Sunday, December 5, 2021

The Kordahi affair: About freedom of expression, sovereignty and absurd wars

On Friday Veteran Lebanese media figure George Kordahi presented his resignation as Minister of information to the Lebanese President Michel Aoun ending a month-long diplomatic crisis with Gulf countries over his statements concerning the war in Yemen.

On 25 October, Al Jazeera Network’s “People’s Parliament” web show released its episode with guest George Kordahi. The episode was filmed on 5 August before Kordahi was appointed as the information minister in Lebanon representing Marada Movement and approved by Iran-backed-Hezbollah.

Michel Aoun and George Kordahi
George Kordahi presented his resignation to Lebanese President 
Michel Aoun in Beirut on Friday "Lebanese Presidency)

During the show, Kordahi said that the war in Yemen was absurd that must stop and that Iran-backed-Houthis were defending themselves against foreign attacks.

Friday, December 3, 2021

Alexandria’s latest wave : Just big tidal wave or Climate change is here to stay !?

On Wednesday, Egypt’s Alexandria witnessed a huge tidal wave that reached over five metres-high reaching into streets and destroying seafront buildings.

Alexandrians are used to big tidal waves especially before or during their annual Nawat or storms. Within a day or two, the Maiden of Mediterranean city will meet “Nawaa Kassem” or Kassem Storm. The city has just recovered from another storm from a couple of weeks ago.

Yet what happened on Wednesday was new even for the Alexandrians when it comes to the height of the tidal wave and its force.

Tidal wave in Alexandria
The Tidal wave that destroyed part of the corniche fence in Lauran on Wednesday
Amir Mansour 

A video that went viral Thursday in Egypt was filmed on Wednesday shows the Engineers Syndicate Club at Saba Pasha district on the seafront flooded by a high tidal wave.

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

#Coronavirus on the Nile : A December Covid-19 coverage in Egypt and Arab world “Live”

It is another new month in the time of the coronavirus pandemic in Egypt and the World.

It is December,  the second December in the time of coronavirus or to be accurate it is the third December for Covid-19 world if we take into consideration that its initial outbreak in China was in November 2019.

Needless to say, this December it seems that Covid-19 is still like an ugly menace threatening the world as we have got now the new Omicron variant.

More countries are reporting more cases and we got vaccine companies saying that we got till half December to see if the impact of the current vaccines on the Omicron variant.

Egypt was among the countries accused of exporting one of the earliest Omicron variant cases to Europe but Egyptian officials stated that the Omicron variant has not been detected in the country yet.

A worker in protective gear sprays disinfectant in Hurghada , Egypt
A worker in protective gear sprays disinfectant, following an outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at Hurghada International Airport in Hurghada, Egypt, on June 18, 2020.

The country is already still in its Fourth wave of COVID-19 peak despite in the past few days in November, the numbers began to decline but then return to increase.

More vaccines are set to arrive in Cairo in the upcoming weeks.

We will see if the government will succeed in vaccinating 40 million Egyptians or not as it announced earlier.

Egypt already has allowed the vaccination of 15-12 years-old children using the Pfizer vaccine on the condition of parental approval.

Starting from December 1, parents can register their children at that age on the official Coronavirus registration's website.

Starting from December 1 also, Unvaccinated people won’t be allowed into the official institutions. We will see how this ban will go.

Here is our monthly live coverage of everything coronavirus below.

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Egypt revives the ancient Avenue of Sphinxes in Luxor tonight

In case you do not know, Egypt is on a date on another glitzy ancient Egyptian inspired parade in a few hours.

The avenue of the Sphinxes on 24 November's night "Ahmed Gomaa"

The 1.7-mile-long and about 250-feet-wide-Sphinxes Avenue connect the Luxor temple complex and the Karnak temple complex. According to historical accounts, the current surviving sphinxes avenue was built by King Nectanebo I, the founder of Egypt’s last native ruling dynasty aka the 30th dynasty in the late period.

Egypt's Luxor Temples Complex
The Avenue of Sphinxes in 2012

According to archaeologists, most of the sphinxes or rams statues in the avenues have been restored. They are over 1,000 statues. We got four of them in Tahrir square despite the objections of the archaeologists. I wonder why we do not put them back where they belong.

It is said that the face of the sphinxes depicted Nectanebo I in accordance with the famous ancient Egyptian tradition that started in the old kingdom.

The trip to revive the avenue was long starting from year 1984 to 2000 thanks to Egyptian archaeologists then the plan to restore it kicked off in the year 2009 then was stopped for a while in 2011 then it was resumed later till we see right now.

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Alexandria : The first drowning in the rainfall season

Since Saturday or late Friday, Egypt was hit by a wave of unstable weather conditions, especially on the Northern coast.

It was not a surprise, it was expected that the wave would start on Saturday and conclude by Tuesday according to the Egyptian Meteorological Authority “EMA” since last week. Not to mention this is the time of what is commonly known in Alexandria as “Nawat El-Muknesa” or “The Broom storm”.

Alexandria has those “Nawaat” or storms known by date whether according to the Egyptian Coptic calendar or the Gregorian calendar.

Despite the warnings, we found photos like this showing the streets flooded with water after rainfall.

The famous black and yellow Alexandria Taxi drowned in rainwater after
the storm "Mostafa Hassan Via Documentaries 2020"

We have also those crazy videos too

This Nawat El-Muknesa or the Broom storm is actually the first storm in the storms season and not the strongest among them in the first place.

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Egyptian X-Files : The curious case of Princess Fawzia’s diamond Parure

This post should have been posted last week but between work and what is happening at Cairo’s historical cemeteries overshadowed the plans I had.

This post is about another piece or rather missing pieces of the famous Princess Fawzia’s Jewelry collection. Last week, we saw the former Queen of Iran’s jewelry collection at Alexandria’s Royal Jewelry Museum as well as some famous jewelry pieces she wore whether in Iran or Egypt.

Nevertheless, we did not speak about her most famous jewelry pieces ever but now the time has come to speak about the famous legendary diamond parure of Princess Fawzia or the Holy Grail of the Egyptian Royal Jewelry.

Empress Fawzia by Cecil Beaton
The famous photoshoot of Queen Fawzia in Tehran
in 1942 by Cecil Beaton

Just like the striking beauty of the Egyptian Princess, that diamond parure was also immortalized when famous British photographer Cecil Beaton took those famous and official photos of Fawzia Fouad in Tehran in 1942.

Empress Fawzia
Fawzia wearing the full diamond parure
in Tehran "Cecil Beaton"

But its story went back before 1942

In the year 1938, the Egyptian Royal Family commissioned French Jewelry House Van Cleef & Arpels to design a special diamonds parure for the new bride Princess Fawzia as her engagement to the Crown Prince of Iran was announced.

Sunday, November 14, 2021

Egypt’s Queen Farida at 100: Please Save her tomb, Safeguard Historic Cairo Cemeteries "Updated"

This month does not mark only the centenary of Princess Fawzia Fouad, it is also the centenary of Egypt’s Queen Farida.

Queen Farida is by far the most popular Queen/First lady in Egypt in modern times. We are speaking about an amazing model of an Egyptian woman who did not bend due to hard circumstances whether political or economic situations.

From Egypt’s privileged upper class to the Royal throne to become a young popular Queen then to get a divorce then to face political and economic upheavals then to become a prominent artist in exile before returning to Egypt, Queen Farida was a unique example of Egyptian strong independent woman when you think about it.

I want to write something about her jewelry collection at the Egyptian Royal Jewelry Museum but due to time limits, I could not because it is bigger than Fawzia’s collection.

Instead, I am writing this sad post

The Egyptian government decides to remove the cemetery of Queen Farida giving her family’s descendants very short notice to transfer the remains of their ancestors among other families to very small cemeteries at the 15th May city’s outskirts because of new highways and bridges plan in Cairo.

Queen Farida's tomb at her family cemetery in Cairo 
"Seif Allah Zulficar

So instead of a special exhibit featuring Queen Farida, her jewelry and her art in any of the so many museums we have in Egypt, this is how the Egyptian government celebrates her centenary.