In the deep


A few years ago, when I was working in Egypt, I took a scuba diving course and made a few dives in the Red Sea.

My instructor at the time was Ahmed Gabr, who is going to try to break the world record, attempting a 35om(1148ft) dive.

Dive safe my friend! All the best!

I’ve read better news before

The pression is building in the Middle East.

GAZA/CAIRO, AUGUST 7 – About 1,500 multinational jihadist militias received military training in the northern Sinai region in the months following the ousting of Egypt’s former president, Bedouin Sheikh Khalaf al-Maniei told Palestinian news agency Ma’an on Tuesday. The training took place in Sheikh Zweid (north Sinai) and Wadi al-Amro (central Sinai) regions, according to the Sheikh, who leads the al-Sawarka tribe living in the northern Sinai. The Bedouin community has been warning Egypt of the growing danger on its border, ”but no one listened to us,” the Sheikh said in reference to yesterday’s raid by a jihadist commando on an Egyptian border patrol barracks, which left 16 soldiers dead. The situation might drive Israel to occupy parts of northern Sinai, especially the el-Arish border access points, al-Maniei said. An Israeli military spokesman yesterday called the Sinai ”a great hothouse for the flowering of international terrorism.” Israel has returned to Egypt the bodies of six commando members it killed when they crossed over into Israel aboard an armored vehicle during yesterday’s raid. Another three members of the 35-man commando were killed in Egyptian territory, Egyptian security sources said on Tuesday.”

And this is not a good sign.




Burned shirt

«Sectarian violence in the Giza town of Dahshur south of Cairo broke out again at dawn on Wednesday in the aftermath of the funeral of a young Muslim who died as a result of burns sustained during clashes last week.

The violence began on Friday after a Coptic Christian launderer burned a Muslim customer’s shirt while ironing it. Muslims set fire to the launderer’s home and those of other Copts. Moaz Mohamed, who had suffered serious burns from a Molotov cocktail during the Friday clashes, died on Tuesday at Helmia Military Hospital in Cairo. After his funeral, hundreds of Muslims tried to storm Dahshur’s Mar Girgis church and to set it on fire. They also attacked local police, who responded with tear gas, and evacuated Coptic Christians from their homes. Seven police officers were wounded in the violence.

A priest from Takla Adel church told Masri el Youm online newspaper on Wednesday that all Copts have left the village until the situation calms down. ”But we can no longer return, after the threats to our church,” the priest reportedly said. Security forces have taken control of the village, but attempts at reconciliation have failed so far because neither side is willing to back down, according to Masri el Youm.»

Bulldozing history

Uthman ibn Abd al-Mannān, cristão convertido ao islão e tradutor da corte otomana de Belgrado, apresentou ao comité da Guerra e da Jihad em 1779, “Uma proposta de orientação aos seguidores para reacender uma lanterna apagada”(هداية المهتدي لإيفاد سراج المحمدي). Versava o documento sobre aritmética elementar, geometria plana e secções cónicas, mecânica do movimento e magnetismo, os princípios do fabrico e disparo de balas de canhão bem como de colocação de minas explosivas. Um trabalho abrangente que instruiu os soldados no conhecimento da mecânica newtoniana no séc. XVIII, com detalhes precisos, desenhos esquemáticos e as quantidades de explosivos necessárias para derrubar paredes, bem como as devidas precauções a serem observadas no armazenamento da pólvora. Isto é rapaziada que se entrega tanto ao estudo como ao “rebentar”.

«When Arab conqueror Amr Ibn Al-Aas entered Egypt in 641 AD he built the first Islamic capital of Egypt called Al-Fustat, a name which means a large tent or pavilion(…) Al-Fustat remained Egypt’s capital until 750 AD when the Abbasid revolted against the Umayyads and gained power. They moved Egypt’s capital to Al-Askar located to the north of Al-Fustat. In 868 when the Tulunid took power, the capital moved to a nearby area called Al-Qattai. In 905 the Al-Qattai was destroyed and the capital returned to Al-Fustat where it remained Egypt’s capital until 1168 when its own vizier Shawar ordered it burnt to keep its wealth out of the hands of the Crusaders. The remains of the city were absorbed by nearby Cairo which was built by the Fatimids to the north of Al-Fustat. The whole area consisting of Al-Fustat, Al-Ask and Al-Qatai remained in disrepair for 1,000 years and was used as a garbage dump. Only a few buildings are still visible as well as remains of some others. Time took its toll on the Al-Fustat city until Khedive Mohamed Ali built Al-Baroud Khana, a storehouse for gunpowder in 1820. Modern Al-Fustat includes the three main old capitals of Egypt: Al-Fustat, Al-Ask and Al-Qatai which they called Ezbet Kheirallah in Old Cairo.»

«But early this month, the site was invaded by an armed gang that covered the excavation area with sand and began to bulldoze it. The area is now rubble-filled with few remnants of its monuments and historical buildings. The intruders began to divide the land and distribute it among each other into parcels of approximately 800 square metres each. Every man surrounded his part with blocks of stones in order to separate it from the others.»