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, 350.org 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