Egypt’s dictator gives away islands to Saudi Arabia, people protest


This video says about itself:

Egyptian Female Activist Shaima al-Sabbagh Killed By Police In Tahrir Square Protest

24 January 2015

Shocking moment: female socialist activist is gunned down by police during demonstrations on 4th anniversary of Arab Spring against Hosni Mubarak

A woman was killed on Saturday in Cairo after the police fired shotgun pellets at a handful of socialist activists marching to Tahrir Square with flowers to commemorate the hundreds of demonstrators killed there during the revolution that began on Jan 25 2011 witnesses said.

A health ministry spokesman said Shaima al-Sabbagh died of birdshot wounds, which fellow protesters said were fired by police to disperse the march. Al Sabbagh who was said to be … with a five year old son, was shot while she peacefully marched towards the Tahrir Square to lay a commemorative wreath of roses.

Egyptian activists shared graphic images of Ms. Sabbagh’s last moments on social networks Photographs and video recorded before the police moved in seemed to show the protesters, including Ms Sabbagh, standing peacefully outside the Air France KLM office in Talaat Harb Square near Tahrir. As officers charged at the protesters guns drawn shots rang out and Ms. Sabbagh fell to the pavement. Al-Sabbagh was taken to a hospital where she was declared dead.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Egypt: Protesters vent fury at islands’ handover

Tuesday 26th April 2016

Cairo police break up demonstrations over Saudi Arabia deal

by Our Foreign Desk

POLICE fired tear gas and birdshot yesterday to break up protests against the ceding of two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia.

Demonstrators called on President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi to resign over the decision to surrender the islands of Tiran and Sanafir, at the mouth of the Gulf of Aqaba, in the second such protest in two weeks.

Riyadh placed the islands under Cairo’s protection in 1950 for fear that the newly created state of Israel would invade them.

General Sissi announced the territories’ cession during a state visit by Saudi Arabia’s King Salman earlier this month. Egypt is part of the Saudi-led coalition attacking Yemen.

Thousands of police and troops were deployed on the streets of Cairo before the marches on Sinai Liberation Day, marking the final pullout of Israeli occupation forces from the peninsula in 1982.

Many of the organisers’ gathering points were sealed off by police, including the offices of the doctors’ and journalists’ unions.

Pedestrians near the Press Syndicate building were stopped by police, who asked for identity documents and their destinations before turning many of them away.

Minibuses loaded with plainclothes police were also deployed at expected flashpoints.

A group of some 500 protesters led by prominent activists managed to gather in Mesaha square.

Their chants of “leave, leave,” directed at Gen Sissi, echoed across the square, along with “bread, freedom, the islands are Egyptian.”

Police in full riot gear arrived 10 minutes later and immediately fired tear gas and birdshot. The protesters fled and regrouped in smaller gatherings on nearby streets.

From their flats’ balconies, the square’s pro-government residents shouted “traitors” at the demonstrators below and poured water on them.

Later, plainclothes police were seen by reporters kicking and slapping protesters they had arrested.

Several websites reported that Michel George, the Cairo manager for news agency Reuters, had fled the country yesterday morning after police opened an investigation against him.

Mr George was questioned by police after he published comments by officers and intelligence sources that murdered Italian student Giulio Regeni had been “detained by police and then transferred to a compound run by homeland security the day he vanished.”

Egyptian police kill man over cup of tea


This video says about itself:

20 April 2016

Unrest in Egypt after a police officer shot and killed a vendor over the cost of a cup of tea, further demonstrating Egypt’s ongoing police brutality.

Queen Nefertiti discovered in Pharaoh Tutankhamun’s grave?


This video says about itself:

Hidden Chamber in King Tut’s Tomb May Contain Nefertiti

11 August 2015

A researcher claims to have found a ‘ghost’ doorway hiding beneath the plaster on the wall of the burial chamber, which he believes leads to the tomb of the ruler’s supposed mother, Queen Nefertiti.

By Rossella Lorenzi:

Hidden King Tut Rooms May Contain Metal, Organics

March 17, 2016 07:20 AM ET

The tomb of King Tutankhamun conceals two rooms that could contain metal or organic material, Egypt’s antiquities minister said Thursday.

Antiquities Minister Mamdouh al-Damaty told a press conference that analysis of radar scans carried out by Japanese specialist Hirokatsu Watanabu revealed two hidden spaces on the north and eastern walls of the 3,300-year-old tomb.

“Furthermore, based on the GPR data, curves that might indicate doors were also detected above the cavities, which can be seen as an entrance to those cavities,” al-Damaty said.

Who Else May Be in King Tut’s Tomb?

The metal and organic material possibly revealed by the scans strongly suggest to the presence of a another burial, boostering a claim by Nicholas Reeves, a British Egyptologist at the University of Arizona.

In July 2015 Reeves published a paper arguing that high-resolution images of the tomb’s walls show “distinct linear traces” pointing to the presence of two still unexplored chambers.

“It does look from the radar evidence as if the tomb of Tutankhamun is a corridor tomb and it continues beyond the decorated burial chamber,” Reeves said at a press conference last November.

King Tut’s Tomb May Hide Nefertiti’s Secret Grave

According to Reeves, one hidden chamber would contain the remains, and possibly the intact grave goods, of queen Nefertiti, wife of the “heretic” monotheistic pharaoh Akhenaten, Tutankhamun’s father.

Reeves speculated that the tomb of King Tut was not ready when he died unexpectedly at 19 in 1323 B.C., after having ruled a short reign of nine to 10 years. Consequently, he was buried in a rush in what was originally the tomb of Nefertiti, who had died 10 years earlier.

According to al-Damaty, the hidden chambers could contain the tomb of a member of King Tut’s family. However, he did not speculate on Nefertiti.

Weird Facts About King Tut and His Mummy

New scans will be conducted later this month to reconstruct the exact size of the chambers and the best way to proceed with the investigation.

According to al-Damaty, multiple steps are planned in coming months to unveil new clues about the secrets of King Tut.

“It’s a rediscovery that might lead us to the discovery of the century,” al-Damaty said.

Egyptian feminist Nawal El Saadawi interviewed


This video says about itself:

Egyptian Female Activist Shaima al-Sabbagh Killed By Police In Tahrir Square Protest

24 January 2015

Shocking moment: female socialist activist is gunned down by police during demonstrations on 4th anniversary of Arab Spring against Hosni Mubarak

A woman was killed on Saturday in Cairo after the police fired shotgun pellets at a handful of socialist activists marching to Tahrir Square with flowers to commemorate the hundreds of demonstrators killed there during the revolution that began on Jan 25 2011, witnesses said.

A health ministry spokesman said Shaima al-Sabbagh died of birdshot wounds, which fellow protesters said were fired by police to disperse the march. Al Sabbagh who was said to be 34 years old with a five year old son, was shot while she peacefully marched towards the Tahrir Square to lay a commemorative wreath of roses.

Egyptian activists shared graphic images of Ms. Sabbagh’s last moments on social networks. Photographs and video recorded before the police moved in seemed to show the protesters, including Ms. Sabbagh, standing peacefully outside the Air France KLM office in Talaat Harb Square near Tahrir. As officers charged at the protesters guns drawn shots rang out and Ms. Sabbagh fell to the pavement. Al-Sabbagh was taken to a hospital where she was declared dead.

By Joana Ramiro in Britain:

Power and Patriarchy

Tuesday 8th March 2016

JOANA RAMIRO talks to renowned novelist and former political prisoner Nawal El Saadawi about love under capitalism and whether men can ever be fully feminist

SHE lies on a sofa in front of me. Legs stretched out under a coat, her white cotton hair incandescent against the dark room. The author is resting before confronting her readers in a London club but I was granted a quick audience.

“Come closer,” she says when I introduce myself, and I pull my chair nearer. Nawal El Saadawi is Egypt’s most famous novelist. A psychiatrist, feminist, former political prisoner and Nobel nominee, the power of her words is such that she has recently been cited as the inspiration behind US pop-singer Ariana Grande’s new album.

I am not a little intimidated by her. I ask her about her best-known novel, Woman At Point Zero, the real story of a woman whose lifelong abuse led her to prefer execution over contesting her wrongful death sentence. “I never forget her. I met her. I’ve never met a woman like that in my life,” Saadawi says in a whisper. “The most honourable woman I met was this woman.”

Firdaus, the hero of her story, is the kind of character that every woman I spoke to who’s read the book cannot help but identify with. It’s not that our lives have many similarities, but her despair over a world where men always have the upper hand resonates deeply with women everywhere. I couldn’t put down the book, myself.

It felt as if the book had been written for me and about me, though I never went through any of the terrors Firdaus went through — FGM, sexual abuse, forced marriage, domestic violence, rape, prostitution and betrayal.

Later, when Saadawi finally meets her British readers, I see women of all ages nodding vehemently along during a discussion on Woman At Point Zero. Saadawi makes sure Firdaus is understood, though. “She didn’t hate men. In fact she was in love with men. She was disappointed with men.”

But she preferred to die, I add. “Because she was at point zero. She experienced everything and she was not ready to live in such a jungle. Some say it is despair because she should have fought against her death. She shouldn’t have died. Some people say it’s pessimism, it is rejection. [I say] it is a woman ready to die for her cause. She was very positive.”

What could Firdaus teach us about the fight for women’s rights? And what does her love for men, some of whom become her worst torturers, say about the contradictory nature of heterosexual relationships under capitalism?

Saadawi — with three husbands behind her — admits the dynamic is always fraught, even with liberal or socialist men. “Psychologically, patriarchy affects the psyche of men. My third husband was a Marxist and progressive and he translated many of my works, including Woman At Point Zero.

“We lived together 43 years. He wrote books about women, novels about women. But all the time I felt that he could not cope with a woman as a wife.

“When we were friends he was so proud of me, happy, boasting. When we married he was boasting but he was jealous. He couldn’t cope with a woman who is not a wife. I cannot play the role of a wife. I’m a writer, I’m a doctor, I’m like him. And I am more successful.”

I open up. I too have shared my life with a Marxist and at points wondered about the seriousness of his commitment to women’s equality. Under capitalism, and when confronted with their own privilege, can men ever be fully feminist?

“It’s very easy from the rational point of view, from the intellectual point of view, for the man to be a feminist. But from the psychological, the deep psyche of the man … Patriarchy is embedded in childhood, [man] cannot get out of childhood.”

I ask for answers from the octogenarian in front of me, lying quietly with a naughty twinkle in her eye.

“The solution, it will come. Younger generations are much better now. It will come, but it takes time.”

And harsh capitalism, as she calls our times, is making things worse. In her own country sexual harassment has become rife in the backlash to the revolution of 2011.

In a way she blames the populist Muslim Brotherhood for the return of conservative mores and an interpretation of Islam that sees women as second-class citizens. But “these backward religious conceptions” go “hand in hand with neoliberalism and capitalism.”

“Islamic fundamentalism is a phenomenon related to Islam, but the religious fundamentalist movement includes all religions: Christianity, Judaism.

“And in fact, postmodernism, neoliberal postmodernism, and religious fundamentalism are two faces of the same coin.

“World capitalism, this harsh capitalism, the mentality of money and profit is like a jungle, we live in a jungle. Women are at the core of that. Women, blacks and the poor.

“[Politicians] use religion, we cannot blame religion. In fact religion is a political ideology itself. The books, the holy books, the Old Testament, the New Testament, the Koran, the Gita in India, all those books, of course created by people, not divine books, are very reactionary, very against women and against the poor.

“The political powers, the capitalist political powers, in the West, in the States, in Europe, they use religion, they use God, to justify injustices. And that’s why God is very prominent now, everywhere.”

Saadawi laughs, the simple laughter of someone outwitting a great charade. It’s contagious, I laugh too. Her readers start walking into the room, staring at Saadawi’s small frame as she keeps chatting to me about feminist films and British austerity cuts which are costing women’s lives.

She has to go and face her audience, they are waiting. A room now packed to the brim mostly with women awaiting their heroine to speak. She starts standing up, turns to me and winks.

“You don’t mind if I mention you during the talk? I like what you said about Firdaus,” she says as she takes the stage. She takes a little bow and the event begins. Saadawi’s feminist inspiration might have been an Egyptian woman on death row, but she, alive and kicking, cannot help but be an icon herself.

Egyptian dictatorship sentences toddler to life in prison


Ahmed Mansour Qurani Sharara

After in the United States six-year-old girl Alyssa Thomas was persecuted as a ‘terrorist’, landing her on the no fly list … just like happened to eight-year-old boy Mikey Hicks … the Sisi dictatorship in Egypt, allies in the United States government’s ‘war on terror’, followed Washington’s example.

By Jesselyn Cook:

Egypt Is Sorry It Sentenced A Little Boy To Life In Prison

It’s hard to keep track when you condemn 116 people at once.

02/23/2016 06:17 pm ET

An Egyptian court sentenced a very young child to life in prison last week after finding him guilty of multiple counts of murder.

Ahmed Mansour Qurani Sharara, who was not in court, was convicted along with 115 other individuals allegedly involved in a violent January 2014 protest in support of ousted President Mohammed Morsi.

Various media reports put Ahmed’s current age at 3 or 4 years old.

Authorities, at least some of them, knew how young he was. Police had showed up to arrest Ahmed in early 2014, CNN reported, only to discover that he was still a baby. So they detained his father, Mansour Qurani Sharara, instead.

Even so, two years later, the little boy was convicted in absentia of four counts of murder, eight counts of attempted murder and additional counts of vandalizing government property.

The child’s father, meanwhile, was held for four months before being released and going on the run. After his son’s conviction, Sharara appeared in an emotional televised interview on Saturday to say he feared for his child’s safety. In his arms he cradled Ahmed.

Egyptian authorities have since admitted they made an error and promised that the boy and his father would not be detained, CNN reports. In a Facebook post in Arabic on Sunday, an Egyptian military spokesman said Ahmed’s conviction was actually intended for a 16-year-old with the same name.

But the fact that a tiny child would even be accused of murder highlights widespread concerns over the conduct of Egypt’s courts in recent years, amid the broader political crackdown following the 2013 ouster of Morsi. Human rights groups have slammed the judicial system for repeatedly reaching mass convictions and handing down mass death penalty sentences.

A group of United Nations experts warned in 2014 that the country’s judicial system is “in critical need of being reformed,” a judgment that was fiercely rejected by Egypt.

Will U.S. aid package ignore Egypt’s human rights abuses? Here.

Political prisoners in Egypt


This video says about itself:

Brutal Repression in Egypt Exceeds Conditions Under Mubarak (1/2)

31 January 2016

Noha Radwan reports on the conditions facing political prisoners, where as many as seventy people are crammed into 15×15 spaces; she calls on the international community for assistance.

This video is the sequel.

USA: The budget proposal released by the Obama administration Tuesday seeks to roll back restrictions Congress has placed on foreign aid to Egypt’s military regime and the sale of crowd control weapons to “emerging democracies.” Under current law, 15 percent of aid to Egypt is subject to being withheld based on human rights conditions — although even that can be waived if it is deemed to be in the national security interest of the United States, as it was last year: here.