Tuesday, March 22, 2022

A Mother’s Day to remember in Egypt: A new drop in the Egyptian Pound’s value

What we expected and feared happened now.

On Monday, The Monetary Policy Committee “MPC” of the Central Bank of Egypt “CBE” announced raising the Key interest rates for the first time in five years by 1%.

The MPC raised the overnight deposit rate, the overnight lending rate, and the rate of the main operation by one percent (100 basis points) to 9.25 percent, 10.25 percent, and 9.75 according to Ahram Online for the first since 2017.

The Central Bank of Egypt in Downtown Cairo 
"March 2020" 
You may think 1% is a small percentage but you must think again because it had huge consequences.

The Egyptian Pound plunged into its lowest value in five years against the US dollar going down from LE15.6 for buying and LE15.7 for selling on Sunday to LE18.1 for buying and LE18.2 for selling on Monday.

The Egyptian Pound dropped by 10.67% against the US dollar accordingly. It is worth mentioning that JP Morgan estimated earlier in March that the Egyptian Pound to be overvalued by 15%.

Changing the key interest rate was a matter of urgency because the monthly meeting of the MPC was on Thursday not on Monday or Sunday. Usually, these big economic decisions are announced on Thursday right before the weekend. In some black comedy news, the committee announced it would not convene next Thursday.

Monday, March 21, 2022

Happy Mother’s Day 2022 from Egypt

Happy Mother’s Day 2022 from Egypt.

Happy Mother's Day 

Taken in 1974, I wonder what happened to that mother and her baby. I hope they are well. She looked so beautiful. 

I tried to know more about that photo taken in 1976 for a young mother from the countryside breastfeeding her baby with a group of women but I failed.

Monday, March 14, 2022

Kodak Agfa Presents : Luxor’s Deir El-Bahry aka Hatshepsut temple in February 2012 (Part-2)

And we continue our short and quick tour in Hatshepsut Mortuary Temple in Luxor’s Deir El-Bahry in February 2012.

You can refresh your memory and see more about the history of the famous Egyptian Queen’s temple and the history of its excavation as well as the first lower floors or courts in the temple itself in the first part of this two-series post.

On the way to Hatshepsut Mortuary Temple in Deir El-Bahry
On the way to Hatshepsut temple in Deir El-Bahry 

An important disclaimer: I included here only the parts I have seen in this huge complex. There are even more parts that I missed. 

Now to the middle of the second terrace or the court which you reach through a ramp from the lower terrace or court.

Taking a photo at the Middle terrace
The middle terrace of Hatshepsut mortuary temple 

The middle terrace measures 75m deep by 90 m wide according to Wikipedia and it is fronted by colonnades. There are lots of details on this terrace.

Sunday, March 13, 2022

Coronavirus on the Nile: 25 months of Covid-19 in Egypt in graph

it is 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. “Wishful thinking”

This time it is a quick look into official Covid-19 numbers in Egypt after 25 months since its arrival to the country in February 2020.

A file photo of Egyptian elderly vaccinated "Ministry of Health" 

The usual disclaimer: According to Minister of Health Hala Zayed in January 2021, 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 coronavirus isolation public hospitals in the country according to official statements, not the cases in private hospitals 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, 2021 and 2022.

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

#IWD2022 : Thanks Aisha Ratab and Omina Gadalla, Egyptian women are judges at State Council

Yesterday was International Women’s Day and on the occasion of that day this year, I want to salute two specific Egyptian women who stood against establishments to see Egyptian women as judges at the Egyptian State Council at last in March 2022.

The famous presidential decree 446/98  issued last year to appoint 98 women judges to the State Council on the Egyptian Judiciary Day after long rejection from the council comes at the tip of an iceberg of a long struggle led by courageous Egyptian women against all odds.

An Egyptian woman judge on the panel at State Council
An Egyptian woman judge on the panel at State Council on Saturday in Cairo 
"Mohamed Lotfy" 

First, Egypt’s State Council is in charge of handling administrative disputes and appeals as well as reviewing draft laws.

Second, here is the story of two women in two centuries with one cause.

Sunday, March 6, 2022

Coronavirus on the Nile: Egypt’s Covid-19 February 2022 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 third February to pass in Egypt during the Covid-19 pandemic, unfortunately.

Egypt was introduced to Coronavirus in February 2020 when a Chinese national tested positive for Covid-19 and the rest is history like in the rest of the world in the past two years.

Egyptian girls wearing masks during coronavirus pandemic
Egyptian girls wearing masks during coronavirus pandemic 
"Nabil Mohsen for Shutter Stock" 

Hopefully inshallah, it will be the last Covid-19 February.

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

This statement was repeated this January by the Health Ministry officials too.

First, the official daily cases of coronavirus in Egypt

Saturday, March 5, 2022

The dilemma of Russia Today and Sputnik; freedom of expression or misinformation

On Wednesday, the European Union “EU” issued sanctions of Russian media outlets “Russia Today” new website and Sputnik news agency banning them in the EU countries.

Social media networks began to suspend the English accounts of Russia Today “RT” and Sputnik, their Arabic services are still operating normally.

A file photo of RT TV truck parked at the Red Square in Moscow "AFP"
 A file photo of RT TV truck parked at the Red Square in Moscow
YouTube decided that RT and its subchannels are going to get revenues.

RT used to get millions of US dollars from the views considering the fact it was the “Most watched news network on YouTube in 2020” according to its own claim.

In the past 48 hours, I found my timeline whether on Egyptian and Arab Facebook or Twitter timelines discussing whether the sanctions on RT and Sputnik was unfair, an attack on freedom of expression and another sign of the West’s hypocrisy and double standards.

I have read in those hours that the West only picks the freedom of expression cards for its own interests but when it comes to its national security, it blocks RT and Sputnik. “You can guess who is saying and repeating this.”

Personally, I am facing a dilemma as someone who believes in freedom of expression as well as the fight against misinformation because I know there is a thin line between them, and some will use the fight against misinformation to crackdown on freedom of expression and freedom of information.

Should RT and Sputnik be banned or not?

Thursday, March 3, 2022

On the sideline of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine : The double standards of the sports world

This is not “What about-ism” but about clear double standards when it comes to the sports world.

First of all, I must be clear. I am totally against the Russian invasion of Ukraine and I am totally against Russian propaganda or any other propaganda.

Yet, on the sideline of the awful invasion of Ukraine, there are certain issues that provoke me whether in the international media or the international reactions.

Among those international reactions, the decision of FIFA and UEFA to suspend Russian clubs and national teams from all competitions on  Monday over the Russian invasion.

For years, we were told in the Arab world that politics should get involved with sports.

That’s what we are being told whenever we bring up similar demands to suspend clubs of countries involved in military attacks and invasions in the Arab world.

For instance Israel and Palestine or the biggest elephant in the room.

Thanks to Egyptian Football fans, I knew that FIFA ignored the demands of Palestinian activists to suspend the activities of 6 Israeli clubs built on occupied Palestinian West Bank territories in a clear violation of international laws and UN Security Council resolutions. 

The Syrian activists urged the international sports federation to ban the official Syrian sports federation and official national teams that follow the Al-Assad regime and the answer they get every time is a lecture about how we should not mix politics with sports.

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

#Coronavirus on the Nile : March 2022’s Covid-19 coverage in Egypt and Arab world “Live”

It is a new month under the Coronavirus pandemic, unfortunately.

It is the third March Egypt and several Arab countries live through the Covid-19 pandemic.

Needless to say thanks to the Russian invasion to Ukraine, the whole world forgot within a week something called “Coronavirus”.

Egyptian nurse holding a Covid-19 vaccine dose "UNICEF" 

Anyhow, there is good news this month as starting from Mid February the daily cases of coronavirus in Egypt and other Arab countries became to decline again and it seems that we are at the end of that Omicron wave that hit hard. “I know first hand”.

Hopefully inshallah we witness the dismissal of this virus soon and not its comeback in another variant due to the Russian invasion and the new Ukrainian refugees' crisis.

Please stay safe and try to get the booster if you can.

Get vaccinated if you are not vaccinated, please.

Below is our live coverage of everything coronavirus in Egypt and the Arab world in March.