Photo shoot of Colleen Darnell pays tribute to Zelda Fitzgerald – Daily News Egypt – AFROINSIDER
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Egypt

Photo shoot of Colleen Darnell pays tribute to Zelda Fitzgerald – Daily News Egypt

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                            <p class="p1"><span class="s1">As time goes on, out lifestyle pace gets faster while modern clothes and technology prevail; yet, it freezes for Egyptologist Colleen Darnell as she decided to stay still in vintage serenity of early 20</span><span class="s3"><sup>th</sup></span><span class="s1"> century. The passion of the epoch queen was recently captured by the lens of the photographer Menna Hossam, to bring the world a photo shoot reviving the authenticity charm of the last century. </span></p>

“Ode to Zelda” is the second photo session Darnell has this year in Egypt. The US Fashion aficionada is known for her passion of dressing in vintage clothes of 1920s to 1940s, which captivates number of photographs to document her beauty and unique style.

The well-known fine art and fashion photographer shares Darnell the same vintage passion as classics own her heart out of the belief, they hold a magical secret. Driven by the history frenzy, Hossam reached out to Darnell to have her second photo shoot in Egypt.

The Yale graduate, is currently teaching Egyptian art history at Naugatuck Valley Community College. She has spotlighted a number of Egyptian discoveries in her researches, and published a number of papers about Ancient Egypt’s various eras.

“I’m all about vintage style, and Darnell is all about vintage! Her looks are extremely unique, and she provokes any photographer into capturing her photo,” Hossam told Daily News Egypt.

Inspired by the first American Flapper, Hossam dedicated her session to the veteran American novelist, Zelda Fitzgerald.

Unlike the expected plot of an Egyptologist photo shoot taken by an Egyptian photographer, the project was not captured by the Pyramids, nor at any of the Ancient Egyptian historical spots.

“I thought it wold be so expected and repetitive to have the regular photo session over viewing the Sphinx or the Pyramids behind her. Away from the hassle it would take to have the permits, I mainly wanted to focus on her style, look, and photogenic face,” Hossam explained.

For one and a half months, Hossam has been preparing for the project, intensively looking for an appropriate location, before her eyes laid on a downtown apartment owned by Dakhli West El Balad, a specialised locations platform.

“It was too old, yet magical!” she enthusiastically said.

According to Hossam, from the moment she stepped inside the timeworn apartment, she visualised the whole shoot in her mind. “I already knew about the two outfits, she would wear, and with the old timeworn décor, and the fading colours, I made my mind up into choosing this location,” she added.

Hossam added that Darnell gave the ultimate happiness any photographer can ever have while capturing a celebrity, which is “trust.”

“She gave me the full trust to direct her into whatever I want, which gives any photographer the ultimate happiness,” she concluded.

   

All photos taken by Menna Hossam

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                Nada Deyaa’
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            Culture reporter, passionate reader and writer, Animals lover and Arts follower.


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Researchers monitor CO2 leakage sites on ocean floor – Daily News Egypt

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                            <p class="p1"><span class="s1">Injecting carbon dioxide (CO</span><span class="s2"><sup>2</sup></span><span class="s1">) deep below the seabed can be an important strategy for easing climate change, according to experts in the field. However, scientists need a reliable way to monitor such sites for leakage of the greenhouse gas. </span></p>

Now, researchers reporting in ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology have studied natural sources of CO2 release off the coast of Italy, using what they learned to develop models that could be applied to future storage sites.

The multinational energy company Equinor operates a CO2 capture and storage facility that injects about 1 megaton per year of the greenhouse gas into an offshore sandstone aquifer deep below Norwegian waters. Undersea storage of the gas presents less risk for humans in case of accidental leakage compared with storage on land because the vast ocean acts as a buffer for the released CO2.

However, the leaked gas can dissolve in ocean water, decreasing the pH and potentially harming the local marine ecosystem. Currently, scientists lack an established method to identify and quantify multiple CO2 leaks spread across a region of the ocean floor. Therefore, Jonas Gros and colleagues investigated pH changes near natural CO2 seeps in the vicinity of Panarea, a small island off the coast of northern Sicily.

The researchers used scuba divers and ship-based instrument deployments to collect gas and water samples from undersea CO2 plumes. The team used these data to validate a computer model that they developed to predict pH changes to water resulting from leakage of the gas. This simulation indicated that over 79% of the CO2 dissolved within 4 metres of the seafloor.

The team found that the model could predict a pattern of pH variation in waters surrounding the leakage site that was similar to actual data collected by sensors towed underwater. The new model could be used to guide sampling strategies during routine monitoring of storage sites and to estimate impacts of CO2 releases to the local marine environment.

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New study links neuropsychiatric disorders to pollution – Daily News Egypt

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                            <p class="p1"><span class="s1">Researchers are increasingly studying the effects of environmental insults on psychiatric and neurological conditions, motivated by emerging evidence from environmental events like the record-breaking smog that has choked New Delhi two years ago. </span></p>

In a new study published recently in the PLOS Biology journal, an international group of researchers from the US and Denmark used large data sets to suggest a possible link between exposure to environmental pollution and an increase in the prevalence of psychiatric disorders.

The team found that poor air quality was associated with higher rates of bipolar disorder and major depression in both US and Danish populations. The trend appeared even stronger in Denmark, where exposure to polluted air during the first ten years of a person’s life also predicted a more than two-fold increase in schizophrenia and personality disorders.

Computational biologist Atif Khan, the study’s first author, said the study shows that living in polluted areas, especially early in life, is predictive of mental disorders in both the US and Denmark. He added that “the physical environment – in particular air quality – warrants more research to better understand how our environment is contributing to neurological and psychiatric disorders.”

Although mental illnesses like schizophrenia develop due to a complex interplay of genetic predispositions and life experiences or exposures, genetics alone do not account entirely for variations in mental health and disease. Researchers have long suspected that genetic, neurochemical, and environmental factors interact at different levels to affect the onset, severity, and progression of these illnesses.

Growing evidence is beginning to provide insight into how components of air pollution can be toxic to the brain. Recent studies on rodents suggest that environmental agents like ambient small particulate matter (fine dust) travel to the brain through the nose and lungs, while animals exposed to pollution have also shown signs of cognitive impairment and depression-like behavioural symptoms. 

Andrey Rzhetsky, the lead author of the new study, said, “We hypothesised that pollutants might affect our brains through neuroinflammatory pathways that have also been shown to cause depression-like signs in animal studies.”

To quantify air pollution exposure among individuals in the US, the University of Chicago team relied on the US Environmental Protection Agency’s measurements of 87 air quality measurements. For individuals in Denmark, they used a national pollution register that tracked a smaller number of pollutants with much higher spatial resolution.

The researchers then examined two population data sets, the first being a US health insurance claims database that included 11 years of claims for 151 million individuals. The second dataset consisted of all 1.4 million individuals born in Denmark from 1979 through 2002 who were alive and residing in Denmark at their tenth birthday. 

Because Danes are assigned unique identification numbers that can link information from various national registries, the researchers were able to estimate exposure to air pollution at the individual level during the first 10 years of their life. In the US study, exposure measurements were limited to the county level. “We strived to provide validation of association results in independent large datasets,” said Rzhetsky.

Rzhetsky also cautioned that the significant associations between air pollution and psychiatric disorders discovered in the study do not necessarily mean causation, and said that further research is needed to assess whether any neuroinflammatory impacts of air pollution share common pathways with other stress-induced conditions.

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Aswan High Dam ready for new flood in 2019/20 water year: Irrigation Ministry – Daily News Egypt

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                            <p class="p1"><span class="s1">Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation, Mohamed Abdel-Aty, led a meeting of the Permanent Regulatory Committee of the Nile Flow and the ministry’s executive bodies on Tuesday to discuss preparations for the flood season. </span></p>

A report by the committee stressed that the Aswan High Dam is ready to receive the new flood of 2019/20 water year. The water year begins in August as the water levels start to rise due to a flood from the Abyssinian plateau, passing through Khartoum before reaching the Nasser Lake. 

Egypt took all necessary measures and completed maintenance works of the dam in preparation for the flood, the ministry’s spokesperson Mohamed Sebaei said.

 

During the meeting, Eman El Sayed, head of the ministry’s planning sector, said the flood forecasting centre has been following rain forecast maps of the Nile River’s headwaters since the beginning of August. She added that the rainfall situation on the Blue Nile Basin is still around the average so far.

Ahmed Bahaa, head of the ministry’s Nile sector, said rains on northern Sudan is not an indicator of the river flow, noting that the current flows are still less than those of the same period last year, and it is too early to predict the volume of the new flood and it is better to wait until the end of September for a more clear vision.

Egypt is depending on the annual Nile flow (55.5bn cubic meters) to secure about 97% of its present water needs with only 660 cubic metres per capita, one of the world’s lowest annual per capita water shares. Meanwhile, Ethiopia continues constructing its Grand Renaissance Dam, which is believed to threaten Egypt’s water security.

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“Phantom of the Opera” normalises violence in society – Daily News Egypt

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                            <p class="p2"><span class="s1">Violence is the biggest threat to peace and security in today’s world. According to statistics, each year, over 1.6 million people worldwide lose their lives to violence. </span></p>

Almost every day we read hundreds of reports of violence triggered by ethnic, religious or cultural hatred all over the world. It was dreadful to hear about the recent massacre at Walmart in Texas, in which the shooter targeted Mexicans only and let both whites and African Americans live.  Most seriously, we started to discuss the prevalence of violence perpetrated by police officers against unarmed people in established democracies such as France, Spain and Italy. Earlier in August, a local man lost his life in the western French city of Nantes following a violent clash between police and people attending a music festival. These horrific events indicate only one truth that people today, in all cultures and countries, use violence to get their arguments and points across.                      

  

Marwa El- Shinawy

Certainly, violence is not intrinsic to human nature as much as it is a man-made phenomenon. In many ways, violence has been normalised through the pop culture we consume. Arts and drama are among the most effective ways that create a cultural acceptance of violence, promoting a social tolerance of violent behaviour in society. Dramatized violence has been a feature of entertainment throughout history. The realistic portrayal of violence is considered as one of the distinguishing marks of great artists like for example Edward Bond, who legitimised the depiction of violence in drama on the pretext of presenting a realistic image of society. In many dramatic works of high artistic value and massive popularity, brutality appears to be justified, and terrorist acts go unpunished. The history of drama is replete with works that propagate violence that it has become normal for us to see it as a means of gaining power and authority.

   The world’s most famous musical The Phantom of the Opera, which celebrates this year its 31st anniversary on Broadway, and its 33 record-breaking years at the Majestic Theatre in London, is a living example of the great classics that romanticize violence and spread it in society.   

Based on the novel written by Gaston Leroux in 1910, The Phantom of the Opera musical has become one of the world’s most commercially successful theatrical productions that the BBC characterized it as the “most successful entertainment venture of all time.”

The show has travelled the world and entertained millions of people. Most importantly, the play is incredibly popular with both school and college groups. However, The Phantom of the Opera is the story of a disfigured, angry man who lives beneath a Paris opera house and terrorises its cast and crew so that his beloved, Christine, can have a chance to sing the lead part. The play represents gratuitous violence in a romantic mode. The lover- phantom is nothing but a cold-blooded assassin, who does not hesitate to harm other people to assert his authority. The narrative of the play is driven by violence and the desire to dominate over others.      

    Doubtless, this critique does not underestimate this great, timeless play with its high-octane music composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber in his most inspired mode and the brilliant dramatic staging of Harold Prince, who passed away a few weeks ago. Nevertheless, it is necessary to condemn violence in drama, especially the widespread classical works that normalize and romanticize violence and we study them in schools and colleges. In light of the current political and cultural climate, banning violence in the drama is no less important than criminalizing it in constitutions and laws. Violence in media, dramatic arts, and popular culture should be moved onto the public health agenda as the prevention of violence have become the subject of urgent social debate.

Marwa El- Shinawy holds a PhD in American theatre, and is a member of the Higher Committee for the Cairo International Festival for Contemporary and Experimental Theatre

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Egypt faces an enviable economic opportunity but needs to up its game – Daily News Egypt

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                            <p class="p4"><span class="s2">In the face of sluggish global growth, increased economic nationalism, trade wars, high debt levels and a roll-back in globalisation, investors could be forgiven for being bearish on Egypt. But they shouldn’t be, for three good reasons.</span></p>

First: Egypt’s near neighbours and allies in the Gulf are changing the models of their economies. The old model of exporting oil and living on the income is over. Saudi particularly is restructuring and rebalancing to create a more sustainable combination of industry, finance and services. So, to one extent or another, are all the Gulf countries. As these economies move towards normalisation, they will understand the vital importance of regional trade and investment. MENA regional trade has the lowest economic share of any region – with no logistical or geographic reason. There is huge potential for growth now the political will is there.

Second: global trade and investment is yesterday’s game. The three decades from 1990 will be seen as the highpoint of globalisation as an economic trend. The rise of China and capital flow and trade liberalisation created a one-off opportunity for companies and financial institutions to globalise. The financial crisis put paid to the global ambitions of many financial institutions and the political turmoil, driven in part by offshoring and production relocation made the continuation of that trend unacceptable to policy-makers in the West (it never really was acceptable elsewhere). Now the focus is on adding value in the domestic economy and very selectively operating businesses in other markets where the profit opportunity of that market is clear. Producing to export is still important – but the trend is towards localisation. This further supports Egypt’s opportunity in regional trade. Tariffs and quotas internationally will reduce competition in some of Egypt’s export markets and it can take advantage of its preferential and politically neutral agreements with major economies everywhere. So far Egypt has managed to maintain good relations with all trading blocs: US, China, EU and Russia. It should continue to do so.

Third: the diversified nature of Egypt’s economy, its size and its population make it uniquely attractive as a destination for FDI in an FDI-challenged world. We’re seeing daily news of new FDI into Egypt, new support and financing from multilateral and regional institutions and the announcement of new initiatives. Whilst Egypt needs to maintain its strategic relationships with its allies and partners – it can be pleased that its structural characteristics make it fundamentally an attractive destination compared with its peers.

However, a note of caution. Egypt can be, to foreign investors, a challenging place to do business. The World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business report lists Egypt at number 120 out of 190 countries. Any foreigner who has done or is trying to do business in Egypt knows this. The policies may be encouraging but the implementation needs to be streamlined. Large companies supported by multilateral in capital-intensive sectors can manage this task. SME investors in employment producing sectors such as services and technology – will find this a bit more difficult. Egypt understands that, to capitalise on the unique opportunity it faces, it needs to step up its game. The rewards will be worth it.

Richard Banks is consulting editor to Euromoney Conferences, the opinions in this article are his own.

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                Richard Banks
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            Richard M Banks is Consulting Editor forEuromoney Conferences and CEO of RMBanks& Co, a global investment communications consultancy.


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Yemen conflict: mosaic of power struggle – Daily News Egypt

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                            <p class="p3"><span class="s1">Fighters belonging to the Southern Transitional Council (STC), seeking secession from the rest of Yemen, managed to capture most of Aden’s important installations and government buildings last week.</span></p>

The STC took advantage of the failure of the Yemeni interim government, which is supported by Saudi Arabia.

The conquest of Aden added further complexity to the already intricate Yemen conflict, but the STC didn’t just appear from thin air, as the conflict dates back for more than half-century.

“We do not intend to leave Aden,” said Aidroos Al-Zubaidi, the leader of Yemen’s STC, whose forces have taken over the southern port city.

The STC, founded in 2017 following a dispute with Yemeni President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi, sees capturing Aden as a step toward its goal of setting up an independent state in southern Yemen.

The latest infighting has fractured the Saudi-led military coalition fight against Iran-backed Houthi group, which controls the Yemeni capital Sanaa.

Last Thursday, the STC supporters took to the streets of Aden which has served as the Hadi government’s base since the Houthi rebels took over Sanaa in 2014.

People holding flags of the former South Yemen can be seen all over the city, which were also installed on top of public institutions and hung from multi-storey buildings.

United Yemen? It was never the norm!

Unified Yemen is only 29 years old, the unity came into force in 1990, after more than a century apart, Marxist South Yemen and conservative North Yemen were unified as the Republic of Yemen.

Ali Abdullah Saleh, who was the president of North Yemen at the time, became the new country’s president, and Ali Salem Al-Beidh, leader of the South Yemeni Socialist Party, became vice president.

The unrest in Yemen is not an individual conflict but a mosaic of multifaceted local, regional, and international power struggles, that are connected to both recent and long-past events.

Even after unity, the cultural rifts between the two regions didn’t cease to exist, accentuated by their divergent histories. Southern Yemen heavily influenced by a century of British influence, since the mid-19th century.

Situated at southern Arabian Peninsula, the country was divided between the British and the Ottoman empires in this period.

During the British occupation, the strategic port of Aden was run directly as a colony. Britain established itself in the port’s hinterlands and other areas of the south through financial and military aid.

To solidify their presence, British occupation struck deals with the heads of the various sultanates, sheikhdoms, and emirates that constituted the Federation of South Arabia and the neighbouring Protectorate of South Arabia.

In 1967, following the establishment of the Arab world’s first and only Marxist state, the People’s Republic of South Yemen, rifts between north and south only deepened.

Who’s Who

STC

The call for South Yemen’s split to be an independent country isn’t new. The country’s unification in 1990 was not a smooth transition. Afterwards, the 1991 economic crises in Yemen brought the country to the brink of collapse. It was followed by a small-scale civil war and erupted between southern secessionists and Yemen’s northern-based government in 1994, temporarily dissolving the new union.

Since its founding, the bulk of the south Yemen separatist movement’s more powerful components have coalesced in the STC, a grouping of politicians, tribal leaders, and military figures largely allied to the United Arab Emirates.

The STC has said its forces will hold Aden until the Islamist Al-Islah party, a key component of Hadi’s government, and northerners are removed from power positions in the south.

The UAE regards Al-Islah as part of the Muslim Brotherhood, banned by Egypt and UAE, on the other hand, Saudi Arabia tolerates it because it has helped to prop up Hadi.

Houthis

In the north, the Houthis emerged out of Yemen’s mountainous areas in 2004 from Believing Youth, a revivalist Zaidi Shi’a movement fuelled by local fears of encroachment by Sunni ideologies.

In their first days, fighting was largely limited to the Houthi strongholds in mountainous areas in Saada, it soon spread to northern areas of Amran and western areas of al-Jawf.

During the 2011 uprising, the Iran-aligned Houthis gained control of Saada province during the unrest in Yemen inspired by the Arab uprisings. In September 2014, they seized Sanaa and swiftly expanded their control south to Ibb province and west to Al-Hudaydah.

Following President Hadi’s forced resignation in January 2015, the Houthis advanced southward to Abyan, Aden, and Lahj. In July and August 2015, they were pushed back by militia fighters supported by the Saudi-led coalition.

Al-Qaeda

Moving back to the south, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), has a strong presence in southern Yemen provinces. It has been considered the terrorist group’s most dangerous branch. The Islamic State group has also been active in central and southern Yemen, though its growth was curbed by the strong Al-Qaeda presence.

The US military has been conducting drone strikes over Yemen, targeting AQAP since 2010. But the scale and frequency of attacks have intensified since US President Donald Trump took office in January 2017.

Famine, diseases, and rotting economy

According to the United Nations World Food Program (WFP), Yemen remains the most complex and challenging humanitarian crisis in the world. The four-year conflict has pushed millions of Yemenis to the brink of famine. Some indicators have started to improve in several hard-hit areas as WFP has boosted support for them. The overall situation remains precarious and the humanitarian community cannot slow the pace of assistance now.

According to UN estimates, the conflict has left 13 million Yemeni civilians without food, labelling it as one of the largest man-made famines in history.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Yemen experienced the world’s worst cholera outbreak in 2017, with more than one million suspected cholera cases reported.

The deteriorating humanitarian situation, coupled with the lack of a functioning health system and limited access to safe water and hygiene facilities, has made it difficult to control the spread of the disease systematically. Since February 2019, the number of suspected cholera cases reported each week started to increase, peaking at over 29,500 cases at the beginning of April and stabilising in early July.

“A total of 451,895 suspected cholera cases were reported in the first six months of 2019, compared to 380,000 cases in the whole of 2018. So far this year, 705 deaths associated with cholera have been reported, including 200 children. Under-5 children represented 23.4% of total suspected cases during the first half of 2019,” WHO stated in a July report.

Achim Steiner, UN Development Programme administrator, said last month that Yemen was already the Arab world’s poorest country before the war, now Yemen’s four-year war has set back the country’s economic development by 20 years.

Yemen’s civil war has created the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, with nearly 80% of the population, 24.1 million people, requiring some form of humanitarian assistance and protection.

“People are hungry and suffering as their institutions, schools, and local administrations have collapsed, and for many of them, life as they knew it simply has ceased to exist,” Steiner said.

However, economic analysis firm FocusEconomics said in a July report that the Yemeni economy is expected to return to growth this year for the first time in six years on the back of donor support and greater macroeconomic stability.

FocusEconomics panellists project the economy to expand by 0.7% in 2019, which is unchanged from last month’s forecast, and 6.5% in 2020.

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                Mohamed Samir
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            Mohamed Samir is an economic and political journalist, and analyst specialising in the Middle East. Over the past decade, he covered Egypt’s and the MENA region’s financial, business, and geopolitical updates. He is currently the Deputy Executive Editor of the Daily News Egypt.


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Potential Egypt-China EV factory to bring back El Nasr Automotive – Daily News Egypt

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                            <p class="p1"><span class="s1">Egypt’s Minister of Public Enterprises Sector, Hesham Tawfik, announced during a meeting with Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli that coordination with the second largest electric vehicle (EV) company in China is underway as an Egyptian delegation is scheduled to visit the company’s headquarters in China soon.</span></p>

During the visit, the two sides are expected to sign a memorandum of understanding to establish an EV factory in partnership with El Nasr Automotive company, with the aim of localising the industry in Egypt.

The Ministry Public Enterprises Sector is trying to revive El Nasr Automotive and has recently cooperated with the Ministry of Trade and Industry to reach an agreement with an international company to bring back the state-owned automobile company.

Over the last few months, the government has been contacting the largest auto makers around the world and the ministry received some responses from international companies showing an interest in investing in Egypt.

The past period has seen government representatives negotiating with about six international companies, while delegations from those companies have visited El Nasr’s factory.

Tawfik told Daily News Egypt that the main objective of the planned factory is the localisation of the automotive industry in Egypt to export 50,000 cars annually, with a local component of up to 46%, to follow the Moroccan experience, which will restore the Egyptian automotive sector’s leading position in the international market.

Tawfik earlier said the Egyptian market has 12 car producers, but their work is limited to assembly only. He noted that the local component ratio in these products is only 17%, which is modest and does not commensurate with the Egyptian history in the car making industry. 

The minister pointed out that the local factories import their production inputs to assemble in Egypt and brand them as Egyptian, but, in reality, they are not because an Egyptian-made vehicle must include parts made in Egypt.

He believes that whoever invests in El Nasr Automotive will get many incentives from the government, explaining that the investor, to be selected, will be an assembler too, but will ensure 46% local components. 

Tawfik also stressed that any attempt to inaugurate a car factory on the same level of quality and efficiency of El Nasr Automotive will not come in useful because the plant is on an area of 900,000 sqm and with huge potential and equipment, starting from buildings, paint workshops, and production lines that are all there and would not need any funds to be built.

Tawfik ruled out branding the vehicles with El Nasr logo, since the main objective will be exporting, but if accepted by the foreign investor; the brand could be used to market the products locally. 

El Nasr had ceased production in 2009 and officials began to liquidate it, but that liquidation ceased altogether in 2015. Thoughts of reviving the factory emerged in the middle of last year.

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Experts believe Egypt can localise freight transport trucks, railway carriages industries – Daily News Egypt

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                            <p class="p1"><span class="s1">Egypt’s automotive sector has been going through a massive transformation recently, as the government started various initiatives aiming to boost the local industry. President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi also recommended continuing efforts to shift from assembly to manufacturing and to localise the freight transport and trucking manufacturing in Egypt in cooperation with major international companies.</span></p>

Deputy Head of the Chamber of Engineering Industries (CEI) affiliated to the Federation of Egyptian Industries (FEI), Abdel Moneim El-Kady, said that domestic manufacturing of trucks in Egypt is not a hard task, given that Egypt is fully qualified to manufacture trucks instead of assembling them.

He added that the railway carriage industry is also similar to the manufacture of passenger cars and trucks, because of the similar components used such as glass, seats, brakes and other components.

El-Kady explained that the percentage of the local component within the trucks may reach 45%, due to the decisions of Amr Nassar, Minister of Industry and Trade, up from the 40% local components currently.

Furthermore, he said that car manufacturing could save Egypt a lot of foreign currency and increase the labour force.

He expressed optimism about the development of feeder industries in Egypt once these incentives are implemented, with the support of the political leadership and its orientation to the localisation of the car, trucks and railway carriages industries, which may attract many investors to start manufacturing operations in Egypt.

Initiatives recently launched by some global auto manufacturers to assemble their car locally, such as Mercedes Benz, MG, BMW and SEAT, is an indicator of the success of President Abdel Fattah’s Al-Sisi plan to localise the industry.

For his part, Chairperson of the Egyptian Auto Feeders Association (EAFA), Ali Tawfik, divided the freight vehicles into four categories starting with small vehicles that can carry weights ranging from 0.5 tonnes to 1 tonne.

The second category freight vehicles that can transport loads of 1.5 tonnes to 4 tonnes such as semi-trucks, and pickups. These two categories are easy to manufacture inside Egypt, due to the availability of feeder industries, which include seats, chassis, fenders and doors by up to 70%. This is mainly driven by their lack of luxury equipment, unlike passenger cars.

The third category has a capacity of 4 tonnes to 10 tonnes. This category is scarce in Egypt, as they are not in high demand, thus their local manufacturing would be largely useless. However,  specialised trucks are still manufactured in Egypt, such as concrete mixers, buses, and petrol trucks, and they have added value.

Tawfik pointed out that the fourth category includes electric trucks, where the state is in talks with a German company to manufacture an electric tram, besides, there several discussions with Asian companies to help them manufacture electric vehicles in Egypt.

He added that military production plants also aim to produce electric buses, as there is already a company affiliated to the Arab Organization for Industrialization called “Semat” working in the manufacture of rail carriages.

However, Tawfik said it is difficult to manufacture the locomotive itself in Egypt because it requires a large amount of steel, electricity and equipment that is not available.

Moreover, Omar Balbaa, the head of the automotive division of the Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce, agreed that Egypt has a strong infrastructure, that would allow the country to establish freight transport trucks, railway carriages.

He added that manufacturing volume in the near term would only be limited to the domestic market until the industry matures. He explained that the localisation of the auto industry would also create new jobs, and attract investors.

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Will octane 87 replace octane 80 in Egyptian petrol stations in November? – Daily News Egypt

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                            <p class="p1"><span class="s1">News regarding a study to introduce octane 87 petrol in the Egyptian market as an alternative for octane 80 petrol stirred controversy. Some experts believe that if the octane 87 petrol came with a high price tag, it will reflect on the transportation costs in Egypt, including taxis and mass transit vehicles such as minibuses. </span></p>

Moreover, the possible hike in transpiration costs could also impact the prices of goods and products, since some freight transport vehicles also use octane 80 petrol, which ultimately will raise the prices of products reaching the end consumer.

Daily News Egypt dug into the matter, to find out the views, and opinions of automotive experts to find out how would the introduction of octane 87 petrol affect the Egyptian market, and whether this would happen in November. 

Hossam Arafat, head of the General Division of Petroleum Products at the Chambers of Commerce, denied what has been recently circulating regarding the Ministry of Petroleum plans to launch the octane 87 petrol in November. He explained that the Ministry of Petroleum has put forward that decision two years ago, but it is still under discussion.

In terms of benefits, Arafat explained that there are several advantages to the octane 87 petrol, for example, it reduces the rates of air pollution and reducing the percentage of lead oxides in the air.

Although octane 80 petrol is cheaper, it is also less efficient for car engines, and octane 87 petrol would significantly raise engine efficiency, he added. “For example, 20 litres of the octane 80 petrol would be consumed in 200 kilometres distance, while 20 litres of octane 87 petrol allows the car to move for 250 kilometres,” Arafat elaborated.

He ruled out the possibility of damage if cars used octane 87 instead of octane 92, as the difference between the two categories is only five degrees, which does not cause any damage. Arafat said that it is likely that the octane 87 would attract a large segment of car users who drive 2010 models due to the economic saving that would result from switching to it instead of octane 92.

On the other hand, Gamal Askar, a vehicles and roadway systems expert, said that octane 87petrol is an ideal alternative to octane 80, as the latter has some additives to improve its properties to reduce chemical reactions that occur inside car engines, which causes exhausts that result in severe air pollution, and negatively impact engine structure. He said that he hopes that the new petrol segment would be suitable for low-income customers to ensure its full benefits.

Askar added that octane 87 petrol would be an ideal alternative for small cars because it will preserve the components of the engine. However, he advised against using it in cars that use octane 92 petrol, as it would cause damage to the internal engine parts.

According to Askar, the fuel consumption of the car is reduced by a very small rate with the use of octane 87 petrol instead of octane 80 petrol.

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Prime Holding completes its due diligence to acquire Pharos – Daily News Egypt

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                            <p class="p2"><span class="s1">Prime Holding announced it has completed its due diligence regarding the acquisition of 100% of Pharos Holding for Financial Investments’ shareholding in Pharos Securities Brokerage, Pharos Investment Banking and Pharos Holding’s custody business in accordance with the Letter of Intent signed between the two parties on 25 June. </span></p>

Prime Holding added that discussions are currently in progress regarding the due diligence findings in preparation for signing of the definitive agreements in order to complete the transaction after securing the required approvals from the Financial Regulatory Authority.

Official sources said that the transaction file will be closed soon, as the current period is witnessing meetings between the parties to determine the value of the deal.

The sources expected the implementation of the deal, where there is satisfaction between the parties on the overall result of due diligence.

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IDB signs protocol with Port Said governorate to finance industrial units in South Raswa – Daily News Egypt

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                            <p class="p1"><span class="s1">The Industrial Development Bank (IDB) has signed a cooperation protocol with Port Said governorate to finance industrial units in the small industries complex in South Raswa.</span></p>

The signing of this protocol comes as a continuation of the bank’s role in supporting the national economy and financing important projects that contribute to economic development.

The new protocol aims to finance the industrial units which will carry out an industrial activity at an interest rate of 5% at a repayment period of up to 10 years as part of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) initiative.

The protocol was signed by Port Said Governor Adel Ghadhban and IDB Chairperson and Managing Director Mageid Fahmy, in the presence of a large number of officials from the governorate and the bank.

Fahmy explained that 54 clients would benefit from this protocol to provide them with the necessary financing for their factories on concessional terms such as the rate of return, grace periods, repayment and required guarantees.

IDB Deputy Chairperson of the Board of Directors Hamdy Azzam revealed the positive results the bank got since the launch of the initiative in attracting about 167 factories as new customers with required financing estimated at EGP 1bn.

He added that the bank is proceeding with successful steps towards implementing its strategy. The indicators of the first half of the 2019 plan indicate that the bank is proceeding at unprecedented growth rates with operating profit of about EGP 222m against EGP 140m in the first half of 2018, an increase of EGP 82m, with a growth rate of 59%.

In May 2019, the bank launched an initiative to finance 1,000 small and medium-sized factories nationwide, with an initial funding of EGP 7.5bn.

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Ibrahim Al-Arabi wins elections for FEDCOC presidency  – Daily News Egypt

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                            <p class="p1">The Chairperson of the Cairo Chamber of Commerce Ibrahim Al-Arabi, won the election for the presidency of the Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce (FEDCOC) for the next term which will last for four years until 2023.</p>

The FEDCOC announced the results in the presence of 35 people with the right to vote. Al-Arabi got 21 votes while the former president of the FEDCOC for the previous two terms got 14 votes.

The election were held on Monday in downtown Cairo.

Al-Arabi is the Chairperson of Al-Arabi Group. Also he holds many other positions among them

the chairperson of the Cairo Chamber of Commerce since 2015. He is also the Chairperson of the Egyptian-Japanese Business Council.

Moreover, he is the Vice Chairperson of the Board of Directors of Quweisna Industrial Zone Association since 2015.

He holds a Bachelor Degree in Architecture Engineering in 1977 and was born in February 1953.

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Egypt’s economy to grow by 6.8% annually until 2027: Center for International Development at Harvard University – Daily News Egypt

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                            <p class="p1">Egypt’s economy is expected to grow by 6.8% per year until 2027, according to the Center for International Development at Harvard University.</p>

The center expected in its latest report on 2027 growth projection, that Egypt’s economy will become among the top of the list of the fastest growing economies in the world until 2027.

Harvard’s projections are based on a measure called “economic complexity,” which is a measure for the diverse and sophisticated production embedded in each country’s exports.

Earlier the World Bank forecasted in its latest report on Egypt, that  real GDP growth would continue to rise gradually to reach 6% by fiscal year (FY) 2021, compared to 5.3% in FY2018.

Notably, Egypt’s growth rate in last FY recorded 5.6%, which was the highest growth rate in years, and considered also one of the highest growth rates in the world, according to the Ministry of Finance.

The government targets to reach growth rates of more than 6% in the state’s budget for FY 2019-2020.

The report also projects Uganda, China, Vietnam, and Tanzania as the Fastest growing countries in the 2027 projection.

Harvard explained that what unites Uganda, Egypt, China, Vietnam, and Tanzania as the fastest-growing countries in the projection is not that they share the same education level, geographic region, religion, or any measure of institutional quality, but that each country has a more  sophisticated range of specialized knowhow than expected or its income that will drive diversification and growth.

Noteworthy, Egypt ranks 68 on the “economic complexity” index.

In that context, the report stated that in comparison to the previous decade, Egypt’s economy has

become more diversified moving up by two  degrees in the “economic complexity” index, noting that the drive for this improvement is the diversity of exports.

Harvard expects that Egypt is to continue along the same trajectory in the next years, as it further diversifies production.

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EBRD, MIIC ink two agreements to support Egypt’s railways – Daily News Egypt

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                            <p class="p1"><span class="s1">Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation (MIIC), along with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) inked new grant agreements worth of €1.5m to upgrade Egypt’s railway cargo system and rehabilitate the locomotives</span><span class="s3">.</span></p>

One of the grants will be disbursed in conducting a study for the establishment of a separated subsidiary company of the Transportation Ministry and application of a goods-tracking system while the other grant will be allocated to assist the Egyptian National Railways in the consultancy works to purchase 100 locomotives.

Transportation sector is a top priority for the MIIC to attract new investments to and set cooperation  strategies with the international development partners, Minister Sahar Nasr said, noting that her ministry succeeded to provide transportation sector with $6bn in funds.

Minister of Transportation Kamel Al-Wazir said his ministry pays great attention to modernization of the country’s National Railways, affirming that they cooperates with different financial institutions to achieve this target and sign the biggest contracts with the international partners.

The EBRD’s overall investments in Egypt are about €5bn for diversified sectors including the industrial  and infrastructure sector, Deputy Head of Egypt office at the EBRD Khalid Hamza said, asserting the EBRD’s keenness on continuing the strategic cooperation with the Egyptian government.

“The new grant agreements will contribute to developing the transportation sector as a key sector for accelerating the country’s economic growth  economy,” Hamza mentioned.


“The comprehensive economic reforms created an attractive environment for investments particularly in the transportation sector,” he added.

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Bashir appears in court, says he had received millions of dollars from Saudi Arabia – Daily News Egypt

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                            <p class="p1"><span class="s1">A Sudanese Court postponed trial of ousted President Omar Al-Bashir to next Saturday, after concluding first session on Monday. </span></p>

During the court session, witnesses have provided testimonies. Al-Bashir told judges he had received millions of dollars from Saudi Arabia, and repeated previous testimonies.

The former president arrived accompanied by heavy security presence.

Bashir has been detained since being ousted from power in April after months of protests.

He is facing charges of possessing foreign currency, corruption and receiving gifts illegally. Bashir was also charged in May with incitement and involvement in the killing of protesters, and prosecutors also want him questioned over suspected money laundering and terrorism financing.

On Saturday, pro-democracy activists and the country’s military leaders signed a deal paving the way for elections. On 17 July, military generals and protest leaders have already inked a power-sharing agreement which will allow establishment of joint civilian-military ruling council to oversee the formation of a transitional civilian government and parliament to govern for a three-year transition period.

The sovereign council was due to be sworn in on Monday. But the spokesman for the Transitional Military Council, Lieutenant General Shams El Din Kabbashi, said the formation of the new ruling body would be delayed by 48 hours on the request of the opposition coalition.

According to the power-sharing deal, the opposition coalition is allowed to choose five members and the military another five, with the two sides jointly choosing a civilian as an eleventh member.

The body, which will replace the Transitional Military Council, will be headed by a general for the first 21 months, and a civilian for the last 18 months of the transitional period.

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Iran warns US from any efforts to seize its vessel again – Daily News Egypt

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                            <p class="p2"><span class="s1">Iran’s Foreign Ministry said on Monday that it warned the US from any attempts to grasp its oil tanker again, affirming that such an action would have “serious consequences.” </span></p>

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi said in a press conference that Tehran sent necessary warnings to the US from any efforts to seize Iranian oil supertanker which was released on Sunday.

The Iranian oil vessel “Grace 1” was seized last month by the British Royal Marines off Gibraltar on suspicion of transporting 2.1 million barrels of oil to the Syrian regime in contravention of European Union sanctions.

The seizure has escalated tensions between Tehran and the West. It also caused a political conflict in the Gulf region between Iran in aside, and the US and the UK in the other side, when Iran which controls navigation in the Strait of Hormuz responded by capturing British and European tankers.

Last week, the Supreme Court in Gibraltar ordered the release of the Iranian tanker despite the US request to keep seizing the tanker. 

Tensions between Tehran and Washington increased after Trump pulled out his country in 2018 from the historic Iran deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) which signed in 2015. 

The US administration also re-imposed a wave of economic sanctions against Iran that were lifted under the nuclear deal.

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Jordan summons Israeli envoy over Jerusalem ‘violations’ – Daily News Egypt

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                            <p class="p2"><span class="s1">Jordan summoned the Israeli ambassador in Amman, Amir Weissbrod, on Sunday following “Israeli violations” last week at the Jerusalem site known as Temple Mount to Jews and as the Noble Sanctuary to Muslims.</span></p>

Police had initially barred Jews from visiting the site on August 11 in a bid to ease tensions on a day important to believers in both religions, with the Jewish fast day of Tisha B’Av coinciding with the start of the Muslim festival of Eid Al-Adha.

Muslims feared Jewish visits would still be allowed, so they staged protests that sparked clashes. Following criticism from far-right Israeli politicians, police opened the site to Jews, leading to further clashes.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that he had decided in advance “in consultation with all the security bodies” to allow Jewish visits.

Responding to Israel’s closure of the gates of the al-Aqsa Mosque and denial of access to Muslim worshippers, Jordan’s Foreign Ministry demanded an immediate halt to attempts to change the legal and historical status of the site.

Access to Al-Aqsa and the adjoining Dome of the Rock is controlled by Israeli security forces. 

Jordan’s diplomatic protest came days after Israel’s public security minister, Gilad Erdan, reportedly told a radio station that the country should work toward Jews being allowed to pray at the holy site.

Erdan said the change should come through “political agreements and not by force,” reported Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

Jews are allowed to visit the site but not to pray there. The ban is condemned by some nationalists, including members of Netanyahu’s right-wing coalition.

Jordan is the only Arab country apart from Egypt to have a peace agreement with Israel.

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69005 patients treated in Egyptian medical pilgrimage clinics in Saudi Arabia – Daily News Egypt

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                            <p class="p1"><span class="s1">The Ministry of Health said on Monday that the Egyptian medical pilgrimage clinics in Saudi Arabia had received 69005 patients on Monday morning, including 64321 cases in Mecca, and 4684 cases in Medina.</span></p>

In a statement, spokesperson of the Ministry of Health Khaled Mogahed noted that all the pilgrims are provided with the best medical service. According to the statement 235 Egyptian pilgrims were hospitalised in the Saudi hospitals, 156 cases of them had left the hospitals after recovery, and there are still 79 cases receiving treatment so far.

Thirty-six pilgrims conducted dialysis in Saudi hospitals with the sum of 260 dialysis sessions, while 8 other cases received chemotherapy. The minsitsry said that Egypt’s medical mission in Saudi Arabia is coordinating with Saudi hospitals before conducting dialysis sessions and chemotherapy to ensure the pilgrims have received the needed service.

Amr Qandil, the medical attaché in Saudi Arabia and the general supervisor of the medical mission of the pilgrimage, said in the statement that no cases of infectious or epidemic diseases were discovered among Egyptian pilgrims so far.

He pointed out that the preventive team continues to organise awareness seminars for pilgrims to introduce them to preventive measures to be followed, and the distribution of brochures and leaflets to avoid infectious diseases.

Meanwhile, EgyptAir said in a statement on Monday that it will continue its flights to return pilgrims from Saudi Arabia on-board of 18 flights from Jeddah and Medina to Cairo, carrying 4200 pilgrims.

Since 13 August, and including Monday’s flights, EgyptAir have transported 15,000 pilgrims from the Holy Land to Egypt.

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Egypt

Court sentences six to death, 41 to lifetime imprisonment violence related case – Daily News Egypt

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                            <p class="p1"><span class="s1">The Cairo Criminal Court sentenced six defendants to death after being found guilty in the case known as “Popular Resistance in Kerdasa”</span></p>

Meanwhile 41 other defendants were sentenced to lifetime imprisonment.

Only 13 defendants have attended the court which was held at the Police Academy, and the rest of 28 defendants were sentenced in absentia. The court also sentenced seven defendants to 15 years imprisonment, and three years imprisonment for a juvenile defendant.

The court have also acquitted 14 defendants, and announced that charges were dropped as he is already died. 

The defendants sentenced to death are Ahmed Abdel Rahman, Mohamed Abdel Latif El Sayed Refai, Mohamed Salah Said, Islam Kamal Aboulfotouh, Islam Mahmoud Abdel Fattah and Fayez Zaki.

The 70 defendants were facing accusations of establishing and running the “Popular Resistance Committee in Nahya and Kerdasa”, in contravention of the provisions of the constitution and laws. The court said that that committee was aiming to hinder the state’s institutions, as well as violating the laws. 

They were also accused of terrorism and the use of violence to achieve the group’s purposes, killing three people including a National Security Appratus police officer, and possession of arms and ammunition including TNT explosives.

Egypt witnessed several attacks which targeted police officers, judges, military personnel, and public figures since the dispersal of the Rab’a Al-Adawya sit-in in 14 August 2013, where supporters of former Islamist president Mohamed Morsi were demonstrating against his ouster.   

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Egypt

Trump says he would release Mideast peace plan after Israeli elections – Daily News Egypt

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                            <p class="p3"><span class="s1">US President Donald Trump has said that he will likely release the White House peace plan after the Israeli elections that are scheduled to be held on September, according to Reuters. </span></p>

The so-called deal of the century is designed by Trump son-in-law and senior advisor, Jared Kushner and aimed to, the US administration said, end the longstanding Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the region.

Trump remarks came three weeks since Kushner, accompanied by a White House team including Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt and State Department official Brian Hook, started a Mideast tour seemingly to rally support from Arab leaders for the US peace plan.

Kushner reportedly visited Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Israel, Egypt, and Morocco but he did not meet any Palestinian officials.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas previously announced his rejection to Kushner’s deal and made it clear that the White House deal of century “shall go to hell.”

In June, the US held a “Peace to Prosperity” workshop in Manama, Bahrain, to discuss and announce the economic part of the Mideast deal. Amount of $50bn would be spent to improve the troubled Palestinian territories over 10 years and neighbouring countries including Egypt, Lebanon, and Jordan, Reuters reported on June.

There were earlier reports that the White House would release its peace plan before the Israeli election on 17 September, but a senior white house official denied them.

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