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.