Egyptian Chronicles: 2017

Saturday, October 14, 2017

1973 War special : The Nubian Sergeant

For the first time in 44 years following the 1973 October war, a forgotten hero has been decorated Egypt’s highest military medal for his role that gave Egypt an edge over the Israelis.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi honored last Monday 1973 war veteran Ahmed Idris decorating him the Order of the Sinai star for his role in that war.

Ahmed Idris who was born in old Nubia, Aswan is the man behind the secret code which the Israelis could not break in 1973 war despite it was not a real or complex secret code.
Mr. Idris joined the Egyptian army in 1954 as a soldier in the Border guards.
Since the time of the Egyptian kingdom, most of Egyptian Nubians worked in the Border guards.He was stationed in Sinai till June 1967 war aka Six days war.
Ahmed Idris and El-SIsi
Idris with El-Sisi last week at The Egyptian armed forces'
lecture about 1973 war 
Now according to him, after the defeat late chief of staff Abdel Moneim Riad decided to reassign a group of the border guards officers and soldiers training them on various missions including driving tanks, special forces courses and signals aka military communications for 3 years.
During December 1970 our sergeant was reassigned as a driver for one of the army commanders. He recounted that he was driving that commander and his aide after one of the meetings that discussed very urgent and disturbing matter.
A week earlier the Egyptian intelligence knew that Israel managed to decode the signals of the Egyptian army which meant all the communications between Egyptian commanders and officers were known to Israelis.
A new code was needed urgently. As the two men talked about that, Idris interfered in the talk telling them that he got an idea for a code that the Israelis could not know.
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Thursday, October 12, 2017

Another New State of emergency in Egypt : It never ends

And President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi issued a decree on Tuesday “10/10/2017” to declare a state of emergency in Egypt for three months starting from Friday “Tomorrow” 1 AM Cairo Local Time.


Egypt's official gazette October 2017
A copy of the decree in the official
gazette
The decree was published in Tuesday’s issue of the Egyptian State’s official gazette.

There is online and ongoing confusion about this declaration as some considered it as an extension of that state of emergency.
El-Sisi declared the state of emergency last April following the horrifying the Black Palm Sunday bombings in Cairo and Tanta. 

It is not an extension to that state of emergency which was extended in July subsequently. Sisi extended the state of emergency on 10 July 2017 for three months only in accordance with the Egyptian Constitution.

That 3 months period has ended on Tuesday 10 October 2017.

According to the Egyptian Constitution of 2014's article no.154, the State of emergency can be only extended for another three months only one time.

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Monday, October 9, 2017

And Egypt is heading to World Cup Russia 2018

Okay this is from the historical important moments that I love to post in my blog

Egypt has finally qualified for the World Cup Russia 2018

Yes, I need to say this again loud and clear that Egypt has been qualified for World Cup Russia 2018
After 28 years, Egyptian National Football/Soccer team succeeded reaching the World Cup since 1990 FIFA World Cup in Italy.
This is the third time for our National football team to be qualified for the World Cup.
The first time was in 1934 FIFA World Cup in Italy. We were the first African and Arab country to play in the World Cup.
It took 56 years to be qualified again in 1990 FIFA World Cup in Italy also.
This was the first football memory for me as a child. I remember that I cried a lot when Germany won the Cup and wondered why Egypt did not get it.
My family tried to explain the matter for me but I did not get it then.
Now after 28 years, Egypt is going yet again to the World Cup, this time in Russia next year.
I am now grown-up enough to know that we are not a candidate to win the World Cup itself but the honor is enough to reach the World Cup.

Mohamed Salah
Mohamed Salah "AP" 
I think I am lucky enough along millions of Egyptians to witness being qualified to the World Cup twice.

Also, the young generation is lucky enough to see our squad going to the World Cup.

Yes, I am bit emotional because I witnessed the happiness of the people first hand and how they headed to Tahrir square automatically as soon as Mohamed Salah, our golden boy scored that penalty.
One night of happiness won’t change anything of the reality we know and live but it will just give hope.

Back to Mohamed Salah, well God bless him as he made a true history for real.
Mo Salah is now the most famous Egyptian abroad and he deserves it.

A side note: The AP photographer who took unforgotten shots from the football match with Congo is photographer Nariman El-Mufti, a woman photographer. 

Salah and the rest of the squad were born after 1990 ironically except El-Hadry, our goalkeeper.
If I am not mistaken, he is by far the oldest goalkeeper so far to participate in World Cup Russia 2018.
The best goalkeeper in Africa deserves to be despite his shitty political views.
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Sunday, October 8, 2017

Seen in Cairo : Celebrating World Cup Qualification in Tahrir square

Location El-Tahrir Square, Cairo Governorate, Egypt
The Egyptian authorities did not allow cars to enter Tahrir square allowing people only on foot to enter.
Yet this did not stop people in their cars to celebrate Egypt’s victory in its football/soccer game against Congo and being qualified to WorldCup in Russia "More to come here" 
via IFTTT
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Seen in Giza : Getting ready for the big game


Getting ready for the big game after less than three hours for now and flags sellers are in every major street in the country.
Egypt is going to #Russia for the World cup if it beats Congo in a match millions of  Egyptians are waiting for eagerly as the Egyptian national team got better chances for winning.

We will see if we make football history again after 28 years.
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Thursday, October 5, 2017

Muchas gracias Spanish government and EU : Sincerely Mideast government

On Sunday, the people of Catalonia held an independence referendum in defiance to the Spanish government in Madrid and the current Spanish constitution.
Spanish police in Catalonia
Police arresting voters in Catalonia "AFP"
The referendum was held at the same time the Spanish police attacked voters at polling centers dragging them out as well taking the ballot boxes in a scene that shocked many people including myself.

According to Catalan authorities, not less than 900 people were injured including elderly.
It shocked me because that scene was too familiar for us in the Mideast, in Egypt in particular.
It reminded me with the violence of the Egyptian police during the 2010 parliamentary elections which considered by many as one of the trigger for the 25 January revolution.

It shocked me because that was happening in Europe. It shocked me because that was happening in Spain , a country that I and other Egyptians look to a successful example of democratic civilian transition.
Since the ouster of Mubarak in February 2011 and many Egyptians looked to the Spanish democratic civilian transition as an example to follow despite the difference between the two countries. Needless to say , I believe that one of the weakness of our Egyptian revolution is the lack of figures like  Adolfo Suarez.

Anyhow it seemed that the legacy of Franco is still deep-rooted in Madrid or at least in the Spanish police as the World has seen in the past two weeks.
Just as I and others felt sad to see that scene of Spanish police attacking Catalan voters and activists, others were happy in our sad miserable part of the world.

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Monday, October 2, 2017

Seen in Giza : A Nile view with concerns

Location Americana Boat 26 Nile Street, Giza, Cairo, Al Nile, Giza, Giza Governorate, Egypt
Egypt's Nile River

This photo was one of my early attempts to snap a 180-degree photo using my old iPhone.
The amazing river Nile is majestic in perfect weather condition in Cairo and Giza.
By the way, this photo shows both banks, the Cairo and Giza Metropolis skyline of ugly buildings we love to hate.
I will seize this opportunity to speak again about the future of the Nile River in Egypt especially after constructing Ethiopia's Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam "GERD".
Last week, an official in Egypt's ministry of irrigation and water resources announced that Egypt was officially suffering from "Water Poverty" and the era of "water abundance" in the country was over thanks to the increasing population. 
Now my concern is that if we are suffering from "Water poverty", why the hell does the state allow building new compounds as well a new administrative capital full of swimming pools and fountains !?

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Friday, September 29, 2017

How to lose your UNESCO’s chair Egyptian way for dummies

After few weeks, a secret vote will take place at the 202nd session of the UNESCO's Executive Board in Paris to choose the Organization’s new director general. There are currently 9 candidates who have been seeking the word countries' votes in order to replace current director general Irina Bokova. Among those 9 candidates, there are 4 Arab candidates “As usual Arabs could not agree to nominate one in the race because we are ARABs”.

Moushira Khattab
Former minister and Ambassador Moushira Khattab 
Those Arab candidates include Egypt’s former minister and diplomat Ambassador Moushira Khattab.

Despite the huge campaign the Egyptian government launched in July 2016 with her official nomination, it seems that the same government is doing its best to destroy her chance for that important international position.

Do you remember how the Egyptian security authorities closed down Karma libraries in December 2016 because its founder and owner is Human rights lawyer Gamal Eid?
Ambassador Moshira Khattab said that she would do her best so children were not deprived of the right of knowledge after her visit to one of the closed branches of the library.
Do you remember how the authorities have confiscated Alf bookstore in August because of the Muslim Brotherhood alleged affiliation of its co-founder and co-owner, entrepreneur and economist Omar El-Shenety.

Last week, the security authorities stormed and shut down “El-Balad bookstore” which is exactly two blocks away from Tahrir square. “El-Balad” is owned and founded by Egyptian social democratic Party leader Farid Zahran.
Interestingly it turned out Zahran owns a newspaper called El-Tariq which was stormed by security forces in September 2016.
There has not been an official explanation on why the security authorities closed down the bookstore which became a cultural venue in Downtown Cairo like that !!
I do not know how the Egyptian government can help Moshira Khattab when it closes down bookstores and libraries like that.
It is the worst way to support your candidate to top the world’s most important Cultural organization.

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Sunday, September 24, 2017

The Media Empires in Egypt : The Egyptian Falcon

From two weeks ago, Tawasul group announced that it acquired Cairo-based Hayat TV Network from Sigma Media Company in what was described as the biggest media deal in the past couple of years in Egypt.

Tawasul, a subsidiary of Falcon International group declared that it acquired the TV Network founded in February 2008 for LE 1.4 billion “ USD 79million“.

Some say that it is the media deal of the decade but the majority of that money is used to pay the channel’s debts according to its former owner and founder El-Sayed Badawy.
Badawy, the current leader of New Wafd Party aka Wafd Party revealed in the media that the debts of the TV network reached USD 57 million “More than one billion Egyptian pounds”.

It was not a big secret in the Egyptian media realm in that the TV network that once had the highest ratings in the country struggled financially in the past two years.
For more than 8 months the employees in the channel did not get their salaries regularly and they had strikes from time to time.

The Egyptian Media Production City “EMPC” took the channels off the air July on Nile Sat for 24 hours for not paying their studio rents for an over a year and filed a lawsuit against Sigma Media for issuing dud checks in the same month.

For months we have heard and read that that businessman or this media company was negotiating with El-Sayed Badawy and in the end, he reached to a good deal with Tawassol group or rather Falcon International group.

The announcement was not just a declaration that Badawy, the famous politician and pharmaceutical tycoon was leaving the media but it was an announcement that there was a new player in the Egyptian media scene.

That player is Tawassol or rather its mother company “Falcon group” and those behind it.

Who owns the Egyptian Falcon officially?

Falcon International was founded officially in 2006 by the Commercial International Bank “CIB” as a private security company providing private security, cash in transit, general services, and properties management.
It started as the security department originally in the bank before it was turned into a company with 400 employees that grew into a huge Corporation and a group with not less than 6 subsidiaries in 11 years.
Its customers are multi-national companies in Egypt from big names like Orange to Allianz to the United Nations.

Falcon security personnel
Falcon security personnel "Falcon Group official website"
Officially and on papers, Falcon is a joint venture between CIB (40% of the shares), CIB Employees Fund (19.59% of the shares), Al-Ahly for Marketing (5.46%) and undisclosed private entities (35%).
Its current CEO is Sherif Khaled Ibrahim Attaya or Sherif Khaled. In a report about the company in 2014 in Al-Ahram Daily, it is revealed that Khaled was a retired army general who served as the undersecretary of Egypt’s military intelligence.
After leaving the army, Khaled was appointed as the head of the security sector in Egypt’s Radio and Television union “ERTU”.

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Saturday, September 23, 2017

Seen in Cairo : Another Nile view with questions about its future With GERD

Location 5 Al Nile, Oula, Giza, Giza Governorate, Egypt
Egypt's Nile

 And who could get bored of a scene like that?
 From Egypt’s Giza, an overview of Cairo’s towers and buildings on the other bank of River Nile.
In case you do not know, Egypt's foreign affairs minister Sameh Shoukry expressed official Egyptian concerns concerning the late and delayed technical studies of the Ethiopia's Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam "GERD" at last somehow. 

Do you still remember Ethiopia's Biggest dam that may affect Egypt's share of Nile River negatively but Ethiopia denies so ??

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Sunday, September 17, 2017

Does not this mean bigger external debt for Egypt ?

On Sunday, Reuters said that Egypt’s ministry of finance has asked the cabinet to approve two new Eurobond issuances. According to two sources that spoke with Reuters, the two Eurobond issuance will be in late 2017 and in 2018.
The first issuance will be ranged between 1-2 billion Euros before the end of 2017 while the second issuance will be ranged between from $4-8 billion in 2018.
Egypt's external debt
From Google images -_-
The Egyptian government has already sold $7 billion in 5, 10 and 30-years Eurobonds on the Luxembourg stock exchange in early 2017.
Also in November 2016, Egypt signed an agreement for a three-year $12 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund “IMF”
Now the simple question I have in my mind: Do not those new Eurobonds mean a bigger external debt for Egypt ??
The external debt of Egypt is scary right now.
It has reached in the fiscal year 2016/2017 which concluded in July to $73 billion !!
I did this graph to see the external debt of Egypt from 2010 to 2017 and it is not good.
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Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Kodak Agfa presents : A 2016-Ramadan night in Khan El-Khalili Market

Location El-Gamaleya, Qism El-Gamaleya, Cairo Governorate, Egypt
First of all, due to my own personal reasons I have been away from the blog the past few days but I am back thank God to rant as usual ;)
It is never too late to share with you a couple of photos I took in the famous Khan El-Khalili market during the Holy month in 2016.
It has become an annual habit for me as well many Egyptians like me to spend to have a Ramadan Iftar "breakfast" there and hang around in the famous market's alleys.

In 2015, I went to Khan El-Khalili market also in Ramadan and I spent a good night there.
I entered Khan El-Khalili as usual from Al-Azhar square.
In 2016, Al-Azhar Mosque was still being restored then just like in 2015.
The restoration works have not finished yet as far as I have read lately in September 2017.

Al-Azhar Mosque and Mohamed Abu Dahab Mosque
Al-Azhar Mosque was still under restoration works 
I want to visit the Mohamed Abu Dahab Mosque. The 18th-century ancient Mosque looks amazing from inside already according to the photos I found online and I feel it is so underrated.
Abu El-Dahab and Al-Azhar Mosques
Al -Azhar Mosque and Abu Dabab Mosque 

I also want to know what building is standing beside Abu Dahab Mosque and a school.
Besides Abu Dahab Mosque
What is that old building? 

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Monday, September 11, 2017

Days at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo : Mariette Pasha's Tomb

The Egyptian Museum in Cairo does not only include the Sarcophagi and mummies of ancient Egyptians who died thousands of years of ago but interestingly it includes the tomb of its original founder: Auguste Mariette Pasha

Just outside the museum in your way to the exit, you will find a big statue standing over a fancy Art deco sarcophagus, surrounded by a semi-circular memorial topped by busts of men.
Mariette Pasha's tomb at the Egyptian museum in Cairo
Bad iPhone photo for the Memorial 

That's the tomb of French archeologist Auguste Mariette Pasha "1821-1881".

Frenchman August Mariette was the first curator of the first true Egyptian Museum in Egypt as well the founder of Egypt's first official Egyptian department of Antiquities aka the Supreme council of antiquities aka the Current ministry of antiquities.

The big irony is that Mariette Pasha was not the founder of the Egyptian Museum in its current location but he was the founder of the true Museum dedicated to Egyptian antiquities under the supervision of the Egyptian department of antiquities.
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Friday, September 8, 2017

Rebellion in Egypt’s Clubs : Beyond Classism

On Thursday, Egyptian Olympic Committee “EOC” rejected a request from The Egyptian Shooting Club to hold another General assembly meeting on Friday to have a new vote on the Club’s bylaws and rules once again.

The Upper Middle class-Giza club held its general assembly meeting early August and out of 94 thousand members, only 573 attended the meeting.

As a result of failing to meet the minimum number of members eligible to vote on the famous club’s bylaws, the club would be following the guideline bylaws issued by the EOC instead of the Club’s elected board of administration’s bylaws.

An old 1950s news report in some old
Egyptian magazine about Cairo clubs 
What followed then at upscale and Upper/Upper middle classes clubs in Cairo was hysteria and panic reaching to the level of mobilization for a vote to save the “clubs’ independence and class” that some considered unjustified. Before going on with that August hysteria, I must go back a couple of months to explain what is going on.

In May, the Egyptian Parliament approved the new Sports law prepared by Egypt’s Sports and Youth ministry “Yes, we have a ministry with such name” after two years of debates and amendments.
In June, President El-Sisi ratified the Sports law aka No.71 for the year 2017.

Aside from creating a judicial body that has the power to judge sports disputes and to regulate spectators’ attendance and violations “aka a special court, not a civilian court”, the law also regulates the relation between the government or the state and sports clubs as well sports associations.

Compiled as much as it can be with the provisions of the International Olympic Charter, the law moves power and control over sports clubs and sports associations to the elected boards of those bodies themselves as well to the Olympic Committee in Egypt. The government represented in the Youth and Sports Ministry and its minister will be monitoring only the sports clubs and sports associations.

Theoretically, this is a huge improvement because now officially and legally the State has got no control on the clubs and sports associations if their General assemblies chose the official guidelines bylaws over their clubs’ bylaws.
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Sunday, September 3, 2017

Seen in Cairo : Bab El-Ghouri again and again

Location El-Gamaleya, Qism El-Gamaleya, Cairo Governorate, Egypt
Khan El-Khalili

Coming soon to Egyptian Chronicles another trip to Cairo's Khan El-Khalili market.
Here is one of my favorite places in that old Islamic Cairo market: Bab El-Ghouri. I went there before as you may know if you are a regular visitor to my blog.  
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Tuesday, August 29, 2017

And here it comes : Privatization of Railways in Egypt "Updated"

The Egyptian state railways It was coming to this either ways, but the government wanted to pick up the perfect timing to go on with its plan.

On Sunday, Al-Ahram Daily Newspaper announced on its Front page in Arabic that Egypt’s transportation ministry finished drafting a law that would allow the private sector to participate in the railways' projects and services in the country for the first time since the 18th century.
In other brief and realistic words, the transportation ministry is drafting a law that would allow the privatization of railways in Egypt.

According to an informed unnamed source in the ministry of transportation, the new law would end “the monopolization” of the government in the railway sector.

The draft law will be sent to the cabinet to issue it officially accordingly then it will be sent to the State Council for legal and constitutional revision before sending it to the Parliament.

It is not a coincidence that many Pro-regime MPs suggested that the railways should be privatized following the terrifying Alexandria train collision that killed not less 41 people and injured 179 others earlier August

It seems that the government was waiting for some train disaster to push that agenda for real !!

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Saturday, August 26, 2017

Internal displacements by Conflicts in 2017 : Still not so good

The Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre “IDMC” released its mid-2017 report about Internal displacement worldwide whether by conflicts or natural causes.
According to the Geneva-based international NGO, conflicts as well violence and natural disasters caused more than 9.1 million people have bee displaced internally in their countries around the globe since January till the end of June 2017.

IDMC says that 4.6 million displacements were caused by conflicts and violence in 29 countries while 4.5 million displacements were caused by natural disasters like earthquakes, floods, and cyclones in the first half of the year 2017.
So far Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, and Syria still lead the world when it comes to internal displacement caused by conflicts and violence whether in 2016 or in the first mid half of 2017.

Here is a graph I made comparing the numbers between 2016 and the first half of the year 2017.
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Friday, August 25, 2017

Tales of Cairo : The Workshop window

Location Al Azhar, Cairo Governorate, Egypt
Workshop Window

A local workshop window that looks like a jail window in famous Cairo's Al-Azhar.
The famous quarter is not only known for its mosques and old houses but also for its shops and workshops for apparel, accessories and what so ever on your mind.

Via Instagram
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Tuesday, August 22, 2017

We do not need Spider walking people , We need projects like "Alef Bookstore"

On Saturday, former Egyptian armed forces spokesperson and current vice CEO of Pro-regime “Al-Assema” TV channel Mohamed Samir wrote in his daily short column in Pro-regime “Youm7 “ News website about how much he admired a very “talented “Young man” in Upper Egypt who made an “incredible achievement”.

The former Brigadier General believes that 18-years Mohamed Meghad had done amazing achievement that he should be honored in the upcoming State conference. He also believes that story of that young man and his achievement should be translated into different languages by the State Information Service.

Mohamed Meghad managed to break the Guinness World records in doing the “Spider Walk” faster than anyone in the world. He walked on his hands instead of his legs.
Yup, this is the great achievement which should inspire youth in Egypt as Samir says.

On Thursday, an Egyptian government committee assigned to confiscate and freeze the Muslim Brotherhood “MB” members and their affiliated assets in the country announced that it had confiscated the assets of 16 alleged MB members.
This time the list included the children of famous 90-years old Brotherhood spiritual figure Sheikh Youssef El-Qaradawi who is currently staying in Qatar.
It was no surprise for me because, in July, the security forces arrested al-Qaradawi's eldest daughter Ola “a grandmother” and her husband Hossam Khalaf, the leading figure in Al-Wasat Party on terrorism-related charges.

Yet in that statement, there was a shock for many people including friends who work in business as well friends who cover business news Egypt.
Alef bookstore
Alef Bookstore in Maadi 
The assets of Egyptian businessman and economist Omar El-Shenety were frozen and confiscated by that governmental committee including his shares in the famous “Alef Bookstore”.
I did not know who El-Shenety was before that news but I know very well “Alef Bookstore”.

Since 2009, Alef Bookstore became another important cultural venue for Egyptian youth in Cairo.
Soon it began to spread across the country with 36 branches in the 10 governorates past 4 years thanks to a successful franchise model.

Currently, 75% of the bookstore branches are owned by franchisees.
There are 250 employees working in the bookstore chain now and since 2009 more than 1000 employee worked in it.
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Saturday, August 19, 2017

Seen in Cairo : The old house and Satellite dishes


Seen in the glorious city of Cairo : a very old #building at one side of Alazhar bridge with three modern satellite dishes. 
That scene you can see all over Cairo bridges, old and informal buildings with satellite dishes on their balconies and roofs. 

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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Free Shawkan and others : More than 1000 days behind bars

Next Saturday Freelance Photographer Mahmoud Abou Zeid aka will stand in front of the Judges panel in Cairo to see if he is going to be released after more than 1000 days behind bars following his arrest during Rabaa sit in dispersal when he was only doing his job or he will continue to suffer in detention pending trial just like the past 600 days.
Shawkan
Shawkan behind bars by Eslam Gomaa

Shawkan, an Egyptian young man who was only doing his job as a photojournalist at Rabaa sit-in when he was arrested along hundreds of people.

The young photographer and 738 other defendants in the trial known as “Rabaa sit in dispersal” in the media are facing nine charges in this trial including forming a militant assembly, cutting highways and attempted murder.

Shawkan and other defendants are facing the death penalty in this trial if they are found guilty.
A freelancer, Shawkan is not a member of Journalists syndicate and I do not think that the current Pro-regime administration of the syndicate cares for him.

The fact that he got Hepatitis C while is in detention and is currently in a need of medical attention do not play any role in his release nor it gives him the right to receive proper treatment in a hospital
I do not know when Shawkan will be set free to enjoy his life for real.
I hope and pray for a miracle that on Saturday the judge will order for his release.

It is not only Shawkan who needs to be released from detention, there are many people like who were arrested and were locked up for infinity and beyond whether in pretrial detention or detention pending trial.
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Saturday, August 12, 2017

And we are back to that Presidency ever after talk !!

First of all, I must present my deepest condolences to the families of the Alexandria train tragedy. I can not express how much I am angry as I watch the media coverage of that horrifying incident or rather the lack of media coverage of that incident in the media
What makes me even angrier is the fact that it won’t be the last horrifying train accident of its kind if the current way of governance continues. If we continue not to hold the government truly for its actions, we will continue to have those disasters. I am working inshallah on a post dedicated to that train disaster.
Second, do you remember how I spoke about the upcoming Presidential elections 2018 and how we got no true presidential elections rival to our current president Abdel Fattah El-Sisi?
Do you remember how I spoke in the second half of the post on how some people wanted to change our Egyptian Constitution for the sake of an infinite presidential term?
Casting their votes
Egyptians casting their vote 

Well, last week those people returned to the scene boldly.
On Thursday, an MP in the House of Representatives announced that he would represent a parliamentary petition to amend the current constitution once again as soon as the Parliament started its upcoming session in October.
It is the same MP from February, MP Ismail Serg El-Din of Helwan who presented this petition. MP Serg El-Din wants to amend 6 articles in the current constitution because the current political circumstances demanded those amendments.
He wants to amend article No.140 so the president aka Abdel Fattah El-Sisi would stay in his current presidential term for additional 2 years.
He wants to change the Presidential term to become 6 years instead of 4 years.
The Helwan MP wants to allow Abdel Fattah El-Sisi to be reelected for endless terms instead of just one one reelection only.
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Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Seen in Cairo : Zamalek underground blues

Location Ismail Mohammed, Zamalek, Giza Governorate, Egypt
Zamalek Metro
Zamalek's Metro route and station are dangerous the lives of the residents and the architectural heritage
Let's keep Zamalek together.
 I found that poster on several residential building in the upscale Zamalek Island expressing the rejection of the people there of the Metro or Underground project.

The people are afraid that digging tunnels in the island will affect its buildings, which are mostly old. Nevertheless, the Egyptian government does not care for the details people whether rich or poor.

In the past year the people of Zamalek thought that they managed to stop the project but for the wrong reasons claiming that the metro would bring poor classes to the island.
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Monday, August 7, 2017

They Block Blogs now in Egypt !!

The last time I wrote about websites being blocked in Egypt when they were only 93 websites in June.
A whole month passed and the list of websites in Egypt increased madly that it became a necessity to have a VPN on your computer or mobile phone if you are a journalist.
Now the number of websites blocked in Egypt reached 133 websites according to Cairo-based human rights law firm Association for Freedom of Thoughts and Expression “AFTE”
The latest two websites to blocked in Egypt are Arab Network for Human rights information “ANHRI”  and journalist Ahmed Gamal Ziada’s personal blog.

I am not surprised to find ANHRI joined the blocked website as its executive director, famous human rights activist Gamal Eid is currently banned from travel and his assets have been frozen for several months now. Eid is currently investigated along with other prominent human right activists like
Hossam Bahgat and Mozn Hassan in the
infamous foreign funding to Egyptian NGOs for several months ago.

CensoredI must not forget here to speak about Gamal Eid’s personal project which is a series of children libraries in highly populated working poor class areas in Nile Delta and Cairo was closed down.
Yes, Karma library or dignity library for children was closed down by security orders in Cairo and Nile delta governorates.
Egypt’s official candidate for UNESCO’s secretary general position, former ambassador Moshira Khattab announced her rejection for the closure of the libraries and even visited one of those libraries but the government did not care.
Back to the blocked websites that increase now by the week instead of the day.
ANHRI is considered the fourth human rights NGO website to blocked in Egypt after Sinai Organization for human rights, Al-Jazeera center for public freedoms and human rights and the Arab Monitor for media freedom.

In a very alarming development, journalist Ahmed Gamal Ziada’s personal blog was blocked in Egypt.
This is the first time a personal blog in Egypt is blocked like that. Ziada was using his blog to share his news reports to overcome the block imposed on the Websites he used to write for including Masr Al-Arabia website.
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Friday, August 4, 2017

Presidential elections 2018 : A-One-Man show Already

Do you know that Egypt is going to have presidential elections in mid-2018 ??
Yes, Egypt is going to have new presidential elections most probably in May 2018.
Most people can not remember this fact because simply we do not have ongoing presidential elections campaign like in the past or even in other countries.

Only those who follow news carefully can find this sort of news like "National Elections committee to start preparing for 2018 Presidential elections" to remember shortly that we are going to have elections in May.

President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi’s first 4-years presidential term will end after a couple of months and yet we do not have officially or non-officially any presidential hopefuls who ready to stand against the current president whether sincerely or even for the sake of the show.

Per Egyptian Constitution article No.140, the procedures for electing the President of the Republic begin at least 120 days before the end of the presidential term.

It will ridiculous for real to start the Presidential elections campaigns 120 days before the end of the Presidential terms of El-Sisi but it seems that this is what is going to happen.
Abdel Fattah El-Sisi did not officially or directly that he would run for the Presidential elections 2018 but he said indirectly that he would do what the people wanted him to do including running for the presidential office again.
It is not a big secret that he will run eventually.
El-Sisi poster
El-Sisi's campaign poster in Presidential elections 2018

He also urged the people to go to ballot boxes when the time comes.
We still remember how the last Presidential elections which El-Sisi in 2014 had very low turnout.
Sisi got 96.9% of the votes in those elections.

When it comes to his rivals in the upcoming elections, it is a big question mark.
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Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Seen in Cairo : Another retro Cairo font

Location El-Sayeda Zainab, Cairo Governorate, Egypt

There is some kind of love relation between me and handwritten fonts on the shop banners in Cairo, especially Downtown Cairo.
This shop is not in Downtown Cairo but its handwritten banner which says it Samir upholstery was beautiful standing between two ugly computer generated banners.
I love how the word "Samir " is written in a retro-ish way. I am searching for that Font online.

Via Instagram 
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Sunday, July 30, 2017

These are the Most expensive Houses in Egypt “I guess”

I stumbled upon that Real Estate website last week when my colleague was speaking about it and about how it had probably the most expensive houses sold with ludicrous prices in Egypt.
I did not believe the numbers at first but then I took a look and browsed in the website.
Then I remember how Egypt is the land of extreme contradictions, we got extreme wealth and poverty at the same time.

Last week I was interviewing a poor woman who was sleeping under a bridge under construction because the government kicked her out and demolished her house allegedly built on a state-owned land, a claim which is false. It is just crazy country indeed.

Without any further due here are the most expensive buildings in Egypt as listed in PropertyFinder.eg :

1-Ibn Zinky’s Villa: LE 270 Million

Yes, you read it right, this villa is up for sale for LE 270 Million {USD 15 Million}.
I do not know who owns this villa or rather the palace.
At first, I suspected it was owned former minister of finance and fugitive Youssef Botros Ghali in Zamalek which has been confiscated by the state in Zamalek island. (He turned to have a land in Zamalek worth of LE 200 million located directly to the Nile which he bought from more than ten years with a price less than its real value)
Yet, it turned out that Ghali’s villa is on another street in the upscale island.
Oddly, the website did not publish photo for the villa’s façade but it published photos of the villa’s interiors.
It seems that it is art deco village based upon its door.
The villa's door
The villa's door 
Aside from the many bedrooms, this villa got a sun room and some sort of a theater.
The website did not mention either when this villa was built.
The Sun room in the villa
The Sun room in the villa 

That small old home theater
That small old home theater 
Needless to say, we are speaking about Zamalek upscale island so this villa could be very old.
I know the location of this villa, I will try to go and have quick look.


2-Another Zamalek villa: LE 252 Million

In the second place, we got another Zamalek villa for sale. You can own this classical villa for LE 252 Million {USD 14 Million}.
The dining room
The dining room 

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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The 200 pounds bill



This is a 200-Egyptian pounds bill that my aunt got from the ATM today and we found the following words on it in Arabic as follows :
  • 100 pounds for the refrigerator's monthly installment
  •  50 pounds for the TV installment
  •  50 pounds for the blanket's installment 😞
  • LE 200 Mahfouz
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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Warraq Island : There is some island curse in Egypt nowadays

Location Jazirat Warraq al Hadar، جزيرة وراق الحضر، الوراق، الجيزة، Egypt
For nearly three weeks I have been away from the blog as I had technical problems with my laptop.
Thank God, I fixed those problems by a clean Windows 10 install and you can imagine how things have been.
In all those days, I had one thing I wanted to blog about as soon as I am back online: The Egyptian Tiran and Sanafir islands.
Yes, I was planning to write about Tiran and Sanafir islands and share the documents I have been gathering online to prove that the islands are 100% Egyptian.
Now, I am back and I am going to write on the blog about an island but not about Tiran or Sanafir. I am going to write about Warraq island because it seems that there is something is wrong with islands nowadays in this country.
First of all, here are very quick information about Warraq island.
It is the biggest Nile island in Egypt, yes it is bigger than Zamalek and El-Manial Nile islands
It is the most populated island in Egypt as there are some estimations speaking about 100 thousand people living there.
Its recorded history as well past Egypt’s census shows that it was inhabited in the 19th century and it has been commonly known as Warraq Al-Khader.
Warraq island on Google map 
Officially, it has been considered part of Giza governorate since the 20th century but it is over looking two other governorates: Cairo and Qalyubia. This gives you an idea of its size.
It was the first place in Giza to cultivate potatoes and it was the main potato supplier to the British occupation camps. Yes, the Nile used to flood it before the construction of Aswan High Dam but it has been there the whole time.
I had to say this introduction because of the lies spread by Pro-regime media in the past few days as well by the officials themselves in Egypt.
From a week ago, we woke up one Sunday morning to find that there were clashes between the residents of Warraq island and the security forces from Egypt’s police and armed forces.
Sooner, the clashes resulted in the death of one of the locals and we found out that the angry islanders cut roads in Imbaba district, the mainland. The Islanders returned back to the island to hold a very big funeral for that 20-years old man. Video clips of the angry islanders began to emerge to say another story than the government’s.

Officially, the government and the ministry of interior issued statements claiming that a campaign went the island in order to restore the State-owned land to remove illegal structures and encroachments on state property on the banks of the Nile.
They were speaking about 700 evacuations orders to be executed in the island, only 9 houses were evacuated and demolished them.
After demolishing her home in Egypt's Warraq island
A mother of four sitting in front of what once was her house.
The statements also said that the residents of Warraq island attacked the security forces with birdshot and automatic guns injuring not less than 30 police personnel including a police general.
At night, the usual Pro-regime TV night talk shows slammed and attacked the residents of the Warraq island for hijacking the state-owned land and resisting the authorities.
The usual set of accusations like being an agent of Qatar and Muslim Brotherhood stronghold were repeated boringly.
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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Seen in Cairo : Nabulsi Shaheen soap factory

Location 75 Al Azhar, El-Darb El-Ahmar, Cairo Governorate, Egypt
The Nabulsi Shaheen soap factory

Seen in Cairo: The once famous handmade Nabulsi Shaheen olive oil soap factory in Alazhar area, Cairo.

 In the first half of the 20th century, Nabulsi Shaheen was the most famous and popular soap in Egypt. There were several popular brands of the Olive oil soap, originally made in Palestine. The most famous brand was Nabulsi Shahin.

Originally named Nabusli Shaheen in the 1920s, the famous Nabulsi soap used to have a different name before the July 1952 coup. Its name had been Nabulsi Farouk from the 1930s to 1950s.

Yes, it was named after King Farouk of Egypt and Sudan due to his popularity at first in the country but it was changed as soon as he was ousted.
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Saturday, July 1, 2017

Seen in Cairo : Old Minaret

Mosque's old minaret

That old minaret of that old mosque in that old #Cairo street standing high with its engravings as it much as it can.
 Instagram http://ift.tt/2uac9Xh
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Thursday, June 29, 2017

Happy 30 June Dear Egyptians : Less energy subsidies , more fuel prices

Earlier Thursday, Egyptians woke up to the news that government announced cuts in the energy subsidies effective immediately, which means that there will be an increase in the fuel prices and subsequently there will be an increase in the price of everything.

The price of 80-octane gasoline has increased from LE 2.35 per Litre to LE 3.65 which means buses, microbuses, taxis and even tuktuk's fare will increase.
Fuel station
At the fuel state, an old taxi driver and a sign with the new prices
in Cairo, Egypt on Thursday "Photo: Reuters"

The prices of food supplies as well any things use that trucks for transportation will increase as well.

Already, vegetables' prices are expected to increase by 40%.
A simple salad will cost the Egyptian family nearly LE 50 !!

The price of 92-Octane gasoline has increased from LE 3.50 per Litre to LE 5 in another blow to the Middle class that own cars.

The price of gas cylinders has increased from LE 15 to LE 30.
A Huge number of Egyptian especially the poor working classes in the governorates will be affected with that increase.
The number of Egyptians who got access to natural gas in homes is still small compared to the Egyptians who still use the gas cylinders, especially in the countryside.

Experts say that the inflation will increase after this new wave of high prices that can reach to 35%.
In May, the inflation rate hit three-decade high with 32.9 % but it dropped in April but it fell to 30.9% in May.

This is the third major increase in the prices of fuel in Egypt since President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi became the head of state.

The first time was in July 2014 while the second was in November 2016 following the Center Bank of Egypt "CBE" to devaluate the Egyptian pound aka to float the price of Egyptian pound free.

We knew that this will be coming because the start of the new official fiscal year 2017/2018 is 1 July in Egypt.
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#Ramadan Arabian Nights 2017 : Princess Sea Pearl Ep.29 and Ep.30

Arabian nights-Edmund Dulac First of all, I am more than sorry for not posting anything on the blog or even continue our Arabian tale for this Ramadan or even posted Happy Eid from Egyptian Chronicles to you.


It was out of my hand as I had technical problems with my Windows 10 Dell laptop on Saturday.Thank God I have managed only to fix those problems only late Thursday.

They were technical problems related to booting and scary BSOD.
I spent technically the three days of Eid in attempting to fix my laptop aside of eating, watching movies on TV and sleeping.
Lots of things took place and I know that I can start with our Audio Arabian Nights tale for this year, the tale of Princess Sea Pearl.

I think before continuing our audio tale, you have to refresh your memory to remember what happened from nearly a week ago.
Now we going to finish our tale and know the fate our heroes for this whether the good or the villains.

Episode 401 or the Twenty Ninth night


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Friday, June 23, 2017

#Ramadan Arabian Nights 2017 : Princess Sea Pearl "Ep.25", "EP.26", "EP.27" and "EP.28"

Arabian nights by DulacFirst, Happy Eid in advance.
Second, we are getting close to the end of Ramadan as well the end of our tale for this year, the tale of Princess Sea Pearl.
Now, we stopped at the Twenty-third Night in the previous post. Sadly enough I could not find Episode twenty-four anywhere online even at the Egyptian State Radio's archives.

Nevertheless, based on the previous episodes and the upcoming episodes I can tell you that it is about that second meeting between Princess Sea Pearl and Hamal Al-Asya where they will fall in the love.

I can tell you also that in Episode 396 of the Radio Arabian nights show that Princess Sea Pearl marries Hamal Al-Asya and as she becomes a human, she loses her memory.

Third, here are our episodes for tonight.

Episode 397 or Twenty-Fifth night


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Thursday, June 22, 2017

This is what the Syrian refugees did to our Egyptian economy

Tuesday, the world celebrated the World Refugees Day. United Nations and its organizations above them UNHCR as well many countries in the world used that day to highlight their efforts to help the refugees around the globe.
The world is facing one hell of a refugees problem that it has not seen before since the WWII.
Back in our corner of the world, there has been one hell of silence when it comes to the Arab governments or Arab media.
In a sad irony, the Middle East or rather the Arab world is the Source of more than the half of refugees around the globe now.
Aside from Palestinian refugees who have been in limbo since 1948 and 1967, we have got Syrian refugees, Iraqi refugees, Yemeni refugees, Sudanese refugees and Somali refugees.
The media is busy with Ramadan TV season and at the same time the internal Gulf crisis as far as I could tell.
In Egypt, we got also Ramadan TV season, bad economy and a worse political situation with the ongoing Tiran and Sanafir Saga.Yet I have not forgotten about this important day.

It is never too late to post something about the refugees in Egypt or any other place in the world.

Earlier this month, I have read interesting facts that made me love the Syrian refugees in Jobs Make difference report published by UNDP, International Labor Organization "ILO" and World Food Programme "WFP.

For example; the inflow of Syrian direct investments headed to Egypt, Jordan and Turkey as things escalated from revolution to civil war in an easy way.

The report says that Syrian refugees in Egypt injected in those years not less than $800 million.
Yes, $800 million were injected into our economy through Syrian investors and businessmen who moved to Cairo.
The $800 million could have been more if it were not for the restrictions on foreigners to invest in Egypt as they lack to access to credit and banking.
They also must have Egyptian partners.

Two Syrian young men working in ful and falafel restaurant
Two Syrians working in a falafel and beans shop at the Syrian street in October City
in 2016. See more photos here 
I believe the source of those millions is the textile factories. Yes, Syrian textile factories that found a huge demand in Egypt.
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Monday, June 19, 2017

#Ramadan Arabian Nights 2017 : Princess Sea Pearl "Ep.20", "EP.21", "EP.22" and "EP.23"

And we continue our tale for this year, the tale of Princess Sea Pearl.
Again this Ramadan is special for personal as well for general reasons that make me share with you those episodes in that way.
To refresh your mind, here is a link to the past episodes so you can remember what Hamal Al-Asya has done.
Now without further delay and lots of useless and endless talk, here are the episodes.
We will see how Hamal Al-Asya meets with Princess Sea Pearl and how his life will be turned upside down. His wicked stepmother and so-called brother return back to our tale for this year for more bitterness and wickedness as usual.

Episode 392 or the twentieth night


Episode 393 or the twenty-first night


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Sunday, June 18, 2017

Seen in Cairo : Once a famous Cinema Theater

Location Azbakeya Garden, Ghayt Al Adah, Abdeen, Cairo Governorate, Egypt
Cinema Opera in Cairo

 Seen in Downtown Cairo the once famous and currently closed down "Opera" Cinema theater.
It survived the Grand fire of Cairo in February 1952 but it did not survive the curse of time.

Now it is closed down and surrounded with ugly big buildings and shops in the overcrowded Opera square aka Al-Ataba Square. According to friends , it is being renovated and it will be opened soon.
I do not know when it was built or who owned or owns it but I know it was named after Egypt's Khedival Opera House.
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Saturday, June 17, 2017

They are over 90 websites now : Online Censorship does not want to stop in Egypt "Updated"

Whoever runs this ongoing online censorship latest crackdown does not want to stop !!
This post has been updated on 18th June 2017.
Cairo-based human rights law firm Association for Freedom of Thoughts and Expression "AFTE" filed a lawsuit at the Administrative court appealing against the decision to ban certain websites in Egypt without legal basis nor official explanation.
Now the number of blocked websites in Egypt jumped from 65 in the past 48 hours to 77 to 93 websites on 18 June according to "AFTE".

The new blocked websites in Egypt are:

I feel that sad that Al-Manassa news and citizen journalism platform has been blocked.
I think that website founded by veteran blogger and journalist Nora Younis joined the blocked websites list for its distinguished for its parliament's coverage.
The website had an excellent parliamentary correspondent who used to reveal the tiniest thing happening the in the House of Representatives.
It was among that the few websites that followed minute by minute on Wednesday how the Tiran and Sanafir Islands deal passed.

Turkey-based Noon Post is similar to Sasa Post. The Islamic-leaning website used to have very interesting news reports and investigative reports from time to time.
Now, I think Nooun Feminist webzine is paying the price of having a similar name to Noon Post
Nooun's Logo
Nooun's logo after being blocked
"Nooun's Facebbok page"

because other than that I cannot find a reason on why this blog webzine dedicated to women's affairs and issues would be blocked now !!!!

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Friday, June 16, 2017

Tiran and Sanafir Saga : The summer of 1967 Redux

A group of opposition figures called for mass protests across Egypt in the past 48 following the fast approval of Egypt' House of Representatives on the Egyptian Saudi maritime borders demarcation deal on Wednesday.

According to the deal and despite the history of Egyptian sovereignty, the Tiran and Sanafir Red Sea are part of the Saudi territories after this approval.

Former Presidential candidate and Nasserite political founder of the Karma Party and Popular Current Hamdeen Sabhi called for protests on Friday.
I do not know where or when those protests are going to be, to be honest.

It seems that the security predicted that there would be protests and thus in the past 48 hours as there are extended security crackdown as well mass arrests for activists across the country.

According to the latest Socialist Popular Alliance party statement, there are currently 64 detainees arrested from Cairo, Giza, Port Said, Gharbia, Sharkia, Al-Ismailia, Qalyubia, Fayoum, Alexandria, Aswan, Damietta, Kafr Al-Sheikh, Behaira, Bani Suef and Suez.

The current crackdown targets independent activists as well party members like The Constitution Party, The Socialist Popular Alliance Party and El-Karma Party as well Bread and Liberty party.
I am afraid that the protests would not attract too many people because we are speaking about Ramadan, Summer and above them fear.
Lawyers protesting against the agreement at their syndicate earlier
Thursday "Reuters" 
People are afraid of protesting thanks to the infamous protest law.
There had been small protests this week against the agreement whether at the Journalists Syndicate or Lawyers Syndicate or the doctors' syndicate so you can imagine how downtown Cairo was locked down in the past few days.

Aside from the usual crackdown, the government to close down El-Sadat Metro station in Tahrir.

A Late Midnight's recommendation

At 3 AM Cairo Local Time, The Supreme Constitutional Court's Commissioners authority issued its recommendations to the Supreme Court to reject the two appeals presented by the Egyptian Government against the Administrative court's verdict that the two islands are Egyptians.
The commissioners' authority whose opinion is advisory to the court upheld the original June 2016 administrative court, which was already upheld in January by the High Administrative.
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Thursday, June 15, 2017

#Ramadan Arabian Nights 2017 : Princess Sea Pearl "Ep.16", "EP.17", "EP.18" and "EP.19"

Sorry for the extreme delay in updating our Ramadan Arabian for this year. The past couple of days were extremely tiring.
Arabian nights-Edward Dulac
By Edward Dulac 
It ended up by that defeat Egyptians faced in the Parliament on Wednesday as the House of Representatives, in what can be best described as a farce passed the maritime borders demarcation deal and there are lots of updates to catch on.
I will not give to sadness and I am going to continue to share our Ramadan Arabian Nights.
Tonight we will listen and continue our tale for the tale of Princess Sea Pearl and her husband Hamal Al-Asya from episode 16 to 19.
First, I think you should refresh your memory and hear the last episode I published on Egyptian Chronicles.
Now we will catch on with our hero Hamal Al-Asya and know how he rejected the unwanted advances of his boss's wife and how he would pay a huge price for that.

Episode 388 or The Sixteenth Night

We are still with the story of Hamal A-Asya and that wicked Wardshan.

Episode 389 or The Seventeenth Night

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