362.6K views | +4 today
Scooped by Egypt-actus
onto Égypt-actus

Asrany Reveals Internet Users 35% Up In Two Years

Asrany Reveals Internet Users 35% Up In Two Years | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

Waseem Arsany, CEO of LinkdotNet, one of the leading internet solutions and service providers (ISP) in Egypt, has revealed that the number of internet users have increased during the past two years between 30% and 35% of the total number of subscribers to all service providers in the market.

He added that LinkdotNet acquires the second rank of market share of internet services in the Egyptian market, noting that LinkdotNet eyes to increase its network’s users in 2013 through providing new services that cater to the aspirations of users for higher speeds and lower prices.


Moreover, Arsany emphasized that LinkdotNet cooperates now with Telecom Egypt in order to resolve the problems faced by the customers in some Telephone Centrals such as Nasr City, Maadi, and Heliopolis, explaining that they witnessed some bottlenecks in the last period due to the increasing demand for internet services and the relatively low capacities as compared to the volume of use.


Furthermore, he asserted that the internet service providers in Egypt are looking forward to make Telecom Egypt finalizes the replacement of current copper cables with optical fiber cables that provide higher speeds so as to be in line with the government’s target to offer high-speed internet, achieve broadband strategy and keep up with global internet speeds by 2020.


More on: http://amwalalghad.com/en/investment-news/technology-news/14724-arsany35-increasing-of-internet-users-within-last-2-years.html


No comment yet.
revue de presse sur l'actualité culturelle, archéologique, politique et sociale de l'Égypte
Curated by Egypt-actus
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Scooped by Egypt-actus

Pour suivre l'actualité de l'Égypte...

Pour suivre l'actualité de l'Égypte... | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it


No comment yet.
Scooped by Egypt-actus

Factory owners could be sent to jail for polluting Nile: Min. of Environment

Factory owners could be sent to jail for polluting Nile: Min. of Environment | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it


CAIRO: Any factory that dumps its waste into the Nile River would face severe consequences, Minister of Environment Khaled Fahmy said Wednesday.

The ministry so far observed nine violating factories, four of which agreed to stop polluting the Nile since it severely damages the environment; the other five were warned, Shorouq reported.

“The Nile has19 billion cubic meters of waste dumped into it annually, 78 percent of which is agricultural and industrial wastes and sanitary drainage,” Fahmy told Tahrir channel Tuesday. “Industrial drainage represents one percent but it has a more negative effect on environment than other types.”

Fahmy said 102 factories used to drain their wastes directly into the Nile but now they are only nine, four of which made plans with the ministry to find other green alternatives. The other five are “disobedient” and the ministry will handle the situation.

In case the remaining factories have no set plan to stop draining their wastes by Nov., the ministry will enforce the law to shut down the factories and imprison the violating chairperson.

“Available technologies can turn waste into fertilizers and fertilizers can be burnt to generate electricity. Each country follows this process according to its economic condition since generating electricity from fertilizers is expensive,” Fahmy said.

No comment yet.
Scooped by Egypt-actus

The Egyptian state: ‘The only leader’

The Egyptian state: ‘The only leader’ | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

Tens of men sit listening carefully to the preacher as he speaks over theminbar (pulpit) at the neighbourhood mosque where they go every Friday. In his khutba (sermon), the preacher follows the topics the Ministry of Religious Endowments has selected at the beginning of the month.

A recent study, “To Whom do Minbars Belong Today?”, released by the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) raises the question and attempts to answer it through analysing the state’s policy in the management of mosques.

The study discusses the conflict over the management of mosques in modern Egypt and explores its roots in Islamic Jurisprudence and historic practices.

The state has built its policies in managing religious affairs on a presumption of Muslim unity, according to the study.  However, these policies have had a narrow margin for multiplicity and diversity.

Mosques, according to Islamic Jurisprudence, are classified as Waqf (endowment), a property of God or property that the Muslim public is said to benefit from, according to the study.

“The question here is: Are the Muslim Public united?” said Amr Ezzat, the study author and EIPR’s Freedom of Religion and Belief Program officer.

It is always thought that government’s policy discriminates against minorities only, he said. “The study highlights the fact that this policy does not only discriminate in favour of Muslims, but also against them.”

Throughout different regimes, the state policies have been against anyone who has different beliefs than “the official Islam of the state,” said Ezzat. Presuming the need for the state’s interference in religious affairs as it is considered the Imam, an Islamic reference to the leader, has not change with time.

“President Al-Sisi once said that there is no Islamic leader, the only leader is the Egyptian state,” he said, “I find this very precise.”

Islamists have argued that the Egyptian state is “not Islamic enough”, but the state always argued that it is, he said, adding: “The compass is always political.”

The Ministry of Religious Endowments, the only Egyptian ministry that works exclusively with Muslims, has issued rules such as unifying topics for Friday Khutba. This would be to control the spread of different religious ideologies through mosques.

Other rules the ministry has forced include preventing scholars who were not educated at Al-Azhar from preaching.  The rule excludes many groups, such as Salafi scholars, since most of them studied in places other than Al-Azhar, the institution with whom they disagree with in much of its beliefs, said Ezzat.

“Diversity is there even inside Al-Azhar,” he said. “Some people in Al-Azhar University are against any kind of elections because it could bring the Salafis.”

During the time of former president Gamal Abdel-Nasser, he used to name the preachers of the most important mosques in the country, said Ezzat. Prior to the 25 January Revolution, state security had to approve the ministry’s selection of Friday preachers.

As the Muslim Brotherhood and their allies controlled the Ministry of Religious Endowment during the time of former president Mohamed Morsi, only their supporters were selected for leading positions.

“Some preachers said they had to go to the Guidance Office to prove loyalty so they can be selected again,” said Ezzat.

After the ouster of Morsi, the state has forced more restrictions in order to exclude the Muslim Brotherhood and their sympathisers, he said.

However, logistical limitations have prevented the state from forcing its authority on all mosques.

Not a single mosque was added to the mosques that are fully controlled by the ministry of Religious Endowments since 2011, said Ezzat.

“I was told in the ministry that there was no money to add any mosques,” he said.

These limitations force the state to allow some diversity through some tactics that still preserve its control, he said.

Tactics include “conditional” permissiveness of diversity, which allows different ideologies as long as they don’t clash with the state’s authority or “Islam as defined by Al-Azhar”, he said. Such tactics do not allow religious groups as Shi’a or Bahai to practice their faith in mosques.

Permissiveness “outside of the law” and permissiveness “to ensure loyalty” are other tactics the state has followed to keep control over mosques run by Islamist groups or NGOs, he said.

No comment yet.
Scooped by Egypt-actus

Clot Bey, le "French doctor" de Méhémet Ali

Clot Bey, le "French doctor" de Méhémet Ali | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

Antoine Barthélémy Clot naît le 5 novembre 1793 à Grenoble où il passe son enfance. Dès l’âge de 15 ans, il trouve un emploi chez un barbier à Brignoles, où sa famille s’est installée en 1808.

En 1813, sans ressources, il s’oriente vers des études de médecine à Marseille. Élève externe, puis interne, à l’Hôtel-Dieu, il devient le 30 septembre 1817 officier de santé. Mais Marseille ne possédant pas de faculté de médecine, c’est à Montpellier qu’il achève sa formation : il devient docteur en médecine le 24 juillet 1820, et docteur en chirurgie le 18 janvier 1823.

Suite à des bisbilles, sur fond de jalousie, avec ses pairs, il renonce rapidement à ses fonctions à l’Hôtel-Dieu. C’est alors que l’Égypte va lui ouvrir toutes grandes ses portes. Répondant à un appel d’offres du pacha Méhémet Ali qui souhaite la modernisation du système médical de son pays, il décide de tenter l’aventure. Il embarque le 21 janvier 1825 à bord de “La Bonne Émilie” avec une vingtaine de jeunes médecins marseillais, en ayant pris soin d’emporter sa propre bibliothèque ainsi que “l’un de ces beaux squelettes humains préparés par les forçats de l’hôpital de la Marine”.

Arrivé au Caire le 11 février, le docteur Clot commence par soigner Méhémet Ali et le guérir d’une gastro-entérite ; il deviendra son médecin attitré et son ami. Il se consacre alors à la tâche première de sa présence en Égypte, où l’état sanitaire est “déplorable”. Il crée un Conseil de santé ainsi qu’un service sanitaire militaire, avec la construction à Abû Zaabal, près du Caire, d’un centre hospitalier, puis d’un hôpital militaire pour la Marine à Alexandrie.

Au sein de l'hôpital d’Abû Zaabal, il fonde une école de Médecine, le gouvernement égyptien prenant entièrement en charge les besoins matériels des étudiants. Les cours, assurés par des Français ou des Italiens, sont dispensés en arabe grâce à la présence d'interprètes qui assurent également la traduction des manuels. Les problèmes religieux posés par la dissection de corps humains sont contournés par l’utilisation de cadavres d’esclaves non musulmans.

En 1831, en signe de reconnaissance de son dévouement sans compter, notamment au cours d’une terrible épidémie de choléra qui fait 35.000 morts au Caire, il est promu par Méhémet Ali au titre de Bey, distinction qu’il ajoutera désormais à son nom.

En 1832, il parvient à fonder une école de sages-femmes, en surmontant une fois encore des réticences à caractère religieux. Dans l’impossibilité d’instruire des femmes arabes, il commence par enseigner la médecine à dix “Négresses” et dix “Abyssiniennes”, avant de convaincre finalement les autorités du bienfait de l’apprentissage de la médecine aux femmes. Son école peut alors accueillir des élèves égyptiennes.

Envoyé en France avec douze de ses meilleurs élèves afin de compléter leur formation, il est accueilli avec enthousiasme à Marseille, Lyon et Paris. Il y fait une grande impression.

D’après le témoignage d’un contemporain, “il s’habille avec un habit rouge à étroit corsage et le turban musulman qui seye à son teint provençal et à ses traits vivement prononcés. On l’eût facilement pris pour un naturel du Caire.”

En 1835, une épidémie de peste se déclare en Égypte. Clot-Bey se consacre entièrement à la lutte contre cette maladie. Épuisé par cette tâche, il demande un congé pour se rendre en France.

À Marseille, il épouse Charlotte Gavoty, fille d’un riche négociant, et met à profit sa disponibilité pour publier son livre “Aperçu général sur l’Égypte”.

Il effectuera deux autres séjours au Caire, de 1840 à 1849, et de 1854 à 1858, pour s’occuper encore de santé publique.

Durant les longues années de son séjour en Égypte, Clot-Bey a pu acquérir une importante collection d’antiquités, pratique qui était à l’époque autorisée. Il en vend la plus grande partie à la Ville de Marseille “pour un prix dérisoire”, et offre quelques pièces au Musée du Louvre.

Il décède dans sa bastide de Sainte-Marthe, le 20 août 1868, à l’âge de 75 ans. Il est enterré au cimetière Saint-Pierre de Marseille, où sa famille lui a fait construire un tombeau de style oriental portant sa devise “Inter infideles fidelis” (“Fidèle parmi les infidèles”).

Sources :





Pour consulter l’ensemble des Unes d’ “Égypte-actualités” : http://egyptophile.blogspot.fr/2014/06/egyptophile-un-recueil-des-unes-degypte.html?view=flipcard

No comment yet.
Scooped by Egypt-actus

Egypt announces long-term cease-fire between Israel, Palestine

Egypt announces long-term cease-fire between Israel, Palestine | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it


CAIRO: A Gaza cease-fire between Israel and Palestine has been reached, Egypt’s Foreign Ministry announced in a Monday statement.

The cease-fire came into effect as of 7 p.m. on Tuesday, the statement read.

“In order to prevent bloodshed as well as to save the lives of the Palestinian people and on the basis of the Egyptian proposal for a Gaza cease-fire, Egypt has called for a comprehensive and long-term  truce in conjunction with the opening of the crossings between the Gaza Strip and Israel, allowing the speedy entry of humanitarian and relief aid and reconstructions materials, allowing the expansion of a fishing area starting from 6 miles and continuing the indirect talks between the two parties over other topics within a month after starting the cease-fire,” the statement said.

The ministry also praised the United States’ efforts and the role it has played in reaching the truce.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced that a cease-fire had been reached with Israel to end seven weeks of fighting in Gaza.

“I want to announce the Palestinian leadership’s agreement to neighboring Egypt’s call for a comprehensive and permanent truce, beginning at 7 p.m. (1900 GMT) today,” he said in a televised speech in Ramallah at the start of a leadership meeting.

Hamas representatives and spokespersons announced in a press conference Tuesday their agreement on the cease-fire proposal, describing it as a “victory” for the movement and the Palestinian people.

Hamas representative Izzat Risheq tweeted “We won,” and said the cease-fire would lead to the opening of the crossing, the immediate lifting of the blockade and reconstruction of Gaza.

Earlier Tuesday before the cease-fire came into effect, two Palestinians were killed and 20 injured by an Israeli airstrike in Gaza, Reuters reported.

Since the beginning of the ongoing Israel-Gaza war in July, 2,131 Palestinians have been killed and 10,890 injured according to Palestinian Healthy Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qedra Monday. In that same period, 68 Israelis have been killed; four of them civilians and the rest soldiers, AFP reported.

Egypt previously succeeded in organizing a 3-day cease-fire on Aug. 10, which was then extended by another five days, but expired on Aug. 18.

Additional Reporting by Samar Samir.

No comment yet.
Scooped by Egypt-actus

Sisi transfers presidential powers to PM

Sisi transfers presidential powers to PM | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi issued Monday Presidential Decree No. 293 for year 2014, which hands off a number of previously presidential powers to Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab, in accordance with the Constitution.

“The President of the Republic may delegate some of his powers to the Prime Minister, his deputies, ministers, or governors. None of them may delegate such authorities to others. All of the foregoing shall be regulated by Law,” Article 148 of the 2014 Constitution reads.

Mahlab’s new duties allow him to “dispose of state property and the expropriation of property free of charge, for the public benefit and protection of monuments,” the decision statement read.

The prime minister is now also allowed to grant exceptional pensions and rewards, to approve allowances, loans or grant compensation for damages or losses that include state employees, public bodies, public sector companies, public businesses, Al-Azhar, the Arabic Language Academy, universities, public facilities and the local administrations.

Constitutionalist Shawqy el-Sayed said that the delegation of these tasks will simplify the decision-making process and make it faster, ensuring that “the president is keen to his responsibilities but also that he believes in distribution of power and assumption of responsibility,” Youm7 reported.

The decision also delegated Mahlab to choose from the ministers who will work in his place should he be absent or unable to work.

Sisi’s decision has so far met with little opposition, but previous executive decisions made by former President Mohamed Morsi did.

Morsi issued a constitutional declaration on Nov. 21, 2012 in which he gave himself wide executive powers, and gave his decisions immunity from appeal. This irked many of his critics.

On Dec. 9, 2012, Morsi canceled the declaration after protests against it kicked off, followed by clashes at Ithadeya presidential palace.

No comment yet.
Scooped by Egypt-actus

Eugène Fromentin, un orientaliste entre la plume et les pinceaux

Eugène Fromentin, un orientaliste entre la plume et les pinceaux | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

Dans la famille Fromentin, il semble établi que l'on doit être juriste ou médecin... Ainsi Eugène Fromentin, né le 24 octobre 1820, ne sera pas autorisé à faire les Beaux-Arts. Loin des pinceaux, des pigments, des couleurs et des palettes, il est contraint de "faire son droit".

Ce n'est qu'en 1843, après avoir obtenu sa licence, qu’il est enfin autorisé par son père à prendre des cours de peinture. Il ne réussira cependant jamais à se considérer totalement comme un peintre.

En 1846, il se rend pour la première fois en Algérie : c'est ce voyage-là qui fera naître en lui le peintre orientaliste. Ses peintures lui apportent une belle notoriété consacrée par des récompenses et des médailles. Parallèlement, il publie de nombreuses critiques d'art.

Son second voyage en Algérie, dont il fait le récit dans "Une année dans le Sahel", consacre sa double reconnaissance en tant que peintre et écrivain. "Dominique", un roman autobiographique qui paraît en 1863, rencontre également un franc succès.

C'est ainsi qu'en 1869, il est officiellement invité par le Khédive, avec de nombreux autres artistes européens (Ismaïl aurait lancé plus de 1000 invitations !), à l'inauguration du Canal de Suez.

En partant pour l’Égypte il prévient pourtant : "J’écrirai plus que je ne dessinerai." Il n'a "que" 49 ans, mais il annonce : "Il est trop tard, je suis trop vieux." Il trouve le rythme des visites beaucoup trop soutenu : "Si j’avais un peu de la forme qui m’échappe, pour joindre aux impressions de lumière et de couleurs dont je fais provision, ce rapide, trop rapide défilé devant des merveilles, ne serait pas cependant sans profit."

Subjugué par les paysages égyptiens, il n’est cependant pas pleinement satisfait par ce court séjour, car il "a conscience qu’il manque à ses observations l’élément humain qu’il n’a pas le temps de le rencontrer". Il se plaint ainsi à juste titre de ce que l'on pourrait qualifier de frustrations : "Le paysage, les habitudes, les habitants, ces délicieuses marines à tous les tournants du fleuve. On a jugé naturellement que cela n’entrait pas dans un programme d’exploration. Et nous autres peintres, on nous fait impitoyablement passer à toute vapeur devant nos véritables sujets d’étude !"  

Mais ce qu'il a vu ou ressenti, même furtivement, ce qu'il a mémorisé de ces instants, de ces sensations, il saura très bien le retrouver et le restituer soit à la pointe de sa plume, soit au bout des ses pinceaux.

"La vallée du Nil, en automne, avec ses grandes lignes étirées, son paysage élargi par la crue, sa tendre lumière et son humide douceur."

"L’esclave du ton", comme l’appelait son ami Armand du Mesnil, ne se lasse point de faire vibrer la gamme des couleurs éphémères et le classique s’attarde à dégager les caractères durables et généraux. Il a su dire la magie fugitive des soirs d’octobre sur le Nil ou dessiner les traits immuables de la campagne ou du désert.

L’Égypte à la fin de l’été, l’Égypte de tous les temps, voilà ce qu’a pu fixer Fromentin avec sa plume".

Les tableaux qui lui sont inspirés "donnent tous une impression d’harmonie, de justesse, d’équilibre et de douceur". Le Nil, ses felouques, les personnages, tout nous enchante. "Fromentin sait jouer avec toute la gamme des tons, depuis le jaune soufre jusqu’à l’ocre pâle. Il sait faire chatoyer les moires entre le violet, le gris-bleu, le lilas et le rose."

L'influence de Delacroix est évidente dans le traitement des personnages, et le naturalisme est là, dans le rendu des paysages. Il se peut même que l'on se plaise à retrouver parfois, dans la texture des ciels et des couchers de soleil, des touches "impressionnistes" (courant qu'il a pourtant décrié !).

C'est le 27 août 1876 qu'Eugène Fromentin a dit adieu aux couleurs de vie.

Marie Grillot


Dictionnaire des orientalistes de langue française, François Pouillon, IISMM - Khartala



Eugène Fromentin (1820-1876) – L’Orient révélé 2 – L’Egypte







Pour consulter l’ensemble des Unes d’ “Égypte-actualités” : http://egyptophile.blogspot.fr/2014/06/egyptophile-un-recueil-des-unes-degypte.html?view=flipcard

No comment yet.
Scooped by Egypt-actus

Mahienour El-Massry starts hunger strike

Mahienour El-Massry starts hunger strike | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it
Alexandrian lawyer and activist Mahienour El-Massry started a hunger strike on Sunday in support of all those detained over the controversial 2013 Protest Law.
No comment yet.
Scooped by Egypt-actus

Le Caire tente une nouvelle médiation à Gaza - L'essentiel

Le Caire tente une nouvelle médiation à Gaza - L'essentiel | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it
Le Caire tente une nouvelle médiation à Gaza L'essentiel Le Caire, voisin et médiateur habituel des conflits israélo-palestiniens, est en train de soumettre une nouvelle proposition de cessez-le-feu dans la guerre qui a fait plus de 2 100 morts...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Egypt-actus

Activists to organize ‘global rally’ to free Mohamed Sultan

Activists to organize ‘global rally’ to free Mohamed Sultan | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it
CAIRO: The family of detained activist Mohamed Sultan will organize a rally to support him centered at the Press Syndicate on Monday evening, the Freedom for the Brave movement defending prisoners announced Sunday.
No comment yet.
Scooped by Egypt-actus

L'Egypte dément être impliquée dans des raids aériens sur la Libye

L'Egypte dément être impliquée dans des raids aériens sur la Libye | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it
Le Monde L'Egypte dément être impliquée dans des raids aériens sur la Libye Le Monde Après cinq jours de spéculation sur l'identité des avions qui ont attaqué à deux reprises, de nuit, les rangs islamistes aux abords de l'aéroport de la capitale,...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Egypt-actus

Mais où va l'économie de l'Égypte ?

Mais où va l'économie de l'Égypte ? | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

Après plus de trois années de croissance atone, l'économie égyptienne ressemble à un gros paquebot à la dérive. Abdel Fatah al-Sissi, alors candidat à la présidence de la République, s'était prémuni de tout reproche en soulignant la dureté de sa mission à venir. Amarrer le bateau prendra plusieurs années et demandera le concours des 87 millions d'Égyptiens. "Tout ce dont j'ai besoin, c'est du temps, car il existe un fossé entre vos souhaits et les capacités de l'État", déclarait-il début mai.

Un an plus tôt, la gestion désastreuse de la crise économique figurait dans la liste des reproches faits au président islamiste Mohamed Morsi. Le 30 juin 2013, des millions d'Égyptiens sont descendus dans la rue pour réclamer son départ. Les mouvements de grève, les interminables files d'attente devant les pompes à essence, et les coupures d'électricité à répétition résument alors, à leurs yeux, l'incurie des Frères musulmans. "Ce jour-là, beaucoup avaient manifesté dans l'espoir d'une vie meilleure", rappelle Dalia Moussa, membre du Centre égyptien des droits économiques et sociaux. "Pour une partie des manifestants, le maréchal Sissi incarnait la promesse d'un retour à la croissance, même si ce dernier n'a jamais présenté de programme économique clair durant la campagne présidentielle", poursuit-elle.

La crise en quelques chiffres

Depuis 2011, tous les indicateurs économiques du pays virent peu à peu au rouge. La croissance recule, le taux de chômage des jeunes atteint 13,5 % en 2013 contre 9 % en 2010, l'instabilité politique perdure, repoussant le retour des investisseurs étrangers. La somme de tous ces mauvais points creuse chaque année le déficit budgétaire de l'État, un déficit estimé à 14 % du PIB pour l'année 2013. "La crise actuelle est différente de celles que l'Égypte a pu connaître par le passé, notamment dans les années 1980", souligne Mohamed Abu Basha, économiste au sein de la banque d'investissement EFG Hermes. "À cette époque, le déficit budgétaire pouvait dépasser les 15 % du PIB, mais cela était en partie compensé par les surplus de gaz et de pétrole. Par ailleurs, contrairement aux quatre dernières années, le pays était politiquement stable. Les investisseurs étrangers n'avaient pas déserté le pays", ajoute-t-il.

Une dramatique spirale d'endettement et de déficit

Une image résume l'urgence de la situation : des quartiers entiers sont plongés dans le noir après une énième panne de courant. Celles-ci avaient marqué les derniers mois de la présidence Morsi. Un an plus tard, elles font toujours la une des principaux journaux du pays. Second producteur de gaz de l'Afrique, après l'Algérie, l'Égypte manque paradoxalement d'énergie pour le quotidien des populations et le fonctionnement de l'économie. Le niveau de gaz extrait baisse depuis 2011. Cela entraîne dans son sillage une diminution de la production d'électricité qui en dépendrait à 70 %. Avec un secteur énergétique fortement déficitaire, Le Caire peut certes compter sur l'aide financière de plusieurs monarchies du Golfe pour payer ses factures de combustibles et ses dettes depuis le renversement de Mohamed Morsi, le 3 juillet 2013. Mais les perfusions de pétrodollars ne suffisent pas à sortir le pays de l'infernale spirale de l'endettement : les arriérés envers les compagnies étrangères, auxquelles l'Égypte est liée par des contrats d'exportation de combustibles, s'accumulent. La dette intérieure, elle, atteint un niveau record : plus l'Égypte importe du gaz aux prix du marché, plus elle augmente la part du budget consacré aux subventions - qui représentent plus d'un quart des dépenses de l'État - et plus le déficit se creuse.

Al-Sissi instaure une politique d'austérité

L'une des premières mesures prises par le président Sissi a été la réduction de ces subventions et la hausse des prix de l'électricité d'ici la fin 2014. L'objectif affiché est de réduire le déficit de l'État et d'augmenter le budget des ministères de la Santé et de l'Éducation. Il faut dire que plusieurs rapports d'économistes ont préconisé depuis longtemps une réforme profonde des subventions. Principal reproche : elles ne profiteraient pas seulement aux plus nécessiteux. Une bonne part du gâteau bénéficierait également aux grandes industries, grandes consommatrices d'énergie. "Le gouvernement n'avait pas d'autres options", soutient l'économiste d'EFG Hermès. "C'est une décision impopulaire à court terme, mais il fallait envoyer un signal fort aux investisseurs et aux partenaires de l'Égypte. Parmi eux, les pays du Golfe - l'Arabie saoudite, les Émirats et le Koweït - qui ont soutenu le pays à hauteur de vingt milliards de dollars", ajoute-t-il. Objectif : montrer que les pétrodollars ne se perdent pas dans les abîmes du déficit et que le pays s'engage dans une sérieuse réforme structurelle de son économie.

Dans la suite des grands projets, un nouveau canal de Suez

Début août, c'est un autre projet économique - plus prestigieux - qui a retenu l'attention des médias : le creusement d'un nouveau canal de Suez. Passage stratégique entre la mer Méditerranée et la mer Rouge, le canal rapporte 5 milliards de dollars par an aux caisses de l'État. Des recettes que le gouvernement voudrait voir grossir dans les prochaines années. Pour l'heure, se pose toutefois la question du financement de ce chantier pharaonique évalué à 4 milliards de dollars. Il vient s'ajouter à la longue liste des chantiers de construction lancés depuis l'été 2013 par les gouvernements successifs et l'armée. Leur coût total s'élèverait à 14 milliards de dollars. "Les autorités espèrent que les riches contribueront à l'effort de relance", remarque Mohamed Abu Basha. "Avec la réalisation de ces nouveaux projets, l'État veut regagner la confiance des investisseurs égyptiens et étrangers", poursuit-il.

"Les gens sont effrayés. Ils ne manifestent pas"

Si tout le monde s'accorde sur la profondeur de la crise économique et l'urgence à la circonscrire, les solutions apportées, elles, font l'objet d'un profond débat. Alors que certains économistes applaudissent les nouvelles mesures, d'autres dénoncent l'absence de concertation dans les prises de décision et les atteintes à la justice sociale. "Le gouvernement a subitement décidé de couper les subventions sans penser à ses conséquences désastreuses dans les classes les plus pauvres", soutient Dalia Moussa du Centre égyptien pour les droits économiques et sociaux. "Deux tiers de la population bénéficient de ces aides, et beaucoup ne pourraient pas survivre sans elles", ajoute-t-elle. En d'autres termes, cette initiative serait impopulaire et le malaise palpable. Comment alors expliquer l'absence d'émeutes ou de manifestations au lendemain de la hausse effective du prix du carburant début juillet ? "Les gens sont effrayés. Ils ne manifestent pas", affirme Dalia. "La répression contre les partisans des Frères et les activistes a été féroce. Dans le contexte de la guerre contre le terrorisme, les autorités considèrent que toute manifestation menace la sécurité du pays", affirme-t-elle.

Autant dire qu'à côté de la répression des Frères musulmans et de la "lutte contre le terrorisme", clé de voûte de l'action politique depuis plus d'un an, la guerre économique menée par le nouveau pouvoir militaire a encore bien des batailles à affronter. Oui, le chemin à parcourir pour un retour rapide à la stabilité et à une meilleure situation économique s'annonce des plus périlleux. De quoi mettre encore plus à l'épreuve la patience déjà bien éprouvée des populations.

No comment yet.
Scooped by Egypt-actus

Egypt is witnessing less freedom of expression than under Mubarak or Morsi : John R. Bradley

Egypt is witnessing less freedom of expression than under Mubarak or Morsi : John R. Bradley | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

By Huda Badri and Adham Youssef

 Since the 25 January Revolution in 2011, political unrest has held Egypt in its grip amid rapid regime changes. The ouster of former president Hosni Mubarak was followed by military rule, the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood, the ascent and ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi and finally the crackdown on the Brotherhood and rise to power of current President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi.

As parliamentary elections are approaching, Egypt is still witnessing a volatile, unstable political and social scene, including threats of militants in the Sinai and western borders with Libya. Also, the regime has been widely criticised by different entities for using excessive force against protesters and civilians as well as launching a mass scale crackdown on political opposition.

John R. Bradley, author and internationally published journalist was one of the few Middle East experts who predicted the massive popular uprising against the Mubarak regime in his book Inside Egypt: The Land of the Pharaohs on the Brink of a Revolution, published in 2008. The book discussed political opposition, human rights and security issues in Egypt.

Daily News Egypt interviewed Bradley to discuss Egypt’s internal political situation and its foreign affairs, ranging from human rights abuses to the recent geopolitical developments in the region.


What is your opinion about what is happening now in Egypt after three years from the 25 January Revolution?


One baby step forward, twenty giant tyrannical leaps backwards. Hundreds, if not thousands, of innocent, unarmed Muslim Brotherhood supporters have been murdered in cold blood by the military and security forces – the worst atrocity by the Egyptian state in the country’s modern history.

Even the British occupiers during colonial rule, for all their considerable and unpardonable colonial violence and oppression, were never quite that barbaric in their treatment of the Egyptian masses.

Tens of thousands of men, women and even children – Islamists and secularists alike – have been arrested on the flimsiest of charges, or on no legal basis whatsoever. They languish in Egypt’s prison cells that have once again become notorious torture chambers, and which are run by state-hired thugs who carry out their ghastly deeds with almost complete impunity.

The economy is in tatters as the oligarchy that surrounded former president Hosni Mubarak and the military establishment (that controls about 40% of the economy) reasserted their dominance. But in the real Egypt there is rampant poverty, there are almost unbelievably high crime rates, the education system is on the brink of collapse, and as a result the masses are filled with nothing but a sense of hopelessness and helplessness – to the extent that polls show a growing number wish that the so-called revolution had never happened. They have therefore taken comfort in the tried and tested: military rule.

All this is happening at a time when official censorship has never been so shamelessly and ruthlessly enforced, with the state-run print and broadcast media now so subservient to the new president that it would make one laugh if it were not such a criminal betrayal of their profession – and such an insult to their readers’ and viewers’ intelligence. One gets the feeling that even Al-Sisi, since he’s obviously an intelligent and well-educated individual, might think that such sycophancy is a bit too much.


Human Rights Watch stated that the Rabaa dispersal was a “crime against humanity”. What do you think of this assessment?


Of course it was a crime against humanity. But I have mixed feelings when it comes to NGOs operating in, and reporting on, the internal affairs of other countries. For a start, it all seems to be coming from one direction – as in American (often government-funded) organisations reporting on abuses in so-called third-world countries, often doing fieldwork without any official accreditation or permission from the local government. Now, if I wanted to conduct a study on human rights abuses in America – which are legion – as a British citizen I would have to apply for a special visa in order to do so. Can you imagine how Washington would react if Egypt or Russia or China suddenly established, without any official notification, dozens of NGOs across the United States in order to promote their own values and constantly highlight what they saw as abuses committed by the US government and its legendary out-of-control SWAT teams? They would do what Egypt did: shut them down and kick them out of the country.

Of course, any Egyptian author could travel to the US or Britain and write about his experience of living in the country, however critical, which is all I did when living in and writing about Egypt and what Al-Aswany did in his novel Chicago. But I don’t believe foreigners should directly engage in Egypt’s internal political affairs – which is why I turned down every one of the numerous invitations I received in the months following the revolution to speak at events in Cairo organised by local NGOs and human rights organisations.

So, yes, the massacre was a disgrace. But that would better be highlighted by Egyptian-based and Egyptian-staffed NGOs, rather than by foreign groups that have a broader agenda in doing so.


What is your opinion about the situation in Egypt after Al-Sisi became president?


President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi is a curious figure. Unlike Mubarak and his family, Al-Sisi clearly is not personally corrupt. I mean, he is not in it for the money. He demonstrated this by voluntarily cutting his own salary and donating half of his personal wealth to the state. And he’s obviously not a tyrant in the form of Saddam Hussein or Muammar Gaddafi – I really do feel that Al-Sisi is probably personally pained by all the bloodshed that has occurred under his rule. I mean, he seems to be acting in the genuine – if misguided – belief that everyone his security forces are killing is a bonafide terrorist. I mean, he’s not the kind of Arab tyrant who would massacre whole sections of his population just for the perverted feeling of power it would momentarily give him.

Nor does he appear aloof and an egomaniac like Mubarak. By all accounts he listens to the advice of those who surround him, although whether it is of any use is another question; and he is fully aware – as he makes clear in his public speeches – of the desperate circumstances faced on a daily basis by the overwhelming majority of Egyptian people. He also has a big advantage in that he is from the military.

The Islamists and secularist opposition may both hate the fact that Egypt has effectively returned to military dictatorship under the veneer of democracy – almost as much as they hate each other. But there is no denying that the military establishment has massive support among ordinary Egyptians, who – in their legendary apathy when it comes to the nitty gritty of party politics – appear to support neither the secularists nor the Islamists.

That makes the probability of another revolutionary uprising in the near future – this time against Al-Sisi – very slim. It would mean the Egyptian masses directly confronting the military, and, while that cannot be ruled out, as things stand I cannot for a second imagine that happening.

Al-Sisi also understands very clearly that it takes years, perhaps decades, to establish a flourishing Western-style democracy, even if we accept (as I do not) that this a viable and worthy goal for a country like Egypt that has its own unique and complex traditions and customs. Believing the opposite was the folly of those who called for the January 25 Revolution, the Westernised elite who naively thought they could change Egypt for the better overnight by having Western-style free-and-fair elections. Well, they lost every single election, and now most of those youth leaders and intellectuals are languishing in prison or have been silenced.

Essentially, what the president is asking for is a period of stability and an end to public demonstrations and endless political infighting so he can get the country back on its feet again. He understands that most Egyptian care most not about human rights and democracy, but rather about being able to work and feed their families. What use are free-and-fair elections every six years if in the meantime your kids are starving to death?

However, there are no quick fixes in this regard, and Al-Sisi’s personal donations in the end amount only to gestures and even, however well-meaning, in many Egyptian opposition activists’ eyes, to a patronising sense of paternalism.

In the meantime, by allowing his security forces to act with such mindless brutality and by silencing all criticism of his rule – and with the strong possibility that he will fail in any significant way to alleviate in the short term the fundamental problems of unemployment and poverty – he risks undermining in the long term the good-will of those who voted for him.

After all, Egyptians have a famous saying: ila el karama! [anything but dignity] Those sycophantic advisers who surround the president, instead of telling him how much the people adore him, should whisper that saying in the president’s ear at every opportunity. It was, in my opinion, a deep sense of a lack of personal dignity that led to the initial revolution.


Don’t you think that there is a contradiction between saying that a violent crackdown took place on peaceful Muslim Brotherhood protesters, and saying that Al-Sisi stepped in to take over for the good of the country?


Of course there is a contradiction, and that’s the root of the problem for those who argue that Egypt is now a democracy.

But there is no contradiction if you subscribe to the false narrative put forward by both the military establishment and the secular/leftist elite – the latter clearly out of touch with the sentiment of the Egyptian masses from the outset.

Remember, the military was initially seen as the saviour of the January 25 Revolution, and were warmly welcomed by the Tahrir demonstrators. They saw a clear distinction between the military establishment and the Mubarak dynasty – with the latter’s vast network of incredibly brutal internal police forces. Anyway, Mubarak hadn’t been active in the military for decades. Nor did his son Gamal, who was poised to succeed Mubarak, have any links to the military.

When the secularists/leftists realised that a military counter-revolution had taken place – the generals basically sacrificed Mubarak in order to retain their own privileges and stop the country from descending into civil war – the locals joined the security forces and military on the streets in pelting the anti-military demonstrators with stones and firebombs.

Al-Sisi believes that the military is destined to have a prominent and permanent role as a force for Egyptian unity and stability, even if he claims it has no direct role in the political running of the country; and since most Egyptians see the military establishment as a force for good, and have fond memories of their time as conscripts (when they lived in an almost parallel world that was not brutal and demeaning as was Egyptian society under Mubarak), that works to Al-Sisi’s advantage.

The regime has presented the peaceful demonstrates as armed terrorists who threaten to drag Egypt into the abyss of armed civil war. In that context, from Al-Sisi’s point of view, they had to eliminate for the good of the country as a whole, and if that means suspended all civil liberties then so be it.

In your opinion, what went wrong for the Muslim Brotherhood to reach to this end?


The Muslim Brotherhood dug its own grave. They committed three main, inter-related mistakes, and by doing so they have no one to blame but themselves for their spectacular fall into political oblivion – and I say that despite condemning in the strongest possible terms the way its peaceful supporters have been massacred and incarcerated.


The first mistake the Muslim Brotherhood made was that they interpreted their electoral victories to mean that they had the overwhelming support of the Egyptian masses. This led them to become arrogant in the belief that they could move swiftly to impose Sharia law, in cahoots with their then Salafi allies.

But elections are complicated events, and to be legitimate they depend on a high turnout of registered voters

Yes, the Muslim Brotherhood won 70 or so percent in most of the elections. But the voter turnout was usually appallingly low – sometimes as little as 25%. Winning 70% of the 25% who turned out actually demonstrated, to anyone who looked at the figures objectively, their lack of popular support. It simply meant that they could only get about 10 to 15% of the total population to vote for them. To put it in a nut shell: the Muslim Brotherhood never managed to galvanise more than their core base, which are – and always have been – a very small minority of the total Egyptian population.

That is why they quickly alienated the great majority of Egyptians, who are by and large a tolerant people – an alienation that led to the June 30 uprising against them.

Egyptians cannot countenance the idea, for example, that their president would call – as Morsi did – for all able-bodied Muslims in the country to join the jihad in Syria, while creating nothing but economic catastrophe in their own country. For ordinary Egyptian Muslims, the idea of travelling to a brotherly Arab country to slaughter its religious minorities is an insane idea, pure and simple. It goes completely against their mindset and historic principle of religious coexistence. Despite what the Islamaphobes in the West say, the overwhelming majority of Egyptian Muslims do not see Christian Egyptians as inferiors, but rather as brothers and sisters in a united nation.

Incidentally, while I haven’t seen any polling data in this regard, I suspect that for this reason most Egyptians, like me, hope that Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad in the end crushes the jihadist maniacs who now call themselves the Islamic State and want to impose what they call Islamic law – that is so strict and barbaric that even Saudi Arabia, of all countries, has now washed its hands of them.

The Muslim Brotherhood’s third mistake was to underestimate the power of what is called the “deep state” – meaning the military establishment, media moguls and the billionaire business elite. I think this so-called “deep state” would have tolerated the Muslim Brotherhood if they had not directly threatened their interests. But when it became clear that Morsi was absolutely determined to radically undermine those interests, for example by threatening to send the traditionally secular Egyptian Army into conflict alongside the jihadists against the secular Syrian regime, the “deep state” mobilised its massive resources in tandem with the masses – and that combination (of self-serving outrage amongst the elite and the acute alienation among the masses) proved fatal – literally so, for thousands of the Muslim Brotherhood’s supporters.


Since 2008, when you published your book, what has differed when it comes to human rights?


Things are as bad as ever, if not worse. And the problem is that now the dream of Western-style democracy has gone up in smoke, the whole issue has been couched in terms of Western interference in internal Egyptian affairs – in the midst of a mindless whipping up of rank anti-foreigner hatred. The new regime has been very clever in, on the one hand, crushing internal dissent, while on the other blaming all criticism on hostile outside powers – using every last ridiculous conspiracy theory it has up its sleeve. With the local press joining in the chorus of anti-foreigner abuse, coupled with its failure (compared to under Mubarak’s rule) to try to hold the regime to account when it comes to human rights abuses or anything else, the security forces seem to have a green light to do what the hell they like.


What do you think of the vicious war taking place now in Sinai? Does the lack of media coverage concerns you?


The war in Sinai is obviously different to the so-called war on the Muslim Brotherhood. In Sinai, those fighting the regime are undeniably jihadist terrorists who murder indiscriminately and want to overthrow the current regime through violence to create a strict Islamic state.

The Egyptian government has no option but to try to eliminate every last one of them, because violence is all they understand – and, believing that God is on their side, they will not end their so-called jihad until they are either murdered, captured or achieve their goal. I think there are a number of reasons why this is not getting the international attention it deserves.

For a start, the Egyptian government will not allow journalists to work freely in the region, so how are they supposed to report on what’s going on there? It’s also a very complex situation, having its roots in a sense of alienation felt by the local Bedouin tribes. The Western media doesn’t like complicated narratives; it prefers articles that pitch goodies against baddies.

Also, there’s so much mayhem in this world at the moment and there’s only so much the Western press can focus on. So you tend to see the region reported on only when the jihadist nutcases launch attacks against foreign tourists, which obviously makes for eye-catching, sensationalist headlines in the Western press because it’s something that Westerners who holiday in Egypt can directly relate to.


With putting the status of journalists in mind, how do you see freedom of speech now in Egypt?


As I pointed out earlier, there is no freedom of expression in Egypt now in any meaningful sense of the term. Let me give a brief account of my own personal experience – not as a crude form of self promotion, but in order to justify that bold statement.

When my book Inside Egypt: The Land of the Pharaohs on the Brink of a Revolution was published in 2008, it was initially banned by the Mubarak regime. But at the time there was a very vibrant and feisty opposition press, and they came out very strongly in my defence and against the decision to ban the book. For almost a month, my photograph and the cover of the book was featured in articles and accompanying lengthy interviews with me – in Al-Masry Al-Youm, Al-Dostour and countless other newspapers and magazines, often on the front pages.

Eventually, the Mubarak regime rescinded its ban. But it did so under pressure from the – at the time – courageous Egyptian opposition media, not from the West. And I am certain of this that because no articles appeared in Britain or America about the initial book ban – apart from a few little dispatches from AP and AFP.

Moreover, when the Muslim Brotherhood was in power, a prestigious Cairo-based publishing house published an Arabic translation of Inside Egypt and, shortly afterwards, an Arabic-translation of my latest book After the Arab Spring: How Islamists Hijacked the Middle East Revolts (2012) with an new introduction aimed at Arabic-language readers. After the Arab Spring is basically a ferocious polemic against the Muslim Brotherhood and everything they stand for, just as Inside Egypt has a chapter very critical of them. I call them, very frankly, fascists and hypocrites, an opinion I continue to hold.


However, the Morsi regime, for all its considerable faults, did not ban either book – indeed, After the Arab Spring received as many reviews in Egypt as had Inside Egypt, including a full-page positive feature in the state-controlled Al-Ahram (which at the time was broadly supportive of Morsi). At the time, both books were in their window displays of all the bookshops I walked past in Cairo. And I felt at ease living in Egypt at the time –as much as anyone could during the continuing mayhem – just as I had during Mubarak’s rule even during all the fuss over Inside Egypt.

Now, imagine for a moment that I was about to publish a new book about Egypt under Al-Sisi’s rule, detailing in a similarly anecdotal manner all the outrageous human rights abuses his regime has committed. As it happens, I have no plan to do so – I can’t see the point in writing more than one book on a single country. But if I was planning on doing so, do you think the Al-Sisi regime goons would hesitate for a moment before banning it, then arresting me, torturing me and sending me to one its ridiculous kangaroo courts, with accusations that I was an Israeli spy or in collusion with Islamist terrorists or some other such nonsense? And if that were to happen, the so-called opposition and independent Arabic-language newspapers – the ones that gave me their full support during the Inside Egypt hoo-haa – would, of course, do their utmost to justify the resulting nightmarish show-trial.

The point here is not about me, but to illustrate that there is less freedom of expression in Egypt these days than under either the Mubarak or the Morsi regimes – both for foreigners and locals. The fact that a writer as courageous and principled as Alaa Al-Aswany, who is an Egyptian national treasure, has taken a vow of silence tells us all we need to know about how intellectual figures are facing what could justifiably described as a fanatical assault by the idiots now in control of the Ministry of Information and their lackeys who edit the state and most of the now not-so-independent media. The latter are nothing more than what some wit has termed “presstitutes” for their equivalents in the Western media.


Some experts may argue that the “security solution” may give a rise to a new wave of extremism. Do you have any comment on that?


Al-Sisi is apparently the most popular Egyptian leader since Gamal Abdel Nasser, who with his fellow Free Officers seized power in 1952 and established the military dictatorship from which Al-Sisi hails. Like Nasser, Al-Sisi has shut down the free media, outlawed the political opposition, encouraged mindless xenophobia and banned all criticism of himself and his policies. Especially targeted, as they were during Nasser’s rule, are the Islamist critics, against whom – as we have said – he has launched a ferocious crackdown.

But Nasser’s own legacy shows that any Egyptian president puts his country’s long-term stability in grave danger by resorting to such brutal repression, especially against the Islamist minority. Nasser, you will recall, similarly suppressed the Muslim Brotherhood, and the result was a jihadist blowback that began in the early 1970s and lasted three decades. Alas, most Egyptians, like Al-Sisi, appear more concerned with evoking the imagined glories of a more dignified, Nasser-dominated past, in order to forget the dismal present, than learning from this dark earlier period of Egypt’s history.

Sooner or later the Muslim Brotherhood will, once again, have to be incorporated in some form or other into the political process if stability is to be restored. Some Egyptian officials have already hinted that this could take place. Like them or loathe them, the Muslim Brotherhood have been around for a century and represent a strong if minority voice in Egyptian society.

The only alternative would be to kill or imprison them all, which is sheer madness as a political strategy. It will only encourage their supporters to join the more extremist groups.

How do you see the scene after the Arab revolutions of the Arab Spring? And what about the role the Western powers played during the last period?


The decision by the Western powers, along with its allies Qatar and Saudi Arabia, to train, fund and arm the jihadists fighting to topple President Al-Assad was the most insane and inexcusable imperial foreign policy blunder since the decision by Britain, France and Israel to try to take over the Suez Canal in 1956.

The idea was that the “moderate” and Western-friendly Islamists would take over Syria, thus weakening Iran and Hezbollah. This was done with the aim, firstly, of furthering the ambitions of right-wing in Israel, which obviously wants Hezbollah eradicated and at the same time sees a potentially nuclear-armed Iran as an existential threat to its existence; but it was also done to empower key Western ally Saudi Arabia, which – for no reason other than anti-Shi’a bigotry – wants to see Iran contained and weakened.

Well, it all backfired, the Saudis lost control of their jihadist foot soldiers, and now the Islamic State is calling not only for the destruction of Israel but the overthrow of the Saudi regime too. And, contrary to popular myth and the hopes of Washington, London and Tel Aviv, ordinary Syrians did not rise up against President Al-Assad.

So now we have a clearly defined battle line. On the one side are Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the other oil monarchies, Israel, the moderate Palestinian factions and the West – all of whom have a shared interest in ensuring that the Islamic State is crushed. On the other side are Qatar, Hamas, Turkey and the Islamic State itself – all of whom are determined to back, albeit in different ways and at their own singular pace, the new so-called Caliphate.

The country everyone should be watching very closely is Saudi Arabia. I lived there for a number of years, and published a book on the country called Saudi Arabia Exposed: Inside a Kingdom in Crisis (2005). If it was in a state of crisis then, it is now ripe for a popular revolution.

If the House of Saud falls, it would mean not only unimaginable inter-tribal and sectarian bloodshed inside the Wahhabi kingdom itself, but also the Islamic State moving to take control of Mecca and Medina. So, although it almost makes one vomit to say it, one must admit that the Saudi royal family is the best option for that country, at least in the short term. Its fall would also mean the almost immediate subsequent overthrow of the ruling regimes in the Saudi client states of Bahrain (which is majority Shi’a but ruled over by a Sunni ruling family) and Jordan (whose population is mostly of Palestinian origin and where the only opposition is the Muslim Brotherhood). That would mean Iran moving into Bahrain and the Islamic State into Jordan. No one in their right mind wants either scenario to become a reality.

The fall of the House of Saud would also have terrible consequences for Egypt specifically, since it is aid from the Saudi royal family, and remittances from Egyptian expatriate workers in Saudi Arabia, that is essential in the short term to keeping the Egyptian economy from total implosion.

As for the more general role of the West in all this, as you can imagine, despite all its empty talk about promoting human rights and democracy, Washington will do absolutely everything in its power to keep the Saudi king on the throne, while Western-allied Arab states will continue their pressure on Qatar to stop funding the Islamist terrorists.

And so long as Al-Sisi maintains the peace treaty with Israel, keeps the Suez Canal open, maintains close ties with Saudi Arabia and continues his “war on terror”, his regime thugs will be free to commit however many human rights abuses they want to – without fear of any serious repercussions from the West.


Some might argue that the Islamic State (IS) is a creation of the West. How reasonable is this assessment?

There’s no doubt that the Islamic State is a creation of the West. That much we can take for granted. But the real question is: was this done by design or by sheer stupidity?

Those who argue that there is a method to the West’s madness claim that it’s all part of a project to “Balkanise” the region – to use Bernard Lewis’ famous term. Their aim is to weaken strong states that are hostile to the West in order to steal their oil reserves and weaken Israel’s enemies. This has clearly been the intention of the Neocons [Neoconservatives] and Likudiks [Likud affiliated member] since the invasion of Iraq. But I really don’t think there was a well-thought out plan to create the Islamic State. Even the neocons are not that insane.

Rather, it’s yet another case of the West fooling itself into thinking that it can hire jihadists to do its dirty work for them – meaning in this case overthrowing the Syrian regime, and thus establish a “moderate” pro-Western regime in Damascus while by default weakening Iran and Hezbollah – all with the hope of keeping them onside in the long term. Obviously, they have learned nothing from the experience of Afghanistan, whose mujahadeen were armed, funded and trained by the United States, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, and then moved into the West’s Enemy Number 1: the Taliban. Or, more recently, from the experience of Libya, where NATO aided the radical jihadists who turned on their Western backers within months of Gaddafi’s assassination.


So, no, I think it’s more a case of ignorance, inhumanity and wishful thinking on the part of the dimwits who run the West’s strategy in the Middle East from Washington and London than some great conspiracy to impose a mediaeval-style Caliphate that will serve their imperial interests. After all, the Islamic State serves nobody’s interest but its own.

No comment yet.
Scooped by Egypt-actus

Is it time for Egypt's new capital city?

Is it time for Egypt's new capital city? | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it
In the film The Yacoubian Building, Zaki – the film’s protagonist, played by Adel Imam – stumbles through Talaat Harb Square in the early hours of the morning, commanding people to come look at the "apartment buildings that used to be better than the ones in Europe." Although Zaki’s comments are part of a drunken diatribe, he has a point: the iconic square is an aesthetic has-been, its once-white French neoclassical buildings browned by dust and smog and its streets teeming with motor and pedestrian traffic. But it is not just Talaat Harb that has deteriorated. A multitude of other districts throughout Cairo are also far cries from their former selves.  Many attribute the decline of Cairo’s aesthetic lure to the ails of overpopulation – overcrowding, traffic, poor infrastructure and rampant garbage. Speaking at a press conference in July, Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab spoke of a possible solution to these issues that would relocate government ministries to an administrative capital outside of Cairo on the Cairo-Suez road, a move he said would loosen traffic congestion. The proposal – one of many recent urban planning projects announced by the government to reduce overcrowding in the capital – has been touted by many as the solution to Cairo’s deterioration. But is it possible for Egypt to take on another capital?  Two requirements For Ahmed Zaazaa – urban designer, researcher, architect, and cofounder of Madd platform, an independent institution that works on issues related to urban development – the name "capital" in itself brings with it a stigma that is counterproductive. "It doesn’t even have to be called a capital," the architect said, "it can be as simple as an ‘important city’ that is exclusively for government and administrative activity." Zaazaa feels that while such an "important city" can thin the traffic and pollution that plague Cairo, its ability to do so depends on two requirements: being a critical distance of at least 100 km outside of Cairo and not being constructed from scratch.  The architect believes that government-sponsored urban development projects aimed at easing overpopulation in Cairo have historically violated these conditions on several occasions. Over the past 60 years the government has planned various "city centres" within Cairo’s city limits meant to consolidate cultural, political, commercial and other government or business activities under one roof (see map provided by ZaaZaa).  Map of past City Centre projects. Credit: Ahmed Zaazaa  Zaazaa explained that each of these projects were not only abandoned but "were not far enough outside of Cairo to have much of an effect on overcrowding.” But even projects outside of Cairo can fail if constructed from scratch. Take two relocation projects from the era of Hosni Mubarak – the Toshka New Valley Project and the Cairo 2050 plan. Both intended to address overcrowding by shifting millions of Cairenes to new desert communities that would cost millions of dollars to build. “Such projects were never completed because of their impracticality,” Zaaaza said, explaining that they were “a waste of time and resources” that depended on unrealistic relocation and astronomical investment figures. Although little information has been provided regarding Mahlab's July announcement, recent comments from former housing minister and prominent engineer Hasballah El-Kafrawi revealed a few details while indicating that the same poor planning may be at work. El-Kafrawi called the current regime's plans for the new capital "naïve" when speaking to Al-Masry Al-Youm in early August, explaining that a new LE53 billion (about $7.5 billion) project to build a city 60 km outside of Cairo without providing the infrastructure for workers to reach it had been put forth by an "irresponsible government" without "convincing justification." "For a project like a new administrative city to be seen through, it must be practical," the urban designer said, "that is the intention behind the two criteria I have suggested." With this in mind, Zaazaa proposes creating "an important administrative city" in a place like Fayoum, a city of roughly 350,000 people around 100 km south of Cairo. "Fayoum is already equipped with an existing community and resources like Lake Qarun that the government could rely on in developing an important city," he said. "This project meets criteria and will have a real effect on pollution and traffic in Cairo without requiring millions in funding" he explained.  Has overpopulation been framed? While many are convinced that Cairo’s beauty has waned as a result of overpopulation, Zaazaa believes a look into Egypt’s history may expose a different culprit. The architect said that places like Talaat Harb square have not deteriorated so much because of overcrowding but because of "failed urban policy." Zaazaa pointed to Boulaq Abul Ela – a now run-down, impoverished and overcrowded district in central Cairo – and explained that it was "actually more populated and better maintained" in 1890 than it is today. "There is a policy failure here," ZaaZaa explained, "the government should be keeping up with maintenance and street cleaning and identifying historic areas as heritage sites." He added that even when the government does choose to focus on identifying heritage sites and their restoration, its approach applies an artificial mask, leaving such a place devoid of its true character. An example is the restoration of El-Moez Street, a main street in old Islamic Cairo that was restored in several stages between 1998 and 2008.  To ZaaZaa, the government’s LE5 million ($700,000) project on El-Moez Street was one that "simply cleaned streets" and renovated buildings. While he agrees that the street is now "much better looking" he also feels the project eliminated the "organic bustle" that was such an important part of its character.  So for ZaaZaa, while now may be the time for Egypt’s new capital it is also the time for a renewed approach to urban policy which is practical and seeks to "preserve authenticity." "If we can redesign urban policy in parallel with building up a city like Fayoum so that it accommodates all administrative activities, then we stand a real chance to preserve Cairo’s old grandeur." 
No comment yet.
Scooped by Egypt-actus

Meeting di Rimini 2014 - La mostra "EGITTO. Quando i valori prendono vita"

Luciano Piscaglia è in collegamento dal Meeting di Rimini e ci introduce la mostra del Gruppo SWAP "EGITTO. Quando i valori prendono vita" Sono suoi ospiti i ragazzi del gruppo; Alberto Bonfanti,...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Egypt-actus

New ‘quartet committee’ to regulate financing and implementation of Suez Canal project

Finance Minister Hany Kadry Dimian has stated that Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb formed a “quartet committee” comprising  the ministers of investment, industry and planning, alongside Kadry, to ensure a rapid acquisition of the required funding for the expansion and drilling of the new canal, with an estimated value of EGP 60bn. The decision was carried out after consultations with President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi.

In early August Al-Sisi inaugurated the project to dig a new canal while also expanding the Suez Canal. The entire project will raise revenue from the canal from the current $5bn to an estimated $13bn, due to an increase in ships passing through the canal, global trade volume, and transport and trade fees.

Kadry believes that financing the Suez Canal project requires large sums of money, for which the government has sought the help of its citizens. Government banks will therefore be issuing investment certificates with 12% returns next week to individuals and institutions on behalf of the Suez Canal Authority.

Commenting on the government’s proposal to finance the canal through investment certificates and not through shares, Kadry stated that the decision was made to ensure national security, in order to protect the project from exposure to vacillating shareholders or the sale of shares to foreigners.

He added that the yield on the certificates would be in dollars, and the estimated 3.5% interest rate is not as low as alleged by some because the certificates are government-ensured. He confirmed that the Suez Canal Authority will pay the returns on the certificates until the project itself provides the funding for the returns.

Hany Tawfik, head of the Egyptian Direct Investment Association, has stated that the cost of financing the project, EGP 60bn, is no small amount, and will inevitably put pressure on the liquidity available in the banking system. Individuals will not be able to provide this funding alone, he said. In addition, he believes the project will put pressure on the private sector’s access to finance and banking, reducing the levels of liquidity available to finance debt.

Tawfik wants the government to allow foreigners to buy certificates instead of limiting itself to Egyptians only, so as to ensure Egyptians that attracting new liquidity from outside the banking system is possible. However he would hope the procedure provides ceilings to foreign ownership on the certificates, limiting how and whom these certificates could be sold to by foreigners.

Tawfiz suggested a limited listing and trading of the certificates within the stock exchange, stating that the expansion and drilling project is huge and will take place on both sides of the channel. Thus, huge investments from internal and external actors should be encouraged so as to provide a competitive investment environment and attract other countries to the project.

He added that Egypt’s success in attracting investment to finance its projects will not depend on patriotic slogans, but rather on feasibility studies on the economic and financial environment and an improvement in business practices in Egypt, which together will help revive confidence in the Egyptian economy.

Some experts have described the project as a nationalistic venture because, in reality, the economic feasibility studies have not provided any clear evidence on how the project would be completed, or on how it would increase revenue to $13bn.

Fakhry Al-Fiki, former assistant executive director of the International Monetary Fund, has stated that he believes that despite its risks the canal project, especially given that the implementation period has been reduced significantly, could be a good investment opportunity. In particular, he believes that holders of investment certificates will benefit because their returns are guaranteed by both the Suez Canal Authority and the government.

He wonders, however, on what criteria the government is making this particular project a priority, “not because I object to it, but want to understand the government’s direction, especially since the country is suffering darkness in factories and homes because of a chronic power crisis.”

In a press statement last week, Mehleb said that the Suez Canal project will contribute to lowering the high unemployment rates in the country, by providing a variety of job opportunities to Egyptians.

No comment yet.
Scooped by Egypt-actus

Mali and Egypt aim to strengthen military cooperation

Mali and Egypt aim to strengthen military cooperation | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it
Minister of Defence Sedki Sobhi met Bah N’Dao, the Malian minister of defence and veterans affairs, in Egypt on Monday to discuss the current regional situation and the implications on the security and stability in Africa.
No comment yet.
Scooped by Egypt-actus

Authorities arrest members of the Helwan Brigades

Authorities arrest members of the Helwan Brigades | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

State security has launched a crackdown on what it is calling a new jihadist cell in Cairo and Giza, which is calling itself the Helwan Brigades, a Ministry of Interior source told Youm7.

A video published by the group Aug. 14 showed a dozen masked youth holding automatic weapons. One of them, Magdy Fonia, kept threatening and inciting against police and army forces, saying that the police were torturing citizens assisted by the army and they have killed protesters in peaceful marches.

The video was released a few hours after the killing of a police officer in Helwan and the injury of another. However, the Helwan Brigades were not accused of targeting the victims, Al-Masry Al-Youmreported.

The source told Youm7 that security arrested five new members of the group Tuesday and they are being interrogated by the National Security Agency.

He added that Fonia was among the arrested members and that security had managed to identify 20 other suspects.

Ministry of Interior deputy Maj. Gen. Sayed Shafiq told Al-Masry Al-Youm that the crackdown on the Helwan Brigades lasted for seven days in seven different governorates and that security is still pursuing eight of the men in the video.

Additional reporting by Ahmed Marie.

No comment yet.
Scooped by Egypt-actus

Gov’t reaches deal with cement companies to recycle cement dust

Gov’t reaches deal with cement companies to recycle cement dust | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it


CAIRO: A protocol to recycle cement dust by incorporating it into road construction was signed Tuesday between Alexandria Portland Cement and The Arab Contractors companies in the presence of Environment Minister Khaled Fahmy.

A ministry press release documenting the signing said the agreement not only makes use of cement dust—a byproduct of cement production—but also helps the environment, as cement dust left unused can have negative health effects and would otherwise just be buried underground.

Ibrahim Hussein, the former head of the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency in Upper Egypt, told The Cairo Post Tuesday that cement factories are one of the biggest polluters in Egypt, in no small part due to cement dust.

Hussein said the dust and other ingredients used in cement production can cause congenital pneumonia—usually in factory workers—but also sometimes in residents living near factories and disposal sites.

Fahmy said in press statements Tuesday the new protocol ensures cement dust will be recycled into road pavement, which he said was environmentally friendly and negated its potential ill health effects.

Hussein agreed, telling The Cairo Post that recycling the dust and using it in other industries will minimize the hazards of improper disposal measures. Burying the dust he said often pollutes the surrounding land and makes it unsuitable for living and agriculture.

He also said using the dust in the manufacture of cement tiles used in paving roads will minimize the cost of the pavement process.

Hussein added the tiles could be exported in the future to create a new source of income.

The agreement is expected to provide road projects with between 150 to 300 tons of cement dust daily, according to the Environmental Ministry statement.

It added that in Cairo alone, 3,000 tons of cement dust was produced daily in cement production, and disposing of it properly will minimize pollution.

No comment yet.
Scooped by Egypt-actus

Tahya Masr donations yet to exceed EGP 5bn: Fund board member

Donations for the Tahya Masr (Long Live Egypt) Fund are yet to exceed EGP 5bn, businessman Salah Diab, a member of the board of directors, told Daily News Egypt Monday.
No comment yet.
Scooped by Egypt-actus

Finance ministry yet to impose property tax on petroleum companies: Adviser

Finance ministry yet to impose property tax on petroleum companies: Adviser | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it
An anonymous senior official at the Tax Authority said that the property law will likely provide exemptions for public petroleum company premises and fields but will be applied on private ones.
No comment yet.
Scooped by Egypt-actus

Restaurée, rénovée, l'église “suspendue” retrouve sa splendeur

Restaurée, rénovée, l'église “suspendue” retrouve sa splendeur | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

Le ministre des Antiquités égyptien a annoncé la réouverture de l'église “suspendue" (“al-Mu’allaqa), ou “église de la Vierge”, dans le Vieux Caire, pour le mois d’octobre prochain, au terme de quatre années de restauration et rénovation.

C’est en 1997 que la décision avait été prise, par le Conseil suprême des antiquités, de lancer un projet de restauration complète pour préserver le sanctuaire et lui redonner sa splendeur originelle. Comme d'autres monuments situés dans des quartiers très peuplés, l’église était en effet fortement endommagée par la pollution de l'air, ainsi que par un niveau d'eau élevé dans le sous-sol, un fort taux d'humidité, des fuites d'eau et la proximité d’égouts dans un état délabré. Les décorations du plafond en bois de l'église étaient noircis par la fumée, et ses murs et fondations avaient été endommagés par le tremblement de terre de 1992.

Cet édifice est l'une des plus anciennes églises en Égypte. Elle a probablement été construite au Ve ou VIe siècle, à l’emplacement d’une église antérieure datant du IIIe ou IVe siècle, sur les tours de l’ancienne forteresse romaine de Babylone recouvertes de troncs de palmier et d’une couche de pierres pour former le plancher (d’où son nom de “suspendue”).

Elle a été détruite à plusieurs reprises, notamment au IXe siècle suite à un conflit entre le gouverneur de l’Égypte et le patriarche copte. Reconstruite vers 975, elle fut, du XIe au XIVe siècle, le siège du patriarcat copte.

L’église est édifiée suivant un plan basilical à quatre nefs, une d’elles ayant été ajoutée aux trois autres tardivement, lors de la restauration par Ubayd Abî Khuzâm en 1775. Les nefs sont séparées par des colonnes en marbre blanc ou basalte noir, toutes surmontées de chapiteaux corinthiens.

“Le décor utilise principalement le bois et le marbre. À l’extérieur, des moucharabiehs emplissent les fenêtres et constituent la balustrade qui surplombe la colonnade. Cette technique, qui consiste à assembler de petites bobines en bois tourné était une spécialité du Caire ; à partir de l’époque ottomane, les panneaux ainsi formés furent utilisés pour masquer les fenêtres.(...) La façade sous le porche est ornée d’incrustations de marbres colorés qui rappellent les décors d’ablaq fréquemment utilisés sous les Mamluks.

À l’intérieur, le bois est utilisé pour l’iconostase, faite d’ébène et d’ivoire, qui présente des motifs de croix et des éléments géométriques.” (“Qantara, patrimoine méditerranéen”)

Dans un quartier qui renferme également la synagogue Ben Ezra, fondée en 1115, l'église Saint-Serge construite à la fin du IVe siècle au-dessus d'une crypte où la sainte Famille se serait réfugiée lors de sa fuite en Égypte, et l'église Sainte-Barbara (reconstruite au XIe siècle), du nom d'une jeune fille martyrisée pour avoir essayé de convertir son père au christianisme, la “Mu’allaqa” est l’un des hauts lieux du Caire copte et, plus globalement, de l’histoire monumentale de l’Égypte.

Plus d’informations :


Illustration (copie d’écran) extraite de egypttoursplus.com


Pour consulter l’ensemble des Unes d’ “Égypte-actualités” : http://egyptophile.blogspot.fr/2014/06/egyptophile-un-recueil-des-unes-degypte.html?view=flipcard

No comment yet.
Scooped by Egypt-actus

Millions of meters of land: the Myth of Gulf Investment in Egypt

Millions of meters of land: the Myth of Gulf Investment in Egypt | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

According to Egypt’s current president, the country has received more than $20 billion in “aid” from Gulf countries, namely, Saudi Arabia (a trailblazer in promoting democracy and freedoms in the region), the United Arab Emirates, and Kuwait. $20 billion is a lot of money but where did it go? Furthermore, what qualifies that sum of money as “aid?” To put the number into perspective, this Gulf “aid” is about four times the annual revenue of the Suez Canal. That sum of money could have paid for completing the third metro line and building the entire fourth metro line in Cairo with some spare change to do a tram line somewhere. That sum of money is also about 12 times the annual US aid to Egypt. However, just like the US aid is not as philanthropic as it sounds (most of the money is actually military contracts and Egypt ends up spending more than the “aid” money annually for US military equipment and maintenance), Gulf “aid” isn’t the gift to the Egyptian people that it purports to be. Where has this money actually gone and what impact on the lives of Egyptians, particularly those living in cities, has this money made? This is not a Marshall Plan type of aid, resulting in specific development projects that actually impact the economy, provide sustained jobs and services. To put it bluntly, what are Gulf backers of the regime getting for their money? (besides the political clout they buy in Egypt, for example see the size of the new Saudi embassy in Cairo)

One possible answer is land. Lots of land. Millions of square meters of Egyptian land.

We’ve heard before about Walid bin Talal’s land in Toshka, south Egypt. The Saudi business tycoon acquired 100,000 faddan from the Egyptian government for 50 EGP/faddan (a faddan is roughly 4200 sqm), that’s $7 per 4200 square meters! This state-sanctioned land grab was brought to public attention after the 2011 protests started, a time when people thought corruption can be brought to justice. This led to a friendly resolution and bin Talal generously gave back some of the land at its original cost and kept the majority.

More recently, another massive land sale was in court. This time it was land in Giza with one side of the “property” overlooking the great pyramids. The land was sold to a Kuwaiti company during Mubarak’s years and was also brought to court after the revolt started. The exact area of the disputed land is unclear, one report suggests that the total land was 110 million square meters (one and half the total size of the city of Beirut) sold at 200 pounds per faddan or 4.5 piasters per square meter! Other reports, including al-Ahram, confirm the size of the disputed land but they use the less foreboding number of 26,000 faddans (which roughly equals 110 million square meters). That land was designated by the government as desert land for agricultural reclamation. However, not only did the Kuwaiti company not invest in its reclamation for food production, it carried out illegal digs in search of antiquities and carried out extensive quarrying to sell millions of dollars worth of Egyptian stone. The court case, which just ended earlier this month, not only allowed the company to retain the land but also gave it permission to urbanize it rather than its original purpose of transforming it into agriculture. All this for a sum of cash totaling nearly 45 billion Egyptian pounds to be paid by the company to compensate the Egyptian state. But don’t hold your breath, most probably after the first installment nothing will be paid and everything will be forgotten.

Another case is Port Ghalib in Marsa Alam on the Red Sea. There, a Kuwaiti businessman bought an estimated one million square meters of land on a virgin beach in one of Egypt’s still unexploited coasts. In addition, the same buyer, Al-Kharafi, also bought the airport across the road from his private resort city of five and four star hotels and built a power station. This is Egypt’s only privately owned/managed airport. Egypt Air passengers aren’t exempted from the additional fees added to tickets for flying to this airport: a flight from Cairo costs around LE1500. It is not clear if the government built Marsa Alam International Airport then sold it to Al-Kharafi or if he built the airport. Reporting on the land and airport sale is slim, but according to al-Sharq al-Awsat the Kuwaiti investor plans to spend a total of $1.2 billion in total in this project(including everything: airport, power station, land, construction and management of a collection of high-end hotels and resorts, a marina, etc.). That is a bargain. What we have here is a situation in which one person owns the airport and the collection of resorts and hotels across the road only a ten minute ride away and possibly even the transport options between the two so that mostly European tourists arrive at his airport, take his bus or limousine to his hotel then leave the country with minimal contribution to the national GDP. Great investment for Egypt!

These deals are only the tip of the iceberg. Other deals are much more vast and involve the Egyptian government in more direct ways such as the privileges accessed by Emaarand the recent deal with the UAE company Arabtec. The Suez Canal project also involves the Saudi Dar al-Handasah, and the UAE’s Dubai Ports. There are certainly more opaque deals with great financial losses for Egypt where Gulf investors have their way with the country’s resources with little return to Egypt’s economy. These gulf regimes are not only backing the Egyptian regime financially, they and their businessmen have access to concessions that depend on approval of the highest echelons in the Egyptian regime and the military, which acts as the gatekeeper to Egypt’s resources and lands. In the absence of transparency, civilian oversight, and democratic governance, Egyptians will never fully know the extent of missed opportunities to the Egyptian economy brought onto the country with these “investments.”

No comment yet.
Scooped by Egypt-actus

24-25 août 2006 : Ramsès II quitte la gare pour le plateau de Guizeh

24-25 août 2006 : Ramsès II quitte la gare pour le plateau de Guizeh | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

En ce jeudi soir, de nombreux cairotes viennent assister au déplacement de l'imposante statue de Ramsès II. Elle trônait place la gare depuis 1955. "Gamal Abdel Nasser, qui venait de renverser la monarchie, voulait ainsi renouer avec les racines historiques de l'Egypte." La statue "Le Réveil de l'Egypte" de Mahmoud Moukhtar est dès lors déplacée vers le quartier de l'université et la "voie" de la reine Nazli est rebaptisée "avenue Ramsès". L'endroit est alors bien dégagé et une grande fontaine est érigée devant la statue.

Mais depuis un demi-siècle, les automobiles n'ont cessé d'envahir le Caire et les milliers de véhicules qui chaque jour passent à ses pieds émettent du gaz carbonique qui attaque le granite rose, le ternit et le fragilise.

Ramsès, ce pharaon qui a combattu tant d'ennemis, le maître du double pays, est désormais en danger, victime d'un ennemi presque invisible qui s'infiltre en lui et menace sa survie : la pollution !

Afin de sauvegarder sa statue, il est décidé de la déplacer vers Guizeh, plus précisément vers le futur GEM : "Au Grand Musée égyptien, elle sera mieux protégée, car les conditions environnementales du plateau relativement éloigné de la ville sont beaucoup plus appropriées. Elle sera aussi en totale osmose avec l'atmosphère antique égyptienne, à la fois le plateau et le nouveau complexe muséal" explique alors le ministre de la Culture Farouk Hosni.

Le transport de la royale statue est "ultra sécurisé". Le trajet est minutieusement étudié, chaque imperfection de la route constituant un potentiel danger. La statue haute de plus de dix mètres, pesant une centaine de tonnes, est placée dans un corset de fer rempli de mousse pour absorber les chocs. Placée en position verticale sur un "porte-char" de 30 m de long, qui avance à 5 km/h et fait de nombreux arrêts, elle met 10 heures pour atteindre Guizeh. "Le trajet, long de 30 kilomètres, est filmé par un hélicoptère militaire et la police ouvre la voie au cortège, qui comprend des archéologues chargés de surveiller l'état de la statue pendant son transport."

Ce déplacement qui aurait, selon certaines sources coûté 6 millions de livres, est retransmis en direct à la télé égyptienne.

C'est ainsi que tout un peuple peut suivre la progression – presque une procession ! - de la statue du grand Ramsès II repartant non loin de l'emplacement où elle était initialement érigée. Elle provient du grand temple de Ptah - dieu tutélaire de l'ancienne capitale Memphis - où elle a été découverte, en six fragments en 1882. Les ruines memphites se trouvent principalement sur le site actuel du petit village de Mit Rahinah.

Marie Grillot










Pour consulter l’ensemble des Unes d’ “Égypte-actualités” : http://egyptophile.blogspot.fr/2014/06/egyptophile-un-recueil-des-unes-degypte.html?view=flipcard

No comment yet.
Scooped by Egypt-actus

Tourism Authority will set up sound and light show at Meidum Pyramid

Tourism Authority will set up sound and light show at Meidum Pyramid | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it


CAIRO: The Tourism Development Authority (TDA) plans to set up a sound and light show at the Meidum Pyramid in coordination with Ministry of Antiquities, TDA chief executive Serag Eddin Saad told The Cairo Post Thursday.

Members of TDA’s New Projects Committee were dispatched last week to the Meidum area to conduct comprehensive feasibility studies to investigate the possible negative and positive outcomes of the project, Saad said.

“If approved, the project will be funded by the Ministry of International Cooperation and Antiquities while technical support will be provided by the governorate of Beni Suef,” he added.

Misr Company for Sound, Light, and Cinema operates the sound and light shows at various archeological sites, including the Giza Pyramids and the Sphinx in Giza, Karnak Temple in Luxor, Philae, Edfu, and Abu Simbel temples in Aswan.

The sound and light show is a laser show that narrates the history of an archaeological site along with the Pharaohs involved and relevant myths and deities.

The Meidum Pyramid, located 100 km south of Cairo in Beni Suef, is thought to originally have been built for the third dynasty Pharaoh Huni in 2640 B.C. but it was completed by Pharaoh Sneferu (2613 B.C. to 2589 B.C.), Dean of Minya University’s Faculty of Tourism and Hotels Sherif el-Sabban told The Cairo Post Friday.

“It was possibly the first true and smooth-sided pyramid to be built in ancient Egypt but unfortunately its outer polished limestone casing collapsed in the 1950s,” Sabban said. Unlike the great Pyramids of Giza, the Meidum Pyramid is relatively out of the way for most travelers who have no time to visit the area.

Veteran tour guide Magdy Abdel Mohsen told The Cairo Post the burial chamber of the Pyramid seems to have never been completed with raw walls and wooden supports still inside the chamber.

“The first access to the burial chamber of the Meidum Pyramid was made by Schiaparelli, an Italian traveler visited Egypt in the 19th century and left graffiti of his name inside,” Mohsen said and that the burial chamber is currently empty.

No comment yet.
Scooped by Egypt-actus

Egypt ‘free of ISIS’: interior ministry

Egypt ‘free of ISIS’: interior ministry | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it


CAIRO: There is no presence of the Islamic State in Egypt, official spokes person for the ministry of interior Hany Abdel Latif told the Okaz Saudi newspaper Saturday.

Abdel Latif said such “rumors”are”psychological warfare” to frighten Egyptian citizens, and insinuate that the Muslim brotherhood is still present in Egyptian streets.

Abdel Latif said that all terrorist groups that appeared recently including IS, al-Nusra Front, Ansar al-Sharia or Helwan Brigades “are only part of two international organizations:the Muslim Brotherhood and al-Qaeda.”

“The threats that we are facing now on the Egyptian borders comes as a result due to the conflicts inside some of our neighboring countries including Libya, Iraq, Syria and Sudan. Egypt is stable in comparison with what’s happening in the rest of the region.”

Libya has faced unrest since its revolution in 2011, but the situation has recently worsened; militias from different parties and backgrounds started to fight to control different parts of the state including airports, and diplomatic relations with Egypt have soured.

Former assistant defense minister, and former director of  the Research and Strategic Studies Center of the Armed Forces, Major General Hossam Sweilm told The Cairo Post in previous statements that Ansar al-Sharia, which is based in Benghazi, Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis or any other terrorist groups are only claiming to have different ideologies.

” All of them are using religion to come to power. ISIS was part of Al-Qaeda before they disband to control Syria and Iraq. The differences are not just about names, but about authoritarian interests. Each one of them wants to control different part of the world,” he said.

Youm7 reported Saturday that police forces in Dakahlia arrested a person who was returning from training with the Islamic State, and had in his possession a laptop with data proving he had travelled to Syria to train with militia fighter.

Military strategist Major General Nabil Fouad, told the Cairo post that The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant is all about Syria and Iraq, and there is no way that it can do anything to Egypt for many reasons, “it’s unthinkable”.

“Syria and Iraq have a common ground borders, therefore they  were able to remove it, but Egypt is a different case As we don’t have any common border with them, all what they can do is to be involved in any terrorist operations may happen inside the country. We have a very powerful military,” he added.

No comment yet.