Saturday, February 25, 2006

Masry al Youm website, akhiran

The last two years President Mubarak have provided me with the birthday gifts, this year it´s masry al youm, whom finally decided to go cyber, after a year and a half. Hannah Allam of the knight ridder has a piece on what probably is the best daily newspaper in Egypt today. Congratulations to Hisham Qassem(i was a huge fan of Cairo Times), Magdi Mehanna and everybody else involved.

After President Mubaraks promise on the 23th of February 2004, there is a tiny opening in the media towards more freedom. Masry al youm has tapped in too that vacum, begining to fill it with a new standard of journalism, unprecedented after the 1952 revolution. There is also small cracks in the semiofficial press, altough as for now, mostly administrative in form. Hopefully in the near future we will see changes both in style and material. Egypt still has a long and winding road ahead from the routine newsreports of whom the president and the first lady recieved , and vaved goodbye on the tarmac of Cairo Internatinal Airport. This could symbolise the state of journalism in Egypt for the last 50 years.

The media coverage of the Presidential elections was undiscovered ground for egyptian journalists, It was substantially more free in terms of media access for the candidates, and masry al youm was first among equals in reporting on the election.

The promises President Mubarak pledged to, 24 months ago, and reiterated as part of his presidential election program, and in his first speech to parliament after elections in November-December, is still not in place, in contrast the hardcore facts facing journalists in Egypt since Mubaraks original promises two years ago tell us a differnt story. From the abduction of the editor of the Nasserist weekly, and Kifayya elder Abd Halim Qandil in November 2004, the sexual harrasment of women journalists during the May referendum, journalists covering the judges club meeting and parliament elections is all but a few exemples of the systematic problems facing Egyptian journalists and journalism in Egypt today, the latest incidents, the scandalous decision by the prosecutor not to prosecute in the case of black wednesday(the May referndum) and the one which involves journalists from Masry al youm,it prompted CPJ to write a letter of protest to the President.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

First cases of bird flu in Egypt

Seven cases of bird flu has been found in Egypt. Samples from four chicken in Cairo, two in Giza and one in the Upper egyptian City of Minya have contained the virus so far. The health ministry said tests were carried out on people living nearby, but no human cases had been detected of the deadly H5N1 strain. BBC

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Egypt wins African Nations Cup

Egypt won the African Nations Cup, for a record fifth time yesterday evening. Cairo celebrated in style. After a 120 minutes thriller, Egypt had the best luck in the penalty shootout. The Hero of the game was the goalkeeper al Hadary, who made a fenomenal save during the match, and took two penalties in the shootout. Ahmed Hassan managed to score the first penalty in the shootout after missing one very controversial penalty during the match. Muhammed Abu Treika was another hero, putting the last penalty in the net.

Egypt has really played good during the whole tournament. For once they played as a team, not an Egyptian trademark in the past. They usually play like they are the equivalent to Brazil of the African continent, without focusing on the defence, and everybody wanting to shine on their own. This time, it was the team, all players in the squad who achieved this remarkable result.

The row between Mido and coach Hassan Shehata, didn´t change the focus of the players on winning the cup in the end, and it´s really a tribute ti Hassan Shehata that the one who tried to cool things down was Hossam Hassan, who besides proving me utterly wrong in still displaying excellent skills on the pitch, actually being the elder statesman that Coach Shehata was talking about before the tournament. It must be the best of way of ending a fantastic career. Thanks for everything Hossam!

It´s a pitty that the Pharaos didn´t make it to Germany this comming summer, but they will get a new chance in 2010. Our hopes for 2006 is with the Ivory coast who has a real good opportunity of making a good result in Germany. Good luck!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

The presidential family joins Pharaos training session

Tonight, is a big football night again in Cairo, hosts Egypt will meet Senegal in the semifinal of the African Nations Cup. It´feel´s very comforting to know that the President and his two sons Gamal and Aláa joined the final training session before the match. The official website of the tournament do not give us any clue on whether or not, the Egyptian coach Hassan Shehata is considering any of the three musketeers for the starting lineup. Perhaps he´s waiting to see if Alaá must leave for Sharm al Sheikh or the President and Gamal has to fly off to Safaga or attend funerals instead? But what could possibly be more important than a semifinal in the African Nations Cup?