Dictator gives Egyptian islands away to Saudi Arabia


This video from the USA says about itself:

Egypt’s Alliance with Saudi Arabia Shows Signs of Stress

24 June 2017

President Sisi of Egypt’s transfer of two islands to Saudi Arabia is unprecedented and rejected by much of its population.

Ancient Egyptian necropolis discovery


This video from Egypt says about itself:

30 August 2012

TUNA EL GEBEL, near Minya, was the necropolis of the city of Hermopolis, This zone was a place with special adoration of the god Thoth. It is best known for the sprawling catacombs at the foot of the western cliffs, where thousands of ibises and baboons (dedicated to Thoth) and other sacred animals were buried from the New Kingdom on.

Besides fish, pigs, dogs, cats, goats, falcons, larks, and kestrels, all mummified and placed into pottery jars. Potsherds and torn and broken mummies are still strewn in the passages today.

Another main attraction of the site is the early Ptolemaic tomb of a high priest of Thoth named Petosiris, decorated with reliefs in a blend of Greek and Egyptian styles. Petosiris’s wooden coffin, exquisitely inlaid with colored glass hieroglyphs, can be seen in the Egyptian Museum.
Other main places are the chapel & tomb of Isadora, and her famous mummy. She was a young woman who drowned in the second century BC. Her mummy is into a glass case in her tomb.

The oldest monument at Tuna el Gebel is a stele marking the northwest boundary of Akhenaten’s city at Amarna, partway up a slope north of Hermopolis West. It bears scenes of Akhenaten and Nefertiti worshipping the sun disk (Aten) and is carved with an extensive text describing the founding of the city.

From Ahram Online in Egypt:

Cachette of 17 mummies unearthed in Egypt’s El-Minya

The Late Period burial site was discovered at the Tuna Al-Gabal archaeological site by a team from Cairo University

Nevine El-Aref, Saturday 13 May 2017

Tuna Al-Gabal archaeological site, near Upper Egypt’s El-Minya, buzzed Saturday with journalists who flocked in to catch a glimpse of a newly discovered cachette of mummies, dating from the Late Period.

During excavation work in the area, which neighbours the birds and animals necropolis, a mission from Cairo University stumbled this week upon the cachette — a term that describes an unmarked burial site used to house multiple mummies and protect them from looting.

Mission head Salah El-Kholi told Ahram Online that the cachette includes 17 non-royal mummies wrapped in linen and very well preserved. It was found by chance through a radar survey carried out in collaboration with experts from the university’s faculty of science in early 2016 that revealed hollow ground.

El-Kholi said the mummies were found in burial shafts along with a collection of eight limestone sarcophagi, two of which were carved in clay. A number of baboon coffins were also found.

Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany described the discovery as important because it is the first made in the area since the discovery of the birds and animals necropolis by Egyptologist Sami Gabra between 1931 to 1954.

The discovery adds to a spate of recent finds at sites across Egypt. Most recently, a mission from the antiquities ministry stumbled upon the almost intact funerary collection of Userhat, the chancellor of Thebes during the 18th dynasty, in the Draa Abul Naga necropolis on Luxor’s west bank.

El-Enany told reporters about this week’s cachette discovery at a gala ceremony attended by El-Minya governor Essam Al Bedewi, the ambassadors of Belgium, Hungary and Serbia and a number of top officials from the ministry and Cairo University.

El-Kholi said that both clay sarcophagi are anthropoid coffins, one of which is in good condition while the other is partly damaged. Two papyri written in Demotic and a gold decoration with the shape of a feather were also found.

“This feather could be decoration on the hair dress of one of the deceased,” El-Kholi said.

He said the papyri would be transferred to the Grand Egyptian Museum for restoration.

At a neighbouring site, the mission has also uncovered a number of Roman funerary houses made of clay. Inside they found a collection of different coins, lamps and other domestic items.

Special ancient Egyptian tomb discovery


This video from Egypt says about itself:

Dr Mostafa Waziry talking on the new discovery in Luxor

18 April 2017

The Egyptian archaeological mission working in Dra Abu El-Naga necropolis on Luxor’s west bank unearthed the funerary collection of a New Kingdom tomb of Userhat.

The tomb represents a typical example of a nobleman tomb. It is a T-shaped tomb consisting of an open court leading into a rectangular hall, a corridor and an inner chamber.

After removing almost 450 cubic metres of debris out of the open court, appeared the entrance of the tomb as well as two other entrances leading to two joint tombs.

Excavation works are at its full swings to reveal the secrets of these two tombs.

Check the links for more on the tomb location and details.

From AFP news agency:

Mummies discovered in ancient tomb near Egypt’s Luxor (Update)

April 18, 2017, by Mohamed Abdel Aziz

Egyptian archaeologists have unearthed several mummies, colourful wooden sarcophagi and more than 1,000 funerary statues in a 3,500-year-old tomb near the city of Luxor, hailing an “important discovery”.

The 18th Dynasty tomb containing at least eight mummies was discovered in the Draa Abul Nagaa necropolis near the famed Valley of the Kings, the antiquities ministry said in a Tuesday statement.

It belonged to a nobleman named Userhat who worked as the city judge. It was opened to add more mummies during the 21st Dynasty, about 3,000 years ago, to protect them during a period when tomb-robbing was common, Mostafa Waziri, the head of the archaeological mission, said at the site.

“It was a surprise how much was being displayed inside,” Antiquities Minister Khaled el-Enany told reporters outside the tomb.

“We found a large number of Ushabti (small carved figurines), more than 1,000 of them,” Enany said.

“This is an important discovery.”

Ushabti figurines were often placed with the deceased in ancient Egyptian tombs to help with responsibilities in the afterlife.

Antiquities officials had initially said six mummies along with partial remains were discovered near the southern city, but said they had later identified two more mummies.

“There are 10 coffins and eight mummies. The excavation is ongoing,” Waziri said.

Inside the tomb, archaeologists wearing white masks and latex gloves inspected the sarcophagi, which were covered with intricate drawings in red, blue, black, green, and yellow, and featured the carved faces of the dead.

Further discoveries possible

The coffins were mainly well-preserved, though some had deteriorated and broken over the years.

Archaeologists were also examining a mummy wrapped in linen which was inside one of the coffins.

White, orange, green, and patterned pots were also found in the tombs.

The necropolis is located across the Nile from Luxor, on the west bank, where many of the famous ancient Egyptian pharaohs were buried, including Tutankhamun.

The age of the tomb was determined “through the drawings on the ceiling,” said Waziri.

“It is a T-shaped tomb (which) consists of an open court leading into a rectangular hall, a corridor and an inner chamber,” the ministry said in a statement.

A nine-metre shaft inside the tomb held the Ushabti figurines, as well as “wooden masks and a handle of a sarcophagus lid,” the ministry said.

“The corridor of the tomb leads into an inner chamber where a cachette of sarcophagi is found,” the ministry said.

Waziri said the mummies dated back to an age called “the era of the tomb robbers.”

“It’s evident that someone with a conscience, the priests or a high-profile government official… made an opening to the chambers, and they put the coffins there,” he said.

Another room in the tomb was also discovered, though it has not yet been completely excavated, the ministry said.

Archaeologists were able to enter the tomb “after removing almost 450 metres of debris out of the open court,” it added.

The tombs and ancient temples of Thebes, the capital of ancient Egypt during its later periods and now the city of Luxor, have been a major tourist attraction.

Tourism here has dropped in the turmoil that followed the 2011 uprising that toppled longtime ruler Hosni Mubarak.

Enany said he hoped these new discoveries would help attract tourists again.

Nevine el-Aref, the spokeswoman for the antiquities ministry, said “there is evidence and traces that new mummies could be discovered in the future” at the site.

American archaeologists have unearthed a pharaonic tomb from the 18th dynasty in Egypt’s famed temple city of Luxor, officials said on Tuesday: here.

Pharaoh’s tomb discovery in Egypt


This video is called Bent Pyramid perfectly cut stones. Dashur, Egypt. April 2016.

Translated from Dutch NOS radio:

Newly discovered pyramid is royal tomb

Today, 11:09

In Egypt a new pyramid has been discovered. Egyptologist Huub Pragt says to the NOS Radio 1 News that the discovery is special. “This is a royal tomb, which is unusual.” The structure was discovered in Dashur, an archaeological area where several pyramids have been found.

That it is a tomb of a pharaoh is reflected in the structure and layout of the building. The tomb of which king it is not yet clear.

Hieroglyphs

Because the building dates from the 13th dynasty it is interesting to find out who is in the tomb, says Pragt. Because pharaohs quickly alternated at that time there are gaps in the list of kings. “So, it could be an unknown pharaoh. It is scientifically very interesting to perhaps again add a pharaoh’s name to the king list.”

Newly discovered Dashur hieroglyphs, photo Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities/EPA

Pragt is hopeful it can be figured for whom the pyramid was built as a piece of stone was found with hieroglyphs. “I have seen a faded photograph of them, but it is not entirely clear to me what it says.”

UPDATE: there is suspicion it is the grave of Pharaoh Ameny-Qemau.

US Trump, Egyptian Sisi meet, both anti-human rights


This 2014 video is called Alaa Abd El-Fatah, Blogger & Political Activist (Egypt).

From Human Rights Watch in the USA:

Egypt: Sisi-Trump Meeting Shows Mutual Contempt for Rights

Washington — Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi‘s scheduled meeting with United States President Donald Trump on April 3, 2017, comes at a time when human rights are at a nadir in Egypt and under threat in the US, Human Rights Watch said today.

Al-Sisi’s meeting with Trump is the first visit by an Egyptian head of state to the White House since 2009. Al-Sisi, as defense minister, overthrew the country’s first freely elected president, Mohamed Morsy, in July 2013, and oversaw the brutal dispersal of opposition protests that left more than 1,150 people dead in the following weeks. Under al-Sisi’s presidency, his security forces have arrested tens of thousands of Egyptians and committed flagrant rights abuses, including torture, enforced disappearances, and likely extrajudicial executions.

“Inviting al-Sisi for an official visit to Washington as tens of thousands of Egyptians rot in jail and when torture is again the order of the day is a strange way to build a stable strategic relationship,” said Sarah Margon, Washington director at Human Rights Watch.

Al-Sisi, who was elected in May 2014, has presided over near-total impunity for abuses by the military and security forces and the severe restrictions on civil and political rights, effectively erasing the gains of the 2011 uprising that ousted the longtime ruler Hosni Mubarak.

After meeting al-Sisi during his visit to the United Nations General Assembly in September 2016, Trump, then a presidential candidate, released a statement declaring his “strong support for Egypt’s war on terrorism, and how under a Trump Administration, the United States of America will be a loyal friend, not simply an ally, that Egypt can count on in the days and years ahead.”

Since signing a peace treaty with Israel in 1979, Egypt has received numerous benefits from its alliance with the US, including US$1.3 billion in annual military aid since 1987, receipt of excess US military equipment, special military training, and the right to buy equipment on credit – an arrangement known as “cash flow financing” that was provided, until recently, only to Egypt and Israel.

After the military coup in 2013, the US limited several government-to-government assistance programs. But it was not until after security forces killed an estimated 817 people while dispersing a sit-in opposing Morsy’s removal in Cairo’s Rab’a al-Adawiya Square on August 14, 2013, that the administration undertook a review of military aid to Cairo and temporarily suspended the delivery of major weapons systems. The delivery of F-16 aircraft, Harpoon missiles, and M1A1 Abrams tank kits resumed in 2015, and in February 2017, the US said it would restart a biennial military training exercise. US military cooperation with Egypt never ceased, and no government official or member of the security forces has been held accountable for the mass killings.

Since 2012, Congress has conditioned military aid to Egypt on taking various steps toward supporting human rights and a democratic transition to civilian government. But in every year but one, Congress has allowed the secretary of state to waive those restrictions based on US national security interests.

Since Morsy’s removal, Egyptian security forces have arrested at least 41,000 and possibly as many as 60,000 people, according to local human rights groups. Security forces arbitrarily detained many under accusations that they were members or sympathizers of the Muslim Brotherhood, the movement to which Morsy belonged. Courts have sentenced thousands for violating a 2013 law that effectively bans opposition protests, including leftists and other non-Islamist activists in addition to alleged Muslim Brotherhood supporters.

Among those currently detained is Aya Hijazi, an Egyptian-American citizen who founded the Belady Foundation for Street Children, and whose trial on allegations of human trafficking and using children in street protests has been marked by serious due process violations, including her groundless detention since May 2014.

Since March 2015, when al-Sisi appointed Magdy Abd al-Ghaffar, a veteran of the ministry’s abusive National Security Agency, as interior minister, police and National Security agents have forcibly disappeared hundreds of suspects for periods lasting from days to months. Police and National Security agents routinely use torture, often against dissidents and during enforced disappearances, to make suspects confess or divulge information, or to punish them. National Security agents have also carried out likely extrajudicial killings on several occasions documented by Human Rights Watch since 2015. Courts have convicted and sentenced only a handful of policemen for torturing detainees since 2013, and those few sentences all remain on appeal. No National Security officer has received a final conviction for abuse.

Egypt’s counterterrorism efforts in the Sinai Peninsula have been fraught with gross abuses. In North Sinai, where an affiliate of the extremist group Islamic State (also known as ISIS) has established a presence, Egyptian military and Interior Ministry forces have committed torture, enforced disappearances, and likely extrajudicial killings. Military air and artillery strikes have killed scores of civilians. Between 2013 and 2015, the military wiped most of the border town of Rafah off the map under the justification of eliminating smuggling tunnels that benefited ISIS, forcing thousands of families to relocate while violating their rights to forewarning and proper compensation. Yet ISIS has continued to operate even in towns ostensibly under government control. The extremist group has killed dozens of civilians it views as government collaborators and singled out Christians for attacks and threats, driving hundreds of Christian families to flee.

Both the Sisi administration and the Egyptian parliament have taken steps to cripple the human rights organizations that document rights violations and provide assistance to abuse victims. In February 2017, security forces physically shut the offices of the 23-year-old Nadeem Center for the Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence and Torture, one of several dozen human rights organizations targeted in a years-long criminal investigation based on allegations that the groups illegally received foreign funding. Under a vaguely worded amendment to the penal code al-Sisi issued by decree in 2014, anyone who receives foreign funding “with the aim of pursuing acts harmful to national interests or destabilizing the general peace or the country’s independence and its unity” could face 25 years in prison. At least 20 prominent human rights defenders have been banned from leaving Egypt, and the assets of many rights defenders have been frozen. Such criminalization of foreign funding to nongovernmental human rights organizations contravenes the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

In November, parliament drafted a new civil society law behind closed doors that would prohibit independent nongovernmental organizations from operating in the country by requiring that a group’s work “agree with the state’s plan, development needs and priorities.” The law criminalized a host of broadly worded activities, including conducting public surveys or field research without government approval, or conducting any work “of a political nature.” Parliament approved the law following just two days of debate but never sent it to al-Sisi for approval following widespread international criticism.

In 2015, US President Barack Obama announced that the US would resume, in the interest of national security, the delivery of major military equipment that it had placed on hold after the Rab’a massacre. But the Obama administration also announced the end of cash flow financing and introduced specific categories to guide how Egypt could use its military aid, which was not reduced.

In fiscal year 2015, Congress conditioned significant funds to Egypt, including military aid, on democracy and human rights progress. But Secretary of State John Kerry used a national security waiver to bypass those conditions. In fiscal year 2016, Congress conditioned 15 percent of military aid until the secretary of state certified progress on democracy and human rights. A national security waiver was also provided, but neither the certification nor the waiver has been exercised. Congress has not yet passed a funding bill specifying Egypt’s aid for fiscal year 2017.

Both the Sisi and Trump administrations apparently want to expand cooperation, especially on counterterrorism, despite these serious and ongoing abuses. In response, the US Congress should maintain, at a minimum, the restrictions on security assistance from previous years unless there is serious and measurable progress on human rights, such as dropping the investigation into nongovernmental organizations, repealing the law banning protests, and beginning a review of the cases of those detained arbitrarily and sentenced solely for peacefully exercising their civil or political rights. Congress should ensure that the Trump administration cannot waive these restrictions.

“Giving more money to the Sisi government is to the detriment of US and Egyptian interests,” Margon said. “Neither side in this relationship seems interested in promoting human rights, but the gross abuses being committed by Egyptian authorities should compel Congress to keep limiting support.”

General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, the dictator of Egypt, will receive a red-carpet welcome at the White House today. His meeting with US President Donald Trump represents the highpoint of a five-day US visit aimed at solidifying Washington’s support for his blood-soaked regime and securing fresh financing from the World Bank and Wall Street, along with new deals with US-based transnationals looking to profit off the exploitation of Egypt’s low-paid and brutally repressed workers: here.

President Donald Trump welcomed the bloodstained military dictator of Egypt, General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, to the White House Monday, giving a public demonstration of support for a regime that has slaughtered thousands, crushing the revolutionary uprising of millions of workers and youth that inspired the world in 2011, and currently jails tens of thousands of political opponents and dissidents: here.