Monthly Archives: June 2012

Egypt Independent: Police raid flats in Giza, searching for illegal aliens


Before you start reading this piece that I copied form on of the Egyptian newspapers I would like to draw your attention to the language: aliens. So now all the foreigners are aliens to the Egyptian authorities. To be precise they encourage hatred towards Palestinians and Syrians.

The passage about weed and $900 is ridiculous. First of all, everyone smokes hashish or weed in Egypt, so it is not a surprise that these people had it. And second of all, $900 is not a fortune and people have a right to have money.

so here is this masterpiece:

Photographed by Al-Masry Al-Youm Staff

Photographed by Al-Masry Al-Youm Staff

The National Security Agency raided a number of rented flats in Giza Thursday after it claimed to have received information on Jordanians and Palestinians that infiltrated Egypt to create chaos.

National Security Agency officers and criminal police officers inspected 167 rented flats inhabited by 281 people, including 31 Palestinians and Jordanians.

The crackdown started Thursday at dawn and led to the arrest of 25-year–old Palestinian student Ibrahim M.Z., living in the Talebiya neighborhood; 22-year-old student Mostafa A.; 24-year-old student Mohamed S.; 19-year-old model Rehab A.; 19-year-old model Shaimaa M. and16-year-old model Hasnaa A.

The police said that Ibrahim M.Z. was running a prostitution ring out of the flat, and added that three pieces of cannabis were discovered in the flat along with US$900, a sound pistol and 20 sound bullets. They added that the Palestinian student did not have a residency permit.

Brigadier Essam Saad, head of Cairo’s Criminal Investigations Department, told Al-Masry Al-Youm that the police are carrying out a nationwide crackdown against illegal aliens and criminal activity. He added that rumors regarding the arresting of foreigners who came to Egypt to carry out sabotage plans are totally untrue.

Saad said that typically, 99 percent of those caught in these crackdowns are released. He noted that talk about arresting foreigners could negatively affect tourism.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

This article was taken from here.


New Egyptian reality


The new addendum to the 30 March, 2011 military-authored Constitutional Declaration was released late Sunday by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) in the official state gazette, which publishes any new constitutional or legislative documents when they are issued.
The following amendments will apply immediately:

Article 30: In situation that parliament is dissolved the president will be vowed into office in front of High Constitutional Court’s General Assembly.

Article 53: The incumbent SCAF members are responsible for deciding on all issues related to the armed forces including appointing its leaders and extending the terms in office of the aforesaid leaders. The current head of the SCAF is to act as commander-in-chief of the armed forces and minister of defense until a new constitution is drafted.

Article 53/1: The president can only declare war after the approval of the SCAF.

Article 53/2: If the country faces internal unrest which requires the intervention of the armed forces, the president can issue a decision to commission the armed forces – with the approval of the SCAF – to maintain security and defend public properties. Current Egyptian law stipulates the powers of the armed forces and its authorities in cases where the military can use force, arrest or detain.

Article 56 B: The SCAF will assume the authorities set out in sub-article 1 of Article 56 as written in the 30 March 2011 Constitutional Declaration until a new parliament is elected.

Article 60 B: If the constituent assembly encounters an obstacle that would prevent it from completing its work, the SCAF within a week will form a new constituent assembly- to author a new constitution within three months from the day of the new assembly’s formation. The newly drafted constitution will be put forward after 15 days of the day it is completed, for approval by the people through a national referendum. The parliamentary elections will take place one month from the day the new constitution is approved by the national referendum.

Article 60 B1: If the president, the head of SCAF, the prime minister, the Supreme Council of the Judiciary or a fifth of the constituent assembly find that the new constitution contains an article or more which conflict with the revolution’s goals and its main principles or which conflict with any principal agreed upon in all of Egypt’s former constitutions, any of the aforementioned bodies may demand that the constituent assembly revises this specific article within 15 days. Should the constituent assembly object to revising the contentious article, the article will be referred to the High Constitutional Court (HCC) which will then be obliged to give its verdict within seven days. The HCC’s decision is final and will be published in the official gazette within three days from the date of issuance.

Article 38 of the 30 March, 2011 Constitutional Declaration will be replaced with: “The parliamentary elections will be conducted in accordance to the law.”

Disclaimer: This is not an official judicial translation

Taken from here.

So, after all, it does not really matter who the president is…

Egypt: First Presidential Elections


this is a pure image of Egyptian revolution. Cannot recall where I took this picture from.

Results of local elections are pretty disturbing. The leading candidates of the semi-finals are: Ahmed Shafiq and Mohammed Morsi. Egyptians remember Mr. Shafiq as a former Mubarak’s minister and a “butcher” who did not do much to stop the bloody Battle of the Camels that lasted for 16 hours on Tahrir Square. Mr. Morsi is a prominent leader of the Muslim Brotherhood ORganization. People found themselves between a rock and a hard place: what to do and whom to vote for?

But why all of that happened?

Various candidates participated in the elections: socialists, liberals, religious leaders, etc. the question is: why Mr. Shafiq a pro-Mubarak person was allowed to participate in it? It clearly seems that all the efforts and sacrifices of the revolution were useless. Liberals had various candidates and no unity. They are highly disintegrated and fragmented; they did not nominate one person and voted for him, but had many leaders. This turned out to be their biggest mistake. Votes of intellectuals were divided and spread all over the place: no one got the biggest chunk. This situation is not unique: unfortunately it happens all over the world. Liberal opposition has no uniting idea and no common candidate: one and for all.

While majority of the population remains uneducated and illiterate, the possibilities for manipulation remain widely available. Imagine if someone in the mosque would tell these people to vote for a particular candidate and go to heaven or vote for any other candidate and go to hell. What do you think is going to happen? Or imagine a poor village with people barely making their ends meet, all of a sudden they receive a lot of cooking oil, pasta and rice. Who do you think they will vote for? Or let’s take Coptic Christians who voted for Shaffiq as they were scared of the Muslim rule in the country. I believe no one can blame them for that.

So I look at it and understand that Russia is not very different from Egypt: the same methods of bribery (you can basically get a vote with a bag of rice, flour, sugar (underline) in Egypt, 500 rubles in Russia) and methods of mass manipulation and intimidation during the elections. Also don’t forget about the ubiquitous propaganda and lies on television in Russia.

However, there is one good thing: people here really can not vote more than once because a finger of each and every single person is dipped in ink before the voting, and you cannot get rid of this ink for a week or so. I think this innovative method should be implemented in Russia, otherwise some individuals have a chance (and get paid for it) to vote for United Russia several times.

So the country voted. Who wins remains a mystery, but we are all doomed so far…


Cairo street scenes, By Ed Yourdon

Cairo street scenes, By Ed Yourdon

Yesterday I went to sleep at 1 am, I don’t do it often as I have to wake up at 6.30 to go to work. The reason why I did not go to sleep early is simple: the kids were shouting and playing ball at 12.30 am on my street.


So imagine me completely furious and wearing a tank top, getting on my balcony and yelling at them. They did not notice me at first – a crazy half naked lady. But they could not ignore me either. So they stared at me and I am sure they did not understand a single word that I was saying. So I yelled: “Yalla! Go home to sleep.” All these words were accompanied by my active gestures. The kids started walking away looking back, I was standing on the balcony just to make sure they left. When they reached the corner one boy turned around and yelled: “Fuck You!” Well, well, education, education …


I know it is summer, I know there is no school. But I will never be able to comprehend why parents allow their kids to walk around playing ball after midnight? No one really cares? I have noticed that parents take their children to restaurants and stay up late; they take children to watch a movie at midnight, so that the children scream and make a lot of noise annoying everyone around them. I have seen parents walking on the streets of Cairo with infants late at night. Imagine: cars running around, pollution and noise and little babies sleeping. I just cannot get it: why they do this to their children?  I know that not everyone is like this in here, but I have never seen such a thing in Europe or Russia. I know there are a lot of rude and misbehaved kids all over the world. But right now here, in Cairo I am a bit confused.


And then they say: Different culture and different traditions. Well, it is kind of the same as saying: “different culture, that’s why women here have to do this and that.” Cultural relativism all over again … To the contrary, it has nothing to do with the culture: if you check the modern pictures of Egypt and compare them to the pictures of Egypt form the 50s, you will see a significant difference. And then you will wonder: how did the country manage to bounce back so bad? Back in the 50s women wore short skirts on the streets and were not massively veiled like today. And then they say that harassing women on the streets is in their culture, oh, really?


Culture can sometimes be a great tool to camouflage ugly things in a nice way.


Here is an old Egyptian Coca Cola ad from 1950s. check out women outfits and hair.