Egyptian Chronicles

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Minya incident and the importance of Social media in Egypt

I was going to write a short post about the upcoming cyber-crime draft law and how it is an introduction to control and limit the social media in Egypt when once again an ugly violence incident erupted in the country that demonstrated the importance of social media.

Thanks to viral and angry Facebook posts , we knew that last Friday sectarian violence erupted in Minya, Upper Egypt and I have been following the case since then.

Sectarian violence erupted 20 May , Friday at 8 PM when an angry mob attacked and torched a couple of houses owned by Christians  in "El-Karm village in the city of Abu Qarqis , Minya Governorate over a rumored affair between a Christian man and a Muslim woman as usual.

A photo inside one of the torched houses at Karm village
by Mahmoud Hakim 
Nobody got killed but what happened this time was shocking for many if not for most Egyptians.
The mob attacked the house of that Christian man rumored to have a relation with a Muslim woman dragging his old mother out of her house and stripping her off her clothes in the street.
The lady was then taken and covered by her Muslim neighbor till the police showed up at 10 PM to arrest 5 people and that's it.

It is worth to mention that the Christian man and his family filed complaints and warned the police on 19 May as the rumors began to spread like fire in the rural village.

From Friday till Tuesday , most Egyptians did not know anything about the shameful incident.
Later this week , two journalists working for Christian newspaper and TV channel reported the whole shocking incident on Tuesday.

Wednesday morning , the angry Facebook posts about the incident went viral like fire where as the authorities whether the governorate or the Church did not comment except very late night.

On twitter "#Egypt_is_stripped_naked went viral expressing the anger and disgust over what happened to the old lady and how the whole matter would end up in another  reconciliation would solve anything.
Late night , the Diocese of Minya and Abu Qarqis following the Egyptian Coptic Orthodox Church confirmed the incident demanding the authorities to arrest the perpetrators.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Seen in Cairo : Inside Ramses Railway station

Location Cairo Ramses Station, Ramsis Square, Al Fagalah, Al Azbakeyah, Cairo Governorate, Egypt
Inside Ramses Railway station
Inside Ramses Railway station 
The famous and main hall of Cairo's Ramses Railway station after its renovation. The new Neo-futuristic Pharaonic style drew lots of criticism as it does not match the famous Islamic Heliopolis style of the famous station's exterior.
I can see why.
Via Instagram   

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Spare Egypt from those foreign loans

Just as Egypt was just in shock over the tragedy of EGYPTAIR MS804 on Thursday , many Egyptians found out that Russia would lend Egypt USD 25 billion to build its nuclear station in Dabaa.
Putin and Sisi "Ria" 
Yes , we are going to have another foreign loan according to what was announced in the Egyptian State's Official Gazette.
The Egyptian State's Official Gazette issued on Thursday "19 May 2016" included Presidential Decree "No.484" for the year 2016 to approve a loan from Russia to build and operate a nuclear power plant in Egypt.
According to the decree , Russia will lend Egypt USD 25 billion and in return Egypt will pay an interest rate of 3% annually starting from October 2029.
Egyptian will repay the loans over 22 years in 43 installments !!
I do not know what to say !!!
This is the biggest foreign loan in the modern history of Egypt.
Is it really worth it to add all those financial burdens on the future Egyptian generations to build an environmental threatening plant ??
Already , I do not understand how El-Sisi approved that loan without the discussion or approval of the House of the Representatives.
Article No.127 of the Current Egyptian Constitution already stipulates the following :
The executive authority may not contract a loan, obtain funding, or commit itself to a project that is not listed in the approved state budget entailing expenditure from the state treasury for a subsequent period, except with the approval of the House of Representatives.
I do not think that the Egyptian parliament approved that deal if I am not mistaken.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Egypt's MPs should speak about the fiscal policies, that is what they should do

On Sunday , we found out that the Speaker of Egypt's House of Representatives, Ali Abdel Aal  warning the MPs of speaking about the government's fiscal policies in the media critically or otherwise he or she will be referred to a disciplinary committee.
On Monday after facing criticism in the media , Abdel Aal claimed that he only said that because the fiscal policies were discussed confidentially and the members are free to express their opinion but not to insult the state institutions  !!
I do not think that the financial or fiscal policies of Egypt should be or are confidential.
House of Representative Speaker Ali Abdal Aal 
In fact , all the countries discuss the fiscal and financial policies freely and openly in the parliament and in the media criticizing the government because this is what the parliament is supposed to do technically speaking !!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Seen in Cairo : Ramses Train station

Location Cairo Ramses Station, Ramsis Square, Al Fagalah, Al Azbakeyah, Cairo Governorate, Egypt
Cairo's Ramses Train Station
Cairo's Ramses Train station  
Seen in Cairo : The 1892-building of Cairo's Main Railway station in Ramses Square. The building is known for its Heliopolis Style exterior yet unfortunately, its interior was heavily modernized till its identity is quite lost in between the two styles.

More about Egyptian Railways' History here. 

More to come from Egyptian Chronicles' Seen in Cairo on Instagram. 

After Al-Rawiei Fire in video

Location Cairo Governorate, Egypt
I shot that video when I went to Al-Rawiei street after its huge fire.  from 11 days ago and unfortunately I did not edit or upload it on time.
Still, it is never too late.
I uploaded the video on Friday. I apologized for the late posting but it is really worth it.
I added to it English captions.

Now the latest updates of Al-Rawiei street especially when it comes to compensations
I have just read that the ministry of solidarity compensated on Thursday the families of the three victims killed in the fire giving them LE 30,000 each.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Tiran and Sanafir Trials : You tried that before and you failed

First of all, I think we should forget or ignore what is happening in Tiran and Sanafir ongoing debate in Egypt in addition to what is happening to EGYPTAIR 804
We should not forget because there are over 100 people whose future is at stake for real.
Already according to human rights lawyer and member of Egypt's National Council for Human Rights Ragia Omran, the total number of arrests officially from 15 April to 10 May related to Tiran and Sanafir isles case reached to 1317.
Some of the detainees have already been released while some others are detained pending investigations. There are also the misfortunate detainees who have been already sentenced to prison in very quick trials last week.
On Saturday , a special court circuit sentenced more than 150 people 2 to 5 years in jail over protesting the Tiran and Sanafir Egyptian-Saudi deal on 25 April.
Saturday morning , a special court specialized in terrorism-related cases sentenced 51 people to two years hard labor for  illegal protesting in Downtown Cairo on 25 April.
Then Saturday evening and after 8 hours of hearings , another special court after sentenced 111 people to five years in jail for illegal protesting in Al-Massaha square in Dokki on 25 April , joining a terrorist group and disturbing the public order and security.Seventy-Five defendants in this case are fined LE 100,000 "USD 10,000"
These are the maximum penalties in the controversial unconstitutional Protest law.
It only took two sessions to convict over 150 people.

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