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Egypt That You Don't Know
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    Kodak Agfa posted a photo:

    The flowers arc at Egypt's Flowers show 2017

    People taking photos at one of the partitions under some type of metal arc covered by flowers at Egypt's annual Spring Flowers show

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    Kodak Agfa posted a photo:

    The flowers arc at Egypt's Flowers show 2017

    People taking photos at one of the partitions under some type of metal arc covered by flowers at Egypt's annual Spring Flowers show

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    Kodak Agfa posted a photo:

    The pyramids of flowers at Egypt's flowers show 2017

    Pyramids made of flowers at an entrance of one of the partitions in Egypt's annual Spring Flowers show

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    Kodak Agfa posted a photo:

    The pyramids of flowers at Egypt's flowers show 2017

    Pyramids made of flowers at an entrance of one of the partitions in Egypt's annual Spring Flowers show

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    Kodak Agfa posted a photo:

    Taking photo at the flowers arc

    A young man taking a photo of his friend under an arc covered by flowers at Egypt's annual Spring Flowers show

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    And the time has come to our annual date with our Egyptian Chronicles' Ramadan Arabian Nights.
    It should have started from three nights but honestly, I could not post anything when my country Egypt and my fellow Egyptians are mourning.

    Cairo Arabian nights-travel poster

    On Saturday, at least 28 Egyptian Christians were killed in a massacre in Minya governorate by a Daesh-affiliated group in Egypt.

    As a respect to the victims and their families, I decided to have an Egyptian Chronicle' National mourning for three days. This was the least thing I can do to the victims and their families.
    Up till this moment, the Egyptian State has not official declared a national mourning for reasons beyond me.

    Anyhow despite the grief, we will return back to the Egyptian Radio Arabian Nights to escape the dull present and find hope and solace in fantasy.

    This year our tale will speak again mighty kings of the sea and their mermaid daughters who fall love as usual with a human being.

    Make no mistake that our tale written by legendary Taher Abu Fasha is not the same like our tale "The Cursed lady's wall" in 2015 which was inspired by the famous Hans Christian Andersen's Little Mermaid.

    So no further delay I am to present to you the tale of Princess Sea Pearl produced by the Egyptian State Radio service decades ago.

    The tale was written by Taher Abu Fasha and directed by legendary Mohamed Mahmoud Shaaban. our first radio Arabian night for this year was the 373rd episode of that show.
    Tonight I will share with you the first, second and third episodes.

    Episode 373rd - First night

    Episode 374th-Second night

    Episode 375th -Third episode.

    A quick synopsis of the first episodes:
    King Shahryar is angry and decides to kill Scheherazade because he had enough of her tales yet the wise woman managed to trap him again into one of her tales, the tale of Sea Pearl and her father, King Mehyar of the vast sea.
    We know in that episode tat Sea Pearl used to leave her kingdom and visit the human world with her nanny as humans and I think you will know the rest.
    Unfortunately, this year I won't be able to continue writing the synopsis in English. I am really sorry.

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    First of all, I must present my condolences and pay my respect to the 4 Egyptian armed forces personnel who have been killed early Wednesday in a campaign against militants in the Western desert.
    May God bless their souls and bring patience to their beloved ones.

    Second, it is our daily Ramadan date with the original Egyptian State Radio's Arabian nights.
    We continue our tale for this year, the Princess Sea Pearl.

    To refresh your memories, you can listen to the previous episodes here.

    Tonight we will hear two episodes and continue that tale of Djinn Sea mermaid that turned into a human after loving a man from the earth.
    Her father, the King of the Sea got her back from the surface of the earth but with no memories what so ever and he will not stop doing the impossible to return her Djinn Sea mermaid.

    With no further delay, here are the two episodes in Arabic.
    Please enjoy and share.

    Episode 376th or the Fourth Night

    Episode 377th or the Fifth Night.

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    And we are on the right track now :))
    Tonight we will continue our tale of this Ramadan, the tale of Princess Sea Pearl and how she turned into a human.
    You refresh your memory and hear last night radio Arabian nights here.
    Tonight we will meet that man who turned the Djinn Mermaid Princess into human like him, the poor "Hamal Alasya" or "The pain bearer"
    Do not ask me from where Mr. Abu Fasha got those names because I do not.
    Anyhow with no delays, here is tonight's episode in Arabic.

    Episode 378 or the Sixth night

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    We continue tonight our tale , the tale of Princess Sea Pearl and her human husband. Arabian Nights

    Tonight we go from a story to another one as no we are going to hear the story of ""Hamal Alasya" or "The pain bearer".

    You can refresh your memory and remember how that man who bears a sad name ended up in the sea realm by checking last night's episode here.

    Now it is time of our episode tonight.

    Episode 379 or the Seventh night

    I hope you enjoy the episode and have a pleasant night.

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    It is time to continue our tale of this year , the tale of Princess Sea Pearl. Arabian Nights-Cairo

    Before we know how Princess Sea Pearl turned in to a human and how it ended up with no memory , we will know the story of "Hamal Alasya".

    We will also meet his stepmom and know the story of his so-called brother.

    It is a nice tale which I think you will enjoy knowing as usual.

    You can refresh your memory and remember what happened in our tale here.

    Now it is time of our episode tonight.

    Episode 380 or the eighth night

    I hope you enjoy the episode and have a pleasant Ramadan night. 

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    A week passed following the horrifying Minya massacre on Friday where at least 29 Egyptian Christians including children were killed by militants while they were on their way to visit an ancient Christian Orthodox Monastery in Minya's Western desert.

    On Sunday, the infamous Daesh claimed their responsibility for the attack unsurprisingly claiming that they killed "warrior Christians" !!! There were Children, women and elderly in that convoy !!
    This is the third terrorist attack targeting Egyptian Christians since December by that death cult.
    Daesh claimed its responsibility for the bombing of El-Botroseya Church in Cairo in December and the Churches bombings in Alexandria and Gharbia in April.

    It also had declared that it would target Egyptian Christians at least twice.
    The first time was in February as it published a video repeating the infamous ultra-Egyptian Islamist rhetoric when it comes to accusations of the Christian community in the country.
    The video is technically produced to justify its old as well upcoming attacks against the biggest Christian population in a Muslim country in the Middle East.
    The second warning which is the most recent in early May was in an interview with an unidentified leader of Daesh-affiliated group Daesh in one of their online publications.
    That alleged leading figure in that terrorism franchise warned of further attacks against Egyptian Christians urging Egyptian Muslims to stay from Christian gatherings.
    That request to Muslims came after at least three Muslim people were killed in the churches' bombings in April.

    First question about security

    Despite warnings , there has not been enough protection to the Egyptian Christians and their gathering places and the proof is what we saw in front of us last Saturday.

    Since knowing about the attack in Minya, I have been asking myself on why that Christian Convoy was not escorted by security till the monastery in the Middle of the desert.

    That monastery is in the Middle of the desert inside Bani Suef governorate, it is like the gate to Egypt's Western desert.
    The location of the monastery
    The location of the monastery, the red line shows
    El-Edwa City in Al-Minya governorate. 
    The road to the monastery is not paved or equipped.
    There are no clinics or emergency checkpoints to help people on that road if there is a car accident, let alone there is no police presence there.
    Here is a graphic video at the attack's location showing the victims' bodies in the middle of nowhere.

    A video from the attack site showing the victims bodies scattered over the ground. According to local media outlets, the attackers stopped the bus, asked the passengers about their religious believes and then they killed men first and opened fire on the rest! Video's credit for Page " صوت من السماء"
    Posted by Mina Thabet on Friday, May 26, 2017
    This video can give an idea about what I mean.
    There is no even a mobile phone network coverage in that place.
    I do not understand how no one paid attention to the fact that we got monasteries in the Western desert and that Daesh and other militant groups had its share of operations there in the past three years.
    Thus monasteries and its visitors as well monks need protection.
    The Minya governor says that the monks in the monasteries rejected security protection.
    I do not know if he is saying the truth or not but at least that outside the monastery should have been secured.

    The road should have secured. The buses should have been secured.
    One would have thought that the security agencies in Egypt would have paid attention to the monasteries after the Saint Catherine monastery checkpoint attack.
    Yes, it did not target the monastery itself but it would have triggered an alarm that those isolated places can be on the terrorists' radar.
    Police checkpoint at the attack's location from 8 days
    Needless to say, now the Egyptian government will either act and appoint security to monasteries in the Middle of nowhere or it will order the Churches in the country to stop those religious trips.
    Knowing how the regime thinks, I will say that it will go for the second option.
    The Egyptian House of Representatives has not summoned yet the minister of interior to question him in a hearing over this failure.
    In fact, liberal and Christian MP Emad Gad wanted to address the parliament about the massacre and yet the speaker refused to let him speak for a reason beyond me.

    Where it happened and when it happened

    I can not get over the idea of how that terrorist group thought about that monastery in a rural area like that and how they planned to attack that convoy in that time.
    Most of the Muslims in Egypt do not know about the locations of the Christian monasteries in the rural areas outside their governorates or their cities. Yet, it is easy to know the monasteries with a quick search online.
    The big question is how the terrorists knew about the convoy and when it was going to reach the monastery. It was not a random thing as we are speaking two buses coming two different governorates "Bani Suef" and "Minya"

    That awful massacre happened in El-Minya governorate which has a long history of sectarian tensions and clashes as well its share from radical terrorist organizations since the 1980s.
    It also has got extremely big Christian population that we have full Christian rural villages there.
    Following the dispersal of Pro-Morsi sit-in in Rabaa and Al-Nahda, the governorate witnessed horrifying 48 hours attacks against Christian houses, properties, and churches.
    The attackers were not only angry pro-Morsi supporters but well-known thugs who found the chaos was a perfect time to steal and destroy.

    The monasteries in the governorate survived the attack because they were far away.
    Even the current El-Minya governor, a former state security police general has got a sectarian history and has not done much anything new when it comes to recent sectarian incidents.
    He won't do anything as well because he has been working according to that old fashioned sick instructions manual given to all governors when it comes to sectarian tensions: Bring a sheikh and a priest to kiss each other in front of the camera and hold an informal reconciliation meeting with the clans that will end into enforcing the Christian families to leave the village.

    Since that recent attack, I have been worried because we are speaking about Minya, the gate to Egypt's Upper Egypt where tribalism and weapons strive.
    The greatest amount of weapons and arms have ever entered the country Libya illegally, headed to Upper Egypt after the fall of Qaddafi regime in 2011.
    The memories of the black terrorism years in the 1980s till mid-1990s are having a flashback with worrisome feeling.

    Survivors reportedly said that the militants spoke with an Upper Egyptian accent that identical to the people of El-Minya.
    In other words, the suspects could be from that governorate and that would be reasonable.
    Minya and Upper Egypt governorates present a perfect hiding place for anyone when it comes to the mounts, hills, and desert that security forces think twice when going to search for criminals and fugitives.
    On  Monday, the minister of interior transferred police general Feisal Dowiader , the head of El-Minya's security directorate to another sector in the ministry in a move that many considered as a punishment.

    This means that something was wrong when it comes to the security strategies in the governorate.
    I must hint out that on Wednesday that four army personnel including three army officers were killed in an army operation against terrorists in the Western desert. We do not know if those terrorists were part of Daesh or another group but the location is so interesting for me. We have to be worried a lot.

    The media failure

    The Egyptian mainstream media did not show any sympathy what-so-ever especially the Egyptian TV channels. It seemed that there is some kind of selectivity when it comes to mourning the victims of the attack.
    All the TV channels are strictly following their Ramadan hot season showing tens of TV shows and hundreds of ads. They do not even insert a black ribbon on their TV screens. This is the weakest and simplest thing to do.
    The Egyptian Christians are angry and feel that they are being ignored by the TV channels and mainstream media. They see Egyptian Muslims enjoying their time watching TV in Ramadan and think they are being alienated.
    Mass funeral
    Egyptian Christians in the mass funeral of the victims in Minya
    They have to be angry and they express their anger on social media and as we know radicals from both sides clash because we are in a virtual reality online.This is what Daesh wants by the way; To create and widen that gap between Egyptians in the country.
    I do not understand why no official is paying attention to that point.
    I do not understand why the State has not called an official mourning in the country.
    When I see the TV channels ignoring the attack and its victims in that disgusting way, I think about two possible reasons.

    The first one is that we are dealing with very greedy TV channels and executives who won't sacrifice their multi-millions advertising campaigns for the sake of three days only.
    The second one is that the government does not want bigger coverage. It is not a big secret that all the TV channels are under the state control and follow its order.
    It is worth to mention that President Sisi once criticizes the mainstream media coverage of Al-Botroseya bombing.

    In general, the mainstream media is selective. Hundreds of police and army officers, soldiers and conscripts were killed and yet there were certain incidents and attacks that have been highlighted in the media. in

    The Retaliation and revenge : Wrong direction !?

    Following the end of the National Defense Council's urgent meeting, President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi announced that Egypt carried once again air strikes on terror camps without giving more details. At the same time, news came from Libya that the unknown air jets launched an air strike on the city of Derna.
    Then the official spokesperson of Egyptian armed forces confirmed the news saying that the Egyptian armed forces

    Since then the Egyptian Strikes has not stopped on targets in Derna as well the city of Jufra.
    Yet it seems that the Egyptian strikes targets are quite puzzling because Daesh has already left the city of Derna after being kicked out of it by the Derna Mujahedeen Council.

    The Derna Mujahedeen Council has not been linked to any activities outside Libya and actually, they managed to liberate the city from Daesh's control in April 2016 !!!!
    Unfortunately, the Egyptian government did not give an evidence publicly connecting those Islamist fighters to the attack in Minya or Daesh.
    It is clearly to the world that the Egyptian government is actually targeting its alley Khalifa Hafter's rivals in Derna and in Jufra.
    Libya air strikes map
    A map of Libya showing the targets of Egyptian air forces
    in Libya by Reuters 

    Unlike the Egyptian strikes in February 2016 in Libya which met complete rejections by the international community, nobody cared this time.
    The Egyptian air forces continue to attack Hafter's rivals in Libya whereas the Egyptian people especially the Christians are asking about how effective those strikes in stopping the upcoming attack and whether the terrorists are really in Libya.

    Needless to say, that MP Emad Gad's statements that the survivors of the attack and their families told him they knew the identity of the terrorists and that they were from Minya's villages and not from Libya  !!
    Some are saying also that Abdel Fattah El-Sisi violated the Constitution with orders for those strikes in Libya because he has got to have the parliament's approval for those strikes according to article no.152.

    Despite there has no been a discussion about those strikes and El-Sisi has not called the parliament officially to pass those strikes urgently, the speaker of the House of Representatives welcomed it and stated that they "the MPs" supporters the strikes.

    The House of Representatives should have asked already most of the questions in that post, it should have stood to its role as representatives of Egyptian people and question the government.

    In six months, the Egyptian Christians were subjected to different attacks by a terrorist organization and they were promised each time that there would be no futures. Yet, the attacks did not stop.

    I pray in that Ramadan night that the awful Minya attack will be the real last attack against the Christians in Egypt for real.

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    It is time for our Ramadan Radio Arabian night. We will continue this year our tale , the tale of Princess Sea Pearl and her human husband. Cairo Arabian nights

    We will know what Hamal Alasya's wicked stepmom had done to him and to his father.

    You can refresh your memory and know the young man and his stepmom ended up in the Sea realm here.

    Now it is for our episode tonight.

    Episode 381 or the Ninth night of our tale this year.

    Hope that you enjoy tonight's episode :)

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    Okay forget what happened early Morning in the Gulf and the Middle East and Pay attention to this post.

    It is time for another night of our Arabian nights this year. Arabian nights

    We will continue our tale , the tale of Princess Sea Pearl.

    You can refresh your memory and remember what Hamal El-Asaya's wicked stepmother had done here.

    Tonight we will meet his so-called brother.

    Here is our episode for tonight.

    Episode 381 or the tenth night of our tale this year.

    I hope you enjoy it and share it with your friends online.

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    The crisis has not ended yet in the Gulf and it seems that it is getting complicated each hours especially with Trump's tweets. Arabian Nights

    If you need a break from that crazy Middle East drama then I recommend complete reading this post to listen to a new Ramadan Arabian night.

    Tonight we will continue our tale "Princess Sea Pearl".

    We will continue to hear "Hamal Al-Asya" and his family's story and how he and his father endured hell with his stepmom and his so-called brother.

    To refresh your memory , you can hear the beginning of that family that found itself in the under the sea Djinn realm here.

    Now here is tonight's new episode from Egyptian state radio's old Arabian nights.

    Episode 383 or the eleventh night of our tale this year.

    Thanks for listening and I hope you share it.

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    The Middle East is still turning upside down and our tale for this year continues with Princess Sea Pearl and her human husband. Arabian nights
    Tonight we will see how evil for real Hamal Al-Asya's stepmom and his so-called brother.
    You can refresh your memory and remember how his father passed away here.
    Now it is time for our episode tonight

    Episode 384 or the eleventh night of our tale this year.

    Thanks for listening and I hope you share it.

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    First of all, I apologize for not posting episode 13 last night as I was very tired and arrived home late after very long and hot Ramadan day.
    An illustration inspired by Arabian
    nights in 1911 "Edmond Dulac"
    Needless to say, Thursday was full of drama worldwide whether the ongoing Gulf feud or Comey's testimonies or the British elections.

    Second, tonight we will have a double bill, two episodes instead of one as we continue our Egyptian Radio Arabian nights tale for this year "Princess Sea Pearl".

    To refresh your memory, here is what happened from two days ago.
    Tonight we will continue the tale of Hamal Al-Asya , in fact we know tonight his newest adventure and it is nice and worth to listen too.

    With no further delays, here are our episodes tonight where we know what our young hero will do in the old haunted mill.

    Episode 385 or the thirteenth night

    Episode 386 or the fourteenth night

    Thanks for listening and I hope you like it and share it :)

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    Arabian nights And we are back on track.
    We continue our tale for this year, the tale of Princess Sea Pearl.
    We are still with the tale inside the tale hearing the story of Hamal Al-Asya as he recounts it to the Djinn King in the Sea realm
    You remember how he ended up in some haunted mill here.
    And now to our new Arabian night.

    Episode 387 or the fifteenth night

    Thank you for listening and if you like it then please share it with your friends :)

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    Dear friends, first thanks for your support and the messages I have received.

    Yes , my Twitter account (@Zeinobia) has been locked since Saturday afternoon and is temporarily restricted.

    Saturday afternoon, I found myself locked out by Twitter due to some problem related to "automated tweets" in my account.

    I usually use Hoot Suite to schedule tweets with posts from my blog as I have done in the past three years and did not face this problem.

    I followed the procedures according to Twitter support and I was supposed to receive a call from Twitter to get a verification code and up till I have not received it.

    Nevertheless, I managed to contact Twitter and I am trying to find a way to fix things.

    I see many of the replies and notifications as well DMs in Windows 10 Twitter Native app and as I can not reply, I must say in my blog that I am overwhelmed with such support and love.
    Thank you so much 

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    Just as the Egyptian Parliament is on the verge of committing unforgivable sin by discussing the Tiran and Sanafir deal against the public opinion as well the court orders, we find that more websites are blocked including petition website and a whole popular publishing and blogging platform !!!
    Medium blocked in Egypt
    A screenshot for Medium homepage on TEData

    On Friday , I have known that an online petition website against the Egyptian Saudi maritime borders demarcation deal was blocked.
    Honestly, I am surprised because this website is not that popular and only 1480 people have signed the petition so far.
    I have just known Saturday evening that popular Medium publishing and blogging platform has been blocked in Egypt.
    You can't get access to and its blogs and sites whether on TEData DSL ISP or Orange 4G LTE as I have tired.
    You can access it through VPN.

    Aside from its current blogs publishing what the regime rejects of ,I read that some of news websites originally blocked in May was going to use Medium as alternative to reach to its readers in Egypt.On 24 May , not less than 23 websites were blocked in Egypt including independent Mada Masr news website as well Al-Jazeera TV network's websites.

    In the following days , more websites have been blocked in the country till they reached over 40 websites according to Cairo-based AssociatioforFreedom of Thought and Expression "AFTE".
    Following the first batch , we got new websites blocked everyday. Aside from , Turkey-based SasaPost was also blocked in Egypt.

    The close to Islamists SasaPost used to publish very interesting analytic reports about military involvement in economy and politics in Egypt from time to time.
    It is really good website.
    SasaPost is not the only the Turkey-based website to be blocked in Egypt in that recent campaign.
    TurkPress , Akhbar Turkiya, Akhbar Al Aalm and Arab Turkey.

    Iran-based websites have showed up in that list as the famous Al-Alam website is blocked now in Egypt.
    Even Dubai-based Moheet News website was also blocked.
    The Tor project website was also blocked in Egypt making it hard for the users to download and use it.
    Nbad mobile phone news aggregator was blocked along with Doha-based Gulf Times.
    In late May, we found out that Daily News Egypt "DNE" and El-Borsa Daily were both blocked. It is worth to mention that their publisher Mostafa Sakr's assets have been frozen by the Egyptian government over alleged Muslim Brotherhood ties in December 2016.
    Sakr was already known to be designated as a terrorist since January. He was officially designated as a terrorist in the official Egyptian State's Gazette early June.
    Another even more interesting fact , President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi wrote two op-eds about the Egyptian economy and investment opportunities in DNE exclusively during the Euromoney conference in Cairo.
    Geneva-based Sinai human rights NGO's official website has been blocked and I think this can be the first time I have heard about that NGO as well the first time to visit its official website.
    I write this blog post and I read that there are more websites per day are joining that block list.
    It is getting more than ridiculous for real.
    As the Six day war 50th anniversary passed last week , I do not remind the people that we live in 2017 and not in 1967.
    I think one of the lessons that we should have remembered how the State-controlled media eventually harmed the state and the Egyptian army eventually as people lost their credibility in the national media due to the constant lies.
    It is not a big secret that President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi admired the so-called "Nasser" media that supported him in his career. That"support" was not a free one but rather obligatorily one. That support was forced one as journalism in Egypt was nationalized losing its freedom of expression. That "support" was actually a cheap propaganda that glorified the ruler of Egypt as if he were god who cannot be accountable for anyone.
    That support made the Egyptian people lose their confidence in the local media and search for the truth in foreign media outlets.
    I do not need to say that but it is getting ridiculous.
    We are not the Gulf , We are Egypt and this is 2017 and not 1967.

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    And the banned websites list in Egypt is getting longer and bigger per day now.
    According to the Cairo-based Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression "AFTE"", we are speaking about more than 60 websites.
    They were more than 50 websites yesterday and the day before they were more than 40 websites whereas last week they were only more than 20 websites !!!

    The most noticeable websites that joined the list this time are Avaaz and January News Portal !!
    Yes, the famous U.S-based online petition and civic organization website is banned in Egypt for a reason beyond my knowledge or imagination.
    Online Petitions do not really change things in Egypt or really effective.
    I can't remember the last Avaaz petition that forced the Egyptian government to do something.

    This is not a thing to belittle Avaaz and its role in the world and in other countries where it really makes a change.

    Then we got January News Portal or Yaniar Gate which is founded and headed by Nasserite journalist Amr Badr.
    Former Presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabhi at the sit-in of
    the Journalists Syndicate "Mohamed El-Raay"

    Yaniar Gate is just like Al-Bediah and Al-Badil, an independent news website that is totally against the Tiran and Sanafir deal as well the Egyptian regime's policies.

    Amr Badr, the current head of the Freedoms Committee in Egypt's Journalists Syndicate has his share of trouble with the regime because of his opposition to the Tiran and Sanafir islands deal.

    Currently, Amr Badr and other leading members of the Journalists syndicate including the trio of the previous Journalists Syndicate board are having a sit-in against referring the deal to the parliament and how the Legislative Committee passed in disgusting farce.

    Sit-in in Syndicate
    The sit-in at the Journalists Syndicate earlier "Mohamed El-Raay"
    A couple of political parties have declared their members would start a sit-in at their headquarters to object the deal and it is being passed in the House of Representatives like Nasserite El-Karma and Egyptian Social Democratic party.

    Back to the ban list.

    Interestingly, the website of Sawt Al-Oma weekly newspaper has been blocked as well !!
    I am quite amazed because the opposition semi-tabloid newspaper has been acquired by non-other than the pro-regime golden boy and steel tycoon turned media tycoon Ahmed Abu Hashima in November for LE 12 million.
    Needless to say the editorial policies of the newspaper has changed completely since then to become Pro-Sisi !!!!

    This is the third printed newspaper in Egypt to have its website to be blocked in less than two months !!
    Now, most of the websites of Qatari and Muslim Brotherhood are blocked. Most famous Turkish websites including the Pro-Golen sites ironically are blocked too. Anyhow, I think the current wave of blocks will include websites speaking about the how the Isles of Tiran and Sanafir are Egyptian !!

    It is just sad and frustrating.

    Up till now, there has been no official statement for real about the ban of those websites. We got only anonymous quoted sources speaking to Egypt's State-owned news agency in MENA from several weeks ago with the first batch of websites.

    The National Telecom Regulatory Authority "NTRA" has not issued a single statement about that blocking spree.

    I do not know how many websites to be blocked they tomorrow.
    Many people fear that the ban may include the social media networks like Twitter and Facebook. I share their fear.

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    Sorry for the extreme delay in updating our Ramadan Arabian for this year. The past couple of days were extremely tiring.
    Arabian nights-Edward Dulac
    By Edward Dulac 
    It ended up by that defeat Egyptians faced in the Parliament on Wednesday as the House of Representatives, in what can be best described as a farce passed the maritime borders demarcation deal and there are lots of updates to catch on.
    I will not give to sadness and I am going to continue to share our Ramadan Arabian Nights.
    Tonight we will listen and continue our tale for the tale of Princess Sea Pearl and her husband Hamal Al-Asya from episode 16 to 19.
    First, I think you should refresh your memory and hear the last episode I published on Egyptian Chronicles.
    Now we will catch on with our hero Hamal Al-Asya and know how he rejected the unwanted advances of his boss's wife and how he would pay a huge price for that.

    Episode 388 or The Sixteenth Night

    We are still with the story of Hamal A-Asya and that wicked Wardshan.

    Episode 389 or The Seventeenth Night

    Episode 390 or The Eighteenth Night

    Episode 391 or The nineteenth Night

    Have a Pleasant night and the islands of Tiran and Sanafir are Egyptian. 😉✌🏻

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    A group of opposition figures called for mass protests across Egypt in the past 48 following the fast approval of Egypt' House of Representatives on the Egyptian Saudi maritime borders demarcation deal on Wednesday.

    According to the deal and despite the history of Egyptian sovereignty, the Tiran and Sanafir Red Sea are part of the Saudi territories after this approval.

    Former Presidential candidate and Nasserite political founder of the Karma Party and Popular Current Hamdeen Sabhi called for protests on Friday.
    I do not know where or when those protests are going to be, to be honest.

    It seems that the security predicted that there would be protests and thus in the past 48 hours as there are extended security crackdown as well mass arrests for activists across the country.

    According to the latest Socialist Popular Alliance party statement, there are currently 64 detainees arrested from Cairo, Giza, Port Said, Gharbia, Sharkia, Al-Ismailia, Qalyubia, Fayoum, Alexandria, Aswan, Damietta, Kafr Al-Sheikh, Behaira, Bani Suef and Suez.

    The current crackdown targets independent activists as well party members like The Constitution Party, The Socialist Popular Alliance Party and El-Karma Party as well Bread and Liberty party.
    I am afraid that the protests would not attract too many people because we are speaking about Ramadan, Summer and above them fear.
    Lawyers protesting against the agreement at their syndicate earlier
    Thursday "Reuters" 
    People are afraid of protesting thanks to the infamous protest law.
    There had been small protests this week against the agreement whether at the Journalists Syndicate or Lawyers Syndicate or the doctors' syndicate so you can imagine how downtown Cairo was locked down in the past few days.

    Aside from the usual crackdown, the government to close down El-Sadat Metro station in Tahrir.

    A Late Midnight's recommendation

    At 3 AM Cairo Local Time, The Supreme Constitutional Court's Commissioners authority issued its recommendations to the Supreme Court to reject the two appeals presented by the Egyptian Government against the Administrative court's verdict that the two islands are Egyptians.
    The commissioners' authority whose opinion is advisory to the court upheld the original June 2016 administrative court, which was already upheld in January by the High Administrative.

    The final word for the Supreme Constitutional Court will be on 30 July.
    This is the newest episode of judicial dispute about the two islands.
    I did not know before that Supreme Constitution stays up and works in Ramadan till the early hour.
    We do not know what will happen next.
    Most people predict that the government will ignore the Supreme Constitutional court's upcoming verdict.
    President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi can hand over the islands to the Saudis but he won't face only an angry population but also a state on the verge of dysfunctionality.

    Now, you got the legislative branch standing against the judicial branch in the state over something critical like handing over the islands.
    Historically, this is not the first time that clash happens between the two state branches.
    It happened before during Mubarak's time when the courts dissolved the parliament over fraud votes and the People's Assembly as well the government ignored.
    Also, it did not reach to the level of giving up territories, we are speaking a forbidden zone.
    Long time People's Assembly speaker Fathy Serror with all his corruption did not dare to insult judiciary in the face like HOR's speaker Ali Abdel Aal.
    Ali Abdel Aal, Originally a Constitutional professor law said earlier this week that the High Administrative Court's ruling was nothing.
    That claim angered the judiciary and we find the State Council firing back with a strong statement.

    You know in the past few days, I did not know what to write exactly on the 50th anniversary of the six days war defeat because I feel that we as Egyptians as well as Arabs did not learn a single thing from it after all those decades.

    I thought at first to write about this disgusting Gulf internal fight taking place but then came Tiran and Sanafir's parliament approval like a slap in the face.
    Needless to say, many people from my generation feel that we are living the same feeling our parents lived in 1967 and even worse. At least in 1967 it was a war and the land was taken from us in an unequal fight, we did not fight at all. On the other had in 2017, We find the Egyptian government giving two important strategically Islands to Saudi Arabia supported by the parliament in an illegal and an unconstitutional way as well in a very bad economic time and at the time of the war on terrorism.

    Unlike that young generation of 1967 who was frustrated in that long and sad summer after realizing the farce, it was living , my generation warned other generations that this would happen but no one listened.

    With all the challenges we have got in Egypt from economy, terrorism, social justice, political reforms and freedom of expression to an ever-changing region to restoring back Tiran and Sanafir peacefully, it seems that restoring the land after 1967 through war and peace was much easier.

    May God have mercy on our souls

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    Whoever runs this ongoing online censorship latest crackdown does not want to stop !!
    Now the number of blocked websites in Egypt jumped from 65 in the past 48 hours to 77 according to the Human rights law firm "Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression on Friday.

    The new blocked websites in Egypt are:

    I feel that sad that Al-Manassa news and citizen journalism platform has been blocked.
    I think that website founded by veteran blogger and journalist Nora Younis joined the blocked websites list for its distinguished for its parliament's coverage.
    The website had an excellent parliamentary correspondent who used to reveal the tiniest thing happening the in the House of Representatives.
    It was among that the few websites that followed minute by minute on Wednesday how the Tiran and Sanafir Islands deal passed.

    Turkey-based Noon Post is similar to Sasa Post. The Islamic-leaning website used to have very interesting news reports and investigative reports from time to time.
    Now, I think Nooun Feminist webzine is paying the price of having a similar namFacebookn Post
    Nooun's Logo
    Nooun's logo after being blocked
    "Nooun's Facebbok page" 
    because other than that I cannot find a reason on why this blog webzine dedicated to women's affairs and issues would be blocked now !!!!

    Newly launched Madaad has joined the list. It is not a big surprise to me or others. Since day one,, there was an expectation that the Nasserite news website affiliated with former presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabhi and his Popular Current Movement would be blocked because of its Tiran and Sanafir coverage.

    Earlier this month, the new website made an interview with the commander of paratroops division in the Egyptian arm in 1967, former Major General Abdel Moneim Khalil who spoke about the Tiran Island Egyptian POWs for the first time.
    The website also made an excellent historical investigative report "which I envy" about the Egyptian POWs captured on that island and two of them were killed proved the current regime wrong. The current regime claims that we did not the price of blood on those two islands. I know this cliché but pardon me because I get emotional here.

    I did not visit Cairo-based or even know its true affiliation which I assume Islamist but I found out that the website published a news report about the documents proving the Egypianhood of that two islands of Tiran and Sanafir.
    Once again we are back with Signal Messaging app and the Egyptian government.
    Now, its official website "Open Whisper Systems" was reportedly blocked Friday night. Interestingly, the Signal service is still working. You do not need its official website to download it ironically. You can download it easily from App store whether on iOS or on Android !!

    Egyptian El-Sabah's First page
    Egyptian El-Sabah's First page
    Interestingly earlier Friday, all the websites that have been blocked since May were unblocked for few hours.
    It seemed that whoever runs that show decided to test some new setting or chose some option and unblocked the websites accidentally in that expensive blocking software.

    Again and again, there is a huge fear that the next move will be the social media networks especially Facebook as many of those blocked websites began to use it to publish its reports and article like Mada Masr.

    Personally, I believe now the regime won't block the social media especially Facebook because it is a major instrument to spread its propaganda and fake news.

    By the way , the weekly issued of El-Sabah newspaper which is owned by businessman Ahmed Bahget was not printed on Friday because the Front Page of the newspaper had one word "Egyptian" in reference to the two islands with photo of legendary actor Mahmoud El-Milgy in his iconic role "Abu Swelam" in 1970-film "The land"

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    Cinema Opera in Cairo

     Seen in Downtown Cairo the once famous and currently closed down "Opera" Cinema theater.
    It survived the Grand fire of Cairo in February 1952 but it did not survive the curse of time.

    Now it is closed down and surrounded with ugly big buildings and shops in the overcrowded Opera square aka Al-Ataba Square. I do not know when it was built or who owned or owns it but I know it was named after Egypt's Khedival Opera House.

    Well, there is no doubt that the whole Opera Square was doomed after that huge fire that destroyed the Khedival Opera House in the mid-1980s in strange circumstances.

    Here is an old photo for "Opera" Cinema after the grand fire of Cairo in 1952 whom we have not known officially who was behind it until this day !!
    Cinema Opera in 1952
    "Opera" Cinema was showing the When Worlds Collide 
    during the grand fire of Cairo

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    And we continue our tale for this year, the tale of Princess Sea Pearl.
    Again this Ramadan is special for personal as well for general reasons that make me share with you those episodes in that way.
    To refresh your mind, here is a link to the past episodes so you can remember what Hamal Al-Asya has done.
    Now without further delay and lots of useless and endless talk, here are the episodes.
    We will see how Hamal Al-Asya meets with Princess Sea Pearl and how his life will be turned upside down. His wicked stepmother and so-called brother return back to our tale for this year for more bitterness and wickedness as usual.

    Episode 392 or the twentieth night

    Episode 393 or the twenty-first night

    Episode 394 or the twenty-second night

    Episode 395 or the twenty-third night

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    Tuesday, the world celebrated the World Refugees Day. United Nations and its organizations above them UNHCR as well many countries in the world used that day to highlight their efforts to help the refugees around the globe.
    The world is facing one hell of a refugees problem that it has not seen before since the WWII.
    Back in our corner of the world, there has been one hell of silence when it comes to the Arab governments or Arab media.
    In a sad irony, the Middle East or rather the Arab world is the Source of more than the half of refugees around the globe now.
    Aside from Palestinian refugees who have been in limbo since 1948 and 1967, we have got Syrian refugees, Iraqi refugees, Yemeni refugees, Sudanese refugees and Somali refugees.
    The media is busy with Ramadan TV season and at the same time the internal Gulf crisis as far as I could tell.
    In Egypt, we got also Ramadan TV season, bad economy and a worse political situation with the ongoing Tiran and Sanafir Saga.Yet I have not forgotten about this important day.

    It is never too late to post something about the refugees in Egypt or any other place in the world.

    Earlier this month, I have read interesting facts that made me love the Syrian refugees in Jobs Make difference report published by UNDP, International Labor Organization "ILO" and World Food Programme "WFP.

    For example; the inflow of Syrian direct investments headed to Egypt, Jordan and Turkey as things escalated from revolution to civil war in an easy way.

    The report says that Syrian refugees in Egypt injected in those years not less than $800 million.
    Yes, $800 million were injected into our economy through Syrian investors and businessmen who moved to Cairo.
    The $800 million could have been more if it were not for the restrictions on foreigners to invest in Egypt as they lack to access to credit and banking.
    They also must have Egyptian partners.

    Two Syrian young men working in ful and falafel restaurant
    Two Syrians working in a falafel and beans shop at the Syrian street in October City
    in 2016
    I believe the source of those millions is the textile factories. Yes, Syrian textile factories that found a huge demand in Egypt.

    In 2016, there have been only 450 Syrian textile factories in Egypt producing fine products carrying the label "Made in Egypt by Syrian hands" and creating job opportunities for both Syrians and Egyptians.

    The success of that sector in our country made the ministry of the industry think of making a Syrian industrial zone in Egypt in 2017

    Both Pre-existing Syrian community in Egypt and the Syrian business association in Cairo played a huge role in giving support to other Syrians fleeing the countries with their money.
    Greek refugees in Syria in 1942
    ِAn old Palestinian magazine from 1942
    on its cover, a Syrian lady giving clothes
    to Greek refugees from kids in Syria 

    In other words , the Syrian refugees contributed positively to our Egyptian GDP and our Egyptian economy in very difficult and hard times.

    Both the Egyptian and Turkish markets have been open to Syrian businessmen and investors who hired nationals as well Syrians than other countries in the Middle East region.

    The report says Egypt and Turkey allow Syrians to provide services to other Syrians like teachers and doctors.
    The Egyptian government allowed 2,000 Syrian teachers to work in Syrian community schools in Cairo, Giza and Ismailia governorates
    I must add that in Egypt, Syrian doctors also provide services to Egyptians as well especially dentists in October City and New Cairo suburbs.

    According to UNHCR in April, there are 122,228 Syrian registered in Egypt officially with the UN refugees organization.
    According to activists and NGOs, there are not less than half million Syrians staying currently in Egypt aside from the refugees who consider the country as a transit station to Europe.
    The highest number of Syrian refugees came to Egypt between 2013 and 2013.
    There was a decline in 2014 and 2015 but there has been a slight increase in 2016.
    FYI, the total number of registered refugees in UNHCR in Egypt in 2016 was 263,426 people.
    President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and the Egyptian government claimed that the number of refugees in Egypt reaches to 5 million.

    The report also says that the unemployment rate among the Syrian refugees community in Egypt reached 20% compared to 13% of Egyptians.
    Now to the alarming facts.
    54% of the Syrian refugees community in Egypt lives under the poverty line whereas 26% of the Egyptian population lives under the poverty line.
    The labor force participation rate in Egypt was not available. I think this goes to the fact that many hire Syrians in an informal way to avoid work licenses ..etc.
    The unemployment rate among Syrian refugees reached 25% according to the report estimations.

    By the way according to the UNHCR report on Funding issued earlier June, the current funding gap for the Syrian crisis response for 2017 is $1 Billion only.
    I think both Saudi Arabia and UAE as well Qatar can pay this sum very easily instead of all those fancy weapons they buy. In fact, they can support the refugees and improve their lives and buy crazy weapons.
    Heavens forbid I ask them to help in stopping the wars they are part of it directly and indirectly.
    I won't even speak about the League of Arab States because it is a dead organization, only used by Egypt or Saudi Arabia now when it is needed.
    May God have mercy all the refugees around the globe.
    Anyhow, all I want to say to the right wing all over the world especially in Europe and North America that the Syrian refugees won't steal your jobs as they will create their own jobs if you allow them.

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    Arabian nights by DulacFirst, Happy Eid in advance.
    Second, we are getting close to the end of Ramadan as well the end of our tale for this year, the tale of Princess Sea Pearl.
    Now, we stopped at the Twenty-third Night in the previous post. Sadly enough I could not find Episode twenty-four anywhere online even at the Egyptian State Radio's archives.

    Nevertheless, based on the previous episodes and the upcoming episodes I can tell you that it is about that second meeting between Princess Sea Pearl and Hamal Al-Asya where they will fall in the love.

    I can tell you also that in Episode 396 of the Radio Arabian nights show that Princess Sea Pearl marries Hamal Al-Asya and as she becomes a human, she loses her memory.

    Third, here are our episodes for tonight.

    Episode 397 or Twenty-Fifth night

    Episode 398 or Twenty-Sixth night

    Episode 399 or Twenty-Seventh night

    Episode 400 or Twenty-eighth night 

    We will continue our adventure with Princess Sea Pearl and her husband Hamal Al-Asya.
    BY the way, I think that that tale was recorded in the late 1950s and 1960s as part of it speaks about greedy landlords and poor farmers led by Hamal Al-Asya who decides to stand against the landlords.
    In the late 1950s , we had the nationalization and land ownership redistribution laws and radio became a very important tool of propaganda.
    Good night :)

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    Arabian nights-Edmund Dulac First of all, I am more than sorry for not posting anything on the blog or even continue our Arabian tale for this Ramadan or even posted Happy Eid from Egyptian Chronicles to you.

    It was out of my hand as I had technical problems with my Windows 10 Dell laptop on Saturday.Thank God I have managed only to fix those problems only late Thursday.

    They were technical problems related to booting and scary BSOD.
    I spent technically the three days of Eid in attempting to fix my laptop aside of eating, watching movies on TV and sleeping.
    Lots of things took place and I know that I can start with our Audio Arabian Nights tale for this year, the tale of Princess Sea Pearl.

    I think before continuing our audio tale, you have to refresh your memory to remember what happened from nearly a week ago.
    Now we going to finish our tale and know the fate our heroes for this whether the good or the villains.

    Episode 401 or the Twenty Ninth night

    Episode 402 or the Thirtieth night

    I hope that you have enjoyed the episodes today.
    Thanks for listening to this Ramadan to Ramadan Arabian Nights 2017 and I hope that you liked it.
    Till we meet again with the Arabian Nights in Ramadan 2018 :)

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    Earlier Thursday, Egyptians woke up to the news that government announced cuts in the energy subsidies effective immediately, which means that there will be an increase in the fuel prices and subsequently there will be an increase in the price of everything.

    The price of 80-octane gasoline has increased from LE 2.35 per Litre to LE 3.65which means buses, microbuses, taxis and even tuktuk's fare will increase.
    Fuel station
    At the fuel state, an old taxi driver and a sign with the new prices
    in Cairo, Egypt on Thursday "Photo: Reuters"

    The prices of food supplies as well any things use that trucks for transportation will increase as well.

    Already, vegetables' prices are expected to increase by 40%.
    A simple salad will cost the Egyptian family nearly LE 50 !!

    The price of 92-Octane gasoline has increasedfrom LE 3.50 per Litre to LE 5in another blow to the Middle class that own cars.

    The price of gas cylinders has increasedfrom LE 15 to LE 30.
    A Huge number of Egyptian especially the poor working classes in the governorates will be affected with that increase.
    The number of Egyptians who got access to natural gas in homes is still small compared to the Egyptians who still use the gas cylinders, especially in the countryside.

    Experts say that the inflation will increase after this new wave of high prices that can reach to 35%.
    In May, the inflation rate hit three-decade high with 32.9 % but it dropped in April but it fell to 30.9% in May.

    This is the third major increase in the prices of fuel in Egypt since President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi became the head of state.

    The first time was in July 2014 while the second was in November 2016 following the Center Bank of Egypt "CBE" to devaluate the Egyptian pound aka to float the price of Egyptian pound free.

    We knew that this will be coming because the start of the new official fiscal year 2017/2018 is 1 July in Egypt.
    Already cutting or rather lifting the subsidies is part of the Egyptian government's 2014 five-year economic reforms plan approved and supported by the International Monetary Fund "IMF".

    When I search back in the news archives, I find that the original plan was speaking about lifting the subsidies in 2019 and not in 2017.

    Just from 24 hours ago, Minister of Petroleum Tarek El-Mulla told journalists that there was no firm date for the fuel subsidy but it is going to happen sooner.

    From what I see on the social media as well the people I have met and spoken with especially from the low working class and Middle class that people are angry and frustrated.

    Ironically, Egypt's PM Sherif Ismail claims that the people are satisfied with those energy subsidies cut adding that they were 15-years late.

    It is true that IMF was trying to force Mubarak to scrap the subsidies but he was much wiser and knew doing such thing would open the doors of hell for real in Egypt.
    I thought it was going to happen next week honestly after El-Mulla's statement.
    I thought that the regime would wait for a while till the people forgot Tiran and Sanafir isles scandal to shock them with the subsidies cut.
    Just an hour before the last Iftar of Ramadan this year on Saturday, President Sisi ratified the April 2016 Egyptian-Saudi maritime demarcation that hands the two Egyptian Red Sea islands of Tiran and Sanafir to Saudi Arabia with no respect what so ever to the court rulings over those islands.
    One hell of a week indeed !!!

    This is more than ridiculous for real !!
    The regime always chooses perfect timing for its shocking unpopular wrong decisions in the holidays and weekends to make sure that people won't move a muscle !!
    As usual, the mainstream media is putting all the blame on the Prime Minister and the ministers of the cabinet instead of blaming the President.
    The president will address the public on Friday on the occasion of 30 June and the ouster of Mohamed Morsi.

    Instead of speaking about the new increase in fuel prices and subsidies cuts as well their effect on the daily life of Egyptians, the TV channels got that "30 June Revolution" anniversary logo while broadcasting their normal program as if nothing has changed.

    This will be a long hot summer indeed.

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    Mosque's old minaret

    That old minaret of that old mosque in that old #Cairo street standing high with its engravings as it much as it can.