Thursday, January 20, 2022

The tragedy of Shorouk and friends : Victims of child labor

On Monday, hundreds of Egyptians in Nile Delta town walked in the funeral of a 13-years-old girl who captured many hearts and minds in Egypt with her smiling picture online as attempts of finding her body was underway for whole 8 cold days in the River Nile in yet another Egyptian tragedy.

Sometimes the Egyptian tragedies have this dark humor side because on the same Monday and probably at the same moment the funeral was walking in the streets of a small village in Monufia governorate, Egypt’s Senate approved articles related to child labor in the new labor draft law in Cairo without serious social dialogue officially.

Late Shorouk Yasser
Late Shorouk Yasser 

It is like some sort of very dark humor that I do not understand how it is happening or how it was allowed to happen, but this is classical Egypt.

When the Nile gathered the young egg gatherers

According to the official accounts, late Monday 10 January a half truck carrying 24 daily workers got on an unlicensed ferry to the Nile River when the truck diver lost control of his truck and drove it in to the river near Monshaet El-Kanater village in Giza governorate.

10 people drowned while 14 others survived.

Now those 24 workers were on their way home in Monufia governorate from a farm in Giza governorate late night in the cold winter. They were working as egg gatherers in a poultry farm for a fee that ranged from LE 25 to 50 per day according to their families

Their ages ranged between 13 to 20 years old as reported by the official Public Prosecutor’s statement on the accident. 

The youngest and the last one to reappear from the Nile was Shorouk Yasser.

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Kodak Agfa Presents : Hidden European Fine Arts of Egypt “Volume II : Sculptures”

And here is the second part of our a little Kodak Agfa’s tour in the “The Classical European art pieces in Egyptian Museums” exhibit.

Held in Cairo last November , the exhibit celebrated some of Egypt’s official collection of classical European art pieces in Egyptian Museums like Mohamed Mahmoud Khalil Museum from paintings and sculptures.

The first part we saw the exhibit’s beautiful and rare paintings by some of the world’s most talented and famous painters in the West like Monet and Gauguin.

"The girl and fawn" by Bouchard
The gazelle and the girl 

This post we will see some of the sculptures featured in the exhibit.

There were less statues than then paintings in the exhibit , nevertheless it was very interesting collection.

The star of this collection I would say is French sculptor Auguste Rodin.

Yes, Rodin who is regarded to be the founder of modern sculpture in the West Egypt officially owns some of his work thanks to late Mohamed Mahmoud Khalil, his wife and their great taste.

We got here original miniature statues made by Rodin of his famous works with his signature on them.

Like for instance the one and only “The Thinker statue

"The Thinker" by Rodin
Auguste Rodin's The Thinker 

“Le Penseur” or “The Thinker” is probably most famous artwork for Auguste Rodin. The full-size statue was originally a part of “The Gates of Hell” artwork in 1880 under the name “The poet” .

Sunday, January 9, 2022

Saturday was a good day for two Ramys and one Saudi princess

Saturday was really a good day for political activists Ramy Shaath and Ramy Kamel as well as Princess Basma bint Saud they were released from detention following their arrest from more than 2 years ago in Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

Ramy Shaath "AFP" and Ramy Kamel
Ramy Shaath "AFP" and Ramy Kamel 

First , political activist Ramy Shaath arrived Paris after spending 900 days in pre-trial detention in Egypt. Shaath was released on 6 January and was deported to Amman before heading to Paris.

Ramy Shaath is the head of Egypt’s BDS chapter aka The Boycott, Divestment and Sanction of Israel movement.

Saturday, January 8, 2022

Coronavirus on the Nile: 23 months of Covid-19 in Egypt in graph

Again it is time for one of those monthly Covid-19 posts in Egyptian Chronicles and I hope that I will not have to do this inshallah soon as the pandemic ends worldwide.

This time it is a quick look into official Covid-19 numbers in Egypt after 23 months since its arrival to the country in February 2020.

The usual disclaimer: According to Minister of Health Hala Zayed in January 2021, the official numbers of cases represent between 10%-15% of the real number of cases worldwide Egypt included.

A team sensitizing a mosque in Egypt "EPA"
A team sensitizing a mosque in Egypt "EPA"

Those official numbers represent the patients who enter the ICUs in designated coronavirus isolation public hospitals in the country in critical condition according to official statements, not the mild cases of coronavirus or those who receive treatment at home.

Thursday, January 6, 2022

Kodak Agfa Presents : Shurba’s Christmas in video and photos “7th January Edition”

Merry Christmas again from Egyptian Chronicles to all those celebrating Christmas tonight per the Orthodox Church above them the Coptic Orthodox Church of Egypt.

The nativity scene for sale at Cairo's Shubra
The nativity scene as sold at the San Ibram store in Shubra 

This time the Christmas is according to the Julian Calendar. And the majority of Christians in Shubra have been waiting for this day to celebrate it since December.

Christmas lights in Cairo's Shubra, Egypt
Christmas lights and decoration in the old streets of Shubra 

Interestingly many people knew about the Christmas decorations in Shubra when the Egyptian press began to pay attention to the Christmas Decorations market.

Again all the attention goes to the upscale decorations in areas like Sheikh Zayed and New Cairo to the level that there is a joke that went viral in the social media that the Vatican did not spend on Christmas decoration all this money Sheikh Zayed and New Cairo spent.” 

Christmas lights in Cairo's Shubra, Egypt
Shubra's main streets celebrated Christmas on both sides 

It is worth mentioning that the state or the government or the district is behind. It is more of a public initiative whether in Sheikh Zayed or New Cairo or even Shubra. You got companies, malls, compounds and in the case, in Shubra you got shops, merchants and MPs behind those decorations.

For instance, the gigantic Christmas tree in Shubra at Tarea Al-Bolaqia street is a gift from MP Ehab El-Tahawy of the Mostaqbal Watan Party to his Shubra Constituency.

Christmas tree of Cairo's Shubra
Shubra's biggest Christmas tree was a gift by MP Ehab El-Tahawy

El-Tahawy is the Deputy Chairman of the Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee in the House of Representatives.

This tree and others in the street are designed and made by Amir Ghattas, the owner of the San Ibram store which is the biggest store for Christmas decoration stuff in Shubra. 

Christmas trees in Cairo's Shubra
The other big Christmas trees designed by Ghattas in the street 

Both Ghattas and Al-Tahawy are members of the Mostaqbal Watan party in East Cairo’s Shubra constituency.

Nevertheless, I do not think that people pay attention to this political affiliation or publicity not to mention Ghattas has been in this business for decades. 

Christmas decorations for sale in Cairo's Shubra
The second San Ibram store at El-Tarea El-Bolaqia in Shubra 

People want to be happy even for a few moments and merchants want to gain money in hard economic times.

Taking photo with Santa at Cairo's Shubra
Snapping a photo with Santa in Shubra 

I read statements for Ghattas that there were problems in the imported Christmas goods’ shipment from China due to the latest global shipments problems but they were solved eventually.

Christmas decorations for sale in Cairo's Shubra
Christmas merchandise for sale in Shubra 

The Christmas ornaments, some dolls and figures, some Christmas trees “expensive ones” and reindeers are imported. 

Christmas reindeer in Cairo's Shubra
The imported golden reindeer 

Surprisingly, I knew for the first time that there are Egyptian handmade Christmas trees and decorations sold in the market.

Christmas trees in Cairo's Shubra
Egyptian handmade Christmas trees and garlands 

They are different shapes, styles, colours and sizes of those trees.

Christmas trees in Cairo's Shubra
Egyptian Christmas trees 

The Christmas garlands are also made in Egypt.

Christmas decorations for sale in Cairo's Shubra
Christmas merchandise and decorations from every kind in Shubra

According to one of the sellers I spoke with the Egyptian made Christmas decoration products are made in workshops that work starting from January right after the end of the Orthodox Christmas till October.

So we have another hidden industry working silently for years.

Christmas decorations for sale in Cairo's Shubra
Egyptian made Christmas garland and the new year decorations 

It is indeed a whole industry like Ramadan lanterns and decorations.

Some may think as marginal but actually, it opens a lot of houses from workshops to sellers to shops to seasonal street vendors.

Christmas decorations for sale in Cairo's Shubra
A very little shopkeeper at San Ibram store 

I know I may sound like some orientalist but this is the first time I go to this area in Shubra in this time. “I have not gone to Shubra for years”

I was surprised to see this scene and actually, it was a warm joyful scene.

Christmas decorations for sale in Cairo's Shubra
Crowded buzzing Shubra 

A real Cairene Christmas where East meets West naturally and normally in normal coexistence.

Christmas decorations for sale in Cairo's Shubra
Plushy Santa , Christmas wreath and 2022 decorations 

This is Shubra indeed, a working-class area that listens to Shaabi and Maharagants more than Western Christmas music

Christmas decorations for sale in Cairo's Shubra
Selling Christmas decorations and smiling at the camera from afar

You can see a slide show of the whole album of the photos I have taken during my quick tour in Shubra here 

In the end, I will share again the video I shot in Shubra for its Christmas market in December.

I hope my voice in Arabic is not that bad. It got English subtitles. 

Merry Christmas again 

Taking photo with Santa at Cairo's Shubra
Strike a pose with Santa 

Monday, January 3, 2022

Coronavirus on the Nile: Egypt’s Covid-19 December 2021 numbers in Graph

This is the time of our monthly post about the coronavirus pandemic and its official numbers in graphs in Egypt.

This is the second December to pass in Egypt during the Covid-19 pandemic, unfortunately. Hopefully inshallah, it will be the last December. 

Sensitizing a mosque earlier this year "EPA"
Sensitizing a mosque earlier this year "EPA" 

Disclaimer: According to Minister of Health Hala Zayed in early January, the official numbers of cases represent between 10%-15% of the real number of cases worldwide Egypt included.

Sunday, January 2, 2022

It snows in Hurghada too

Egypt will have a lot to show when it comes to climatic change in the upcoming UN Conference on Climate aka COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh next November.

On Saturday and Sunday, the city of Hurghada has had its share of the unstable weather conditions hitting Egypt since last Thursday.

Snow in Hurghada
Hurghada on Saturday "Twitter"
Yes, people in Hurghada whether residents or tourists woke up on that scene on the first day of the year.