Thursday, May 31, 2018

Ramadan Arabian Nights 2018 : The amazing tales challenge Episode 15 “The Occupation ”

Dear all, it is time to complete our tale for this year, the tale of “Amazing tales challenge”.
Now Do you remember when I told that Tahar Abu Fasha was inspired by social and political events in the 1950s and 1960s in some of the tales he had written to the Egyptian State Radio’s “One Thousand Nights and One” ??
Well, tonight you will know immediately from our 15th episode of our Ramadan Arabian Night Podcast which event was Abu Fasha was referring to.
For the past 14 days, we knew that Abu Fasha was speaking about Pan Arabism and how the Arab countries should stand together or they will be weak and conquered by their enemies.
You can listen to episode No.276 of the Egyptian state radio’s One Thousand Nights and One after the break to know more.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Ramadan Arabian Nights 2018 : The amazing tales challenge Episode 14 “The Transformation ”

Good morning or Good evening or Good afternoon where ever and whenever you read this post.
Tonight we will continue our tale for this Ramadan, the tale of the Amazing tales challenge as we listen to the 275
You can hear the 14th episode of our Podcast for this year right after the break.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Ramadan Arabian Nights 2018 : The amazing tales challenge Episode 13 “The Inheritance ”

Good evening, tonight we will continue our tale for this year, the tale of the Amazing tales challenge.
Tonight we are going to hear the episode No.274 of Egyptian State Radio’s “One Thousand and One Nights” Show created by the Godfather of Egyptian radio Mohamed Shaaban and written by Taher Abu Fasha.
It is an interesting episode full of actions.
You can hear it after the break.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Kodak Agfa Presents : An Early Full Moon !? “Updated”

I grabbed my camera Monday night after reading online that Planet Jupiter is making an appearance besides the moon and we could see it by the naked eye, it was an invitation for photography.
Amazingly the moon was full and bright despite according to our Islamic lunar Calendar declared by the State’s Dar Ifta, it is not the 15th night !!
Here is how the moon looked.

A Semi full or a full moon
The moon seems full to me

If there is a miscalculation of the moon’s phase in Egypt, then it will mean that there is a miscalculation in the start of Ramadan.
Ramadan should have started earlier.
Anyhow, I am not an official astronomical expert, I am ranting here.

Updated :

Egypt’s Dar Ifta issued a statement on its social media accounts that their calculations were correct and there was not mistake about the timing of Ramadan.
In a long statement , Dar Ifta insists that what we saw on 12th of Ramadan was actually 96% of the full moon and not 100% of the moon.

Ramadan Arabian Nights 2018 : The amazing tales challenge Episode 12 “The Prophecy”

It is time to complete our tale for this year, the tale of The Amazing tales challenge.
Before we go and listen to tonight’s episode of our Ramadan Arabian Nights Podcast, I would like to share a little trivia.

Tonight one of our recurring characters is having a comeback aka King Haddam of the Ifrit Underground kingdom.
King Haddam was voiced by famous late Egyptian actor Hassan el Baroudi who is better known as Madbouli in Youssef Chahine’s Cairo Station.
Born in January 1890, el Baroudi was from Egypt’s first generation of actors just like Abdel Waress Assar.
He started his career in acting in 1923 joining a theater company and ended it in 1974 with his death.
He got a huge number of filmography that started in 1929 and ended it in 1974 as I hinted.
Like Assar, he was mainly a supporting actor but you cannot miss him.
One of his famous roles was in Salah Abu Seif’s Second Wife as Mabrouk, the hypocrite villager.
He also appeared in Charlton Heston’s Khartoum Film.
May God bless his soul.
Now we move to our new episode tonight, which was episode no. 273 in the record of the Egyptian State Radio’s One Thousand and One Nights.
You can listen to it after the break.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Ramadan Arabian Nights 2018 : The amazing tales challenge Episode 11 “Spiritual Seclusion”

Sorry for the delay in posting this episode of our annual Ramadan Arabian Nights Podcast.
Here is the 11th episode of our tale for this year, the Amazing tales challenge.
You can refresh your mind and remember what happened last night by checking last night’s episode.
Tonight’s episode is No.272 in the record of the Egyptian State radio’s One Thousands and One Nights show written by Taher Abu Fasha and created by Mohamed Shaaban.
You can listen to the new episode after the break.

Our King is injured : A sad night in Egypt

Saturday night millions of people in Egypt saw their hope for a short glimpse of happiness crashed when a young Egyptian footballer fell in a Kiev Stadium.

That phrase spread on Egyptian social media to describe eloquently in Classical Arabic what millions of Egyptians felt when they saw their favorite football player and the top scorer of English Premier League Mohamed Salah fell in a Kiev stadium after his injury during the final football match in Europe’s Champions League between Liverpool FC and Real Madrid.

Mo Salah and Sergio Ramas
That moment that made Egypt sleep in sadness 
Salah was the latest victim of Spain’s national team and Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos.
As if he were in a wrestling game, Ramos caused a Shoulder injury for Salah that forced him to leave the game after 30 minutes “heated 30 minutes” of the first half of the match.

I did not complete the match after Salah’s injury and how the referees ignore it.
There has been extreme fear that our Egyptian king may not be able to play the World Cup as part of Egypt’s national football team. If his shoulder is dislocated then he will not play in the World Cup.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Ramadan Arabian Nights 2018 : The amazing tales challenge Episode 10 “The temptation”

It is time to continue our tale for this year, the tale of the Amazing tales challenge.

Tonight we will listen to episode no.271 of the Egyptian State radio show” One Thousand and one nights”, I would like to hint to an important thing.

Our radio show continued through the 1950s and 1960s, the epic age of Nasserite propaganda and Egyptian radio stations played a huge role in spreading that propaganda whether locally or regionally.

Our show was not an exception
Despite based loosely on the original One Thousand and One Nights book, writer Taher Abu Fasha was also inspired by current events taken place in that era and you can feel some Nasserite thoughts of that ideology in the show.

In our tale for instance, we got a king that tells his sons to be united against their enemy and not to be divided aka the idea of Unity between Arab countries and Pan Arabism.
Anyhow enough of chit chat and let’s listen to our tenth episode after the break

Friday, May 25, 2018

#Ramadan Arabian Nights 2018 : The amazing tales challenge Episode 9 “The King is dead , Long live the king”

A king will die and another king will be crowned in tonight’s episode of Ramadan Arabian Podcast.
Tonight we got a very interesting episode in our show “One Thousand and one nights” produced by Egypt’s State radio in its heyday.
I won’t talk too much because lots of things happened in tonight’s episode which was 270th episode to be accurate in our show’s long record.
You can find the new episode after the break.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Ramadan Arabian Nights 2018 : The amazing tales challenge Episode 8 “The will”

Good evening or morning based on your time and location now.
It is time for a new episode of our Ramadan Arabian Nights Podcast.
Tonight we will listen to episode no.269th of Egyptian state radio’s One thousand and one nights show, created by Mohamed Shaaban “Papa Sharo” and written by Taher Abu Fasha.
You can hear the episode after the break and know what happened after the return of three Djinn princes to their kingdom.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Ramadan Arabian Nights 2018 : The amazing tales challenge Episode 7 “The Crow ..again”

Tonight we will continue our tale for this year; the amazing tales challenge.
I apologize that tonight’s episode, the 7th episode of our Ramadan Arabian Nights Podcast was published late but it is never too late to publish it.
After the break you can listen to the 277th episode of Egyptian State Radio’s One Thousand and One Nights; written by Taher Abu Fasha and directed by Mohamed Shaaban, the godfather of Egyptian Radio.

Egypt’s latest Presidential Pardon: The Good , the bad and the incomprehensible "Updated"

Last Wednesday, Egypt’s president Abdel Fattah El-Sisi pardoned 332 individuals, mostly from youth who had been imprisoned in protest-related cases.
The 332 individuals were chosen by the Presidential pardon committee which was formed in October 2016 to review the cases of youth imprisoned in politically related trials as well as humanitarian cases such as health problems and so on.
That’s the fourth pardon of its kind since that committee headed by political figure Osama Ghazali Harb started to work in 2016. According to statements to press by its members, the committee started to work on the fourth list in September 2017.
During then, its member Karim El-Sakka who spoke with Ahram Online that the committee was adopting selection criteria that include “ political prisoners, but exclude those involved in violence or terrorism”.
In November 2017, the committee member and Pro-regime MP Tarek El-Kholy stated to Al-Masry Al-Youm Daily stated that there was a delay in releasing the 4th Presidential pardon list because the committee was examining each case individually.
He also added that the list would be delivered to the presidency after being revised by “the concerned authorities”.
Last Wednesday, a source in the Prisons authority following the Ministry of interior told Ahram Arabic Gate that “the authority” did not interfere in the work of the committee.
According to current constitution’s article No.155, the president can issue pardon decrees for prisoners who have been handed final court rulings that cannot be appealed after consulting with the Cabinet.
Yet the Egyptian president cannot pardon those convicted in illegal weapons possession and trafficking as well drug trafficking according to the Criminal Code of Egypt if I understood correctly.
This introduction above is important for what is coming next.
On Thursday, the Presidential Pardon was officially issued in the Egyptian State Gazette with the names of the pardoned inmates.
Now there is something good about this pardon as well something bad. There is something incomprehensible as well.
The good , the bad and the incomprehensible

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Ramadan Arabian Nights 2018 : The amazing tales challenge Episode 6 “The Crow”

It is time for us to complete our tale for this Ramadan.
Before we go forward with our 6th episode of “The Amazing tales challenge” tonight, here is a nice trivia about the supernatural underworld in Islamic and Arab mythology world.
In our tale, the villains are “Ifrits”, which according to Wikipedia they are considered a powerful and dangerous class of Jinn. In our Egyptian pop and folklore, Ifrit and Jinn are a synonym for the same of supernatural creature made of fire.
Ironically,  “Ifrit” or “عفريت” are being used in translation from English to Arabic recently in literature or films to describe “Fairy”.
We do not have any similar creature in our mythology to the fairies, thus I believe our translators thought "Ifrit" would fit "fairy" in Arabic despite Ifrits are actually demons.
And now it is time to complete our tale, which was numbered 267 in the long episodes record of Egyptian State-Radio’s One Thousand and One tales show written by Taher Abu Fasha and created by Mohamed Shaaban.
You can hear the episode after the break.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Ramadan Arabian Nights 2018 : The amazing tales challenge Episode 5 "The Diamonds"

And we will complete our tale within tale tonight in our Ramadan Radio Arabian Nights for this year.
Tonight we will know what King Hathor of Djinn kingdom and his wise vizier Shanshor to have an offspring as we knew from last night’s episode.
Tonight’s episode was the 266 of our long show on Egypt’s State Radio that ran from the 1950s till 1970s.
You can hear tonight’s episode from our Ramadan podcast “Ramadan Arabian Nights” right after the break.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Ramadan Arabian Nights 2018 : The amazing tales challenge Episode 4 "The Amazing tale"

It has not been a week in Ramadan and people are complaining that almost all the TV soap operas “Ramadan is their main reason in the Arab world” are boring.
One thing for sure, our Ramadan Arabian nights radio is not boring.
And Scheherazade will continue her tale “The Amazing tales challenge” tonight where she stopped last night.
Tonight we will know what the vizier will do at the King’s palace and whether his daughter Sukar and her beloved Anbar will save the day or not.
You can hear tonight’s episode, which was episode no. 265 in the record of Egyptian State Radio Show’s One Thousand and Oe Nights; after the break.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Ramadan Arabian Nights 2018 : The amazing tales challenge Episode 3 "The Festival"

Good night or Good morning ya people where you are currently while reading and listening to the new episode of Ramadan Arabian Nights’ tale for this year, the tale of the amazing tales challenge.
Tonight we will complete our episode and see if Anbar manages to get the beginning of that tale and wins the hand of his beloved Sokar or not.
To refresh your memory before we go to tonight’s episode, check last night’s episode.
Now here is tonight’s episode, the 264th episode of Egyptian state radio’s One Thousand and One nights show.
P.S a trivial info in Arabic, the word Mirzaban means the King’s knight.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Kodak Agfa Presents : The Royal Egyptian Orders and Medals at Alexandria's Royal Jewelry Museum

You have seen the exterior and the interior of Egypt’s Mohamed Ali Royal Family’s Jewelry Museum in Alexandria earlier this year.
I think it is time to explore its beautiful Jewelry and items inside it.
The Egyptian Royal Medals are exhibited in that beautiful gallery connecting the Eastern and Western wings of Fatimah Haider’s Summer Palace.
Fatima Haider's Palace's exterior
The Gallery between the Palace's East Wing and West Wing 
The gallery’s balconies feature amazing hand-painted stained glass showing romantic scenes from the Renaissance era.
Now to the exhibits of that gallery.

Egypt’s Order of Mohamed Ali

Egypt's Order of Mohamed Ali
The Order of Mohamed Ali 
Founded by Sultan Hussein Kamel in 1915 to honor the heads of states as well the members of the Egyptian and European Royal families.
The recipients were entitled “Pashas” and “Excellency”
Till the declaration of the Egyptian Republic in 1954, this was the highest order in Egypt.
It was replaced by the Order of the Nile which was also founded by Sultan Hussein Kamel.

Ramadan Arabian Nights 2018 : The amazing tales challenge Episode 2 "The lovers"

Welcome to our second night of Ramadan Arabian Nights 2018.
First of all, before we complete our tale of this year, I would like to speak about the legendary artist and actor Abdel  Waress Assar.

When I heard his distinguished voice in our tale for this year, I was really happy to hear it.
A professional narrator, Assar’s voice is associated with the Arabic dubbed Snow White. Snow White was the first Arabic dubbed film re-released to the Arabic audience in the early 1970s.
Born in 1894, Abdel Waress Assar was the son of a famous successful lawyer who had been fond of two things since his teenagehood Arabic language and theatre.
Abdel Waress Assar
Late Abdel Waress Assar in his youth 
I do not know from which faculty he graduated from but the young man who landed a job at the ministry of finance. He left his job at the age of 40 years old to join the famous Acting supporters association in Cairo which graduated Egypt’s legendary actors, writers and directors in the 20th century.
He was only an actor but he also taught other young actors how to act. He also wrote one of the important books about acting in Arabic. He wrote scripts and films.
His filmography and plays include over 300 films and plays where he mostly was the best supporting actor whether in tragedy or comedy.
My generation knows him as an old man, we had never seen a photo of him in younger age but suddenly an old photo showing him as a young man suffered recently and it was very unique.

Second of all, we will continue our tale for this year; the amazing tales challenge.
You can refresh your memory by going back to the first episode of last night.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Ramadan Arabian Nights 2018 : The amazing tales challenge Episode 1 "The challenge"

Ramadan Karim
From 1001 Arabian nights book
by Edmund Dulac 
Tonight is our first night of Ramadan Audio Arabian nights for the year 2018.
This Ramadan season will have a very special tale: the bet of amazing tales.
 It is a tale inside a tale inside tale.
Our tale starts with episode 262 of Egyptian State radio “One thousand and one nights” aka Arabian nights.

Directed and created by the father of the Egyptian Radio Mohamed Shaaban aka Papa Sharo,
that tale was written by writer Taher Abu Fasha. Late Legendary Zozo Nabil and Abdel Rahim El-Zorkany starred as Scheherazade and Shahryar.
Late Legendary actor Abdel Waress Assar voices Vizier Habhan in the tale.

Our tale for this year starts as King Shahryar is furious and angry to the level that his servants fear that he might execute his queen Scheherazade. Our wise queen goes and asks her king why he is angry. Shahryar tells her that he is angry because a rival king made things worse between and his cousin, who is also an enemy of that rival. “I think this was a metaphor for Nasser and his fights with other Arab rulers”
To cheer up his king, Scheherazade begins telling a new story as she has done in the past 30 months.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

From Egyptian Chronicles : Ramadan Kareem 1439

From Egyptian Chronicles to all the Muslims around the globe, Happy Ramadan or as we say in Egypt “Ramadan Kareem”.
Ramadan of Hijri year 1439 will officially commence in Egypt on Thursday. According to calculations, the Holy month will be 29 days.

“Ramadan Kareem” means literality Ramadan is generous in reference to its blessings. Usually, when you greet someone with this phrase during the Ramadan, the answer will be automatically “Allah Akram” which means “Allah or God is more generous”. This is our Ramadan greeting in Egypt.
It is different than Ramadan Mubarak.
Ramadan Kareem and do not forget your annual meeting with your Ramadan Radio Arabian Nights because this year, there is a beautiful surprise.
You can refresh your memory, check our past nights and tales here.
Speaking of fiction, I can not ignore this beautiful Ramadan greeting from DC Comics featuring Green Lantern aka Simon Baz.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Jerusalem and Gaza : A bloody tale of two cities with occupation

Jerusalem and Gaza made titles around the globe on Monday as expected.

US First Daughter Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner inaugurated the new US embassy in East Jerusalem in a big celebration whereas at least 58 Palestinian protesters were killed and over 2700 others were injured by the live ammunition of the Israeli forces at the Israeli Gaza borders in the Great March of return at the same time.

There are lots of scenes that we need to think about on that day
The day started with that US embassy inauguration that most foreign diplomats boycott including the Egyptian ambassador thankfully.
It was a relief to know that the Egyptian ambassador did not attend the event because enough is enough.
Ivanka Trump in a Ralph Lauren dress and suit happy inaugurating the embassy while people
were killed few kilometers away "Reuters" 
It was more than provoking to see the Israeli ambassador to Cairo celebrating publicly the so-called “Israel independence” in Nile Ritz Carlton in Tahrir Square last week. Israeli foreign ministry made sure to make it clear that it was celebrated in a hotel in “Tahrir Square”.
There is no doubt that the Egyptian regime had given the hotel the green light to host the so-called event considering the fact that Egyptian political parties and groups can't book a single hall to make a presser in any hotel now.
During that pathetic event, the Israeli ambassador praised directly and by name Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Salman “MBS” who amazingly disappeared on Monday.

In talks with US Zionist Jewish leaders in March, MBS made it clear that the “Palestinian issue” was not a priority for Saudi Arabia. The Jewish leaders believe him but there is one problem: Palestinians care less for MBS and KSA or their new allies of Zionists who want to destroy Iran.
Palestine is a number one priority to Palestinians as it should.

Back to the US embassy that has been built over occupied land in East Jerusalem according to the United Nation security council No.242 of the year 1967.
It was inaugurated by the US first daughter and her hubby, the US president special envoy to the Middle East Jared Kushner who complicated things without a doubt with his own Pro-Zionist agenda in our sad region.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

The New Metro fare and the beginning of long hot summer

At least 22 people have been arrested in Cairo from several Metro stations for protesting the latest increase in Metro fares on Saturday according to Reuters while human rights organizations say that at least 50 commuters were arrested because of the new fares.
On Sunday and because of the fear of more unrests as well of future protests, security forces were deployed in huge numbers in an unprecedented scene in the metro stations thanks to late night decision taken on Thursday.
Egypt's Metro tickets
The new tickets of the Metro "Twitter"
Last Thursday as Egyptians were ready to start their last weekend before the start of the Holy month of Ramadan, the Egyptian government decided to raise the metro fare in Cairo.
In nutshell , the cheapest ticket or fare increased by 50% while the most expensive fare increased by 300%. There is a new system based upon the number of the stations as far I understood.

On Friday , the government or rather minister of transportation Hisham Arafat said the decision was taken in the right time.
On the same day, it seems that several Pro-regime media outlets had telepathic thoughts as we found both State-owned Al-Ahram News website and private-owned Youm 7 publishing infographs showing how the new fare in Egypt was actually cheapest in the world. Egyptians found themselves to be compared with their counterparts in countries like in Germany and Denmark.
Well, Germany is considering to provide free public transportation in order to limit pollution in some irony.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Seen in Downtown Cairo : Renovated Sherifeen street

On 18 April, the Egyptian government and Cairo governorate inaugurated the Sherifeen Street after its renovation as part of the Khedival Downtown Cairo renovation project.

I went there to see what happened and how the renovation went in a quick visit and I am currently so happy with what I saw for real.
El-Sherifeen Street after renovation
El-Sherifeen Street after renovation 
It was inaugurated on the 18 April as it marks the Heritage World Day.

Cairo's Sherifeen street after renovation
No cars are allowed in the narrow street now
That’s the first stage of renovation in the area known as “El-Borsa” area or “The stock market triangle” as Egypt ’s main Stock exchange of Cairo is located in the street. It took LE 10 million to renovate the first stage.
Cairo's Sherifeen Street after renovation
El Sherifeen street after renovation
There are 30 buildings registered in that street or area as heritage building including banks, a hotel, residential and business buildings in addition to shops that probably 100 years ago.
I believe it is more than just painting the old buildings that suddenly came alive with those beautiful palm trees and lights that turn the area into a joyful place in the area.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Gina Haspel and her sisters everywhere : The Right Wing myth of women empowerment

Last month US president Donald Trump made history for real when he fired his Secretary for department of State Rix Tillerson in a tweet without telling him face to face replacing him with right wing islamphobic and current CIA director Mike Pompeo.
In the same tweet he declared that he appointed Pompeo’s deputy Gina Haspel as the new director of the CIA adding that she was the first woman chosen for that position in the history of the United states.
Gina Haspel
Gina Haspel by EPA 
If his nomination is accepted by the Senate , it will be the first time for a woman to manage the CIA indeed.
Since that announcement , Trump’s supporters are describing how he chose Haspel to become his spy chief as historical empowerment of women !!!!!
I do not know what kind of empowerment honestly is that because one check in her background we will find a resume that insults the movement of women’s empowerment as well the agency she has been working for and  the country she believes that she serves.
The 1956-born Gina Cheri Haspel is accused by her own fellow Americans whether ex-Military or journalists of being a war criminal and a torturer due to her infamous role in the CIA torture program.
Aside from the right wing’s websites I have not seen any true credible or respectable news website describing Trump’s decision as empowering to women  !!
It is a joke , you got one of the most openly-misogynist presidents ever elected aided by the most conservative right wing figures and people are speaking about women empowerment.
This reminds on how unfortunately some right wing supporters in Egypt.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Seen in Cairo : The last days of Maspero triangle

Demolishing a house
A house demolished in Maspero project as part of the Egyptian government to renovate the area
It is one of those last days of Maspero triangle.
Cairo’s Downtown has been witnessing its biggest demolishment operation ever in the 21st century as the Egyptian government goes on with its project to develop the old poor area turned into a shanty town after a long struggle with its residents.

The Egyptian government hopes the area that hosted very old residential building for 200 years to be turned in to a financial center.
Time will tell. 

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Happy F*cking World Press Freedom Day Dear Egypt

Another World Press Freedom Day comes and Egypt’s Press is having its worst days ever.
According to Reporters without borders “RSF”, Egypt is considered one of the World’s biggest prison for journalists as there are currently 27 journalists detained and imprisoned as well 5 citizen journalists detained and imprisoned.
It is already ranking 161 in the 2018 World Press Freedom Index out of 180 countries.
It is the 11th worst Arab country and 7th worst African country when it comes to press freedom.
It did not change from 2017.

Freedom of the Press worldwide in 2018
I do not know if it is good or bad for real but it is sad that Egypt appears among the black countries in the RSF map once again.
Reporters Without borders’ official website is already blocked in Egypt and I think this says a lot.

Speaking about blocked websites in Egypt, I believe the number of those websites are exceeding more and more.
During the Presidential elections in March, Egyptian news and citizen journalism website Al-Manassa was blocked in Egypt because it dared and exposed the truth of the so-called US Congress observers delegation in the elections.