Saturday, July 11, 2020

Coronavirus on the Nile : Another week of all things COVID-19 in Egypt and Arab World

Another week under the Coronavirus spill in the mid of a hot summer.

The numbers are decreasing in Egypt but many people including myself are concerned that this decrease will be followed by another increase once again just like in other countries.

Preparing the vaccine in Egypt at Eva pharma labs  "Getty"
Preparing the vaccine in Egypt at Eva pharma labs 

The Egyptian government is speaking about the Egyptian citizen’s awareness and honestly, I believe government relying alone on the citizens’ awareness was a lost bet and the number of cases in the United States is a proof for that.

This is why I am concerned and worried.

As humans, we are fed up with this lockdown and it is summer. We will go out and many of us won’t follow the social distancing rules or wear masks because he or she is fed up.

Needless to say, we will pay because of this reckless behaviour. God knows I have heard a lot of examples of this reckless behaviour and it makes me worry. 

Unfortunately, we will be in this cycle till we find a cure or vaccine with affordable price. Please stay safe as much as you can. 

Here is our weekly COVID-19 live update. 

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Coronavirus on the Nile : COVID-19 Status in Egypt During June 2020 in Graph

We are back with this monthly post about the freaking coronavirus status in Egypt during the month of June 2020.

The month of June 2020 a surge in the daily infection cases, deaths as well as full recovery.

Man selling freska in Cairo with a mask "Getty"
Man selling freska in Cairo with a mask "Getty"

Its last week also witnessed the start of the re-opening of the country by the government despite the number of cases due to economic reasons.

Here is the daily infection rate in June 2020.

It went ups and downs but not less than 1,000 per day.

Again I remember the minister of scientific research and high education Khaled Abdel Ghafer and his statement that the cases could be more than the government knowledge.

On Wednesday during a cabinet meeting, Minister of Health Hala Zayed stated that the number of coronavirus cases in Egypt declined from 10,518 from 23 to 29 June period to 8,404 cases from 30 June till 6 July due to “the government’s measures against coronavirus”

It is also worth to mention that recently many doctors began to treat any symptom of flu as a symptom of coronavirus without admitting the patients to hospitals except when their condition needs to.

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Coronavirus on the Nile : Live updates of Coping with Coronavirus in Egypt and MENA

It is a new month under coronavirus worldwide and in Egypt.

At the pyramids plateau of Giza after re-opening  "Reuters"
At the pyramids plateau of Giza after re-opening 

More and more people seem to care less about coronavirus now except for the masks but other than many people try to return back to the normal days.

More touristic places are open to visitors like the Great Pyramids. 

The numbers of daily infection rates have been stable in the past two weeks so far but we won’t see the impact of last week grand re-opening except in the coming weeks.

Please stay safe and stay home as much as you can.

Friday, July 3, 2020

The return of remains of Algerian resistance fighters “plus one Egyptian fighter” to home after 170 years : Good news of the day

Between sad news of having an alleged serial rapist in Egypt to the sad news of the bad economic conditions in Lebanon, I believe that this is the good news of the day.

Algeria restored back the remains of 24 resistance fighters who fought the French invasion from 170 years ago in an official majestic reception.

Algerian soldiers carrying the remains of the resistance figures in caskets covered by Algerian flag
Algerian soldiers carrying the remains of the resistance figures
in caskets covered by Algerian flag "Reuters"

Algerian President Abdel Magid Tabboune led the official military reception the remains which were put in caskets with the Algerian flag.

Algerian President Abdel Magid Tabboune paying respect  to the resistance icons
Algerian President Abdel Magid Tabboune paying respect 
to the resistance icons "Algerian TV"

The scene gave me goosebumps. To see those resistance men returning back home after 170 years in this way was one of the best scenes this year.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Ethiopia's GERD on the Nile : Some facts about Egypt and why we are concerned about GERD since day one

It has been a very long time since I have posted something really political or something related to the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam especially recently but I guess I can’t ignore anymore.

Egypt has already taken the matter to the United Nations Security Council following the Ethiopian officials that GERD will be filled in early July whether there is an agreement or not.

Nile boats in Cairo
The Nile in Cairo 

On Monday, Egypt’s Foreign minister Sameh Shoukry addressed the security council with a very important speech about Egypt as well as Sudan’s concerns about GERD and impact.

Shoukry warned that any unliteral action aka Ethiopia fills the dam without an agreement

It was one of the best speeches I have heard from a governmental official in the past ten years. You can read Shoukry’s word here in English from Ahram Online.

Sudan’s UN permanent representative gave a balanced statement asking for a fair agreement supporting Egypt in rejecting any unliteral action from Ethiopia’s side will cause higher tensions in the regime; which is true.

Ethiopia fired back to Shoukry and Egypt with a speech read by its permanent representative to the UN full of inaccurate information with my all due respect.

Ethiopia stated that GERD was not a matter for the UNSC.

In the open session, the member states of the UNSC urged Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan to continue talks in order to reach for an agreement. Most of the member states warned of any unilateral action in their short statements except China.

In case you do not know Chinese banks participate in the financing of the huge project with lots of investments in the country. Needless to say, I need to warn the Ethiopians from the Neo-Chinese colonialism in Africa. 

A Nile boat in Egypt's Nile river
The Nile in Cairo 

Now there are some important points I would like to clarify here in my post concerning GERD and some points I would like to clarify :

General points and facts 

  • Egypt depends on the River Nile for 95% of its water needs.
  • Egyptians live only 7% of Egypt’s land around the Nile valley because simply we are a dry desert country.
  • a water share of around 570 cubic metres per person annually, well below the water scarcity level of 1,000 cubic metres per person per year
  • Egypt has very low rainfall with about 18.1 mm of rainfall /year comparting to Ethiopia which has annually 848 mm/year according to the United Nations’ Food and Organization “FAO”.
  • The agriculture in Egypt depends mainly on irrigation from the Nile whereas Ethiopia depends on rainfall.
  • Egypt’s annual water share from the Nile is 55.5 billion cubic meters of water according to the 1959 treaty.
  • Egypt is already committed to this share when according to irrigation experts, we need now actually not less than 80 billion cubic meters to satisfy the true need in the country.
    • Egypt does not have enough groundwater to sustain or meet its water demands.
    • Professor Farouk El-Baz’ western desert groundwater’s theory and his the ill-fated project were never more than talk in the media because scientists and geologists in Egypt proved him wrong. “Ethiopian media brought it up”
    • Yes, we are still using our old agriculture and irrigation techniques but we are trying our best.
    • Egypt is already suffering from water poverty and is preparing for the worse because of global warming.
      • Desalination won’t meet our Egyptian growing population’s demand alone, not to mention it needs nuclear power project and yes, Egypt has already planned to open a nuclear power plant in Marsa Matrouh to desalinate seawater already but its construction has started yet. “I am against the use of nuclear power in the first place and worried about it”.

      Sunday, June 28, 2020

      Kodak Agfa presents : Cairo’s Nilometer and Manasterly Palace from Egypt’s Nile River

      This is not a long Kodak Agfa tour but rather a very short one.

      As we are talking about the Nile River nowadays considering the fact that Ethiopian officials are insisting to go on unliteral action and fill the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, I decided to dedicate more posts about the Nile River and its cruises which I enjoyed.

      In March 2017, I was in a family Nile cruise when we passed by the famous Cairo’s Nilometer at the far South tip of Rhoda Nile island.

      Egypt's Nilometer and Manasterly palac
      Egypt's Nilometer and Manasterly palace

      The Cairo Nilometer is on the right of the photo.

      This Nilometer is one of the oldest Islamic era and Umayyad-era buildings or monuments that had remained despite all the Caliphate, Kingdoms and capitals that followed in Egypt.

      I think its location on a Nile island and its role as Nilometer made it survive all that time.

      This is a little monument that survived a millennium shows the importance of the Nile to the Egyptian people and its economy.

      Historically, the first Nilometer in this location was built in the Umayyad caliphate during the rule of Caliph Al-Walid-I in 715 AD.

      It was reportedly re-designed and reconstructed to its current shape a hundred-years later by none other than famous Abbasid scientist Abu El-Farghani aka El-Fraganus in 861 AD per the orders of Abbasid Caliph El-Mutawakkil.

      It had a renovation in 1927.

      Saturday, June 27, 2020

      Coronavirus on the Nile : The grand re-opening of 27 June in Egypt "Live Updates"

      On Saturday, the Egyptian government reopened many businesses and activities the country following three months of not-very strict lockdown and partial curfew due to economic reasons according to the Egyptian officials.

      Earlier Saturday, Mosques opened across the country its doors for the first Dawn prayer service for the public.

      It was a relief to hear the Azan again. Worshipers are required to pray with masks and bring their praying mats as well as of course to follow the social distancing rules.

      I do not know if this is going to be followed in rural areas or poor areas in the country.

      Saturday eve, many reported that cafes re-opened for business and people were in the streets as if it were the feast eve.

      This is at the same time have not crossed yet the peak of the Coronavirus like other countries according to the calculations of officials and health experts not to mention the testimonies of the public about COVID-19 spread.

      Personally, I fear there will be an increase in cases within the upcoming two weeks. For me and my family, I follow “Stay home, stay safe” as much as I can.

      I recommend that you do the same if you are in Egypt and avoid any gatherings.

      I totally understand the economic burden on Egypt, Egyptians and the official Egyptians who returned back to the IMF to get another loan.

      Netlfix Dark "Netflix"
      Netlfix Dark "Netflix" 

      Many in Egypt especially Netflix’s Dark TV series are sharing this shot I used as a photo feature for that post as a black comedy meme warning image of the result of this grand re-opening.

      “27 June 2020; the day of the apocalypse” If you follow the hit series whose third and final season is released on Saturday.

      There is a fear that the number of cases will increase considering what happened in Ramadan.

      Here is the latest live updates for this week and again please stay safe, stay home.