Egyptian Chronicles: October 2016

Sunday, October 30, 2016

The case of Saad Lamjarrad's and how innocent until proven guilty is taken out of context "Updated"

"Updated : This post was written before the incident of the fish seller rocks Morocco for real"
For  four days now , Moroccan and Arab social media universe have nothing to speak about Moroccan singer Saad Lamjarrad and his case in Paris in the worst way ever.
Saad Lamjarrad
Saad Lamjarrad

On Wednesday , the French authorities arrested 31-years-old Lamjarrad in Paris for an alleged sexual assault.
Yes, the Moroccan star was arrested for an alleged sexual assault of a French girl.
 He is currently detained as far as I understand from the news reports coming from Paris till Tuesday.

This is not the first time  Lamjarrad is facing those charges.
In 2010, he faced similar charges in the United States as he was accused of beating and raping a woman in New York.
He left the States after paying a bail and never came back.
In May 2016 , the case was reopened.

The Pepsi Arabia face is denying all those allegations whether the NY incident or Paris incident.

Saad Lamjarrad hit regional fame when his song  "LM3ALLEM" became the most viewed Arabic song on YouTube with more than 400 million views. "do not ask me why"
Anyhow , personally I believe in " innocent until proven guilty" and I deal with the matter with extra cautious because we are speaking about sexual assaults and rape charges here twice with very disturbing details in the French newspapers.

Yet,I am more than shocked to see how "the innocent until proven guilty" is taken out of context in Morocco and across the Arab world.

Actually, the whole matter turned into a big circus.
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Saturday, October 29, 2016

It is time for the annual heavy rains season in Egypt " Update"

The time has come !! The annual time of heavy rains seasons in Egypt especially in Red Sea mounts range, Sinai and Upper Egypt governorates.

More than 15 people were killed in the past 48 hours following the heavy rains in three governorates.
Eight people including children were killed and 23 others were injured after heavy rains and flood hit the town of Ras Gharib in Red Sea governorate.

Updated : The ministry of health announced on Saturday that the death toll increased to 26 people while 72 were injured in four governorates. 

Since early Friday early hours, tweeps from Ras Gharib  were asking for urgent help on social media to help them as heavy rain waters flooded their streets and buildings.The mainstream media is off on Friday and will return to work on Saturday.



This is an aerial view of the town shot from an oil company plane.
Ras Gharib from an aerial view by Mohamed Soliman
Ras Gharib in an aerial view by Mohamed Soliman 

Ras Gharib from an aerial view by Mohamed Soliman
Ras Gharib on Friday after the heavy rain by Mohamed Soliman 
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Thursday, October 27, 2016

National Youth conference week and 8-seconds GIF !!

"P.S: This is belated post"
Currently , the resort city of Sharm El-Sheikh is hosting a 3-days conference organized by Egyptian presidency dedicated to Egyptian youth.
It is just like the old Mubarak and NDP's youth conference but not for a single day but for three days with really bizarre quotes.

El-Sisi and the youth in a marathon on Wednesday "Egyptian Presidency" 
That conference comes in a very strange timing as the conference celebrates youth as well freedom of expression in Egypt according to its session on media on Wednesday.

On Wednesday ,the speakers in the so-called "Youth media" panel unleashed another attack against Social media users who "think that they can change the country" according to the index on censorship 2010 award-winning  journalist Ibrahim Eissa. "Fair enough he criticized the state during the session in some theatrical performance" 

Ironically a small incident happened earlier this week and proves that some people got a big problem with social media.

Earlier Monday , Cairo's prosecution ordered the release of a popular comic Facebook page administration pending investigations without a bail after his arrest and detention for nearly 48 hours on charges of "insulting state institutions".

Only on Sunday it was known that  popular comic Facebook page administrator Khaled Mokhtar aka "Shiko Biko" was arrested from his house and accused of "insulting state institutions", inciting protests on November 11 and obstructing security and public peace  despite it is known that Mokhtar has not political activity of any kind !!
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Sunday, October 23, 2016

Farewell Gamal Kotb , Egypt's top Book cover artist

Egypt lost last Sunday one of its most talented as well underrated painters and artists , Gamal Kotb.
The 1930-born painter passed away last Sunday in Cairo quietly as only his fans and students from artists mourn him.

Gamal Kotb
Gamal Kotb in a photo that goes back to 2010
Despite as a painter he may not be famous I think like other Egyptian artists in the 20th century , Gamal Kotb can be or actually is Egypt's top book cover artist.
Originally from Gharbia , Gamal Kotb graduated from the faculty of arts in Cairo.
He joined Dar El-Hilal press institution when it was still a great publishing house.
His name as an illustrator began to become famous in Egyptian press the 1960s thanks to Dar El-Hilal's publications.
Gamal Kotb's real fame came as the cover artist of Naguib Mahfouz's novels as well other prominent writers and novelists like Ihsan Abdel Quddous since the 1960s thanks to publisher Abdel Hameed Gouda El-Sahar.
Yet, his name has become a synonym to Mahfouz's books cover artist thanks to his beautiful retro romantic illustrations.
A collection of Naguib Mahfouz's novels and their original covers by  Gamal Kotb
A collection of Naguib Mahfouz's novels and their original covers by
Gamal Kotb 
His style was a mix of noir and pulp fiction , very distinguished that you recognize it without reading his signature.
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Thursday, October 20, 2016

Fall of discontent Redux : The viral videos week "Updated"

Did you see the video of Tuk-tuk driver ? Did you notice how it pissed off all the Pro-regime mainstream media and supporters !?
P.S : The Pro-regime media is still fighting the tuk-tuk driver's video insisting that he is a Muslim Brotherhood member.
Well, guess what ??
The Tuk-tuk driver video was not the only viral video of citizens expressing how much they fed up with the current economic situation.
There are other videos that went viral in the past 48 hours and now we got the "Video revolution" week.

Let's start with that video shared crazily starring a very angry and honest woman.
The video is published by Turkey-based Arab Affairs website. I think it is recorded recently in Alexandria as this lady used the Alexandrian term to describe her purse .
This video has been top trending on Youtube in Egypt as well in other Arab countries especially in Gulf.

A lady complains about prices on video

That angry lady said more than what the tuk-tuk driver said about the army and its role in the society.
"The army will distribute meat , the army will supervise the sewage system , are there no more people in the country except the army !??" She wondered in anger.
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Monday, October 17, 2016

Kodak Agfa presents : October Supermoon

And here is October's supermoon , big and shiny like a perfect Moon on the 14th night of the Hijri month. 🌑

October Supermoon
That's a full supermoon
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Saturday, October 15, 2016

The tuk-tuk driver who spoke on behalf of many Egyptians now "Updated"

First of all,  God bless the soul of the 12 Egyptian Conscripts who were killed earlier this Friday by terrorists in Mid Sinai.
I won't say anything new more than what I have said before in similar incidents before: Something wrong in the strategies concerning war terrorism in North Sinai.

Second , In the past 24 hours , Egyptians had nothing to speak about or share about online except that tuk-tuk driver who was not afraid of speaking on camera about the woes of Egypt slamming its government and president directly and indirectly.

I am writing a post about the current crisis between Egypt and Saudi Arabia but I have to pause for awhile to write about that short 3-minutes interview that became the talk of the country for real.

Wednesday evening, prominent TV host Amr El-Lissy aired on his TV show " Someone from the people" on Al-Hayah Private TV channel a special report he recorded earlier about people's complaints "mainly from economic crisis" in the working class' local market at October city.

Among those people whom he interviewed , a "tuk-tuk driver" who is extremely angry because of the current economic situation as well how things in general deteriorated in Egypt since 1952.

Here is the video. The tuk-tuk driver appeared in minute  7:19 exactly.
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Angrily and eloquently , the "tuk-tuk driver" told El-Lizzy that instead of spending billions on mega-national projects, the government should spend more on education , health and agriculture "so Egyptians can eat".

During the interview , El-Lissy interrupted him and asked him from where he was graduated as he spoke very eloquently unlike the general perception of "tuk-tuk drivers" as uneducated. The man told him that he was a "tuk-tuk graduate".

In 3-minutes , that anonymous man expressed what many Egyptians want to say publicly on TV.
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Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Seen in Egypt : A short trip through the countryside

Egypt's Nile Delta 
Taken in May on the way to Alexandria by train from Cairo.
I love train trips in Egypt because you can use easily the countryside you have not seen before in a very short time.
Those photos were taken in different places. The upper two were taken in Beheira governorate , exactly in the famous "Itay Al-Baroud" city while the lower one was taken on Banha railway bridge.
You can see here couple of nice photos from Egypt's countryside in Nile Delta's Sharkia 

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Monday, October 10, 2016

A sign that tells you a lot about Egypt's economy now

That sign was seen in the upscale Seoudi supermarket on Wednesday telling their upper-middle-class clients new rules.
Seoudi market's announcement 


As we are keen to provide goods continuously to all our clients, we would like to hint out that the available quantity for each client from (sugar or oil or rice) is 2 packs or 2 bottles only.

I think this tells you how much the current economic  crisis is affecting Egypt and it began to echo in the privilege classes above them the Upper Middle Classes.

Friends tell me that similar hypermarket chains got similar restrictions including Carrefour especially when it comes to sugar.

It seems that we are having a sugar crisis in Egypt as its prices soared reaching to LE 10 if you find it in the market.

The minister of supply denies that there is "sugar crisis" and news reports speak about the dirty role of greedy suppliers.

It is like that we are back to the 1960s once again and its crises when it comes to food supply.

An ant male tells ant female : where shall
I find you sugar Fawzia ? I can not find
it in the market " By Anwar" 

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Saturday, October 8, 2016

The return of Mubarak living dead week !!

It was not only Ahmed Ezz or Hussein Salem who had a comeback last week , it seems that most of Mubarak cronies above them the controversial officials are back to public life shamelessly.

Amr Adeeb hosted on Sunday Mubarak's minister of planning Osman Mohamed Osman in Ahmed Nazif's cabinet who wrote an op-ed in Al-Masry Al-Youm Daily "Just like Ezz" suggesting the cancellation of subsidies.

Speaking about the cancellation of subsidies "which Adeeb advocates in his show and actually IMF demands El-Sisi to do" , Osman said  something that is very interesting.
Mubarak on 6 October waving for his fans
at Maadi hospital in Cairo "AP"
He says that the person who earns LE 20 "$2" per day in Egypt is not poor !!
In the same moment , he said that those who earned LE 16 "$1.6" per day are living under the poverty line according to the official US exchange rate in banks on Sunday "USD 1 = LE 8.88"
He forgot that the price of US dollar in the black market reached this week to LE 14.30 as far as I have heard!!
There was a joke on social media that soon after hosting Osman and Salem , Adeeb would host Suzanna Mubarak.

Former PM Ahmed Nazif is back to teaching at Cairo University and according to Youm 7 Sources he is going to supervise the post-graduates' studies in the faculty of engineering.

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Thursday, October 6, 2016

#Oct73 war anniversary : The 2016 edition

On Wednesday , Egypt celebrated the October 1973 War 43rd anniversary.
It was quieter than previous years as far as I could tell.
An Egyptian soldier on the Front in October 1973
An Egyptian soldier on the Front in October 1973 
On Wednesday , Egypt's President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi attended the commemoration of the war by the Egyptian armed forces along with none other than Sudan's Omar El-Bashir.
As an Egyptian , I felt insulted twice.

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Monday, October 3, 2016

Seen in Cairo : Waiting for the trip to start

Location Cairo, Cairo Governorate, Egypt
On the board of a train at Cairo's Ramses railway station 
Back in May , I was waiting for a short  trip to Alexandria to start from Cairo on the board of a train at Ramses railways station. I love train trips but I hated waiting.
The train window shutters bugged me at first and looked like bars till I managed to open them as far as I remember.
Source : Instagram 
In case you wonder , all those photos are just a prelude for bigger series of photos from the Mermaid of the Mediterranean. 
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Sunday, October 2, 2016

Happy new Hijri year 1438

Happy new Hijri year 1438 to all Muslims celebrating it around the globe.
Today marks the start of the first day in the first month "Muharram" in the Islamic Hijri year.
Really praying for peace this year in the Muslim world especially in the Arab world.
El-Siyada Zeinab Mosque
El-Siyada Zeinab Mosque in Cairo 

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Saturday, October 1, 2016

The return of cronies : Ahmed Ezz writes Op-ed and Hussein Salem speaks to TV "‘Updated"

Yes , you read it right in the headline.
Infamous former NDP leading figure and steel tycoon Ahmed Ezz is back to write op-eds about the economic situation in Egypt.
Last week , we found Ezz among the guest writers in Daily Al-Masry Al-Youm in Op-eds section speaking about his optimism during the current economic crisis in Egypt in a letter to the editor-in-chief.
"A Call for optimism !!" the former leading NDP member wrote about the Egyptian economy.
According to his experience as an industrialist and a businessman as well the head of planning and  budget committee in the People's assembly for a whole decade , Ezz is telling the Egyptian people not to worry because everything will be right according to numbers.
Ahmed Ezz
Ahmed Ezz
The Pro-regime media and supporters spread his call as a testimony of an experienced businessman.
This is not the first Ezz writes about op-eds in newspapers.

Many people including me remember how he wrote a long op-ed that was published in Youm 7 website and Al-Ahram newspaper "2 pages spread" about how the National Democratic Party led by ousted Mubarak won the controversial 2010 parliamentary elections fairly  !!!

"The people's assembly elections.. a call for people to read" , that was the title of his lengthy op-ed stating the reasons then behind the so-called "landslide victory" of Egypt's ruling party then above them the economic growth in  Mubarak's time

I notice that he always uses "A Call for ...." in his op-eds.

It is worth to mention that Ezz op-ed about the NDP was published on 24 December  2010 ,a month before the 25 January protests would kick off paving the way for the Tahrir revolution that raised the slogan "Bread, Freedom and Social Justice"
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