Sunday, March 17, 2019

Will Kamel Al-Wazir break the curse of Egypt’s Railways ? We will shall see

Earlier Monday, Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi announced that Lieutenant general Kamel Al-Wazir, the head of the Egyptian army’s Engineering Authority was appointed as the new transportation minister and within a couple of hours on the same day, the parliament declared its approval for his appointment.

The appointment of Al-Wazir comes after less than two weeks of Hisham Arafat’s resignation as the minister of transportation following the deadly crash of Ramses train station in Cairo.

At least 22 people were killed in that train collision while over 40 people were injured.

Kamel Al-Wazir has been always tipped to be the upcoming prime minister of Egypt due to his accomplishments in the Engineering Authority since he was appointed its head in December 2015.
Kamel Al-Wazir's first day as a civilian minister in the ministry of
transportation in Cairo last week 
His achievements according to the media that spoke highly about him were the highway networks, the so-called New Suez Canal, El-Galala hell development project in Ain Sokhana and the new Rod El-Farag axis.

In nutshell, all the projects involving the Engineering Authority currently in the country “and they are many currently” are successful because of Kamel Al-Wazir, who was being praised by Sisi himself in almost in all their public meetings.
Al-Wazir was graduated as an officer engineer from the Military Technical College in 1980.
His major was in construction.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Algeria protests : The Presidential elections are adjourned but this is not enough for the Algerians

And in a big twist of events, Algeria’s current president Abdel Aziz Bouteflika “announced” in a message to the Algerian people that the upcoming presidential elections in April were adjourned and that he would not seek to run to the presidency for the fifth time.

He also announced that the government would hold a national inclusive independent conference to discuss the upcoming transitional period in Algeria, a new constitution would be drafted. New presidential elections would be held following that conference.

There is no timeline announced but the announcement said that all that would happen before the end of 2019. There is nothing in the constitution about what should happen when his term ends this year.
Algerian protesters say that Bouteflika Can't "AP"
From Paris, Algerian protesters say that Bouteflika Can't "AP" 

In that message , the ailing-health-president said that he did not intend to run for the fifth time for presidency !!!! “Who then presented his documents to the Presidential elections committee last week while he was in Geneva University hospital !!??”

Bouteflika did not announce all that in a speech on Television as someone would expect.
The statement was sent to the media and was published in Algeria’s state news agency “Algerie Presse Service”.
Prime Minister Ouyahia resigned and a new prime minister was appointed.
It is a busy night for news channels and news websites in the Arab world.
There is no doubt that whoever runs the show in Algeria “the army is co-leading actor for sure” is behind that statement.
That twist of events happened after that dramatic return of Abdel Aziz Bouteflika from Geneva as he was receiving treatment from some unknown illness
Those decisions were taken following three weeks of protests and marches that rocked Algeria and reminded me with the original Egyptian-million-marches and protests in the ol’ good days in Egypt

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Martyr's Day 2019 : God bless all the martyrs

The Unknown Soldier tomb memorial

On the occasion of Martyr day in Egypt, May Allah bless the souls of all martyrs from civilians and military that were killed for sake of true freedom, stability and Security, for sake of a better future, especially in the past eight years. 

In the photo, Egypt’s Unknown Soldier Memorial which was built following the 1973 Yom Kippur war. 

It includes as well the tomb of late President Sadat. The pyramid shape memorial already witnessed his assassination in 1981. 

By the way, I use this opportunity and this occasion and post this very important link to this important list with nearly a complete documentation by (@EGAsante) for police and military deaths in Egypt since March 2011 till June 2018.  It is the most accurate thing I have seen online. 

Friday, March 8, 2019

#IWD2019 : Happy Women’s day to the 1919 revolution women

Happy International Women’s Day to all the women around the globe everywhere.

I won’t use big words I promise in this post but I dedicate this post and this “Happy women’s day” to every single Egyptian woman that protested from 100 years ago on 9th of March demanding Egypt’s independence and to an end to the exile of the Egyptian delegation of Saad Pasha Zaghlol and his companions who led the independence movement then.

The women of 1919 Revolution
Women moving in one of the rallies in March 1919
On 8 March 1919, the British occupation issued its decision to send Zaghlol and the rest of the Egyptian delegation that represented Egypt geographically and religiously to exile in Malta.

On 9 March 1919, the anger erupted in the country and its origin point was a small village called Nazlet El-Shobak. The rest is history.

In March 1919, for the first time, the Egyptian women participated in political protests.

Women fought beside men and as an act of equality, they left the full veil up showing their faces in public as in the old days, the type of veil showed your social class as a local Egyptian woman. It was not an anti-religious movement as some claimed as women then kept the head cover in a different way and also religious institution played an important role in supporting the independence of the country.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

The mystery of Algiers : Who runs the show in Algeria ?

I am following currently the situation in Algeria as the Algerian people showed since 23 February 2019 their total refusal for current president Abdel Aziz Bouteflika’s candidacy for the presidency for the fifth time despite his ailing health.
In some black comedy reality, Bouteflika is currently in Geneva where he is undergoing “medical checks”.
News reports coming from Europe say the president who suffered a brain stroke in 2013 is currently in a very critical condition.
Bouteflika after the stroke in some public event "EPA"

Yet miraculously and boldly, the man or his team came and admitted his candidacy papers to the elections commission in Algeria angering protesters all over the country to a late hour on Sunday.
His new campaign manager declared his candidacy as his well electoral platform which included the following
  • Organizing a national and independent political dialogue in order to prepare new political, economic and social reforms
  • Drafting a new Algerian constitution.
  • Fighting corruption and marginalization the end of that talk. 
  • Empowering youth
  • Revising the current elections law and founding a new independent elections committee.
  • Holding new presidential elections whose date will be determined by that national dialogue mentioned above and he “Bouteflika” won’t run in it!!!
Now I do not care about all the crap before the last point because I do not understand how logic or sane person would suggest holding new presidential elections after a few months of another presidential election!?
Even from the economic view, I do not know how it is possible !!

Do they think the people stupid? Why do Arab regimes or rulers think that the public are fool !?

Up till this moment, Bouteflika has not addressed his own country people and it is not a surprise.
Now I do not understand something and I hope some Algerian friend will stumble on this post and answer my question.

Algerian army is well known or to be perceived to the be real ruling power in Algeria since the black decade and that civil war between it and the Islamists.

Monday, March 4, 2019

Shawkan is at last a free man officially.

And finally, after five years and half, award-winning photojournalist Mahmoud Abu Zeid aka Shawkan is a free man officially. He is at his home at last.

Shawkan and his famous camera sign at his home at last on Monday "Mohamed El-Raey"

He has been released at last from a couple of hours ago on Monday from Al-Harm police station to finalize the procedures of his release after his long time in jail.

Shawkan was among the 215 defendants who were sentenced to five years in prison by Criminal Court in September 2081 in the famous Rabaa Sit-in dispersal case

Abu-Zeid and the rest of the 214 defendants already served 5 years in total in detention pending investigation prior this long trial.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

The day after the train crash : More victims , More unofficial Mourning, More reactions

Just an hour ago, Egypt’s prosecutor general ordered the detention of six suspects for 4 days pending investigations in the deadly train locomotive crash of Ramses Railways station on Wednesday that killed at least 22 people and injured over 40.

The two train locomotive drivers involved in that fight according to the Prosecutor general’s second statement are among those six suspects.
Unprecedently and interestingly, we found late Wednesday ONTV channel broadcasting an on-air interview exclusively with the crashed locomotive driver who was officially being interrogated by the Prosecution.
I do not recall that this has ever happened before in the media before.

That interview and its timing raised many eyebrows including old Mubarak-era prosecutors and former governors like ex-Governor and former prosecutor Adly Hussein !!
Nevertheless, the interview revealed very interesting information if true.
Cairo's station on Wednesday
From Cairo's station on Wednesday
"Ahmed Hassan"
Suspect and locomotive driver Alaa Fathy said that the locomotive was not to be used in the first place and that he was alone driving it when his assistant should be there.
Despite he said that he was not responsible for the accident, he admitted that he did a mistake for not using the brakes to stop the locomotive.
Fathy was too calm and had that smile on his face that made many feel unease.

On Thursday, the prosecution order his blood to be analyzed to see if he was driving under the influence of some substance.
Living in Giza’s Kerdasa and being poor made many Pro-regime supporters accuse Fathy of being an MB member online madly without any proof except as I said “He lives in Kerdasa”

MP Said Hasansin did not waste any time in those 24 hours and presented a bill to “execute negligent train conductors” !!
Most of the MPs blamed the locomotive driver except the very few MPs of the 25-30 bloc above them MP Ahmed El-Tantawy who slammed both the parliament and the president in a very short statement.
I do not have high hopes in El-Tantawy especially he is a Nasserite yet it is not bad to hear a different note in that parliament.
Many people believe that he is a nice décor to show there is an opposition in the parliament.

On the other hand, Egypt’s ministry of health announced the death toll of the accident increased to 22 from 20 on Thursday as two critically injured men passed away in hospital.
The families of the missing people began to report that they found them unfortunately as dead with heartbreaking stories.
Workers and employees at the Station also reported that some of their colleagues are mostly dead and that their bodies are charred under the locomotive.
Back to the media and its circus.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Black February : Cairo’s Ramsis Railway station crash kills at least 20 people “Updated”

The death toll of Cairo’s Ramsis Railway train crash earlier Wednesday reached at least 20 people while 43 others are injured, the Egyptian ministry of health has announced.
At least 20 bodies were removed from the scene but unfortunately, they have not been identified as they were completely burned because of the huge fire and explosion that shocked the Ramsis Railway station, the oldest railway in Africa and the Middle East.

Egypt’s Prosecutor General Nabil Sadek ordered the forensic experts to use DNA to identify the bodies, so far few bodies have been identified.
Security guards in front of the train locomotive a the railway station in Cairo "Wafaa Hassan"
Security guards in front of the train locomotive a the railway station in Cairo "Wafaa Hassan" 
Some of the injured are in a very critical condition due to the burns they suffered from. The death toll is expected to increase within the next couple of days.
So far many people from outside Cairo are searching for their relatives in hospitals asking for help in social media.
It is a long night once again in many Egyptian houses.
What once belonged to travelers at Ramsis railways station "Wafaa Hassan" 
Earlier Wednesday according to early reports at 9:26 am a train locomotive collided with a concrete barrier and immediately exploded at platform 6.
The collision resulted in huge blast and fire at the same time the passengers of a train from Alexandria.

Monday, February 25, 2019

Oscars 2019 : And the Oscar goes to Rami Malak and Egyptians are happy

Move aside Mohamed Salah, you got competition now.
The son of two immigrant Egyptians from Al-Minya got his first Oscar for a leading role making history indeed. Rami Malek won an Oscar for his leading role as Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody.
It is a big moment.

Malek is the first American of Egyptian origin to win the best actor in a leading role in the Oscars, the BAFTA and the screen actors guild awards.
Rami Malek
Rami Malek and his first Oscar
Omar Sherif got a golden globe award for best actor in a leading role for Dr. Zhivago in 1966 and before that, he got two gold globes for best actor in a supporting role and in upcoming talent for his role in Lawrence of Arabic.

I can say that many young Egyptians are happy, older Egyptians are still wondering who this new Omar Al-Sherif is. Knowing my people very well, I would say some won't be very happy or happy after knowing that he got it for the role of a gay man. 

Historically, Rami Malek is the second American of Arab origin to get an Oscar for a leading role. The first one was Murray Abraham for his role in Amadeus.

There is some sophisticated discussion on how far we as Egyptians should celebrate his success considering the fact he is not raised in Egypt unlike Omar Sharif “who actually of Lebanese origin” who was not raised only in Egypt but started his career in the Egyptian cinema. “He got decent and excellent films in his Egyptian filmography”.

Well, the man said himself yesterday in his acceptance speech and in the press conference, He was raised by the Egyptian parents and is proud of Middle East roots and heritage.

Khaled Youssef’s affair : Women always pay the price in media

Women always pay the price in any sex-related scandal in the world.
It is a fact.

Whether you are in a country classified as a first-world-country or a third-world-country.
There is no difference between the mainstream or social media when it comes to that focus on the women, the one party involved that sex scandal while the other party, the man is completely ignored.

This fact I remember when Khaled Youssef’s sex tapes scandal was unfolded in the past three weeks.
In a quick recap, some sex videos involving Egyptian prominent director and MP Khaled Youssef and a number of women including young actresses hit the internet.

Some concerned citizen, a lawyer filed a complaint at the general prosecution and soon enough Prosecutor General Nabil Sadek began to investigate in the incident.
So far four ladies who reportedly appear in the video clips were arrested including aspiring actors Mona Farouk and Shima El-Hajj.

They are officially accused of prostitution and inciting debauchery and obscenity online.
Their lawyers deny those charges saying that they were legally married to the famous director and member of parliament secretly during the filming of those videos from which was from couple of years ago.

I tried to search and to know if Khaled Youssef is facing any charges but I failed.
Either way, the prosecution should present a request to the House of Representatives to lift Youssef’s parliamentary immunity to investigate him officially.
It is unclear if that has happened or not.

From his side, the MP representing Kafr El-Sheikh’s famous Kafr Shukr constituency in the parliament says that he is paying for his political positions including his complete rejection to the current constitutional amendments.

He says that as someone who had been a member in the committee that drafted the 2014 constitution that the Egyptian people wanted solely a civilian state, not a religious state or an authoritarian state.
"Side remark: I believe as a left-leaning Nasserite he finds it hard to say “Military state” explicitly."

Two facts are clear though: Youssef is in France while the four women who allegedly appeared with him are arrested and detained 15 days pending investigations.
There is no information about who leaked those videos and uploaded them online in a direct violation of the laws specifically the anti-cybercrime and information technology crime law and its articles related to online privacy.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Seen in Heliopolis : A Mid-century modern building

Seen in Cairo's Heliopolis: a mid-century modern "I hope I am correct" building in the famous Korba street.

Heliopolis buildings got many #beautiful architectural styles. Sadly, those buildings cannot stand against time too long.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Algeria protests : Friday 22 February 2019 was a big day in Algeria “Updated”

In a big surprise to the world, Algerians organized huge protests across the country since early Friday against the candidacy of President Abdel Aziz Bouteflika for the presidency for the fifth time.
Since early hours of Friday morning even before the prayers, reports came through the social media in Algeria that people began to mobilize in protests against their old president who officially declared their presidency candidacy from a couple of weeks ago.

Bouteflika is already in Switzerland undergoing some medical exams. The 81-years-old president had already suffered from a stroke in 2013 that affected his mobility as well as the ability to talk.

According to Algeria’s official news agency, the following states witnessed protests : Algiers “The Capital” , Annaba, Constantine, Bejaia , Batna, Skikda and Oum El Bouaghi in the East; Tizi Ouzou ,Bouria, Boumerdès , Tipaza in Mid Algeria ; Oran,Tiaret,Mostaganem, Relizane in the West ; Ouargla and Laghout in the South.

From what I understand the call for those protests spread through social media specifically the Facebook but I can't find the point in origin. It is unlike Sudan where the Sudanese professions association played role.

Here are some videos and photos from those huge rallies and protests.

From the capital Algiers

From Algiers "@Oraniase"

The rallies against in Algiers "@Mai EL-Sadany"

Friday, February 22, 2019

Sudan Protests : It is a long night in Khartoum !!

Originally I was planning to write a post about the huge protests rocked Algerian streets against Abdel Aziz Bouteflika's candidacy but things have developed too quickly in Khartoum unexpectedly.
In a few minutes or hours, Omar El-Bashir will address the Sudan people and the world announcing huge decisions.
According to news reports and Sudanese officials, those decisions will include his decisions to step down as the head of the ruling National Congress Part and that he will not run in the coming presidential elections to be held later this year.
This is huge.
Those decisions if are taken then they will be the first set of concessions after nearly three months of protests across the country.
The protests had one main demand: Omar El-Bahsir and his regime to step down.

Updated : 

In a speech at the Presidential Sudanese palace, Omar El-Bashir announced that he called the Sudanese parliament to adjourn the discussion into the proposed constitutional amendments "till the end of the national dialogue".
A screenshot from the speech
Those constitutional amendments would allow him to stay for another presidential term.
He also declared the emergency state in the country for one year.
He dissolved the national government and the state governments too depending instead on the army aka Military.

Seen in Downtown Cairo : Two architectural styles side by side

Seen in Downtown Cairo: Two architectural styles side by side
Sometimes you can find two beautiful #architectural styles side by side. Here are two beautiful buildings in Downtown Cairo; a neo-classical style building and Cairo’s favorite #Bauhaus style building

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

February 2019 Supermoon in photos from Egypt

Here are couple of photos of the Supermoon that shined magnificently around the world on Tuesday .
I wanted to take more shots in interesting locations like the pyramids of the citadel or  Cairo tower but unfortunately it is still winter in Egypt and a bit cold at night.
February 2019's supermoon

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Egypt’s Constitutional amendments 2019 : The Parliament approves preliminarily too quickly

On Thursday, Egypt’s House of Representatives passed in Cairo preliminary the constitutional amendments preliminarily that will allow current President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi to run for more presidential terms.

The amendments which were presented to the parliament by one-fifth of its members, were approved by 485 members out of the 596-seat parliament after two days of discussion only "In a total of ten hours only".

During that preliminary discussion, it was agreed to keep the two constitutional articles related to the National Press Council and the National Media Council after it was originally suggested in the amendments their cancellation.
Egyptian parliament 

Only 17 MPs rejected the amendments and their names are : MP Talaat Khalil , MP Nadia Henry , MP Faiza Mahmoud , MP Samir Ghattas , MP Reda El-Beltagy, MP Gamal El-Sherif , MP Haitham El-Hariri , MP Siyad Abd El-Aal , MP Mohamed El-Attmany , MP Mostafa Kamel El-Din, MP Ahmed El-Sharkawy, MP Mohamed Abdel El-Ghanny , MP Salah Abdel Badie , MP Ahmed El-Bredesy and MP Akmal Kourtam.

I believe it is important to mention their names.

It is worth to mention MP Faiza Mahmoud is a member of the Support Egypt Bloc and yet she voted against the amendments.
She is the only MP from that bloc to do so considering the fact that Support Egypt bloc was the one that represented the petition to amend the constitution in the first place.

Interestingly the leader of Conservatives Party MP Akmal Kourtam was among the MPs who said a big NO in the parliament when the rest of the MPs in his party’s parliamentary bloc said “Yes”.
Kourtam, a former NDP figure had his moment during the discussion of the amendments on Thursday that unfortunately is not recorded officially in the Parliament’s logs.
During his word during the assembly, he had had a nearly verbal fight with other MPs because they were angry of what he said before he left the session.
The constitutional amendments are aggression,” He said adding those amendments were also a crime against the people and the state institution in Egypt.
Akmal Kourtam led a party known to its support to the army and the regime in general in Egypt since its official and legal launch after the January 2011 revolution.
Since announcing his rejection to the amendments from two weeks, the man has been attacked by Pro-regime media madly.

Still, Kourtam was not the star of the opposition in the parliament during that fast discussion, the new star of the opposition was MP Ahmed Tantawy and his short word in front of the assembly.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Happy Valentine’s Day : From ancient Egypt with love

Happy Valentine’s Day
Here is a beautiful small statue feature an ancient Egyptian and his lady at the Egyptian Museum of Cairo.
Ancient Egyptian Couple at the Egyptian museum of Cairo
Egyptian common couple 

I do not remember the names of that beautiful couple but I know that they were regular commoners from ancient Egypt’s old kingdom.

The husband was working as an official as far as I remember. Even though they were not royal, they had a beautiful statue featuring them as a young couple.

The statue was found in the husband’s tomb.
I feel a lot of love in that small statue.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Demolishing the perfumers agency in Islamic Cairo : What History Do We brag about in Egypt !!?

As Egyptians , we like to brag all the time about we are the oldest nation with a recorded civilization in the globe with 3000 B.C history or even 7000 B.C history and yet all that we are currently doing in Egypt now is watching how our history, our heritage is being demolished in front of our eyes for the sake of so-called modernism.

On Monday, I was hit by the news that the ancient “Perfumers agency” which was built originally from 900 years ago by the orders of Middle Cairo district because it allegedly imposes a danger on the public.
Perfumers agency now
The Perfumers agency after it was demolished "Facebook"
Shamefully Egypt’s ministry of antiquities said that it was not a monument and was not registered as one and that Cairo governorate issued a demolishment order due to safety reasons.

The ministry's officials now say that the only thing ancient in the place was the facade !!

 The former head of Islamic antiquities authority says on the other hand that the building should have been renovated adding that the facade and parts of the building were all part of the ancient building of the agency that disappeared by time. 
The perfumers agency in the old days
The entrance of the agency before it was demolished 
Amazingly from four days ago, Egypt’s Administrative prosecution announced that investigated in the matter as citizens presented filed a complaint against that demolishment order and it recommended that it should be registered as a monumental building due to its history.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Egypt’s Constitutional Amendments 2019 : Too Fast but too quiet in the Media

I am back in town and I can’t believe how to speed the Egyptian House of Representatives is moving when it comes to the upcoming constitutional amendments.
I am trying to catch up what has been happening so fast in the past week.

On Tuesday, the Parliament’s general committee approved the proposed Constitutional amendments presented by one-fifth of the MPs on Sunday.

The amendments if passed by the House of Representatives then approved by the majority of eligible voters in a referendum will not only enable the president to stay in power for another two decades but also enable him to have more control over judiciary as well as enable the army to interfere in the political life constitutionally.
The Egyptian parliament
The Egyptian parliament 

I believe any constitutional amendments will take more time for discussions in any parliament’s general committee in the world on any planet in any solar system but we are speaking about Egypt’s current House of Representatives.

Now the House of Representatives will have a final vote on 17 February 2018 and if approved by 2/3 of the MPs then there will be a referendum within 60 days.

The parliament’s biggest bloc “Support Egypt” supports the amendments along with pro-regime parties like “Future of Homeland Party” and “Free Egyptians Party”
Again things are moving fast to the level that I can’t comprehend naively considering we are speaking about alarming constitution amendments.

In the Parliament, 25-30 Bloc is still insisting on its position to reject the Constitutional amendments and I guess some of its prominent members may not stay long in the parliament as I explain later in the post.

Interestingly, the Conservatives Party seems to have a split over the amendments as its leader declared his rejection to the amendments whereas its MPs and other leading figures in the party declared their support.

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Egyptian Constitutional amendments 2019 : Let the games begin

And the Egyptian parliament began to pave the away for the upcoming Constitutional amendments.

Without waiting for the Urgent matters court to say its word, more than one fifth of the MPs in the House of Representatives presented a written petition to the Speaker of the House Ali Abdel Aal on Saturday to amend Constitution 2014.

On Sunday , the general committee of the parliament issued a statement about the main issues involving the proposed amendments officially.

So far the 15 major articles that are going to be amended are related to Presidential terms “6 years for two presidential terms instead of four” , creating a parliamentary quota for women and Christians, the procedures to appoint the minister of defense , the military courts for civilians.

There are going to be at least 10 new articles to be added including creating a vice-president position , a Shura council , special quotas for women,a judiciary coordinating committee headed by the President.

The general committee of the parliament will continue discussing the proposed amendments on Tuesday.

Most of those MPs that presented the petition, if not all of them are members of Pro-regime “Support Egypt” bloc

Interestingly , I can’t find any serious article enforcing the freedoms or guarantees that it would be turned in to one man show constitutionally in the proposed articles as article 226 of the current constitution stipulates.

The article is crystal clear.

“In all cases, texts pertaining to the re-election of the president of the republic or the principles of freedom and equality stipulated in this Constitution may not be amended, unless the amendment brings more guarantees.”

I knew about that move since last week but I did not imagine that the process would be so fast.

I will be out of town with limited access online this week.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Seen in Cairo : Bajocchi jewelry shop

Seen in Downtown Cairo: Founded in 1900, Bajocchi jewelry shop is considered Downtown Cairo’s oldest jewelry open business. Some say it is the oldest in the Middle East.

An original Italian family business that started in Egypt in the late 19th century, it has not stopped working nor it did change its old looks in its famous shop at the famous Abdel Halek Tharwat street for 118 years. 

Monday, January 28, 2019

#Jan28 : The kids have grown up indeed and some of them know what happened

Today is the 8th anniversary of 28 January 2011 aka the Friday of Fury, the true day of the Egyptian revolution when Mubarak’s regime and the whole world knew that that the Egyptian people had enough and could be really angry.

There was nothing celebratory about the revolution because it was all about the French President’s and his visit or rather his presser with President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi as well as his early statements to the reporters. “Video link

Unprecedently, Emmanuel Macron is the first foreign president to be attacked on Pro-regime TV channels and news websites while he is still visiting Egypt.

I am too tired to speak about what Sisi said or Macron did and why because I spent most of the day in traffic thanks to the trips of France’s first lady Bridgette Macron from the Pyramids Plateau in Giza governorate to Mohamed Ali Mosque in Salahuddin Citadel in Cairo. “From East to West”
The traffic on Monday is terrible already in Cairo and so to have foreign VIP guests means it will be a living hell.

One thing for sure I will say I was happy to see #Mubarak trending once again on 28th January but this time as a benchmark for low freedoms in English.

Another thing, earlier today I found out that a famous tweep and oncologist Heba Khafgy who turned to be a great philanthropist had passed away suddenly and it overshadowed the day for me.
In her 30s, Khafgy was active in helping all kinds of patients, especially cancer patients in very hard economic times whether online or offline. May Allah bless her soul.

The only thing I will share tonight is that post by Adam Ahmed Basyouny, the son of 28th January icon and martyr Ahmed Basyouny.
Here is what he wrote in Arabic. I did not change anything.

Friday, January 25, 2019

#Jan25 : That time of year

And here it comes that time of year where it becomes so heavy and sad to just remember.
It is that time of year when my generation of once young Egyptians remember how they touched heaven and knew the meaning of freedom.
Mubarak poster in 2011
When Mubarak's posters were torn up in Mahallah on 25 January 2011
We were fortunate and misfortunate at the same time because unlike old Egyptian generations, we brought freedom and then we lost it.

In the 1950s and 1960s, generations in our age lived the rise and decline of the so-called Nasserite dream that started with suppressing freedoms and ended by with a military defeat that whole the Middle East is paying its price right now.

Now we are the generation that once got stroke by a dream and ended up to live a nightmare reality because of older generations if you think about it.

I am not an ageist, heavens forbid but it is the reality of what happened.

We simply screwed because of old generation leading the scene when it comes to the political scene in Egypt whether the military or politicians or the liberals or Islamists or leftists or media figures or businessmen or religious men or artists.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Nazlet El-Samman : People Fear displacement as simple as that

On Monday, clashes erupted in Giza’s Nazlet El-Samman area as security forces continued its campaign to evict and demolish buildings built illegal blocks away from Egypt’s pyramids plateau.

According to news reports, not less than 20 young men who work mostly as tourists guide in the area were arrested while protesting.
The locals say that they were protesting peacefully chanting “Peacefully , peacefully” when the security forces fired tear gas grenades and arrested some of them.
Sources in the security forces say that they fired tear gas grenades when the locals or the protesters hurled rocks at them first.

On Wednesday, 18 arrested locals were ordered to be detained 15 days pending investigations for “resisting authorities, illegal assembly and injuring a police sergeant
The security forces came to continue an eviction and demolishment order of those buildings built illegally started four days earlier.

Things escalated to reach this confrontation from five days ago when Al-Ahram Daily published a report showing photos of buildings built illegally blocks away from Egypt’s pyramids plateau.
A photo of those buildings built illegally
near the great pyramid 

Those buildings were said to be built in a direct violation of the 1982-law regulating the protection of monuments and antiquities in Egypt.
That law prohibits the construction in the premises of a monumental location.

Exactly there were reportedly four buildings built illegally in Zone “A” which is considered a prohibited area.
Three buildings were under construction and were demolished in the past couple of days.

The building that was demolished on Monday was 3-stars Bed and Breakfast motel.

Of course, we must wonder how that motel operated successfully under the eyes of the authorities and got its license from the ministry of tourism when it was built in a direct violation to the law in a prohibited area.

Updated: The locals say that those buildings were built legally on the land they owned according to legal contracts !!!!!!!
Same goes to all the shops and buildings built and operating in that area.

I checked its page on Trip Advisor and and I found out that it was very successful in its degree giving tourists from around the globe an opportunity to stay in place few meters away from the only remaining original world wonder “The great pyramids” for a very cheap price.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Amending Constitution in 2019 : More quiet rejection

The calls for amending the 2014 Constitutions have not stopped, nor did the calls standing against those proposed constitutional amendments.
On Wednesday, “25-30” parliamentary bloc declared that its total rejection for any attempt to amend the current constitution.
On 13 January 2019, The Civil Democratic Movement issued a statement rejecting “the attempts to mess with the constitution”.
We all know that the main declared reason for those calls [to amend the constitution] is to return back to that phase we believed that passed by the revolution [25 January] and turned over its page forever and that is the one-man and dictatorship rule that destroys the state institution and turns the ruler in to a god” said the statement of the centrist and leftist opposition parties coalition declaring their total refusal.

The Civil Democratic Movement includes the Egyptian Social Democratic Party, Karama Party, The Constitution Party, The Popular Socialist Alliance Party, The Bread and Freedom Party, Egypt Freedom Party and El-Adl Party.
As usual, the mainstream media ignored both statements and the social media did not know about it in the first place.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Egypt hosts 2019 African Nations Cup : Time for the fans to return to the stadium for once and all

Last Tuesday was a very active loaded day when it comes to sports news or to be specific football news in Egypt.

First of all, Egypt won hosting rights for the 2019 African Nations Cup Championship "CAN 2019".
This is big news and actually, it was the ONLY news of the day.

The 2019 African Nations Cup “AFCON” was originally going to be in Cameroon but in December CAF stripped of the rights from the central African country because of the delays in the preparations for the cup as well the political instabilities in the country.
CAN 2019 in Egypt
I hope that is not the final logo of the tournament "EF" 
Egypt and South Africa competed to host the 2019 AFCON in the same month.
As far as I have read Egypt got all the votes except one that had gone to South Africa.

Egypt hosted the African Nations Cup four times before. Once in 1959 while the second time was in 1974 and the third was in 1986.
The last one was in 2006. You can read more about the history of the African Nations Cup in Egypt in Ahram Online.
Needless to say, the African Nations Cup in Egypt is the perfect kind of distraction to pass politically something like constitutional amendments for instance.

Personally, when I read the news in December I was quite amazed about how bold the Egyptian government is because in the end how could you organize a championship like that when you have another premier league without Egyptian football fans attending it ??

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Seen in Cairo : Why is the Baron palace turning red ?

Baron Empain palace under restoration works

WTH is happening to the historical and magnificent Baron Empain palace?

I passed by it earlier this morning after months of restoration to find half of that landmark building has turned to red ??

This is how it looked before the restoration works
The Baron Palace before restoration works
The Baron Palace before restoration works 
Built by the founder of Heliopolis in Cairo in the early 20th century, eccentric Baron Empain’s palace is probably the first Indian Hindu inspired building in Cairo, Egypt and Africa as well.
I fear that some genius decided to paint it red like the buildings in India.

It's breathtaking whether from outside or inside and just like its owner the Baron, it got its share of eccentricity making it Cairo’s top haunting place of all times.

Designed by French architect Alexandre Marcel, its cues came from the famous Angkor Wat in Cambodia. the Egyptian government launched its restoration works in 2018 as it is considered as a national heritage site.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Amending the Egyptian Constitution in 2019 : More details and More reactions

Do you remember what I told you in early December 2018 that there is a plan to amend the Egyptian Constitution in 2019 and we began to see its prelude in front of the court?

Well two days before the end of 2018 , close to presidency journalist and Akhbar Al-Youm editor in chief Yasser Rizk wrote  in his weekly column about “how the new year should be the year of political reform {after the successful economic reform}” and that this reform should be focused on one thing: amending the constitution.

According to Rizk, the 2014 constitution is full of flaws about them the limitation of the presidential terms and how the parliament got so-called bigger power than the president and the government.

The editor in chief and CEO of Egypt's second biggest state-owned newspaper says that the parliament should return to be two chambers , Egypt should have a full presidential political system with open presidential terms, the return of information ministry and bunch of other amendments including the cancellation of “transitional justice” section in the constitution because it opens the doors for “reconciliation with the Muslim Brotherhood”.

Almost all the amendments Mr. Rizk proposed in his column would turn the 2014 constitution into Mubarak’s own version of 1971 constitution.

Constitution For all Egyptians banner in Egypt's Tahrir square
One constitution for all Egyptians banner in Tahrir square once upon a time 
Now being realistically enough, he suggested that if the amendments idea failed, then the regime should establish some Supreme council to protect “the values of the 30 June Revolution” headed by El-Sisi for the rest of his life to make sure that the “30 June Revolution” achieve its goals.

I do not know if that Supreme council idea was inspired by the current Supreme Council of Islamic Revolution of Iran or what but its idea actually bothers more than amending the constitution.
I love how he completely ignores the 25 January revolution.

In his column this week, Yasser Rizk said that what he had mentioned a week earlier was the child of his own thoughts and that he was not dictated by higher orders bragging that he created a “tsunami” in the media.

The thing is that what he had mentioned as his own suggestions were previously mentioned in Mada Masr’s own exclusive report about those future constitutional amendments.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Merry Christmas 2018 : Christian Orthodox Edition

Egyptian Church in Giza

Merry Christmas from Egypt to all Christians celebrating the Orthodox Christmas tonight especially the Egyptian Coptic Orthodox Christians ☺️🎄.

This is an entrance of a church I always see in the way to Sheikh Ziyad and October City in Giza Governorate.
This church's name is "Saint George , the Great martyr" and it follows Egypt's Coptic Orthodox Church.

The painting shows the Virgin Mary and baby Jesus in their way to Egypt.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Sudan Protests : Going strong and big against El-Bashir

The anniversary of Sudan’s independence was loud and big in 2019 without a doubt, it will be a day to remember for several generations.
Within few hours following the Friday prayers in Sudan, Sudanese political powers and parties and before them, Sudanese people will protest once again demanding Omar El-Bashir to step down across the country in an original Arab Spring traditional Friday protest.
El-Bashir degage
El-Bashir degage graffiti is making round in Sudan
It also has got a name “The Freedom and change Friday”.

This will be the first major protest after the successful mass protests event on 31 December 2018, the eve of Sudanese independence Day which I will about later.

The Freedom and Change Friday is organized by the Sudanese Professional Association “SPA” and its new allies and it will be a start for a series of mass protests across the country.

It will be followed mass-protests on 6th January and 9th January. The 6th January mass protests event aims to reach to the presidential palace in Khartoum while the 9th January mass protests will be centralized in Omdurman city as they head to the National Council to present a petition demanding the current Sudanese regime to step down.

Now as I hinted above the SPA  has got some partners and allies from Sudanese parties and political parties.
On Tuesday, SPA issued the “Freedom and change declaration” with other three political coalitions in Sudan. Made of 9 points, the declaration says that the Sudanese people won’t stop protesting peacefully till the totalitarian regime is downed.

The declaration demands Omar El-Bashir and his regime to step down immediately without any terms or conditions as well as the formation of an interim government to rule the country for the next four years.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Arabs do deserve democracy like any other people in the world

Are Arab people ready for democracy?
Do Arab people deserve democracy in the first place?

Sorry for the strange questions but tonight I entered a discussion about whether the Arab people or to be specifically those people who live in the Middle East “there are other Non-Arab speaking and ethnicity in the region” can or can not live in democratic.
I had it with someone who is younger than me from a complete younger generation “A decade difference”, someone who studied political science unlike me.
The discussion started as we are speaking about what is going in Sudan
He believe that he should be ruled by the iron fist of the military strongmen like Qaddafi, Saddam and El-Bashir, otherwise we will have chaos as we have seen in Libya and Iraq after the fall of both Qaddafi and Saddam’s regimes.

Power and victory to the people
From Tahrir square on 1 February 2011
He believes that we “as Arab people” if we want to live a decent life then we have to immigrate to live the West instead of trying to fix our countries because the majority of the people need an iron fist, otherwise chaos will prevail.

He also believes that democracy made it in Europe because they have a better mentality.
He is not alone, there are people in Egypt and other Arab countries believe what once Mubarak’s intelligence chief Omar Suleiman told Christine Amanpour during the January 25th revolution: The Egyptian people are not ready for democracy.

I believe that the chaos that happened in Iraq and Libya is originally the product of those corrupted dictatorship.
The road of democracy is not an easy one and it does not take a genius to get this.

With the exception of Tunisia , the Arab countries of the so-called Arab Spring including Egypt did not have full or even full democratic experience thanks to several factors like external powers that do not want democracy or want to exploit riches or old regime that won’t give up without a god damn fight or even both like in the case of Yemen and Syria.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Seen in Giza : A sleeping cat in cold winter day

This was the first photo on my Instagram account in 2019 was actually taken in December 2018.
A little cat sleeping on a chair used for decoration in front of a gifts show in Giza’s Mohandessin last week. 
It was cold on that day and it seemed that the cat found a warm spot with the grass to take a quick nap regardless of the street's noise. 

Happy New year 2019 postcard from Egypt

Happy New year 2019 from Egyptian Chronicles to the whole world.
Happy New year postcard

May it be better year for the whole universe not only the world.