Egyptian Chronicles: 2017

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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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

And Avaaz joins the list of banned websites in Egypt !!! "Updated"

And the banned websites list in Egypt is getting longer and bigger per day now.
According to the Cairo-based Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression "AFTE"", we are speaking about more than 60 websites.
They were more than 50 websites yesterday and the day before they were more than 40 websites whereas last week they were only more than 20 websites !!!

The most noticeable websites that joined the list this time are Avaaz and January News Portal !!
Yes, the famous U.S-based online petition and civic organization website is banned in Egypt for a reason beyond my knowledge or imagination.
Online Petitions do not really change things in Egypt or really effective.
I can't remember the last Avaaz petition that forced the Egyptian government to do something.

This is not a thing to belittle Avaaz and its role in the world and in other countries where it really makes a change.

Then we got January News Portal or Yaniar Gate which is founded and headed by Nasserite journalist Amr Badr.
Former Presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabhi at the sit-in of
the Journalists Syndicate "Mohamed El-Raay"

Yaniar Gate is just like Al-Bediah and Al-Badil, an independent news website that is totally against the Tiran and Sanafir deal as well the Egyptian regime's policies.

Amr Badr, the current head of the Freedoms Committee in Egypt's Journalists Syndicate has his share of trouble with the regime because of his opposition to the Tiran and Sanafir islands deal.

Currently, Amr Badr and other leading members of the Journalists syndicate including the trio of the previous Journalists Syndicate board are having a sit-in against referring the deal to the parliament and how the Legislative Committee passed in disgusting farce.
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Sunday, June 11, 2017

More blocked websites in Egypt : Medium is blocked too "Updated"

Just as the Egyptian Parliament is on the verge of committing unforgivable sin by discussing the Tiran and Sanafir deal against the public opinion as well the court orders, we find that more websites are blocked including petition website and a whole popular publishing and blogging platform !!!
Medium blocked in Egypt
A screenshot for Medium homepage on TEData

On Friday , I have known that an online petition website against the Egyptian Saudi maritime borders demarcation deal was blocked.
Honestly, I am surprised because this website is not that popular and only 1480 people have signed the petition so far.

Updated on 12/6/2017

Just in less than 24 hours , we found out Al-Bediah news website and El-Badil news website are blocked.
Headed by veteran leftist journalist and activist Khaled El-Balshy, the left-leaning Pro-25 January new website is actually the most prominent defendant of the islands' Egyptian identity in the world of Egyptian press. The website used to publish every single shred of paper or document stating the islands are Egyptian.
El-Balshly who used to used to the head Egypt's Journalists syndicate's Freedom committee is a long time opposition figure in the press. He may go to jail if his appeal against the November's two years in jail and LE 10,000 Fine court sentence is rejected in the case that goes also back to Tiran and Sanafir.
El-Bedial , which ironically El-Balshy founded and then left in 2012 , joined the list of the blocked websites. Also, the Nasserite website was against the Saudi-Egyptian government deal.

I have just known Saturday evening that popular Medium publishing and blogging platform has been blocked in Egypt.
You can't get access to Medium.com and its blogs and sites whether on TEData DSL ISP or Orange 4G LTE as I have tired.
You can access it through VPN.

Aside from its current blogs publishing what the regime rejects of ,I read that some of news websites originally blocked in May was going to use Medium as alternative to reach to its readers in Egypt.On 24 May , not less than 23 websites were blocked in Egypt including independent Mada Masr news website as well Al-Jazeera TV network's websites.

In the following days , more websites have been blocked in the country till they reached over 40 50 websites  according to Cairo-based Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression "AFTE".
Following the first batch , we got new websites blocked everyday. Aside from Medium.com , Turkey-based SasaPost was also blocked in Egypt.
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Saturday, June 10, 2017

Some Twitter woes with my Twitter account

Dear friends, first thanks for your support and the messages I have received.

Yes , my Twitter account (@Zeinobia) has been locked since Saturday afternoon and is temporarily restricted.

Saturday afternoon, I found myself locked out by Twitter due to some problem related to "automated tweets" in my account.

I usually use Hoot Suite to schedule tweets with posts from my blog as I have done in the past three years and did not face this problem.

I followed the procedures according to Twitter support and I was supposed to receive a call from Twitter to get a verification code and up till I have not received it.

Nevertheless, I managed to contact Twitter and I am trying to find a way to fix things.

I see many of the replies and notifications as well DMs in Windows 10 Twitter Native app and as I can not reply, I must say in my blog that I am overwhelmed with such support and love.
Thank you so much 
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#Ramadan Arabian Nights 2017 : Princess Sea Pearl "Ep.15"

Arabian nights And we are back on track.
We continue our tale for this year, the tale of Princess Sea Pearl.
We are still with the tale inside the tale hearing the story of Hamal Al-Asya as he recounts it to the Djinn King in the Sea realm
You remember how he ended up in some haunted mill here.
And now to our new Arabian night.

Episode 387 or the fifteenth night


Thank you for listening and if you like it then please share it with your friends :)
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Friday, June 9, 2017

#Ramadan Arabian Nights 2017 : Princess Sea Pearl "Ep.13" and "Ep.14"

First of all, I apologize for not posting episode 13 last night as I was very tired and arrived home late after very long and hot Ramadan day.
An illustration inspired by Arabian
nights in 1911 "Edmond Dulac"
Needless to say, Thursday was full of drama worldwide whether the ongoing Gulf feud or Comey's testimonies or the British elections.

Second, tonight we will have a double bill, two episodes instead of one as we continue our Egyptian Radio Arabian nights tale for this year "Princess Sea Pearl".

To refresh your memory, here is what happened from two days ago.
Tonight we will continue the tale of Hamal Al-Asya , in fact we know tonight his newest adventure and it is nice and worth to listen too.

With no further delays, here are our episodes tonight where we know what our young hero will do in the old haunted mill.

Episode 385 or the thirteenth night


Episode 386 or the fourteenth night

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Wednesday, June 7, 2017

#Ramadan Arabian Nights 2017 : Princess Sea Pearl "Ep.12"

The Middle East is still turning upside down and our tale for this year continues with Princess Sea Pearl and her human husband. Arabian nights
Tonight we will see how evil for real Hamal Al-Asya's stepmom and his so-called brother.
You can refresh your memory and remember how his father passed away here.
Now it is time for our episode tonight

Episode 384 or the twelveth night of our tale this year.


Thanks for listening and I hope you share it.
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#Ramadan Arabian Nights 2017 : Princess Sea Pearl "Ep.11"

The crisis has not ended yet in the Gulf and it seems that it is getting complicated each hours especially with Trump's tweets. Arabian Nights

If you need a break from that crazy Middle East drama then I recommend complete reading this post to listen to a new Ramadan Arabian night.

Tonight we will continue our tale "Princess Sea Pearl".

We will continue to hear "Hamal Al-Asya" and his family's story and how he and his father endured hell with his stepmom and his so-called brother.

To refresh your memory , you can hear the beginning of that family that found itself in the under the sea Djinn realm here.

Now here is tonight's new episode from Egyptian state radio's old Arabian nights.

Episode 383 or the eleventh night of our tale this year.

Thanks for listening and I hope you share it.

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Monday, June 5, 2017

#Ramadan Arabian Nights 2017 : Princess Sea Pearl "Ep.10"

Okay forget what happened early Morning in the Gulf and the Middle East and Pay attention to this post.
It is time for another night of our Arabian nights this year. Arabian nights
We will continue our tale, the tale of Princess Sea Pearl.
You can refresh your memory and remember what Hamal El-Asaya's wicked stepmother had done here.
Tonight we will meet his so-called brother.
Here is our episode for tonight.

Episode 382 or the tenth night of our tale this year.


I hope you enjoy it and share it with your friends online.
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Sunday, June 4, 2017

#Ramadan Arabian Nights 2017 : Princess Sea Pearl "Ep.9"

It is time for our Ramadan Radio Arabian night. We will continue this year our tale , the tale of Princess Sea Pearl and her human husband. Cairo Arabian nights

We will know what Hamal Alasya's wicked stepmom had done to him and to his father.

You can refresh your memory and know the young man and his stepmom ended up in the Sea realm here.

Now it is for our episode tonight.

Episode 381 or the Ninth night of our tale this year.

Hope that you enjoy tonight's episode :)

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Minya Massacre : What we should say and ask (Graphic)

A week passed following the horrifying Minya massacre on Friday where at least 29 Egyptian Christians including children were killed by militants while they were on their way to visit an ancient Christian Orthodox Monastery in Minya's Western desert.

On Sunday, the infamous Daesh claimed their responsibility for the attack unsurprisingly claiming that they killed "warrior Christians" !!! There were Children, women and elderly in that convoy !!
This is the third terrorist attack targeting Egyptian Christians since December by that death cult.
Daesh claimed its responsibility for the bombing of El-Botroseya Church in Cairo in December and the Churches bombings in Alexandria and Gharbia in April.

It also had declared that it would target Egyptian Christians at least twice.
The first time was in February as it published a video repeating the infamous ultra-Egyptian Islamist rhetoric when it comes to accusations of the Christian community in the country.
The video is technically produced to justify its old as well upcoming attacks against the biggest Christian population in a Muslim country in the Middle East.
The second warning which is the most recent in early May was in an interview with an unidentified leader of Daesh-affiliated group Daesh in one of their online publications.
That alleged leading figure in that terrorism franchise warned of further attacks against Egyptian Christians urging Egyptian Muslims to stay from Christian gatherings.
That request to Muslims came after at least three Muslim people were killed in the churches' bombings in April.

First question about security

Despite warnings , there has not been enough protection to the Egyptian Christians and their gathering places and the proof is what we saw in front of us last Saturday.

Since knowing about the attack in Minya, I have been asking myself on why that Christian Convoy was not escorted by security till the monastery in the Middle of the desert.

That monastery is in the Middle of the desert inside Bani Suef governorate, it is like the gate to Egypt's Western desert.
The location of the monastery
The location of the monastery, the red line shows
El-Edwa City in Al-Minya governorate. 
The road to the monastery is not paved or equipped.
There are no clinics or emergency checkpoints to help people on that road if there is a car accident, let alone there is no police presence there.
Here is a graphic video at the attack's location showing the victims' bodies in the middle of nowhere.
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Saturday, June 3, 2017

#Ramadan Arabian Nights 2017 : Princess Sea Pearl "Ep.8"

It is time to continue our tale of this year , the tale of Princess Sea Pearl. Arabian Nights-Cairo

Before we know how Princess Sea Pearl turned in to a human and how it ended up with no memory , we will know the story of "Hamal Alasya".

We will also meet his stepmom and know the story of his so-called brother.

It is a nice tale which I think you will enjoy knowing as usual.

You can refresh your memory and remember what happened in our tale here.

Now it is time of our episode tonight.

Episode 380 or the eighth night

I hope you enjoy the episode and have a pleasant Ramadan night. 

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Friday, June 2, 2017

#Ramadan Arabian Nights 2017 : Princess Sea Pearl "Ep.7"

We continue tonight our tale , the tale of Princess Sea Pearl and her human husband. Arabian Nights

Tonight we go from a story to another one as no we are going to hear the story of ""Hamal Alasya" or "The pain bearer".

You can refresh your memory and remember how that man who bears a sad name ended up in the sea realm by checking last night's episode here.

Now it is time of our episode tonight.

Episode 379 or the Seventh night


I hope you enjoy the episode and have a pleasant night.

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Thursday, June 1, 2017

#Ramadan Arabian Nights 2017 : Princess Sea Pearl "Ep.6"

And we are on the right track now :))
Tonight we will continue our tale of this Ramadan, the tale of Princess Sea Pearl and how she turned into a human.
You refresh your memory and hear last night radio Arabian nights here.
Tonight we will meet that man who turned the Djinn Mermaid Princess into human like him, the poor "Hamal Alasya" or "The pain bearer"
Do not ask me from where Mr. Abu Fasha got those names because I do not.
Anyhow with no delays, here is tonight's episode in Arabic.

Episode 378 or the Sixth night

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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

#Ramadan Arabian Nights 2017 : Princess Sea Pearl "Ep.4,5"

First of all, I must present my condolences and pay my respect to the 4 Egyptian armed forces personnel who have been killed early Wednesday in a campaign against militants in the Western desert.
May God bless their souls and bring patience to their beloved ones.

Second, it is our daily Ramadan date with the original Egyptian State Radio's Arabian nights.
We continue our tale for this year, the Princess Sea Pearl.

To refresh your memories, you can listen to the previous episodes here.

Tonight we will hear two episodes and continue that tale of Djinn Sea mermaid that turned into a human after loving a man from the earth.
Her father, the King of the Sea got her back from the surface of the earth but with no memories what so ever and he will not stop doing the impossible to return her Djinn Sea mermaid.

With no further delay, here are the two episodes in Arabic.
Please enjoy and share.

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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

#Ramadan Arabian Nights 2017 : Princess Sea Pearl "Ep.1,2,3"

And the time has come to our annual date with our Egyptian Chronicles' Ramadan Arabian Nights.
It should have started from three nights but honestly, I could not post anything when my country Egypt and my fellow Egyptians are mourning.

Cairo Arabian nights-travel poster

On Saturday, at least 28 Egyptian Christians were killed in a massacre in Minya governorate by a Daesh-affiliated group in Egypt.

As a respect to the victims and their families, I decided to have an Egyptian Chronicle' National mourning for three days. This was the least thing I can do to the victims and their families.
Up till this moment, the Egyptian State has not official declared a national mourning for reasons beyond me.

Anyhow despite the grief, we will return back to the Egyptian Radio Arabian Nights to escape the dull present and find hope and solace in fantasy.

This year our tale will speak again mighty kings of the sea and their mermaid daughters who fall love as usual with a human being.

Make no mistake that our tale written by legendary Taher Abu Fasha is not the same like our tale "The Cursed lady's wall" in 2015 which was inspired by the famous Hans Christian Andersen's Little Mermaid.

So no further delay I am to present to you the tale of Princess Sea Pearl produced by the Egyptian State Radio service decades ago.

The tale was written by Taher Abu Fasha and directed by legendary Mohamed Mahmoud Shaaban. our first radio Arabian night for this year was the 373rd episode of that show.
Tonight I will share with you the first, second and third episodes.

Episode 373rd - First night


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Friday, May 26, 2017

Minya Massacre : blood on sand "A recap"

Again it is one of those mornings, one of those Fridays that you woke up to find a massacre taken place in the south of the country and you want to go back to the bed again praying that this is an awful nightmare.

At 11 AM Cairo Local time "CLT" at that the same time millions of Egyptian Muslims were on their way to Friday prayers , a group of masked militants came on three 4x4 Cars and opened their fire randomly on a bus carrying Christian citizens at the desert western of Minya governorate' Idwa city according to the first official statement issued by Egypt's Ministry of Interior "MOI" at 1:28 PM CLT.

The MOI added that as security forces reached the attack's scene, it turned out that it happened at one of the desert sub-routes heading to Saint Samuel the Confessor monastery, which is 60 km away from the city of Maghagha , North of Minya in the heart of the Western Desert.
At the attack scene
Two monks watching the attack scene "Reuters" 
It also stated up till then 26 Egyptian Christians were killed and other were injured.
Already we have known before that at least 26 people were killed while 25 others were injured. The victims included lots of children.

It turned out that it was not a bus but rather a convoy of Egyptian Christians heading to the 7th-century monastery.

A bus carrying worshipers from neighbor Bani Suef governorate as well a microbus carrying worshipers from Minya's villages headed were in their way when they were stopped by the militants.
According to eyewitnesses accounts that I have been reading all day and the MOI's statement, militants came on three 4x4 Cars and hell started.
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Thursday, May 25, 2017

Khaled Ali heads to trial cover over "the finger" : Presidential Elections or Tiran and Sanafir isles

Egypt's prosecution ordered on Wednesday the release of famous Egyptian human rights lawyer and former presidential candidate Khaled Ali on LE 1,000 bail. It also referred him at the same time to misdemeanor court to be tried next 29 May on "making an obscene act on a public street" !!
Khaled Ali
Ali in custody on Tuesday by Mohamed El-Raai 

The potential presidential candidate spent the night in custody at Dokki police station after the order of the prosecution ordered to detain him for 24 hours pending further investigations in an unprecedented move when it comes to misdemeanor according to lawyers.

The famous lawyer and founder of leftist "Bread and Liberty Party" is accused by famous lawyer Samir Sabry of giving the middle finger to his opponents in the street in January during celebrating his victory in Tiran and Sanafir lawsuit in front of State Council.

Following the historical Supreme AdministraCourtcourt verdict to reject the current Egyptian government's appeal appeal against the administrative court ruling annulling the Egyptian-Saudi deal to redraw maritime deal,a photo emerged online showing the famous lawyer giving the middle finger "the Egyptian style" to his opponents while he was being held on the shoulders of his protesters.
Some say the photo was genuine and it was one for a less than a second.

Others say it was a "photoshopped" fake photo and he did not give the middle finger to anyone.
Needless to say, the Pro-regime media went mad and used that alleged photo to smear Khaled Ali who won huge popularity following the verdict.
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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

21 Websites blocked in Egypt and it is not good at all "Updated : 23 and increasing"

Once again I was planning to write something about certain that happened in Egypt then another thing more outrageous happened and made me change my mind.

Blocked
A familiar scene now 
From a couple of hours ago, Egypt's State news agency "MENA" announced that 21 websites were blocked in Egypt.

Quoting an unnamed source in a very short news on its wire service, MENA added that those were blocked because their content supported terrorism and radicalism as well deliberately spread lies.

The source added that among those blocked websites: Al-Jazeera.net, Al-Sharq TV channel, Misr Al-Arabia, Al-Shaab newspaper, Arabi 21, RSSD and Hamas Online.

He also said that the legal procedures were being followed regarding those websites.
The decision was taken in Egypt in less than 24 hours of blocking Al-Jazeera and Qatari news websites in Emirates, Saudi Arabia following their fake news media war in the midnight on Tuesday.

Now we discovered the rest of the Websites are Ikhwan Online, Egypt's WindowAl-Mesryoon, Huffington Post Arabic, Cairo PortalKlmty , Hasam militant group official website,  Horriya Post,  Aswat Masriya and Mada  Qatari Al-Watan, Qatari Al-Arab , Qatari Al-Sharq, Qatari El-Raya, Masr. (Yes , MADA MASR !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
Yes, Mada Masr; one of the finest Egyptian online independent English and Arabic news websites in Egypt and the Arab world is banned in its own country !!!!!!

Updated on 27 May: Daily News Egypt Nabd news aggregator and Tor project website are blocked also in Egypt.
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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Seen in Cairo : Once a Credit Foncier Egyptien

Location 35 Mostafa Kamel, El-Zawya El-Hamraa, Cairo Governorate, Egypt
Credit Foncier Egyptien

A new Downtown Cairo building discovery for me: The Credit Foncier Egyptien bank building or as it is known now as Arab international bank "AIB".

Built in 1903 in its current location, the Credit Foncier Egyptian or the Egyptian Credit Foncier bank was active till its nationalization in the 1950s.

Originally Founded by Karl Heinrich and Raphael Suares in 1880 in Alexandria, it predated the National Bank of Egypt "NBE" so yes it was the oldest and first bank in Egypt. Reading more about it the Credit Foncier Egyptien Banque represented the French interests whereas the NBE represented the British interest for dominance on the Egyptian economy then.
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Monday, May 22, 2017

Kodak Agfa presents : Egypt's Spring Flowers Fair 2017

Location Orman Botanical Garden, Square, Oula, Giza, Giza Governorate, Egypt
And it is our annual time with Egypt's Spring Flowers Fair.
On 21st March , Egypt's minister of Agriculture and the Governor of Giza inaugurated the 83rd Springs Flowers fair in Al-Orman Botanical garden as usual on the start of Spring officially.
You know I could not resist going there. I went there before in 2015 and 2016.
I went to the fair this year but I did not stay long enough in the fair to take too many photos as I used to do.
But I still managed to take a couple of beautiful photos 'I guess'.
Flowers at Egypt's Spring Flowers show
Beautiful orange daisies "I guess"

Flowers at Egypt's Spring Flowers show
Beautiful flowers everywhere 
According to the ministry of agriculture , not less than 155 Egyptian and foreign companies participated in the fair this year.
The space of the fair also extended 25% more than its usual space in Al-Orman botanical garden.
More and more flowers
Flowers at a landscape company in partition 
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Thursday, May 18, 2017

Where is El-Adly !!!???

"Where is Habib El-Adly ??" A question that was raised in Egypt since early May about Mubarak's notorious minister of interior.

It started on 6 May when suddenly we found Pro-regime TV host Lamis El-Hadidy asking that question and wondering why the police had not arrested the former interior yet.
She also wondered if he ran away.
Habib El-Adly
Former minister Habib El-Adly during the killing of the
protesters trial in 2011 "Reuters"
El-Adly was sentenced in April by a Cairo criminal court 7 years in prison for illicit gains of LE 2 billion from the ministry of interior from the year 2000 to 2011 in a famous trial known in the media as "The interior ministry corruption case".

Already in November 2016 , he was placed under house arrest in the same trial by the orders of the Cairo criminal court in his villa in 6th of October city.
I think that Villa is at the Police compound in the Upscale Sheikh Zaid district if I am not mistaken.

It was the first time in the mainstream media someone brought up this subject which most people actually forget.
The following days you would hear the people asking openly on social media "where is El-Adly !?" whereas there was a complete silence from the ministry of interior.
Soon on 10 May, we found security sources telling Al-Masry Al-Youm Daily that the security forces went to the notorious minister's house to arrest him according to the court ruling and they could not find him !!!

On the same day ,Youm 7 quoted unnamed sources allegedly close to El-Adly himself saying that he did not run away.
The sources added that he was still at his house holding on to his right to appeal against the court's verdict without handing himself over to the authorities.
On Monday, the interior ministry officially reported to the prosecution that Habib El-Adly escaped.
This was the first official announcement that El-Adly is a fugitive.
On Tuesday, Habib El-Adly lost the appeal against the 7-year prison sentence.
He must surrender to be sent to jail accordingly.
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