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Sunday, August 2, 2015

#GUC students union members punished for defending their colleague's right

Do you remember what happened in the German University in Cairo following the death of student Yara Tarek in March? 
Do you remember when the security forces arrested in May three students from the GUC student union for the protests and sit-in over the death of their colleague? 
Well despite the three students were released later after huge news that reached to the level of
contacting the German Patron Universities and meeting with officials from the German embassy in Cairo , there has been unfortunate update last week regarding this issue.
The GUC administration has decided to expel one student permanently for his involvement in the sit-in.
Student Karim Nagib , the vice-president of the Student Union is permanently fired.
Student Hazem Abdel Khalek , the president of the Student Union is suspended for a year and half.
Student Hisham Al-Ashram , the former President of the student Union is suspended for one year
Student  Mohamed Tayel is suspended for one year
Student Omar Moslam is suspended for one year
Student Mahmoud Essam is suspended for half a year.
Student Alaa El-Attar is not allowed to use the University's services.
According to GUC's Insider newspaper, the students were demanded to apologize for what they had done during the Yara Tarek's sit-in but they refused because they did not do anything wrong.
The students stood for their rights and in return they are being punished.
You can read more about it here. 
I think I said it before, this is more than Yara Tarek issue, it is about teaching the students and youth in Egypt not to dare to stand for their rights.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Step Aside ABM , Now we got Al-Morabtoon

Another belated post that should have been finished and published from a couple of weeks ago. I have been suffering from a bad blogger’s block and I pushed myself to finish it sooner, but I failed.

On 21 July 2015 , US-based intelligence affairs website “Site Intelligence Group” published news that “an audio attributed to former Egyptian special forces officer-turned Jihadist calls Muslims for Jihad” was released online. The words “former Egyptian special forces officer-turned Jihadist” attracted the attention of Reuters and soon it released the news about in the world.
According to the news former Egyptian special forces-turned Jihadist Hisham Ali Al-Ashmaway ; aka Abou-Omar , the Emir “Prince” of Al-Morabtoon” group released that 6-minutes audio speech on the occasion of Eid El-Fitr calling the people to join Jihad against El-Sisi.
Later Egyptian journalists searched and found that account “@OmanOman53Oman2” published a link of an audio file of that alleged speech at SendSpace Website.

Hours later and the audio file became a video file that found its way on the YouTube with “Al-Morabtoon” watermark.
Here is a copy of the video uploaded by Toto Koko on 22 July. Yes “Toto koko”
Hisham Al-Ashamawy speaks in an audio message.
Now interestingly the name of Hisham Al-Ashmaway and his background were already known for couple weeks now in Egyptian media as leading figure in “Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis” {ABM} but I think we should first stop at some important remarks in the video or the audio message. 
  • It started with an introduction from an old speech by Al-Qaeda leader Ayman El-Zawahiri and Al-Qaeda black flag is there.This is Al-Qaeda affiliated group announcement, not an ISIS-affiliated group.
  • The speech by the former special forces officer is simply about the importance of Jihad as in fighting tyrannies and calling the Muslims to fight Sis whom he compared to Moses’ pharaoh.
  • He also slammed El-Sisi’s media as the Pharaoh’s wizards who stood against Moses in Egypt. “According to Quran , the pharaoh’s wizards believed in God eventually so I do not know why Islamists keep using this reference”
  • He mentions that there is injustice in the following Islamic countries: Burma “which is not a Muslim country but its Muslim minority suffers from huge discrimination and autocracies by its junta”, Palestine, Iraq and Levant. He did not mention Yemen nor Libya, two countries with very strong Al-Qaeda presence.  
  • When you play the 6-minutes audio file in any audio player or just watch the video on YouTube , you will notice that the album art is two photos showing Abu-Omar aka Hisham Al-Ashmaway in his days as an army officer and allegedly at the current time as a Jihadist fighter in some place despite his face is not clear.
A screen shot showing the Before and After Al-Ashamawy

The Not-So-Blue Moon

Here is the Not-so-Blue Moon as captured in Giza last Night.
The Blue Moon 
Another shot for the moon

Of course Blue Moon is not a true blue Moon .
The Moon can turn blue in certain atmospheric conditions like for instance volcanic eruptions as well in certain illustrations like this ��

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

July 28, 2015 at 11:58PM

The #Groppi building in #downtowncairo #Blogger #Citizenjournalism #Cairo #Egypt #ThisisEgypt #Buildings July 28, 2015 at 11:58PM via Instagram

July 28, 2015 at 11:49PM

"Enfant de Nice" a florist in Talaat Harb Square, it has been there for decades. no filters used. #ThisisEgypt #Cairowalks #Cairo #Citizenjournalism #Blogger #downtowncairo July 28, 2015 at 11:49PM via Instagram

July 28, 2015 at 11:34PM

Once a legendary cafe , chocolatier and patisserie in the heart of #downtowncairo , the famous Swiss Groppi. Currently owned by Egyptian company, it is closed for renovations. #Egypt #Blogger #Citizenjournalism #Cairo #Cairowalks #ThisisEgypt July 28, 2015 at 11:34PM via Instagram

July 28, 2015 at 10:39PM

Talaat Harb Square at night. #everydayEgypt #ThisisEgypt #Citizenjournalism #Blogger #downtowncairo #Egypt July 28, 2015 at 10:39PM via Instagram

Anyone cares for Egyptian minors in Italy ??!!

Last month CNN aired a special exclusive on how children are smuggled illegally to Italy as part of The CNN Freedom Project. The shocking report by Nima Elbagir traced the trip of Egyptian minors from Kafr El-Sheikh in to Europe , yes Egyptian children and teenagers.
Nima ElBagir speaks to Egyptian minors in Italy 
Those Egyptian kids and teenagers are forced to work in prostitution and drug trafficking in Italy. Sadly enough the Egyptian minors turned to be from the common sad scenes in Roma Termini Train station.
That report was aired weeks before the visit of Egypt’s PM Ibrahim Mahlab to Italy where he signed a bunch of economic agreements with the Italian officials.
I doubt that he knew about what was happening to the Egyptian Minors in Roma Train station.
CNN is not the first one to speak about this horrifying experience of Egyptian Minors from illegal immigrants in Italy.
Egyptian Daily Al-Masry Al-Youm Investigative Journalist Mohamed El-Kazaz made a fantastic video report from Egypt and Italy about it last July.
The mirage of the other seashore by Mohamed El-Kazaz for Al-Masry Al-Youm
El-Kazaz spoke with Egyptian minors and Italian officials in Italy and smugglers and Egyptian officials in Egypt. He spoke with that teenage boy who described to him how Egyptian minors sell themselves to men and women to get money. It is heartbreaking on many levels.
Amazingly this award-winning report did not cause any noise as expected.
Yes the media does not care that much for those Egyptian minors.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Kodak Agfa Presents : Karnak Temples Complex

Last month , Luxor’s Karnak Temples Complex “It is not just one ancient Egyptian temple, but rather several ones” was back to the headlines around the globe in a very sad way unfortunately when an explosive device detonated outside it. Three men including  a suicide bomber attempted to unleash attack in the temple but their attempt was foiled at the parking zone outside the temple thankfully to a taxi driver who suspected their behavior. Now this unfortunate incident reminded me that I got a bunch of photos I took at Egypt’s oldest and biggest religious temples complex since ancient Egypt during a visit to Luxor governorate in 2012.
I uploaded the photos to Flickr but I did not share them during then because I was outside the country. When I returned back , it was Ramadan and we had its special posts about lanterns , Zeinab Khatoun, Al-Azhar and Buying Eid Al-Fitr clothes.
And I think now it is the best time to share those photos I took at the Karnak temples complex during my visit to Aswan and Luxor in winter 2012
Now It is never too late to share the photos and video from Karnak.
Warning : They are not the best. In fact they are another lifeless boring Kodak Agfa shots.

During then there were not much foreign tourists then in the temple. Nevertheless the tourists in Luxor were more than in Aswan during then at least from what I see. Most of the tourists already I saw there were Egyptians. Already it was the Midterm vacation.
This was in 2012. I hope that what happened in June won’t affect tourism there. Of course luckily  the attack was in June not in winter during tourism’s prime time in the Upper Egyptian city.
The place is more than marvelous with its great ram sphinxes welcoming you.
That 2.7 km ram sphinxes corridor used to connect between the Karnak temple and Luxor temple. Wait for another post about the  Luxor temple.
It is enough to see some of the inscriptions on the walls an pylons still keeping their colors after all those centuries.

The hypostyle hall in the Precinct of Amun Re is breathtaking.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

How to Fuel a Conspiracy Theory "Updated"

Two weeks after the bombing of the Italian consulate in Cairo , we find statements of Egyptian governmental officials about their plans of kicking out the locals of the long-time disputed  Maspero triangle. It is as if they were waiting for this opportunity to fuel Conspiracy theory among many skeptics!!

On Monday , Cairo governor Galal Saeed told CBC extra while visiting the Italian consulate that according to reports about 8-14 buildings will have to be evacuated. The governor added explicitly that the whole triangle would be evacuated sooner or later.

محافظ القاهرة يلمح لإزالة المباني المجاورة للقنصلية الإيطالية
محافظ القاهرة يلمح لإزالة المباني المجاورة للقنصلية الإيطالية
Posted by Talk show Masralarabia on Monday, July 20, 2015

Amazingly official statements and decisions concerning the Maspero square make many people believe in conspiracy theory and that the government-not the Islamic State was standing behind the bombing of the consulate in order to take over this high-value land whether online or offline.
Here is  #Maspero_Triangle Hashtag full similar comments on twitter. 

It is not only Pro-Morsi supporters who are speaking about how the "coup" regime will evict the people of Maspero despite the historical fact that Qatari investors had an eye on that cake in downtown Cairo for years.

April 6 Youth movement was the first Egyptian political movement to accuse the government indirectly

  1. A bomb at the outskirt of Mapsero Triangle 
  2. Forcible eviction of the people in Maspero triangle 
Then it ends the tweet with #Gang

The fact that the bombing took place early morning killing no Italian official and affecting minor part of the consulate made some people suspect the motive behind the bombing.

In addition to the strange statement issued signed by Islamic State-Egypt Province instead of the usual  Islamic State-Sinai Province claiming responsibility of the attack, which fueled the speculations especially there are couple of Egyptian slang words aka “parked car”.
Usually, Islamic State uses Classical Arabic in its statement.

Of course the Islamic State did not issue a denial but people can not stop pointing fingers to the government with what is happening in Boulaq or as it is called in the Medai Maspero triangle.

Since the days of Mubarak , there have been fights between the locals in Maspero from one side and the government and investors for another side over that important piece of land in the heart of Cairo.
We are speaking after about all a golden mine for investors mainly from the Gulf who want to turn that poor area into mega-skyscrapers garden selling units there for millions.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Their Eid inside jail

For the second time, a group of Pro-democracy young activists try to remind the people in Cairo that there are young protesters and activists detained unjustly spending their Eid inside the jail.
It is limited movement, but at least those young people try to do something when people are afraid to speak in public.
It is a limited movement where those young people chose their areas like Maadi and 6 October to spread their message.
Here are posters showing the young political detainees’ faces on  ads signs in Maadi.
Douma poster on advertisement sign in Maadi "Photo :Ahmed Kamel

Here is also a big banner placed Ghamra bridge in Cairo showing the children detainees in Egyptian prisons.
Hundreds of children spent their eid in Jail
"Photo: Menna El-Shishinni
Another group of young activists distributed popcorn packets with photos of political detainees at a Mosque in October city  to children and women.