Monday, May 13, 2024

Gaza War 2023: This is what the real humans of Gaza say/are saying/said "May Mother’s Day Edition"

I wanted to publish this post on the March Egyptian/Arab Mother’s Day, but I could not during then. Now it is the week of May Mother’s Day in the West and so it is time to hear what the real mothers of Gaza say/are saying and said.

I failed to post this on our Egyptian/Arab Mother’s Day because I was overwhelmed by the messages and videos I found for Palestinian mothers from Gaza, and I am still overwhelmed.

The Palestinian mothers in Gaza gave another reason why mothers are revered universally.

Mothers and babies in destroyed houses by Motaz Aaiza in Gaza
Mothers and babies in destroyed houses by Motaz Aaiza in Gaza

On the eve of May Mother’s Day, I saw this video of an old woman displaced along with her injured paralyzed son in North Gaza searching for safety.

Her son, suffering from injuries sustained during the Nabulsi roundabout massacre, required urgent blood transfusions at Kamal Adwan Hospital on Sunday.

However, they were forced to evacuate following leaflets dropped by occupation forces planes, urging everyone to leave Jabalia and surrounding areas. The mother, struggling with her son's partial paralysis and inadequate medical facilities in North Gaza, expresses a desperate wish for peace.

This great mother reminded me of the other mother who kept pulling her two toddler sons for nearly 14 kilometres in the first displacement from the North to Middle Gaza in November. 

Saturday, May 11, 2024

Kodak Agfa presents : Cairo’s Al-Sayeda Zeinab Mosque and Shrine during Renovations

A very short break and escape from a war that will be our Karbala moment as a nation and on the eve of the re-inauguration of Al-Sayeda Zeinab Mosque and Shrine after a major renovation, I would like to share with you a couple of photos I took earlier this year to the Mosque while it was still being renovated.

On Sunday, it is expected that the Mosque will be re-inaugurated by the current Sultan of Bohras Mufaddal Saifuddin and Egyptian officials above them expectedly President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi.

El-Sayeda Zeinab Mosque and shrine during renovations in Cairo ترميمات مسجد و ضريح السيدة زيبن بالقاهرة
Al-Sayeda Zeinab Mosque's entrance from Al-Sadd Street in Cairo

The Indian spiritual leader of the Shia sect arrived in Cairo on Saturday and met with El-Sisi.

I think that he made a new record number of visits to Egypt in the past few years that no other Sultan of the Ismaili branch of Shia Islam had made in the past.

The Dawoodi Bohra Shiites are funding the whole renovation process of the mosques and shrines Ahl Al-Beit or Prophet Mohamed (PBUH) Family in Egypt especially in Cairo.

Al-Sayeda Zeinab or Lady Zeinab is Prophet Mohamed’s granddaughter. It is widely believed in Egypt that she came to Cairo in 61 Hijri (680 AD) and lived there till her death. Lady Zeinab was buried in a place that was once part of the Egyptian Gulf.

Lady Zeinab is a holy symbol for Shias as well as the Sunnis, especially Egyptians “We are the Shiaa of the Sunni”.

One of the oldest photos taken in the 19th century of El-Sayeda Zeinab
Mosque in Cairo

Again, I won’t enter the debate about whether Lady Zeinab Peace Upon Her was buried in Cairo or in Damascus but the oldest mention of the mosque as a shrine for the Prophet Mohamed’s Granddaughter or “Mashhad al-Sayyida Zainab” was found in the 4th century Hijri (10th century) chronicles of Andalusian traveller “Al-Fassi” to Egypt during then.

Sunday, May 5, 2024

Happy Orthodox Easter 2024 from Gaza regardless of war

Happy Orthodox Easter from Gaza, from one of the world’s oldest active yet ignored Church of Saint Porphyries.

Despite all the odds the Church and the very few remaining Greek Orthodox Christians celebrated Orthodox Easter holding all the masses and rituals.

Easter Orthodox held at St.Church of Saint Porphyries in Gaza on Sunday
by Hamza Qraiqea for Anadolu/AFP

The Palestinian Orthodox Christians held all the masses and rituals in a sombre mood after all that they had been facing since October.

People ignore the fact that this is the third oldest active church in the world named after Saint Porphyries of the Greek Orthodox Church.

Originally born in Thessaloniki, Bishop Porphyries was sent to Gaza in the 5th century by the Patriarch of Jerusalem when it was a city of Pagans. Historically Gaza was a pagan city and was not even a part of the short-lived-Jewish Kingdoms in what was known then Jerusalem and Judea.

Bishop Porphyries helped in the conversion of many Palestinians to Christianity. Porphyries’ tomb is in the North Eastern corner of the Church.

Now I do not understand why a Church like the Church of Saint Porphyries is not on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Unfortunately, the world seemed to discover it only when it was bombed by Israeli Air Forces on 25 October causing the collapse of one of the two halls it targeted.

Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Gaza War: A Portfolio of Israel’s Newborns Targets in Gaza

In the days before the war, Yahia Barzaq became the first professional photographer in the Gaza Strip to specialize in photographing newborns and babies.

Barzaq started capturing images of newborns with the assistance of his wife in mid-July 2017, initially at their home, and it quickly gained immense popularity.

Shortly after securing local funding through an entrepreneurship business contest, he established his newborn photography studio in the upscale Remal district, known for its affluence in Central Gaza.

Just three days after the studio’s grand opening, the young photographer announced to expectant mothers that he would only be able to photograph babies under 14 days old and that his schedule was fully booked for the next month.

His wife Nahrawan took on the role of styling the babies for the photo sessions.

Within a few years, Barzaq’s studio became a sought-after destination for mothers seeking to capture the earliest moments of their newborns.

Monday, April 22, 2024

Les vaches qui condamnent : Cherchez the Red Heifers’ animal rights "Updated"

First, Chag Sameach

On Sunday, scores of right-wing religiously fanatic Jewish Israelis began to flock to East Jerusalem in preparation for the celebration of Passover bringing with them livestock mostly goats to sacrifice at Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Yet this seems normal somehow and it will be not the main event on Monday in East Jerusalem this Passover with all that is happening from escalation in the West Bank as well as ongoing genocide in Gaza.

The red heifers by Night Cafe 

This Passover, the main event that will capture I believe the attention of many in the world is the red heifers and whether an Ulta-right Jewish Institute will sacrifice them at Mount Olive in East Jerusalem ushering the final stage in re-establishing the Third Temple in the same place of Al-Aqsa Mosque, Islam’s holiest site.

"Updated: They adjourned it"

If you are lost and don't know what I am talking about, here is a simple explanation.

Following the destruction of the Solomon Temple twice, there are factions of Jews who believe that the Third Temple will be rebuilt again on the Temple Mount after the birth and sacrifice of red heifers or cows on Mount Olive where they were burned to ashes like in ancient times.

Now there is one issue the Temple Mount officially is not empty because it hosts Islam’s third holiest place, Beit Al-Maqdas or Al-Harm Al-Sharif hosts Al-Aqsa Mosque “Third Holiest Mosque” and the Dome of the Rock thus there are right-wing religiously fanatic Jewish groups that want to demolish Al-Harm Al-Sharif.

Among those fanatic current Israeli ministers are Itamar Ben-Gvir, Amihai Eliyahu and Bezalel Smotrich who do not hide this wish and actually are working hard to make that happen eventually regardless of the price the world will pay.

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.