Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Thursday Rants and Rave : #EP12 “The Rise and Cancelling of Saad Lamajarred”

This is what I ranted in Arabic about in tonight’s episode of “Thursday Rants and Rave” which I am posting two days later: The rise and fall of Moroccan singer Saad Lamajarred.

Honestly, I was not planning to speak and write about Lamajarred this week. I was planning to write about how the family of Malcom-X is suing the FBI, CIA and New York Police Department for his assassination 58 years ago.

The move of the Shabazz ladies comes after three men including a deceased one who were originally convicted for the famous African American rights activist were fully exonerated by New York’s attorney general after finding out that the prosecutors in their case withheld evidence.

For me, a person who lives in the Middle East, the case of Malcolm X, his life and assassination as well as the quest for justice following covers many issues concerning minorities' rights, cults, revisions, civil rights movements, security and the justice system. Malcom-X was only 39 years old when he was killed in New York and from beyond his grave, he still hunts down US authorities.

But 37-year-old Saad Lamajarred suddenly appeared with his trial this week in Paris to reopen another door of issues to be discussed.

Saad Lamajarred
Saad Lamajarred is convicted 

Moroccan singer Saad Lamajarred was sentenced by a Paris Criminal Court to six years in prison for raping a young French lady in a case that goes back to October 2016.

Quickly for those who are unfamiliar, 1985-Saad Lamajarred is considered Morocco’s most famous Arab pop singer in our current times after his music videos broke YouTube’s viewership records in 2013.

The eldest son of famous actors in Morocco, Lamajarred began an A-List Celebrity in the Arab world when his song “LM3ALLEM” got one billion views. Unprecedented achievement for Moroccan singer, Saad Lamajarred was awarded a Knight Order Honor by King Mohamed IV on Youth Day in 2015.

Lamajarred has been by far the Moroccan regime’s poster boy positioned as the hottest and most Moroccan successful export in the Arab world. But it was for a short time before the world would see the dark of the moon.

In October 2016, Saad Lamajarred made international headlines for all the wrong reasons.

He was arrested at Paris Marriott Champs Elysees Hotel on charges of rape and assault of a 20-year-old French woman while intoxicated "Cocaine plus alcohol" on 26 October 2016 in Paris. He was detained pending an investigation into the charges in France. The Lamajarred saga started from there and it has it all: sex, drugs, society, and politics ..etc

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Save Cairo Houseboats : And the Kitkat’s houseboats replaced by nightclubs boats

Do you remember what happened to the famous Cairo Houseboats last summer!?

When Egypt’s Ministry of irrigation sent an eviction notice to 32 houseboat owners mostly in Imbaba’s KitKat area e allegedly for encroachment despite being there for decades and paying their bills like model citizens!?

During then the only thing those owners were able to do for real was to make noise through a social media campaign called “Save_Cairo_houseboat” led by Egyptian renowned author Dr Ahdaf Soueif focusing on the old residents of the houseboats above them Mrs Ikhlas Helmy.

Following the media campaign and acting upon presidential directives as usual Mrs Helmy was given a rented apartment with a Nile view in some building in Zamalek island owned by Misr Insurance properties. 

Ironically, the old lady spoke about how she left a similar house decades ago to live in a blue houseboat that would be a trade mark for the KitKat houseboats.

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Kodak Agfa Presents : Egypt’s Fossil and Climate Change Museum in Fayoum’s Wadi El-Hitan Protectorate in 2017 (#EP4: A Desert to remember)

We are back in the fourth post of our series about Egypt’s Wadi El-Hitan Climate Change Museum in Fayoum.

In February 2017, I paid a visit to Wadi El-Hitan or the Whale valley in a quick visit to the beautiful Fayoum governorate.

In the first post of this series, we shared the history of Egypt’s fossilized Jurassic Park as well as part of its indoor museum. In the second post, we continued our visit to the very rich indoor museum in the valley. In the third post, we saw part of the very interesting outdoor museum in the desert.

In this part, I am focusing on the outdoor museum’s interior or rather exterior aka the desert where the outdoor museum is located aka the amazing and breathtaking Wadi El-Hitan as well as the way back to Wadi El-Rayan.

Wadi El-Hitan's Fossil and Change Museum in Egypt's Fayoum
Inside Wadi El-Hitan Protectorate 

Aside from the priceless exhibits from millions of years ago, this place is like a haven for those who love desert nature and photography for real.

Wadi El-Hitan's Fossil and Change Museum in Egypt's Fayoum
Formations that were once part of a big continental ocean millions of years ago 

The formations that were once part of the prehistoric ocean bed make you feel small.

Friday, February 17, 2023

Thursday rave and rants: #Ep11"Latest updates about Ramy Fahim’s trial plus Jeffery Dahmer wannabe gets 45 years in prison "

This is what I ranted in Arabia about in tonight’s episode of “Thursday Rants and Rave” in Arabic: the latest updates about Ramy Fahim’s trial in the United States, the launch of Fahim foundation and a bunch of Jeffery Dahmer's news including the prison sentencing of his own wannabe. 

Here is the latest update concerning Ramy Fahim's trial as well as the return of his mother former Minister Nabila Makram to the public scene in a big way.

First of all, for newcomers who don’t know who that young man is, Ramy Mounir Fahim was living in Irving, California was charged in April 2022 with special circumstances murder for allegedly stabbing his co-worker Griffin Cuomo “23 years old” and the co-worker’s roommate Jonathan Bahm “23 years old” to death in their apartment in Anaheim.

On 10 February Orange county Court set 2 June 2023 for the upcoming pretrial hearing.

To refresh your memory Ramy Fahim is facing 8 counts related to murder with special circumstances that make him eligible for a death sentence in California.

Fahim has pleaded not guilty. He is still in detention.

Back in Cairo, his mother, the former State Minister of Immigration and Egyptians abroad had a very active three weeks that witnessed her return to public life in a big way since leaving the cabinet in August.

On 27 January, Nabila Makram launched at Al-Masa Hotel in Nasr City her new Fahim Foundation for Mental Health.

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Egypt’s former top auditor Genena is a free man pending investigation

 Egypt’s former top auditor Hesham Genena is officially now a semi-free man after fully completing his five-year sentence in prison for spreading false news about the Egyptian armed forces and the country in 2018.

Hisham Genena
Hesham Genena outside his house Tuesday evening in New Cairo by his 
daughter Shorouk Genena 

Why is he a semi-free man!? Well, after leaving prison on Tuesday, he was detained shortly by the State security prosecution for another case and then he was released pending the investigation in the case that goes back to 2018.

It is another chapter in his saga that started several years ago.

Genena is currently accused of spreading false news and being a member of an illegal group in State security case No.441 of 2018.

State security case No.441 of 2018 was a large case then where a number of media and social media figures including known liberal and atheist figures were accused of spreading false news and being members of the Muslim Brotherhood including blogger Wael Abbas who is known to be anti-MB even before 2011.

Most of those who have been arrested and were not affiliated with the MB, in that case, have been released  pending investigation including journalist Moataz Wadnan who conducted the interview with Genena in the year 2021.

I think that those who hoped that Genena would play a political role after coming out of prison should not keep their hopes high. Needless to say, his statements about corruption in the state are still making rounds, especially in times of economic crisis.

But one thing is for sure the Hesham Genena saga is not over, it always has twists and surprises.

Anyhow, I think that the man needs to take some time off to spend with his family.

Happy Valentine’s Day from Ancient Egypt : From Raherka and Meresankh to the World

Happy Valentine’s Day to all those who are celebrating it sincerely.

Here is another special couple from the Egyptian Museum of Cairo in late 2015: Ancient Egyptian couple Raherka and Meresankh.

Ancient Egyptian Couple at the Egyptian museum of Cairo
Raherka and Meresankh 

Raherka and his wife Meresankh were an ancient Egyptian couple. They were not a Royal couple but rather commoners despite Raherka being actually an important employee in the Royal palace and holding important responsibilities.

Saturday, February 11, 2023

Seen in Cairo: King Farouk’s Golden Cradle

Once Seen in Cairo: On the occasion of King Faoruk's birthday on 11 February 1920 “11 February is an interesting day for Egypt’s rulers as it seems", here is the special gold-painted handmade baby cradle of Egypt and Sudan's late ruling king from Mohamed Ali Dynasty.

King Farouk I's golden wooden cradle 

He was then Crown Prince of Upper Egypt

The Photo was taken at a special temporary exhibit at Prince Mohamed Ali Manial Palace estate in January dedicated to the retrieved lost Mohamed Ali Family’s artefacts.

Friday, February 10, 2023

Thursday rave and rants: #Ep10 "The Jerusalem serial killer that was never caught"

This is what I ranted about in tonight’s episode of “Thursday Rants and Rave” in Arabic: The unsolved or actually the solved case of the Jerusalem serial killer in the late 1990s yet unclosed. 

I was planning to rant about another infamous serial killer tonight but then the latest escalation in the occupied Palestinian territories drew my attention to a serial killer that actually made a surprise cameo in the background of the latest and deadliest attack against Israeli settlers in East Jerusalem in 15 years.

Chaim Pearlman with Itemer Ben Gvier in 2010

Nobody thought that this cold case would come out of the past to hunt down a whole society as well as the whole world forcing us to ask questions about what if again and again.

It is officially a cold case because till now no one was convicted despite we got suspects and victims.

That cold case goes back to the year 1997 in East Jerusalem. 

On 30 November 1997, a Palestinian was stabbed and lightly injured in Shmuel HaNavi Street which borders Beit Yisrael and is considered another Ultra-Orthodox stronghold but no one paid attention. 

On 17 February 1998. 14-year-old Hamzeh Obeidieh of the Shoafat neighbourhood in occupied East Jerusalem who used to work in a local grocery store was attacked. He was stabbed and had a slight injury by an unknown assailant who covered his face at Mea Sheariam's Batei Warsaw quarter.

On 10 March 1998, that unknown masked assailant did it again. He attacked, stabbed, and slightly injured 17-year-old Nasser Bsharat of the Jaba neighbourhood at Reshit Chochmah street. Bsharat also worked in a local grocery store.

Two days later, on 12 March a new attack took place. 35-year-old Hassan Ka’abneh was attacked and stabbed severely in a main street in the ultra-Orthodox Haredi and Hasidic Jews neighbourhood of Mea She'arim. There was no mention of what time the attack was.

Ka’abneh’s attack was a turning point in the investigations.

Sunday, February 5, 2023

A sign of times: AUC students protest against university tuition fees

“Fees Must Fall” A group of the American University of Cairo students chanted on Thursday roaming the AUC campus in New Cairo demanding that the upscale University lower its fees as the Egyptian pound loses more and more of its value against the US pound.

The slogan of the protest was "Fees Must Fall"

It was not a big protest but from what I understand it is representing a group of students that is not small.