Egyptian Chronicles: Amun And The Horus Of The National Security

Monday, June 28, 2010

Amun And The Horus Of The National Security

In the last couple of weeks Egyptians especially working in the financial and real estate sectors had nothing to speak about except the presidential decree to cancel immediately the Amun island deal between the ministry of housing , Misr Aswan travel and Palm Hills Development. The deal was just like any other privatization deal in Egypt : Selling that island for PHD in that important location for LE80 per square meter !!??
The controversy came from the fact that among the main shareholders of PHD Mansour-Maghrabi group , yes Ahmed Maghrabi as in the current minister of housing / former minister of tourism/tourism tycoon and Mansour as in Mansour group /Mohamed Mansour , the former minister of transportation and businessman.. etc.  Not only these are business partners but also cousins and have very strong family relations , they married from each other as far as I know. These guys are just like the Sawiris clan if we are speaking about business dynasties.
The small news of the presidential decree would not haven been noticed especially it came at the same time with Khaled Said case if it had not been for PHD itself as the company published paid advertorials for not less than LE 2 million next day defending itself in all newspapers , the advertorial or rather press release was confusing and it has to be confusing as the company did not know  how to defend itself in front of the President that does not make mistake.
The president actually did not make mistake in this particular case , in fact his presidential decree was a little bit late and should have been followed by sacking off Maghrabi from the ministry of housing and a complete investigation regarding the agreements that happened during his time in the ministry especially the agreements with his own company and the government but we are realistic of course and we know that this is the best we can get from Mubarak.
The Amun island or Tut Amun village in Aswan is a beautiful touristic project made by ministry of Housing during the time of the wonderful Hasab Allah El-Kafarawy and Misr for tourism in its good old years. Mubarak and his wife inaugurated the project which is on the west bank of the Nile and overlooking the Nasser lake. It is 48 acre village that includes a hotel and 352 chalets built on the Nubian style. It had all the success factors but for certain reason it did not work , may be because there was no marketing or advertising campaign for the project unlike other Misr travel projects in the Red Sea and Luxor.  Amun Island is very beautiful , I could not believe that it is not working as it is supposed in this area.
Early this year PHD announced that it signed an agreement with Taj hotels to manage three hotels in North Coast , Ain Sokhna and Aswan , I think they meant by Aswan , the Amun island hotel but of course according to the presidential decree I think Taj will manage PHD North Coast and Ain Sokhna only.
Now one must wonder about certain points in this affair , the Amun island affair or gate or what so ever :
  1. PHD board of directors does not include only the Mansour Maghrabi clan , it includes also Gamal Mubarak's father in law Mahmoud El-Gamal and according to foreign press reports Khadija El-Gamal aka Khadija Mubarak was working in it before giving birth to Farida Mubarak. Is not it strange that no one is bringing these names in the media !!?? Well it is not that strange.
  2. The official reports say that Mubarak acted upon recommendations from the CAO but according to leaks he acted upon the recommendations of another minister in the cabinet !!?
That second point puzzled me for some time but not for so long , Mubarak did not act upon the CAO recommendations , we all know that the CAO has exposed financial and corruption scandals in this current cabinet that can send all ministers to jail and Mubarak does not pay attention to any of these reports , it does not make sense so most probably he acted upon a recommendation of someone other than the CAO.
The news leaks say as hinted it was a minister who brought the whole matter and its implications to Mubarak , may be it is true but who is that minister is more powerful than the businessmen lobby in the cabinet ; I think he is no other minister than General Omar Soliman of national security , our world famous spy chief and expected presidential race runner. This is what logic says , Mubarak does not work on Friday so he would pick the phone after the prayer and cancel a specific deal and leave all those corrupted rotten deals like Omar Effendi except if it were urgent and dangerous !!??
I believe that Soliman may be interfered because of the strategic location of this resort and the fact we already have the Nubia land issue , from couple of days ago I read that the Nubian activists demand the government to give the village to the Nubian people.
Tut Amon village Location , the village is on the right
As you can see the village is on lake Nasser , the same land the people of Nubia demand and at the same time it is sold by nothing LE 80 per meter square !!? 
The project of PHD is not only one in that area thought , OHD has another under development project that is called Amoun island too.

OHD Amon project plan
I do not see how a touristic project can affect the Nubia land issue as if we give the Nubian people the land they want , we will have still more land for touristic projects. Also I am with the Nubian people and their right , they are more important than touristic project.
Of course this is my theory and I expect it to be wrong but there are certain gaps I do not get  and again Mubarak does not move this way like that suddenly.
I am not against touristic investment on the contrary but I am against corruption , what happened in Tut Amun village is just the tip of the ice berg.
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  1. Zenobia, I’m an Egyptian living abroad and I have been reading your blog daily for the last 2 years and I want to thank you for a great job.
    Sadly our country has been sold piece by piece for a long time now. God Bless Egypt.

  2. Dear Zenobia, you say "according to foreign press reports Khadija El-Gamal aka Khadija Mubarak was working in it before giving birth to Farida Mubarak." - could you give us the source?


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