndicate and the Supreme Council for Media Regulation that saw Moussa did a small mistake “just like prophets” as its head, veteran Makram Mohamed Ahmed boldly claimed !!!
    In the end, Ahmed Moussa appeared on Sunday as if nothing happened to leave us with many question marks.

    The Same thing can be said about famous Pro-regime Mostafa Bakry whom on Saturday recounted allegedly what happened at 135 KM of Al-Wahat highway in a series of tweets on Saturday at 12:18 PM.
    Bakry who did not say his source of information claimed the following.
    The national security got a tip from two terrorists arrested earlier that there was a training camp for terrorists in the Wahat region and so the orders were issued to form a unit from the special forces and the national security and head to 135 KM.
    The mission was split into two groups, a group that would secure the Wahat-Giza highway and the other group would go to the desert into some mountain road 15 km away from the main highway.
    The terrorists already knew the security was coming for them and so they set up an ambush and attacked the police force. The terrorists were not less than 100 and they were led by Hisham Essawy, the terrorist special forces officer who knew the desert well. Those terrorists who were arrested earlier by national security told them that there were 4 takfirist police officers that were fired from long time.
    The force was confused as they did not have a cover from the air forces or a reconnaissance mission earlier.
    The connection between that group and the group at the main highway was cut despite they were using Thuraya Phone and they had no mobile phone coverage.
    Two officers managed to escape and cross the desert in a police vehicle reaching to Fayoum governorate , to Ibsheway and its general hospital. The number of martyrs is not few.
    At 2: 15 PM, he claimed that the terrorists captured a number of policemen and later he said that they were freed as the army came and saved the day.
    As you can see what Bakry said contradicted with what the MOI said later.

    At the same time, we found a photo circulating for a Sp Op officer who was saved in the desert after hours alone in some vehicle as he fled the scene and signs of horror and fatigue with bloody clothes.

    I won’t share the photo or the name of the officer because I feel that it was completely wrong to share it like that in his condition but I wonder why or who decided to share his photo like that in the first place.
    Won’t this affect the morale of the soldiers and officers fighting terrorism?

    Anyhow on Friday, the MOI announced that it killed 12 high-risk terrorists at 175 km of Al-Wahat highway. The MOI did not mention to which group those so-called high-risk terrorists belonged to.
    Photos of some of those dead suspects were shared in the media”1,2”.

    Their face cannot be seen and it seems that they were not wearing any footwear in their hideout when they were busted by security.

    There has been no news about that police officer that was captured by the terrorist up till now.
    Again no group has claimed its responsibility for the attack.
    I expect that a gag order will impose later in this case.

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    Last week, Saudi Arabia’s crown prince “and de facto king” Mohamed Bin Salman aka MBS declared that the Saudi government was going to build a huge futuristic megacity at the North West part of the kingdom.
    The name of $500 billion cities is NEOM which means “Neo” or New in Latin and “M” stands for “Madina” aka City.
    The big city which is bigger than Lebanon, Qatar, and Bahrain combined is going to have its own laws under Saudi sovereignty.
    Located on the Red Sea, NEOM will include Jordan and Egypt’s territories too !!
    Yes, you read it right it will include both Jordanian and Egyptian territories and that’s was the first time we hear about in Egypt. I do not know about Jordan.
    Here is the quote from the official statement released by the Saudi government about NEOM.
    NEOM’s land mass will extend across the Egyptian and Jordanian borders, rendering NEOM the first private zone to span three countries.
    I think citizens in both countries owe their government an explanation. Needless to say, there is a complete silence radio from the Egyptian regime’s side. The Saudis are the ones who revealed more details.

    NEOM will also include Egypt’s Tiran and Sanafir islands as well parts of North Sinai.
    Neom Map
    The new NEOM on the map and you can see Tiran and Sanafir
    You read it right, Tiran and Sanafir which the current Egyptian administration gave it to Saudi Arabia despite the court orders saga has not finished yet.
    Needless to say, the Saudi officials forgot to tell the Saudi people how they are supposed to get Israel's approval for any plans in the two islands as they are part of Camp David treaty aka Zone "C". 
    Considering what is happening between Saudi officials and Israeli officials behind closed doors, I believe that they got their approval. 

    The Saudis are saying that the King Salman bridge between Egypt and Saudi Arabia linking Asia and Africa is part of that huge futuristic mega city.
    The site will also become the main entrance to the King Salman Bridge, linking Asia and Africa, which will add to the zone’s economic significance.
    I thought that Sinai Peninsula has been playing that role already !!

    Anyhow that ugly bridge will affect the marine life negatively is back despite architects say that it will be hard to construct such bridge there.
    Mohamed Bin Salman aka MBS
    Crown prince and current de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia
    Mohamed Bin Salman aka MBS 
    In an interview with Bloomberg, MBS said that alcohol would not be allowed in that new city and that if any tourist wanted to drink any alcoholic beverage then he should go to Egypt or Jordan !!
    This quote tells you a lot about Egypt’s true position in the Arab world now.

    MBS revealed that the Egyptian territories in the project were located at the Egyptian-Saudi Free zone area according to an agreement signed by Sisi and his father King Salman in his infamous 2016 visit which ended with giving up Tiran and Sanafir.

    I have not heard any request from any MP to the government explain what the hell is going on.
    I have not seen Egyptian TV hosts raising questions about that new city and our involvement in it as they should be.
    Now, I wonder which part of North Sinai is involved in that Mega-city, is Rafah or Al-Arish or is it Taba !?
    Till when will we get the news from abroad?
    We need to ask questions for real.

    The latest Tiran and Sanafir updates

    Next January, the Supreme Constitutional is supposed to say its final word about the demarcation deal.
    I was supposed to publish that disclaimer months earlier when the Egyptian House of Representatives passed the Egyptian-Saudi demarcation deal and how the Egyptian President ratified it in June.

    In August, the ratification and all the details of the demarcation deal including PM Sharif Ismail’s official correspondences with his Israeli counterpart about the demarcation deal were published in the State's official gazette.
    I could not because the Windows OS had its own drama.
    It is never too late to post that disclaimer.

    I keep this disclaimer on my blog till the return of Tiran and Sanafir to Egypt.
    I believe as Egyptians we should speak about those two islands all the time till their return to Egypt.
    From five days ago, a Sharkia criminal court sentenced 23-years old Andrew Salib from Leftist Bread and Liberty Party 5 years in jail based on charges from the current Counterterrorism law.
    Salib was among the members of the leftist unofficial part that were arrested earlier this year during a crackdown on the activists opposing the Tiran and Sanafir agreement.

    He was accused by the State security prosecution of “spreading lies online about the State”.
    This is a first-degree court verdict that can be appealed.
    If Salib loses the appeal then he will be the first Christian ever to be prosecuted by the Counterterrorism law.
    It is worth to mention that this incident shows how this law will be used in matters not related to terrorism as you see !!!
    Not to mention such a law did not stop terrorist attack
    Back to Saudi Arabia, I am seriously worried for the future of Saudi people and the kingdom for real now more than anything.

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    It turned that earlier this year , there was a TV campaign about sexual harassment and it seems that very few saw because I do not recall seeing it or even reading about it.
    I knew about that campaign through Jenny Montasir's short documentary “The Campaign”.

    It turned out that since 2010 Cairo-base Harassment Map wanted to have a TV campaign to increase awareness about the sexual harassment epidemic.
    The famous initiative had an agreement with JWT to produce a campaign but it seemed from the documentary that it did not work but eventually after years, the TV campaign saw the light.
    Three TV ads were directed by award-winning director Ahmed Abdullah.
    Unfortunately, I do not think that they spread as they should. As I said before, I have not seen those ads or have seen people talking about them.
    I believe you should see this short documentary and share it on the social media

    You Won't defeat my soul
    "You won't defeat my soul" by Egyptian cartoonist
    Doaa El-Adl 
    FYI, as the #MeToo campaign is rocking world for real, Egypt or rather to be specific Egypt’s social media realm was rocked for short time by a #MeToo scandal when girls and women spoke about famous social media influencers harassing them.
    In the beginning, it was a shock because the names shared including self-claimed feminists but then the campaign went off the rail when it turned to vengeance and personal fights space.
    Famous social media figures and influencers also began sharing their Twitter’s DMs messages and Facebook messenger to prove their innocence turning the whole matter into a circus.
    Then came the Wahat shootout or attack on 19 October and all people got busy on the social media on something else.

    Anyhow please watch this short documentary and share it as well share those three ads among your circle whether you are Egyptian or not. After all, #MeToo proved that it is a global problem.

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    Kodak Agfa posted a photo:

    Golden pocket watches at Egypt's Royal Jewelry Museum

    Golden pocket watches at Egypt's Royal Jewelry Museum in Alexandria from 19th century. I think the man on the right is Khedive Said

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    Kodak Agfa posted a photo:

    Egypt-Turkey flags on a golden pocket watch at Egypt's Royal Jewelry Museum

    Egypt-Turkey flags painted on a-19th centry golden pocket watch at Egypt's Royal Jewelry Museum in Alexandria

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    Kodak Agfa posted a photo:

    A Golden Trowel at Egypt's Royal Jewelry Museum

    A golden trowel made of gold presented to King Fouad I for inaugrating the Bosh village council and the Water and energy station in 1930

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    Kodak Agfa posted a photo:

    A golden desk stationery set at Egypt's Royal Jewelry Museum

    A desk stationery set made of gold at Egypt's Royal Jewelry Museum in Alexandria. That set is encrusted with 166 jewels and diamonds.

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    Kodak Agfa posted a photo:

    A big colored Golden pocket watch at Egypt's Royal Jewelry Museum

    A big colored Golden pocket watch from 19th century at Egypt's Royal Jewelry Museum in Alexandria

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    Famous Egyptian human rights lawyer Khaled Ali announced earlier Monday that he would run for the presidential office in elections 2018.
    Ali announced that he would run in the upcoming elections from Egypt’s Doustor party headquarter in Giza in a very crowded press conference.
    We will start in preparing our presidential campaign as well the drafts for our platform to discuss it with the public in order to present alternative solutions to save Egypt from that grim destiny waiting it
    Khaled Ali said in a speech that focused in the first half about Egypt’s current problems or disasters to be accurate.
    Despite his announcement that he will run in the upcoming elections, the founder of Bread and Liberty Leftist party warned that he would withdraw from the presidential race and even would call for its boycott if the regime started to mess it up “as usual and as expected”
    We are ready for these elections without any illusions about the integrity of the rival but we were and won’t be part of political or electoral farce
    He made it clear also that he took the decision after long discussions with other opposition political figures and powers in the country.
    Khaled Ali
    Khaled Ali in his press conference on Monday in Giza
    The Presidential race has not started yet officially.
    Legally and realistically speaking, the 45-year-old-widower won’t be able to run in the presidential elections if the appeals court rejected on Wednesday his appeal against the misdemeanor court’s sentence to prison him 3 months in jail in September for offending public decency over that Middle finger incident in January !!!!!

    If I am not mistaken too, he may not be to run too if there is a retrial and the new court panel finds him guilty.
    The father of two boys will be disqualified from running in the elections according to the Presidential elections law.
    Not less 300 people attended the Press conference to the level that people stood during Ali’s announcement in outside the room as well in the Constitution Party’s HQ.

    It was noticeable that very few Egyptian TV channels covering Ali’s Press conference. I noticed that only Dream TV 2 channel and Al-Hayat TV channels had microphones on the panels which suggested that they were recording the press conference.
    I do not know if they aired any clips from the press conference or not.

    The Pro-regime has begun already attacking Khaled Ali in the most disgusting way even before announcing his bid for elections 2018.
    State-owned El-Gomhouria’s managing editor wrote a whole page attacking Khaled in the most disgusting ways on Monday.
    The Pro-regime online trolls also started attacking him as well ridiculing him. They have already started spreading dirty rumors as well.
    Ironically, the Pro-regime media and trolls always like to remind that Khaled Ali is not popular as Abdel Fattah El-Sisi. If so, then why they are so pissed off on Monday after declaring his decision to run for the Presidential post !?

    El-Sisi already needs a rival like Khaled in the upcoming elections for more legitimate and more realistic look than the usual one-man show so the West and the rest of the world will be happy with that so-called democratic transition.
    I think all people including Ali himself know very well that he has no chance to win presidential elections in Egypt against Abdel Fattah El-Sisi currently …. except maybe by a divine miracle in the size of David versus Goliath thing.

    Hell, many countries including KSA and Israel as well foreign companies won’t want a man like Ali to be the President of Egypt.
    The deep state in Egypt above all doesn’t want someone idealistic leftist to be in charge for God’s sake !!

    But there is nothing against playing a little game with that regime giving it hard time and forcing it as well its media to answer questions about certain issues like economy for example.
    This is what I believe Khaled Ali and his group are doing.
    Already I believe Khaled Ali got more political experience in 2017 than in 2012 presidential elections.
    Anyhow let’s wait until Wednesday and see what will happen and whether Khaled Ali will be able qualified

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    Do you remember the Nubian Egyptian protesters who were arrested while protesting peaceful using the Duf in Aswan early September?
    There were 25 protesters detained pending investigation on a number of charges, including them illegal protesting.

    Now there are 24 protesters detained only because one of them passed in custody at an Aswan prison according to his family who accuses the government of neglecting his health till he died.
    Gamal Sorror
    Late Gamal Sorror in Tahrir square "Facebook" 

    On Saturday, Mr. Gamal Sorror who was one of the oldest men in the group as well the head of the Nubian association in France “Association Nubienne en France” passed.

    His family as well Nubian Egyptian activists say that he fell into a diabetic coma at Al-Shallal and he was not transferred on time to the hospital. His family added that he died at the jail and that the ambulance reported that.
    Nubia’s representative in the Egyptian Parliament MP Yassin Abdel Sabbour stated in a statement that he released according to Tahrir news that Sorror passed away in his detention and the ambulance refused to transfer his body for two hours !!
    The Egyptian security authorities deny that and say that he had a cardiac arrest at the hospital. The usual claim denying any neglect in his treatment.

    Late Gamal Sorror had a French passport and he refused to inform the embassy about his detention till his death according to his lawyer Mohamed Abdel Salam who spoke with Tahrir News website.
    Abdel Salam added that Sorror believed his charge was honorable one as he was protesting to claim his right in the Egyptian constitution, to return to his rightful village in old Nubia.
    Part of me believes that he should have contacted the embassy.

    Late Tuesday night, a group of Nubian Egyptian protesters cut the Kalabasha highway in Aswan for several hours before the security forces would disperse their protest and arrest a dozen of protesters.
    According to Nuba Facebook page, there were random arrests and people who were not involved in the protests at all.

    Only the Constitution Party and the Egyptian Social Democratic Party spoke about what is happening in Nubia currently in Statements.
    The Egyptian mainstream media has been so far busy about the coverage of that current World Youth Forum thing, whose tagline rudely if I may say is “We need to talk”.

    Well, we need to talk about Nubian Egyptians and their constitutional right to return back to their original old Nubian villages.
    We need to talk about what happened to Mr. Gamal Sorror and make sure that it does not against any detainee.
    Needless to say, speaking about rights of Nubian Egyptians to reclaim their land in accordance with the constitution is still a taboo.
    I totally understand that some people are freaking out because the world is witnessing currently a wave of independence in places like Catalonia and Kurdistan.
    But again for the zillion and one time, the Nubian Egyptians do not want any kind of independence from the Egyptian state and the Egyptian community because simply they are an origin competent of the Egyptian society and the Egyptian civilization.

    We need to talk about the treatment of detainees and how they must have at least adequate Medical treatment as it is a true and original human right.

    I do not know what to say except . May God bless the soul of Mr. Gamal Sorror and bring patience to his family. I hope his death won’t be in vain and that it will be a wake-up call for the Egyptian authorities and not to be stubborn.
    I hope so that the Egyptian authority will be smart and won’t lose hearts and minds, as usual, leaving grudges to grow.

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     Seen from above: An overview of Cairo skyline in the sunset with no filters once upon a time from Cairo tower. Cairo can seem to be very big as well small from what was once the longest building in Africa !! 

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    I can’t ignore what is happening in Lebanon or Saudi Arabia because after all, it echoes in Cairo in a way or another.
    For the first time since his televised resignation from Saudi Arabia, Lebanon’s Prime minister Saad El-Hariri appeared on TV in a very awkward on-air interview Sunday evening denying that he was under house arrest repeating that he would return home, to resign officially in accordance with the Lebanese constitution.

    The Lebanese PM appeared with veteran Lebanese TV host Paula Yacoubian on his own TV network “Future TV” from his house reportedly in Riyadh insisting that he could return back home at any time he wanted.He repeated that he created a “Positive shock” in his country with resignation.

    It was all about Hezbollah and its relation to Iran which mediates in the Arab world and imposes a danger to the Gulf.

    He also spoke about his fear about that Lebanon would face economic sanctions just like Yemen.
    This gives me an impression that he may be there negotiating about the future of his country. God only knows.

    It is worth to mention Saudi Arabia called for an urgent meeting for Arab foreign ministers at League of Arab States in Cairo over Iran.
    Will Saudi Arabia call for sanctions on Lebanon because of Hezbollah? We will know in few days I guess.
    El-Hariri wanted Hezbollah to stop his relations with Iran and to stick to politics in Lebanon, the same old demand.
    Saad El-Hariri
    Self-resigned Lebanese Prime Minister Saad El-Hariri
    Saad El-Hariri appeared shaken and was on the verge of crying in one instance forcing Yacoubian to go on a commercial break before returning.
    His weakness was shown to the viewers as Paula Yacoubian seemed stronger with her questions insisting to get answers. He was there and not there.

    Whatever happened to him, God as well Saudi officials only know !!

    The self-resigned  PM seemed to contradict himself to me as he claimed to be ready to sacrifice himself to Lebanon whereas he said that he got his only family referring indirectly to a possible assassination attempt.

    When he resigned, he claimed that it was there was a threat to his own life.
    That claim was denied later by Lebanese security.
    The Lebanese-Saudi PM says that Iran mediates in the Lebanese affairs while denying that Saudi Arabia’s intervention in Lebanese internal affairs !!
    The epic moment came by the end when suddenly we saw a man holding something like a paper or cue card standing behind Paula and the Lebanese prime minister was looking to his direction in alarm.
    It is worth to mention that this interview came after a series of news reports in Washington Post, Reuters, and Bloomberg indicating that the El-Hariri is under house arrest in the Kingdom.
    It also came after statements of foreign officials above them France’s foreign ministry !!

    Back in Cairo, I think Abdel Fattah El-Sisi does not like or approve that escalation against Hezbollah or Iran in Lebanon because it makes things hard for him in Syria.

    It is not a big secret that the current Egyptian administration is playing a role in the Syrian crisis by supporting the so-called peaceful political solution hosting from time to time talks with the so-called “Moderate political opposition”.

    Sisi says that he is with the National state aka al-Assad's government and National army “which actually killed thousands and thousands of Syrian civilians”. It is not a big secret either that the Syrian Arab army depends mainly on Shia militias from Hezbollah, Iran as well Afghanistan. El-Assad is backed by Iran and Hezbollah and I guess this explains many things I want to say but tired to say honestly.

    That escalation puts El-Sisi in a hard position as you can see. Time will only tell if he will choose between Saudi Arabia or al-Assad's regime and his allies.

    Interestingly, MBS is turned from that Young prince that would change the Middle East with his future Metropolis NEMO for better to that hunger power monarch who imprisoned not only his elder cousins but also another country’s Prime minister pushing a whole unrested region to the unknown for real.
    PR campaigns fail with dictatorships, nobody wants to understand this universal fact especially in our miserable part of the world.
    MBS and MBZ too are the best gift for Iran for real without a doubt.

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  • 11/15/17--18:00: El-Adly of Arabia
  • Do you remember how Egyptians wondered and asked where the hell their former long-time notorious Mubarak’s interior minister Habib  El-Adly had gone?
    Do you remember how his lawyer Fareed El-Deeb insisted that he would appear in court in time of court all those months? Do you remember who his wife, the veteran journalist Elham Sharshar claiming how she did not know his whereabouts in front of prosecution?

    All those months many Egyptians included myself thought that the infamous ex-interior minister Habib El-Adly escaped abroad. Some websites claimed that he went to UAE just like other Mubarak’s businessmen.
    The man made a comeback from a couple of months ago when Saudi Arabia declared that it founded a new security apparatus in July: The State security.
    Habib El-Adly
    A file photo fo Habib El-Adly during his trial "Reuters"
    I overlayed a green layer as we are speaking about Saudis 
    The name brought to Egyptians many memories yet it was interesting to see in September famous Saudi Whistleblowing twitter accounts like “@Mujtahid”, “@Ahdjadid"” and “@Coluche_ar” speaking about him

    Saudi Whistleblowing twitter account “Mujtahid” said on 16 September that Prince Mohamed Bin Salman aka MBS had a plan to “Westernize” and “Zion-ize” the Saudi Kingdom and for that the Kingdom hired “600 State security Egyptian officers” to have “a full control on the Kingdom” in addition to military officers and pilots as well diplomats.

    Then on 18 September, “@Ahdjadid” claimed that Habib El-Adly, the infamous former minister of interior of Egypt was among those officers hired to work in the Kingdom's new founded “State security”.

    Nobody confirmed or denied what those famous whistleblowers claimed and sooner a crackdown campaign against Islamists and religious clerics had begun leaving nobody from extremists to moderates yet who were not on board with MBS.
    The name returned again as the crackdown against princes and businessmen had begun in early November.

    On Tuesday, NY Times published a report about the latest adventures of Prince MBS written by Ben Hubbard and David Kirkpatrick and according to that report, Habib El-Adly is among the current advisors of the KSA’s youngest defacto ruler. The report also spoke about how “17 people detained in the anti-corruption campaign {aka The Ritz Carlton} required medical treatment for abuse by their captors” which means there were tortured.

    The reported referred to how El-Adly was involved in torture cases in Egypt. You can draw a conclusion from there that El-Adly could be behind the torture and abuse of 17 men.

    Habib El-Adly’s attorney Farid El-Deeb denied that his client was in Saudi Arabia insisting that he will show up next January during the appeal of his corruption case.
    Following the spread of NY Times’ report, Mrs. El-Adly denied that her husband was not in Saudi Arabia in a media statement.
     At the same time, Elham Sharshar claimed that she did not know where Habib El-Adly was at the same time.
    Do not dare to ask how she knew that he was not the KSA while insisting that she did not know his whereabouts.
    Now here are my two cents about El-Adly and MBS.
    I do not think the despots in that sad part of the world learn from despots’ mistakes. Hosni Mubarak and Gamal Mubarak counted on Habib El-Adly’s iron fist to control Egypt and after all those years a revolution took place eventually.
    I fear that El-Adly’s work in Saudi Arabia will be the biggest threat to the kingdom and its own existence.
    There is no hope for real progressive any kind of change when you have that sort of officials in power.
    Egypt can officially ask Saudi Arabia to extradite El-Adly from Saudi Arabia if he is there. “Yes, he is”

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    If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.
    Sun Tzu,
    The Art of War

    A little-known militant group claimed responsibility early Friday on 3 November of the 19th October’s Al-Wahat Shootout that took place between Egyptian police forces and a group of unidentified militants in Egypt’s Western desert where 16 police personnel were killed from Five weeks ago.

    The group is called “Ansar Al-Islam” and it released online a statement on Social Media Network "Telegram", at one of its channels linked to Al-Qaeda “The Sharia Guards” claiming responsibility for the shootout calling it “Lions’ Den battle”, detailing from its side what happened and revealing also some important information.
    The statement has got no videos or photos to support that claim though.

    On 19th October, Egypt’s police fore convey was involved in a shootout with a group of militants. According to official statements, 16 police personnel were killed and 13 others were injured in one of the worst attacks targeting Egyptian security forces outside North Sinai.
    The following days witnessed a joint operation between Egyptian armed forces and Egyptian police against terrorist hideouts claiming scores of them as well liberating police officer Mohamed El-Hayes who was captured by the militants during the shootout.

    Interestingly, very few Egyptian media and news outlets covered that news of that militant group claiming responsibility while the majority of news outlets did not share it in the same enthusiasm like the news of the attack or saving Captain Mohamed El-Hayes. I do not know why for real !?
    Some cited the reason was the Counterterrorism law and its 54-articles that include one article prohibiting the broadcast or publication of terrorist statements in the media.
    Yet, I think there is a difference between being a terrorist organization’s mouthpiece and declaring that a little known terrorist organization affiliated with one of the world’s biggest terrorist organizations claimed responsibility for the most brutal attack against police force recently outside Sinai !!!!
    Egyptian Police
    A photo at the scene taken on 21 October showing security personnel
    sitting on a police vehicle "AFP
    The people need to know what they are facing already !!

    Now here are a couple of thoughts I wanted to share it with you since that Friday from two weeks ago regarding the group and its telegram channel before it disappears. Luckily, I wrote down all my notes and observations before it vanishes. I do not know if its admins decided to close it down or it was closed down by the government or it became a secret one.

    The Telegram Channel

    Interestingly, the “Sharia Guards” channel was created on 19 October 2017 as Egypt’s first so-called “Jihadist” channel adding that its administrators are the so-called “The Forts of Glory’s lions” in Arabic.

    That term is used frequently by Al-Qaeda affiliated groups as I have noticed online to describe their fighters and members on the Frontlines.
    Basically, they directed their messages to the Egyptian youth to rebel against the unjust and unfair regime of Egypt to the end of that talk. Ironically, they slammed Daesh as extremists!!
    Nevertheless, just like Daesh members, they listed the enemies of Islam according to their doctrines were “the Jews, crusaders aka Christians, the Egyptian army commanders and the Egyptian journalists against Islamic Sharia.

    As that channel was directed to the Egyptian people, Al-Qaeda-affiliated Telegram mentioned its most infamous Egyptian members  Mohamed Atta of the 9/11 and Saeed Al-Masri aka Mustafa Abu al-Yazid, the financial chief of Al-Qaeda praising them.
    The administrators also listed a number of groups as some sort of Al-Qaeda representatives in Egypt. Those groups are : Agnand Misr , Al-Morabtoon , Hasm and Gund Al-Islam in Sinai.

    We spoke about Al-Morabtoon and its founding leader, the most wanted man in Egypt Hisham El-Ashmaway before.
    El-Ashmaway and his group were the primary suspects in Al-Wahat attacked on the 19th and 20th October.
    Most people believed that he was behind it as the attack was big and sophisticated one plus the Western desert and Libya were his territory.
    Early October, El-Ashmaway was sentenced to death along 13 others in a military tribunal for committing El-Farfra massacre in July 2014 killing at least 21 military personnel from the borders guards at a security checkpoint 100 km away from El-Farfara city.
    Hisham Al-Ashmawy and his only photos available online
    At the same time, I remember reading somewhere that allegedly El-Ashmawy’s wife Nesireen Hussein was arrested along with her two kids from him while attempting to sneak from Sudan to Libya.
    He is believed to be in Derna as part of its  Shura Council of Mujahideen. I think that was why Derna was targeted twice by Egyptian airstrikes officially in the past three years.
    On October 30, an unidentified airstrike on several locations in the city killing 16 civilians including women and children.
    All parties involved in Libya including Khalifa Hafter’s Libyan National army denied their relation with the airstrike.
    The Shura Council of Mujahideen accused Egypt of launching that airstrike but the Egyptian government denied that and condemned the airstrike officially.

    Moving to Hasm, I am surprised to find their name in that name because it is affiliated more to the Muslim Brotherhood than Al-Qaeda.
    In the early news reports on Friday during the shootout, H name was brought up that as security sources and security experts told news websites that the National security got intel that there was a Hasm hideout at 135 km.
    Personally, I believed that scenario which says that the National security got false info from an informant claiming that there was a Hasm Hideout in the Western desert and that’s why the police force went unprepared enough to find RPG missiles waiting for it.
    Many security experts later believed Hasm group was not behind it because it could not pull an operation like that.
    Anyhow days will tell if the group has joined Al-Qaeda or not.

    Next Aganad Misr group, it has been making headlines lately as on early October a Giza criminal court handed 13 people a preliminary death sentence for terrorism-related charges including killing policemen.
    The offspring of Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis in North Sinai, Aganad Misr or the Soldiers of Egypt claimed responsibility for at least 19 operations targeting security forces from January 2014 to April 2015.
    The High state security prosecution is still investigating their cases and people are still arrested and detained pending investigation for joining that banned group which people forgot.  

    Last but not least,Jund Al-Islam in Sinai group which is older than other groups according to what I have read yet it was forgotten as Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis stole its thunder.
    The original Al-Qaeda affiliated group had one big operation in September 2013 when it attacked the Military Intelligence H.Q in Rafah city killing 6 soldiers and injured dozens. In the past years, the group had few operations against the Egyptian security forces compared to ISIS franchise in North Sinai aka Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis.
    Now the militant group is a having a come back as on 11 November it issued a statement claiming its responsibility for an operation against El-Baghdadi's boys in North Sinai.
    Safely to say, it seems that ABM is losing it power and it seems that Al-Qaeda began to restore its power.

    The channel published too many messages on the 19th October but it did not mention anything about that action taking place in Egypt’s Western Desert.
    On 20th October , the channel’s first mention of Al-Wahat shootout as a post in the early afternoon featuring the photo of Police Captain Elsam Mashour who was among the first police officers to be killed and their names publicized unofficially.
    At 6:23 PM on the same day, it spoke about “Happy news” and then on 7:02 PM it spoke about “Al-Wahat battle”. Next day, it continued to speak happily about the updates of the shootout publishing what was already known in the social media. Then complete silence till 3 November.

    The statement

    Early 3 November the channel published a-two-pages-statement for a group called “Ansar Al-Islam” introducing itself to the Egyptian people and declaring its responsibility for the attack/shootout on 19 October. The statement said that the group’s “fighters” used “RBG” not “RPG” against the security forces and this was a strange mistake for me because RPG’s spelling is known already.

    The use of the word “Enemy” in Arabic to describe the security forces reminds me of the language Egyptian military to describe their opponent.
    The militant group also claimed that despite the number of its members were small yet they stood against the security forces that came in “3 armored vehicles” and “5 police trucks”.
    The group said that it killed all officers except one they captured who is police officer El-Hayes.

    They added too that they gave the soldiers and conscripts the opportunity to join them in their fight before setting them free. The group did not say that it shot the conscripts in their legs and arms. Old school militant Islamists do this and shoot who they believe “not the enemy” but are forced to help the enemy like the soldiers or conscripts. They shoot them in their arms and their legs to give them a chance to repent.
    If you remember the alleged audio leak released online from Police Hospital and made a controversy, there was a part where the alleged doctor spoke about how the militants invited the conscripts to join them then shot them in legs and arms. 

    The group also claimed that only one militant was killed in that operation. The ministry of interior said in its statement a number of militants were killed and their bodies were retrieved by their group before leaving the place.
    Now to the most important part of the statement from my point of view.

    The group announced that its leading figure Emad El-Din Abdel along an unspecified number of other militants were killed by the strikes launched by Egypt’s air forces the following days in the Western desert.

    Emad El-Din Abdel Hamid’s name and photos were spread on 3 November and sooner people found a match for him in one of the photos of dead militants at the official Egyptian army’s spokesperson
    Little is known publicly about Emad El-Din Abdel Hamid except that he was an ex-army officer who is usually associated with Hisham Al-Ashmaway.
    On Thursday, the Egyptian ministry of interior issued a statement about the latest developments in the joint security operation in Egypt’s Western desert targeting terrorist hideouts.
    According to the statement, Security’s investigations revealed that “ a terrorist cell” was formed in Libya’s Derna led by the deceased Egyptian terrorist Emad El-Din Ahmed Mahmoud Abdel Hamid who was killed in an airstrike.
    All that is known about him is that the Alexandria-born was in his thirty and was among the army officers that fired because of their radical religious views.
    It is not clear when he was fired but in the “Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis trial” investigations claim that he and Hisham Al-Ashmawy began to form terrorist cells starting from 2011 in the Nile valley.
    Just like Al-Ashmaway, he was a member of Egypt’s Special forces or as we call it “The Thunderbolt forces”. It is not clear When they met.
    He was sentenced to death in Absentia just like Al-Ashamawy in the same trial of “Farfara Massacre” in October.
    Emad El-Din
    This is the only photo for Emad El-Din Mahmoud released
    by the MOI in January 2014 following the Cairo security directorate attack
    Some say that he became the second man in command in Al-Morabtoon group in Derna while others say that he was responsible for training.
    Yet, he appeared reportedly as a leader of a new group at least for us. I do not know if he split and decided to have his own group that is still affiliated with Al-Qaeda or it is a game to have a new name for an old group to fool the security forces and to exhaust them !!

    The Egyptian MOI also added that that Emad’s terrorist cell members sneaked to Egypt illegally through the Western desert where they had a training camp at El-Wahat area.
    That militant group reportedly managed to recruit 29 new members from Giza and Qalyubia governorates who were arrested by the security forces, MOI said.
    Strangely, the MOI also said in its statements that some members of that group/cell were involved in the Christian Egyptians’ massacre in May as they had the weapons used in that attack with those people.

    It is strange because Daesh claimed its responsibility for this horrifying attack against Christian Egyptians.  Again , I do not know what that means.

    Now all what I think about currently is how many officers defected or fired and joined Hisham Al-Ashmawawy because I fear there are more two.