Tuesday, April 29, 2008

More about Ras El-Bar battle

It is a real battle , a historical not between the people and the regime but between the people Vs. Corporation in time of globalisation
Here are more news, more historical info ,pictures and maps about the city.
News :
  • There was very huge protest today in Ras El-Bar against the factory "I working to find photos and videos"

  • The Egyptian Parliament formed a committee to investigate the case , this committee was going to visit Damietta today in a field trip to listen to the people and to the inspect the situation closely ; suddenly the head of the Egyptian Parliament Dr. Fatahi Sorror cancelled this trip with no explanation.

  • Some people are saying that the Canadian Ambassador threatened the Prime minister on the phone that the case will go to the international courts because of the contracts between Agrium and the Egyptian Government , it seems that Agrium paid a lot of commissions and bribes , and they do not want to it to go in vain "again the Ambassador interfere , I know he is doing this because he is trying to keep his natives interests , but he and the company should know better that they should not have such deals with corrupted governments like us"

  • The Egyptian government can pay $ 400 Millions as a compensation for the company if it goes to international court , yet some international law experts said that Egypt's position is solid because it is doing this to protect its environment according to international environmental agreement and the fact that Ras El-Bar is a natural reserve

  • There is unconfirmed news that the factory will be transferred in couple of days and the Prime minister will announce this in the coming 48 hours "along with the bonus news to make people happy"

  • The new location will be either at Ain Sokhana or in Kafr El-Sheikh "which already refused to host the factory before" .
  • The People of Damietta are still hanging the black flags and cloth on their houses,windows and balconies , not to mention the stickers on their cars and buses .
  • The Egyptian and Foreign banks that financed the factory is thinking of pulling its loans from the project , it is not yet confirmed nor denied that the 11 banks would pull back its US$ 11 Billion , but I am sure from business perspective banks are watching carefully what is going on

These are some light historical info about the city of Ras El-Bar :

  • The history of the city started in 1823 when the Sufi orders followers used to visit the area to celebrate the birthday anniversary of famous Sufi Sheikh called "Al-Griby" at the south of Ras El-Bar { There is a Mosque called Al Griby and you can see it in the pictures in the slideshow} , also the merchants came to check on their ships

  • Some families began to come in the Summer and enjoy the wonderful weather and location , the Nile on your left hand and the Mediterranean on your right hand.

  • The people came in boats from the Nile , they began to build huts from Papyrus and go to picnics, swimming and fishing.

  • In 1865 Ras El-Bar became a Summer resort , the Huts began to be spread , also they began to be developed from the simple way to become more sophisticated from simply Papyrus fragmented huts to organized rows between the Nile and the sea to cabins made of wood.

  • During his visit to Egypt in 1883 to inspect the Cholera epidemic , Dr.Robert Koch* had visited the resort and had written a report about Ras El-Bar saying the following :

Ras El-Bar resort can be one day the king of the resorts and the most famous one of all as it is gifted by its beautiful location, its pure weather and golden beaches ,its location faraway of noise and it is less humid than other Egyptian beaches and its air also has iodine"

  • In 1891 ,the real beginning of Ras El-Bar began a French man called "Buclan " along with with a French Called Madam "Kortil" had built a restaurant and a bar beside El-Sheikh Youssef fortress, then they built the first standard hotel in front of the light house in the city , "Buclan" had a vision to make this city , the new "Nice" of the orient , he wanted to attracted the new high class of rich people in Egypt from foreigners to Pashas to visit this area

  • Sooner others began to built hotels

  • In 1902, the first geometrical map was setup for the summer residence, Clarifying huts regions, its numbers, markets , also the rental system decided to be added to the city , its streets were lightened by lanterns and Nile ships to transport people and posts from Damietta to Ras El Bar and vise versa.

  • Since then Ras El-Bar became the high class Pashas summer escape year.

  • The city began to fade starting from 1960s ,it was not any more the city of elite .

  • Years passed away and it became the resort of the "C" Class*

  • The city was neglected for some years but lately as you can see from the photos the people began to care again for their city ,you can see in the pictures

  • More information from Wikipedia

This map will show you a show you the location of E-Agrium in Ras El-Bar . "The square on your left hand"

This slideshow will show a collection of photos about the beautiful city of Ras El-Bar .

By the way it turned out that my great grand father had a wooden cabin there and my grandfather's family used to go there in Summer.

This is a very beautiful painting I found in Chafik Charobim official website, one of Egypt's forgotten painters "to be honest I did not know him before searching for material to this post"


* One of our old relatives who lived in America for decades decided to return back , he already is suffering from Asthma , of course he did not stand Cairo and its polluted air nor Alexandria with its humidity ;his American doctor asked about this place Dr.Koch spoke about !! Currently our dear relative is living in Ras El-Bar because of its air

* *Is it because the resort of Class "C" the government does not care Ras El-Bar ?? I know that the Cabinet cares sooooooooooooooo much for their exclusive resort @ Marina

Updates : The governer of Damietta told yesterday the angry masses "estimated by thousands" that surrounded his office yesterday that President Mubarak gave his order to transfer the factory to Suez , the People there demanded to see this order a official presidential decree in the newspapers and official TV to believe it.
Here are the photos from yesterday Protest From AP


  1. You know, Layla, in the Capital of my country many people have attempted suicide, some by burning themselves, others by taking poison. These people were not political prisoners. They were simply unemployed people asking the State to find them jobs. Some of those are still there, in the Capital, waiting for the new government to employ them. Some have been there for years now. Some will stay there for years to come. Why? Because, as students, they had only one thing in mind: to finish school and then get a job.

    As a non-government teacher, I have taught in various schools, including two government schools, and outside school. The majority, if not all, of the students I’ve had had one thing in mind: to finish school and then get a job. It all looks as if they all were programmed in the same way. Education (at school) is meaningless, pointless, useless, tasteless if it doesn’t lead to a job after graduation.

    When they meet after graduation, graduates don’t have anything to talk about other than asking one another if they had found a job. In the family, in the neighbourhood, an unemployed person is worth nothing until he finds a job. A sweeper who has a laughable income becomes more important than a person with a PhD who has failed to find a job.

    Read more in Salam Layla 5 above

  2. @Penman ,we got this problem too in Egypt , the education system is not great one , also the social strandards play a terrible role here


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