Egyptian Chronicles: November 2017

Thursday, November 30, 2017

In a big regional drama : Shafik declares his Presidential bid “Updated”

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

The First Vide

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

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

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


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

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

The second video

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

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Shadia of Egypt has gone : Farewell Sweetheart

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Egypt’s Black Friday : At least 305 humans were killed in North Sinai Mosque Massacre

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

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

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

Friday, November 24, 2017

Egypt’s True Black Friday : North Sinai’s deadliest Mosque attack "+18"

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

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Seen in Giza : Zamalek Sporting Club's board elections

Location Nadi Al Zmalek, Gazirat Mit Oqbah, Al Agouzah, Giza Governorate, Egypt
Zamalek Sports Club
 One of  Zamalek Sports Club's entrances at 7 PM Cairo local time on Thursday 

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

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

Share :

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Meet Egypt’s Ansar Al-Islam, the not so new Al-Qaeda group

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Telegram Channel

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

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

El-Adly of Arabia

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

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

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

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

Sunday, November 12, 2017

He Did Not Need to Blink Twice : What happened to Mr. Hariri !!??

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

When he resigned, he claimed that it was there was a threat to his own life.
That claim was denied later by Lebanese security.
Share :

Friday, November 10, 2017

Seen from Above : A Cairo Skyline sunset


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

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

#WeNeedToTalk about Nubian Egyptians for real !!

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, November 6, 2017

And Khaled Ali is running for President in 2018

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

Friday, November 3, 2017

Watch The Campaign which most of us missed

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


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

By Year , By Month