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7000 years and counting ...
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    The Egyptian authorities did not allow cars to enter Tahrir square allowing people only on foot to enter.
    Yet this did not stop people in their cars to celebrate Egypt’s victory in its football/soccer game against Congo and being qualified to WorldCup in Russia "More to come here" 
    via IFTTT

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

    Egypt has finally qualified for the World Cup Russia 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Happy Emergency ya People !!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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    Yacoubian box

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    The official death toll

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    The Media leaks Circus 24 hours later

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    The latest Tiran and Sanafir updates

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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    Kodak Agfa posted a photo:

    Golden pocket watches at Egypt's Royal Jewelry Museum

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

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    Kodak Agfa posted a photo:

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

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

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    Kodak Agfa posted a photo:

    A Golden Trowel at Egypt's Royal Jewelry Museum

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

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    Kodak Agfa posted a photo:

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

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

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    Kodak Agfa posted a photo:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    The Telegram Channel

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    The statement

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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    Zamalek Sports Club
     One of  Zamalek Sports Club's entrances at 7 PM Cairo local time on Thursday 

    Elections time in Zamalek sporting club "ZSC" as its members are going to elect their new board on Thursday and Friday according to the new sports clubs law.
    The elections are not only in ZSC but in other several clubs across Cairo and Giza Governorates as well other Governorates.
    Despite Sporting Clubs are considered like NGOs and the work in its board is actually a volunteer work that is done theoretically with no revenue or profit expected for it, millions "Yes !! millions" have been spent in the elections campaigns especially in Ahly SC and Zamalek SC.
    I totally understand that those two clubs are the biggest when we speak about sports in general in Egypt but still !!

    When we speak about Zamalek club,  we are speaking about a wacky miserable drama and I am not speaking here about its football "Soccer" team but I am speaking about its current administration and its rivals.

    ZSC is headed by notorious controversial full-mouthed MP Mortada Mansour and if you know that man then you will know why I am describing what is happening there as miserable drama.
    On Wednesday, it was reported that Mansour kept speaking for several hours on air in some TV channel bashing his rival Ahmed Soliman in the elections with tons and tons of papers !!
    Former police officer Ahmed Soliman is no angel either. It turned out that he got a bad record of alleged abuse and tortures against prisoners during his work in the prisons sector in the Interior ministry.
    Soliman spent huge amount of money in the campaign on the outdoor advertising to the level I wonder from where he got all that money in the first place

    Moving to Al-Ahly Sporting Club, it will have its elections on 30 November. It is a tough competition between its current chairman Mahmoud Taher and its famous legendary ex-footballer Mahmoud El-Khatib or as commonly known in the Arab world and Egypt Bibo.

    Knowing that he is running Egypt's original's football icon, Taher who is said to a multi-millionaire oil company executive launched a huge outdoor crazy campaign that you may think that he is running for Egypt's presidency and not for Al-Ahly's chair position !!

    Needless to say, those elections are much more interesting and you can not predict their results easily like Egyptian Presidential and Parliamentary elections in Egypt now under the current administration.

    via Instagram

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    It is a true Black Friday in Egypt. It is black as it can be for real.
    At least 235 people were killed while praying the Friday prayers in a Mosque in Egypt’s North Sinai in yet another shocking attack. I will summarize what we know so far as well clarify some points regarding that horrifying attack and I am sorry if I seem little emotional.
    The victims inside the Mosque
    Inside the mosque after the attack in the afternoon
    Tens of victims "Sinai News"
    According to Egypt’s Prosecutor General office , 235 worshipers have been killed and at least 109 others wee injured in an attack on Al-Rawdah Mosque in Al-Rawdah village , Bir Al-Abd city of North Sinai governorate.
    According to local sources , there are more than 20 minors among then the dead.
    The attack happened in Al-Rawdah village whose population is not more than 2500 people and yes they lost 10% of their men on Friday.
    According to eye-witnesses that spoke with Ahram Online,improvised explosive devices were detonated at the mosque initially, then gunmen fired at worshippers, including targeting ambulances transferring the injured to hospital.
    Other eye-witnesses that spoke AFP say that the gunmen entered the Mosque and closed its doors while the people were praying where they opened their fire letting no one to leave.
    It is more than horrifying.
    Here is a video clip after the break showing the scene inside the mosque from Sinai News Facebook page

    According to Mohamed Abu Attiya , a Sinai-based-journalist Mohamed Abu Attiya told BBC Arabic Radio Service that the people of Al-Rawdah village received warnings for quite some time that Daesh-affiliated group could attack them and they even organized checkpoints to protect themselves.
    The injured have been transferred to hospitals in North Sinai , Ismailia and Cairo governorates.

    As soon as the news was known back to Cairo , President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi held an urgent meeting with the ministers of defense and interior and the heads of military and general intelligence services.
    Sisi addressed the nation in the evening vowing to avenge for those 235 victims using “brute force” {yes , he used the exact term in Arabic in one of the most unfortunate use of words in a speech}.
    “We will see God will stand with which party” He said addressing the terrorists.
    The Egyptian security forces declared a launch an operation against the assailants who are responsible for that horrifying massacre.  

    The Egyptian Presidency declared national mourning for three days in the country. It is a wise decision to show that the state truly cares for the citizens.
    It is worth to mention that in previous attacks like for instance the recent shootout of Al-Wahat , the state did not declare a national mourning for a single hour.
    No group has claimed its responsibility so far for the attack.

    The Rawdah Mosque and Sufism

    The foreign media has been describing the attack on Friday as an attack on a Sufi Mosque in Egypt’s Sinai and the worshipers as Sufis
    I am afraid this is far from accurate description.

    We do not have in Islam something called “Sufi Mosque” in Egypt. Al-Rawdah Mosque was built indeed by one of the biggest Sufi orders in Sinai yet it is not Sufi Mosque , it has not even got a Shrine in it.
    Al-Rawda Mosque
    Al-Rawdah Mosque from outside "Ahram Online
    Most Muslims who use the Mosque built by those Sufi Orders are not Sufi themselves but they choose to pray at those mosques for different reasons above them that they are near to them just like Al-Rawdah mosque which attracts worshipers in Bir Al-Abd because it is big.

    Another thing , the attack happened during Friday’s prayer when the Mosque is fully packed.
    Sufis are not prosecuted in Egypt.

    Yes , Salafists hate them and yes some of their shrines were attacked in the past 5 years especially in 2013 but I cannot considered them a minority that suffer injustice even in rural areas like Christian Egyptians. On the contrary , Sufism is still one of the dominated religious currents in Egypt.

    The usual suspects and Sufi connections

    We got two primary suspects as usual when we speak about terrorist attacks in North Sinai : Daesh and Al-Qaeda-affiliated group.

    Daesh’s North Sinai-based Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis “ABM” or “Sinai province” as it calls itself got a record with the Sufi shrines and sheikhs in the area.
    ABM claimed in the past the destruction of at least two Sufi Shrines including one in 2014. It also kidnapped and slaughtered in cold bold in November 2016 Sinai’s oldest Sufi Sheikh Soliman El-Haraz for witchcraft.
    The sick terrorist organization released a video for the slaughter of the 96-years old man. During then , it was said that Sheikh was kidnapped from his home South of Al-Arish.
    According to what I have read earlier Friday , El-Haraz used to live in Al-Rawdah village which is a center of Sinai’s biggest Sufi order " Al-Gaririya" which built many of Sinai's Mosques.

    Updated : It seems that Daesh spoke about the village of Al-Rawdah as a center for Sufism in an interview with one of their leading figures in North Sinai in their English-speaking magazine Rumiyah in January with photos showing the execution of Sheikh Soliman. “via @LalaKdaho”
    A copy of the terrorists' interview
    The photo of execution of late Sheikh Soliman in the sick
    That leader vowed to eradicate “Rawdah lodge”.
    Rawdah in the sick interview
    Targetting Rawdah in the sick interview
    Al-Qaeda’s affiliated Jund Al-Islam had a comeback last month after two years of hibernation when it launched an operation against ABM.
    Updated : Jund Al-Islam issued a statement online denouncing the attack and presenting its condolences to the families of the victims. It also warned the Egyptian government and the army of taking a chance and attacking them because of that attack.
    I think it leaves one primary suspect then.

    Egypt’s fatalist attack for real

    It is the deadliest attack Egypt has ever seen by numbers. 
    With a death toll of at least 235 on Friday only , El-Radwa Mosque attack comes ahead of horrifying past attack above them the Metrojet bombing or aka the Russian airliner bombing in October 2015 {224 fatalities}. I have been revising all the previous attacks and so far , this is unprecedented by all measures.
    It is the fatalist attack in North Sinai since the start of insurgency in time of Mubarak in the same way.
    It is the first attack of its kind to involve Muslim worshipers during Friday prayer in a Mosque.
    This has not been done before as far as I can tell.

    Unfortunately in times like this , I and others miss the valuable insights and views of Egyptian journalist and researcher Ismail Iskandrani who has been in a pre-trial detention for nearly two years on charges of joining the Muslim Brotherhood , a group which he despised publicly and officially. 

    Please pray for Al-Radwa Mosque victims and their families , please pray for the people of North Sinai , please pray for Egypt.

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    All the flags of Egypt lowered on Saturday across the country in national mourning according to a presidential decree issued on Friday following the country’s deadliest attack since the 1970s in North Sinai’s Bir El-Abd.

    Egypt’s Prosecutor General’s office issued on Saturday a new statement about Al-Rawdah Mosque massacre in North Sinai governorate with a new shocking updated death toll as well updated testimonies of survival.

    According to the statement, the death toll in the attack reached officially 305 people including 27 children while the injured increased to 128.
    It is officially a massacre
    It is officially the deadliest terrorist attack in Egypt.
    A boy and a girl
    A boy and a girl searching in the shoes and slippers left on Saturday outside
    the mosque, maybe they would find their beloved ones  "Mohamed Ibrahim
    Unofficially, the people are speaking there about how they buried on Friday in several mass cemeteries in Bir El-Abd 327 people !!
    Some families have buried their victims without heading to the hospitals where the officials count the numbers.
    According to the numbers from our people in that sad village, 28 kids who did not reach 10 years old were killed in the mosque.
    At least 160 men above 60 years old were killed in the Mosque. Ten families lost grandfathers, fathers and sons in the Mosque. Three generations were killed together.
    At 17 families lost the father and all its sons.

    A mother
    A mother standing over the body of who could her son or
    her husband at the mosque on Friday " Mostafa Singer" 
    The photos of mothers and wives as well old grandmothers in shock over the loss of their men are heartbreaking.
    The people of Bir Al-Abd buried tens of victims in mass graves overnight using bulldozers.
    There were no public funerals for them.
    I do not know why but I know the photos taken for the mass burial were more than sad and shocking. The locals told the journalists at Ismailia hospitals where the injured are currently treated that they would avenge

    No one claims anything

    No group has claimed its responsibility so far for the attack but as I hinted in my first post about the attack, ISIS’ affiliated Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis “ABM” is the primary suspect with their previous known attacks against Sufi shrines and Sufi sheiks in the area.
    Interestingly, Hasm militant movement issued a statement denouncing the attack.
    Also, the people of El-Rawdah spoke about how they received threats from ABM frequently because of the Jariri Sufi movement.

    What happened at the Mosque according to the survivors

    As the Emam of El-Rawdah started his Friday sermon and the mosque was full of worshippers who came to pray weekly Friday prayers not only from El-Rawdah,25 to 30 gunmen surrounded the mosque from its door and windows opening their fire and killing whoever moved inside the mosque.
    Some of the gunmen were masked. They wore camouflage trousers. They came in 5 SUVs carrying the black flag of Daesh according to eyewitnesses.
    After killing the worshipers inside the mosque , the gunmen set the cars and trucks outside the mosque on fire. 
    I believe those testimonies because the mosque appeared in the photos intact unlike what claimed on Friday that it was bombed.
    Now what scares me is that killing spree continued for few minutes and near 1/4 population of a whole village was killed.
    President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi ordered the government to pay LE 200,000  {USD 11,306} as compensation to the families of the victims. He also orders the Egyptian armed forces to build a memorial to commemorate the victims in Al-Rawda village according to the “latest designs” per a presidential statement.

    I believe building a proper hospital or a clinic that small village is more useful than a memorial.
    Presidential Fund “Long Live Egypt” announced that it started a campaign to collect donations in order to improve the living conditions there.
    The Egyptian armed forces declared in the past 48 hours that the Egyptian air forces launched a series of airstrikes targeting “terrorist hideouts”
    Egyptians are still in shock over what happened and we have to be in shock but we must ask questions, lots of questions about the war on terrorism in Egypt.

    Some Egyptian officials said on Saturday that this attack was a sign of the triumph achieved in the war on terrorism !! I do not know how that attack would prove that we are winning the war on terrorism when more 300 people are killed in board daylight in a Mosque !!

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    It seems that this is a true tough sad week for Egyptians as it started with a horrifying massacre and now they are bidding Farwell to their legendary sweetheart, Shadia.

    Shadia in a colored photo in the early
     1950s, the original I think by Van Leo
    From short time ago, the family of beloved legendary Egyptian star Shadia declared her death after a long struggle with illness in Cairo.

    Born on 8 February 1931, Fatima Ahmed Kamel Shaker was the youngest daughter of an Egyptian middle-Class family. Her father used to work in the Royal Garden. The girl with Turkish roots entered the Showbiz following her elder sister Afaf Shaker whom the critics predicted to be the next big star in Egypt's cinema and theater in their golden age.

    Ironically, it was young Fatima who became that under the stage name of Shadia.
    Shadia means in Arabic a “Singer” and some say famous director Helmy Rafla while others say famous actor Abdel Waress Assar gave her that name because of her beautiful cheerful
    Since the late 1940s till late 1980s, Shadia became one of Egypt’s as well the Arab World’s top divas and stars. As an actor, She is considered one of Egypt’s top artists in the Cinema world.
    I use the word “artist” because what Shadia presented in cinema is true art.

    Our critics called Shadia “the Pampered star” of the Egyptian cinema because of bubbly cheeky roles in her beginnings in light romantic comedies but she was for me The woman with thousand faces as one website called her earlier.

    Starting in 1947, Shadia’s filmography extended for 4 decades becoming a top actor with 114 films. Her filmography started with light comedies then moved to melodramas to romance to musicals.

    Shadia established herself as a serious actor when she presented the Leading role in “The Unknown Woman” film in 1950 directed by Mahmoud Zulfiqar, which is based upon French play “Madame X”.

    In the 1960s, she presented her best performance in a series of films including films based on novels of Naguib Mahfouz. According to Egypt’s Nobel Prize for literature prize winner, Shadia gave a soul to his women character whether in the “The thief and the dogs-1962”, “Al-Madaq Alley-1963”, “The Road-1964” and “Miramar-1969”.

    Shadia and Naguib Mahfouz
    Shadia and Naguib Mahfouz while filming "Al-Madaq alley" 
    Shadia and Mahmoud Morsi
    Shadia and Mahmoud Morsi
    in a Touch of fear 
    She also presented in 1966 one of Egypt’s most memorable feminist comedy “My Wife is a general manager” along with her husband then Salah Zulficar.

    In 1969, she presented one of the greatest role in the Egyptian cinema as Fouada in the political epic “A touch of fear” and since then Fouada became an allegory of Rebellious Egypt standing against that tyranny whom she once loved for the sake of her village.
    That film directed by Hussein Kamal is considered from the top five films in Egyptian cinema, it is a true piece of art aside from all its politics.

    As a singer, Shadia also became a top of her generation with her cheerful voice. Just like her acting, her voice and performance got better and amazing as she grew up where you can feel her emotions in the songs.

    Her greatest songs were composed by Mounir Mourad whom she had a long friendship and as well Baligh Hamdy who was a true music genius.
    Here is a nice playlist for my favorite Shadia's song , I hope you enjoy them.

    Her immortal “Ya Habibity Ya Masr” was among the top songs that were sung in Tahrir square.

    That patriotic song was composed in one day thanks to the music genius Baligh Hamdy. Here is a very rare video for Shadia in the early 1980s speaking about how that song came to the world.

    In the 1980s, Shadia completely her legendary career by starring in a musical comedy play about Egypt’s notorious serial killer sisters Riya and Sakina along Soheir Al-Bably. The play was so successful that it toured the Arab world. That play was probably one of the best musical plays in the history of Egyptian theatre.

    In the late or mid 1980s , Shadia took a decision to quit showbiz and wear a veil spending the rest of her life away from lights dedicating her time to worship God as well helping orphans.
    Shadia in Mecca
    Shadia in the 1990s during pilgrimage in Mecca 
    She did not reject or regret her work in the showbiz like other actors who quited it in the 1990s denouncing it for religious reason.

    She was in her 50s when she took that decision that surprised Egypt. Looking back to her decision and what I knew about her personal life then, I believe that she was so tired and decided to have the rest of her life as Fatima Shaker.
    In that time, her fans ad the media did not know that she conquered breast cancer

    An old magazine showed that Egypt’s sweetheart wished that when she would reach her 50th birthday, she would be married and having lots of kids.
    Shadia's wishes 
    Unfortunately, that did not happen. Shadia married officially three times and did not have any kids. She married famous actor Emad Hamdy then Radio engineer Aziz Fathy then Salah Zulficar.

    Shadia and Zulficar were among the most iconic duets in the Egyptian cinema in the 1960s with their series of films together. Sadly, they divorced later.
    Nevertheless, she was a true mother to her nieces and nephews like Egyptian painter Nahed Shaker who mourned her as her mother, not as an aunt.

    Those who met after her decision describe a very sweet, modest and down to earth person.

    You can’t simply describe the career or the life or the talent of Shadia in a couple of words in an
    Shadia at the beach in the 1960s
    Shadia at the beach in the 1960s 
    You may not know that but after my graduation from Cairo University, I planned to launch a fan site dedicated to Shadia because I felt the world needs to know about that amazing artist. Unfortunately, I abandoned the project following the death of my grandfather on 8th February 2005, ironically he died on the same day she was born on.

    Our Shadia has been the true People’s idol in Egypt for decades. I could not believe how Egyptians prayed for her health in October when she was first admitted to the hospital. She seemed to be among the things that unite us as Egyptians who love her so much. She was that girl next door, the sweetheart, the sexy woman all men want and all women want to be and the sweet mother

    I have just read that the moon does not go away, it shines next night until the end of our days on that planet thus is our Shadia. She may have left this world but her work in Cinema and Music will remain forever to remind us of her forever after.

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    That’s one hell of a week, Egypt is having already and it has not finished yet!!
    It started with a massacre by terrorists that Egypt has not seen before to the death of Egypt’s legendary diva to a real crazy elections week in sporting clubs to the announcement of a presidential bid that creating buzz at least in two Arab countries thanks to two videos.

    The First Video

    Wednesday afternoon , many Egyptians were surprised to find an exclusive breaking news from Reuters at 4 PM Cairo local time saying that former Egyptian PM and presidential candidate Ahmed Shafik declared his intention to run in the upcoming presidential elections in Spring 2018.

    Reuters added that it received a phone call from the former 2012 presidential candidate from UAE and a video statement as well declaring his candidacy for the Egyptian Presidential office.
    Shafik also added that he would return from UAE soon to start his campaign.

    Reuters released the video and it is available online but it was edited.
    Sooner Ahmed Shafik’s official social media account uploaded the 6-minutes’ announcement .

    Reading from a paper while wearing a suit, Shafik started his speech thanking UAE and its rulers for hosting him all those years since 2012.
    During his speech, he stressed that his aim was to have a civilian democratic Egypt that upholds accountability and human rights, which are not a grant from anybody !!! “Yes, this is Ahmed Shafik speaking !!”

    You know I voted for Mohamed Morsi in 2012 and I did not support Ahmed Shafik but one must say that his speechwriter in 2017 is better than the one he had in 2012.
    I have noticed an improvement in his statements already since the Tiran and Sanafir’s crisis.
    The announcement freaked out El-Sisi supporters who were once his supporters in 2012.
    During that time, I managed to get a confirmation from his party “The Patriotic Movement” that he would return Egypt soon at the time he chose.

    The second video

    Two hours later, we found Doha-based Al-Jazeera TV network declaring that it would air an exclusive video statement from Ahmed Shafik declaring that UAE barred him from travel.
    Here is the video.

    Thanks UAE for hosting him at first, Shafik stated in the short video that he was barred from leaving the UAE for reasons beyond his understanding as he said.
    He also added that he intended to have a tour to meet Egyptian abroad before returning back home.
    You got Shafik appearing in Qatari Al-Jazeera saying that UAE blocks his return to Egypt to participate in the upcoming presidential elections !!

    It is no longer Egyptian matter, but rather regional matter or rather drama.

    An hour later, we found UAE’s state minister for foreign affairs Anwar Gargash denying what Shafik said and slamming him big time on his official Twitter account. Gargash admitted that the Emirati government did not approve some of Shafik’s stances despite all the help, facilities and honors he
    Ahmed Shafik
    Shafik is back "his famous campaign photo in 2012"
    received in the UAE since 2012.
    The Pro-regime Media went mad in Cairo before Abu Dhabi !!
    All those Pro-regime TV hosts who once praised him turned against him in a surreal scene.

    Lamis El-Hadidy praised Khaled Ali for God’s sake !! Her husband Amr Adeeb was extremely sad and angry that you might think that one of his kids were killed by Shafik heavens forbid !!
    Adeeb claimed that the former presidential candidate may return back to Cairo early Thursday !!

    At 11:44 PM Cairo Local time, AFP announced that it received a video message from Ahmed Shafik stated that he was barred from leaving the UAE by its government too.
    I think it is the same video sent to Al-Jazeera.

    At 1:15 AM Cairo Local time, I got a statement from Shafik’s political party “The Patriotic Movement” party saying that the former Prime minister did not and won’t deal with Al-Jazeera TV channel and he is currently facing a smear campaign in the media following the announcement that he intended to run in the upcoming presidential elections.  The Party which got 4 seats in the current House of Representatives added that Shafik did not send any video to that TV channel.

    Seriously speaking I do not understand what happened. I hope we will understand in the upcoming hours. All that I can say is that Ahmed Shafik is a serious rival to Abdel Fattah El-Sisi.
    And just like Ahmed Shafik said to his supporters following his success in the first round of the Egyptian Presidential elections 2012 “Let’s get some sleep”.

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    Updated on 6 December 2017

    And in a miserable reckless move to achieve a fake internal victory among his radical right wing supporters, U.S president Donald Trump recognized the city of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel giving his orders to transfer the U.S embassy from Tel Aviv to the officially occupied city.
    I do not need to say that this man made my blood boil while listening to his crappy speech showing how much he is braver and smarter than other former U.S president who had actually brains not to take that step.
    Donald Trump just gave a kiss of life to all radical groups in the region above them Daesh and Al-Qaeda.
    I must say that with his so-called historical decision earlier , the 45th President of the United States broke at least three UN security council resolutions :
    • UN security council resolution No.242/1967 which stipulates the complete Israeli military withdrawal from the territories it occupied in June 1967 including East Jerusalem.
    • UN security council resolution No.478/1980  which rejects the Israeli government’s decision then to annex East Jerusalem and declare Jerusalem as its official capital.
    • UN security council resolution No.2334/2016 which states that the council does not officially recognize changes changes made to Israel's borders post-1967, other than those agreed by the two sides through negotiations.
    The official Arab reaction above the Egyptian reaction came as expected : condemnation and we refuse the decision …bla, bla, bla !!
    Unfortunately , Egyptians cannot protest such decision like in the old days due to the Protest law.

    With the next few hours, the Middle East is waiting anxiously U.S President Donald Trump’s official announcement to transfer the U.S embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem as an official capital of Israel in a complete defiance to all the warning he received from world leaders.
    After the telephone call between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Trump Wednesday afternoon, it was clear that the man in the Oval won’t change his mind.
    What are we going then?
    Well, the assistant of the League of Arab States “LAS” secretary general Hossam Zaki has got a nice idea: We should write more on social media using #Jerusalem_Capital_of_Palestine“Extensively” !!

    This Facebook post published by the Egyptian diplomat veteran summarizes the despair we have reached.
    If this is Hossam Zaki, then what is left to me as Zeinobia to do, the so-called blogger and social media activist as journalists like to call me !?
    This really angers me because it shows how those who seem to be in charge are clueless !!!
    I guess a man like him knows that we, the Arab and Muslim people can not change the fate of a city like Jerusalem with hashtags.
    Ironically, Pro-regime TV hosts like Amr Adeeb and Ahmed Moussa had the same message to the public that we should address the American president through social media !!
    I wish it was that easy and simple.

    Palestinian Jerusalem
    The beautiful Arabic Palestinian Jerusalem by
    Fadi Amirah
    It is interesting though to find Zaki saying that “Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine” when the current Egyptian administration says that “East Jerusalem is the capital of the Palestinian State” !!
    This is beside the infamous the miracle children of the world-Kushner and MBS’ peace plan that involves a chunk of Sinai as part of the Palestinian state and a small village East of Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine.

    President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi of Egypt spoke with Trump on Tuesday emphasizing “Egypt’s position that Jerusalem should maintain its current legal status within the frameworks of the international and UN resolution” !!

    It is interesting to see that Sisi did not inform Trump Egypt’s direct and complete rejection of the transfer of the U.S embassy instead of using those indirect phrases !! “Maintaining the city’s current legal status within frameworks of the international rules and UN relevant UN resolution !!” I highly doubt that the current POTUS fully understood that !!

    Now I think about it, I believe that the current leaders in the Middle East and the Muslim world won’t do nothing if Trump goes on with his plans and that’s why he will do it.

    Those leaders won’t call for a boycott of American companies and products in an effective way to send a message that Trump will understand as a businessman very well. If the Gulf countries decided to suspend all their military purchases from the U.S, that will be a strong message… in another time.
    Those leaders won’t even call their ambassadors from Washington D.C for consultation.

    My bet is always on the people of Palestine, not the PLO or Hamas or any other Palestinian political group. It is the people of Palestine.
    May God protect and save Jerusalem as well the world from those fools ruling it right now.

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    Last Friday, head of Al-Azhar Sheikh Mohamed El-Tayeb led Friday prayers at North Sinai’s El-Rawda Mosque just one week after the horrifying massacre it witnessed where not less than 311 people were killed according to official statements in Egypt's worst terrorist attack.

    The week before President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi renewed his orders to the Egyptian armed forces and police force during the official celebration of Prophet Mohamed “PBUH” to use “brute force” or “utmost force” to restore order within three months in the Egyptian Northern East governorate.

    The Egyptian Mainstream Media passed over that horrifying massacre as you know life goes on and we should not ask too many questions as terrorism is having its last days in North Sinai.

    I had too many questions and I could not find them in the mainstream media as usual.
    I can not travel to North Sinai except if I have security permits and unfortunately I could not travel to Ismailia to meet with the injured either as I have been battling flu. Yet, thank God for telephones despite it is not perfect.

    In the past week, I managed to speak with locals from both Bir Al-Abd city as well Al-Rawda village through telephone calls.
    Their answers and information did not only reveal something I did not know then about the worst massacre in the history of Egypt but also about the situation in general in North Sinai governorate after nearly four years of war against terrorism.
    The Black Friday
    On Friday 24 November, the People of Bir Al-Abd began to feel that there was something wrong with that 35 km away small village as news came that militants cut the International highway between their city and Al-Rawda.
    The news came that afternoon about how there was a bombing inside the village’s mosque during Friday prayers and the injured were transferred to the Bir Al-Abd hospital as there is no medical facility in there.
    Al-Rawda Mosque on Google maps
    Al-Rawda Mosque on Google maps
    Mohamed Khalil, a resident of Bir Al-Abd remembered what happened next very well as he rushed to the hospital to donate blood like others.
    “We saw urgent cases of badly injured people flooding into the hospital and found out that it was bigger than the usual militant attacks.” He said describing how a huge number of corpses coming in an unstoppable wave of cars.
    Injured rushed in to Bir Al-Abd hospital by Mohamed Ibrahim
    Injured rushed in to Bir Al-Abd hospital by Mohamed Ibrahim 
    The small Bir Al-Abd hospital turned in to a field hospital with more corpses in the upcoming hours in a horrifying scene before the ministry of health would send over 20 ambulances from Ismailia and Cairo governorates to transfer the injured.

    The hospital's supplies already began to run out, especially cotton and plastic bags as well medicine.

    " A video shot by Mohamed Khalil showing the people rushing into Bir Al-Abd hospital on that day, he uploaded on 27 November " 

    “More injured people began to speak and tell us what happened” He added.
    Just as the Imam of the Al-Rawda Mosque began his sermon, masked and unmasked militants appeared encircling the mosque blocking its windows and door, the injured said.The carnage started when the militants opened their fire on whoever was moving in that mosque.
    First responders to get in to the village before the security forces, the people of Bir Al-Abd were horrified by the scenes in front of them.
    Inside the Rawda Mosque
    Inside the Mosque by Mohamed Khalil the day following the carnage
    They took video clips and photos documenting bodies all over the Mosque built by the Jarirs, the biggest and main clan in the village which is related to El-Swaraka tribe in North Sinai.
    It was not only men who had been killed but also there were at least three women who were shot down by the militants as they hurried to see what is happening in the mosque, to their doomed destiny as we say in Egypt.
    “We also found that the militants also killed an elderly man and his wife at their home.” Mohamed Khalil said.
    The women victims as well that elderly couple killed in their home did not find their way to the mainstream as they should.
    The numbers mystery
    The Egyptian government declared that only 311 people were killed while the Facebook Sinai local news pages speak about not less than 320 people.

    Mohamed Khalil went and participated in the mass burial of the victims who got no public funerals at night in the nearby Al-Mazar village, where the Al-Rawda’s villagers’ cemetery is.
    “There were security officers overseeing the burial who counted the bodies and wrote down their names,” said Khalil adding that the number he got from those officers then was 309 dead bodies buried using bulldozers and manpower.
    The mass-burial of the victims late 24 November by  Mohamed Khalil
    The mass-burial of the victims late 24 November by
    Mohamed Khalil 
    “There were other 18 bodies that were buried in another cemetery, so we are speaking about 327 dead bodies on that Friday.” He said describing how everybody participated in the burial including children.

    In Islam, martyrs who are got killed are buried without a burial wash or a shroud into their tombs.
    Khalil believes the contradiction in the locals’ numbers and the official numbers come from the fact that “things happening in Sinai do not reach the people in the valley”
    “We can be speaking about approximately 330 dead as some of the injured died in the following days” He added.

    The victims in their coffins by Mohamed Khalil before their burial in the early hours of November 25
    The victims in their coffins by Mohamed Khalil before their burial
    in the early hours of November 25 
    On the other hand, Al-Rawda resident Mohamed Ibrahim believes that this contradiction in the official and local death toll numbers goes to what he thinks as “the policies towards North Sinai”.
    “Since 2013 and there was a policy to minimize human casualties in North Sinai, it is better to have smaller numbers.” the University student said.
    According to Ibrahim, 350 people mostly from men were killed on Friday 24th November and 5 more died in the following days.

    “The eligible male voters in Al-Rawda were 420 per the official statistics we gathered so most of those voters are killed on that Friday.” He said hinting out that there are also 90 to 150 people injured.
    “Most women in the village are widows now” He added.

    Visiting the village daily from Bir Al-Abd to check on their needs, Mohamed Khalil recounts how the Diwan, which is the main gathering place for men in the village is empty now except may for two or three men. The remaining men are staying in their homes trying to cope with that shock.
    According to the official statements of the ministry of solidarity, Al-Rawda village lost ¼ of its men out its 2400 population.
    The threats
    Yes, the village received threats from Daesh-affiliated militants in the past.
    “From three months and a half, masked people reached to the village chief and told him not to hold any Sufi activity in the village,” said Ibrahim hinting to the infamous brutal video released by Daesh in November featuring the cold-blooded execution of Sinai’s oldest Sufi Sheikh following Al-Jaririya Order in November 2016.
    “They warned him of holding any Sufi meetings or gatherings” He added.
    Al-Rawda Mosque is built by the Jaririya order, Sinai’s biggest Sufi order which it is related to the Jarir clan in the doomed village. The order had a shrine for their Sheikh “Abu El-Jarir” near Al-Arish city but the militants blew it up.

    The University student who lives in Al-Arish and studies in its university hinted out that thereare or were utmost 20 to 40 Sufi people only in the village.
    “Some people stopped indeed while others did not care and continued holding Sufi meetings.” He said.
    There were also warning to the villagers not to work in the salt fields owned by the government nearby the village. Seen on Google maps, several salt fields that once Egyptian military intelligence Noam Shakib spoke about in his 1907-Sinai and its Geography book are still there.

    In October, militants tried to storm an army-owned cement factory in Central Sinai but they were stopped by a checkpoint guarding the factory. The factory workers reported that they received warnings from the militant group not to cooperate with the army.
    A month later, those militants attacked a convoy transporting workers from the factory killing 10 of them. Those two attacks show some sort of change in the targets in North Sinai.
    No group has claimed its responsibility for both attacks.

    Mohamed Ibrahim also spoke about how the militants allegedly used a very narrow desert road called “Jarir El-Ghozan” from the East of the village to come from and that the people informed the authorities but “nothing was done about it”
    Questions raised after the attack about why the security forces did not protect Al-Rawda from the militants after threats especially there is a reportedly security checkpoint hundreds of kilometers away from the village.
    Not defending the security authorities but there is another question here: Why did the militants attack the worshipers during the Friday prayers and not during the Sufi gatherings which are known to everybody?

    In the past two weeks, there had been rumors about attacks coming from the East and at the same time we read in the past three days how security forces found tons of explosives around it.
    A small village becomes big in the news
    Al-Rawda is a small village just like any other rural village in Egypt suffering from a shortage of basic services, its difference that it is in North Sinai governorate.
    There is one school complex in Al-Rawda serving its people, though the education level there is not high according to Mohamed Khalil.

    That school lost six teachers in the attackers along with their kids. Most of the teachers live in Bir Al-Abed but they prayed on that Friday in Al-Rawda Mosque. For the next two weeks, the remaining teachers reopened the school to a very small number of students from all stages.
    The Al-Rawda's Elementary schoolyard, empty
    two days following the attack "Sinai News" 
    “Almost all the women became widows and the children are fatherless in that village,” Mohamed Ibrahim said.
    There are no employees thus there are no official pensions. Special pensions were allocated to the villagers from both the government and Al-Azhar institution.
    Most of the men in Al-Rawda are day-to-day workers who work in the city of Bir Al-Abd or in the salt fields.
    Outside Al-Rawda Mosque
    Children searching for relatives' shoes and slippers in that pile
    outside Al-Rawda Mosque hours following the attacks "Mohamed Ibrahim"
    In the same week of the attack Sisi gave orders to build new cities in North Sinai like New Bir Al-Abd and I do not know how building a new city will solve any problem.

    The government discussed how to upgrade the standards of houses, electricity, water and sewage in the original Bir Al-Abd.
    The TV channels got others and they shifted to cover quickly.

    The first week following the attack life was hard for the Al-Rawda people who haven’t woken up from their shock yet, but they showed great resilience and patience like no other comparing to the size of their catastrophe.

    In his 1907-book about Sinai’s geography, Lebanese-Egyptian Shakib Noam spoke that the Jarirs were known in North Sinai by their grace and commitment to religion.

    Palestinians in Gaza were speaking about how the simple villagers there opened their houses and helped the Gazans who were stuck before in the Rafah Crossing Drama months ago.

    As Muslims, we believe that patience is a blessing of God and that those who are unjustly killed regardless where are martyrs whom on the Day of Judgement would ask the Almighty to pardon their families. Those people were killed while praying to God on a Friday in his House, they are believed to be better in place.
    From a psychological point of view, Al-Rawda villagers are still in shock but life goes on eventually.
    New carpets brought the mosque
    New Mosque carpets were brought to replace the blood-stained ones
    the week following the carnage when Sheikh Al-Azhar visited Al-Rawda.
    BY Mostafa Singer
    There was food as well supply shortage in there as the village depends completely on the city of Bir Al-Abd but as the surrounding highways were a military zone and trucks carrying goods are suspicious even those who got security permits. Even aid conveys from the valleys were not let in the first couple of days.

    Ibrahim spoke about how that week killed the movement of trade from the city of Bir Abd not to only Rawda but the rest of North Sinai.

    “We are killed everywhere now in North Sinai,” said Mohamed Khalil describing how the civilians in Egypt’s Eastern borders governorate are stuck in that war on terrorism.
    There is not official or estimation number of the civilian casualties of that war on terrorism in the past 4 years.
    “We got the message of the militants in Bir Al-Abd, they want us to spread fear in ourselves,” He added
    No group has claimed responsibility so far after two weeks of the attacks.

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    A sidi Abdel Rahman beach

    It is just safe for the time being !!!
    The Sidi Abdel Rahman beaches and its crystal baby blue water and white sand have survived for the time being a nuclear apocalypse as Putin and Sisi did not sign the final agreement of Egypt’s Nuclear power plant in Dabaa, which is a couple kilometers away from Egypt's best North Coast beaches !!

    They only witnessed the signing an agreement to launch work on Egypt's first nuclear plant between the Egyptian government and Russia Rosatom despite the final contract concerning the financial as well technical details have not been signed yet.

    According to Mada Masr, the Egyptian government, security bodies and State council's legislative committee have got serious concerns about the Russian offer' financially and technically but President Sisi decided to ignore all those concerns !!

    It turned out the Russians made a loose ambiguous contract that did not detail for example the ways to dispose of nuclear wastes !!

    Historically, Al-Dabaa location was chosen as the perfect place for a Nuclear plant since the 1960s when President Nasser was alive.

    Every Egyptian president since Nasser must talk about Dabaa and the dreams of having Nuclear plant and nothing has happened. Even in the short doomed rule of President Morsi, it was brought back and soon faded away.

    Anyhow, I am totally against it for two reasons: The environment and the Egyptian economy. Most countries are investing in renewable environment-friendly energy sources like Solar energy. I do not need to remind you that Egypt is in a perfect place for solar energy. 

    Why are we going to build that nuclear plant when we are building the so-called biggest Solar energy park in the world in Aswan governorate? 

    Economically, Egypt is going to $25 billion from Russia to build Dabaa Nuclear Plant with high-interest rate !! Yes, more debts for an energy that is going to be obsolete after a couple of years !!

    Anyhow, I am glad that we have not signed the final agreement because it seems like an agreement from hell !!! I am so worried that this beautiful area of Egypt's North coast will be polluted and affected by that Nuclear plant.

    Back to the Russian president's visit, I do not know what Vlad was doing in Egypt for real in his short visit.

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    Zamalek Obelisk

    Seen in Cairo: The underrated Zamalek Obelisk at Al-Horreya public Garden.
    I do not know much about its ancient history or its true location before it was transferred to its current location in a public garden in the upscale Nile island.
    I do not know which Pharaoh it has immortalizing his name all those years but one thing for sure , he did not imagine it would survive thousands of years keeping his name high in a public garden.

    Here is how it looks from the Nile.

    The obelisk of Zamalek
    The Nile view 

    The upper photo Via Instagram 

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    Egypt’s Museum of ancient Egyptian antiquities in Cairo aka the Egyptian Museum celebrated its 115th birthday in November and since then I wanted to share a new thing about it but what was happening in Egypt and the world since the last weekend in November did not give me a chance.
    It is never too late to celebrate the oldest Museum in Egypt, the Middle East and Africa.
    Here is a small video I have made about some of the hidden jewels of that beautiful Museum despite all its flaws.
    Those hidden jewels are mostly overshadowed by the great Tutankhamun’s collection.
    First of here is the video, I hope you like it and also you subscribe to my channel as I update it from time to time with nice as well serious things.

    I know that I am a better photographer than a videographer but one is learning from her mistakes whether from photography or videography.
    Now here are clearer views of those hidden jewels.

    We got our golden boy with an amazing beautiful mask.I could not believe how beautiful it was or how it was full of details.
    King Tutankhamen's mask at Cairo's Egyptian Museum
    King Tut's Mask after saving his beard thanks to the German experts
    I took that photo for the mask after recovering from the epoxy injury thing that happened and the Egyptian officials do not want to speak about.
    Here are also a couple of photos of some of his amazing artifacts. Ironically, this is is a small pharaoh who was not that strong and ruled for a decade only.

    King Tut's Golden sarcophagus at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo
    King Tut's Golden sarcophagus at Cairo's Egyptian Museum 
    I wonder what we would have seen in the tombs of many important pharaohs who ruled Egypt for decades.

    From King Tut's Collection at Cairo's Egyptian Museum
    Se the tiny details in that artifact, the dresses of those two goddesses!! 
    By the way, the officials began to transfer some of King Tut’s stuff from the Egyptian Museum in Cairo to the Grand Egyptian Museum in Giza. His beds were transferred as far as I know.
    Now to some of the hidden jewels I know some of you did not know that it existed before in the Museum.

    1) Wadi Kubbaniya skeleton

    This is the oldest skeleton for a human being found at Wadi Kubbaniya in Aswan governorate in 1983.
    Wadi Kubbaniya skeleton at Egypt's Egyptian Museum
    Add caption
    It is estimated to be 20,000 years old.
    Wadi Kubbaniya skeleton at Egypt's Egyptian Museum
    Add caption
    I used to think that there is the oldest human being’s skeleton but it turned out that there are even older skeletons than that one. Hopefully inshallah I will be able to trace them.

    2) Mernepath Stele

    Merneptah Stele "Israel Stele" at Cairo's Egyptian Museum
    Mernepath stele 
    Mernepath Stele or as commonly known as The “Israel stele” is probably the most controversial piece in the Egyptian Museum.
    It is the only text from the Ancient Egypt that included reportedly the word “Israel”.  Many archeologists say that the modern kingdom stele talking about the military victories of Pharaoh Mernepath mentioned “Israel” in its 27th line.
    “Israel is laid waste and his seed is not” Few words open a huge debate about the Israelites and Exodus. Modern day archeologists deny that the story has ever happened as it lacks any evidence.
    some say that it refers to the Exodus but according to the Torah, New Testament and Quran say that it was one Pharaoh and he drowned in the sea which Prophet Moses split by his staff.
    Some archeologists say that it was a mistranslation of the stele found in Luxor in 1896.
    The stele is always the center of a controversy that the Museum’s administration decided to put it in a place where it won’t catch any attention.

    I found it with the help of dear veteran guide and heritage activist Sally Soliman

    3) The Libyan Palette

    I am fond of the Prehistoric Protodynastic Egyptian section in the Egyptian Museum because it shows that how the Ancient Egyptian civilization came as result of having that sophisticated society.
    The Libyan Palette
    One of the remaining parts of the Libyan palette. 
    Hopefully inshallah in 2018, I will go again to the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir square and film more hidden jewels there for history lovers especially ancient Egyptian history lovers.
    Libyan Palette
    The second part of the Libyan palette
    From its name you can guess that even in Prehistoric Egypt, we have had relations with Prehistoric Libya in a way or another. There is not much about it in Wikipedia. Some say that the name of prehistoric ancient King Scorpion is mentioned in it whether he was Narmer or not. “Not the Rock”

    4) The Rahoteps statues

    My favorite couple from ancient Egypt: Mr. and Mrs. Rahoteps.
    Prince and commander of army Rahotep and his beautiful wife Nofret’s statues are from the perfect piece of art from Ancient Egypt for real. The old kingdom’s statues look like living human beings.
    The Royal ancient Egyptian couple
    Fourth dynasty's Prince and army commander Rahotep and his wife Nofret 
    Legend says that when their statues were found in his tomb in Giza from many decades ago, the modern Egyptian workers freaked out and thought that they were alive.
    The Royal ancient Egyptian Couple
    Fourth dynasty's Prince and army commander Rahotep and his wife Nofret 
    By the way, we know now the origin of that famous Egyptian army officers’ mustache.

    This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to beautiful treasures in that museum.
    Please tell me if you have any comments about the video clip.