Saturday, February 28, 2015

Banksy in Gaza and Walls of Freedom seized in Egypt

Last Thursday internationally renowned graffiti and visual British artist Banksy revealed his latest artworks in Gaza, Palestine. Oh Yes Banksy was in Gaza and he left one hell of a trace there.
Make this year you discover a new destination.
And here are the graffiti paintings. Aside remark : I do not think that he crossed the tunnels to Gaza through Rafah.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

It is more about Sadism Than Animal Cruelty “+18”

Today Egyptian social media woke up to find yet another shocking video going viral. That video shows the brutal beating and stabbing of a dog till death by three grown ups. Here is a the video , it is extremely graphic. “+18”

The story of that poor dog is as follows. In working class semi-rural Shubra El-Kheima city,  a young man had a nasty fight with two brothers in Al-Ahram street. The young man brought his big dog to the fight where it attacked the two brothers and a man who had nothing to do with the fight. The
Late Max with his owner OSHA "OSHA Facebook page"
dog’s owner escaped the scene for fear of those two brothers’ anger. The Brothers and the man sued the dog’s owner who was sentenced one year in jail for attack and assault. This  week the dog’s owner returned back to Al-Ahram street and asked his enemies for reconciliation so they can drop the lawsuit and subsequently the prison sentence. The brothers asked for one thing : To kill the dog in front of everybody in the street so they could restore their pseudo-prestige after being humiliated by a dog. The dog’s owner agreed and we had that video.
As we live in the age of the social media , his owner was identified.
Of course the owner of the dog is trying to save his ass. He is the most hated person in Egypt now. After all he gave up the dog that saved his ass. Anyhow he published his status on his Facebook page.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

What more can We say ??

Today Cairo Criminal court has said its final word in the retrial of Alaa Abdel Fattah and other protesters aka The Shura Council Shura retrial. Alaa Abdel Fattah and Ahmed Abdel Rahman “Noby” were sentenced to 5 years in prison and a fine of LE 100,000 in addition to five years on probation for illegal protesting.

Other 18 defendants in the case including Constitution Party Member Hany El-Gamal, Dr. Yahia Abdel Shafei and Mohamed Sami were sentenced to 3 years in prison and a fine of LE 100,000 plus 3 years of probation. The court has also decided to uphold the original in-absentia 15-years in jail against four defendants who did not show up in court.

I do not know what to say or how to comment on such travesty as Ahdaf Soueif, Alaa’s aunt and prominent Egyptian writer described it. I do not know what to say for real more than what I have against the military trials for trials on that day in November !!
After hearing the verdict "Heba El-Kholy" 
already said or written about that particular case since covering that protest

Some speculate that Abdel Fattah El-Sisi will issue a presidential pardon and release Alaa and other protesters according to his speech on Sunday. Last Sunday Egypt’s president said in his first long-monthly speech that “innocent youth” currently in prison would be released within days as he promised a group of young journalists from his supporters in January.

Personally, I do not feel that this pardon will include Alaa because Alaa is not of that type of pseudo-activists who would thank the president and praise him for his generosity.

Monday, February 23, 2015

When Good Middle Class boys become Bad and Join IS !!

And once again Islam Yaken is back to the news and media in Egypt. Last week the New York Times published an interesting profile and video report about ISIS hipster Egyptian spokesperson Islam Yaken and his life in Egypt featuring two of his friends and once again the debate on why the good Middle Class boys join the Islamic State militant group is back.

Yeah we are back to this old debate.

Of course it did not stop at the NY Time’s feature as IS’ PR media machine could not waste this opportunity. From couple of days ago Yaken announced on his twitter account that one of his close friends in Egypt  joined him in ISIS.
Islam and Mahmoud , Now and then
2010 in Cairo and 2015 in Levant 
That friend is yet another good middle class boy 24-years old Mahmoud Ghandour who joined Yaken in their pseudo-caliphate.The faculty of law graduate and the former football referee in the second degree football league in Egypt appeared in the NY Times video in the 2:97 minute where he and Yakan spoke about women.

Interestingly El-Ghandour was known to journalists who were doing profiles and reports about the ISIS social media face Yaken as he had a contact with his friend.

Despite he appeared not to having a problem in speaking to journalists at first, he said he did not want to speak later to them. He even warned and advised them to stay away from him and from Islam.
A quick bio about Yaken based on his social media profiles , he used to be a normal Egyptian Middle Class young man who loved music and women till Mid 2013 when he began to share Pro-IS views.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Mosireen Presents : A Brief History of the Shura Council trial

Mosireen Collective presents a Brief history of the Shura Council trial with English subtitles.

On Monday the Cairo Criminal court will say its final word in the retrial of the Shura Council trial where 21 protesters are facing 15 years in jail for illegal protesting and assaulting a police officer. Among those 21 protesters there are prominent activists like Alaa Abdel Fattah and Constitution party member Hany El-Gamal.
Alaa Abdel Fattah in court last session
"Hussein Tallal"
Alaa Abdel Fattah is currently on partial hunger strike after being on a complete hunger strike for 100 days.
I am worried but hopefully insh Allah we will hear good news hopefully. Let’s pray for good news.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

#UWK_Massacre : The Final Death toll

The Zamalek Sports Club’s hardcore fan group Ultras White Knights “UWK” has published the final list of victims who died from two weeks ago at the Air Defense stadium in Cairo. According to the UWK ‘s FB page the number of those  who died were 20 people just like what the Forensic Medical authority announced earlier.

It has published their names.
Now the confusion about the number turned out to be the result of mixing between the dead, injured and the missing form that night.
Late Hala El-Hebishy , the youngest victim in the incident
"15 years old" filmed before the stampede

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

#RIP21: Revenge , Air Strike and another day in the Middle East

And another big day not only in Egypt but also in Libya. Hours after the announcement of President Abdel Fattah EL-Sisi that Egypt got the right to retaliate for the murder of the 21 Coptic Egyptian migrant workers by Islamic state “IS” militants in the right time and place , we woke up on Monday to find that Egyptian air forces already conducted air strikes in Libya.
The Egyptian air forces conducted an airstrike against IS’ camps, training camps and arms depots in Libya according to the official armed forces’ statement on the official army Spox Facebook. The statement did not mention the location of the strike or a specific number of losses among IS militants. Just board general words and two videos showing air jet fighters taking off their hangers.
Hours later the Libyan armed forces issued a statement declaring that both Egyptian and Libyan air forces conducted airstrikes earlier today in the city of Derna, Eastern Libya. Through out the day the Libyans were the ones who were speaking and revealing information about the strike to the media. Needless to say we got two governments and two parliaments so you can imagine the confusion of who is who as well where.
Of course one must ask and wonder why the Egyptian air forces conducted an air strike on Derna and not Sirte where the Egyptian workers were kidnapped or Tripoli where they were beheaded according to the analysis of the video. I do not know why but I know that Derna was the first Libyan city to see an IS-affiliated militant group attempting to expand in the war-torn Libya. May be Derna was chosen because of it is close to Egypt and the decision to retaliate was needed to be taken quickly.
The Libyan armed forces and its men who spoke to Egyptian TV channels all day long claimed that nearly 64 IS militants were killed in the air strikes including 12 foreign fighters. 
The Islamic Police HQ in Derna By Johr Ali

Monday, February 16, 2015

#RIP21 : Blood on the sea shore

As if there is some kind of curse in Egypt. Just after one week from losing at least 20 football fans mostly from teenagers outside a New Cairo stadium , tonight Egypt knows that another 21 young men , from poor Egyptian Upper Egyptian workers were executed God knows on by IS-affiliated militant group in Libya.
The Egyptian blood on the Libyan shore from the shocking video
"KLMTY website"
Today IS released another shocking and brutal video clip in English showing the beheading of 21 Coptic Egyptian migrant workers in cold bold on the shores of Mediterranean sea in the Libyan city of Sirte.
A horrifying video that I could not watch , I only judged by the screenshots people posted on social media. The date of the beheading is unclear as well the fate of the bodies of our workers may God bless their souls is also unclear. Those who saw the video got a lot of questions about the video and its quality. I can not watch any more of those videos.
Last Thursday IS released the 7th issue of its English “Dabiq” magazine a report about the kidnapped Coptic Egyptian workers claiming that its affiliated group abduct them in order to avenge for the alleged “Muslim women who were converted from Christianity and were tortured and killed by the Orthodox Coptic Church of Egypt”.
It also reminded the world or rather its target audience that the Islamic State in Iraq, its mother movement bombed the Catholic church in 2010 in Iraq to avenge for those ladies. The report reflected that rivalry between Al-Qaeda and IS as IS slammed Al-Qaeda's current leader Ayman El-Zawahary for being soft with the Egyptian Copts.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

#UWK_Massacre : How many people have died on that bloody day at the stadium ??

First of all those are happy snapshots for Zamalek club fans before the sad events last Sunday. Little they did know.
By Omar Hany
By Eslam Rashwa  who said "we are not bad or thugs
we went to the game to have fun" 
Second How many people have died last Sunday at the Air Defense stadium outside the game between Zamalek and ENPI??
Officially the Forensic medical authority issued its final statement stating that there were 20 football fans mostly from teens who have been killed due to suffocation and stampede.
On the other hand also Zamalek’s fans are spreading  a list of 43 names of people who died on that night because of stampede, suffocation, tear gases and birdshot. It originated on the Facebook pages .Yes there are names and there has been no official explanation for those names.
Update : Some are saying those 42 names including the injured and the missing. 
This list is spreading like fire 
Also the cause of death , the State’s forensic authority says that  Stampede and suffocation where as we got testimonies that at least one fan died from birdshot according to his father’s statement to MBC Misr at the morgue.

Friday, February 13, 2015

#Sisileaks : Episode 4 “Stop That Annoying Boy”

We are back to the Sisi leaks which I can not keep up with all those audio leaks as during the last weeks we got a new batch of leaks. Already a new alleged secret recording was aired tonight in another Pro-MB TV channel as it has become the habit to release a new secret recording every Thursday and Saturday as it seems.

I won’t discuss that new recording as I have got a series in Egyptian Chronicles in order not to miss a single alleged recording.

Today our old episode in that leaks series was extremely interesting especially as it was not related to domestic affairs only but it is also related to media and regional political affairs. It is extremely interesting.

El-Tuwaijri and Kamel 
Just like the previous episodes , once again Ii was aired on Pro-MB TV channel “Al-Sharq” on the new year’s eve.

Once again it was allegedly recorded at the office of Major General Abbas Kamel ,  the current chief staff of President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi when he was the head of the minister of defense’s office.

In that recording ,Major General Kamel allegedly called the former secretary General of Saudi Royal Court Khalid Al-Tuwaijri in order to do something regarding that annoying boy aka “Bassem Youssef”.

Oh yes, the major general believed that the renowned TV Satirist crossed the lines last February 2014 after expressing his views about Abdel Fattah El-Sisi’s presidential candidacy.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Kodak Agfa Presents : A Stormy Day in Cairo

Cairo and its unique yellow sandy fog 
Kodak Agfa and her camera were there in the streets in Cairo during that 2-days Amisher sandstorm. Cairo was covered in yellow fog or rather yellow sand.
Hope we won't have more of those storms again this year. Yeah I know I am a dreamer.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Sandstorm Day #2 in Egypt

Amshir's strong sandstorms continue for the second in the row in Egypt. We had one hell of stormy 24 hours where visibility in the street has become a mix of dust and sand. Several sea ports in Nile Delta , Alexandria and Red Sea ports halted their operations because of the turbulent weather conditions.

The only good thing we had on Wednesday thanks to the sand storms that the streets were empty so there were no nasty usual traffic jams. Also people began to use medical masks more often in the street.

 Now here is a slideshow to show you how our day was in Egypt on Wednesday.

Egypt's meteorological authority announced that that sandstorms wave would end on Thursday.
More photos will be added to this slideshow.

February 11, 2015 at 03:19PM

Cairo now with no effects #Blogger February 11, 2015 at 03:19PM via Instagram

And the Amshir’s dust storms have just started

The nasty dust storms of Amshir started on Tuesday in Cairo and Alexandria. Up till now, the dusty winds do not want to stop. Of course, I have an awful time with that dust and sand in the air thanks to the sinusitis.
This is how the sky looked earlier today in Cairo, Giza and Alexandria.
Yes, people in Cairo had one hell day of a day whether terrible traffic thanks to Putin’s visit or terrible weather condition. 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

February 10, 2015 at 01:31PM

Test #Blogger via Instagram

Monday, February 9, 2015

Follow Up : Blood on the White Jersey

By Alaa El-Kamahawy
This is a live updated post with the latest development regarding the massacre of the air defence stadium and its aftermath

Sunday, February 8, 2015

#UWK Massacre : A déjà vu in Cairo instead of Port Said “+18” {Updated}

And it is one of those sad nights.
At least 14 At least 30 people have been killed this afternoon in Cairo outside the Air Forces stadium in clashes with security forces , the worst football-related incident Egypt has seen since the awful massacre of
Blood on the White Jersey of Zamalek "By Adel Eissa"
Port Said stadium in 2012.Now this massacre is being labeled as “The Air forces stadium” massacre. Yes it took place at an army-owned stadium. Now at 12:17 AM the death toll has increased in to 30 :((
Of course there are sides of the story. The official story as adopted by the ministry of interior and the government claims that the clashes occurred after the attempt of Ultras White Knights “Zamalek Sports Club fans” tried to storm the stadium and watch the game without paying tickets by forces. According to the ministry of interior the security forces used tear gases and birdshots to disperse the mob.
The unofficial Ultras White Knights’ version says that the fans went to see the match waiting for their turn in to get in through a very tiny metal gate when they were teargases and so a stampede happened followed by chaos and security forces attacking the fans.
The gate 
At the gate of the stadium before the clashes by Adel Eissa
Here is a video filmed from the security forces’ side showing them dispersed the fans outside that gate.
The moment the security forces attacked the UWK Fans
Only 10,000 fans were allowed to attend the game tonight with 5,000 tickets up to sale to the fans and 5,000 invitations but on Thursday Mortada Mansour, the foulmouthed controversial lawyer and Zamalek club chairman decided to turn the 5000 tickets to be invitations.
Regarding the death toll I am saying at least 14 because this is the official number released by the ministry of health but there are other sources speaking about bigger number. The Ultras White Knights Official page announced at 9:52 Cairo local time photos for two lists with 22 names killed in the clashes. The official cause of death is suffocation and stampede after being tear-gassed.

Follow up : King Tut’s beard

"A belated post I could post with all that developmetns we had in Egypt since January 24" 
And at last the ministry of antiquities allowed photographers and journalists to check the golden funerary mask of King Tutankhamen and its epoxy glued beard in the Egyptian museum from two weeks ago and it looked terrible !! "Click on the photo to zoom in if you want to see the scratches"
A photo taken for the mask on January 24
by AP to the mask and beard in
The Egyptian Museum Cairo
Yes for me it is terrible especially when I compare it with old photos from couple of years ago or even from photos from 1990s .
The same news agency and the same mask
The ministry of antiquities held a press conference defending its position and announcing that German metal restoration expert Christian Eckmann would examine the priceless mask. Eckmann who was not appointed to restore the mask but rather was asked to examine it told  reporters that the mask was not totally damaged and that it “is” in a good condition of conservation. Strangely the German expert said that the newspapers were exaggerating !! He also said that there were no scratches on the beard except one  !!!! Well that one is enough for me. It looks to me that it is be badly scratched !!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Kodak Agfa Presents : A Cairo pinkish Sunset

A Cairo pinkish sunset, I can not say anything more than that.
A Cairo sunset from the River Nile
A Cairo sunset from the River Nile 

A Cairo sunset from the River Nile
A Cairo sunset from the River Nile 

These are from the most beautiful photos I have ever taken for the sunset in Egypt.

Friday, February 6, 2015

About the relation Terrorism , Tyranny and Foreign Intervention

Whether you like or not , whether you deny or it , there is strong relation between terrorism , dictatorship and foreign intervention and we know about that very well in the Middle East. Iyad El-Baghdadi speaks about the elephant in the room once again in a series of tweets which thankfully Amr Eldib was kind enough to gather it in a Storify story.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

#FreeDetainees : Another 229 protesters sentenced to life in jail

Earlier today Cairo Criminal court has sentenced 229 Pro-Revolutionary protesters or rather defendants to life in jail and to pay LE 17 million “$U.S 2.2 million”in the 2011 Cabinet HQ clashes trial. It also sentenced 39 minors to 10 years in jail. In Egypt’s penalty code the life sentence means 25 years in jail
This is a first degree sentence which means , there will be an appeal nevertheless it is a sentence that got a political impact in a very critical time. This is another message to the 25 January Non Islamist camp.
Now interestingly with a little math calculations we will find that the total of sentences issued today was 6140 years in jail for the 229 !! More than crazy.
The 229 defendants are accused of the following charges :
Torching the scientific institute in Cairo , assaulting armed force and police personnel, possessing bladed weapons and Molotov cocktails , attacking governmental buildings including the cabinet and the parliament. 
Now to refresh your memory here is a quick background about those awful days in December 2011. On December 16, 2011 military forces dispersed a three-weeks sit in demanding the rights of the martyrs at the Cabinet HQ by force. The dispersal resulted in protests and the protests resulted in extremely awful clashes between military forces and protesters. Not less than 18 people were killed and hundreds have been injured. Among those who who have been killed Sheikh Emad Effat who became an icon among the martyrs of the revolution. Amazingly the court did not investigation his murder or how the members of the armed forces attacked protesters from the root of the parliament and the cabinet despite the video and photo evidence on that. It is enough to remember that awful Blue Bra girl photo to know exactly who attacked who for real !!!!!!
Take an example of Hend Nafae , the activist against torture and military rule ; she was assaulted and yet the judge found her guilty of attacking army personnel. Here is Hend’s photo after being torture in December 2011.
Hend Nafae after being assaulted
Of course all the media attention is on one defendant : Prominent activist Ahmed Douma.  Douma who was imprisoned during Mubarak, SCAF, Morsi, Adly Mansour and now El-Sisi is already
Douma in court defiant by Mohamed El-Raay
serving 3 years in jail sentenced for illegal protesting when he joined the April 6 Youth co-founders Ahmed Maher and Mohamed Adel in a protest outside the supreme Court in Downtown Cairo in November 2013.
The Pro-regime supporters are happy that Douma has been convicted of torching the Scientific institute saying that the Nasserite activist admitted on TV that he did. Well I watched Douma’s interviews from 2011 and what he said that threw at security forces molotov cocktails like the other angry protesters denying that he torched the old building. Of course Douma was the darling of those supporters when he used to stand against the Muslim Brotherhood and Morsi.
Despite being the son of a leading MB member , Douma did not like the MB and he said it publicly. Of course his controversial tweets that he wanted to the see the MB dead does not make him popular among the Pro-Morsi supporters who seemed to be happy for today’s verdict despite there are other 229 protesters in the same case not to mention it is unjust case.

Monday, February 2, 2015

#FreeAJStaff : And it seems Nationality and Freedom do not mix !!!

And Australian journalist Peter Greste has been deported at last from Tora prison to his country after 400 days in detention because of unfair highly politicized trial. Greste left but his colleagues Mohamed Fadel and Baher Mohamed are still in Cairo.
Now it is highly expected that Egyptian Canadian journalist and head of Al Jazeera international bureau Mohamed Fahmy Fadel will join Greste soon and will be deported to Canada but on one condition : To drop his Egyptian citizenship.
Yes he has to lose his native mother citizenship for the sake of his freedom !!! I do not know what to say honestly.
Some sources , mostly from Pro-regime sources to be accurate say that he had dropped his citizenship already. Of course according to some officials he can allegedly visit Egypt , his country as a tourist without a visa and that the nationality is a matter in the heart not on paper !!!!
It is a great message to send to the world that to get your freedom , you should renounce your Egyptian citizenship if you have another foreign passport.
Now I believe and I know that If Mohamed drops up his Egyptian citizenship , the Pro-Sisi supporters will consider this another evidence on his treason to this country. After all those people do not understand the meaning of freedom or its importance in the society. For God sake they look to China as the best example for powerful country that survives without freedom or democracy or human rights. By the way those who express those opinions are supposedly highly educated Sisi supporters.
I will not speak about the comments of the young frustrated Egyptians who say that they are okay with giving up their Egyptian citizenship because it is easy to talk especially when you are frustrated and angry.
Baher Mohamed 

I am angry and sad when I see how a person like Mohamed Fadel has to make such choice. I am frustrated and angry because Fadel has to pay that price for freedom because of highly politicized unfair trial. 
I am angry because this means Baher Mohamed and other convicted Egyptians in the case who do not have any other passport except the Egyptian one will not be released. Yes there is a retrial for their controversial case but I am afraid with Fadel and Greste are out,the world will not care for those Egyptians.
This is a great lesson Baher’s three kids will learn by heart about their nationality : Being an Egyptian meant that their father will be locked up in jail for God knows when. 
BY the way Here is Greste speaking about his release to Al Jazeera International from couple of hours ago.

It is worth to mention that the charges against Greste has not been dropped. The law stipulates that foreign convicts transfer to their countries to stand trials there.
BY the way Greste and Fahmy are free because of that huge big economic conference in Sharm El-Sheikh planned for next March.
For me I will continue inshallah to write about Baher and the rest of journalists detained for doing their job in Egypt.
I want Mohamed , Baher and the rest of the defendants in the case to be released because this is unfair trial and everybody knows that. I want the charges to be dropped and all of them to acquitted officially. I want Fadel to enjoy both his freedom and Egyptian Citizenship. I want him to marry his fiancée Marwa in a big fat Egyptian wedding. I want Baher to return now to his family so he can tell his children that being an Egyptian is not a bad thing. I know what I am asking seems strange in those hard times but this is how things should be.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

#Shaimaa_ElSabbagh : And This is the official suspect of her murder !!!! "Updated"

Saturday evening late Shaimaa El-Sabbagh’s party issued a very alarming statement on its official Facebook page related to the official investigation of her murder.
According to the Socialist Popular alliance party’s statement the prosecution investigating El-Sabbagh’s murder has ordered the detention of Zohdy E-Shamy , the vice-president of the party as a suspect in her murder despite he came forward as an eye witness.

Updated on 1/2/2015

The prosecution released El-Shamy after receiving the national security's investigation reports. He is no longer accused of murder but he is accused of illegal protesting which means he can face three years in jail !!! 
El-Shamy already participated in the rally. His photo walking besides Shaimaa while she was collapsing created huge controversy as some accused him of indifference while others looked to the photo on how the old generation ignored the suffering of the young generations.
Shaimaa El-Sabbagh's murder on Camera
Zohdy on the left while Shaimaa carried "Reuters"
Interestingly Pro-military Egyptian conspiracy theorists on Facebook accused the veteran leftist of killing Shaimaa.
Interesting Anti-Military rule grassroots movement “Askar Kazaboon” made a video analyzing all the footages and photos taken during the murder of Shaimaa referring to the alleged murderer of Shaimaa from the central security forces dispersing the rally.
Askar Kazaboon analyzing Shaimaa’s murder.
Back Zohdy El-Shamy , the 60 years old man is considered the acting leader of the leftist party as its leader veteran leftist Abdel Ghafar Shukr is currently sick.
Actually, Zohdy El-Shamy himself is sick and got a heart disease too !!!!