Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Happy Eid despite all the hardships and war in Gaza and Sudan

Happy Eid El-Fitr to the dear readers of the Egyptian Chronicles around the globe especially those who are observing.

A very special Happy Eid El-Fitr to the people of Gaza, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

Despite the death and destruction, Palestinians are endeavouring to celebrate Eid El-Fitr as best they can.

A Palestinian woman with her Eid Kahk
A Palestinian woman with her Eid Kahk aka cookies by 
Majdi Fathi in Deir Al-Balah, in the central Gaza Strip April 8, 2024

Women and children have gathered to make Eid cookies or Kahk, which differs from ours, despite being at the Internal Displacement Camps (IDC), using mud ovens like their ancestors did in 1948.

I read that in Palestinian Rafah, where a million and a half Palestinians have taken refuge, there are two hairdressers with queues of women and children since early Tuesday.

I see videos on Instagram of men having their hair cut in makeshift barbershops inside the tents.

Bahr El-Baqar School Bombing Anniversary in Egypt: Echoes in the Time of the Gaza War

Today marks the 54th anniversary of the horrifying Israeli bombing of Bahr El-Baqar school in Egypt’s Sharkia governorate where over 40 people were killed including 30 children and over 40 others were injured in an attack that left its mark in the collective Egyptian mind till now.

On Wednesday 8 April 1970 at 9:20 am, Israeli Air Force F4 Phantom II bombed a single-floor school made of three classrooms and a Land Reclamation Authority workshop with Five bombs and two air-to-ground missiles.

Out of 150 students, 30 were killed right away and over 50 were injured. The attack also killed 11 civilian men who were working in the workshop that was beside the school. 

I wrote about the Bahr El-Baqar massacre on its 50th anniversary but this year the anniversary comes in time of the Gaza war. It hit a cord.

A doctor helping an Egyptian pupil from the injured who suffered from burns
due to the Israeli airstrike at El-Husseina Hospital 
"Bettmann Archives/Getty Images"

It is like the worst rewind for what happened 54 years ago but on a mega-scale. We are seeing children suffering from burns all over their bodies in 4k instead of black and white photos.

This year I saw Al-Ahram archives photos of Bahr El-Baqar school injured children suffering burns in the same position as the Palestinian children 54 years later in Gaza.

Bahr El-Baqar
An injured Egyptian pupil who survived an Israeli airstrike
sleeping  at El-Husseina Hospital 
"Al-Ahram Archives"

They were even put in pairs because El-Husseina Hospital did not have enough beds to meet that catastrophe.

Monday, April 1, 2024

Kodak Agfa Presents: El-Sayeda Zeinab Ramadan Market in time of Economic Crisis in video (Bonus : Ramadan Market in Bab El-Khalk)

We are in the last tenth days of Ramadan and here we are with the video I filmed before the Holy Month would start from El-Sayeda Zeinab Ramadan Market or as Western Muslims prefer to call it “Ramadan Bazaar”. I prefer the word “Souk” or “Market” instead of bazaar.

Now as a bonus content here are a couple of photos of another vibrant and active Ramadan Market I discovered to be honest by accident while I was in the car.

Ramadan Lanterns for sale in Cairo's Bab El-Khalk
Ramadan Lanterns for sale in Cairo's Bab El-Khalk

That market stretched from Bab El-Khalk to the great Cairo’s Bab Zuwaila.

Ramadan Lanterns for sale in Cairo's Bab El-Khalk
Ramadan Lanterns for sale in Cairo's Bab El-Khalk

Friday, March 29, 2024

Watch in Ramadan: “Stern: The Man, the Gang and the State”

So, I am sharing this new documentary released and produced by Al-Jazeera Documentary “Stern: The Man, the Gang and the State”

Directed by Egyptian documentary filmmaker Hossam Serhan, this is a highly and timely documentary about one of the founding fathers of Israel and its army.

The documentary is about Avraham Stern and his Zionist militia “Lehi”.

Lehi and its members above them Stern were officially recognized as terrorists by the British occupation.

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Kodak Agfa presents in photos and video: Al-Sayeda Zeinab Ramadan Market 2024 “The Economic Crisis Edition”

“I will shock you, ask me what is the price of this huge red lantern?” The old vendor at Al-Sayeda Zeinab Ramadan Makeshift market told me.

“Shock me” I replied.

ِA scene from El-Sayeda Zeinab Ramadan Market 2024 in Cairo من سوق رمضان فى منطقة السيدة زينب بالقاهرة
That huge big handmade lantern made of cloth is sold for LE 4,000

“It is sold for LE 4,000,” he told me.

This is the price of the largest size of the Egyptian handmade traditional lantern whether made by cloth like the one above or like the traditional glass and tin.

Usually, those sizes are sold to restaurants, companies, embassies and shops as well as exported to other Arab countries.

Ramadan Kareem again

This post is not your usual Ramadan celebratory post celebrating Egypt’s traditional Ramadan lanterns and markets because it comes at a time of economic crisis.

ِA scene from El-Sayeda Zeinab Ramadan Market 2024 in Cairo من سوق رمضان فى منطقة السيدة زينب بالقاهرة
Lanterns sold in front of El-Sayeda Zeinab Mosque in Cairo

Although there has been a ban on imported lanterns since 2015 “I think the ban was older than that” which made the Egyptian traditional lanterns not only survive but also regain their power regionally, the prices of the lanterns went up by 20%-40% compared to the last year.

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Ramadan Arabian Nights 2024 : Scheherazade tells you Ramadan Kareem from Egypt and “#CeasefireNow in #Gaza” {Updated}

First, Ramadan Kareem

Second, I cannot post the usual Ramadan 1001 Arabian Audio Nights as I have done in the past years and there are two genocides taken on Egypt’s borders whether in Gaza or in Sudan.

1001 Arabian Audio Nights are another Egyptian entertainment tradition to celebrate the Holy Month, but it is not time to celebrate and entertain when millions of people including Arabs and Muslims are displaced and starving by the worst kind of armies and militias in both nations as the world especially our shameful Arab world is just a spectator.

Ramadan decorations in an Egyptian alley in a Giza working-class area
The Palestinian flag "Muhammed Hamdy"

There is another Egyptian tradition that we have been taught since childhood, do not raise the sound of music or hold any festivities if your neighbour has lost someone and is in mourning. I was taught that lesson personally by my own grandma may Allah bless her soul. 

Two of our closest neighbours are not only mourning but they are also displaced, starved and killed.

We can’t enter the aid and we can’t stop the genocides yet the least thing we can do to them is to lower the TVs and radios. 

This is what I believe and honestly, I have no appetite whatsoever to watch any TV series or gossip show in that TV Ramadan marathon.

FYI: I had hopes for the truce and even prepared something if the truce was made but then Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu does not want a truce or any ceasefire because he knows it is his end for real.

Third, despite there will be no 1001 Arabian Audio Nights this year, there are other important things to share that it is timely. 

For instance: This post shows you how working-class and rural Egypt celebrated Palestine and Gaza during Ramadan.

Saturday, March 9, 2024

Watch this: The Arab League slams Israel in front of the ICJ

I do not know how I missed this, but you must watch the official advisory opinion of the League of Arab States “LAS” at the International Court of Justice “ICJ” on Israeli violations in Palestine earlier this month at the Hague.

If you like the official advisory opinion of Egypt then you will be amazed at what international law veteran expert and professor Ralph Wilde said.

LAS is among 52 countries and 3 international organizations the United Nations General Assembly requested from the ICJ their advisory opinion regarding the legal consequences of the Israeli policies and practices in the occupied Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem in 2022.

Wilde spoke about the right of self-determination and how for over 70 years the Palestinians have not enjoyed it like the rest of the peoples in the world.

This violation of Palestinian self-determination is ongoing, and unresolved. Two key elements are: First, Palestinian people not displaced from the land proclaimed to be of Israel in 1948, and their descendants, have been forced to live as citizens— presently they constitute 17.2 per cent — of a State conceived to be of and for another racial group, under the domination of that group, necessarily treated as second class, because of their race.

Second, Palestinian people displaced from that land, and their descendants, cannot return.

These are serious breaches of the right of self-determination, the prohibitions of racial discrimination and apartheid, and the right of return. They must end, immediately.

Many people were disappointed and shocked that LAS chose a non-Arab to represent it in front of the ICJ but honestly, Ralph Wilde made an argument to remember.

It is not about Arab or non-Arab at this time.

One must admit we did not expect the LAS’ argument would be that strong because LAS is truly a dead useless organization when you think about it.