Egyptian Chronicles: February 2014

Friday, February 28, 2014

#KoftaGate : Dr. StrangeLove or how We Cured AIDS and HCV “Chapter-1”

Last Saturday I had just opened my Facebook account to see that announcement by the official spokesperson of Egyptian armed forces Colonel Ahmed Mohamed Ali. “Here is the full translation.
“The Egyptian Armed Forces achieved the first breakthrough in treating Hepatitis C and AIDS Viruses” 
Inside the statement the following was : Judge Adly Mansour and Field Marshal Abdel Fatah El Sisi as well the prominent statement witnessed the latest Egyptian scientific and research breakthrough for the sake of humanity represented in inventing the first treatment system for HIV that can also eliminate Hepatitis C in a cost 10 times less than its foreign counterpart and with a success rate more than 90%.
Sisi and Mansour on Saturday "Army Spokesperson FB"
The men of the armed forces achieved a medical breakthrough by inventing devices to diagnose HCV and HIV patients with the need to take a blood sample from the patients receiving an immediate results in less cost. The patents of the invention was registered by the name of the Egyptian armed forces’ Engineering authority’s men after the permission of the ministry of health and population.Using the same theory , a new device was invented to diagnose Swine Flu and it proved its success in the Armed Forces Fever hospital with 90% success rate. It is expected that the same treatment system to examined on the Swine flu to get the same results achieved in the treatment of AIDS and HCV patients. It is planned to receive the patients after fulfilling the demands of the treatment whether in the domestic or foreign market. It is God’s will that the Egyptian armed forces achieve this unprecedented treatment contributing in treating untreatable diseases and help to reduce the pain of Egyptians .
I did not scroll down to see the photos and I though the page was hacked at first after all we got a claim that the armed forces reached to cure for the Hepatitis C “HCV” and HIV “AIDS” but then I found out that the page is not hacked and that the same claims were repeated in the photo album of the important inaugurations on that day. 
If you read the statement again you will know that army Spox was speaking about at least two devices , one device to diagnose not only HCV but also AIDS without blood analysis and another device that does not cure only HCV but also AIDS. A true scientific breakthrough that deserves a Nobel prize if it were true.
In few hours there was online storm of questions about this invention which was hailed by the Pro-Military in Egypt as the greatest thing ever madly.
Small search online we found that there is patent registered by the ministry of Defense in Cairo in December 2011 in World Intellectual Property Organization. According to the patent we found on SamoBrain its abstract “C-Fast”  is as follows :
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#FreeAJStaff : Another Day World Solidarity, Another Day of Silence in #Egypt

Yesterday journalists from all over the world showed their support and solidarity to Al Jazeera staff detained in Egypt.
Journalists in BBC , SKY News , Al Jazeera as well newspapers and news agencies from all over the world showed their support whether in United States , Kenya , Nigeria , Cambodia , Lebanon , Qatar, UK, Australia , Bosnia , Afghanistan and South Africa.
This is how the trends map looked yesterday.
Free #AJStaff hashtag in trends map by Kamalah Santamaria
As usual there was complete silence in Egypt despite not less than 60  Egyptian journalist were arrested and then released since July 2013. It is not easy being a true journalist in Egypt.
By the way it is not about Al Jazeera Staff or Peter Greste , it is about journalists detained for doing their job who are standing trial for political reasons. It is about freedom of expression. Journalism is not terrorism.
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Thursday, February 27, 2014

A Great Example of Civilian State !!

Tonight , from short time ago Interim President Adly Mansour has issued another historical presidential decree reconstituting the Supreme Council of Armed aka SCAF.
SCAF 2014
According to the latest decree by Mansour , SCAF is headed now by the minister of defense and not by the head of the state aka the President. SCAF now is officially made 23 Generals. The president still has got the right to call for a SCAF meeting and attend that meeting thank Goodness.
It is worth to mention that yesterday Mansour issued another decree regarding the position of the minister of defense. According to that decree the minister of defense should be a general from the armed who served at least 5 years in this rank. Oh yes no civilian minister of defense.
By the way according to the Constitution , SCAF chooses the minister of defense which means the President and the Prime minister have no right to choose him if I understand correctly.
With these decrees in addition to the military related articles in the constitution that gives immunity to the minister of defense for the upcoming 8 years and no civilian supervision what so ever on SCAF’s complete control on the armed forces , the SCAF generals are more powerful than the president according to the Constitution.
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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

A start of something

Several political groups and movements organized earlier tonight a silent stand on October bridge in solidarity with the political detainees demanding their release. Here are photos from the stand that started at 6 PM.

Among these groups April 6 Youth Movement , Strong Egypt Party , No for military trials Campaign, Revolutionary socialists and No for torture campaign. Those groups and parties agreed to defend all political detainees regardless of their political affiliation. They also agreed that no partisan signs to be raised in the stand ; only the photos and banners about the detainees.

According to the people who attended it , the number of the participants was good. Mona Seif said on her Facebook page that actually some people began to cheer for those silent protesters and that others went and asked them about those youth in the photos while others ignored them peacefully.

This is a good start to return back to the street in the time being

Earlier today the court sentenced 3 members of Strong Egypt party 3 years in jail for distributing flyers against Constitution 2014. Also two RSSD editors are facing military trial for allegedly leaking El Sisi’s secret meetings.

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Monday, February 24, 2014

And the Cabinet Resigns to Start a new episode in our Egyptian Saga

And suddenly PM Hazem El Beblawy resigned earlier Tuesday in a new episode of the on going Egyptian political saga we are having . 

Despite the Pro-Military/Pro-Deep State media has been calling 24/7 for the resignation of El Beblawy’s cabinet blaming him for everything wrong in Egypt , the news somehow was surprising for many people including some ministers themselves. Oh yes some ministers did not know the news except from the TV statement of the former prime minister himself. Already we got a minister of foreign affairs currently in Congo who found out the news there !!

Up till now I do not understand why the sudden resignation when this cabinet realistically speaking had only two months in power as the upcoming president elected within that period should appoint a new cabinet.

Some or rather the majority says that the resignation of El Bablawy is paving the way to El Sisi’s presidential bid. I do not understand the relation between the resignation of the cabinet and the Field Marshal’s candidacy.

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Sunday, February 23, 2014

#Egymedia #FreeAJStaff : And The Trial begins

Last Thursday Al Jazeera journalists and staff appeared in court shortly in what is known now as "Al Jazeera cell". Their trial has started in another scandal when we found out that there was no translator for the foreign defenders. Some say that it is a trick to prolong the trial. I do not know why to prolong such scandalous trial that is defaming our image more and more.
Somehow some Egyptians are wondering if Peter Greste's arrest was actually an unfortunate hidden bless to shad some light on the agony of other Egyptian journalists facing hell now.
Mohamed Fadel Fahmy told reporters in the court room that his shoulder had been treated yet. He also told his fiancee Marwa that insh Allah he would be free and they would have their wedding soon. Insh Allah they will.
Baher Mohamed's pregnant wife came along with his little children. Baher wrote a letter and smuggled it to the outside world on how he was arrested and how his family was treated during the arrest.
Baher's wife with his children Hazem&Fayroz by Tamer El Ghobashy
Here are the smuggled letter of Baher Mohamed which NPR's Cairo bureau chief Laila Fadel thankfully. You can click on the photos to zoom in.
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Saturday, February 22, 2014

#St.Catherinetragedy : Show Some Respect to the victims and their families

First, those are the three last images from the tragic hiking trip  at Saint Catherine Mount showing its late victims Hager Mohamed , Mohamed Ramadan and Ahmed Abdel Azim , it was taken from late Abdel Azim's camera found with them. Photographer Mustafa El Sayid published them. 

Hager Mohamed in St. Catherine Mount
Late Hager Mohamed 
Late Mohamed Ramadan at Saint Catherine Mount
Late Mohamed Ramadan
Late Ahmed Abdel Azim
Late Ahmed Abdel Azim
May God bless the souls of the 4 hikers who died in the top of Bab El Donia mount , a mount that many of us in Egypt have not heard about before and now it is associated with death and tragedy.
The translation of Bab El Donia in English is "The world's door" , I think it is closed for now.
Anyhow, I knew that the friends of the hikers are thinking of doing a memorial at the mount commemorating their friends' tragic death. It is a great idea.
Second I am furious.
At the same moment the 4 dead bodies of the St. Catherine Mount's hikers tragedy reached Cairo from two days ago , there were some people online spreading disgusting lies , rumors and conspiracy theories about them
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Friday, February 21, 2014

#FreeAlaa : It is getting too long now

This is the longest period Alaa Abdel Fatah has been detained in custody as far as I remember and the quietest  period also. I remember that in the past 2 periods there was much noise and true solidarity, then this time.

In solidarity with Alaa Abdel Fatah

This is a video produced by Jordanian 7iber during the Arab bloggers conference in Amman last month in solidarity with Blogger and activist Alaa Abdel Fatah. Activist and blogger Alaa Abdel Fatah is facing at least three in jail for allegedly organizing unauthorized protest last November against military trials

With all our differences I miss seeing Alaa on my twitter timeline. I want Alaa to return back to Manal and Khaled before anything. 

By the way when me and others online say Free Alaa , it does not mean that we forgot about the other detainees detained unfairly and unjustly for political reasons in Egypt. We have not forgotten and will not forget.

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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

St.Catherine Hikers Tragedy : RIP Mohamed Ramadan

Please pray for Mohamed Ramadan , the young filmmaker lost somewhere in St.Catherine Mount in South Sinai. Update : Mohamed Ramadan's dead body was found early Wednesday's morning ,  400 meters away from the dead bodies of the other three hikers by the Bedouins. 

This is the fourth night for Ramadan to spend in the mount since his group was stuck in blizzard storm at the mountains , at Bab El Donia mountain to be specific in the area last Saturday.

According to the survivors “only 4”, Ramadan was lost in the blizzard . Now we do not if he is going to make it or not. Supposedly, the army’s search and rescue helicopter will continue its work to retrieve him first thing in the morning.

These are the last images of Ramadan from St. Catherine Mount posted on his Facebook profile. 
Mohamed Ramadan with a Bedioun Girl at St. Catherine Mount
A Selfie with a Bedouin girl at St. Catherine Mount
"Ramadan official Facebook"

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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

And This lady can be our first Lady in two months

And at last Egyptians met Mrs. Intasar El Sisi , the wife of Field Marshal/Potential Presidential candidate/Egypt's upcoming President as it seems.
Intasar El Sisi besides her husband 
There has been a lot of speculations about how she looked like especially that there were rumours that she was wearing a Niqab. "A Thing that no can believe , since when a commander's wife in the Egyptian army wears Niqab and he reaches to become the head of the military intelligence !!?" 
Mrs. Intasar wears the veil in the style of Upper Middle Class lady. I think many Middle Class ladies will feel related to her.

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Monday, February 17, 2014

As if #Egypt needs this , Justin Bieber is coming to Cairo

Oh the prince of pop is coming to Cairo for a concert in his upcoming world tour. Yes besides our usual depressing news from imprisoning activists,terrorist bombings and a Presidential election that we know its results from now , we know that annoying singer is coming to Cairo.

Bieber is coming to Cairo in April 2014 , I think during the Presidential elections or after the presidential elections supposedly.
Of course I am waiting for some brainy quotes from Bieber about Egyptian civilization.
I thought that Justin Bieber has his legal issues and drama back in the States to the level that he would be kicked out from there. The Prince of pop will sing in Porto Cairo. Ironically I thought that this annoying kid has retired.
Of course his fans are flying over the moon. Of course they were shocked after knowing that the price ticket to attend that jerk’s concert is LE 2,000. Yes LE 2,000 !!
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Sunday, February 16, 2014

Taba explosion : Rewinding the bad history "Updated"

And for the first time today the tourists began to be the target of terrorists in Sinai. Just from moments ago an explosion targeted a bus carrying Korean tourists after passing the borders with Israel in Taba , the famous Red Sea resort.(The photos source : April 6 Youth on twitter)



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One billion Rising Flash Mob in #Cairo

And yes we had our own one billion Rising flash mob in Cairo to raise awareness about violence against women as part of a global event organized all over the world on last 14 February 2014.

Our ladies took the Korba street in Heliopolis and did their flash mob dance. Their dance was against sexual harassment.

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Saturday, February 15, 2014

#Egypt in Nutshell Now

This simple cartoon by Kharabeesh explains what happened in Egypt for 3 years in a very easy way. 
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The story of Dahab

The story of Dahab is sad , simple and revealing on how far the human rights progress have gone so far in Egypt in the transitional period.

Updated at 2:20 PM :

The prosecution has ordered the release of Dahab for her health reason.

Dahab after giving birth last Thursday night
Dahab Hamdy , a 19 years old a pregnant wife with no political affiliation was arrested in Shubra last 14 January during the dispersal of some Pro-MB protest there. Since then the 8 month pregnant was detained in El Amirya police station and the prosecution used to renew her detention 15 days each time pending investigation.
For weeks Dahab Hamdy has been in detention in the police station. During her arrest , some police officer told her that she would give birth for her baby in prison.
Yesterday we found out that Dahab gave birth to baby girl in Zaitoun hospital while she was chained to her bed. She had a c-section by the way. Dahab got a very beautiful baby.
After giving birth to her baby girl , the police wanted to transfer her back to the police station , to the detention despite she needs medical care.
Human rights activist Nermeen Yosri visited her yesterday and today and she was shocked. The police only unchained when she goes to the bathroom after lots of pleas.

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Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine Day From #Syria

This is a message from Syria , from Aleppo to the whole world with Love on the so-called Day of Love.
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Elsisi and .. Back to and From the U.S.S.R

And Field Marshal Abdel Fatah El Sisi is back from a glorious visit to Moscow where he got the blessing of its Tsar for his presidential bid as well finalizing the big weapons deal with the Russians.
Back from the U.S.S.R sorry from Russian Federation !!
The visit was a surprising one in its time and according to Russian news websites the Russians wanted it to be pushed back but the Egyptian party insisted , well there is a good reason why the Egyptian counterpart wanted to have this visit now. Supposedly according to many sources next Field Marshal Abdel Fatah will announce his presidential candidacy. He has no other time if he is going to run for presidency.

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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

#Feb11 : Three years Later in #Egypt

From three years ago Egyptians did not sleep that night celebrating madly the ousting of a dictator that many of them believe that only death can defeat. From three years ago Egyptians especially the young ones had positive energy to change not only their country for better but the whole world.
Three years after ousting Mubarak , TV channels owned by NDPian businessmen are whitewashing Mubarak preparing us from his acquittal repeating the same lies we have been hearing in those 18 days. Now not only Hamas , Qatar , Iran and the US had killed the protesters on 28 January 2011 but also the Knights of Malta joined this world plot to bring down the Mubarak Egyptian state and destroy the army and police.
Three years after ousting Mubarak , the army closed down the square that witnessed that uprising which inspired the whole world for fear April 6 Youth movement would dare and tough its land once again.
Three years after ousting Mubarak and believing that we ended the police state , the police state is back and torture is back. People are afraid to talk once again. The media justifies all this in order to fight terrorism without realizing that we will increase terrorism in this way.

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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

#Syria : The Barrels of Death

El Assad and Co. introduce us to a new weapon dear world : The barrel bomb. According to Wikipedia the Syrian Air forces of Al Assad is the first to use it .. against its own people.

The first time I would see this barrel bomb on video was last week despite it has been used in Syria since March 2011 according to the opposition led Syrian National Council “SNC”.

Syrian activists showed footage for the barrels and the destruction they are causing in Daraya , Reef Dimshaq during the useless Geneva 2 talks.

Daraya : Barrel attack

Today people from a small town called Khan El Sheikh also in Reef Dimshaq witnessed another barrel attack.

Khan El-Sheikh , Reef Dimshaq–Barrel attack

Endless nightmare for Syrian between brutal regime and heartless radical regimes.

I am sorry that I do not blog anymore about Syria but things in Egypt recently make it hard for me to follow up other countries.

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#EinHijleh : Bab Shams Has not been closed yet


In complete silence and blackout from the Arab Media as well international media, a group of Palestinian activists restored the old village of Ein Hiljeh on river Jordan for 6 days after being forced to leave it from 40 years ago.
What started as an occupation process or rather reclaiming process in Bab Shams was back once again in Ein Hiljeh
Welcome to Ein Hiljeh sign. It was defaced by IDF now later 
For 6 days the Palestinian activists from both men and women reclaimed their village and were actually rebuilding it. They were tens at first and then joined by hundreds before they were forced it to leave it by force. 

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Sunday, February 9, 2014

#FreeJournalists : Some Egyptian Journalists began to Take a stand

I was wondering why or when the Egyptian journalists are not supporting their colleagues currently detained behind bars like foreign journalists.
Well people began to react at last in Egypt. Today I found a group of Egyptian photographers declaring their solidarity withe detained journalists in Egypt .
Freedom for detained journalists
I am not surprised because Egyptian journalists especially Photojournalists have been paying the price in the past three years especially in the past 6 months.
Here is also freelance photojournalist Jonathan Rashad showing his support to the detained journalist.
Photographer Jonathan Rashad
 By the way the mainstream media in Egypt is claiming that all the journalists showing their solidarity to Al Jazeera detained journalists are actually journalists working in Al Jazeera and some people are actually buying this.
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Saturday, February 8, 2014

The Return of #BassemYoussef on #MBCMasr

And Bassem Youssef has just finished the first episode of his new/old show “Al Bernmag” on MBC Masr and it was one hell of a return back after suspending his show from three months on CBC and ending his contract with that network.
By Rawya Rageh
The episode started with funny Sketch where Bassem hinted out to El Sisi/army mania in a funny way then it was the big show. Youssef and his team slammed CBC and its owner Mohamed El Amin. He also mocked other pathetic TV hosts who were attacking him exposing their overreactions. He claimed that he would
avoid the one who won’t be named showing a silhouetted photo of El Sisi but man he mentioned names several times. . 
In the second segment Bassem continued speaking about the El Sisi-Mania in the Egyptian TV that extended to cooking shows and fashion shows !!
In the last segment Bassem Youssef hosted Cairokee band. The Pro-Revolutionary Band presented songs from its new album “Left lane” which is available now on iTunes. The first two songs were the best representation for what the Pro-Revolutionary generation and class feel right now in Egypt honestly. 
Here is the full episode.

Al-Bernmag : First segment

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Thursday, February 6, 2014

Saving #VillaAghion , Saving #Alexandria

Wednesday morning culture and heritage activists in Alexandria woke on another disaster : Alexandrian Landmark Villa Aghion was being demolished by a court order for its latest owners in order to be replaced by another ugly cement huge building.
For months activists were trying to save this remarkable villa designed by August Perret in 1927 for Gustav Aghion as a private residence. Perret's Neoclassical designs are celebrated worldwide. Here is more about the villa. 
The Perret Brothers already left a series of buildings in Cairo and Alexandria , their first was that villa.
When the bulldozers began their work , the activists of "Save Alex" initiative to save the historical villa calling the governor to stop this destruction process.
The governor , a former major general and a member of SCAF Tarek Al Mahdy with bunch of TV channels insisting that he gave strict orders not to demolish old buildings and villas.
Mr. Governor saves the day .. with TV cameras 
Of course Al Mahdy had his own confrontation with the latest owners of the villa who showed him that the municipal council gave a permission for demolishing breaking his orders.
In the end the governor reached to an amazing idea , he froze the demolishing of the villa and decided to have talks with all parties involved in the matter.Ironically 50% of the villa was destroyed as you can see in the photos above.
The meeting after 50% of the villa was destroyed
Of course things are bit complicated because it turned out that the French Consulate in Alexandria asked the UNESCO to interfere because the work of Perret is considered a World heritage. They are celebrating Perret now in Parsi for heavens' sake !! Things do not stop here as I found out there is a legal fight between the current owners of the villa.
Here are photos for the villa before the bulldozers' attack.

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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

#FreeAJStaff : Journalism is not Terrorism Indeed

Today not less than 180 journalists in Kenya held a protest in solidarity with the detained Al Jazeera International journalists in Egypt especially in specific Australian Peter Greste.
Greste , the award winning journalist was the correspondent  of AJE in Kenya and so his colleagues there organized the protest. The foreign Correspondents association in East Africa organized along other journalists at the Egyptian embassy in Nairobi. The protesters held signs and banners saying that Journalism is not terrorism and that "We are all Peter Greste" 

The journalists tried to hand over books and letters to Greste to the Egyptian embassy staff but the one of the embassy's officials told them they can not because they do not interfere in judiciary and so on. 
Anyhow the deputy ambassador got a copy from a letter by the protesters demanding the release of the detained journalists as far as I understand.
Interestingly  the Kenyan police was going to disperse the protest but the protesters brought up the Kenyan Constitution.  What I know that those journalists in Kenya are much respectable then their counterpart in Egypt.

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Monday, February 3, 2014

The Political Marshal is about the Naked Emperor

Yesterday writer and columnist Balel Fadl shocked many of his fans online that his op-ed in Al Shorouk Daily Newspaper was banned and he ended his work there. 
" Unfortunately my op-ed was banned in Al Shorouk yesterday and today. An apology was published by name without my knowledge.The op-ed was speaking about field Marshal El Sisi and Mr. Heikal"
 Known for his anti-military views and powerful recent columns against ElSisi unlike any other writer in Egypt in printed media , most people suspected that the military had something to do with it.
Couple of hours news began to spread that the military has nothing to do with it and actually it was banned because allegedly Fadl spoke negatively about renowned and veteran journalist Mohamed Hassanein Heikal .

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Sunday, February 2, 2014

Actually #Jan25 Presented the alternatives

Lately the mainstream media and the Pro-Military supporters and Pro-Mubarak supporters as well the seasonal supporters {Who change their political support and affiliation to latest political fashion whether it is right or wrong} are claiming that the 25 January revolution did not represent any political alternative and so the people have to choose the only option they have got “other than the Islamist alternative they tried and failed”.

“The revolution people did not give any solutions and they have been arrogant” This idea has been spreading like fire in the media and some people with short memory are buying this. Well contrary to this myth the 25 January revolution has presented several alternatives that were not chosen by the people and were rejected “and fought most of the time” by the regime whether in time of SCAF or Morsi or now.

Let’s go back in history :

  • Starting from March 2011 Constitutional amendments referendum , most of the revolutionary forces and powers rejected the amendments demanding a Constitution first option. SCAF and the Islamists were supporting the Constitutional amendments. I remember all the anti-Revolutionary Pro-SCAF Pro-Mubarak Facebook pages calling the people to vote yes just like the Islamists TV channels. The majority chose yes.
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Saturday, February 1, 2014

#ChileNotEgypt : The Story of Chile's coup 1973

This is an indirect Guest blog post I am proud to present. Writer/blogger and tweep Iyad ElBaghdadi wrote in a series of tweets brief history of Chile's coup in 1973 
I wish someone would translate these tweeps in to Arabic
One of our problems in Egypt is that we do not read history whether our own history or other countries' history in order to learn how to avoid mistakes. We do not read history in this way because we are not learned in our education system to do this properly unfortunately.
Ironically and sadly some people warned of having a Romanian Counter revolution scenario in Egypt including people like Alaa Al-Aswany but no one wanted to listen. Some warned of having a Chilean scenario in Egypt but no one wants to listen. Some warned of having another 1954 scenario and are warning of another Nasserite era with its cons before its pros but nobody wants to listen.
I know every country has its own circumstance and time plays an important role but yet again the same mistakes are committed and people are paying the price.
Here are the tweets of Dear Iyad gathered in a storify post below. 

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