Friday, January 24, 2014

Citizen's Arrests and Bombs

Citizen's Arrests and Bombs. That pretty much describes the headlines coming out of Egypt today. With the 25th of January anniversary almost upon us, and the National Police Day one day after, it's of little surprise that tensions are running high. I am just hoping that this weekend passes relatively peacefully and uneventfully. Ya rab.

Find out more about the bombings in Cairo today below from al-Ahram.

Four separate bomb attacks took place in Greater Cairo on Friday morning, killing at least six people and injuring dozens of others, on the eve of the anniversary of the 2011 uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak.

Hours later in Giza, one person was killed when a primitive bomb exploded after being thrown at a moving police vehicle near a metro station, deputy Giza security chief Mahmoud Farouk told state TV. At least 11 others were reportedly wounded in the attack.The terrorist attack began when a large blast ripped through a police building in central Cairo, killing four and injuring 76 others, according to the health ministry.
In a third explosion, a small bomb went off later on Friday morning at a police station in Talbiya district, also in Giza, near the pyramids. The attack did not cause any casualties, the interior ministry said.
Later on in the afternoon, Giza’s Haram district witnessed an explosion at Radobis Cinema Theater, leaving at least one dead according to state TV.
"It's a vile, desperate attempt by evil terrorist forces to disrupt the success Egypt and its people have achieved in the [transitional] roadmap and the passing of the new constitution," Prime Minister Hazem El-Beblawi commented, in reference to the Cairo bomb.
The first explosion, which took place at the Cairo Security Directorate in Bab El-Khalk district, blew out the windows of the building and stripped off parts of its façade.
"I was manning the building along with my fellow conscripts shortly after dawn when the explosion took place," police conscript Ahmed Ibrahim who was injured in the blast told Al-Ahram Arabic from his hospital bed.
"I didn’t believe I had survived until I was pulled out from under the rubble."
According to a statement by the interior ministry, a car exploded at the cement barriers surrounding the main Egyptian police headquarters in central Cairo. Initial investigations showed a remotely-detonated car bomb was behind the blast, a security official told Ahram .
Three attackers parked the explosive-laden vehicle and fled in another before it was let off, South Cairo senior prosecutor Ismail Hafiz said, denying that a charred body found near the exploded vehicle was that of a bomber.
The attack took place at around 6:30am local time and was heard across several parts of the capital.
TV footage showed wrecked floors of the multi-storey building and a damaged facade of the nearby Museum of Islamic Art. The minister of state for antiquities told journalists in a statement after touring the site that some artefacts and items inside the museum had also been damaged. He said the 19th-century museum building, which was recently rennovated in a multimillion-dollar project, will need to be "rebuilt."
Photos show that the building's roof has caved in, floors are covered with shattered glass and wood debris, and the display cases housing the museum artefacts have been smashed.
An Ahram Online reporter at the scene of the blast said she saw a badly mangled vehicle stained with blood parked in front of the police compound. Some of the building's walls have collapsed and a gaping crater was left in the ground.
The attack has also caused water pipes in the area to explode, and vacuum excavators were sent to remove the water pooling in the street, the reporter added.
The violence came only one day ahead of the third anniversary of the 2011 uprising that toppled president Hosni Mubarak, raising the spectre of further violence. Police have been set to deploy around the country to secure key security sites.
In a statement, the president pledged to "severely punish" those involved in "planning, financing, inciting, participating in or executing" such attacks, saying that tampering with state security is a "red line."

He added that Egypt had quashed an Islamist insurgency that raged in the 1990s and "would relentlessly rout [terrorism] and root its culprits out.

"Such terrorist attacks will only unite the will of Egyptians to move forward towards achieving the goals of the 25 January and the 30 revolution … and to carry out Egyptians' upcoming roadmap." the Egyptian presidency added.
A spate of recent explosions in densely populated areas has raised fears that militant activity in the border Sinai Peninsula, which has spiked since Morsi's removal, would take its toll on other parts of the country.
"They don't want the people to celebrate," Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim told reporters while inspecting the explosion site in Cairo, adding that he was certain that "millions would take to the streets" on Saturday to celebrate the revolution nonetheless. He added that the "despicable attack" would not hamper police "in their fierce war against black terrorism."
After the explosion, large crowds of onlookers gathered at the Cairo site, chanting slogans demanding the "execution" of the Muslim Brotherhood movement and of ousted president Mohamed Morsi.
The group's official English language Twitter account has denied responsibility for the Friday attacks, saying that it "strongly condemn(s) cowardly bombings in Cairo, express(es) condolences to families of those killed, demand(s) swift investigations."
The Brotherhood was designated a terrorist organisation by the cabinet in December, although it has persistently denied any links with ongoing terrorist attacks.
In December, a bomb attack at a security headquarters in the Nile Delta city of Mansoura killed 16 people, mostly policemen.
A bomb also exploded outside a Cairo court just before polls were to set to open in last week's constitutional referendum, leaving no casualties.
An Al-Qaeda-inspired group, Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis, has claimed responsibility for most of the recent attacks in which scores of policemen and soldiers were killed. The group says the violence is in revenge for the killings and arrests of Islamists as part of a broad security crackdown. But there was no immediate claim of responsibility for Friday's attack.
The group also claimed a failed assassination attempt on the interior minister in Cairo in September.
Tensions were simmering in other parts of the country on Friday as violent clashes broke out later in the day between supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi, and police and opposing civilians in several governorates. At least one, a school pupil, was killed north of Cairo as pro-Morsi protesters fought with police in Damietta.
Violence also flared during protests in Alexandria, Giza, and Ismailia.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Radio Silence

I never wanted to be this blogger where the page would just die down for a while, but sometimes life gets in the way. Quite a few projects underway at the moment, one of which will include loads of recipes - and I will select the best to post here! I've missed this, it's amazing how much blogging can help the mind unwind. So with that said, glad to be back! 

Friday, December 13, 2013

Snow in Egypt!

Egypt is good at making history. It's at it again today. Thanks buzzfeed for the photo collection!

It was pretty exciting to wake up to snow in Cairo, a city where sweltering sun and dust storms are more the norm.

"@AmrElGabry For the first time in 112 years, it snows in #Cairo "
الدنيا برد والتلج على العربيات وكله بالسلمية #الرحاب

Photos began to pour in from across Egypt, as the Arabic word for snow - #ثلج - began to trend on Twitter.

Snow in Ras El Bar, North Egypt. Unbelievable. Via@AlMasryAlYoum
Video from St. Catherine's today, featuring a Bedouin playing with snow

Of course, some people were worried about the cold.

In Giza, the Sphinx is about to freeze. If he had a nose, he would sneeze. #dayaftertomorrowincairo

Others were frustrated with the flooding that followed.

Every single effing winter we discover that #Egypt seemingly doesn't have a single architect that heard about managing snow/water evacuation

And some wondered whether Egypt’s much-lauded General Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi was responsible for the snow.

Rumor has it that Sisi brought snow to Egypt because he wants to create his own Siberia.
Ungrateful #Egypt! Unlike any other leader, Sisi gives you snow for Christmas! 2 bad there aren't any Christians left

Or whether it was part of Sisi’s alleged dreams of the future.

If Sadat told Sisi about this weather and Sisi never warned us, I’ll be disappointed.

But mostly people were just really excited about the snow!

Incredible. Snow in Cairo, Egypt this AM - the first such occurrence in 112 years. Via @AmrElGabry.
I have never seen snow in #Egypt. So today, Friday the 13th incidentally, in the year 2013, is historical for many of us#SnowInCairo
#PHOTO: Just like the 'western movies': kids playing in the snow in New #Cairo#Egypt:
I figured it out, Cairo and Kiev switched places! #SnowInCairo#ProtestsInKiev
PHOTO: Beanies and jackets are out as it snows in New #Cairoearlier this morning #Egypt (via @omarsa2r)

One breath taking photo of St. Catherine’s Monastery in the Sinai, however, turned out to be old.

Image of snow on monastery in #Sinai#Egypt, is an old image; in circulation since at least January 8:

But in the end, Egypt was happy to again be making history.

It's snowing in several parts of Cairo, Alexandria & other cities. This is very rare to see in #Egypt!