الأحد، 29 أبريل 2007

I wish we had an Egyptian Ataturk!

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk is the founder of what is now the great nation of Turkey!

The guy was a patriotic officer and a legend who turned the fortunes of Turkey! he modernized the country and laid down the roots of a secular state that is now a productive nation that has a GDP per capita (US$ 4,500) that is more than 3 times the Egyptian GDP per capita (US$ 1,400), although they don't have Oil, Gas, or the Suez Canal!

Watching the news showing hundreds of thousands of Turks demonstrating against backwardedness and theocracy, I envied them! how didn't we get someone like Ataturk in Egypt!

السبت، 28 أبريل 2007

Islamic terrorists wreck havoc in Iraq and Pakistan

I am sorry to use the term Islamic Terrorists , but they really deserved it! I am a Moslem myself, but I can't but name things with their real names.

I felt sick watching the news tonight! All first three items on CNN and Al-Arabiya news channels were about how these sub-creatures are wrecking havoc on the rest of humanity!

There was first this bombing at Karbala! this was an outright massacre!! They showed a graphic scene in which a person was running, holding up the burned body of little child! It was sickening... I don't know what these freaks want?? Kill the Shiy'a? Why? What rationalization they have?

The second atrocity was conducted in Pakistan! a suicide "martyr" blew himself up in the middle of prayer-goers!! I can't begin to fathom how he justified that one! He was probably aiming to kill the ministry of interior, but he ended up killing the faithful who went to pray..

The light at the end of the tunnel shined from Saudi Arabia in the third news item! the security forces at the this country have become really alert and extremely effective! According to Al-Arabiya TV guest, they prevented 160 attacks during the last four years! They were able through a long term operation to capture 172 of these freaks who were stacking huge amounts of weapons and explosives. They were planning to attack petroleum and other targets using heavy weapons and flying planes into targets!!! Only God knows what kind of mayhem they would have brought on Saudi and other countries.

The war on terrorism is really the war were I agree with president Bush on in what he says that there are no middle grounds, you are either with or against! no one can be neutral!

الثلاثاء، 17 أبريل 2007

First Egyptian EO Satellite Launched Successfully

Egyptian TV announced that Egypt successfully launched its first Earth Observation (EO) Satellite for Remote Sensing of the environment from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. This satellite is the first in a series of research satellites that Egypt intends to launch in the coming years including one that is locally manufactured.

Information about this satellite is scarce, but here is what I know; It is built in Ukraine with some Egyptian involvement, and it is a Low Earth Orbiting (LEO) satellite with medium payload (100 - 150 Kg). The sensors on board have multispectral (Visible & Infrared) and panchromatic modes, and a maximum Ground Sample Resolution of 4 meters. I am not sure about the life span but I think it will not exceed 6 years.

The importance of the launch is significant especially in monitoring Agriculture land cover, and urban growth, but most of all in building local expertise in all aspects of satellite management especially since there is a next one that will be built, and managed locally.

Egypt has already two high orbit communication satellites for TV program broadcasting; Nilesat 101, and Nilesat 102.


الأربعاء، 11 أبريل 2007

Algeria & Morocco: What the Constitutional Amendments are Trying to Prevent

The forces of evil have struck again in Maghreb (both Algeria & Morocco)!

I think that it is much better to sacrifice some of our constitutional rights, than to sacrifice our lives and the country's stability.

While watching the news tonight with sadness, I find myself looking differently -positively, to the latest constitutional amendments that broadens the jurisdictions of security organizations in Egypt.

I now fully support these amendments, and even that article about the judges; I never felt sorry about it for many reasons that I will mention if someone asks.

الأحد، 8 أبريل 2007

Iraq: Was it Really Worth it?

4 years have passed since that day in April when that great Arab capital fell to the American occupation.

With weak intelligence, W insisted on wrecking havoc in Iraq. He even borrowed the bogus story about the Yellow Cake purchase request by Iraq from Niger to justify the invasion, eventhough the story has been discredited by CIA sources...

After being proven wrong on the WMD cause for the war, he switched his tone to try to convince us that he is after "Democratization" of the middle East...

Instead, he single handedly managed to destroy a country that managed to survive 10 years of unjust sanctions, turned large portions of the population into refugees, a minimum of 60,000 deaths, turned the country into a terrorists magnet, directed the best recruitement propaganda for "Al-Qaeda", which thanks to their training in Iraq will now become much more lethal, and on top of that revived 1300 years old sectarian hatred...

I hate Saddam Hussein, but W did much more damage than good...

The 10s or 100s of thousands of orphans would have been better off without this war...

The unity of the Iraqi people would have done without W's invasion...

The 3000+ American and other coalition forces' families that lost their loved ones would have been much better off without W's services...

On top of that, the world is extremely more dangerous since, just remember Madrid, London, Casablanca, Khobar, Bali, Sharm El Sheikh...

It definitely wasn't worth it!!!

الاثنين، 2 أبريل 2007

البقال "السني"

طبعاً انا عارف للوهلة الأولى الناس هتفتكر ان البوست ده عن العراق بما انه فيه كلمة "سني"! ده مش صحيح، البوست ده عن موقف حصلي وانا صغير!

الموقف ده محفور في ذاكرتي وبالذات دلوقتي بأفتكره كل ما أشوف أخلاقيات الناس الي حواليا.

في سنة 1974 رحت مع والدي علشان نجيب التموين، ايامها، كان كل شيء يشترى ببطاقة التموين! مكانش ممكن تجيب سكر او زيت من غير بطاقة، ومكانش ممكن تشتري الحاجات دي من البقال الا تهريب وبأسعار مضاعفة. ده يبين قد ايه احنا اتقدمنا في الكام سنة اللي فاتوا. حتى الفراخ واللحمة كان الناس بتجيبهم من الجمعية ببطاقة التموين لأن أسعار السوق كانت مستحيلة على معظم الناس.

كان عندي 9 سنين ساعتها، رغم انه الموضوع دلوقتي بأحس كأن بقاله قرون طويلة لأن البلد أتغيرت بشكل جذري...

البقال اللي أحنا كنا متسجلين عنده هو بقالة الأخوان الثلاثة في أول منيل الروضة –منزل كوبري عباس لو انتا جاي من الجيزة ورايح صلاح سالم على ايدك اليمين. كان لازم كل بطاقة تموين تكون مسجلة عند بقال معين. المهم وصلنا عند البقال، والدي دفع وقاللي أروح أستلم التموين من عند "السني" طبعاً ساعتها معرفتش مين هو السني، بس لقيت الناس كلها بتنادي بالأسم ده لشخص في الأربعينات، أسمر البشرة، ممتلىء، مبتسم، ذو لحية مهذبة ووجه بشوش فوقفت في الطابور، ولما وصلت، كان بيهزر معايا وخلص المشتريات بتاعتي بسرعة. وقفت أنتظر والدي وأتابع الراجل وهو مبتسم وبشوش مع كل الناس برغم العدد الكبير اللي واقف في الطابور. سألت والدي هما ليه بينادولوا يا عم السني؟ قاللي علشان هو مربي دقنه! طبعاً ايامها مكانش حد بيربي دقنه الا نادراً. .

افتكرت الراجل ده لما كنت بأكتب كتابي، وكان الشيخ متولي الشعراوي حاضر، كان عكس الراجل السني، كان مكشر على طول، وشخط فيا جامد علشان كنت ماسك أيد عروستي!!!

الأيام دي البلد مليانا سنيين ولكن معظمهم فالصو، مكشرين، ومنفرين يكلموك عن الثعبان الأقرع والنار اللي هتتشوي فيها..

المصيبة انهم نسبة كبيرة...
أيام سودا...

The "Sunni" Grocer

I know the first thing you'll think about when reading the title of my post is Iraq, and the Sunni-Shiy'a divide! Well, you guessed wrong…

This is about a story that happened to me when I was young, and I recalled it recently while being in contact with this new society I feel stranger to.

In the winter of 1974, I went with my father to get the food rations "Tamween". For those of you who don't know or are too young to know, most basic groceries had to be purchased using ration cards "Betaqa-Tamween", you couldn't buy sugar from the regular grocer as you would now. This is probably how far we progressed in Egypt, even meat, and chicken were offered using food rationing cards from government owned consumer co-ops "Gamiy'a".

Anyway, I was about 9 years old, although it seems now like centuries ago…

Our designated grocer –you had to have a designated grocer- was at Manial area, it was called "the three brothers' for those of you who know Manial, that's to the right after bridge coming from Giza on your way to Salah Salem road, opposite Pizza Hut restaurant.

Anyway, I remember my dad telling me to go to the "Sunni" grocer! I didn't know who he was?! I soon found out because everybody was calling him "Sunni". I still remember him vividly; he was a 40 something, dark complexion, short, bearded man–that's why they called him "Sunni", at that time, it was very rare to find someone wearing a beard, unlike these days,

The guy was always smiling, and his face was full of tolerance "Bashoush", he was joking with me, and gave me the rations in very little time. I watched the guy and saw that despite the nerve-racking crowd waiting to be served, he never lost his smile! I asked dad why do people call him "the Sunni", and he told me that they do that because of his beard. I remembered that when I met the famous Sheikh Metwali El Sha'arawi during my marriage ceremony; he was the exact opposite!!! He never smiled, and actually shouted at me because I was holding the hand of my soon-to-be wife…

These days, you see a lot of Sunnis, you don't see them smiling, actually, and they are most of the time tough and unpleasant to deal with. What a change…