Are you the publisher? Claim or contact us about this channel

Embed this content in your HTML


Report adult content:

click to rate:

Account: (login)

More Channels


Channel Catalog

Channel Description:

7000 years and counting ...
    0 0

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    0 0

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    0 0

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    0 0

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    0 0

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    0 0

    Phoenix Laundry Service

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

    0 0

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    0 0

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    0 0

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    0 0

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    0 0

    The island of Warraq in Giza is back to the spotlight and it is not in a good way as much the Egyptian government wants or hopes.

    A group of Warraq islanders began to sue the government in front of the administrative court to stop the execution of a ministerial decree to expropriate their land and houses issued in November.
    This is the newest legal confrontation between the Islanders and government over the 1,400 feddans island that goes back to 2001.

    On 22 November 2018 , Egypt’s Prime minister Mostafa Madbouly issued a decree to expropriate effective immediately  100 metres of land along both sides of the Rod Al-Farrag Axis – which crosses 200 metres of the island – as well as 30 metres from the shoreline inland around the island to construct a cornice (waterside road) in total of 230 metres.

    According to locals, there are not less than 5,000 people living and working on those 230 metres.
    The government says that this is part of urbanizing the Nile island while the locals fear that this is just an attempt to empty the island from the people to re-sell its land for millions to millions as it was the plan since 2001. “They have not forgotten those days

    The government says that the citizens will be compensated and offered alternative houses like the residents of Maspero triangle but the locals say they do not believe the government will compensate them fairly as it wants to expropriate their land first before compensation.
    The locals do not want to leave the island in nutshell. They do not reject urbanization but want to stay while the island is being urbanized.

    On Tuesday, I have read also that there is another collective lawsuit representing all those people affected by the decree against the government at the administrative court according to the Warraq Families council that has been representing the islanders publicly in their fight against the government.
    Warraq protest
    A photo from the angry protest by locals at the ferry dock on Tuesday
    "Warraq island News FB page"
    It is worth to mention that on 19 January 2019 the administrative court will look into the appeal presented by the islanders against the government’s decree in June to establish a new “urban community” on the majority of the island.

    On Tuesday also, things were going to escalate badly when local Facebook pages covering the island’s news above the “ Families of Warraq council”  said that the government allegedly decided to stop one of the local ferries connecting the island with the mainland replacing it with a ferry owned and run by the River Transport authority.
    Through Google search News, I found one that the new ferry was inaugurated yesterday and it is connecting the island and the mainland in Qalyubia governorate only. It was re-designed by the army’s engineering corps not owned by the army as some Facebook pages have claimed.

    The local ferries which were mainly four as far as I remember during my visit to the island last year, are owned and operated by one or two families for decades.

    As soon as the news about suspending a local ferry from work and replacing it with a single ferry, I found out FB pages called the Islanders to mobilize calling the public to protest the decision at the deck

    Later, I found photos of both masses of angry islanders later along with photos of anti-riot forces on the islands hours later.
    After 4 hours, I read the news that the head of Qalyubia security directorate came and calmed the people down that the local ferry will continue to work and the anti-riot forces withdrew.
    This little incident shows that there are huge tension and fear from the locals’ side when it comes to the government or the state itself.

    Another important remark I can’t ignore recently is that I have not any seen decent coverage over the Islanders’ reactions regarding that ministerial decree issued on November or even that decision issued to found a so-called “New urban community” in the island that has been inhabited by an active society in the past two centuries !!

    The last decent coverage I have seen for that struggle in the island was only in July 2017 when clashes erupted between the Islanders and the security forces and one islander was killed.
    During then an islander was killed and dozens were injured when security forces stormed the island to implement for demolishment orders for houses allegedly built on state-owned-land.

    The islanders deny this till date and I filmed interviews with people who actually owned land with legal contracts and got their houses demolished in that raid.
    There are still 20 something islanders who are standing trial for allegedly attacking the security forces during that clash.

    Only Ahram Online, Ahram Weekly and Mada Masr have published news reports about recent updates and they are all Egyptian-speaking-publications.“Mada Masr got Arabic version but it is blocked in Egypt.”

    Even independent newspapers like Al-Masry Al-Youm Daily and Al-Shorouk Daily stopped their unbiased coverage to the issue and have been publishing the statements of the government only.
    The mainstream must do its job for real as much it can for real.

    Presenting both sides whether the government or the locals actually is the only best way for Egypt as well for sustainable urbanizations and I feel I am speaking once about crystal clear facts.

    FYI Warraq island’s struggle with the government is noted by the UN special rapporteur on the right to adequate housing Leilani Farha who said in a press conference in October that she could not visit the island herself because of “lack of security according to government officials”

    There is a clear mention of Warraq island in her end mission statement about the visit on the official website of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

    Farha’s later statements concerning the situation in Egypt made the foreign ministry issued a strong angry statement slamming her in a move that never happened before to UN official

    The Warraq Families Council: Or how the Egyptian people are truly ready for democracy and political civil rights in rural rights

    When the Warraq islanders fought the government’s decree to confiscate their land to build a resort in the Nile river in 2005, the civil society and the opposition parties rallied behind them giving them huge support. But in 2017 and then in 2018, they have been on their own.
    There is no civil society nor there are opposition parties to support them.
    I think the Warraq islanders learned those harsh facts in summer 2017 and thus in October of the same year, they decided to form a high council to represent the island officially in the media as well in negotiations with the officials.
    From the general conference of the locals and the council
    earlier November at the island "Warraq Families council FB page"
    In late October 2017, the Warraq families council was formed by 234 members representing 85 families in the island and within the council committees like engineering and Medias committee were formed to help the Islanders.

    There is youth representation in that council according to what I have read.

    Tuesday night I read a silly statement for former political sciences professor and current media figure Moataz Abdel Fattah claiming that Egypt was not ready for democracy.

    I guess the people of rural Warraq island who mostly are farmers beg to differ.

    I look to this council in that huge David-Goliath situation to find a silver lining.

    A non-politicalized rural society with no ideologies or different ideologies took a step and began to organize themselves as much as I can see.

    The upscale citizens of Zamalek and Heliopolis could not do this.

    To be honest, I do not know if the Islanders are going to win this legal fight against the government just like in the 2000s.

    Updated: The Warraq Families Council issued a very strong and balanced statement that started with that opening paragraph. 
    " We are the people of Al-Warraq island have and will never be against the state or any urbanization built upon enhancing the health, ecological and educational services in the island because this is the true investment our beloved Egypt needs"
    In the statement which is only published on the council's Facebook page and ignored by the mainstream media in Egypt, the Council representing the Islanders said "that all their rights according to the Egyptian Constitutions and laws are reserved when it comes to private properties” and that “they did not approve any urbanization plan” because “no one showed them the plan” .

    0 0

    For the fourth day in a row, the Sudanese people continue to protest in various Sudanese cities against Omar El-Bashir regime and up till this moment there is no proper media coverage in the Arab world.

    At least 20 people are reportedly killed while dozens are injured and arrested including at least 14 opposition activists and politicians in the past four days.
    Umm Ruwaba-protest in Sudan
    A photo from reportedly from protest earlier morning
    from Sudanese city "Umm Ruwaba" in Kurdufan "Twitter" 
    The study in universities and schools have been suspended till further notice and certain newspapers are confiscated.
    The Sudanese officials just like any Arab officials say that those protesters are pushed by foreign agents to destabilize the stability of the country.
    All that has been happening and even Al-Jazeera News TV channel “Arabic service” which raises real questions about its editorial policies.
    This is not the first time it happens, there were protests in Morocco from a couple of months ago and they were ignored.

    Needless to say, the Sudanese official news agencies as well Qatari news agencies spoke on Saturday about how Prince of Qatar Tamim offered financial help to Sudanese President Omar El-Bashir or in other words to bail him and the regime out of that financial crisis hitting Sudan.

    By the Bahraini foreign ministry issued a statement on Saturday affirms its solidarity with “Republic of Sudan, expressing its appreciation for the Sudanese efforts and endeavors under the leadership of its President, Omar Al Bashir to promote security, peace, and development and provide all means of progress and prosperity for the brotherly Sudanese people”.
    So we got something the Gulf agrees on something at last: Let’s ignore the Sudanese people’s protests and support officially convicted war criminal Omar El-Bashir.

    Not surprisingly, Egyptian media is ignoring the whole situation despite the fact this is El-Bashir we are speaking about who is the best buddy with both Qatar and Turkey, who got support from Islamists above them the Muslim Brotherhood.

    Again there is a fear that those protesters caused by economic woes just like in France will give some thoughts, especially we are days away from the 8th anniversary of the 25th January revolution.

    On Saturday, the Egyptian security prevented a group of Sudanese people from protesting in front of their embassy in Cairo and honestly I am not surprised at all.

    Sudanese protesters in Cairo
    Sudanese protesters in Cairo were dispersed as soon as they gathered
    at their embassy in Cairo "Revolutionary Socialists"
    Pro-regime supporters on social media on Twitter tell the Sudanese not to protest because it will get worse !!! I do not know if those people got the memo that Sudan hit rock bottom for real in time of El-Bashir.

    I will not speak about direct news coverage from Sudan.
    To be fair, there is no proper direct free press in Sudan nor proper foreign press or media coverage as El-Bashir managed to create this true media iron curtain in the country.
    I know personally 4 reporters who work for an international news agency that there were subjected to detention and deportation for only doing their job and reporting about small protests and political meetings of opposition parties in the country.
    Two of them were beaten before being deported so some journalists and news agencies play it safe there.

    The internet currently is down and social media networks are blocked in several Sudanese states because Arab dictatorships do not learn that this won’t stop angry protesters.
    That move makes the people angrier and more determinant to scream as loud as they can “Down with the regime”
    I won’t be surprised to know that the Gulf states will bail out El-Bashir with his huge multi-billion funds and loans.

    I do not know how any bailout would help the regime in Sudan when the US dollar reaches to 60 and 70 Sudanese pound thanks to the devaluation !!
    In June 2018, Sudan’s inflation rate reached 63.87%.
    In 2017, Sudan was the fourth country in the world with a high inflation rate !! “I know Egypt was in the same list
    The direct cause of those angry protests that increase per day are economic, no one can deny this.
    The lack of fuel, bread and basic commodities in the Sudanese states.
    One Look to the reported Sudanese state budget one will take a glimpse of how the current mindset of the Sudanese regime must change ASAP if it wants to survive.

    According to Sudanese news reports, 814.6 million Sudanese pounds are allocated to Presidency expenses“I have to give them credit for mentioning it like that” while 351.3 million Sudanese pounds are allocated to the President’s security “a convicted war criminal wanted internationally needs protection”.

    There are also 14.1 billion Sudanese pounds allocated to defense ministry while 10.2 billion Sudanese pounds allocated to security apparatus and 8.7 billion Sudanese pounds are allocated to security quick intervention.

    The ministry of interior has got 7 billion Sudanese pounds whereas the ministry of irrigation and electricity got only 5 billion Sudanese pounds and the ministry of health got only two billion.

    The parliament got in a total of 923 million Sudanese pound allocations from the state budget
    Someone needs austerity measures ASAP.

    This wave of protests started this time from the city of Atbara , the centre of railways in Sudan. The city has got a long history when it comes to protests and labor movement as far as I understand.
    Nevertheless, I see this wave of protests is leaderless.

    The Muslim Brotherhood and the Islamist factions are trying to join this wave as they usual do giving up on El-Bashir after a long support and unholy union of 30 years. Sudan’s El-Bashir is another perfect example when you mix corruption with militarism using religion to make it acceptable.

    I am not a Sudanese but I believe the Sudanese people had enough of Islamists for real just like they have had enough of El-Bashir for 30 years after his coup “supported by Islamists”.

    It is worth to mention that just like in Egypt , a bunch of Sudanese pro-regime parties want to amend the current Sudanese constitution to all the president to run for another Presidential term !!

    0 0

    Merry Christmas from Egyptian Chronicles to all readers celebrating Christmas tonight in Egypt and around the globe.
    Korba street's Christmas tree in Heliopolis "Heliopolis Heritage Initiative"
    Here is a beautiful nice Christmas from Cairo’s Heliopolis.
    Merry Christmas

    0 0

    Just like a very bad and belated Christmas gift, Sudan current president and internationally wanted war criminal Omar El-Bashir addressed on Monday the Sudanese people in short statements via official news agency as they continue to protest against him for the sixth day in a row.

    In statements released by Sudanese official news agency “SUNA”, El-Bashir promised to have real “economic reforms” to “make citizens trust again the Sudanese banking system”.
    He also added the state would continue doing economic reforms to prove the citizens with “decent living”.
    He urged the Sudanese people not to follow the rumors warning them from giving up to “attempts to implant despair” !!

    Someone did not get the memo about how troubling the Sudanese economy had been recently and how economically can’t live on bailouts from the Gulf forever.

    In the same SUNA news report, the director general of the National security and intelligence agency general Salah Abdullah was quoted saying that the agency’s forces supported its commander in chief aka Omar El-Bashir claiming at the same time the agency respect the right to peacefully protest.

    Abdullah’s statement comes 24 hours after the official statement of the Sudanese armed forces also declaring its full support to President El-Bahsir.

    The statements of Omar El-Bashir and Salah Abdullah comes 24 hours before the big protest or rally demanding his dismal from the office in Khartoum on Tuesday.
    The rally announcement in Arabic
    The rally's announcement 
    On Tuesday 25 December 2018, a rally called “Public Procession” will head to the Sudanese president palace to demand Omar El-Bashir to step-down from his position as the President of the state.
    The Sudanese professionals Association “SPA” is organizing the event.
    Despite the usual political powers and figures disappeared suddenly, the SPA emerges as a hope to organize the opposition movement in the war-torn country.
    An independent body, SPA including 8 syndicates and unions representing doctors, teachers, engineers, veterinarians, journalists and universities professors.
    Several Sudanese political parties declared their participation in the rally including none other National Umma Party which is headed by no one other El-Bashir’s brother-in-law controversial Islamist figure and former Prime Minister Sadiq Al-Mahdi !!

    The latest economic crisis hitting Sudan is truly the last straw as it seems for many Sudanese people who have had it from El-Bashir regime for 29 years.
    The protests continued for the 6th days in a row in different parts of Sudan but the fact that the social media networks are blocked in various Sudanese
    I did a video compilation for that big protest held at Hilal stadium during the football match between Sudanese Hilal SC and Tunisian Africain SC in the CAF Champions league“it was a regional game and the fans must attend” in the city of Omdurman.

    Thousands of Sudanese football fans chanted “People want to topple the regime” at the stadium and afterward a protest left the stadium to roam the city chanting anti-regime chants.
    Security forces attempted to disperse by force the protest and there were injured according to what I read on Twitter.
    The protesters chanted “Freedom, Peace and justice”.
    I think those demands can be fully understood their need after those decades of El-Bashir’s rule.
    On Tuesday, the Stadium protests continue as the same scenario in Omdurman was repeated in the city of Khartoum as the football fans chanted “Down with the military regime inside the stadium.

    I found out that there is a Ushahidi website following the protests’ locations in the Sudanese cities according to the social media.
    We will see what will happen and whether this rally planned for Tuesday will reach its goal or will it be dispersed forcibly.
    After few hours inshallah we will know.

    0 0

    Sudan’s Sudanese Professional Association “SPA” announced Wednesday night that starting from 27 December 2018, Sudanese journalists are going to organize a strike under the umbrella of “The Sudanese journalists network”.
    The strike is to send a message against the current and recent crackdown against the media and journalists.
    The strike of the journalists is a follow up to a strike organized by doctors across the country according to SPA on its official statement.

    The announcement comes as part of a civil opposition movement is being built against longtime President and dictator Omar El-Bashir.

    On Tuesday, Thousands of Sudanese people mostly youth proved that they were serious when they said that they would march to the Presidential palace in Khartoum to present a petition to El-Bashir demanding to step down from Presidency.
    Thousands of protesters tried to march in Khartoum to the presidential palace in the march originally arranged by “SPA”.
    Sudanese people including women went protested against
    El-Bashir on Tuesday "Amaged Salah"
    Unfortunately and expectedly they did not reach the president palace as Sudanese forces blocked the way to the Palace and dispersed the march that turned in to several smaller protests in several areas of Khartoum by force according to eye-witnesses as well as video clips.

    I remember reading that some protesters were praying in the Grand Mosque of Khartoum and the security forces decided to close down the Mosque while they were praying  !!!!
    There were also several protests in several Sudanese states.
    Protesters from all ages in the anti-El-Bashir protest on Tuesday
    in Khartoum "Amaged Salah"
    There have been injured according to testimonies as well as video clips. "I am working on a compilation right now"

    I do not know what is the final countdown of the dead and the injured in Tuesday’s protests but on Wednesday one confirmed death was announced.

    Amnesty International said on Monday that 37 protesters were shot dead by the Sudanese security forces in the past 6 days. The protests were recorded in 13 Sudanese states out of 18 States.

    On Tuesday, El-Bashir addressed shortly in his visit to the State of Gezira saying the “fact that the public attended his speech is the best answer for those traitors and agents who spread online rumors” !!
    He also said that there is a “war” against Sudan because “it is hanging on to its religion !!”
    The best part of the speech when he spoke about the economic crisis saying that “God provides Livelihood !!”

    Omar El-Bashir was supposed to address the public at Al Kamlin stadium in the state of Gezira later Tuesday but he left urgently to Khartoum.
    Sudanese protest
    Children and elderly participated too in the protest
    on Tuesday in Khartoum

    The convicted war criminal was supposed to stay three days in Gezira state but instead, he left the city of Rufaa where he was going to inaugurate a bunch of projects as the locals protested against him.
    There is an amazing video for locals including women chanting “Fly away El-Bashir” as an official convoy of 4x4 vehicles passed by.

    The security forces in Khartoum used shotguns and live ammunition to disperse the protests according to eye-witnesses testimonies as well as video clips emerging from the country all day long.
    The protesters were peacefully as far I read and followed online. Downtown Khartoum that includes the biggest market in Sudan was not attacked or looted.

    It is interesting to see that El-Bashir and his cronies decided to go to Geizra state when it was among the states that witnessed protests against him in the past 48 hours.

    Disturbing enough, Sudanese State TV broadcasted footage showing the alleged confession of three arrested student activists that they were to spread “violence, sabotage and riot” in Sudan after receiving training from Israeli intelligence !!!
    Sudanese student
    One of the students confessing allegedly on TV on Tuesday
    The three arrested student activists are from Darfur originally and are studying at the University of Sennar in the state of Sennar.
    They were allegedly arrested among other students from Darfur in the past two days.
    The arrested students included the head of Darfur Students Club at Sennar University Mikky Allam.
    The Arab and Egyptian Media are still ignoring shamefully but not so surprisingly the protests in Sudan.
    Even Al-Jazeera News Arabic Service “AJA”  was very selective in its coverage but for the record, its viewers say it began to catch up on Wednesday.
    Sudanese viewers already found out that the Doha-based-news-channel correspondent in Khartoum changed his statement that the security forces attacked the protesters by live ammunition to by tear gas grenades only.

    They also found his twitter account where he stated explicitly that the security forces.
    Updated: According to Sudanese Journalists Network “SJN”, AJA Correspondent Ahmed El-Raheed was attacked and assaulted by security forces when he was only doing his job.

    Still, to be fair, Qatari-funded Al-Araby TV correspondent in Khartoum was stopped by security forces in Sudan while doing his job covering the protests and was given 24 hours to leave the country.
    Al-Araby TV is just the start from what I understood from activists and tweeps from Khartoum.
    More to news agencies and newspapers to follow if they report the truth.
    Sudanese Journalists Network also reported that on Tuesday at least 9 Sudanese reporters and journalists were detained across the country during their coverage.

    Some were released on the same day and some other were released after 24 hours following their detention. In a statement issued by SJN Tuesday night, there was huge censorship “which it described as tribal in Arabic!!” imposed on the newspapers on Tuesday.

    For me and I would say a group of Egyptians, I see what happened in Sudan on 25 December 2018 too similar to 25 January 2011 which also started with a group of activists. It was too nostalgic for me while following the news on Twitter.

    Speaking about Egyptians, a group of Egyptian intellectuals, activists and public figures issued a statement on Tuesday endorsing and supporting the Sudanese uprising against Omar El-Bashir condemning also the way his security forces use against peaceful protesters. 

    There is something going on in Sudan and Tuesday is not the end of it. Of course, it will be a miracle for real if it continues peacefully without cruel crackdown because in the end, we speak about a man who does not care to start a civil war to keep the presidency and leadership post.

    Already if there is a president in the Arab world to compete with Bashar El-Assad and to beat him in his own game “Killing his own people to remain in power”, it will be Omar El-Bashir who has got a very strong chance to beat Al-Assad.

    I do not know nor anyone can be sure if it is going to be a new full revolution liberating the Sudanese people from dictatorship or another failed attempt of an uprising cracked down by a rotten corrupted cruel Arab regime.
    Time will tell.

    0 0

    The Sudanese Professional Association “SPA” declared on Thursday it supported the calls for protests on Friday as well on Sunday.

    There are plans for protests across Sudan against the government demanding Omar El-Bashir to resign. Just like the tradition that started in Egypt during the 25th January revolution, this Friday protest is named and its name is “ Committed to the martyrs” dedicated to the fallen protesters who have been killed since last week.

    Earlier Thursday, the Sudanese government said that 19 people were killed while over 200 others were injured in the protests across Sudan since 19 December.
    This is the first official death toll released by the Sudanese government.
    It is worth to mention that according to Amnesty International not less 37 people were killed since the start of the protests.

    Meanwhile, on the same day, Sudanese journalists started a strike to object the censorship imposed by the Sudanese government.
    Sudanese journalists on Strike
    Sudanese journalists on strike " SPA"
    Since the morning, I have been following reports several journalists were arrested. Some of those journalists were released later.
    The Sudanese doctors also continued their strike except for the ER doctors.
    Since Monday, the Sudanese doctors are reportedly on strike in several Sudanese states.

    Different doctors associations also announced their support on the ongoing protesting movement calling their members to participate in the strike. 
    Sudanese doctors on strike since Monday "Sudan's Doctors syndicate
    Several doctors were reportedly arrested too.

    Online, Anonymous hacktivist group declared an online war on the Sudanese official websites like e-Sudan service portal and official Sudanese cabinet website in an operation called "#OpSudan". The official spokesperson of the operation in Arabic is Mr.Robot on Twitter if anybody is interested in following this operation.

    Just like El-Bashir managed to bring together Qatar and Bahrain to support him, he managed to bring both Egypt’s Sisi and Turkey’s Erdogan together to support him too.

    On Thursday, Egypt’s minister of foreign affairs Sameh Shoukry and head of Egyptian General intelligence directorate and President Abdel Fattah Sisi’s trusted aide Abbas Kamel went to Khartoum to hold “officially” one of their 2+2 meeting with their Sudanese counterparts. They also met with Omar El-Bashir to deliver him a message from President E-Sisi.

    After the meeting with the Sudanese president, the Egyptian foreign minister told the reporters that “Egypt is always ready to support Sudan and the ability of Sudanese people as per the government of Sudan's vision and policies.” What if the Sudanese people do not want this government and its policies !??
    I think Egypt and the current administration should be wiser because Omar El-Bashir is a true heavy burden. He is already a convicted war criminal.

    Interestingly Sudan’s government which is Islamist and supported by the Muslim Brotherhood is the only Islamist MB affiliated government El-Sisi got no problem with !!
    Needless to say, as I have been gathering and reading more information about modern-day Sudan, I knew the stances of the Egyptian government under different presidents were all supportive to the President regardless of how bad he was.
    Bunch of cartoonish parties in Egypt also declared their support to the govenrment of Sudan.

    On the other hand, Egypt’s civil society got a different thing to say about Sudan.

    On Wednesday, a group of Egyptian and Arab human rights organizations including Cairo institution for human rights studies, Syrian Network for Human rights and Nadeem Center issued a joint statement commending the use of extreme force against protests as well as demanding the Sudanese authorities to respond to the demands of the civil society in Sudan.

    Those NGOs also demanded the international community to intervene to stop the violence against the Sudanese.
    I hate to say the international community had had nothing to stop the slaughter of the people in Darfur.

    Moving to Turkey , on Thursday Sudan’s ambassador to Ankara Youssef El-Kurdfany held a meeting with the top officials of Justice and Development Party “AKP” and after the meeting, AKP deputy chairman Jawdat Yilmaz told reporters that“Turkey knows very good about the plots against Sudan and that’s why it was standing beside Sudan’s legitimate government and its people !!”
    Erdogan always attacks El-Sisi and says that he came on the back of a coup but he is okay with El-Bashir who also came through a coup and made a whole genocide in Darfur !!
    I know that Turkey got huge investments in Sudan too, I have not forgotten that too.

    That kind of regional support Omar El-Bashir is receiving from the Arab leaders will enable him to crash any protesting movement so easily.

    Already he had done the worst and committed the worst kinds of war crimes against the people in South Sudan as well in Darfur and he got away with it.

    The West is not interested in supporting any new Arab Spring movement because it fears more refugees and migrants as well as the return of ISIS.

    There is growing protest civil movement as far as I tell. This is a very good thing. Every day I find a union or a syndicate that supports this growing movement without fear of repercussions.

    For instance, on Thursday, I learned more about Khartoum University teachers union and how they were the first to oppose in Court the current law in Sudan banning workers from forming their own union through twitter.

    The traditional political parties have disappeared from the scene and instead, we see unions and syndicates in the lead just like in Tunisia if you remember.
    But realistically speaking that movement can be crashed anytime if El-Bashir decided to act according to the Third World Dictator Classical manual.
    The question for real is “Can Sudan growing protest civil movement stand against Omar El-Bashir regime and survive ?”
    God be with the Sudanese people for real.

    0 0

    Maybe because it is holidays season or maybe because the world just gave up on the news coming from the Middle East and North Africa region but for the 11th days the Sudanese people have been protesting against war criminal Omar El-Bashir and nobody seems interested.

    Yes, there is huge press and media censorship but there is too much silence whereas there is something going on in Sudan for real.
    I know there is a bit change because on Friday the UN secretary general Antonio Guterres expressed his concern for the developments in Sudan calling its government to investigate deaths during the protests across the country !!
    I do not know what to say.
    The thing is Omar El-Bashir does not give a fuck “pardon my language” to the international community.

    The Sudanese Professionals association has called for new protests and rallies next 31 December 2018 on the eve of Sudan’s Independence Day anniversary.
    The main rally will head to the presidential palace in Khartoum at 1 PM Khartoum Local time.
    The Association also announced on 31 December 2018, there will be a general strike for lawyers in the country to denounce the violence against the protests and violate the right of assembly and protests among other things.

    Well back to the protests, 28th December 2018 Friday protests dedicated to the fallen protests were a total success based on testimonies, videos and photos as more people from all ages whether men or women joined the rallies demanding Omar El-Bashir to step down.
    Protest in Sudan 2018
    ِA protest in one of the streets in Gazeera state
    on 28 December 2018 "@ahmedhadads"

    Even the mosque where El-Bashir allegedly was praying the Friday prayers witnessed a protest that forced to flee the scene quickly.

    I do not know why I stopped at this alleged incident, it seems that the man is getting too old that the deep state in Sudan or its military institution may give up on him.

    The Sudanese authorities dealt with the protests reportedly with violence using live ammunition aside from the usual tear gases.

    Protest in Sudan 2018
    A photo from a protest on 28 December 2018 in Omdurman
    Sudan "@zienabhassan"
    Again I can’t find any confirmed number of fatalities or injured or arrests on 28 December 2018 alone.
    Guardian says that according to observers that at least 60 people have been killed in the past few days.
    More people mostly from opposition figures have arrested in the past few days.

    El-Bashir regime has continued its mass arrest campaign targeting Darfurian students studying in Khartoum’s universities claiming that they are forming cells to spread violence in the society to the end of the usual list of accusations.
    The thing is that Omar El-Bashir is playing a dirty with tribalism once again in Sudan but so far the Sudanese people understood his game and they are not buying it.
    Protest in Sudan 2018
    A group of women from a family of a young protest "Mohand Ahmed"
    who was shot down on 20 December participating in the protests of 28 December
    at the state of Al-Qadarif "@Girfina"
    The Sudanese doctors continue their strike and it seems that public hospitals began to take steps against those doctors.

    Sudanese doctors “except ER doctors” have started a strike last week and continue in their strike till this week.

    Dr. Mohamed Othman, the member of Sudan’s Religious Clerics Authority and TV host at Sudanese Ashorooq TV channel presented his resignation from the authority to object the early statements of its chairman Sheikh Mohamed Othman Saleh that supported the use of force against protesters.
    Last week Sheikh Mohamed Othman Saleh spoke with Istanbul-based-“Al-Sharq TV channel” {yes, the MB funded TV channel} and said that if there are saboteurs among the protesters than the security forces should use force with them.
    The statements were translated as a religious carte-blanche to El-Bashir regime to use excessive violence against the protesters which are currently called “traitors, saboteurs and agents” already in Sudanese official media.
    I am not surprised because religious officials in all the Arab countries always say similar things
    Despite being MB-funded TV channel, Al-Sharq TV channel’s shows support the current wave of protests in Sudan.

    On 28 December 2018, footage and photos emerged for plain-clothed men on pick up trucks with guns and riffles attacking the protesters.
    Those plain-clothed men are said to be members of Pro-regime militias related to the Islamic movements like the International Islamic Union“What the hell is that” in the country.
    Those alleged militias use live ammunition against the protesters.

    This video I made and released on Saturday on Egyptian Chronicles YouTube Channel about the Protests on 25 December 2018. “I know I am so slow but between work and checking facts behind each clip it takes some time”

    In the video, you can see war criminal Omar El-Bashir vowing to “eradicate” the protesters whom he described as traitors and agents as usual during his speech in the city of Rufaa.“I love how the old Sudanese women reacted after knowing that he left the city so fast”.
    you can also see those plain-clothed men attacking protesters and arresting them. 
    Here is another video I compiled from videos online , mostly from Twitter showing the protests on 28 December 2018.

    0 0

    Happy New year 2019 from Egyptian Chronicles to the whole world.
    Happy New year postcard

    May it be better year for the whole universe not only the world.

    0 0

    This was the first photo on my Instagram account in 2019 was actually taken in December 2018.
    A little cat sleeping on a chair usedfor decoration in front of a gifts show in Giza’s Mohandessin last week. 
    It was cold on that day and it seemed that the cat found a warm spot with the grass to take a quick nap regardless of the street's noise. 

    0 0

    Kodak Agfa posted a photo:

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

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

    0 0

    Kodak Agfa posted a photo:

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

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

    0 0

    Kodak Agfa posted a photo:

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

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

    0 0

    Kodak Agfa posted a photo:

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

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

    0 0

    Kodak Agfa posted a photo:

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

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

    0 0

    Are Arab people ready for democracy?
    Do Arab people deserve democracy in the first place?

    Sorry for the strange questions but tonight I entered a discussion about whether the Arab people or to be specifically those people who live in the Middle East “there are other Non-Arab speaking and ethnicity in the region” can or can not live in democratic.
    I had it with someone who is younger than me from a complete younger generation “A decade difference”, someone who studied political science unlike me.
    The discussion started as we are speaking about what is going in Sudan
    He believe that he should be ruled by the iron fist of the military strongmen like Qaddafi, Saddam and El-Bashir, otherwise we will have chaos as we have seen in Libya and Iraq after the fall of both Qaddafi and Saddam’s regimes.

    Power and victory to the people
    From Tahrir square on 1 February 2011
    He believes that we “as Arab people” if we want to live a decent life then we have to immigrate to live the West instead of trying to fix our countries because the majority of the people need an iron fist, otherwise chaos will prevail.

    He also believes that democracy made it in Europe because they have a better mentality.
    He is not alone, there are people in Egypt and other Arab countries believe what once Mubarak’s intelligence chief Omar Suleiman told Christine Amanpour during the January 25th revolution: The Egyptian people are not ready for democracy.

    I believe that the chaos that happened in Iraq and Libya is originally the product of those corrupted dictatorship.
    The road of democracy is not an easy one and it does not take a genius to get this.

    With the exception of Tunisia , the Arab countries of the so-called Arab Spring including Egypt did not have full or even full democratic experience thanks to several factors like external powers that do not want democracy or want to exploit riches or old regime that won’t give up without a god damn fight or even both like in the case of Yemen and Syria.

    One of the major factors that played a role in creating that chaos is the fact all those Arab regimes that were downed like in Libya or Iraq did not give a chance for any leading political civilian alternative or let alone a true civilian state that won’t fall by the fall of the regime or its head.

    The Egyptian people stood by hours in front of ballot boxes to choose their political map roadmap referendum in March 2011 regardless of the flaws of the whole process in less than four months from the infamous 2010 parliamentary elections that witnessed empty polls.
    In 2017, the people in the island of Warraq which is technically a countryside rural area organized themselves and elected a representative council defending their locals’ rights according to the current Egyptian laws and constitution against the state.

    I won’t speak about 2012 and 2013 and the sins that the Muslim Brotherhood and so-called liberal political figures committed then and afterward because they all paid and are still paying despite all the warnings.

    I won’t speak about the Egyptian public because going through what happened in the US elections and Brexit, I feel Egypt was ground zero.
    But I will say that my people of Egypt did not have a full true democratic experience in the first place to say that they failed miserably or that they are too stupid than their European counterparts.
    Europeans are not smarter than Arabs or any other people in the world when it comes to political choices and democracy.
    Modern democracy was not reached within a day and night in Europe, take France as an example of chaos and upheaval following the French revolution.

    Fascism and Nazism are the product of Europeans’ free political will and the world is still paying because of that choice that were once taken in Germany and Italy in the 1930s.
    God knows that the world is still being hunted by the Europeans’ populist political choice supporting fascism.
    Brazilian people have elected a man who does not see Hitler as a dictator and the Americans selected Donald Trump as their president, who subsequently is the so-called leader of the free world.
    Europe is taken by a populist right-wing storm and yet nobody says that the Europeans are too stupid or too savage to deserve democracy.
    Middle Eastern strongmen are actually the chaos makers because they build their regime around themselves, once they are gone it crumbles.
    The Middle East is not an exception. We just need time and help to stop external regional and international interventions to let democracy find its way in the region.
    Several African countries that witnessed civil wars and military dictatorships are having those political democratic reforms right now and nobody is saying that African do not deserve democracy except racists.

    Arab people and Middle Easterners, in general, deserve to leave in democracies where their officials are held accountable for their actions because God knows that they paid more than taxes just to give their children better living nothing more, nothing else.

    FYI after two years from now, we will be celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Arab Spring start and God knows how this makes my heart cringe and sad because my generation has failed because of older generations.
    Nevertheless, sometimes I try to hang on small hopes, I see Tunisia “despite some of their political powers kissing El-Assad’s ass for standing against the West”, I see Sudan and I see Warraq island and how they elected their own council but still I am realistic.

    “This too shall pass” I remember those words about that ancient Eastern tale of a wise vizier that gave his king a piece of paper that would cheer him up whenever he was blue or would make him sad and back to the ground whenever he was flying from happiness.
    The thing is that when it will pass.

    Once a nice Egyptian lady who is a liberal activist told me when I was still optimistic that she may not be alive to see something like 25 January 2011 again or true democracy in Egypt. She was 50 years old during that conversation. I am in my mid-30s and I feel the same.

    I wish the first true political post in 2019 was more joyful.

    0 0

    The anniversary of Sudan’s independence was loud and big in 2019 without a doubt, it will be a day to remember for several generations.
    Within few hours following the Friday prayers in Sudan, Sudanese political powers and parties and before them, Sudanese people will protest once again demanding Omar El-Bashir to step down across the country in an original Arab Spring traditional Friday protest.
    El-Bashir degage
    El-Bashir degage graffiti is making round in Sudan
    It also has got a name “The Freedom and change Friday”.

    This will be the first major protest after the successful mass protests event on 31 December 2018, the eve of Sudanese independence Day which I will about later.

    The Freedom and Change Friday is organized by the Sudanese Professional Association “SPA” and its new allies and it will be a start for a series of mass protests across the country.

    It will be followed mass-protests on 6th January and 9th January. The 6th January mass protests event aims to reach to the presidential palace in Khartoum while the 9th January mass protests will be centralized in Omdurman city as they head to the National Council to present a petition demanding the current Sudanese regime to step down.

    Now as I hinted above the SPA  has got some partners and allies from Sudanese parties and political parties.
    On Tuesday, SPA issued the “Freedom and change declaration” with other three political coalitions in Sudan. Made of 9 points, the declaration says that the Sudanese people won’t stop protesting peacefully till the totalitarian regime is downed.

    The declaration demands Omar El-Bashir and his regime to step down immediately without any terms or conditions as well as the formation of an interim government to rule the country for the next four years.

    In those four years, the interim government should stop the civil wars and try to solve the current “Sudanese issue” through peace agreement while helping the refugees to their homes as well as to stop the economic deterioration in the country.
    The declaration adds that the role of this interim government will include supervising the interim period and the political transformation from a totalitarian regime to a multi-party system with a restructure to police and army forces so they will become independent.
    The interim government will also supervise the restructuring of the human rights and legal system to ensure the independence of the judiciary and the state of law. It will work on true women empowerment as well as eliminating all shapes of discrimination.
    Forming a constitutional committee and to stop all violations and laws against freedoms in the country are among the goals of that declaration or to be accurate this growing political protests movement.

    The declaration did not forget Sudan’s foreign policies as it aims to have independent foreign policies with diplomatic relations based on common interests and staying away from the so-called axis. “I think they refer indirectly to Saudi Arabi and UAE

    I like the idea of interim government and despite some says that it is too early to plan. Well, plans stop chaos.

    may say that it is too early to make a roadmap for Sudan post-El-Bashir, I believe it is good that
    The other three political coalitions cooperating with SPA are The coalition of Sudanese calling forces “Sudanese calling forces”, the coalition of national Conesus and the United opposition assembly.
    Now judging from the backgrounds of those coalitions, Sudanese calling forces coalition stands out at least for me.

    Formed on 11 November 2011, the coalition is made of several Sudanese political parties as well political groups that once carried arms in Darfur.
    The Sudanese Congress Party “SCP” and National Umma Party“I saw its flag held by protesters in the 28 December videos”.
    Interestingly, Islamist affiliated Umma party is headed by none other than Sadiq Al-Mahdi.
    On Wednesday, Sudanese Communist party declared its support to the Freedom and Change declaration.
    On Thursday, popular Girfna political movement announced that it supported the Freedom and change declaration and jointed SPA in its quest.

    Busy Tuesday in Sudan

    Aside from smaller but spread protests on Tuesday during the Sudanese independence day, there had been a lot of political developments
    On Tuesday, 22 parties reportedly participating in the current cabinet in Sudan announced their withdrawal from the government demanding Omar El-Bashir to step down in a huge development following more than 11 days of public protests across the country.
    The National Front of Change “echoes a familiar name in Egypt ” which includes parties like Reform Sudanese held a press conference in Khartoum declaring that aside from withdrawing from the government coalition that they presented a petition demanding the current Sudanese president to step down from rule, to dissolve the current Sudanese parliament and to form Sudanese interim government.
    The ruling National Congress party“NCP” officials slammed the move saying that those parties were leaving the “national consensus” and they “the parties” were violating the politics ethics adding that they were parties with no political or popular weight. “Then why you entered a coalition with them to form a government”
    The NCP expectedly rejected all the calls to dismiss El-Bashir.
    On the other hand, the “SPA” that played an important role in the past weeks in the protests announced publicly that it did not trust those parties and their intentions adding that the SPA was not concerned with their announcement.
    Nevertheless, the SPA did not close the door to cooperate with political parties or political coalition in the country and we saw above it decided to coordinate with other Sudanese political powers and parties.
    In a sad irony on the same day, Bashir ordered to set up a fact-finding committee“to investigate violence during the anti-government protests”

    The eve of Independence Day’s mass protests.

    On the eve of Sudan’s day of independence, thousands of Sudanese from all ages protested against Sudanese president and the pro-regime militias and forces tried to disperse those protests by force.
    Video footage emerging from the protests show horrifying head injuries that can lead to death.
    The Sudanese Communist Party held a presser on 2 January Wednesday where it said that number of fatalities since the 19 December 2018 mass protests had reached 40 people while the security forces detained not less 200 people.

    0 0

    Egyptian Church in Giza

    Merry Christmas from Egypt to all Christians celebrating the Orthodox Christmas tonight especially the Egyptian Coptic Orthodox Christians ☺️🎄.

    This is an entrance of a church I always see in the way to Sheikh Ziyad and October City in Giza Governorate.
    This church's name is "Saint George , the Great martyr" and it follows Egypt's Coptic Orthodox Church.

    The painting shows the Virgin Mary and baby Jesus in their way to Egypt.

    0 0

    Do you remember what I told you in early December 2018 that there is a plan to amend the Egyptian Constitution in 2019 and we began to see its prelude in front of the court?

    Well two days before the end of 2018 , close to presidency journalist and Akhbar Al-Youm editor in chief Yasser Rizk wrote  in his weekly column about “how the new year should be the year of political reform {after the successful economic reform}” and that this reform should be focused on one thing: amending the constitution.

    According to Rizk, the 2014 constitution is full of flaws about them the limitation of the presidential terms and how the parliament got so-called bigger power than the president and the government.

    The editor in chief and CEO of Egypt's second biggest state-owned newspaper says that the parliament should return to be two chambers , Egypt should have a full presidential political system with open presidential terms, the return of information ministry and bunch of other amendments including the cancellation of “transitional justice” section in the constitution because it opens the doors for “reconciliation with the Muslim Brotherhood”.

    Almost all the amendments Mr. Rizk proposed in his column would turn the 2014 constitution into Mubarak’s own version of 1971 constitution.

    Constitution For all Egyptians banner in Egypt's Tahrir square
    One constitution for all Egyptians banner in Tahrir square once upon a time 
    Now being realistically enough, he suggested that if the amendments idea failed, then the regime should establish some Supreme council to protect “the values of the 30 June Revolution” headed by El-Sisi for the rest of his life to make sure that the “30 June Revolution” achieve its goals.

    I do not know if that Supreme council idea was inspired by the current Supreme Council of Islamic Revolution of Iran or what but its idea actually bothers more than amending the constitution.
    I love how he completely ignores the 25 January revolution.

    In his column this week, Yasser Rizk said that what he had mentioned a week earlier was the child of his own thoughts and that he was not dictated by higher orders bragging that he created a “tsunami” in the media.

    The thing is that what he had mentioned as his own suggestions were previously mentioned in Mada Masr’s own exclusive report about those future constitutional amendments.

    He also says that according to his interactions with El-Sisi since he was a minister of defense, the man does not want to run for another presidential term adding that he did not want to run for the presidency in the first place.
    It is worth to mention that in November 2017, President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi said in an interview that was broadcasted on US-based CNBC that he would not seek another third presidential term.
    The good thing about Yasser Rizk that it brought that proposed roadmap to the public.
    More people are speaking about it as a fact. Here is a very report on Ahram Online about those constitutional amendments.
    What caught my eyes in that report is the bold statement of Pro-regime extremist MP Mostafa Bakri that the “the 2014 constitution was drafted under heavy international pressure and extortion by the Muslim Brotherhood”.
    I wonder what Amr Moussa and the rest of 2014 Constitution committee think about that !?

    So-called hardcore Pro-Sisi supporters in the Media want it to happen yet some other people say no.
    On Friday, nearly 100 opposition leftist, liberal and Nasserite public figures signed a statement rejecting the attempts to amend the constitution including former President Candidate Hamdeen whom I will speak about later in this post.
    Needless to say, in the current political opposition silence, this is an act of bravery.
    Reading the names, I spotted some of the names that strongly supported El-Sisi in the first but had a second thought in the past few years.
    The mainstream media completely ignored this statement.
    Interestingly one began to see opposition to the so-called ideas or suggestions proposed by Razek inside Sisi’s own supporters camp.
    I can’t ignore those voices.

    There has been a rumor spread around that the regime is negotiating with Hamdeen Sabbahi and his Nasserite Karama Party to support the upcoming constitutional amendments in return of releasing detained political activists and bigger share for the opposition in the upcoming parliament.
    A parliament with a bigger share for the opposition “The 25January-30June so-called camp” with nearly 100 seats is something I have been hearing for a while now because the current all yes-parliament looks bad.
     This means the parliamentary elections are not going to be fair and that the results are being tailored.

    Anyhow back to the rumor that spread shortly online, leading members in Karama Party have denied it also online like Dr. Mohamed Bassiouny denied that there were any talks between his party and the regime currently or in the future.

    Any attempt to amend the constitution to extend the presidential terms is completely rejected and we will stand against if this happens regardless of the dangers just like we fought with the national powers the battle to defend the Egyptian identity of Tiran and Sanafir” He said on 2 January in his official Facebook.

    Completely ignored by the mainstream media, founder of Karama Party and former Presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabbahi posted this his official Facebook page on Friday.
    “No for attacking the constitution , no for supporting oppression and defending the constitution is a patriotic and moral duty,” He said.

    On Saturday, former Constitution committee member, current MP and prominent director Khaled Youssef issued a long statement in his official statement of his official Facebook also denied too that there is some kind of “ a deal” between the regime and the “opposition”.
    He also expressed his complete rejection to amending the constitution as an original member of those 50 people who drafted the 2014 constitution.

    My stance is still the same from amending the current constitution which I was honored to be one from 50 Egyptian citizens that participated in drafting it. I said publicly over and over in many statements in TV shows from more than two years ago and I am saying it ; the Egyptian constitution is a need to be implemented not to be amended” He said adding that his stance won’t change despite he may pay soon a heavy price for that stance sooner or later.

    I will continue to believe that it is patriotic duty to defend this popular document {the constitution} is the most important and the last of what remained to the Egyptian people from 25 January /30 June revolution because it is the only remaining hope to establish a democratic modern civilian state” He added slamming both the MB and “the supporters of the regime” in the rest of the statement.
    Youssef’s statement is full many interesting points that speak crystal clear about the current political situation in Egypt.

    Ironically some of old Mubarak’s regime men have expressed their rejection of the constitutional amendment despite their total support to El-Sisi.

    Among these men, leading figure in former NDFP Dr. Hossam Badrawi

    " We started to read about constitutional amendments allegedly for the lack of alternatives to President El-Sisi in ruling the country after three of years now. I tell those "who promote this idea" any regime that does not allow alternatives to appear from 100 million citizens is the inefficient regime. Egypt is bigger from any president. I am sure that the President respects his people and won’t allow this.” He said on the first day of the year on his official Twitter account.

    I think in the upcoming weeks we will see more developments about the constitution.

    0 0

    Baron Empain palace under restoration works

    WTH is happening to the historical and magnificent Baron Empain palace?

    I passed by it earlier this morning after months of restoration to find half of that landmark building has turned to red ??

    This is how it looked before the restoration works
    The Baron Palace before restoration works
    The Baron Palace before restoration works 
    Built by the founder of Heliopolis in Cairo in the early 20th century, eccentric Baron Empain’s palace is probably the first Indian Hindu inspired building in Cairo, Egypt and Africa as well.
    I fear that some genius decided to paint it red like the buildings in India.

    It's breathtaking whether from outside or inside and just like its owner the Baron, it got its share of eccentricity making it Cairo’s top haunting place of all times.

    Designed by French architect Alexandre Marcel, its cues came from the famous Angkor Wat in Cambodia. the Egyptian government launched its restoration works in 2018 as it is considered as a national heritage site.
    Under the supervision of the ministry of antiquities, the government allocated LE 114 Million for the project that will finish in 2022.
    The ministry of antiquities hired the Egyptian army’s Engineering authority to do the restoration works.

    I do not know if the Engineering authority got expertise in restoration old palaces with history and cultural complexity like the Baron Palace.

    To be honest I was worried when I first read the news about restoration works because I fear some of the Hindu characterizations may disappear by mistake.
    details in the palace
    The palace is full of amazing pieces of art like this
    "Michel Hana" 
    Everything in that palace was designed for a specific meaning to Baron Empain and his genius yet eccentric mind.
    What I have read so far that the palace was extremely in bad shape and yet new staircases and statues were discovered.

    0 0

    Last Tuesday was a very active loaded day when it comes to sports news or to be specific football news in Egypt.

    First of all, Egypt won hosting rights for the 2019 African Nations Cup Championship "CAN 2019".
    This is big news and actually, it was the ONLY news of the day.

    The 2019 African Nations Cup “AFCON” was originally going to be in Cameroon but in December CAF stripped of the rights from the central African country because of the delays in the preparations for the cup as well the political instabilities in the country.
    CAN 2019 in Egypt
    I hope that is not the final logo of the tournament "EF" 
    Egypt and South Africa competed to host the 2019 AFCON in the same month.
    As far as I have read Egypt got all the votes except one that had gone to South Africa.

    Egypt hosted the African Nations Cup four times before. Once in 1959 while the second time was in 1974 and the third was in 1986.
    The last one was in 2006. You can read more about the history of the African Nations Cup in Egypt in Ahram Online.
    Needless to say, the African Nations Cup in Egypt is the perfect kind of distraction to pass politically something like constitutional amendments for instance.

    Personally, when I read the news in December I was quite amazed about how bold the Egyptian government is because in the end how could you organize a championship like that when you have another premier league without Egyptian football fans attending it ??

    Egyptian football fans are not allowed the local championship except 30 fans in local games like premier league !!
    There is a fear that the football fans especially the sports club hardcore fans “Ultras” will assembly and chant anti-regime chants like in the old days.
    There is fear that those Ultras members who played an important role in 25 January revolution will engage in violence or riot against the Egyptian security forces as simple as that
    The Egyptian football fans are only allowed regional football matches played in Egypt because the Egyptian government has no say who can attend.

    Needless to say, the scene of empty stadiums while footballers playing local games is depressing to the level that we got generation footballers who have not had a chance to play in the presence of thousands screaming in the stadium.

    Up till this moment, there are football fans and sports fans associated with the Ultras groups whether Ahlawy or White Knights who are either imprisoned or detained or released pending investigations or trials on charges like “inciting violence”, “joining illegal groups” and “attacking security forces”.

    I could not find any exact numbers for the imprisoned and pre-trial detainees from football fans but I know on a monthly basis in the past couple of years, I see the “Freedom_for_Ahly_fans” or “Freedom_for_Siyad El-Moshagheb” in Arabic top trending on Twitter.
    Siyad Moshagheb was among the leading figures “Capos” of Zamalek Ultras group “White Knights” and he is serving sentences for God knows what.
    I remember reading his name all the time in the news website that he is either being sentenced to a number of years in jail that could make him miss his child whole childhood and at the same time he is being acquitted in several retrials.
    I lost counting.

    In 2018, Ultras Ahlawy and Ultras White Nights announced that there would have disbanded their groups in May 2018.
    Speaking about the African Nations Cup, I can’t ignore how legendary ex-footballer Mohamed Abou Trika who is officially listed as a terrorist in Egypt stood beside his country until it won the hosting right.
    Abou Trika who is hailed a living football in Africa and in the world can’t come home. Mohamed Salah aka Mo Salah says that he is the star of all times and yet Pro-regime media still attacks saying that he is a terrorist because he once supported the MB “He is a friend of Mubarak’s sons too especially Alaa Mubarak” and is working in Qatari-owned Bein sports channels.
    Mohamed Abou Trika in  2008 CAN
    Abou Trika doing his famous airplane celebration move after winning
    the 2008 CAN in Cameroon "Reuters" 
    I find it so sad that this championship is going to be held in Cairo and Abou Trika won’t attend it live !!
    After knowing that we got the hosting rights, people on Twitter demanded that he would be pardoned despite he actually deserves clemency.

    Needless to say, the smear campaign against him continues by some people despite the fact that even pro-regime supporters in the football field from former footballers or Egyptian Football Association “EFA” support him and say that he is a great guy.

    Either way, good luck to Egypt and our national team in the African Nations Cup which I hope that it is not used politically to pass some wicked some stuff.
    I hope also Mohamed Abou Trika returns back as soon as possible to his homeland and to leave the rest of his life freely as a noble gentleman.