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Govt looking into airport liquor ban, nighttime closures, says minister

Government officials are weighing the cost effectiveness of banning liquor sales at Egyptian airports and closing the Cairo International Airport at night, said Civil Aviation Minister Wael al-Maddawy at a news conference.


Officials will attempt to guage the projected loss of income if these measures are adopted, and the impact they would have on revenues and customs. The minister claimed airport workers, particularly those employed in duty-free shops, were demanding the ban.


When asked about the possible closure of the Cairo airport at night, Maddawy said, “This matter is still being examined, and we have not made a decision on it yet.” Nighttime closures would not be implemented if it would interfere with flight schedules, he added. Tawfiq Assy, chairman of EgyptAir Holding Company, said in a press statement on Sunday that the company’s losses  over the past two years have totaled LE5.3 billion due to the decline in tourism and the rise of the dollar and fuel costs.

Almasry Alyoum, via Egypt.com

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

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


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30 arrested in North Sinai operation

Security forces arrested 30 people suspected of taking part in “terrorist operations” as part of ongoing efforts to tackle militant activity in the Sinai Peninsula, according to state media.

The operation, which occurred on Tuesday, also resulted in the destruction of “30 terrorist hotbeds” and the destruction of unlicensed vehicles.

The armed forces spokesman also announced the results of three days of operations in a Wednesday statement. The operations, which took place between Saturday and Monday, resulted in the destruction of 18 tunnels in Sinai, in coordination with the engineering corps of the armed forces, “bringing the total of tunnels destroyed to 1696”. A Palestinian man entering Egypt illegally was also arrested, according to the armed forces spokesman.

On the northern coast, near Alexandria,  security forces arrested “51 for illegal immigration” including “4 Egyptians, 31 Syrians, 11 Palestinians and 5 Jordanians”.

In the south of Egypt five men “belonging to one of the terrorist groups specialising in the manufacture of improvised bombs and targeting electrical towers” were arrested whilst trying to “escape to the Sudanese territory” in possession of “$3,500 and 32,400 EGP”.

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Can Egypt, Saudi Arabia, UAE form Arab security alliance?

Can Egypt, Saudi Arabia, UAE form Arab security alliance? | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

By Wael Nawara
Islamic State (IS) militants have killed more than 600 Yazidi Kurds in recent weeks. Over 100 women and children have been kidnapped and tens of thousands displaced from their homes. World powers have shown some sympathy and military transport planes dropped several tons of food and water in areas where Yazidis are stranded in the Sinjar Mountains in northern Iraq. The United States also used drones to carry out limited strikes on IS troops in the region. This is yet another chapter of the IS assault on minorities that had included the persecution of Christians in Mosul, who were forced to choose between paying Jizia tribute — a sign of submission to IS and its roles that does not regard non-Muslims as citizens of the state — and leaving their homes.
But this story is not limited to Iraq and Syria. Supporters of the al-Qaeda spinoff exist in every country in the region; in fact, in every country where Muslims reside. Beyond mere support, the extremist ideology has become a franchise where volunteers can simply subscribe to the cause of al-Qaeda and decide to carry out attacks to advance its agenda.

The rising influence of Islamist militants comes almost a century after the Sykes-Picot Agreement and other colonial arrangements and promises that has shaped Middle Eastern states since then. Islamists claim that the regional orders — including current Arab (and Muslim) states, borders, economic, social and educational systems, alliances and allegiances — were installed and are being artificially sustained to serve the interests of world powers through controlling natural resources of the region and keep Muslims in bondage, preventing them from reaching their true potential and the word of Allah from reaching the hearts of the rest of humanity.

There are elements of truth in the injustices of a world order that has manipulated the region and used its own political regimes to serve global powers. But many argue that the Islamist militant ideology could also be seen as yet another control mechanism, one that this time uses sectarian sentiments to weaken the unifying threads holding together the fabric of societies with the resulting conflict knocking down pillars of existing states and sending the entire region into chaos and turmoil for decades to come. In any case, the Islamist discourse is evidently unsuited to help Arabs or Muslims advance or alleviate the suffering of the people, because it breaks their societies at their core.

Out of self-preservation, the ruling families of Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states have realized the importance of preventing the collapse of the regional order. They stood up to face the militant groups for which they once were benefactors and may have provided support out of piety as good Muslims or in cold pragmatism for political purposes against socialists and progressives. King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz and rulers of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) recognized that IS and al-Qaeda pose an existential threat to their reign and to the Arab states at large. This is why their support to the Egyptian army and to Abdel Fattah al-Sisi was deep and financially generous, beyond any level of aid previously given.

But as cooperation between militants is global, it follows that to face their challenge effectively requires a regional approach and a higher level of cooperation between armies as well as counterterrorism and intelligence agencies. The Gulf states once relied, almost entirely, on the United States to lead security and anti-terrorism efforts guaranteeing regional order and their continued rule. But for many reasons, the United States now seems unsuited to continue playing that role, which means Saudis will have to work alone or find other partners. In fact, the United States, by malice, incompetence or differing interests, bears a large part of the responsibility of the collapse of the regional order.

This situation gives rise to a dire demand for the emergence of a regional security alliance where Egypt, Saudi Arabia, UAE and possibly Algeria’s armies and intelligence communities would cooperate, through a formal institution, NATO-style, to fill the vacuum that is gifting IS and the like with room for quick unopposed advances. Russia could become an important partner to this alliance. Egypt’s military thinks that while such alliance is important, it requires legislative approval to ratify a host of arrangements and details ranging from command structure and sovereignty issues to logistics and budgetary appropriations. Does this mean waiting until Egypt has a parliament? Since time is of the essence, Sisi can, if willing, use his temporary legislative powers, or use existing Arab defense frameworks. The Gulf already has the security alliance Peninsula Shield Force. Qatar continues to pose unresolved problems and may soon be forced out as it persistently fails to meet set ultimatums.

But while this emerging alliance is vitally necessary for the survival of these states, it may alone be insufficient. The chart of relationships, with green and red lines representing support or animosity between militant groups such as IS, al-Qaeda, Jabhat al-Nusra, Hamas, Hezbollah and regimes in Syria, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt as well as other countries and blocs (United States, Russia and the European Union), is very complex. It shows that even among allies, one partner could be supporting a certain militant group or regime, while another partner of the alliance could consider the very same entity as a sworn enemy.

These conflicting intersections and confused relationships are not merely circumstantial. In fact, they represent different priorities and paradigms that must be addressed and resolved at this stage, if the proposed alliance is to work in the long term. At least conflicting priorities must be sorted even if conflicts cannot be resolved in the short term. I would argue that one of the main reasons behind this complexity, which prevents long-term survival of a pan-Arab cooperation, is the Saudi’s overemphasis on the Sunni-Shiite division. This division is certainly sectarian. One cannot wage an effective war against IS and al-Qaeda, which use sectarian sentiments as a motivational tool to garner support among populations and recruit fighters and franchisees, while using the same sectarian sentiment.

This is a historic moment of evolution for Saudi Arabia, to discard the Sunni-Shiite division as a basis for its national identity and alliances and adopt a “citizenship” approach, more or less similar to what binds Egyptians. It was this national feeling of citizenship, rather than sectarian identification, which provided Egyptians with a sense of comradeship allowing Muslims to denounce Muslim Brotherhood attacks on Christian churches after former President Mohammed Morsi’s removal and Christians to withstand the assaults as they felt they were political in nature rather than an assault on the faith. This was the bond that, perhaps once, unified Syria, Libya, Iraq and Sudan before the sectarian division broke those countries into pieces.

If Saudi Arabia can now make that paradigm shift, everything could be possible, including cooperation with Hezbollah, even Iran.

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Activist Alaa Abdel Fatah begins hunger strike

Activist Alaa Abdel Fatah begins hunger strike | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

Activist Alaa Abdel Fattah began a hunger strike Monday evening after his father Ahmed Seif El-Islam entered an intensive care unit Sunday, according to a Tuesday statement by Abdel Fattah’s family on Facebook.
“I will not play the role they [security forces] have chosen for me,” Abdel Fattah.

Abdel Fatah visited his father in the intensive care unit after he became unconscious Sunday at dawn.
Abdel Fattah’s family visited him Thursday in Tura prison. At the time, his father’s condition was fine, but his family could not inform him of his father’s deteriorating health.

Abdel Fattah went to the hospital Sunday happily holding flowers and looking forward to speaking with his father, he said. He was surprised when he found his father unconscious in an intensive care unit, according to his family’s statement.

“Seeing his father unconscious was a turning point for Abdel Fattah, and at the end of the visit, he decided he will not cooperate with this ‘unjust absurd situation’ even if it costs him his life,” according to the statement.

“Abdel Fattah informed us of his decision, and it was so hard to bear, but we understood his feeling of oppression eventually and his need involve sincerity in the absurd and tragic situation he lives. Abdel Fattah’s decision matches the sensitivity of the situation,” his family’s statement said.

“Abdel Fattah is in prison for the third time since the January 25 Revolution. This cost him much, he was kept away from his family, his first child was born while he was in jail, his programming company was negatively affected due to his absence and his younger sister Sanaa was imprisoned following a march in solidarity with him beside Ithadeya palace.”

Abdel Fattah was allowed to visit his father only when he was unconscious and was not allowed to visit when his father had heart surgery.
At the end of the statement the activist’s family said that they hold the regime the responsible for depriving Seif El-Islam and Laila Soueif, Abdel Fattah’s mother, from being beside them in one of the toughest moments in their lives. They added they hold the regime responsible for Abdel Fattah’s safety after he began the hunger strike.

Soueif told Al-Masry Al-Youm Tuesday that his family will not start a parallel hunger strike, because they are busy with following his father’s health condition.

Abdel Fattah was sentenced June 9 to 15 years in jail over conducting illegal protests outside the Shura Council in November 2013, Youm7 reported.

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Egypt’s power crisis worsens as outages approach five hours per day

Egypt’s power crisis worsens as outages approach five hours per day | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

By Mohamed Adel

The electricity deficit reached approximately 6,180MW on Monday, resulting in power outages for periods exceeding five hours daily, said an official at the Ministry of Electricity.

A 1900MW portion of the deficit resulted from a shortage of 8m cubic metres of gas and equivalent while another 2500MW was attributed to poor technical conditions at power stations, partially a result of failure to carry out the necessary maintenance and repair operations.

The deficit increased by approximately 1700MW as a result of a rise in the sulphur content of fuel oil supplied to the plants. This led to clogs in fuel oil heaters and reduced efficiency, according to the official.

Power plant consumption rates reached 116m cubic metres of gas and equivalent daily while actual needs are estimated to be approximately 125m cubic metres, the official said.

The deficit for fuel supplied to stations this month increased to approximately 8m cubic metres of gas and equivalent daily compared to 7m last month.

Power stations currently obtain 84m cubic metres of gas per day, 27,000 tonnes of fuel oil, and 3,000 tonnes of diesel, the official said.

The electricity crisis faced by Egypt was exacerbated by utilisation of fuel oil supplies that failed to meet factory specifications, poor technical conditions within power plants, and widespread failure to conduct regular maintenance and repair operations. Some stations operate at no more than 25% of capacity, according to the official.

The official confirmed that the Ministry of Electricity currently receives 70% of gas produced in Egyptian oil fields, which has led to a number of factories receiving reduced gas supplies and others none at all, the official said.

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Egypt and climate change: the fast road to hell

Egypt and climate change: the fast road to hell | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it


CAIRO: A thin blanket of snow covered Tahrir Square the morning of Dec. 13, 2013, the first snow in the capital had seen in decades.

On May 7, severe sandstorms in Aswan in southern Egypt led to a boat accident that killed one, and damaged to a local museum. The next day, Ain Sokhna road in Northern Sinai was hit with strong rains accompanied by thunder, lighting, winds and a substantial decline in temperature.

“Out of 7 possible scenarios expected regarding the River Nile due to climate change, only one is positive,” said Mohamed Hamdy Darrag, Manager of Climate Change Technology and Researches at the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency (EEAA.) The only optimistic scenario modeled by the Japanese, shows that water levels will increase from 20 to 25 percent due to an advance in the rain belt. However, the other six scenarios show that water will decrease, from 40 to 80 percent.

“luctuations in climate were the norm, not the exception, throughout this calamitous past. ods due

The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam is a gravity dam on the Blue Nile River, a major tributary to the River Nile, currently under construction. At 6,000 MW, the dam will be the largest hydroelectric power plant in Africa when completed, as well as the 8th largest in the world, sharing the spot with Krasnoyarsk. Ethiopia has denied that the dam will have any negative impacts on the downstream water flows and contends that the dam will in fact increase water flows to Egypt by reducing evaporation on Lake Nasser.

Egypt has planned a diplomatic initiative to undermine support for the dam in the region as well as in other countries supporting the project such as China, Italy, and Norway. However, other nations in the Nile Basin initiative have expressed support for the dam, including Sudan, the only other nation downstream of the Blue Nile.

A 2010 report by Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) stated that Nile flows, rainfall, and ground water resources affect the vulnerability of Egypt’s water resources. As for the agriculture sector, the study predicted a reduction in the productivity of two major crops in Egypt: wheat and maize by 15% and 19%, respectively, by 2050.

In 2013, IPCC reiterated the scientific opinion that the largest driver of global warming is carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from fossil fuel combustion, cement production, and land use changes such as deforestation, and that human influence has been detected in warming of the atmosphere and the ocean, in changes in the global water cycle, in reductions in snow and ice, in global mean sea level rise, and in changes in some climate extremes.

Climate change and food in Egypt

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, Egypt is the world’s leading importer of wheat. Egyptians consume between 15 and 20 million tons of the grain per year, producing only 10 million tons locally. In a report about Middle East and North African countries in February 2014, UN Food and Agriculture Organization warned of demographic issues and vulnerabilities to price fluctuations and climate change conflicts.

The region’s high population growth of 2%, compared to 1.2% globally, also comes with a high rate of urbanization, with 70% expected to be living in cities by 2050, the report said. “A rapidly increasing urban population, which has distinctly different food consumption habits and a greater dependence on the market than the rural population, is a particular challenge for the food system,” it stated.

In the long term however, such reliance on imports, the report warns, exposes countries to price fluctuations of international markets, which is a major risk. In addition to unknown climate changes that could cause droughts, and will surely be a major risk

Moreover, projected temperature rises are likely to increase crop-water requirements thereby directly decreasing crop water use efficiency and increase irrigation demands of the agriculture sector. Additionally, temperature increases is expected to have adverse effects on livestock and fish production.

According to the EEAA, venerability of crops to changes in pest infestation and plant diseases is another potential impact of climate variability. It also increases the risk of land degradation and desertification. Major crops like wheat and rice will be affected.

“EAA, venerability of crops to changes in pest infestation and plant diseases is another potential impact of climate variability. It also increases the risk of land degradation and desertificat contamination of ground water resources. These impacts are expected to lead to the immigration of 6 to 7 million people from the Nile Delta.” Lydia Elewa, Manager at the Climate Change Researches Department, EEAA told The Cairo Post; adding that necessary adaptation policies entail changes in land use; integrated coastal zones management, and proactive planning for protecting coastal zones.

Lydia also said that tourism sectors, coral reefs, constituting a major attraction in Red Sea resorts, are highly vulnerable to climate change.  “Sea level rise on the low elevation Mediterranean coast will definitely lead to losses of beaches.”

The increased frequency and severity of extreme events are expected to negatively impact the archaeological heritage in Egypt, she added.

The 2010 IPCC report also confirms that for the health sector, climate change will contribute to the burden of diseases in Egypt through direct and indirect effects, including communicable and non-communicable diseases.

Share of blame

The National Communication report on Climate Change that was issued in Egypt in 2010 (and is released every 5 years in developing countries but annually in developed ones) state that USA releases the highest global warming gas effects (25% of the world’s), while Russia releases 19%, China 17%, Africa 4%, and the Arab world only 1%. Egypt on its own releases just 0.56%.

“While Russia releases 19%, China 17%, Africa 4%, and the Arab world only 1%. Egypt on its o are highly impacted,” Darrag said.

A rise in temperature and heat waves threaten public health, as well as affect activity and productivity. Darrag also stated that excess warmth of the urban atmosphere compared to the non-urbanized surroundings is another consequence. “The annual mean air temperature of a city with 1 million people or more can be 1-3 degrees Celsius warmer than its surroundings. In the evening, the difference can be as high as 12 degrees Celsius.” he said, adding that all this is because most of green house gas emissions that contribute to global climate change come from urban areas.

Despite the well-known negative consequences of usage of coal as an energy source and calls by environmental groups and specialists in Egypt over the past months to prevent the usage of coal as a means of energy, to date the government still plans to expand its usage of the fossil fuel,  “Even though the whole world has taken steps to decrease and even stop using coal as a form of energy, like USA, Germany, and China” Elewa told The Cairo Post.

Xinhua News Agency recently reported that China, which is the country most reliant on coal as an energy source, has announced plans to ban the use of coal by the end of 2020 as the country fights deadly levels of pollution.

Prominent astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson and host of TV show TV show,”Tyson and host of TV show TV show scientist Carl Sagan, last month made an episode about Global Warming and Climate Change; he concluded the episode with a discussion about how burning ancient life forms dating from way back in the carboniferous age, in the form of coal, has dumped carbon dioxide into the atmosphere “at a rate the Earth hasn’t seen since the great climate catastrophes of the past, the ones that led to mass extinctions” will only bring back a climate last seen by the dinosaurs.”

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Putin gifts Sisi with 4,000 year-old ancient Egyptian barge

Putin gifts Sisi with 4,000 year-old ancient Egyptian barge | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it
CAIRO: President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi was gifted a 4,000 year-old ancient Egyptian funerary barge from Russia’s President Vladimir Putin during his visit to Moscow earlier this month, presidency spokesperson Ehab Badawy was quoted as saying by Youm7...
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3 boys injured in shell explosion, 3 ‘takfiris’ killed in North Sinai

3 boys injured in shell explosion, 3 ‘takfiris’ killed in North Sinai | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it
CAIRO: Three boys were injured Monday Rafah in North Sinai when a shell hit an area of peach trees where they were playing and three takfiri members were killed in the same city in a security campaign, Youm7 reported.
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Quelques suggestions de lecture

Quelques suggestions de lecture | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

“Nasser, ma vie avec lui - Mémoires d'une femme de président”, par Tahîa Gamâl Abd al-Nasser

Texte introduit et annoté par Anne-Claire de Gayffier-Bonneville. Avant-propos de Hudâ Gamâl Abd al-Nasser

“Quelques années après la mort de Gamâl Abd al-Nasser, son épouse a voulu mettre par écrit les souvenirs qu'elle avait gardés de lui. Ces mémoires racontent leur vie partagée pendant trente-six années. Elles offrent également un regard neuf sur l'homme d'Etat qui dirigea l'Egypte de 1954 à 1970. C'est tout un pan très largement méconnu de Nasser, de ses relations privées, de ses traits profonds de caractère que cet ouvrage permet d'appréhender.” (présentation de l’éditeur)

Hudâ Gamâl Abd al-Nasser est la fille aînée de Nasser. Elle est professeur à la faculté des sciences politiques et économiques de l’Université du Caire et l’auteur de “Britain and the Egyptian Nationalist Movement 1936-1952” (Reading, Ithaca Press, 1994).

Agrégée et docteur en histoire, Anne-Claire de Gayffier-Bonneville est maître de conférences à l’Inalco. Son ouvrage “L’échec de la monarchie égyptienne 1942-1952” (Le Caire, IFAO, 2010) a reçu le prix Joseph du Teil 2011 de l’Académie des sciences morales et politiques.

L’Harmattan, juin 2014, 250 pages


“La Plume, le Pinceau, la Prière ; l'égyptologue Marguerite Naville (1852-1930)”, Collectif

“Marguerite Naville a connu un destin exceptionnel. Comme d'autres femmes remarquables de son époque, elle est pourtant restée dans l'ombre, ses multiples dons ayant été voués au service des autres et surtout de son mari, l'égyptologue Édouard Naville. Aquarelliste de talent, elle contribua notamment par ses nombreuses et précises reproductions de sites, de statuaire et de hiéroglyphes aux découvertes de son époux.

Née de Pourtalès en 1852, elle s'intéressa très jeune aux grandes questions de son époque et fut notamment confrontée au dilemme de l'allégeance de sa famille neuchâteloise à la Prusse, en regard de leur affection pour les Français. Elle s'identifia à la Prusse dans la guerre franco-prussienne de 1870, mais pris le parti des Alliés lors de la Grande Guerre. Bouleversée par les souffrances sans précédent causées par le conflit mondial, qu'elle consigna au jour le jour dans ses carnets, elle tenta d'endiguer le mal en secourant les blessés et les prisonniers de guerre.

Entre ces deux guerres, elle prit part aux côtés d'Édouard Naville à quatorze campagnes de fouilles en Égypte. En dehors de ses travaux de reproductions, elle consigna avec acuité et humour dans son journal la vie au quotidien sur les chantiers de fouille et ses rencontres avec des égyptologues, notamment le célèbre Howard Carter. Ses écrits sur la Bible et ses carnets démontrent également son souci constant d'inscrire ses actions dans une foi protestante jamais démentie. Refusant les idées modernes de l'Église institutionnelle, elle adopta les positions du mouvement évangélique du Réveil, plus enclin à se fonder sur les Écritures seules.

Danielle Maurice-Naville, Laurence Naville et Corinne Eggly-Naville ont présenté les actions, les pensées et les désespoirs de Marguerite comme s'il s'agissait d'un roman. Elles parviennent au fil de ce récit enlevé, sans jamais altérer les événements rapportés par Marguerite, à faire ressurgir du passé cette femme à l'esprit fort et original et au caractère indépendant....” (présentation de l’éditeur)

La Baconnière, 2014


“Mrs. Tsenhor - A Female Entrepreneur in Ancient Egypt”, by Koenraad Donker van Heel

‘An independent woman of ancient Egypt brought to life from obscure papyrus records, by the author of Djekhy & Son.

Tsenhor was born about 550 bce in the city of Thebes (Karnak). She died some sixty years later, having lived through the reigns of Amasis II, Psamtik III, Cambyses II, Darius I and perhaps even Psamtik IV. By carefully retracing the events of her life as they are recorded in papyri now kept in museums in London, Paris, Turin, and Vienna, the author creates the image of a proud and independent businesswoman who made her own decisions in life. If Tsenhor were alive today she would be wearing jeans, drive a pick-up, and enjoy a beer with the boys. She clearly was her own boss, and one assumes that this happened with the full support of her second husband Psenese, who fathered two of her children. She married him when she was in her mid-thirties. Like her father and husband, Tsenhor could be hired to bring offerings to the dead in the necropolis on the west bank of the Nile. For a fee of course, and that is how her family acquired high-quality farm land on more than one occasion. But Tsenhor also did other business on her own, such as buying a slave and co-financing the reconstruction of a house that she owned together with Psenese. She seems in many ways to have been a liberated woman, some 2,500 years before the concept was invented. Embedded in the history of the first Persian occupation of Egypt, and using many sources dealing with ordinary women from the Old Kingdom up to and including the Coptic era, this book aims to forever change the general view on women in ancient Egypt, which is far too often based on the lives of Nefertiti, Hatshepsut, and Cleopatra.” (présentation de l’éditeur)

The American University in Cairo Press, 2014, 256 pages


“Alexandria : A History and a Guide”, by E.M. Forster

“One of the best guide books ever written, to a great city by a great novelist.

Alexandria is still alive and alters even when one tries to sum her up. Only the climate, only the north wind and the sea remain as pure as when Menelaus, the first visitor, landed three thousand years ago."

In the autumn of 1915, in a "slightly heroic mood", E.M. Forster arrived in Alexandria, full of lofty ideals as a volunteer for the Red Cross. Yet most of his time was spent exploring "the magic, antiquity and complexity" of the place in order to cope with living in what he saw as a "funk-hole." With a novelist's pen, he brings to life the fabled, romantic city of Alexander the Great, capital of Greco-Roman Egypt, beacon of light and culture symbolized by the Pharos, where the doomed love affair of Antony and Cleopatra was played out and the greatest library the world has ever known was built. Threading three thousand years of history with vibrant strands of literature and punctuating the narrative with his own experiences, Forster immortalized Alexandria, painting an incomparable portrait of the great city and, inadvertently, himself.”

The American University in Cairo Press, 2014, 320 pages


“Pharao-nique ! La vie sexuelle au temps des pharaons : Histoire et révélations”, par Thierry Do Espirito

Quid de la vie intime des Égyptiens ? De l’Égypte des pyramides, nous connaissons ses pharaons, ses momies, ses hiéroglyphes et ses temples. Il paraît même que le grand Champollion nous aurait fait des cachotteries sur la vie sexuelle de cette civilisation extraordinaire...

Passionné d’Histoire, Thierry do Espirito nous entraîne dans les alcôves de l’Égypte ancienne. Des dieux « bêtes de sexe », aux pharaons polygames, son livre fourmille d’anecdotes historiques. L’auteur nous fait découvrir – entre autres curiosités croustillantes – un Ramsès II « mangeur de femmes », la veuve joyeuse Hatshepsout ou encore le premier couple people du Nil, formé par les célèbres Akhenaton et Néfertiti…

Pour nous, il lève aussi le voile sur les mœurs du peuple égyptien : séduction, mariage, habitudes sexuelles et (im)moralité..., on ne s’ennuyait pas une seconde au pays des pyramides !

Au terme d’une enquête minutieuse et joyeuse, Thierry do Espirito livre un ouvrage savant, amusant et totalement inédit !

Ce nouveau regard (p)osé sur la société égyptienne est bien loin des clichés historiques de nos manuels scolaires.

Editions de l’Opportun, 2014, 272 pages


“Le porc en Égypte ancienne - Mythes et histoire à l’origine des interdits alimentaires”, par Youri Volokhine

“Pourquoi certaines cultures rejettent-elles la chair du porc ? Les Grecs se posaient déjà la question, qui n’a cessé de revenir au devant de la scène. Étudier le porc en Égypte ancienne est une manière de mettre cette problématique à l’épreuve. En effet, depuis que les Grecs s’y sont intéressés, l’Égypte pharaonique se retrouve dans ce débat anthropologique puisque le porc, dit-on, n’y aurait pas été vraiment en odeur de sainteté. Viande malsaine ? Animal infâme ? Bête “taboue” ?

L’objet de ce livre est de comprendre ce discours et de voir sur quoi il se fonde, en offrant une approche historique du cochon en Égypte ancienne. Le portrait de l’animal au sein de la culture pharaonique émerge très contrasté d’une analyse qui permet de réfléchir à la genèse des interdits religieux, aux discours qui s’y rapportent et aux choix culturels et identitaires qu’ils véhiculent. Ce véritable “roman du cochon” entend ainsi contribuer à une anthropologie de l’alimentation, tout comme à une histoire des relations entre les hommes et les animaux.

Youri Volokhine, historien des religions et égyptologue, est Maître d’enseignement et de recherche à l’Université de Genève (Sciences de l’Antiquité). Docteur ès Lettres (1998), il a été membre scientifique de l’Institut français d’archéologie orientale (IFAO) au Caire. Il est l’auteur, notamment, de “La frontalité dans l’iconographie de l’Égypte ancienne” (2000). Ses recherches portent à la fois sur la religion de l’Égypte pharaonique et sur l’approche anthropologique des faits religieux.

Presses universitaires de Liège, 2014, 324 pages


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

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Quand les musées régionaux sortent de leurs réserves : "Le retour des momies" au Musée Anne-de-Beaujeu à Moulins (Allier)

Quand les musées régionaux sortent de leurs réserves : "Le retour des momies" au Musée Anne-de-Beaujeu à Moulins (Allier) | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

Comment Isis la Grande est-elle arrivée en Auvergne ? Comment les collections égyptologiques se sont-elles constituées dans les musées régionaux ?

Et au delà, comment se pratiquait la momification ? Quelle préservation du corps dans l'antiquité et quelle préservation aujourd'hui ?

C'est à ces questions, et à bien d'autres encore, que l'exposition "Le retour des Momies" qui se tient au Musée Anne-de-Beaujeu à Moulins dans l'Allier apporte des réponses.

Le parcours est extrêmement didactique. L'entrée ressemble à celle d'un temple égyptien gardé par deux pharaons en position osiriaque. Quant aux "rideaux" qui constituent en quelque sorte un "sas" un passage vers le monde de l'au-delà, ils ne sont pas sans rappeler les bandelettes de momies. La muséographie est soignée, intelligente, respectueuse. Sarcophages, cartonnages, momies sont exposés dans une lumière douce, légèrement bleutée.

Au début, le "BA-ba" est rappelé : "Le terme "momie" dérive du mot persan passé à l’arabe "mummiya" et désigne à l’origine "les matières d’aspect bitumineux utilisées en Égypte aux époques tardives pour l’embaumement des cadavres". Évoluant à travers le temps, il en est venu à désigner le corps desséché et embaumé lui-même. En conséquence, le terme "momie" en est venu à s’appliquer à toute dépouille ayant conservé tout ou partie de ses tissus mous.

On fait communément remonter la pratique de la momification en Égypte à 2700 avant notre ère et, contrairement à ce que l’on pourrait imaginer, la disparition de la civilisation pharaonique n’entraîne pas l’abandon de la momification : à l’époque romaine, elle connaît encore un franc succès et l’on ne cesse totalement d’y avoir recours qu’au Ve siècle de notre ère. Il est assez difficile de donner une sorte de déroulé type du procédé de momification tant celui-ci varie au cours de l’histoire pour connaître sa période d’apogée au Nouvel Empire. Une seule chose ne varie jamais : l’utilisation du natron, un carbonate hydraté de soude qui est l’agent dessiccateur."

Les momies auvergnates ont été soignées, traitées et restaurées au Centre de recherches et de restauration des Musées de France à Versailles. "Les analyses du bois des sarcophages, les scanners et radiographies, les prélèvements de parasites et les analyses au carbone 14 ont permis d’étonnantes découvertes : datation affinée, connaissance de leur structure et de leur assemblage, de leurs matériaux, confirmation du sexe des momies... offrant ainsi une meilleure connaissance de ces pièces rares et précieuses."

Les recherches et traitement effectués, les méthodes de conservation et de préservation sont présentés sur panneaux et en vidéo.

D'autres salles sont consacrées aux collections d'objets égyptiens provenant de musées auvergnats ou de particuliers. Et là, que de richesses et de découvertes ! Des volumes de la “Description de l’Égypte”, des livres rares, des canopes, des amulettes, des oushebtis, des masques de momies, et autres statuettes.

Et puis, des tableaux… L'un, sur fond de montagne thébaine toute rose de soleil, représente Champollion juché sur un âne, accompagné de quatre fellahs qui transportent un lourd sarcophage, au pied des colosses de Memnon. Un autre, des pyramides ; un autre encore représentant le Général Desaix.

La plus belle révélation est sans aucun doute la découverte des aquarelles de Marcelle Baud. Copiste qui semble méconnue, elle a notamment travaillé aux côtés de "grands" de l'égyptologie belge, Jean Capart et de Marcelle Werbrouck, et a illustré de nombreux ouvrages.

L'exposition se termine par l'apport de l'égyptologie dans les arts suite à la Campagne d'Égypte. De nombreuses vitrines en témoignent : mobilier, tissus, publicités, jeux, cinéma, BD…


Jusqu'au 21 septembre au Musée Anne-de-Beaujeu - place du colonel Laussedat 03000 Moulins



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

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Egypt’s unemployment rate declines to 13.3% in Q2/2014: CAPMAS

Egypt’s unemployment rate declines to 13.3% in Q2/2014: CAPMAS | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it


CAIRO: Egypt’s unemployment rate dipped by 0.1 percent in the second quarter of 2014 compared to the first quarter of the current year, reaching 13.3 percent of the country’s total labor force, according to the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS)’s Saturday quarterly report.

The unemployment rate reached 13.3 percent in 2014 compared to 9.0 percent in the same quarter of 2010, with an increase of 4.3 percent. CAPMAS’s report attributed the increase in the unemployment rate to the slowdown in Egypt’s economic activities, especially in labor-intensive activities like construction, agriculture and tourism.

The number of working Egyptians reached 23.9 million, with the total labor force recording 27.6 million; 19.1 million of which are male, increasing by 0.2 percent compared to this year’s first quarter and by 0.05 compared to 2010, and 4.8 million females, increasing by 0.06 compared to this year’s first quarter and by 1.5 compared to 2010.

The number of working Egyptians in rural areas reached 13.8 million, a decrease of 0.3 percent compared to last quarter and 0.4 percent compared to 2010.

The current government plans to eradicate Egypt’s unemployment problem through the new Suez Canal project, which was launched by President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi on August 5.

The new Suez Canal project, which aims to build a new 72-km branch of the Suez Canal with a total cost of $4 billion alongside the existing Suez Canal, will “completely eliminate Egypt’s unemployment problem as it will offer almost one million jobs,” Suez Governor El Arabi al-Serwi said in a June 15 statement.

Minister of Manpower Nahed Hasan Ashry announced the establishment of a permanent committee including 11 ministries and nine other authorities for the provision of the required labor for the new Suez Canal project, which is expected to be one of the world’s most important thoroughfares for trade, Dream TV channel aired Saturday.

“We are working to get out of a circle of poverty with work, perseverance, efforts and struggle in order to achieve what we want for this country,” Sisi announced during the inauguration of new Suez Canal project.

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US Congress delegation arrives to Cairo for 2-day Middle East talks

US Congress delegation arrives to Cairo for 2-day Middle East talks | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it


CAIRO: A U.S. Congress delegation arrived to Cairo Saturday for a two-day visit which will include meeting a number of Egyptian officials to discuss priority issues for the upcoming period in Egypt and the Middle East.

Darrell Issa, Republican U.S. Representative for California’s 49thdistrict heads the diplomatic mission, and is scheduled to meet with Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry Sunday, ministry spokesperson Badr Abdel Atty told The Cairo Post.

The talks are expected to focus on the recent progress concerning Gaza, after the Egyptian-mediated negotiations brokered the longest cease-fire since the beginning of the war that began in July;Israeli and Palestinian delegations are expected back in Cairo Monday as the five-day truce will be coming to an end.

According to Al-Ahram, U.S. and Egyptian officials will discuss preparations for the upcoming parliamentary elections, which are yet to be announced by the High Parliamentary Elections Committee.

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Popular Front of the Suez Canal Axis considers 1 year timeline for new canal ‘enough’, but economists hold doubts

Popular Front of the Suez Canal Axis considers 1 year timeline for new canal ‘enough’, but economists hold doubts | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

By Doaa Farid
After shortening the implementation period of the new Suez Canal project from three years to one year, several economic analysts expressed concern about the ability and efficiency of companies to conclude the project in that period.

Abdel Hamid Kamal, a member of the Popular Front of the Suez Canal Axis, said that one year is enough because the feasibility and technical studies of the project are already done, “so the implementing firms can immediately start their work”.

The new Suez Canal project, which was inaugurated by President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi on 5 August, aims to dig a 72-kilometre canal alongside the original canal as well as increase the absorptive capacity of the Suez Canal to 97 passing ships per day, up from the current rate of 49. The project would involve 35 kilometres of dry digging and 37 kilometres of “expansion and deep” digging.

The cost of the project was valued by the Chairman of the Suez Canal Authority Mohab Memish at EGP 29bn ($4bn).

Kamal explained that the implementation of the project will be done through dividing the drilling locations between companies, “which will accelerate” the project’s completion.

A former parliament member representing Suez, Kamal, stressed that the Engineering Corps, which will supervise the project, has the ability to finish projects in a short period of time.

However, Amr Adly, a nonresident scholar at the Carnegie Middle East Center, expressed his doubt that a one-year implementation period is not enough, highlighting that operators of the project, the Suez Canal Project and the Engineering Corps, did not provide a detailed presentation of the work plan or the rate of digging per day or month.

Al-Sisi failed to offer clear details regarding the project, Adly said.

The old studies, which estimated the project’s implementation period to last three years, were taking into account the capacity and ability of the implementing companies, doubting that the new timeline is sufficient to companies.

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Nombreux délestages d'électricité en Egypte, le gouvernement promet une "amélioration"

L'Egypte a promis mercredi "une amélioration notable" concernant une pénurie sans précédent d'électricité dans le pays, où les délestages atteignent huit heures par jour et irritent des habitants déjà accablés par la chaleur.

L'Egypte connaît depuis ces dernières années des coupures de courant de plus en plus nombreuses et prolongées durant l'été, lors des pics de consommation provoqués notamment par l'usage des climatiseurs et en raison d'une pénurie de carburants nécessaires au fonctionnement des centrales.

Mais la crise, qui avait poussé de nombreux Egyptiens à participer aux manifestations monstres de l'été 2013 contre le président islamiste Mohamed Morsi destitué par l'armée, a atteint aujourd'hui des niveaux sans précédents, avec des coupures de courant d'une heure pouvant se répéter jusqu'à huit fois par jour dans certains quartiers du Caire.

"Il se peut qu'il y ait dès dimanche une sorte d'amélioration progressive, et cette amélioration sera notable", a promis mercredi le Premier ministre Ibrahim Mahlab lors d'une conférence de presse avec les ministres de l'Electricité et du Pétrole, reconnaissant l'existence d'un "problème sérieux".
"D'ici fin août nous pourrons assurer la fourniture de 50% de l'électricité qui nous manque aujourd'hui", a-t-il ajouté.

Il a aussi affirmé la volonté de son gouvernement d'ouvrir le secteur de la production électrique "au secteur privé et aux investisseurs" pour trouver des solutions à long terme.

Le ministre du Pétrole et des Ressources minérales Chérif Ismaïl a de son côté affirmé que son ministère allait dans les mois à venir fournir d'importantes quantités de gaz naturel pour l'alimentation des centrales.

Confronté à une crise semblable en 2013, le gouvernement de M. Morsi, accusé par ses détracteurs de mauvaise gouvernance, s'était lui-même dit victime d'un complot des responsables de l'ancien pouvoir de Hosni Moubarak pour raréfier l'électricité afin d'attiser la colère contre les islamistes.

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Hector Horeau : des aquarelles d'un réalisme rêveur

Hector Horeau : des aquarelles d'un réalisme rêveur | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

Né à Versailles en 1801, devenu grand ami de Nadar, Hector Horeau est un architecte "urbaniste" que l'on peut qualifier de "visionnaire". De ses nombreux projets visant à réhabiliter de grands espaces par une "architecture de verre et de métal", bien peu seront réalisés.

La "monumentalité" de ses projets trouve souvent son inspiration dans l'Égypte antique.

Passionné de dessin, il participe à l'illustration du "Voyage à Méroé" de Frédéric Caillaud. En 1837-1839, il part pour l'Égypte, visite Alexandrie, le Caire, puis remonte le Nil jusqu'à Abou Simbel, "habillé en turc pour être à l'aise".

Il réalise de très nombreux croquis et dessins et s'arrête un long moment à Thèbes.

Il rencontre le photographe Gaspard-Pierre-Gustave Joly auquel il commande plusieurs daguerréotypes sur lesquels il se base plus tard pour faire des aquarelles.

Ses aquarelles sont exquises, empreintes à la fois d'une douce sobriété et d'un réalisme rêveur. Leur légèreté, leur précision esquissée, leur minimalisme dans le trait, arrivent à rendre toute la majesté des temples, toute la grandeur pharaonique. Présentées au Salon de 1841 à Paris, elles seront fort remarquées pour leur qualité.

En 1841, il édite un ouvrage intitulé "Panorama d'Égypte et de Nubie". Il est d'un genre nouveau, puisqu'il mêle, chose extrêmement rare à l'époque, ses textes, ses dessins et aquarelles. Il précise ainsi dans le bulletin de souscription : "Ces nombreuses publications modernes n'ont pu satisfaire qu'incomplètement la curiosité générale : en ne joignant pas de gravures à leurs descriptions, elles n'ont transmis que des sensations individuelles au lecteur sur le caractère et sur la physionomie du pays, sensations souvent incomplètes et fausses, par cela qu'il est indispensable, surtout pour ce pays, de les bien traduire par des mots."

Il continue ainsi : "Des dessins faits sur place et de bienveillantes communications de vues daguerréotypées m'ont permis d'apporter une grande exactitude dans la reproduction des merveilles de la vallée du Nil… Je m'estimerai heureux si cet ouvrage peut contribuer à éveiller les sympathies des hommes éclairés sur cette partie si intéressante et si peu connue de notre globe. L'Égypte a été le berceau des arts et des sciences, l'Occident ne doit-il pas aujourd'hui le faire participer aux bienfaits d'une civilisation qu'il y puisa jadis ?"

Ce livre contribua, il est vrai, à faire connaître l'égyptologie.

En 1869, Horeau est invité par le khédive pour l'inauguration du canal de Suez. Il présente au vice-roi de nombreux projets, dont "Plan pour la ville du Caire”, ou bien encore "Esquisse d'une nouvelle Alexandrie", mais là encore les projets n'existeront que sur papier.

Après des épisodes malheureux lors de la Commune, Hector Horeau meurt à Paris le 21 août 1872.

Marie Grillot

Pour en savoir plus :

“Dictionnaire des orientalistes de langue française”, François Pouillon, IISMM - Karthala




Panorama d'Égypte et de Nubie





Illustration : Horeau, watercolour, 34.8 by 23.4 cm, Le Rhamesseïon


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

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Gov’t to notify citizens of subsidy shares, availability via text messages

Gov’t to notify citizens of subsidy shares, availability via text messages | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it


CAIRO: The Ministry of Supply is preparing a new service for sending SMS to ration card holders. The messages will inform them when supplies reach distributing shops and tell them their shares of monthly subsidized commodities and bread, as well as answer any questions about subsidized goods, official spokesperson of the Ministry of Supply Mahmoud Diab told The Cairo Post on Thursday.

“The process of collecting the citizens’ phone numbers has started under the supervision of supply Minister Khaled Hanafi,” Diab said. “[Hanafi] gave his directives in Tuesday’s meeting with the project manager for the Family Card System in the Egyptian Ministry of State for Administrative Development (MSAD), representatives from the companies implementing the smart cards and the three main mobile phone companies. We hope to start sending SMS alerts within the coming few days.”

Egypt applied a new smart card system in April to guarantee more effective distribution of subsidized goods and bread.

Diab said the decision to send SMS “will guarantee that citizens do not need make unnecessary trips to the subsidized complexes just to know whether or not supply have reached them.”

The SMS will include all inquiries about the services provided by the Ministry of Supply, he said, adding that the ministry will also use this SMS service to share information about the prices of the subsidized goods at state’s complexes, the date and time of any seasonal exhibitions and the phone numbers of all hotlines allocated to receive complains.

Meanwhile, Hanafi said in a Tuesday statement that the ministry is working to establish a sophisticated Call Center in coordination with the Ministry of Communication to serve Egyptians. He said the service will be available within a few days.

Starting from July, Egypt’s supply ministry applied a new system of primary commodities distribution in which it increased the subsidized goods presented to citizens to twenty instead of just three, sugar, rice, and oil, under the old ration card system, Al Borsa Business daily reported July 2.

“In the new ration card system, people are allowed to choose from a wide range of commodities including milk, fruits, and vegetables, according to each family’s needs with total value up to 15 EGP per person per month,” Hanafi was quoted as saying by Al Borsa.

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Gaza, l’impasse historique

Gaza, l’impasse historique | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it
Doorheen de geschiedenis is Gaza altijd een belangrijk strategisch en geopolitiek kruispunt geweest voor plaatse grootmachten.
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Al-Sisi ‘continuing democratic transition’: US State Department deputy spokeswoman

Al-Sisi ‘continuing democratic transition’: US State Department deputy spokeswoman | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

The United States believes President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi is still “continuing the democratic transition” in Egypt, State Department Deputy Spokeswoman Marie Harf said during a Monday press briefing.

This comes despite the US being “deeply disturbed” by the findings of Human Rights Watch’s (HRW) recently released report on the Egyptian government’s dispersal of the mass sit-in at Rabaa Al-Adaweya last summer.

The report, released on the dispersal’s one year anniversary on 14 August, alleged that the Egyptian government had carefully planned the operation in a way that disregarded civilian casualties. Harf noted that the State Department had in February produced its own Human Rights Report which also examined the Rabaa dispersal.

Despite US support for Al-Sisi’s efforts towards a democratic transition, Harf said Egypt has “a long way to go”, noting that part of the US’s aid to Egypt “has not been certified”.

In January 2014, the US Congress allocated $1.3bn for Egypt in the coming fiscal year, with $572m released in June. However, the January bill stipulated that the release of further aid is conditional upon democratic progress, including the holding of parliamentary elections.

“What we expect is the process that’s laid out by Egypt’s constitution… on how Egypt should be governed is adhered to, and that the government should take additional steps to allow for dissent, to allow for people to come out in the streets and make their voices heard if they’re doing so peacefully.”

The US will “say very clearly when he [Al-Sisi] needs to take more steps”, she added.

Harf said the US would “also continue pressing for the release of journalists and others … for politically motivated reasons.”

The US-Egyptian relationship has seen heightened tension since the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013.

In October 2013, the US partially suspended the delivery of military aid to Egypt in response to the latter’s crackdown on opposition. Harf was later asked in a 31 July press briefing why military aid to Israel had not been similarly suspended in light of mounting civilian casualties from the Israel Defense Force’s campaign in the Gaza Strip. The distinction, Harf said, was that the Egyptian government had been using the US aid “against its own people”.

The remarks prompted a response from the Egyptian foreign ministry, with Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry instructing the embassy in Washington to file a complaint, stating that the comments had “nothing to do with reality” and asserting that the statements issued by the spokespersons of the State Department should “reflect facts in the future”.

Despite these points of contention, Harf underlined that the two countries share a vital strategic partnership, first citing the “absolutely critical role” Egypt has played in cease-fire talks between Hamas and Israel, and in working towards a longer term truce, a goal she called “incredibly important regionally”.

She also cited US-Egyptian cooperation on counterterrorism, but qualified that “the title [of “terrorist”] can’t be used just to apply to anyone [those in the Egyptian government] don’t like. That can’t be applied to peaceful protesters. But we know there is a serious terrorist threat and we’re working with them on that.”

In instances of such “overlapping strategic interests”, Harf said the US and Egypt would work together, but added that this would not preclude criticism or disagreement.

“When we have concerns about what [the Egyptian government] has done, we will say so publicly and clearly, and also privately,” she said. “So it is a longstanding relationship, but one where, when we disagree, we are very clear about that. And this is certainly one of those cases.”

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Citizens angry at mass blackout throughout Egypt

Citizens angry at mass blackout throughout Egypt | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it


CAIRO: Citizens throughout Egypt were frustrated and expressed their anger at the largest number of blackouts this year on Monday. The Ministry of Electricity announced in a press statement that the domestic electricity load, on average at 2,000 megawatts, increased to 6,000 megawatts for the first time in its history, Youm7 reported.

Many residents said Monday was the worst case of blackouts in a year and in many cases caused trouble in their home electricity machines. One resident in October City, Cairo Yassmin Adel told The Cairo Post that the blackouts in the neighborhood before August were two or three times a week for an hour each time: “Now the number rose to three times a day for an hour and half each time.”

She experienced four blackouts, each time for an hour and half on Monday.

The ministry official source said the crisis might worsen even after some power stations were targeted and destroyed in the latest sabotage events. “If the ministry could not find a solution to provide more amounts of fuel, the crisis will be aggravated by the end of August,” he said.

Some areas in Faisal, Giza witnessed more blackouts than it did electricity; some cases for five whole hours, the electricity come return for an hour or two, then blackout again.

Ayat G. lives in Obour City and Cairo told The Cairo Post that the blackout caused her air condition to shut down. She said the blackouts in her district are not as bad compared with the more heavily populated cities but still they do still affect the home electrical appliances.

In Alexandria, the power blackout lasted for 8 hours at different times during the day, according to resident Amani K.

“For the last two months, we have been living with an electricity generator to avoid the many hours of the blackout daily,” Sharqia governorate resident Fawzeya S. told The Cairo Post.

The energy crisis in Egypt is worsening due to the shortage of fuel, according to ministry officials. Citizens expected President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi’s new government to find a solution to the problem soon.

Minister of Electricity Mohamed Shaker signed Monday  two contracts with steam-powered electricity stations in Suez at the total cost of 102 million EGP ($14.26 million) to counter the increase in electrical load and to provide power to all areas of development. The project will be ready to run at full capacity in April 2016, according to a statement published on the ministry’s official website.

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Egypt’s Min. of Trade heads for Russia to open exports horizons

Egypt’s Min. of Trade heads for Russia to open exports horizons | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it


CAIRO: Minister of Foreign Trade, Industry, and Investments Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour will visit Russia on Sept. 10 to boost Egyptian-Russian trade ties by signing a deal. He will be accompanied by a delegation of Egyptian businessmen, food commodities exporters, and agricultural products manufacturers, Youm7 reported Monday.

Nour will attend intense meetings with major food suppliers and Russian hypermarket and supermarket chain owners to reach for more export deals in the upcoming period.

“Egypt seeks to open new horizons for export and investment worldwide, not only with Russia,” head of the Egyptian Center for Economic Studies Rashad Abdo told The Cairo Post Monday.

“Egypt is in a dire need of partnership with Russia since it has been suffering an energy crisis for over a year with daily power cuts. We will build our first nuclear power plant, which is expected to boost the national capacity to generate power,” he said.

Before heading to Russia, Nour is scheduled to meet with the Egyptian businessmen who are accompanying him to discuss doubling export deals with Russia in the next stage. “Egypt should take advantage of such opportunities and increase the volume of Egyptian products available in the Russian market,” Nour said. The ministry is now researching Russian imports from Poland and the Netherlands as a step to replace them with Egyptian products.

Russia’s strength is represented in four core aspects as the world’s second-biggest wheat exporter, world’s largest natural-gas producer, world’s second largest supplier of weaponry after the U.S., and as a pioneering country in nuclear energy, Abdo said.

“Such partnership with a country like Russia will serve Egypt inspirational willingness, including major developmental projects, boosting the nuclear field, achieving sustainable development, and obtaining military and food security,” Abdo told The Cairo Post.

When asked what Russia gets in return of Egypt’s exporting deal, Abdo said “Russia seeks to maintain its presence in the Middle East since it has only one military base there in the port of Tartus, Syria.”

Russian investments in Egypt amounted to $65.62 million in Jan. 2013 with 383 investing companies, according to the Egyptian State Information Service (SIS). Meanwhile, Egyptian investments in Russia amounted to $13.7 million in Dec. 2012, also according to SIS.

President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi visited Russia on Aug. 12 in his first official visit to Moscow after being inaugurated on June 8. He reached a deal with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin to create a free trade zone with Eurasian countries and a Russian industrial zone in Egypt.

On July 29, the U.S. and E.U. accused Russia of military intervention in the Ukraine crisis and urged Putin to stop supporting separatist fighters with tanks, armored vehicles, and rocket launchers. Since then, the E.U. agreed to impose economic sanctions on Russia. In a retaliatory step, Putin ordered a ban on agricultural imports from the E.U. on Aug. 7, France 24 reported.

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L'Egypte "suit de près" les émeutes de Ferguson aux Etats-Unis

L'Egypte a assuré mardi "suivre de près" les émeutes de Ferguson où un policier a tué un jeune noir aux Etats-Unis, qui avaient utilisé le même langage diplomatique quand le Caire réprimait dans le sang des manifestations islamistes.

Depuis que le président islamiste Mohamed Morsi a été destitué en juillet 2013 par l'ex-chef de l'armée et actuel président égyptien Abdel Fattah al-Sissi, ses partisans sont la cible d'une sanglante répression. Plus de 1400 manifestants pro-Morsi ont été tués en quelques mois, dont la moitié en une seule journée au Caire le 14 août 2013.

"Nous suivons de près l'escalade des manifestations dans la ville de Ferguson et les réactions qu'elles suscitent", a indiqué le porte-parole du ministère affaires étrangères Badr Abdelatti dans un communiqué.
Ferguson est une ville du Missouri (centre des Etats-Unis) en proie à de violentes émeutes depuis qu'un policier a abattu Michael Brown, un jeune Noir. La ville a connu de nouvelles émeutes à caractère racial dans la nuit de lundi à mardi.

M. Abdelatti a également relayé un appel à la retenue lancé par le secrétaire général de l'ONU Ban Ki-Moon. La position de M. Ban "représente la position de la communauté internationale vis-à-vis de ces évènements, en particulier l'appel à la retenue et le droit au rassemblement pacifique", a estimé M. Abdelatti.

La terminologie utilisée par le ministère des Affaires Etrangères égyptien n'est pas sans rappeler celle des Etats-Unis, qui ont assuré à plusieurs reprises "suivre de près" la situation des manifestations au Caire et les procès visant notamment la quasi-totalité des dirigeants de la confrérie des Frères musulmans de M. Morsi, qui encourent la peine de mort. Plus de 15 000 Frères Musulmans et sympathisants ont également été emprisonnés en Egypte tandis que des centaines ont été condamnés à mort dans des procès de masse expéditifs.

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New projects worth 1b EGP to facilitate Suez Canal: Min. of Housing

New projects worth 1b EGP to facilitate Suez Canal: Min. of Housing | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

The Ministry of Housing set a number of infrastructure and service projects at the Canal governorates Suez, Port Said, and Ismailia with a total value of 1 billion EGP, Minister of Housing Mustafa Madbouly announced Sunday.

These projects were created to cope with the current developmental projects in Suez Canal region and Sinai reconstruction, Al-Mal Business daily reported Sunday.

Construction bodies already embarked on executing the developmental projects and that a large number of these projects will be executed by the end of Dec. 2014 and the rest will be completed early 2016.

“By executing such projects, the ministry aims to serve major developmental projects in the region, including the Suez Canal expansion and the Suez Canal Axis Developmental projects,” Madbouly said. Developmental projects in the area will include new roads, bridges, electricity plants, and housing units.

On Aug. 5 during presidential orientations, more than forty construction companies embarked on digging a new branch in the Suez Canal to raise its revenues to $13.5 billion by 2023, Al-Ahram reported.

The length of the new branch will be 34 kilometers, aiming to shorten the waiting period for vessels in the lakes’ area.

The government is set to soon embark in executing a project to develop Suez with a total cost of 50 billion EGP to begin within six months, Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab was quoted as saying in an interview with Al-Nahar on Aug. 6.

Such projects are a “quantum leap” for Egypt and would help in curbing the economic crisis, founding member of Popular Front of the Suez Canal Axis (PESCA) Ashraf Dewidar told CNBC Arabia Sunday.

“It’s a comprehensive project … and will include surrounding governorates such as Port Said, Ismailia, and Suez,” he added and that the project will provide 1.5 million job opportunities and the expected annual revenues in the next seven years might reach $100 billion.

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Champollion arrive en Égypte : "Une impression de bien-être, un peu comme si je rentrais chez moi après des siècles de manque et d’absence."

Champollion arrive en Égypte : "Une impression de bien-être, un peu comme si je rentrais chez moi après des siècles de manque et d’absence." | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

"Je suis arrivé le 18 août sur cette terre d’Égypte, après laquelle je soupirais depuis si longtemps." C'est ainsi que Jean-François Champollion débute la lettre qu'il adresse à son frère, le 22 août 1828, depuis Alexandrie.

C'est à bord de “L’Eglé” que l'expédition franco-toscane est partie pour l’Égypte, le 31 juillet 1828. C'est enfin la concrétisation du grand projet de Champollion et Rosellini : une expédition, soutenue par Charles X et le grand-duc de Toscane, pour visiter les monuments de l'Égypte antique et acheter des objets pour les collections royales. Auprès de Champollion et de Rosellini sont regroupés "des érudits et des techniciens tant français qu'italiens". Il est convenu que "les documents, plans, dessins, notes seront le bien commun de l'expédition. Quant aux objets provenant de dons ou de fouilles, ils devront être équitablement partagés."

Après l'avoir tant étudiée dans les livres, tant côtoyée dans les musées, Champollion arrive enfin sur cette terre aimée : comment imaginer la joie qui doit être la sienne ? L'émotion qui doit l'envahir ? La curiosité qui doit l'habiter ?

Voici ce qu'il écrit : "Il semble que je suis né dans le pays" ; ou bien encore : "Mais comment dire ce que je ressens ? Une impression de bien-être, un peu comme si je rentrais chez moi après des siècles de manque et d’absence."

Le meilleur accueil leur est réservé : "M. le chancelier du consulat-général de France voulut bien aussi venir à notre bord, nous complimenter de la part de M. Drovetti, qui se trouvait heureusement à Alexandrie, ainsi que le vice-roi. Le soir même, à six heures, je me rendis à terre, avec notre brave commandant et mes compagnons de voyage, Rosellini, Bibent, Ricci, et quelques autres : je baisai le sol égyptien en le touchant pour la première fois, après l’avoir si longtemps désiré."

Le soir même, ils sont invités chez M. Drovetti "dont l’accueil empressé mit le comble à toutes nos satisfactions. Surpris toutefois de notre arrivée au milieu des circonstances actuelles, il nous en félicita cependant, et nous donna l’assurance que notre voyage d’exploration ne souffrirait aucune difficulté ; son crédit, fruit de sa conduite noble, franche et désintéressée, qui n’a jamais pour objet que le service de notre monarque dont le nom est partout vénéré, et l’honneur de la France, est une garantie suffisante de ces promesses. M. Drovetti ajouta encore à ses prévenances, en m’offrant un logement au palais de France, l’ancien quartier-général de notre armée. J’y ai trouvé un petit appartement très agréable : c’est celui de Kléber, et ce n’est pas sans de vives émotions que je me suis couché dans l’alcôve où a dormi le vainqueur d’Héliopolis."

Mais Champollion se rendra bien vite compte que l'accueil réservé par Drovetti est un peu "surfait". Bien que très affaibli par la maladie, il semble toujours aussi "rusé" et peut-être ne voit-il pas l'arrivée de l'expédition d'un si bon oeil…

Ainsi, le 22 août, le Pacha fait savoir que "les autorisations de fouilles restent le monopole de ses amis Drovetti et Anastasi, le très actif et très gourmand consul de Suède, et Champollion s'entend conseiller de ne plus songer à fouiller".

La réaction de Champollion est prompte et vigoureuse… et les choses s'arrangent finalement. Le 13 septembre, il est reçu par le Pacha qui se répand en bonnes grâces et lui fait savoir qu'une protection ouverte lui est accordée.

Les argonautes peuvent désormais partir vers Le Caire et la Haute-Égypte …

Marie Grillot

En savoir plus :

“Champollion, une vie de lumières”, Jean Lacouture, Grasset, 1988

“Champollion, présenté par Robert Solé”, collection autoportaits, Perrin, 2012



Pour consulter l’ensemble des Unes d’ “Égypte-actualités” : http://egyptophile.blogspot.fr/

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Salafist Call cooperating with Al-Azhar to confront extremism

Salafist Call cooperating with Al-Azhar to confront extremism | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it


Cairo: The Salafist Call is coordinating with Al-Azhar and the Ministry of Religious Endowment to counter the spread of takfiri, or Islamic extremist,Call members told Youm7 Saturday.

Sheikh Adel Nasr, the official spokesperson of the call in Upper Egypt said that this plan will include different methods such as writings, lectures and seminars in several governorates to counter material promoting takfiri groups.

“These kinds of thoughts are harming society and the whole nation, especially during this period, as we are facing sensitive events and situations,” Nasr told Youm7.

A YouTube video uploaded on the first anniversary of the Rabaa al-Adaweya dispersal that portrays masked men threatening police has recently circulated on social media; the men state they will target security forces everywhere in the country.The men in the video chant,”No more peace with Interior Ministry.”

Last week military spokesman Mohamed Samir said on the Egyptian military’s Facebook page that 123 houses, 24 vehicles and 118 unlicensed motorcycles belonging to militants had been destroyed in the latest operations, and that 247 militant bases had been burned.

Leaflets by Ahrar Sinaa (Sinai freemen,)were found by Rafah residents Wednesday; the leaflets included a hit list of 55 names who the group said would targeted unless they stopped cooperating with security sources, Youm7 reported.

Al-Tahrir reported Wednesday that Sinai freemen group had already issued its second statement threatening elders of northern Sinai tribes, saying that their weapons are targeting those who are co-operating with the Ministry of Interior, calling them to announce their repentance.

“We will not drop our weapons until the departure of the fascist coup.” The statement said according to Al-Tahrir.

Former Grand Mufti Sheikh Ali Goma stated Wednesday that “education and knowledge” represent the only way to face the hard-line thoughts and Takfirist groups, state-owned MENA reported.

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Electricity towers continue to be targeted amid Egypt’s power crisis

Electricity towers continue to be targeted amid Egypt’s power crisis | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it
CAIRO: Three high-pressure electricity towers were sabotaged Friday on highways connecting four different cities, creating damage worth 1,000,000 EGP ($139,800), the Ministry of Electricity said in a Friday statement.
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The Suez Canal Project: Then and now

The Suez Canal Project: Then and now | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it
Following the announcement of the Suez Canal project earlier this month, comparisons between the project and the ones that preceded it have flowed in from experts, analysts and Egyptian citizens.
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