/ Jimmy's Corner: February 2006

Tuesday, February 28, 2006 

Education in Egypt 101

This morning I had a very interesting short conversation with one of my professors whom I truly respect... It was about why in Egyptian universities the final years are always different and better.

Me: Isn't it strange the fourth, or in general the final, years in all Egyptian colleges are different and help students understand and work in a right manner?
Him (smiling): No, it just looks strange for you because you do not understand...
Me: I hope this does not mean you think I am dumb!
Him: No no I mean you do not understand what it is all about.
Me: Well, do your job well and make me understand.
Him (laughing): Well, if students are taught well (to search and work to understand) not to be spoon-fed they will start judging the world around them. They will have opinions and looks at the world around them. And if they learn to work they will learn to change. That way we will have geniuses graduated every year.
Me (cunningly): So what's the problem if you help graduating geniuses?
Him: They will go out, observe the flaws and injustices around them, try to change it, and then they might try to revolt to change the status-quo... And the government will be in danger. (winking with his eye)
Me: What if you do it yourself and teach your students well?
Him (laughing): I would be in jail!


Monday, February 27, 2006 

Sharon is now 78

I went to a cafe tonight, and smoked too much sheesha (waterpipe). While smoking I was having the weirdest thoughts about everything... Maybe because I am a non-smoker and it was the first time to smoke sheesha so heavily. One of the thoughts I had sounded very logical to me as out of no where I found myself talking to my friends about Sharon...

Me: You know guys, I have read a piece of news that really attracted my attention!
A Friend: What was it about?
Me: Sharon is now 78 years old...
Another Friend (laughing): Does this have anything to do with what you are smoking now?
Me (laughing and I don't know why): No no, I am serious, he is now 78.
A third Friend: Okay Jim, buy him a sheesha and send it to him as a birthday gift.
Me: No people, I have a weird thought about this...
The first friend: Spit it out man we wanna laugh.
Me: Sharon is now 78 years old and he is fighting to stay alive. Mubarak is 78 and is fighting to stay in ruling Egypt. Does this mean, if we apply logic, that Mubarak's life is connected to his throne?

Everybody is silent, everybody is pale... I did not know why!

Sunday, February 26, 2006 

A walk in Shoubra with a new friend!

Despite the dusty weather, yesterday was a very nice day. I have met a very nice new friend from Chicago, went on a long walk exploring the most populous districts of Cairo, walking into markets, narrow streets, sitting on traditional cafes, having some Egyptian street food. It was very cool... My new friend Dody blogged about the day and took some good photos too, go take a look and enjoy..

Dody's post: A lesson in Egyptian Hospitality

Waiting to read your comments!


Okay buddy, you got it! UPDATE

Dear reader, Patrick...
I have tried to find a link or an email to contact you but actually I found out that you left none. And as I insist on answering your claims in full, I had to post this now. Please leave a link or an email to you so that we can get to communicate and have a discussion about your "totally false" claims. Anyway, I will answer in brief all your claims in one post soon although I believe it will be of no use doing so. Yet being a believer in the importance of debate and dialogue among people, I will re-open the discussion once again so that you feel free to demonstrate your opinions and I have the chance to answer them.
With my best regards


Please, Patrick, bring me quotes and lines from the Quran mentioning which chapter and what line you brought them form, because this open talking that you use can't help the discussion. Thanks alot.

Saturday, February 25, 2006 

I was right!!

Al-Qaeda was behind the foiled suicide bomb attack on a major Saudi oil facility on Friday, says a website used by Islamic militants in Saudi Arabia.

The statement said the attack at the oil-processing plant at Abqaiq was part of al-Qaeda's campaign to force "infidels" out of the peninsula.

The Saudi government has said it foiled the attack and output was not affected.

The al-Qaeda network on the Arabian Peninsula has long called for attacks on Saudi oil installations. BBC News
Just as I thought, al-Qaeda's plan just aims at putting the US government in hot spot. The attack on the Shia shrine in Iraq would lead to a civil war, which will put the US government in a situation you can't envy them. At the same time attack a major oil facility in Saudi Arabia, oil prices go up at rocket speed and causing Americans all kinds of troubles.

The question is why al-Qaeda did not claim responsibility for the attack on the Shia shrine? I say simply because they know that voices everywhere in the Middle East will go loud blaming America and the Zionist enemy for the attack. Isn't that what they want?

Read my previous two posts on the same page to get it all.


al-Qaeda is back to hot business?

Saudi security forces have foiled an apparent suicide car bomb attack on a major oil production facility in the eastern town of Abqaiq.
The al-Qaeda network on the Arabian Peninsula has long called for attacks on Saudi oil installations. BBC News
Seems like a new wave of al-Qaeda attacks is rising everywhere. For some reason I believe there is a connection between the bombing of the Shia shrine in Iraq and failed attempt to bomb the major Saudi oil facility in Abqaiq, Saudi Arabia.

Going back with memory, we find those tapes by dumb and dumber (aka Bin Laden and al-Zawahiri) leaving us with impressions about how they started to sense the danger is closing on them. Looking at the attacks we find them aiming at distracting the US attention and trying to throw Americans into hot spots to urge them to reconsider a possible truce with al-Qaeda and tell the world "We are there, alive and kicking".

Going back to the Shia shrine bombing, I believe Zarqawi and his group are the ones responsible for it. They just try to incite a semi-civil war in Iraq to put the Americans in deep shit as to what to do and how to react. At the same time, Zarqawi can have enough time using the chaos everywhere to prepare for new stronger attacks that might have oil facilities as prospective targets.

As for the attack on the Saudi oil facility, experts say had this attack been successful, it could have halved the Saudi oil production for up to a year. And this of course would throw the world into an oil dilemma as Saudi Arabia is one of the largest oil producers in the world, and of course America will suffer the most as it is the largest oil consumer.

And that way al-Qaeda could have thrown Americans in two burning hells, one in Iraq and one in front of empty gas stations. Such strikes will just not only distract the American attention, but also gives al-Qaeda operatives solid soil to stand upon in the near future.


Welcome to the Egyptian People's Kindergarten (aka Parliament)

Two very violent verbal fights took place in the Egyptian People's Kindergarten (fictionally known as Egyptian People's Assembly). The first took place when an opposition MP (representing Al Wafd Liberal Party) angrily criticized the parliament accusing it of "acting in collusion" with the government. An accusation that made the Parliament Speaker Ahmed Fathi Sorour (who is a member in the ruling National Democratic Party NDP) hit the roof in anger... (truth always hurts, huh). Then Sorour demanded a formal plain loud apology from the opposition member and refused any writing or subtle apology!!! (Headmaster's policies again!)... Finally, the MP apologized and everything went cool again in the playground... opps, I mean in the parliament room.

But you know, kids never stop quarrelling or fighting. Therefore, there was another verbal fight between two other MP as one took the seat of the other. A NDP MP took the seat of an opposition member, and refused to leave it (seems like it had fewer nails coming out to hurt his ass). Consequently, and in solidarity with their fellow opposition MP, all the opposition MPs left the session as an act of objection.

I think every Egyptian should donate a sum of money for buying more toys to be sent to the People's Kindergarten (formerly People's Assembly), so that we can keep our childish MPs away from fighting.

The other fight on seats took place in the Egyptian Consulative Council (smaller brother to the People's Assembly).


And may their souls rest in peace...

According to the latest news over investigations about the Egyptian sunken ferry Al Salam Boccaccio '98, these are facts that need no comment from me... I will put them as they are and they will do commenting job:
  1. A formal inspection over safety measures on the ferry before the last voyage found that it has 10 problems with safety and security measures... They were reduced to one problem in the report so that the ferry could sail.
  2. Al Salam Maritime monopolized the naval line between Duba (Saudi Arabia) and Safaga (Egypt) across the Red Sea as it reduced its prices by 400%, but added more decks and on-board seats to have the largest number of passengers possible on board.
  3. According to Athens accord, every passenger (or their families) should have a 1 million Egyptian pounds compensation. Actually, the government offered 30.000 pounds compensation for every victim's family, and the company said it is going to pay 150.000 pounds for each victim. Consequently, the families are going to receive 180.000 EGP instead of 1.000.000 EGP for each.
  4. And here is the SURPRISE: The Egyptian ports do not have any receivers to hear any SOS from any ship or ferry facing a sinking in the Red Sea.
And may the souls of the 1000 victims rest in peace...

Friday, February 24, 2006 

Answer to al-Qardawi and Ahmedinejad!

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad blamed the United States and Israel on Thursday for the destruction of a Shiite shrine's golden dome in Iraq, saying it was the work of "defeated Zionists and occupiers."

But some Islamic clerics and the Lebanese Hezbollah organization blamed the United States.

"We cannot imagine that the Iraqi Sunnis did this," said the influential Sunni cleric Sheik Youssef al-Qaradawi, an Egyptian who lives in Qatar. "No one benefits from such acts other than the U.S. occupation and the lurking Zionist enemy." Yahoo news
Well I think my previous article just answers what al-Qardawi and Ahmadinejad come out with. I just want someone to convince me how the "US occupation and the lurking Zionist enemy" would benefit from this.

You know what the real problem is? It is whenever something is very terrible is done, it can never be one of us who did it, and it must be a conspiracy, someone who is digging under our feet so that we fall... So what? So blame the others: Zionists, Americans or even Danes if possible, a list of ready-made people to be blamed is ready. Take ur pick.

If the Sunnis did not do this, where is the Iraqi Sunni condemnation of the bombing in Iraq? Why can't we find any signs of condemnation or anger towards what happened to the shrine?

Even if not all the Iraqi Sunnis did this, their silence is a loud support to what happened, isn't?

Links on the same topic:
Jimmys Corner: Will Iraq go into a civil war?
Big Pharaoh: Qardawi blames US and Israel
Sandmonkey: Just blame the Jews
Big Pharaoh: America Akbar
One Arab World: Samarra


Will Iraq go into a civil war?

Practically speaking Iraq is on a civil war, yet, formally it is not. Thus, the question would be will Iraq go into a formally declared civil war?

In fact I answer this question with another question: if Iraq goes into a civil war, which side America will take? And what will be the role of the US army during such a war?... You got my point? No? Then go ahead and continue reading this...

A civil war in Iraq will put America in hot spot, specially Bush and his administration. So there are two possibilities about how America will act:
Either America will stop this some what civil war early so that it puts itself in no deep shit about which side to take and what to do during a raging war between Sunnis and Shia'as.
Or Bush and his hawks will let it go in order to exploit the chance and find a good reason to send more troops and have more allies in Iraq, then settling the situation down and claiming more time to stay there to keep peace and security.

In fact, the later seems too impossible for me for some reasons. First, when Bush sent America's young men to fight his war in Iraq he said it is a war for democracy, bringing peace and finding weapons of mass destruction (at least that's what he announced). Well, in order to establish democracy you have to create and maintain security. Therefore, the US government cannot just let the war blow and endanger any democracy in the country. If America lets this going-to-be civil war go out of control, worldwide questions about the role of the US existence in Iraq. Moreover, as I said earlier, the Americans will -that way- put themselves in the situation not knowing which side to take and what to do. The US can't support the Sunnis as they are already enemies enough, and they can't support the Shia'as as they need no support, and they won't take the Kurds side as this will mean they just take the spectators' seats, a choice that is unavailable.

My point is simple, if Bush went to Iraq to bring democracy and security and find WMDs, well he found no WMDs and failed to secure Iraq and democracy and left it all in civil war.... This will mean the souls of more than 2000 American young man went in vain just because of the adventures of Mr President of War, and billions of dollars went astray. I don't believe Bush wants to find himself in this situation.

Therefore, considering the world's reaction to a civil war in Iraq (that might one way or another lead to dividing Iraq to different states) and the fury in the Middle East, and considering the reaction of the American people who lost more than 2000 soldier and billions of dollars then leaving Iraq with no objectives accomplished, I say the US administration will not let a civil war go off.

And do not forget that the existence of the US Army in Iraq gives more power to its threats to Iran and Syria, a position that they will lose if they let a civil war go off. Additionally, it would take years to convince the American people to go into another war against Iran or Syria after such failure in Iraq.

Some might just go to the idea that Bush will let the war go off, then gather a coalition, send more troops to Iraq and settle things down, then stay for more time there. I say I do not think Bush will gamble that way. I believe he can settle things down early, ask for more troops to come in order to keep peace and then stay for more time there till security prevails.

To sum up, a civil war in Iraq is something not possible now.... not before the US packs it luggage and leaves.

This is my opinion... What do you think?


On the Bird-flu dilemma

Rantings of a Sandmonkey: Scene
Talking about stupidity I say Sandmonkey's story sums it all up!

No mayo on chicken because they mayonnaise simply contains eggs, which comes from chicken, and chicken might be infected, so no mayo on a chicken sandwitch...

Enjoy reading the story

Wednesday, February 22, 2006 

Catholics urge South Park boycott!! UPDATE

South Park
Catholic church leaders in New Zealand are urging a boycott of a broadcaster planning to screen an "ugly and tasteless" episode of South Park.
The episode of the US animation, called Bloody Mary, depicts a bleeding statue of the Virgin Mary.
Sounds like the Muslims earlier call for respect to religious beliefs had echoes in New Zealand. BBC News
At the very beginning of the cartoon's crisis major Muslim scholars asked for more respect to religious beliefs, but their calls drowned under the terrible wave of angry blind violence in the Middle East. However, it looks like they still have echoes in New Zealand as the Catholic Church there asked people to boycott C4 and TV3 channels as they are planning to broadcast a South Park episode they find racial and offensive. And even urge boycotting companies advertising with the two channels.

The same TV stations once published the JP's cartoons and apologized. In fact, the letter the Catholic bishops sent to the TV channels said what most of the offended Muslim scholars said in response to JP's cartoons:
"Making known the extent of our offence might give them pause to consider that press freedom is not a license to incite intolerance or to promote hated or derision based on religion, race or gender,"
In fact, the Catholic calls for boycott in New Zealand do not only add one more reason to start a dialogue tackling the role of freedom of speech and the difference between criticizing religions and offending them, but also show me the difference.

What difference?
The difference between those who are offended so they send a letters and call for peaceful legal actions like boycotting (let me say "rational well-aimed boycotting"), and those who are offended so they burn buildings and ask for other people's heads.

Thanks, Rebekah for sending me the link to this piece of news!

Please participate in this poll and add your comments

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Okay, I am a crazyass committing suicide!

There is an Arabic proverb that says "What's prohibited is always desired"... I have proved it to be true. Yesterday night, I made myself a splendid meal of spicy chicken and macarooni and this morning I have eaten eggs on breakfast. In Aswan on my way to Philae Temple I bent out of the boat and drank directly from the Nile and believe it or not, it tasted better than the water I drink at home.

My brother called me a crazyass, and my neighbour believes I am commtting slow suicide... Well, whatever... I won't give in to butchers' greed who doubled the prices of their meat, or to vain fears of getting infected through eating chicken or birds.

The problem is that people's panic doesn't only affect chicken and bird sellers, but also those who sell anything that contains eggs in their ingredients. No wonders the Egyptian stock market is going down terribly.

Ironically, Egypt never imported birds or chicken as it was a self-sufficient industry. Now it is falling down, and I am expecting the day when Egypt adds chicken and birds to its long list of imported products.

Whisper: It is not bird flu, it is ignorance flu.


Who is responsible?

I have received a whole file on the Danish cartoons a week ago, I did not open it till yesterday as I was busy preparing myself for the Luxor and Aswan tour. When I opened the file I found nothing new about it, it is a printing of the same emails I have been receiving for months now. However some words written in bold stopped me:

"A short time ago, precisely 3 months..." I don't know, do they really think that 3 months is not a long period of time?? Or is it an excuse for the late reaction on the Jyllands-Posten's cartoons?? Do they really need 3 months to react (in fact they are now 5 months not 3)?? As soon as I read this I expected the stupidity coming next...

Then on the cartoons the file says:
"In one of the cartoons Prophet Muhammad is depicted wearing a bomb-like turban, in another he appears like a terrorist waving his sword with women wearing burqas behind him, and another one he is depicted praying in a very insulting manner" Once again, everybody is talking about this cartoon that was never published by the Jyllands-Posten despite the fact that the whole world now knows it is false... I guess the news about has not reached the ones who prepared this file yet.

Then comes a call for all Arab business men to stop their business with Denmark (now I know why they made it in a file not just some sheets of paper handed over in the streets). The funny part is, it called them to boycott Denmark till the newspaper apologizes officially and publicly. To be honest I got lost at this part, well, they are asking the newspaper to apologize... not the Danish government like our government requested... But hey, is this a puzzle, the newspaper apologized several times by now, so why publishing the file now?

I guess this just shows the fact that these people know nothing of what they write or talk about and they just collect bits and pieces from here and there and put them in a good looking file and send it to those they think it might affect. But still who is responsible???

And the end of the file there are some sheets of paper on which the Jyllands-Posten's cartoons are printed... and guess what I found among them?

(The English tags under each cartoon is a translation of the Arabic comments on each one. These Arabic comments are supposed to be a translation to the Danish written next to each picture. My Danish readers please try to send me an English translation to the Danish comments next to every picture.)

What editor-in-chiefs and the Prophet have in common is "to ignore"

Santa Muhammad 2005...

This is the Prophet's leg when he went to heaven

This chair, specifically, is Prophet Muhammad!

Can you prove that the Prophet was not a woman?

To be honest it was my first time to see such cartoons, even on the web, I have seen all the cartoons falsely related to Jyllands-Posten, and these were not among them. The question again is: who is responsible for misguiding people and who is responsible for spreading all these lies?? Who is responsible for inciting the fury about the stupid cartoons that this stupid Jyllands-Posten published??

The answer could be... extremists? No
It is ignorance...

Tuesday, February 21, 2006 

Luxor and Aswan tour pictures

As I once promised to post the photos of my tour to Luxor and Aswan, here you are. These photos are just samples:

Philae temple from the boat in the Nile

View from Philae Temple (you have to see it there yourself)

Ramses II statue in Karnak Temple (This guy had 92 sons and 106 daughters)

Queen Hatshbsut's obliscies

Entrance to Temple of Kom Ombo

This is a 160 meter corridor inside King Ramses IX tomb

And that's his coffin where his mummy was kept and then stolen :S

Entrance to Luxor Temple

Inside the Temple of Edfu (one of the best, you should visit this if you come to Egypt)

That's where I stayed in Aswan, marvelous hotel

The view from my room in Luxor

I still have 48 photos in the Flickr album for you, I just can't post them all here or they will eat up the whole blog. Still there are more photos to be posted in the album till the next Thursday.

  • To see the whole album on Flickr, click on the flickr badge under Photo Album to the right.
  • Some photos are dated at 1-1-2004, I forgot to adjust the time and date in my cam before I took those photos.
Thoughts: When I stood in front of the wonders our ancestors left on the banks of the Nile, or in the heart of the desert, I felt so proud to belong to this country and this great history, and so ashamed to feel that our great grandfathers made history, while we one day we will become forgotten history.


And rumors never stop!!!

In college this morning I got a SMS: "Don't drink water because farmers threw their infected birds in the Nile". Minutes later, a phone call:
Caller: Hey, did you hear the news?
Me: No I am in class...
Caller: The Egyptian TV warned people of drinking water because it is infected with the HIV bird flu virus.
Me: Water is infected with bird flu virus?
Caller: Yeah
Me: Then it is water flu not bird flu...
Caller: C'mon I am not joking, it is true, farmers threw their chicken and birds into the river, the virus is in the Nile.
Me: So what?
Caller: I don't know, just keep off drinking water for now. Or buy mineral water bottles, that would be safer.
Me: Thanks for the advice.. Bye 4 now!

Just after the phone call I switched off my mobile to not to receive any of these warnings again. But rumors never stop...! The whole class is talking, receiving SMSs, phone calls, and making phone calls... the keyword is "Don't drink water!"

Just as I get back home I received this:
"هام جدا جدا جدا... أعلن التلفزيون المصري وشركات مياه الشرب بيانا مفادة التنبية التالي: لاتشرب مياه الحنفيات أو تستخدمها فهي ملوثة بفيروس أنفلونزا الطيور المميت. مررها عسى تنق> حياة أنسان"
"Very very very Important: The Egyptian TV and WATER COMPANIES announced a statement with this warning: Do not drink water or use it because it is polluted with the deadly bird flu virus. Pass it, it may save a human beings life".

To be honest I received 10 of these messages not just this one. Everyone forwarding it to all they have on their contact list.

An hour later, the Minister of Information and Media in Egypt gives a statement that it is all rumors and that Ministry of Water Sources, Ministry of Information and Media and the WHO (World Health organization) assure that bird flu virus never exists in the Nile water and the Nile is absolutely pure. But again rumors never stop!!!

Cars room Cairo's streets with mics warning people of using or drinking water...

Can you see how rumors spread so quickly in the Egyptian society?? Can you imagine how many SMSs, emails, phone calls and announcements were used?? Everybody plays the role of Mr. Savior and acts like it is his duty to save the lives of others who do not know, although this Mr. Savior knows nothing himself and in reality he is just Mr. Loudspeaker that keeps voicing loud what he is told. No one thinks, no one tries to search for the truth, no one tries to make sure... Everybody runs to a ready made conclusion and acts upon it.

And till we learn to how investigate the truth before getting involving ourselves into spreading rumors that do nothing but more harm to us, rumors will never stop.


No bravery!

Go see and listen to this please..

The question is: when will we face ourselves the same way they face their ugly sides?? When will we have songs condemning terrorism, oppression and extremism??


Karim's word

A great article and call on Karim's One Arab World. Read the article and link to it please:

Even in Pakistan that is illegal. That man should be arrested at once and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. His assets should be frozen immediately.

Here is a directorate of almost all Pakistani missions and embassies. Call what’s local to you and demand this mans arrest.

If you are in America write a letter to your rep. Anyone can also call the World Bank and ask them to consider this before increasing aid to $750 million.

Most importantly, Muslims ask your Imams to condemn this in his next sermon.

I’m on my way now to go pray at my mosque in Cambridge and that is exactly what I am going to do.

Spread the word!


A message in my inbox!

Just minutes ago I have received a message from someone I don't know, obviously one who reads my blog, with a link to a BBC piece of news and saying in Arabic "What freedom of speech are they talking about? If they put in jail a man for expressing his opinion, how can they ask us to accept them humiliating us? They should practice what they preach"

The headline to the piece of news says: "Holocaust denier Irving is jailed"
British historian David Irving has been found guilty in Vienna of denying the Holocaust of European Jewry and sentenced to three years in prison.
I have sent a reply back, I am waiting for your comments though...

Monday, February 20, 2006 

Requests to come if the boycott is to end!

After Arla was asked to boycott Israel if they want the boycott to be ended in the Middle East, I believe these requests are on the way:
  1. Jyllands-Posten should change its star to a crescent.
  2. Danish PM Rasmussen should admit that it was instigated and planned to hurt Muslims' feelings and has to apologize for reading the Jyllands-Posten.
  3. Denmark shall cut all trade ties with Israel and announce it a major enemy.
  4. Denmark should change its name to Muslimark and announce itself an Islamic country.
Wake up people, wake the heck up. It is turning to be so stupid and arrogant every single day... Those who ask Arla to boycott Israel if Arla wants the boycott to come to an end should boycott the following countries:
Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Egypt, Tunisia, Oman... etc.
They all have trade ties with Israel too.
So here is the deal, Arabs should boycott Arab countries with trade ties to Israel, then Arla would cut trade ties with Israel. Deal?

This is damn blackmailing, is it supposed to give any positive impression about Islam????

Whisper: All Arab countries trade with Israel either secretly or not.


Bin Laden's will!

This new tape Bin Laden broadcasted today makes me think this guy is preparing his will. The guy asserted that he will not be captured like Saddam, but he will die "free". To be honest, this tape gives me three possibilities about what it is intended to derive:
  • Bin Laden realized that the danger is sooo close and he is speaking his mind to his allies and enemies.
  • Bin Laden knew the danger is too close and he is about to fall, therefore, he tries to gather sympasizers and motivate his terrorists around the globe to move. This might justify why he posted the new tape on a militant web forum, not Al Jazeera, to make sure that his message is received by supporters directly.
  • Bin Laden knows the danger is close, so he is playing a game. He is giving the world the impression that his end is so close, and that he is thinking of his end. Then Al Qaeda operates (a) massive strike(s) somewhere, a strike that will not only destroy buildings and kill people, but even morales. Consquently, this will push the world to think Al Qaeda is not giving up and people would ask for reconsideration of the truce Bin Laden offers. At the same time winning more damn sympathizers.

One positive thing about the three possibilities is that they all leave us with the idea that Bin Laden is now in danger. And like Sandmonkey, I agree with you Bin Laden, I wanna see you dead.


NIDO, the enemy...

The second day I spent in Aswan was really eventful, visiting many temples, hanging out through the small Aswan City... At night my friends and me went into a cafe after long tiring shopping. The cafe was practically a roof of a home that had some tree-decoration, with chairs cut directly from trees and the floor full of very small stones to give you the feeling that you are having a drink in the jungle. After having seats we had a bit of a talk about what we bought, the trip bla bla bla... Then came the waiter and asked for what we want to have, one of my friends asked for Nescafe with milk... and then hit a very smart question: "What kind of milk do you use?"
the Waiter answered: "The enemy"
I asked him "The enemy??? Never heard of it before"... I was trying to track him down a little.
He answered with a smile and rolling eyes: "Nido, the enemy...! We use Nido"
I was not surprised as I expected the answer... But one of my friends calmly added "Well, Nido is a no Danish"
The waiter answered with rolling eyes: "Well, the supermarket down there stopped selling Nido because he said it was Danish"
Then I hit it all of a sudden: "Why your eyes are so-rolling... and almost whispering the answers"
He answered "Some people scold us for using Nido, and that supermarket down there, he took off all Danish products including Nido after a big bearded man told him he HAS TO remove them..."
"Well, Nido is not Danish, it is Swiss, and it is ridiculous to have dry milk as an enemy, isn't it?"

I have to say, the days I spent in Luxor and Aswan made me see new dimensions and realities about our Egyptian society that made me proud and ashamed at once. A great number of people does not believe in the boycott, but they are afraid of those big bearded men who force upon them what to see and do what not to. The waiter, the supermarket owner and even the taxi-driver that night are just speakers to the mic of extremists and ignorants. Those ignorants take a dry-milk product as an enemy and are ready to pour their bloody scorn over those who do not follow their steps.

Well, Nido is a Nestle product, and so is Nescafe... so why didn't they say Nido and Nescafe?? Because they are ignorant and blind enough not to know where the truth is, but still they keep claiming to be the ones who do the right thing!!!

Then a long conversation started as we discussed the boycott thing, gonna blog about it soon!

Sunday, February 19, 2006 

Finally, I am on the way home!

Finally, I am on my way back home after 6 days in Luxor and Aswan. It has been an eventful holiday and I gotta say I have enjoyed every minute of it. And it sounds like they have been four eventful days all over the world. Bird flu is spreading in Egypt, Rumsfeld statements, Ben Gazi events, sounds like big fuss went off all of a sudden... I have to admit it I have been cut off the world for the past 6 days as it was very difficult to have internet access: in Luxor I barely found a cyber and it was closed for repairs!!!!!!!!!! And in Aswan I found out that the nearest cyber to my hotel (which was a great one) is just 30 minutes walking... Add to that, the hotel in which I stayed is high above a hill looking over the whole Aswan City...

I am not 3 minutes walking from the railway station, and I ran to this cyber by coincidence. And I never wanted to lose that chance.

Be back in 12 hours...

Tuesday, February 14, 2006 

Finally a holiday out of Cairo!

Today I will be setting off on a holiday out of Cairo to the pharaonic ancient cities of Luxor and Aswan. The trip, although it comes in the beginning of the college's second semester, is a great chance for me to have a rest out of the populous polluted crowded Cairo. I will keep posting from Luxor and Aswan and expect many many pictures to be here. I have just created a new photo album on Flickr and it will be published as soon as the first picture is uploaded. It is going to be a long long trip as they say it gonna take 12 hours by train. My problem simply is that I can barely stay in the same place doing nothing for a maximum of one hour, then boredom eats me up savagely. It just reminds me of Metallica's Turn the Page: "In a ride for 16 hours, there is nothing much to do", and I can't live with nothing much to do lol.

I am really thinking what I should do during these 12 hours. I am having some of my books with me and my music player. But I am not going on a holiday to read books!!!

But looking at the bright side, I am expecting a very nice trip and fun there.
Expect photos and more posts in the next few days :)


Danish-Muslim controversy turned into a money-making machine!


Shaaban Abdul Reheem (aka Shaa'bola), a singer that came from the poor areas of the Egyptian society, and a former ironing man. He is considered by all Egyptians as the sole living proof that there are men who are originally donkeys (sorry Darwin). This guy who is considered to be the dumbest man alive knew well how to use the Danish-Muslim cartoon controversy for his own benefit.

Speciallized in songs like "I hate Israel" he made a new song saying about the insult done to Prophet Muhammad titled "Our patience is over". The problem is Shaa'bola's songs are known to be very very low standard and lacks any artistic touch. Moreover, he uses the very low slang Arabic in all his songs including this one on the cartoon controversy.

To be honest Shaa'bola is the first singer to start using the cartoons controversy as a money-making machine. Newspapers were first to start making money out of the crisis, provoking the situation and playing on people's feelings. Now this guy who misses every small idea about Islam just produced a song, attracting more passionate people, making them hear what they want to hear, and making money out of the selling of the song.

Do you still believe he is the dumbest guy in Egypt??
Expect more songs under the name of Shaa'bolanism!


In Egypt everything is possible!

Just out of my window, a sight you rarely see somewhere but in Egypt. It is sunny, cloudy and raining showers at the same time... I am sure anyone would like to have this feeling when you come out to the street to find the sun high in the sky, very cold air blowing your face, clouds everywhere and it is suddenly raining showers... LOL

I am confused what to feel! lol


Arab and Muslim visitors, please read this...

In reaction to the Jyllands-Posten cartoons Iran started running a cartoon's contest attacking the Holocaust... In reaction to the Iranian contest guess what Israelis did?? They ran a contest for anti-Semitic cartoons and cartoons criticizing the Holocaust themselves.
Amitai Sandy (29), graphic artist and publisher of Dimona Comix Publishing, from Tel-Aviv, Israel, has followed the unfolding of the "Muhammad cartoon-gate" events in amazement, until finally he came up with the right answer to all this insanity - and so he announced today the launch of a new anti-Semitic cartoons contest - this time drawn by Jews themselves!

The contest has been announced today on the www.boomka.org website, and the initiator accept submissions of cartoons, caricatures and short comic strips from people all over the world. The deadline is Sunday March 5, and the best works will be displayed in an Exhibition in Tel-Aviv, Israel.

Gotta admit, brilliant nice move! It just shows the difference... you know what difference I mean!

Hattips: Sandmonkey and Big Pharaoh


Happy Valentines Day

Happy Valentines Day, everyone. I hope when we celebrate the next V-Day the world will be a much better place. :)

Have a great day V-Day!


Taliban is rising, and the world is helping them!

I was watching Al-Jazeera this afternoon when a program named "Lek'a Al-Yawm" (Today's Meeting) started and the guest was Taliban's Military Official Mullah Dad-ullah. Well, I have to say I could barely stopped laughing at what that guy said, but at moments I stopped laughing as some of what that guy said striked me hard.

The guy first started his answers with promising more suicide attacks are to come and he was so proud that they could achieve bombings all over Afghanistan. He even asked people to stay away from American checkpoints and soldiers to not to fall in the coming bombings. Practically, American soldiers are almost everywhere in Afghanistan, so in order for Afghans to stay away from Americans is just packing their luggage up and search for another country to live in if they want to survive. This very insane animal in a human being's shape kept me laughing with the way he described Taliban's control everywhere in Afghanistan. Moreover, he kept repeating: "All countries will help us, they all know now Taliban is rising once more... We are supported by countries with clear and subtle enmity to America", then again " the whole world stands with us". Then he assured that the people and political factions of Afghanistan all contact them telling them that they (the Afghan factions) regretted working with the Americans and they support Taliban back to power.

I wonder what world Mulla Dad-ullah is talking about, but rather, what world was he talking about?? Surly, the whole mambo-jumbo world stands with him, the whole world in which he and his likes live, a world of insanity, lies and hypocrisy, a world of his own.

Yet again, some statements of this guy kept me alert. He said Taliban is using new tactics like freeing captured operatives from prisons....! This reminded me of the 13 Al Qaeda operatives that escaped Yemen prison weeks ago. Read my post about Africa's Bin Laden to get what I mean.

The most important part is that Mulla Dad-ullah described those who offer negotiations with America as stupid ignorant people. Well, Bin Laden and Zawahiri wanted to negotiate truce with the US government... I think Bin Laden should now consider bombing Taliban's military official's office, if he has one, to punish him for calling him stupid.

To be honest, such a man offended me more than the Danish cartoons did, simply because I know his likes are the reason why Islam is viewed in such a way.


Europe looks safer to Bashar!!

DAMASCUS (Reuters) - Syria has switched all of the state's foreign currency transactions to euros from dollars amid a political confrontation with the United States, the head of state-owned Commercial Bank of Syria said on Monday. Reuters
Sounds like Bashar and his Baath party are feeling danger is getting closer and closer, and it looks like Bashar finds Europe a bit much safer for his almost-drowning economy. Well Bashar, I think you have to be good to your new friends, and pray that they will not ask you for an explanation or an apology about the Danish and Norwegian embassies burnt down days ago. The question is, can the Euro really help you in a confrontation with the United States?? I think this is just another mambo-jumbo world you are dreaming of.

Monday, February 13, 2006 

EXCLUSIVE: Danish camel just landed!

Dear Jimmy's Corner readers, I have just received news from Peshawar in Pakistan that a camel has just arrived with news about the Danish cartoons about Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). As the camel landed to the ground people started to read the more-than-four-month old news, and they became very angry that students there started violently protesting and expressing their anger. And seems like they have no Danish building to destroy there, so they started destroying their own buildings and bazaars. Brilliant..., isn't it?

The bad news is: we still have more than 4 months till the news about the Danish apology and calls for dialogue reach Peshawar on another camel.

/bitter sarcasm


A last minute kick-ass checkmate!

Seems like Fatah had a last minute kick-ass plan to avenge its loss in the election to Hamas. In the last session for the Palestinian parliament Fatah could pass a new law boosting Mahmoud Abass's powers as a President. The new law gives the President the right to choose and appoint judges in the constitutional court without consulting the parliament. These judges have the right to determine whether the law accepted by the parliament are constitutionally correct or not. That way Mahmoud Abass can control the law passed by the parliament from his own office, which is a big blow to Hamas's overwhelming win in the election.

A closer look at the future consequences of this new boost of Abass's power makes me believe that Abass is forcing Hamas into taking the Fatah opinions into consideration even before they get an approval from the parliament. That's to say, if Hamas wants a law to be passed or a decision to be taken, they should go back to Fatah first to guarantee that their laws will be approved by the constitutional court.

Despite the fact that Abass's plan is meant to impose some restriction on the forth-coming Hamas prime minister and forcing Hamas to take into consideration the now-moderate Fatah's opinions, I do not really believe things will just go so peacefully or Hamas is going to accept the new status-quo imposed on them. I believe the negotiations over the laws will not be on tables in closed rooms, but in the streets with bullets fired on both sides.


Living in the Mambo-Jumbo world!

In a real indication that these guys really live in a world of their own, Irani Foreign Ministry spokesman demands apology over cartoons if Denmark is willing to calm down furor in the Muslim world. These comments were the Iranian response to Condoleezza Rice's claims that Iran, Syria and Indonesia are inflaming anger over cartoons. And I believe the Iranian spokesman's comments leave us with two possibilities. Either this spokesman is living in a mambo-jumbo world that is far out of the reach of the Danish apologies over cartoons, or he is just telling Condi "yes, we inflame things as the current apologies are not enough".

My suggestion: somebody please help the Iranian government with an email telling them that Denmark and Jyllands-Posten has apologized quite enough, and the world is not too dumb as they believe.

Oh, and waiting for some Syrian genius answer... I think the Baathists there will reply: "the EU should apologize for Danish cartoons if they want to calm down the furor"... And oh, aliens, stay alert, you might be asked for any apology soon.


Friendly fire, who's next?

U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney shot fellow hunter by mistake in a hunting trip in Texas. Cheney wanted to pick a bird but mistakingly his shot hit his fellow companion millionaire lawyer Harry Whittington. The funny part is all hunters wore bright orange vests, I think Cheney should change his glasses.

Whittington could have been another victim of Cheney's friendly fire...
I wonder who is next!!!

Sunday, February 12, 2006 

Are we ready for a new Bin Laden?

Al-Arabiya announced today that the CIA is offering a 5-million-dollar award to anyone who gives information that directly lead to the head of "Africa's Bin Laden"!!!!

Africa's Bin Laden is said to be the head of Al Qaeda's branch in East Africa and the mastermind of the attacks on the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998. The Pro-US strategic news site Strategy Page was the first to announce news about this Africa's Bin Laden. The site says Africa's Bin Laden is called Haroon Fadel while his real name is (Fadel Abdul-Allah Mohammed) nicknamed Abu Sayf Al Sudani. It was reported that he was born in Comoro Islands and he has full control over Al-Qaeda's branches in Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Tanzania and Yemen.

Actually the existence of such a guy brings to my mind questions about whether the US was successful in cutting Al Qaeda ties in Africa. It even makes me think if this new Africa's Bin Laden has anything to do with the escape of 13 Al Qaeda members from Yemeni prison.

I believe if news about this new Bin Laden are true and that he has control over Al Qaeda branches in East Africa and Yemen, it is possible that this guy has to do with escape of the 13 Al Qaeda members. A possibility which leaves me with a though that Al Qaeda is rallying its ranks and preparing attacks on European or American institutions in Africa.

In the last messages from Bin Laden and Al-Zawahiri on Al-Jazeera TV they proposed a truce with the US, which in fact indicates that they are starting to feel the danger is so close to them. Moreover, implied warnings on more attacks to come if the US government does not accept the offer. I think now it makes sense if this new Bin Laden is there, and has to do with the escape of 13 Al Qaeda members, the new target is Africa to give the world the impression that Al Qaeda is still alive and kicking. All these are mere possibilities that occupied my mind but they leave us with a question: Is the world ready to deal with a new Bin Laden???

Saturday, February 11, 2006 

A step forward it should be!

Sounds like the Big Pharaoh found some cartoons that "Sum it all" for those violently protesting against the cartoons. The same way I found a cartoon that says it all about the major problem between Muslims and the western societies. Still many idiots extremist fanatics try to pour fuel over the burning controversy, although JP apologized for the cartoons several times and a website was launched by Danish citizens emphasizing the fact that they are against the cartoons and calling for better understanding and respect between the two cultures. Consequently, I believe these loud fiery extremist voice should be shut up with rational calls for more vast effective solutions to end this controversy and intiatea dialogue between the two sides.

Thanks to Sandmonkey I found a link to a very great article by Ahmad 360'east that actually introduces stories that show the reality of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and at the same time include suggestions for Arab governments and activists to show the reality of Islam to the Danish people, and I say to the European societies as well:
In the Islam religion class in school I, as all children in Muslim world, have learned about the life of Prophet Mohammad. I would like to briefly recount three of the ones I remember:

1. His story with the Jewish neighbor who used to THROW GARBAGE at his doorsteps:
The Prophet had this Jewish neighbor. Everyday the neighbor would throw his garbage at the Prophet’s door! Then, one day, the garbage stopped appearing.

The Prophet wondered why and asked people about what had happened to his neighbor. He was told that the neighbor was sick, in bed.

So, the Prophet went and visited his Jewish neighbor to make sure he’s OK and to wish him well. So touched was the Jewish neighbor that he later converted to Islam.

2. His story with the people of Ta’if who’s children STONED him:
One day the Prophet visited the village of Ta’if near Mecca. He was hoping to find support amongst the people of that area after he was shunned by many of his own tribe in Mecca. Instead of support, he was faced by a mob of children, sent by their parents to throw stones at him. He was hit by the hail of stones. He was bleeding, and was barely able to escape into an orchard. He could have asked for God’s wrath to be brought down upon the village, but instead he prayed that one day these people will see the light.

3. His story with his tribe after he conquered Mecca:
When the Prophet’s army finally conquered his hometown Mecca, many of the leaders of his tribe were filled with fear. They feared the conquerer’s retribution. Most of them NEVER BELIEVED in him. They TORTURED and KILLED many of his followers and CONSPIRED TO KILL HIM in the early days of his prophethood.

What did the Prophet do? He told them: “Go. You are free!”

* * *

In the spirit of the life of the Prophet, here are 5 ways how the Muslim world could have responded the the Danish cartoons:

  1. Apply to the Ministry of Culture in Denmark to organize a big exhibition about the Life of Prophet Mohammad and Islamic History. The Saudi and other Arab governments would finance this event and promote it in a big way in the Danish media.
  2. Invite 100 Danish children to come and live with Arab and Muslim families to learn about life in today’s Arab and Muslim world.
  3. Invite the editors of the Danish newspaper to a well publicized cultural debate in Doha, Qatar or Copenhagen.
  4. The embassies of Arab and Muslim nations could commission a website in Danish about Islam, contemporary muslim thinkers and life in today’s Islamic world. A dedicated staff would respond to incoming questions and request for information.
  5. Subtitle the movie ‘The Message" in Danish and try to get many movie theaters and cultural centers in Denmark to show it.
I add to these suggestions:
  • Launching an interactive website in Arabic, English, French German, Spanish, Danish and Russian about the life and teachings of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) with all material authorized from top Islamic institutions in the Muslim countries.
  • Launching a website defining Jihad and how it is different from terrorism. Emphasizing the fact that Jihad in its real sense a war on terrorism!
There are news that a satellite channel about the reality of Islam is going to be launched and it will be under no governmental control and it is going to be funded by business men's donations. So this is one step in the right path, isn't it?

Voices calming down the situation are getting louder. And I have become confident that any talking about what was right and what was wrong and what should have been done and what should have been not is mere nonsense now. I believe we should talk, and act at the same time, about what should be done and how to narrowen the gaps.

Waiting for your comments!


And the farce goes on...

CAIRO, Egypt (AP) -- The presidential spokesman said Tuesday that the owners of the Red Sea ferry that sank, drowning about 1,000 people, did not inform the government that the ship had sunk for nearly six hours after it went down.

By most accounts the Al-Salaam Boccaccio 98 sank no later than 2 a.m., five hours before the government was notified of any trouble, six hours before Cairo learned it likely had sunk.

Other reports say the ship sank at 1 a.m., which would have made the delay in notification at least seven hours.

"What really happened," Awad said, "was that the port authority was first informed at 7 a.m. by the ship's owners that they had lost contact with the ferry. Forty-five minutes later, the company told port officials the ship may have sunk," Awad said.

"One minute later the rescue center was notified and by 8 a.m. a plane was over the spot where the ship went down. ... It was followed by another rescue plane and ships of the Egyptian fleet," he said. CNN
The very silly farce continues, and families of the victims lost all hopes.

The government holds meetings, come up with conclusions everybody knows weeks ago. They just wanna show us they are working hard to find the one responsible for this disaster in which Egypt lost 1000 of its poor hard working people. I say they will find the one that is responsible for the disaster which will be either dead or unreachable*. I have nothing more to say... but some facts that will show where the farce is going:
  • Al Salam Maritime is owned by Mamdouh Seliman, a member in the National Democratic Party and member of Shura Council in Egypt.
  • Days ago Al Salam Maritime announced that it does not own Al Salam Boccaccio '98, it claimed that an Italian maritime company owned the ship and they operate it for it. (*this is the unreachable... got where the farce is going?)
  • Al Salam Boccaccio '98 settles 1300 meters under the sea and it is practically UNREACHABLE (again??). Thus there will be no evidence or explanation for what happened on the ship, and so no one is to blame.
Families of the victims lost their loved one, and they got 30.000 Egyptian pounds ($ 5,228 approx.) as a compensation for each family. 5.000 dollars is what an Egyptian soul is worth. And now the families of the 1000 victims just look at the sea, praying to God to avenge the death of their beloved from the one responsible.

One thing to add: The owner of Al Salam Maritime lied twice (or may be more if other parts of the truth unconver) when interviewed in the Egyptian TV show El Beit Beitak. First he said all HIS ships are in good condition, which is far from true as the Saudi authorities inspected the ferry Al Salam '94 and ordered it to go back to Egypt without passengers as it was in a very terrible condition. The second lie was when he said that the tickets to HIS ships do not include any item that says that his company is not responsible for the lives of the passengers.

Well, a kick to your butt, Mamdouh Seliman... take this:

Item no. 2 from the second last page of a ticket to Al Salam '96 (one of HIS ships) say: The company, its sponsors and the ferry are NOT responsible for any injuries to any of the passengers during the voyage whatsoever.

And still... the farce goes on...


One cartoon tells it all!

Click to see in full size

I received this cartoon in an email from one of my friends. After looking once, twice and thrice... I found out that this cartoon just sums up the whole controversy. I believe my review of this cartoon might differ from what the cartoonist Mohammed Sami wanted it to deliver. However, still it tells it all.

As it appears in this cartoon both Muslims and the Western people share the responsibility over this crisis. Muslims as depicted in this cartoon, live in their own closed world, only a very small opening in their world allows them a contact with the outside world. Muslims want to keep their religious values and traditions and protect them from the outside world that seems to be crossing out any meaning of values and traditions. Actually this closed world in which Muslims live, whether in western or eastern societies, gives birth to extremists who are spotted by the outside world and seen as representatives of Muslims: "They are terrorists, followers of bloody Bin Laden"

At the same time the west sees the Muslim world from a very narrow angle, the western media never tries to explore the truth about this world. It rather keeps voicing stereotypical false ideas about this world, its people and their values, religions and traditions. This widens the cultural gap between Muslims and the west, till it reaches is peak with the cartoons offending the Muslims' feelings and beliefs and cultures clash. And now Muslims make it out of their world angry but with half of their body in. Muslims should start introducing themselves to the world to show the world that they are not followers of bloody Bin Laden, but rather they are his victims.

It is high time for dialogue to start, for understanding and respect to be found. I am happy that news about high rank Muslim leaders call people to calm and work on intiating a dialogue with the west and introducing their realities to those who barely do not know Islam.

This cartoon tells it all.

Good news:
  • A new independant satellite channel will be launched in foreign languages aimed at showing the reality of Islam. It will not be under any governmental authority and will be funded by business men's donations. Finally a dream is to come true.
  • One of my friends in Al Azhar University told me that there is an Arab business man in Europe is willing to take researches about the reality of Islam from the well known Islamic university to publish them in Europe. Not 100% sure, but that would be great news.
  • My friend in Saudi Arabia told me this morning some supermarkets started selling Danish again and boycott is starting to end after the Jyllands-Posten's last apology and news about the anotherdenmark.com started to spread.

Sounds like Egypt won and the world is becoming better :)


Egypt Kings of Africa: WE ARE CHAMPIONS!

A story of devotion and success:

I had a doubt that one day I will blog with this title. Egyptian national team looked so weak in the pre-championship preparations. I say I did not even imagine that we will pass to the quarter finals. But, the lads on the pitch proved me wrong... and I am very happy they did. They had a great desire to win, great devotion to the colors they wear and magnificent commitment to what their goal: the cup. They almost killed themselves over every ball, showing great constant performance and playing for one sole end which is to win. With this great spirit, they united the Egyptians around them and finally they won the cup.

The Pharaohs hold the cup!

The African Cup of Nations is the third strongest football (soccer) championship in the world. It has been the Egyptians' dream to win this cup for the fifth time to be the first country to achieve this record. The job was hard on the lads as they fell in the very strong Group A with Cote D'Iviore that won Egypt home and away in 2005 and Morroco whose very strong team willing to make up for their failure to qualify to the World Cup Germany 2006. But the Egyptians deservedly came on top with two wins and a draw. Then it made its way to the final clear like a whistle.

In the final match against its new football rival Cote D'Ivoire, Egypt had no choice but to win to avenge its home and away losses to Cote D'Ivoire in the World Cup qualifiers. It was a very exciting game as both teams wanted nothing but to snatch the cup. The Pharaohs have done their best on the pitch. Ahmed Hassan, Egypt's Midfielder, left no spot in the pitch as he ran and played everywhere. Mohammed Abdul Wahab, El Saka, Ahmed Fathi, Ibrahim Said and Wael Goma'a (before picking an injury and being substituted) were like defensive tackling machines that could well stop Ivoirian stars like Drogba, Aruna, Kalou and Akale. The 90 minutes end and it was a draw. In the regulation time Egypt wins a controversial penalty kick, but Ahmed Hassan thankfully hits the post as Henry Micheal was already crying "they robbed the game". The regulation time ends and they are penalty kicks that will determine who is the winner. Now comes the time for glory for El Hadary, the goal keeper who is now Egypt's hero, as he catches Drogba's ball and Cote D'Ivoire's first shot. Once again he catches Kone's shot which was Cote D'Ivoire's third shot. Finally comes Abu Treka, Egypt's attacking midfielder and buries the ball into the net giving Egypt the fifth African title. All 75.000 fans in the stadium and 74 million people in front of TVs cry in joy, sing the name of their country and hug each other in tears.

Cairo International Stadium reaches full capacity hours before the match starts!

After the game I ran to the streets of Cairo, took my car and my flag and picked my friends and roamed Cairo all night long. Cars and young men everywhere, holding their flags, singing, jumping, wearing all in red white and black, waving their country's flags and cheering the winner. Cars everywhere sounds their horns loud in joy.... Once again, everybody is happy, cheerful, smiling or even crying and tearful in joy. Congratulations Egypt, we are Kings of Africa.

Cairo's Mustafa Mahmoud square full of young people dancing, singing and cheering the victory

Whispers to the FIFA: You gave Egypt's bid to host the World Cup 2010 zero votes, and here it is now, we prove we are able to host a big championships. Egypt 2006 ACN is the most successful ACN championship till now. This is our reply to your vote: a loud success.

Egypt's results through the tournment:
Group stage
Egypt vs Libya 3-0
Morocco vs Egypt 0-0
Egypt vs Cote D'Ivoire 3-1

Quarter final: RD Congo vs Egypt 1-4
Semi final: Egypt vs Senegal 2-1
Final: Egypt vs Cote D'Ivoire 4-2 (penalty kicks)

Championship facts:
Egypt dominates!

Team(s) that didn't lose any Match: Egypt

Strongest Attack: Egypt (12 Goals)

Strongest defense: Egypt (3 goals)

Weakest defense : Togo (7 Goals)

Weakest Attack: Morocco & South Africa (No Goals)

Best Player: Ahmed Hasan (Egypt)

Best Scorer: Samuel Eto'o (Cameroon) - 5 Goals

Best Goalkeeper: Essam El-Hadari (Egypt)

Best Young Player: John Obi Mikel (Nigeria)

Best Referee: Essam Abdel-Fatah (Egypt)

Best Assistant Referee: Draman Dant (Mali)

Photo and facts Sources:
BBC Sport
Filgoal (multilingual)

Friday, February 10, 2006 





Let's promote this great spirit!

Dropping by the the Danish Muslims' website Al Mujaz (in Arabic) I found an opening article that caught my attention. It is entitled "A message from another Denmark". The message was copied and pasted from a website made by Danish citizens in which they express their apology about the Jyllands-Posten cartoon controversy. They say:
A letter from Another Denmark

Dear Muslim citizens in Denmark and the World

I wish to state the existence of another Denmark: A Denmark that wants to live in peace with the Muslim world. There is another Denmark, which hopes for and believes in respect and tolerance between religions and different groups of people. As a Dane I have no responsibility for what a single and privately owned Danish newspaper chooses to publish. Even so, I strongly condemn the actions of Jyllands-Posten that have offended muslims around the world, and I understand the need for an apology from the newspaper.

We all have a responsibility for treating each other, our religious faiths, and convictions with dignity and respect. By publishing the caricatures of Muhammad, the newspaper Jyllands-Posten failed their obligation to exercise with care and consideration the right of freedom of speech.

I condemn all kinds of discrimination, prejudice and racism, whether it is directed against Muslims, Jews, Christians or other groups in a society. Therefore, I reject the hostile and prejudicial way of speaking that has marked several Danish,political parties and media within recent years.

I want to make a request to all parts involved, that opinions and protests may be conducted in a respectful and peaceful manner. Attacks on and threats against individuals and assets only make the situation worse for all of us.

I believe in a world, where religions, ethnic groups and various political and cultural opinions can coexist in an atmosphere of dialogue, tolerance and mutual respect. I wish to state the existence of Another Denmark that conceives itself as a part of such a heterogenous world and humanity.

In the sincere hope of international tolerance and respect.
And I found out that their guest book has 6114 signs till now. This letter comes at the same time Muslim young men lauched a website apologizing for Denmark and Norway about the violent attacks on their embassies. And I found a link to the Arab website on the Danish one.

I can't tell you how happy I am as these calls for tolerance and respect of the other are getting louder everyday. I say we should all promote this great spirit in Middle East and Denmark to start a peaceful dialogue that will surly lead to more understand and mutual respect. I say what made me even happier is a piece of news on Al Jazeera:
The Palestinian resistance group Hamas has joined calls for calm amid international furore sparked by cartoons of Prophet Muhammad, but a Taliban commander in Afghanistan says 100 suicide bombers have volunteered.


A senior figure at Al-Azhar, the highest authority in Sunni Islam, said it was time to move on from high emotion to constructive dialogue.

"Quiet debate and dialogue, without passion" is the way forward, Ali al-Samman, who heads an interconfessional dialogue committee at the prestigious seat of learning in the Egyptian capital, said.
Finally, the numbers of those calling for starting a dialogue are increasing on both side. But as you read still terrorists are trying to provoke the situation to hinder reaching an understanding which will be just be more weapon aimed at their hearts. Let's just never give them the space to ruin this great spirit spreading among us and work on achieving the main goal which is starting the dialogue to narrowen the gaps between cultures and achieve understanding, respect and cooperation for the good of humanity.

The sites are:
Another Denmark (Danish side)
We are sorry (Muslim Side)


Once again: Al Fagr is not Shihan or France-Soir!

I do not know why it looks like a great discovery to find out that an unknown yellow newspaper in Egypt published the cartoons 4 months ago. I am not weighing down the effort done by Sandmonkey and Freedom for Egyptians to bring the newspaper to life. However, I am having the feeling that they are just so happy with numbers of readership and some interviews that they forgot to complete their long search with complete honesty. I am not attacking anyone here, but I am saying if you bring something to light you should put it in its context. Well, what would make the difference if the cartoons in Al Fagr be put into context or not? And what's the controversy all about as Sandmonkey asks "was Is the point of the muslim outrage that it is haram to print funny cartoons of the Prophet, or is it that it is Haram to create any kind of illustration that is suppsoed to be the prophet, whether one you created yourself or one you copied off of others?"

Well, I start with Sandmonkey's question first. Sandmonkey's question seems to miss one important point which is Al Fagr DID NOT create the cartoons or republished them for the sake of backing the Jyllands-Posten. So answering the first part of the question I say: Muslims believe that any pictorial depiction (be it offensive or even educational) of Prophet Muhammad is haram. And they even nevery try to pictorially depict any other prophet, so it is haram to CREATE cartoons of Prophet Muhammad. There is a difference in copying the cartoons... but first...

Do not miss the fact that all Muslims called for at the very beginning was more responsibility over freedom of expression, which developed to be a call for respecting ALL religious beliefs as part of such responsibility.

Well then, what about the copying (republishing) of the cartoons? This brings me back to the context problem which everybody misses and seems to be happy with that. Al Fagr brought the cartoons, simply, to draw the Muslims' attention to it and arouse anger against Denmark and the publishers of the newspaper. Thus, they republished the cartoons in order to show Muslims that "Rudeness continues...: Mockery of Prophet Muhammed and his wives (referring to JP's cartoons)" as the headline says. Thus the paper's point of view is just typical to the point of view of angry Muslims now. Moreover, Al Fagr republished the then unknown cartoons to not to give room to the angry Muslims to imagine how these cartoons would be like and so they just imagine the worst. They published the cartoons to give an evidence to Muslims that they Prophet is being mocked and they should do something. Not for backing JP up on freedom of expression like France-soir and Shihan. And of course this is a great difference. As I told Freedom for Egyptians in a comment on her blog "the difference is like the difference between watching a woman's naked body in a biology book and a naked woman in a porn magazine".

Well then why Muslims started boycotting four months after the cartoons were published?? Simply because this newspaper is unknown to the public here. I bet if any of you walks in Cairo's streets and finds any one who knows anything about the newspaper. I swear I went to ask about this newspaper at the small newspaper kiosk near my home and the seller did not know the name at the beginning, and no he is not ignorant. So I make it clear that if it is one of any popular Egyptian newspaper that published the cartoons at that time you could have got even more angry prtoests. To be more clear, almost no one knew about the cartoons here in Egypt till the subject was brought to light in the Egyptian TV and the national newspapers, and it is only that time that people became angry, when they knew.

Now to sum up my answer to the questions, the purpose and context of publishing the cartoons and the fact that the newspaper is not popular are the answer Sandmonkey's and Freedom for Egyptians' questions.

My Danish fried Martin asked me a very smart question which is, if any newspaper republishes the cartoons now just to refer to the controversy, not backing JP, Muslims will not be angry?

Martin's question brings me to the timing of publishing the cartoons. To answer Martin's question first: No, Muslims will be angry if any newspaper republishes the cartoons once more these days. Simply because they will do like Sandmonkey, they will take the photos out of their contexts and no one will give a damn about what the newspaper says. It is not because Muslims are devils, it is because there are powers provoking Muslim anger and will just take the cartoons out of their context and say "See, they insist on offending us", which will add fuel to the controversy.

This actually brings me to the timing in which Al Fagr republished the cartoons. Al Fagr newspaper published these photos before they draw any Muslim attention in the Middle East, to draw Muslims' attention to them. And they took, in my opinion, a good step as the cartoons in the context and purpose of the publishing are a good step by the newspaper as they leave no room for an angry Muslim mind to use imagination to think of how offensive these cartoons could be, as such imaginations will just go to the worst. However, I bet if Al Fagr can republish the very same article these days, simply because the cartoons will be taken out of their contexts and seen as a mere republishing meant just to offend. Moreover, any republishing will just add fuel to the burning fire of anger.

Some of you might not agree with me, but it seems like CNN believes in what I say. They added this paragraph almost to every article tackling the development of the crisis:
CNN is not showing the negative caricatures of the likeness of Prophet Mohammed because the network believes its role is to cover the events surrounding the publication of the cartoons while not unnecessarily adding fuel to the controversy itself.
Now it is time to stress on two main things. First, I am against any any violent protests over the cartoons, and I believe the Jyllands-Posten has done its share by apologizing for the cartoons to the Algerian press and it is now the Muslims' turn to take a step towards dialogue to remove these cultural differences that played a major role in the controversy. Second, those who call for the beheading of the publishers are just criminals who right place is behind bars. I believe extremists play a major role in keeping the crisis heated, and any provoking of the situation on any side will just be a help for extremists. So I believe everybody should calm down and start the debate.

Spread the word: Violence is not the answer, Start the dialogue!

Read more:


Unknown Palestinian gunmen kidnap Egyptian diplomat! (Scenarios)

An Egyptian diplomat has been abducted by Palestinian gunmen in Gaza City, reports say.

According to the reports, the diplomat was on his way to his office when masked gunmen surrounded his car and forced him into another vehicle. BBC News
Here are my thoughts about it!

Keys: PGM = Palestinian Gunman, AHPGM = Against-Hamas Palestinian Gunman (anyone opposing Hamas).

Scenario #1:
PGM1: Hey brother, sounds like people are starting to weigh us down.
PGM2: Yeah, I have noticed this too. What shall we do?
PGM1: We should tell the world that extremists are still alive...
PGM2: Yeah!
PGM1: They should know we are tough...
PGM2: Yeah!
PGM1: We should show off some power...
PGM1: To show our enemies that we are so tough, we will kidnap our allies, so that they know it once and for all that we will not have mercy to anyone..
PGM2: Is it like shooting yourself in the head to see if it gonna hurt?
PGM1: Exactly!
YOU ARE A GENIUS, although you are an extremist. Tell me, how can you be a genius and an extremist at the same time?

Scenario #2:
AHPGM1: Hamas has won the elections.... :(
AHPGM2: Yeah, we are now out of power.
AHPGM1: I thought you gonna say something new, logically we are out of power as they won the elections... :S
AHPGM2: Logically???? Since when you started to use logic??? (with a very suspicious look)
AHPGM1: After we were thrown out of power, brother. Do not worry!... Logic, my ass... I do not buy it.
AHPGM2: And guess what, they are roaming Arab countries to consult our Arab allies and gain support.
AHPGM1: Old news, pal.
AHPGM2: Yeah... I knew if this idiot opens the way to democracy we will lose. People know how much money we stole of the aid...
AHPGM1: (interrupting) HUSSSH, may be this damn Jimmy's Corner blogger is listening.
AHPGM2: Screw him, he is calling for debate and dialogue and understanding, my ass!
AHPGM1: What's wrong with your ass?
AHPGM2: Nothing... We should do something to screw this Hamas tour.
AHPGM1: What shall we do?
AHPGM2: How shall I know, think with me...
AHPGM1: You know I stopped thinking after we came out of power.
AHPGM2: DAMN, I got an idea...
AHPGM1: What's that...
AHPGM2: Egyptians, those people who defend the people all the time, Hamas is there now discussing things with their government...
AHPGM1: Yeah, damn Egyptians are training our police forces to impose more security in Gaza.
AHPGM2: (almost crying in joy)Yeah... Hey, here is the idea... Kidnap their diplomat, put Hamas in hot spot, and training should be delayed so that we can have some fun and some stupid demands to propose.
AHPGM1: YEAHHH, this is a great idea...
AHPGM2: (whispering) But no one should know, got me?
AHPGM1: Then why did you cry in joy sounding our plot???
AHPGM2: perplexed :S!

Whispers: This is all out of my imagination, I don't think I need to say how angry I am. Egypt has been aiding the Palestinian cause and the Palestinian PEOPLE in order to help them live in peace which they all want. But sounds like others do not want to live in peace. Extremism is attacking everyone indiscriminately, so... say it loud:

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  • From Cairo, Egypt
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