Monday, August 10, 2020

Egypt got Senate elections on Tuesday in case you do not know

In case you do not know Egypt has got Senate elections tomorrow Tuesday and Wednesday.
Yes, and already the Egyptians abroad should have participated and elected their representatives on Sunday and Monday via mail around the globe due to coronavirus pandemic.

Back in Cairo, most of the Egyptians would have not known that there would be Senate elections or Senate in the first place if it were not the big banners.
I would say that the Senate elections banners revived the billboard and outdoors ad industry after it was hit hard by the coronavirus.

One of the elections banners in Giza's Agouza
One of the elections banners in Giza's Agouza 

So here is what you need to know about the Egyptian Senate which is having a comeback :

  • The Upper Chamber of the Parliament returned back thanks to the 2019 Constitutional amendments.
  • The Senate is made up of 300 members aka Senators.
  • One-third of the Senate is appointed while the two-third are elections.
  • The Two-third is divided between One third elected in single-member constituencies and other third is elected.
  • The Senate will review and assess the laws passed by the House of Representatives.
  • Just read this report by Mada Masr for more background juicy details about it “How We Moved backwards

Saturday, August 8, 2020

Coronavirus on the Nile : Senate elections week edition

Another weekly live update post with all things coronavirus as much as I can from Egypt and the Arab world.

It is a very interesting week.

Egypt is already going to have its Senate Elections on 11 and 12 August 2020 during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Egypt has been witnessing officially a stable decline in the numbers

A file photo of Egyptians in the metro in March 2020 "Reuters" 

It won’t be a shock or a surprise considering that most people act as if there is not pandemic in the first place despite the official warnings. of daily infections and deaths but doctors, on the other hand, have been reporting last week a return to an increase.

Once again people are ignoring the social distancing policies and the masks.

Very few are still wearing the masks while the majority act as if there is nothing at all.

I am afraid we may have to pay a price for this behaviour like the price the public is paying in Europe and the United States.

Anyhow, here is our weekly live updates widget.

Friday, August 7, 2020

Kodak Agfa Presents : A full Moon , Jupiter and Saturn in the city

It is not every night you can see Jupiter and Saturn by the naked eye.

It is not every night you can see Jupiter and Saturn by the naked eye in the city with all the streets lights.

It is not every night you can see Jupiter and Saturn by the naked eye just besides a very bright full moon.

So last Sunday , it was very special night to see Jupiter and Saturn appear to the naked eye like that in a city like Giza with lights are everywhere clear.
Full Moon , Jupiter and Saturn

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Beirut Blast : Welcome to post-apocalyptic Beirut

First of all, this how you can help Lebanon as a person if you can.

You can donate to Lebanese NGOs through this link.

You can donate to buy food items directly through this link

You can donate to the Lebanese Red Cross directly through this link

It is nearly 24 hours following the huge blast in Beirut port that is changing the fate of a whole country in the saddest way ever.

Last night Beirut was on another date with misery with those series of explosions that made it trend for all the wrong reasons once again, a city of disaster.

An old Lebanese lady spending the night at the street due to the explosion  "Twitter"
An old Lebanese lady spending the night at the street due to the explosion 

What makes me sad for real is that Beirut is a synonym for happiness and bon vivant for us, the Arabs but for the west Beirut is only in the centre of news for this kind of disasters and civil wars.

The photos and videos showing post-apocalyptic Beirut in a very sad way. 

Victims numbers are increasing

In the past few hours the Lebanese health officials announced that the number, we are speaking about at least 150 dead and over 5,000 injuries according in addition to hundreds of missing people.

On social media, you will find sisters searching for brothers and nephews searching for uncles.

According to the Lebanese officials, 300,000 Lebanese people spent their night in the street because they could not spend their night at their homes due to the huge damages the buildings suffered.

All the journalists living in Beirut I know or I follow online reported that some kind of damages in their homes.No one was spared.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Beirut Port Explosion : The Cost of negligence “or Warehouse 12 of hell ”

2020 won’t be an easy or unforgettable year by all measures as it seems

In case you do not know the news yet, the Lebanese capital Beirut was rocked by huge multiple explosions at the Port of Beirut. The explosions that shocked the city to the core killed at least 78 people and injured over 4,000 people.

The explosions happened at 6.30 PM Beirut Local Time when multiple explosions took place at a warehouse in the port. At first, it was reported that it took place at a fireworks warehouse but it was soon debunked.

According to the Lebanese Prime Minister Hasan Diab, the explosion happened at a warehouse that stored explosives and chemicals specifically Ammonium Nitrate.

After the explosions in Beirut Port by AFP
After the explosions in Beirut Port by AFP 

The Lebanese officials say that the warehouse stored 2,700 tonnes of ammonium nitrate, which is equivalent to 600 tonnes of TNT for nearly 6 years !!

It is unclear yet what caused the first explosion or fire that led to multiple fires.

The Lebanese High Council of Defense declared a state of emergency for two weeks as well as Beirut as “Disaster City”.

The situation is more than horrible according to citizens and reporters online.

Warehouse 12 in the Port of Beirut or the bloody cargo of m/v Rhosus

The story of Black Tuesday’s explosions started on 23/9/2013 when M/V Rhosus flying a Moldavian flag sailed from Batumi Port, Georgia heading to Beira port in Mozambique carrying a cargo of 2,750 tons of Ammonium Nitrate.

Due to technical problems, the Rhosus stopped at Beirut Port and upon inspection by the Lebanese authority, it was forbidden to continue its voyage because of its highly explosive cargo.

The cargo was transported later to warehouse 12.

Nobody understands why the Lebanese officials let a highly explosive material like that for 6 years in a civilian port in a civilian area.

Sunday, August 2, 2020

#Hajj2020 to remember indeed : Hajj in time of coronavirus

There are millions of Muslims worldwide who envy those lucky few who enjoyed very unique and organized Hajj this year for the most unexpected reasons.

Earlier Saudi Arabia decided to downsize the Hajj or Islamic pilgrimage from 2.5 million pilgrims from around the globe to 10,000 pilgrims from residents and Saudis living in the Kingdom.

Saudi authorities had to downsize the Hajj due to Coronavirus outbreak.

They could have cancelled it as they did with Umra pilgrimage and the decision would have been supported religiously but because we are speaking about Hajj pilgrimage; one of the original pillars of Islam, I think it was kind of huge challenge. 

One can say that the Saudi authorities succeeded in arranging unforgettable Hajj Season for Hijri year 1441/2020.

The photos were amazing like every year but this time they were unique. This post is to memorize Hajj in time of coronavirus. 

The pilgrims around the Kaaba in Masjid Al-Haram
The pilgrims around the Kaaba in Masjid Al-Haram  "CGG Saudi government"

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Kodak Agfa presents : A very short drive-through tour of El-Sayida Zeinab area’s Mosques in one street

There are good reasons why UNESCO chose Historical Cairo as a World Heritage site.

One of those reasons I believe personally is that Cairo is one of those cities where you can see a long history, a long tale of man since the dawn of history till our modern time manifested in architecture; even if those buildings are tombs and cemeteries.

I can’t drag myself to write what is happening at Cairo’s City of the Dead because the whole thing depresses me and if I go deeper, I will be depressed more. “More about it from AP

Reading what happened to the cemetery of legendary Egyptian journalist and novelist Ihsan Abdel Kouddous by the pen of his grandson Sharif Abdel Kouddous made me feel helpless.

Cairo’s City of the Dead included some of Egypt’s greatest pioneers in the 19th and 20th century like Abdel Kouddous.

It shocked me how the Ministry of Archeology and Tourism officials from archaeologists justified this disrespect to the deceased and how they regarded those cemeteries as “modern”.

They should know better.

Some of those cemeteries were designed and constructed by the brightest architects Egypt and the Arab world have seen till this day like Hassan Fathy.

I knew that in the 1980s or the 1990s, a similar project was proposed and planned during Mubarak era but Dr Galila El-Kady, the first Egyptian woman to survey and write down the history of the Cairo's City of the Dead stood against the project and succeeded in stopping it but now another project is here and it seems Goliath is winning.

El-Kady made important books about the history of Cairo in English and French above them “Architecture for the Dead: Cairo’s Medieval Necropolis

Some people supported online the government in those highways plan to claim that those modern “Mamluks” useless places, a highway is much better.

Other claims that there is no history in those places, unfortunately, some regard that history in Egypt stops at the ancient Egyptian era as well as what the government renovates only.

“It is a 19th-century building, it is not historical,” They say or “It is just building”

Sometimes you are captured by the beauty of a villa or a cemetery entrance or a mosque and you ask more about it and its history to know that the owner of the cemetery was a famous Egyptian politician or a famous doctor or an industrialist who contributed a lot to the history of the industry in this country away from foreign control.

Back to the starting point, why UNESCO considered historical Cairo including Islamic Cairo a World Heritage Site.

An Exhibit below from very few photos can explain my point when it comes to Historical Islamic Cairo

Those are some of the mosques I found on the way from the Mosque of El-Sayida Zeinab to the Islamic Museum in Port Said street.

I took their photos while I was in the car and I returned to read more about them only to find names I have not known before.

Prince Tamraz Mosque from the Mamluk era

Prince Tamraz shrine and mosque in Islamic Cairo of Egypt
Prince Tamraz Mosque 

This is the Mosque of Mamluk Prince Tamraz built in the year 1471 during the era of Sultan Qaitbay.

What we know about late Prince Tamraz was that he was a Circassian slave boy that was purchased and enrolled in Egypt’s Mamluk system. Soon, he became a leading Mamluk from the ruling class that controlled Egypt and Levants in several centuries. There had been renovations that took place in the mosque in 18th and 19th century. 

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