Saturday, December 31, 2022

Egyptian Chronicles’ Movers and Shakers of 2022

Welcome to the 2022 edition of Egyptian Chronicles' Movers and Shakers.

It is the time for our annual post
Here is my list of those I believe to be the shakers and movers of 2022 in Egypt, the Arab world and the world.

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. The good, bad and ugly are here. The naughty and goody-goody are here too.

From Upper left to right: Mohamed Omda, Mohamed Maait and Mohamed Al-Amin 
From lower left to right: Ramy Fahim, Sherine, Sanaa Seif, Ahmed El-Tayab 

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

Again, I started writing down this post at 2:04 AM, yet once again my epic procrastination and being burned out for the year rules.

From Egypt

  • Finance Minister Mohamed Maait, Ex-Central Bank of Egypt Governor Tarek Amer and Current CBE governor Hassan Abdullah: Do I need to explain !? I mean we enter the new year with more fears than hopes about what we may face economically. 2022 is one of the most brutal economic years Egypt has ever witnessed and God knows how Egypt’s economy will survive its repercussions as external debts increase.
  •  Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Ahmed El-Tayeb: El-Tayeb made a name for himself to stand out among all the previous Imams of Egypt and the world’s oldest and most Sunni Islamic institution. Aside from the successful coexistence dialogue he leads with Christian faith leaders around the globe like his best BBF in Rome Pope Francis, El-Tayeb is truly standing the moderate Sunni Muslims against attacks from left and right. This year he stood against endless attacks by radical seculars who believe that he is ultra-conservative and by religious fanatics who believe that he is ultra-progressive alike. El-Tayeb so far got very progressive views for real, but no one wants to listen truly to him. He also brought back the voice of Al-Azhar internationally to comment on and defend Muslim rights’ around the globe whether in India or in Afghanistan defending the right of Afghani girls to learn.

Thursday, December 29, 2022

Thursday Rave and Rants: #EP7 “Mohamed Al-Amin and case 188/2022” (Part#2)

Here is the 7th episode from my podcast in Arabic. It is the second part of my post/podcast’s episode about the late media tycoon Mohamed Al-Amin who died earlier in December while serving a three-years-sentence in prison on charges related to human trafficking.

Al-Amin who was Egypt’s biggest media tycoon a couple of years ago suffered from Cancer in a late stage from a couple of months ago and was transferred to a Private hospital to receive treatment. He passed away earlier this month. You can listen to this post in Arabic in the podcast below.

You can check the first part of the episode/post here to refresh your memory.

We stopped at the arrest of Mohamed Al-Amin in January and how the media went mad.

It is expected honestly considering who he was and the severity of the accusations he was facing.

On 11 January, news websites began to publish his alleged statements in front of the prosecution denying all the charges and claiming that the three girls he was accused of molesting in his orphanage were sent to him by the Ministry of Social Solidarity’s officials despite they were older than the rest of the girls. 

On 5 February, Al-Amin was referred to the Criminal court by the Prosecutor General on charges of human trafficking over sexually abusing and threatening seven underage girls." Not only two".

Mohamed Al-Amin

The referral order was full of details like the prosecution depended upon the testimonies of 13 eyewitnesses including the confessions of the victims, the examination of the defendant’s mobile phone, the Forensic Authority’s reports, the National Council of Childhood and Motherhood and the physiological and social research department at the Ministry of Social Solidarity.

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Kodak Agfa Presents : A 2022 Shubra Christmas in Photos

Kodak Agfa is back to Cairo’s Shubra to check on the Christmas spirit and let me tell you one thing for sure: Christmas spirit is still there but it is trying to survive the economic crisis.

Shubra's Christmas tree in Egypt's Cairo
The big Christmas tree and lights are on full power at one street only 

Compared to last year's Christmas, the difference is evident to anyone.

Christmas lights in Cairo's Shubra
Very few Christmas lights are seen on the street 

Sunday, December 25, 2022

A teaser of a Merry Christmas “25th December Edition”

A very Merry Christmas from Egyptian Chronicles who are celebrating it tonight and happy holidays too.

Christmas tree and lights in Cairo's Shubra
The big Christmas tree is back in Cairo's Shubra 

This is from Shubra where we had a nice Kodak Agfa tour last year if you remember 

Thursday, December 22, 2022

Thursday Rave and Rants: #EP6 “Mohamed Al-Amin and case 188/2022” (Part#1)

Here is the 6th episode from my podcast in Arabic and it is about the late media tycoon Mohamed Al-Amin.

Famous Egyptian businessman and former media tycoon Mohamed Al-Amin died last week while serving a three-years-prison for sexually assaulting underage girls in a case that shocked society less than a year ago.

Al-Amin who was spending his prison sentence at Wadi Al Natroun Centre for Correction and Rehabilitation was transferred to Private El-Salam hospital several months ago to be treated for cancer.

A Cairo Criminal Court sentenced Mohamed Al-Amin to three years and fined him LE 200,000 for sexually assaulting seven underage girls in May at an orphanage he established in Upper Egypt.

It was a first-degree sentence, and he was already challenging the first direct sentence.

Ironically, I wrote this post on a draft I made in May after his sentencing that for some reason I did not complete. This is what I wrote then “It is like the end of season one of his saga.”

I was writing that post then because I wanted to express how I and others believed that that was a light sentence for a grave crime.

As soon as the news of his death was announced, we found news websites and news groups following state-affiliated “United Media service” mourning him politely on its channels as well as social media accounts with no mention or regard whatsoever to his conviction.

UMS acquired Future Media Group which acquired CBC Network and Al-Watan under its umbrella in 2018 from Mohamed Al-Amin.

Those were the same channels and websites that shared the news of his arrest and his trial as an example no one is above the law.

Now to the main question about who Mohamed Al-Amin was.

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Seen in Cairo: Adly synagogue aka Sha’ar Hashamayim synagogue

Seen in Cairo on two busy and buzzy two different afternoons weeks apart including Tuesday afternoon, Adly synagogue aka Sha’ar Hashamayim synagogue standing high during the Hanukkah in the Egyptian Capital’s Downtown during Hanukkah.

Sha’ar Hashamayim synagogue
Adly synagogue reminds us of a bygone era 

Designed by Jewish Maurice Joseph Cattaui and was built by Catholic architect Eduard Matasek. The project started in 1899 and was funded by wealthy Egyptian and foreign Jewish families living in the country above them the Cattaui family and Mosseri family.

It was inaugurated in 1908 serving Sephardic Jews

Saturday, December 17, 2022

Thursday Rave and Rants: #EP5 “Charlie in Imbaba” or “Insidious: Imbaba school

Here is the latest episode of my Podcast in Arabic “Thursday rave and rants” and yet I publish it on Friday instead of Thursday.

I am sorry for the delay, but I think that if you follow this blog, you will know that I was not idle.

Between work, covering COP27 then procrastination then World Cup 2022, I could not find time to record episodes on time.

I was not idle also when it comes to completing the story of that Egypt’s Upper-Class girl called Safsaf that turned out to be the country’s most famous spiritual healer in the 20th century and the wife of the red Djinn king according to YouTubers in the 21st century.

Ms Safsaf took me down the rabbit hole for real transferring me to the uncharted world of Egypt’s Western spirituality that still thrives to this day and moment.

I planned initially two episodes but after research I found a huge subculture that needs to be brought to light, at least to stop the myth from spreading. The names I met in that research from presidents “you read it right”, artists and highly esteemed academics were a surprise to me, and they will be a surprise to you when you hear and read that story.

Anyhow here is tonight’s episode and it is about what happened last Thursday in an Imbaba school when a group of girls decided to play a Tiktok challenge called “Charlie”.

Here is the episode

Saturday, December 10, 2022

Qatar World Cup 2022 : Morocco goes to the World Cup Semi-Final ( And we are happy)

And after a game that wrecked the nerves of millions of Arabs and Africans around the globe, Morocco made history in the Qatar World Cup 2022 and I can’t ignore it.

Morocco won the match between it and Portugal on Saturday in Doha’s Al-Thumama stadium making history as the first African and Arab country ever to reach the world cup semi-finals.

We never ever imagined in our lives as Arabs and Africans thought that would see this see but it happened. World Cup’s semi-finals were more of the European/South American zone but the Moroccan national team in this world cup changed this rule as it seems.

This is a World Cup to remember without a doubt.

Needless to say, there is true joy and happiness in the Arab world I can speak about whether in Egypt, my country or other countries.

It is an honest joy that we need for real in those hard times.

This joy shows you that between the Arab people there is no real boundary or tension created by political regimes.

Anyhow this post is an excuse to share those beautiful moments from the after-the-game.

Boufal and his mom by Mahmoud Khaled
Boufal and his mom by Mahmoud Khaled 
The most epic moment is when Sofiane Boufal brought his mom to join him dancing in the field and it was like the best moment ever.

Monday, December 5, 2022

Dear Yahia Abu El-Gheit, your father was a noble man

Dear Yahia Abu El-Gheit,

I do not know if you are going to read this post one day or not, but I hope you stumble upon it when you search more about your late father Mohamed Abu El-Gheit.

I did not know your father personally, but we share many things it turned out that we read the same young adult fiction writers as teens and young adults also.

Mohamed Abu El-Ghait (1988-2022)

We also did not study media or mass communication officially, but we turned our passion into our profession with all its ups and downs, all triumphs and defeats in the most difficult of times in the most difficult places in the world to share the truth or to express an opinion.

I have to say your father is the kind of journalist I wish to be one day, but he was one of a kind.

I did not know your father personally, but we had many common friends who all shared a common opinion about him: he was a noble name.

He was an honourable honest young man in time terms like honour and honesty became a rarity in this big vast world especially in the world of media in the Arab world.

I am writing this on the day that your father was buried in London. “I hope one day that he would be buried in his home country Egypt which he truly adored and hoped the best for”

Aside from the London funeral, there was an online uncoordinated natural virtual vigil made of pure love. Many strange people virtually expressed their sorrow and condolences for the early departure of your father after a battle with a cursed disease that I hate more and more now as it takes our best.

Thursday, December 1, 2022

Watch this: Shafika , Egypt’s underground folk music Queen

First time I knew that there was a very famous Egyptian folk singer that most people in Cairo never heard before was through social media.

Yes, you may be surprised but social media opened a door for us the people of Great Cairo province who got no roots in the Nile Delta or Upper Egypt to know and listen to different styles or genres of Egyptian folk music.

The social media presented Shafika to me after 2011 when some tweeps began to speak about her and their memories with her cassette albums in Nile Delta while they were teens. When I searched online for her name, I found a photo of a heavily make-upped woman with 1980s style-blonde dyed hair.

Shafika in the 1980s
Shafika in the 1980s 

To be honest, I do not remember if I listened to her, but all I knew about her was that she was a famous underground folk music singer whose luck and talent did not lead her to be recognized in the mainstream in Cairo.

Time passes and this week, I was properly introduced to Shafika as Egyptian underground folk music Queen and I was reminded again that Egypt is too big and diverse to be constrained by the borders of Great Cairo.

The introduction was through that simple and short documentary about her: Shafika.

Monday, November 28, 2022

Qatar 2022 World Cup: When Israeli reporters faced the naked truth

One week passed after the start of the Qatar 2022 World Cup.

For the first couple of days, we had this rainbow controversy that faded away, the Iranian national team saga and the Serbian national football that made it clear it won’t surrender Kosovo.

We also had a bunch of Israeli reporters covering the Mondial who are shocked to see that they are being met coldly by Arab fans attending the great world event that is being hosted by an Arab country for the first time.

Israeli media in Qatar
Palestinian flags stalked Israeli reporters at the World Cup in Qatar

Arab fans made sure that Palestine reach Israeli households as it seems in the first week of the World Cup.

Here was the correspondent of Israeli public correspondent Corp “Kan” attempting to have an interview with a Qatari vender in a Qatari bazaar in some local market and the young man refuses.

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Post COP27: Minimum levels of wins for everybody

The 27th United Nations Conference on Climate Change “COP27” concluded on Sunday after two dramatic weeks with a statement that included a minimum level of wins for everybody and a huge concern for future COPs as fossil fuels companies are gaining more power and power.

The COP27 logo inside the conference in Sharm El-Sheikh "Bloomberg"

The biggest achievement we have is the victory of the island nations and developing countries in establishing a loss and damage fund.

Yes, it will take years to have this fund operating for real but we all saw the battle those nations had to fight in Sharm El-Sheikh.

Another interesting achievement was recognizing the food problem aka “safeguarding food security and ending hunger”. 

keeping the limit of global warming to 1.5 C as it was another achievement.

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Qatar World Cup 2022: A small step towards a greater achievement towards human rights

Qatar managed to do the impossible for real in hosting this World Cup tournament.

The impossible is not building huge stadiums and luxurious hotels thanks to the efforts and sweat of thousands of workers from around the globe, especially from Asia.

Germany's national team wearing "human rights" on their kit last year
Germany's national team wearing "human rights" on their kit last year 
Photo: AFP

The impossible is not about insisting to hold the most important sports event after the Olympics despite the turbulent decade in the Middle East where Qatar played a role larger amazingly than its size and population wisely.

Monday, November 21, 2022

Kodak Agfa Presents: The Blood Moon of Cairo

It is another belated, truly belated post. But once again it is not late to celebrate 2022’s last blood moon lunar eclipse.

Earlier this month, exactly on 8 November Earth had a lunar eclipse that many countries witnessed.

We were among the countries that witnessed

It was the first time I witnessed a blood moon in the mid of the buzzing Downtown Cairo.

A Cairo blood moon

I could not take more photos because I did not have my tripod where I was standing.

Sunday, November 20, 2022

Siri, show me orientalism in Qatar World Cup !! Tukoh Taka as an example

Two days ago, FIFA has launched its official fan festival anthem for the Qatar World Cup. It is the first “fan festival anthem” for the world cup.

It is called “Tukoh Taka”. It features Nicki Minaj, Maluma and Lebanese singer Myriam Fares. It is in English, Arabic and Spanish.

Myriam and her backup dancers 

Myriam appears while wearing some exotic dancer's suit, it is not even a traditional belly dancer's suit and you got the backup dancers wearing golden veils and I do not understand what the hell that was " I am sorry dear Ruby for slamming you decades ago when you sang while wearing a belly dancer suit in Holland" 

I do not know what “Tukoh Taka” means but I know the song is an insult to the Arab culture and is a blatant example of orientalism.

Thursday, November 17, 2022

COP27 at Sharm : 1.5C fight , loss and damage at Santiago Network and some interesting numbers to share

The 27th session of the United Nations Conference on Climate Change “COP27” is going to conclude after hours following many other hours full of drama, political, and economic talks about the future of Planet Earth's environment in Egypt’s Sharm El-Sheikh.

At the loss and damage meeting in the COP27 on Wednesday in Sharm 

In the past 48 hours, news reports came that we as people from the developing countries in the global South should not have our hope high because it seems the conclusions and recommendations as well as pledges of the globe North will be less impressive of the COP27 than the conclusions, recommendations and pledges announced in COP26.

According to official and unofficial sources openly and off the records there are divisions about issues including whether rich nations should set up a fund to cover irreparable damage being wrought by climate change, language addressing fossil fuels use and whether 1.5C should remain the explicitly targeted limit for planetary warming.

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Remembering Professor Hamed Gohar: A long belated respect for an Egyptian and Arab scientist

Google celebrated in the Arab world celebrated on Tuesday the 115th of Egypt and the Arab’s founding father of oceanography Dr Hamed Gohar with a cute and geeky doodle.

Hamed Gohar
Dr Hamed Gohar featured on 15 November's Google Doodle in the Arab World 

Thanks to Google, many Arab newspapers from the Gulf to the Ocean ran small news reports about who that Egyptian scientist was and how he was the first in his field in the region as well as he tried to spread his knowledge to the public audience through his famous nearly two-decades-long “Sea World” on Channel Two on Egypt’s State-owned TV.

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

World Cup 2022 Qatar: Too late to complain

Just days before the start of the World Cup 2022 in Qatar, there is a noticeable campaign against the Gulf state and its human rights record in the media.

World Cup 2022
Doha with that huge World Cup 2022 installation 
Photo :Bloomberg 
We suddenly found FIFA's former boss Sepp Blatter who is corrupt from top to bottom saying days before the start of the most important football tournament saying that choosing Qatar was a “mistake” and actually it was a deal and former French President Nicolas Sarkozy was behind it.

Monday, November 14, 2022

One week of COP27: Important numbers in the World Climate Coachella’s first week

One week has passed after the launch of the meetings of the 27th session of the United Nations Conference on Climate Change “COP27” in Sharm El-Sheikh under Egypt’s presidency and there are significant numbers that were shared in those seven days.

The most important and alarming number of all is the annual global carbon dioxide (CO2) emission from fossil fuels and cement in 2022.

COP27 gate in Sharm El-Sheikh "AFP"
COP27 gate in Sharm El-Sheikh "AFP"

According to the Global Carbon Project’s “Global carbon budget 2022”, global carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels are projected to hit an all-time high in 2022.

The Global CO2 emissions from fossil fuels and cement have increased by 1.0% in 2022 and the new estimates suggest, hitting a new record high of 36.6 billion tonnes of CO2.

The report attributes the increase in fossil emissions in 2022 to be primarily driven by a substantial increase in oil emissions as global travel continues to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic. Well, one look at Sharm El-Sheikh airport and we can see why.

The Coal and gas emissions grew more slowly despite both having record emissions in 2022 from what I understood. You can read more in that report at the World Economic Forum.

It amazes me how this report is not front and centre in the discussions of COP27.

Friday, November 11, 2022

11/11: Busy day in Sharm El-Sheikh's COP27

Worldwide 11/11 is officially associated with the famous Chinese Singles Day or Double 11, the unofficial holiday and shopping festival that celebrates singles and targets them.

Originally a bunch of Egyptian websites, shops and restaurants were planning to jump into the commercialization wagon (you can’t blame them in a time of economic crisis) but now 11/11 has become another thing.

It will be the day that the first US president visits Egypt since 2009 despite it will be a short visit. US President Joe Biden is heading to Sharm El-Sheikh to participate in the 27th session of the United Nations Conference on Climate Change aka COP27 before embarking on a tour in Asia.

Biden in COP26
Biden in COP26 "Reuters"

It will be a busy day in Sharm El-Sheikh because, on the same day, Saudi Arabia is having its own eco-summit in Sharm El-Sheikh (Do not ask me why they are holding it in Egypt) and of course, there are many questions about whether Biden will meet MBS.

Tuesday, November 8, 2022

#COP27 in Egypt: Possible Little less action, a lot of more talk ?

You probably know that Egypt is currently hosting the 27th session of the United Nations Conference on Climate Change aka COP27 and you probably following all the controversies following the COP this year which is to be expected.

A COP27 sunset "AFP"

Yes, it has been only 48 hours or actually 24 hours after the first day of the World Leaders Summit which the Egyptian Presidency called "The implementation summit” and there is a small victory which shows the true problem of COPs: This year the activists and global south governments from developing countries managed to include “Loss and damage” onto the agenda of the COP27.

Saturday, November 5, 2022

Thursday rave and rants: #Ep4 “Halloween’s special : A girl called Safsaf”

Here is the latest episode of my Podcast in Arabic “Thursday rave and rants” and yet I publish it on Friday instead of Thursday. I am sorry for that but those days it is not easy for real to keep things on time.

Here is the fourth episode of the podcast, it is a Halloween special that should have been broadcasted on Halloween eve but the original plan failed and I released it on Thursday instead.

You can hear the episode on Apple Podcast here.

I apologize for the sound problems but I recorded the episodes in parts.

Friday, November 4, 2022

The boy worker who brought a boy King back to life

On that day from hundred years ago, there was a boy who should have been playing like the rest of the boys of his age but instead, he was working alongside his father and his clan in very hard conditions. 

He was commissioned to bring water to a camp and to serve that camp's local workers and those foreigners with tea as they dug and searched in the rocky valley that looks more like a mountain than the usual valley in your mind for old treasures.

Hussein Abdel Rasoul 

His name was Hussein Abdel Rasoul and he was only 12 years old he discovered the first step that led down to King Tutankhamun’s tomb thanks to his water pottery jar according to the legend the rest was a new history by all measures.

Saturday, October 29, 2022

Kodak Agfa Presents: Egypt’s Fossil and Climate Change Museum in Fayoum’s Wadi El-Hitan Protectorate in 2017 ( #EP2 : When the desert was a forest )

It is the second episode in Kodak Agfa’s series of Egypt’s Fossil and Climate Change Museum in Fayoum’s Wadi El-Hitan protectorate in 2017.

In the first episode or part, we checked quickly the history of Egypt’s Wadi El-Hitan protectorate and its very fossil and climate change Museum in the heart of Fayoum’s desert. We also knew a lot about when whales swam and walked the land of Fayoum tens of millions of years ago or in other words when the desert was a part of a vest ocean.

I think it is a reason to reshare the famous Fayoum UFO because it is so beautiful.

Egypt's Fossils and Climate Change Museum in Fayoum
Fayoum's Fossil and Climate Change Museum aka Fayoum UFO 

Now this post is more about when the desert of Fayoum was a huge forest and dinosaurs roamed the earth but before that, I have to share with you a couple of photos I forgot to share with you when the desert was an ocean.

I know that it is out of focus and I could not fix it for real in those new online AI editing apps but I can’t ignore that full skeleton of Hitan Sea Cow aka Sirenia.

Hitan Sea Cow skeleton at Egypt's Fossil and Climate Change Museum
Hitan Sea Cow skeleton

Egypt’s Hitan valley had its own version of Sea Cow aka Hitan Sea Cow.

Hitan Sea Cow is the great grand ancestor of the dugong. That late Eocene mammal was found by the famous expedition of the Michigan University in Wadi El-Hitan.

Friday, October 28, 2022

Thursday rave and rants : #Ep3 “Latest Ramy Fahim trial’s updates”

I am still a newbie in that podcast issue and thus I do not know much about spreading the links or syndicating them easily

But here are the latest updates of Ramy Fahim’s trial in California in Arabic in the latest episode of my Arabic Podcast “Thursday Rave and Rants”

I also deal with those rumours about his case.

You can hear the episode on Apple Podcast here. 

I had an original plan to have a Halloween special scary episode but instead, I got busy that week that ended in an epic way economically nationwide.

Thursday, October 27, 2022

An early Halloween to remember in Egypt: Egyptian Pound devalued as Egypt reaches an agreement on IMF loan

It was expected again but the question was when.

Some said that it would be after the COP27 which is to be held in Sharm El-Sheikh after a couple of weeks while others said it would be after that call of protests by Pro-Muslim Brotherhood groups on 11/11 which everyone expects to be a failure.

I knew it was a matter of days when Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly announced on Wednesday that that batch of decisions included raising public sector employees’ minimum wages and maintaining electricity prices through June 2023.

But it would not be in October because it was the time of the upcoming scheduled Monetary Policy Committee “MPC” meeting

It did not pass 24 hours when we found out the Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee held an emergency meeting early Thursday morning to raise the key interest rates by two per cent (200 bps) to reach 13.25 %, 14.25%, 13.75%, and 13.57 % for the overnight deposit rate, the overnight lending rate, the rate of the main operation, and the discount rate, respectively.

Egypt's Central Bank in Downtown Cairo 

Following that decision, the Egyptian pound began its depreciation trip between 13.5% and 15% to record a low of 23.09 against the US dollar. “It lost about 16.3%”

In a couple of hours, the announcement came officially from Cairo: Egypt reached a 46-month staff-level agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) with a loan worth about USD 3 billion.

In a press conference by PM Madbouly, it was announced that the IMF’s US $3 billion loan is a part of a US $9 billion finance scheme that is expected to include one billion dollars from the sustainability fund and the US $5 billion from the country’s development partners.

Devaluing the Egyptian pound against the price of the US dollar was among the main issues if it were not the main issue standing against getting that IMF loan this time.

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Heavy rain, thunderstorm and hail plus partial solar eclipse: Egypt’s busy Tuesday

It is not one of those Tuesdays, but it is a Tuesday to remember.

Various parts of the country were hit with a wave of unstable weather conditions just as we geared up to see that partial solar eclipse which most of us missed as Egyptians because we are either at work or busy with the bad weather conditions.

I could not see the eclipse due to the cloudy weather.

It started with heavy rain and hail as usual from the East of Cairo that headed to the West to Cairo when we speak about the Great Cairo region aka Giza plus Cairo.

Tahrir square under the rain
Tahrir Square in the rain on Tuesday by Dr Mostafa El-Sadek 

Upscale New Cairo had the biggest share since the morning with the heavy rain and hail as well the biggest share of overflooding as usual.

People are sharing a video of a land drop in a street near upscale villas. 

Monday, October 24, 2022

Good news of the day: Ziyad El-Eleimy is pardoned

Egyptian former MP Ziyad El-Eleimy has been granted a presidential pardon on Monday and he returned back to his family, especially his mother.

Ziyad El-Eleimy
Ziyad El-Eleimy in the middle wearing a suit with his mother Ikram Youssef
on the left and Medhat Zahid, the leading member of the Social Democratic Party
on the right outside the prison on Monday

It was the good news of the day without a doubt.

The news was announced early Monday, and he was released from prison Monday afternoon to be received with heartful hugs from his mother, family and friends.

The photos were amazing and hopeful. I feel very happy for his mother Mrs Ikram Youssef who has been demanding her son’s release for three years tirelessly.

On Monday evening, Ziyad El-Eleimy released that video statement which can be an indication that the former MP won’t give stop defending the freedom of expression.

Saturday, October 22, 2022

Egyptian Chronicles now got a podcast in Arabic

Yup, you read it right. Egyptian Chronicles jumped on the wagon.

Here is my latest on social media, an Arabic podcast called “Thursday rave and rants” and mostly about true crime in Egypt and the Arab world. 

Thursday's rave and rants

It is just an experience, I will see how far it will go or how my rants will go.

I will try to make it weekly. It is not a long podcast. The episodes will not be long ones. 

Here is the podcast on Spotify and on Apple Podcast.

I am still taking baby steps.

So I hope you like it if you speak Arabic and do not forget to subscribe and share. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Egypt’s Femicide Continues: Her name was Kholoud Darwish and she was 20 years old

Her name was Kholoud Darwish, and she was only 20 years old. That young lady was killed earlier Monday in Port Said by her ex-fiancé after breaking up with him.

late Kholoud Darwish 

Kholoud Darwish is the latest known victim of the femicide wave in Egypt.

According to news reports, Kholould Darwish was a 20-years-old girl from Port Said who lost both parents and is living with her younger brothers at the house of her aunt.

Four months ago, she started to work in a textile factory at the Free Zone in Port Said where she met a young man “Mohamed Samir” who proposed to her, and she got engaged to him.

Samir turned out to be from another governorate, from Dahaqliya in Nile Delta and he was already married and had a child.

Some news sources say that he claimed that he was divorced while others say that she knew later.

Either way, Kholoud decided to end their engagement a couple of days ago. Since then, he threatened to kill her if she did not return to him.

Sunday, October 16, 2022

Jordan Peterson storms Al-Aqsa and Arab admirers are silent

Last Tuesday Conservative Canadian media influencer and clinical psychologist Jordan Peterson stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque in East Jerusalem with a group of radical Jewish settlers under the protection of Israeli occupation Forces.

The controversial figure regarded as the defender of the traditional family against the new world order stormed the second Holiest place for Muslims with none other than Ben Shapiro and a camera with a bunch of other settlers.

Ben Shapiro, David Friedman and Jordan Peterson
Ben Shapiro, David Friedman and Jordan Peterson during that event 
in Israel last week

Shapiro labelled Muslims and Arabs who criticized the move as “Radical Muslims”. It is not a surprise or shock, Shapiro’s views about the Palestinian issue and Palestinian rights are well known. He is a racist and nothing new.

Saturday, October 15, 2022

Ramy Fahim’s case: Irving Man pleads not guilty, new pretrial hearing set for early December

For those who are interested or following the updates of the Ramy Fahim case or rather trial, here are the latest things that are known.

A new pretrial hearing is set on 2 December at the court’s North Justice Center in Fullerton, in room N3 at 8.30 AM.

The new pretrial hearing was set by the court in its pretrial hearing on 13 September.

Ramy Fahim pleaded not guilty in the pretrial hearing that did not last more than five minutes. Fahim appeared in Court and spoke with his defence attorney Marlin Stapleton. Fahim must appear in person for the hearing.

Ramy Fahim 

To refresh your mind, Fahim was charged with two counts of murder after being arrested on 19 April for allegedly stabbing his co-worker 23-year-old Griffin Cuomo and his roommate 23-year-old Jonathan Bahm in their apartment.

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Watch This : Cairo’s Moulid Market in El-Sayeda

And I did it somehow.

Here is the video of Kodak Agfa’s very quick tour of the famous Moulid Market in El-Sayeda Zeinab.

On the occasion of Prophet Mohamed’s birthday, the famous El-Sa’d street hosts at least three weeks prior to the Moulid a huge local market for everything Moulid including Moulid sweets and Moulid dolls.

I know it is a bit late because the Moulid is technically over but it is not too late to celebrate it because we are still eating Moulid sweets in Egypt.

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

What does Gamal Mubarak really want !?

What does Gamal Mubarak really want !?

This question has been popping into my mind and repeating over and over with no clear answer.

Gamal Mubarak returned to the public scene in a big way on 6th October 2022. He paid a visit to his father’s tomb to meet a huge number of fans out of nowhere then visited the Memorial of the Unknown Soldiers and took photos with the soldiers and officers there.

Gamal Mubarak
Gamal Mubarak at the memorial of the Unknown Soldier in Cairo 
on 6 October (Cairo 24)

He did not act as a simple person without any official or unofficial responsibility, he was acting like an elected official or political leader in a rally accompanied by a big muscled body.

Videos from the merry tour were shared showing the fans of citizens telling him that the days of his father were better.

Now I got some questions. 

Sunday, October 9, 2022

Kodak Agfa Presents : Moulid El-Nabawy Market at El-Sayeda Zeinab 2022

Again Happy Moulid Al-Nabi to all Muslims around the globe.

Again, a quick explanation for those who do not know: Tonight, millions of Muslims around the globe celebrate Prophet Mohamed's “PBUH” birthday and each country has its own traditions in celebration. In fact, each governorate in Egypt has its own traditions for its important occasion.

It is the time for our special Kodak Agfa annual post to celebrate the Moulid El-Nabawy and this time it is from our favourite El-Sayida Zeinab area.

Due to work pressure, I went to El-Sayida Zeinab to see the famous makeshift Moulid El-Nabawy or Moulid El-Nabi’s market in Cairo in late September in the morning.

Moulid Nabi sweets in Egypt's Cairo
Moulid El-Nabi for sale at El-Sayeda Zeinab in Cairo 

It is not a secret that Egypt is facing economic hard times, but that makeshift market is always rich and vibrant despite it was not full of customers like at night as I went in the morning during a working day.

The makeshift market is located at the famous El-Sa’d Street right beside the El-Sayida Zeinab Mosque and Shrine which is currently undergoing restoration works.

Selling El-Moulid sweets and dolls in Egypt's Cairo
It is in the same location where the Ramadan lanterns and accessories 

It is the same street that hosts the annual Ramadan market as well as El-Sayeda Zeinab’s famous Moulid.

Saturday, October 8, 2022

Happy Moulid El-Nabi 2022 from Egyptian Chronicles “As well as from Mickey and Mimi”

Happy Moulid El-Nabi from Egyptian Chronicles to all of you celebrating the blessed event around the globe.

Happy Moulid Nabi to all Muslims around the globe especially those in troubled areas as well as times and Allah knows they are so many.

Today marks the anniversary of Prophet Mohamed's “PBUH” birthday according to the Islamic Hijri lunar calendar.

Officially it is commemorated on the 12th Rabi' al-awwal for Muslim Sunnis while Muslim Shias celebrate it on the 17th Rabi’ al-awwal.

A fact I have not known before is that Muslims in West Africa also celebrate it on the 17th

Whether it is on the 12th or 17th, Happy Moulid and Peace upon Prophet Mohamed and his family as well as his companions.

On this occasion, here is an old Mickey Magazine cover featuring Mickey and Mimi aka Minnie as Egypt’s Moulid Sultan on Horse and Moulid Doll.

Mickey and Mimi or Minnie celebrating the Moulid in Egypt
Mickey and Mimi or Minnie celebrating the Moulid in Egypt 

The cover as well inside illustrations I am sharing here were locally illustrated by Dar El-Hilal’s talented illustrators for Moulid El-Nabi’s special issue no.980 on 31 January 1980. Here is the issue for those interested.

Thursday, October 6, 2022

Days at the Egyptian Museum of Cairo : War, weapons and commanders Edition

On the occasion of the 49th anniversary of the October 1973 war aka Yom Kippur war as well as the 200th anniversary of deciphering Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs and the creation of Egyptology as an independent science, here are some of the Egyptian Museum of Cairo’s ancient treasures related to war, soldiers and great military leaders.

It is an excuse to share some of the Egyptian Museum of Cairo’s treasures I was lucky enough to snap their photos in past years.

Some of those pieces have been transferred to the New National Museum of Egyptian Civilization, Sharm El-Sheikh Museum, Cairo International Airport Museum and the Grand Egyptian Museum “GEM” which is said to be inaugurated next month.

And we will start with the unsung heroes of Egypt’s great war history: The soldiers aka the Warriors

Egyptian warriors figures at the Egyptian Museum of Cairo
Egyptian Pikemen from the Middle Kingdom 

We will meet them again in the post.

Now in December 2015, I took a photo of that group of bronze swords and knives.

Ancient Egyptian swords at the Egyptian Museum of Cairo
Bronze swords at the Egyptian Museum of Cairo 

 Here is also a collection of Ancient Egyptian daggers made of bronze. I found them on the second floor during then.

Monday, October 3, 2022

Rayan Suleiman: Say his name, Remember his face

His name was Rayan Suleiman and he was seven years old only.

Rayan Suleiman
Rayan Suleiman

On Thursday, Rayan was on his way from home in an occupied West Bank village from school with other pupils when Israeli occupation soldiers began to chase them. 

Sunday, October 2, 2022

Kodak Agfa Presents: Egypt’s Fossil and Climate Change Museum in Fayoum’s Wadi El-Hitan Protectorate in 2017 (#Ep1: When the desert was an ocean)

Kodak Agfa has not finished the Fayoum series. After all who would have thought that one quick-day trip to the Wadi El-Rayan protectorate would yield all those photos.

We stopped last time in Fayoum at its Magic Lake and its surrounding area. Now it is time to visit Fayoum’s crown jewel and its UNESCO World Heritage Site: Wadi El-Hitan.

A quick intro to Wadi El-Hitan: 150 km away from Cairo, Wadi El-Hitan which means in Arabic “Whales valley” is a paleontological site which hosts hundreds of whale fossils and other creatures from millions of years ago. Warning: This post is like a return back to a geology class but it is worth it.

Now Egypt’s Whale Valley is an extremely important paleontologically and historically site because it solves one of the biggest mysteries concerning the evolution of whales.

Unlike what you think, from 50 million years ago Earth’s most giant mammals aka the Whales were actually on-land animals that used to walk on legs before becoming giant gigantic mammals living in oceans.

Between 45-30 million years ago during the Eocene epoch, whales began their transition from on-land animals to Swimming big fishes as the world’s temperature was extremely high in its beginning and then cooled down by its end.

Among all the places, Wadi El-Hitan has the largest collection of whale fossils from that era as well as other animals and fishes in an amazing way considering the fact, we are speaking about a desert now.

If you do not know from millions of years ago the great Sahara including Egypt’s Western desert was part of a huge ocean and due to climate change “evidence for those deniers” we got this dry huge desert reminding us of what can happen again

The first whale fossil was unearthed in Wadi El-Hitan in 1902 and for 80 years there had been no serious excavation due to the difficulty to reach the site. In the 1980s, with the emergence of 4x4 safari trips to the site, more foreign Western Universities began to put an eye on that site.

In 1989, Egypt declared the area of Wadi El-Rayan a natural protectorate. Already Wadi El-Hitan is located inside it so it has been part of a protectorate then.

According to news investigative reports during the time of Mubarak, Egypt’s Western desert especially Fayoum dinosaurs and pre-history creatures haven for years Western Universities like Michigan University.

In 2005, UNESCO announced Wadi El-Hitan as World Heritage Site. It is the first Natural World Heritage site in Egypt. In 2008, it was officially inaugurated as an open museum.

Egypt's Fossils and Climate Change Museum in Fayoum
Egypt's Fossil and Climate Change Museum's open area 

Now the amazing site got two museums: The open-air Museum and the Fossil and Climate Change Museum.

In January 2016, Egypt inaugurated the Fossil and Climate Change Museum inside the Wadi El-Hitan protectorate.

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Seen from our balcony: Supposedly Jupiter

Monday evening till early Tuesday morning, Planet Jupiter was at its closest point to Earth in so many years.

Some websites say in some 100 years, others say in some 59 years either way the solar system’s biggest planet was in its closest position to us.

Some websites said that you could see by the naked eye as a point in our night sky and if you were so lucky then you could see three of its moons besides.

I tried my luck last Monday to capture it because what are the odds to see again up close and personal like that.

I do not have a telescope or magnification binoculars plus I live in a busy city that does not sleep actually so technically I was not expecting to see Jupiter or take good photos of it.

Here is the best I got or rather the best photo of the allegedly planet that was once idolized in our world.

Supposedly Jupiter from Egypt

To be honest I do not know if it is Jupiter or not but that was the brightest body in Cairo and Giza’s sky then.

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Repatriating the stone: Return back Rosetta stone to Egypt

Egypt celebrates on Tuesday the 200th anniversary of deciphering Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs and the creation of Egyptology.

Yes, 200 years ago in France, French Jean-François Champollion announced that he succeeded that deciphering the Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs. That moment created officially Egyptology and archaeology would never become the same.

A replica of Rosetta stone at Egypt's Egyptian Museum of Cairo
A replica of the Rosetta stone at Egypt's Egyptian Museum of Cairo

Champollion would not have done it if it were not for the Rosetta stone or Rashid stone. Found in 1799 by a French officer during Napoleon’s invasion of Egypt at the city of Rashid aka Rosetta, the stone actually contained a decree issued during the Ptolemaic dynasty in three ancient languages: Ancient Greek, ancient hieroglyphs and ancient Demotic language.

Rosetta stone was made from granodiorite in 196 BC, and it is believed that it was displayed at a temple in Sais “in Sharkia governorate” in Nile Delta. It is believed that the stone was transferred during the Mamluk era to be used in the construction of Fort Julien or as commonly known in Egypt as Fort Rashid or Citadel Qaitbey “Not to be confused with the other Citadel Qaitbey in Alexandra”.

It was wide to use ancient stones from ancient Egypt in the construction of buildings like Mosques, schools and forts in the time of the Mamluk era and the examples are many.

The decree inscribed on the stone was issued by a council of priests confirmed the royal cult of Ptolemy V. Egypt is truly the birthplace of the presidential cult

Fast forward to the 19th century and 1801, the English invasion came. 

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Egypt’s lost boys in the Mediterranean: Cyril and his brothers

Spanish sea rescue NGO Open Arms had a busy weekend. It rescued over 400 migrants stranded in the Mediterranean in smugglers’ boats

The biggest rescue of the weekend was on 19 September Sunday when Open Arms picked up after a search for more than 24 hours 294 migrants mostly Egyptians from an overcrowded barge south of Malta.

Migrants boat
The migrants' boat was found by the open arms "Open Arms"

The 294 migrants were at the sea for 5 days including 2 days without water asking for help. They included 49 women and 60 children.

On Saturday, the Open Arms picked up 59 migrants including 10 minors from Syria, Egypt, Sudan, and Eritrea, from an oil platform in international waters off Tunisia. A dead body of a migrant who was shot on the shore by the smugglers was discovered.

A Syrian mother and her son were found at the oil platform 

Last week, the Italian authorities arrested three Egyptians in Sicily’s Catania (which is a hotspot for migrants) on charges of smuggling a boat with 285 migrants on board that arrived in Italy on 31 August.

From three weeks ago, the security directorate in Libya’s Tobruk announced that it raided a warehouse used by some human trafficking gang where they kept over 200 illegal migrants from Egypt.

According to the official statement released on 9 September by the security directorate in the Eastern Libyan city near the borders with Egypt, 287 illegal Egyptian migrants were found in the warehouse. The Libyan authorities deported them to Egypt.

Many of those 287 illegal Egyptian migrants were not only underaged teens but rather children, real children.

Sunday, September 18, 2022

The Sabra we know very well: 40 years on a massacre (Warning : Extreme Graphic)

Last week, many Marvel fans in the Arab World were shocked to know that one of the Comics giant’s upcoming films will feature an Israeli superhero called Sabra who is originally a Mossad agent fighting none other than Arab terrorists.

We know firsthand in real life how Arab terrorists span to include every Palestinian in the occupied territories. We know also that for decades how Arabs and Muslims were depicted in comics but still, it is amazing how Marvel and DC got fans in the Arab and Muslim world in the first place, we are not that closed-minded.

We know how we have been depicted for decades in Western media.

The news about Sabra was like a slap because it was not only about glamourizing a superhero that works for a government that has no problem killing civilians as well as occupying other countries’ territories disrespecting international laws and ignoring security council resolutions.

But it was also about the name of that superhero: Sabra.

Aside from meaning patient in Arabic in its feminine form, Sabra is associated in the collective Arab memory, especially in the Levant with one of the worst and darkest moments in its modern history: The Sabra and Shatila massacre.

Sabra and Shatila Massacre
Remembering Sabra and Shatila's victims in 1999 
"Getty Images" 

In case you do not know my dear reader, from 16 to 18 September 1982 radical Lebanese Christian Lebanese Forces Militias killed between 850 to 1500 Palestinians and Shia Lebanese in Sabra neighbourhood and Shatila refugees camp by the orders of the Israeli forces. “Some say that the victims real number reached 3500 people”

"Warning: extreme graphic photos after the break" 

Monday, September 12, 2022

Queen Elizabeth II and Egypt : In photos

Queen Elizabeth II is dead, Long Live King Charles III

And the day has come and the modern world’s longest-serving monarch Queen Elizabeth II has passed away.

96-years-old Queen Elizabeth, the Queen of the United Kingdom passed away earlier Thursday afternoon at Balmoral Castle in Scotland ending a true era.

Queen Elizabeth II and King Tutankhamun
Queen Elizabeth in front of King Tutankhamun's mask at his special exhibit 
in London in 1972 at the British Museum  "Getty"

It is unclear what the old monarch suffered from.

Her eldest son-73-years-old Charles has become King Charles III and his wife in some irony of fate became Queen consort, Camilla. She had the last laugh as it seems against all odds somehow after decades of being scorned globally.

It is almost the end of the era for real but not the end of that era because Henry Kissinger is still alive and kicking and honestly, he has been more dangerous than Queen Elizabeth II with all that she represented from British colonialism and Monarchy to the end of that talk.

The Second Elizabethan era ended as the UK itself is facing a lot of challenges whether economically or politically in a very critical time in the world.

According to an irony of fate, that era started in a challenging way for young Elizabeth too as the Sun began to set on the British Colonial Empire.

Now after this quick intro, here is a quick look at Queen Elizabeth II and Egypt aside from the long, complicated and ugly then friendly relations between the British governments and Egyptian administrations.

Contrary to my knowledge and the knowledge of millions of Egypt, Queen Elizabeth actually visited Egypt somehow.