31 March 2007

Starfucks Occupies Egypt

Well I got to know last night that Burger Kind is coming mid year and this morning I noticed that Starfucks is knocking on the door it is either opening within days or already opened.

Egyptian coffee junkies are you happy?? I am sure it was the biggest worry of all Egyptians where should they go for their caffeine fix? Starfucks came in and solved their dilemma.

Let me tell you about STRAFUCKS:

1) The coffee itself. Starfucks took the Italian art of coffee brewing and bastardized it by adding syrups, whipped cream, flavored extracts, soy milk, goat semen (well, who the hell knows right?) and anything else they care to chuck in. Another negative is that the coffee isn’t served that hot (cause they are worried of being sued if some cretin spills the coffee on his lap and burns himself).

2) Health. With all those syrups and whipped cream, Starfucks coffee is packed with calories. Have one of the huge slices of fat filled cheesecakes and you are well on the road to obesity.

3) Politics. Starfucks is a fucking huge corporation, with 8,345 locations in the US alone and tens of thousands more across the world. Not quite as wanky as the golden arches but the coffee still tastes corporate. On the other hand based on Middle Eastern conspiracy theories Starfucks CEO - Howard Schultz – is a Jewish conservative who funds Israeli’s military. Starbucks also claims to support the Fairtrade coffee initiative (which aims to buy coffee at “fair” prices from impoverished farmers) although it’s virtually impossible to actually find a Starfucks outlet that sells Fairtrade approved coffee

4) Price. One pound of the finest Arabica costs US$1.03 per pound. One cup of Starbucks coffee costs at least US$3. You love been screwed? Sucker!

5) Style. Serving coffee in paper/plastic cups? Not only is that sacrilege but it produces unnecessary waste. Coffee should only ever be served in mugs or coffee cups. And drinking coffee through a straw? Do these fuckers think we are still children or something?

Burger King to expand in Egypt

It seems that the prayers of Egypt Burger King fans were answered. After years of shouting "Where is the beef?” Burger King announced that the opening of its first restaurant in Egypt will take place during the second quarter of 2007 at Egypt's City Stars Mall.

A further two openings are due to follow shortly in Sharm El Sheikh, signaling the beginning of a large expansion program that will follow over the next five years. Egyptians are in mourning :(

So have you been dreaming of Burger King's delicious Whopper hamburger? Are your drooling? Did your taste buds throw a party? Yeah, its crazy!!!

This country is crazy I will never forget the day that McDonald's opened in Cairo. I was working at the WTC at the time, around lunch time a colleague suggested that we have a Big Mac. It ended up that around 20 of us ordered 2 or 3 items each.

Around noon we sent the personal driver of one of the employees to get us lunch, he returned at 16:00. It later turned out that there was a huge queue, the people were actually fighting to get in the restaurant and to order. I don’t think the Burger King reaction would be similar but just the thought reminded me of the McDonald's disgrace. I will never forget the face of the driver when I told him I want a Filet-O-Fish with extra tartar sauce! Tartar what???!!

Why would you want to welcome that ghoulish plasticine Burger King in Egypt?

If you are in a near death status and you have to make a choice between 2 crappie options McDonald's or Burger King? Then I would definitely chose Burger King….

My last burger at McDonald's was in Geneva a year ago it was 2 paddies of glistening crap, stuffed between soggy maxi pads, ejaculated upon by every fry cook, then allowed to sit out in the sun…. Urghhhhh it was disgusting…

I've had burgers in Cairo that would be considered as gastro-aesthetic joy if you are a fan go to Lucille’s in Maadi, or go to Roy's Country Kitchen, or if worst comes to shove go to Fuddruckers. I would recommend Burger lovers in Egypt to boycott both McDonald's & Burger King they are nothing but shameful sadistic horrors.

Cairo Museum AGAIN

No doubt it has been an electrifying relationship :)

30 March 2007

Cairo Museum Piece of Month

What should I do? Cry........

Deadly Sewage kills three in Gaza

Raw sewage erupted from holding pools and swept through a village in the northern Gaza Strip, causing at least three deaths and many injuries, Palestinian rescue workers said

A Palestinian policeman carries a dead boy after raw sewage erupted from holding pools and swept through a village in the northern Gaza Strip March 27, 2007. At least three people died and 15 were injured, Palestinian hospital officials said

General view of Palestinian houses flooded by raw sewage that erupted from holding pools and swept through a village in the northern Gaza Strip March 27, 2007. At least three people died and 15 were injured, Palestinian hospital officials said.

A Palestinian uses a raft as he paddles through sewer waters in the Bedouin village of Um Al-Nasr following the collapse of a sewer system in the northern Gaza Strip. At least five Palestinians, including two toddlers, drowned in a "sewage tsunami" on Tuesday when a water treatment reservoir burst, flooding a village in the northern Gaza Strip.(AFP/Mahmud Hams)

Palestinians rescue their goats from the flood waters in the Bedouin village of Um Al-Nasr following the collapse of a sewer system in the northern Gaza Strip. At least five Palestinians, including two toddlers, drowned in a "sewage tsunami" on Tuesday when a water treatment reservoir burst, flooding a village in the northern Gaza Strip.(AFP/Mahmud Hams)

Palestinians live in tents after raw sewage erupted from holding pools and swept through a village in the northern Gaza Strip March 28, 2007. A sewage reservoir burst next to a village in the northern Gaza Strip on Tuesday, killing at least four people and injuring 20 in a torrent of putrid water and waste that buried their homes, officials said. REUTERS/Ismail Zayday (GAZA)

My name is Baghdad, Je m'appelle Bagdad

29 March 2007

"Oral Fixation" Shakira's Concert in Cairo

“My mouth is my biggest source of pleasure, my most accessible vehicle to discover and enjoy the world.”

28 March 2007

Me, Myself & Shakira

I am very sick :( I have been coughing for more than 4 weeks now :(

I was coughing last week of Feb then it became worse so Saturday 3 March I went to see a doctor in Cairo I was coughing for 5 days or so and it was getting worse, she gave me a silly cough syrup and some cough pills.

Then I traveled to France on 5 March things got worse so on Tuesday 6 March I went to see a Doctor in Paris he gave me 3 medicines a cough syrup, pills with codeine and turbohaler. The next morning I felt itchy in my hand but did not bother much. The following day I had a body rash every where, I am red like a lobster :) I kept coughing so hard that I was getting migraines, and I couldn't breath because I was coughing non stop, I also had a rash and started taking allergy pills.

I could not talk to people or work because I was getting these severe headaches with a pain that splits my head like chainsaw :) sometimes the headaches were on the right side or on the left and sometimes it comes in my forehead then it is lethal cause I can't even see. I was coughing so bad, that when I was staying in Concorde Lafayette Hotel in Paris the people in the room next to mine were knocking on the wall at 3 AM for me to shut up cause they can't sleep at night :( How the hell am I going to hold it?!!! Fuck You I yelled while coughing :)

I went to see a pneumology doctor Saturday 17 March he told me that I have an inflammation due to smoking and maybe viral or bacterial infection. Even though I did not smoke for more than 10 days I was not getting any better. He gave me 2 antibiotics, cough syrup, and cough pills, He told me to keep taking these pills for a whole month.

Sunday morning I woke up had a coffee, and breakfast. I was getting ready to get a shower so I walked back to my bedroom, then suddenly I started coughing really hard. Few minutes later I felt a terrible headache, a blowing pain in my head that felt weird and cold, my elbow was killing me and my back felt as if hit by a shovel?!!! I felt wood and that I am not sleeping comfortable?!!! I then realized that I am sleeping on the floor, my head is on the tiles, and the rest of my body is on the wood floor. It seems that I fainted by my bedroom door and I hit my head on the floor and my back at the edge of the door. I now realized that I have to follow the doctors orders and that it is not a joke :( You know when you cough so hard and continuous to the extent that you can not breath is very scary you feel that you are out of breath and you are struggling to enter some air in your lungs. It is a shitty feeling you feel like drowning, you literally get a near death feeling.

I was supposed to leave on the morning of 19 March to Algeria and Morocco my flight was at 7 AM, but the previous night around 11 something PM I was chatting with colleague from work as I found her online and suddenly I started coughing again and I fainted again, I found myself on the floor next to the chair. I got really worried about traveling, it won't be cool if faint in an airport or in the middle of the street in Algeria, so when I got myself together I called my colleague and asked her to cancel my ticket to Algeria and I told her that I am not going to work the next day.

The following Tuesday I kept coughing again till I fainted, I fell on my face hitting myself in the dining table I cut my eyebrow and ended up with a black eye, I did not realize that I was hurt till I found blood dripping all over my face and I realized that I am lying on the floor.

Don't worry! I did not faint for 4 days now :) and I feel a little bit better :)

I went to see a specialist this last Saturday 25 March he said that I had a cough caused by a virus, he said that the symptoms typically peak after 2-3 days, and then gradually clear. However, the cough may persist for up to 4 weeks after the infection has gone, and this is what happened in my case but I also got a Bronchial hyperreactivity following this viral respiratory infections, he said the respiratory symptoms closely resemble those of asthma, but they are present for only 3 weeks to 3 months following the acute infection phase.

Therefore he gave me Symbicort Turbuhaler, an antihistaminic, and a sort of allergy/asthma pills.

Regarding the fainting he said this is called coughing Syncope or vasovagal reaction which is the temporary loss of consciousness upon coughing and he told me not to worry about it.

I don't believe it Shakira is having a concert in Cairo tonight. The sexy Colombian singer Shakira known as the "barefoot" singer is in Egypt, and this evening she will be dancing at the bottom of the Pyramids?!

Shakira arrived to Cairo yesterday and she will be singing at the Pyramids tonight. At noon today I received 2 free ticket, but I can't go :( I still don't feel 100% fit. To go to such a concert I will have to go at least 2 hours in advance, will be standing for 3 or 4 hours then 2 hours to get out of there with all the dust and smoke, I don't think it is worth it or that it’s even a wise choice to go! OK I pass no Shaky for me :(

How can I miss such a concert especially that the name of the tour is "Oral Fixation" :)

I heard that in Dubai the petite songstress drove the audience wild, flirting with the crowd, changing costumes frequently, and rendering hit numbers like "Whenever Whatever", "Underneath Your Clothes", and "Hips Don't Lie". The only thing I’d miss is the belly-dancing routine which would definitely be the highlight of the evening. Some Dubai friends said that the barefooted diva of dance was extremely hot.

On the other hand the tickets are for 400L.E & 750L.E (standing) and
1000L.E & 2000L.E (sitting)?!!! Why the hell pay all that money to see a woman dancing??? Oh she is who? Shak who? Shakira who cares hehehehehehehehe!!!!!

Oh I forgot to tell you something that might be important, it is my 18th day wihout a Cigarette?!!!

27 March 2007

Furthest Eyeball Popper

Claudio Paulo is a Brazilian man hoping to find a place in the Guinness Book of World Records for his ability to pop his eyes out of their sockets.

Pinto 48 a former driver, is making a living out of shows where he pops his eyes out. He reckons he can pop both eyes 95% out of their sockets.

The title of "furthest eyeball popper" in the Guinness Book of World Records currently belongs to Kim Goodman of Chicago, who can pop her eyeballs 11 millimeters (0.43 inches) out of her sockets. Pinto said "I can pop my eyes out four centimeters each, it is a gift from God, I feel blessed." that easily puts Pinto close to the record.

Pinto's ability is called "globe luxation." Doctors say it can strain blood vessels and nerves between the eyes and the head and feels unpleasant but usually doesn't cause lasting damage. Doctors also said they have never seen or heard of a person who can pop the eyes as much as Pinto.

Mr. Pinto said: "It is a pretty easy way to make money, and it doesn't hurt a bit."

26 March 2007

Egyptians Voting on Constitutional Referendum

Voting in Manial

Voting in Beaulac

Results are set up in advance why the referendum?
Boycott the referendum!!!

A symbolic funeral for Egypt

(Pictures courtesy of BBC)

24 March 2007

Meal of a Life Time by the Pyramids

On Monday 19 March the creators of the $25,000 dinner announced there's another pricey gourmet feast on the horizon. Guess where this time????

Wealthy foodies can mark their calendars for Dec. 12, 2008, when top chefs from around the world will be flown to EGYPT to cook a dinner in front of the ancient Pyramids of Giza, organizer Deepak Ohri said.

This dinner will be a bargain, at least compared to the one in Bangkok last month that was billed as the meal of a lifetime and cooked by six 3-star Michelin chefs for $25,000 a head. High-rolling food lovers flew in from the United States, Europe, the Middle East and across Asia for the 40-seat dinner.

The price for dining beside the pyramids has not yet been set, but it will cost less than $10,000 per person, said Ohri, the managing director of Bangkok's luxury Lebua hotel, the event planner behind the dinners that are boldly titled "Epicurean Masters of the World."

Though cheaper, the upcoming feast is intended to be even grander than its predecessor.

"It will still be for millionaires, but this dinner will be for a lot of millionaires," Ohri told The Associated Press.

Some 500 tickets will be sold for the dinner to be cooked by 30 3-star Michelin chefs.

About a third of the chefs already have confirmed their attendance; each chef will prepare a meal for roughly 17 diners.

A kitchen half a mile long will be set up against the backdrop of the pyramids with equipment and the best ingredients jetted in from around the world.

Unlike the $25,000 dinner, which featured rare French wines and mostly French food, the next meal will be culturally diverse and paired with fine wines from around the world, Ohri said.

Just how close diners will be to the pyramids depends upon the Egyptian government and the U.N.'s cultural body UNESCO, since the pyramids are a World Heritage site.

Talks are under way with authorities, Ohri said, noting that organizers are "considering" giving profits from the dinner to an organization or charity that deals with conserving the Seven Wonders of the World. The pyramids are the only surviving structure from the traditional list of architectural marvels.

When I was in France a couple of years ago I went with a colleague of mine to a nice restaurant in Grenoble for a 7 meal course it took us 4 hours to go through it, but it was for only 70 Euros per person not 10,000.00 US Dollars per head.

Now to the important conclusion, I am looking for a sponsor who is willing to pay me $20K so I can go that life time dinner by the Pyramids, with a beautiful date. On that night I need to be with a special female as a date, she needs to be pretty, but also she must be a food lover willing to go for a 10 course meal challenge, it is crucial that she is interesting conversationalist cause to forgo that dinner marathon it would take at least 5 hours. I am dreaming I know but let me dream please don’t wake me up……………

Egypt constitutional change

On 19 March Egypt's parliament has approved a set of 34 constitutional amendments despite a boycott by the opposition, which calls the changes a blow to democracy. This coming Monday 26 March these amendments will go to vote by referendum, and this being Egypt, they will of course pass.

Among the controversial changes to our country’s constitution:

1.) If approved, the changes will allow the drafting of a new tight anti-terrorism law to replace the emergency legislation in place since 1981. Amended Article 179 is designed to allow the president to order civilians to be tried in military courts which is questionable on constitutional grounds; it violates the “natural judge” principle mentioned in Article 68. In addition to facilitating the trial of civilians in military courts, amended Article 179 stipulates that it is permissible, in prosecuting offenses related to terrorism, to bypass protections against arbitrary arrest, search without warrant, and violation of privacy contained in Articles 41, 44, and 45 of the Constitution.
(In my opinion this is a disgrace, and it is a step backwards instead of going forward)

2) Article 88 allow the adoption of a new election law and do away with the need for judicial supervision of every ballot box. Therefore a new government-appointed election commission to "certify" results, finally cutting out that pain of an independent judiciary.
(This change sucks as well, but to be fair in prevailing international practice judicial supervision of elections is rare; independent commissions are far more common).

3) Revised Article 5 ban the establishment of religious parties, theoretically outlawing the Muslim Brotherhood once and for all
(The new language forbids not only the formation of a party but also “any political activity,” and not only on a religious basis but “within any religious frame of reference.”, which I personally strongly support).

4.) Article 136 states that the President can dissolve parliament unilaterally, when he wants, a right he did not have before.
(This is dangerous cause the parliaments can be dissolved and we reamin that way for months or even years, exactly like in the GCC countries?)

5) Article 127 gives the parliament the right to give or withdraw confidence from the prime minister (appointed by the president) without having to submit the decision to public referendum.

6) Revised Article 115 stipulates that the government budget must be presented to parliament at least three months before the end of the fiscal year
(No comment, but we will see 3 months No bloody way, this is Egypt wake up!)

7) Amendments to articles 82, 84, 85, 138, and 141 introduce real changes to the role of the prime minister in the political system. These articles give the prime minister the powers of the vice president if there is none

8) A few articles (4, 12, 24, 30, 33, and 56) were amended to reflect the changed economic and social situation in Egypt since the 1970s. References to socialism, the alliance of the working forces, and the leading role of the public sector in development, all of which were inherited from the Nasserite era of the 1950s and 1960s, have been eliminated.

President Mubarak and other government officials say the changes will give a boost to democratic practice in the country.

But the opposition, which includes the illegal Muslim Brotherhood, says the changes will consolidate dictatorship.

They say that watering down judicial supervision of elections will make fraud easier.

They are also deeply uneasy about the wording of the articles on the new anti-terrorism law because it will be possible to bypass the constitutional guarantees protecting basic freedoms.

Human rights group Amnesty International has called the changes of Article 179 the greatest erosion of human rights in 26 years.

President Hosni Mubarak, who had resisted any constitutional changes until very recently, proposed the amendments in late December 2006, heralding them as an important step toward democratization.

In addition to the content of the amendments, the rushed process by which they were passed has raised questions. Although the amendments were first discussed publicly during the September 2006 conference of the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) and then officially proposed by Mubarak in December, the actual drafts were prepared out of public view, with the full text only emerging in late January 2007. Parliament debated the drafts for several weeks, and then approved all thirty four articles in a single vote on March 19. Opposition deputies, who constitute about 20 percent of the parliament, boycotted the vote and final debate sessions because they said that their input had been ignored. In response to criticism, the country’s leadership decided to rush rather than delay the process, calling for a referendum confirming the amendments less than a week after they were passed, rather than in early- to mid-April, as had been expected.
(I personally don’t understand why the rush?)

23 March 2007

My Tarot Card

I am The Hierophant

Divine Wisdom. Manifestation. Explanation. Teaching.

All things relating to education, patience, help from superiors.The Hierophant is often considered to be a Guardian Angel.

The Hierophant's purpose is to bring the spiritual down to Earth. Where the High Priestess between her two pillars deals with realms beyond this Earth, the Hierophant (or High Priest) deals with worldly problems. He is well suited to do this because he strives to create harmony and peace in the midst of a crisis. The Hierophant's only problem is that he can be stubborn and hidebound. At his best, he is wise and soothing, at his worst, he is an unbending traditionalist.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Egyptian Parliment (No Comment)