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Friday, 28 October 2011

Digital projects in Egypt

An inspiring article about some different digital projects created post-revolution.

Following a gathering called ArabNet Cairo 2011 last week, it reports on :

  • a project linking Egyptian expats willing to donate funds to Egypt and those who need it, 
  • an online news service focused more on Upper Egypt (Luxor / Aswan and so on) rather than the Cairo/Alex focus of much Egyptian news reporting.,  It's new right now, so I couldn't find anything to click on there just at the moment, but bookmark for later!  Actually, I found their facebook group here: (it's in Arabic btw!)

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Egypt Public Holidays 2012

This is the list of dates in 2012 to the best of my knowledge gleaned from the internet.
Sometimes there are mistakes, if you spot one let me know!
I also suspect that there may be one or two additional days yet to be agreed upon.
Please note I do not accept any responsibility for errors.  Information can sometimes be hard to find in Egypt and sometimes decisions are made late eg the decision to abandon daylight savings time in 2011.

9th January - Coptic Christmas
4th February - Prophet's Birthday
15th April - Sham Nassim (Coptic Easter)
25th April - Sinai Liberation Day (Sinai only)
1st May - Labour Day
23rd July - National Day
start of ramadan - to be ascertained - mid July somepoint.
19th August - Eid al Fitr - End of Ramadan
11th September - Coptic New Year
6th October - Armed Forces Day
26th October - Eid al Adhar (Sacrifice)
15th November - Islamic New Year

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Ecology in Cairo - 29th October visit Dreamland Ecostation

Urban nature activities organized by Real Life Farmville and Dreamland eco-station for kids and their parents!!!!

• Tour of the eco-station (let’s understand how Dreamland recycles its green wastes!)
• Insect & other small animal- safari (survey on biodiversity in the eco-station)
• Bird-watching initiation (bring your camera & binoculars, books on birds)
• Compost distribution (every visitor can carry home the compost he needs for his plants and vegetable garden – don’t forget to bring a container – bag, can)
• Vegetable gardening session (every visitor can learn how to do a garden and also take home few seeds to start a garden!)

Date: 29 of Oct. from 9:30am to 1pm at Dreamland Eco-station
Meeting point : Dreamland Mall parking

More information about the projects here:

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Images of Old Egypt (YouTube share)

Just enjoy it!

Cairo sensory input

Sometimes sensory input other than through the 10.1" screen and the headphones is necessary.

I had a great day of sensory input yesterday riding the big old Egyptian buses and the metro and mooching around the ancient market streets full of traditional spices, oils, fruits and modern Chinese cheapo rubbish! All the mosque azzans going of at slightly different times! Cacophony! Such contrasts!

I bussed and metroed up to the city from my home and met my friends at Orabi metro.  We walked over to Turgoman to check some bus details, then along to a koshari and pasta joint for a fine repast.  Decisions made, we returned to Turgoman for yours truly to purchase a ticket for a night bus for my next cross-Egypt journey (for my first post-revolution 'adventure'!) before repairing to Ramses for train details and ticket purchasing for my friends' onward journeys.

After that, we taxied over to Khan El Khalili and partook of liquid refreshment of the chai variety at an qwha where one of my friends was known to the proprietor and sadly found out that a trip to Tanta to meet a Sufi master was to be held on Friday but she was leaving Cairo on Thursday.  My friends went for a visit to Al Husseiny mosque but I didn't accompany them as I have been before and let's just say didn't feel I needed to repeat the experience.  It was right on prayer time so one of my friends stayed for that.

We then took a very long walk back through the Tentmakers' area, back through to Attaba where my friends were staying - checked the net to see if there was any music at Makan that night, but there wasn't.  Off to Talaat Harb and the touristy but nice Falfelas for tameya, omlette, and other things I can't remember the name of.

Back down the Talaat Harb to Tahrir where I descended to the metro and continued my homeward -journey.

We saw some people gathered on the central roundabout at Tahrir but nothing untoward appeared to be happening.  If we hadn't known about the tragic incidents of Sunday, as three foreigner-women, we wouldn't have 'guessed'.  We didn't pick up any bad atmospheres at all.  One man who had given us directions at one point asked us if we felt safe in Cairo, and we did.

If you are in Cairo, just play a bit safe, keep away from any obvious demonstrations or random large gatherings of people.  We didn't go into the Khan El Khalili itself, but there were tourists around including one coach load of people who looked as if they were all about 90 years old and none of them looked alarmed about anything (such as can be detected through a bus-window anyway!)

Monday, 10 October 2011

10th-11th October 2011: Curfew 2am to 7am introduced

Following today's incidents where at least 19 people have been killed and 150 injured in clashes between protestors and  authorities in the Maspero/Tahrir area, a curfew has been announced tonight from 2am to 7am.
I am not clear of the extent of it, but it's probably safest to assume that it applies generally until it becomes more clear.
Apparently the curfew will apply to Tahrir up to Abbasiya.
Live updates on the situation from this link:

Friday, 7 October 2011

Egyptian phone number changes - more information

If you are calling or texting someone from an Egyptian phone, they will receive the call or message for now, BUT contact information is lost so they will not know who is calling or who is texting (unless they have edited all their contacts).

The tools for changes that I have seen mentioned so far all expect you to have some kind of smart phone.  For those of us with plain simple phones, I'm not sure if there are any automatic tools.  I will keep my eyes open and let you know!

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

5th-6th October 2011: Don't forget, Egyptian mobile phone numbers are changing overnight, expect some blips in service!

"Egypt's 76 million mobile phone users can expect a temporary blip in services Thursday morning when caller numbers are revised in a drive to meet surging demand. The changes, due to take place in the early hours of 6 October, will make every Egyptian mobile phone number 11 digits in length. The National Telecom Regulatory Authority (NTRA) has warned of a potential disruption to all mobile services between the hours of 3am and 6am, lasting anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours.

Refer to this post for further info:

This probably also means that those of us using USB dongly things for our internets might get some problems too!

The phone providers are probably going to supply you with tools to change the numbers automatically from 6th October, so don't panic into changing them all manually just yet!

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Clipp cream redux

Way back in the mists of time, I blogged about Clipp cream which I found useful as a mosquito repellent!  It's also a really good moisturizer for feet and hands in my humble opinion.  It is silicon-based and lemon scented just so you know in case either of those are not good news for you.

Since then, I have had a small but steady stream of inquiries about where to obtain this fabelled product - normally from people who have been given some by visitors at some point. But narry a supplier could be found on the internet.

Now, however, thanks to a reader in the US, I have been put in touch with a small company based in the US called  Derma Beauty  who can supply this cream.  Please note that it is a very small company with the personal touch so orders may take a little while to dispatch, but Salam says she is happy to supply international orders and if the relevant purchasing links on her site don't work, please email her.

The cream obviously costs more if you buy it via Salam as she has to import it.  I have been unable to track down any other supplier in the whole world!

I haven't used the company myself, but 'a satisfied reader' has.

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