Egyptian Chronicles: March 2009

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Breaking News : NAMRU Lab on TV

For the first time the NAMRU lab in Cairo opened its closed doors to the Egyptian Media. After few minutes on Dream TV2‘s 10 PM News night talk show Mona El-Shazley would air her visit with her crew to the famous lab.

Without going in to many details as I am already writing a post about the whole issue  in the last 48 hours in Egypt both the AUC and NAMRU lab were accused with very dangerous allegations that could affect the Egyptian-American relations.

Already this move from the NAMRU changed the course of my post

Wait for more information

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You Have To Love The American Transparency

What I love in this affair is that it was exposed by the Americans themselves through their democratic transparent system !!

Al Masry Al Youm from two days exposed a very big surprise. Through America in Arabic agency Al Masry Al Youm revealed to the Egyptian reader that the Pentagon contracted the American University in Cairo to provide it with confidential information about Egypt !! In other words the American University in Cairo was spying on the Egyptians.

Through the transparency principle the White House released its budgets in USA Spending. Gov where you can find in details the federal contracts of each department in USA “I hope one day we will have a similar website” , among these contracts in year 2006 a contract signed by the Pentagon and the AUC to provide the department of Navy exploratory researches through the NAMRU-3 Lab for $600,000

You do not need to think , we are speaking about confidential information based on exploratory researches about health issues in Egypt, our health issues , the NAMRU-3 Lab is very sophisticated, may be it gathers information about the Egyptians genetics , may be it tests some kind of viruses on Egyptians, the biological warfare does exist and this is a facility that follows the American army. 

Knowing how difficult and embarrassing the situation is ,the AUC hurried in less than 24 hours to deny the dangerous accusation saying that since year 2006 the university had a contract with the NAMRU unit in Cairo to provide help in H5N1 researches. Yes the H5N1,this is just came after the accusations of MP Laben in the assembly.The NAMRU contract was worth to  $ 1,964,035 since each year which means $600,000 each year.

The American Navy did not deny the news either ,its spokesperson confirmed the news, yes they contracted the AUC but not for bad stuff , there is nothing to hide whether from the AUC or the NAMRU or the U.S Navy after all that document is official and is available online.

On last Monday Popular TV Show 10 PM on Dream TV discussed the report of Al Masry Al Youm , one telephone call from a former Egyptian researcher who used to work in the lab for years was very interesting, he spoke about that 6th floor in the building who no Egyptians are allowed to enter. This was more than enough to create some buzz which could be very alarming to the Americans.

The NAMRU lab at first did not want to comment  or open its doors to the media but on Tuesday the lab after more than 50s years in Egypt has opened the doors for the media allowing the cameras to enter the closed doors labs. The lab invited both Mona El-Shazely and Al Masry Al Youm , they are so popular and credible in the eyes of many Egyptians plus they broke the news to the public.It was a smart PR move from the lab side, a tour in the lab with veiled Egyptian ladies and young Egyptian researchers speaking about how great the lab is.

On Tuesday night Mona Al-Shazely aired her visit and next Al Masry Al Youm published another report about their visit.

By the way it is scoop for Mona Al-Shazely and Al Masry Al Youm.I envy them.

I do not need to say that the AUC and NAMRU or rather the American embassy knew how dangerous the accusation was , it may not affect the official relations , but the unofficial relations and the image of America would be affected badly very much. The image of America in Egypt was enhanced a lot after Obama’s elections. The American Embassy won’t jeopardize this opportunity to enhance their image in Egypt.

Now this affair with my all respect is very alarming and dangerous. I do not have doubt that the Namru-3 Lab is not that bad or dangerous or working 24 hours since 1942 in order to harm the Egyptians ,on the contrary the most sophisticated scientific lab in Egypt helped and is still helping us a lot. Yet it is a foreign lab following a foreign army , may be from time to time there were specific researches we know nothing about about our genetics map or our genetic diseases , may be there are certain native viruses that were transferred to the US Navy labs to be developed to become dangerous viruses in the biological warfare , everything is possible.

There is an Egyptian proverb that says : be cautious but do not lose trust “this is the nearest translation I could reach to” . Do not attack the NAMRU lab and accuse them of plotting a biological warfare against the Egyptian people but be cautious. In a democratic system that lab should be monitored well enough by the State through its intelligence services , I do not know the GIE does this or not but I believe if you consider this is a national security matter then it must have the treatment of national security matter.

Needless to say you can have a similar sophisticated scientific research lab and you can actually have it in Egypt more than you can imagine , if you spend really on scientific research half what you spend on football and what you spend on the ministers’ expenses ,you can have it. Of course you have enough human resources more you can ever imagine. We can’t have that lab now unfortunately with all the  corruption we have.

In the end we should be careful because this is not an innocent world with innocent intentions, if it is not for ourselves , then for our children.

By the way Insh Allah I will post the NAMRU-3 Lab episodes as soon as they are uploaded :)

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Then what is the job of the minister !!

This week I have read strange comments from ministers in the current cabinet that made me wonder about the job of the ministers or rather their job description in this country.

Farouk Hosni , who wants to head the UNESCO said that it was not from the job of the minister of Culture to protect our monuments commenting on the theft and return of Mohamed Ali Royal paintings !!!

I do not know what to say except “and he wants to be the director general of UNESCO!!?”

Ahmed El Magraby , the minister of housing and utility said that it was not the job of the minister to arrest the corrupted employees working in his ministry in a democratic system !! It is the job of supervisory administrative authority !!!

He was commenting on the arrest of his aide Ashraf Kamal in huge corruption scandal !! Ashraf Kamal was a NDPian Policies committee member and was expected to be the next housing minister !!

These are just examples from our current ministers !!

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How many Egyptians were on its board ??

As soon as I read the news that illegal migrant boat sunk off Libya I knew that there must be Egyptians on board that did not make it to Europe !!

And I was right because there were Egyptians who were on board of that boat , it is not clear up till now how many people were drowned but thank God 6 Egyptians were rescued.

I do not know how many house in Egypt won’t sleep tonight and tomorrow till it knows the fate of its young men !! May Allah bless their souls and have mercy on their poor families.

Those young men wanted to live in a better life , a good life ,they did not want to do anything wrong, they did not want to commit crimes.

It is just sad because they are not the first and they won’t be the last :(

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Monday, March 30, 2009

The Usual Show In the Annual Arab summit : The King of Kings

It became a very expected thing to watch a comic show in the annual Arab summit since it was decided to hold the summits on annual basis.

I do not need to say who is starring the comic show because we already know him : The king of kings Gaddafi “He called himself the King of Kings of Africa in the summit”

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Today the international media did not speak about anything in the summit except the attack of Gaddafi on King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia.

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Here is part of video

and here is quick translation from what he had said :

I seize the opportunity to tell my brother Abdullah, you have been scared of confrontation for six years. I want to assure you today not to be scared. I am telling you after six years it was proved that lies stand behind you and your grave awaits you. You were created by Britain and protected by the U.S. I consider the personal issue that lasted between you and me is over and I am ready to visit you as well as receive you.

I am an international leader, the dean of the Arab rulers, the king of kings of Africa and the imam (leader) of Muslims, and my international status does not allow me to descend to a lower level

Of course in between there were parts that were muted on most TV channels from Qatar , according to the reporters these parts were in heavy Libyan accent no one understood in the hall !!  JANA has published the complete speech still without that part muted in TV !! Regardless of how correct Gaddafi was from historical point regarding the house of Soud , he should not rant because he is not less worse than the Saudis plus politely and politically he should not do it.

I do not understand why the Prince of Qatar apologized to him in the end because what Gaddafi told the Saudi King was like “ I am greater than you and I forgive you” !!! This was rude ranting ,his usual ranting !!

But I understand and respect how King Abdullah acted afterwards ,pretending that there was nothing and the Prince of Qatar appeared to reconcile between them in front of the cameras “despite Abdullah did not look to Qaddafi as far as I can tell” . I know for sure that the king won’t attend next year’s summit in Libya for Gaddafi black eyes. Already the Saudi media started to attack both Gaddafi and the prince of Qatar.

Gaddafi is trying to fire back at the King who attacked him from 6 years ago in Sharm El-Sheikh summit when Gaddafi was ranting against the Saudis and Crown prince then had to fire back using the wisdom of the old Arabs , of course Gaddafi did not understand anything then and kept asking what Abdullah had said !!!

As usual he always does or says “usually says” what makes the headlines in the media more than the summit itself taking in consideration no one really can stops him as it should , in fact I believe the last man who dared really to stop him from doing his usual comic show was Mubarak in 1990 urgent summit after the invasion of Kuwait. When Mubarak was the PRESIDENT of EGYPT and EGYPT was still EGYPT.

I can’t imagine what will happen next year in the summit when Gaddafi hosts the summit and becomes the chairman !! Already he suggested that the chairman would be given more powers from the Arab league !!!?? I do not want to imagine what he wants to do after all he is the king of the jungle !!!??

By the way I have a curious question

Who is that guy behind Gaddafi on the right hand ??

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He looks like some villain general from some comic book or even worse from some bad 1960s trashy spy cult film !!

As you can see Gaddafi succeeded in stealing the lights as usual !! There is nothing interesting to speak or comment about. I will comment later about Egypt in the summit.

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The Bloggers and Kamal

It became a lame thing in the official media to attack the Egyptian bloggers over and over , we know that the regime considers us the surprised pain in the ass that suddenly appeared from nowhere according to their view.

Still I have to share with you this, at least to express my usual anger.

Abdullah Kamal on Sunday wrote his op-ed about the Egyptian bloggers , the title of his op-ed  was “bloggers” and from the beginning till the end it was a complete attack on those group of Egyptian bloggers who exploited the freedom of expression given to them kindly by the regime in order to defame Egypt !!  Of course we should not forget that other from bloggers “from other countries” do not enjoy that freedom of expression online or offline !! He called for more control and supervision for the bloggers’ dangerous activities !!

It made me so angry despite I should not be , because I know that it is something normal from the regime side to trash us like any group in the country that stands with truth and seeks freedom for this country. Still it made me angry because I know that Kamal meant bloggers like me who speak about politics and I could not tolerate to be insulted by someone like him.

Just like Joseph Goebbels when I hear or read the word “bloggers” in the official media , I feel worried but I do not have a gun , I only have this blog to express my worries

Ironically Abdullah Kamal has a blog where he publishes his articles !!

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Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Arabic X-File : The Agent King

Mohamed Hassanein Haikel is under a huge regional fire , he is always under huge local fire for opinions against the current regime. Haikel is currently widely by  Jordan and his weekly TV show on Al Jazeera is said to cause a silent diplomatic crisis between Amman and Doha ,in fact it caused a diplomatic crisis.

The last two episodes of “With Haikel : Life experience” on Al Jazeera channel caused a lot of anger in Jordan as the famous journalist who used to be from the Egyptian ruling regime members in the last century especially in 1950s and 1960s said that late King Hussein of Jordan used to be on the CIA monthly payroll !! Yes the late King according to Haikel used to pay a salary from the CIA in order to be in the West side.

What sources did Haikel use this time ?? Well they are not his usual British or American documents but it is Ben Bradlee’s memoirs “A Good Life: Newspapering and Other Adventures”. According to that book when Bradley was the executive editor of the Washington Post he knew from the famous Bob Woodward that an Arab leader was taking a monthly salary from the CIA in 1970s , you got to admit that that was a scoop , they decided to follow up the matter especially A good life cover that during that time Woodward’s had only one source that did not reveal to him much information. Bradlee called the White House and after some calls he had a meeting with Carter who told him that he would put the United States in a very bad position if he published this info revealing the name of the Arab leader who was King Hussein. Carter told Bradlee that that monthly salary lasted for 20 years and that Jordan was a vital ally to the West during the 1960s ..etc. In the end Carter asked Bradlee kindly not to publish still the newspaper published the news without names or details. Ironically it was published before the meeting of Carter with King Hussein.

This was published in Bradlee’s book “A Good life” in pages 424-426.

Is it shocking !!?? It is not to me nor to anyone with my all respect to the Jordanian people who knows the history of the late King very well and his political position through out his ruling years. For God Sake the man himself confessed that he was the Arab ruler who informed the Israelis that the Egyptians and Syrians were going to launch a military attack on the 6th of October 1973 , it is undeniable incident that does not leave too much doubt in anyone about on which side that king used to play and how far he was going to. Already FYI Late President Sadat did not want to tell King Hussein about the date of the attack like the Syrians because he knew that he would go and tell the whole world. He only tell him on the same day where it would be useless to inform Israel anything. The regime in Egypt knew very 610x whom they are dealing with and please do not tell me it is the Nasserite era legacy because in 1973 President Sadat was in charge and he got rid all of the Nasserite era men in 1971.  For God Sake I can’t forget how the late King was crying on Rabin’s funeral , the man did not cry on his own father in same way and it is something well known !!!

Bradlee is still alive , Woodward is still alive and most importantly Carter is still alive , those people can be reached and asked about the accuracy of these allegations if the Jordanians are so keen to clear their king’s image then they must seek the truth from these men not to attack Haikel.

of course the Egyptian regime Press found it an excellent opportunity to start their usual attack on Haikel forgetting that the official Egyptian regime press always attacked King Hussein from time to time when Jordan does not have the same views with Cairo calling him a traitor working for Israeli. In fact Al Gomhouria chief in editor opened his fire on Haikel last Thursday in full page Op-ed forgetting that in that same old newspaper the late King was accused over and over by treason.

I do not defend Haikel , he has his own fans from the  Gulf to the Ocean to defend him but what I am defending the truth. Haikel is not angelic , it is enough that he was leading Nasser entourage.

Haikel does not deserve all that attack especially those who accused were Bob Woodward and Ben Bradley!! Why do not they have their share from the Jordanian attack ?? I think the Jordanian people were misled on propose by making them believe that Only Haikel is accusing their king , not all the people in Jordan watched Haikel’s show on that particular Thursday !!

I do not know why some Jordanians find it so hard to admit that their late King was not the greatest patriotic Arab king in the 20th century , I do not find it hard or insulting to say those  who ruled Egypt were not that good in the 20th century starting from Abbas Halmi II to king_hussein Mubarak !! Already if the Hashemites rule is downed some day in Jordan , all those accusations will be brought up as an evidence of how corrupted this royal family is as it is the custom of the revolutions and coups but this time there will be lots and lots of evidences.

The Jordanian People should not be angry because Jordan is not only the Hashemites or King Hussein and if they believe so then they are totally wrong.

Being a small country against Nasser nationalist power is not a justification for Hussein’s blind alliance to the West in 20th century.

BY the way I forget to tell you that to avoid any trouble in Amman Al Jazeera is going to air a special interview with some Jordanian ex-official where he would speak about the Jordanian-Israeli relations..etc by documents , he can say whatever he wants , it is well known history , I do not know how he would justify how his late king informed the Israelis with the time of the 6th October war

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Saturday, March 28, 2009

And What if He attends !!??

Today it was officially announced that Mubarak won’t attend the Doha summit. It was something accepted especially that the relations with Doha is turning from bad to worse with media and diplomatic wars from both sides.some people predicted that Mubarak won’t go after the deliberate protocol mistake Doha made in inviting him , do not get me wrong but Doha forgot deliberately that they should not send a simple envoy to invite Mubarak himself, the President Egypt , when it had to send the Prime minister. Of course their prime minister is not that popular Egypt from a very long time , it is not about Gaza but protocol is a protocol,at least send the foreign minister

With my all respect it is useless whether Mubarak goes or not ,the summit won’t reach to anything ,seriously the Arabs won’t agree whether Egypt attends or not. Simply because you do not expect from bunch of corrupted dictators to reach for something sincere.

Of course I would prefer on the other hand that Mubarak goes in order to save Egypt’s popularity. Already we know without any announced conflict that the Arabs agreed to disagree so it would not be a strange thing to have fight with Qatar and at the same time you attend the summit in Doha , in the end it is politics.

I expect that this summit like the previous ones will include strong word from Basher Al –Assad and a comic show from Al-Gaddafi and Al-Bashir.The Arab leaders  will show off their famous historical talking skills on that day as usual.

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Follow Up : Pre-April the 6th

  • The AUC students may join the strike on the 6th of April in order to reduce the tuition fees they are paying currently.
  • The private clinics across the country will be closed on the 6th  9th of April. This move is a part of larger protest the physicians in Egypt are currently carrying on to get their cadre.
  • Sufi movements are against the Strike !! And since when they are involved in Politics!!
  • A group of Egyptians in London will join the strike in their way , they will protest in front of the embassy.
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The first fatal H5N1 Case in 2009

45 days old “Basmallah" Mohamed Rabi’” died yesterday in the Fayoum general hospital because of H5N1, the baby girl could not be rescued especially that she was admitted to the hospital 24 hours before her death. The poor baby had a very weak immunity system compared to the virus. It could not resist it :(

Already  I wonder how the hell this little baby contacted infect poultry !!! Did her mother carry her around the house or what ??

May God give strength to her parents and family.

Basmallah was No. 61 I believe among the human infection case and No.24 in the death toll in Egypt.

I hope Basmallah would be the last fatal case in Egypt.

There are several suspicion cases across the country announced from this week but without confirmation of their infection and this is why I do not publish any news.

New  hot spots are discovered mainly in Delta on a regular basis now.

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Ramy and the Strawberry Statement

As the 6th of April 2009 is coming , I though of sharing with you some old post I forgot to post it in the right time in 2008, anyhow it is never too late.Already I believe it is possible to see that film shown on Nile Film channel next month.

The Egyptian cinema as a mirror of the society or as it is believed covered in 2008 the 6th of April Youth and their online activism and I wish it did not , at least for the time being.

In November 2008 Image for production released “Ramy El-El-Atasamy”  in the Egyptian cinema as a political social comic film.

The film plot is simply in order to impress the girl of his dreams in ramyala3tesamitw7 college , Ramy ; the high middle class good for nothing loser decides to lead a strike in order to change our national anthem because he can’t play it well on his guitar !! He would call for this strike through the facebook !! His strike will be the talk of the town and he will be featured in the TV and press.

In brief the film mocked from the 6th of April youth and their online peaceful activism

When the film was announced somehow people believed that it could be serious because Ahmed Eid , the hero of the film was known for choosing political films like “Film Thakafy” and “The night Baghdad fell” but it turned out it was another regime commercial film.Some people even went saying that it was a special tailored regime film. Good boys and girls do not call for strike !!!

I remember reading interviews for Ahmed Eid saying if the film did not hint to the 6th April youth or their serious strike with all respect to them because the censorship would ban it and how the censorship granted the script its approval on the 4th of April 2009 !! Yes 4th of April !! I do not believe him easily because before the 6th of April the facebook activism was not that known in the Egyptian society.

The problem is that the film did not hint to the 6th April youth but mocked them directly . It is not wrong to make comedies that do not reflect the current political scene in the country on the contrary it is a normal thing because people in the end want to escape from the bitter reality to a comical fantasy . It is wrong and unacceptable to mock serious and honest political young movements like the 6th of April in that way.

The only thing I like about that silly film is how they made Ahmed Ratab look like Ahmed Nazif.

Here is the film’s trailer

Ramy El-Atasamy official trailer

To tell you the truth before releasing the film I read a spoiler for the film saying that a university student will become an activist and call for a strike to impress his girlfriend  and I felt that the film was strawberry_large stolen from the Strawberry statement “1970”  but it was not , I was shocked and sad when I saw the trailer. It was the opposite from Strawberry statement ,it was a bitter statement.

Again I do not have anything against comedies on the contrary I love them but to mock a very important political force in your country in this silly way ,it is too much. Still the 6th of April youth were called all kind of names you would imagine in the regime media because they want a better future for the country !!! This film shows how they managed to do something , to stir this stagnant water !!

I believe if there is a real democratic change in this country , Ahmed Eid will come and say how he was forced to make that film !!

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Friday, March 27, 2009

So It is Israel after all

It seems that the news published in Al Shorouk newspaper on two successive days about that air strike in Sudan from two months ago were not all false.

It seems that there was an actual air strike in Sudan and people were killed because of it , but unlike to Al Shorouk claims the Americans were not behind it but i it was rather the Israelis !!

Tel Aviv confirmed indirectly but it won’t be a shock to  know that they were behind this strike “they did it before in Iraq and in Syria.

I do not know what to believe , the fact that only now the Sudanese regime is speaking about the matter now makes me wonder !! Seriously I can’t believe their justification that they took all that time “2 months” to investigate !! Investigate !!?? investigate what !!??  More than 30 persons were reportedly killed for God Sake not to mention that this is an attack on the sovereignty of the country itself !! It seems that the Sudanese regime is used to air strikes and it has not much sovereignty on the country as some believe ; indeed otherwise why would each region in Sudan wants to form an independent state now !!!

The implications of such attack if it was true are huge , I am not speaking about how how Israel broke international laws because Israel is above the international laws and treaties  since its founding in 1948 ,it is something natural . The implication I am speaking about  are :

1// The time of the announcement from the Sudanese side , Sudan could have announced the news since last January but for some reason they kept it as a secret with no respect to the Sudanese people , do not forget this convey could be transferring anything other than arms to Gaza. Thanks to Al-Bashir and his trial the Sudanese people won’t have their right back

2// The position of the Egyptian regime ; it knew since then and was silent for some reason.

3// Sudan has no air defences at all as it seems that their skies are widely open despite the Chinese and the Russian back up !!

I do not understand why Israel did not announce either about this strike in the same way they announced their Syrian adventure !! Did the Egyptian regime advised them to keep quite so it would not increase the public anger in the Arab street ??

Again I will ask the same question why has the Sudanese regime announced this dangerous attack now ???

Now I have another question to all the nationalists who are standing with Al-Bashir against the Western imperialist colonial conspiracy : What do you think about Al-Bashir now and he was silent for two month on a dangerous attack like this ?? 

I wonder if the Arab leaders will discuss this attack on Sudan in their expected meeting at Doha.

By the way It is also interesting that this revelation came after the attack of Al-Zawahary on Al-Bashir.

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When Our B and C Listed Celebs blog

I found out that MBC network launched a new service in their official website where Celebs can blog and communicate directly with their fans. Do not put too much hope after all among those MBC celeb bloggers Saad El-Soghair and Marwa not to mention most of those B and C listed celebs are speaking about their new projects nothing more nothing less !! I am waiting from them to tweet.
Anyhow this shows you how blogging became an important growing means of media in the Arab culture
For me the real celeb bloggers in Egypt are Mohamed Khan and Khaled El-Sawy
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Thursday, March 26, 2009

What Game you are both playing with the fate of your people !!

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Al-Bashir and Mubarak

More about Al-Bashir’s visit to Cairo ,please read this report.

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A Matter of National Security

Last Monday the Egyptian parliament saw a violent discussion it  did not use before to see it considering the topic of the discussion and how heated the discussion was.

For the first time as I recall the Egyptian parliament discusses publicly the authorization given to the President concerning the arms deals and military production. You read it right , I do not recall that the Egyptian parliament had ever discussed this matter publicly in this heated way , I believe it was like intelligence laws which are usually approved with little small announcement in the newspaper that can be missed easily.

Now I had to read and ask more about this authorization for a whole day because I did not have any idea about it.

Now to explain the fuss , I will take from your precious time few seconds and tell you that the Egyptian parliament like any respectable parliament has a committee called the national security committee ,among the roles of this committee is to check the arms deals the Egyptian army contracts and the military production in order to make sure that our money is not wasted in shady deals and our national security is safe.

But of course due to the fact that we are not democratic country and the fact that we had too many wars in the past all our arms deals are classified as the parliament granted the president of Egypt “the commander in chief” an authorization to make arms deals and make decisions regarding our military production without consulting the parliament.

This authorization needs to be approved  for renewal by the majority of the parliament every 3 years, of course all that time the majority has been for the NDP.  The authorization based on a law approved in year 1974. Since then it was something taken for granted that the president would be given the authorization.

Last Monday the authorization had to be renewed , for the NDP bad luck there were couple of opposition members who objected the renewal and dared to discuss the taboo. Already we are not in war and we are in the middle of a terrible financial crisis we have the right to know how each penny in our budget is allocated.

The opposition members were led by MP Talaat Al-Sadat  whom I am not surprised for his refusal ; after all if you remember he was jailed for a year in a military prison for implying by a hand gesture in a TV show that his uncle president Sadat may have been assassinated because of the shady arms deals of some generals in the Egyptian army headed by Abu-Ghazla himself.  Sadat had a tough confront with the NDPian members who rudely and boldly reminded him that he was in jail for a year !! “That particular NDP member is Ex-police general Omar Abdel Fatah”

One of the opposition members that stood against the renewal was MP Mustafa Shardi from Al-Wafd party. The opposition believe that it was not fair to renew the authorization especially that we are not in war and other parliaments know about the arms deals , in fact our all our arms deals can be known though the internet nowadays.

Not so shocking the MB members stood with Mubarak and voted for the renewal that will be valid till 2012 !! Do not we have a presidential elections in 2010 if I am not mistake !!??

By the end of the day Mubarak got his authorization with 2/3 of the votes , Ahmed Ezz is not fooling around in the parliament. 

I know that those arms deals should not be announced all the time but on the other hand it is not logic to claim in your official newspapers that it is a matter of national security that requires confidentiality because of Israel when you insist on exporting your gas and oil to Israel !!  This is what was mentioned in Al Gomhouria newspaper yesterday for God Sake. Gas and oil are used in military proposes , they are the  future fuel of our tanks and airfighters , the same future fuel we are wasting and you are speaking about confidentiality importance and national security !!!

What if some corrupted generals in time of Peace contract on old arms deal , how can we expose them before the time of war !!??

The Parliament gets involved in this matter in time of peace because of accountability and transparency principles , it wants to make sure that tax payers money is allocated in the best way ever to serve the national security of the country in time of war , of course I do not expect that the honourable NDP members would understand this , because they believe that they love the country more than us and know what is the best for her “this is why all their kids are graduated from the AUC and have the American citizenship”

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They will return whether we want it or not

The Egyptian government denied the news that thousands of Egyptian expats are going to return home from the Gulf area because of the economic crisis.

The news was speaking about 150,000 Egyptian workers and employees were laid off in UAE alone , it is expected that by summer the number will become bigger reaching to half million from the Gulf region. The government denies this news despite it is logic and expected.

I do not know why we do not admit it ,our expats will have to return back home without jobs because of the economic crisis !! We won’t be the only country that will suffer alone in the region for God Sake.

The government does not want to admit because it knows that those expats from employees and workers mean more burden it can’t handle .Those expats won’t find jobs easily in Egypt. Of course any wise government will work hard to provide jobs for those expats but as I said WISE government not Ahmed Nazif NDP businessmen government !!  Already the government does nothing to solve the current unemployment problem in Egypt so this problem would increase more and more.

I forget to mention that there are thousands of Egyptians who lost their jobs in tourism sector because of the crisis.

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Follow Up : Pre-April the 6th “2”

These are the latest updates about the coming strike or the coming expected strike on the coming 6th of April 2009.
  • The Muslim Brotherhood group has announced its position from the strike in 2009. They won’t participate. Well I am not surprised at all ,it is something expected from their part.
  • The NDP has started its counter-attack on the strike from now in an attempt to make the strike fail from now.
  • The workers  of land reclamation in 6 governorates announced that they will join the strike.
  • The NDP launched its youth “whom I feel so sad for” to attack 6th April youth using the same weapon of the famous group which is the internet. They believe by opening couple of facebook groups like the following group “The 6th of April thugs and the illusion of Change “ they will persuade people not to support the strike
The NDP believe that its plan will be successful one, they used this method before with the blogs and they failed , they are forgetting that the people are not that stupid to believe their tactics , for God Sake we learnt by by heart !!
  • The blogsphere is divided between those who endorse and call for the strike like Ahmed Abdel Fatah and those who think that it would fail this year like Arabawy for instance.
To tell you the truth I believe the 6th of April 2008 was a great change , it can be considered the first public strike in the history of Egypt. I can’t find a reason why we can’t wish for its success this year too especially that strikes became a daily sport in Egypt. Still I fear that the regime will work too hard this year to make it fail, last year no one imagined that it would be successful in that way but this year it is different especially with all those groups announcing that they will join the strike.
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Update #1 :
  • The National progressive unionist party announced its refusal to the strike just like last year , again it is something expected.

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Doodle 4 Google “My Egypt”

Google Egypt is participating in the official Egyptian orphan day in the best way ever if I may say.

Google Egypt as the international tradition of Google will change Google logo on the next 3rd April 2009 “The Egyptian orphan day” to one of the Google doodles drawn by 150 Egyptian orphans . That Google doodle is about “My Egypt” , how to express Egypt or how to doodle Egypt in the Google logo.

Now you can vote on those doodles to choose the doodle that will be feature on the next 3rd April 2009 here from the top finalist doodles.It is in Arabic but you can simply choose the doodle you like and vote for it.

I chose No.5 doodle by Adel Sami Zaglol, it is so beautiful

5  This is my Egypt ;)

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Will He come for real ?? Will Mubarak receive him for real ??

Anonymous Egyptian officials revealed that Omar Al-Bashir will visit Egypt on Wednesday despite the ICC arrest warrant. Of course officially this visit was not announced from the Egyptian side nor from the Sudanese side.

I do not know if it is true or not ,we will know insh Allah after few hours.

Egypt officially has not signed the ICC agreement up till now for reasons everyone knows still I do not know how the international reactions  will be and I can’t imagine them because already I do not know if Mubarak is going to receive him or not !!

It is interesting that the news of that visit was leaked after the visit of the Qatari prime minister to Khartoum.

By the way it is interesting that the Qatari prime minister Hamad bin Jassim knew the protocol and went by himself to invite Al-Bashir to Doha summit where as he sent some envoy to Mubarak from 2 weeks ago !!  Well whom I fooling the bin Jassim knows that Mubarak and his men can’t stomach him at all , in fact many Egyptians do not stomach bin Jassim despite they like watching his channel “Al-Jazeera” !!

Back to Sudan I have many scenarios in my mind concerning tomorrow.

Either he will come and go and nothing happens or something will happen.  Either ways we know tomorrow just after some hours insh Allah.

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Did this really happen ??

I found this news today on Al Shorouk newspaper front page and I do not know whether to call it a scoop or a miserable attempt to create a buzz nationally and internationally for the new newspaper !!

The newspaper “which I respect by the way” claims that the United States of America launched an air strike last January 2009 in the Sudanese territories!! The American forces hit a convoy made of 17 vehicles suspected to smuggle arms to Gaza during the war !! The convoy was hit near the Egyptian borders. it was suspected that it was heading to Sinai. The strike was too strong that it killed all the 39 passengers in the convey !!

May I ask why would Al Shorouk newspaper publish something like this without powerful proof including photos or names after 2 months of the incident ??

I know that the newspaper did not start to issue in January 2009 ,still it did not publish this scoop story as soon as it started to issue in February especially that  the incident according to their source in Sudan happened in late January !!

The newspaper did not mention the identity of that source who is of course as usual very close to the regime and very trusted source in Sudan.

I tried to search for this news online in other foreign sources but I could not find anything . I am surprised at the timing the newspaper chose to publish this report during the crisis in Sudan. Already according to the report the Sudanese regime did not know about the convoy but it was angry from the strike !! Of course it was not the first time that America attacks Sudan in that way but I wonder why Sudan kept silent on this attack especially the convoy was suspected to carry arms which means it could be carrying anything else !!! The story is not logic with my all respect.

I do not know what the newspaper wants to say from this report , there is something missing.

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This is the UN not the Arab League

I do not know what the Pro-Israeli war machine will say this time !!?? This is a UN report not an Arab league report or amnesty international report !!
This is a historical report for sure , I do not recall that the UN has ever exposed Israel like that before.
Gaza needed this report from a very long time.
Of course Israel has already attacked the UN human rights council using big words from the type "The UN supports terrorists ..etc.
The UN human rights council called in its historical report for an urgent end to the inhuman siege ,of course Israel won't listen but shall the Egyptian regime listen to the UN request !!??
Now to all those nationalists who wondered why no criminalized Israel in the west like Al-Bashir : This is the same human rights council that exposed Al-Bashir.
BY the way where is the Arab league war crimes investigation delegation ??
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Now The Turn is on the Turks after The Chinese

I found out that there is a Turkish School in Egypt , I saw its ad last week in Al Wafd newspaper I think !! Yes A Turkish school in new Cairo after a Chinese school in 6th of October.

This Turkish school is called Salah Al-Din international school.

It is not about education, now the Turkish rubber steel is finding a new market in Egypt thanks to Ahmed Ezz !! I do not need to speak about how the Turkish products are in every store in Cairo now !!

I do not hate the Turks on the contrary I admire how they manage to succeed like this whether in industry or showbiz and mostly important politics.

Obama chose Turkey where he will address the Islamic world from , from the heart of the neo-Othman Empire. I wish we will be like them one day !!

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The Canadians ask that same question too !!

 globeandmail.com: Who will be Mubarak's heir?

Patrick Martin continues to speak about Egypt for the second week in role . This is time he is speaking about our the question which we are all asking in Egypt. Of course we will know the answer in the end ,it is something natural.

Martin was better than the previous time despite he was moderate and soft on Gamal Mubarak , already he did not say or add anything new to our knowledge concerning the possible candidates . He is either Gamal Mubarak or Omar Soliman.

It is so interesting to know that some people actually watched Gamal Mubarak’s interview on the CNN and paid attention to how the famous network introduced JR to the world wide viewers as "Gamal Mubarak, expected to be next Egyptian president."imageview

What is more interesting is to see Taher Helmy speaking in politics in  this way , Helmy usually speaks about economics in the Egyptian media. The famous Egyptian lawyer is from the close friends of GM and as Martin described him he is the man who drafted many of the laws that ushered in Egypt's economic reforms ; I think that makes him a bad guy in the eyes of too many people including me .Martin did not mention how these economic reforms actually destroyed the Egyptian Economy and industry !!! This man was in the privatization committee for God Sake where they used to sell valuable factories for nothing .

Of course Helmy favours GM , I love the part where he was speaking about that democratic process called elections and how GM will be judged like any other candidate !!!!! Yes when elephants not pigs can fly !!??

It seems that the NDP propaganda machine is working from now to pave the way for GM to be accepted in the west indirectly !!

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Monday, March 23, 2009

Cairo University Vs. Ain Shams University

Lately I have noticed something from my conservations with my co-workers and friends who are graduated from Ain Shams University; I noticed some how they underestimate the Cairo University graduates believing that their university is much more better in knowledge than Cairo University.

I am a Cairo University graduate and I am very proud of my university and this sort of talk makes me sad for two reason :

1- I feel that they are saying to me indirectly that I am not good as they are because they are Ain Shams graduates where as I am from the losers University aka Cairo University where the education system is not tough , for instance they take more courses in their faculties in the semester than most of the faculties in Cairo University.

2- I think that is not acceptable to have this sort of rivalry “My university is better than yours” , we are all university graduates from national universities and we should be proud of this .

Already instead of having this Harvard Vs. Yale thing , why not to try improve both universities. Both universities suffer a lot whether from the security intervention in the campus or the administrative corruption.

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Sunday, March 22, 2009

The State Budget of the Egyptian Kingdom in 1948-1949

These are scans from Al-Mussawar Magazine in its golden days in year 1948. Please click the scans to see much better.

State Budget of Egypt in 1948 - 1949

The state’s budget ; where it comes from and where it goes with a complete easy illustration to make the citizen understand the sources and allocations of the budget.

It was not hard or sophisticated ,in fact it was simplified to the simple reader to know all what he wanted about the State’s budge.

State Budget of Egypt in 1948 - 1949

First of all you must remember that this budget was before the nationalization of the Suez Canal , second it was the war’s year in 1948. Yes this was our budget during the war year. I think this budget was prepared either by Mahmoud Fahmi El-Nukrashi Pasha cabinet or Ibrahim Abdel Hadi Pasha cabinet. “El-Nukrashi was assassinated in 1948”

State Budget of Egypt in 1948 - 1949

The total state budget in fiscal year 1948-1949 was L.E  183,435,100 “Without the Suez Canal nor oil and gas exports  nor tourism nor Egyptian expats !!”

The main sources of revenues at that time were : “Main sources of income”

  • Customs “ More than L.E 56 Million”
  • The inheritance tax “I do not know much about it but I believe it is based upon the inherited properties during that time before the nationalisation laws

Now the main allocations at that time were :

  • Defending Palestine “ L.E 30,000,000”  {I doubt any Arab country in that allocation that sum of money to defend Palestine}
  • The war ministry budget “L.E 20 Million”
  • The transportation ministry budget “ L.E 18 Million”

And the big surprise to me and the big shock to all those who attacked the Royal family during that time.

  • The least allocation in the State budget of the Egyptian kingdom was the Royal allocation !! It was only “L.E  1,038,251” !! Can someone please tell how much are the Presidential allocations in the state’s annual budget now !!!?? King Farouk had a fight with the Wafd cabinet in order to buy a new bed room to Queen Nariman  when he married her , he wanted to have a loan for his next year royal allocations and they refused it !!

This is the Royal Family that was always accused to be thieves who were sucking the blood of the poor people !!!

This budget was made during a tough war and surprisingly there was no deficit and the internal debt was only 5 million !! Again there was no National Suez Canal Company , there were no oil and gas and there were no tourism industry like now !!!  I forget to say that the Egyptian pound during that time was much powerful than US dollar  !!

In 2008-2009 state budget there is a deficit equal to L.E 82 Billion “$ 15.2 Billion” !! Do not tell me that we are 80 million Egyptians now because in 1948 they did not have as much productive resources as we do now !! Do give me lessons about the changes in economy and history and how Egypt has suffered from wars simply because Mubarak has ruled  a normal peaceful stable Egypt  for more than 25 years !!

Photos : From Amir Sisi Flickr ‘s scans collection.

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Saturday, March 21, 2009

Who Spread H5N1 in Egypt ??

I know that it is strange question because naturally due to the position of Egypt in the world ,the birds will pass by in their annual migration; Conspiracy theories may rest in this issue because all the world suffer from it in a way or another.

But it won’t rest for MP Ali Laben”MBs” in the parliament who asked 788140 directly the prime minister and ministers of Agriculture and Health about the involvement of the NAMRU-3 lab in spreading the H5N1 virus in Egypt.In other words he accuses the Americans to spread the virus in Egypt along with the Israelis too !! “Some Israeli experts have attended the H5N1 conference in Sharm El-Sheikh last year !! Already this was an international conference held by the WHO as far as I know”

Laben accused the lab to experiment the virus on the Egyptians in the Abbassia fever hospital ,of course the lab is not in the hospital but rather adjacent to it . I understand that Mr. Laben concerns about the country but this is too much ,it is not logic at all ,this is pure conspiracy theory I am afraid.

We are talking about science and logic here.He is forgetting that in all the infection cases in Egypt birds transfer the virus to the humans , all the H5N1 victims in Egypt were mostly from rural villages.The WHO documents every single condition and currently the lab and the WHO publishes directly online all the info regarding the progress of the virus.

The MP does not understand how dangerous the virus is , already I wonder if he believes the United States had spread the virus in Asia !!?? Ok what if this lab was not American but were Russian from the old Soviet Egyptian relations time !!?? Or were following the EU !!?? Or even the WHO ??

If I were in the MP place , I would ask about how our poultry industry was doomed despite we had the opportunity to save this industry and our position as one of the main exporters of poultry in the region !! Why we have not revived this industry and we opened the doors for imports !! This is what the the MP should ask ,relevant questions not spread conspiracy theories.

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Happy Mother Day

Happy Mother Day to all the Egyptian Mothers in the world

Queen Farida and her daughter Princess Farial

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Follow Up : The Royal Paintings are restored

Oh yes surprisingly they were restored on Thursday or rather were found on Thursday. The stolen Royal Paintings of Mohamed Ali dynasty were surprisingly  found near the Mohamed Ali Palace at Shubra, thrown in some street !!

The Police received an information about their place from an anonymous caller who is suspected to be the thief. The Police will continue to investigate their theft according to Farouk Hosni !!

Now some people will claim that the statements of Hosni and Hawas that the paintings are not worthy made those who stolen the paintings to return them back , well I do not know what to say expect what if they are worth much for real which they are actually !!??

This is not the first theft that takes place in the Palace by the way which the ministry of Culture instead of turning it in to wonderful museum is renting it as ballroom for weddings and product launches events !!

I have got a wonderful suggestion to both Zahi Hawas and Farouk Hosni; instead of building multi-million new Egyptian museum in  Cairo-Alexandria highway in time of  global recession why not to put those ancient Egyptian treasures in Palaces like the Mohamed Ali Palace in Shubra or the Andrewos Palace in Luxor !!?? It is like hitting two birds with one stone !!

Of course I know they will not read this and even if they will , they will not listen or even think for a moment in my suggestion.

I hope Hawas orders the reopening of the Palace again as it was shut by his orders after the theft.

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