Monday, January 31, 2011

Boutros Boutros-Ghali - a Coptic

Boutros Boutros-Ghali (Arabic: بطرس بطرس غالي, Coptic: Bουτρος Βουτρος-Γαλι) (born 14 November 1922) is an Egyptian diplomat who was the sixth Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN) from January 1992 to December 1996. An academic and former Vice Foreign Minister of Egypt, Boutros Boutros-Ghali oversaw the UN at a time when it paid attention to several world crises, including the breakup of Yugoslavia and the Rwandan Genocide.

Boutros Boutros-Ghali from Sciences Po on Vimeo.



Boutros Boutros-Ghali was born in Cairo into a Coptic Christian, and Armenian family (Boutros being the Arabic version of the Greek word πέτρος (petros).[1] His grandfather Boutros Ghali had been Prime Minister of Egypt from 1908 until he was assassinated in 1910.

Boutros-Ghali graduated from Cairo University in 1946. He received a Ph.D. in international law from the University of Paris and a diploma in international relations from the Sciences Po in 1949. In 1979, he was appointed Professor of International Law and International Relations at Cairo University, a position which he held until 1999. He became President of the Centre of Political and Strategic Studies in 1975 and President of the African Society of Political Studies in 1980. He was a Fulbright Research Scholar at Columbia University from 1954 to 1955, Director of the Centre of Research of the Hague Academy of International Law from 1963 to 1964, and Visiting Professor at the Faculty of Law at Paris University from 1967 to 1968. He is also the Honorary Rector of the Graduate Institute of Peace Studies, a branch of Kyunghee University Seoul.

Politic
His political career developed during the presidency of Anwar El Sadat. He was a member of the Central Committee of the Arab Socialist Union from 1974 to 1977. He served as Egypt's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs from 1977 until early 1991. He then became Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs for several months before moving to the UN. As Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, he played a part in the peace agreements between President Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin.

Secretary General of UN 1992-1996- the first African to hold the office
Elected as secretary-general, the top post of the UN, in 1991, Boutros-Ghali's term in office remains controversial. In 1992, he submitted An Agenda for Peace, a suggestion for how the UN could respond to violent conflict. However, he was criticized for the UN's failure to act during the 1994 Rwandan Genocide, which officially left over 1 million people dead, and he appeared unable to muster support in the UN for intervention in the continuing Angolan Civil War. One of the hardest tasks during his term was dealing with the crisis of the Yugoslav wars after the disintegration of former Yugoslavia. His reputation became entangled in the larger controversies over the effectiveness of the UN and the role of the United States in the UN.

He is president of the Egyptian National Council for Human Rights.

Boutros-Ghali has published two memoirs:

1. Egypt's road to Jerusalem (1997), about the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty
2. Unvanquished: A U.S.-U.N. Saga (1999), about his time as Secretary-General at the UN


Related articles:

1. The Massacre in Alexandria Will Strengthen Our Bonds', http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,739122,00.html
2. Boutros Boutros-Ghali, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boutros_Boutros-Ghali

Faces of the Copts -the native Egyptian

The Copts are the native Egyptian Christians , a major ethnoreligious group in Egypt. Christianity was the majority religion in Roman Egypt during the 4th to 6th centuries and until the Muslim conquest, and has remained the faith of a significant minority population until the present day. Their Coptic language is the direct descendant of the Demotic Egyptian spoken in the Roman era, but it has been near-extinct and mostly limited to liturgical use since the 18th century.

Copts in Egypt constitute the largest Christian community in the Middle East, as well as the largest religious minority in the region, accounting for an estimated 10% of Egyptian population.[13] Most Copts adhere to the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria. The remaining (around 800,000) are divided between the Coptic Catholic and various Coptic Protestant churches.

As a religious minority, the Copts are subject to significant discrimination in modern Egypt, and the target of attacks by militant Islamic extremist groups.

Living in a country of Muslim majority, the size of the population of Copts is a continuously disputed matter, frequently for reasons of religious jealousy and animosity. Some official estimates state that Christians represent from 5% to 10% or less of a population of over 83 million Egyptians while other independent and Christian sources estimate much higher numbers, up to 23% of the population.

Coptic population in Sudan is at about half a million or 1% of Sudanese population.

(source: wikipedia)





Outside of Egypt and Sudan, the largest Coptic diaspora population is in the United States and Canada, US population numbering about 200,000 (estimates of Coptic organizations ranging as high as a million). Canadian population at about 255,000.

Smaller communities (below 100,000) are found in Australia, Kuwait, Libya, the United Kingdom,France, South Africa,

Minor communities below 10,000 people are reported from Jordan, Germany, Switzerland, Austria and elsewhere.

Many Copts are internationally renowned. Some of the most well known Copts include Boutros Boutros-Ghali the sixth Secretary-General of the United Nations, Sir Magdi Yacoub the internationally renowned cardiothoracic surgeon, Hani Azer the world leading civil engineer, billionaire Fayez Sarofim one of the richest men in the world, and Naguib Sawiris the CEO of Orascom.

(source: wikipedia)

Hope that the latest development in Egypt, and the outcome of the uprising, will give better protection to the minority, and their basic human right is protected by the new government.

Mohamed ElBaradei

Mohamed Mustafa ElBaradei (Arabic: محمد مصطفى البرادعي‎, transliteration: Muḥammad Muṣṭafa al-Barādaʿī, Egyptian Arabic: [mæˈħæmːæd mosˈtˤɑfɑ (ʔe)lbæˈɾædʕi]; born June 17, 1942) was the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), an inter-governmental organisation under the auspices of the United Nations, from December 1997 to November 2009. ElBaradei and the IAEA were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005

ElBaradei was born and raised in Cairo, Egypt. He was one of five children of Mostafa ElBaradei, an attorney who headed the Egyptian Bar Association and often found himself at odds with the regime of President Gamal Abdel Nasser. ElBaradei's father was also a supporter of democratic rights in Egypt, supporting a free press and a legal system that was independent.[3]

ElBaradei is married to Aida El-Kachef, an early childhood teacher. They have two children: a daughter, Laila—who is a lawyer, lives in London, and is married to Neil Pizey, an investment banker—and a son, Mostafa, who is an IT manager living in Cairo. They also have one granddaughter, Maya

ElBaradei earned a Bachelor's degree in law from the University of Cairo in 1962, followed by a DEA degree in International Law at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva and a PhD in International Law at the New York University School of Law in 1974.

His diplomatic career began in 1964 in the Ministry of External Affairs, where he served in the Permanent Missions of Egypt to the United Nations in New York and in Geneva, in charge of political, legal, and arms control issues. From 1974 to 1978, he was a special assistant to the Foreign Minister. In 1980, he became a senior fellow in charge of the International Law Program at the United Nations Institute for Training and Research. From 1981 to 1987, he was also an Adjunct Professor of International Law at New York University School of Law.

In 1984, ElBaradei became a senior staff member of the IAEA Secretariat, serving as the Agency's legal adviser (1984 to 1993) and Assistant Director General for External Relations (1993 to 1997).

ElBaradei is a current member of the International Law Association and the American Society of International Law.

ElBaradei began serving as Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency on December 1, 1997, succeeding Hans Blix of Sweden.[5][6] He was re-elected for two more four-year terms in 2001 and 2005. His third and last term ended in November 2009. Elbaradei's tenure has been marked by high profile non-proliferation issues including the inspections in Iraq preceding the March 2003 invasion and tensions over the nuclear program of Iran.

Nobel Peace Prize
On October 7, 2005, ElBaradei and the IAEA itself were announced as joint recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize for their "efforts to prevent nuclear energy from being used for military purposes and to ensure that nuclear energy, for peaceful purposes, is used in the safest possible way". ElBaradei donated all his winnings to building orphanages in his home city of Cairo. The IAEA's winnings are being spent on training scientists from developing countries to use nuclear techniques in combating cancer and malnutrition. ElBaradei is the fourth ethnic Egyptian to receive the Nobel Prize, following Ahmed Zewail (1999 in Chemistry), Anwar Sadat (1978 in Peace) and Naguib Mahfouz (1988 in Literature).

In his Nobel lecture, ElBaradei said that the changing landscape of nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament may be defined by the emergence of an extensive black market in nuclear material and equipment, the proliferation of nuclear weapons and sensitive nuclear technology, and the stagnation in nuclear disarmament. To combat proliferation, ElBaradei has suggested keeping nuclear and radiological material out of the hands of extremist groups, tightening control over the operations for producing the nuclear material that could be used in weapons, and accelerating disarmament efforts.[62] Dr. ElBaradei also stated that only 1% of the money spent on developing new weapons would be enough to feed the entire world and that, if we hope to escape self-destruction, then nuclear weapons should have no place in our collective conscience, and no role in our security.

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan said he was delighted that the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize had been awarded to the UN nuclear watchdog and its head ElBaradei. "The secretary-general congratulates him and the entire staff of the agency, past and present, on their contributions to global peace," a spokesman for Annan said.

Politic
While speaking at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government on 27 April 2010, ElBaradei joked that he was "looking for a job" and is seeking to be an "agent of change and an advocate for democracy" within Egyptian politics. He also made clear that his wife is not very enthusiastic about any potential run.[55]

On 27 January 2011, Mohamed ElBaradei returned to Egypt amid ongoing turmoil, with the biggest mass protests in 30 years. ElBaradei declared himself ready to lead a transitional government if that was the will of the nation, saying that: "If [people] want me to lead the transition, I will not let them down".[56] Subsequently, "when he joined protesters Friday after noon prayers, police fired water cannons at him and his supporters. They used batons to beat some of ElBaradei's supporters, who surrounded him to protect him."[57] On 28 January 2011, ElBaradei was reported to have been placed under house arrest in Egypt.[58] However, the next day, when he was interviewed by Al Jazeera, he said he was unaware of any such arrest.[59]

Later on ElBaradei arrived in Tahrir Square to join thousands of other protesters against the Mubarak regime and spoke directly to the people, stating that they "have taken back [their] rights" and that they cannot go back. A number of Egyptian political movements have called on ElBaradei to form a transitional government.[60]. ElBaradei has also stated that "the people (of Egypt) want the regime to fall". In response to the appointment of Omar Suleiman as the new Vice President of Egypt, ElBaradei stated that it was a "hopeless, desperate attempt by Mubarak to stay in power, I think it is loud and clear...that Mubarak has to leave today". Additionally, ElBaradei reinstated the position that when Egypt does become a democratic nation and that "there is no reason to believe that a democracy in Egypt would not lead to a better relationship with the US based on respect and equity."[61]
(source: extract from wikipedia)







Related articles:

1. Mohamed ElBaradei, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohamed_ElBaradei

Edward Wadie Saïd & Palestinian Christian

When blogging about Egypt, I remember Edward Wadie Saïd, a Palestinian Christian, who once lived in Egypt. I remember reading his book " Out of Place", a book he wrote on his personal life before he died.

I have been to Palestine, and talk with the Palestinian Christian in Jericho, Bethlehem and Jerusalem. This is the first time that I knew there is Palestinian Christian. I enter the church in Bethlehem, one Palestine boy was playing piano, and I looked at the Christian Song Book, it is in Arabic....the Christian song in Arabic...

The discovery changed my perception on Palestine issue and Palestine people. May be Edward W Said's Orientalism become clear....the false perception on middle east issue need to be re-looked. The history of Palestine go beyond, long long ago in history....

I like Edward Wadie Saïd, his work, and West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, that made up of children from Israel, the Palestinian territories, and surrounding Arab nations.

His book " Out of Place" make me realized the problem of Palestine Christian, and their dilemma. What Edward W Said faced, many are still facing today, and out of place like him...

They left....their homeland...it is more than the Israel-Palestinian conflict issue.. we all know about Gaza, West Bank, Golan Height, the world was focused on the areas.....but there are happening in Bethlehem, and many Christian dominated Palestine areas, they are no longer majority, but minority...they are leaving...

Palestinian Christians are the descendants of the original indigenous Christians who first believed that Jesus Christ was the Messiah, when He was with them in flesh. They are the descendants of the Apostles of Jesus Christ and the many ethnicities that lived in the area during the 1st and 2nd centuries. Palestinian Christians have been living in the Holy Land "since the time of Jesus". Today, the majority live elsewhere due to 1948 War, the Six-Day War in 1967, and occupation, but many still live in the cities, villages and refugee camps in Israel, Palestine, and Jordan.

They are Arab Christian Believers of many Christian denominations including Oriental Orthodoxy, Eastern Orthodoxy, Catholic (eastern and western rites), Protestant and others who have ethnic or family origins in Palestine. In both the local dialect of Palestinian Arabic and in classical or modern standard Arabic, Christians are called Nasrani (a derivative of the Arabic word for Nazareth), al-Nasira, or Masihi (a derivative of Arabic word Masih, meaning "Messiah"). Christians comprise less than 4% of Palestinian Arabs living within the borders of former Mandate Palestine today. They are approximately 4% of the West Bank population, less than 1% in Gaza, and nearly 10% of Israel's Palestinian Arabs. According to official British Mandate estimates, Mandate Palestine’s Christian population varied between 9.5% (1922) and 7.9% (1946) of the total population.
(source: wikipedia)

Today, the majority of Palestinian Christians live abroad. Like Edward W Said, still out of place....


Edward Wadie Saïd

Edward Wadie Saïd ( Arabic: إدوارد وديع سعيد‎, Idwārd Wadīʿ Saʿīd; 1 November 1935 – 25 September 2003) was a Palestinian-American literary theorist and advocate for Palestinian rights. He was University Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University and a founding figure in post colonialism.[1] Robert Fisk described him as the Palestinians' "most powerful political voice.

Said was born in Jerusalem (then in the British Mandate of Palestine) on November 1, 1935.[9] His father, a US citizen with Protestant Palestinian origins, was a businessman and had served under General Pershing in World War I. He moved to Cairo in the decade before Edward's birth. His mother, born in Nazareth, also had a Protestant background[10][11] and was half-Lebanese.[12] His sister was the historian and writer Rosemarie Said Zahlan.

Said was an influential cultural critic and author, known best for his book Orientalism (1978), which catapulted him to international academic fame.[3] The book presented his influential ideas on Orientalism, the Western study of Eastern cultures. Said contended that Orientalist scholarship was and continues to be inextricably tied to the imperialist societies that produced it, making much of the work inherently politicized, servile to power, and therefore suspect. Grounding much of this thesis in his intimate knowledge of colonial literature such as the fiction of Conrad, and in the post-structuralist theory of Foucault, Derrida and others, Said's Orientalism and following works proved influential in literary theory and criticism, and continue to influence several other fields in the humanities. Orientalism affected Middle Eastern studies in particular, transforming the way practitioners of the discipline describe and examine the Middle East.[4] Said came to discuss and vigorously debate the issue of Orientalism with scholars in the fields of history and area studies, many of whom disagreed with his thesis, including most famously Bernard Lewis.[5]

Said also came to be known as a public intellectual who frequently discussed contemporary politics, music, culture, and literature, in lectures, newspaper and magazine columns, and books. Drawing on his own experience as a Palestinian growing up in a Palestinian Christian family in the Middle East at the time of the creation of Israel, Said argued for the creation of a Palestinian state, equal rights for Palestinians in Israel, including the right of return, and for increased pressure on Israel, especially by the United States. He also criticized several Arab and Muslim regimes.[6] Having received a Western education in the US, where he lived from his high school years until his death, Said tried to use his dual heritage, the subject of his prize-winning memoir Out of Place (1999), to bridge the gap between the West and the Middle East and to improve the situation in Israel-Palestine. He was a member of the Palestinian National Council for over a decade and his pro-Palestinian activism made him a figure of considerable controversy.[7]

In 1999, Said co-founded with Daniel Barenboim the award-winning West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, made up of children from Israel, the Palestinian territories, and surrounding Arab nations. He was also an accomplished concert pianist.[8] Active until his last months, Said died in 2003 after a decade-long battle with leukemia.
(source: wikipedia)









Related articles:
1. Palestinian Christians, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palestinian_Christians
2. Edward Said, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Said
3. The Edward Said Archive, http://www.edwardsaid.org/?q=node/1
4. Bethlehem, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bethlehem

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Nubia

The Kingdom of Kush or Cush was an ancient African state centered on the confluences of the Blue Nile, White Nile and River Atbara in what is now the Republic of Sudan. It was one of the earliest civilizations to develop in the Nile River Valley. Having also been referred to as Nubia, and as "Ethiopia" in ancient Greek and Greco-Roman records.

Nubia is a region along the Nile, in northern Sudan and southern Egypt. Throughout its History, Nubia is broken into three distinct regions – “Lower Nubia”, in modern southern Egypt, which lies between the first and second cataract, and “Upper Nubia and Southern Nubia” – in modern-day northern Sudan, which existed in the area south of second cataract, along the Nile down to the sixth cataract. Lower Nubia and Upper Nubia are so called because the Nile flows north, so Upper Nubia was further upstream and of higher elevation, even though it lies geographically south of Lower Nubia.

There were a number of small Nubian kingdoms throughout the Middle Ages, the last of which collapsed in 1504, when Nubia became divided between Egypt and the Sennar sultanate resulting in the Arabization of much of the Nubian population. Nubia was again united within Ottoman Egypt in the 19th century, and within Anglo-Egyptian Sudan from 1899 to 1956.

The name Nubia is derived from that of the Noba people, nomads who settled the area in the 4th century, with the collapse of the kingdom of Meroë. The Noba spoke a Nilo-Saharan language, ancestral to Old Nubian. Old Nubian was used in mostly religious texts dating from the 8th and 15th centuries AD. Before the 4th century, and throughout classical antiquity, Nubia was known as Kush, or, in Classical Greek usage, included under the name "Ethiopia"(under ancient Greek and Greco-Roman records, may be different from Ethiopia nation today).

Note: Modern Ethiopia and its current borders are a result of significant territorial reduction in the north and expansion in the south toward its present borders, owing to several migrations and commercial integration as well as conquests, particularly by Emperor Menelik II and Ras Gobena.

Historically, the people of Nubia spoke at least two varieties of the Nubian language group, a subfamily which includes Nobiin (the descendant of Old Nibian), Kenuzi-Dongola, Midob and several related varieties in the northern part of the Nuba Mountains in South Kordofan. A variety (Birgid) was spoken (at least until 1970) north of Nyala in Darfur but is now extinct.

The area of the Nile valley known as Nubia that lies within present day Sudan was home to three Kushite kingdoms during antiquity: the first with its capital at Kerma (2600–1520 BC), the second centered on Napata (1000–300 BC) and, finally, the kingdom of Meroë (300 BC–AD 300).

Kerma was Nubia's first centralized state with its own indigenous forms of architecture and burial customs. The last two kingdoms, Napata and Meroe, were heavily influenced by ancient Egypt; culturally, economically, politically, and militarily. The Kushite kingdoms in turn competed strongly with Egypt, to the extent that during the late period of Ancient Egyptian history, the rulers of Napata conquered and unified Egypt herself, ruling as the pharaohs of the Twenty-fifth Dynasty; the Napatan domination of Egypt ended with the Assyrian conquest in 656 BC.

Egypt & Nubia

Ancient Egypt conquered Nubian territory in various eras, and incorporated parts of the area into its provinces. The Nubians in turn were to conquer Egypt under its 25th Dynasty.

Relations between the two peoples however also show peaceful cultural interchange and cooperation, including mixed marriages. The Medjay –from mDA, represents the name Ancient Egyptians gave to a region in northern Sudan–where an ancient people of Nubia inhabited. They became part of the Ancient Egyptian military as scouts and minor workers.

The twenty-fifth dynasty of Egypt, known as the Nubian Dynasty or the Kushite Empire, was a line of rulers originating in the Kingdom of Kush. They reigned in part or all of Ancient Egypt from 760 BC to 656 BC. The dynasty began with Kashta's invasion of Upper Egypt and culminated in several years of war with the Assyrians that forced the Kushites back to their homeland. The twenty-first, twenty-second, twenty-third, twenty-fourth and twenty-fifth dynasties of Ancient Egypt are often combined under the group title, Third Intermediate Period.

The name given this civilization comes from the Old Testament where Cush (Hebrew: כוש) was one of the sons of Ham, grandson of Noah (Genesis 10:6) who settled in Northeast Africa. Cush (Hebrew: כּוּשׁ, Modern Kush Tiberian Kûš ; "Dark", IPA: [ˈkuʃ]) was the eldest son of Ham, brother of Canaan and the father of Nimrod, and Raamah, mentioned in the "Table of Nations" in the Hebrew Bible (Book of Genesis 10:6, I Chronicles 1:8). The name is usually considered to be the eponym of the people of Kush.

According to Genesis, Cush's other sons were Seba, Havilah, Sabtah, Raamah, and Sabtecah, names identified by modern scholars with Arabian tribes.

Josephus gives an account of the nation of Cush, son of Ham and grandson of Noah: "For of the four sons of Ham, time has not at all hurt the name of Cush; for the Ethiopians, over whom he reigned, are even at this day, both by themselves and by all men in Asia, called Cushites." (Antiquities of the Jews 1.6).In the Bible and at different times in the ancient world, a large region covering northern Sudan, modern day southern Egypt, and parts of Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Somalia was known as "Cush". The Hebrew Bible refers to "Cush" on a number of occasions, though various English translations translate this as "Nubian", "Ethiopia", "Sudan", and "Cushite" (Unseth 1999). Moses' wife, Tzipporah, is described as a Kushite in the book of Numbers 12:1.

The Persian historian Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari (c. 915) recounts a tradition that the wife of Cush was named Qarnabil, daughter of Batawil, son of Tiras, and that she bore him the "Abyssinians, Sindis and Indians"

Relations between the two peoples,Egyptian and Kush(or Nubian) however also show peaceful cultural interchange and cooperation, including mixed marriages.

Christianity had penetrated the region by the 4th century, John of Ephesus records that a Monophysite priest named Julian converted the king and his nobles of Nobatia around 545. John of Ephesus also writes that the kingdom of Alodia was converted around 569. However, John of Biclarum records that the kingdom of Makuria was converted to Roman Catholicism the same year, suggesting that John of Ephesus might be mistaken. Further doubt is cast on John's testimony by an entry in the chronicle of the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Alexandria Eutychius, which states that in 719 the church of Nubia transferred its allegiance from the Greek Orthodox to the Coptic Church.

The influx of Arabs and Nubians to Egypt and Sudan had contributed to the suppression of the Nubian identity following the collapse of the last Nubian kingdom around 1504. A major part of the modern Nubian population became totally Arabized and some claimed to be Arabs (Jaa'leen – the majority of Northern Sudanese – and some Donglawes in Sudan).[28] A vast majority of the Nubian population is currently Muslim, and the Arabic language is their main medium of communication in addition to their indigenous old Nubian language. The unique characteristic of Nubian is shown in their culture (dress, dances, traditions, and music).

With the end of colonialism and the establishment of the Republic of Egypt (1953), and the secession of the Republic of Sudan from unity with Egypt (1956), Nubia was divided between Egypt and Sudan.

In the 1970s, many Egyptian Nubians were forcibly resettled to make room for Lake Nasser after the construction of the dams at Aswan. Nubian villages can now be found north of Aswan on the west bank of the Nile and on Elephantine Island, and many Nubians today live in large cities such as Cairo.

(source: extract from wikipedia)

Nubian Kingdom



Nubian Pyramids in Sudan










Is the Nabian or ancient Sudan, so resemble the ancient Egypt?....what did the history tell us about the ancient Egyptian?.....

Egypt People

Modern Egyptian(Today's Egyptian)

Egyptians are a nation and ethnic group of Mediterranean North Africans indigenous to Egypt. Most modern Egyptians are of a complex ethnic mixture, being descended from the ancient Egyptians, Berbers, sub-Saharan Africans, Arabs, Greeks, and Turks. Arabic is the official language.

Egyptian identity is closely tied to geography. The population of Egypt is concentrated in the lower Nile Valley, the small strip of cultivable land stretching from the First Cataract to the Mediterranean and enclosed by desert both to the east and to the west. This unique geography has been the basis of the development of Egyptian society since antiquity.

The daily language of the Egyptians is the local variety of Arabic, known as Egyptian Arabic or Masri, Also a sizable minority of Egyptian speak Sa'idi Arabic in Upper Egypt . Egyptians are predominantly adherents of Sunni Islam with a Shia minority and a significant proportion who follow native Sufi orders.[8] A sizable minority of Egyptians belong to the Coptic Orthodox Church, whose liturgical language, Coptic, is the last stage of the indigenous Egyptian language.

Ancient Egypt People

Egypt has an early civilization, just like the Chinese, Indian, Persian; but like Persian, the civilization had disappeared from the earth. Better than Persia, Egypt managed to retain the famous monuments, the Giza pyramid complex and Great Sphinx, to remind the glory of its early civilization. The history of Egyptian is very complicated, history of occupation by foreign forces, from countries with strong culture, whatever traces of ancient Egyptian was slowly faded away in time. It was a sad chapter of human history, an ancient civilization and the identity of its people left without any traces....

Egypt & Christianity

The history of Christianity in Egypt dates to the Roman era. Alexandria was an early center of Christianity, and from the 4th century until the Islamic conquest of Egypt in AD 640, Egypt was predominantly Christian. Egyptian Christians believe that the Patriarchate of Alexandria was founded by Mark the Evangelist around AD 33. The historian Helmut Koester has suggested, with some evidence, that originally the Christians in Egypt were predominantly influenced by Gnosticism until the efforts of Demetrius of Alexandria gradually brought the beliefs of the majority into harmony with Nicene Christianity. With the Edict of Milan in 312, Constantine I ended the persecution of Christians.

The history of Christianity in Egypt dates back verily to the beginnings of Christianity itself. Many Christians hold that Christianity was brought to Egypt by the Apostle Saint Mark in the early part of the first century AD. Eusebius, Bishop of Caesarea, in his Ecclesiastic History states that Saint Mark first came to Egypt between the first and third year of the reign of Emperor Claudius, which would make it sometime between AD 41 and 44, and that he returned to Alexandria some twenty years later to preach and evangelize. Saint Mark's first convert in Alexandria was Anianus, a shoemaker who later was consecrated a bishop and became Patriarch of Alexandria after Saint Mark's martyrdom. This succession of Patriarchs has remained unbroken down to the present day, making the Egyptian Christian, or Coptic, Church one of the oldest Christian churches in existence. Evidence for this age comes in the form of the oldest Biblical papyri discovered in remote regions of Upper Egypt. These papyri are written in the Coptic script and are older than even the oldest Greek copies of the Bible ordered by Constantine in AD 312.

Egypt & Islam, Arab

Under Muslim rule, the Egyptians came to be known as Copts, a derivative of the Greek word Αἰγύπτιος, Aiguptios (Egyptian), from Αἴγυπτος, Aiguptos (Egypt). The Greek name in turn may be derived from the Egyptian ḥw.t-ka-ptḥ, literally "Estate (or 'House') of Ptah", the name of the temple complex of the god Ptah at Memphis. After the majority of Egyptians converted from Christianity to Islam due to the Islamic takeover, the term became exclusively associated with Egyptian Christianity and Egyptians who remained Christian, though references to native Muslims as Copts are attested until the Mamluk period

The assimilation and Arabization that took place, left little of the original Egyptian culture, the only remain is the area around Alexandria, the Coptic Christian. The Coptic from majority become minority....

Egyptian become Arabs, culturally....

The Native Egyptian - The Coptic Christian
The Copts are the native Egyptian Christians,a major ethno-religious group in Egypt. Christianity was the majority religion in Roman Egypt during the 4th to 6th centuries and until the Muslim conquest,[12] and has remained the faith of a significant minority population until the present day. Their Coptic language is the direct descendant of the Demotic Egyptian spoken in the Roman era, but it has been near-extinct and mostly limited to liturgical use since the 18th century.

Copts in Egypt constitute the largest Christian community in the Middle East, as well as the largest religious minority in the region, accounting for an estimated 10% of Egyptian population. Most Copts adhere to the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria. The remaining (around 800,000 are divided between the Coptic Catholic and various Coptic Protestant churches.

As a religious minority, the Copts are subject to significant discrimination in modern Egypt, and the target of attacks by militant Islamic extremist groups.
(source: wikipedia)

Who is Egyptian?

I just wonder how many original Egyptian still around in Egypt? Some said Egypt being located between Africa and Asia, with the north facing Europe; are not white, but of African stock. The migration, the war, the capture of the country by foreign forces, the natural disasters, adversely affected the population of ancient Egyptian, not many left; those left are facing Arabization after the country had captured by the Arabs.

Nubian from lower Nile region have very cultural relationship and inter marriage with Egyptian....they even have pyramids in North Sudan...may be from them, you can see the images of ancient Egyptian...

University of Chicago Egyptologist Frank Yurco confirmed this finding of historical and regional continuity, saying:

Certainly there was some foreign admixture [in Egypt], but basically a homogeneous African population had lived in the Nile Valley from ancient to modern times... [the] Badarian people, who developed the earliest Predynastic Egyptian culture, already exhibited the mix of North African and Sub-Saharan physical traits that have typified Egyptians ever since (Hassan 1985; Yurco 1989; Trigger 1978; Keita 1990; Brace et al., this volume)... The peoples of Egypt, the Sudan, and much of East Africa, Ethiopia and Somalia are now generally regarded as a Nilotic (i.e. Nile River) continuity, with widely ranging physical features (complexions light to dark, various hair and craniofacial types) but with powerful common cultural traits, including cattle pastoralist traditions (Trigger 1978; Bard, Snowden, this volume). Language research suggests that this Saharan-Nilotic population became speakers of the Afro-Asiatic languages... Semitic was evidently spoken by Saharans who crossed the Red Sea into Arabia and became ancestors of the Semitic speakers there, possibly around 7000 BC... In summary we may say that Egypt was distinct North African culture rooted in the Nile Valley and on the Sahara

The earliest examples of disagreement in modern times, regarding the race of the ancient Egyptians, occurred in the work of Europeans and Americans early in the 19th century. For example, in an article published in the New-England Magazine of October 1833, the authors dispute a claim that the Ancient Egyptians “were adduced, affirmed to be Ethiopians.” Among other things, they point out (at pg 275), with reference to tomb paintings: “It may be observed that the complexion of the men is invariably red, that of the women yellow; but neither of them can be said to have anything in their physiognomy at all resembling the Negro countenance.” And (at pg 276) they state, with reference to the Sphinx: “The features are Nubian, or what, from ancient representations, may be called Ancient Egyptian, which is quite different from the Negro features.”

In his Principes Physiques de la Morale, Déduits de l'Organisation de l'Homme et de l'Univers, Constantin-François Chassebœuf writes that "The Copts are the proper representatives of the Ancient Egyptians" due to their "jaundiced and fumed skin, which is neither Greek nor Arab, their full faces, their puffy eyes, their crushed noses, and their thick lips."[11]

Just a few years later, in 1839, Champollion states in his work "Egypte Ancienne" that the Egyptians and Nubians are represented in the same manner in tomb paintings and reliefs and that "The first tribes that inhabited Egypt, that is, the Nile Valley between the Syene cataract and the sea, came from Abyssinia to Sennar. In the Copts of Egypt, we do not find any of the characteristic features of the Ancient Egyptian population. The Copts are the result of crossbreeding with all the nations that successfully dominated Egypt. It is wrong to seek in them the principal features of the old race."[

Egyptian Diaspora
Historically, it was rare for Egyptians to leave their country permanently or for an extended period of time—it was not until the 1970s that Egyptians began to emigrate in large numbers.
Egyptians emigrated from Egypt for many centuries, mainly to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Iraq, this happened under different circumstances but mainly for economic reasons. A sizable Egyptian diaspora did not begin to form until well into the 1980s and today it is estimated that 2.7 million Egyptians live abroad.

(extract from wikipedia)

Historically, it is sad; Egyptian civilization like Persian, faded in history.....and what we see the Egypt today is unlike the ancient Egypt, their glory, their greatness in the ancient era. Like Persia who become Iran, Egypt followed the similar steps, without traces of their cultural past. We can only find them in museum and historical books.....

The modern Egyptian is distinct and difference....from ancient Egyptian...Egyptian today is the name for people under a nation called The Arab Republic of Egypt, a modern national identity, not ethnic or even racial identification with the early Egyptian identity/civilization.

The debate is still going on, is modern Egyptian an Arab? Is ancient Egyptian a black?.....it will remain a national myth?....








Related articles

1. Copts, wikipedia
2. Egyptian diaspora, wikipedia
3. Persecution of Copts, wikipedia
4. Catchpenny Mysteries & Ancient Egypt, http://www.catchpenny.org/index.html
5. Origins and identity of the Egyptian people past and present, youtube(This series of videos will examine the origins of the Egyptian people, their civilization as well as the origins of the Modern Egyptian people, their identity and their relationship to the Ancient Egyptians.)
6. Ancient Egyptian race controversy, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_Egyptian_race_controversy
7. THE STORY OF THE COPTS - THE TRUE STORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN EGYPT, http://popekirillos.net/EN/books/Story_of_copts.pdf
8. Egyptian not Arab, http://www.mideastyouth.com/2007/05/27/egyptian-not-arab/
9. Egyptians are not Arabs, they are Egyptians, http://mathildasanthropologyblog.wordpress.com/2008/11/09/egyptians-are-not-arabs-they-are-egyptians/
10. Egyptian Intellectual speaks about Arab Culture , http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zZpTaE56f4M&feature=related
11.Egyptians, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egyptians
12. Coptic identity, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coptic_identity
13. Pharaonist movement, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pharaonist_movement
14. Why does Egypt speak Arabic today and not Egyptian?http://baheyeldin.com/history/why-does-egypt-speak-arabic-today-and-not-egyptian.html

Brief History of Egypt


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Egypt (مصر, Miṣr,), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean region, the Middle East and the Islamic world. Covering an area of about 1,010,000 square kilometers (390,000 sq mi), Egypt is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, the Gaza Strip and Israel to the northeast, the Red Sea to the east, Sudan to the south and Libya to the west.
Egypt is one of the most populous countries in Africa and the Middle East. The great majority of its estimated 79 million people[3] live near the banks of the Nile River, in an area of about 40,000 square kilometers (15,000 sq mi), where the only arable land is found. The large areas of the Sahara Desert are sparsely inhabited. About half of Egypt's residents live in urban areas, with most spread across the densely populated centres of greater Cairo, Alexandria and other major cities in the Nile Delta.

Egypt is famous for its ancient civilization, with famous monuments such as the Giza pyramid complex and its Great Sphinx. Its ancient ruins, such as those of Memphis, Thebes, and Karnak and the Valley of the Kings outside Luxor, are a significant focus of archaeological study. The tourism and the Red Sea Riviera employ about 12% of Egypt's workforce.

Ancient Egypt
Historically, Eygpt have been captured by foreign forces, Rome, Byzantine, Arab, Ottoman.
Christianity had been brought by Saint Mark the Evangelist in the 1st century. Diocletian's reign marked the transition from the Roman to the Byzantine era in Egypt, when a great number of Egyptian Christians were persecuted. The New Testament had by then been translated into Egyptian. After the Council of Chalcedon in AD 451, a distinct Egyptian Coptic Church was firmly established.

The Byzantines were able to regain control of the country after a brief Persian invasion early in the 7th century, until in AD 639, Egypt was absorbed into the Islamic Empire by the Muslim Arabs. When they defeated the Byzantine Armies in Egypt, the Arabs brought Sunni Islam to the country. Early in this period, Egyptians began to blend their new faith with indigenous beliefs and practices, leading to various Sufi orders that have flourished to this day. These earlier rites had survived the period of Coptic Christianity.

Muslim rulers nominated by the Islamic Caliphate remained in control of Egypt for the next six centuries, with Cairo as the seat of the Caliphate under the Fatimids. With the end of the Kurdish Ayyubid dynasty, the Mamluks, a Turco-Circassian military caste, took control about AD 1250. They continued to govern the country until the conquest of Egypt by the Ottoman Turks in 1517, after which it became a province of the Ottoman Empire. The mid-14th-century Black Death killed about 40% of the country's population.

After the 15th century, the Ottoman invasion pushed the Egyptian system into decline. The defensive militarization damaged its civil society and economic institutions. The weakening of the economic system combined with the effects of plague left Egypt vulnerable to foreign invasion. Portuguese traders took over their trade. Egypt suffered six famines between 1687 and 1731. The 1784 famine cost it roughly one-sixth of its population.

Muslim rulers nominated by the Islamic Caliphate remained in control of Egypt for the next six centuries, with Cairo as the seat of the Caliphate under the Fatimids. With the end of the Kurdish Ayyubid dynasty, the Mamluks, a Turco-Circassian military caste, took control about AD 1250. By the late 13th century, Egypt linked the Red Sea, India, Malaya, and East Indies. They continued to govern the country until the conquest of Egypt by the Ottoman Turks in 1517, after which it became a province of the Ottoman Empire. The mid-14th-century Black Death killed about 40% of the country's population.

Modern Egypt

The brief French invasion of Egypt led by Napoleon Bonaparte began in 1798. The expulsion of the French in 1801 by Ottoman, Mamluk, and British forces was followed by four years of anarchy in which Ottomans, Mamluks, and Albanians who were nominally in the service of the Ottomans, wrestled for power. Out of this chaos, the commander of the Albanian regiment, Muhammad Ali (Kavalali Mehmed Ali Pasha) emerged as a dominant figure and in 1805 was acknowledged by the Sultan in Istanbul as his viceroy in Egypt; the title implied subordination to the Sultan but this was in fact a polite fiction: Ottoman power in Egypt was finished and Muhammad Ali, an ambitious and able leader, established a dynasty that was to rule Egypt, his title to Egypt was made hereditary . The dynasty ruled until the revolution of 1952. In later years, the dynasty became a British puppet.

The introduction in 1820 of long-staple cotton, the Egyptian variety of which became famous, transformed its agriculture into a cash-crop monoculture before the end of the century. The social effects of this were enormous: land ownership became concentrated and many foreigners arrived, shifting production towards international markets.

The Suez Canal, built in partnership with the French, was completed in 1869. The cost of this and other projects had two effects: it led to enormous debt to European banks, and caused popular discontent because of the onerous taxation it required. In 1875 Ismail was forced to sell Egypt's share in the canal to the British Government. Within three years this led to the imposition of British and French controllers who sat in the Egyptian cabinet, and, "with the financial power of the bondholders behind them, were the real power in the Government.

Local dissatisfaction with Ismail and with European intrusion led to the formation of the first nationalist groupings in 1879, with Ahmad Urabi a prominent figure. In 1882 he became head of a nationalist-dominated ministry committed to democratic reforms including parliamentary control of the budget. Fearing a reduction of their control, Britain and France intervened militarily, bombarding Alexandria and crushing the Egyptian army at the battle of Tel el-Kebir.[27] They reinstalled Ismail's son Tewfik as figurehead of a de facto British protectorate.[28] The British military occupation of Egypt lasted until 1954.
In 1914 the Protectorate was made official, and the title of the head of state, which had changed from pasha to khedive in 1867, was changed to sultan, to repudiate the vestigial suzerainty of the Ottoman sultan, who was backing the Central powers in World War I. Abbas II was deposed as khedive and replaced by his uncle, Hussein Kamel, as sultan.[29]

In 1906, the Dinshaway Incident prompted many neutral Egyptians to join the nationalist movement. After the First World War, Saad Zaghlul and the Wafd Party led the Egyptian nationalist movement to a majority at the local Legislative Assembly. When the British exiled Zaghlul and his associates to Malta on March 8, 1919, the country arose in its first modern revolution. The revolt led Great Britain to issue a unilateral declaration of Egypt's independence on February 22, 1922

The new government drafted and implemented a constitution in 1923 based on a parliamentary system. Saad Zaghlul was popularly elected as Prime Minister of Egypt in 1924. In 1936 the Anglo-Egyptian Treaty was concluded. Continued instability due to remaining British influence and increasing political involvement by the king led to the dissolution of the parliament in a military coup d'état known as the 1952 Revolution. The Free Officers Movement forced King Farouk to abdicate in support of his son Fuad.

Republic
On June 18, 1953, the Egyptian Republic was declared, with General Muhammad Naguib as the first President of the Republic. Naguib was forced to resign in 1954 by Gamal Abdel Nasser – the real architect of the 1952 movement – and was later put under house arrest. Nasser assumed power as President in June, 1956. British forces completed their withdrawal from the occupied Suez Canal Zone on June 13, 1956. He nationalized the Suez Canal on July 26, 1956, prompting the 1956 Suez Crisis.

Three years after the 1967 Six Day War, during which Israel had invaded and occupied Sinai, Nasser died and was succeeded by Anwar Sadat. Sadat switched Egypt's Cold War allegiance from the Soviet Union to the United States, expelling Soviet advisors in 1972. He launched the Infitah economic reform policy, while violently clamping down on religious and secular opposition.

In 1973, Egypt, along with Syria, launched the October War, a surprise attack against the Israeli forces occupying the Sinai Peninsula and the Golan Heights. It was an attempt to regain part of the Sinai territory Israel had captured 6 years earlier. Sadat hoped to seize some territory through military force, and then regain the rest of the peninsula by diplomacy. The conflict sparked an international crisis between the US and the USSR, both of whom intervened. The second UN-mandated ceasefire halted military action. While the war ended with a military Israeli victory, it presented Sadat with a political victory that later allowed him to regain the Sinai in return for peace with Israel.[31]
Sadat made a historic visit to Israel in 1977, which led to the 1979 peace treaty in exchange for Israeli withdrawal from Sinai. Sadat's initiative sparked enormous controversy in the Arab world and led to Egypt's expulsion from the Arab League, but it was supported by most Egyptians.[32] A fundamentalist military soldier assassinated Sadat in Cairo in 1981. He was succeeded by Hosni Mubarak.

Regime of Hosni Mubarak
In 2003, the Egyptian Movement for Change, popularly known as Kefaya, was launched to oppose the Mubarak regime and to establish democracy and greater civil liberties.
Egypt has been officially named a "Republic" since June 18, 1953. However, it has been under Emergency Law continually since 1967 (with the exception of an 18-month break in 1980). Since 1981, Egypt has been ruled autocratically by Mohamed Hosni Mubarak, who came to power after the assassination of President Mohammed Anwar El-Sadat.[42] Mubarak is currently serving his fifth term in office (28 years). Mubarak is the leader of the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP). Prime Minister Dr. Ahmed Nazif was sworn in as Prime Minister on July 9, 2004, following the resignation of Dr. Atef Ebeid.

2011 Egyptian protests

On 25 January 2011 extensive civil unrest and rioting in the country began. By the 29th January it was becoming clear that Mubarak's regime had lost control when a curfew order was ignored, and the army took a semi-neutral stance on enforcing the decree. Some protesters, a very small minority in Cairo, expressed nationalistic views against what they deemed was foreign interference, highlighted by the then held view that the USA administration had failed to take sides, as well as linking the local police with Israel. Despite some local violence, and shop looting, the situation as at 17:00 GMT (19:00 Egypt Time) seemed more controlled than the rioting the previous day (28 January).

(source: extract from wikipedia)

Sources and related articles

1. Egypt, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egypt
2. Ancient Egypt, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_Egypt

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Japanese folk song- Sakura Sakura(さくら さくら)

"Sakura Sakura" (さくら さくら), also known as "Sakura", is a traditional Japanese folk song depicting spring, the season of cherry blossom. Contrary to popular belief, the song did not originate from ancient times, not from the Heian period or prior. It was first composed during the Edo period for children learning to play the koto. Originally, the lyrics "Blooming cherry blossoms" were attached to the melody. The song has been popular since the Meiji period, and the lyrics in their present form were attached then. It is often sung in international settings as a song representative of Japan.

さくら さくら

桜 桜
野山も里も
見渡す限り
霞か雲か
朝日に匂う
桜 桜
花ざかり

桜 桜
弥生の空は
見渡す限り
霞か雲か
匂いぞ 出づる
いざや いざや
見に行かん




Sakura Sakura

sakura sakura
noyama mo sato mo
mi-watasu kagiri
kasumi ka kumo ka
asahi ni niou
sakura sakura
hanazakari

sakura sakura
yayoi no sorawa
mi-watasu kagiri
kasumi ka kumo ka
nioi zo izuru
izaya izaya
mini yukan

English Translation

Cherry blossoms, cherry blossoms,
On Meadow-hills and mountains
As far as you can see.
Is it a mist, or clouds?
Fragrant in the morning sun.
Cherry blossoms, cherry blossoms,
Flowers in full bloom.

Cherry blossoms, cherry blossoms,
Across the Spring sky,
As far as you can see.
Is it a mist, or clouds?
Fragrant in the air.
Come now, come,
Let’s look, at last!

Another Li Na

Li Na will be playing today's Australian Open's final match, she had made history for China, as well as Asia.

There is another Li Na in China, who is a famous singer.

Li Na (李娜,Lǐ nà,born on July 25, 1963) sang lots of folks songs for TV series and films,such as "Nice person, safe life" (好人一生平安,hǎo rén yī shēng píng ān)

In 1995, she was awarded "Deer Cup MTV" at the world's pop star contest held in Romania.

In 1996, she received the Achievement Award of "Glorious pop music in last two decades".

In 1997, she became a nun with Buddhist name Shi Chang Sheng.

In 1998, she went to Los Angeles to study Buddhism and settled down in USA. 





Let the song of Li Na be the wishes for another Li Na, wish her a successful journey to win the Australian Open Grand Slam title....

Li Na, jia yu....

Friday, January 28, 2011

People's Power in Egypt

Some said it is the domino effect from Tunisia; the time bomb is exploding. The people finally stand up for their right and future. Some was worry it is going to Yemen, will it spread to other Arab world?....or just contain within the poorer countries?

It is the desire for democracy? or the fight for freedom, or......other reasons...

The threshold point is finally reached, and no longer sustain the constraints and pressure...

It is breaking point, it boils.....

It is the Internet Revolution, it is Youth Revolution; the voices from the young people...the Egyptian Uprising.

The wikipedia reported the following:

The 2011 Egyptian protests are a series of street demonstrations, protests, and acts of civil disobedience that began in Egypt on 25 January 2011, a day selected by April 6 Youth Movement organizers to coincide with the National Police Day holiday. While localised protests had been common in previous years, the 2011 protests have been the largest demonstrations seen in Egypt since the 1977 Egyptian Bread Riots and "unprecedented" in scope,drawing participants from a variety of socio-economic backgrounds and faiths.

The demonstrations and riots occurred in the weeks after the Tunisian uprising, with many protesters carrying Tunisian flags as a symbol of their influence. Grievances for Egyptian protesters have focused on legal and political issues including police brutality, state of emergency laws, lack of free elections and free speech, and corruption, as well as economic issues including high unemployment,food price inflation, and low minimum wages. Demands from protest organizers included rights of freedom and justice, the end of the Hosni Mubarak regime, and a new government that represents the interests of the Egyptian people.

The Egyptian government has attempted to break up and contain protests using a variety of methods, mostly non-lethal including rubber bullets, batons, water cannons, and tear gas, and in some cases, live ammunition with fatalities resulting. As of 29 January, at least 105 protester deaths had been reported, and those injured number 750 policemen and 1,500 protesters. The capital city of Cairo has been described as "a war zone", and the port city of Suez has been the scene of frequent violent clashes. The government turned off almost all Internet access and imposed a curfew,claiming that minimizing disruption from the protests is necessary to maintain order and to prevent an uprising of fundamentalist Islamic groups.

International response to the protests has generally been supportive with most governments and organizations calling for non-violent responses on both sides and peaceful moves towards reform. The protests have captured worldwide attention due to the increasing integration of Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Wikipedia, and other social media platforms that have allowed activists and onlookers to communicate, coordinate, and document the events as they occur. As the level of publicity has increased, the Egyptian government has made increasing efforts to limit internet access, especially to social media. On the eve of major planned protests on Friday, 28 January, a nationwide internet and mobile phone "blackout" began, though before dawn the following morning it was reported that the blackout for cell phones had ended.
(source: wikipedia)










Hope that there is no room for opportunists who will be riding on the power wave, and obtain political benefits from the movement....

Note: 2010–2011 Tunisian Revolution- Jasmine Revolution
Mohamed Bouazizi (March 29, 1984 – January 4, 2011) (Arabic: محمد البوعزيزي‎), was a Tunisian street vendor who burned himself on December 17, 2010, in protest of the confiscation of his wares and the humiliation that was inflicted on him by a female municipal official. This act became the catalyst for the 2010-2011 Tunisian Revolution, sparking deadly demonstrations and riots throughout Tunisia in protest of social and political issues in the country. Anger and violence intensified following Bouazizi's death, leading then-President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali to step down after 23 years in power. Bouazizi's protest eventually led to the protests in several Arab countries. Bouazizi is hailed by some as "heroic martyrs of a new Middle Eastern revolution."

Outraged by the events that led to Bouazizi's self-immolation, protests began in Sidi Bouzid, building for more than two weeks, with attempts by police to quiet the unrest serving only to fuel what had become a violent and deadly movement.[30] After Bouazizi's death, the protests became widespread, moving into the more affluent areas and eventually into the capital.[1] The anger and violence became so intense that President Ben Ali fled Tunisia with his family,[1] trying first to go to Paris, but was refused refuge by the French government. They were eventually welcomed into Saudi Arabia under many conditions, ending his 23-year dictatorship and sparking "angry condemnation" among Saudis.[30] In Tunisia, unrest persists as a new regime takes over, leaving many citizens of Tunisia feeling as though their needs are still being ignored

In Egypt, Abdou Abdel-Moneim Jaafar, a 49-year-old restaurant owner, set himself alight in front of the Egyptian Parliament

(source; wikipedia)

Related articles
1. Death of Mohamed Bouazizi, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohamed_Bouazizi
2. 2010–2011 Tunisian uprising, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010%E2%80%932011_Tunisian_protests

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Michael Chang - French Open Champion 1989

Talking about tennis, still remember Michael Chang from USA, who won the French Open in 1989. Still remember the match? The famous match with World No. 1, reigning Australian Open champion, and three-time former French Open champion Ivan Lendl.



Michael Te-Pei Chang (張德培); born February 22, 1972, in Hoboken, New Jersey) is a former American professional tennis player. He is best remembered for becoming the youngest-ever male player to win a Grand Slam singles title when he won the French Open in 1989 at the age of 17.

Known for his on-court speed and fighting spirit, Chang is considered by many observers to have been one of the best tennis counterpunchers of all time. He remained in the Top 10 of the ATP world rankings for several years in the 1990s, peaking at World No. 2.

Chang was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2008

(source: wikipedia)



Michawl Chang is a devout Christian, Chang's faith was first brought to the spotlight after his 1989 French Open championship, when upon winning, declared "I thank the Lord Jesus Christ, because without Him, I am nothing." He attended Biola University in La Mirada, California for 1.5 years for a Masters in Ministry to increase his personal Bible knowledge. He serves on the Biola University Board of Trustees

Chang and his family established the Chang Family Foundation(CFF) in 1999 to evangelize Christianity. The Foundation is now based in Rancho Santa Margarita, California.http://www.mchang.com/cff/news.html



The Michael Chang Mission Hills Tennis Academy (which has 50 courts) opened in 2008 in Shenzhen, where Michael Chang aims to nurture young Chinese players in a bid to bring the level of Chinese tennis up to the international standard. He intends to contribute his experience accumulated from playing in world tournaments to the development of tennis in China. Chang is very popular in China, where he is better known by his Mandarin name Zhang Depei(張德培). Chang, who retired in 2002, has worked as a coach with Peng Shuai in 2007. Peng Shuai is a Chinese professional female tennis player. She won a gold medal at the 2010 Asian Games.

By the way, Chang married Amber Liu(劉安寶), another professional tennis player who is 12 years younger than Chang. A baby girl, Lani Chang was born on 9th December 2010, just before Christmas. Congratulation.

If you want to know more about him and his work after retirement from tennis, please visit his foundation's web site http://www.mchang.com/cff/news.html. He is now actively involved in religion work and spreading Christianity through sport.




Related websites:

1. http://www.mchang.com/

Li Na - Australian Open

Li Na - woman tennis player from China, as today she had enter the semi-final in Australian Open. But so far there is little media coverage on her. She may be the first Asian tennis player who has potential to win a Grand Slam title.

Li Na (Chinese: 李娜; pinyin: Lǐ Nà; born February 26, 1982 in Wuhan, Hubei), is a Chinese professional tennis player.

As of January 31, 2011, she is currently ranked at No. 5 in the WTA singles rankings. Li achieved her highest ranking of No. 5 on January 31, 2011 making her the highest ranked Chinese player. She has won 4 WTA and 19 ITF titles and was the 2010 Australian Open Semi-finalist along with Chinese compatriot Zheng Jie. She has also been through to the Quarter-Finals at Wimbledon (2006, 2010) and at the US Open (2009).



Latest news, Li Na in the final, beating Caroline Wozniack, seeded No 1, with the score 3-6, 7-5,6-3. Li Na finally go to the Final of Australian Open....

Again, in yahoo sport there is more pictures of Caroline than Lina, is that a bias against her from mass media?.....31 photo of Li Na out of 120 photo. May be to the mass media, it is a sport fashion show, than a tennis match....

Jia yu , Li Na....

Go, go, get the gold...Li Na.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Penang Thaipusam 20.01.2011

Thaipusam (Tamil: தைப்பூசம், Taippūcam ?) is a Hindu festival celebrated mostly by the Tamil community on the full moon in the Tamil month of Thai (January/February). It is celebrated not only in countries where the Tamil community constitutes a majority, but also in countries where Tamil communities are smaller, such as Singapore[1] and Malaysia. The festival is also referred to as Thaipooyam or Thaippooyam (Malayalam: തൈപ്പൂയം, Taippūyaṁ ?). The word Thaipusam is derived from the month name Thai and Pusam, which refers to a star that is at its highest point during the festival. The festival commemorates the occasion when Parvati gave Murugan a vel (spear) so he could vanquish the evil demon Soorapadman. There is a misconception among people that Thaipusam marks Murugan's birthday; however, it is believed that Vaikhasi Vishakam, which falls in the Vaikhasi month (May/June), is Murugan's birthday

What is Kavadi?
Kavadi Attam is a dance performed by the devotees during the ceremonial worship of Murugan, the Tamil God of War.It is often performed during the festival of Thaipusam and emphasizes debt bondage. The Kavadi itself is a physical burden through which the devotees implore for help from the God Murugan.

On the day of the festival, devotees will shave their heads and undertake a pilgrimage along a set route while engaging in various acts of devotion, notably carrying various types of kavadi (burdens). At its simplest this may entail carrying a pot of milk, but mortification of the flesh by piercing the skin, tongue or cheeks with vel skewers is also common.

The simplest kavadi is a semicircular decorated canopy supported by a wooden rod that is carried on the shoulders, to the temple. In addition, some have a small spear through their tongue, or a spear through the cheeks. The spear pierced through his tongue or cheeks reminds him constantly of Lord Murugan. It also prevents him from speaking and gives great power of endurance. Other types of kavadi involve hooks stuck into the back and either pulled by another walking behind or being hung from a decorated bullock cart or more recently a tractor, with the point of incisions of the hooks varying the level of pain. The greater the pain the more god-earned merit.

Celebration outside India
The largest Thaipusam celebrations take place in Mauritius, Malaysia and Singapore. It is a public holiday in several states in Malaysia, including Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, Penang, Perak, Johor, Putrajaya and Kuala Lumpur.

The temple at Batu Caves, near Kuala Lumpur, often attracts over one million devotees and tens of thousands of tourists.[8] The procession to the caves starts at the Sri Mahamariamman Temple, Kuala Lumpur in the heart of the city and proceeds for 15 kilometers to the caves, an 8-hour journey culminating in a flight of 272 steps to the top. Thaipusam is also celebrated at another cave site, the Sri Subramaniar Temple in Gunong Cheroh, Ipoh, Perak and at the Nattukottai Chettiar Temple along Jalan Waterfall in Penang. Temple secretary P. Palaiya Sri Subramaniar Temple in Gunong Cheroh reported that about 250,000 devotees participated in the festival 2007, including 300 kavadi bearers, while 15,000 came with milk offerings.

(source: extract from wikipedia)

Celebration in Penang
Thaipusam is celebrated during the full moon of the 10th month in the Hindu calendar. It is normally held in the last week of January or the beginning of February, depending on the alignment of the sun, moon and planets.

A pilgrimage procession takes place to bring the statue of Lord Muruga, who represents virtue, youth and power, on a silver chariot led by more then 60 Kavadis adorned with peacock feathers from Little India to the Nattukottai Chettiar Temple atop the hill of Waterfall Road.

On the day before, old coconuts are smashed along the roads where the Chariot procession will take place.

During Thaipusam in Penang, devotees go through a physical endurance of being skewered and pierced on the back and front of their bodies by hooks with miniature urns as an act of penance. Majority of the devotees who go through this act are Indians but Chinese, Sikh and other visitors can also be seen taking part in this act of faith which leaves many devotees and observers alike, spiritually transformed.

In celebration, more than 100 beautifully-decorated make-shift stalls, are erected along Waterfall Road road where charitable Chinese and Indian families give out bottled water, fruits, sweet, buns and prepared sweetened and sour rice to devotees. Thunderous loud music, singing, dancing and the beating of drums of devotional songs by their supporters can be seen and heard far and wide throughout the entire vicinity of the festival.

Upon reaching the temple, devotees will fulfill their vows, offer thanksgiving prayers and penance to Lord Muruga. The chariot is then scheduled for a return trip to start from the temple on the same evening and reach Kovil Veedu before dawn the following day.

This festival of rich culture and deep tradition is an 'out of this world' experience which draws a massive crowd of tens of thousands to these streets in Penang yearly.

(source: http://www.visitpenang.gov.my/portal3/latest-events/details/67-thaipusam-2011.html)












For further details of the festival, please visit the official website of Penang State Tourism http://www.visitpenang.gov.my/portal3/latest-events/details/67-thaipusam-2011.html

It is too late for the festival now; if you miss it this year, be prepare for next year.

Related articles:

1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thaipusam

Chinese New Year song

彩虹的家 (The house of rainbow)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Appam/Apam/Apong - Penang pancakes

What is appam/apong?

From wikipedia:
Appam, Aappam (Tamil: அப்பம்,ஆப்பம், Template:Lang-sinhala, pronounced [apːam]), Paniyaram or hoppers, are a type of food in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Sri Lankan cuisine. It is called chitau(ଚିତାଉ)Pitha in Oriya, Paddu or Gulle Eriyappa in Kodava and Appam in Telugu. It is known as ආප්ප (Appa) in Sinhala. It is eaten most frequently for breakfast or dinner.

Appum or aapum - pronunciation varies between regions - is a term equivalent to bread. A bread made of rice batter on a stone griddle is in certain parts of the country called kalappam, where kal (Tamil க‌ல்) means "stone". Another form of appam is "Kallappam", where "kall" (Tamil க‌ள்) means toddy, which is used for fermentation. This type of appam is prepared in an appa kal (mould). Kallappam looks like a pan cake.

The presence of Tamils in Malaysia has over the years led to the popularity of the apam. Apam is the term used for a steamed cup-cake sized dessert made from rice flour that is eatened with shredded fresh coconut. The string hopper (local name: putumayam) is also popular among Malaysians. Sold by street vendors on modified motorbikes, the string hoppers are eaten with grated palm sugar (gula Melaka) and shredded fresh coconut. Malaysian Indians tend to make their own and eat it with either curry or dhal dish.
(source: wikipedia)

In Penang, it is called Apom, Apong, Apam manis or Apong Balik.

Types of Appam

Apam or Apong is originally an Indian food from Tamil Nadu; in the old days only Indian Tamil will sell apong in Penang. The locals called it Apom Manis. This fluffy dessert is made of the simplest of ingredients: sugar, egg, coconut milk and flour. The mixed flour batter is pour into small clay pot(but now some use mini woks) to form thin and crispy sides encircling a thick and puffy center. There are three types;

(i) The one that normally found as street food in Penang. It is thin and crispy, sweet and normally folded into a roll. Penang people always call it apom manis. There is no fillings. This is original Penang apom. It is make from pouring the batter into small clay pots with charcoal fire. It can only be make pot by pot.



(ii) This type is normally sold in banana leaf Indian restaurant. It is thicker and bigger. It served with coconut milk. It is not folded, and without fillings. This is Indian appam.
(iii) This type called Apong balik, is normally sold by Chinese hawker. It is smaller, thicker, with filling of banana, maize, some more innovative one filled it with peanut butter and other jams. But the original one is the one filling with only banana. Some call it nyonya apong, developed from the Penang apom, and it was originated in Penang, I think in the 60s. The inventor must have taken the idea from ban-chan-kuei and appom combined, developed into a hybrid. It is called Apong balik because after putting the ingredient of banana, the apong is fold back into half, thus call apong balik. Initially it only make pan by pan as ban-chan-kuei, but later the clever hawker develop a bigger pan which contain smaller pans, which make the process faster. Like Apong Guan, it has 9 small pans.



The other type called Apong balik by the Malay is actually developed from the ban-chan-kui in Penang.



How to make apong balik?

360g rice
2tbsp cooked rice
2 tbsp plain flour
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup thick coconut milk & 11/2 cups think coconut milk, from 1 large grated coconut
1 dsp baking powder
brown sugar

Wash and soak rice for 5 hours. Strain. Put strained rice, cooked rice, flour, sugar, salt and 3/4 cup of the thin coconut milk into a liquidiser and blend to a fine paste. Pour into a pot and add remaining thin coconut milk. Leave to ferment for 12 hours preferably overnight. Refridgerate the thick coconut milk.

The next day, add baking powder into fermented mixture and stir well. Heat and lightly grease a small kuali and pour 2 tbsp of batter into the centre. Swivel the kuali to spread batter into a thin pancake. The centre of the pancake should be thick. Quickly add 1 tbsp of the thick coconut milk. Cover the kuali and let it cook over low heat until sides of appam are lightly brown.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Monday, January 10, 2011

No post cards received...

I sent a few post cards from China; namely Guilin, Yangzuo, Dali, Lijiang, Kunming. Not even one card arrived, what happen to my post cards and postage stamps paid?.... I have returned home for nearly two weeks, yet there is no sign of my post cards....

?????

China Post
China Post (Chinese: 中国邮政), which is the name used by the State Post Bureau of PRC in business, is the official postal service of the People's Republic of China. China Post is operated by the State Post Bureau of the People's Republic of China. The State Post Bureau, commonly referred to as China Post, is both a regulatory authority and government owned enterprise. Thus it is responsible for the regulation of the national postal industry and the management of national postal enterprises(source: wikipedia).

Is it coincident? or inefficiency or .....

Pos Malaysia
Pos Malaysia Berhad is a post services company in Malaysia. The company was corporatized in 1992 from the governmental owned Malaysian Postal Services Department or Jabatan Perkhidmatan Pos Malaysia.

Pos Malaysia provides postal and related services, transport logistics, printing and insertion, counter collection and payment agency services for a range of financial transactions, such as bill payments, remittance, insurance and unit trusts.

The company holds an exclusive concession to provide mail services through its network of over 850 branches and mini post offices in Malaysia.(source: wikipedia)

.... or is the cards with the beautiful stamps lost at Malaysian Post?....

There is no answer.....

I have similar experience only with Jordan some years ago, where the post cards sent with postage fully paid were not arrived at the destination, all were missing and may be going to the hands of some unauthorized stamps collectors or post cards collectors?