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Ayman's blog

600 Kilos of 4th Century Roman Bronze Coins Discovered in Spain

Works being carried out in the town of Tomares in Spain have brought to light 19 Roman amphorae containing 600 kilos (1322.77 lbs.) of bronze coins from the 4th century: a finding that archaeologists consider rare in Spain and perhaps worldwide as well.

According to information published by the Spanish newspaper 20 Minutos, the amphorae – 10 complete and nine broken - do not correspond to those used at the time for wine or grain transport, but are smaller and were found in a sealed receptacle covered with broken materials. The formidable set was found during construction work in Olivar del Zaudín Park in Tomares.

The researchers’ initial hypothesis about such an accumulation of coins in one receptacle is that the money could have been destined to pay imperial taxes or the army. Sources from the Ministry of Culture explained to 20 Minutos that the coins “were deliberately hidden in an underground space and covered by some bricks and ceramic material.”

Some of the amphorae as they were discovered.

Some of the amphorae as they were discovered. (20 Minutos)

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As demand for MBA graduates continues to grow, aspirants and applicants can meet the world’s top business schools and receive one-to-one specialist CV advice at QS World MBA Tour events, to be held across the Middle East this summer. The tour will visit five locations across the region: Cairo, Riyadh, Jeddah, Abu Dhabi, and Dubai.

The events provide attendees with access to globally-renowned institutions including London’s London Business School, Spain’s IE Business School, and France’s HEC Paris, recently ranked 4th in QS’s annual ranking of European MBA programs amongst many others.

Other research undertaken by QS suggests that now is an optimal moment for aspirant MBA applicants to take the course. This research finds:

  • A flourishing MBA job market, with 14% global growth reported in 2015;
  • 10-year return on investment of 0.69 million yielded from European MBA courses;
  • 20-year return on investment of 2.9 million yielded from European MBA courses;
  • Global MBA average ROI of 2.5 million (research performed by GMAC).

Financial incentives are not the only pull factors associated with the MBA. Though 82% of alumni surveyed by GMAC reported their MBA to be financially rewarding, its survey also finds:

  • 73% of surveyed graduates report faster career advancement as a consequence of acquiring an MBA;
  • 80% report that it assisted them in their development of leadership qualities – essential at a time when employers report the need for higher ‘soft skills’ proficiency among graduates;
  • Just 7% of surveyed MBA alumni would refuse the opportunity to take their MBA degree again, if offered.

With a flourishing job market and a course that offers unparalleled opportunities for both career development and personal development, the argument for taking an MBA remains as strong as ever. To this end, the QS World MBA Tour will bring the world’s top MBA schools to Cairo (14th May), Riyadh (16th May), Jeddah (18th May), Abu Dhabi (20th May), and Dubai (21st May), providing all interested with an exclusive opportunity to:

  • Speak with admissions directors from top business schools;
  • Attend workshops devoted to improving one’s GMAT score;
  • Apply for 1.7 million worth of scholarships to a top MBA-providing school from QS;
  • Complimentary QS TopMBA Career Guide for first 100 attendees

Additionally, Bayt our exclusive careers partner and Middle East’s leading job site will be running an appointment based CV clinic at the event.

To begin your journey at a globally-renowned business school and be a part of this event register for a QS World MBA Tour in a city near you here.

Please note: the article above is a press release by QS and is part of a collaboration between Egyptian Streets and QS.

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By Aya Nader, BECAUSE

In the political and cultural tumult of present-day Egypt, understanding how different groups in society work and respond is crucial. Women in Egypt are the heads of 12.9% of Egyptian households, and make a majority of household spending decisions, but are politically under-represented. In order to imagine how women of tomorrow in the country will look, Nielsen conducted research into the present factors that drive their decisions in life.

“Women are breaking the glass ceiling in the workplace, becoming more economically independent, better educated and more empowered,” were Lamia Kamel’s introductory comments. Kamel is Managing Director of CCPlus, the company which brought the research to the public.

Globalization and awareness has changed perspectives, explained Rasha Sultan, Director of Qualitative Research at Nielsen North Africa. “There has been a redefinition of what is wrong or socially acceptable,” Sultan said. Giving an example, she stated that for the first time in her career at the research company, a woman was driving one of the vans.

Highlighting the importance of the research, Kamel said that “having scientifically-based research and statistics that clearly identify how decisions are made is crucial if we are to educate the public and continue to support the development of society.”

The study found almost 55% of women believed the economic situation would improve. The major economic concern over the future of Egypt was inflation, with 33% of women citing food inflation as their number one fear. While women’s spending is still predominantly on household items, the interest and investment in education is growing. The importance of technology as a tool to empower women is increasing as well.

“Women … are influencing the decision making process more and more every day. Understanding the factors that shape [their] decisions is crucial to the future of Egypt and will go a long way to explaining what the country will look like in the years to come,” stated Sultan.

The research identified three dominant trends in how women defined their aspirations.

The first category is ‘Go Getters,’ with a quarter of women defining themselves around work and educational options. For these women, job security is their number one concern. Their purchasing decisions revolve around providing better educational options for their children and creating financial security for their family. This segment of society is by far the highest represented in technology use; with more than half of them confirming that technology is a large part of their daily routine.

Family traditionalists, the second category, make up 36% of women in Egypt. They are driven by their desire to address their family needs; this above all is their prime priority and passion. Food prices are the biggest concern for this sector that spends the majority of their income on household items. Yet, their passion for their family extends to their neighbors too, with over 80% of family traditionalists feeling responsible and accountable for supporting and helping the local community in which they live.

The final category are the ‘fun-loving’ ladies, who make up the biggest segment of the study and who love travelling, reading, socializing and other recreational activities. To them, success is defined by their ability to save money to support the hobbies they are passionate about, which is why 14% of them save each month.

The findings ought to help companies and other employees understand women’s potential and power, and provide opportunities accordingly, stated Sultan.

“The way that women are thinking is evolving,” said Sultan. “Today, women’s priorities are changing; there is a greater focus on technology, higher education and the need to create time and money to enjoy the things they are passionate about.”

Image: Amira Elwakil, from the project Waves and Echoes. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Credit: Reuters

Credit: Reuters

Exactly a year after Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi issued a Presidential decree cancelling daylight savings, the government announced that daylight savings will return at the end of Ramadan, on 7 July.

Daylight savings, which the government had earlier this year said could return on 29 April, has been cancelled and resumed multiple times since the 25 January revolution in 2011.

No explanation has been provided as to why the government decided to resume daylight savings despite the 2015 Presidential decree.

In April 2015, Egypt’s President scrapped daylight savings after a poll conducted by the government reportedly found that moving the clock one hour forward during summer was unpopular among Egyptian citizens, said the Presidency’s spokesperson at the time.

Daylight savings was first abolished in April 2011, then revived in March 2014 to ease pressure on Egypt’s energy sector. Egypt experienced numerous blackouts during hot summers following the 2011 revolution.

March 2014’s revival was seen as a joke by many Egyptians, with the time changing four times in the space of just three months.

Daylight savings was first introduced to Egypt in 1988. The practice is generally adopted across the world to save energy.

A Syrian boy is comforted as he cries next to the body of a relative who died in an airstrike on April 27 in the rebel-held neighborhood of al-Soukour in the northern city of Aleppo. (Karam Al-Masrik/AFP/Getty Images)

A Syrian boy is comforted as he cries next to the body of a relative who died in an airstrike on April 27 in the rebel-held neighborhood of al-Soukour in the northern city of Aleppo. (Karam Al-Masrik/AFP/Getty Images)

#AleppoIsBurning  (#حلب_تحترق) and #SaveAleppo are trending worldwide on social media as deadly fighting intensified in Syria’s divided city of Aleppo, leaving at least 200 civilians dead.

Despite a lull in fighting overnight, both government and rebel shelling and attacks quickly resumed on Friday, with reports of several civilians wounded since the morning. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which is based in the United Kingdom and monitors the civil war in Syria along with ISIS’ advances, one person was killed in an airstrike on rebel-controlled areas in Aleppo.

Reports indicate that a government airstrike targeted a hospital in Aleppo’s Sukkari district, leaving it completely destroyed. The Free Aleppo Doctors Association said that 50 people were killed in the attack.

Can’t be more sad, disappointed, depressed. That’s really the most heartbreaking thing I’ve ever seen #حلب_تحترق pic.twitter.com/dmMMge3fm8

— McGregor (@HEELBash) April 29, 2016

Violence also eruptedi n government-controlled areas, with dozens of civilians killed according to official Syrian state media.

News of the deadly fighting, which has been taking place over seven days and only recently escalated, was first reported by NGOs and international organisations who expressed concern at the escalating tensions.

In response to the recent violence, the ICRC said that Aleppo is being pushed to the “brink of a humanitarian disaster.”

Meanwhile, the UN Secretary General called on peace and an immediate cease of fire.

The Syrian civil war has left many parts of Syria almost completely destroyed or in need of humanitarian assistance. According to the UN, 13.5 million Syrians require humanitarian assistance, of which 6.6 million are internally displaced within Syria, while 4.8 million are refugees.

Richard Pearce and a group of young filmmakers in Cairo

Richard Pearce and a group of young filmmakers in Cairo

Acclaimed directors Lynzee Klingman and Richard Pearce arrived in Egypt to conduct a number of workshops with some of the best young filmmakers in Egypt.

“I expected to feel like a Martian, but there’s no foreignness between artists. We have the same values, the same soul. It has been a joy to work with Egyptian filmmakers, and all of them have beautiful projects with great futures,” said Klingman shortly after arriving in Egypt and conducting several workshops.

The award-winning directors partnered with documentary-maker Marouan Omara and Fig Leaf Studios’ Mark Lofty for a two-day workshop as part of Alexandria’s innovative Cinedelta program.

“In these workshops, we had conversations as good and nuanced as any I’ve had anywhere in the world. These are thoughtful documentarians and filmmakers, and our workshops gave us a chance to try out new ideas that they may have not have thought about before,” said Pearce.

Lynzee Klingman and a young filmmaker

Lynzee Klingman and a young filmmaker

Following the workshop in Alexandria, Klingman, who has previously won the BAFTA Award for Best Editing and was nominated for an Academy Award, conducted intensive workshops and one-on-one sessions with teams of young directors and editors in Cairo. Meanwhile, Pearce worked with filmmakers to examine visual story-telling at Darb 1718, a cultural centre in Cairo.

Both directors will also conduct a class with students at the High Institute of Cinema in Cairo.

The American directors, who were warmly welcomed by the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, came to Egypt as part of the American Film Showcase, a partnership between the U.S. Department of State and the USC School of Cinematic Arts.

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When asked why they decided two participate in the program, the directors said they valued the cultural exchange and the ability to make change through the art of film-making.

“I get to travel the world and meet filmmakers. As I get older, this is a way that I continue to contribute at the ground level. It’s more tangible than reviewing hundreds of films on the Academy jury. But my favorite part is hearing stories,” said Pearce about why he participated.

“”I enjoy passing on what I learned, and I wanted to come to Egypt,” said Klingman, agreeing with Pearce.

“I’ve learned about, studied, and thought about Egypt for years. It’s a great country and I wanted to meet people here and see for myself.”

A Mother’s Love Never Dies: 4,800-Year-Old Remains of a Mother Cradling Her Baby Found in Taiwan

Archeologists in Taiwan have found the 4,800-year-old skeleton of a woman holding a baby. The find was one of 48 sets of remains discovered in the Taichung area of central Taiwan. Altogether these individuals provide the earliest trace of human activity in the area.

Although it was not the only set of remains found at the site, the unearthing of the woman (probably a mother) and child had the largest impact on the archaeologists. "When it was unearthed, all of the archaeologists and staff members were shocked. Why? Because the mother was looking down at the baby in her hands," Chu Whei-lee, a curator in the Anthropology Department at Taiwan`s National Museum of Natural Science told Reuters.

The Huffington Post says that the site was uncovered near Taichung`s Ann He Road Ruin in 2014 however, it took a year to excavate the remains. Later carbon dating showed that the bones are 4,800 years old.

The mother and child created an emotional effect on the archaeologists that found them, much like previous finds of embracing couples and partners holding hands from discoveries around the world.

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The interior ministry has set a plan to “secure” Easter celebrations on Monday May 8, which includes “secret police” to arrest those who commit sexual harassment, Major General Amgad Shafei told Aswat Masriya.

Shafei added that large numbers of “secret police” and officers dressed in plainclothes will be spread out in places with large gatherings such as public gardens, to arrest those who sexually harass or do anything “against the law.”

According to a UN women 2013 statistic, 99 percent of Egyptian women are exposed to sexual harassment. The National Council for Women’s Rights said in November 2012 that more than 70 percent of Egyptian women fall victim to sexual harassment in public spaces and transportation.

Egyptian law stipulates that sexual harassment is a crime, as per articles 306 (a) and 306 (b) of the Penal Code. According to this law, verbal, behavioral, phone and online sexual harassment can lead to a prison sentence of 6 months – 5 years, and up to EGP 50,000 in fines, as groups such as HarassMap, which work to raise awareness on sexual harassment point out.

The law was amended as such by an executive order in June 2014 during interim president Adly Mansour’s time in office.

The UN commended the new law at the time and called on Egyptian authorities to ensure its enforcement for the protection of women and girls.

This content is from: Aswat Masriya

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Until the third week of May, art fans can visit the Al Masar gallery in Cairo’s Zamalek to see an exclusive exhibition displaying the works of prominent Egyptian-Armenian political cartoonist Alexander Saroukhan (1898-1977).

Simply entitled “Political Comedy,” the exhibition includes a collection of drawings and water colors of Egypt’s political scene, which the gallery says have never been shown before.

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Saroukhan, who was born in a Georgian province of the Russian Empire and in 1924 moved to Egypt following stays in Turkey and Belgium, published his work in numerous Arabic and international newspapers and periodicals.

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He is considered one of the pioneers of modern Egyptian political art and the exhibition, which runs until 26 May, should be a well-worth visit for anyone interested in Egyptian society, politics and culture.

Tiran Island

Tiran Island

According to a new opinion poll conducted by the Egyptian Center for Public Opinion Research (Baseera), 30 percent of Egyptians believe the two Red Sea islands of Tiran and Sanafir belong to Egypt, while 23 percent think they are Saudi Arabian.

The poll, which was released on Tuesday, showed that 31 percent of the population could not determine whether the two islands were Egyptian or Saudi, whereas 16 percent had never heard of the issue.

During an official visit by the Saudi King Salman bin Abdel-Aziz to Egypt, the two countries signed an agreement declaring that the disputed islands belong to Saudi Arabia. The agreement has caused public uproar, with opposition politicians and public figures deploring the decision, while the Egyptian activist community has organized demonstrations on two separate occasions.

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The results of the survey suggest that age played a relatively large role when deciding whether the islands belong to Egypt or Saudi Arabia. 38 percent of those under 30 believe the islands are Egyptian and 17 percent consider them Saudi.

On the other hand, just 22 percent of respondents over the age of 50 think the islands are Egyptian whereas 30 percent see them as Saudi.

The poll was conducted between 18 and 20 April with a sample of 1541 individuals aged 18 years old and above across all of Egypt’s 27 governorates. The margin of error was less than 3 percent.

Egyptians carry their belongings as they transit the Sallum border crossing with Libya on February 23, 2011. Photo: Tarek Elframawy

Egyptians carry their belongings as they transit the Sallum border crossing with Libya on February 23, 2011. Photo: Tarek Elframawy

Between 12 and 16 Egyptian citizens have been killed in clashes with human traffickers in the Libyan town of Bani Walid, Egypt’s Foreign Ministry confirmed on Wednesday.

Spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid said in a statement that the Egyptian “illegal immigrants” had been killed by members of a trafficking ring whose identities are still unknown.

Egyptian authorities are communicating with their Libyan counterparts to determine the circumstances of the incident and repatriate the bodies to Egypt.

Speaking to Reuters, a local Libyan official said a fight erupted between the Egyptians and Libyans due to a money dispute. According to the source, a group of Egyptians had killed a number of traffickers and had then driven away with their bodies. They were later arrested at a security checkpoint and taken to a police station, where another smuggler from the same smuggling ring open fire on them for revenge.

The United Nations said on Wednesday that three Libyan and 12 Egyptian nationals were killed on 26 and 27 April.

“I strongly deplore these terrible killings and call on those with authority on the ground in Bani Walid to ensure that the incidents are investigated and to prevent any further killings” said Martin Kobler, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL).

Libya has become a major conduit for hundreds of thousands of migrants seeking to make their way to Europe with the help of large networks of people smugglers who exploit the security vacuum that erupted following the 2011 uprising-turned-civil war that toppled Libyan autocrat Moammar Gaddafi.

Egyptians carry their belongings as they transit the Sallum border crossing with Libya on February 23, 2011. Photo: Tarek Elframawy

Egyptians carry their belongings as they transit the Sallum border crossing with Libya on February 23, 2011. Photo: Tarek Elframawy

Between 12 and 16 Egyptian citizens have been killed in clashes with human traffickers in the Libyan town of Bani Walid, Egypt’s Foreign Ministry confirmed on Wednesday.

Spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid said in a statement that the Egyptian “illegal immigrants” had been killed by members of a trafficking ring whose identities are still unknown.

Egyptian authorities are communicating with their Libyan counterparts to determine the circumstances of the incident and repatriate the bodies to Egypt.

Speaking to Reuters, a local Libyan official said a fight erupted between the Egyptians and Libyans due to a money dispute. According to the source, a group of Egyptians had killed traffickers during an earlier incident and had then driven away with their bodies. They were later arrested at a security checkpoint and taken to a police station, where another smuggler open fire on them for revenge.

The United Nations said on Wednesday that three Libyan and 12 Egyptian nationals were killed on 26 and 27 April.

“I strongly deplore these terrible killings and call on those with authority on the ground in Bani Walid to ensure that the incidents are investigated and to prevent any further killings” said Martin Kobler, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL).

Libya has become a major conduit for hundreds of thousands of migrants seeking to make their way to Europe with the help of large networks of people smugglers who exploit the security vacuum that erupted following the 2011 uprising-turned-civil war that toppled Libyan autocrat Moammar Gaddafi.

Did Ancient Priests in Peru Invent Authority?

Authoritarianism is an issue of special gravitas this year, given claims of heavy-handedness in US presidential politics and widening conflicts against dictatorships in Syria and elsewhere. But why do we as a people let a single person or small group make decisions for everyone else?

A 3,000-year-old archaeological site in the Andes of Peru may hold the answer, says John Rick, associate professor of anthropology at Stanford University.

“More than 5,000 and certainly 10,000 years ago, nowhere in the world was anyone living under a concerted authority. Today we expect that. It is the essence of our organization. ‘Take me to your leader. Who’s in charge here?’ So where did that come from?”

A detail of the Raimondi Stele, from the Chavín culture in Peru.

A detail of the Raimondi Stele, from the Chavín culture in Peru. (Public Domain)

Currently a fellow at the Stanford Humanities Center, Rick is gathering the large amount of evidence from more than two decades of fieldwork at the ancient site of Chavín de Huántar, where that culture developed from roughly 900 BCE to 200 BCE.

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Egypt’s top prosecutor referred the low-ranking policeman accused of killing a tea vendor earlier in April to criminal court on Wednesday.

The prosecution accused the policeman of attempted murder and premeditated murder.

The incident took place last week in the Rehab neighbourhood on the outskirts of Cairo, and it is the most recent in a series of incidents that stirred up public anger over purported police violence in Egypt.

Just one day after the incident, President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi met with interior ministry officials and stressed that it is important to deter “irresponsible” performance of policemen on the street.

Human rights workers, activists, and ordinary citizens have largely scrutinized police brutality in Egypt over the past few months. The interior ministry, however, maintains that these are “isolated incidents” that do not reflect the entire ministry.

On February 18, a policeman shot dead a driver in the Al-Darb Al-Ahmar neighborhood following an argument over the cost of loading goods.

The incident also sparked public outrage at the police and hundreds took to protest in Cairo’s streets after the killing, in an expression of anger that has become rare in the past few years.

Police brutality was one of the triggers of the January 25, 2011 uprising, sparked by protests on Police Day in Egypt aimed to draw attention to the police’s use of excessive, at times fatal, force.

This content is from: Aswat Masriya

Photo: Ministry of Antiquities

Photo: Ministry of Antiquities

An exhibition entitled “Sinai: The Origin of the Alphabet” was inaugurated on Monday at the Egyptian Museum by Egypt’s Minister of Antiquities Khaled Al-Enani and the head of a delegation from the German University of Bonn, Lodwing Morin.

The exhibition, which will last for six months and includes a collection of 40 artifacts directly connected to Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, will display early alphabetic inscriptions and “show the development of the alphabetic writing in south-western Sinai during the early second millennium BC,” a statement from the Ministry of Antiquities reads.

Photo: Ministry of Antiquities

Photo: Ministry of Antiquities

The exhibition was opened on the same day as Egypt celebrated the liberation of Sinai, which commemorates the 1982 withdrawal of Israeli forces from the Egyptian peninsula following a 15-year-long occupation.

Photo: Ministry of Antiquities

Photo: Ministry of Antiquities

The exhibition is organized in collaboration with the University of Bonn and coincides with the 100th anniversary of British Egyptologist Alan Gardiner’s deciphering of alphabetic writings that had been discovered in the Sinai.

Photo: Ministry of Antiquities

Photo: Ministry of Antiquities

“The development of alphabetic writing – a local creation first attested in south-western Sinai in the early second millennium BC – was an innovation of global importance, which continues to have a direct impact on our modern world,” an information sheet published on the Ministry of Antiquities’ Facebook page reads.

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In a statement, Egypt’s presidency mourned the death of 21-year-old Egyptian citizen Sherif Adel Habib, who was killed in a suspected arson attack in the United Kingdom.

Egypt’s presidency called on UK authorities to continue investigations and identify those responsible for Habib’s death.

“The perpetrators of this heinous crime must be found and punished,” said the presidency.

Meanwhile, the British Embassy in Cairo promised to work closely with the Egyptian government to determine the circumstances of Habib’s death, adding that the Metropolitan police are working quickly to investigate the matter.

Habib, reported British media, was rescued by firefighters from inside a collapsed garage that had been set ablaze in Cranleigh Gardens in Southall. However, despite being rushed to a specialist burns unit, Habib succumbed to severe burn wounds.

While Metropolitan police have not confirmed that the circumstances behind the death, a spokesperson told British media that a suspect had been arrested “on suspicion of arson with intent to endanger life”. The suspect, in his 20s, has since been bailed while detectives conduct further investigations.

Randa Adel Habib, the victim’s sister, told the Evening Standard that her brother, who had a degree from the University of Greenwich, was set to submit his documents for application to train at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst.

“He wanted to join Sandhurst. The day he died he was meant to go there and provide his documents. He always wanted to go and graduate as an officer,” said Randa, a 19-year-old law student at the University of Reading.

“He was everything to me. I am who I am today because of him. He visited me in Reading whenever I felt lonely. He was a very protective brother.”

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Unidentified assailants kidnapped on Monday evening Saudi businessman Hassan Ali Ahmed Al-Send off the Cairo-Ismailia Desert Road, Al Masry Al Youm reported.

His car was reportedly found 76 km from his home in the Fifth Settlement in New Cairo in the direction of Suez.

The preliminary police investigation suggests that the assailants, who were armed, stopped Al-Send’s car and forced him and his driver into another car, which subsequently drove off.

Egyptian authorities were contacted by individuals from Al-Send’s company who said he had failed to attend a scheduled meeting, after which the security services went to the Ismailia road, where they found his abandoned car.

Al-Send is a partner in Al Shams Agro Group, a company working in the “integrated food industry.” His Egyptian business partner is a retired general whose son allegedly was kidnapped three years ago, the newspaper says. Egyptian authorities are investigating whether the former kidnapping could be connected to Al-Send’s.

Al-Send, who had been in Cairo for four days, has a number of investment projects in the city.

His family has yet to receive any demands for a ransom.

A low-altitude aerial view of a section of the holes.

A new hypothesis has come forward to try to explain the mysterious band of shallow holes found in the Pisco Valley in southern Peru. Researchers have been stumped for years by their purpose and their creators, but the answer may have finally arrived– Inca taxes.

Archaeology magazine says that Charles Stanish, an expert on Andean cultures at the University of California, Los Angeles and his colleague Henry Tantaleán had their interest in the Band of Holes (also known as the site of Monte Sierpe) sparked two years ago when a man from Pittsburgh questioned Stanish about possible alien involvement in the creation of the holes. Stanish was not familiar with the site, but after he and Tantaleán took a look at it via Google Earth, they decided it was an area of interest.

The Band of Holes is composed of some 7000 holes in a band about 20 meters (65 feet) wide that extend for several miles in straight lines and curved rows over uneven mountain surfaces in the Nazca Plateau. Individual holes measure on average a half a meter (25 inches) in diameter and depth varies from less than a foot to two to three meters (six to seven feet) deep. A row has between nine to 12 pits. The best way the Band of Holes can be seen is with an aerial view.

The Band of Holes, in the Pisco Valley, Southern Peru

The Band of Holes, in the Pisco Valley, Southern Peru. (Facebook/Archaeology Magazine)

Unique Scarab Seal from Egyptian Thirteenth Dynasty Discovered in Israel

A rare scarab seal has been found in Tel Dor on the Carmel Coast of Israel, south of Haifa. It is dated back to the 18th - 17th centuries BC and belonged to the period of Egypt’s Thirteenth Dynasty.

According to the Jewish Press, Alexander Ternopolsky, a birdwatcher, discovered the artifact. As soon as he made the find, he brought it to the archaeological team working at the site. Professor Ayelet Gilboa from the Department of Archaeology at the University of Haifa, who is heading the excavations at Tel Dor together with Professor Ilan Sharon from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, believes that the scarab belonged to a high-ranking figure in the Egyptian kingdom, perhaps a viceroy who was responsible for the royal treasury.

The reverse of the scarab seal found in Tel Dor, Israel.

The reverse of the scarab seal found in Tel Dor, Israel. (Tel Dor Excavations)

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A 21-year-old Egyptian citizen residing in the United Kingdom, Sherif Adel Habib, died in hospital in the early hours of Monday after suffering severe burn wounds.

Habib, reported British media, was rescued from inside a collapsed garage that had been set ablaze. However, Habib died in hospital where he had been rushed to a specialist burns unit.

According to Egypt’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Egyptian Embassy in London was notified of the death by the Coptic Orthodox Church. The Foreign Ministry said that it is following the case closely and that it would provide legal support to the family of Habib, reported Al-Ahram.

On Monday, British media reported that a 21-year-old was taken to hospital after suffering burn wounds from a “suspected arson attack”. The fire occurred at Cranleigh Gardens in Southall and lasted for several hours.

Shortly after the victim’s death in hospital, the Metropolitan Police’s spokesperson told British media that a suspect had been arrested “on suspicion of arson with intent to endanger life”.

The suspect, in his 20s, has since been bailed while detectives conduct further investigations.

Egyptian activists shout slogans against President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and his government, during a demonstration protesting the government`s decision to transfer two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia, in front of the Press Syndicate Cairo, Egypt, April 15, 2016. REUTERS/MOHAMED ABD EL GHANY

Egyptian activists shout slogans against President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and his government, during a demonstration protesting the government’s decision to transfer two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia, in front of the Press Syndicate Cairo, Egypt, April 15, 2016.
REUTERS/MOHAMED ABD EL GHANY

Egypt’s Press Syndicate announced on Tuesday its decision to file a complaint against Minister of Interior Magdy Abdel Ghaffar and Cairo’s security chief due to the harassment of journalists and alleged attempts from “regime supporters” to storm the Press Syndicate building during Monday’s protests.

Protestors had designated the Press Syndicate in downtown Cairo as one of three main locations to demonstrate against Egypt’s recent decision to cede two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia, but police forces mobilized early on Monday to block access to all planned locations.

Riot police also used tear gas to disperse a series of protests throughout central Cairo, including Al-Nahia near Mohandiseen and Mesaha Square in Dokki, as protestors struggled to gather amid the heavy security presence.

However, pro-regime demonstrators were allowed to gather in several locations – including in front of the Press Syndicate – to show their support for President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi and to celebrate Sinai Liberation Day, which fell on Monday.

In its statement issued following an emergency meeting on Tuesday, the syndicate condemned “attempts to storm the building by some protestors and thugs, within earshot and view of the police forces that were heavily present and surrounded the syndicate building, without any interference [from the police] to protect the building and prevent a disaster.”

According to the statement, members of the syndicate were also barred from entering the syndicate building despite showing their credentials to the security forces that surrounded the headquarters and surrounding streets.

“These incidents [mirror the memory of] security procedures from [ousted president Hosni] Mubarak’s repressive reign and his police state.”

The statement went on to condemn the arrest of tens of journalists prior to the scattered protests and throughout the day on Monday. Head of the syndicate’s freedoms committee Khaled El-Balshy told state-owned Ahram Online that a total of 43 journalists – including five foreign journalists – were detained on Monday while covering the protests, with seven remaining in police custody on Tuesday.

According to the “Freedom for the Brave” campaign, a total of 239 individuals were arrested during Monday’s protests.

Following these arrests, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) issued a statement calling on Egyptian authorities to “immediately cease detaining and harassing journalists.” CPJ had previously named Egypt as the world’s second-worst jailer of journalists.

“The Press Syndicate warns the country’s relevant authorities that it will not stand with its hands tied in the face of these shocking procedures, whether from the security forces that stood idly by in the face of attempts to storm the syndicate building and assaults against journalists, or from the herds of thugs that gathered and moved around with frightening freedom, with evident police protection in front of the syndicate building all day,” the statement went on to say, adding that these incidents were reminiscent of the now-dissolved National Democratic Party’s tactic of hiring convicts to quash public protests.

A press conference will be held at noon on Thursday, during which journalists who were subjected to harassment on Monday will give their testimonies. Following the press conference, the syndicate members will march to the Prosecutor-General to protest these violations and to present their complaint against Egypt’s interior minister and Cairo’s security chief.

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Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said in a press conference on Tuesday with his Bahraini counterpart that Egyptian-Iranian relations remain severed.

The Bahraini foreign minister, Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, is accompanying King Hamad bin Issa al-Khalifa on an official visit to Cairo, Egypt’s state-run news agency MENA reported. The visit will last for two days.

“We always call on it [Iran] to stop intervening in Arab countries’ internal affairs,” Shoukry said during the joint press conference.

“We reject attempts by some countries to incite sectarian strife and discord,” he added.

On his part, the Bahraini foreign minister said that “Egypt’s stances have always been supportive of Bahrain’s sovereignty against Iranian interference.”

“We discussed with Egypt points related to preserving Arab national security.”

Analysts believe that the Middle East region is witnessing a struggle over regional influence between Sunni-led countries, including members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), and Shi’ite rivals led by Iran.

Tensions have escalated since the United Nations lifted in January long-standing economic sanctions on Iran against the backdrop of a landmark nuclear deal reached between Tehran and world powers.

Bahrain, whose Shi’ite majority staged massive protests against the government in 2011, is one of the GCC member states that supported the Egyptian government after the 2013 military ouster of former president Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood, following mass protests against his rule.

Both Egypt and Bahrain are members of a Saudi-led military coalition that was formed during the build-up to the Iran nuclear deal.

Shoukry and his Bahraini counterpart led on Tuesday a meeting of a bilateral committee held at the Egyptian foreign ministry’s headquarters in Cairo.

During the meeting, the two sides are set to sign 15 agreements and memoranda of understanding in several fields, including agriculture, health, media, tourism and culture, MENA reported.

They also agreed during the committee’s meeting on a new mechanism for political consultations whereby the two countries’ foreign ministers will meet regularly in Cairo and Manama in rotation.

In October 2015, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi visited the Bahraini capital, Manama, to take part in the Manama Dialogue, an annual forum on regional security. During talks with the Bahrain king in the Bahraini Royal Palace, Sisi said that Bahrain’s “security and stability” are part and parcel of Egyptian national security.

This content is from: Aswat Masriya

sisi bahrain king

Egypt and Bahrain signed 11 memoranda of understanding (MOUs) in various fields on Tuesday during a two-day visit from Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Issa al-Khalifa to Cairo, Egypt’s state news agency MENA reported.

The MOUs, which were signed at the Bahraini-Egyptian Business Forum, included agreements to cooperate in the fields of medicine, entrepreneurship and construction, among others.

Among the signed agreements is one that will see pharmaceutical and cosmetics company Eva Pharma establish factories in Egypt and Bahrain, in addition to another agreement between Bahrain’s Gulf Chemicals and Industrial Oils Company and Abu Qir Fertilizers Company to exchange expertise, maintenance and safety.

Egypt’s Minister of Industry and Trade Tarek Kabil said at the forum that Bahrain is the fourteenth top investing country in Egypt, with investments amounting to more than than USD 2.7 billion.

On her part, Minister of Investment Dalia Khorshid announced that Egypt is looking to increase Bahraini investment in the country.

Since President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s ascension to power following a popularly-backed military ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013, Egypt has been looking to diversify its political and economic ties, while Gulf aid and investments have skyrocketed.

In March of this year, Egypt and China inked several agreements to cooperate in the fields of education and scientific research, just two months after the two countries’ presidents signed another 21 agreements. China also offered Egypt a loan worth USD 1 billion, while inviting Egypt to be the guest of honour at a G20 summit in China set to take place in September.

Earlier this month, during a visit from Saudi Arabia’s King Salman, Egypt and the Kingdom signed multiple agreements worth USD 21.5 billion to cover Egypt’s petroleum needs, as well as finance development projects in the Sinai Peninsula and renovate Cairo’s Qasr Al-Aini hospital.

The arrival hall is empty at the Sharm el-Sheikh Airport in south Sinai, Egypt, Monday. Airbus executives say they are confident in the safety of the A321 that crashed Oct. 31 in Egypt`s Sinai Peninsula, killing all 224 people on board. Photo: AP

The arrival hall is empty at the Sharm el-Sheikh Airport in south Sinai, Egypt, Monday. Airbus executives say they are confident in the safety of the A321 that crashed Oct. 31 in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, killing all 224 people on board. Photo: AP

Egypt’s tourism revenues declined by 66 percent in the first quarter of 2016 compared to last year, with total earnings amounting to just USD 500 million, down from last year’s USD 1.5 billion, Reuters reported.

During the first quarter, 1.2 million tourists visited Egypt, dropping from 2.2 million in 2015, economic adviser to the ministry of tourism Adla Ragab told Reuters.

The new figures come against the backdrop of continually declining revenues since the 2011 uprising that ousted autocrat Hosni Mubarak from the presidency and triggered widespread instability in the country, scaring both tourists and foreign investors away.

More than 14.7 million tourists traveled to Egypt prior to the uprising, with that number falling to 9.8 million in 2011.

The tourism sector, a vital part of the economy and a key source of hard currency, has also been hard-hit by last year’s downing of a Russian airliner which was claimed by a group affiliated with the Islamic State, and killed all 224 people onboard.

Russia halted all flights to Egypt following the incident but has vowed to recommence flights as soon as sufficient security measures are implemented. In his latest comments, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Egypt has “a lot to do” in terms of improving security for Russian tourists.

“There are difficulties with visiting the places our people have become accustomed to, I mean Egypt, where, [they] would be glad to see us, but I think that the local authorities still have a lot to do to provide security,” Putin said, according to state-owned Sputnik.

In late February, Egyptian Prime Minister Sherif Ismail said tourism revenues had fallen by approximately USD 1.3 billion since the Russian plane crash.

Tourism earnings are also considered to have been negatively affected by the kidnapping and murder of Italian doctoral student Giulio Regeni earlier this year.

28-year-old Regeni, who was conducting research on Egypt’s independent trade unions, disappeared on January 25, after which his body was found with signs of torture covering his body. Although the investigation into the student’s death has yet to be completed, Reuters recently released information suggesting he had been arrested by the police on the day he disappeared, quoting six police and intelligence sources. Egyptian authorities denied the claims and vowed to open a legal case against the news wire.

Despite Egypt’s dwindling tourism revenues, which have played a part in triggering the country’s ongoing foreign currency crisis, Egypt aims to attract 12 million tourists by the end of 2017 by way of implementing an ambitious six-point plan, which will include increasing the presence of the national airline EgyptAir abroad, cooperating with low-cost airlines and improving services.

Polish Museum Claims to Have Located the Elusive Amber Room that Was Stolen by Nazis

After 60 years of hunting for the missing Amber Room, a magnificent treasure stolen by the Nazis, a museum in Poland suggests that they know where is it located. This is the second time within a year that rumors have run rampant about the treasure being located in Poland.

The Mamerki museum near Węgorzewo, in north east Poland, is one of the most interesting forts related to World War II. The area is still full of secrets (and perhaps a hidden treasure.) According to TVN24, this place has also been connected with the legendary Amber Room, which was created for the Russian tsar Peter the Great in the 1700s.

The original Amber Room, 1931.

The original Amber Room, 1931. (Public Domain)

The museum in Mamerki (in German: Mauerwald) recently reported that they have discovered an unknown room measuring 3 meters (9.84 ft.) long and 2 meters (6.56 ft.) wide. Using geo-radar, they say that they’ve found a secret hidden place located inside an old wartime bunker.

Photo: Salma El Saeed

Photo: Salma El Saeed

Dozens of Egyptians took part in a number of short-lived protests in Cairo amid heavy police presence around the city on Monday to denounce the regime and Egypt’s recent decision to cede control of two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia.

Monday’s protests were a continuation of protests staged on April 15, during which at least one thousand people flocked to downtown Cairo to denounce President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi and the islands agreement.

Although activists had planned to stage demonstrations at three central locations – Dar Al-Hekma at Kasr Al-Aini, the Press Syndicate in downtown, and Al-Behooth in Dokki – security forces moved to preemptively block access to the planned locations early on Monday.

An unannounced demonstration cropped up in Al-Nahia street near Mohandiseen but police forces dispersed the protestors with tear gas and rubber bullets around 30 minutes later, reports indicated.

Demonstrators then moved to Mesaha Square in Dokki, where chants of “peaceful” and “the interior ministry are thugs,” as well as “down with the regime” rang out as the protestors marched through Mesaha Square before police forces dispersed the gathering.

Chants seconds before police moved in to disperse #Mesaha Square demonstration. #April25#Egypt#الثوره_مستمرهpic.twitter.com/8xpgrXNoVa

— Egyptian Streets (@EgyptianStreets) April 25, 2016

Dozens were chanting in the square when plainclothes police stormed the crowd and a Central Security Forces van entered the square and began firing teargas canisters.

Upon dispersing the protest, the police then began chasing journalists who had captured photographs and video footage of the protests and ensuing clash.

The scattered protests took place despite the country’s protest law prohibiting gatherings of more than five individuals without prior approval from the interior ministry.

Reports indicate that tens, including five foreign journalists, have been detained throughout the day. Some were detained briefly and released, while others remain in police custody. The exact number of those arrested remains unclear.

آخر معلومات ، تقريبا في 79. شخص مقبوض عليهم في قسم الدقي، من ضمنهم صحفيين. محامو جبهة الدفاع عن متظاهري مصر متواجدين

— Ragia Omran (@rago_legal) April 25, 2016

Translation: Latest information, around 79 people have been detained in Dokki police station, including journalists. Lawyers from the Front of Defense for Egyptian Protestors are present 

Police launched a series of nationwide security raids on Thursday night that saw as many as 100 individuals arrested from cafés, streets and private residences. The arrests continued over the following several days, with at least 10 people, including journalists and activists, being taken into police custody on Monday prior to the anti-regime protests.

Meanwhile, pro-Sisi demonstrators gathered at several locations, including outside Abdeen Palace and around downtown Cairo on Monday. Pro-regime demonstrators also took over the Press Syndicate – where activists had planned to gather to decry the islands agreement – and began dancing with police to nationalistic songs. 

Anti-gov protests are being broken up across Cairo, but Sisi supporters are staging a go-slow demo on Qasr El-Aini pic.twitter.com/zF4jWsLiRd

— Peter Schwartzstein (@PSchwartzstein) April 25, 2016

Reports had indicated a pro-Sisi rally also took place in front of Mostafa Mahmoud mosque in Mohandiseen earlier in the day. However, Egyptian Streets’ correspondent reported that dozens were gathered in the area around midday to celebrate Sinai Liberation Day.

Al-Sisi had stirred nationwide controversy earlier this month when the Cabinet announced that Egypt and Saudi Arabia had signed an agreement outlining the two countries’ maritime territory, placing the disputed Red Sea islands of Tiran and Sanafir within Saudi Arabia’s territory.

According to the Cabinet statement, the signing of the agreement came after six years of negotiations between the two countries, causing many to voice their concern that negotiations of such importance were carried out without public knowledge.

Some also decried the agreement as an indication that Egypt had “sold” its land in exchange for Saudi Arabian aid, particularly as the agreement was announced shortly after Saudi Arabia’s King Salman pledged USD 21.5 billion in loans and investments.

Egypt`s fighter jets participated in an airshow to mark Sinai Liberation Day.

Egypt’s fighter jets participated in an airshow to mark Sinai Liberation Day.

In what Egypt’s Armed Forces is calling a ‘preemptive strike’, 30 individuals identified as terrorists were killed in air-strikes in North Sinai.

The air-strikes also targeted a number of weapon factories and storage facilities belonging to militants in areas surrounding Sheikh Zuweid.

In addition to the air-strikes, military operations managed to foil an attempt to target security forces and succeeded in destroying two vehicles equipped with heavy machine guns.

The military operations, which coincide with Sinai Liberation day, are on-going.

Violence has plagued Egypt’s North Sinai since the ouster of former President Mohammed Morsi in July 2013.

An estimated 2100 people were killed in North Sinai in 2015, including roughly 1800 described by the military as “terrorists,” 150 civilians, 40 police officers and conscripts, and 140 military personnel.

The year 2016 has seen a rise in both attacks and counter-terrorism operations with more than 230 militants killed since the start of the year.

Credit: Mohamed El Ra3y

Credit: Mohamed El Ra3y

Egyptian police arrested at least five activists and five journalists in Cairo ahead of planned protests on Monday, “Freedom for the Brave” campaign reported.

According to the campaign, five members of the Egyptian Democratic Party were arrested from Dar Al-Hekma.

Among the journalists arrested from downtown Cairo is Basma Mostafa, a reporter from DotMsr, who was the first journalist to interview the family members of “gang” members accused of torturing and killing Italian PhD student Giulio Regeni. The gang members were all killed during a shootout with police last month.

الصحفية بسمة مصطفي اتقبض عليها في التحرير من حوالي نص ساعة، التهمة ماشية في وسط البلد #25_ابريل
Basma Mostafa

— Karim Abdelrady (@KarimAbdelrady) April 25, 2016

Translation: Journalist Basma Mostafa was arrested in Tahrir around half an hour ago, the charge is walking in downtown

Mostafa was picked up near Tahrir Square, along with journalists Mohamed El Sawy and Islam Reda and four others, confirmed lawyer Karim Abdelrady, who is also Mostafa’s husband.

It remains unclear whether the four others arrested with Mostafa, Reda and El Sawy are also journalists.

Journalist Mostafa Reda, the editor-in-chief of Al-Tareeq, was arrested from Talaat Harb street in downtown Cairo, while journalist Magdy Omara was arrested near the Press Syndicate.

Earlier on Monday, security forces also arrested Ahmed Abdallah, a board member of human rights group the Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms.

Monday’s arrests follow nationwide security raids on Thursday night and Friday morning that saw dozens arrested from cafés, streets and private residences.

According to a count by the Front of Defense for Egyptian Protesters, police arrested 96 individuals, while lawyer Amr Imam told state-owned Ahram Online that at least 100 were arrested.

Security forces closed off several streets in downtown on Monday to preemptively quash demonstrations scheduled to take place this afternoon to protest against Egypt’s recent decision to cede the Red Sea islands of Tiran and Sanafir to Saudi Arabia.

Police presence is currently heavy in the area, and reports have indicated several plainclothes police and snipers are monitoring the situation.

Protestors flocked to the Press Syndicate on April 15 to demonstrate against the agreement, which was negotiated and signed without the notification of the public, causing widespread anger and controversy. The demonstrations took place in defiance of the country’s protest law, which prohibits protests without the consent of the Ministry of Interior.

Photo credit: AP

Photo credit: AP

Egypt’s Ministry of Interior announced on Monday that 859 prisoners have been pardoned to mark Sinai Liberation Day.

In a statement, the Ministry said that the decision comes after a Presidential decree issued to pardon convicted individuals.

It remains unclear which crimes were covered in the pardon and whether any individuals involved in political activity have been released. The Ministry of Interior is yet to release a name of the 859 individuals.

The pardon comes as protests had been planned to demonstrate Egypt’s recent decision to declare the Red Sea islands of Tiran and Sanafir as Saudi Arabian. As of noon in Egypt, demonstrators had failed to gather despite momentum on social media.

However, Egypt’s police have been out in force, with reports of some arrests in the lead up to the demonstrations. Earlier this week, at least 17 people were arrested in Downtown Cairo during late night and early morning raids, reportedly for planning to participate in demonstrations.

Sinai Liberation Day marks the day in 1982 Israeli forces withdrew from the Sinai Peninsula per a peace treaty signed between Egypt and Israel.

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The Armed Forces spokesperson announced Sunday that Egypt’s military has deployed to secure vital and important locations and public institutions as the Egyptian people mark Sinai Liberation day.

The Military’s deployment includes routine patrols to ensure civilians’ security, said the Armed Forces’ spokesperson.

Tomorrow, demonstrations are planned against Egypt’s recent decision to declare the Red Sea islands of Tiran and Sanafir as Saudi Arabian.

Ahead of the protests, Egypt’s Minister of Interior warned potential demonstrators against “crossing a red line”, adding that any attempts to destabilize Egypt will be met with a prompt and strict response by security forces.

The Minister of Interior warned against violent attacks on key public establishments, adding that security forces will be ready to confront any destabilizing attempts.

“I trust the honorable citizens will not respond to calls for chaos or harming of security,” said the Minister.

Earlier this week, at least 17 people were arrested in Downtown Cairo during late night and early morning raids, reportedly for planning to participate in demonstrations.

On Friday 15 April, several thousand Egyptians gathered in Cairo and other major cities to demonstrate the decision. While 100 people were arrested across the country, the Ministry of Interior says the majority were released.

The upcoming 25 April protests are largely aimed at the Red Sea islands issue. However, others are intending to protest other human rights and political issues.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi speaking at a press conference. (i24 News)

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi speaking at a press conference. (i24 News)

In a speech ahead of Egypt’s Sinai Liberation Day, Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi promised to stand by the poor amid a weakening Egyptian pound.

During the speech, President Sisi said he had ordered the government to increase the supply of subsidized basic commodities to ensure food prices do not spike.

The Egyptian President also ordered the Armed Forces to distribute two million packages containing staple goods, such as rice and oil, to low-income areas across Egypt.

More than 45 million Egyptians live in poverty in the fifteenth most densely populated country in the world, reported the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) in 2015. This includes 16.7 million children, of which 9.2 million are living in extreme poverty.

Poverty has grown with a marked acceleration since the January 25 revolution in 2011. In 2000, 16.7 percent of Egypt’s population, and 21 percent of children, lived in extreme poverty. As of 2013, that number has peaked to 26.3 percent of the total population, including 28.8 percent of children.

Extreme poverty in Egypt is classified as earning less than EGP 10.7 (US 1.40) per day, while those in poverty earn EGP 13.9 (US 1.82) or less per day.

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Following the elections to select the leaders of the internal committees in Egypt’s House of representatives held on Saturday, the “Support Egypt” parliamentary coalition won the majority of the leading posts, according to state-owned Ahram Online.

The coalition, which is widely considered to be sympathetic to President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, will head 14 of the as of yet announced 18 committees, thus consolidating its control over the newly-elected Egyptian parliament.

The Support Egypt MP winning the most votes for the respective committee he was running for was Osama Heikal, former information minister and the current chairman of the Egyptian Media Production City. Running for the leadership of the Media, Culture and Antiquities Committee, Heikal won 10 out of a total of 18 votes.

He said that his political bloc did not field candidates for all of parliament’s internal committees because they wanted to see a diverse mix of committee heads. “We fielded candidates in 16 committees only, allowing other political factions to compete and win posts,” said Heikal.

The committees that the Support Egypt coalition secured include transportation, industry, manpower, defense and national security, agriculture, housing, and Arab countries’ affairs.

A number of MPs have voiced criticism of the election process, saying that the Support Egypt bloc only wants to strengthen its hold on parliament rather than elect the most worthy and competent candidates to lead the internal committees.

Member of the Support Egypt coalition Osama Sharshar reportedly resigned from the political bloc in protest of biased voting, according to Daily News Egypt.

The Support Egypt coalition was founded in late 2015 by the late Sameh Seif El-Yazal and is now headed by Saad El-Gamal, who was a member of former president Hosni Mubarak’s now-defunct National Democratic Party.

Egypt’s current parliament was opened in January for the first time in three years. In 2012, the Muslim Brotherhood-dominated legislature was dissolved by the supreme constitutional court. The ruling by Egypt’s top court came less than a year after it was elected in what has been described as he country’s first democratic parliamentary elections.

While Mohamed Morsi, who was elected president the same year, tried to reinstate the parliament, the courts blocked his attempts in a move seen as solidifying control by the military over one Egypt’s key power centres.

Shortly thereafter, in July 2013, Morsi was ousted from the presidency by a popularly-backed military take-over prompting the rise of then-defense minister Sisi to dominate the Egyptian political scene.

Egypt’s parliament consists of 596 elected members, with around 40 percent affiliated with political parties and 60 percent are independents.

Statue of Ramsees II in Luxor Temple (Credit: Mohammed Moussa, Wikicommons)

Statue of Ramsees II in Luxor Temple (Credit: Mohammed Moussa, Wikicommons)

Following a five-year halt of direct flights between Egyptian tourist hot-spot Luxor and Japan, direct flights are now recommencing with the first batch of Japanese tourists landing in Luxor on Saturday evening, the Cairo Post reports.

The 230 tourists, who took off from Japan’s Kansai Airport located near Osaka, are scheduled to visit Luxor’s archaeological sites and other locations of interest for foreigners during their three-day visit.

Luxor airport will receive weekly flights from Japan during one month, with that number doubling in October to two flights a week, according to the head of public relations at Luxor Airport Bekhit Khairi.

Direct flights between Japan and Egypt were halted following the 2011 uprising that toppled former president Hosni Mubarak and caused widespread instability in the country.

Egypt’s tourism industry, a vital source of foreign currency and a cornerstone of the economy, is still struggling from the 2011 unrest that scared away tourists and foreign investors.

Since then, a number of other incidents have worsened the state of tourism in the country.

In October last year, a Russian passenger plane crashed over the Sinai Peninsula killing all 224 people on-board. An affiliate to the self-proclaimed Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the crash, saying that it had planted a bomb on board the aircraft.

The image of Egypt as one of the world’s foremost tourist destinations has also been damaged by the murder of Italian doctoral student Giulio Regeni. The student disappeared on January 25 only to be found dead some 10 days later in a Cairo ditch with torture marks covering his body. Human rights groups say the signs of torture on his body resemble methods used by Egypt’s security forced, something Egyptian authorities forcefully deny.

Furthermore, in September last year 12 Mexican tourists were accidentally killed by security forces who reportedly mistook them for militants.

As a result, tourism revenues have sharply fallen which has reduced Egypt’s foreign currency reserves. According to the Ministry of Tourism, Egypt’s tourism revenues fell by 15 percent in 2015 and the number of incoming tourists declined by 6 percent

The new performance has music set to the poetic portions of Roman philosopher Boethius` magnum opus The Consolation of Philosophy.

Exactly what music sounded like in the early Middle Ages is unknown, but some scholar-musicians from England performed a piece today that they reconstructed from an 11th century manuscript.

A page from the manuscript lost for 142 years but later found has helped three researchers rewrite the music as they believe it may have sounded during the Middle Ages.

Cambridge University’s Sam Barrett worked for more than 20 years to reconstruct melodies from the 11th century “Cambridge Songs,” the final part of an anthology of Latin texts. It was from that manuscript that the leaf was missing. Today an ensemble performed the music at Cambridge for the first time in as long as 1,000 years.

In 1982 the leaf from the manuscript was found by an English scholar visiting a Frankfurt, Germany, library. In 1840, a German scholar had visited Cambridge and cut the leaf out of the “Cambridge Songs” manuscript and returned to Germany with it. Perhaps he thought the Germans were entitled to it because the songs originated in the Rhineland in the 11th century.

The music performed at Cambridge today is set to Roman philosopher Boethius’ master work, “The Consolation of Philosophy,” which he wrote in the 6th century while he was under house arrest awaiting execution for treason.

From a 1385 Italian manuscript of the ‘Consolation of Philosophy’: Miniatures of Boethius teaching and in prison

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By Rana Khaled, Daily News Egypt

As a positive step towards integrating visually impaired children into larger society, the first animated film with live audio description will be screened at Zawya, in cooperation with the Commercial International Bank (CIB) and Masreya Media.

Listening to a detailed audio description allows children with visual impairments to imagine the costumes, outer appearance, body language and facial expressions of the characters. One hundred children from different governorates came to watch the film “Hotel Transylvania 2”.

“We chose to cooperate with Zawya because they are the most open-minded venue and is happy to adopt new initiatives,” said Aisha Selim, the director of Masreya Media, the leading dubbing, translation and subtitling studio in Cairo. “We discussed the idea with them and they were very enthusiastic about it. We first cooperated last June when we screened the classic historical film “Al-Naser Salah Eldin” with an audio description.”

Masreya Media targets children who have never been given the chance to watch an animated movie before. (Photo by Omar Hisham)

Masreya Media targets children who have never been given the chance to watch an animated movie before.
(Photo by Omar Hisham)

About 20 people were involved in the different steps which included translating the script, reading the voice overs, obtaining certain permissions, and contacting schools. “There are about 32 schools for visually impaired children in Egypt. We contacted them and sent a bus to bring the children and their supervisors to the show because our main target is to reach people outside Cairo. Our next screenings will be in Alexandria and Minya,” she noted.This time, Masreya Media wanted to target children who have never been given the chance to watch an animated movie before. “We received permission to screen the movie for the first time in Egypt. Actually, it was a very challenging task because it is a comedy and we had to add some Egyptian humour to the audio description. We were also limited to the gaps where there is no dialogue so we had to decide which information is essential to include,” Selim added.

Selim believes that the role of the governmental organisations is incredibly important. “We usually cooperate with the Ministries of Education and Culture. I am very optimistic about this cooperation and we hope to use cultural centres in different governorates as screening venues in the near future,” she added.

About 20 people participated in translating the script, reading the voice over, getting permissions and contacting the schools. (Photo by Omar Hisham)

About 20 people participated in translating the script, reading the voice over, getting permissions and contacting the schools.
(Photo by Omar Hisham)

Asmaa Samir Ibrahim, a radio anchor, was responsible for reading the live audio description while the movie was playing. “Last year, we made a five-minute audio experiment for the Lion King movie that was screened at the Children’s Cinema Festival. This time we wanted the show to be live and this needed a lot of rehearsal and preparation. The hardest part for me was to integrate into the movie and be part of it and not restrict my role to just reading some words. The most important thing for the writing team was not to deprive the listener from enjoying the music and sound effects of the movie,” she said.
“In Zawya, we have a programme that targets children in different schools entitled ‘learning through film’.  We send DVDs to schools with a number of questions that may be used to open up an effective discussion about the main issues the movie raises. Screening this film is a part of the project that also pays special attention to children with disabilities,” she said.Marianne Khouri, a director and producer as well as the founder of Misr International Films, the company behind Zawya, explained that watching films can be one of the most effective ways of learning.

Khouri also revealed Zawya’s intention to spread this experience all across Egypt. “We have about 3 million blind people in Egypt who need more attention. We need to broaden the experience; however, this requires a lot of preparation with schools and cinema venues in different governorates. We need support from the government who must play a more crucial role in this,” she noted.

Morgan Freeman at the Pyramids in October 2015 (Credit: AP)

Morgan Freeman at the Pyramids in October 2015 (Credit: AP)

In its latest travel advice, the Australian government has warned that terrorists “may seek to target Cairo” during the upcoming Sham El-Nessim holiday.

“Recent indications suggest that terrorists may seek to target Cairo during Orthodox Easter celebrations,” reads an official website related to travel advice by the Australian government.

Despite the warning, the level of advice for travelers has not changed to the highest level of warning. Australia continues to advise Australians to reconsider their need to travel to most of Egypt. The government advises that Australians should not travel to Egypt’s North Sinai.

According to an Egyptian government source, Egypt has not received any intelligence information from Australia concerning a potential terrorist attack. It remains unclear whether this is simply an assumptive statement by the Australian government, or whether it is based on information it has gathered.

On its website, the Australian government’s travel advice reads that “[t]errorist attacks are expected in Egypt, including in Cairo”. The website, Smart Traveler, includes a list of recent terror attacks and warns travelers to remain vigilant at all times. The government also advises Australians to avoid all demonstrations in Egypt, citing that foreigners have previously been arrested, injured, and killed during demonstrations.

In the past, terror attacks have taken place during major holidays across Egypt. However, attacks targeting civilians during holidays have been rare since the ouster of former President Hosni Mubarak in 2011.

Instead, the majority of attacks have targeted security forces, largely in Egypt’s North Sinai. In 2015 in North Sinai, 1,800 people described by the military as terrorists were killed, along with 180 security personnel and 150 civilians.

The number of terrorist attacks spiked after the ouster of Mohammed Morsi in July 2013. The spike has resulted in serious harm to Egypt’s struggling tourism industry, which employs four million Egyptians and is an integral source of income for Egypt’s economy, accounting for 11.3 percent of the country’s gross domestic product.

Photo: Nayrouz Talaat

Photo: Nayrouz Talaat

Three Egyptian startups cinched the top three spots in the “Startupper of the Year 2016 by Total” competition last week, landing a total of EGP 320,000 in financial grants.

The winners of the competition were rewarded for their innovative ideas to solve critical issues in the health and agricultural sectors, as well as the social life of persons with disabilities, making the winning pool of projects highly diverse.

Ahmed Abbas, whose Sun City Energy Project landed the top spot in the competition, developed efficient solar-powered water pumps to meet the needs of five million Egyptian farmers.

Meanwhile, the second winner Ahmed El Keiey, said that his project, Tech for Cause, is based on the idea of connecting patients to healthcare resources in order to facilitate access to healthcare.

Amena El Saie and Ramez Maher, the third-place winners, said that their project, Entaleq, is a website and application designed to allow persons with disabilities to identify the places that are easily accessible and suitable for their needs.

The competition, which is part of a responsibility taken on by international oil company Total to support socioeconomic development in Egypt, awarded grants of EGP 160,000, EGP 90,000 and EGP 70,000 to the first, second and third place winners, respectively.

The entrepreneurial scene is currently growing in Egypt in parallel with a number of supporting initiatives from both the private and governmental sectors to accelerate the growth of innovative and entrepreneurial ideas.

“Egypt’s startup industry is one of the fastest growing in the region, if not the world. There is great potential for Egyptian entrepreneurs provided they have access to finance and technical support,” said Ian Lepetit, Managing Director of Total Egypt.

The winning projects beat 120 competitors from 34 African countries, including Algeria, Angola, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Gabon, Madagascar, Namibia and South Africa, among others.

Photo: Anadolu Agency

Photo: Anadolu Agency

The United Arab Emirates pledged USD 4 billion to Egypt to help boost the country’s economy, the Emirates’ state news agency WAM reported on Friday.

“The aid comes in the framework of strategic cooperation and coordination between the two countries, out of the USE’s firm supportive position toward Egypt and its brotherly people to promote the construction and development process and out of recognition of Egypt’s pivotal role in the region,” WAM said.

The report did not clarify whether the pledge referred to a previous offer from the UAE to give Egypt the same amount, which was announced at Egypt’s Economic Development Conference, held in Sharm El Sheikh last year.

Emirati Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahayan had arrived in Cairo on Thursday for a brief visit, during which he and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi toured several projects related to the “new capital city,” a mega-project estimated to cost USD 45 billion.

The deposit in Egypt’s Central Bank is aiming to support the country’s foreign reserves, which have been depleted since the 2011 uprising the toppled former president Hosni Mubarak.

Egypt’s foreign reserves reached USD 16.5 billion, down from nearly USD 36 billion prior to the 2011 revolution.

Meanwhile, the black market price for the US dollar has skyrocketed, with traders selling each dollar for EGP 11.35, as opposed to the official rate of EGP 8.78.

Current Central Bank Governor Tarek Amer has attempted to narrow the gap between the official and black market rates since taking over from former governor Hisham Ramez in November of last year.

Last month, Amer decided to devalue the pound by 14.5 percent against the dollar. However, the decision only curbed unregulated trading for a short period of time, after which the black market rates continued to rise steadily.

Despite the economic difficulties, Amer has maintained that the Central Bank has no intention of further devaluing the country’s currency.

Photo: Anadolu Agency

Photo: Anadolu Agency

The United Arab Emirates pledged USD 4 billion to Egypt to help boost the country’s economy, the Emirates’ state news agency WAM reported on Friday.

“The aid comes in the framework of strategic cooperation and coordination between the two countries, out of the USE’s firm supportive position toward Egypt and its brotherly people to promote the construction and development process and out of recognition of Egypt’s pivotal role in the region,” WAM said.

The report did not clarify whether the pledge referred to a previous offer from the UAE to give Egypt the same amount, which was announced at Egypt’s Economic Development Conference, held in Sharm El Sheikh last year.

Emirati Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahayan had arrived in Cairo on Thursday for a brief visit, during which he and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi toured several projects related to the “new capital city,” a mega-project estimated to cost USD 45 billion.

The deposit in Egypt’s Central Bank is aiming to support the country’s foreign reserves, which have been depleted since the 2011 uprising the toppled former president Hosni Mubarak.

Egypt’s foreign reserves reached USD 16.5 billion, down from nearly USD 36 billion prior to the 2011 revolution.

Meanwhile, the black market price for the US dollar has skyrocketed, with traders selling each dollar for EGP 11.35, as opposed to the official rate of EGP 8.78.

Current Central Bank Governor Tarek Amer has attempted to narrow the gap between the official and black market rates since taking over from former governor Hisham Ramez in November of last year.

Last month, Amer decided to devalue the pound by 14.5 percent against the dollar. However, the decision only curbed unregulated trading for a short period of time, after which the black market rates continued to rise steadily.

Despite the economic difficulties, Amer has maintained that the Central Bank has no intention of further devaluing the country’s currency.

4,500-Year-Old Burial Suggests Norte Chico People of Peru Practiced Gender Equality

Thousands of years ago, people of the Norte Chico civilization (also known as Caral/ Caral-Supe) lived near the coast of Peru, apparently never making war but rather spending much of their time making music, studying the night sky, practicing religion, and living in harmony with nature.

And now there comes evidence in the form of a mummified woman’s remains that the people may have practiced equality between men and women.

It may sound like a politically correct rendering of the life of the noble native in the Americas, but scientists have found no evidence of warfare in this advanced 5,000-year-old nation.

A representation of the woman’s burial.

A representation of the woman’s burial. (Ministry of Culture of Peru)

Archaeologists recently exhumed the mummified remains of a Peruvian woman buried about 4,500 years ago with eight flutes made of animal bones and other grave goods that point to her noble and equal status to male counterparts.

pablo (77)

Egypt’s Ministry of Education has told privately-owned DotMsr that it has formed a committee to investigate a video that showed a teacher repeatedly slapping and hitting a young student in the middle of class.

The video, which was released on Facebook, shows the teacher hurling insults at the student, which included insulting his parents, while slapping him and hitting him in front of other students.

The teacher repeatedly hits the student as he interrogates him for “lying” about not attending a private lesson.

The incident reportedly took place in Bab El-Shaareya School in Cairo and has resulted in anger across social media. According to social media users, the teacher, identified as Khaled Salah, is known as “the Ghost” at the school. He has been accused of abusing other children throughout his career.

Egypt’s Ministry of Education said that it is in coordinating with Cairo’s Security Directorate to investigate the matter and bring the teacher to justice.

Watch the video below (viewer discretion is advised)

picture-of-Sharm-el-Sheikh-beach

It’s April and Spring break is quickly coming up. For most working adults, that’s more than a relief since not a lot of people get time to relax and unwind from a tough working year. For students, it means their first break since the mid-year break and while that hasn’t been too long, the exhausting effects are starting to show (trust me, I’m a med student).

April also means Sham el-Nessim, the beginning of spring. Traditionally, most Egyptians get together and eat together. The main courses consist of salads, ringa, and fesikh. In the off chance you don’t know what the previous two foods were, they’re basically fermented fish only found in the Mediterranean Sea. The fermented fish is then heavily salted and dried out in the sun. Not exactly the most appealing description but they do truly taste great.

Sham el-Nessim also means travel. Most Egyptians make a habit of traveling with their family or friends for a couple of days to get the daily workload habits out of their system. The well-known resort spots (Ain al-Sokhna, Hurghada,  and the North Coast) are usually the first destinations to come up in people’s minds. For those of you who are looking to get away from crowded resorts and busy roads, check these getaways out for your next vacation:

Sharm el-Sheikh

Credit: unknown

Credit: unknown

Nicknamed the ‘City of Peace’, Sharm is one of the most famous cities all over Egypt and is an extremely popular vacation destination during the summer. What makes Sharm underrated is the experience itself. Situated in Southern Sinai, Sharm has a lot of outdoor activities to offer for the outgoing. Activities include swimming at the beach, snorkeling in the deep sea, scuba diving and swimming with numerous schools of fish and kite-surfing with a steady breeze in your face. For those who aren’t into aquatic fun, Sharm is well known for its shopping kiosks and nightlife located in the resorts. The city is also a prime location for those with a fetish for history.  Places such as Saint Catherine’s Monastery and the Pharaoh’s island add a layer of fun to the already massive location.

Ras Muhammad

Credit unknown

Credit unknown

Essentially a national park, Ras Muhammad is located about 12 kilometers south of Sharm el-Sheikh. While the trip may be long if you’re not flying out, the road trip itself might bring good memories. Ras Muhammad specializes in aquatic activities and shopping for tourists looking for memorable tokens from the trip. Tourists are allowed to cruise the Red Sea and, for those feeling more adventurous, also able to snorkel. The clear water and cloudless skies make Ras Muhammed an attraction worth visiting.

Dahab

Inns and cafeterias lining the Red Sea in Dahab. Credit: Katia Vastiau

Inns and cafeterias lining the Red Sea in Dahab. Credit: Katia Vastiau

Also located in Sinai is the beautiful region of Dahab. Dahab is pretty well off the normal path, but finding it is a treasure in itself.  Tourists can visit the Blue Hole, one of the most famous diving spots all over Egypt. It consists of a former submarine diving hole forming an arch which quickly took on a name of its own. It’s also rumored to be haunted with the spirit of a woman who was trying to escape from an arranged marriage.

With various aquatic diving activities already available, Dahab is mostly known for taking advantage of the vast desert surrounding the area. Tour companies offer camel and jeep safaris to explore the desert and the Bedouin lifestyle. Cruising the southern region of Egypt is also a widely popular option in Dahab. The cruise lasts about four days with stops in Aswan and Luxor, both of which are famous spots for tourists.

Ras Sudr

Credit: La Hacienda

Credit: La Hacienda

Ras Sudr doesn’t have a lot of visitors due to its distance, but it is easily one of the most attractive tourist spots all over Egypt. If experiencing new things and dealing with less people interests you, definitely consider Ras Sudr. Visiting the hot water springs, kite-surfing on the Red Sea, swimming with dolphins and trying many forms of international cuisines only break the iceberg on what is a truly great resort town. The people there provide you with warm hospitality and the natural experience makes Ras Sudr a very underrated location to visit  during your upcoming break.

El Gouna

gouna

Size doesn’t matter. While El Gouna might not be as big or flashy as the other locations mentioned, it definitely competes rather fairly in the activity sector. Activities such as horse riding on the beach, stand up paddling, golfing, and relaxing at the spot make El Gouna a very fun destination regardless of age. Bringing friends or family doesn’t make the experience any different and satisfaction is pretty much a given. Abu Tig Marina, a small town located on the edge of the city, is also a popular destination among tourists due to its international community and heavenly spa where consumers- men and women- can take a day to relax from all the activities done at the mega-resort. El Gouna is located 20 kilometers north of Hurghada.

isis4

Shocking reports have revealed that 250 girls in Iraq have been “executed” by ISIS for “refusing to become sex slaves”.

According to the Kurdish Democratic Party spokesman Said Mamuzini, the girls had been ordered into a “temporary marriage”, otherwise known as a cover to hold the girls as sex slaves. However, those who refused were killed, said Mamuzini, according to Yahoo7 News.

“At least 250 girls have so far been executed by the IS for refusing to accept the practice of sexual jihad, and sometimes the families of the girls were also executed for rejecting to submit to IS’s request,” Mamuzini said.

The ages of the girls, and whether they were all children (under the age of 18), remains unclear. Moreover, the reports have not been independently verified, but have been reported on across multiple international media outlets.

In December 2015, U.S. government officials released a detailed and translated document issued by ISIS that outlines 15 rules on when militants can have sex with enslaved women.

The release of this document confirmed the United Nations’ accusations that ISIS has been involved in the systematic rape of thousands of women and girls.

In a February 2015 report, the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child said it abhorred and condemned “the systematic killing of children belonging to religious and ethnic minorities by the so-called ISIL, including several cases of mass executions of boys, as well as reports of beheadings, crucifixions of children and burying children alive.” The Committee added that there is a “high number of children” and their parents who have been abducted and then been subjected to physical and sexual assault.

Also in 2015, Nadia Murad, a a 21-year-old Yezidi woman who had been held by ISIS as a sex slave for three months, traveled to New York City to testify in front of the United Nations Security Council about the plight of the Yezidi people and other minorities under ISIS.

ISIS’ own leader, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, has also reportedly “owned sex slaves”, including a U.S. hostage who was killed in 2015.

Top Islamic scholars and officials, including Al-Azhar, have repeatedly condemned ISIS’ actions as un-Islamic and have noted that Islam does not permit terrorism or slavery.

ISIS has been accused of killing, kidnapping, and raping thousands of men, women, and children.

Protests on Friday 16 April. Photo credits: Belal Darder

Protests on Friday 16 April. Photo credits: Belal Darder

At least 17 people have been arrested in Downtown Cairo during late night and early morning raids.

The raids, which primarily involved coffee shops in the downtown area, resulted in the arrests of “journalists and civilians”, reported Al-Masry Al-Youm citing police sources. It is unclear why the arrests took place.

Lawyer and activist Haitham Mohamden got arrested from his home. No news about where he was taken to #Egypt #25April pic.twitter.com/KN06qibKyn

— Sarah Mohsen (@sarah_m94) April 22, 2016

A lawyer working with the Association for Free Thought and Expression also stated on Facebook that 12 people have been arrested.

On social media, Egyptians have been posting about friends and family members being randomly detained in downtown Cairo.

The whereabouts of activists rounded up by the Egyptian police from cafes and from their homes are unknown https://t.co/NN6QgMjAmW

— Hossam عمو حسام (@3arabawy) April 22, 2016

Meanwhile, 6 April reports that police raided the apartments of some of its members in an early morning operation.

Some activist groups and activists have reported up to 50 people being arrested. However, this number could not be independently verified.

The raids come amid calls for demonstrations on 25 April against Egypt’s decision to declare two Red Sea islands as Saudi Arabian.

Last Friday, several thousand Egyptians gathered in Cairo and other major cities to demonstrate the decision. While 100 people were arrested across the country, the Ministry of Interior says they were released.

Three 16th Century English Cannons and the Remains of a Galley Discovered During Cleanup on a Spanish Beach

Three English 16th century cannons and the remains of a galley were discovered during the recent cleanup of a Spanish beach. The find was made in Calpe, a Spanish municipality in Valencia located on the north coast of the province of Alicante, in the Marina Alta region.

The Fishermen`s Association of Calpe, along with various other organizations and institutions in the area, held a cleanup day for the local seabed. There was much surprise when, apart from the residues extracted from those beautiful Mediterranean waters, they encountered three cannons from the late 16th century and the remains of the galley that had carried them.

Galleys fighting in the Battle of Lepanto (1571), by an unknown artist, National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London.

Galleys fighting in the Battle of Lepanto (1571), by an unknown artist, National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London. (Public Domain)

Archaeologists Excavate Ancient Anatolian Health Center Founded by Rich Roman Subject-King

A clinic, a morgue, and burial chambers are being excavated in the ancient city of Philadelphia in central Turkey, where archaeologists have found surgical instruments and two moon symbols on statues thought to depict Men, an ancient god of the moon and healing.

The dig is being conducted in Karaman Province near Gokceseki village, and Hurriyet Daily News is calling Philadelphia an ancient health center of the Taseli region. The ruins of the city are 20 km (12 miles) north of Gokceseki.

Some of the artifacts found at the site.

Some of the artifacts found at the site. (Karamanoğlu Mehmetbey Üniversitesi)

The director of the Karaman Museum, Abdulbari Yildiz, told the Hurriyet Daily News that some of the settlement’s features, including a necropolis, survive on a hill. The Romans controlled Anatolia at the time of the site, and in 38 AD Emperor Caligula gifted parts of the mountainous regions of Cilicia and Laconia to Commagene King Antiochus IV and his wife Lotape Philadelphos.

Caligula, who ruled for just four years, re-established the Commagene kingdom as a vassal state to Rome in 37 AD. One year after its re-establishment, Antiochus IV, son of Antiochus III, became king. Antiochus IV had a reputation of being very rich.

giulio

Egyptian police detained Italian PhD student Giulio Regeni “as part of a security sweep” prior to his murder, police and intelligence sources told Reuters.

Howewver, the reports were slammed by the Ministry of Interior as ‘unfounded’ and ‘false’. The Ministry vowed to pursue legal action for the reports, it said in a statement.

According to the news wire’s exclusive report, Regeni was picked up near Gamal Abdel Nasser metro station in downtown Cairo by plainclothes police officers on January 25, the day he was reported missing, and taken to Izbakiya police station.

After being held at the police station for 30 minutes, Regeni was transferred to a state security compound run by Homeland Security. The sources did not clarify to Reuters what happened to Regeni following his transfer to the state security compound.

Speaking to three police sources, Reuters said that the Italian student was picked up along with an Egyptian man. It remains unclear whether the Egyptian and Regeni were connected in any way.

The same sources told Reuters that the two men “had not been specifically targeted but were detained as part of a general security sweep.”

The Ministry of Interior has since released a statement denying the contents of Reuters’ report, saying it is “devoid of any truth” and that the ministry “holds the right to take legal action against propagators of these rumors and false news.”

Egyptian officials have consistently denied that Regeni, who was studying trade unions in Egypt, was detained by police or was under surveillance in any way during his stay in Egypt.

Human rights groups, however, claim the torture marks found on the 28-year-old are reminiscent of methods used by Egyptian security forces.

More than two months after Regeni’s tortured body was found in a ditch on the outskirts of Cairo, investigations have yet to determine the true perpetrators of the student’s brutal torture and murder.

Last month, Egyptian authorities claimed that a “gang” specializing in kidnapping and scamming foreigners while posing as policemen was responsible for the murder of the Italian student. The interior ministry said that all suspects were killed during a shootout with police and that security forces later found Regeni’s belongings in the apartment of a gang members’ relative.

Italian investigators rejected the claims, saying there are “inconsistencies” in Egypt’s narrative of the events.

Tensions continued to rise between Egypt and Italy after the Egyptian investigative team probing Regeni’s murder met with their Italian counterparts in Rome earlier this month, but refused to hand over evidence relating to the investigation.

According to deputy prosecutor Mustafa Suleiman, Italian officials requested requested phone records belonging to as many as one million phone users but, as the request is “unconstitutional,” the Egyptian team “reiterated its absolute refusal,” despite Italy making this demand as a requirement for further cooperation between the two countries on the case.

Italy subsequently recalled its ambassador to Egypt “for consultations,” saying, “urgent decisions are needed on the most proper actions to bolster efforts aimed at finding the truth about the barbaric murder of Giulio Regeni.”

giulio

Egyptian police detained Italian PhD student Giulio Regeni “as part of a security sweep” prior to his murder, police and intelligence sources told Reuters.

According to the news wire’s exclusive report, Regeni was picked up near Gamal Abdel Nasser metro station in downtown Cairo by plainclothes police officers on January 25, the day he was reported missing, and taken to Izbakiya police station.

After being held at the police station for 30 minutes, Regeni was transferred to a state security compound run by Homeland Security. The sources did not clarify to Reuters what happened to Regeni following his transfer to the state security compound.

Speaking to three police sources, Reuters said that the Italian student was picked up along with an Egyptian man. It remains unclear whether the Egyptian and Regeni were connected in any way.

The same sources told Reuters that the two men “had not been specifically targeted but were detained as part of a general security sweep.”

Egyptian officials have consistently denied that Regeni, who was studying trade unions in Egypt, was detained by police or was under surveillance in any way during his stay in Egypt.

Human rights groups, however, claim the torture marks found on the 28-year-old are reminiscent of methods used by Egyptian security forces.

More than two months after Regeni’s tortured body was found in a ditch on the outskirts of Cairo, investigations have yet to determine the true perpetrators of the student’s brutal torture and murder.

Last month, Egyptian authorities claimed that a “gang” specializing in kidnapping and scamming foreigners while posing as policemen was responsible for the murder of the Italian student. The interior ministry said that all suspects were killed during a shootout with police and that security forces later found Regeni’s belongings in the apartment of a gang members’ relative.

Italian investigators rejected the claims, saying there are “inconsistencies” in Egypt’s narrative of the events.

Tensions continued to rise between Egypt and Italy after the Egyptian investigative team probing Regeni’s murder met with their Italian counterparts in Rome earlier this month, but refused to hand over evidence relating to the investigation.

According to deputy prosecutor Mustafa Suleiman, Italian officials requested requested phone records belonging to as many as one million phone users but, as the request is “unconstitutional,” the Egyptian team “reiterated its absolute refusal,” despite Italy making this demand as a requirement for further cooperation between the two countries on the case.

Italy subsequently recalled its ambassador to Egypt “for consultations,” saying, “urgent decisions are needed on the most proper actions to bolster efforts aimed at finding the truth about the barbaric murder of Giulio Regeni.”

Dance and music groups from 20 different countries took over the historic Al-Muezz Street in the heart of Islamic Cairo for the International Festival for Drums and Traditional Arts, which took off on Tuesday and will come to an end on Monday April 25.

The festival drew groups from countries such as China, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Lithuania, Nigeria, Switzerland and Armenia, among others.

Photo via Emad Eldeen Mohamed

Photo via Emad Eldeen Mohamed

Launched under the message “Drums of Dialogue for Peace,” the festival, which was organized by Egypt’s Ministry of Culture, aims to “encourage cultural dialogue” across nations.

Participating countries have also been given the opportunity to display handicraft projects reflecting their respective cultures throughout the course of the festival.

13012673_10206247430887216_3775966022960489038_n

Spanning seven days, the festival features India as its guest of honor and showcased performances by young arts groups such as Assiut University’s Folklore Group.

Participating countries have also been given the opportunity to display handicraft projects reflecting their respective cultures throughout the course of the festival.

United States Secretary of State John Kerry, left, and Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi meet on the sidelines of the Egypt Economic Development Conference in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, Friday March 13, 2015. (AP)

United States Secretary of State John Kerry, left, and Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi meet on the sidelines of the Egypt Economic Development Conference in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, Friday March 13, 2015. (AP)

The United States’ Secretary of State John Kerry met Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi and Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry on Wednesday to discuss bilateral cooperation and regional tensions during a short visit in Cairo.

Secretary Kerry stressed the importance of Egypt for sustainable peace and stability in the Middle East, according to a statement issued by the State Department.

“I want to emphasize that the United States views Egypt as critical to the peace and security of the entire region,” he said.

Pointing to the “difficult challenges” that Egypt is facing in terms of threats to its security from extremist groups, he underscored the US’ commitment and desire to help Egypt deal with these challenges, particularly threats from groups such as the Islamic State.

“We are deeply committed to the stability of Egypt and to helping Egypt through the difficult challenges that it faces, which, by the way, it doesn’t face alone in the world,” Kerry continued.

On the issue of Egypt’s struggling economy, the Secretary said that his country wants to cooperate with Egypt to attract investments, create jobs and increase growth. He vowed to return to Cairo with ideas about how to achieve these goals.

For his part, President Sisi was quoted by presidential spokesperson Alaa Yousef as saying that Egypt wants to improve bilateral ties with the US “on all levels” while stressing the importance of joint cooperation and coordination to face the challenges the “tumultuous” Middle East is facing at the moment.

During the meeting, the representatives of the two countries also discussed the volatile situations in Syria and Libya.

Kerry also said that he wants to overcome some of the difficulties the two countries have experienced lately.

“And we also talked about ways in which we can hopefully resolve some of the differences and questions that have arisen about the internal politics and choices for the people of Egypt,” he said, in apparent reference to Egypt’s worsening human rights situation which has drawn criticism from the American administration and triggered a debate about the economic assistance provided by Washington to Egypt.

In remarks made in March, Kerry said he was “deeply concerned by the deterioration in the human rights situation in Egypt.”

Foreign Minister Shoukry responded harshly to the Secretary’s comments, saying that Egypt rejects any interference by foreign countries in its internal affairs.

After Wednesday’s meeting, however, Shoukry seemed more sanguine, saying the discussions with Kerry were “cordial and productive” and “addressed both of our desires to put this relationship on an upward trajectory.”

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