Friday, March 29, 2024

Watch in Ramadan: “Stern: The Man, the Gang and the State”

So, I am sharing this new documentary released and produced by Al-Jazeera Documentary “Stern: The Man, the Gang and the State”

Directed by Egyptian documentary filmmaker Hossam Serhan, this is a highly and timely documentary about one of the founding fathers of Israel and its army.

The documentary is about Avraham Stern and his Zionist militia “Lehi”.

Lehi and its members above them Stern were officially recognized as terrorists by the British occupation.

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Kodak Agfa presents in photos and video: Al-Sayeda Zeinab Ramadan Market 2024 “The Economic Crisis Edition”

“I will shock you, ask me what is the price of this huge red lantern?” The old vendor at Al-Sayeda Zeinab Ramadan Makeshift market told me.

“Shock me” I replied.

ِA scene from El-Sayeda Zeinab Ramadan Market 2024 in Cairo من سوق رمضان فى منطقة السيدة زينب بالقاهرة
That huge big handmade lantern made of cloth is sold for LE 4,000

“It is sold for LE 4,000,” he told me.

This is the price of the largest size of the Egyptian handmade traditional lantern whether made by cloth like the one above or like the traditional glass and tin.

Usually, those sizes are sold to restaurants, companies, embassies and shops as well as exported to other Arab countries.

Ramadan Kareem again

This post is not your usual Ramadan celebratory post celebrating Egypt’s traditional Ramadan lanterns and markets because it comes at a time of economic crisis.

ِA scene from El-Sayeda Zeinab Ramadan Market 2024 in Cairo من سوق رمضان فى منطقة السيدة زينب بالقاهرة
Lanterns sold in front of El-Sayeda Zeinab Mosque in Cairo

Although there has been a ban on imported lanterns since 2015 “I think the ban was older than that” which made the Egyptian traditional lanterns not only survive but also regain their power regionally, the prices of the lanterns went up by 20%-40% compared to the last year.

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Ramadan Arabian Nights 2024 : Scheherazade tells you Ramadan Kareem from Egypt and “#CeasefireNow in #Gaza” {Updated}

First, Ramadan Kareem

Second, I cannot post the usual Ramadan 1001 Arabian Audio Nights as I have done in the past years and there are two genocides taken on Egypt’s borders whether in Gaza or in Sudan.

1001 Arabian Audio Nights are another Egyptian entertainment tradition to celebrate the Holy Month, but it is not time to celebrate and entertain when millions of people including Arabs and Muslims are displaced and starving by the worst kind of armies and militias in both nations as the world especially our shameful Arab world is just a spectator.

Ramadan decorations in an Egyptian alley in a Giza working-class area
The Palestinian flag "Muhammed Hamdy"

There is another Egyptian tradition that we have been taught since childhood, do not raise the sound of music or hold any festivities if your neighbour has lost someone and is in mourning. I was taught that lesson personally by my own grandma may Allah bless her soul. 

Two of our closest neighbours are not only mourning but they are also displaced, starved and killed.

We can’t enter the aid and we can’t stop the genocides yet the least thing we can do to them is to lower the TVs and radios. 

This is what I believe and honestly, I have no appetite whatsoever to watch any TV series or gossip show in that TV Ramadan marathon.

FYI: I had hopes for the truce and even prepared something if the truce was made but then Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu does not want a truce or any ceasefire because he knows it is his end for real.

Third, despite there will be no 1001 Arabian Audio Nights this year, there are other important things to share that it is timely. 

For instance: This post shows you how working-class and rural Egypt celebrated Palestine and Gaza during Ramadan.

Saturday, March 9, 2024

Watch this: The Arab League slams Israel in front of the ICJ

I do not know how I missed this, but you must watch the official advisory opinion of the League of Arab States “LAS” at the International Court of Justice “ICJ” on Israeli violations in Palestine earlier this month at the Hague.

If you like the official advisory opinion of Egypt then you will be amazed at what international law veteran expert and professor Ralph Wilde said.

LAS is among 52 countries and 3 international organizations the United Nations General Assembly requested from the ICJ their advisory opinion regarding the legal consequences of the Israeli policies and practices in the occupied Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem in 2022.

Wilde spoke about the right of self-determination and how for over 70 years the Palestinians have not enjoyed it like the rest of the peoples in the world.

This violation of Palestinian self-determination is ongoing, and unresolved. Two key elements are: First, Palestinian people not displaced from the land proclaimed to be of Israel in 1948, and their descendants, have been forced to live as citizens— presently they constitute 17.2 per cent — of a State conceived to be of and for another racial group, under the domination of that group, necessarily treated as second class, because of their race.

Second, Palestinian people displaced from that land, and their descendants, cannot return.

These are serious breaches of the right of self-determination, the prohibitions of racial discrimination and apartheid, and the right of return. They must end, immediately.

Many people were disappointed and shocked that LAS chose a non-Arab to represent it in front of the ICJ but honestly, Ralph Wilde made an argument to remember.

It is not about Arab or non-Arab at this time.

One must admit we did not expect the LAS’ argument would be that strong because LAS is truly a dead useless organization when you think about it.

Friday, March 8, 2024

Gaza War 2023: This is what the real humans of Gaza are saying “International Women’s Day edition”

Today marks International Women’s Day and the world celebrates it superficially under slogans of “empowerment” and “gender equality” while women suffer all over the world in one way or another.

It is not really a “happy International Women’s Day” in Gaza “nor in Sudan or Congo or in Syria too FYI”

The following are facts the world is ignoring actually why it is a sad International Women's Day.

  • At least 9,000 women have been killed, and many more are under the rubble.
  • On average, 63 women are killed in Gaza per day - 37 are mothers who leave their families behind.
  • In North Gaza where there is ongoing famine, 95% of pregnant and breastfeeding women face severe food poverty.
  • Nearly 9 in 10 women find it harder to access food than money.
  • 4 in 5 women indicated that at least one of their family members had to skip meals in the past weeks.
  • 95% of the mothers in North Gaza are going without food.
  • More than 690,000 menstruating women and girls currently have no privacy and limited access to menstrual hygiene supplies.
  • There are approximately 50,000 pregnant women in Gaza who are at risk of malnutrition.
  • Abortion without any medical care follow-up skyrocketed in Gaza by 300%

The source of this info is the UN agencies.

Wednesday, March 6, 2024

The Egyptian Pound March 2024 ‘s devaluation in March: A new level of challenges

This is the first true Egypt-centric post after weeks of covering the Gaza war. “I will continue covering this war, this post is exceptional.”

In case you do not know the Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee “MPC”, in an extraordinary meeting, decided on Wednesday to increase the deposit and lending rates for overnight and the main operation rate of the Central Bank by 600 basis points, reaching 27.25 %, 28.25 %, and 27.75%, respectively.

Additionally, credit and discount rates were raised by 600 basis points to reach 27.75 %.

As a result of this decision, the Egyptian pound experienced a significant drop on Wednesday, declining by 6.2 % to approximately LE 50.1 against the US dollar and LE 54.5 against the euro.

Following the announcement by the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE), the Egyptian government revealed that it had signed an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to extend the current $3 billion loan deal to $8 billion.

According to the officials, these measures “which are actually a main condition to get the IMF loan” are needed to curb the inflation and the foreign currency black market as we used to have two US dollar prices.