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.