Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Funny Egyptian photos

Only in Egypt would you find a Shisha Cafe called 'NO Smoking' !!!

Acquiring a copy of Criminal Record (Feesh wa Tashbee)

If a foreigner wishes to obtain an Egyptian ID card and Passport bearing a 'Western style surname' ( i.e husbands surname).
The applicant must obtain a copy of their Egyptian criminal record and take this along with the Egyptian birth certificate and Al Azhar Certificate to Abbaseya Segil el Medani.

Copy of the criminal record ( Feesh wa Tashbee )  must be obtained from the applicants local police station.
No appointment required and police will require a photocopy of the marriage certificate, Egyptian Citizenship Certificate and passport.
Applicant will then have their fingerprints taken digitally, and a webcam photograph taken.
Fee is 15Le and the process takes around 10 minutes and a copy of the criminal record is available for pick up next day.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Acquiring Egyptian birth certificate for Foreigners.

Possession of a valid Egyptian birth certificate is vital to obtaining Egyptian I.D and an Egyptian Passport for a foreign spouse of an Egyptian Citizen. You do not have to be born in Egypt to have this done. It is purely a formality.

see: Acquiring Egyptian I.D and passport

The Egyptian Birth Certificate must be acquired prior to applying with your Egyptian Citizenship Certificate (from Mogamma) at the Segil al Madani, Civil Registration Department at Abbaseya.

Egyptian Birth Certificate (see sample below)

Most police stations have a Segil al Madani Dept attached to them, where for 7Le you can have Birth certificates issued for yourself or family members.
The office at Abbaseya also has a Segil al Madani on one of it's floors.
It doesn't matter which Segil al Madani you go to to get your birth certificate. They are all on a central computer. The HQ is the Abbasseya one.

Once you have applied for your I.D. and passport at Abbasseya, you then have to wait approx 10 days before acquiring the Egyptian Birth Certificate at any Segil al Medani since it takes a week or so to show up on the national computers. You could wait those 10 days and get the birth certificate at the Abbasseya Office as you have to return there in the 10-14 days to complete your I.D and Passport application process, or get it at any Segil al Madani.

To get the Egyptian Birth Certificate the husband of the applicant must apply, showing his own I.D. No documents from the wife are required, as the information will already be on the computer system having been entered during the  Abbasseya visit to apply for Egyptian ID and Passport 10 days previous.

You can buy multiple copies and you should buy at least two copies as when you return to Abbasseya they will keep one original copy.

Shopping, take away, and supplies in Ras Sudr.


A few KM before the Ahmed Hamdi Tunnel before entering Sinai.
A few KM after going through the Ahmed hamdi Tunnel heading South on the Sharm El Sheikh Rd.
There are 3 petrol stations in the town of Ras Sudr.

Mechanic Breakdown Services.

At the petrol stations along the way.
In Oyun Musa village.
In the souk area in Ras Sidr Town.
In Abu Suweir Village.

Tea, coffee, and snacks.

The NPCO petrol station before Ahmed Hamdi Tunnel.
The rest stop just before you enter the Ahmed Hamdi Tunnel at the toll on your right.
Oyun Musa Rest stop.
Ras Sidr Town souk, or the two coach rest stops just as you leave the Town of Ras Sidr.
Abu Suweir Village.
Emergency Services.
call: 123
There are emergency ambulances dotted all along the Suez Road, at the Ahmed Hamdi Tunnel, every 30-50 KM in Sinai, Ras Sidr Town next to the Bus Station, Abu Suweir Village. The ambulances are bright orange or bright lime green, and sit in pairs in Ambulance stations dotted along the highway clearly visible to drivers.
The main hospitals are in Suez and in Ras Sidr Town.

call: 122 
There are police, immigration police, tourist police and army officials at the Ahmed Hamdi Tunnel Toll.
Police checkpoint at Oyun Musa.
Police HQ for Ras Sidr as you enter Ras Sidr 500 mtres after the  Mosaic Mubarak Sign on the right and just before the Mosaic 3 fish statue Main Street Ras Sidr.
Police and Army checkpoint Abu Suweir Village. Turn left at the Dream Cafe and 500 mtres ahead is a police checkpoint just past the army barracks.

call: 180 
Fire trucks at all the Army Barracks dotted along the Suez and Sharm el Sheikh Road.
Fire trucks at the entrances both sides of the Ahmed Hamdi Tunnel.
Fire Station Ras Sidr Town. 

Egyptian style take away food (incl grilled chickens, fish and kofta)
Ras Sidr Town Souk area. 
Hadiya Restaurant Main St Ras Sidr.

Pizza and Pasta 
San Remo Restaurant (opposite public beach entrance on seafront, Ras Sidr).
Fantasia Resort just before Hamam Pharoun. 
La Hacienda resort.
Moon Beach resort.
Green Sudr Resort.

A La Carte menu restaurant
Ceceil Hotel, Ras Sidr Town. 

Camel milk 
There are two kiosks selling fresh camel milk in Ouyn Musa. The kiosks are small wooden tekephone box sized structures with camels painted on the side and a flap opening up when open to sale. 

Small supermarket at Banana Beach Resort just after Nozha Beach resort visible from highway.
Ras Sidr Town souk area, various large and small grocers, butchers, fish sellers, fruit and vegetables , bread bakery.
Abu Suweir Village.
Fantasia Resort.
Moon Beach resort.

Phone cards, post office, and Internet Cafe.
Ras Sidr Town souk area.
Abu Suweir Village.

Swimming and diving gear.
Ras Sidr Town Souk area.

Clothing and footwear.
Ras Sidr Town Souk area.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Green Sudr Resort

The Green Sudr resort is around 20KM from Ras Sidr Town heading South on the Sharm Road. It has a large sign and is situated on the coastal side of the road and before and next to Sinai Stars (previously Ramada) resort.

At present it is being upgraded, but is still open to day trippers and renters.

Because it is being upgraded it is a little untidy but still well worth renting as it has probably the best beach in all of Ras Sudr.
The reception area is spacious and clean and it has a buffet breakfast and buffet dinner menu. It has a very nice bar and a billiard table. Popular amongst tourists in the evenings as it has music.
The beach is spectacular.

Completely smooth sand with no rocks or shells and metres and metres of it. It has 2 man made lagoons with a depth of 5 metres for wind surfers to train. A long walkway out to the deeper waters where you can just sit or lie on the sunbeds and watch the sun go down.
The water out of the lagoons are shallow and safe for children. You will see dolphins bobbing up and down in the evenings. It has small fish and when you go out a bit deeper there are a few reefs.
If you walk to the end of the beachfront heading North towards Ras Sidr and not South towards the Sinai Stars resort you will see an abandoned fishing boat  stranded on the shore. A casualty of the freak rains which hit Ras Sidr in the early part of 2010. You can climb onto the boat easily.

If you look out Northwards from the boat you will see an extremely long pier in the distance.
This is part of a new development which will have one of the longest piers in Egypt reaching out to an island in the middle of the Red Sea. It is still under construction but can be easily viewed and if you have the strength you can walk in the shallow waters out to it.

The Beach at Green Sudr is another great place to kite surf. All year round breezes and shallow waters with perfect sands make it a divers, surfers paradise.
Green Sudr has it's own Kite Surfing Centre. 'Mistral and Kite Riders' both have kiting and surfing equipment for hire.

Green Sudr is not the resort you would book if you were looking for an 18-30 disco, touristy destination.
But it is perfect for water sports enthusiasts and families who like to spend a holiday on the beach.

Paradise Resort Ras Sidr.

We have just returned from another fabulous week in Ras Sidr.
We have our own apartment, so stay there when we go but we spent a few days roaming around the various resorts in Ras Sidr to give you an update for anyone wishing to take a trip there to spend a couple of weeks or a few days by the beach.

All of the usual resorts have good beaches, but some have better facilities than others.

The best that we saw was the Paradise Beach resort.

Paradise Beach Resort is around 10 KM from Ras Sidr town heading south on the Sharm Road. Once you pass the village of Abu Suweir after about 5 KM you will see a sign on your left pointing down towards the coast. Follow that road all the way down to the T junction (about 2KM), then at the junction turn left at the sign for Paradise Resort.
A little way along you will come to Paradise entrance.

It is divided into 2 sections.
A beautiful compound of villas and apartments for rental and sale, and the Hotel.

The Compound.
The compound has beautiful gardens, a few swimming pools with bars and snack available, nice lawns with little water features and all of it facing the sea.
The apartments and villas are of a high standard and all are fully equipped. All have rooftop barbecues .
It is Christian owned and only 'Western' style swimwear is allowed.  It is not a place where you will see the beach filled with women covered from head to toe in Summer heat. More what you would see in a foreign beach.
The villas and apartments can be rented and hotel can be booked:

The Hotel.

The Paradise Hotel is to the right as you enter the resort. It has a childrens playpark nearby, and a tennis and a basketball court. The foyer is clean and inviting and has billiards, a large fireplace and bar. Breakfast and Dinner is served in the restaurant for guests. The self catering apartment renters can also dine in the restaurant.
The nearest grocers or take aways are 10KM in Ras Sidr. 

The Kite Surfing Centre.

Club Nathalie Simon is a very well equipped Kite surfing, wind surfing centre. It has all the latest equipments for hire. 
It is busy with surfers and has a seated shaded area where you can relax and chat with fellow surfers. It's a very friendly atmosphere where first timers would feel very welcome. The owners are French and German and both speak English also. They also have staff who speak Arabic. 
The lagoon is perfect for surfing with kites or wind surfers with a steady breeze year round. Clean sandy beach, with some rock pools and some areas which have stones and shells and water like all of Ras Sidr is mainly shallow. Very safe for children. It has a lifeguard in high season and a dinghy patrol when surfers or canoes are in the water.
Definitely one of the best Kite Surfing Centres in Ras Sidr. 
It is advisable to buy diving booties due to the stones and shells in some parts of the beach. You can buy them at the Kite hire centre on the beach or you can buy them like I did in one of the many beach supply stores in Ras Sidr town. They range between 30 and 40le a pair.
Beach inflatables, swimwear, teeshirts, shorts, fishing gear, buckets and spades and small dinghys can also be bought in the shops in Ras Sidr if you forget to bring yours.

The Marina.

At the opposite end of the beach to the Kite Centre ( about a 5 mins walk away ) is a small marina and jetty.
There are private boats and launches and boats and canoes for rent here.

For further details contact:

Tel: +2 0 1013870102 +2 0 105413332 +2 0 693870100 

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Acquiring Egyptian I.D with name change to husbands on Citizenship Card

Foreigners who marry Egyptian spouses who are applying for Egyptian Citizenship may face the problem of having the new Egyptian ID, Citizenship Card and Passport being issued in their maiden names. This is because the Mogamma ONLY rely on your marriage certificate as proof of right to citizenship and not your passport which may be in your new married name. The marriage Certificate will obviously be in your maiden name.

This will obviously result in you having two identities.

It can be overcome in three ways.

1. If you were married abroad, you simply re marry in Egypt. That way your new passport with your Egyptian husbands name as yours own now, will be used as proof of ID and the name on your Egyptian marriage certificate will be in your married and not maiden name.

2. If you plan to marry in Egypt and live in Egypt your only solution is when you convert to Islam .
 When you convert to Islam you are asked whether you'd like to change your name to an Islamic one. You can then choose any Islamic sequence of names you like and still keep your birth first name.
So pre marriage your name may be i.e. Mary Anne Brown.

You can now change that to Mary (then your husbands names) Mahmoud Lotfi Aziz etc. Then get married in Egypt in your new name and show your Conversion to Islam Certificate which MUST be legalized by the MOJ,to the marriage registrar also in the MOJ building.

3. If you are already married and have your Egyptian husbands name on all your documents, your Egyptian Citizenship will STILL be issued in your maiden name no matter what. The only way around this is to go to Al Azhar and convert, get the conversion certificate legalized by the MOJ in Downtown, then take this to Abbasseya Civil Registration Dept when you apply for your I.D and Passport. Because it has been legalized by the MOJ they will accept this and change the name from the Citizenship one used on your Citizenship Card to the new one onto your I.D and passport.

see : Converting to Islam in Egypt

Deed polls done in other countries are not acceptable proof to change names here in Egypt.

If you are a convert to Islam and have the Al Azhar Certificate with the new name on it and have that legalized at the Ministry of Justice, you can have your married name instead of maiden name on your new Egyptian I.D.

Once you have the Egyptian birth certificate, you need then to go to any police station and ask for your criminal record. When you first apply for I.D at Abbaseya your details are entered onto the central computer and after 10 days you can pick up your birth certificate. After those 10 days you will also be able to go to any police station and they will issue you with your criminal record sheet.

If you are changing name you MUST return to the Segil al Madani in Abbaseya and not your local one. The local one is only for applying for ID if you are NOT changing surname.
You must also get the Government Form 80 from the desk on the same floor of the Segil el Madani and complete it.
You then take the birth certificate, police criminal record, and Form 80 to the change of name desk at Abbaseya Segil al Medani with one photocopy of your Al Azhar Certificate. In 21 days you go back to the same desk and collect your notification of change of name which will have been issued by the court.

Acquiring Egyptian I.D. and Egyptian Passport

Wives of Egyptian spouses who have been issued Egyptian Citizenship, can be issued Egyptian I.D, and Egyptian Passports.

The wife of the spouse must have lived in Egypt as husband and wife in the same home for two years. The wife must have gained Egyptian Citizenship and have the Egyptian Citizenship Card. See here acquiring Egyptian Citizenship 

The process:

Take Egyptian Citizenship Card to any  Civil Registration Dept ( Segil Madani ), or you can take it to the  branch at Abbasseya, Cairo, 1st floor. (Public toilet is downstairs turn right and in the small shopping mall square.) (Male toilet is in the Registration office).

Husband will have to show his I.D. and provide the following:

Photocopy and original of Egyptian Citizenship Card (blue)

Photocopy and original of the letter from Mogamma which states you can apply for Egyptian ID ( this is given along with the Egyptian Citizenship Card to you).

Photocopy and original of marriage certificate.

Photocopy and original of wifes passport.

Photocopy and original of wifes birth certificate so that they can obtain wifes parents details.

If it is a second marriage you also have to provide original and photocopy of divorce absolute decree.

note: The Egyptian Citizenship Card will be based on your maiden name as this is the name on the marriage certificate and if you change your name after marriage this can be a problem as you will now have 2 identities. see: Name change on Citizenship

The Abbasseya Office will check all documents above and take copies and enter you onto the central computer system.

10 days later you can go to any Civil Registration Dept (Segil al Medani) and collect your new Egyptian Birth Certificate.
see: Acquiring Egyptian Birth Certificate

This Egyptian Birth Certificate must then be taken back to the Abbasseya Civil Registration Office, (the same desk as before) .

This office will now issue your new Egyptian I.D and Egyptian Passport.

Acquiring Egyptian Citizenship

Acquiring Egyptian citizenship is relatively easy for a foreign wife of an Egyptian spouse.

The process.

Go to Mogamma , Tahrir Sq, Downtown, Cairo.
Go to Residency Window on the 1st floor above ground floor.
Husband is required to fill in the application form.

Provide photocopies of:
marriage certificate (in Arabic)
husbands id card
applicants passport info page
page holding 3 or 5 year residency visa
3 photo's
(photocopy machines and photo booth are situated at the entrance to Mogamma on the ground floor)

All of this is handed in along with small fee for stamps.
The Mogamma also need to know your current address and YOU need to alert them if you move address.

In two years the Mogamma will send out by courier a letter reminding you of the application and to return to the Mogamma for the husband to declare that you are still husband and wife and living together. He will sign a document stating this.

Two weeks after this you will attend the Mogamma and collect your blue citizenship card.

With this card you can have Egyptian id and passport issued (see here)
Acquiring Egyptian ID and passport

Converting to Islam at Al Azhar Mosque Cairo.

The process.

1. Foreigner wishing to convert.
2. Egyptian wishing to convert. (This includes foreigners who have become Egyptian citizens by marriage to Egyptian spouse).

Foreigner wishing to convert.

All foreigners wishing to convert to Islam are required to make a formal declaration of their intent with the Al Azhar Islamic Authority.
The applicant should go to the Mashyakhit Al Azhar. Salah Salem Road.
The Mashyakhit Al Azhar is beside Al Azhar Park in the Citadel area of Old Cairo. Take a scarf with you and have sleeves covering arms and legs covered. Scarves and long galabeyas are available if you forget.
The office opens at 9am and closes at 2pm.
3 photos are required and proof of identity ie passport. 2 Muslim witnesses are required, and can be found easily in the grounds.

You will be asked to recite in Arabic the shahada. If you do not speak Arabic the Imam will say it line by line for you to repeat after him. Once you have done this he will declare you a Muslim and issue you a certificate. You can also change your name formally to an Arabic one there in the same ceremony and the certificate will state this.
Process takes around 30 mins. You will be asked to fill in an application form and sign a few ledger entries.
This certificate must then be legalized.
The certificate is then taken to the Ministry of Justice Dept, Lazghouly Sq, Downtown, Cairo,  13th Floor for the official government stamp. No appointment is necessary. Proof of ID will be asked for plus a 3.50LE fee for stamps. The process takes around 20 mins.

Egyptian Citizen incl. ( Foreigner married to Egyptian spouse who now has Egyptian Citizenship)

The applicant goes with husband to Al Azhar Mosque (opposite Khan al Khalili bazaar) Al Azhar. (Not Mashyakhit Al Azhar, this is only for foreigners without Egyptian citizenship).
No appointment necessary. Open between 9am and 2pm.

You should take one photocopy of each of these:

Citizenship document
Marriage Certificate
Front page of passport
Husbands id (both sides)

3 photos wearing hijab (Kodak photo shop is directly opposite entrance to the Mosque in the middle of 6 small shops).

Process is the same as Foreigner (above). 2 Muslim witnesses are required and one can be your husband. Witnesses are easy to find in the mosque.
Certificate also has to be legalized at the Ministry of Justice.