Thursday, September 29, 2016

Only in Egypt , the high percentage of youth is a "disaster"

During the Scientific conference of the National council for Population on Sunday , head of Central Agency for public Mobilization and Statistics "CAPMAS" General Abu Bakr El-Gendy raised an important question about overpopulation and whether it was a bless or a curse insisting that it was curse currently.

In his speech , the former army general said that other countries envied Egypt for having high youth percentage as it is about 60% of its total population.

He also added that 75% of the current Egyptian population are under 40 years old and that 68% of the population are under 35% years old.

The former army general who got a masters degree in strategic resources management said that that high percentage of youth was a "disaster" in the current circumstances of Egypt !!

A video clip of the speech

I am so tired to argue but let's agree on something : The real disaster here was not having a high percentage of youth in Egypt , the real disaster was the mismanagement of youth , Egypt's biggest and most potential resource.
Rashid, Egypt
The boy and the sea from Rashid last week

In fact , the real disaster in Egypt is the mismanagement of all its resources above them the humans as well natural resources.

The Egyptian youth are not a liability , they are a great power and asset the Egyptian regime does not want to use or to be precise does not understand its power or importance because it fears it.

Unfortunately , this statement did not have the attention it deserved this week thanks to Rosetta boat tragedy and President El-Sisi's latest speech.

Ironically, that statement can be related to Rosetta boat tragedy and why youth want to leave the country and why the media cares less about the victims.

By the way , President El-Sisi declared in a previous speech that 2016 is "the Egyptian Youth's year"

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The Rosetta boat tragedy

Earlier Tuesday, Egypt's Petroleum Marine services managed to float the sunken migrant boat off the shores of  Rosetta city.
The death boat on Tuesday 
"Burg-Rashid FB page"
According to the people of Rosetta, the Beheira governorate and the Egyptian ministry of health, the death toll increased to 202 after it was 169 on Sunday.

As the wooden boat floated back to the surface of the sea after 6 days of hitting its bottom, 33 bodies more were found.

According to the locals in Borg Rashid or Borg Rosetta , the Egyptian Navy forces took the wooden boat to Abu Qir Navy base in Alexandria.

Since early Sunday, the sea began to give more bodies to both fishermen and Navy forces' special search and rescue units.

The numbers jumped from 51 on Thursday to 148 then to 156 then to 169.

Photos coming from Borg Rashid or Borg Rosetta showing the dead bodies at Rosetta port pier with people devastated all around it.

The Rosetta general hospital's morgue has a space for only 8 bodies. It is not equipped to have all those bodies.

The small village of Borg Rashid in Rosetta already has been turned upside down thanks to that tragic incident.

Thus the bodies were left in the sun with ice blocks to try to preserve what remains from the sea water till they are transferred to other morgues and hospitals in Beheira and Alexandria.
The ice preserving the dead bodies found in the boat
on Tuesday "Burg Rashid official Facebook page"
This could be one of the worst capsized migrant boat incidents Egypt has seen so far.

I can not recall anything like that before.

How the tragedy started

It started earlier last week according to survivors.

A fishing boat was in the sea 12 km away from Borg Rasheed in the coastal city of Rasheed or Rosetta waiting to be loaded with migrants from Egypt , Syria , Sudan, Eritrea and Somalia.

Fishing boats are the cover for the illegal migrant boats in Egypt , they are granted special permits for fishing from security authorities above them Egypt's General Intelligence service. It is also booming business as well despite it is illegal.

For three days starting on Saturday, smaller speed boats carrying migrants came to the fishing boat from Edku and Rasheed or Rosetta specifically Borg Rasheed or Borg Rosetta in Beheira governorate and Borg Maghzy in Kafr El-Sheikh governorate.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Notes on the Pro-Sisi rallies organized by the Coptic Church in NYC

Egypt's current President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi was in New York earlier this week to attend the UN General assembly meeting for the second year in a row.
Last year, his supporters in Egypt from businessmen and media moguls organized public diplomacy delegations that headed to New York to cheer for the President against the evil Muslim Brotherhood protests planned against him in the big apple.
This year the same businessmen/media moguls "Mohamed Al-Amin" and "Ahmed Abu Hashima" headed to New York to support El-Sisi with media figures in an unofficial delegation that was smaller in number and quieter than last year's big circus.
Abu Hashima and Sisi supporters
Ahmed Abu Hashima and members of American Coptic Association 
Yet,they were not alone this year.
The Egyptian Coptic Orthodox Church officially called Egyptian Copts in the United States to mobilize and join the Pro-Sisi rallies in New York.
Yes , officially the Coptic Orthodox Church in New York and New England called the Egyptian Copts in the States to head to New York to support El-Sisi in rallies.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Seen in Cairo : Leaving the capital

Taken in May on the train to Alexandria while leaving Cairo for a short break. This photo was taken at Cairo's Ramses Railway station , the main railway station in Egypt.
 via Instagram

Sunday, September 18, 2016

F-A Artwork Presents : Saint Catherine Mount in 4K

F-A Artwork team on Facebook presents Saint Catherine Mount in 4K time-lapse.

Saint Catherine - Timelapse 4K from F-A Artwork on Vimeo.
It is really beautiful and magical.
You should check the work of Egyptian photographers Fady Hesham and Ahmed Tarek at their F-A Artwork's official Facebook page and like it to follow their amazing work across Egypt.
Here are amazing photos by Hesham and Tarek from the amazing Sinai.
A mountain  somewhere in Sinai "F-A Artwork"
It looks like from another world 

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Unionist's contradicting statements , 5 dead men got no link to Regeni : The probe continues

From two weeks ago , Egypt's Prosecutor General Nabil Sadek issued a statement in Rome about the latest progress in Giulio Regeni's murder investigation and cooperation with Italian Prosecutor as well investigations.
Giulio Regeni
Late Giulio Regeni 

Sadek revealed in the statement that Egyptian police had investigated and followed late Regeni briefly before his murder but suspended the operation after 3 days only when it was found that there was nothing suspicion about him.

Another important revelation in the Egyptian prosecutor general statement in Rome  There are "doubts" regarding the link between Regeni and that so-called gang that was killed in March by security forces.

Now the Egyptian government admits that Giulio Regeni was on its radar , even for some time despite all the denials in the beginning.

This progress happens after 9 months and huge unprecedented Italian escalation that affected the Egyptian-Italian relations.The Italian ambassador has not returned back to Cairo up till now following the decision of the Italian government to recall him over the Regeni probe and the cooperation with the Egyptian government.

Regeni and the street vendors unionists of West Cairo 

According to the details revealed in the Egyptian media , the 26-years old Cambridge student who was working on PhD about independent unions in Egypt was reported to the Egyptian authorities by the head of street vendors independent syndicate.

Allegedly, Regeni contacted the head of that independent syndicate for an interview and the man felt suspicious and decided to report the Italian researcher to security forces as a good citizen.
I am afraid that what has been said in the international and Egyptian media from several months ago. I remember the first journalists to speak about the Street vendors independent syndicate in West Cairo and its head as well their relation to Regeni were Ahmed Ragab and Mostafa El-Marsafawy in Al-Masry Al-Youm in late February.
In their last long investigative report in Al-Masry Al-Youm independent newspaper , Ragab and El-Masrafawy explored what was known about Regeni during then in Egypt speaking with his friends and members of the street vendors syndicate who spoke with Regeni.

Interestingly, the head of West Cairo's Street vendors syndicate Mohamed Abdullah said in that interview in February that he met Giulio Regeni for nearly ten times , hinting out that he did not report to the authorities then despite he was suspicious of him.
Interestingly he added that Regeni used to meet and have a chat with the street vendors at Ahmed Helmi market in Cairo's downtown and that "half of those vendors are security informants". Well it is common belief in Cairo that street vendors are actually informants.

Even more interestingly in the same report , police officers in two police stations "Shobra and Azbakia" supervising that market denied completely that Regeni had gone there as they got officers and cameras all over the place and were not informed about him.It is a very good point because a foreign man would definitely catch attention in that bus station-turned-into market allocated by Cairo governorate to Downtown Cairo street vendors.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Happy Arafat Day and Happy New Egyptian Year

We got too many things today.
First , Happy Arafat Day for all Muslims around the globe.
Muslim Pilgirms at Mount Arafat "AP" 
Muslim Pilgrims outside Arafat "AP"
Let's pray for peace truly in the world and stability as well democracy in Egypt.
Let's pray for Syria, Yemen, Iraq and Libya and other war-torn areas
Second , Happy New Egyptian year from Egyptian Chronicles.
Today marks the start of the first day in the ancient Egyptian calendar.
The 11th of September marks the start of the Ancient Egyptian year "6258" and its first month in the Ancient Egyptian Calendar Thout.
The ancient Egyptian calendar in temple of Kom Ombo
Ancient Egyptian calendar on the walls of Kom Ombo temple "Kodak Agfa"
The reformed ancient Egyptian calendar is still used by the Egyptian Coptic Orthodox Church till this day as Coptic Calendar.
Today, the Egyptian Coptic Church will celebrate the Nairouz  or rather "Ni-Yarouou" Day.
It is known that Egyptian farmers are still using the Ancient Egyptian Calendar till this day due to its accurate timing when it comes to weather.
Of course, I shall not forget that it is 9/11 and I pray that this won't happen again.
I pray for the 9/11 victims whether those who were killed on that or killed after it.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

And So who gave the order to disperse Rabaa sit-in ?

This can be the most interesting news of last week by all measures. It passed so quietly to the level that no paid notice to despite its significance.

The head of Cairo Criminal court , Judge Hassan Farid stated that late prosecutor general Hisham Barakat did not order the dispersal of Pro-Morsi Rabaa sit-in.

The head Judge said that during the trial known in the media "Rabaa dispersal" where more than 600 people are facing jail time including Photo Journalist Mohamed Abou Zeid "Shawkan".
Judge Hassan said that statement when he rejected to include late Barakat who was killed in a huge bombing in June 2015 to the case by the request of the defense team.

Late prosecutor general Hisham Barakat "Al-Ahram" 
It is quite interesting because I remember that Egyptian security forces dispersed the Pro-Morsi sits-in at Rabaa and Al-Nahda according to the order of Prosecutor general and general prosecution.
I remember that the Egyptian State TV used to air during its coverage for the dispersal that the General Prosecution ordered the dispersal.

The general prosecution is headed by Egypt's Prosecutor General and during then it was headed by late Hisham Barakat.
So who really ordered that dispersal !?

I am searching online to find if East Cairo prosecution was the one that issued the decision that officially changed Egypt for real but I have not found anything so far.

Instead , I found interestingly a news dated to 30 July 2013 in El-Badil newspaper quoting a source in the General Prosecution that Barakat as Prosecutor general was searching with his aides the possibility to disperse Pro-Morsi sits-in whether in Rabaa square or Nahda square.

Journalist Nariman Nagy also hinted more interestingly that late Barakat had told El-Shorouk newspaper on 31 July 2013 that Egypt's General prosecutions could not order the dispersal of Pro-Morsi's sits-in because it is outside its jurisdiction !!

Friday, September 9, 2016

Seen in Cairo : Zero Safety measures !!

I  saw that scene in Cairo while I was on my way to home from work : A group of workers trying to set up a huge billboard near Ramses Hilton hotel.
I filmed it while I was in a car, I was not driving.

They were trying to set it up without real safety measures to protect their lives considering where they were standing and how the street below them was buzzing with cars near Ramses Hilton.
I took a photo before for those workers in December in the same location. I even filmed them in a short vine clip.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Egyptian Summer Tales : The Presidential Team and the race to 2018 elections

Yes , for the past couple of weeks without no introduction we found some people in Egypt and outside speaking about the upcoming presidential elections even among the strongest supporters of President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi.

Just as he was celebrating the verification of his first official twitter account, extreme Pro-Sisi and Pro-regime Sada El-Balad TV channel host Ahmed Moussa held a very interesting poll on twitter about whether people would elect President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi for a second term in 2018.

For about seven hours , the notorious TV host known for his extreme hate to the 25 January revolution held the poll and amazingly the results came unlike what he wished for.

At least 81% of the votes in the twitter poll said that they were against Sisi to run for another presidential term. Thousands of people participated in that poll that went viral for here.
Moussa and his social media team did not only delete the poll but they shut down the whole account in less than 24 hours.

Defiant as usual , Moussa claimed that hackers from Qatar and Turkey "the usual suspect" took control of his verified twitter account and manipulated in the results of the polls !!
Technically , this is untrue but this is what he had said.

He also said that he held a poll with the same question about Sisi's second term on his official Facebook page as well Sada El-Balad TV channel's official website and that the majority of people "over 90%" wanted President Sisi to run for another presidential term.

Here is a screenshot I took for the poll before he closed his account.
Up till now, people are asking why Ahmed Moussa would post such poll on twitter and ask that question in particular.
Ahmed Moussa Poll
The poll which El-Sisi lost thanks to Ahmed Moussa 

For me , it was kind of wired but I felt it was a pathetic attempt to show that El-Sisi still got popularity in Egypt despite the economic crisis and that talk lately about the Presidential elections in 2018 and Presidential team, yes Presidential team

The Unlikely spokesperson for the Presidential team .. from outer space.

The firs time we heard in Egypt the words "Presidential team" and "getting ready for presidential elections 2018" was in Al-Araby TV's interview with Space scientist and former Presidential aide for science Dr. Essam Heggy in late July.

In the second part of a lengthy interview , Heggy revealed suddenly that there was a group of January revolution powers and change movement in Egypt were working to prepare for a project to run as a Presidential team for 2018 Presidential elections in the country !!

Friday, September 2, 2016

#TheDayIDisappeared : Speak about them all the time

Tuesday marked the International Day of disappeared worldwide dedicated to the forcibly disappeared people all over the world. I think after those three years , the term of "forcible disappeared" has become familiar to the level in Egypt that the White House issued a statement on Tuesday about forcible disappearance cases in Syria, North Korea .. and Egypt.
Yup , Egypt according to the statement issued by Susan Rice, the National security advisor in Obama's administration.
Egypt has seen an unprecedented spike in enforced disappearances, with Egyptian security forces increasingly relying on this tactic to silence and intimidate the government's critics.  Last August the UN Human Rights Council Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances reported a 100 percent increase in reported cases in Egypt over the previous year; in February, that same Working Group cited another forty new cases.
I am waiting for the reaction of the Egyptian ministry of foreign affairs.
Cases like Esraa El-Taweel and her friends to Mostafa Massouny to Ashraf Shehata to Giulio Regeni made the term "forcible disappearance" familiar in Egypt to the level that President El-Sisi spoke about it. "Of course, he denied it"