Egyptian Chronicles

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Egyptian Summer Tale : The Geneina Saga

Now,  this is the most controversial political summer tale of 2016 : What happened to Egypt's former top auditor and his family for attempting to expose the tip of the corruption berg in the country.

In late July , a Cairo misdemeanor court sentenced Egypt's former top auditor Hisham Geneina to one year in jail and an LE 20,000 fine for "spreading false news to disturb public order" over his statements in 2015 that the cost of  corruption in Egypt's public sector in since 2012 was over LE 600 billion.

The court also set LE 10,000 bail pending an appeal which he paid immediately to avoid jail till appeal only.
That was a major milestone in Hisham Geneina Saga that reached its peak in 2016.

Geneina was the head of Egypt's top auditing agency , the Central Auditing Organization "CAO"or as it is being called now in English Accountability state authority "ASA"officially for a reason beyond my knowledge.

Found in 1942 ,the CAO or the ASA is Egypt's top auditing authority supervising the public sector.
Hisham Geneina
Hisham Geneina in the offce "AP" 
He gained national and international attention since his dismissal by a presidential decree issued in late March but going through the archives show that Geneina saga went back a bit further beyond his famous study about the cost of corruption in Egypt.

For me , it was more than a study about the cost of corruption in three years.

Old history, old nemesis 

Appointed in September 2012 by ousted President Mohamed Morsi as the head of ASA , Hisham Geneina was among the known judges in the Judiciary reform movement started in 2005 against Mubarak and his Judiciary authority law if you remember.

Geneina was already the undersecretary of the Judges club then and in 2008 he ran as the candidate of the reformists judges against the Mubarak regime's candidate then Ahmed El-Zend over the club's presidency . El-Zend won. In 2010 , Hisham Geneina opened his fire on El-Zend accusing him of winning the Judges club's elections by cheating.

Friday, August 19, 2016

And Egypt got another Bronze medal in Rio 2016

And Egypt has managed to get another medal in the Rio 2016 earlier Friday morning thanks to the amazing Taekwondo fighter Hedaya Malak.
Malek won the Bronze medal in the women's Taekwondo-57kg category beating her Belgian rival by a golden kick.
Hedaya Malak
Hedaya and her medal "AFP"
Hedaya , who is a studying décor at the Faculty of fine arts managed to get Egypt's its third medal after Sarah Samir and Ehab Mohamed in the Rio 2016 summer Olympics games.
Many Egyptians including me woke up till the early hours of Friday morning following Hedaya Malak and man , it was worth it.
She brought great happiness and pride to many Egyptians with her smiles after winning the game.
Officially Malak is the second woman medalist in the history of Olympics after weightlifter Sarah Samir.
She is also the first Arab woman to get a medal in Taekwondo.
Of course, early Friday was a good day for Arabs.
Jordan achieved its first medal ever in its Olympic history thanks to its Taekwondo fighter Ahmad Abughaush in the men's Taekwondo-68 kg category.
A tough fighter indeed, Abughaush won a gold medal.
It was really a good day.

Back to Malak, there were very beautiful scenes after the game starting on how she was crying after knowing that she got a medal or how celebrated victory upside down or running around with the Egyptian flag or how her Spanish trainer kissed her hands.

Crying after winning from happiness "AFP"

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

So Which governmental agency in Egypt did buy those fancy French business jets !? "Updated"

Sources in the Egyptian Presidency denied to Al-Watan newspaper that it acquired new 4 air jets from France hours following the spread of a French news report claiming that Egypt bought 4 air jets for 300 million Euros on Tuesday.

According to French Le Tribune , the Egyptian Government signed a Contract with French Dassault Aviation to buy 4 business jets Falcon 7X for 300 million Euros "Nearly LE 3 billion".

It is worth to mention according to Le Tribune's archives that actually the Egyptian government began talks with Dassault Aviation about the 4 expensive business jets in July.

Updated on 18/8/2016: 

Interestingly , ONA private news agency and Al-Watan Daily reported that Dassault Aviation issued a statement published on AFP denying that it signed a contract with the Egyptian government to provide it with 4 business jets as some French newspaper claimed.

It has been hours and I could not find that statement on Dassault's official website or AFP's official wire services in English, Arabic or French. Dassault Aviation already has not issued a new press statement since 21 July. 
Needless to say , the strange news that suddenly appeared on those two websites mentioned above spread like fire among Pro-regime supporters.

On the other hand , Shorouk Daily quoted informed sources that there were currently talks about the Egyptian government and Dassault about the Falcon 7 X business jets. The sources added the only thing remaining to finalize the deal simply was : The Egyptian government has to pay 78 million Euros "near to LE 782 million" as a first installment.

The sources also stated that in case the government got the jets , then they would be allocated to the presidential as well the governmental personnel.
Falcon 7X
Dassault Aviation's official photo for Falcon 7X 
The Egyptian government or rather the Egyptian ministry of defense already bought 24 Rafale combat jets from Dassault in a famous 3.2 billion Euros deal.I should hint out that for the first time in the history of modern Egypt, the Egyptian ministry of defense took loans from French banks to finance this deal.

The newspaper did not reveal the name of the Egyptian governmental agency or institution but you can understand that it is the Egyptian government in general as there was no more information to share already.

In Egypt , people read this report and accused the Egyptian presidency of acquiring those business jets as it is the only institution in the country known to own Falcon business jets in its air jets fleets.

According to Al-Watan Daily newspaper's investigative report about Mubarak's presidential air jet fleets , the Egyptian Presidency already owned 3 Dassault's Falcon business jets already.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Watch this : Sleepless Cairo from 5 to 7

This short documentary below is called "Cairo from 5 to 7" produced by Egypt's High Cinema institute and directed by one of the institute's students a project from 3 years ago.
The short documentary shows parts of Cairo from 5 am to 7 am where the buzzing city seems too calm but not sleepy.

Cairo from 5 to 7 from Ahmed Abo el-Fadl on Vimeo.
Even in those early hours of the morning , the streets of Cairo seems to buzz with life but in a very quiet way.
"Cairo from 5 to 7" is filmed and directed by the student then Ahmed Abo El-Fadl and edited by Badr Dhai.
It was filmed in different parts of Cairo including downtown Cairo and Islamic Cairo between January and April 2013.
You can see how the sleepless loud city can be quiet sometimes , for few hours in some parts
Now I will seize this opportunity to post more photos from my visit to Cairo tower from a couple of weeks earlier.
They were not taken between 5 to 7 AM but during the sunset and night using my iPhone.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Egyptian Olympics Tales : The Egyptian Olympian and the false Aryan supremacy

It was in summer 1936 when Adolf Hitler used to the summer Olympics in Berlin as his biggest propaganda tool to spread the ideas of Nazism and Aryan racial supremacy.
The Nazi leader made sure that his athletes were the best and the strongest, especially the strongest to send a clear message : The Aryans were the masters of the world and they were the new world power.
It was not about the Olympic spirit, it was about Aryan supremacy. Yet amazingly , a simple young dark Egyptian man proved Hitler wrong.
That young Egyptian man was legendary weightlifter Khadr El-Touni.
Khadr El-Touni
Khadr El-Touni with the Egyptian National weightlifting team in
the 1940s 
The 1916-Cairo born made history not only when he broke the world record for his 75 kg class once again in the 1936 Olympics but also when he proved that both Hitler as well the international weightlifting Federation were wrong.
In 1925, the son of a simple leather shop owner in Cairo's Shubra already broke the world record in a local competition amazingly for his class but the International Weightlifting federation did not recognize it. For some reason , the federation believed then that the young Egyptian was bluffing and lying as no man could not lift up 107.5 kg.

By Year , By Month