‏إظهار الرسائل ذات التسميات Egyptian X-Files. إظهار كافة الرسائل
‏إظهار الرسائل ذات التسميات Egyptian X-Files. إظهار كافة الرسائل

9/18/2017

Egyptian expat acts as ‘political pundit’ from his New York sandwich shop

Hold the Egg Sandwich: Egyptian TV Is Calling


Egyptian expat in sandwich  acts as ‘political pundit’ from his  New York 
 sandwich shop
;) Form bathroom
and he get 5000$ every time he show in TV




Hatem El-Gamasy owns the Lotus Deli in Ridgewood, Queens, where he appears on Egyptian television news programs from a converted back-room studio.CreditMark Abramson for The New York Times


Every other day or so, Hatem El-Gamasy connects to a news audience nearly halfway around the world, delivering hot takes on American politics, live from New York, but on Egyptian television.

When the broadcast ends, he slips out his earpieces, opens the door of his makeshift studio and returns to his day job.
“You want ketchup on that?” he said to a customer on a recent morning. “Extra ketchup as usual?”
Mr. El-Gamasy owns the Lotus Deli in Ridgewood, Queens, a place known for its sandwiches, extensive craft beer selection, and its gracious, friendly owner. But few of his customers — and likely, none of his viewers in Egypt — know that the man making egg sandwiches and small talk behind the counter is the same one who appears on popular Egyptian television news programs, holding forth on subjects from immigration policy to North Korea.

From left: Mr. El-Gamasy showing a YouTube video of one of his on-air appearances; his studio, where a suit jacket hangs, is a converted back room; a screenshot of a four-panel interview on CBC Extra News.CreditMark Abramson for The New York Times, eXtra news
He had written op-ed pieces over the years, mostly as a hobby. But the article predicting Mr. Trump’s victory caught the attention of someone at the Egyptian state broadcaster, Nile TV, who was looking to interview an Egyptian-American about the election.
The interview went well; Mr. El-Gamasy’s phone began ringing with more requests, each one expanding his journalistic reputation in a country that has been known to detain reporters.
“He’s very polished and he knows about political life and political news in America,” Muhammad El-Muhammady, a producer for ONtvLIVE, said in an interview from his office in Cairo. “He can talk about a variety of political topics,” he said, from the president’s posts on Twitter to hurricanes, and he is deeply prepared for every broadcast.
“If I said I need something specific, he will say, ‘No, wait, I have to verify this,’” Mr. El-Muhammady added. “If he doesn’t know, he says so.”
Continue reading the main story



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Mr. El-Gamasy’s bodega has earned a reputation for its sandwiches, extensive craft beer selection, friendly service and stimulating conversations. CreditMark Abramson for The New York Times
A former English teacher from the Monufia province in Northern Egypt, Mr. El-Gamasy moved to Brooklyn in 1999 to study teaching English as a second language at St. John’s University. To support himself, he took a job at a deli counter in an Associated Supermarket in Lower Manhattan.
He was working there in 2003 when a woman, a psychotherapist from Chicago who was to return home that month, walked in and asked for a sandwich.
“Extra vegetables,” he recalled. They went for pizza next door. “I knew if I was going to have one more pizza with her, we would be married,” he said.
They had more pizza: Lynette Green and Mr. El-Gamasy have been married for 13 years. They have two children, Faizah, 12, and Omar, 8.



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Mr. El-Gamasy, who also writes op-ed pieces for Egyptian news organizations, often researches his subject matter from a table in the back of his bodega. CreditMark Abramson for The New York Times

He bought the deli in Queens about four years ago, and amid the bricks of cheese and cold cuts, Mr. El-Gamasy found something of a vantage point into the American psyche.
During the run-up to the presidential election, his back-and-forth with Ridgewood’s newest arrivals — “my hipsters,” he said — helped hone his understanding of millennial disenchantment with politics, their rancor around the Democratic Party’s treatment of Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, and their disgust that their middle-class parents outside of New York planned to vote for Trump.
“Most of the customers, they vent to the bodega owner,” he said. “And actually, I listen.”


On a recent morning, a pair of customers stood beside a shelf of ramen packets for an hour, heatedly discussing politics. One customer, Kelvin Gerold, paid for his coffee, and headed out, leaving behind a conversation about entrenched misogyny, only to return a few minutes later to add another thought for Mr. El-Gamasy, known to his customers as Timmy.
“I don’t think he is undermined by the fact that he makes sandwiches,” said Mr. Gerold, 41, a computer network engineer. “Think of all the people you meet in your corner store; you meet people from every single walk of life and every single political opinion, range and spectrum.”
Continue reading the main story




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“Most of the customers, they vent to the bodega owner,” Mr. El-Gamasy said. “And actually, I listen.”CreditMark Abramson for The New York Times
Plus, he said, “The bacon, egg and cheese is ridiculous.”
On Thursday morning, Mr. El-Gamasy’s phone rang. A producer from ONtvLIVE, which positions itself as a politically independent Egyptian television network, wanted to know if Mr. El-Gamasy was available. The quick transformation into Clark Kent began: Mr. El-Gamasy removed the clear plastic deli gloves, the flat cap he uses to keep his hair back over the griddle, and the apron that protects his dress shirts from fryer splatter. On went his suit jacket and earpieces; he ran past the house bodega cat, curled on a garbage bag, and into his back-room studio.
“Sometimes I’ll be busy with an order with my customer, then I will have to jump. It’s — ‘One. Two. You’re live.’” he said, imitating the booming voice of a newscaster. “It’s, ‘Mr. Gamasy, are we going to war in North Korea?’” (The shoot that day was ultimately postponed.)
Mr. El-Gamasy decorated the walls of the converted room with maps of the United States, lending an academic-like backdrop to his televised appearances.
When news producers have asked what he does for a living, Mr. El-Gamasy has been evasive. (Last week, when a television network sent a camera crew to interview him on the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, he met them at the bodega, but did not mention it was his. “I asked them if they wanted to stop for a sandwich,” he said. “I said, ‘I know the guy.’”)
Mr. El-Muhammady, the news producer from Egypt, said he did not know that Mr. El-Gamasy owned a bodega, and did not care. “The quality of the work is more important than the appearance of the person or the company,” he said.
As for the back-room bodega studio, he added, “Good for him that he prepared something that looks nice.”

Next week, Mr. El-Gamasy said he will report from the United Nations General Assembly for several stations in Egypt. He sees his role as part translator of the American people to his homeland, and part good-will ambassador for a country where he feels more at home than where he was born. “With Mr. Trump as president, I feel compelled to explain America more to the Middle East,” he said.
“Over here, the sky is the limit,” Mr. El-Gamasy said. “And I’m living proof of it.”




9/08/2017

مصر: وباء التعذيب قد يشكل جريمة ضد الإنسانية Egypt: Torture Epidemic May Be Crime Against Humanity

Egypt : Torture Epidemic May Be Crime Against Humanity.


Beatings, Electric Shocks, Stress Positions Routinely Used Against Dissidents

Under President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Egypt’s regular police and National Security officers routinely torture political detainees with techniques including beatings, electric shocks, stress positions, and sometimes rape, Human Rights Watch said in a new report released today.
Widespread and systematic torture by the security forces probably amounts to a crime against humanity, according to the 63-page report, “‘We Do Unreasonable Things Here’: Torture and National Security in al-Sisi’s Egypt.” Prosecutors typically ignore complaints from detainees about ill-treatment and sometimes threaten them with torture, creating an environment of almost total impunity, Human Rights Watch said.

 “President al-Sisi has effectively given police and National Security officers a green light to use torture whenever they please,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “Impunity for the systematic use of torture has left citizens with no hope for justice.”
The report documents how security forces, particularly officers of the Interior Ministry’s National Security Agency, use torture to force suspects to confess or divulge information, or to punish them. Allegations of torture have been widespread since then-Defense Minister al-Sisi ousted former President Mohamed Morsy in 2013, beginning a widespread crackdown on basic rights. Torture has long been endemic in Egypt’s law enforcement system, and rampant abuses by security forces helped spark the nationwide revolt in 2011 that unseated longtime leader Hosni Mubarak after nearly 30 years.

Human Rights Watch interviewed 19 former detainees and the family of a 20th detainee who were tortured between 2014 and 2016, as well as Egyptian defense and human rights lawyers. Human Rights Watch also reviewed dozens of reports about torture produced by Egyptian human rights groups and media outlets. The techniques of torture documented by Human Rights Watch have been practiced in police stations and National Security offices throughout the country, using nearly identical methods, for many years.

 Under international law, torture is a crime of universal jurisdiction that can be prosecuted in any country. States are required to arrest and investigate anyone on their territory credibly suspected of involvement in torture and to prosecute them or extradite them to face justice.
Since the 2013 military coup, Egyptian authorities have arrested or charged probably at least 60,000 people, forcibly disappeared hundreds for months at a time, handed down preliminary death sentences to hundreds more, tried thousands of civilians in military courts, and created at least 19 new prisons or jails to hold this influx. The primary target of this repression has been the Muslim Brotherhood, the country’s largest opposition movement.
Human Rights Watch found that the Interior Ministry has developed an assembly line of serious abuse to collect information about suspected dissidents and prepare often fabricated cases against them. This begins at the point of arbitrary arrest, progresses to torture and interrogation during periods of enforced disappearance, and concludes with presentation before prosecutors, who often pressure suspects to confirm their confessions and almost never investigate abuses.
The former detainees said that torture sessions begin with security officers using electric shocks on a blindfolded, stripped, and handcuffed suspect while slapping and punching him or beating him with sticks and metal bars. If the suspect fails to give the officers the answers they want, the officers increase the power and duration of the electric shocks and almost always shock the suspect’s genitals.
Officers then employ two types of stress positions to inflict severe pain on suspects, the detainees said. In one, they hang suspects above the floor with their arms raised backwards behind them, an unnatural position that causes excruciating pain in the back and shoulders and sometimes dislocates their shoulders. In a second, called the “chicken” or “grill,” officers place suspects’ knees and arms on opposite sides of a bar so that the bar lies between the crook of their elbows and the back of their knees and tie their hands together above their shins. When the officers lift the bar and suspend the suspects in the air, like a chicken on a spit, they suffer excruciating pain in shoulders, knees, and arms.

Security officers hold detainees in these stress positions for hours at a time and continue to beat, electrocute, and interrogate them.

 “Khaled,” a 29-year-old accountant, told Human Rights Watch that in January 2015, National Security officers in Alexandria arrested him and took him to the city’s Interior Ministry headquarters. They told him to admit to participating in arson attacks on police cars the previous year. When Khaled denied knowing anything about the attacks, an officer stripped off his clothing and began shocking him with electrified wires. The torture and interrogations, involving severe electric shocks and stress positions, continued for nearly six days, during which Khaled was allowed no contact with relatives or lawyers. Officers forced him to read a prepared confession, which they filmed, stating he had burned police cars on the orders of the Muslim Brotherhood.
After 10 days, a team of prosecutors questioned Khaled and fellow detainees. When Khaled told one prosecutor that he had been tortured, the prosecutor replied it was none of his business and ordered Khaled to restate the videotaped confession, or else he would send him back to be tortured again.
“You’re at their mercy, ‘Whatever we say, you’re gonna do.’ They electrocuted me in my head, testicles, under my armpits. They used to heat water and throw it on you. Every time I lose consciousness, they would throw it on me,” Khaled recalled.
Egypt’s history of torture stretches back more than three decades, and Human Rights Watch first recorded the practices documented in this report as early as 1992. Egypt is also the only country to be the subject of two public inquiries by the United Nations Committee against Torture, which wrote in June 2017 that that the facts gathered by the committee “lead to the inescapable conclusion that torture is a systematic practice in Egypt.”
Since the military unseated former president Morsy in 2013, the authorities have reconstituted and expanded the repressive instruments that defined Mubarak’s rule. The regularity of torture and the impunity for its practice since 2013 has created a climate in which those who are abused see no chance to hold their abusers to account and often do not bother even filing complaints to prosecutors.
Between July 2013 and December 2016, prosecutors officially investigated at least 40 torture cases, a fraction of the hundreds of allegations made, yet Human Rights Watch found only six cases in which prosecutors won guilty verdicts against Interior Ministry officers. All these verdicts remain on appeal and only one involved the National Security Agency.
Al-Sisi should direct the Justice Ministry to create an independent special prosecutor empowered to inspect detention sites, investigate and prosecute abuse by the security services, and publish a record of action taken, Human Rights Watch said. Failing a serious effort by the Sisi administration to confront the torture epidemic, UN member states should investigate and prosecute Egyptian officials accused of committing, ordering, or assisting torture.

“Past impunity for torture caused great harm to hundreds of Egyptians and laid the conditions for the 2011 revolt,” Stork said. “Allowing the security services to commit this heinous crime across the country invites another cycle of unrest.”


مصر: وباء التعذيب قد يشكل جريمة ضد الإنسانية

المعارضون يخضعون روتينيا للضرب، الصعق بالكهرباء، والتعليق

7/01/2017

Saudi Arabia paid Egypt $25bn for tiran and sanafir Red Sea islands

Saudi Arabia paid Egypt $25bn for  tiran and sanafir Red Sea islands 

An Israeli report claimed that Saudi Arabia has paid Egypt $25 billion to give up the Red Sea islands of Tiran and Sanafir.

The Jewish Policy Centre claimed that Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi has received the money in the form of aid over the past few years.
“Sisi ratified the treaty after Egypt’s legislative and constitutional committee held three closed meetings earlier this month. The secretiveness of the meetings drew criticism from other unnamed parliamentarians, arguing that the committee was colluding against the will of Egyptians. The whole parliament approved the agreement on June 14,” the report said.
The report accuses Al-Sisi of “selling” Egypt to Saudi Arabia, which supported Cairo with aid totalling over $25 billion in the recent years.
An Egyptian lawmaker who voted against the agreement said “the people did not elect us so that we give up their land,”
Meanwhile, former presidential candidate, Khalid Ali has filed a lawsuit before the Administrative Court to halt the implementation of the agreement.

6/21/2017

How Egypt and Saudi are serving Israel by transferring Sanafir and Tiran

How Egypt and Saudi are serving Israel by transferring Sanafir and Tiran

in 1967, Egypt announced a blocked the Straits of Tiran to cut Israel's access to international waters; it was then that Israel started the Six Day War.
The small islands of Sanafir and Tiran are located between Egypt and Saudi Arabia at the top of the Red Sea and they are considered to be strategically important because of their proximity to ports in Jordan and Israel.
Barely a month before Israel launched the Six Day War against Arab countries, Gamal Abdel Nasser’s Egypt announced a blockade of Israel’s access to the Red Sea (international waters) via the Straits of Tiran, which Israel considered as an act of war. As a result, less than a month later, Israel launched a surprise strike which began the Six-Day War. From that time on, the two strategic islands, Sanafir and Tiran are placed under the authority of Egypt.
Two weeks ago, Cairo agreed to hand control over the two islands — Tiran and Sanafir — to Riyadh in exchange for the creation of a $16-billion investment fund.
This announcement was made after secret negotiations in which Israel was involved due to the limitation clauses of the peace treaty at Camp David in 1979. In other words, the transfer of the two islands to Saudi Arabia helps Israel more control over the strategic straits of Tiran and circumvent the Camp David limitations in this regard, as Saudi has already given solid assurances in this regard.
“There is an agreement and commitments that Egypt accepted related to these islands, and the kingdom is committed to these,” Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told Egyptian television in an interview two weeks ago.
He was apparently referring to the military annex of the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty, which ensured Israel’s “freedom of navigation through the strait of Tiran”
Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon later said that Saudi Arabia gave written
assurances over Freedom of passage in Tiran straits.
   
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/06/egypt-lawmakers-approve-island-transfer-saudi-arabia-170614142446099.html
Saudi Arabia has also promised not to use the islands for military purposes, the Egyptian daily Al Ahram reported.
According to documents from a military source, Tiran Island will be used as the headquarter of a joint operation between Tel Aviv and Riyadh in the Red Sea.
In 2015, a number of Saudi Arabia officers also attended in a training course at the naval base Polonium in the port of Haifa, the military source disclosed.
This proves that Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt are involved in a new era of geo-strategic and diplomatic relations which may be considered as a major event in tripartite relations.
Egypt therefore has just shifted the sovereignty of the two inhabited islands of the Red Sea, Tiran and Sanafir to Saudi Arabia. The islands are south of Suez and between the two countries.
Indeed, north of the Gulf of Aqaba is the city and Israeli port of Eilat. The transfer of the two islands is of major strategic importance to the Zionist entity considering that the closure of the Strait of Tiran would mean a major crisis for Israel and will most likely lead to a regional war .
Israel has good relations with Egypt since the Camp David peace accords between the two countries who share security interests, including the fight against the Palestinian resistance in Gaza.
As for Saudi Arabia, Egypt remains a strategic ally, in particular regarding the issue that Riyadh has serious tensions with Iran, and also with respect to the conflicts in Syria and Yemen.
The transfer of these two islands to Riyadh, also shows an increasingly strong connections between Saudi Arabia and Israel. Although the two countries still lack formal links, and while Saudi Arabia does not recognize the existence of the Zionist criminal entity, the Israeli-Saudi dialogue has been an open secret for several years in the geopolitical world. Indeed, senior officials from both countries met in public on several occasions.
We are witnessing the reconfiguration of regional relations with the emergence of an alliance, Saudi Arabia – Egypt – Israel, whose main objective is very clear: to counter the growing power of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the spearhead of the anti-Zionist resistance.
It is sad to see the apathy of the Muslim world which faces the treachery of its leaders, joining the axis of oppression besides collaborating with the Israeli criminal state.
On Tuesday 13th of June, dozens of Egyptian journalists protested against the agreement in central Cairo before being dispersed by the police.
The announcement of the agreement in April 2016 had sparked rare protests in the country despite a heavy handed crackdown on demonstrations.
Generations of Egyptians had grown up learning in school that the two islands belonged to their country and that soldiers had died defending them during wars with Israel.

3/09/2017

Hosni Mubarak Is Free

Wonder F*** land 
 Hosni Mubarak Is FREE
The Court of Cassation dropped on Thursday all charges against toppled President Hosni Mubarak in relation to ordering the killing of protesters during the January 25 revolution in 2011.
The charges had related to the deaths of 239 people and injuries of 1,588 across 11 governorates in Egypt.
Mubarak had been sentenced to life in prison in 2012 for the killing of protesters before appealing the sentence.



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