Egyptian Chronicles: March 2016

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Days at the Egyptian Museum : The Tahrir Museum

Location Egyptian Museum, Cairo Governorate, Egypt
In December , the Egyptian Museum in Cairo administration announced that it was allowing for the first time photography for free in the Museum.
It was a great opportunity for all photographers in Egypt to go and explore the world's biggest museum of Egyptian antiquities.
I went several times to the Egyptian Museum because it is too big including one time with a group of friends from talented photographers and we took fantastic photos.
The last time I had visited the Egyptian Museum was from long time ago when I was a little girl already .
Egypt's Egyptian Museum
The Egyptian Museum in Tahrir square 
I only remember King Tutankhamun's mask from that visit and how I was too short to see anything for real.
Luckily, I visited the Museum after the return of King Tut's mask from restoration following the epoxy scandal of last year.
Before share photos and speak more about Ancient Egyptian History in series of posts, I have to speak about the history of the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir.  

A little Egyptian Museum History :

The First Museum dedicated to Egyptian antiquities in Egypt was founded in 1835 during the rule of Mohamed Ali Pasha and it was near the Ezbekeyah gardens "Downtown Cairo" in Cairo. Later that museum was moved to the Citadel.
In 1855 , Khedive Saeed decided to give the whole collection of that Museum to the Austrian Emperor of Mexico "yes, you read it right" Maximilian I. That can give you a glimpse how Saeed Pasha looked to Egyptian heritage.
Already, Saeed sent Egyptian troops to fight with the French against the Mexican revolution during then.
Now that collection of that first museum is at Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, Austria.

In 1858 , during the rule of Khedive Ismail , the founder of Modern Cairo and under the supervision of French Egyptologist Auguste Mariette , the true first Egyptian Museum dedicated to ancient Egyptian antiquities was inaugurated on the banks of the Nile in Boulaq area, Cairo.
Now here are very rare photos for the Boulaq Museum.
The Boulaq Museum in 19th century
The Boulaq Museum "Facebook" 
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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

A piece of art at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo



A beautiful piece of art at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo from the Old Kingdom era. I think it is part of a tomb and those were actually the doors to a tomb. This is for Museum week 2016. Wait for a bigger amazing post about the Egyptian Museum in Egyptian Chronicles so soon inshallah.
Originally, taken in December 2015 , uploaded to Instagram on March 30, 2016 at 01:39AM via Instagram 
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Tuesday, March 29, 2016

From Egypt's Spring Flowers Show 2016


And Spring is back again to Giza's Orman Botanical garden as Egypt's Annual Spring Flowers show 2016 kicks off.
Coming to soon to the Egyptian Chronicles 😉
Posted on March 29, 2016 at 03:21PM via Instagram http://ift.tt/1MPEAfi
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#EgyptAir Flight Hijacked , landed in Larnaca ... on one fine Tuesday

This is not the sort of news , you want to wake up in the morning to hear or to follow.
A Domestic EgyptAir Flight was hijacked from Alexandria and forced to land in Larnaca , Cyprus but the hijacker was  arrested in very strange six hours.
Thankfully , no one was hurt in that strange incident.
The reason is not what you think , it is not about ideology as much it is about love !! It took only 6 hours to be the talk of the world with that standoff
It started with estranged wife then we were speaking about prisoners in Egypt then he was arrested only to find out that he was not warning an explosive belt !!
How it all start on One Fine Tuesday or what was really confirmed :
The official Twitter account of Egypt's National Carrier of Egypt announced that its flight "MS181" was officially hijacked at 8 AM Cairo Local Time .
According to the Statement of EgyptAir, domestic flight "MS181" was hijacked while it was on its way from Borg Al-Arab airport to Cairo International airport. The 320 Airbus airplane had 81 passengers in addition to its crew.
The EgyptAir statement added the pilot Omar Gamal reported a threat from a passenger with an explosive belt who forced him to land in Larnaca.
A photo for the EgyptAir airliner in Larnaca airport
"Reuters" 
The flight landed in Larnaca International airport.
At first the media in Cyprus , that the hijacker did not have demands at first. We know nothing about him yet.
Then , we knew that there had been negotiations with the hijacker who turned to be one man only.
He allowed the release of all the passengers "Egyptians" except the crew and four foreigners according to EgyptAir
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Monday, March 28, 2016

And Italians did not buy that !!

Egypt's Ministry of interior 'MOI' spokesperson Abu Bakr Abdel Karim says officially that his ministry did not say that the gang the police killed all its suspect members on Thursday was not responsible for the killing
The police general went on a phone tour in Egypt's talk show hinting out that officially the MOI has not accused the gang of killing Regeni in the past 48 hours
Here is a statement of Police General Abdel Karim to Al-Hayat TV
Abdel Karim : We did not say that the gang was involved in Regeni's murder.
It is true , all the official statements issued by the MOI officially in the media and on its Official Facebook page in Arabic lacked any direct accusation to the gang alleged members of killing Regeni. The MOI accused the gang only of robbing Regeni and thanked the Italian investigators for their help only !!!
Still despite that the official ministry of interior's statements, the Egyptian Pro-regime was the one claiming since Thursday that the gang stands behind the killing of Giulio indirectly to implant this idea in the head of the public whether press or TV or radio.
The Pro-regime media does not act freely.
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Sunday, March 27, 2016

After 9 months , we still ask Where Massouny is !!

Saturday marked nine months since the disappearance of Mostafa Massouny in Downtown Cairo in late June.
It also marks his 28th years-old birthday.
Because of that occasion , a brave group of 6 girls led by activist Sanaa Seif organized a very small silent protest in front of the Presidential Palace in Heliopolis demanding to know the fate of Mostafa Massouny.
The girls in front of the Presidential Palace "by Momen Samir"
The girls wore T-Shirt with "Where is Massouny slogan".
The girls wearing  The Where is Mostafa Massouny's ? T-shirt
"Momen Samir" 

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Saturday, March 26, 2016

And Mahmoud Mohamed and Islam Talaat are back Home

And aside from that strange story that nobody wants to believe about that criminal gang allegedly involved in Giulio Regeni's murder according to the Egyptian ministry of interior , another important and cheerful thing took place on Thursday that I should have highlighted and celebrated.
"Anti-torture" t-shirt detainee aka Mahmoud Mohamed is finally released on bail and he is currently at his home.
Oh yes , thankfully the Criminal Court rejected the prosecution's appeal against the decision to release the 18-years-old teenager who spent more than 760 days in Pre-trial detention.
Mahmoud Mohamed was not released alone by the way.
Islam Talaat , a 23-years-old young man as released along Mahmoud Mohamed.
Just like Mohamed , Talaat was arrested on 25 January 2014 and he stayed in pre-trial detention for two years.
They were released at every late hour last Thursday.
Mahmoud "L" and Islam "R", between them their lawyer
Mokhtar Mounir "Adel Eissa" 
One must wonder how many detainees locked up without a trial for years now !!

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Friday, March 25, 2016

When Giulio Regeni's Passport was found !!

Earlier Thursday , several news websites in Egypt including Tahrir Newspaper and ONA News agency published very graphic photos of suspects killed by Egyptian police in some police raid in
The bus of the suspects "Tahrir website"
New Cairo. According to security sources that spoke to those newspapers , those 5 suspects were members of a gang that used to kidnap and rob foreigners recently.

The sources added that those dead suspects were involved allegedly in the murder of Italian student Giulio Regeni !!

The security sources released very graphic photos of those suspects after being killed by Police special forces after they "the suspects" opened their fire first. 'as usual'.
You can check the Tahrir report. "Graphic content".

After a couple of hours, Egypt's Ministry of interior "MOI" issued an official short statement saying that security forces busted a criminal gang that impersonated police office officers to kidnap foreigners with the intent to rob them.

The suspects were killed in an exchange of fire with security forces.
The ministry did not release the photos of that the suspects in its first statement. It did not mention any names nor it mentioned that those suspects were involved in the Italian student's murder.

صرح مسئول مركز الإعلام الأمنى أنه صباح اليوم الخميس الموافق 24 الجارى تمكنت الأجهزة الأمنية بمديرية أمن القاهرة من إستهد...
Posted by ‎الصفحة الرسمية لوزارة الداخلية‎ on Thursday, March 24, 2016

Right after that statement , a security source told Ahram Arabic news website that the security forces had not found yet a connection between Giulio Regeni's murder and that gang.
He added that the gang was being investigated.

Interestingly, the New Cairo Prosecution told Shorouk Newspaper that the gang had not relation with Regeni's murder but one of their victims was an Italian.

Then in the evening, the ministry of interior had a big announcement to make : That gang had the belongings of late Giulio Regeni including his Italian Passport , his AUC ID and Cambridge University ID as well his credit cards.
Regeni's passport and IDs as well a piece of Hashish
"Official MOI Facebook" 
Those belongings were found in the apartment of one of the suspect' sister.
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Tuesday, March 22, 2016

And after 760 days , Mahmoud Mohamed is released on bail "Updated"

And after 760 days of detention since the 4th anniversary of January Revolution , Mahmoud Mohamed aka the t-shirt detainee has been released on bail.
Yes , the cheerful news was confirmed by his brother Tarek Mohamed on twitter.
Updated : The Egyptian prosecution appealed against the court's decision to release Mahmoud on bail early Wednesday according to his brother and lawyer. 

It turned out that Mahmoud Mohamed was released on bail due to presidential intervention as it seems.
Earlier Tuesday, President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi met with 25 thinkers and intellectuals as a start of some national dialogue "do not ask me what is that" and Pro-Jan25 award winning novelist Ibrahim Abdel Meguid raised the detained high school student's case.
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Monday, March 21, 2016

Happy Mother's Day From Egypt

Happy Mother's Day from Egypt to all the fantastic mothers all over the world.

Today, Egypt celebrates its Mother's Day. 

Here is Egypt's most ancient and famous Goddess mothers , Isis "the original good Isis" nursing her son Horus "usually symbolizes to the King or his crown prince" at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.

Ancient Egypt's Isis nursing Horus
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Sunday, March 20, 2016

Handmade Kevork Riq


A Lebanese handmade Kevork Riq "Oriental tambourine"
March 20, 2016 at 03:21PM via Instagram http://ift.tt/1pCqOYw
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Thursday, March 17, 2016

Seen in Zamalek : Colorful lights


It felt odd to find those colorful lights like that in quiet street in Zamalek
Posted at 09:41PM via Instagram 
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Wednesday, March 16, 2016

So Who is behind that alleged witness in Regeni's probe !?

The Egyptian prosecution announced in the Egyptian media that the testimony of the Egyptian citizen that came forward claiming that he saw late Giulio Regeni before his disappearance was a big fat lie.
Earlier this week, we found an alleged eyewitness called Mohamed Fawzy claiming that he saw 28-years-old Giulio Regeni having a verbal fight with some unknown foreigner outside the Italian Consulate in Cairo on 24 January.

Late Giulio Regeni 'Italian press'
The political sciences researcher went missing on 25 January. On 3 February, Regeni's mutilated body was found  at the Cairo-Alexandria highway.

Unprecedentedly, the Prosecution announced that Fawzy was lying as investigations revealed that he was not near the Italian Consulate on 24 January.

According to sources, the prosecution found out Fawzy was lying thanks to his mobile phone that proved did not come near to Downtown Cairo and was in October during the alleged fight.

Now, there is something I do not understand.
Who is behind Mr. Mohamed Fawzy?
Who told him to come forward to testify like that !?
He could not have just decided to lie like that alone !!
This can not be a pathetic attempt for attention !!

Why would anybody lie and give a false testimony in a crime like Giulio Regeni's murder !?
Update: Fawzy says that he did it for Egypt !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This man already appeared and shared his testimony on TV, on the most Pro-regime TV show earlier this week.

He appeared with Ahmed Moussa on Pro-regime TV channel Sada El-Balad speaking about the case.
Can a witness go and share his testimony on TV in a case like this when the investigations are still conducted legally!?
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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Seen in Cairo : Old magazines shop


Seen in Cairo : old magazines sold in a shop in Zamalek #Egypt #citizenjounalism
Posted on March 15, 2016 at 04:15PM via Instagram
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Monday, March 14, 2016

And now the European Parliament is accused of being ... MB funded !!

On Thursday, the European Parliament passed a resolution about the member of Italian student Giulio Regeni and it is making the Egyptian administration angry unsurprisingly.
The resolution was approved by the majority of Members of the European Parliament. We are speaking exactly about 558 MEP voting in favor of the resolution while 10 MEPs including members of Greece's Golden Dawn voting against it and 59 abstained.
The resolution officially considered the murder of the 28-years old Italian political sciences researcher and student "not an isolated accident" in Egypt "but is placed within a context of a dramatic increase in reports of torture in police detention stations and other cases of death in custody and enforced disappearances across Egypt under the current leadership".
A Non-binding resolution, the statement actually slams the human rights records of Egypt since July 2013.
You can read its final version here at the official website of MEP Marietje Schakke's official website in English.
The resolution mentions the forced disappearances, the crackdown on NGOs like Nadeem center and the protest law.
In the end , it recommends the EU countries to follow the EU Foreign Affairs council's recommendation following the dispersal of Pro-Morsi sits-in in August 2013 to "suspend exporting licenses to Egypt of any equipment which might be used for internal repression and to reassess export licenses of equipment covered by Common Position and to review their security assistance with Egypt".
It also called Egypt's House of the Representatives to amend the Protest law, the terrorism law and the terrorist organizations laws. The European Parliament also called the Egyptian government to let the civil society and NGOs act freely.
The European Parliament's resolution is not binding to the EU countries but it is a big official as well international slap to the Egyptian regime over its security policies.
By the way, here is the Arabic translation of the resolution.
Now, you can imagine how such resolution was received in Egypt.
Officially, the Egyptian ministry of foreign affairs slammed the resolution describing it as an "unfair" resolution based on "unproven accusations and baseless media reports".
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Sunday, March 13, 2016

By the blessing of the Prophet , El-Zend is fired

And Minister Ahmed El-Zend of Justice is fired.
Yes Minister El-Zend of Justice has been dismissed following his unintentionally insulting statements about the "Prophet"
In an interview on Sada El-Balad TV channel on Friday, the former minister known for his controversial statements said that he was going to imprison anyone who broke the law even if they were journalists or even it were a prophet "PBUH".
He is already also suing a huge number of journalists in Egypt right now allegedly for defame or to be precise for bringing up his corruption scandals.
He did not specify which prophet but it was associated by Prophet Mohamed because he said "PBUH".
Ahmed El-Zend and his controversial comment about the "prophet"
Yes, he said that and you can imagine how such statement offended Muslims in Egypt despite he did not mean it but that's the last straw.
Of course , it tells a lot about the mentality of the justice minister who only thinks about locking up people.
On Saturday , there had been no official reaction but as the statement and the video spread online, it created waves of anger.
Top trending hashtags on Saturday in Egypt and several Arab countries like Saudi Arabia were about El-Zend like "#A_trial_for_El-Zend_No_Insult_to_Prophet_Mohamed" , "#El-Zend" and "#El-Zend's_Trial".
Former minister Ahmed El-Zend 
There were very extremely dangerous tweets that reached to the level of violent threats from Arab tweets in particular including Pro-Daesh tweeps.
El-Send apologized on TV channels on Saturday as well in a series of tweets on his alleged Twitter account saying that He did not mean it.
Ironically and pathetically he used the same hashtags, tweeps were using to call for his trial that has been top trending for many hours.
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Before the storm


This is how Cairo looked like tonight before a dust storm followed by a rare thunderstorm
March 13, 2016 at 08:58PM via Instagram
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Seen in Downtown Cairo : An Old decayed building


An old building in Downtown Cairo, Egypt
Taken by iPhone
Posted on March 13, 2016 at 01:09AM via Instagram
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Saturday, March 12, 2016

Kodak Agfa Presents : A Quick look to Renovated Downtown Cairo

Last week , I was in Downtown Cairo and luckily I had my camera with me.
It was truly my lucky day as I passed by bunch of the old downtown 19th century and early 20th century-European style buildings being restored.
To read more about the Downtown Cairo renovation, please read this important feature by Salma Shukrallah in Ahram Online. That feature was published after the inauguration the
DSC01554
The officials working on Restoration of Khedival Cairo say that the original colors of the buildings are being used.
DSC01549
The restoration works are currently carried out by Arab Contractors Co.and other companies.
The government still owns the majority of the buildings in the area despite Misr Insurance Company owns over 90 buildings there and Al-Ismailia Investment company owns more than 20 buildings in the Downtown Cairo area.

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Friday, March 11, 2016

Would you buy a luxury apartment in London !?

I received this SMS ad on Thursday and it really puzzled me.

Yes, this is an offer to buy now luxury apartments in Onyx project in King Cross, London for £675,000 only " LE 7,552,015"
In case you do not know, Egypt is suffering one hell of an economic crisis and the Egyptian Pound is losing more and more of its value every week if it is not every day.
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Wednesday, March 9, 2016

On Martyr's Day , questions must be asked for the sake of the martyrs

On 9 March, Egypt commemorated the Martyr's Day where the Egyptian armed forces remembered its martyrs especially those who have fallen recently in Sinai.
The Egyptian armed forces' Morale department released a group of short documentaries about fallen officers and soldiers and their heroic acts in North Sinai against the terrorists of Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis.
#Egypt's unknown solider memorial in #Cairo #citizenjounalism #blogger #ThisisEgypt
The tomb of the Unknown Solider in Cairo 
All respect to Egypt's martyrs whether military or civilians as well their families who are paying a huge price.
I believe on the Martyr's Day, we should not only remember our martyrs and heroes whether they are military or civilian, put flowers on the Unknown Solider graves and share short documentaries and patriot songs. We should ask questions about why and how those people are killed like that in young age and how that blood river in North Sinai does not want to stop.
We should stop commemorating our martyrs whether military or civilians using very empty nationalistic slogans and empty words for real.
Already I have lost counting on how many times Egyptian military and security officials that Egypt purged North Sinai of terrorism and next day we find a terrorist attack killing not less than 4 security personnel !!
BuzzFeed's Maged Atef revealed in his report about life in North Sinai between the fires of Daesh-Subsidiary Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis "ABM" and the Egyptian security forces that no less than 2000 soldiers were killed in clashes according to an anonymous source in the army.
I think this number is realistic if we add up all the casualties of the Egyptian security forces since 2013 unfortunately.

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Seen in Cairo : Contradiction


Surrounded by poor crumbling buildings of Boulaq, the building of Egypt's foreign ministry in the heart of Cairo showing that crazy contradiction you can feel and see in Egypt.
Taken on March 09, 2016 at 03:05PM via Instagram.
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Tuesday, March 8, 2016

IWD2016 : Egyptian Women in the parliament through time

On the occasion of celebrating the International Women's Day, I would like to share with you something I should have posted from several times ago but it seems that I forgot.
If you remember, I did a series of infographics about the parliamentary elections results in Egypt. I forgot to add an infographic I was working to those infographics simply because I wanted to double check the numbers.
That infographic is about the history of women MPs in Egyptian parliament through history. I took the numbers from a similar infographic made by Reuters' Aswat Masriya in Arabic and added to it the 2015 parliament.
Here is the infographic after the break with a very nice background about Egypt's first women parliamentarians
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Seen in Zamalek : An old building


An old building in Zamalek, Cairo at night. That old building is among the buildings that once owned by Swiss hotel magnate Charles Bahler.
March 08, 2016 at 11:06AM via Instagram 
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Monday, March 7, 2016

Regarding the MOI's Presser

Monday afternoon, Egypt's minister of interior Magdy Abdel Ghafer announced that the Muslim Brotherhood and Palestinian Hamas movement "aka the Primary suspects" are behind the assassination of late Prosecutor General Hisham Barakat in 2015.
Late Hisham Barakat 
Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood denied their involvement. The mainstream media is back to its favorite game about MB and Hamas.
In a press conference, the Egyptian interior minister aired footage of  young men, from university students allegedly from the MB admitting their involvement in several terrorist  attacks.
Those confessions are illegal and can not be considered a solid evidence especially that they have not referred to court yet.
The minister claimed in his press conference that the MB members who did the attack were trained in besieged Gaza and returned back to Sinai through the tunnels.
As far as we are being told the Egyptian armed forces have destroyed thousands of tunnels since 2011 with Gaza.
I do not know but if we are going to believe what the MOI says then the security apparatuses in Egypt had failed to protect Egypt and the late Prosecutor General.
Since the minister's announcement, I have been thinking all those hours about how the Egyptian Pro-regime media accused former Egyptian armed forces and currently Al-Qaeda commander in Libya, Hisham El-Ashmaway was the primary suspect in the assassination of the late Prosecutor General.
I think close of presidency TV host Ahmed Moussa , Al-Bawaba and Al-Watan newspaper owe  an apology to Al-Morabtoon Prince for naming him as the primary suspect in that huge attack !!
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Saturday, March 5, 2016

Okasha's affair : The village's fool is no longer wanted

Wednesday afternoon, the majority of Egypt's House of Representatives agreed to revoke the parliamentary membership of Tawfik Okasha for allegedly meeting the Israeli ambassador.
Not less than 465 members agreed to strip Okasha off his parliamentary membership in a noisy session according to the parliamentary correspondents who attended it.
All the action and the fights were about Okasha despite he was not allowed to attend the session despite he begged to enter.
Tawfik Okasha trying to know what is happening behind the closed door
"Sada el-Balad" 
Later that evening the controversial TV host declared that he would close and sell his populist-conspiracy-theory TV channel "El-Faraeen" for the zillion times thanking both the Egyptian people and President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi.

That's the main event in Egypt on Wednesday despite on the same day, the same House of Representatives approved without further discussion in a very short time the 3-billion Euro loans the Egyptian ministry of defense took from the French banks to finance French arms deals. That has not happened in Egypt's modern history since Khedive Ismail I believe. Anyhow all the attention of course to Okasha and his dinner with the Israeli ambassador.
The French loans are extremely important but unfortunately in this post I am going to join that media circus in Egypt about Okasha or a.k.a El-Oksh as the Pro-25 January revolution supporters love to call him.
This has nothing to do with anti-Zionism as the foreign press thinks.  It is more complicated than that.
Since the House of Representatives started to convene and Okasha  has been making non-stopped headlines in the media with his fights in the parliament.
It has been a regular thing to read that the Pro-regime MP was denied to speak in the parliament or was kicked out of the sessions.When I look to his saga in the parliament, I must stop at certain milestones.

Diaries of an MP in the House of Representatives

In December 2015, he said in a TV interview on ONTV that security apparatuses were working against Egypt slamming the Pro-Sisi parliamentary bloc led by former intelligence officer Sameh Seif El-Yazal. "Video"
He later appeared on the same channel in the same TV show in a lengthy interview slamming the security apparatuses claiming that he asked for political asylum in Germany.
Next day, Egypt's Media Free zone suspended Okasha from speaking on TV whether on his channel or any other channel for whole six months.
Despite he apologized for his statements saying that he said what he had said as a plan to test the state, the ban was implemented.
He did not sit still and challenged the order in front of the administrative court and later he got an administrative court order ending that ban.
Ranting only on his TV channel, he announced that he would invite the Israeli ambassador to a dinner at his house in Mansoura because Israel was "besieging Egypt in Libya , Ethiopia and war on terrorism...etc.".
Nobody gave a damn for that because he is regarded as the "village's fool" despite his high viewership.
Two weeks ago, the Pro-Sisi TV host ranted once again in his TV show calling for the dismissal of the cabinet and early presidential elections.
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Thursday, March 3, 2016

The Pyramids on the way



The Great pyramids of Giza appear on the horizon in one fine morning on the way to 6 October district.
via Instagram 
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Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Hot Cafes competition


In front of once-number-one Cafe chain in Egypt Cilantro in Mostafa Mahmoud square , two popular Cafe chains inaugurated their branch beside and above each other.
Now we got Canadian Cafe Supreme besides U.S Starbucks Coffee in front Cilantro that lost a lot in the past few years.
via Instagram 
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