Egyptian Chronicles: December 2014

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

#SaveNebny : Let the Youth Help The People

I am sick from reading official statements in Egypt calling Youth to participate in building their country when those youth are fought on all fronts whether politics or economy or arts or even charity works. I am sick and angry.

In few hours or days a successful NGO helping thousands of families in Manshiyat Nasser , Cairo’s biggest and most impoverished areas will close its HQ office in the area because Cairo governorate wants to turn that office in to a Post office !!
Zoom in to read the problem 

Ok let’s start from the beginning. Nebny Foundation is a young NGO founded by a group of Pro-25 January revolutionaries who decided to help their country through improving the living conditions of Egyptians in another way than politics.

Since 2011 the young NGO chose  Manshiyat Nasser as an area to start their ambitious project. The NGO founded by Jawad Nabulsi focused on education , empowerment and employment in the impoverished area which needs tens of NGOs to help it. Since 2012 years the NGO was using a HQ in the area owned by the governorate.

This HQ or building was actually once the office of the governor in the area. In 2012 Cairo governor issued a decision to host the NGO in his deserted office in Manshiyat Nasser thankfully. The young volunteers did not waste any time and turned the office was near to a wasteland to a successful community centre.

Last March when the current Cairo governor issued an order to the NGO to evacuate the place immediately claiming that the successful NGO had no activity despite it had agreements with the ministry of education and was recognized by international organizations.

Thanks to a public campaign , the governor backed off but now he is back and he wants Nebny to evacuate its premiss. The NGO asked the governorate to rent the building but they did not answer. I do not understand the reason for real.

I do not understand what is the problem of Cairo governor or the head of the district with Nebny.

Already I visited Nebny HQ in  March and I met with the Children who were extremely happy and told me how the NGO changed their lives for real.

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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

#FreeAJStaff : A year later

From a year ago , the Al Jazeera International Staff “Mohamed Fadel , Peter Greste and Baher Mohamed” were arrested by Egyptian security forces and were accused of being members of the newly designated terrorist organization then “The Muslim Brotherhood”.
After few months in a very quick that was a just another episode in the continuing Show in Egypt “Let’s insult justice” over and over , the three were sentenced from seven up to ten years in jail. The case created international outcry that has not stopped right now.
Today journalists from around the globe protest the imprisonment of the three in Egypt in their own ways.
There were small protests in front of the Egyptian embassy in London , Washington D.C and The Hague. Dutch journalist Rena Nejtes , who was convicted in absentia in the same trial was among the protesters in the Hague.
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Saturday, December 27, 2014

#FreeShawkan : He is a photojournalist ; Not a Criminal

Five hundred days passed and freelance photographer Mahmoud Abu Zaid “Shawkan” has been left in Tora prison pending a trial for nothing except trying to do his job.
Shawkan was arrested by Egyptian security forces during the dispersal of the Pro-Morsi Raba’a sit in August 2013. Since then he was detained in jail. I recommend reading his case by his his own words. Here is a letter written by Shawkan from Tora prison. It was first published earlier this December on “Life Through a lens” blog
My name is Shawkan. I am a freelance photojournalist. I have been kidnapped and
imprisoned, for almost sixteen months now. 500 days in prison, without committing any crime. My family are unable to negotiate my release. I am an innocent man.
I have been interrogated once by the authorities since my arrest. My detention has been renewed every 45 days and I have not been charged with a single crime.
I was arrested on 14 August 2013, whilst photographing the Rabaa demonstrations in Rabaa Square, Cairo, Egypt. I was working at the time and before I was arrested, I identified myself to police as a journalist. My camera was taken off me, my hands were tied and I was beaten.I have been imprisoned without any investigation into the fabricated charges of which I am accused.
Each day I question why I am still here. I have witnessed the release of more than half of the prisoners who were with me, including the Al Jazeera correspondent Abdullah al-Shami. And still, I remain inside this black hole. Execution is the penalty for the fabricated accusations that I am facing.

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Friday, December 26, 2014

Watch This Exclusive Report From #Aleppo

Watch this amazing report from inside the city of Aleppo, from Syria by Rami Jarrah. He recorded those few minutes with the Free Syrian Army in Inzarat area , in the city of Aleppo.
Click on CC in order to read the English caption
By the way the Black Flag with Shahada appearing in the video besides the Syrian independence flag is not ISIS’ flag but rather Al-Nusra Front , its rival group.
Please follow Rami's impressive YouTube channel "AnaPress" to get more updates from Syria as well about Syria from Syrians.
I can not hide how I am angry from the world on letting Syria slip in to that chaos turning a revolution against a dictatorship regime in to a war whose main players are two radical bastards : Al-Assad Regime and ISIS.
I can not hide how I feel angry when I remember the role the Gulf countries whether Saudi Arabia or Qatar played in creating ISIS by using religion and sectarianism in the past three years in order to get rid from Iran !!
 Now they are paying the price. The Gulf state did not waste any time in to turning the Arab spring in to failure whether to keep their throne or fight Iran. Ironically and expectedly it turned over their head and we got ISIS like a bad cancer.
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Thursday, December 25, 2014

Bassem Youssef and the LE 50 million Fine he has to pay

Last November 2014 The Cairo Regional Center International for International Commercial Arbitration ruled out that popular TV host Bassem Youssef and QSoft Ltd , the production company behind his Hit TV show "AlBernmag" should pay LE 100 Million " LE 50 Million each" to CBC TV network for the suspension of his TV show last year.

This goes back when CBC suspended the show if you remember after he was accused of insulting Field Marshal El-Sisi in November 2013 in the first episode of his show's third season. CBC network also issued a strong statement attack Youssef and his crew accusing them of breaching their contract and the channel's editorial policies.

Following that QSoft terminated the contract with CBC and after two months Bassem Youssef returned back to the Screen , on Saudi owned TV channel MBC Masr.

His show continued for couple of months before it was suspended by the channel for fear it would influence the Egyptian voters allegedly before the Presidential elections. After the Presidential elections Bassem and his crew reached to a decision to suspend the show indefinitely.

Now on Monday State-owned Ahram Newspaper published in its first Page this news about the ruling and the fine. By the way this is the first time something like that happens in the Egyptian media.
The news on the first page of Ahram Newspaper
 by Ahmed Ragab
Interestingly Ahram Newspaper , Youm 7 and Al-Watan "which is owned by CBC network's owner Mohamed Al-Amin" reported the news.

On the same day Bassem Youssef spoke about the matter on twitter saying that he was dragged in to the legal feud between QSoft and CBC insisting that he was not part of it. He also spoke about the "The questionable timing" of leaking the verdict to the press this week.
According to friends and journalists who read the documents of the case and the verdict's reasoning  , Bassem Youssef was not a party involved in the contract , he was only a witness and so he should not be involved in the case.

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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas From Cairo

Merry Christmas from Cairo for all those celebrating it tonight
This is the overcrowded October bridge in another traffic jam this evening and you can see the Cairo tower in green celebrating the Christmas I believe.
Merry Christmas again and again

A photo posted by @zeinobia on
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Monday, December 22, 2014

Remembering Sheikh Emad Effat

Many from Pro-Revolutionaries discovered this man unfortunately after his tragic death.

Emad Effat , a Sheikh from Al Azhar was killed during the clashes between protesters and security forces on 15 December 2011 in what's better known in the Media as "The clashes of Cabinet HQ" .

Officially we do not know who killed Sheikh Effat. The autopsy report indicated that he was being targeted specifically but unofficially the fingers and reports are all pointing to the military police. It is worth to mention that the Pro-regime media accuses the so-called terrorists of killing him !!
This short documentary is directed by veteran TV host and Constitution party founding party Gameela Ismail. Blogger Amina Zaky is Gameela's companion in discovering that Sheikh who was unknown for many people

Unfortunately after his tragic death we discovered this man who became another revolutionary icon among the young revolutionaries. We found out that there was among us a sheikh who didnot belong to the state camp or the Muslim brotherhood camp.

H. Hellyer mentioned Sheikh Emad's in his very interesting op-ed "The Islamic Monthly" Which I highly recommend that you read it.
One prominent example was Emad Effat, a jurist from the Dar al-Ifta, or "the Abode of Verdicts". Ironically, he served at a time when Ali Gomaa’ was head of the institution. Effat disagreed with Gomaa’s politics—but loved and respected him dearly, according to numerous accounts by his students and colleagues. Reports at the time indicated that military forces killed Effat in clashes with protesters in November 2011. Effat was opposed to the return of the Mubarak regime, deeply critical of the military council of the day, and simultaneously had antipathy to the Muslim Brotherhood. When he died, he earned two titles – shaheed al-Azhar (the martyr of the Azhar), and shaykh al-thawra (the shaykh of the revolution). Since his passing, no one else has taken up that banner.
We should not forget our martyrs or their rights , we should not forget the dream they died for.

May Allah bless Sheikh Emad Effat's soul.

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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Egypt in the past 10 days

This is a summary of what happened in Egypt in the past 10 days :
Filming the raid by her iPhone (Her show Facebook page)
  • In the same week another controversial TV host or to be precise the queen of Tabliod TV in Egypt Riham Saeed showed 5 girls possessed by Christian demonic entities on her show . Despite it was one of her most viewed episodes on Al-Nahar TV , the show was just a bad spoof of Exorcist film series. Yes I saw it and it was just crazy. Now Riham got what she wanted and she was the most talked person on twitter in the past 4 days. Of course mostly she was attacked for spreading superstition and she was proven to be fabricating some parts of her show but she got what she wanted : Mona Iraqi won't take from her the crown of tabloid media queen everrrrrrrr.
Riham , the drama queen
  • A new comer to the tabloid TV show circus in Egypt , Lebanese TV host Raghad Shalhob presents a new TV show about taboos and secrets in Egypt on Hayat TV network. Her first episode was about ... drugs , oh yes and among her guests were two drug dealers who wore really funky disguise
Saeed Gamil , a drug dealer by Menna Alaa
Of course what caught my attention in this show is not that "Pimp my dealer look" but the fact that the TV show demonstrated on camera , in the studio the side effects of drugs on a living rat lab. This is considered animal cruelty if I may say. Yes white rats used in experiments all the time but not on TV
  • To prove Egypt is on the right path of democracy , Egyptian security forces refused Michele Dunn , the senior associate in the Carnegie Middle East Program to enter Egypt on December 12, 2014. Dunn was invited to some conference organized by some Pro-Regime organization. I think now we know that Dunn was right in her opinions about the regime after 3 July. We also know there is no coordination between the different governmental bodies in Egypt and the final word is for the security apparatus. The ministry of foreign affairs in Cairo says that he had no Non-tourist purposes Visa to visit Egypt and attend the conference. It was said earlier that she was banned for security related reasons not visa related reasons . Fact : US citizens are allowed to obtain a visa at the airport for business as well as tourism
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Sunday, December 14, 2014

ElBaradei speaks about Arab Spring

Here is the lecture of former Vice President Mohamed ElBaradei about the Arab Spring and its lessons at Fletcher school in the United States from couple of days ago


He speaks about Arab Spring and what happened to it from ups and downs or mainly down especially in Egypt.

I can't say anything more than what he said.

By the way the Pro-regime and Pro-Military media are still attacking him day and night labelling him as agent. The fact that he speaks in public lectures abroad makes many people go coco for real back in Egypt. I mean scrolling down the El-Sisi supporters' timeline on twitter tonight following the news of this lecture , I found out that they were spreading conspiracies that that lecture was a beginning for his return to Egypt to start a new revolution next 25 January 2015 !!!

I will not lie and say that I am not angry from ElBaradei for leaving the country when many including the same youth he speaks about in pride needed and still need him as a voice. Youth are angry and frustrated , they feel that they are being abondoned by older political generations including ElBaradei's generation.

I believe Elbaradei will come back to Egypt to remind the rest of the country specifically the regime and the army as well the rest of the old political powers including the Islamists to tell them " I told you so".



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Monday, December 8, 2014

I think we need an explanation

In 48 hours we found out that 2 embassies have decided to suspend their work in Cairo forcing many to ask questions and to worry.

On Saturday Australia issued officially a travel warning to its citizens about Egypt for ongoing political turmoil and the fear of possible terrorist attacks.

On Sunday UK embassy in Cairo decided to suspend its work in Cairo , they did not say when they are going to resume their work. It was more than shocking because from a week ago current UK ambassador in Egypt John Casson did what not so many Egyptian officials do and visited Al-Minya in the heart of Upper Egypt saying it was safe for anyone to visit.

On Monday the Canadian embassy in Cairo joined the UK embassy.

There is definitely something.

The government tells us that there is nothing to worry about but I am afraid I have to worry. After since when the government is honest about anything in this country. The government says that those embassies demand extra security measures in the famous Garden City area

Of course this won't encourage to come and visit Egypt , after all what kind of foreign tourist willl come and visit the country when his embassy is officially closed for security concerns.

According to security sources in the media the two embassies had to close its doors after threats from ISIS. In case you do not know IS got a branch in Egypt called "State of Sinai" or to be accurate "Ansar Beit El-Maqdis" , the infamous Sinai militant group that got distrubing CV of operations in North Sinia as well other governorates including Cairo.

Targetting the diplomatic missions was mentioned in one of the IS' recommendations published online in the websites and forums to their brothers in Egypt. I remember read those recommendations last month.

Sadly enough the Pro-regime media began to attack UK, Canada and Australia accusing them of cooperating with the Muslim Brotherhood !! This stupid claim was echoed among the Pro-Sisi supporters online. Oh and they began to share Putin's photos to tease UK , yes this is how they react.

I am worried, really worried. I think we need an explanation.

Updated

It turned out it had to do with CIA's torture report.

 

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Friday, December 5, 2014

Let it leak : Phone calls leaks season 2 in #Egypt

And it seems that we returned once again to the new season of phone calls leaks in Egypt but this time it seems we have one hell of a season.This time we are dealing with alleged several phone calls from El-Sisi's office involving members of SCAF and current prosecutor general in Egypt. Yes forget the boring calls of the activits we are speaking SCAF !!

A Pro-Muslim Brotherhood TV channel called "Mekameleen" aired Old recorded phone calls Thursday night between Mamdouh Shahin , the minister of defense aide for legal affairs and the following name : Vice admiral Osama El-Gendy ,The commander in chief of Egyptian Navy forces, the minister of interior Mohamed Ibrahim , Lt. General Mahmoud Hejazy and Major General Abbas Kamel , the head of El-Sisi's office whether in the army or presidency.

In nutshell those 30 minutes alleged phone calls were about a technical legal problem concerning Mohamed Morsi's detention after his ouster. Morsi was allegedly detained in some military navy base prior his transfer to jail.

It is illegal in Egypt to detain a civilian in any military facility without any legal reason not to mention technically he was illegally detained for no charge officially since 3 July 2013 and so this can blow up his trials.

So the officials mentioned above allegedly falsified evidence in order to change the locations or rather the ownership of the building where Morsi was detained.

Explicitly it was said during those alleged phone calls that the building where Morsi was detained would be officially recognized as some old prison following the ministry of interior instead of the Egyptian navy whether on paper or in the real world.

If they are true , those alleged phone calls are more than alarming. We are speaking about a High level security breach in the national security and national security decision makers who break the law.

We can not authenticate those calls but damage is done already. Social media is on fire about Those calls in #Sisileaks hashtags whether in Arabic or English.

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Monday, December 1, 2014

After #Mubarak's acquittal

Mubarak is acquitted and the leaders of the Arab world are calling him to congratulate him.It is merry news for them of course after all now Western media says that this verdict was like the last straw to the Arab Spring.

Anyhow today Anti-Mubarak/Anti-Sisi non-Islamists protests began to spread in Egyptian universities. We got protests in Cairo University , Helwan University and Alexandria University..etc.

The media claims that they are Islamists and Anti-Coup students but this is not untrue , already not all those students are Islamists. Most of these students are members of April 6 youth , Constitution party and Strong Egypt party. Not to mention their rallies were different than the Pro-Morsi Students against coup "SAC" rallies and they refused to cooperate with SAC students.

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