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.