Wednesday, January 29, 2020

The deal of the century : Feeling angry, helpless and frustrated

I am angry and frustrated.

I already knew that the so-called deal of the century to solve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict in the Mideast by Trump and his son-in-law administration would be so bad.

I did not expect anything good from it but it still feels like humiliation seeing Trump speaking about “Aqua Mosque” in reference to “Al-Aqsa Mosque” which is the third holiest site for Muslims.

But still, it was like a slap to the face. After all, we got a US president who believes that Arab countries should apologize for fighting Israeli Zionist gangs in 1948 too !!

It is a sad irony to find the current US administration and Israel determine the fate of millions of people without a true real representation of those people aka Palestinians and please do not tell me that the Palestinians did not want to go because since day one Trump and his son-in-law do not’ recognize Palestinian people as humans in the first place.

They do not know or do not even recognize the fundamental fact that the Palestinian people have the right of self-determination.

I feel angry and helpless as Egyptian, Arab, Muslim and above them a human to see the map of Palestine according to that Plan and you find how Palestine dissolves and disappears !!
Palestine and how it is dissolving since 1947 
This is just the tip of the iceberg, I have not gone yet deeper in the 181-pages plan on the White House website.

Needless to say, this anger and frustration are shared by millions of Arabs and Muslims who followed the news Tuesday evening around the globe and you can know that by checking the social media.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Heliopolis’ great trees massacre : Be ready for bridges

“ There are many things to laugh about in Egypt but it is laughter that is close to crying” famous Iraqi medieval poet Al-Mutanabbi once said in one of his poems about Egypt describing in a perfect sense this unique black comedy situation we have had from a long time.

I remember this verse when I read the news about how the current minister of environment Yasmine Fouad decided to designate the month of January in Egypt as the month of afforestation.
The environment ministry launched a nationwide campaign for afforestation called “Be ready for the green” or “Live Green” or as in Arabic “اتحضر للاخضر”

It is never too late to launch such campaign but at the same time, it comes when Cairo’s upscale Heliopolis has witnessed a sad trees genocide.
A before and after photo for a street in Heliopolis
A before and after photo for a street in Heliopolis
"Ghadeer El-Rafeey"  

In the past three months, the government and Cairo governorate decided to build not less than 9 bridges in what so-called the “Masr El-Gadida or Heliopolis development plan”.
The project is implemented by the army’s Engineering Authority which is racing to finish those bridges as soon as possible as it seems.

The plan included widening the streets in the district turning some of those streets into highways in the heart of residential areas.

To make this happen in 100 days in order to have a rapid achievement, the government and the governorate wiped out almost all the green spaces and garden islands in Heliopolis.

According to the citizens of Heliopolis, not less than 90 Feddans of green spaces were wiped out completely in that plan.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

#Jan25 …. in Baghdad … in Beirut and in Cairo

It is 25 January 2020, folks

In Cairo, there is a huge security presence and the police forces are celebrating their national day by distributing flowers and sweets on the public.

There is a huge security alert because on the virtual world, Long time army contractor/one-time actor/whistleblower/political activist in exile Mohamed Ali called for a huge revolution on that day.

Unsurprisingly it did not happen and Ali declared that he quit politics and he will focus on construction as well as his acting career.
Despite the majority of the people know that there will be no anti-regime massive protests, the authorities are worried because last September no one would have imagined that some people would go and chant against the regime after all those years.

Needless to say, the mainstream media is celebrating only the day as the Police National Day while all the TV hosts are cursing the revolution and it is not a shock anymore
There is no big change on how the media covers the media now, in fact, I will be surprised if the mainstream media speaks nicely about the 2011 revolution.

There is sadness and despair that the January revolution did not make it as it should. I am trying not to fall in to this as much as I can “I will be lying if I say I did not”.

For me, the 25 January revolution is not fully dead and it is still alive as part of that thing still going on in our part of the world that the West called “The Arab Spring”.
Here is Baghdad’s Tahrir square rocking with protesters who standing high and firm despite they are facing corrupted political system backed by deadly regional and international powers.

Friday, January 24, 2020

Seen in Downtown Cairo : Omar Effendi's Abdel Aziz street branch

Omar Effendi building in Abdel Aziz street
Omar Effendi branch in Abdel Aziz street 

Once upon a time, this was the most famous branch of Egypt’s and Mideast biggest and first department store and it used to be known as Omar Effendi.

This Neo-baroque building was designed by French architect Raoul Brandon. It is officially registered as monumental building and thank God for that.

That famous branch was inaugurated in 1909 by the chain founder Hungarian Adolph Orosodi under the name of Orosodi Bek then in 1920 he sold it to another businessman who changed its name to Omar Effendi and the rest is history with branches in Levant and Turkey.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Lebanon’s first woman defense minister : The superficial Women empowerment of the Middle East world

Zeina Akar
Zeina Akar 
Lebanese Zeina Aker has become Lebanon’s first female defence minister in history.

The member of President Michel Aoun’s Free Patriotic Movement “FPM” is also the first female defence minister in the Arab world and near Middle East when I checked WikipediaYou should click the link to know how Asian women beat the Western women and became defence ministers before them” too.

The new deputy prime minister holds a BS degree in Social Sciences in Marketing/Management from the Lebanese American University.

Akar and her husband renowned businessman Jawad Adra founded together “Information International” Research company.
The Greek Orthodox Christian is its executive director.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Seen in Downtown Cairo : Grand Hotel's Art Deco building "Updated"

Seen in Cairo's Downtown: The other Real Grand hotel in Downtown Cairo of Egypt.

Grand Hotel in Downtown Cairo
Grand Hotel in Downtown Cairo 
A 3-stars hotel, Grand Hotel is known for its unique Art Deco architecture style. Some say it was inaugurated in 1950 while others say it was open for business in 1939. 

Further evidence found below may prove it was inaugurated in 1939 for real.

The name of Grand hotel became a popular one due to the success of Egyptian TV series "Grand Hotel", which is based upon a Spanish TV series with the same name.
"Both are available on Netflix and both are good" 

There is not much information about the hotel and its owners except that it is a 3-stars hotel.

Still, I stumbled by coincidence in Pinterest on Grand Hotel of Cairo's Luggage label and it is mesmerizing at least for me.

Friday, January 17, 2020

Remembering Nabil aka @Ternz : Too early to leave

I do not know how old he was or now much about him in real life except that his name is Mohamed Nabil and he was a talented online cartoonist on Twitter.

Nabil's Ternz avatar on Twitter
The famous avatar of Ternz on Twitter
for years 
That young man whom I knew through Twitter passed away last week in a road accident that made all those who followed him for years in a shock.

I do not recall when exactly I started to follow Mohamed Nabil or as commonly known on Twitter as Nabil or @Ternz but I remember it was during the 2013 craze and he was among the reasonable funny voices on online.

His Twitter alias then was very unique and interesting “ I am a Salafist and I do not hate you”.
Yes, he was Salafist and he had this famous and cool avatar made by Egyptian cartoonist Sherif Adel aka Barbatoz.
Yes, his name was “Salafist” and he did not hate anybody. On the contrary, he was not your stereotype of Salafists who reject arts or music or even science.
He changed into Blue in solidarity with the Sudanese revolution later.

He made very beautiful and smart black comedy cartoons about social and political issues in Egypt.
Cartoon by Nabil
#Egypt_is_happy a cartoon about the inauguration of the

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Seen in Cairo's Heliopolis : A Mid-Century Modern Villa

A mid-century modern villa in Cairo
A mid-century modern villa in Cairo
One of my favorite villas in Cairo’s Heliopolis is this Mid-Century Modern villa in El-Oroba street.

It is one of the unique mid-century modern style buildings in El-Orba street which hosts a wonderful collection of villas and palaces.

According to my mom, this design was so popular and was found in several different areas like in Dokki and Maadi in the old days.

Many villas and palaces were demolished in Heliopolis to be replaced with big towering residential buildings.
Hopefully, this building survives this carnage 

Monday, January 13, 2020

Kodak Agfa presents : A 2017 short visit to Fayoum's Lake Qarun

Kodak Agfa is back once again in 2020.
We are in 2020 but this post goes back a short visit to the amazing and beautiful Fayoum governorate in 2017.
It is like a good thing to remember those warm days in our very cold night in Cairo right now.

Hopefully, it will be the first in a series for posts and photos published for the first time on Egyptian Chronicles about this beautiful place in Egypt this month.
Fayoum is like one of Egypt’s best-kept secret with its rich history as well as its amazing natural landscape that takes your breath away and the kindness of its people that capture your heart.
I will be scratching the surface in this post because here I am digging the history of Egypt probably from the time when dinosaurs roamed this land.

It had been known to the Egyptians for decades as the land of Lake Qarun or as known in Greek Lake Moeris and its famous norias whether in Fayoum city itself or its villages.
Egypt's Lake Qarun
A boat in Lake Qarun

A protected area since 2012,  the-202-square-km Lake Qarun is one of Egypt’s largest natural lakes. Its depth is 43 meters below the sea-level.
It is also one of the oldest lakes in the country and the region too.
It goes back to prehistory and during then it was much bigger and wider covering at least 1,2700 square km.
By the time, it has shrunken.

At Egypt's Lake Qaron in Fayoum
Lake Qarun from the West

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Sultan Qaboos , Gulfs’ long-serving ruler passes away “‘Updated”

Omani TV has declared from shot time ago that Qaboos bin Said Al Said, the Sultan of Oman has passed away after suffering from illness.
There will be a 40-days of National mourning in the country.

Sultan Qaboos of Oman
Sultan Qaboos of Oman
I do not recall Arab media speaking about his illness directly but it seems that the man surfed from cancer of the colon since 2015.
Sultan Qaboos returned from Belgium after treatment.

The Royal palace claimed on 29 December 2019 that it was a successful trip and he was fine but I guess we know that was not true.
It was said that he returned back to make arrangement of succession.

Rumors are already spreading online that he passed away earlier but the Omani authorities had to keep a secret because of all the tension in the region.

Friday, January 10, 2020

That time of the year in St.Catherine

All the world knows that it does not snow in Egypt but like everything in this world, nothing appears like what it seems.
It snows in Egypt in a specific place every year.
It snows at Saint Catherine Mount, Egypt’s highest mount in Sinai
The photos and video from there are beautiful.
The photos are beautiful and they went viral online as expected.
Snow in Saint Catherine Mount in South Sinai , Egypt
The entrance of Saint Catherine mount protectorate Management unit at 6:27 AM on Friday
"South Sinai antiquities Region"
Snow in Saint Catherine Mount in South Sinai , Egypt
A tree cover in the snow at Saint Catherine on Friday  "Mountain Rose"
Snow in Saint Catherine Mount in South Sinai , Egypt
El-Milga region in Saint Catherine "Mountain Rose"

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Merry Orthodox Christmas everybody especially in Egypt

Merry Orthodox Christmas to all people around the globe celebrating Christmas tonight according to Orthodox Church calendar especially in Egypt from Coptic Orthodox Christians.
The beautiful mural below depicting the Virgin Mary and baby Jesus is from the famous and unique Red Monastery in Sohag.
The Virgin Mary and Baby Jesus Egyptian Coptic Byzantine 
The photo is by the talented and award-winning Egyptian photographer Roger Anis from Mada Masr’s report of this ancient beautiful hidden gem and how it is Egypt’s last Byzantine monument in Upper Egypt by Karoline Kamel.

Merry Christmas from Egyptian Chronicles.  

Monday, January 6, 2020

And a second Ramy wins a golden globe

Ok Hollywood watch it for Egyptian-American men called Ramy because they got something for the Golden Globes
American of Egyptian origin comedian Ramy Youssef has just won the Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series  Musical or Comedy in the Golden Globe awards 2020.

He won it for his role in Hulu’s comedy TV series Ramy that was aired in 2019.
Ramy Youssef
Ramy Youssef "NBC"
Here the moment he got the award and man I love how Longa 79 of Egyptian veteran and musical genius of the 1970s and 1980s Hany Shenouda was played in the Golden Globe !!! “It is associated with football than with comedies or Golden Globes for my generation”

Sunday, January 5, 2020

These are some of the sites important to Iranian culture

Just as the Iranian government was preparing for Qassim Soleimani’s funeral as well as the perfect reaction from its point of view following his assassination by US drones on Friday, current US President Donald Trump gave it another gift.

He provoked the Iranian people even those opposing the Iranian regime living in exile with his tweets about targeting 52 important sites to Iran and Iranian culture if the Iranian regime dared to target American assets late Saturday.

It is unclear which sites he meant but saying that “They are very high-level & important to Iran & Iranian culture” means they were speaking about cultural and religious sites important to the Iranian culture.

There is a fear that he meant the Shiia holy sites in Iran specifically in Qom while others fear that he meant historical sites in Iran in a complete violation of international laws that criminalize the deliberate destruction of monumental sites in armed conflicts.
Jamkaran mosque in Qom
ًWhen Iranian authorities decided to raise the Red war flag for the first time in recorded history on Saturday
over the Jamkaran mosque in the Shiia holy city Qom 

If Trump orders the attack on Shiia holy sites in Iran if Iran avenges its general and its will avenge sooner or later, it will be a holy war for Shiia Muslims around the globe. There are about 11 holy sites in Iran for Shiia Muslims according to my knowledge.

Thursday, January 2, 2020

So You said No : It is not funny

I should be writing something about this huge escalation between Egypt and Turkey following the Turkish parliament’s approval to deploy Turkish troops to Tripoli (or Qassem Soleimani's assassination) instead, I am writing this post about a very disturbing music video that hit the internet on the first day of the year.

Yes, music videos and maybe I am writing this because I am fed up with those teaching us what to say and not to say and what to criticize and what not to criticize. I have had enough with those who define the freedom of expression according to their friends online.

The first music video is by multi-talented Youtuber/influencer/advertising director/social media comedian Tameem Younes.

Younes who is not a professional singer released his second music video “Salmonella” or as commonly known now in the social media “But if you’re going to say no”.

Here is the music video and it is about some loser who does not take “no” for an answer from his love.

In nutshell, Younes warns his girl in an alleged funny way of not loving him as she will get salmonella as a start.

Popular and also controversial singer Mahmoud Esseily makes a cameo in the song.
The music video made more than one million views on YouTube in its 24 hours.
I did not find it funny and felt something is wrong.

Soon girls and women pointed out what is wrong, this music video is actually supporting “Non-consent” abusive relationships and violence against women.

As debate began to grow, Tamim Younes made a video on his Facebook account saying that he meant to expose fragile masculinity.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Happy New Year from Egyptian Chronicles

Happy New year from Egyptian Chronicles to you.

May all your dreams come true
Happy New year from Egypt's Wahat 
Taken in 2019 at Bawiti in the heart of Al Wahat Al Baharia in the Western desert. Stay tuned for more of adventures and chronicles