Archive for the ‘Egypt’ Category

What am I doing now? Hmmm.

Posted: January 29, 2013 in Egypt, Far East, Middle East, Syria
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29 January 2013

Being told I had retired a few years ago, a fellow asked me yesterday, “So, what are you doing now?” I said, “Nothing.” I knew he didn’t really want an answer and explaining would have taken me a while…

Watching and praying are what I spend a lot of time doing these days. (See Mark 13:37, but read the whole chapter to understand that verse.) Watching what is happening around the world, in a wide variety of aspects and praying about the various situations.

Here’s what I have done so far today:

Read the Morning News on paper
Worked the puzzles
Read a week’s worth of Jesus Calling devotions
Drank two cups of coffee, made a “grilled” cheese sandwich (in the microwave) for breakfast
Watched a few minutes of CNN / Fox News news on TV
To the computer, checked emails (mostly subscription news items)
Checked Facebook (which I use mostly for news articles)
Watched part of old Matlock and Burn Notice episodes while preparing and eating spaghetti for lunch

Back to the computer, read the following RSS feeds (I subscribe to others, but these I actually read.)

trifid_gendler_960Image actually from yesterday’s APOD article, beautiful.

Today: http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/astropix.html What would it be like to drive on the Moon? You don’t have to guess — humans have actually done it. Apollo 16 astronauts John Young and Charles Duke recorded video during one such drive in 1972, with a digital version now available on the web.

http://www.newsmaxworld.com/GlobalTalk/egypt-collapse-state-military/2013/01/29/id/487799 CAIRO — The head of the Egyptian military warned political conflict could lead to the collapse of the state and said protecting the Suez Canal was one of the main objectives of the army deployment to nearby cities shaken by violence.

http://www.space.com/19510-nasa-communications-satellite-network-tdrs-k.html A NASA communications network used to track satellites and spacecraft orbiting the Earth is about to get an upgrade with the launch of a new satellite on Wednesday (Jan. 30).

http://www.rferl.org/content/eu-ashton-iran-ahwazi-activists/24887263.html EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton says she is greatly concerned that the Iranian High Court has upheld the sentences of five Ahwazi Arab activists who could face imminent execution.

http://www.voanews.com/content/rebels-torch-mali-library-of-historic-manuscripts/1592945.html Mayor Halley Ousmane of Mali’s fabled city of Timbuktu says Islamist militants torched a library containing thousands of ancient Arab manuscripts, as they retreated from the city this week.

http://www.wnd.com/2013/01/new-details-surface-on-iran-nuclear-explosion/ Sixteen North Koreans, including 14 technicians and two top military officers, are among those trapped after a Jan. 21 explosion destroyed much of Iran’s Fordow nuclear site, a source reveals. A senior researcher and director of the Centre for Arab & Iranian Studies in London, Ali Reza Nourizadeh, who has many contacts in Iran, confirmed that the explosion had trapped many inside.

http://www.egyptindependent.com/news/grand-mufti-approves-death-penalty-innocence-muslims-producers Egypt’s Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa has approved a death sentence delivered in absentia for seven Coptic Egyptian expats accused of producing and acting a movie deemed insulting to Islam. The amateur, 13-minute movie, “Innocence of Muslims,” sparked an uproar in several Islamic states.

http://chinadailymail.com/2013/01/28/china-carries-out-anti-missile-test/ Self-explanatory headline.

http://security.blogs.cnn.com/2013/01/28/yemen-u-s-intercept-ship-with-large-cache-of-illegal-arms/

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2013/01/2013129133917989266.html The bodies of at least 65 persons have been found along a river bank in Aleppo with single gunshot wounds to the head.

http://www.shabablibya.org/news/gunfire-blends-with-coffee-as-libya-seeks-tripoli-control

http://www.timesofisrael.com/stanley-fischer-resigns-as-bank-of-israel-head/

http://news.sky.com/story/1044320/mali-conflict-british-troops-to-train-forces

http://rt.com/news/israel-iron-dome-syria-929/ Israel deploys Iron Dome batteries amid Syrian weapons fears

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2013/01/29/aide-to-egyptian-president-morsi-claims-holocaust-us-hoax/ He claimed the 6 million Jews who were killed by Nazis simply moved to the U.S.

http://www.solarham.net/ Low solar activity today.

http://spaceweather.com/ A record-setting asteroid fly-by coming up.

Twitter: Feeds from news organizations mostly, listed are only the last hour’s worth. Those I wanted to know more about, I clicked on and read the article.

National Review
Washington Post
Politico
Associated Press
GlobalPost
Jerusalem Post News
Guardian World
New York Times
Al Jazeera English
AJELive re N. Korea
Reuters Top News
CNN Live
Talking Points Memo
TIME Ideas
The Hill
Roll Call Politics
Townhall.com
RedState
The Daily Caller
BBC News
BBC Africa
Capital Weather Gang
WSJ Washington Wire
WSJ Greater New York
BBC Breaking News
Middle East Voices
The Revolting Syrian (Syrian national tweeting about conditions on the ground)
NMSyria (ditto)
Omar (Syrian businessman who lives in Damascus – ditto)
Assia Amry (Libyan – ditto)
Sky News Newsdesk
WIRED Science
Erik K / Eruptions (volcanoes)
NASA Kennedy
Johnson Space Center
Space.com
Daily Galaxy
CERN re Aegis experiment installation
Live Science
DebkaFileNews (intelligence gathering, Middle East mostly)
TIME.com
Adam Beam (The State newspaper)
WPDE NewsChannel 15
CNN Politics
WORLD Magazine
Nicholas Kristof (NY Times columnist)
PostPolitics

There are quite a few others I get who don’t tweet as often as these.

So, that’s what I’m doing these days, among Bible study, writing blogs, doing housework, hosting / attending prayer groups, plus rehearsing new music and playing piano for church. And reading murder mysteries, spy novels, Smithsonian magazine, Charisma magazine, going out to lunch or dinner with friends occasionally. Movies, now and then.

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Egypt Independent online newspaper
30 November 2012

EgyptianAssembly2012NovEgypt Independent’s translation of the draft constitution will be updated throughout the day.

Constitution Preamble

We, the people of Egypt, In the name of God and with the assistance of God, declare this to be Egypt’s Constitution and the document of the pioneering, peaceful revolution, which was started by Egypt’s promising youth, protected by the Armed Forces, championed by the patient Egyptians who gathered in Tahrir Square on 25 January 2011 to assert their rejection of all forms of injustice, oppression, tyranny, plunder and monopoly, to fully proclaim their rights to a decent life, to freedom, to social justice and human dignity — all rights granted by God before being prescribed in constitutions and universal declarations of human rights;

A promise of a new dawn worthy of Egypt’s history and civilization, the same civilization that gave humanity the first alphabet, that opened the way to monotheism and the knowledge of the Creator, adorned the pages of history with creativity, established the oldest state on the banks of the timeless Nile, while from the beginning understanding the meaning of identity, and embodying the values of citizenship.

(Etc., Etc. – click on the link below to read the entire draft document. To me the most important paragraph is this one:)

Article 2

Islam is the religion of the state and Arabic its official language. Principles of Islamic Sharia are the principal source of legislation. (Emphasis added.)

http://www.egyptindependent.com/news/egypt-s-new-constitution-unofficial-translation

———————

(Many Egyptians do not wish this Constitution adopted:)

TahrirAnticonstitutionProtestersMarches arrive in Tahrir as protesters chant against draft constitution

Marches began arriving in Tahrir Square Friday afternoon for the “Martyrs’ Dream” mass demonstration, which many political parties, movements and revolutionary groups had called for against the most recent constitutional declaration.

http://www.egyptindependent.com/news/update-marches-arrive-tahrir-protesters-chant-against-draft-constitution

Thousands protest nationwide against Morsy, Constituent Assembly

Thousands of Egyptians took to the streets in various governorates Friday to denounce the constitutional declaration issued on 22 November, as well as the final draft of the constitution approved by the Islamist-dominated Constituent Assembly.

Protesters say President Mohamed Morsy’s decrees grant him unprecedented powers and make him a new dictator. They say the constitution was approved hastily and without the consensus of different political and social powers.

http://www.egyptindependent.com/news/thousands-protest-nationwide-against-morsy-constituent-assembly

Screenshot from one of the online news sources I read daily…


http://english.aljazeera.net

“You shall hear of wars and rumors of wars… nations shall rise up against nations, and kingdom against kingdom… all these are the beginning of sorrows.” Matthew 24:6-8

Middle East afire

Posted: September 14, 2012 in Egypt, Iran, Israel, Middle East
Tags: , ,

The 2012 anniversary of 9-11 brought violent, murderous protests across the “Arab Spring” nations in the Middle East.

Current “anti-film” protests include countries of Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Sudan, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Lebanon and Jordan, while protestors in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, the Philippines and Indonesia rallied after prayers. Protests were also held in Kenya, Nigeria, Yemen, Kuwait, and Qatar, among others.

While they were /are supposedly protesting against an anti-Muslim film, I believe these attacks against US Embassies and American personnel were pre-planned, if not coordinated. Why do I believe that? The beliefs of someone else — Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

After running afoul of the religious leaders in Iran, he is in somewhat of a dilemma at present, about to lose his influence when his presidential term ends in 2013. That means he needs to fulfill his “destiny” sooner rather than later — to bring about the return of the Hidden Imam by creating global chaos and especially the destruction of Israel and the United States.

Middle East unrest and The Hidden Imam (the 12th Imam)

The Shiite Muslim President of Iran, Ahmadinejad, is deeply committed to the Islamic Messiah (al Mahdi). He claims that he is to personally prepare the world for the coming Mahdi. In order to save the world, it must be in a state of chaos and subjugation. Ahmadinejad claims that he was “directed by Allah to pave the way for the glorious appearance of the Mahdi.”

… he proclaims he must prepare the world for the coming Mahdi by way of a world totally under Muslim control. He is working hard to bring about the world-wide horrors that must be in place for their al Mahdi to bring peace.

http://www.allaboutpopularissues.org/12th-imam.htm

Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in his Own Words
September 9, 2012

“Today, interactions in the international arena make it fully evident and clear that the leaders of this small [international Zionist] party make all of its decisions and imposes them on European leaders. [The Zionists] imposed World War I on Europe and today those countries are forced to admit their wrong doings. We are certain that the world will soon be rescued from the hand of the Zionists.”

http://www.adl.org/main_International_Affairs/ahmadinejad_words.htm

As I read internet news today, I have to wonder about the spreading protests in the Arab world. Muslim against Muslim, it seems… the people against their governments in country after country. The headlines and the shouted messages seem to say, the people want freedom. Freedom from corrupt governments, freedom from economic woes, freedom from oppressive rules and regulations.

So far we’ve heard about Algeria. Tunisia. Egypt. Jordan. Lebanon. Yemen. Djibouti – yes, that tiny little country too. Worries from Saudi Arabia and Syria. Maybe Kuwait.

I did a bit of research into the differences between two major Muslim groups today. Here’s an abbreviated synopsis.

“Sunnis elect, Shias appoint”

Sunni Muslims make up the majority (85%) of Muslims all over the world. They elect their leaders.

Sunni = “one who follows the traditions of the Prophet.” Sunni Muslims agree with the position taken by many of the Prophet’s companions, that the new leader should be elected from among those capable of the job. They believe leadership is not a birthright, but a trust that is earned and which may be given or taken away by the people themselves. No basis for veneration of leaders.

Shias (or Shi’ites) constitute only 10-15% of overall Muslim population worldwide. Their leaders are appointed by Allah or his representatives.

Shia = “a group or supportive party of people.” The commonly-known term is shortened from the historical “Shia-t-Ali,” or “the Party of Ali.” They are also known as followers of “Ahl-al-Bayt” or “People of the Household” (of the Prophet). They believe that following the Prophet Muhammad’s death, leadership should have passed directly to his cousin/son-in-law, Ali. They do not recognize authority of elected Muslim leaders, believe leadership should have stayed within the Prophet’s own family, among those specifically appointed by him, or among Imams appointed by God Himself.

Shias follow a line of Imams which they believe have been appointed by the Prophet Muhammad or God (Allah) Himself. Shias believe the Imam – such as Ayatollah Khamenei in Iran – is sinless by nature, and that his authority is infallible as it comes directly from God. They do venerate their leaders.

So, with the above in mind, let’s look at the Arab world and those countries which are in turmoil right now. (Percentages obtained from Wikipedia, may not be totally accurate.)

Although Sunni Muslims constitute 85% of all Muslims, Shias form a majority of the population in Iran, Yemen (? – see * below) and Azerbaijan, Bahrain and 60% of the population of Iraq. There are also sizable Shia communities along the east coast of Saudi Arabia and in Lebanon.

Iran – majority (89%) Shia. Ayatollah Khamenei (Iranian Supreme Leader) is a fundamentalist Shia. He supports the policies of Iran’s President Ahmadinajab, who says that the “12th Imam” is causing all the uprisings in the Arab world now so that Islam can take over the world. See Joel Rosenberg’s blog 18 Feb 2011: Ahmadinejad claims 12th Imam behind current events. http://flashtrafficblog.wordpress.com/

Note that Hezbollah is a Shi’ite terrorist group funded and supported by Iran and Syria. This well-known guerilla organization forced the Israelis out of southern Lebanon in 2000 and is still causing problems for Israel. Hezbollah recently caused the government of Lebanon to fall. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hezbollah

Does Iran have a hand in instigating the various Arab world riots, working behind the scenes and perhaps using Hezbollah to do it?

Bahrain – majority of the population is Shia but the King is Sunni. Extreme violence today as police opened fire on protesters, then blocked ambulances from reaching wounded.

Libya – majority Sunni but in 2007 Gaddafi said he wants all of N. Africa to be Shi’ite (in an overture to Iran) – a statement that was considered idiotic by many people in his own country. http://www.memri.org/report/en/0/0/0/0/0/0/2137.htm Protests in Libya turned violent today with a number of people killed and many wounded as the government cracks down on protesters.

* Yemen – 52% Sunni, 46% Shia. President is Shia. Prime Minister (appointed by President) is Sunni. Both are men of very bad reputation, associated with Saddam Hussein, terrorists.

Dijbouti – 90% of population Muslim, nearly all Sunni. President is Sunni. Has just started having protests in the streets today.

All of these protests are for better economic conditions, with food and fuel prices high and unemployment also high. Large populations of young people cannot find work after finishing their education. It doesn’t appear to matter whether the government is by a dictator, elected President, military generals or a monarch, they want the government pulled down. To be replaced by who? How, and how soon?

It looks to me like a set-up for a charismatic leader to emerge. It’s going to be an interesting year.

To follow events in these and other middle eastern countries, read “Arab Awakening” in The Star online.
http://www.thestar.com/topic/arabawakening

DEBKAfile 14 Feb 2011

Hosni Mubarak denies that he voluntarily resigned or passed any powers to the army. “I had no idea Omar Suleiman was about to read out that statement. I would never have signed it or allowed it to be published,” said Mubarak.

Mubarak has moved vast assets from European banks to Saudi Arabia; salvaged financial fortune with Saudi help.

Hosni Mubarak and his family have moved a large part of their assets – guesstimated at between $20 and $70 billion – from European banks to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Republics against personal guarantees from King Abdullah and Sheik Al Nahyan to block access to outside parties.This is reported by Gulf and West European sources.

Tunisian ex-ruler Zein Al Abdain Ben Ali received the same guarantee when he fled his country and received asylum in the oil kingdom.

A Swiss financial source commented: “If he had any real money in Zurich, it may be gone by now.” According to debkafile’s sources, the transfers took place on Feb. 12-13. Although a weekend when European banks are closed, high-ranking officials in Riyadh had their managers hauled out of home to execute Mubarak’s transfer orders without delay.

The ousted Egyptian ruler was on the phone to Saudi King Abdullah Friday, Feb. 11, immediately after his vice president Omar Suleiman went on state television to announce his resignation and handover of rule to the army.

Mubarak called it a military putsch conducted under pressure from Washington. He denied he had resigned or passed any powers to the army. “I had no idea Omar Suleiman was about to read out that statement. I would never have signed it or allowed it to be published,” said Mubarak.

The Saudi king voiced understanding for the ex-president’s plight and said the Riyadh government was under orders to meet any requests for assistance received from him.

Mubarak views himself still as the rightful president of Egypt. Aware of this, the High Military Council Sunday, Feb. 13, abolished the constitution. Otherwise, Mubarak would have been correct and the military would have had no authority to issue decrees and pass laws without his signature.

The military junta’s Western sympathizers were quick to read in the military statement a pledge to call an election in six months. This was not exactly stated. The military council announced that the incumbent (Mubarak-appointed) cabinet would stay in office “for six months or until elections.”

Elections cannot be held until a new a new constitution is enacted because the old one has been abolished leaving a void which is filled by martial law and no clear obligation for an election date. One major obstacle confronting orderly transition to civilian rule is the opposition’s clamor for an all-inclusive investigation of corruption within the Mubarak family and its ruling circle. As one of the opposition leaders George Ishak put it: “We will research everything, all of them: the families of the ministers, the family of the president, everyone.”

Prof. Samer Soliman, of the American University in Cairo said: “The corruption of the Mubarak family was not stealing from the budget; it was transforming political capital into private capital.”

Debkafile’s military sources stress that all 25 generals serving in the High Army Council can be relied on to raise a high wall against any such probe. Members of Egypt’s high officer class are heavily invested in Egyptian industry, financial institutions and banks, having built their personal fortunes by the same methods as the Mubarak clan and its hangers-on.

An exhaustive investigation might also bring to light American and Israel capital interests linked to businesses close to the Mubarak regime. The military will not doubt use its powers under martial law to put a spoke in the opposition’s demand for an inquiry.

http://www.debka.com/article/20666/

Post-Mubarak era dawns on Egypt
Al Jazeera online 12 Feb 2011

“…we don’t really know if Mubarak decided to step down or [if] he was forcibly removed by the armed forces…”

People power has spoken in the biggest Arab nation just four weeks after Tunisians toppled their own ageing ruler. Egyptians have woken to a new dawn after 30 years of rule under Hosni Mubarak.

Omar Suleiman, the vice-president, said on Friday in a televised address that the president was “waiving” his office, and had handed over authority to the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces.

Suleiman’s 50-word statement was received with a roar of approval and by celebratory chanting and flag-waving from a crowd of hundreds of thousands in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, as well as by other pro-democracy campaigners who were attending protests across the country.

After 18 days of rallies at Cairo’s Tahrir Square, resisting police assaults and a last-ditch raid by Mubarak supporters, people packed not just the epicentre but, it seemed, every street and neighbourhood of the capital. Similar was the scene in other cities and towns across the country.

Fireworks lit the night sky, cars honked under swathes of red, white and black Egyptian flags and people hoisted children above their heads. Some took souvenir pictures with smiling soldiers atop their tanks on city streets. Everyone cried, laughed and embraced in the hope of a new era.

Al Jazeera’s Jacky Rowland, reporting from Cairo, said that in the coming days people will have some concerns. “The obvious thing that is going to be concerning many people is to have some kind of a clear roadmap for the progress towards democratic elections,” she said. “After all this was a revolution not only to overthrow President Mubarak, but also to remove the whole system and install it with one where people would have freedom of choice with [regards to who] who runs the country.”

The top figure in Egypt is now Field Marshal Mohammed Hussein Tantawi, the country’s defence minister and head of the supreme council. In its third statement to the nation since Thursday, the council said in a televised address that it was examining the situation “in order to materialise the aspirations of our great nation”.

Nezar al Sayyad, a Middle East specialist, told Al Jazeera that Egypt “is in a very critical stage in terms of what is going to happen next. I think it’s extremely important to remember here that although Omar Suleiman made the announcement that Mubarak made the decision to step down, we don’t really know if Mubarak decided to step down or [if] he was forcibly removed by the armed forces and by the supreme council,” Al Sayyad said.

Mohamed ElBaradei, a prominent opposition leader, hailed the moment as being “a dream come true”. “I can’t tell you how every Egyptian feels today,” he said. “We have been able to restore our humanity … to be free and independent”….

http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2011/02/201121253441731292.html