Saturday, October 24, 2020

Egypt’s parliamentary elections 2020 : Shake it to the beat

After a few hours from now, the House of Representatives elections' first stage will kick off in 10,240 polling stations will be operating in 14 governorates where 1,879 candidates are competing on the votes of nearly 33 million eligible voters.

In this stage, those candidates are fighting over 284 seats; half to the individual candidates and the other half to the party lists. 

This is the first elections after the new amendments of 2019 that brought the Upper House and Lower House to Egypt once again.

The Upper House elections aka were held in September and they recorded the lowest turnout in Egyptian elections since the March 2011 referendum “only 14.23% of the eligible voters participated in the 4 days of the Senate elections while in the runoffs attracted only 10.22%”.

We got nearly 66 million voters. The Senate elections were held when almost all Egyptians were taking vacations after months of a lockdown or simply they did not know unlike the House of Representatives’ elections.

I expect a higher turnout without a doubt but smashing turnout because we are speaking about pandemic time and less publicity and interactions with voters on the ground.

Now in the time of coronavirus, this could be the quietest elections I have seen with less noise on the ground from the usual elections campaigns.

You will know that there are elections only from the banner everywhere with the faces and names , mostly you only see once;  in the time of the elections.

The first stage's 14 governorates are Giza, Fayoum, Beni Suef, Minya, Assuit, New Valley, Sohag, Qena, Luxor, Aswan, Red Sea, Alexandria, Beheira and Marsa Matruh.

Giza is the second biggest governorate and the extension of the Egyptian capital Cairo is witnessing the clash of the titans of names from businessmen, public figures and media figures.

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Coronavirus on the Nile : Schools are back officially in Egypt

Officially, the new academic year “2020-2021” in schools and university has kicked off in Egypt.

It is the challenging year of the pandemic where many parents, teachers and ministry alike waiting to see what will happen in this semester.

Egypt has 23 million school students classified into four stages: from kindergarten to secondary education according to Minister of Education Tarek Shawky.

To solve the huge challenge of the overcrowdedness in schools, especially in public schools and to achieve social distancing, the ministry adopted a system where the students do not go school all the days of the weeks.

Each stage has a limited number of days to attend school. The youngest would go most of the days because they need more human teacher-student interaction according to Shawky. 

The Ministry has adopted an ambitious plan to combine both homeschooling, e-learning and in-school teaching but now Egypt’s internet speed woes, I do not know if this plan will reach its goals successfully.

A photo from a class in an Egyptian class on Saturday by  Mohamed El-Raai
A photo from a class in an Egyptian class on Saturday by 
Mohamed El-Raai 

The ministry also made a plan if a school witnesses an outbreak in one class or more.

International schools have already started their academic earlier but here we are speaking about the Egyptian educational system.

I really hope that the Education Ministry in Egypt follows the steps of its counterpart in Tunisia and issues updates about the number of cases if any because transparency is the only way to deal with such matter.

Egypt will witness within days its House of Representatives’ elections.

It will be another challenge. So far the official numbers show a stable situation when it comes to coronavirus but officials worry about a new wave in the fall and the winter.

Anyhow here is our live blog following all things coronavirus in Egypt and the Arab world in for another 14 days inshallah.

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Coronavirus on the Nile: Eight months of COVID-19 in Egypt in graph

Another monthly post as part of the COVID-19.

This time it is a quick look into COVID-19 numbers in Egypt after seven months.

I started doing those posts when we hit the six months benchmark and actually, I found them useful.

Sensitizing the Giza plateau "Reuters"
Sensitizing the Giza plateau "Reuters"

They are all based on official numbers released by the Egyptian Health Ministry.

Monday, October 12, 2020

Coronavirus on the Nile: Egypt’s COVID-19 September numbers in Graph

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

Here is our August post based on the official numbers released daily by the Egyptian Health Ministry.

First of all, this month witnessed the beginning of not only autumn but also the beginning of the ordinary of the seasonal flu and cold despite the weather was hot.

Egyptian Health Minister Hala Zayed "SIS"
Egyptian Health Minister Hala Zayed "SIS"

Second of all, I have been away for a week in the North Coast and the message I got that nobody followed the face mask and social distancing rules.

The same thing when I returned to Cairo and to work at the office, it was like that we are back to February 2020.

It seems that very few that still cares.

I believe that people began to neglect those basic rules because the official numbers of coronavirus infection patients in Egypt released by the Health Ministry continue to be stable not exceeding 200 per day.

On the other hand, you still hear about people dying because of coronavirus including doctors.

Here are September’s daily infection numbers in the graph.

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Egyptian Faces : Remembering Ragaa

I have a confession.

When I first wrote about how Egyptian veteran actress Ragaa El-Gedawy was admitted to hospital and sent a voice message to her fans because she contracted coronavirus in the Daily COVID-19 Updates on the Blog, I felt that I was writing her obituary.

"The Kasr Al-Nil Model Ragaa El-Gedawy strikes a pose
"The Kasr Al-Nil Model Ragaa El-Gedawy
strikes a pose

This made so worried hoping that my feeling was wrong and the 81-years-old actress was going to make it but she did.

Miss Egypt or rather the Egyptian Province 1958 “Egypt was part of the United Arab Republic with Syria and there were two provinces then” lost her battle and passed away on 5 July 2020 after nearly a month or more in the country’s top coronavirus Abu Khalifa Hospital in Ismailia.

El-Gidawy was admitted to Abu Khalifa hospital on 24 May 2020 after her daughter Amira Mokhtar reached out to officials including the health minister when her mother’s health deteriorated and it turned out that she was coronavirus positive.

There is not clear when or how Ragaa El-Gedawy contracted coronavirus but days before she fell very ill, the veteran supporting actor wrapped filming a TV series in the Holy Month of Ramadan.

Despite the warnings, studios continued filming claiming that they could not delay or suspending shooting the TV series.

Photos from the last day of filming emerged online and even shared on Instagram by the popular actress, showing no masks nor social distancing.

Friday, October 9, 2020

Coronavirus on the Nile : Egypt’s Fallen Healthcare workers in Graphs

From two weeks, Egyptian Chronicles published a small attempt to commemorate the fallen victims of Egypt’s healthcare sector since the outbreak of the coronavirus in Egypt till half September.

Thanks to aspiring journalist Moataz Weza, me and others are able to know in more details as much as we can the sacrifices of those doctors, nurses, pharmacists, technicians and workers in those 8 months.

They were not only numbers and thanks to Weza, we know more about them with their names and faces.

May Allah bless their souls and bring patience to their families.

The documentation of Weza had also huge raw data that gives us a very interesting insight when it comes to this pandemic that is reshaping the world currently.

An Egyptian doctor checking an x-Ray "AP"
An Egyptian doctor checking an x-Ray "AP"

We know the locations, the dates and the specializations of those victims on the front line. In a very modest attempt, I looked to this raw data to know more information about how coronavirus hit Egypt’s first medical defence line.

I know that the world is still in a tough battle with coronavirus and the more accurate information we have, we will win more ground and more lives can be saved.

Now after this attempt to have a decent and appropriate introduction, here is what I found. 

Again this information is based upon the official statements of the Egyptian Medical Syndicate, the doctors syndicates, pharmacists syndicates, news websites and victims' families on social media.

This is from the period from March where the first case of Egyptian doctor to die due to coronavirus till 15 September. 

General Information

The list documented nearly 280 healthcare workers' fatalities in Egypt. 

On 8 October 2020, Egypt has officially recorded in total 6,017 fatalities since the outbreak of the virus in the country so we are speaking about 4.65% of the fatalities here or rather 5%. 

When I checked online, I found that it is a global issue to find an accurate number of victims among healthcare workers there are official attempts thanks to unions and human rights organizations. 

According to tot the Nurses Union in the United States, more 1,700 healthcare worker passed away due to coronavirus since the outbreak of the virus till September. 

Amnesty International published an analysis in early September saying that the world recorded over 7,000 deaths among the Healthcare workers globally. It considered Egypt among the countries with the highest estimated numbers of health workers who have died from COVID-19 despite it only counted the Doctors only. 

Now to our data. 

According to the information available online, 71% of the victims are doctors followed by the pharmacists then nurses then technicians and other workers.

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Happy 6th October war anniversary

 Happy 6th October war anniversary from Egyptian Chronicles to all Egyptians as well as Arabs who remember this day and respect the sacrifices to our heroes who died for the sake of our land and dignity. 

October 73 Yom Kippur Newspapers headlines in Egypt
"Our forces control completely the front" and "The exchange of POWs and injured starts"
said Al-Akhbar in October 1973

This is the issue of Al-Akhbar Daily was speaking about how Saudi Arabia stopped exporting oil declaring the famous oil embargo.