Sunday, March 25, 2018

Day 2 - Trump destroy(ing/ed) America

The New York Times (International print)- Page 6, March 21st, 2018. Picture of Trump with his right hand fingering the air in the White House. Title of the article: Twitter riposte: 'You will not destroy America'
Mo's comment: Oh, I think he already did

Sunday, March 11, 2018

“Cairo Writes, Beirut Publishes, and Baghdad Reads”

In German, the word Fernweh literally means "longing for far-off places", and recently I have had just that feeling regarding one of the dearest cities in Arabo-phone cultural and emotional nostalgia: Baghdad.

Several days ago, I ran into an Iraqi salesperson at an electronics shop in Freiburg and was heartily struck by his elegant, polite, yet deeply rooted in Iraqi dialect, question: "Schiko Tireed?" or "What would you like to have/what are you looking for"?

Hearing Iraqi dialect, adding to my regular music listening preferences to listen to Iraqi songs (whether performed by Iraqis or other Arab performers), made me long for Baghdad: a city I never got to see but feel like I know off the back of my heart. 

Since 2003, Baghdad plunged into some of it's darkest moments as a result of a terrible war, paying the price of being at such an important crossroads of the world and being occupied by colonials - since former times -  and local forms of occupation/totalitarian governance. 

On March 8th, the international print of the New York Times, featured an article that brought back some hope to me that one day Iraq, and it beautiful cities, will find peace and return to normality.

The nostalgia of the days when one's sect doesn't matter, when a husband would be a Shi'ite, his wife would be Sunni and their kids have their own faiths (and that being seen as normal in society) and the days of social tolerance, culture, thriving of the arts and good music, to return one day.

As the saying goes "Cairo writes, Beirut publishes, and Baghdad reads", points to the 3 major literature capitals of the Arab world; where writers write in Cairo, and publish their works in Beirut (mainly to avoid state-censorship, but also due to Beirut's well established publishing industry) and the highly educated and intellectual circles and people(s) of Baghdad read and interact with these fine works of literature and art.

Loads of love to Baghdad and it's wonderful people(s)!

Photo from International Print / The New York Times / March 8th, 2018. Headline reads "Mideast rivals turn to sports: Iraq's home soccer game with Saudi Arabia is first such match since 1990"

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Day XX -Women driving change in the world

If only they listened to women, and just stop ...

For viewers with screen readers: Photo of Today's print of The New York Times - International edition. A "special report" is mentioned on top of the headlines, saying "Women Today: Driving Change In The World". Mo's comment: "They always were driving change in the world, but you were too busy mansplaining to them..."

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Day 1 - What Mo sees

Photo of the Badische Zeitung Newspaper headlines
(Thursday, 22nd of February 2018) 

What the worlds sees...

What Mo sees...

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Amazing Egypt!

After all my travels and living abroad, I have a confession to make: no matter where I go, part of me always just wants to chill and layout somewhere in Egypt (Dahab, I'm coming back!!). I know this might sound surprising, especially to many fellow Egyptians, but here is the catch: I don't necessarily mean Cairo when with Egypt  (I love it of course, but HATE it's traffic jams!).

Egypt is an extremely diverse and beautiful country. So here are some photos to celebrate the beauty of this land and it's people. I apologize if the resolution is poor, but all these photos are from my smart phone.


Raml Tram Station - The real Downtown of Alexandria

Banner explaining the Raml Tram station restoration

Man and Machine. Banner at Raml Station

Raml Station 

Yup, that's me (when I still had a goate 😊 )

Some of the old trams that got rehabilitated by the Agence française de développement, AFD

From inside the Le Metropole 

An old Piano in the Le Metropole lobby

Inside an Alexandrian tram

A double decker tram

Collège Saint-Marc

Map of Alex trams, as shown at Camp Chezar station

Inside a tram cafe 😎

The shore

 A random DB (the German train agency) office in Alexandria

View of the Mediterranean from Le Metropole 

Street view from Trianon cafe, Saad Zaghloul st (under Le Metropole  hotel)


One of the busiest platforms at the Central Train station in Cairo (Also known as Mahtet Masr). There is a famous song all time beloved song named after this platform.

The Cairo-Alex train

View of the Citadel from Azhar park

 (view from Ahar park) View of a section of forticiations along the old Ayyubid wall

View of the citadel from the Ayyubid wall

Inside one of the fortification along the Ayyubid wall.

Two cats chilling at the Ayyubid wall.

"Got a cat in the wall"

A section of the wall, with some of the restored buildings behind it.

Aybak's home

Old houses, now restored and used as office space for Agha Kahn and other initiatives.

Yakan's palace (or rather ruins)

A narrow alley in ElDarb ElAhmar area.

Kids playing and surfing the web at an Internet Cafe, Abu Hariba St

In the foreground, Aslam Al Silahdar mosque and in the Background, Azhar park

Aslam Al Silahdar mosque at night

A must read if you want to tour the Old Islamic Cairo city

View of Aslam Al Silahdar from Dar Abu Hariba
Date inscribed on Aslam Al Silahdar  (1322 A.D)

Detail from side door (Aslam Al Silahdar Mosque)

 Door facing Aslam/Aslan square (Aslam Al Silahdar Mosque)

Window, Aslam/Aslan square (Aslam Al Silahdar Mosque)

Side view from Aslam/Aslan square (Aslam Al Silahdar Mosque)

Kodak Passage, Downtown Cairo

Jewish Synagouge in Adly st, as seen from Eish we Malh

Residential building in Mohamed Mamoud st, Downtown Cairo

Weird defunct, funky, wedding hall at Bab El Shaeri sq

Madrasa of Sarghatmish

Traffic driving through Saliba street in Islamic Cairo

No-Smoking sign inside a public bus. In the background is Salah Salem street and "Mashyakhet al Azhar"

Ibn Tulun mosque. 

The east bank of Zamalek Island, in front of Omar Khayyam Palace/Marriott Hotel. I suspect that the metal scraps in the water are part of the remains of the old Boulak bridge

One of the few remaining locally manufactured Nasr buses, as it drives through Sayyida Aisha square

Late night metro ride on Line 1. Can't find a place to sit lol
(for fellow users with screen-readers, the train's completely empty 😄 )

Some Metro art (Ancient Egyptian Mural) in Sadat Metro station (Helwan platform, line 1)

View of the Nile off Kasr ElNil bridge

Zamalek's skyline as viewed from the lower quay.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs (view from the lower quay)

An old house off Muiz street

View of Nile from West bank of Zamalek

Demonstration of Cairo's sarcasm (Best place for an ad: a dark spot under a bridge!) 

View from the entrance of my shrine (home)

Wood workshop in Eldarb ElAhmar

View of the Altar from inside the Roman Orthodox Church, ElDarb ElAhmar

,Sabil Muhammad Ali

Khayameya (Tent-makers) market


Now, some photos from Ras Sidr and Dahab!!

Pelican bird in Ras Sidr, Why?!

Sea shore, Ras Sidr

Abandoned boat, Ras Sidr 

Imprint. Ras Sidr (yup, My feet)

Treasure box! (Ras Sidr)

GoBus on the way to Dahab

The views as you hike to Ras Abu Galum camp

Camles, chilling in ras abu galum 

Baby camels, Ras Abu Galum 

Camels bathing in the sea, Ras Abu Galum 

View from Ras Abu Galum

What's missing from this collection? Aswan and Luxor! Maybe I'll go there next year :) (Best time to go upper Egypt would be in the winter. Summers are glaring hot)