Egyptian Chronicles: April 2015

Monday, April 27, 2015

Another Blow to Online Media in Egypt Coming on the way !!

As soon as I read “ The National Media Authority “ Draft law in Al-Watan Newspaper , I knew that I will be a big blow to Internet Media and Social media in Egypt.
“The National Media Authority” is a new authority to be founded in Egypt replacing the Current Egyptian Radio and Television Union “ERTU” if its draft law is approved by the upcoming
Source : Free Press 
parliament. The draft law does not regulate the official televised and radio media in Egypt but also any sort of broadcast in Egypt whether through Satellite or Online.
As soon as I put my eyes on Article “16” mentioned in the report I knew private online radio stations in Egypt as well Online live streams like Bambuser and US stream will be banned in Egypt.
Article 16 stipulates the following :
No party or person is allowed to use any means or device or technology for live broadcast  or re-broadcast through  Satellites or  Internet for any event inside Egypt.  Also re-airing the broadcast owned by National Media authority in public places or residential gatherings or means of transportation is banned except for a paid authorization issued from the authority and who will violates this pay a fine determined by authority.
All what I can think about that it will be a crime in Egypt to broadcast anything on Bambuser according to this law. Private Online Radio services like Gramafoon and Radio Horytna will be banned as well.
Bambuser played an essential role in transferring events and protests as well clashes in the past 5 years in Egypt in real time.It was the only thing that transferred protests on air in the past 2 years.
Radio Horytna was the first Egyptian private online radio service that started its broadcast in 2008 founded by Andalus Institute for tolerance and anti-violence studies.
Interestingly earlier this month security stormed Radio Horytna HQ in Cairo arresting Ahmed Samih , the director of Andalus Institute as well head of Radio Horytna. Samih was under investigation for broadcasting without a permit. He was also asked about the political affiliation of Radio Horytna. He was also accused of possessing illegal copy of Windows OS !!
Samih was released later but the message was received.
Radio Gramafoon is by far the most famous Online Radio service in Egypt after 2011. May be I am biased because I am big fan of Gramafoon , which started as a Free-ad Online 24/7 classical Arabic music Radio station and then extended to include other stations like Jazz , Arabic Folk , Soundtrack and Western Classic Music.

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Sunday, April 26, 2015

There is certainly something going on !!

First of all Al-Masry Al-Youm journalists were investigated earlier today at Egypt’s National Security Prosecution  for publishing a special report on the police force and its documented violations.
Now there is something strange in the media.

Despite all the Pro-regime TV channels and newspapers took the ministry of interior’s side against Al-Masry Al-Youm “AMAY” , we found out that State-owned Ahram Daily Newspaper criticizes the treatment of the suspects and detainees in Cairo’s police stations in a half page report.
Al-Ahram's report on Saturday 
The report was published on Saturday using a very interesting and shocking headline in the Crime Page “If you do not die from torture, you will die from suffocation at police stations”. The headline is a recognition from Ahram’s Crime page that people die from torture at Egypt’s police stations. The report details how the members of prosecution inspected Cairo’s police stations to check on the detention’s facilities and its situation and how they found detainees and suspects are living inhuman conditions in custody. Suffocation here does not mean another way of torture but rather the lack of proper ventilation.

What is even stranger than Ahram Daily newspaper is that one finds a Pro-Military/Pro-Police website like El-Bawaba published a video showing police officers’ abuse of a citizen on a highway in Cairo earlier Sunday.  El-Bawaba, which is headed by Abdel Rahim Ali does not publish this stuff like that for the sake of transparency and human rights, on the contrary.  This is really fishy.
I do not know if it is a fight between security apparatuses in Egypt or what but there is something going. Unfortunately we reached to a degree of mistrust in the media. 

BY the way a new minister of interior’s aide for media and public relations Police General Abu Bakr Abdel Karim was appointed on Friday whereas Police general Hany Abdel Latif , the former MOI spokesperson was transferred to Police academy. Abdel Karim was the minister’s aide for human rights. 
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Friday, April 24, 2015

About Those Amazing Egyptian Armenians

Armenia commemorates the 100th anniversary of  the Armenian genocide today  reminding the world with one of the worst war crimes and genocides committed against its people by Ottoman empire.

I will not go into endless and meaningless historical and political debate after 100 years about the genocide nor I will not comment on how suddenly Arab nationalists remember the Armenian genocide and ignore genocides committed against ethnic groups and minorities whether in Iraq or Sudan or any other part of the Arab world because they want to tease Turkey.

I know that the world won’t learn from what happened 100 years ago because genocides are still committed and people are forced to leave their homes, it is an ugly old human truth.

Today members of the Armenian community in Egypt commemorated the Armenian Genocide centennial at Egypt's Unknown Solider Memorial in Nasr City in a rally led by the scout boys and girls of  The Armenian community in Egypt.

By Kegham Karsian 
By Kegham Karsian
You can see the rest of photos from the event here at this photo album by Kegham Karsian. 

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Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Egyptian Media and The Holes in The Ministry of Interior

Earlier this week a group of Al-Masry Al Youm “AMAY” Daily newspaper’s journalists were referred  to investigation at Egypt’s State security Prosecution for publishing a special report in the Newspaper on Monday about the ministry of interior and its violations.

The 5 journalists are : Mahmoud Mossalam , Mostafa Makhlouf, Yousry El-Badry , Ibrahim El-Kara’a and Hassan Ahmed Hussein.
A copy from the order of state security prosecution 
The story started when AMAY published a full 7-pages special reports about its violations as well heroic acts of its martyrs who were killed in the past 2 years.
The police's martyrs and the 9 sins 
The special report’s catchy headlines on AMAY’s Front page included “The police’s martyrs , 9 sins and holes in the police uniform” , “31 court rulings send police officers behind bars , the prosecution investigates 32 violations and 5-stars prison cells for jailed officers” , “The mission is to protect the citizen and the charge : fraud, theft , bribery, rape and kidnap” , “ Citizens : it is worst than the days of Mubarak”. 

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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

#OpDecisiveStorm ceased , Operation “Restoring Hope” to start

And Saudi Arabia announced from couple of hours ago "on Tuesday as I finished this post early Wednesday morning !!"  that its military operation against Iranian-backed Houthi fighters in Yemen was over and that new operation called “Restoring Hope” was to start tonight.
From the Saudi Yemeni borders on April 20, 2015
"AP" 

The Saudi-led military coalition spokesperson Brigadier General Ahmed al-Assiri announced in his daily briefing on Tuesday that “Operation Decisive Storm” reached its goals which are protecting Saudi Arabia and the Arab countries as well destroying the Houthis’ ballistic rockets capabilities.

The 8 original goals of Operation  Decisive Storm announced from three weeks ago did not include those goals. Operation Decisive storm aimed at a Houthi withdrawal from Sana'a and Aden as well to reinstate President Hadi.
Hadi has not returned back nor did the Houthis leave Sana'a or Aden.

I think many people will ask and discuss whether Saudi Arabia and its coalition won in that operation or not in the upcoming days. Of course the Saudis are saying that the action has not stopped yet and the kingdom will launch a new operation “Restoring Hope”.

Some Saudis say that the operation succeeded from stopping the Houthis’ advance to the Kingdom.

May be the operation stopped the Houthis indeed but the militant attacks on the Saudi borders do not include ballistic missiles as far as I know. 

Anyhow after 3 weeks of airstrikes , the one thing we are sure of is that according to the WHO’s latest estimation not less than 994 were dead and 3,487 have been injured in Yemen

Personally I believe the Kingdom had to stop its military operation after it began to lose huge support among the Yemeni population following the airstrikes on Sana'a in the past few days.

I also find very it very strange that the Kingdom announces that Operation Decisive Storm was over when few hours earlier today it announced that the Saudi National Guards would join the operation. Some considered it a sign that there would be a ground invasion.

Oddly enough at the same time of  Spox Ahmed al-Assiri’s press conference Turkish Anadolu News agency claimed that the Ground invasion operations !!

Anyhow aside from Anadolu false news , some predicted today’s sudden change officially and Unofficially

Unofficially famous Saudi whistle-blower “@Mujtahidd” said in a series of tweets on his twitter account that Saudi Arabia had talks in the past few days with Houthis “as well Iran” through Oman and that the talks reached out that the Houthis would keep their gains without claiming victory in order to reach for a political solution.

The Pro-Islamist whistle-blower added that one of the signs of that agreement was appointing Khaled Bahah as Hadi’s vice-president. Bahah is accepted by the Houthis.

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Sunday, April 19, 2015

Release Karmooz Refugees After more than 150 days !!

Do you remember Karmooz police station refugees ? The 74 Syrian and Palestinian Syrian refugees
For more than 150 days , those children
are detained in an Egyptian police station
who have been detained in Karmooz police station since last November despite the prosecutor general’s order to release the. Those refugees are still detained.
Those refugees including children are still detained for more than 150 days.
That group includes 16 Syrians and 58 Palestinian Syrians.
There is also one Somali refugee who has been in detention since last August staying with them.

Updated : 

According to journalist Tom Rollins  all the Palestinian-Syrian men were transferred to Qanater prison from couple of days ago leaving children and women behind at Karmooz police station !! 

I do not know when their agony will end.

Already they did not do any crime for real. They were left at the Nelson Island and they were the one who called the police to save them.

The Egyptian authorities have either to deport them or to release them.

What I know that the prosecutor general gave his orders to release them while the National Security ordered their deportation and yet they were not released nor deported. Just stuck in a two small detention cells in an Egyptian police station for more than 150 days !!
I believe that the Egyptian media should focus on the agony of those refugees.
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Saturday, April 18, 2015

Destroying Our Heritage Officially in Alexandria

I feel sad and angry that I did not blog about this earlier.
A Hellenistic-era archaeological site in Alexandria was demolished in Alexandria last week according to Egypt’s Heritage Task Force which campaigned unsuccessfully to stop this crime online.

This site is or rather was al-Abd Theater in Camp Shizar district in Alexandria. The site was discovered in 2013 only and it looked amazing. I see that it included a cemetery.
The site dates back to the Hellenistic era. Here are photos of the site before demolishing it. "Photos : Egypt's Heritage Task Force" 



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Friday, April 17, 2015

Officially No Egyptian Ground Troops in Yemen …. Till Now

This is another follow up for the big question of whether the Egyptian regime is going to send ground troops to Yemen or not. The question or rather speculations were fueled by the photos emerged online showing Egyptian soldiers on the board of an Egypt Air Flight to Saudi Arabia. “It turned out that there were several photos not only one.”

On Tuesday Al Watan Newspaper already published a report saying that there was confusion about those troopers adding that despite the denial of Egypt Air CEO that his company did not transfer any troops to Yemen or Saudi Arabia recently , a source inside the company said that Egyptian army special forces were transferred to Saudi Arabia.

On the same day the official spokesperson of Egyptian Armed Forces Mohamed Samir issued a statement denying that report considering a part of that Fourth generation warfare against the Egyptian army despite this is the Pro-Regime Al-Watan Interestingly.

Samir added that Egypt has not got any ground troops participating in the Saudi led operation decisive storm up till now.

بيانــــــفى إطار إستغلال بعض الجهات المعادية لحروب الجيل الرابع (حرب المعلومات) بغرض التأثير على الأمن القومى المصرى...
Posted by ‎الصفحة الرسمية للمتحدث العسكري للقوات المسلحة‎ on Tuesday, April 14, 2015

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Thursday, April 16, 2015

Photos From Planet #Egypt : Mawlid Sayyida Nafisa 2015

This could be late but it is never too late to share those photos captured by Egypt’s most talented photographers like Mosa’ab El-Shamy, Roger Anis and Ahmed Haymen. Those photos from the Mawlid of Sayyida or Saint Nafisa in Cairo late last month.
Lady Nafisa who is considered one of the most important Islamic Patron Saints of Cairo was the granddaughter of Prophet Mohamed “PBUH.
She was also one of the most important teachers of Islam in her age and got many students including Emam El-Shafei , the founder of Shafei school of Fiqh.
In the Mawlid you will find people from all over the country and all ages paying their respect to the Prophet's great grand daughter. You see the rich and poor , the old and the young, the sufis and the simple people looking for miracles. It is another world.

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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Fahrenheit 451 Live in Egypt : Burning Books in the Schoolyards

We are living Fahrenheit 451 live in Egypt.
Burning the books at the schoolyard !!
These photos showing ministry of education officials burning 73 books in a School Yard “yes burning books” on 6 April 2015 because those books allegedly spread radical religious thought and terrorism at Fadl language school in Haram district in Giza governorate.

Burning the books while holding the Egyptian flags !! 
Allegedly those books spread violence, terrorism and the Muslim Brotherhood Thought as the Brotherhood is officially an terrorist organization in Egypt now.
That mini-holocaust was supervised by Dr. Bothiana Kishk , the head of Giza educational directorate.
Dr.Bothiana Kishk supervising the burning of the books 
In statements to Al Masry Al Youm  on Monday , Dr. Kishk revealed that the ministry of education recently formed “Books execution committee” to inspect and execute dangerous books spreading radical thought in school libraries at the schools owned by Muslim Brotherhood members. Yes “Books execution committee” if we are going to translate literality from Arabic. It is not even “Censorship committee” or “Disposal committee” but rather  “Executing” !! She added those books were promoting the MB radical thought.
After designating the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorism organization in November 2013, the Egyptian government gave its orders to the ministry of education to take over the management of nearly 147 private schools affiliated with the Brotherhood across Egypt. Fadl language school is among those schools despite its owners are currently suing the government in order to end the ministry of education’s control on the school.
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Monday, April 13, 2015

Happy Sham Nassim 2015 From Egypt

Happy Sham Nassim Aka Spring Day from Egypt.
And for this occasion I would like to share with you this wonderful video clip made by filmmaker Abdel Rahman Gaber.
Gaber shot this amazing time lapses video in several locations in Egypt. He filmed it in Siwa, Luxor, Aswan, Sinai and Fayoum
Happy Sham Nassim to all Egyptians despite all the hardships.

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Egypt's Rapid Deployment Forces Head to the Kingdom !? "Updated"

There is a lot of reaction about my post regarding the Egyptian Ground troops in Saudi Arabia.
The rumors mill did not stop on Sunday , in fact I woke up and found lots of talk about a photo showing Egyptian soldiers wearing their uniform in their way allegedly to Saudi Arabia in a civilian Egypt Air Flight “Why would they go on an Egypt Air Flight in the first place? “ on twitter and Facebook.

Going to Saudi Arabia then to Yemen ?? "Mohamed El-Bolok" 
The Egyptian and Yemeni social media users claimed that those smiling soldiers were actually the first group of Egyptian Ground troops heading to the Kingdom and then to Yemen.
This photo was posted by Egyptian Sky News Arabia Correspondent Mohamed ElBolok on his Facebook account earlier Sunday. According to El-Bolok it was taken by the flight’s Captain.
The date was unclear.
He removed the photo later. I do not understand why to keep the matter secret.
Update #1: Egypt Air says that the photo was fabricated and that it did not transfer any soldiers to Saudi Arabia. 
Update #2 : Some are saying that this photo is an old one showing the Egyptian troops heading to UAE to participate in the Joint Emirati-Egyptian military exercise held in UAE last March.There are joint military exercises between the two countries since 2014. Nevertheless I am afraid I can not find any thing about Egyptian troops in UAE in March 2015 or late March 2015 in the Emirati newspapers or Egyptian newspapers with quick search. Usually the Armed Forces Spox publishes statements and photos about those exercises, I did not find anything either there.
Of course if you take a closer look to the military uniform of the soldiers , you will find that the badge on their right arm says “Rapid Deployment Forces”. Yes El-Sisi sent the newly formed forces to Saudi Arabia to participate in possible military intervention/Land invasion to Yemen according to where you stand.
There has been not official statement from Egypt regarding this matter so far.

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Saturday, April 11, 2015

So We Got Egyptian Ground Forces in KSA !? A Little Transparency Please !!!!

The news came from Saudi Arabia as usual not from Egypt. It came from the State-owned Saudi Press Agency “SPA” and not from the the official Facebook page of the Egyptian armed forces Spokesperson Brigadier General Ahmad Samir.

According to SPA news published on Thursday Egypt's minister of defense Sedky Sobhy met with his Saudi counterpart Prince Mohamed Bin Salman in Riyadh to discuss the latest developments of Operation Decisive storm after the visit of Sedky to Pakistan.

The Saudi news agency mentioned in the end of its news that the meeting was attended by the Head of the Egyptian Reinforcement authority Major General Abdel Mohsen Mossa El-Shabarawy and the commander of the Egyptian force participating in the Saudi-led Coalition Brigadier General Rafik Rafaat Arafat and the Egyptian military attaché to Riyadh Colonel Mohamed Abdel Fatttah Abu Bakr.
Egypt’s armed forces Spox did not mention those names in his short statement about the minister of defense’s short visit to the Kingdom in that critical time.


بعد زيارته الناجحة لباكستان.. الفريق أول/صدقى صبحى يتوجه إلى المملكة العربية السعودية..ــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــ...
Posted by ‎الصفحة الرسمية للمتحدث العسكري للقوات المسلحة‎ on Thursday, April 9, 2015

On Saturday we found Saudi news websites sharing the photo of Brigadier General Rafik Rafaat Arafat.
Brigadier General Rafik Arafat wearing the ground
forces uniform "paratroopers if I am not mistaken" 
Once again We know the news of our country’s army from abroad as it seems !! 
It is worth to mention that only on April 10 Saturday the Spokesperson of the Saudi coalition announced that an Egyptian fighter jets participated in at least one air strikes on Yemen.
I do not know till when we are going to suffer from this lack of transparency. It is enough that we do not know for real the progress of that endless military operation in North Sinai so we would stumble in another military operation across seas. Speaking  about Sinai , I wanted to raise this matter up but I was lost with all the updates in Yemen.
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Sunday, April 5, 2015

Blood Moon in Egypt ?

Location Ain Sokhna, Ataqah, Suez Governorate, Egypt
Those photos are taken from Ain El-Sokhana , Suez governorate tonight. I though that Egypt would miss the Blood Moon which appeared for few minutes before the Moon would become what would refer to “ a 14th Night Full Moon” in our Egyptian culture. It is so bright right now.

DSC07987 (2)

DSC07985

DSC07971
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April 05, 2015 at 12:49PM



Egypt's Renaissance " Nahdet Misr" statue made by Mahmoud Mokhtar in #Giza #Egypt #Blogger #Photo April 05, 2015 at 12:49PM via Instagram http://ift.tt/1a3P51s

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April 05, 2015 at 12:10PM



#Spring is here #Photo #Giza #Blogger #Egypt April 05, 2015 at 12:10PM via Instagram http://ift.tt/1axDJne

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Saturday, April 4, 2015

Random Notes On Kuwaiti Media, Our Yemen War 2 and Other irreverent Stuff

If you think that it is awkward that the Egyptian media quotes Kuwaiti Journalist Fajar El-Saeed for Egyptian military news and updates then you have to think again. It seems that the Kuwaiti Media , not only Fajar El-Saeed will replace the official statements of the Egyptian Armed Forces spokesperson after all.
On  Wednesday the media was on fire and many news websites in Egypt and Yemen published news reports that Egyptian armed forces sent paratroopers to Yemen in a huge development. The source of that news is Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Rai.
On March 29 , 2015 the Kuwaiti newspaper reported that Egyptian paratroopers were dropped at the city of Mocha to secure its port as Bab El-Mandab strain. 
On March 30 , 2015 the Kuwaiti newspaper’s Cairo correspondent Ahmed Abdel Azim reported that Egyptian military units from Navy forces , air forces and ground forces arrived to Yemen according to anonymous Egyptian sources. He also claimed that 25 Egyptian jet fighters reached Yemen and participated in the air strikes targeting Houthi-controlled areas like in Sa’ada , Al-Malahiz and Taiz 
The report claimed also there were Egyptian ground forces fighting Houthis.
There has been no official comment about those claims whether from Egypt or Saudi Coalition till this day.
I remember when Operation Decisive Storm started , the Egyptian presidency made it clear that only the Navy forces and air forces are participating in the operation.
The role of the Navy forces is to protect Bab El-Mandab strain as announced. During then I remember sources told AFP or AP that 4 Egyptians warships were deployed to protect the strain.
There has been no official statement till this day from the Egyptian armed forces about the exact kind of participation in the coalition or the number of jet fighters or warships or even the number of Egyptian soldiers participating in the operation.  
Where is the transparency ?? I think Egyptians need to know the truth about our participation in Operation Decisive Storm. I do not know if I have to explain fundamental facts on why they need the truth.

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Friday, April 3, 2015

Operation Decisive Storm : The battle of Aden goes on and on

First of all the UN announced that at least 516 Yemeni were killed and  not less than 17,000 were injured in the fight last week. 
Early Thursday a huge dust storm hit the Gulf States paralyzing life for many hours as well as it seems the Operations of Decisive storm.
For several hours we did not hear about air strikes like the past week instead we heard that that Houthis took over Aden and stormed the Presidential palace there for the the billion times. We also heard there have been huge street fights between the Southerners militias and Houthis as well the Pro-regime loyalists and Houthis.
Aden from the Sea on Thursday
Inside the city itself 
The fights were inside the residential areas. The residential buildings were being shelled by Houthis in day light.
Here is a video showing the fights in Aden streets exactly at Kraytor street.
Street fights at Kraytor street in Aden
The shelling reached to Aden’s “Serah” ancient fort.
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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Operation Decisive Storm : Think About Humans For Once “Day 6”

Operation Decisive Storm has not reached yet its goals as the Houthis and their allies in Yemen did not give up. On the contrary Houthis are advancing towards Aden. On Wednesday Mansour Hadi’s administration itself admitted that the Houthi militants reached to the center of Aden and demanded the people of Aden to resist them.
As far as I was told and Know the people of Aden aka the Southerners are angry that they are being dragged to the fight of the Northerners in the first place. 
Now this video will explain to Westerners simply what is happening in Yemen.
Yemen Explained- Al-Araby El-Gadid
On the other hand The International Committee of Red Cross “ICRC” announced that obstacles needed to be removed in order to deliver the much needed medical supplies and aids to Yemeni hospitals across the country. Among those obstacles : Allowing the ICRC’s planes to land in Yemen in order to deliver medical aids as Saudi air forces sealed off the Yemeni airspace. The coalition should ICRC planes land and help the Yemenis. 
I can not believe how the Saudi coalition did not let the ICRC plane land in Yemen to deliver the medical supplies in the first place. This is the stupidest thing ever. Just like in Syria the medical staff of ICRC is being targeted in the cross fire
There is no final or official death toll about the victims. The UN Human rights Council says that at least 97 Yemenis have been killed since last 27 March while the UNICEF says that at least  62 children were killed and 30 others were injured in the fight over the past in a press statement it released on Tuesday.

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