Friday, December 31, 2021

Egyptian Chronicles’ Movers and Shakers of 2021 “Egypt’s edition”

Welcome to the 2021 edition of Egyptian Chronicles' Movers and Shakers.

It is time of our annual post
Here is my list of those I believe that have been the shakers and movers of 2021 in Egypt.

There will be another list for “Region and world edition”

This is not the list of the top people but rather those who made an impact whether positive or negative based on my own views

This list is without any order. You know me, I write what I remember.

Locally :

From left to right "Egypt's Olympics delegation, Suez Canal workers, healthcare workers 
and antiquities workers"

A Special Mention

Friday, December 24, 2021

Kodak Agfa Presents : Shurba’s Christmas in video and photos “25th December Edition”

First of all Merry Christmas to all those celebrating tonight around the globe and in Egypt

Second of all, Kodak Agfa is sharing on this very occasion about this long-neglected Christmas decoration and Christmas trees market in Cairo’s Shubra.

I hope you enjoy this video and I would kindly ask you to share it. It is shaky as usual. I own a gimbal but unfortunately, I feel awkward and uncomfortable while using it in places like this in Cairo. 

Many Egyptians are focusing on the Christmas decorations and trees in upscale areas, compounds and malls in New Cairo and Sheikh Zayed, as well as districts like Heliopolis but they, are rarely paying attention to Cairo’s Shubra.

One of the oldest quarters in Cairo, its name in Coptic means a village.

Thursday, December 23, 2021

Sanaa Seif is Free

It was not a real bad week for the Seifs after all as their youngest sibling and renowned activist Sanaa Seif has been released after serving an 18-months-prison sentence on Thursday.

Sanaa is free and she returned home.

Sanaa Seif and Toka
Egyptian activist Sanaa Seif and her dog Toka after
returning home on Thursday "Mona Seif 

The youngest Seif activist was sentenced by a Cairo criminal court in March 18 months in prison over spreading news.

In June 2020, She was arrested on charges of spreading false news on her Facebook account when she spoke about the spread of coronavirus in prisons, which the Ministry of interior totally denied.

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Alexandria was hit a by snowstorm this week

Filed under: What is happening in Alexandria? , Egypt’s once summer capital Alexandria saw an unprecedented snowstorm earlier this week.

It snowed earlier Monday Alexandria was hit by some sort of snowstorm left many of the streets covered in white !! 

St. Catherine Square in Alexandria
St. Catherine Square in Alexandria early Monday "Amira Tarek"

Already this week marks the time of another seasonal rainstorm,  “El-Fiada El-Soghra” or “The Minor flume”. Supposedly this snowstorm was at its peak.

Egypt is currently facing a wave of cold weather this week but Alex and its North coast sister cities have had their share from rainfall.

The snow on Monday did not stay too long, it melted and was water.

The photos of Alexnadira are viral now. 

Monday, December 20, 2021

#FreeAlaa : Alaa Abdel Fattah, Baqer and Oxygen handed final prison sentence

It is once again Free Alaa.

Earlier Monday, Cairo Emergency State Security Misdemeanor Court sentenced famous renowned activist and blogger Alaa Abdel El-Fattah to 5 years in prison and his co-defendants in the trial, his own lawyer Mohamed El-Baqer and blogger Mohamed Oxygen were sentenced 4 years on charges related to the spread of false news according to his sister Mona Seif.

From left to right: Alaa, Baqer and Oxygen 

It is a final court ruling that can’t be appealed.

Only a presidential pardon or rather a military ruler’s pardon can set them free before the end of the 5 years in this case. 

It is unclear if this sentence will be deducted from their pretrial detention.

Alaa, Baqer and Oxygen spent more than two years in pre-trial detention - more than is allowed under Egyptian law since their arrest in 2019 following the protests that broke that fall over the videos of private contractor Mohamed Ali. 

Sunday, December 19, 2021

Qatar’s National Day on Cairo Tower : Someone is confused

On Friday, Egypt’s Cairo Tower celebrated Qatar’s National Day for the first time.

The famous Tower landmark was lit up in marron and purple to celebrate the Gulf State’s National Day on December 18th.

Cairo Tower lit up to celebrate Qatari National 
Day on Friday

Simply the Embassy of Qatar in Cairo requested to celebrate its National Day using the Tower and paid it for it.

Needless to say, Cairo Tower would not approve the request if there is no from the political leadership.

It is considered a clear sign of how things improved between Cairo and Doha following a cold war since 2011 or even before and the infamous Arab Quartet’s boycott of Qatar in June 2017.

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Saving Cairo's City of the Dead : The menace to Cairene valley of the Kings is still there

From a couple of weeks ago, many Egyptians received a notification that their family cemeteries will be demolished as part of the government or rather the state’s road extension plan in the Imam Al-Shafie area.

The families were offered small areas for cemeteries as compensation in 15 May city.

The news caught the attention and caused anger among many including myself as aside from the historical importance of this area, it turned out to host the tombs of Egypt’s top figures in the 20th century who shaped this country in the Modern age aside hundreds of normal citizens who deserve to be left alone.

It is like a modern valley of the Kings but prominent figures and commoners both since the Middle ages.

It was a shock to find that late Queen Farida of Egypt was among those unfortunate Egyptians whose family cemeteries are on the demolishment list.

Her family and friends spoke up and the mainstream media covered the issue shyly presenting an opposite view for the government's plan on a couple of two channels.

A rumour spread that the government was going to change the route of this road extension plan but as I hinted it is a rumour and people are back to square one if zero.

As far as I know, engineers and experts presented a number of alternative projects to avoid this area from the city of the Dead altogether.

Cairo's city of the dead
A scene from Cairo's city of the dead "Safeguard of historic Cairo's cemeteries FB"

Some families are planning to sue the government and the governorate in front of the administrative court but I fear it may take time and it will be late.

This brings us to the importance of the long-absent true community dialogue in Egypt.

Known as Cairo city of the Dead, this area has been listed by UNESCO as part of Historic Cairo. 

Sunday, December 12, 2021

Coronavirus on the Nile: 22 months of Covid-19 in Egypt in graph

It is the time for one of those monthly Covid-19 posts in Egyptian Chronicles and I hope that I will not have to do this inshallah soon as the pandemic ends worldwide.

This time it is a quick look into official Covid-19 numbers in Egypt after 22 months since its arrival to the country in February 2020.

An Egyptian woman wearing a mask in some Cairo mall (Reuters)
An Egyptian woman wearing a mask in some Cairo mall (Reuters)

The usual disclaimer: According to Minister of Health Hala Zayed in early January, the official numbers of cases represent between 10%-15% of the real number of cases worldwide Egypt included

Those official numbers represent the patients who enter the ICUs in designated coronavirus isolation public hospitals in the country in critical condition according to official statements, not the mild cases of coronavirus or those who receive treatment at home.

Here is the graph, it is interactive so you can click on it and click on the tabs to compare between 2020 and 2021.

Thursday, December 9, 2021

Jeffrey Epstein and the Israeli connection

In case you do not know (and probably you do not) ex-girlfriend of late sex predator and trafficker Jeffrey Epstein and British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell is standing currently in a trial at US District Court in Manhattan on several charges above them sex trafficking and conspiracy.

For the past 7 days, Maxwell came face to face to women who accused her and her late ex-boyfriend of destroying their lives turning them into underage escorts or rather sex slaves of Epstein and his friends from important figures around the globe.

Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell
Ghislaine Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein smiling and pretending to be normal
 a newly released photo during Maxwell's trial this week 

Now as the court is on and we are hearing more and more on how perverted Maxwell and her partner were from the survivors, reporters and the public are waiting for juicy details that can implicate figures like Prince Andrew, Donald Trump and Bill Clinton in that scandal. “I think they will be disappointed but what has been said so far so sick and damning to the Oxford graduate uptown girl turned into a madam from hell.”

Yet there are remarkably interesting parts in the Epstein-Maxwell affair I believe that won’t be mentioned in the court. That part is related to how this sick couple and their dirty brothel played a role in the Middle East peace process.

Those two paragraphs are from Vanity Fair’s investigative report published in summer 2021 on Jeffrey Epstein and his relationship with mogul Lee Wexner.

During the 1990s, both Epstein’s and Wexner’s profiles grew on the world stage. In 1991, Wexner cofounded a philanthropic organization of Jewish billionaires known as the Mega Group, which uses some of its vast resources to shape Middle East policy. In 2003, Wexner’s foundation commissioned GOP messaging guru Frank Luntz to advise American Jewish leaders on how to rally support for Israel. “For a year—a SOLID YEAR—you should be invoking the name of Saddam Hussein and how Israel was always behind American efforts to rid the world of this ruthless dictator and liberate their people,” Luntz’s recommendation stated.

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Coronavirus on the Nile: Egypt’s Covid-19 November 2021 numbers in Graph

This is the time of our monthly post about the coronavirus pandemic and its official numbers in graphs in Egypt.

This is the second November to pass in Egypt during the Covid-19 pandemic, unfortunately.

Egyptian woman vaccinated in Egypt "Reuters"
Egyptian woman vaccinated in Egypt "Reuters"

Disclaimer: According to Minister of Health Hala Zayed in early January, the official numbers of cases represent between 10%-15% of the real number of cases worldwide Egypt included.

First, the official daily cases of coronavirus in Egypt

Sunday, December 5, 2021

The Kordahi affair: About freedom of expression, sovereignty and absurd wars

On Friday Veteran Lebanese media figure George Kordahi presented his resignation as Minister of information to the Lebanese President Michel Aoun ending a month-long diplomatic crisis with Gulf countries over his statements concerning the war in Yemen.

On 25 October, Al Jazeera Network’s “People’s Parliament” web show released its episode with guest George Kordahi. The episode was filmed on 5 August before Kordahi was appointed as the information minister in Lebanon representing Marada Movement and approved by Iran-backed-Hezbollah.

Michel Aoun and George Kordahi
George Kordahi presented his resignation to Lebanese President 
Michel Aoun in Beirut on Friday "Lebanese Presidency)

During the show, Kordahi said that the war in Yemen was absurd that must stop and that Iran-backed-Houthis were defending themselves against foreign attacks.

Friday, December 3, 2021

Alexandria’s latest wave : Just big tidal wave or Climate change is here to stay !?

On Wednesday, Egypt’s Alexandria witnessed a huge tidal wave that reached over five metres-high reaching into streets and destroying seafront buildings.

Alexandrians are used to big tidal waves especially before or during their annual Nawat or storms. Within a day or two, the Maiden of Mediterranean city will meet “Nawaa Kassem” or Kassem Storm. The city has just recovered from another storm from a couple of weeks ago.

Yet what happened on Wednesday was new even for the Alexandrians when it comes to the height of the tidal wave and its force.

Tidal wave in Alexandria
The Tidal wave that destroyed part of the corniche fence in Lauran on Wednesday
Amir Mansour 

A video that went viral Thursday in Egypt was filmed on Wednesday shows the Engineers Syndicate Club at Saba Pasha district on the seafront flooded by a high tidal wave.

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

#Coronavirus on the Nile : A December Covid-19 coverage in Egypt and Arab world “Live”

It is another new month in the time of the coronavirus pandemic in Egypt and the World.

It is December,  the second December in the time of coronavirus or to be accurate it is the third December for Covid-19 world if we take into consideration that its initial outbreak in China was in November 2019.

Needless to say, this December it seems that Covid-19 is still like an ugly menace threatening the world as we have got now the new Omicron variant.

More countries are reporting more cases and we got vaccine companies saying that we got till half December to see if the impact of the current vaccines on the Omicron variant.

Egypt was among the countries accused of exporting one of the earliest Omicron variant cases to Europe but Egyptian officials stated that the Omicron variant has not been detected in the country yet.

A worker in protective gear sprays disinfectant in Hurghada , Egypt
A worker in protective gear sprays disinfectant, following an outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at Hurghada International Airport in Hurghada, Egypt, on June 18, 2020.

The country is already still in its Fourth wave of COVID-19 peak despite in the past few days in November, the numbers began to decline but then return to increase.

More vaccines are set to arrive in Cairo in the upcoming weeks.

We will see if the government will succeed in vaccinating 40 million Egyptians or not as it announced earlier.

Egypt already has allowed the vaccination of 15-12 years-old children using the Pfizer vaccine on the condition of parental approval.

Starting from December 1, parents can register their children at that age on the official Coronavirus registration's website.

Starting from December 1 also, Unvaccinated people won’t be allowed into the official institutions. We will see how this ban will go.

Here is our monthly live coverage of everything coronavirus below.