Sunday, May 21, 2023

Palestinian Singer Mohammed Assaf's Song "Dammi Falastini" Deleted from Spotify and Apple Music

Earlier Sunday, Arab music fans and subscribers of Spotify and Apple Music found that both music platforms had removed Palestinian singer Mohammed Assaf's top hit "Dammi Falastini" (My Blood is Palestinian).

According to Assaf, he received emails from both services stating that the song had been removed due to "incitement."

Some Arab news websites have reported that the song was removed because it was believed to incite antisemitism.

The song's page on Spotify's web player is now greyed out, and it has been deleted from Apple Music.

From his side, Assaf believes according to his statements to Arab media that the song was removed under the pretext that the song incites against the Zionist enemy aka Israel. He added that it brought him great honour that his songs express the Palestinian people's resistance against the occupation.

"Even if they delete this song, it exists in the memory and conscience of every Palestinian and every honourable free person defending the right of the Palestinian people to obtain their freedom and independence” The singer from Gaza added.

I do not know how the 2015 song is accused of inciting antisemitism when it celebrates Semitic people. Palestinian people regardless of what some people try to spread worldwide are Semitic people. “Yes, the conflict is Semitic people against Semitic people over Semitic land in a nutshell”

Here is the popular hit song from YouTube.

Saturday, May 20, 2023

The 32nd Arab summit in Jeddah: Curb Your Enthusiasm

Earlier Friday, the Arab leaders as well as their representatives held the 32nd meeting of the Arab summit in Jeddah.

To cut things short, nothing is expected to change due to this summit just like the other summits, but two things happened on Friday.

Bashar El-Assad had a warm welcome from most of his Arab counterparts. 

Despite the Western warnings, the Arab countries led by Saudi Arabia and the Emirates support the return of El-Assad and his regime to the Arab League with no regard for whatever happened to the Syrian people in the past 12 years.

The 32nd Arab Summit in Jeddah's leaders
The 32nd Arab Summit in Jeddah's leaders

El-Assad gave one of those speeches cursing the immoral West, Muslim Brotherhood Turkey and Israel that is being ignored in the Arab world according to him “Man, I remembered how I used to admire his long speeches in the summit in the first years of his rule, how naïve I was.”

Also, the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy came to Jeddah and addressed the summit. Zelenskyy spoke about the Ukrainian Muslims.

I do not know if he realized that in front of him El-Assad who officially committed war crimes against his own people, mostly Muslims has been received like a hero.

The Saudi media is trying to position the Arab summit in Jeddah as the “Reconciliation” summit because of the reinstatement of Syria to the League of Arab Summit and the participation of Bashar El-Assad in the summit.

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

What is the Nakba? Learn about the Palestinian catastrophe in 17 minutes or less

I never thought I would see an American news website publish such an informative video about the Palestinian Nakba.

I recommend that you watch and share this informative short documentary about the Palestinian Nakba from Vox Media.

Hear the other side.

Listen to Mr Dawoud Assad, one of the saviours of the awful and horrific Deir Yassin massacre.

In a related manner, I never imagined in my life that I would see a member of the United States Congress speak about and commemorate the Nakba in the heart of the United States Capitol, bringing it to light after 75 years.

Sunday, May 14, 2023

88,000 Cross Sudan-Egypt Borders as Two more Egyptians Die in Generals' War "updated"

According to the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), over 88,873 people have crossed the Sudan-Egypt borders, mainly through the Argeen crossing, with 83,578 of them being Sudanese and 5,115 of other nationalities from 15 April to 13 May. 

Sudanese women, children, and individuals aged over 50 with valid passports and yellow vaccine cards can enter Egypt without a visa, but men aged between 16 and 49 years old must apply for visas at the Egyptian embassy or consulate.

The Argeen crossing between Egypt and Sudan after the war by AFP's Khaled Desouki
The Argeen crossing between Egypt and Sudan after the war by AFP's Khaled Desouki

The Egyptian embassy has been relocated in Khartoum after the tragic death of its staff member Mohamed El-Gharawy in April. There is a consular office in Wadi Hafla that can’t meet the high demand for visas.

There is also a consulate in Port Sudan.

With high demand, obtaining visas is taking a long time.

This is why over 300 activists from Sudan and the rest of the world launched an online petition requesting the Egyptian government to Waive entry requirements for Sudanese and non-Sudanese nationals fleeing the conflict.

There is a demand to waive the visa requirement for Sudanese men ages 16 to 49 and the requirement to carry a valid Sudanese passport.

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Road to Egyptian Presidential Elections 2024: Arrests, Controversy, and the Case Against Ahmed Al-Tantawy "Updated"

Earlier this week, popular Egyptian TV host Amr Adeeb has been wondering on MBC Misr why there is no talk about the upcoming 2024 Presidential elections in Egypt and why there are no presidential hopefuls like in the United States. 

It is unknown whether Adeeb was speaking seriously or what he meant by this talk, but interesting discussions about the Egyptian Presidential race have been happening on social media in the past few weeks, even before Ramadan.

In the past three days, news about the upcoming Presidential elections in Egypt has been front and centre following the arrest of Egyptian former MP Ahmed Tantawy’s relatives at Kafr El-Sheikh governorate in a mass arrest campaign that started on 19 April.

Ahmed Al-Tantawy 

Tantawy had declared his intention to run for the Presidency from Beirut in April after hinting about the matter in late March, where he had been staying since August 2022.

He also announced his intention to return to Cairo on 6 May to start working on his campaign.

According to human rights lawyers Nasser Amin and Khaled Ali, 13 men, including two of Al-Tantawy's maternal and paternal uncles, were arrested on charges related to joining a terrorist organization, inciting protests, and possessing 70 Pro-Tantawy publications.

Updated on 11/5/2023: Egypt's High State security ordered the release of Ahmed Al-Tantawy's maternal uncle and another man in the same case "Alaa Anis" pending investigation. 

Updated #2: Ahmed Al-Tantawy arrived in Cairo safely and met with his family. He said that he will take time off, about 5 days to spend time with his family and rest. After 5 days, he will start a tour of public and private meetings. 

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Sudan’s war of two generals: Lates updates and the role of Chad’s infamous warriors

The ongoing fight between Sudan’s Sudanese Armed Forces and Rapid Support Forces (RSF) has entered its second week.

Here are the latest updates that reveal the struggle of two infamous generals and the plight of people caught in the crossfire.

Several countries have started evacuating their citizens from Sudan with the help of neighbouring countries above them Saudi Arabia and then Egypt.

It is a priority for them as it seems the Sudanese citizens are not the priority for anyone, especially for Abdel Fattah Burhan and Mohamed Hamdan Dalago.

Sudanese citizens are fleeing Khartoum with no estimate of the number of people leaving.

Buses heading from Khartoum to Egypt
Buses heading to Egypt from AFP 

The majority are heading to Port Sudan or Wadi Halfa to cross the border into Egypt.

Satellite imagery shows long queues of cars, trucks, and buses on highways leading to the border crossings.

The three-day-ceasefire between the RSF and the Sudanese army, imposed by the US from midnight on 25 April, is fragile with violations from both sides.

Egypt has eased visa requirements, and over 9,000 Sudanese citizens have crossed into Egypt through the Arqeen border crossing (around 8,000) and the Qustul border crossing (more than 1,200).

Sunday, April 23, 2023

Sudan’s Rapid Support Forces and Hemedti on social media: A Curious case study

Over the past 72 hours, Twitter has been in chaos due to Elon Musk's "4/20" deadline for verified accounts to renew their blue checkmark.

Millions of accounts, including prominent figures such as Pope Francis, lost their verification badge as they refused to pay the renewal fee. This has led to a Twitter verification fiasco, which can be exploited by anyone to spread lies and disinformation.

One such example is Sudan's warlord and commander of the Rapid Support Force (RSF), Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, also known as Hemedti, whose blue tick was removed.

Journalists have raised concerns that the loss of verification badges could create a fertile ground for disinformation and manipulation that can worsen the situation in Sudan.

In fact, it did not take long for disinformation to start spreading. A Twitter account claiming to be the official account of the RSF appeared with a blue checkmark, spreading rumours about the situation in Sudan.

However, Sudanese journalists discovered that the handle of the account was different from the official RSF account, with the fake account being "@RSFSudann" while the real one is "@RSDSudan."

Further investigation by Sudanese journalists found that the "@RSFSudann" account was allegedly an Egyptian account, as evidenced by its older timeline.

After being exposed, the account changed its handle to "@Shimaegy," with the only tweets on its timeline being pro-Muslim Brotherhood/Morsi from 2013, and among the few accounts it follows are famous pro-MB figures.

This incident underscores the risks of disinformation and manipulation that can arise from Twitter's verification fiasco.