Monday, October 29, 2007

Yahoo! News Story - Egypt to build nuclear plants

Egypt to build nuclear plants - Yahoo! News

Friday, October 26, 2007

BCA’S 5th Cairo Cricket Carnival

Attended the first half of BCA’s 5th Cairo Cricket Carnival today.

This was organised by the BCA in conjunction with the Cairo Rugby Club and the CSA.

It was good fun. 4 groups of 4 teams each. India A & India B both topped in their respective groups. Semis & Finals are tomorrow.

The matches are 5 overs per side and are even quicker than the twenty/twenty.

There's a wonderful craft market and home produce bazaar where you can pick up some interesting knick knacks.

Both BCA and Cairo Rugby Club are running a bar counter and a food counter each. Yummy sausages, burgers and kebabs are on offer at the carnival.

We ended the day with a wonderful live performance by Yehia Khalil and the Nile Rockers. The weather is awesome and so were the spectators. Of course there was some good natured ribbing of the competing teams :)

Oh I forgot to mention the presence of child minders, face painting and some aerated slides for the kids.

Do try and come in for the finals, its worth the trip. A complete package for the whole family.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Maadi Women's Guild

Meetings are held on the third Tuesday of every month at Maadi Community Church at the corner of Port Said & Road 17 in the garden area.

Maadi Womens Guild is open to all women of the Community.

For more information call the church office or email maadi_womens_guild[at]yahoo[dot]com

Community activities include :
Bible Study
Mom's in Touch
Scrap Booking
Creative Threads

Check the website for more details.

Book Review : Cairo Maps : The Practical Guide & Other Excellent Maps for Cairo

Cairo Maps : The Practical Guide

Published by The American University in Cairo Press It used to cost 30LE, but if my information is right, the price has now increased to 45LE.

If you plan to use only one map in Cairo, then this is the one to buy. It may not be as detailed as some other maps that you may have used in other countries or Google maps, but it’s the best and most detailed that is available for Cairo city.

You can't expect building numbers and one way directions (since they keep changing daily in Cairo) but what you can expect is all the roads being named and the major hotels and tourist spots are marked. There is a 1 page map of the Cairo Metro system and one comprehensive single-pager of the Ring Road. At 58 pages, it’s a pretty slim map for the city, but as I said before - it’s the best you can buy.

The Palm Press Map Guide to Maadi & Old Cairo

If you live in Maadi, then this may be THE map for you. Its an Arabic/English bilingual map. The Index covers telephone numbers of some restaurants, hospitals, travel agencies and other essential services. The map also details snippets of history of some of the marked places. This is a large 70x100cm map in a card sleeve.

The Palm Press also advertises a similar map for Heliopolis (70x100cm) and Zamalek (70x50cm), but I haven't seen them yet.

Cairo - A-Z Complete Street Finder
Cairo A-Z
I haven't used this one but I've liked their other maps. They advertise this one as : Cairo A-Z includes over 150 pages of colour maps, a 6000-street index, revised and updated and new Cairo Guide.

It is the fourth edition of our full-color complete streetfinder of greater Cairo. It includes details of the Islamic monuments, a brief guide for the visitor and a 36-page section of useful addresses and telephone numbers. It is the most detailed and up-to-date map of the Egyptian capital ever published.

The SPARE maps of Medieval Cairo
(Designed by The Palm Press)

Series of 4 maps for the Society for the Protection of Architectural Resources of Egypt (SPARE) covers the tourist interest sections of Old Cairo or Medieval Cairo as they are named. These are about 10LE each.
Map 1 : From the North Walls to Al Azhar (includes guide map to Khan al Khalili Bazaar)
Map 2 : From al Azhar to Sultan Hassan
Map 3 : From the Citadel to Ibn tulun (with map of the Citadel)
Map 4 : The Northern Cemetery (City of the Dead) and Coptic Cairo (includes Amr mosque & Nilometer)

These 4 maps are schematic and only identify the major places of tourist interest. They also give a little history of each of these monuments along with details on the dynasty during which they were constructed. They can help you cover the basics, but as I've learnt from my PTP walks, its up to you to walk into other buildings that look interesting to you along the way.

All these maps are available at most of the Major Bookshops in this City

You can also pick up plenty of free maps at the city's coffee shops which are pretty good, if all you need is an orientation into the major areas and the major roads.

There are other maps out there, (like the Insight Guides flexi map to Cairo which is very good for rough use since it comes prelaminated) but these are the ones that I use after selecting them from the bookshops that I frequent. If you have any other maps that you think are worth recommending, please do add them below in the comments section.

All Saints Cathedral Library

Membership :
30LE annual for 6 books at a time.
15LE for 2 books at a time

Books may be borrowed for one month and renewed once

Overdue books are charged at 25p per book per week

The library operates with a volunteer staff and is supported entirely through membership fees and donations of books form the community.

Library Hours :
Sunday : 11:45 - 13:00
Monday : 10:00 - 12:00 & 17:00 - 18:30
Tuesday : 10:00 - 12:00
Wednesday : 10:00 - 12:00
Thursday : 10:00 - 12:00
Friday : Closed
Saturday : 10:00 - 12:00

New Middle East Wives, Heliopolis

British Community Association (BCA) in conjunction with the New Middle East Wives

Coffee Morning

If you are new to Cairo why not come along to our social morning where expat ladies of all nationalities get together for a chat and coffee and cakes

The group meets at the BCA (Heliopolis) Clubhouse every 2nd Tuesday of the month between 10am and 1pm

For more information, call :
Alison 415 7318
Betsy 415 0186
Betty 291 3979

Please note : The MEW meeting is also held on the same day

I haven't attended a meeting here yet, but looks like a good option for new expat women in the Heliopolis area

ACE Club, Maadi

ACE Club
Association of Cairo Expatriates
2 Midan Victoria, Digla Maadi

Tel : 519 4594

12:00noon to 12:30am
Last Order 11:50pm

The ACE Club is a members club run by the members and offers a friendly meeting place for expatriates of all nationalities in a lovely villa with sun terrace, garden and children's play area.

Facilities are available for private parties, conferences and group meetings.

The garden is open all day and night to relax with family and friends.

Club Activities and facilities include :
Tuesday night : Quiz Night
Wednesday Night : Pool League
All week : Bar & all club facilities

Other Facilities :
2 pool tables
Dart boards
TV & Video - Regular sports matches shown on Super Sport

Food & Beverages:
Lunch and snacks : 12noon to 9:30pm
Evening meals : a la carte

The clubhouse is on the Apex of Road 213 and 216 (near Victory College Field's Main Gate)

Newcomers are particularly welcome.

I haven't visited this club myself, but looks like they are a fun group.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Egyptian Chronicles : The White Cheese Conspiracy : Gibnah Baydah Istambolly

Ask any Egyptian about his or her choice of cheese, and the answer unanimously would be "gibnah baydah Istanbouliy" (Feta cheese). No family would be without it. It is the kind of cheese which preferably is eaten with black olives and cucumbers. For many of us, it is the best ingredient in a sandwich (raghiyf mi'dad) or simply spread on qaraqish or Bu'sumat or even Shtangel the best used to be found in a bakery on Tharwat Pasha street downtown Cairo.

In the old times, when groceries were small, often run by Yemenis , Shawam (Syrians) and/or Greek, it was then that you could taste the best (double cream) gibnah baydah, of which the Istanbouliy type ruled supreme. I am talking here about tasty and wholesome MILK & CHEESE, the likes of which is long forgotten and unknown to the new Egyptian generations.

Believe or not, there was a time when milk products were legendary and readily available on the Egyptian market in all neighborhoods. This was before their mysterious disappearance with the advent of supermarkets. There were the friendly laban (milkman), who would carry real milk in big aluminum containers "qist" on his bicycle, and delivered personally to your home. There were the gorgeous qishtah, The gibnah Qarisysh, the laban zabadiy (yogurt) in red clay pot and many more.

There was the gibnah Roumiy or Balkan (hard yellow Greek cheese) which we ate with smiyt, seasoned with "duqqah" when we went to "plein air" open air Cinemas. These were the best times of my generation which I will never forget.

What happen to real milk products? I have no idea, all I know is that suddenly when I was traveling abroad our wholesome and goodness milk evaporated almost overnight and was treacherously replaced by milk powder. To this day I have no idea who was responsible for this travesty.

Alas, today's new generation has no clue of what I am talking about. I only know that at one time, this conspiracy drew a sharp line of demarcation between the "qishtah" generation, thats mine, and those of the laban sina`iy (powder milk).

Since then, when I traveled around the world, wherever I went I always asked around if anyone carried my favorite kinds of cheese. I only found it in two other places: The first carried by a Turkish grocery in Istanboul not far from the Galata tower. The second place, in a remote small Cretan village called Anoya, situated at 3000 ft above sea level. To my big surprise, the grocer who sold it to me was none other than an Egyptian who wore a typical "falahiy taqiyah", and whose family settled on the Island during the campaign of Ibrahiym Pasha in (1816–18).

Half a century has passed. With the advent of the internet, and the proliferation of sites which sell everything under the sun, I took gambled and ordered my favorite "gibnah baydah Istanbouliy". This time I was lured by the fact that it was a product of Egypt. I decided to take a chance and ordered some.

Yesterday my order arrived and I opened one package for the Suhuwr. Let me correct that, I struggled half an hour to tear open the carton of "gibnah baydah Istanbouliy" made in Egypt.

I finally tasted it ...... Oh well I will have to wait for another generation when someone invents a time machine. Then I'll be the first customer on board going backward in time when they made real "gibnah baydah" and where people really enjoyed it, from any Ibn al-balad store on harit al-sadd to all the way to Groppi `Adly.

Kull sanah wantum tayyibin wa Ramadan Kariym, I already have made up my mind! I am now waiting desperately for a Dr. Who to come along with his time traveling phone booth :)

Ishinan desperately seeking "gibnah baydah Istanbouliy"

Ishinan © Copyright 2007

Saturday, October 06, 2007

The Crossing of the Suez Canal by Lt General Sa'd al Shazily


In 1973 the Bar-Lev line looked so steadfast that Moshe Dayan, then minister of defense, claimed that it “would take the American and Soviet engineer corps together to break through it But on 6 October 1973, it took the Egyptian military only a few hours to break through and overrun the “in-destructible” line.

In the end, the line that had stood up to two years of Egyptian artillery-fire throughout the war of attrition, succumbed to water. British-made high-pressure water cannons used the water of the Suez Canal to dissolve the hardened sand and melt the formidable artificial landscape into pools of mud.

Two days later, 8 October 1973, brought the most bitter defeat in IDF history, when waves of bewildered Israeli soldiers in an armored counter-offensive broke against a dug-in Egyptian army equipped with previously unknown personal anti-tank missiles. That day, Moshe Dayan proclaimed. That day, Moshe Dayan proclaimed that the “Third Temple was falling”.

To view the episodes (from 1- 43) click on the Fihris below:

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Germany lends statue to Egypt for show

Published on the Web by IOL on 2007-10-02 21:47:10

Germany lends statue to Egypt for show

Cairo - Egypt said on Tuesday that Germany had agreed to return a 4 500-year-old ancient Egyptian statue for a temporary exhibition at the inauguration of the new Egyptian Museum in 2011.

Antiquity supremo Zahi Hawass said the Roman and Pelizaeus Museum in Hildesheim had agreed to lend Egypt the seated statue of Hemiunu, architect of the Great Pyramid of Giza.

The famous statue is one of five that Hawass wants for the new museum's opening, including more controversially the bust of Nefertiti and the Rosetta stone.

"Germany's acceptance is the first acceptance we get in our attempt to retrieve five pieces of antiquity for the opening of the new museum," Hawass said in a statement.

In April, Egypt and Germany had a row over the 3 400-year-old bust of Queen Nefertiti with Egypt threatening to ban future displays of its ancient artifacts in Germany if Berlin refused to return the statue.

Cairo and Berlin have frequently crossed swords over the limestone bust, which was unearthed by German archaeologists in an artist's studio on the banks of the Nile and taken to Germany under a 1913 agreement.

Hawass has made it his mission to retrieve Egypt's widely scattered antiquities that can be found in museums around the world.

The new Grand Egyptian Museum is scheduled to open in 2011 near the site of the Great Pyramids at Giza, outside Cairo.

Hemiunu was a vizier during the reign of his uncle, Cheops, and is credited for having been the architect of that king's pyramid at Giza.

Source: Independent Online

Monday, October 01, 2007

Iftaar Buffet at Marriott Cairo Hotel & Omar Khayyam Casino

Attended the Iftaar Buffet at Mariott.

Pretty standard and similar to other Iftaar buffets in the cities 5 stars.

at Mariott, the location is at Omar's Cafe which has a huge seating area.

Tip of the day : Make sure you reach an Iftaar buffet as soon as possible to the fast breaking time, because food gets over very quickly and once the main rush is over, the serving staff also have to eat. So if you reach late you can expect neither service nor food.

What to expect at the buffet ?

Read the rest of my review at :
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