Saturday, December 29, 2018

Sudan Protests : They are still going on

Maybe because it is holidays season or maybe because the world just gave up on the news coming from the Middle East and North Africa region but for the 11th days the Sudanese people have been protesting against war criminal Omar El-Bashir and nobody seems interested.

Yes, there is huge press and media censorship but there is too much silence whereas there is something going on in Sudan for real.
I know there is a bit change because on Friday the UN secretary general Antonio Guterres expressed his concern for the developments in Sudan calling its government to investigate deaths during the protests across the country !!
I do not know what to say.
The thing is Omar El-Bashir does not give a fuck “pardon my language” to the international community.

The Sudanese Professionals association has called for new protests and rallies next 31 December 2018 on the eve of Sudan’s Independence Day anniversary.
The main rally will head to the presidential palace in Khartoum at 1 PM Khartoum Local time.
The Association also announced on 31 December 2018, there will be a general strike for lawyers in the country to denounce the violence against the protests and violate the right of assembly and protests among other things.

Well back to the protests, 28th December 2018 Friday protests dedicated to the fallen protests were a total success based on testimonies, videos and photos as more people from all ages whether men or women joined the rallies demanding Omar El-Bashir to step down.
Protest in Sudan 2018
ِA protest in one of the streets in Gazeera state
on 28 December 2018 "@ahmedhadads"

Even the mosque where El-Bashir allegedly was praying the Friday prayers witnessed a protest that forced to flee the scene quickly.

I do not know why I stopped at this alleged incident, it seems that the man is getting too old that the deep state in Sudan or its military institution may give up on him.

The Sudanese authorities dealt with the protests reportedly with violence using live ammunition aside from the usual tear gases.

Friday, December 28, 2018

Can Sudan’s growing protest civil movement stand against El-Bashir ? "Updated"

The Sudanese Professional Association “SPA” declared on Thursday it supported the calls for protests on Friday as well on Sunday.

There are plans for protests across Sudan against the government demanding Omar El-Bashir to resign. Just like the tradition that started in Egypt during the 25th January revolution, this Friday protest is named and its name is “ Committed to the martyrs” dedicated to the fallen protesters who have been killed since last week.

Earlier Thursday, the Sudanese government said that 19 people were killed while over 200 others were injured in the protests across Sudan since 19 December.
This is the first official death toll released by the Sudanese government.
It is worth to mention that according to Amnesty International not less 37 people were killed since the start of the protests.

Meanwhile, on the same day, Sudanese journalists started a strike to object the censorship imposed by the Sudanese government.
Sudanese journalists on Strike
Sudanese journalists on strike " SPA"
Since the morning, I have been following reports several journalists were arrested. Some of those journalists were released later.
The Sudanese doctors also continued their strike except for the ER doctors.
Since Monday, the Sudanese doctors are reportedly on strike in several Sudanese states.

Different doctors associations also announced their support on the ongoing protesting movement calling their members to participate in the strike. 
Sudanese doctors on strike since Monday "Sudan's Doctors syndicate
Several doctors were reportedly arrested too.

Online, Anonymous hacktivist group declared an online war on the Sudanese official websites like e-Sudan service portal and official Sudanese cabinet website in an operation called "#OpSudan". The official spokesperson of the operation in Arabic is Mr.Robot on Twitter if anybody is interested in following this operation.

Just like El-Bashir managed to bring together Qatar and Bahrain to support him, he managed to bring both Egypt’s Sisi and Turkey’s Erdogan together to support him too.

On Thursday, Egypt’s minister of foreign affairs Sameh Shoukry and head of Egyptian General intelligence directorate and President Abdel Fattah Sisi’s trusted aide Abbas Kamel went to Khartoum to hold “officially” one of their 2+2 meeting with their Sudanese counterparts. They also met with Omar El-Bashir to deliver him a message from President E-Sisi.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Sudan Protests : It is not the end but it is just the start “Updated”

Sudan’s Sudanese Professional Association “SPA” announced Wednesday night that starting from 27 December 2018, Sudanese journalists are going to organize a strike under the umbrella of “The Sudanese journalists network”.
The strike is to send a message against the current and recent crackdown against the media and journalists.
The strike of the journalists is a follow up to a strike organized by doctors across the country according to SPA on its official statement.

The announcement comes as part of a civil opposition movement is being built against longtime President and dictator Omar El-Bashir.

On Tuesday, Thousands of Sudanese people mostly youth proved that they were serious when they said that they would march to the Presidential palace in Khartoum to present a petition to El-Bashir demanding to step down from Presidency.
Thousands of protesters tried to march in Khartoum to the presidential palace in the march originally arranged by “SPA”.
Sudanese people including women went protested against
El-Bashir on Tuesday "Amaged Salah"
Unfortunately and expectedly they did not reach the president palace as Sudanese forces blocked the way to the Palace and dispersed the march that turned in to several smaller protests in several areas of Khartoum by force according to eye-witnesses as well as video clips.

I remember reading that some protesters were praying in the Grand Mosque of Khartoum and the security forces decided to close down the Mosque while they were praying  !!!!
There were also several protests in several Sudanese states.
Protesters from all ages in the anti-El-Bashir protest on Tuesday
in Khartoum "Amaged Salah"
There have been injured according to testimonies as well as video clips. "I am working on a compilation right now"

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Sudan protests : El-Bashir promises economic reforms while Khartoum prepares for a big protest on Tuesday

Just like a very bad and belated Christmas gift, Sudan current president and internationally wanted war criminal Omar El-Bashir addressed on Monday the Sudanese people in short statements via official news agency as they continue to protest against him for the sixth day in a row.

In statements released by Sudanese official news agency “SUNA”, El-Bashir promised to have real “economic reforms” to “make citizens trust again the Sudanese banking system”.
He also added the state would continue doing economic reforms to prove the citizens with “decent living”.
He urged the Sudanese people not to follow the rumors warning them from giving up to “attempts to implant despair” !!

Someone did not get the memo about how troubling the Sudanese economy had been recently and how economically can’t live on bailouts from the Gulf forever.

In the same SUNA news report, the director general of the National security and intelligence agency general Salah Abdullah was quoted saying that the agency’s forces supported its commander in chief aka Omar El-Bashir claiming at the same time the agency respect the right to peacefully protest.

Abdullah’s statement comes 24 hours after the official statement of the Sudanese armed forces also declaring its full support to President El-Bahsir.

The statements of Omar El-Bashir and Salah Abdullah comes 24 hours before the big protest or rally demanding his dismal from the office in Khartoum on Tuesday.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Merry Christmas From Egyptian Chronicles

Merry Christmas from Egyptian Chronicles to all readers celebrating Christmas tonight in Egypt and around the globe.
Korba street's Christmas tree in Heliopolis "Heliopolis Heritage Initiative"
Here is a beautiful nice Christmas from Cairo’s Heliopolis.
Merry Christmas

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Sudan protests and the Arab Media is afraid to say it : The protests-o-phobia

For the fourth day in a row, the Sudanese people continue to protest in various Sudanese cities against Omar El-Bashir regime and up till this moment there is no proper media coverage in the Arab world.

At least 20 people are reportedly killed while dozens are injured and arrested including at least 14 opposition activists and politicians in the past four days.
Umm Ruwaba-protest in Sudan
A photo from reportedly from protest earlier morning
from Sudanese city "Umm Ruwaba" in Kurdufan "Twitter" 
The study in universities and schools have been suspended till further notice and certain newspapers are confiscated.
The Sudanese officials just like any Arab officials say that those protesters are pushed by foreign agents to destabilize the stability of the country.
All that has been happening and even Al-Jazeera News TV channel “Arabic service” which raises real questions about its editorial policies.
This is not the first time it happens, there were protests in Morocco from a couple of months ago and they were ignored.

Needless to say, the Sudanese official news agencies as well Qatari news agencies spoke on Saturday about how Prince of Qatar Tamim offered financial help to Sudanese President Omar El-Bashir or in other words to bail him and the regime out of that financial crisis hitting Sudan.

By the Bahraini foreign ministry issued a statement on Saturday affirms its solidarity with “Republic of Sudan, expressing its appreciation for the Sudanese efforts and endeavors under the leadership of its President, Omar Al Bashir to promote security, peace, and development and provide all means of progress and prosperity for the brotherly Sudanese people”.
So we got something the Gulf agrees on something at last: Let’s ignore the Sudanese people’s protests and support officially convicted war criminal Omar El-Bashir.

Not surprisingly, Egyptian media is ignoring the whole situation despite the fact this is El-Bashir we are speaking about who is the best buddy with both Qatar and Turkey, who got support from Islamists above them the Muslim Brotherhood.

Again there is a fear that those protesters caused by economic woes just like in France will give some thoughts, especially we are days away from the 8th anniversary of the 25th January revolution.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Warraq islanders vs. government : Once again in front of courts

The island of Warraq in Giza is back to the spotlight and it is not in a good way as much the Egyptian government wants or hopes.

A group of Warraq islanders began to sue the government in front of the administrative court to stop the execution of a ministerial decree to expropriate their land and houses issued in November.
This is the newest legal confrontation between the Islanders and government over the 1,400 feddans island that goes back to 2001.

On 22 November 2018 , Egypt’s Prime minister Mostafa Madbouly issued a decree to expropriate effective immediately  100 metres of land along both sides of the Rod Al-Farrag Axis – which crosses 200 metres of the island – as well as 30 metres from the shoreline inland around the island to construct a cornice (waterside road) in total of 230 metres.

According to locals, there are not less than 5,000 people living and working on those 230 metres.
The government says that this is part of urbanizing the Nile island while the locals fear that this is just an attempt to empty the island from the people to re-sell its land for millions to millions as it was the plan since 2001. “They have not forgotten those days

The government says that the citizens will be compensated and offered alternative houses like the residents of Maspero triangle but the locals say they do not believe the government will compensate them fairly as it wants to expropriate their land first before compensation.
The locals do not want to leave the island in nutshell. They do not reject urbanization but want to stay while the island is being urbanized.

On Tuesday, I have read also that there is another collective lawsuit representing all those people affected by the decree against the government at the administrative court according to the Warraq Families council that has been representing the islanders publicly in their fight against the government.
Warraq protest
A photo from the angry protest by locals at the ferry dock on Tuesday
"Warraq island News FB page"
It is worth to mention that on 19 January 2019 the administrative court will look into the appeal presented by the islanders against the government’s decree in June to establish a new “urban community” on the majority of the island.

On Tuesday also, things were going to escalate badly when local Facebook pages covering the island’s news above the “ Families of Warraq council”  said that the government allegedly decided to stop one of the local ferries connecting the island with the mainland replacing it with a ferry owned and run by the River Transport authority.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Egypt’s hidden architectural gems : Dr.Salem El-Hendawy Palace

Cairo and Giza got beautiful architectural jewels that are hidden in the rough that we are losing them fast those days.
Those hidden jewels are the residential palaces, villas and residential buildings with private gardens in side streets that nobody pays attention except when they are demolished and replaced by ugly cement buildings or to be precise cement blocks.

In Giza’s old Dokki, there are many hidden villas and palaces with a very unique architectural style that stand in a race of time.

Some of those palaces and buildings got very interesting stories about their owners who were once famous people and played an important role in the modern history of Egypt.

One of those places is the magnificent Palace of late physician Dr. Salem “Bey” El-Hendawy in the heart of Dokki, Giza governorate.

The Palace of Salem Hendawy's Facade
The Salem El-Hendawy palace's beautiful entrance 
All that I know about that palace that was built in 1932 and some say that it was a gift from King Fouad I to the late famous Dr. El-Hendawy for his services. Already the palace is located in Abdullah El-Kateb street, which was used to be named El-Hendawy street after the late doctor.
The original name is still kept in Google Maps in some kind of irony.

Historically the area where the palace is located was packed with palaces owned by members of Mohamed Ali Royal Family as well the Pashas but that palace truly stands out with its distinguished Neo-Islamic style.

Not so big palace
The Palace and its garden occupies 1200 meter square 

I do not know its architect was but I think it could be legendary architect Mostafa Pasha Fahmy because he was fond of that Neo-Islamic style.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

France’s Yellow Vests and Arab Social Media Vol.2 : Let the misinformation begin

The reactions in our dear part of the world over what has been happening in France whether from protests or official reactions.
In the past 48 hours, Egypt made headlines internationally once again in an awkward way as it turned out that the Egyptian authorities did restrict quietly the sale of yellow vests for fear of copycat protests especially January 25 anniversary is a couple of weeks away.
On Tuesday, Alexandria prosecution ordered the detention of a leftist human rights lawyer for 15 days pending investigations for posting a photo online wearing a yellow vest !!
Local Alexandrian activists like Mahinour El-Masry say that lawyer Mohamed Ramadan was accused of inciting protests because he posted a photo while wearing a yellow vest on his Facebook profile in solidarity with French protesters.
I thought the officials got the memo in 2011 that the Egyptian people do not need yellow vests to protests or start a sit-in in a place like Tahrir square.
I do not understand this frenzy or phobia especially there are no calls for mass protests in Egypt in any kind.

Anyhow in the past few days there has been a lot of misinformation about the movement and the decisions taken by the French government.
I can’t ignore that video which was shared by hundreds of thousands of times across the Arab world social media with the wrong translation and synopsis to bash the Arab Spring.
First of all here is the original video from Agence LDC News with English translation. “Thanks to Matsdash News Fact checking Facebook page

Shared thousands of time on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube,  the video titled “A French policewoman cries and tells the protesters to kill her and not to destroy Paris like Arabs have done with their nations” went viral and found its way to news websites like Youm7 and its sisters in Egypt as well in the Arab world.

The news was like copied through the news websites in an automated way.
Many websites including Youm 7 cited the Arabic version of Russia Today “RT” as the source of the video and one can’t be surprised. I do not know what the Russian government wants but RT Arabic is a hub of misinformation in the Middle East and nobody is doing anything about it.

Friday, December 7, 2018

It seems that we are going to have constitutional amendments in Egypt : Voters be ready in 2019 !!

Earlier Friday, we found out that Egypt’s Urgent Matter Court scheduled a hearing 23 December 2018 to demand the parliament to look into a lawsuit demanding constitutional amendments that will cancel the presidential terms limits officially.

A ballot box at a polling station in Egypt's Giza
A ballot box at a polling station in Giza during the
Constitution referendum in 2012
The news was originally published by Egypt’s Official State-owned News agency MENA and according to it, a bunch of concerned citizens from lawyers “they are always good citizens” want to amend article No.140 of Current Egyptian Constitution that limit the presidential terms to two four-years-terms in the office.

Those citizens want to change the article because they want to re-elect current president Abdel Fattah El-Sisi from here to eternity as long as “the public wants it”.
Article No. 140 stipulates the following :
The President of the Republic shall be elected for a period of four calendar years, commencing from the day following the termination of the term of his predecessor. The President may only be reelected once.
I did not support or vote even for that constitution as I was so sick during its referendum but I have to say that this was one of its best articles.
According to article No.226, the articles of the constitution can be amended by the request of the president or one-fifth of the MPs in the House of the Representatives and that request must be discussed within 30 days.
The amendment of one or more of the Constitution articles may be requested by the President of the Republic or one-fifth of the members of the House of Representatives. The request specifies the articles to be amended and the reasons for the amendments. In all cases, the House of Representatives will debate the request within 30 days from the date of its receipt. The House issues its decision to accept the request in whole or in part by a majority of its members. If the request is rejected, the same amendments may not be requested again before the next legislative term. If the amendment request is approved by the House, it discusses the text of the articles to be amended within 60 days from the date of approval. If approved by a two-thirds majority of the House’s members, the amendment is put to public referendum within 30 days from the date of approval. The amendment is effective from the date on which the referendum’s result and the approval of a valid majority of the participants in the referendum are announced.
The argument of those who want to amend it and to change to infinity and beyond is that Presidents like El-Sisi don’t have enough presidential terms in hard times “that never ends in our place in the worlds”.
Some say that we must have it like the French “5 years” but ironically the French presidents also have only two concessive presidential terms.
I do not need to remind them the President of the United States aka, the leader of the Free world and the West only has got two presidential terms.

This is not the first time we got calls in Egypt to “unlimit” the presidential terms constitutionally if you remember last year but this time it seems really serious especially with that lawsuit and media campaigns as well the parliamentarians leading for public campaigns as well.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

France's Yellow Vests and Arab Social media Media Vol.1 : Trump , MB and glue sniffers

From two weeks ago or something when the “Gilets Jaunes” or Yellow Vests movement began to gain attention worldwide with their protests rocking France , I received a WhatsApp message from a Pro-regime TV host and journalist saying that the protests were sponsored by the CIA and Trump as an answer for the French President Emmanuel Macron call’s for a European army.

I laughed and did not pay attention then to the message as he is used to sharing those wild anti-Arab spring pro-conspiracy theories all the time.
Tonight I found non-politicized friends on Facebook sharing the same post copied from each other, unfortunately, which means it began to spread.
Yellow vests in Paris "AFP"
Yellow vests in Paris "AFP"
For the regime supporters, the CIA and Trump “whom they actually like” are not the only usual suspect to blame in that “violence” threatening the French republic.

The Islamists or to be specific the Muslim Brotherhood are blamed also for the Yellow vests movement.
Nabil Naim, the former leading figure in Islamic Jihad the so-called expert in the Islamists affairs told Al-Masry Al-Youm “AMAY” Daily that the Muslim Brotherhood members from Algerians, Tunisians and Moroccans who live in the shanty towns of France were participating in the violent protests.
“The way that those protests are being managed show the Muslim Brother is behind them without a doubt !!!!” He said with all confidence.
He also added that the CIA and Trump were behind those protests but they let the MB do their dirty work for them because Macron spoke about that European army.
It is always the MB.

Dubai former police chief Dhahi Khalfan also wondered if the Gilet Jaunes protests had to do with the arrest of Tarek Ramadan, the grandson of MB’s founder on charges of rapes and that the MB made up those protests !!

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Seen in Giza : The Phoenix laundry service

Phoenix Laundry Service

Seen in Giza: The phoenix laundry service and I do not know why it’s owner named it that iconic name.
I do not know why or how the owner thought of naming his laundry service after a mystical bird the old Arabs spoke about in their old literature.
In the old Arab literature, the Phoenix or the "Anka" was the hugest bird the earth had seen living away from humans and it had magical characteristics.
Historically speaking, the Phoenix' first appearance was in ancient Egyptian mythology then spread in the rest of the ancient world. 
The Phoenix or the Anka is commonly known in Arab Culture as one of the three impossibles or myths.
It is mentioned in a very famous poem verse from the Pre-Islam days in Arabia saying that there are impossibles in the world: The ghoul, the Phoenix and the honest good friend.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Rania Youssef and her dress : Because media's priorities are lost in Egypt

In the past 72 hours, Egyptian actress Rania Youssef made headlines nationally and internationally thanks for the media priorities in Egypt.
As you may have heard she is going to stand a trial next 12 January 2019 in front of a Cairo misdemeanor court on accusations of committing acts that incite debauchery and lechery.

The 45-years-old actress wore a “revealing dress” to the closing ceremony of Cairo International Film Festival "CIFF"  that was the talk of the country on Thursday and Friday then on Saturday we found three lawyers left all the problems facing the nation and decided to teach Youssef and her sisters a lesson !!
Rania Youssef
Ms. Rania Youssef and her revealing dress "AFP"
First thing I am amazed that the misdemeanor court acts that fast as usual, it takes time to get in the system. Already we got hundreds of Egyptian activists lingering in pretrial detention for years now without a trial.

Second thing, I am more amazed at how suddenly the mainstream media focused on Rania Youssef and her dress ignoring things that really matter like for instance the recent updates in Giulio Regeni’s murder case.

According to Italian and British media, Italian prosecutors named several officers of Egypt’s national security agency as main suspects in the investigation and would reveal them soon in a new pressure move on Cairo.
The Italian media did not reveal any names but the Guardian published names of the alleged suspects “Major Sherif Magdy Abdel Aal and Osman Helmy of Egypt’s national security agency”
The Egyptian media ignored those updates and focused on how the Egyptian House of representatives regrets how Italy’s Chamber of duties decided to suspect their parliamentary bilateral relations till the on-going investigations into the murder of Regeni reach to true results.

Economically, I am angry on how mainstream media as well social media ignores the fact Egypt’s external debt ridiculously rose to become USD 92.64 billion at the end of June 2018.
Those debts are actually burdens on the Egyptian people that they have to pay their prices heavily whether in the current time or in the future whether financially or economically or politically too.

Earlier Saturday, I found that there is a rise in customs in Egypt as the ministry of finance decided to float the price of the USD custom rate for “non-necessities and leisure commodities” including deodorants, mobile phones and laptops for one month “December” !!

The importers expect that there will be an increase between 10%-15% in the prices of those commodities !!