Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Egyptian Chronicles’ Shakers and Movers of 2019

Okay, I am trying to keep an annual event in Egyptian Chronicles.

Here is my list of those I believe that have been the shakers and movers of 2019.
I started writing down this post at 3:22 PM, yes it is my epic procrastination for the year. Since October I have been suffering this bloody procrastination

This is not the list of the top people but rather those made an impact whether positive or negative based on my own views
This list is without any order. These names were the ones that came into my mind in those few hours.

Locally

Egyptian shakers 2019
Mohamed Ali, Soroya Mohamed, Mohamed Salah, Alaa Abdel Fattah
  • The few Egyptian protesters who surprised everybody including the Egyptians themselves and the world in September. 
  • Mohamed Ali, the former 15-years-civilian army contractor/one-time actor and producer/real estate developer/self-exiled/whistleblower/opposition figure. From where shall I start? There is no doubt that the 45-years-old man whom many Egyptians did not know before shook and moved things in Cairo like none other. He was like the danger that the regime has not ever thought about. The street smart guy in self-exiled unleashed a shock wave that Egyptian activists are paying its price a crackdown. Yet on another popular level, some members of the working class look to him as the anti-hero who made enough noise to disturb the upper class and government as some said. Ali’s wave lessened in December but he returned back with some Document to bring together the Egyptian opposition allegedly. He got less audience than before but he is officially there and can’t be ignored or disregarded after all he reached segments revolutionary intelligentsia failed to reach.
  • Wael Ghonim and his return as well his complete change representing what the last nine years of social and political bullying can turn you. Ghonim is having a comeback online with constant vlogging discussing his thoughts. He is not your old Wael Ghonim but rather a new version of that Egyptian activist the world knew. “P.S: in case you do not know Wael Ghonim’s brother apolitical dentist Hazem Ghonim was released from detention last week”.
  • MP Ahmed Tantawy, the opposition voice in the Egyptian parliament whom many suspect to be another fake décor
  • A group of Egyptian journalists who remind me that this profession is not dead yet in Egypt and there is more to present and I got many names starting with the Mada Masr team, investigative journalist Ahmed El-Shamy, videographer Mostafa Darwish and Egypt’s only Pulitzer winners AP journalist Maggie Michael and Nariman El-Mofty who have not been honored yet by the Egyptian journalists syndicate as far as I know.
  • Egyptian basketballer Soroya Mohamed aka the new Queen Cleopatra who was chosen among the world's best players in 2019. She is also Rami Malak’s Muslim Twin sister.

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Transferring Karnak’s Ram sphinxes statues To Cairo’s Tahrir square is just wrong and you know it "Updated"

Updated on 30 December 2019 

Egypt's Presidency announced that President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi was following the plans to renovate Cairo's Tahrir square and to add to it ancient Egyptian monuments like other world-famous squares.

The lawyers Egyptian Center of Economic and Social Rights filed a lawsuit Monday morning in front of the administrative court to stop the government's decision to transfer monuments from its original place on behalf of  Dr.Monica Hanna, MP Haithem El-Hariri and lawyer Tarek Awady.

Egypt’s government decided suddenly that it was going to beautify Tahrir square by taking monuments from across the country and installing it in our most famous square.

The ministry of antiquities has begun to transfer 4 Ram sphinxes statues or as commonly known in the Egyptian press as sphinxes from World famous Karnak temple in order to put in Cairo’s Tahrir Square as part of its plan to beautify the famous square.

The crane in Karnak temple
The crane in Karnak temple transferring the sphinxes "Bab Masr"
This is completely wrong and against international treaties which Egypt had signed that state monuments should not be transferred from its original place and setting unless there is a danger threatening their safeguard.

Many people were shocked including archeologists in Egypt to hear that news and more people are in disbelief to see that crank inside the Karnak. 

According to the Egyptian Heritage Focused website Bab Masr, Egyptian tourist guides and locals in Luxor city do not support this decision and are against but no one cares for their opinion.

The poorly designed Tahrir square’s Obelisk and sphinxes setting is worse than the decision.

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

We wish Merry Christmas and please Remember Jesus was born in Palestine

Merry Christmas from Egyptian Chronicles to all those celebrating tonight around the globe.
Merry Christmas and I hope that if you are celebrating Christmas that you remember that Jesus Christ (PBUH) was born in Bethlehem, Palestine.
Here is a little piece of art that will remind you of that regardless of what Trump and co. say.
Nativity in modern Palestine's Bethlehem
Nativity in modern Palestine's Bethlehem
"Banksy"
This modern nativity set depicting Jesus, Mary and Joseph at the infamous apartheid wall built by Israel.

Sunday, December 22, 2019

The release of Sami Anan : Expect the Unexpected

Sunday witnessed a ministerial reshuffle in Egypt with new faces joining the cabinet and old faces gone.
Yet that news did not catch the people’s attention as much as that news that came out of nowhere surprisingly.
Former Egyptian armed forces Chief of staff and former presidential hopeful Sami Anan was released on Sunday and he returned back home in Cairo after two years in detention for breaking military laws in 2018.
His secretary Mostafa El-Shall tweeted that photo from Cairo following his release. Some say it is an old photo.

In January 2018 after two days of declaring his intention to run for presidential elections, former Lt. General Sami Anan was arrested and was accused of forgery and incitement against the army with the aim of “driving a wedge between the Egyptian armed forces and the Egyptian people”.

A year later in January 2019, a military court sentenced Anan to six years in prison for breaking military laws and forgery as well as to three years for incitement against the Egyptian army.
Since then, we have not heard much about Anan then came his release.

According to his official lawyer Nasser Amin’s statements to the media, his legal team has not yet received the legal reasoning behind his release to know whether he was pardoned or he was released for a medical reason.

Saturday, December 21, 2019

It took one tweet from Mesut Ozil to remind the World with the China’s Uighurs

We must thank Arsenal footballer Mesut Ozil for breaking that silence and speaking about this huge elephant in the room aka China’s Persecution to Uighur Muslim ethnicity.
With one Tweet, the German Turkish Muslim Ozil managed to bring the media attention as it should especially on a popular level.

In that tweet in Turkish, the popular Arsenal footballer spoke about the persecution of the Uighur Muslim minority in China sending his greetings to the brothers resisting the Chinese government and its practices.
I do not care if Ozil cared only for the Uighurs because of their ethnicity or religion only. I do not care if he supports Erdogan’s policies.
I only care that he broke that huge silence including the official silence in the Muslim government.
On the contrary, the AKP voted down a suggestion in the Turkish parliament to discuss the Chinese government’s practices against the Uighurs, who are a Turkic ethnic group.
Already Turkey’s Erdogan and his Islamist party AKP do not find anything wrong about China and its policies.
  Muset Ozil of Arsenal
Muset Ozil of Arsenal 
Those systematic policies have been documented by the UN human rights experts in the past two years including those shameful internment camps under the disguise of counter-terrorism and radicalization laws and policies.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Bouazizi’s fire is still lit : It still scares them

Today marks the anniversary of that action Tunisian street vendor called Mohamed BouAzizi decided to take to object the ill-treatment of policemen to him in his town Sidi Bou Zid in Tunisia.
He decided to burn himself alive to object how he was slapped by a policewoman earlier in the market who decided to confiscate his goods.
Mohamed Bouazizi


His action and then his death days unleashed an unprecedented wave of events that have been taking the Arab world as well as the world by storm.
It is like when you said “The rest is history”.

That street vendor who suffered from unemployment did not know that his decision what the world would Call  Arab Spring.

The current secretary of Arab League and Mubarak’s foreigner minister Ahmed Abu El-Ghait has been slammed the Arab Spring claiming that the events of 2011 were the ones that led foreign countries like Turkey and Iran to interfere in the Arab countries despite he believes in the importance of change.

In other interviews and statements, he accuses it of spreading chaos to the end of that talk.
Ahmed Abu El-Ghait came from that regime or those regimes the Arab youth once protested against so I am not surprised with what he said.

Naming Arab Spring, Arab autumn or Arab fury or Arab chaos does not matter. It is still there.
Those Western-style names do not matter to us as Arabs or Egyptians or Middle Easterners.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

That’s it for Shaaban Abdel Rahim aka Sha’bola “1957-2019” : More than an act

Earlier Tuesday , famous Egyptian folk pop singer Shaaban Abdel Rahim passed away in a Cairo hospital. The 62-years-old Abdel Rahim was suffering from some kind of lung disease as I have read recently.
Late Shaaban Abdel Rahim
Late Shaaban Abdel Rahim
Shaaban Abdel Rahim , commonly known as Sha’bola raised from local fame to international fame when his anti-Israel song “I hate Israel and I love Amre Moussa” in 2000.

It was released during the Al-Aqsa Intifada aka the second intifada in Palestine in 2000 and Amre Moussa was Egypt’s foreign minister during then.

With simple words written by the former teacher-turned-into-Shaabi pop lyricist Islam Khalil and the same music arrangement and music tune in all his song , Abdel Rahim sent a powerful political message from Cairo without realizing it would turn his life upside down.
“I hate Israel and I love Amre Moussa 
I will say that I hate Israel regardless
whether I get killed or go to jail”
Sha’bola declared it when protests rocked the Egyptian universities and people were glued in front of Al-Jazeera TV channel “it was its true golden age” watching Palestinians revolting against the Israeli occupation forces.

Monday, December 2, 2019

Lebanon Protests : Lebanese moms against Civil War, Lebanese moms with Revolution

The Lebanese protests against their government are still going strong against all odds.
Despite the threats of having a new civil war, despite the threats of using sectarianism, the Lebanese protesters continue their peaceful protesting demanding a true modern statue without corruption or sectarianism.

The spearhead against sectarianism in the movement now in Lebanon is none other than the Lebanese mothers.
"History won't repeat itself" a banner held by a Lebanese mom in a Beirut rally Hussein Baydoun for Al-Araby website
"History won't repeat itself" a banner held by a Lebanese mom in a Beirut rally
Hussein Baydoun for Al-Araby website
For the second time in a week, Lebanese mothers in Beirut organized a rally where mothers from a specific sect neighborhood go on foot to another sect area to meet other mothers and go into a rally against sectarianism.

For example mothers from a Christian dominated neighborhood go on foot in a rally to a Shiite dominated neighborhood to be warmly received by mothers from that area and so on.
Lebanese moms hug each other by Hussein Baydoun for Al-Araby
Here is a video shot by TV journalist Ali Gharbeih on 30 November 2019 for the amazing Lebanese moms who went in a rally from Christian-dominated Khandak El-Ghamik neighborhood to Shiite dominated Borj Al-Ghazel.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Watch Egyptian and Lebanese women pioneer Filmmakers : The true legends "Updated"

Cairo is currently hosting its 41st International Film Festival and I believe it is one of its best editions.
Having a Martin Scorsese's film like The Irishman to open the festival and to have its first Middle East Premiere in Cairo is a big thing for cinema lovers in Egypt.
Needless to say, I read very good reviews of it from Egyptian viewers who waited to see it since 9 AM to watch it.
I am waiting to see it after a few hours inshallah on Netflix.
This year also it was announced the US’s Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences aka of Oscars awarded the Festival OSCAR qualifying film festival status.
The winner of the Best Short Film award in the Short film competition ‘Cinema of Tomorrow’ section will eligible for consideration in the Animated and Live Action Short Film Categories of the ACADEMY AWARDS without the standard theatrical run,” CIFF said in its statement about the big achievement.
CIFF is the only and first film festivals in North Africa to join the list of qualifying international film festival joining other big film festivals like Cannes, Venice and Berlin

I must say that Mohamed Hefzy, the head of the CIFF succeeded this year.
Yes, it is not all glitz like Gouna Film Festival but CIFF proved it can overcome and survive against all odds. 
Youssef Cherif Rizallah is surely proud in his grave that his efforts in the CIFF have not gone in vain.

Now among the things I like about the CIFF this year is its tribute to pioneer Egyptian and Lebanese women filmmakers in a short beautiful video.
Watch it after the break

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Regarding Mada Masr's ordeal

Egyptian independent news website Mada Masr and its team had a very bad experience on Sunday.
Lina Attallah after the release
"Mada Masr"

It started at 1:30 PM when Mada Masr HQ in Giza’s Dokki was stormed by plain-clothed security personnel who detained the website’s journalists for several hours before releasing them and detaining for a couple of hours the website’s editor in chief Lina Attaallah and two of the website’s journalists.


Attallah along with journalist Mohamed Hamma and Rana Mamdouh were detained and transferred to Dokki police station where they stayed for a couple of hours before they were released.

The ordeal of Mada Masr on Sunday comes hours following the arrest of the website’s Arabic Shady Zalat on Saturday.
Zalat was released Sunday afternoon too.

It is unclear what Mada Masr’s team is accused of.
I have read the Journalists syndicate played a role in their release.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Kodak Agfa presents : Features of an era “The Mohamed Ali Royal dynasty of Egypt” in photos Part-2

This is the second part of my photo-series about my visit to The features of an era “Mohamed Ali Royal Dynasty” edition that was held in March 2019 at Aisha Fahmy Palace aka “Al-Gazeira Centre of Arts". You can check the first part of the series here.

I am still trying to hijack the Mohamed Ali whistleblower trend as he is back this time in the international media with interviews in BBC, NY Times and Guardian. There is a new round of interviews coming on the way by him as it seems.
He held a very raising eye-brow press conference in London calling for some revolution/peaceful-transition of power/referendum/reconciliation which many are puzzled with back home.
In the end, it is kind of ironic that Ali is the only vocal opposition figure in Egypt.

Back to the original Mohamed Ali and his dynasty in that exhibit.
There are lots of beautiful stuff in that exhibit that could not be presented in a single post.

The Mohamed Ali Family tree till early 20th century
Egypt's Mohamed Ali Family tree in the 19th century 
Aside from the very well crafted paintings and busts as well as the statues featuring the rulers of Mohamed Ali Royal family rulers, there were awkward artworks in the exhibit too.
Mohamed Ali Pasha's Marble bust
Mohamed Ali Pasha looked like a sweet granddad here 
Like that marble bust made Mohamed Ali Pasha look like Egyptian actor Yahia El-Fakhrany "The veteran Egyptian actor wanted to play him on-screen" for real or like a kind old Druze religious man in the mount of Lebanon or Syria not like a man who built a modern state in the 19th century restlessly and violently. "Democracy and human rights were not on his agenda but it was the early 19th century and those two words were strange to the East" 


Now that's a painting to Mohamed Ali we used to know from history books along with his son Khedive Ismail.
Khedive Ismail and his father Mohamed Ali Pasha in Features of an era
The father and Son, Mohamed Ali Pasha in painting and Khedive Ismail as a bust 
One of the things that I like about this exhibit is that it featured also the members of the Mohamed Ali royal family that are not that famous to the public.

Like for instance, Mohamed Ali’s eldest son Tusun pasha when he was a young boy.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Happy belated Mawlid Nabawy 2019 : Do not forget your brothers in faith in China and India

Happy belated Mawlid Nabawy for all Muslims all over the globe.

To be honest I wish we as Muslims can celebrate Prophet Mohamed “PBUH”’s birthday anniversary in better circumstances where Muslims are not suffering like now as many of them suffer from wars and dictatorships, even both at the same time.

The Mosque's entrance at Prince Mohamed Ali estate in Egypt's Cairo مدخل مسجد قصر الامير محمد على
The entrance of  Prince Mohamed Ali's estate Mosque 
This year in addition of having millions of Muslims as refugees “If you gather Muslims from Syria, Burma, Palestine and Yemen, you will have the biggest refugee group based on faith worldwide” and Muslims killing Muslims “Whether governments in Muslim countries killing other Muslim population because they are dictatorships or radical terrorists killing Muslims because they are terrorists”, we got millions of Muslims in China and India who suffer in silent and nobody is helping them for real, even with a condemnation statement.

This week, we found The Independent publishing a very disturbing report claiming that Chinese Uighur Muslim women are forced to share bed with Chinese Han officials as their husbands in Prison to make sure that they are not practicing Islam !!
Even if the Independent’s report is fake “I hope it is fake because this level of oppression is disgusting”.

There is well documented and confirmed evidence that the Chinese Uighur Muslims are suffering in China.
The BBC documentary about those scary “transformation camp” is real evidence that there is a trouble for Muslims in big China.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

MP El-Tantawy has no place in Egypt now according to parliament speaker

On Tuesday, Egypt’s House of Representatives announced that it referred MP Ahmed El-Tantawy to a disciplinary committee.

The decision was taken after reportedly 95 MPs reported him and demanded that he would refer to the disciplinary committee with a possible outcome of being expelled.

“Who speaks about the elections, the constitutional amendments, the nation and the political leadership negatively has no place in Egypt,” House of Representatives Speaker Ali Abdel Aal said on Tuesday while raising the bar for Pro-regime speakers before him or after him.
MP Ahmed Tantawy in one of the parliamentary sessions in Cairo
"Cairo 24" 
The speaker added that just because that freedom granted to humans, did not mean that they are allowed to speak in everything with no limits !!

So how did El-Tantawy speak negatively about the Egyptian nation and the political leadership?

The Nasserite politician presented a-12-points initiative about forming 12 parliamentary committees made equally from the opposition and majority MPs “How many real opposition MPs do we have in the first place ?” to support political and economic reforms in order to end this political deadlock in Egypt on Sunday in an hour and something video.

Sunday, November 3, 2019

The NYPD Cops are really bad so we should not follow them in Egypt

On Saturday, hundreds of people mostly from Youth protested downtown Brooklyn for hours the infamous New York Police Department’s treatment to people after two incidents last week that were filmed on video.

The first video showed a brawl between a group of teens and NYPD policemen in a Brooklyn Subway station where one policeman was filmed punching two teenagers in an attempt to break up a fight between two groups of teenagers on Friday, 22 October.

The second video which was also filmed on Friday, 22 October showed at least 10 NYPD police storming a Subway train car to arrest young African American man violently o suspicion of having a gun.
19-years-old Adrian Napier did not have any gun. He did not have a ticket too.
Officially, he was charged with the theft of a ticket.
The video caused huge controversy because it showed again the racial bias based on color when it comes to New York finest, nothing is new here.
Here is the video from the protest by Blommbergy’s Tictoc

Saturday, November 2, 2019

October was a busy month for Egypt’s Giza Zoo : Animal death , Animal births and a fire

This is an attempt to post somehow cheerful stuff in Egyptian Chronicles once again or some ting light.

The month of October was a busy month in Giza zoo.
It started with the unfortunate news that Giza Zoon’s elephant star Naema died after decades of pleasing children and adults alike while in captivity.
The Zoo administration told the media that it was currently searching to acquire and import a new elephant from South East Asia or South Africa.
According to news reports, the price of the single elephant is LE 3 million.
I do not know but for the sake of animal rights, I hope they do not get an elephant.
I know some people won’t like this but elephants on the verge of extinction.
According to statistics, elephant numbers have dropped by 62% over the last decades and African elephants like late Naema are listed as vulnerable animals because of the ivory bloody trade while the Asian elephants are officially listed as an endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Now to more merrier news, October witnessed several animal births in the Zoo despite its modest resources.
I know it is in captivity but the midst of bad depressing political and economic news whether in Egypt or in the Middle East or in the world, the news of new animal births is like a fresh breeze of air
I love the photos of baby animals sticking to their mom in their first way.
Now in October, the Giza Zoo witnessed the birth of the following :
  • A Baby hippopotamus aka baby hippo aka baby Siyad Eshta

We do not know much about this little baby hippo except it is fine and was born in October. 

Giza Zoo' new baby hippo that was born in October
Giza Zoo' new baby hippo that was born in October 
In standard Arabic, we call hippopotamus “فرس النهر” in standard Arabic as a direct name to its name in ancient Greek. In Egypt, we call it “سيد قشطة” or “Mr. Cream” {Siyad Eshta}, it was the name of the first hippo in the Giza Zoo when it was inaugurated in the 19th century.

Since then, Siyad Eshat became the common name of hippos in Egypt.

Friday, November 1, 2019

Happy Halloween 2019 From Egyptian Chronicles

The Noi guardian of Sensoji temple in Tokyo's Asakusa
The Noi guardian of Sensoji temple in Tokyo's Asakusa 
Happy Halloween from Japan once upon a summer night at the famous and ancient Sensoji temple in the heart of Asakusa of Tokyo.

This is one of the Nio statues guarding the temple’s South Gate. 

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Actually we need the LE 300 Billion Rain drainage system ASAP in Egypt

From a week ago, East Cairo technically froze for nearly 8 hours or even more because of the rainfall.
The streets and tunnels were flooded for hours, people stuck in their buses and children in their school buses till from afternoon till the early hours of the morning.

Up till now, there is no official or unofficial estimation for the economic losses resulted on that day or the whole wave of bad weather conditions that followed it.

Egyptians began to ask questions as they should about why we do not have a proper rain drainage system to save the capital from flash floods like what we saw last week.

The answer came from the cabinet spokesperson Nader Assad who said on an Egyptian TV channel the following :
We need LE 200 to 300 billion to build a rain drainage system in Cairo alone and even if I have this money , shall I spend it on a rain drainage network to be used for a day or a two in the year or every couple of years !? It is better to use it in more urgent things like building schools and hospitals.
I do not know where to begin but I and many Egyptians believe that this money “if the government has got” is not spent on building things like schools and hospitals.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Lebanon Protests : What do the Lebanese protesters want ? These are some of their demands

 Eleven days have passed and the Lebanese protesters are still occupying main squares and spaces in Lebanon united against all the sectarian political powers and against all odds too in an unprecedented moment in the Lebanese modern history.
Lebanese protesters form a human chain
On Sunday, Lebanese protesters from different backgrounds, Classes and sects made the longest
human chain 
On Saturday, Lebanese protesters organized a huge human chain from its North and South in a message to the political powers that they are united from Tyre to Tripoli

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Rain season in Cairo : It is just the start !! "Updated"

At least 5 people were killed on Tuesday because of rain in Egypt including two children.

 A girl was killed on Tuesday in Nile Delta because of the rain.

A student on her way back home from school, 9-years-old Marwa was electrocuted as the street was flooded in the city of 10th Ramadan in Sharkia governorate as a result of the rain.

Another child was electrocuted too in the street during the rain in a Gharbia governorate village according to Masrawy.com.

Egypt’s government announced on Tuesday that schools and universities would be off in the Grand Cairo province on Wednesday following the rains that hit Cairo and paralyzed its East part.

Already the Egyptian Meteorological Authority announced that Wednesday would witness more rains than Tuesday.

It is worth to mention that the EMA has been warning about the rain for two weeks since the start of October as it is the time of seasonal rains in many governorates.

But what do you know ?? It has become an annual habit to find cities flooded whenever the sky rains a little bit.

It does not rain in Cairo like in other foreign cities or even like in cities like Alexandria but what you know !!
Cairo's Heliopolis, Nasr City and Al-Obour have had their share on Tuesday.

Here is how the Unknown Soldier Memorial looked like today !!
Unknown Soldier Memorial in Cairo
If you do not know the reality behind this photo, you will think it is beautiful
The famous Unknown Soldier Memorial in Cairo with its pyramid shape surrounded by water !!
This rain blew up the traffic in East Cairo because some streets and tunnels were flooded with the watch because of the lack of rain drainage systems as usual.

Monday, October 21, 2019

#WeWillSpeak : Egyptian Tweeps speak up about Twitter Middle East Selective Censorship

Hundreds of Egyptian tweeps began on Monday a new campaign on Twitter against Twitter MENA policies after a wide suspension of opposition and activists’ accounts in the popular social media network.

The Egyptian tweeps launched  #WeWillSpeak” and #هنتكلم hashtags to reach out for Twitter in the United States.

In the past three months, several opposition and political activists' accounts were either permanently or temporarily suspended allegedly for violating Twitter policies.

#WeWillspeak campaign logo 

Some accounts are allegedly suspended because some Tweeps used “harsh and bad language”.
I know a tweep who got a permanent suspension from two months ago because he used allegedly bad language in criticizing a film from two years ago. 

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Lebanon protests: What is happening there ? It is something bigger than a WhatsApp tax revolt “Graphic and updated"

I began to write this post late Friday as the protests got intense in Lebanon with clashes between protesters and security forces as well as political powers and parties' militias.

The protesters have been demanding since Thursday evening the three main powers in Lebanon to resign: The President, Prime minister and the Cabinet and the parliament. They also can't take it anymore of any of the current political powers and parties in the country. They are all financially corrupted and puppets to regional powers, which actually is true.

Then I could not publish it at 2:25 AM because I have got huge material from photos and videos showing something huge taking place in that beautiful small yet troubled country to be constrained by the term "WhatsApp tax revolt" as some wire services and correspondents put it so simply. I could not choose from this huge material and I slept, unfortunately.

I updated this at 2:00 PM Cairo local time when armed supporters of Lebanese parliament speaker and Shiite political leader Nabih Berri had been attacking protesters in Tyre in an escalation for hours.

At least there are four people who have been killed including two so far.
This won’t scare the protesters but rather will make them angrier. This what we have learned as experienced Egyptian protesters and reporters since 2011.

In fact, protests and rallies against the political establishment and political powers including Amal Movement and its leader Berri got bigger and stronger in places like the movement stronghold Nabatieh.
A rally in Nabatieh where the protesters held the flags of Lebanon alone "Source: Ahmad Issawi"
This is unprecedented.
Lebanon is yet again in political and social upheaval, this is not a revolt against WhatsApp tax.

Videos went viral since afternoon on social media in Lebanon like these below show how allegedly Amal Movement members opened their fire against the protesters "Warning: Graphic content" 

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

The return of Mubarak : YouTube edition

Last Tuesday many Egyptians waited at 8 PM Cairo local on a YouTube channel to see their former and ousted President Mohamed Hosni
Mubarak to appear and speak.

24 hours earlier, Mubarak’s eldest son Alaa announced on Twitter that his father would speak for the first time live on YouTube on Tuesday at 8PM.

I would have loved to share the tweet directly from Alaa Mubarak’s twitter account but the once-a-businessman -tycoon has blocked me on the popular social media network.

Anyhow Ironically at the same time, whistleblower Mohamed Ali announced that he would address the nation yet again in an important video at 8.30 PM !!

It seemed that the 91-years-old despot joined Egypt’s latest Political online video craze that has hit the country in September with the first video released by the contractor turned in to an actor then a runaway whistleblower who continues to release videos against current president El-Sisi on Facebook and YouTube from Spain.

Hosni Mubarak in 2019
Mubarak as he appeared in his video sharing his war memories 
Now he also joins the growing and interesting Egyptian YouTube realm in his own way.

Anyhow Tuesday came and a video was upload on that YouTube Channel called “Mubarak archives” in English. The YouTube Channel was created and launched on 13 October 2019.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Farewell elephant Naema : Egypt’s Giza zoo loses one of its stars

Egypt’s Giza zoo declared on Monday that its famous elephant Naema passed away.
According to news reports, Giza Zoo’s only remaining African elephant passed away after possibly having a  stroke on Sunday evening.
African elephant in Egypt's Giza zoo
Late Naema in 2013 in Giza Zoo
Dr. Mohamed Ragae, the head of Giza Zoo told Masrawy that “Naema” fell on the ground and refused to eat her evening meal adding that she fell due to a sudden heart stroke which her old body could not resist.
Naema was not only the remaining African elephant in Giza Zoo but she was also the remaining elephant our famous Zoo had.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

There will be more political and media reforms in Egypt : Parliament speaker says

The House of Representatives' speaker Ali Abdel Aal said on Tuesday there would be political, partisan and media reforms in Egypt in the upcoming period.
"There will be new measures in the coming period to reactivate Egypt's political life." Abdel Aal said in the opening procedural session of the parliament in Cairo.

Aside from the usual blaming of foreign hostile powers working against the country, the speaker of the House asked the current cabinet led by PM Mostafa Madbouli “not export problems to the president of the republic and to parliament”.
Ali Abdel Aal
A file photo of Parliament speaker Ali Abdel Aal "Al-Ahram"


He said the following too according to VetoGate “Hitler had his mistakes but what enabled him to expand East and West was Germany’s infrastructure which is the locomotive that led Germany to become a top-level country and the rich countries are economic countries like Korea and Indonesia”

I do not know but that “Hitler” reference is troubling on many levels because historically the infrastructure that the infamous dictator built in Germany was destroyed after the defeat of Nazis in WWII !! Also, Hitler did not “have mistakes” , Hitler did horrifying war crimes that the world is still paying their prices !!
I do not know what the former professor of constitutional law is trying to justify or say here.
Aside from Hitler and the bad government as well as the promise of upcoming reforms, there were strange quotes in that opening procedural session in the last term for this parliament from unexpected people.

In the same session, we heard Pro-regime MP Mostafa Bakry saying that The war against expressing opinions must be stopped, this is not Egypt that we sacrificed for !!”
Bakry’s TV show on Sada El-Balad which had its share from crazy conspiracy theories and genius children has suspended from a couple of weeks ago.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

#FreeAlaa once again : 2019 edition

A Cairo state prosecution ordered from a couple of hours ago the detention of famous political activist Alaa Abdel Fattah 15 days pending an investigation into the charges of spreading false news and joining a banned group.
Alaa once again is arrested "Photo: Mona Seif"

Abdel Fattah was arrested earlier Sunday as soon as he finished his probation period at Dokki police station in Giza.
If you forgot, I would like to remind you that the software developer was serving a 5-years-probation sentence which means in his case to spend 12 hours in a police station after serving 5-years in prison.
He had just finished his prison sentence in March !!

The famous blogger was sentenced to five years in prison and another five years on probation in February 2015 on charges of rioting, participating in an unauthorized protest, disrupting the lives of citizens and exposing them to danger, attacking an employee while on duty and thuggery in the so-called “Shura council trial”.
Trying to rebuild his life once again in 12 hours per days, Abdel Fattah does not have time for political activism and calling for protests like in the old days.

Friday, September 27, 2019

Friday 27th Day : What happened is what expected

The internet is horrible, some of Google services including Blogger can’t be accessed except by VPN so this is an attempt to recap what happened throughout the day since its start.
Spoiler alert: As expected it is more of Pro-supporters protest day. 
You can find a link to a live blog I am updating as much as I can after the break

Thursday, September 26, 2019

What will happen in Cairo on Friday 27

What do you think what will happen on Friday 27 in Egypt?
I do not know what will really happen on Friday 27th in Egypt, no one knows 100% to be honest if you think about even those in mount Olympia.
Only God knows.
I have been asked over and over on Thursday about what will happen and honestly, I do not have a clue because everything is vague and it is happening in extreme speed.
It is one thing for sure, Egypt after the Protests of September 20th is different than Egypt before the protests of September 20th.
Even the world map and balance of powers changed in one week at a high speed.

What we know already

All that I know for sure that there will be Pro-Sisi rallies in Cairo organized by members of parliaments, celebrities and businessmen to show their support to the current Egyptian president.

Just like the online fashion nowadays, Pro-Sisi supporters from Members of Parliament and celebrities from singers and actors went on video clips online calling Egyptians to join them in a celebration on Friday to celebrate President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi at commonly known Rabaa square or as officially known now Hisham Barakat square.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Friday 20th small and rare protests in Video : They are real

Some Pro-regime supporters in Egypt say that the videos of those anti-president small and rare protests of Friday were fabricated and fake but they were actually real.

Already if there were no protests then what those 1298 people arrested on Friday and detained doing in the streets !? According to the Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights “ECESR” at least 1298 people were detained in September 2019 across the country.

The protesters in Tahrir square
The protesters in Tahrir square
Those people or detainees are accused of illegal “protesting” so how come there were no protests.

There were small protests in different parts of Egypt including Cairo’s iconic Tahrir square on 20 Friday 2019 against current President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and there is video to prove that.

They were called for by current self-exiled whistleblower and former longtime army contractor Mohamed Ali from Barcelona to put an end for Sisi’s rule.

These videos have been authenticated and verified as original and not fake or old. The videos show how those small protests actually continued until the early hours of the morning.

It is true that some Pro-Muslim Brotherhood social media accounts used old protests’ photos and videos as if they were shot on 20 Friday 2019 but soon enough they debunked.
Anyhow here are the videos after the break.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Two Days after Friday the 20th in Egypt “Updated”

At least 200 protesters were arrested on Friday according to the latest statements of human rights lawyers in Egypt on Sunday, mostly in Cairo.

Sunday marks the start of the academic year officially in schools and universities. There is a lot of anxiety among people, I can tell.

On Saturday, unsurprisingly the protests were completely ignored in the front pages of the Egyptian newspapers whether state-owned or privately owned.
Egyptian newspapers
Saturday press: Privately owned Al-Shorouk and Al Masry Al Youm and State-owned Ahram
Front pages by Farid Farid 
On the same day and for the second night in a row, a group of young protests chanted for freedom at the iconic Al-Arabin square in Suez city demanding the Egyptian president to leave in a scene that reminded many including myself was the early days of the 25 January revolution.

Those three days between the 25th and 28th of January 2011, Al-Arabin square witnessed violent and deadly protests and clashes between the Egyptian security forces and the protesters so you can imagine how many Egyptians followed the news of Suez on Saturday online.

Friday, September 20, 2019

Concerning this rare and small Friday protest in Tahrir and elsewhere : Something has happened

A security Source told Egyptian and foreign media on Friday that 55 people were arrested for protesting and assembly illegally in Cairo’s Tahrir square.
This is the last news we got about those small and rare protests in Egypt especially in iconic Tahrir Square on Friday.
From that small protest and rare protest in Cairo's Tahrir square
From that small protest and rare protest in Cairo's Tahrir square "Amr Abdullah/Reuters"
Reuters was the first to use the words “rare” and “small” perfectly but I believe these protests would have a bigger impact in the upcoming days.

Friday evening, small protests made of tens to hundreds in some cities broke across the country.
Their numbers are not many in a country of 100 million but still, it is an act that surprised many Egyptians and may encourage others for going back to the streets if there is no violent crackdown.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Kodak Agfa presents : Friday the 13th Harvest Moon in Photo

It was a harvest moon on Friday 13th of September and you can’t ignore such event at all !!
Friday 13th harvest micro-moon in Egypt
 Friday the 13th Harvest Micro-moon
For those who are interested to know more.
The harvest moon is the full moon that takes place closet to the autumn equinox.
Surprisingly it was not only a harvest moon !! It was also a micro-moon as the moon appeared about 14% smaller and 30% dimmer than when it was at its closest point to Earth, which is known as perigee. 

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Egypt’s external debt : Something to truly worry about

No, I am ignoring the ongoing Live streaming/YouTube/Facebook videos online uprising but what I am writing about in this post is extremely alarming and actually, it is being ignored and dealt with a trivial matter in the mainstream media and social media.

Hassan Hosny
I could not find better than veteran comedian Hassan Honsi's expression
to express my feeling while writing down this blog post.
"Ghabi Menoh Feh" 
In August, we found according to the Central Bank of Egypt’s statements that it paid nearly USD25 billions of the country’s maturing foreign debts and their interests in the past two years from the end of March 2017 to the end March 2019.

Al-Mal newspaper reported those important findings in a news report that I found a cache version of it online for the time being.
The report says the CBE announced Egypt paid USD 3.04 billion in the first quarter of 2019 “USD 2.1 billion debt installments and USD 946.6 million interests”
“An informal source in the Central Bank of Egypt said that USD 36.7 billion have been paid as debts since 30 June 2013,” The report said.

The report stated that the International Monetary fund predicts that Egypt’s foreign debts would go down to USD 88 billion by 2022 as the “country enjoys the fruits of the economic reforms.
Currently, Egypt has got the highest external debt in its modern history. 
We reached USD 106.2 billion in the third quarter of 2019.

It is equal to that number in Egyptian pounds “1,746,990,000,000”
We are speaking about trillions in Egyptian pounds.

Here is a graph for the unfortunate progress of the external debt based on the statements of the CBE and Economy plus ME from 2014 to 2019 or rather the three quarters of 2019.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Kodak Agfa presents : Features of an era “The Mohamed Ali Royal dynasty of Egypt ” Part-1

Disclaimer: This post is dedicated to Mohamed Ali Royal Family of Egypt and not the controversial whistleblower Mohamed Ali and his family and yes I am "riding the trend" to spread something useful 🙈🤐😎

You have seen the photos of Aisha Fahmy Palace aka Centre of Arts in Zamalek, now it is turn to see the photos of that exhibit yours truly went to cover there in March 2019.

The exhibit was called “Features of an era: The Mohamed Ali Family” and it featured for the first in public paintings mostly from portraits, statues of the former Egyptian ruling family as well as some of its positions.

Three generations of Mohamed Ali Family
Three generations of Mohamed Ali Royal Family including its founder Mohamed Ali Pasha in
one photo
Most of the paintings and statues were removed from the royal palaces and public squares following the coup of July 1952 and the declaration of the republic in June 1953.
Three generations of Mohamed Ali Family's rulers
Another three generations of Mohamed Ali Family appearing in one shot 
For decades they were kept hidden in warehouses.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

The Death of Abdullah Morsi : A new chapter in Morsi’s Greek tragedy

From a few hours ago the news found its way online through Al-Jazeera News accounts and Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated news accounts: Abdullah Mohamed Morsi passed away.

I had to wait to get a confirmation from the family and it came through Turkey’s Anadolu as well the family's lawyer to Shorouk newspaper.
The youngest son of late ex-president Mohamed Morsi passed away in a Giza hospital after having a heart attack.
Abdullah Mohamed Morsi is the youngest and according to news reports, he was only 26 years old.
He died after 79 days of his father’s death.
It is like another chapter in the Morsis Greek tragedy for real !!
Or shall I say Egyptian tragedy !!

Abdullah Mohamed Morsi
Abdullah Morsi with his dad's photo in March 2018 "Al Jazeera International"
Mohamed Morsi had five children, Ahmed who works as a doctor in Saudi Arabia, Shaimaa who is a housewife, Osama who works as a lawyer and currently detained in some MB-related case, Omar and Abdullah.

Friday, August 30, 2019

Egypt’s scientists are angry : Egyptian academia got something to say for real

“#Egypt’s_Scientists_are_angry” is A hashtag that has been top trending for days now in Egypt especially among Egyptian public university professors and academics for days now on social media networks.

It is mainly active on Facebook and Twitter in Arabic.
Why are Egypt’s scientists aka academia and university staff angry?

Because they are simply demanding better salaries and pensions to help them in their living in Egypt nowadays.
This is the short version.
Cairo University's famous hall
Cairo University's famous hall in Giza 
The longer version got more details that make you understand why they have to be so angry and even will make you wonder why they were not angry before.
The University staff across Egypt are demanding the following in their campaign according to one of the biggest groups dedicated to “Egypt’s Scientists are angry” movement on Facebook “Over 57 thousand members” :
  • Fair salaries as well as increase in salary to coup with the floating of the Egyptian pound, the cancellation of subsidies like fuel subsidies and soaring prices.
  • Providing University staff and their families with proper health care and health insurance. 
  • To have a pension that is equal at least 80% of the last salary.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Kodak Agfa Presents : Egypt's Spring Flowers fair 2019

Another belated post for an annual cheerful event that reminds us of the good spring breeze in those very hot days in Egypt and the world.
It is time for Kodak Agfa’s annual Spring Flowers fair post and this year it was during the Constitutional amendments referendum.
I remember that I visited the Orman spring Flowers Fair last years during the Presidential elections too.
Inside Egypt's Spring Flowers Fair 2019
Inside one of the partitions in the Spring Flowers Fair 2019
I did not stay too long but it was a good time and break.
Inside Egypt's Spring Flowers Fair 2019
Inside one of the partitions in the Spring Flowers Fair 2019

Held at Orman Botanical Garden starting from 21 March from every year, it became one of the main beautiful annual events in the country.

This was the 86th session of the Flowers Fair and Unfortunately, the government fails to promote it as a tourist attraction event despite I see foreigners, mostly from expats every year now.

Also, it is sad to know that the government is not promoting Orman botanical Garden as a tourist attraction itself for plants lovers.

We are speaking about one of the biggest and oldest public parks in Africa and the Middle East that hosts plants from outside the continent for over 100 years now like that this beautiful Mexican Shaving brush tree.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Happy Eid Adha 2019 from Egyptian Chronicles

The Family Park Mosque in New Cairo
The Family Park Mosque in New Cairo 
Happy Eid Adha to all the Muslim world celebrating it today “as well as tomorrow like Oman”. Here is a New Cairo modern architecture mosque that caught my eyes in Family park in the upscale East of Cairo suburb Egypt. I tried to find any extra information about it but I have failed so far. 

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Seen in Cairo : Transferring an obelisk "Updated"

During its dismantling in Zamalek 

This was a photo taken last week for the attempt to transfer King Ramses II obelisk from Zamalek island to New Alamein city.

On Wednesday, the ministry of antiquities announced that the obelisk arrived in New Alamein city.

It reportedly took 20 days just to lift it from its place in the public garden named after it “Obelisk garden” and put it horizontally on a big track.

Now there is a problem regarding its weight "90 tonnes" and whether it can be carried over 15 May bridge till it reaches the desert highway 😬🙈🙈. 

This is the only time that less known the Ancient Egyptian obelisk makes headline in both social media and mainstream media.

According to the ministry of antiquities, it was decided to transfer that obelisk from its place in Zamalek because it did not attract anybody and it was hidden.