Egyptian Chronicles: November 2015

Monday, November 30, 2015

Political Graffiti reaches Luxor

Following the escalation in the torture case of Luxor, a new political graffiti appeared in the Upper Egyptian city that says a lot.
That graffiti painting surfaced days after the death of Talaat Shabeeb last Tuesday in the police custody.
No Hatem has ever stood a trial

It says “Is this chaos ?? No Hatem has ever stood a trial” depicting from a silhouette of a low ranking police officer.
Hatem and the Silhouette depict the character “Hatem”, the corrupted low-ranking police officer in Youssef Chahin ‘s last film “Is This chaos !?”.
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Sunday, November 29, 2015

Updates About Luxor and Ismailia’s police abuse cases, MOI rethinks its move

There are new updates regarding the incident of Talaat Shabeeb in Luxor following the escalation of the people there and their angry protests.

Late Shabeeb 

As I expected and predicted in the first post, the Ministry of interior “MOI” is trying to contain the anger of the people in the Upper Egyptian city.
The Assistant minister of interior for South Upper Egypt affairs traveled to Luxor and presented his condolence personally to the family of Talaat Shabeeb.

The Luxor security directorate was going to organize some sort of vigil, oh yes a vigil at Al-Awamiyah to pay their respect to the victim and his family !!!

I am amazed not because they are not holding candles and would carry banners but because those are Egyptian police officers doing that in the heart of Upper Egypt.

Already from three days only, the head of Luxor security directorate said in media statements that Talaat Shabeeb was actually a drug dealer and had a criminal record.

Shabeeb used to papyrus papers to Tourists at Luxor temples.

There are media reports that the police officer involved in the death of Shabib was transferred from the police station and he is investigated by the MOI internally.
The Prosecutor General also is investigating the case.

Moving to Ismailia , in the heart of Suez Canal cities.

A similar incident took place last Thursday involving the death of a citizen in police custody and strangely it has the same details like Shabeeb.

A veterinarian called Afify Hassan was arrested while working in his wife’s pharmacy on Thursday by a police force. They allegedly claimed that he was a drug dealer and that he had a criminal record.
After few hours of his custody, Dr. Hassan passed away due to a heart attack.
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Saturday, November 28, 2015

Protest in Luxor over police brutality : Back to the Old times

On Friday, Luxor governorate witnessed a huge protest that continued for hours by citizens who protested against police brutality and the ministry of interior.
That huge protest which started after Friday prayers escalated to become a rally which the security forces tried to disperse but failed.
Part of the protest in Luxor city "We are all Talaat Shabeeb" 
Late Talaat Shabeeb
The citizens were protesting the alleged beating till death of Mr. Talaat Shabeeb while in police custody on Tuesday and the mistreatment of citizens in Al-Awamiyah district in the Upper Egyptian governorate where the deceased used to live.

The story of 47-years-old Talaat Shaheeb was arrested from a café over alleged drug possession started on Tuesday.
The police said that Shabeeb was fine at the police station ,then he fell ill and so he was transferred to Luxor international hospital where he died there.
The police also claimed Shabeeb was a thug and a drug addict.
His family and the eye witnesses in Al-Awamiyah say that he was arrested after a feud with a police officer at the café.

Eye witnesses say that the father of four did not have Tramadol pills and actually the officer and their low ranking officers had the pills with them and they saw how a low ranking officer “they know by name” gave the pills to his boss who said that he was arresting Shabeeb because of the pills taking him to Al-Awamiyah police station.

There, he was beaten to death after half an hour of his arrest according to his family.

His family says that he was transferred to Luxor international hospital as a dead man and they have evidence on that.
The smoking gun in their case was the Luxor International hospital's official medical report which stated “The deceased arrived  the hospital as a dead body at 1 AM”

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Thursday, November 26, 2015

#EgyElections: The second stage is just like First stage but less noisy

And the second stage of the Parliamentary elections kicked off on Sunday and finished on Monday.
I did not write anything or cover it. I did not go to the polling stations as I have done before.
I did not do that not because I find those elections are useless and boring “Which are actually true” but because I am simply sick and have got this nasty flu and cough that did not make me sleep for days. I also had problems with ISP and internet connections that were solved today.
I do not know if it is me online, but I find people are less interested in the results of this stage in the elections.
It is less noisy in a way or another like the first stage despite we are speaking about Cairo and Delta governorates.
Despite the media coverage , the people seem to care less actually following other local and international news. I noticed that people in Egypt were interested in following the news of that awful suicide bombing in Al-Arish that targeted the elections supervising judges in their“Swiss-inn” Hotel earlier Tuesday killing at least seven people were killed. The attack that killed a judge and security personnel was important to the people than knowing the results of the elections.
The people are not even interested in knowing who won in North Sinai or how the political situation there aside from that never ending military operation.
Needless to say, there was nothing in the second stage for real.
The voters, mostly elderly at one of the polling stations waiting
By Mostafa  Bassim
I think the turnout in that phase was not that high than the first phase of the first stage.
Ironically, it seems that people forgot that there were elections in 13 governorates above them in Cairo despite all the campaigns and banners with faces of candidates.
They do not speak about the elections or discuss the results.
Still, it was in high in rural areas than big cities. Again, senior citizens were seen more often in the polling stations than youth.
More ex-NDPians and Controversial figures made it in this round.
Personally, I think we are in front of some political apathy because the majority of the people feel that there is no use as they see the old corrupted faces returning once again to the parliament using their old ways whether through electoral bribes or electoral lists.
Now here are some belated quick facts and numbers about this stage in the parliamentary race in Egypt.
Already from 3,067 candidates in 13 governorates competing over 267 seats in the 2015 parliament.
The 13 governorates were Cairo, Qalioubiya, Daqahliya, Monufia, Gharbia, Kafr El-Sheikh, Sharkia, Damietta, Port Said, Ismailia, Suez, North Sinai, and South Sinai.
When it comes to the electoral lists based seat, we had about 195 candidates in 4 lists “In the love of Egypt, Al-Nour party, the Republic alliance and Independence current” competing over 45 seats in Cairo and another 15 seats in East Delta.
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Sunday, November 22, 2015

In Case you do not know , there is a new crisis between Egypt and Sudan

And it seems that there is a new crisis between Egypt and Sudan thanks to the police brutality.
Since the start of November, the crisis has been growing and the Egyptian media did not care or cover it.
We all know about it from social media and Sudanese media  in Egypt unfortunately.
It seems that several Sudanese citizens were arrested and mistreated by Egyptian security forces for allegedly foreign exchange issue.
According to the Sudanese community in Egypt , not less 15 Sudanese citizens were arrested and mistreated in Downtown Cairo police stations for allegedly illegal foreign exchange and fraud in the past few weeks.
Most of the reports revolve around Abdeen and Azbakia police stations in Downtown Cairo.
One of those incidents is creating huge anger in Sudan currently: The incident of Mr.Yahia Zakaria.
Mr. Zakaria came to Cairo accompanying his sick son and his friend.
According to Sudanese press , Zakaria and his friend were entering a foreign exchange company to exchange US dollars with Egyptian pounds when they were arrested by under-covered police officers.
A scan for the Sudanese newspaper with a report about
the torture of one the Sudanese citizens in Cairo
"17 November" 
The 50-years old Sudanese man and his friend spent their night at a police station in downtown Cairo where they were allegedly harassed racially.
Next Day, they were referred to the prosecution where it turned out that Zakaria had $500 and LE4,000 while his friend had $1600 and 2000 Sudanese pound.
The two men were released by the prosecution but instead of walking free, the police referred them to the National security after three more days in detention.

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Friday, November 20, 2015

Beyond the Schweppes Bomb secret

And ISIL aka Daesh revealed the secret behind the crash the Russian Plane in Egypt and ironically a Schweppes Golden can be allegedly behind it !!
The militant group claimed responsibility for the crash of the Russian plane officially in the 12th issue of its Dabiq magazine  revealing its secret: An improvised explosive device in a soda can be
planted on the board of the doomed plane.

A screen cap from Dabiq magazine 
Yes according to the Forward of the glossy militant magazine, the militant group “discovered a way to compromise the security at the Sharm el-Sheikh International Airport and resolving to bring down a plane belonging to a nation in the American-led Western coalition against the Islamic State, the target was changed to a Russian plane. A bomb was smuggled onto the airplane”.
The IED bomb was allegedly made of C-4 explosives planted in a Schweppes Gold soda drink “Pineapple flavor”

It is worth to mention that Daesh-affiliated group “Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis” {ABM} claimed responsibility for that twice.

The Sinai-based group which started as Al-Qaeda affiliated group then swore allegiance in 2014 to Daesh claimed responsibility of the same day, but most analysts thought that they were bluffing because at first it was believed that they downed by a missile.

The group which named itself “Sinai” province issued another statement claiming responsibility for the Plane’s crash but refused to reveal how.

Of course , they say that they did to avenge for the Russian air strikes in Syria against ISIL.
The official Egyptian-led investigation team has not announced yet the reason behind the crash that killed over 200 people, mostly Russians.
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Thursday, November 19, 2015

Mohamed Mahmoud clashes : The Young people still remember it

Today, Non-Islamist Pro-25 January revolution protesters and supporters commemorated the anniversary of Mohamed Mahmoud clashes mostly online as usual.
In case you forgot, the Clashes of Mohamed Mahmoud erupted in November 2011 following the violent dispersal of a sit-in against the Supra-Constitution principles proposed by SCAF.
The clashes took place at Mohamed Mahmoud street and surrounding streets. Not less than 40 protesters were killed and hundreds were injured.
Many protesters lost their eyes in those clashes. 
Strangely we used to have parliamentary elections during then just like now and I remember that the Muslim Brotherhood leading figures were afraid that those clashes would spoil the elections.
In November 2012, the clashes renewed once again between protesters and security forces during the commemoration of the clashes in 2011.
It feels like ages !!
In November 2013, Once again the clashes erupted when protesters protested in Tahrir square and one protester was killed during the clashes.
In November 2015, a small group of protesters organized a stand at 6 October bridge Thursday afternoon.
The stand by Momen Samir
#Egypt_is_robbed
#Egypt_is sinking
#Egypt_is_destroyed
I have seen this lady in protests since 2011 in many protests 

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The vanishing of the NDP Building scene

As you have known in May that the infamous building of the National Democratic Party “NDP” was being demolished.
I noticed that no one paid attention to the progress of demolishing that building that became of symbol of corruption and power in Egypt for decades and thus I see how far the demolishing process has reached.
DSC09889
Once upon time , there was a huge building there for Egypt's ruling party since 1970s
I took couple of photos for the building while it was being demolished on Monday and it really looked so different.

DSC09890
You can see the Egyptian museum as in the old times across the times 
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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

#RussianPlane : Moscow says it is a bomb while Cairo says it is too early to say anything

And we woke up early Tuesday to find Russia announcing officially that what brought down the Russian airliner in Sinai was a bomb.
Putin and his men at the meeting which was filmed
"Kremlin website" 

In Moscow, we found out that President Putin held a meeting on the crash of the Russian airliner. with the head of Federal Security Service “FSB” Director Alexander Bortnikov.
Bortnikov announced in the meeting that through examining the passengers’ personal belongings and luggage and fragments of the plane that crashed in Sinai, traces of foreign-made explosives were found.
According to the FSB experts, “ self-made explosive device equivalent up to 1 kg of TNT was set off on board”
In other direct word, it was a terrorist act according to the Russian government.
From his side, El-Sisi’s best friend vowed to “find the perpetrators anywhere on the planet and punish them”. He also added that Russia “will act in compliance with Article 51 of the United Nations Charter, which envisages the right of a state to self-defence.”
This is what article 51 of the United Nations charter says:
Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security. Measures taken by Members in the exercise of this right of self-defence shall be immediately reported to the Security Council and shall not in any way affect the authority and responsibility of the Security Council under the present Charter to take at any time such action as it deems necessary in order to maintain or restore international peace and security.
Does the right of the self-defence of Russia stops in Russia and the ISIS stronghold there or will it be extended to include Sinai as well ?? This is the question of the hour in Egypt.
Of course that meeting which was filmed for the Russian public to show much Putin cared for his people, that means Putin already knew about the findings of FSB hours earlier and his words were prepared carefully.
I do not know if the Egyptian ambassador in Moscow was informed by those results prior to that meeting or not but if he did not then we will be having a bigger problem.
The Russians also announced a US$ 50 million for anyone with information about the perpetrators.
It is worth to mention that ISIS-affiliated and North Sinai-based Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis “ABM” aka Sinai province claimed responsibility for the attack without giving any details on how they did it.
After an hour or even less from this announcement, we found Reuters reporting that according to security officials in Egypt, 17 Sharm El-Sheikh airport staff were detained including 2 men  “Ground crew” suspected to be involved in planting the bomb on the board of the plane.
The report including this very interesting detail quoting unnamed Egyptian security official.
The second security official said CCTV footage showed a baggage handler carrying a suitcase from an airport building to another man, who was loading luggage onto the doomed airliner from beneath the plane on the runway.
So allegedly, that was how the bomb was planted onto the airliner.
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Monday, November 16, 2015

The Great pyramid of Giza lights up in solidarity with France, Lebanon and Russia

And the Great pyramid of Giza showed Egypt’s official solidarity with France, Lebanon and Russia tonight.

In Solidarity with France, Lebanon and Russia
By Thomas Hartwell for AP
The flags of the three countries were reflected on the great pyramid of Giza along the flag of Egypt.
Solidarity with France
By Thomas Hartwell for AP
The ministry of tourism also organized a vigil at the pyramid in solidarity with the victims of terrorism.
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Saturday, November 14, 2015

Paris Attack : Friday 13th

And Friday 13th is officially now associated with modern bloody memories in France and Europe following the deadly Paris attacks.
Over 120 people are killed and other 200 are injured including those are in a very critical condition. It is the biggest attack against France and its capital Paris since WWII.
 It is also the biggest terrorist attack in Europe since 2004 if I am not mistaken.
Peace for Paris and Beirut
"Jean Jullien and Kristian Labak"
Most of the victims are French, but there are 10 nationalities among the victims including Two Tunisian girls and One Algerian violin player.
Egypt got one injured, a 26-years old young man who is currently in a critical condition. He was in his way to watch the football game at Stade De France when he was injured in the first suicide bombing.
Sadly enough, Waleed was accompanying his mother and his brother who is suffering cancer and is going to have a surgery in Paris.
People should pray for Waleed’s mother not lose her boys as well the rest of the injured and their families.
Not surprisingly, Daesh aka ISIL declared its responsibility for the attack today releasing their statements in Arabic, French and English as well an audio message.
For hours yesterday, I was glued in front of TV watching the live coverage of the attack whether on France 24 or BBC Arabic or Al-Jazeera.
Al-Jazeera hosted a French MP, who is a member in the Foreign affairs committee and he said that the French intelligence had info that some sort of attack was going to happen.
Those words made me wonder if the Russian Plane Crash was actually some sort of a warning to the Western countries that there would be future attacks in Europe and that’s why we saw a huge reaction from UK, France and Russia.
Now 90% of the reports speak about a bomb planted among the luggage.
Everyone is speaking about a bomb and Egypt is not saying anything.
Then we got Beirut’s Southern suburb attack where over 40 people were killed because they were shiite.
Then came Paris !!
It came at the same time ISIL is losing land Iraq as it lost Sinjar to US-backed Kurdish troops.
Does ISIL compensate its losses in Iraq with lone wolves attacks in Europe !??
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Friday, November 13, 2015

After banning EgyptAir Flights in Russia , Can someone tell us what is going on !?

And that talk of town tonight in Cairo is how Russia decided to ban EgyptAir Flights starting from Saturday.
An EgyptAir Plane "Wiki Commons"

EgyptAir decided to re-book other flights from passengers tickets departing Cairo and departing Moscow.
It has to be the talk of town and the talk of hour in Egypt because we are not speaking about security in one city like Sharm El-Sheikh but you are speaking about the security of Egypt’s National carrier , our state-owned national carrier.
I totally understand the Russian as well the Western concerns but after 9/11 no country banned the flights of United Airlines as far as I remember.
This is another blow to tourism sector in Egypt.
Already I see Egypt has announced that it opened its airports to the security delegations from UK and Russia.
Earlier Friday ,The ministry of civil aviation in Egypt announced that Cairo International airport as well a number of airliners operating there “I assumed EgyptAir is among them” passed International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)’s security inspection so I totally do not understand.
The CEO of EgyptAir said that the airliner sent to the Russian government its security plan after being translated in to Russian 24 hours after its request to check it Then the Russians told Egypt Air they would revise in 40 days and they would ban the Egypt Air Flights.
There has been no official justification from Russia regarding the reasons behind this but you do not need to guess that it is about security.

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Thursday, November 12, 2015

Weather is changing in Egypt and We are not talking about it

I think after what happened in Beheira and Alexandria as well other places in Nile Delta from heavy rain and floods, Egyptians should think more about the dramatic climate change in Egypt.
Not less than 30 people were officially killed in the past two weeks due to the heavy rains in Beheira and Alexandria, especially in Beheira where a complete village “Ufona” in Wadi Al-Natroun was drowned.
The death toll of the people who died because of the heavy rain already could be more if you take in account the testimonies of the villagers in “Ufona” who insist that there are tens of dead bodies in the village under water.
Here are photos from Ufona.
By Alaa El-Kassas 
By Alaa El-Kassas 

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Monday, November 9, 2015

Another Not-so great day for freedom of press and expression in Egypt !! Updated

Updated on Tuesday : Heba Morayef has just announced that Hossam Bahgat was released and he called them.

According to his lawyers including Khaled Ali , he was released from detention at military intelligence.
Early Monday morning we woke up to know that independent investigative reporter and human rights activist Hossam Bahgat is going to be detained for 4 days pending investigations according to the military prosecution on charges of spreading false information.
Hossam Bahgat 
Till now, it is unclear where Hossam Bahgat is detained.
Yes, it is unclear where he is detained and this is alarming.
A joint statement issued by a group of Egyptian human rights organizations demanded the unconditional immediate release of the human rights activist and investigate journalist.
Several human rights organizations and activists called for a protest as journalists syndicate in Cairo in solidarity with Hossam tomorrow at 5 PM.
As you may have known, the arrest of Bahgat made the headlines around the globe as he is a renowned human rights defender yesterday and so it was not a strange thing to find the UN secretary general issuing a statement about his detention today.
Here is what Ban Ki Mon said who is concerned and worried as usual.
The Secretary-General has learned with concern of the detention of Egyptian human rights defender Hossam Bahgat on 8 November, reportedly in connection with an investigation in which he is accused of publishing false information that harms national interest. Mr. Bahgat is a member of UNDP's Global Civil Society Advisory Council and the founder of the group Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights.  This is just the latest in a series of detentions of human rights defenders and others that are profoundly worrying to the Secretary-General. The Secretary-General again underscores the importance of safeguarding freedom of speech and association in Egypt.  He strongly believes that pluralism and vibrant civil society are key for achieving long-term stability in the country, including the guarantee that all peaceful voices are heard and represented.
There are very active hashtags about Hossam Baghat like in English for example “#HossamBahgat” , “#FreeHossam” and “#IStandWithBahgat” while in Arabic, you got “#Hossam_Bahgat”, “#Solidarity_with_Bahgat”, “#Freedom_For_Hossam” and “#Where_Is_Hossam”
Moving to another worrying news about freedom of expression in Egypt.
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Sunday, November 8, 2015

Hossam Bahgat detained over an investigation report

Investigative reporter Hossam Bahgat is currently spending the night at the military prosecution after a long day where he was interrogated allegedly over an investigative report he made in Mada Masr last month.
Hossam Bahgat

Oh yes, the renowned former human rights activist and founder of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal rights “EIPR” can face a military trial over his investigative report.

It started earlier this morning when Mada Masr announced that its contributor and investigative reporter Hossam Bahgat was summoned to the military intelligence early morning.

According to the independent News website, Egypt’s military intelligence summoned Bahgat officially on Thursday at his official registered address in Alexandria.

Today, he went there to see what they wanted.
For nearly 7 or 8 hours, nobody knew anything but everyone knew what it was about.
It was about his in-depth investigative report published on 14 October 2015 about “ the secret military trial of 26 officers for allegedly a coup plotting with the Muslim Brotherhood”. You read it right.
Hossam Bahgat investigated a small BBC Arabic News and other news website speaking about that military trial with names and dates.

Bahgat investigated and brought to us the story with names and photos as well dates and testimonies from the relatives of those officers allegedly accused of plotting a coup.

Thinking about it now, it was one hell of a daring decision to publish this report by Bahgat’s name in the byline like that in Mada Masr as we are speaking about Egypt 2015 and not Egypt 2011 after all.
After nearly 8 hours, founder of Mada Masr and her editor-in-chief Lina Attalah got a very short call from Bahgat telling her that he was referred to military prosecution with nothing official or clear about the reasons behind that.

In a short time, nearly 25 lawyers attended the investigation with Hossam Bahgat at the military prosecution including a lawyer from Egypt’s journalists syndicate “despite he is not a member in the syndicate” and former Presidential candidate Khaled Ali.

After couple of hours, Hossam Bahgat was officially charged with two charges: Deliberate reporting of false news that harms the national security and publishing rumors that harms the national peace !!
He will  remain in custody till Monday morning so the military prosecution reaches to decision whether to release him or to detain him and refer him to military court heavens forbid.
Heba Morayef, the human rights activist explains what happened to him from a legal perspective.
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Saturday, November 7, 2015

Couple of words about Sharm El-Sheikh, North Sinai and Terrorism

There are some misconceptions I began to read online about Sharm El-Sheikh and Sinai especially after the Russian flight crash and the British government’s advice to its citizens and Russian evacuation order and they need to be corrected ASAP.

First of all, till this moment we do not have anything official that confirms the Russian Plane was downed by a bomb and the possibility of the MANPAD is out of question by many experts due to the laws of the physics.

From Sharm El-Sheikh 'Asmaa Wagih/Reuters" 
I am not an expert, but I did some work and studies about terrorist and militant attacks in Sinai peninsula so I assume that I know a thing or two about the situation there.

1- The terrorism-infested zone in Sinai is located in the North, in Al-Arish or to be precise in areas like Rafah and Sheikh Zowaid.

Yes, Islamic State-affiliated Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis “ABM” or as they like to call themselves “Sinai province” did several terrorist attacks outside this zone against mostly the security forces in several areas including Cairo, Mansoura and North Coast. But their main focus is in this area.

According to all experts, evidence and what we have on the ground, ABM’s current zone of operations against security forces as well the security forces aka armed forces operations against ABM is in the North of Sinai.

Recently, there are less attacks against security forces than the past, especially that one of its dangerous masterminds “Hisham Al-Ashamawy” has departed it to return back to Al-Qaeda shifting his fight to the West of the country  as well the military operations against the militant group from time to time.

Yet, I believe the current Egyptian administration’s security and military strategy as well political strategy for North Sinai should be changed immediately to have more progressive and more open policies to include the local people of North Sinai to their side.

I fear that the government is not killing terrorism with that "burn-it-all" policies and mass punishment but rather fueling its future.

People in Rafah already lost a huge source of income with the decision of Egyptian armed forces to destroy the tunnels to Gaza and to turn the area into a buffer zone especially there have not been true development economic projects in North Sinai for nearly 30 years.

The people in North Sinai are actually caught between the mistreatment of security forces and the beheadings of ABM if they dare to help the Armed forces against them.

You cannot beat terrorism without long-term political and economic solutions to the people of North Sinai in a nutshell with my all due respect.

People have been tired of saying this during the time of Mubarak when actually the seeds of ABM were planted and grew or even after Mubarak with three different administrations that care less about Sinai or North Sinai.

2-Sharm El-Sheikh is in South Sinai.
Generally, there is a huge difference between North and South Sinai and it is not about the location or the nature , simply the tribes of South Sinai have got economic interests there with all the tourism out there unlike North Sinai tribes that got nothing. It is like a different reality.

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Friday, November 6, 2015

And the Russians joined the Sharm El-Sheikh saga

Just from hours ago, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the suspension of all Russian passenger flights to Egypt until the cause of the Russian plane crash in Sinai is revealed.
He also gave his orders to the Russian government to work on the return of the Russian tourists in
Egypt.
Tourists departing Sharm El-Sheikh airport early
Friday "Reuters" 
In other words, Putin orders the evacuation of Russian tourists from all over the country.
The decision comes hours after the decision of UK and what it caused.
According to Russian media, there are not less than 70,000 Russian tourists in Egypt.
This decision was issued after the meeting of Putin with security and aviation officials in Moscow.
Before that meeting, the head of the Russian Federal Security service called for the suspension of all Russian flights to Egypt.
Of course, a man like him for sure presented what was enough to convince the Russian president to take such decision without talking to the Egyptians.
This is even a bigger blow to the Egyptian government because this is Russia, the so-called Sisi’s faithful friend.
Well, the faithful friend suspended the flights to Egypt not only Sharm El-Sheikh in clear direct words.
Russia is one of the main members in the investigation team when it comes to the Russian Plane crash along with France and Ireland, Egypt and surprisingly Germany.
It turned out that Germany was involved in the investigation by the request of Egypt.
Of course today was one hell of a day in Sharm El-sheikh airport with a lot of drama and scandals of real.
More countries are issuing travel warning about Egypt. We got now UK, France, Russia, Spain, South Korea ,Belgium and Holland.
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Thursday, November 5, 2015

Regarding Sharm El-Sheikh’s flights suspension

Hours  following the arrival of the Egyptian President to London , the British Government surprised the whole world and Egypt by issuing a warning to its citizens about air flights to Sharm El-Sheikh Russian airliner crash.
The Mirror Front page on Thursday 
after the
According to the statement issued by the UK Foreign & Commonwealth office , “it is advised against all but essential travel by air to Sharm El-Sheikh “ as according to the information the British government got from a range of sources concerning “ The Russian airliner crash”  , there is a significant possibility that crash was caused by an explosive device on board the aircraft.

Britain is also going to send a team to check the security measures in Sharm El-sheikh airport.

And the words “caused by an explosive device on board of the aircraft” were used by foreign government officials finally !!!!!!

This statement does not advise against the travel to Egypt nor to Sinai or Sharm El-Sheikh in general, it only advised against the travel by air which is the only way for Most British people to reach to Sharm El-Sheikh.

Now personally, I know it is a strange thing because officially UK is not part of the investigations led by Egypt and the investigations have not finished yet when it comes to the Black Box.

Egypt is leading the investigations along with Russia “Kogalymavia is a Russian airliner and most of the passengers are Russians”, France “ Because the Plane was an Airbus A-321” and Ireland “The Plane was owned by an Irish company and was leased to the Russian airliner, it is also registered in Ireland”.

Things escalated rapidly when CNN quoted unnamed U.S intelligence officials saying that the intelligence they had suggested that ISIS planted a bomb on the board of the Plane.

The U.S news channels were reporting about this possibility from an early time.
On Sunday, CBS News reported that a “U.S. infrared satellite detected a heat flash over the Sinai at the time the Russian plane went down.” The report was clear that the “The data is still being analyzed in an effort to determine what caused the flash. One possibility is a bomb, but an explosion in a fuel tank or engine as the result of a mechanical failure is also possible.”

It is worth to mention that Islamic State-affiliated/Sinai based-Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis "Sinai province" claimed responsibility for downing the plane without giving any details on how they did it.

US officials told  U.S-based ABC news that they intercepted extremists communications about the airliner crash.
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Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Heavy Rains hit the country : Welcome to Water world

A new heavy rain wave has hit the country and not only Alexandria drowned earlier today once again but also we got governorates like Matrouth , Kafr El-Sheikh , Behaira , Monufia , Gharbia and Giza as recently.
The heavy rains started after the thunderstorm that started on Tuesday.
It began like that.
An amazing shot for thunder in Alexandria by Disha Hisham
It was one hell of a thunderstorm, those photos below were taken in half hour only !!

And rains began.

Not less than 18 people were killed today across the country because of that rain wave.
Despite Alexandria is capturing all the media attention yet the situation in Behaira is far worse but there are no cameras to record what is happening there.

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Nobody wants to tell us where #Shehata and #Massouny are

On Tuesday , El- Nadeem center for Rehabilitation of victims of violence launched a week-long campaign against forced disappearance in Egypt.
The campaign is called “Stop the Forced disappearance” and it is about the increasing reports of forced disappearance cases  in Egypt for activists, protesters and also normal citizens.
The campaign started with dozens of human rights activists announcing they would have a hunger strike for one day in solidarity with Mrs. Maha Mekaway, the wife of lawyer and Constitution party member Ashraf Shehata who has disappeared since January.
Maha Mekaway and her husband Ashraf Shehata
Mekawy has been on a hunger strike for two weeks.
Mrs. Mekaway knew from several sources that her husband was detained by security forces while the ministry of interior denies that he is detained in the first place.
Unfortunately, human rights activists and social media began to know more about the forced disappearance cases when Esraa El-Taweel, who is a former blogger and freelance photographer disappeared along her two friends Omar and Sohip in June. They were lucky somehow and appeared in detention despite all the hardships they are facing now.
Omar and Sohip are facing a military trial while El-Taweel is still detained for 45 days pending investigations.
During June, I remember that there were many cases of forced disappearances mostly for April 6 Youth members because the political movement dared and called for a strike.
Luckily,those members appeared in police stations and were released later.
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Tuesday, November 3, 2015

When Esraa El-Taweel Cried in court

On Monday, Photographer Esraa El-Taweel made headlines when she appeared in front of the judge who extended her temporary detention for 45 days.
Esraa El-Taweel heading to the judge's panel "Tahrir newspaper" 
The 23-years old student burst into tears in front of the judge, in front of the lawyers and in front of the cameras that captured her most vulnerable moments while crying for her own freedom.
Esraa El-Taweel crying 'El-Tahrir newspaper'
Esraa El-Taweel crying 'El-Tahrir newspaper'
Esraa El-Taweel crying 'El-Tahrir newspaper'
Esraa El-Taweel was forcibly disappeared along her two friends Omar and Sohip in early June and then resurfaced after three weeks later in two different cases.
El-Taweel is accused of belonging to a banned group and sending false news abroad to defame the Egyptian government as well disturbing the society’s peace !!
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