Egyptian Chronicles: February 2013

Thursday, February 28, 2013

#HarlemShake at #MB Heart and Mind

And the Egyptian youth did it for real and they performed the Harlem Shake in front of the most dangerous place in Cairo and I am not speaking about intelligence or ministry of defense or Presidency. I am speaking about the Muslim brotherhood headquarter in Moktam area. Yes they went and did as promised.
Hundreds of boys went and did the Harlem Shake
Here it is from Al Masry Al Youm
Al Masry Al Youm coverage
Here it is from El Badil Newspaper
El Badil coverage
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When Policemen fight each other !!

The bearded police officers expelled and suspended from work because of their beard tried to set up a sit in at the ministry of interior in Downtown Cairo yesterday in order to return back to the force. Yet their sit in did not continue that long because their colleagues tried to disperse their sit in by force as usual. What happened next between them was recorded on camera and I will leave you to judge.
Police vs. Police
The sit in of the bearded officers is still there in front of the ministry of interior .
It is against police norms to grow a beard during the service. After 25 January Revolution a group of officers and policemen decided to grow bread in accordance with their Islamic beliefs. “Oh yes in Egyptian police force”
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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

#Luxor Balloon Crash : How much sad news we need per day !!??

Today Egyptians woke up today on a disaster in Luxor , a hot air balloon crashed today killing 19 passengers including 18 tourists and 1 Egyptian worker. The hot air balloon caught fire up in the sky and crashed in to a sugar cane field in Luxor. It exploded from 1,000ft (300 metres) up in the sky , it is completely horrifying. I am really sorry.
What is really horrifying that people in other balloons filmed and took photos for the whole tragedy.
Al Jazeera Mubshar Misr got a footage for the balloon and it was scary.
Exclusive for Al Jazeera Mubshar Misr
Photographer Christopher Michel was in another balloon and saw the tragedy , even tweeted it.
 Michel took some photos for the balloons including the unfortunate one today.
I do not know which balloon it was.
The photos on the wires are extremely sad especially when journalists spoke in the media about the smell of the burned flash. Here are photos taken by Haithem Tabei  from AFP
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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

#Mansoura Joins #Tanta and #PortSaid

The city of Mansoura , the capital of Dakahlia govenorate in Nile Delta has joined the cities of Tanta and Port Said when it comes to unrest , real unrest.

Early Monday we woke up on clashes in  Mansoura between protesters and Muslim brotherhood members at the Governorate HQ when the protesters blocked it with the main way starting some sort of sit in . We knew that Muslim brotherhood sent its followers to disperse that sit in from that Post published by MB’s RSSD network claiming that the MB members in Dakahlia went to aid “the citizens” to against those “thugs” blocking the way.

People also identified some MB members from TV clips and photos aired from Mansoura.

The clashes between protesters and MB supporters

That video was spread like fire showing the MB members and supporters attacking the protesters including two ladies. This brought to the memory the infamous 5 December 2012 clashes.

By the afternoon the MB members withdrew and the police forces from CSF arrived to start even bigger clashes between Protesters and CSF. The CSF fired tear gases and birdshots madly. There are two badly injured citizens in the clashes. People are speaking about the use of live ammunition.

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Monday, February 25, 2013

Egyptian X-Files : The Curious Case of #Morsi’s interview

Yesterday millions of Egyptians glued in front of their TVs waiting for president Morsi’s recorded interview on Mehwer TV channel at 8 PM that actually started at nearly 2 AM !!! According to Presidency the interview was going to be aired on National TV as well other channels.
Morsi in the interview "Presidency FB Page"
There were some official excuses said and claimed for this delay as I will list :
  • There was a technical problem in the Nile Sat !! “ I am sorry but the Nile Sat was working fine then and it is not live interview in the first place  !!”
  • The Presidency failed to broadcast the interview from the Presidential Palace “ WHY TO BROADCAST THE INTERVIEW FROM THE PALACE !!” as there was a problem in the fiber optics there and so they had to transfer the recorded interview to the National TV building in Maspero but there was another technical problem !! TECHNICAL PROBLEM IN NATIONAL TV BUILDING !?? Yes and that problem forced Amr El Lithy to take the recorded interview and head directly to the Media City in October !!! !!?
  • The MB members claim that Mehwer channel delayed the interview to air commercials !! First the TV channel was airing from 8 PM to 2 AM patriotic songs , second CAN ANY TV IN THE WORLD DELAY THE PRESIDENT’S INTERVIEW FOR NEARLY 6 HOURS TO SHOW ADS AND PRESIDENCY IS OK WITH IT ??
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Sunday, February 24, 2013

And #Egypt celebrates the #HarlemShake in its own Way !!

To be honest I do not understand what the Harlem Shake is or what it means except it is universal silly meme but I can not ignore the fact that it is making noise in my country.

Already last week we had our Pyramids Harlem Shake and I believe our tourism board should have used it.

Pyramids Harlem Shake

It is not the first Harlem Shake filmed in Egypt but it was the most famous and organized with public event on Facebook in Egypt. There  have been previous Harlem Shake clips from Egypt to my surprise in the past two weeks in a way I could not understand it !!

Of course internationally we made headline with our Harlem Shake craze as four young students have been arrested yesterday in Agouza area in Giza when they danced in their underwear in the street. Their neighbors reported them to the police and the four students are accused of indecency !!!

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Saturday, February 23, 2013

#Egyelections : Presidency realizes its mistake , amends elections’ dates

And the Presidency understood the mistake it had done last Thursday when it declared the dates of the parliamentary elections and it turned out that the first stage elections will be at the same time of Christian Feasts.
From couple of hours ago the presidency issued a statement to amend the dates of the first stage of the elections to suit Egyptian Christians.
Accordingly we got the following new dates , re-mark your calendars dear friends !!

The first stage

The Second Stage

The third stage

The Fourth stage

Strangely now for the zillion times the Morsi and MB supporters who defended the first date and timing are supporting decision to amend the dates now without any second thought.
Now if this was not a deliberate action as I suspected then it is another sign on how things are badly managed in Egypt by Morsi’s administration. There is no planning what so ever. Nobody even bothered to see the calendar on his disk in the Presidency. Are there calendars already on their disks at the presidency , I wonder !!??
By the way should not the Presidency and the army grow up and have some real official websites instead that Facebook mania !? You know like the rest of the civilized world ??
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Friday, February 22, 2013

#Egyelections : The longest Elections in the history of #Egypt

And President Morsi has called for Parliamentary elections next 27 & 28 April 2012 according to presidential decree 134 for year 2013.

 The elections will be as follows :

  • The parliamentary elections will be held on four stages starting from “27th of April 2013”
  • The first session of the Senates council will be held on 6th July 2013 at 11 AM.  DSC05108

The first stage :

The second stage :

The third stage :

The fourth stage:

The Egyptian Christians are angry and they have too. The elections come on the same day of their feasts in April and May when they go to Church !!? Those who chose the dates , chose the wrong dates if it were not a deliberate thing.It is as if the regime does not want the Christians to vote at all.

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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Back to Torture , Back to how #Jan25 actually started !!

Please do not believe that the MB and Presidency’s PR machine speaking to the world on how the revolution has achieved so far its goal under the rule of the elected president.
Please do not believe that propaganda because simple the main goal of the revolution and the reason of why it happened , why it started as protest on 25th January 2011 and became a public revolution on 28th January 2011 bringing down on one of the most ruthless rulers in the Middle East. This revolution began as a protest against police brutality claiming for human dignity , people tend to forget this especially the police and the current ruling regime.
In the past 3 months the human rights organizations recorded 127 torture cases by Egyptian police including 63 torture till death cases and 29 sexual assault cases.
Among those cases highlighted by the human rights organizations , the horrifying story of Ayman  Mehana translated in to English
The testimony of Ayman Mehana
Ayman Mehana , an employee works in the electricity company in Alexandria. On 2 February 2013 he was heading to pay his mobile phone bill when he was attacked and arrested by CSF. He was allegedly beaten by a rod and passed out to open his eyes to find himself detained and handcuffed in a CSF vehicle. He was allegedly blindfolded by black cover. He was taken to some CSF camp where he was beaten and tortured. They wanted to him to confess that he was a member in the Black Bloc group.
Mehana says that he was sexually abused "Sodomy with a stick” just like in Mubarak days. This is of course beside the psychological humiliation he has been through. He was allegedly tied to a chain and ordered to bark like a dog.I am extremely angry
You can see the traces of torture on his body filmed in the video.
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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

#PortSaid : Day#4 of Civil Disobedience

Here is a follow up for the civil disobedience in Port Said. Today there  is an escalation in protesting as the locals blocked the road of the East Port Said Port which the army tried to open by force in the early morning. Some activists say tomorrow the escalation will reach the Suez canal.
Today the protesters put those hot air balloons dummies with Signs of SOS on the Suez canal Corniche so the ships passing in the Suez canal would see these signs.
I am reading news that people began to protest and want to have a civil disobedience in Ismailia.
On the other hand Dream TV2 showed in 10PM show new videos for the clashes on 26 January including shots for armed security men on the roof of the Port Said prison.I will post the video later today
You can see the updates from Port Said after the break.
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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

#PortSaid : Day#3 in Civil Disobedience

And the people of Port Said continue in their civil disobedience for the third day in row. Today thousands of protesters from Port Said's men, women, youth and children defied President Morsi directly.
 President Morsi has issued a decree yesterday to restore was planning to submit a draft law to the Shura Council to restore the free trade zone in Port Said and to allocate LE400 million of the canal's revenues to the development of the three canal cities. Of course I have to expect that other governorates will follow the same steps of Port Said to be treated in the same way !!

Still today shops and factories are closed and students did not go to schools or universities. People consider that offer from the president is an insult to their dignity after all he did not bother to apologize or pay condolences for their martyrs.

According to the news President Morsi met so-called public delegation from Port Said yesterday including so-called representatives of parties in the city.  That delegation according to Fouad Gadallah , the amazing legal presidential adviser including Shura council members and so I assume most of them are from the Muslim brotherhood. 

The families of the martyrs denied to have any relation or talks with that delegation. Al Nour Party in Port Said also claimed that it was excluded from that meeting. ON the other hand both Strong Egypt Party and Constitution Party in Port Said announced that they suspend their activities in the governorates in solidarity with the civil disobedience.

Many people joined the protests and rallies today as the factories closed its doors at 12 PM. I believe today Port Said witnessed one of the biggest protests and rallies in its history , You can see in the Storify report after the break.

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Monday, February 18, 2013

Egyptian Jihadists in #Syria : The taboo that no one wants to speak about

Last Thursday Yosri Fouda opened a very important file , a recent taboo I believe the Egyptian media has avoided to discuss as it should. Yosri Fouda spoke about Egyptian Jihadists in Syria hosting two of them on air. 

One of the guests is Salaist preacher and the other one hiding his face was a fighter. Fouda also spoke on the phone with a Sheikh from Al Azhar who could not say whether he was with Jihad in Syria or not considering how much it is complicated there now.

Egyptian Jihadists in Syria–Last Talk “ONTV”

Fouda used the story of late Mohamed Mehrez as a lead for his segment.

During the episode people went mad on twitter accusing Yosri Fouda of glorifying these Jihadists and some even went far and linked between Fouda’s past reports about Al Qaeda and those Jihadists in Al Jazeera forgetting that he is now working in the liberal ONTV channel attacked day and night by Islamists and Jihadists. Fouda was attacked that he did not condemn the Jihadists and people feared that episode would encourage Egyptian youth to go and fight in Syria. Well the majority of those youth do not watch ONTV at all.

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#PortSaid : A civil disobedience for the second day in row

And the angry and sad people of Port Said continue their civil disobedience for the second day in row. Yesterday was the first day of civil disobedience that surprised the whole country. The civil disobedience from what I understand is from 6 AM to 5 PM. The official working hours.
The city and its people are still angry on how there is no official reaction at all regarding their civil disobedience. Only today the minister of justice Mekki has assigned a judge following the ministry of justice to investigate the clashes of Port Said  on January 26 and 27 !!!! This is the first official reaction regarding what happened and is happening in Port Said.
The MB media machine is starting to blame the former NDP regime members Port Said where as the official media including the official press like Ahram Daily newspaper is blaming the Ultras Green Eagles accusing it of “paralyzing the city” !!
Yes the Ultras Green Eagles members are playing an important role as I know from people and activists on the ground in organizing rallies and they have been be pushing the factory owners in the Industrial zone “Some time by force” and the investment zone but let’s agree on something : If the people of the Port Said did not support this move , they would not join from all classes and areas. We would not see women and students as well workers and employees joining the rallies.
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Sunday, February 17, 2013

#PortSaid starts civil disobedience in #Egypt

The people of Port Said have once amazed and surprised the rest of Egyptians with civil disobedience , yes civil disobedience on Sunday
Thousands of Port Said people are marching in protests calling for civil disobedience. Some activists and tweeps say that this is the first day in the civil disobedience. I do not know if it is volunteer civil disobedience or for instance the leading protesters from Ultras green Eagles played a role in encouraging and forcing the people in to civil disobedience according to what I heard from very active trusted sources.
The locals have blocked the industrial zone. The women are protesting and even blocked the main roads leading to the heart of the city.
It is crazy and honestly I do not think that this civil disobedience move has to do with the Port Said stadium massacre trial anymore.
I will not speak now , I will leave you with live updates from the city after the break.

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Saturday, February 16, 2013

#Tanta on Fire for its new #KhaledSaid

And the city of Tanta continues to express its anger after the death of Mohamed El Gundy for the second week in row. Clashes erupted between protesters and security forces when protesters went and protest at Tanta’s state security directorate.
El Gundy's mom with the two famous activists @Bothaina Kamel
Political activists Bothaina Kamel and Karima Hafeny visited the city and paid visit to the mother of late Mohamed El Gundy yesterday. I think this is correct move , political activists and prominent figures should leave Cairo and start to visit the governorates.
El Mahalla was also on fire and it will not rest as a kid was killed yesterday. 43 protesters have been arrested yesterday in Gharbia Governorate. 25 protesters were detained in Mahalla while 18 protesters were arrested in Tanta city.
Now moving to the main issue now in Egypt : The autopsy report of Mohamed El Gundy
Last week the Autopsy authority following the ministry of justice issued its report claiming that El Gundy was hit by a car after that conclusion was declared in public by the minister of justice a week before. 
Still surprisingly Dr. Ehsan Gorgy , the head of autopsy authority announced on TV interviews including one tonight on MBC Misr that injuries in El Gundy can be resulted from car accident or beating !! Dr. Alaa Asas , the doctor who ran autopsy also said in press statements that there are injuries they can not determine whether it resulted from torture or car accident !!

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#BaniSawif : This is the police that should protect us !! “Graphic”

Today there was that scene in Bani Sawif , Upper Egypt I believe that sociologists should study.

Today a group of police officers and policemen beat a suspect till near death in public while people are watching during a funeral of a fellow popular young police officer. This suspect is accused of killing that police officer. The suspect was brought up from detention to the funeral where there was that he was beaten by the police force in the street till he fell in a coma You can see the videos below after the break

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#BlackBloc Mania : @BBBEgypt Who are you !??

And the Black Bloc still captures the attention of the public and the media despite we can not confirm if they do exist at all
Now there is a twitter account claiming to be the official Black Bloc Egypt. This account is called “@bbbEgypt
This is not the only twitter account claiming to the official Black Bloc twitter account in Egypt but it is the most spread. At the same time the Black Bloc Facebook Pages claim that they do not have any Twitter accounts and the Twitter accounts claim that they do not have any Facebook Page.
Now there is something fishy about this “Black Bloc Egypt” account considering its content and updates. Aside from its violence direct incitement and lessons on how to make Molotov cocktails, I do not understand what kind of underground vigilante group is this that tells the whole world that it will attack the Presidential Palace during the protests jeopardizing the life of the protesters and their lives !!
Strangely I do not remember following this particular account , it appeared suddenly on my timeline which means that I used to follow it before but under different name. Now dear friends on twitter confirmed this information too and some believe that this used to be the account of “@rrCoalition”.
That “rrCoalition” account claimed to be the official account of the Revolution Youth Coalition posting false rumors and information in the past like for instance claiming that the Ultras groups have stormed Maspero and demanding the protesters to go to the streets in order to support them. That  account does not exist anymore as it has become “@bbbEgypt”. The first time “@rrCoalition” mentioned the term “Black Masked  brigades” was on January 25th ,2013 before it would become “@bbbEgypt”
Replies @rrcoalition
Check the replies , it was directed to “@rrCoalition” , this was the beginning

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Friday, February 15, 2013

Imagine having meteorite explosion in #Egypt !!??

I do not think that any Meteorite explosion has been recorded on camera in earth like that Russian Meteor today !!  Over 1000 Russians are reportedly injured because of that meteorite explosion !! Russia has long history with meteorites , the most famous one was in Tunguska 
Watch the meteorite explosion in video here

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Happy Belated #Valentine From #Tahrir square

This shot was taken by Pierre Sioufi from his famous apartment in Tahrir today.
 To be honest I am against the closure of Tahrir square by protesters , I believe already Tahrir square was overused to the level that it has become insignificant. The hope now is the movement in different governorates in Egypt and areas in Cairo.
One thing for sure we lost a lot when we limited the revolution in Tahrir only.
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#PortSaid : The city of resistance and Agony

Ahram Online made this amazing video clip as part of its special coverage on what is happening in the city of Port Said.

This clip includes a short interview with the famous Hero Mahran of Port Said who was tortured by British forces during the 1956 Suez war.
There is no trade in the city as you can, shops are closed and traders come to it anymore. The people of Port Said are extremely angry and sad. My friends have been there from short time ago , they told me that the industrial zone there has been closed by Port Said people themselves in a protest for what they believe as a neglect by the government.
I do not know if it is opened again or not.
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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Children of Death "Graphic"

And death news has become a daily routine in Egypt. I am not speaking about regular death but death that targets young men and children. This was my day today , following the news of death whether it was a death of young activist in Syria or a simple Sweet Potato who did not want to have dreams because he was poor !!
Late Mehrez with his baby girl Nada
This is how I started my day by reading news about the death of Egyptian activist and blogger Mohamed Mehrez in Syria.
The 27 years old blogger and activist was killed last Tuesday in combat. He was fighting with FSA and was killed according to news reports in Aleppo in battle near the Aleppo Airport last Tuesday by a sniper. He went to Syria from a month ago leaving behind a wife and little baby girl called Nada
I do not know Mehrez in person nor did I know him before despite it turned out that he is from the 2005 bloggers generation in Egypt. Still many of my friends from left and right know him personally and were more than shocked for his death. It turned out that Mehrez was one of those bloggers and protesters that defied the Mubarak regime during that time.
May Allah bless his soul he managed to gather to Non Islamists and Islamists online for some time together in some peace before politics and media enter the scene.
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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

#GlobalProtestFeb12 : The world stands with Egyptian women to #EndSh

I am so happy on how the protesters and activists from around the globe showed support to Egyptian women today. We are not alone indeed. Thank you again for your support. Here is a Storify report on the global protests around the globe. I found it quite easier to compile all the tweets and photos.
You can find it after the break and I will be updating it all night long from images all over the world.
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Old #Egypt : The (It) girl Today from 1960s !!

I believe this is the most shared non political video today in Egypt in the social media networks whether Facebook or Twitter.
Faten Hamama in Lebanon “1964”
Faten Hamama , the Dame of Arab Screen speaks in French in some interview during Beirut Film Festival in 1964. She spoke about how she became an actress , about the revolution in Egypt and how she supported the revolution in Algeria.
Let’s just say my generation suddenly discovered that the lady associated in our minds with grace, seriousness and drama too was so cute and cheerful when she spoke French.
By the wa Faten Hamama was starred in an American film produced by MGM called Cairo in 1962 along with Ahmed Mazhar and George Sanders.
Ironically most of the people do not understand what she was saying in French yet that video brought the memory of ladies were real ladies.
Of course in those old days girls were not sexually attacked or assaulted in the streets.
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Monday, February 11, 2013

#EndSh #GlobalProtestFe12 For #Egypt : The world stands with Egyptian women

Tomorrow the women of the world will protest in solidarity with the Egyptian women in front our embassies against the sexual violence and attacks.

There will be protests in Aden , Ramallah, Yaffa, Rabat, Tunis, Beirut, Amman , Copenhagen , Brussels, Milano, New York, Washington, Ottawa , The Hague, Paris, London, Melbourne and Oslo

The global protests is coordinated by the Women Uprising in the Arab world. 

There will be a protest tomorrow in Cairo at 6 PM at Talaat Harb square and I think there will be a rally from there to the Shura council to object the disgusting Shura MPs’ statements today. The Shura MPs in the human rights committee blamed the women for the sexual harassments and rape in shocking statements.

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#Vatican and #Pope ‘s resignation on #Feb11

It seems that February 11 will be marked as the day when world leaders step down !! Mubarak stepped down on February 2011 and Pope Benedict XVI announced that he will step down also on February 2013.

Benedict XVI announced today that he will step down exactly at February 28,2013. A very quick and surprising announcement, the man did not wait for two or three months but for two weeks.

When the news hit the wire , I thought it was some kind of hoax like that rumor yesterday about the Duke of Edinburgh’s death yet what you know !! Soon enough an official statement was posted in the Vatican’s official website and the man himself spoke to the World about it.

Abdication of Benedict XVI

Benedict XVI said that he can not continue in his position because he has no strength. In other words he suffers from some health issues that may affect his ability to continue as the Spiritual leader of the Catholic world. I thought the Popes continue in their position till death regardless of their health condition !! First time to know that they

The 85 years old Pontiff is considered the second Pope in 600 to resign from that extremely important position after Gregory XII

Needless to say now the Conspiracy theories websites got nothing to speak about except the Nostradamus’ Prophecy about the Black Pope linking it to Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana. There is good chance that Turkson could be the first African Black Pope of Catholic Church for the first time in history. Now You got people online calling him the Antichrist already !!

This is of course the conspiracy theories on why Benedict had to step down now !!

Anyhow Cardinal Turkson’s views about considering Islam as demographic threat in Europe tells me he is not that different from Benedict XVI , after all we live in times of radicalism and extremism.

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#AlAzhar and #Mufti Elections : And we will hold our breath "Update"

Later today Al Azhar’s elderly clerics council will hold an urgent meeting to elect the grand Mufti of Egypt. Sheikh Ali Gomaa’s term will finish next March and thus a new Mufti should be elected from 25 candidates.
The good thing that the president does not appoint the Mufti anymore but the bad thing now is that the MB's official Mufti is applying for this position !!
MB Mufti Abdel Rahman El Bar  is one of the candidates and to be honest I am extremely worried to have another MB member in that critical position.
El Bar claims that he was surprised by his nomination "what you know !!" yet people should not be discriminated for their political affiliation according to him"which theoretically is true"
Despite he says that he does not seek the position , he will have one hour interview on the State TV today !!!
I am totally against having El Bar as Egypt's grand Mufti because  if he is elected , we will have fatwas based on the MB's conservative interpretation for Islam !! We will have fatwas upon the request of the guidance office.
Based on how the MB members and supporters act online and say regarding the candidacy of El Bar , I fear from the elections' results today.

Updated :

And the Clerics elected Shawky Ibrahim as Egypt's newest Mufti. We do not know much about him expect that he is a professor of Maliki Fiqh in the faculty of Sharia and Law , Al Azhar University in Tanta. Before the elections he used to work in Oman.
We do not know any thing about his political affiliation. Here is his picture.
Sheikh Ibrahim, the new Mufti.

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Saturday, February 9, 2013

Another Bad Day for Media in #Egypt : #YouTube , Offensive cartoon and TV hosts to investigation

Who could ever think for one second that media in Egypt will suffer like this after the revolution !? Well I admit I did not think even for one moment.
First we got the administrative court ruling to ban YouTube in Egypt for a whole month .
This is extremely
It is worth to mention that Google had already blocked the clip in both Egypt and Libya following the violent clashes that took place right after the release of that 13 minutes clip.  The administrative court judge's reasoning is that this one month ban decision was taken after the refusal of YouTube to remove the film totally from its servers.
The administrative court  judge does not understand that by banning the website in Egypt , the circulation of that offensive silly video will not stop worldwide for God sake !! Why does the judge ignore the fact that there are millions of videos defending Prophet Mohamed "PBUH" and Islam against those insults on the YouTube !? 
I am already wondering about why the administrative court chose this particular time since last September 2013
Again the film was promoted equally in Egypt by none other than the Islamist Channel Al Nas and yet it has not been closed yet.
It is extremely dangerous court ruling because it opens for wider online censorship.
Speaking about Religion and media censorship.
Al Masry Al Youm has officially apologized  for the daring cover of Assyasy Magazine "The Politician magazine" latest issue.
Here is the daring cover which is the product of famous revolutionary cartoonist Ahmed Nady.
The controversial cover by Ahmed Nady
The cover shows those who signed Al Azhar document to denounce violence completely naked and in their hands wine glasses and in the back Mohamed Morsi tells a strong and enormous CSF officer to act as he wants as there is no more political cover for the protesters

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#Tanta : The latest protesting city in #Egypt

It started like any other Friday in Egypt , protests all over the country ended with violent clashes between the protesters and security forces. It is like routine, even the clashes at the presidential Palace in Heliopolis have become a usual thing with all that strange news of protesters who dare and decided to storm the fortress palace. 
From the clashes in Tanta City by Hamada Zaher
Still now every Friday there is a hot zone when it comes to protesting in the governorates , it is no longer Tahrir or Cairo as it seems the new wave , that new stage in the revolution began to expand in a way or another.  Yesterday , on Friday Gharbia governorate was the Protesting governorate of the week.
Huge clashes following massive protests in Tanta governorate erupted between protesters and security forces in Tanta city , Mahalla and Kafr El Zayat. The unrests in the governorate especially in the city of Tanta. I believe we should have expected as these protests take place after the death and funeral of late Popular current and constitution party activist Mohamed El Gundy. Mohamed El Gundy was from Tanta’s activists. He was reportedly missing last January 28,2013. He was found then after couple of days by accident in Helal Hospital. According to those who saw in the hospital, El Gundy had traces of torture over his body and his neck. The activists believe that after a verbal fight with security officer, El Gundy was abducted to a CSF camp where he was tortured till he fell into coma. That CSF camp is called “El Gabl El Ahmr” which means “The red camp” and we hearing horrifying stories from there in the past week.

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Thursday, February 7, 2013

#Tunisia : Protests , strikes and testimonies

First all I will start with this video from Nawaat. An interview with Nadia Dawood who is the eye witness of Chokri Belaid's assassination. Nadia Dawood , who is a journalist , is the neighbour of Mr. Belaid. She was in her balcony when the tragic murder happened. She lives in the fourth floor and she was the one who took that snap shot showing the ambulance in the crime scene.

Nadia Dawood speaks in both French and Arabic. From what I understood she is accusing both Belaid's driver and the building's guard of having some shady role in his assassination.Interestingly I read news reports claiming that the preliminary autopsy reports say that the gunshot calibers used in his murder are only used by the police force in Tunisia !!!!
 You must know Islamists in Tunisia believe that this testimony enforces the theory that Belaid was killed by his own team , the opposition. Seconds Tunisia is on fire for real. For the second day in rows protests continue in Tunis , the capital and several other cities including Gafsa.

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PM Qandil and the stinky women of Bani Sawif who get raped in fields !!

 Here are the controversial statements of PM Hisham Qandil causing buzz in Egypt and anger in Bani Sawif governroate. It is transcribed in to English.

This is not edited. This is not parody or spoof. This is the Egyptian Prime minister speaking about Egypt and poverty!!
I do not know what to say except I feel sorry for him because he is appointed in the position that is bigger than his own political as well social capabilities. I do not know why he did not stop at saying 'I roamed Egypt  especially Upper Egypt and saw extreme poverty and ignorance that do not
Now women in Bani Sawif are extremely angry and they have. He did not only describe them as dirty ignorant women but also he claimed that they are being raped in the fields. Another huge insult not to them but to their men , Upper Egyptian men.
It is worth to mention that for thousands of years Egyptian women used to work in fields and were not subjected to sexual harassment not to mention rapes !!
Hisham Qandil has not apologized for his statements.
By the way why on earth and heavens Hisham Qandil would watch the ladies breastfeeding in Bani Sawif and see whether they clean their breast or not !? It is not this rudeness considering the fact that he works in irrigation and is not a doctor or social researcher !?
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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

And #Egypt is indeed next after #Tunisia

I was just wondering this morning whether the political assassinations will start in Egypt after Tunisia or whether they already started with the murder of young protesters. No need to ask now because Salafist Sheikh Mahmoud Shaaban issued a fatwa calling for the murder of National salvation front leaders !!

Yes Sheikh Mahmoud Shaaban is saying that it is legal to kill ElBaradei and Sabbahi because they want to bring down President Morsi !! "Both made it clear that they do not want that"
You must know that the Muslim brotherhood supporters and members in Egypt are defending their counterparts in Tunisia crazily claiming that the Islamists did not do it but rather the counter revolution in Tunisia !!
I do not need to speak about the comments that wish the same fate of Belaid to all President Morsi's opponents.
Anyhow ElBaradei was alarmed from this , he has to because it concerns his life. Here is his tweet.

Nader Bakkar , the official spokesperson of Al Nour Party demanded Al Azhar to investigate Mahmoud Shaaban condemning the Fatwa. It is worth to mention several Egyptian figures in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s were victims of similar fatwas. Some of them paid their lives for like Farag Fouad.
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#Belaid , the first in #Tunisia , who will be next !!

Earlier this morning the leader of left Democratic patriots movement party in Tunisia , Chokri Belaid has been killed outside his house. The man was shot four times in his head and chest in front of his house , in front of his car. Here is a video filmed by his neighbours from the scene showing the ambulance and his car.

Despite no one has yet claimed responsbility, Tunisian opposition began to accuse radical Islamists especially that from seven months ago a Salafist preacher called for his assassination publicly on video.
 It is also worth to mention that late Belaid himself warned in last summer from political assassinations.
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This is how the #WorldCancerDay is celebrated in Egypt !!

Mahmoud
The World Cancer Day was celebrated World Wide yesterday and despite in Egypt you find ads begging you to donate  to the Children cancer hospital aka 56756 whether in Egyptian Pound or dollar , the government celebrated it in its own way.
The government or rather the ministry of interior has been ignoring the pleas of human rights activists to release 14 years old Mahmoud Adel , a cancer patient who was arrested in Alexandria during the clashes there.
Mahmoud Adel got chemo sessions and the magistrate in the case Mohamed Abdel Waheb refuses to release the boy despite his illness.
Now some people mostly associated with Muslim brotherhood and Al Wasat party calming that Adel was already treated from cancer despite the medical reports that say otherwise and that we are making a big fuss in the media.
I do not know why people began to lose their humanity in this way for god sake !!
Human rights activists plead for his release yet there is no answer.
When confronted  with the fact that there are over 100 minor arrested in the latest clashes, the minister of justice Mahmoud Makky surprised us all tonight when he said on ONTV
How would I know that there are kids arrested including the cancer patient !? How would I know !??"
To our horror Mahmoud's story seems to be less tragic than the other stories we began to know regarding those kids arrested in the clashes. It is only the tip of the ice berg.

Updated : 

The public prosecution has ordered the release of Mahmoud earlier this morning.
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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

#Ahmadinejad in Al Azhar Mosque

Aside from his meeting with President Morsi , the visit of Iranian President Ahmadinejad to Al Azhar Mosque in Egypt is capturing all the attention in his important visit.
After all the leader of the main Shiite State nation in the world is visit Al Azhar Mosque , the biggest Sunni institution in the world. Again in any other time it can be great moment to celebrate it and even start a new page to bridge between the two main sects of Islam but it comes in extremely bad time.
Nevertheless the real star of the visit was not Ahmadinejad but rather Ahmed El Tayyib , the grand Sheikh of Al Azhar Mosque. The Upper Egyptian Sheikh began to play a bigger political role week after week !!
Today he hoped that Iran works to stop the war in Syria , to give rights to the Sunnis and Ahwaz in Iran and not to spread the Shiism in the Arab world plus to respect Bahrain and Gulf’s sovereignty and to make the Shiites stop their verbal attack against Prophet Mohamed’s companions.
Of course there is no word on the rights of Shiites in Egypt !!
Last week the man sponsored an initiative proposed by Pro-revolutionary youth to stop violence in Egypt attended by all political powers and parties and church representatives that boycott the president Morsi’s national dialogue.
Anyhow some Egyptians are pissed from Ahmadinejad and the victory signs he kept doing in Al Azhar for some reason I ignore !!
El Tayyib does not like it either !!
By the way for the record Ahmadinejad is not the first ruler of Iran to visit Al Azhar mosque and meets it sheikh. Shah Iran did it before when he was a crown prince during his engagement to Princess Fawzia , that later became his wife.

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Historical moment in wrong time !!!

And President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has become the first Iranian President to visit Cairo since the revolution in Iran from more than 30 years.
Here is the reception of the Iranian President in Cairo airport.

It is a historical moment but not the perfect one. It is not the correct image in my mind for this important meeting between the heads of those two important countries in the Middle East not to mention these are not the correct image for the "heads" of these states !!

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Monday, February 4, 2013

A Story of a simple Egyptian Called #Hamda

And Hamda Saber has become the most famous and controversial citizen in Egypt in the past 48 hours. The man has earned an international fame after he was filmed in the most humiliating moments of his life while he was being beaten inhumanly by CSF conscripts naked and dragged in the cold streets of Heliopolis. That clip has been shown all over the globe worldwide already
Hamda Saber turned to be a simple citizen who was not protesting in the area. He was in the area along with his family “his wife and daughter” because they were doing some shopping for their daughter Randa who is engaged and was supposedly getting married. It seems that the family was curious to see what was happening when the clashes started and everybody was running. When the CSF units started to push back against the protesters in the streets of Heliopolis people began to run everywhere.
To make it easier here is a a simple timeline using video clips from TV shows since the start of Hamda’s agony and tale.

Friday February 1st 2013 :

Hamda Saber appeared an unknown completely naked citizen on air while being beaten mercilessly by CSF forces. He was detained during the clashes. We do not know his name or where he was taken to for hours. His nephew and family  recognized him.

Saturday February 2nd 2013 Early morning.

We knew the name of Hamda. His wife speaks on air through the phone on ONTV in a very strange call from Police Hospital where she was clearly detected what to say on TV. “Hamda is fine and the police is good to us, we are treated extremely well”
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Sunday, February 3, 2013

Villa Casdgali : Rebuilding is more than possible if only there is ...

Location Qasr Ad Dobarah, Qasr an Nile, Cairo Governorate, Egypt
I wanted to blog about that hidden diamond in the rough I found out unfortunately only by accident during the Simon Bolivar clashes in 2012. Yes that hidden neglected villa caught my eyes when I went to the square after the clashes that took place there between security forces and protesters. I did not know its name then but then I found out that its name is Villa Casdgali and it has got a very interesting tale. I took bunch photos for the villa from outside  on two different occasions.

It seems to be beautiful but badly neglected. It looked to me that it was being used then as a shelter for the street kids especially its main fence was broken and anyone can get inside easily.
As I was alone in both times , I could not go around the villa to see if I can get inside it. The Staircase was badly damaged as you can see.
I was planning to write about it but I could not with all the jazz taking place in Egypt since last November 2012. Last Friday the beautiful villa caught fire during the clashes that erupt from time to time for no reason between protesters and security forces. The fire was put off and parts of the villa were damaged but the villa itself was not damaged.
I did not know how the villa looked from inside and it seems that the fire was good opportunity to know more its history and its amazing interior. Thanks to Cairo Observer , we knew how much damage the 19the century villa is suffering and how beautiful it is from inside.
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Saturday, February 2, 2013

#EndSH #OpAntiSH : We will resist

As if we are having a date with all the horrifying videos in the past 24 hours. This video was published by Op Anti-Sexual Harassment documenting on camera the a group rape in Tahrir square last 25 January's night.

Several sexual assaults were recorded on that night. Sadly that morning there were less sexual harassment unlike any other day !!
I knew about what happened in Tahrir square after 5 PM last January 25,2013 but I did not have time to speak due to that on going agony marathon in the country. It is not the first time something like to happen unfortunately and it will not be the last too realistically speaking 
Personally I will not lie to say that I began to be worried from going to Tahrir square alone now especially after 4 PM specifically to that area , the hell area between Tahrir square and Mohamed Mahmoud street near Hardee's.

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His name is Hamda Saber “Graphic +18”

Hamda Saber beaten in the red circle
And the identity of the citizen stripped, beaten and dragged by CSF last night is revealed. His name is Hamda Saber , a 48 years old construction worker who  lives in Mataria and originally from Upper Egypt. He got no criminal records.Mr. Saber came with his wife Mrs. Fathia and kids to protest at the presidential Palace.
At 2.30 AM ONTV managed to reach to his wife and to speak with her on the phone on air in one of the most bizarre calls aired on TV. The poor woman was speaking from the police hospital in Nasr City and besides her some police officer telling her what to say !!
Mrs. Fathia speaking to ONTV detected what she should say !!
In one moment you can hear a voice speaking besides her voice that made the TV host of ONTV ask her who was besides her !!! Anyhow It seems that the TV exposure helped Saber for real and at least he was transferred to some hospital.
Here is the video again for those who did not see them last night “Warning extremely graphic”
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Friday, February 1, 2013

#Feb1 : Deliverance, protests and anniversaries !!

And today is another Friday in Egypt which means a big day for protests and may be clashes in Cairo and in other governorates. Today protests are called the Friday of Deliverance. The demands of this Friday ranges from ousting President Morsi to bringing down the Muslim brotherhood to bringing down the constitution.

Today also is the first anniversary of the horrifying Port Said stadium massacre where 74 young men were killed in the clashes that took in the coastal city’s stadium in the infamous football game. I think you know that we are paying the implications of that game. Over 50 have been killed in Port Said the past week following the famous trial in Cairo. There will be mass protests today in Port Said from Mariam mosque. 

Right after the Friday prayers which will finish soon several rallies in Cairo and Giza will head to both Tahrir square and to the Presidential Palace.

There will be also protests in Alexandria, Fayoum, Luxor, Suez, Ismailia, North Sinai, Kafr El Sheikh, El Mahla, Aswan, Qenna, El Miniya, Tanta, Sharkia, Damnhur and Al Mansoura.

I fear from violent clashes.

Today I will cover protests from the street but rather from my desk so wait for a live blogging session insh Allah. You can follow the coverage after the break.

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