Sunday, November 25, 2012

Convert Salt Water into Drinking Water With Solar Oven

 Great idea for the people on the coastal areas of Egypt like Sinai and North Coast!

Whenever designer Gabriele Diamanti traveled abroad, he encountered a problem common to all developing countries – the lack of access to safe drinking water.

This inspired him to come with a device that would use easy-to-find, local resources to convert salt water into freshwater (drinking water). His invention was a solar oven, a household product, developed to utilize a resource that is available in plenty – sunshine!

Called Eliodomestico, the solar oven is intended to bring gallons of drinking water to economically backward families at no operating cost. The technology behind the oven is very simple wherein you fill the boiler section with salty water and fasten the cap. Very strong sunlight generates enough heat to boil the water, producing steam which is forced down the pipe condensing into the collection lid. The collection lid is shaped to be carried on a person’s head, a popular method of transporting goods in developing countries.

The Eliodomestico delivers 5 liters of fresh drinking water everyday. It is very simple to produce and maintain as it requires no electricity, no filters and has no adverse impact on the environment. Diamanti’s project won a Core 77 Design award and was a finalist at the Prix Emile Hermes competition awarding sustainable design innovation. He has open sourced the design and made it available to everyone who wants to modify and upgrade it.


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

An Organic Farm Springs Up in Sinai

best friends, safari trek, bedouin, eco farm, organic farm, wadi marawan, egypt, sinaiThe Wadi Marawan Organic Farm is a new project by the ‘Best Friends Safari’ that guides tour groups in Egypt

Located at the terraces of Panorama Mountain Camp, the Wadi Marawan Organic Farm is a veritable paradise in the middle of the Sinai Peninsula. Over 4,000 sq. metres of land is planted with vegetables and fruit trees that organisers hope visitors will soon be able to sample at the Panorama Restaurant in Dahab, Sinai.

The Best Friends Safari group, which leads desert treks and Bedouin evenings and has over twenty years of tour guiding experience, provides a sustainable and environmental mountain camp for guests and volunteers.

Kasia Starosta, who got in touch with Green Prophet, explains that the group behind the project are a pretty international bunch. As well as making the most of Egyptian farming, they have a British member providing technical support, a French member providing solar solutions as well as her Polish passion for sustainability, volunteering and development.

“We are also involved in developing the programme for gathering environmental ideas for Egypt,” she added.

The Panorama Mountain Camp area has space for tents, basic facilities and stunning views of the city of Dahab, Lagoona and the Gulf of Aqaba.

The team is also busy building 10 ecological mountain houses that will be constructed out of seaside stones.

The Best Friends Safari company organizes safaris from one day/one night trips to 1-2 weeks visiting places such as the White Canyon, Coloured Canyon, Sinai Oasis, Canyon Arada, Sarabait Al Chadim, Moses Mountain, Dolphin-Beach, St. Catharine Monastery, Ras Abu Galum National Park area, Nawamis with the Roman houses, National Park of Ras Mohammed and many others including unknown Bedouin routes.


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Egypts nation dish Koshari origins and recipe

The national dish found in any street in Egypt called koshari was actually brought by the British from India to Egypt.
The Indians called it Kushari.

The Indian version contains rice and lentils.

Egypt added small macaroni and called it Koshari.

The British added smoked fish and boiled egg to it and call it Kedgeree.

                                                                  Bowl of Egyptian Koshari

Recipe if you want to make it:

You will need 6 pans!!!

Pan 1: Fry sliced onions till crispy and drain on paper towel

Pan 2: Boil hummus(Chick peas) till soft and drain

Pan 3: Boil brown lentils till soft and drain

Pan 4: Fry a handful of vermicelli pasta in a little oil till medium brown colour, then add 500gr of washed round rice ( not basmati ) and cook till water absorbed

Pan 5: Break around 20 spaghetti strands into 1 inch pieces and add to 500gr of small, short macaroni pasta and cook till al dente.

Pan 6: Liquidize 1 small onion and 4 cloves of garlic and 6 large tomatoes and 1 large tablespoon of tomato paste then pour this into the pan with 50mls of oil and 500mls of water and simmer gently till cooked into a pasta sauce.


Take bowl and put 1 ladle of rice mixture, one ladle of pasta mixture, top with brown lentils and chick peas and pour over some of the tomato sauce and garnish with some of the fried onions.

Koshari Egyptian style !

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Facebook users help needed

To everyone on Facebook  can you please click 'like' on the link to page below and share with your contacts.

The page is highlighting Egypts Traffic Violations and you can post your own photos of traffic violations you witness on Egypts road as an awareness campaign.

Please click 'like' on this page

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Egyptians will now OWN land in Sinai!

Residents of Egyptian Sinai will finally enjoy the right to own land in the peninsula after Prime Minister Hisham Qandil issued a decision laying out purchase procedures for would-be local landowners, Egypt's official news agency MENA reported on Monday.

Qandil stated that all those applying to purchase land plots in Sinai must have two documents: proof that they do not have a second nationality, and a certificate confirming that both parents are Egyptian.

The prime minister added that both Egyptian individuals and corporations would be eligible to own Sinai land, noting that purchases would be done through public bids.
Foreign corporations eying investment projects in Sinai, meanwhile, will be granted contracts on a usufruct basis, Qandil said.

During the era of ousted president Hosni Mubarak, Sinai-based Egyptians and Bedouin tribesmen had campaigned for the amendment of existing laws banning them from land ownership in Sinai for ostensible "security" reasons since Egypt regained the peninsula from Israel in 1981.

According to Qandil, the move will serve to boost development in Sinai by encouraging local investors who will be offered generous facilities and easy-to-meet terms and conditions.


Egypts first HIGH SPEED TRAIN link plans

The Egyptian government has agreed to terms and conditions for the country's first high-speed train project, to be formally announced to international and domestic engineering companies within days, state-run daily Al-Ahram reported Monday.
The total cost of the project has yet to be set.

Transportation Minister Mohamed Rashad El-Mateeny said the first phase of the planned train project would link Alexandria with 6 October City on the outskirts of Cairo.

Al-Meteeny added that the project would help Egypt's struggling tourist industry and help meet the rapid rise of passenger numbers, especially those traveling to and from Upper Egypt.


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Africa Park visit!

If you have nothing to do one day why not spend the day at Africa Park Egypts one and only Safari Park.

It's a great day out for the family and kids.

It's on the Cairo/Alex Desert Road about 65 km before you reach Alexandria from Cairo. It's also a nice drive out there along the road passing hundreds of fruit orchards and farms and has many rest stops to get refreshments.

The Africa Park is well signposted with a huge road sign and is on the left side of the road if you are driving from Cairo side. It has huge elephant and giraffe statues outside it.

Go past the statues on your left about 1km and you will see the sign and U turn.

You go through a small gatehouse and pay there and are given a colourful map and park brochure and pay here. Then you drive over a small river on a wooden bridge into the park itself.

All the animals are out in the open and the keepers encourage you to feed them by bringing you handfuls of corn and fruits etc and you get to feed them (free) by hand. It's a lovely experience to get up close and feed them. The keepers are very professional unlike Giza Zoo and will not hassle you for tips but of course each should be given a small tip just for the lovely experience they give you.

You drive in your car through the different settings and can get out and feed the animals if you want or stay in the car.

Price: 250le per car (no matter how many passengers)
Includes trip around the park and a boat trip on the lake to Monkey Island and Crocodiles.

Opening times: 0900 - dusk every day including holidays

Tele: 0122-3600967, 0100-1175098, 0100-4712576

Facilities: Clean toilets, Restaurant and Grill, Ice Cream kiosk, Hotel on the lake with swimming pools and hot tubs, car cleaning service.

Hotel:  850le - 1200le Double room -Suite (includes fishing rods to fish in the lake, pets are welcome)

Animals: Lions, Tigers, Gazelle, Hippo, Kangaroos, Bear, Crocodiles, Bats, Snakes, Hedgehogs, Monitor Lizards, Vultures, Eagles, Chameleon, Parrots, Turtles, Tortoise, Peacocks, Ducks, Cappuchin Monkeys, Gibbon Monkeys, Baboon Monkeys, Chimpanzee Monkeys, Cheetah, Owl, Ostrich, Toucan, Porcupine, Dubb, Marmosets .....

Warning: You have the option to drive through the baboons. It's advisable to close the windows and doors and remove car aerials before driving through as they all climb on the roof and bonnet of the car and try to get food from you. They will make your car dirty with the sand but there is a car cleaner who will wash your car for a small sum at the car park beside the Grill and Lake.

Advice: You don't have to take food for the animals as the keepers provide the food for free to you to maintain the animals carefully balanced diet.


#EgyFarmers : They Only want Water 



Ahram Online’s Nada El Kouny wrote extremely alarming report about the trouble small scale farmers in Fayoum governorate are currently facing. Here is a video report with translation showing the problem of these farmers.

These farmers do not want anything except water , they do not want money or another demands except water for their own land. This is so simple. I think President Morsi as a man who originated from a family of farmers knows exactly what these people have been through in the past ten years.
How many farmers in Egypt want only water for their land ?? I fear too many. Please make some noise for their farmers as much you can. Already I can not believe this happens in Fayoum .
Now I am begging bloggers and citizen journalists around Egypt to go and to do similar reports about the problems they are facing in their governorates.

Zeinobia Blog

Friday, October 26, 2012

Bozoor Balady Seed Bombing in Egypt (update)

Dropping seed bombs


(previous post)

link to previous seed bomb post

Environmentalists, activists and bystanders gathered Saturday at various locations around Cairo and Alexandria to join a seed bombing campaign known as “Bozoor Baladi” (Seeds of My Country).

Seed bombing is considered a political act of “guerilla gardening” in which small, tightly compacted balls of clay, fertilizer and seeds are thrown into public spaces and parks to create awareness about a particular agricultural cause, establish dialogue, and reclaim and beautify public spaces in the process.
These seed balls sprout very quickly — some had already begun sprouting before the march had begun — making it a very efficient technique to create awareness and dialogue with skeptical onlookers.

In Egypt, the particular cause was the advocacy of using local, organic seeds rather than imported, genetically modified seeds, which are both expensive and yield harmful and poor crops. 

Access to quality, low-priced, organic local seeds has become one of the most pressing issues facing farmers over the past years.

A native seed is one that has been growing in a specific place for a very long time and that has adapted very well to this specific environment. Industrialized agriculture, and its monoculture ideal, has introduced all over the world limited varieties of standardized seeds produced by a handful of multinationals.

These seeds have gradually replaced the local, organic seeds that farmers had perfected over generations, which has caused a series of problems. First, this is foreign seed and, in order to adapt to its new environment, it needs to be sprayed with large amounts of fertilizers and pesticides to resist and grow. Second, these seeds are patented, meaning they are owned by these companies, which consequently have the power to demand royalties from farmers and control the market. In Egypt, organic native seeds have become a rarity, only to be found in remote small farms where farmers have been saving their seeds for years.

Various environmental and agricultural NGOs, such as Nawaya, Greenpeace, and Nabta, initiated the campaign. They had been hosting workshops for several weeks to create awareness about the project and create the seed balls.
“We’re calling for a reform in agricultural policy through the engagement of the street in opening the discussion about these issues, because of a lack of discussion about it in the public sphere,” says Greenpeace communications officer Hoda Baraka, who thinks hands-on seed bombing with public engagement will have a more positive effect than isolated, abstract, environmental lectures.

Reem Saad, an American University in Cairo professor of social anthropology with a strong interest in rural Egypt, also joined the campaign, advocating the need to create awareness about food sovereignty rather than simply food security.
“Food security really relates to just having enough to feed people, but food sovereignty is an integrated concept — a comprehensive approach that emphasizes not just the quantity of food, but the quality, and the work and the effort of the producers themselves,” she says, adding that the seed “crisis” is at the heart of the destruction of food sovereignty in Egypt.

Between 8,000 to 10,000 seed balls containing seeds of bitter oranges, peas, wheat and barley were prepared for Saturday’s event, organizers say.

Four specific locations were marched through and seed bombed last weekend: three in Cairo — downtown, Heliopolis and Maadi — and one in Alexandria, starting outside the Cairo train station.

Organizers and participants arrived with wheelbarrows and bags full of thousands of seed balls, as well as flyers and stickers to promote the cause. Marches started at about 2 pm and were made from square to square, as seed balls were thrown apace, interrupted only by continual discussions with curious bystanders.
Having joined the downtown march, which moved from Opera Square in Zamalek to Abdeen Square downtown, passers-by, homeless children and police officers instantly congregated around the growing crowd, trying to understand what was going on.

“Is this a protest against the Brotherhood?” and “Are you going to throw those rocks at people?” were among some of the initial questions floating around.

However, after organizers explained the cause behind the march and event, supported by the chant, “Enta Masri! Tezra Masri!” (“You’re Egyptian! Plant Egyptian!”), onlookers and passers-by became some of the most active marchers.
Several young boys instantly grabbed a wheelbarrow and ran around, handing out flyers and throwing seed balls into public spaces.
“We weren’t doing anything and had nothing else to do but hang out on the street. Why not join in something that is fun and active like this to promote Egypt?” one of the boys, Mahmoud, said.

Many others asked if they could take bunches of seeds to use in their areas, rooftop gardens or to give to farming relatives.

“My brother has a small farm, so I thought I would take some to him; let him try them and see what he thinks,” said one man who was watching the campaign unfold while sitting with his wife.

As the march moved into Tahrir Square, more people continued to gather. An inquisitive police officer even praised the initiative, ironically stating how for a long time he’d been thinking about growing corn in the square to make better use of the space.
“Just don’t grow things too high so we can still see over and monitor the square,” he said, before returning to direct traffic.

Public reception, eventually, was overwhemingly positive. “I never knew you could grow food with a simple ball, I always thought you had to plant all the items separately at different times,” said Khaled, one impressed onlooker.
Meanwhile, a worker — separate from the campaign — was simultaneously watering Tahrir Square with a hose. “At least now I have something to water and watch grow,” he said with a smile.
Reports from Alexandria, Maadi and Heliopolis were also extremely positive and similar to the downtown march; however, the turnout was reported to be slightly smaller.

Gameela Ismail, journalist-turned-political activist, also attended the downtown march in support, telling reporters that seed bombing is a means of protesting by example about crucial issues that aren’t given enough attention.
In terms of the seed bombing campaign creating awareness and discussions about the seed issues facing Egypt, Baraka said Saturday’s seed bombing were not a one-time event and there would be follow-ups.

She said organizers have already been contacted by residents of various governorates who also want to host seed bombing events in their own areas.
“The media is also now on board and interested to talk to us which means the dialogue has been established, already making the event something of a success,” she said.


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

USD450m Turkish bid to build power plant in Sinai

USD450m Turkish bid to build power plant in Sinai

By Alaa El Taweel The Egyptian industry ministry's Industrial Development Authority (IDA) has received a USD 450 million bid from a Turkish investor to establish a power plant in Jabal Al Mahghara, Northern Sinai, using as feedstock coal extracted from the mountains, a top IDA executive told Zawya. 
The plant will have a capacity to produce 200 MW, which will go toward resolving the power shortage in the area, said IDA chief executive Ismail Al-Nagdi.
Egypt produces 23,000 MW of electricity annually, while the demand exceeds 25,000 MW. This forces the National Grid to effect an alternating blackout across different Egyptian governorates.

The project will be implemented as a public-private partnership, Al- Nagdi said, adding that the generated capacity from the plant will cover the needs of the hotel facilities in Sinai that includes the largest amount of hotel services in Egypt, as Sharm El Sheikh, Nuweiba and Taba cities abound in hotels and resorts.

Establishing power stations according to the PPP scheme may help eliminate the blackouts across the country that hit several regions last summer, said Atter Hannoura, the head of the PPP Central Unit at the finance ministry.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Oyun Musa (update)

Since the Egyptian Revolution the Oyun Musa Fortified Firing Position

Link to previous posts

Has undergone a renovation by the Egyptian Military.

It's a good tourist destination and should be added to your itinerary for an hour or so visit where the army will give you a tour.

They have added a Rest Stop cafe which sits at the entrance on the Cairo/Sharm Rd and is easily seen from the road.

Enjoy your visit

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Join! Help! Share!and Promote Bozoor Balady!!!

Great initiative called 'Bozoor balady' who are seed bombing Cairo today 20th October!

Please join, like and share this great awareness campaign for nutrition and agriculture in Egypt !

Twitter hashtag

Facebook page

                                              Kids seed bombing a street in Cairo

Volunteers distributing baskets of seeds to throw in Cairo open areas

                                               Seed Bombers in Tahrir Square

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Foreigners getting married in Egypt (process)

Updated 1 October 2012

Civil Marriages in Egypt

The onus of ensuring that you are free to contract a marriage rests with the parties themselves. Consular Officers cannot issue any document, which will facilitate a marriage, which will not be valid in Britain. Additional Documentation may be requested in order to satisfy the Consular Officer to issue a Statutory Declaration.

British couples wishing to marry in Cairo have to satisfy the Egyptian authorities that they are free to marry.
They should, therefore:
(1) Come to the Consular Section of the Embassy in Cairo to make statutory declarations, before a consular officer, that they are free to marry.
The documents required by the consular officer are the following:
• Passports as proof of identity
• Documentary evidence of the termination of any former marriage(s). For example, divorce (decree absolute) certificates and change of name Deed or, if appropriate the death certificate of a deceased spouse   see also further advice below.
• Consular fees no 2(i) (Sterling £ 45.00) and 4 (Sterling £ 55.00) are payable in Egyptian Pounds at the current rate of exchange for each declaration.
(2) Statutory declarations have to be taken to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at Ahmed Orabi Street, Mohandessin, Giza (Tel: 03 33033450), for the consular officer's signature and stamp to be legalised (the fee is approximately 22 Egyptian pounds per document).
(3) The couple can then go to the Notary Public's Office at Ministry of Justice Annex, Lazoghly Square, 4th Floor, Cairo, for a civil marriage.
The documents required by the Notary Public Office are the following:
• Passports
• 5 photographs each (size 4x6)
• Evidence of termination of any previous marriage or change of name (as described above)
• 2 male witnesses (with proof of identity)
• A registered interpreter (the proceedings will be conducted in Arabic)
• Medical certificates for both parties from a government hospital to the effect that both parties are qualified physically for marriage
• A stamp from the post office called the family rights stamp
• 2 photocopies of all documents provided
When a British citizen wishes to marry an Egyptian man or woman.
(1) The British party only needs to make a statutory declaration at the Embassy.
The documents required by the Consular Officer are the following:
• Passports as proof of identity
• If appropriate, documentary evidence of the termination of any former marriages - decree absolute certificates and change of name deed. If appropriate, the death certificate of a deceased spouse
• The Egyptian party will also need to present his/her current Egyptian ID card and
• show that they are not in any existing marriage i.e. are single, widowed or divorced. In Egypt there are varying degrees or types of divorce. The only one acceptable to a consular officer is an irrevocable divorce. Where either party has been married more than once they must show termination of each marriage.
• Consular fees no 2(i) (Sterling £ 45.00) and 4 (Sterling £ 55.00) payable in Egyptian Pounds.
(2) The statutory declaration has to be taken to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at Ahmed Orabi Street, Mohandessin, Giza (Tel: 03 33033450), for the consular officer's signature and stamp to be legalised (the fee is approximately 22 Egyptian pounds per document).
(3) The couple can then go to the Notary Public's Office at Ministry of Justice Annex, Lazoghly Square, 4th Floor, Cairo, for a civil marriage.
The documents required by the Egyptian civil registry office are as follows:
• Passports (The Egyptian party will also need to present his/her current Egyptian ID card)
• 5 photographs each (size 4x6)
• Evidence of termination of any previous marriage or change of name
• 2 male witnesses (with proof of identity),
• A registered interpreter (the proceedings will be conducted in Arabic)
• Medical certificates for both parties from a government hospital to the effect that both parties are qualified physically for marriage
• A stamp from the post office called the family rights stamp
• 2 photocopies of all documents provided
The above proceedings may normally be completed within 2 or 3 working days (i.e. not Fridays or Saturdays or public holidays). There is no residency requirement but the parties must have valid immigration conditions in their passports.
Under the Egyptian law, a divorced or widowed woman   of whatever religion or nationality   must observe a period of waiting (known as the Eddah) before she may marry again. Hence, a Notary Public, before performing a civil marriage, is required to satisfy himself that a period of at least 3 months has elapsed in the case of a divorced woman since the termination of the previous marriage. In the case of a pregnant divorcee, however, the period is terminated by the birth of the child. A widow wishing to marry again must observe a minimum period of waiting of 4 months and 10 days.
NOTE: Notary Public Offices in Egypt may refuse to accept the validity of a divorce between a woman and a Muslim man when the marriage has been terminated by a non Muslim authority, e.g. a British court. Those affected should seek legal advice.
The validity under English law of foreign law marriages is not a matter on which the Embassy can give authoritative advice. It is a matter for British courts to decide. Should you wish further advice on this point, or any other point of law, a solicitor should be consulted.
Once the Egyptian marriage has taken place, the original Arabic marriage certificate and an English translation (with no corrections) may be deposited with the Embassy by the British party or parties and, on payment of Consular Fee No 15 (Sterling £ 35), the documents are forwarded to the Registrar General in the United Kingdom so that certified copies can subsequently be obtained in the United Kingdom. It should be clearly understood that there is no legal obligation to have a marriage recorded in the United Kingdom in this manner. The parties may take advantage of these facilities if they consider that it would serve some useful purpose to have their marriage recorded in the United Kingdom, but neither the formal nor the essential validity in English law of a marriage contracted in a foreign country is in any way affected by its having been, or not having been, thus recorded.
All Consular Fees are collected in Egyptian currency at the prevailing Consular Rate of Exchange.
Applications to be handed during our opening hours Sunday-Thursday from 10:00 to 13:00 hrs
Collections will be scheduled on Wednesdays between 10:00 to 12:00 hrs

Consular Section
British Embassy
Ahmed Ragheb Street
Garden City

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Bird Migration Egypt

If you want to keep up with the latest news on the bird migration though Egypt you can find out all you need to know here.

Conservation Egypt Project

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Old light bulbs recycled


Saturday, September 1, 2012

Cross Egypt Challenge (update)

The 2012 team of Cross Egypt Challenge has been announced today. With participants from 11 different countries, we welcome the following members into the 2012 team:

Announcing the team of the 2012 season of Cross Egypt Challenge;

Aaser Ahmed, Egypt / Ahmad Elzoghby, Egypt / Andrade Romero, México / Dewane Vanleuven, USA / Dimitrios Gkiokezas, Greece / Emmanuel Shekoni, Nigeria / Gunner Skydstrup, Denmark / Ibrahim Elashmawy, Egypt / Jonathan Smith, Canada / Kenneth Wilson, USA / Khaled Eldarwish, Egypt / Maged Mansi, Egypt / Mahmoud El Sheikh, Egypt / Michael Bobadilla, USA / Mohamed El Sheikh, Egypt / Mohamed Elsherbiny, Egypt / Mohd Asraf Abdullah, Singapore / Owen Lewis, UK / Pablo Veitch, Argentina / Paul Pelton, USA / Ramy Amer, Egypt / Simon Haisz, Canada / Steven Burbidge, UK / Tarek Safwat, Egypt / Thomas Schneider, Germany / Timothy Shear, USA / Wallace Quan, Canada.

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President Morsi NAM Summit Speech (English)

Opening Statement by H.E. Mohamed Morsy President of the Arab Republic of Egypt (Opening Session of the XVI Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement)
" In the name of God the most Merciful and Compassionate. Peace be upon Prophet Muhammad, upon all the Prophets and Messengers of God, and upon his companions Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman and Ali.

His Excellency President Mahmud Ahmadi Nejad the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran,

Excellencies Heads of States or Governments,

Ministers and Heads of Delegations,

His Excellency Dr. Nabil El-Araby Secretary General of the Arab League,

His Excellency Nassir Abdelaziz Al-Nasr, President of the 66th Session of the UN General Assembly,

His Excellency Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General of the United Nations,

Ambassadors and Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I declare open the XVI Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement. The Movement that succeeded to turn the vision of its founding fathers from principles and concepts to concrete actions, from a condition of weakness to a source of strength at the international stage.

At the outset, I would like to thank the Islamic Republic of Iran for hosting this Summit. I would also like to express our appreciation for the warm welcome, the kind hospitality and excellent organizational arrangements by our Iranian hosts.

I would also like to renew our thanks to the Republic of Cuba for its sincere efforts to promote the objectives of the Movement during its tenure at the NAM Troika for the past nine years. In addition, I welcome the incoming Troika member, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, the host of the XVII Summit of the Movement in 2015.

A special welcome is also due to Mr. Ban Ki-moon the Secretary General of the United Nations, to Dr. Nabil El-Araby, the Secretary General of the Arab League and to Mr. Nasser El-Nasr, the President of the General Assembly.

We meet today at one of the most important moments in contemporary history, in the aftermath of the Egyptian peaceful Revolution that has, in fact, started a number of years ago, and materialized only on January 25, 2011, when Egyptians united to topple a despotic regime that never reflected the interests of its own people.

Egyptians succeeded with the help of God and their own solidarity to pass through a difficult transitional period, full of challenges. Unity among Egyptians, the peaceful nature of the Egyptian Revolution and solidarity between the army and the people was instrumental to reaching this success.

The early beginnings of the Movement started with a similar active participation by Egypt and its leadership, who truly represented, then, the will of the people. Yes, Nasser was representing the will of the Egyptian people to resist foreign hegemony on emerging nations back then.

The Egyptian Revolution represents the corner stone of the Arab Spring. It was preceded by the Revolution in Tunisia. It was also followed by the Revolutions in Libya, in Yemen and now in Syria against the oppressive regime there.

The Egyptian Revolution has succeeded in achieving its political objectives. Now, political power has been finally transferred to a truly civilian government, elected by the Egyptians without any foreign interference. Egypt has now become a national, constitutional, democratic, modern state.

We meet today amidst a multitude of challenges facing our countries.

The Palestinian people continue, with impressive courage, their struggle for the fulfillment of their legitimate right to establish their own independent State.

The Syrian people are engaged in a struggle for freedom, justice and human dignity.

The current international system is facing many challenges, foremost among them is the international financial crisis and the failure of the institutions entrusted to maintain international peace and security to discharge their responsibilities. An increasing number of Non-Aligned countries are facing unprecedented internal and external threats. Intolerance, discrimination, extremism and international terrorism are on the rise. The problem of climate change is becoming more acute. The suffering of a number of developing countries from poverty and endemic disease is increasing.

Brothers and Sisters,

It is the destiny of the Non Aligned Movement to play a pivotal role in these decisive moments. The Movement was established at the height of the Cold War, when colonized peoples were struggling to earn their independence and sovereignty. The Ten Principles of the Movement constituted a solid foundation to protect the political and economic interests of its peoples. Despite the shifts in the international political landscape, the Movement has maintained its fundamental principles. It never deviated from its original objectives. The inclusive framework established by the Movement was able to protect the interests of newly independent developing countries. It succeeded in creating a wide international framework that established a new legitimacy for a foreign policy that distanced itself from military alliances and bipolarity. A legitimacy that permitted newly independent countries that had just escaped from the oppression of colonialism, to focus on new objectives based on the principles of independence and positive neutrality.


The main theme of this Summit: “Lasting Peace through Joint Global Governance” clearly reflects the vision that our Movement needs to embrace energetically as we move towards a world that is more just; as we look forward to take an active role in the governance of the international system.

The “New Egypt” is seeking the establishment of an equitable international system that can save the developing countries from the vicious circles of poverty, dependence and marginalization and launch them into an era where they master their own initiative, and march them towards prosperity and strength. This will not happen unless we reach a global understanding that underscores the necessity to apply the principles of democracy to the international system itself, and genuine multilateralism on international politics. It is no longer acceptable to respect the requirements of democracy at the national level, while rejecting them at the international level. It is no longer acceptable to look forward to apply the principles of diversity and equity at the national level and set them aside in the system of international governance.

Egypt believes that one of the fundamental elements of this new equitable international system lies in enhancing the contribution of developing countries in the management and reform of global governance institutions in order to secure equitable participation in setting the global agenda and more effective participation in the process of international decision making at the political, economic and social levels.

The first step towards reaching this goal is the comprehensive reform and enlargement of the Security Council to make it more in tune with the global system in the 21st century. It is no longer acceptable to maintain the historic injustice against Africa by leaving it out of the category of permanent membership, let alone its disproportionate low representation in the non-permanent category. This is happening at the time when the majority of issues under consideration in the Council pertain to situations in African countries.

At the same time, we have to revitalize the role of the General Assembly, and increase its contribution in peace and security matters, as it is the most democratic and representative organ of the United Nations. We have witnessed in the last few month how important it is for the General Assembly to assume a more active role at the time when the Security Council was deadlocked regarding a number of international crises, the last of which was the situation in Syria.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The issue of Palestine has been at the forefront of NAM's priorities since the Movement's inception and will remain as such until a just and comprehensive solution, that preserves the inalienable and legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, is attained, including the establishment of a Palestinian state on the June 4, 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

We must continue to stand up for justice, and provide the necessary political backing for any effort aiming to attain full Palestinian membership in the United Nations. We should also shed light on the suffering imposed by the occupation forces on the people of Palestine, particularly the on the Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, which contradict the principles and customs of international law. On this occasion, I would like to commend the Declaration adopted by the Ministerial Meeting of the NAM Coordinating Bureau in Sharm El Sheikh in May 2012 on Palestinian Political Prisoners. This important document highlighted the plight of these prisoners. It reiterated the Movement's solidarity with their noble struggle.

On its part, Egypt intends to fully support the Palestinian endeavors at the UN General Assembly or the Security Council to join the United Nations as a full member, should the Palestinian leadership decide to do so. Egypt will also continue to support Palestinian reconciliation efforts in order to enhance the unity of the Palestinian people. In this context, I wish to seize this opportunity to encourage our Palestinian brothers of every affiliation to set aside their differences and reconcile, and to begin implementing the recent understandings reached in Cairo to enable them to direct their attention on their real plight which is combating the occupation and attaining the freedom of the Palestinian people.

Here, I wish to refer to and deplore the recent Israeli decision to prevent a number of Foreign Ministers, members of the NAM's Committee on Palestine, from entering Ramallah on August 5th to attend the Committee's Extraordinary Meeting.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Our solidarity with the plight of the Syrian people against a repressive regime that has lost its legitimacy is not only a moral duty but one of political and strategic necessity. It emanates from our conviction that Syria will one day be free and strong. We should declare our full support for the struggle of those brave men and women seeking freedom and justice in Syria. We should turn our sentiments into a clear political vision that ensures Syria's peaceful transformation into a democratic state that respects its peoples' yearning for freedom, justice and equality. Such a vision must also safeguard Syria from drifting to a civil war or fall victim to sectarian strife. On this note, I wish to emphasize the need to unify the Syrian opposition in a way that guarantees the interests of all factions of the Syrian society, and in a manner that preserves the unity and stability of this great nation.

On its part, Egypt stands ready to cooperate with all relevant parties to stop the bloodshed in Syria and articulate a vision on what a future and free Syrian state would look like. Egypt has proposed an initiative during the recent Extraordinary Summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in Mecca that seeks to coordinate the efforts of the relevant regional parties to end this bloodshed as soon as possible.


Our Movement faces additional challenges that require us to strengthen and deepen our cooperation to achieve our common goals. For example, and despite the pivotal role of our Movement during the 2010 NPT Review Conference that led to the adoption of four action plans, including an action plan on the Middle East which called for the convening of a conference in 2012 on the establishment of a zone free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, our efforts to convene such a conference are met by many obstacles. One additional challenge is the attainment of the universality of the NPT, particularly in the Middle East, where one country, Israel, has yet to join the Treaty. We must also continue our efforts to defend our right to peaceful uses of nuclear energy while we fully respect our obligations under the NPT in this regard.

On the economic and social levels, we should seek to build on the existing coordination between the NAM and the G77 and China group to preserve the interests of the developing countries in different fields, and therefore strengthen South/ South cooperation, while further promoting the ongoing dialogue with our international partners.

We must strive to achieve the Millennium goals and build on the achievements of the Rio+20 Conference in Brazil. We must seek a global environment conducive for comprehensive economic and social development. We must focus our attention on youth issues to meet their aspirations for a better future. We must continue our efforts to enable women to play an effective role in their societies while preventing all forms of discrimination against them.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The NAM's success has always been linked to its unified positions towards common challenges and the respect of the diversity among its member states. This approach has enabled the Movement to address such challenges while preserving its principles. Today, we must stick to the principles and goals of our Movement, and reflect the quantitative increase in NAM member states into a qualitative role for the Movement in global affairs.

During the past 3 years, Egypt spared no effort in defending the interests of NAM Member states. We sought to maintain its unity amidst changing realities. Today, as we transfer the chairmanship of the NAM to the Islamic Republic of Iran, we are confident in the latter's ability to lead the Movement objectively and transparently in a manner that preserves the unity of its membership and maintains the effective role it plays in global affairs and builds on the achievements of the previous NAM chairmanships.

Egypt will extend its hand, in all sincerity, to all NAM Member States and will continue to be at the forefront of the Movement's efforts to achieve freedom, justice, and dignity for its people. Egypt will maintain its commitment to support the NAM's prominent role in achieving global, viable, and comprehensive peace, and continue participating in global governance, in order to attain a more effective world order that is more just and reflective of the interests of all.

Thank you."

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Giza Pyramids hiring horses

We went riding at the pyramids today!
The plateau was very busy and it was nice to see tourism picking up again. 

If you want to ride a horse I would recommend asking for  Ashraf who works the horses there.

For 100 le per person you will be guaranteed more than an hour ride from the main car park at Chephrens Pyramid all the way along the road leading past the 3 main pyramids up to the brow of the hill, then down out into the desert Northwards to the peak of the plateau, then down past the Muslim cemetery down to the sphynx enclosure and back to the car park. It's a good hack and takes more than an hour.
Ashraf will guide you, he will also take photos for you at all the locations you want. If you are an experienced rider he will let you gallop out to the plateau and if you are a beginner will stay with you and guide you. His horses are very quiet and great for learners. Ashraf doesn't speak much English but easily guides you to the path he takes to allow you to see all you want to see. You wont get any hassle, he's very polite.

Tip him 50le - 75le for a couple or 150le for a group of 4 for the excellent hack.

It's well worth it!

You can contact him on

Mobile: 01004280511

Please see other post about spending time at the Pyramids in Giza for more information

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Friday, August 3, 2012

URGENT Syrian refugee appeal !

URGENT!!! If you can donate towards buying or supplying 16 mattresses, 4 fridges,4 stoves for Syrian refugees in Cairo 
PLEASE e mail Umm Farouq at
Contact by e mail here  

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Nature Conservation Egypt

Egypt has a natural heritage as diverse and amazing as its cultural heritage. It is the biodiversity and natural landscapes and resources that formed the fertile ground within which the Egyptian civilization emerged and flourished. In the modern world man has become increasingly distant from nature and is losing touch with the natural resources and processes that sustains all our lives on earth. In Egypt as in most parts of the world, nature is under great threat. 

We are working to strengthen the lost connection between man and nature. We need to learn and understand more about nature in order to appreciate the critical role and services it presents to us in our every day life. We need to teach new generations to enjoy nature so that their lives are fulfilled and they take an active role in defending nature.

Biodiversity and the natural world are no longer regarded as secondary or a luxury. But they are rightfully being considered as the cornerstone of our life on Earth. The economic and ecological services that nature delivers to us free of charge have to be seriously taken into consideration when we plan for our future development. Biodiversity is also a hugely underestimated asset for sustainable development, and this is particularly true in Egypt, where traditional development thought is rapidly obliterating some of the country’s most precious natural and cultural heritage assets at an unprecedented rate.

There are huge problems facing natural heritage in Egypt, but there are equally tantalizing opportunities. Our role is to attempt to foster the positive opportunities and inhibit the negative forces.
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