Sunday, January 13, 2019

Egypt hosts 2019 African Nations Cup : Time for the fans to return to the stadium for once and all

Last Tuesday was a very active loaded day when it comes to sports news or to be specific football news in Egypt.

First of all, Egypt won hosting rights for the 2019 African Nations Cup Championship "CAN 2019".
This is big news and actually, it was the ONLY news of the day.

The 2019 African Nations Cup “AFCON” was originally going to be in Cameroon but in December CAF stripped of the rights from the central African country because of the delays in the preparations for the cup as well the political instabilities in the country.
CAN 2019 in Egypt
I hope that is not the final logo of the tournament "EF" 
Egypt and South Africa competed to host the 2019 AFCON in the same month.
As far as I have read Egypt got all the votes except one that had gone to South Africa.

Egypt hosted the African Nations Cup four times before. Once in 1959 while the second time was in 1974 and the third was in 1986.
The last one was in 2006. You can read more about the history of the African Nations Cup in Egypt in Ahram Online.
Needless to say, the African Nations Cup in Egypt is the perfect kind of distraction to pass politically something like constitutional amendments for instance.

Personally, when I read the news in December I was quite amazed about how bold the Egyptian government is because in the end how could you organize a championship like that when you have another premier league without Egyptian football fans attending it ??

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Seen in Cairo : Why is the Baron palace turning red ?

Baron Empain palace under restoration works

WTH is happening to the historical and magnificent Baron Empain palace?

I passed by it earlier this morning after months of restoration to find half of that landmark building has turned to red ??

This is how it looked before the restoration works
The Baron Palace before restoration works
The Baron Palace before restoration works 
Built by the founder of Heliopolis in Cairo in the early 20th century, eccentric Baron Empain’s palace is probably the first Indian Hindu inspired building in Cairo, Egypt and Africa as well.
I fear that some genius decided to paint it red like the buildings in India.

It's breathtaking whether from outside or inside and just like its owner the Baron, it got its share of eccentricity making it Cairo’s top haunting place of all times.

Designed by French architect Alexandre Marcel, its cues came from the famous Angkor Wat in Cambodia. the Egyptian government launched its restoration works in 2018 as it is considered as a national heritage site.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Amending the Egyptian Constitution in 2019 : More details and More reactions

Do you remember what I told you in early December 2018 that there is a plan to amend the Egyptian Constitution in 2019 and we began to see its prelude in front of the court?

Well two days before the end of 2018 , close to presidency journalist and Akhbar Al-Youm editor in chief Yasser Rizk wrote  in his weekly column about “how the new year should be the year of political reform {after the successful economic reform}” and that this reform should be focused on one thing: amending the constitution.

According to Rizk, the 2014 constitution is full of flaws about them the limitation of the presidential terms and how the parliament got so-called bigger power than the president and the government.

The editor in chief and CEO of Egypt's second biggest state-owned newspaper says that the parliament should return to be two chambers , Egypt should have a full presidential political system with open presidential terms, the return of information ministry and bunch of other amendments including the cancellation of “transitional justice” section in the constitution because it opens the doors for “reconciliation with the Muslim Brotherhood”.

Almost all the amendments Mr. Rizk proposed in his column would turn the 2014 constitution into Mubarak’s own version of 1971 constitution.

Constitution For all Egyptians banner in Egypt's Tahrir square
One constitution for all Egyptians banner in Tahrir square once upon a time 
Now being realistically enough, he suggested that if the amendments idea failed, then the regime should establish some Supreme council to protect “the values of the 30 June Revolution” headed by El-Sisi for the rest of his life to make sure that the “30 June Revolution” achieve its goals.

I do not know if that Supreme council idea was inspired by the current Supreme Council of Islamic Revolution of Iran or what but its idea actually bothers more than amending the constitution.
I love how he completely ignores the 25 January revolution.

In his column this week, Yasser Rizk said that what he had mentioned a week earlier was the child of his own thoughts and that he was not dictated by higher orders bragging that he created a “tsunami” in the media.

The thing is that what he had mentioned as his own suggestions were previously mentioned in Mada Masr’s own exclusive report about those future constitutional amendments.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Merry Christmas 2018 : Christian Orthodox Edition

Egyptian Church in Giza

Merry Christmas from Egypt to all Christians celebrating the Orthodox Christmas tonight especially the Egyptian Coptic Orthodox Christians ☺️🎄.

This is an entrance of a church I always see in the way to Sheikh Ziyad and October City in Giza Governorate.
This church's name is "Saint George , the Great martyr" and it follows Egypt's Coptic Orthodox Church.

The painting shows the Virgin Mary and baby Jesus in their way to Egypt.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Sudan Protests : Going strong and big against El-Bashir

The anniversary of Sudan’s independence was loud and big in 2019 without a doubt, it will be a day to remember for several generations.
Within few hours following the Friday prayers in Sudan, Sudanese political powers and parties and before them, Sudanese people will protest once again demanding Omar El-Bashir to step down across the country in an original Arab Spring traditional Friday protest.
El-Bashir degage
El-Bashir degage graffiti is making round in Sudan
It also has got a name “The Freedom and change Friday”.

This will be the first major protest after the successful mass protests event on 31 December 2018, the eve of Sudanese independence Day which I will about later.

The Freedom and Change Friday is organized by the Sudanese Professional Association “SPA” and its new allies and it will be a start for a series of mass protests across the country.

It will be followed mass-protests on 6th January and 9th January. The 6th January mass protests event aims to reach to the presidential palace in Khartoum while the 9th January mass protests will be centralized in Omdurman city as they head to the National Council to present a petition demanding the current Sudanese regime to step down.

Now as I hinted above the SPA  has got some partners and allies from Sudanese parties and political parties.
On Tuesday, SPA issued the “Freedom and change declaration” with other three political coalitions in Sudan. Made of 9 points, the declaration says that the Sudanese people won’t stop protesting peacefully till the totalitarian regime is downed.

The declaration demands Omar El-Bashir and his regime to step down immediately without any terms or conditions as well as the formation of an interim government to rule the country for the next four years.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Arabs do deserve democracy like any other people in the world

Are Arab people ready for democracy?
Do Arab people deserve democracy in the first place?

Sorry for the strange questions but tonight I entered a discussion about whether the Arab people or to be specifically those people who live in the Middle East “there are other Non-Arab speaking and ethnicity in the region” can or can not live in democratic.
I had it with someone who is younger than me from a complete younger generation “A decade difference”, someone who studied political science unlike me.
The discussion started as we are speaking about what is going in Sudan
He believe that he should be ruled by the iron fist of the military strongmen like Qaddafi, Saddam and El-Bashir, otherwise we will have chaos as we have seen in Libya and Iraq after the fall of both Qaddafi and Saddam’s regimes.

Power and victory to the people
From Tahrir square on 1 February 2011
He believes that we “as Arab people” if we want to live a decent life then we have to immigrate to live the West instead of trying to fix our countries because the majority of the people need an iron fist, otherwise chaos will prevail.

He also believes that democracy made it in Europe because they have a better mentality.
He is not alone, there are people in Egypt and other Arab countries believe what once Mubarak’s intelligence chief Omar Suleiman told Christine Amanpour during the January 25th revolution: The Egyptian people are not ready for democracy.

I believe that the chaos that happened in Iraq and Libya is originally the product of those corrupted dictatorship.
The road of democracy is not an easy one and it does not take a genius to get this.

With the exception of Tunisia , the Arab countries of the so-called Arab Spring including Egypt did not have full or even full democratic experience thanks to several factors like external powers that do not want democracy or want to exploit riches or old regime that won’t give up without a god damn fight or even both like in the case of Yemen and Syria.