Egyptian Chronicles: May 2013

Friday, May 31, 2013

#Nile Crisis : Dear Egyptians We Are in Deep Water !!

It seems that we are in deep water when it comes to the Nile crisis , we are in this alone. We counted on Sudan but it seems that surprisingly the Islamist Pro-MB regime in Khartoum is playing for its own gains.
Together for the Nile Valley Renaissance
After officially denying that Sudan will head to the Arab league seeking help against Ethiopia , the Official Spokesperson of the Sudanese government , the minister of culture Ahmed Belal Othman stated that Sudan supported the dam. Othman also added of course the whole thing depends on coordination between the three countries.
Now I do not understand the Sudanese government position considering their so-close relations with the Muslim brotherhood after all the International organization of MB held its annual meeting in Khartoum last year.
Turkish news agency Andolu says that Sudanese experts say that the relations with Addis Abba were better than Cairo and that Khartoum may use the water card with Egypt in order to claim Hala’ib triangle. In other words the unnamed experts say that Khartoum may or is actually blackmailing Egypt.
Amazingly Sudan will be harmed from that dam badly and according to experts if this dam collapses while it is being operated in its full capacity many parts of  Sudan will be drowned.
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Thursday, May 30, 2013

#NGOs Draft Law is Here

The Egyptian Presidency has released the NGOs draft Law to the public at Mohamed Morsi’s official Facebook Page today. Oh yes because it is an official and professional presidency , it publishes the 40 pages draft law in a photo album
Anyhow to help others , I downloaded the draft law and transferred in to a PDF. You can read the draft law after the break as a PDF.
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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Cairo Opera House To Strike

Artists and employees of Cairo Opera House Protested today and started a strike for the first time in the history of the Opera demanding the dismissal of the minister of culture.
No for the minister of culture "Ahram Online Arts"
The artists and employees were shocked today to find the newly appointed minister of culture issued a sudden decision to sack the head of Cairo Opera House Ines Abdel Dayem earlier today.
Staging a protest outside the Opera house in Zamalek Tuesday afternoon , Musicians from Cairo symphony orchestra, artists, dancers and visual artists joined the protest holding banners and chanting against the minister of culture Alaa Abdel Aziz.
 They even asked the people to honk if they hate the Muslim brotherhood.
If you hate the MB , honk "Ahram Online Arts"

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#Nile Crisis in #Cairo Thanks to Renaissance Dam

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The Nile in Aswan
Whether the Muslim brotherhood likes it or not , the current Nile crisis with Ethiopia is the biggest challenge facing President Mohamed Morsi, the biggest for real. This is the Nile Challenge.
It is now his true capabilities as a President are being tested. This is not Gaza where Hamas, the MB branch in Palestine is , this is Egypt’s national security and future we are speaking about.
For those who do not know what I am speaking , today in a provoking move the Ethiopian government diverted the course of the Blue Nile preparing for a new stage in building the Grand renaissance Dam.It is provoking because the diversion of the Blue Nile was supposed to take place after the trilateral commission’s report in September 2013.
The trilateral commission is made of experts from Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia as well foreign experts who are studying the effects of the dam on the downstream countries “Egypt and Sudan. The commission’s report was already going to be issued by the end of this month. The last meeting in Cairo , this month. Update : On Wednesday the report will be issued and the Egyptian presidency will declare its position accordingly. Leaks in the report say that Ethiopia did not fully cooperate with the commission and withheld information about the dam.
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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The video of the Week : When Islamists Sing .. #Ultras Song

This should be the video of the Week after all who would think that Islamists would sing the famous Ultras Ahlawy “UA07” song against police in the court instead of their usual Islamist chants.

Islamists sing UA07 Anti-Police song

Amazingly a woman wearing Niqab led the chanting !! Of course she did not continue nor did the brothers complete the song with its lyrics.

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The Renaissance Dam , The Latest Achievements of the Renaissance Age

It does not rain but pours indeed.
The Ethiopians are celebrating today the change of the stream flow of the Blue Nile today as one of the most important phases of constructing the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. 
You can watch the ceremony here live.
According to experts this step will affect the water share of Egypt by 30%.
From ETV
It is worth to mention that President Morsi was there from two days. What the Ethiopians are doing today is not surprising ,this move is not a decision taken in a day or night but let's say we are paying at all in the South  whether the embassy or intelligence. The failure continues from Mubarak administration to Morsi administration.
Now crisis management in both Sudan and Egypt.
Sudan will go to the Arab league , oh yes the Arab league !!
Now in Egypt for couple of hours ago you could not get the minister of irrigation on the phone or his spokesperson as both closed their mobile phones. Nevertheless the ministry held a meeting and issued a statement.
In nutshell this is what was mentioned in the statement :
  • The diversion of the Blue Nile Course will not affect the our share of Water !?
  • We are waiting the tripartite Commission's report about the dam's effects on Egypt and Sudan. 
  • Egypt's silence does not mean its approval on the dam
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Can We Start Speaking about Sexism in our Advertising Please ?

Yesterday millions of Egyptians saw this ad on the first page of Ahram Newspaper ,the most spread ,semi-official and state-owned newspaper to find this ad.
"Like any other ad , we brought this beautiful girl to tell you that maintenance service is working" Siltal refrigerators 


I do not know what to say !! This is Al Ahram Newspaper and this is Front Page and yet nobody paid attention to the sexist message of the ad. 
I know that this is the tip of the ice berg when it comes to advertising and sexism in Egypt , in fact in the world but it is just disgusting and sick to open the morning paper to find this ad in the front page.
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Monday, May 27, 2013

Save our heritage , Save our history for God sake "Updated With Photos and Info"

Yesterday we were shocked to find out through the Facebook as usual that a historical gate in Islamic old Cairo was demolished. Yes it was demolished or to be accurate was bulldozed by some contractor !!!!!!
The photos are horrible.
Before the gate looked like that by Amina Abdel Bar

After the bulldozer attack :(( 
The gate of Bab Al Wazir was the among the remaining gates of old Cairo. Here is another page about the Gates of Old Cairo in Tour Egypt.
I want to cry and scream.
More photos and information about the building that turned to be a building and not a gate.The photos are from Reuters' Aswat Masrya by Ahmed Hamed
 Now it turned out that the building is not from the historical gates of Cairo. That building was built in early 19th century for the Sheikh of Al Azhar then Sheikh Abdel Rahman Kara'a. It turned out that despite it has a very distinguished style and despite it is located in a historical area , it was not registered as historical building. The reason is not clear why it was not registered as historical building.  

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Sunday, May 26, 2013

#Egyelections : Army and Police to Vote and the debate goes on

Yesterday the Supreme constitutional court “SCC” has ruled out for the first time that the army and police personnel can vote in the Egyptian elections and referendums.
This court rule is based upon the constitution issued and approved last year by 64% specifically the following article 55 :
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Army and police in the latest referendum
It is a national duty for citizens to participate in public life. Every citizen has the right to vote, run for election, and express his opinion through a referendum. The law specifies these rights.The state commits itself to entering each citizen who is eligible to vote into the voter registry without requiring an application.The state guarantees the peacefulness and integrity of referenda and elections. State organs that interfere in these processes with the goal of influencing them are committing crimes punishable by law.
Other articles the court mentioned in its reasoning : 
Article 33
The citizens enjoy equality before the law. They have identical rights and public duties. There is no discrimination among them.
And
Article 64
Work constitutes a right, a duty, and an honor for every citizen. The state guarantees it on the basis of equality, justice, and equality of opportunity.Forced labor is permissible only to the extent stipulated by law.The public servant works to serve the People; the state awards government employment to citizens according to merit, without favoritism. Any deviation from this is a crime punishable by law.The state guarantees every worker’s right to a fair income and vacation days. It also guarantees pensions, social security, health care, protection against occupational hazards, the availability of safety provisions in the work place, in accordance with the law.Workers may only be fired under circumstances that are specified by law.Peaceful strike is a right, regulated by law.
In other simple words the court ruling depends on the fundamental rights of citizenship and equality as long as there is no clear article that says the army and police personnel are not allowed to participate as voters in the elections and referendums as in past constitutions like in constitution 1971.
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Gold Rush in The South

The mining for minerals in Hala’ib triangle especially gold is part of the dispute between Egypt and Sudan. Actually in late 1970s or early 1980s the dispute surfaced when Sudan signed an agreement with some American or Canadian mining company to mine gold there “despite it is disputed territory and Egypt officially believes that the triangle is considered an Egyptian territory
It is just an irony that despite the people there live in extreme poverty , they are surrounded by rich area of minerals above them gold mine
 Financial Al Mal Daily newspaper reporter Mohamed Ragab travelled to Hala’ib and filmed there the unofficial/illegal gold mining there. He did not say the exact location but it is between the cities of Hala’ib and Shalateen. The speaker in the video who is wearing the galabiya is not a native if I may say, he seems to be of Upper Egyptian origin.
Gold mining in Hala’ib triangle
The people there extract gold from the gold veins found in that mount in the triangle for four years now. Amazingly the deal is as follows a guy comes with gold detector along with workers and a transportation vehicle and in the end the profit is divided by three.
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Saturday, May 25, 2013

Follow Up : Mohamed Ali Palace in Shubra El Kheima

This is a follow up post for the Mohamed Ali Palace in Shubra El Kheima and what I wrote about earlier regarding the palace.
Tweep @Ronna56 works in the ministry of culture and she told me on twitter that the engineers and experts in the ministry already wrote a report about the bad condition of the palace. 
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A photo for ceiling by Howard Jones
@Ronna56 , who is also an engineer says that according to the report “Wadi Al Nil for constructions” committed horrifying mistakes in the renovation like for instance like using bad type of fire stop plastic pipes that led to water leaks if I understood correctly affecting the old palace. The report is supported by testimonies from professors in engineers.
Allegedly the construction company follows the General Intelligence , thus no one dared to speak up and criticize their work !!
The report predicted that the palace will collapse from several years ago.
I do not understand we did not spend LE 55 million to have fancy restaurants and gala hall , this is a part of our great history. Egypt was ruled from this palace , in fact that palace witnessed the birth of Modern Egypt !!
The report is kept in the ministry of culture for anyone interested. I believe the ministry should represent it a report the prosecutor general despite he will not do something still this is the right legal step available.
At the same time I urge the journalists to dig for the report and publish it in their newspapers and websites in order to force the government to do something. It seems that this is the only way available to us.
Here are @Ronna56's tweets  in Arabic

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Thursday, May 23, 2013

No Electricity , No Bills

As Egypt began to be hit by a new wave of blackouts for long hours from North to South Egyptians , some Egyptians began to think to object in their own way : They will not pay the electricity bill.
People are leaving messages on their doors and gates that they will not pay the electricity bill.
Tanta : we are not pay the electricity bill 
Why to pay for something they do not get especially in exams season !? 
Hers is a Facebook event page as well a Facebook Page for the campaign
This is a peaceful pressure tool I believe whether you or disagree and yet millions are harmed as a result of having reactive government that did not act as it should since last summer. It is worth to mention that there is increase in the electricity bills.
Since last summer 2012 and the massive blackouts we suffered from in the country as well with the shortage in fuel , there have been warnings that the blackouts will continue in summer 2013 and yet from what I see the government did not do anything to prevent or to stop this new crisis or even prepare for it. I swear to God I know that this crisis goes back to time of Mubarak during the summer but what the new democratically elected president and his government have done regarding this pressing problem for two years !?
I am tired of having reactive governments before and after the revolutions. I am tired of having a government that does not save energy itself , why on earth we find light posts in the daylight working ?? Why can not we have solar light post like solar billboards for God sake !?
Now part of the government responsibility as well the NGOs and the media to be frank in this time is to provide people with alternatives trying to save energy.I am not speaking about Hisham Qandil’s type of advices like all the family members stay one room wearing cotton underwear and one air conditioner is on. I am speaking about energy saving bulbs. I am speaking about instructions for emergencies whether health emergencies or security emergencies.
Again it is not the role of the government only but the society and its NGOs as well.
I am speaking about using solar charges for mobile phones and other devices. I am speaking about encouraging people especially in new communities and rural areas to use solar heaters. I wrote about this before and I will continue to write about it again. By the way I heard that people in areas like October and Sheikh Ziyad began to think about buying solar generators ‘rich class’.  I do not know why the government does not support those people and help them , at least it will lift some of the burden.
Already I can not believe with that amount of sand and sun we have got in Egypt , we do not manufacture solar heaters and solar plates . For God sake we were the first to try solar energy !!
By the way we will face even tougher times with upcoming fuel problem in the summer.
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Leave Cairo's Saint Patron Alone For God sake !!

I am getting tired of hearing that sort of news everyday.Yesterday I found photos showing horrible agression on Sayeda Zeinab Mosque in Old cairo. First you can read more about the history of that mosque and shrine in Cairobserver blog. You will be shocked to know that this mosque is not listed as Islamic monument !!
Now It seems that either the ministry of endowment or some people decided to paint the old mosque as they want. They began to color the roof white the minaret was painted by pink !!
Here is a photo gallery for what happened exactly in the mosque from Historic Cairo Facebook Page.

 It is unclear who is behind this cultural agression. Some say that it is the ministry of endowment while others say that they are some El Sayeda fantatics trying to get rid to celebrate the birth of Cairo's Saint patron in their own way !!
Either ways the ministry of culture and its Urban harmony sector are extremely angry and they demand that nonsense to stop right way.
The head of the Sayeda Zeinab district claimed that he did not do anything about the painting of the mosque !! 
The district stopped the painting thank goodness but one must wonder what if those photos above did not make it online.
By the way I think the ministry of culture and ministry of antiquities should pay attention to what is happening to the old mosques related to Islamic saints. I wrote before about Sultan Abu Ela Mosque and nothing happened. By the doom of Sultan Abu Ela mosque is painted white. 
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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

And The Soldiers Are Back and Free

From four hours ago the official spokesperson of armed forces announced the end of the hostages crisis in Sinai with the following message : 
The 7 kidnapped soldiers are in their way back to Cairo after they are being released thanks to the efforts of the military intelligence with the help of the tribes chieftains and honorable people of Sinai. 
I think my predictions were right.
After an honor we found that the soldiers would arrive to Al Maza Military airport where President Morsi , minister El Sisi of defense and PM Qandil were waiting for them.
Morsi, El Sisi, Qandil and Ibrahim at Al Maza airport 
During that time the soldiers were being prepared to show  up shaved and wearing their uniform. The soldiers look even younger and distraught.

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Sinai’s Hostage Crisis Day#7: Statements and Conferences

On Tuesday we found the admin of the official FB page of SCAF “Do you remember him !?” posting a very interesting Wall post about the latest developments in Sinai. The post’s title was “The last message” and it was more of warning.
Up till this moment , I repeat till this moment we respect the Egyptian blood despite how awful the terrorist act but our answer will be quick and touch. It will be devastating and we will not have mercy on the terrorists or those who will help them by protection or shelter.
This page is from the official FB pages following the Egyptian armed forces last time I checked.
Amazingly the Salafist Jihadist group in Sinai issued a statement on the same day. First the group holds the presidency , the ministry of interior and the commandership of the army the responsibility of what happened. Neglecting the demands of the detainees families and torturing one of the detainees “Hamda Abu Sheita” till he lost his sight led to what we see from what I understood in the statement. This makes me wonder whether the unidentified group was related to the families. Also how the group  knew about this.
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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

To Negotiate or Not to Negotiate , To Attack or Not Attack , The Options currently in #Sinai

We have got a national security crisis in Egypt , the recent kidnapping of the soldiers in Sinai is a huge challenge for the Egyptian state whether for the Presidency “as in Morsi’s administration” or the army or the police.
The presidency and the army are in extreme critical position with not much options. All the options come with the price especially we are speaking about Sinai.
Sinai and its tribes got its own share from neglect and security mistreatment especially in the last ten starting with Taba explosives and what followed it from random arrests by state security. We are not speaking the tamed Nile Valley but a tribal environment with people of high dignity.
After speaking to several people from Sinai in the past two years I can say the locals especially from tribes did not forget what the ministry of interior. “We will not allow the old days of El Adly and Mubarak to return back” this phrase I heard from locals in Sinai too many times including today.
I believe the army and the police understand this very well especially the military intelligence that runs the show in the North and the South. Thousands of men were arrested randomly whenever something happens in Sinai and some of them were badly tortured by security forces. They can’t forget the humiliation they faced.
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Monday, May 20, 2013

And Who is that sick person behind this stupid act ?

Just today people in Alexandria were shocked in the morning to see the beautiful and iconic Mermaid statue disfigured by some assholes , yes assholes.


Some idiot or idiots threw blue paint on the beautiful statue made by famous artist Fathy Mahmoud. I am so angry.
Anyhow a group of Alexandrian activists are having an event to clean the mermaid next Friday.
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Sunday, May 19, 2013

Kidnapped Soldiers appear in Video "Updated"

In a major development today a video surfaced online allegedly for the 7 kidnapped soldiers in Sinai. The kidnapped soldiers identified them and their ages. They demanded to President Morsi to release all Sinai's political detainees. They are blindfolded. They say that they are tortured. They are begging Morsi to release the detainees especially Sheikh Hamda Abu Sheita. "Updated : The video has been removed because it violates YouTube's policy regarding violence"
We are not less than Gilad Shilat whom Israel traded for 1000 Palestinian prisoners
Said the soldier Sobhi who directed his talk to both Morsi and El Sisi.
Hamda Abu Sheita was the one who was allegedly tortured till he lost his sight in Tora prison last week. Abu Sheita was one of the leading figures in the Salafist Jihadists trend in North Sinai. He was arrested last year.
It is just sad video. The average age of the poor soldiers is 20 years.
The video is uploaded by "SSAS SSAS" channel in YouTube. The user has joined the video uploading service only today. It was uploaded from 7 hours ago and strangely only now people are paying attention.There is no official reaction about it so far.
More to come.
Ok an official reaction :
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Can We Save Mohamed Ali Palace in Shubra El Kheima ??

Culture activist Sally Soliman spoke on her twitter account about what happening and is happening to Mohamed Ali Palace in Shubra El Kheima and it is not good.
First of all Mohamed Ali Palace in Shubra is one of the most oldest and beautiful palaces remaining from Mohamed Ali Era itself. Mohamed Ali Pasha ordered its construction in 1808. The construction of that palace finished in 1812.
A painting showing the palace during the day of the Pasha
The Palace is built like the Palaces in Istanbul , extremely beautiful. 
It was neglected for years yet in 2000 the minister of culture then Farouk Hosni suddenly remembered. Not less than LE50 millions were allocated then for the restoration works in the neglect palace. About 14 experts in the restorations of palaces from Italy and France were brought in to help in its restoration.
In 2005 it was re-inaugurated by Mubarak in a very big celebration. Of course since then we knew that the palace was being rented for big galas , parties and weddings especially for the VIPs like former NDP leading member and policy maker Mohammed Kamel "He is still in the scene and last thing I know about him was being an adviser to Ahmed Shafik."
Now Soliman shocked us and told us online that part of the palace is collapsing.

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Saturday, May 18, 2013

After the Jews of Egypt , Watch The Italians of Egypt

Just like Jewish community in Egypt , there was big Italian community in Egypt prior 1952. The community found a place in Egypt since 19th century.Spot 1 and Al Jazeera Documentary decide to explore the history of this community.

The Italians of Egypt_trailer from SPOT1.TV on Vimeo.

When I think about it Egypt was much tolerant and open to the other with its cosmopolitan nature past more than today despite in the past we did not have many educated people like now.

I know that we are paying the price of the wrong nationalism policies adopted in 1960s and have been used since then by our presidents. These nationalism policies turned in to ugly chauvinism.

The documentary was already screened earlier this year and according to its official Facebook page its DVD in Italian is available in Europe. I would like to see the documentary so I will search if there are other versions translated in to English or Arabic.

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Friday, May 17, 2013

And Our Soldiers Are Not Released Yet in #Sinai "Updated"

And 24 hours have passed and the soldiers that were kidnapped in Sinai earlier Yesterday have been released despite all the news reports , leaks and rumors claiming that they will be released soon.
First of all according to different 3 sources to close Sinai locals and tribes as military and security sources I know what happened earlier yesterday was as follows : Earlier Thursday families of Salafist prisoners in Tora prison protested against their alleged ill treatment and torture in the prison. Some say that one of the prisoners Hamed Abu Sheita was actually tortured till he lost his sight.
Younis Makhioun , the leader of Al Nour Party had already published a post about this prisoner in his official Facebook page condemning the prisoner’s torture.
Now the prisoners’ families and groups cut the highway vowing to kidnapping any official passing by searching the cars and taxis. The 7 conscripts were taking a taxi from their camps to spend their vacation back to Cairo. They were busted thanks to their haircuts and their uniform.
The prisoners are militants allegedly from Jihadist Salafists who were convicting of killing 5 security officers and one civilians during a series of attacks in summer 2011 on Al Arish city police station and Al Arish branch of Bank of Alexandria. 25 Individuals were charged in the case.
This is what happened.
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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Another Environmental Disaster in #Sinai "Exclusive Photo"

The vessel in Blue Hole by Elon Schutze 
Today Sinai is in the heart of the news and most of the news are not good. The latest news is not national security related but environment related , it is more of environmental disaster to be accurate.
Several coral reefs were devastated last Wednesday in South Sinai in famous diving in Blue Hole and Canyon areas to be accurate.
It turned out that a foreign vessel called "Sea Lord" swerved from its course and lowered its anchor in to the reef bed destroying the coral reefs !! The vessel is 120 meter long and I do not understand how it went there and nobody noticed it from coast guards and navy !!
Some sources that the ship was on drift in the international water so I do not understand how it did not receive help or why it came to our waters and did what it had done !! By the way we do not know the nationality of this vessel.
The photo above was sent to the Rescue and Environment protection society to a dear friend and I asked him if I can publish it. 
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The Colonel Finds A Way To #Gaza

Life in Egypt is stranger than fiction without doubt !! On the same day we are speaking about our kidnapped soldiers and the tunnels in Al Arish to find a photo report about KFC delivery to Gaza through tunnels !!!!!! Xinhua published the report today and it is making headlines worldwide. Yes it turns out Gazans buy from KFC in Al Arish and smuggle the orders through the tunnels. It turns out that if you are in Gaza you can order KFC through Ymama Delivery service.
Now Order KFC from Ymama "Ymama FB"
You place the order and they will send its boys to cross the tunnels then go to KFC branch in Al Arish to get the order. The boys then return back through the tunnel with the orders.
KFC orders inside the tunnel "Xinhua"
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Soldiers Kidnapped In #Sinai , Let’s Prayer They Will Return Back Alive

I just woke up to know the most annoying news ever , 7 soldiers in Sinai have been kidnapped near Al Arish. The soldiers from army central security forces were kidnapped earlier Thursday from Al Arish international highway. They are 6 CSF conscripts and one army conscript from the borders guards. They were heading back to Cairo on a vacation.

Officially we do not know who the kidnappers are but security sources told ONA that the kidnappers are the families of a group of locals arrested for storming Al Arish police station. The source added those arrested locals are facing death penalty and that a communication channel with the kidnappers.

News sources also say that the kidnappers have released one CSF conscript from short time ago.

There is news that Morsi has summoned both the ministers of defense and interior to meeting at the Presidential Palace. Of course some army sources deny this and is claiming that El Sisi of defense is following the rescue efforts from the ministry of defense. While other sources including Eman Abdel Moneim , the Presidency Correspondence in Anadolu news agency in Egypt says that the meeting was over.

Nevertheless it is logic that no the army , the police and intelligence are doing their best to save the soldiers because without doubt this reminds people including me with the fiasco of the army soldiers massacre in August 2012.

As it is main suspect in the August 2012 brutal army soldiers attack on the borders, Hamas has issued a quick statement denying any relation with the kidnap of the soldiers.

The Pro-Army and Anti-Muslim brotherhood people now on social media of course are speaking about a huge conspiracy taking place against El Sisi to kick him out of the army by the Muslim brotherhood. Well I do not know what conspiracies but there is a problem when soldiers are kidnapped like that in Sinai.

The story is developing , let’s hope that our army and police soldiers return safe and in one piece.

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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

#Fadel_Island : Meet Palestine’s Forgotten Refugees in Nile Delta

Location Al Hammadeyin, Markaz Abu Kabir, Ash Sharqiyah, Egypt
The first time I heard about Fadel Island village for the first time in my life was only last week , exactly a week ago.
TV Journalist Kareem Farid told me about this forgotten hidden place in Sharkia where there is small village of Palestinian refugees who came to Egypt since 1948 from the Nakba staying there since then. He told me that the village with population of 3000 refugees at least is extremely poor and needs help. He also warned me that I will not find its place on the map and he was right as I could not find any official existence for the village in any Egyptian map or Google map or GPS.
My only geographical lead is that it is near Abu Kabeer town and it is known there as the Arabs village. I asked everybody about it in Sharkia from members of big families there to reporters of major Egyptian newspapers to labor activists who know everybody. No one knew that this village exist at all let alone there is a Palestinian refugee community there.
In online search there were very mentions for the place and its history. There was a report for Al Monitor about Palestinian refugees in Egypt that led me to a documentary produced earlier this year by Al Mayadeen TV channel that featured that place with no existence on the map. The documentary “The forgotten ones” was the first media exposure to this small community. Other than that the only mentions I could find were couple of mentions in the official website of the Palestinian embassy in Cairo about how the embassy is helping the village as much as it can.
Of course now you will find its name mentioned frequently during this week thanks to ONTV show last Friday about itThanks to Kareem Farid and Ahmed Baqawi” and hopefully it will gain more and more attention as it should.
Last Friday I went there with my friend Maya from Ahram Online and Palestinian activist Ahmed Baqawi. He already told the people there would be guests visiting the small village. It would take three hours in Friday morning to reach our destination from Downtown Cairo.
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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Israeli Police Attack on Egyptian Orthodox Priest Caught on Tape

Maariv has published a video clip showing the assault of the Israeli police in Jerusalem against Bishop Anthansius of the Egyptian Orthodox Church in Ramallah last week. It is just disgusting

In an interview to the Israeli newspaper , the 84 years old Bishop said that he was treated like a dog. Of course this attack was not against the Egyptians last week in the Holy city by Israeli Police. Egyptian diplomats were attacked as well.
Of course Egypt demanded an official apology and it got one from Israel for both the Bishop and the diplomats.
Despite all these attacks and despite the action taking place in Holy Aqsa Mosque from radical Zionists' attack , Egypt seemed so tamed compared to the fact that we are being ruled by an administration whose members were more vocal against Israel and Zionism for the past 80 years. I am not speaking about crazy actions but Jordan and its king who is more friendly to Israel than our rulers altogether had better action last week when it comes to Al Aqsa.
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It started as A revolution then It became like this in #Syria

It started as a revolution in Syria then it became as you can see in this cartoon unfortunately.

Over the weekend the Syrian Observatory for human rights issued a new death toll estimating that more than 80,000 Syrians have been killed , half of them are civilians.
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Monday, May 13, 2013

Regarding El Sisi’s statements

General Abdel Fatah El Sisi created controversy as usual with his statements last Saturday during a war exercise that the army is not the answer to political problems and that the only way was the ballot box.
The general during the event from "Source"

Up till now everybody is reading El-Sisi’s statements regarding the legitimacy as they want. For instance a group from the team that wanted the army to topple Morsi are shocked and sad. While the other group from that team believes sincerely that the army is actually preparing for some secret coup in the end because “War is deception”. Some revolutionaries are happy that people are waking up from the military Messiah dream praying that people would act themselves and revolt.
To give you an example on how the general’s words are translated according to the polarization currently in Egypt ,  General El Sisi said if that the army returns back to the street “aka to lead a coup” , Egypt will return back in time to 40 years ago.
Those who support the military rule says that the General mentioned “40 years” in particular because he meant October 1973 victory !! “We are celebrating the 40th anniversary this year”
Those who are opposing the military rule says that General was wise and he meant that the return of the military rule is a setback to Egypt.
Anyhow I did not stop that much at what El Sisi said regarding what the army will do when it comes to the political crisis in Egypt because the game is on.
I stopped at what the minister of defense said to journalists during the military exercise when he was asked about who killed our soldiers in Sinai last August. El Sisi said the following :
I swear by God that we do not know who killed our soldiers up till now , if we know who did it , we will wipe them out of this earth !!
It seems to me that the general swears a lot by God and with my all due respect there are something I can not ignore especially when it comes to human life.
In August 2012 General El Sisi was the head of the military intelligence and to claim that he has not known yet who stood behind that brutal criminal act all that time , it is actually a confession of failure.
Already I remember that in August 2012 as well in March 2013 media claimed that the intelligence knew in advance about the attack and informed the presidency but Morsi ignored the warnings. Did the media lie ?
It is not about politics here I am afraid. I feel that yet again the soul and blood of humans in Egypt are the cheapest thing ever !!
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This is Called “Khamsin” In Case You do not Know

Today we had a strong sandstorm in Cairo and Giza since early morning and some Egyptians amazingly expressed their shock and surprise on social media that we have a sandstorm in .. Egypt !!

Vision was terrible and the weather was extremely hot today. Unfortunately this will continue for another 2 days , at least till Wednesday. I wish it rains in Cairo to make weather better.

I do know if those people are serious or they are just the victim of bad education system or what. All what I know that this sandstorm is normal thing in spring time in Egypt and that it is called El Khamsin too in case you forget.

Here how it was earlier today. Please take care while driving.
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Sunday, May 12, 2013

#Syria : This is more than Alarming

Moaz Al-Khatib , the ex-president of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolution and Opposition was interviewed by Al Jazeera international. His interview was quite alarming and I believe the National coalition should come forward and either confirm or deny what the Sheikh has said in his short interview.

Talk to Al Jazeera : Sheikh Moaz Al Khatib

The Syrian people did not elected the National Coalition nor did it choose those self appointed endless military council. The Syrian people should know the truth now about what is happening behind the closed doors because unlike those Syrian politicians who are staying abroad meeting foreign officials here and there in fancy suits , they have been paying very expensive price for their freedom.

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Saturday, May 11, 2013

#Reyhanli Explosion : Could it be a turning point between Syrians and Turks !?

Today two car bombs have killed not less than 40 people in border town of Reyhanli. Despite that no one has claimed responsibility all fingers are pointing to Syria including Turkish foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu.
As it is a border town , there is a Syrian community of refugees who fled the country and I am afraid such explosions would harm those Syrians as their host in the town could blame them. Already from local Turkish testimonies I have been reading online , the locals blamed their government as well the Syrian refugees and Syrian revolution turned in to a civil war.
Today I read that the locals of Reyhanli smashed by rocks the cars carrying Syrian plates in the border town angrily. I fear this could be a turning point between the Syrian refugees and their Turkish host and here I am speaking about the people not the government.
To add more fuel to the problem ,there is Alawite Turkish community in the city . I can imagine how the sectarian talk adopted by some Syrians can be harming in these situations.
Here is a photo album for more than 50 photos from Reyhali’s explosion “graphic” by Brown Moses
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And #Maher Was Detained And Released in Old New #Egypt !!

I was outside Cairo visiting one of the villages in Sharkia governorate for extremely important assignment I heard the news that Ahmed Maher , the founder of April 6 Youth Movement was arrested upon his arrival from the united States in Cairo airport.We found out from the news that he would be detained for another 4 days pending investigations and that he was transferred to the top guarded prison "Al Akrab".
In the morning we found out that the prosecutor general appointed by the president has ordered the immediate the release of Maher.
There is news that minister of interior has withdrawn the complaint he filed against Apirl 6 Youth movement and its members as well. 
Ahmed Maher and Asamaa Mahfouz
Ahmed Maher and Asmaa Mahfouz by my iPhone cam
Maher was detained according to an arrest warrant issued as we have known on 4 April 2013 and strangely he traveled to the US after that date and no one stopped him from traveling or arresting him earlier. He is being accused of inciting protests against the minster of interior at the minister’s home. Early April 2013 a group of April 6 Youth members went in the mid of the night and protested at minister Ahmed Ibrahim of interior’s house in New Cairo. During that protest the protesters held women’s underwear with signs hinting out that the ministry of interior is like a prostitute who sleeps with everyone in the regime in reference to how the MOI is now following the MB’s orders.
Already four April 6 Youth members were arrested in that protest that ended with clashes against the security forces. Only recently the 4 members were released pending investigation after weeks in bad detention.
The news of Maher was received by mixed feelings among activists and social media users. Old activists who know Maher personally were alarmed and remembered how the old regime , SCAF as well the new regime of the Muslim brotherhood consider Maher the enemy.It is ironic that from couple of days ago Maher remembered how he was tortured in 2008 by the state security of Mubarak. 
The biggest irony of all in this affair that Maher said that he did not want to vote for Shafik because Shafik would arrest him and other revolutionaries !! Well time showed us that there is no big difference between Mubarak's regime and Morsi's regime 
April 6 Youth Movement believed that this is an episode of escalation between them and the regime vowing to continue to their work against injustice in the country.
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Thursday, May 9, 2013

Shalateen : See the City You Neglect and then remember

I love how people in Egypt screamed about the Egyptian identity of Hala’ib triangle last month suddenly remembering that there are two cities on our southern borders especially with the renewed debate about the disputed triangle.
El Badil TV team travelled to Shalateen and made a very important short clip about that city. I hope you share it.
Shalateen : See the city and meet the people
Unfortunately the video is not translated still I have summarized the most important remarks in the video. Shalateen is the biggest city in the triangle and is 530 km away from red sea governorate which it follows it officially.
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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Hope to see a similar campaign in #Egypt "Updated"

From a week ago a campaign against domestic violence in Saudi Arabia made headlines worldwide. For the first time a campaign launched in the conservative kingdom tackling this social taboo under the name “No More Abuse”. The campaign is launched and sponsored by King Khaled Foundation.
Something can not be hidden indeed
The tagline of the extreme powerful ad in this campaign in English says “Something can not be hidden”
I think the incident of Lama Al Ghamadi could be one of the triggers in this campaign.
I hope to see a similar campaign in Egypt dealing with this taboo. I once saw a TV ads campaign about domestic violence in ONTV from two years ago and that’s it. It was a campaign sponsored by the government then showing the cycle of violence in the society.
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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The New Ministerial Reshuffle in #Egypt : More MB blood in the cabinet

The spokesperson of Egyptian cabinet has declared in early morning on Tuesday the names of the new ministers in the ministerial reshuffle. all what I can say from reading the names and their bios that there is more MB blood in the cabinet regardless of experience.
First here are the names of the new ministers :
  • Judge Ahmed Mohamed Soliman , the new minister of justice.
  • Judge Hatem Bagateo , the new minister of parliamentary affairs
  • Engineer Sherif Ramadan , the new minister of oil and mineral wealth
  • Dr. Ahmed Eissa , the new minister of antiquities
  • Dr. Ahmed El Gizaway , the new minister of agriculture
  • Dr. Fiyad Abdel Monem , the new minister of finance
  • Dr. Ahmed Amr Darrag , the new minister of international cooperation.
  • Dr. Alaa Abdel Aziz , the new minister of culture
  • Yahia Hamad , the new minister of investment.
Second quick who is who :
  • Minister Ahmed Amr Darrag of international cooperation : This is the most import MB name in the list. Leading MB member Amr Darrag is the head of the foreign affairs committee in Freedom and Justice Party.
Originally an engineer and professor of Mechanics ,the man is known for his visits to Europe and the US speaking on behalf of the party and the brotherhood.  Here is his page in Wikipedia. “Arabic”
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Monday, May 6, 2013

Egyptian Chronicles Present : The Eloquent Peasant

As we are celebrating one of Egypt’s oldest feasts today that goes back to the days of ancient Egyptians aka , I thought of celebrating it this year differently. I proudly present this short film master piece by late Shady Abdel Salam : The Eloquent Peasant
Sham El Nessim
The Eloquent Peasant is one of the oldest and interesting stories from ancient Egyptian literature when it comes to the social and political life of ancient Egyptians. To fight back the injustice Eloquent peasant aka Khun-anup would write nine amazing messages standing for justice and criticizing the ruler.
Here is the short film produced in 1970 after the break.
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Happy Sham Nassim 2013

Happy Sham Nassim and Happy Spring Day to all Egyptians and to all the people all over the world. And It will not be a true Sham Nassim without its national anthem.

Soad Hosny : It is spring time

Yes I do not even get bored from posting this every year.

Of course it is not that spring as the weather is extremely hot in Cairo and Giza  yet the capital and its twin city on the other bank of the Nile  are amazingly blessed with empty streets now. I believe that not less than thousands of families have left Cairo and Giza heading to resorts all over the country in this short vacation. It is a good thing now both cities are bless now.

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Sunday, May 5, 2013

#Syria Vs. #Israel : People are now paying attention

It seems that all what Syria and the Syrians needed in those bloody 2 years were two Israeli air strikes and the war drums to be echoed in the Middle East so the world , especially the Arab world is paying attention to what is happening in Syria.
Last Thursday there were rumors about an alleged Israeli strike taking place early Friday then we woke up today Sunday morning to find another air strike by IAF.Here is a footage for the air strike over mount Qaison in Damascus. Syrian media is saying that the air strike targeting some military research center. 
Here is a video from mount Qaison earlier this morning. Sources told news agencies last Friday that Israeli air strikes targeted a Hezbollah arms convoy in Syria.

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Happy Easter 2013

Happy Easter to all those celebrating it all over the world today especially in Egypt and Syria.
This amazing cartoon by Doaa El Adl summarizes everything I want to say. It is answer on all those who are saying we should not say Happy Easter to Christians.
 And so Happy Easter ,Happy Easter , Happy Easter 
So Happy Easter and things hopefully insh Allah will be better next year.
 
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Saturday, May 4, 2013

RIP Aisha Ratab “1928-2013”

Today Egypt lost a fine lady who played an important in its history. Today Dr. Aisha Ratab “1928-2013” ,
Young Aisha Ratab
 Egypt’s first woman ambassador passed away in silence.
Many people especially from young generations that late Aisha Ratab defied social norms in 1949 after her graduation from the faculty of law applying to become a judge in the state council. Of course her application was refused and so she decided to sue the government. Amazingly during the case , one of the State council’s judges stated that there was nothing in Egyptian laws then and Islamic Sharia to have a woman judge but it was more of a social problem !!
Anyhow Aisha Ratab became the first professor of international law in the faculty of law, Cairo university
Dr. Aisha Ratab  was appointed as the minister of social insurances and social affair in 1974 during late president Sadat. She resigned  in 1977 during the January 18 and 19 uprising to object the sudden economic decisions taken by Sadat.
With President Sadat in 1970s
The late law professor was later appointed as Egypt’s first woman ambassador ever. She served in Denmark from 1979 to 1981 and later in Germany from 1981 to 1984.Former minister Ratab earned the respect , admiration and love of many Egyptians who were shocked to know that she passed away in silence.
Late Dr. Aisha Ratab
I respected this lady so much.A true role model. May Allah bless her soul.
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Friday, May 3, 2013

This is How We treat our Art in #Egypt

Earlier this week I was shocked to see this beautiful statue of Egyptian woman peasant in miserable condition neglected like that near the entrance of Al Hawamidiyya city ,Giza governorate. It is extremely beautiful statue
The statue neglected
It is just sad.This photo was sent to Egypt Military pictures Facebook Page last week.
This beautiful sad statue was made by artist Fathy Mahmoud “1918-1982” in a series of statues he made in Al Harm area , Giza from many decades ago. That series of statues suddenly disappeared from couple of years ago. When I searched I found out that the Giza governorate decided to spread those statues all over the cities entrances in the governorate.
The family of Fathy Mahmoud is extremely angry and they have to. I know Fathy Mahmoud’s granddaughter and they want to do something to save it.
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Thursday, May 2, 2013

#BassemYoussef Saga Continues : Khaled Mansour to head to the Prosecutor general’s office Tomorrow !!

Stand up comedian and “Al Bernmag” Crew member Khaled Mansour is summoned for interrogation at the prosecutor general’s office tomorrow Thursday.
Mansour is widely known in Egypt as a crew member of Bassem Youssef’s show “Al Bernmag” on CBC. His most famous character in the show is popular “Gamheer” {The Public} , the wife who is suffering from her Islamist husband {Mohamed Morsi}.
It seems that someone reported Mansour and is accusing him of insulting the President !! Mansour is reported because of a segment he starred in episode 6 of the show on CBC. It is called “Where will the prayer be at next Friday !?” where he mocked the expenses of Morsi’s Friday prayer and his parade.
Here is the segment.
Another segment from “The show”’ to head to the prosecution office !!
Mansour is third from the satirist show after Bassem Youssef and Ali Quadnial to be summoned and interrogated because of what is being said in this show.
Khaled Mansour is from the first stand up comedians in Egypt and he needs our support against this madness.
Updated :
Khaled Mansour went to the prosecutor general office in early morning. Officially he is facing the following charges : Insulting the president and insulting religion !!
He was released on bail for LE 5000
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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Solar Heaters in #Egypt , Let's Use God's gift to #Egypt

Ahram Online made this interesting video about a workshop in Marsa Allam  about Solar heaters. Ice Cairo and Karm Solar participated in that workshop. 
The video has got English subtitles by the way
I think these solar heaters should spread in rural areas in Egypt that suffer from infra structure problem for decades and centuries. I see that solution will benefit millions of Egyptians in poor and rural areas before the middle and high class areas. 
Forget about the government , these initiatives should be spread by NGOs in the country side especially in Upper Egypt. Let's use God's gift to Egypt from sun for real. 
Amazingly whenever you get away from Cairo , you will find hope and people thinking outside the box. 
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