Thursday, July 26, 2007

Lake Nasser

While waiting for me to write another piece, look at these beautiful photos from Lake Nasser.

The pictures is provided by the BBC and taken by photographer Mohamed El Hebeishy.

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Friday, July 13, 2007

Pope Shenouda back home after medical examinations in Cleveland

The Coptic Orthodox pontiff returned home to Cairo after 10 days of medical examinations in Cleveland, Ohio on the 11th of July According to Daily Star Egypt, Pope Shenouda III had his kidney examined. Last October he removed cartilage from his spine at the same Cleveland hospital.

As usual he was greated upon arrival at Cairo International Airport by state officials, bishops and many Coptic laymen. He reassured the crowd by stating ¨I am in good health¨ but judging from the photo he looked pale and fragile. Hopefully only suffering from jet lag.

The pontiff will celebrate his 84th birthday next month, he has been the head of the Coptic Orthodox Church since 1971.

I would also like to take the opportunity to extend my congratulations to all copts on the occasion of ending the fasting of Rosol, go easy on the food!

Pope Benedict had his own way of extending his greetings. This is Pope Shenouda´s response.

UPDATE: The Pope held his weekly sermon in Anba Ruwais (Abbasiya,Cairo) on Wednesday, always followed by a Q and A session, originally intended for youth, and started in 1965, when Pope Shenouda was one of the first General Bishops ordained by late Pope Kyrillos VI in 1962. Bishop Shenouda was in charge of youth and education within the church.

He said that he had decided to leave Cleveland against the advice of doctors, and before ending his treatment because he was too old for a kidney transplant.

This week´s edition of al Ahram Weekly writes about Pope Shenouda´s return here, unfortunately they only recycle last year´s news of his back operation. Really bad quality journalism from a news outlet that normally hold high standards of journalism.

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Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Alan Johnston free

BBC journalist Alan Johnston was released earlier today. He was kidnapped in Gaza City on March 12th , by a group called Army of Islam. During the last days preasure has been stepped up, and just two days ago several arrests of people close to the Army of Islam was made. It seems the de facto Hamas takeover of Gaza has changed the security dynamics and that might have made the difference in this case.

I´m truly happy about Alan´s release, he´s one of the best reporters ever to have reported from the region, and he was the only western journalist to live there permanently at this point in time, to kidnap him was to rob the Gazans from getting the true story out on how bad the situation really is there in the most eloquent way possible. He´s reporting really has substantial impact.

More than 200 000 people have signed the petition to release him, and i thank everyone who has helped in whatever way during these almost four months. This is a big day for Alan, his family and the BBC.

A very good place to go for further news, insight and analysis is one of my new must read blogs, Charles Levinson´s Conflict Blotter. You can find he´s first thoughts on the release here

He also made some good reporting on the family, who´s is said to be the leaders of Army of Islam, and provided a translation of an interview with Mumtaz Dagmoush for a salafi magazine .

A timeline of his 114 days in captivity can be found here

I´m sorry for the inconvenience with the BBC links above, i ´ve been trying to keep up with the BBC all day, but some how i think they have an extremely hectic day, as well as one of the best days, so if my links dosen´t work properly i can live with that, and in the end everything will work out as planned, and in the meantime we should just enjoy Alan´s release. Please bear with me, dear readers.

This will be cross posted on Diwan of Democracy

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

12 dead in bus accident in Sinai

12 people died in a bus crash in Sinai at dawn today. Two buses on opposite sides of the road collided. 58 people are injured, all Egyptian workers. the amount of dead are likely to rise. The accident occured north of Sharm al Sheikh.

About 6000 people die annually and 30 000 are injured in traffic related accidents in Egypt.

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