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The Embassy of Switzerland, with the support of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Youth and Sports, and in partnership with the International Organisation for Migration, launched a Clickfunding campaign on Thursday 18th of July called ‘#WeCompleteEachOther’ to support the integration of migrants in Egypt with a focus on the economic benefits of migration.

The online campaign has been developed by the award-winning Egyptian social start-up Bassita, which is a social start-up specialized in awareness and fundraising for positive initiatives.

Bassita creates and implements online and on-ground awareness activities through developing partnerships with a large range of stakeholders, including media, governmental entities, NGOs and private sector companies.

Directed by renowned director Sherif El Bendary, the campaign stars movie star Asser Yassin and depicts a social experiment seeking to illustrate that what unites people is stronger than their differences.

Egyptians and migrants from 15 nationalities took part in the social experiment during which they presented statements and asked those who identified with what was being said to gather on stage. Participants from completely different backgrounds found that they are in fact similar in many ways.

The initiative was developed as a Clickfunding campaign, asking social media users to interact with it.

Once the campaign reaches 250,000 interactions on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, the IOM will commit to implementing entrepreneurial trainings for Egyptians and migrants to open local businesses in Egypt, further contributing to the economic growth of the country.

The campaign displays messages of acceptance and respect, and celebrates diversity as a strength for society. The campaign also shows that migrants contribute positively to Egypt’s economy.

The campaign aims to provide a true image of the positive contribution migrants bring to any country and to highlight that all people share common characteristics and experiences.

“I strongly believe that an undiversified society does not exist. Our enriched world has always been made of people with a variety of origin, age, race, gender, beliefs, thoughts and ideas. We all share something in common, which is making the beauty of humankind,” Laurent de Boeck, Chief of Mission of the International Organization for Migration to the Arab Republic of Egypt.

“At least we all share humanism and emotions for a better world. This campaign is a perfect model fostering our understanding that differences are solely visual. We, inside, share a lot in common,” he added.

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Scenes from a Facebook video post by Al Nahar TV

Thousands of Algerian football fans waiting at Cairo Airport to return home after winning the African Cup of Nations stirred riots and and chaos due to delayed flights, smashing glass doors, throwing bottles and clashing with the security forces at the airport, Al Masry Al Youm reports.

Following these violent scenes, Cairo Airport authorities contacted the office of Algerian Airlines in Cairo and requested for places to be provided for Algerian fans on the airline’s aircrafts or hotel rooms for them near the airport as required by aviation laws.

جمهور الجزائر يثير الفوضى في مطار #القاهرة ويشتبك مع الأمن المصري #إرم_نيوز #مصر #الجزائر pic.twitter.com/evEh0f4B1M

— إرم نيوز (@EremNews) July 21, 2019

Major General Ahmed al-Anwar, Assistant Minister of Interior and Director of Cairo International Airport security, ordered the security personnel to exercise restraint and allow those who do not have flight tickets to enter the airport for shelter from the hot weather outside.

Air Algerie also announced on its official website that great efforts are being exerted by the company to return individuals and families to their country.

Cairo Airport called on additional numbers of employees to complete the departure procedures for Algerian fans.

On Friday night, AFCON 2019 drew to a close in Egypt with Algeria winning the title against Senegal, making it the second time they hold the title after 29 years.

More than 2,000 visas were granted by the Egyptian Consulate to Algerians since the beginning of the African Cup of Nations to attend the final match, according to Egyptian Ambassador Ayman Mosharaf.

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Photo credit: Bedaya

Egypt has had a thriving entrepreneurship scene for almost 10 years that has now been receiving several governmental support from entities like who are working to aid incubators as well as rising and existing entrepreneurs on reaching their maximum potential by providing funding opportunities and mentorship.

Entrepreneurship has been gaining attraction for a while now for several reasons. According to a research done on business incubators, “Entrepreneurship is an important factor in facilitating poverty reduction, creation of employment opportunities, and structural changes within its context. In essence, entrepreneurship is an important tool for improving living standards and the general well-being of the society,” author Mohamed Imam Salem writes.

Last year during the opening of GEN Week, Minister of Investment and Cooperation Sahar Nasser highlighted how important it is for the government to support entrepreneurs who are paving the way for job opportunities.

Most entrepreneurs help solve many of Egypt’s prevailing problems such as pollution and transportation, which takes a load off of the government. With governmental support and cooperation, both parties will collaborate to establish a better services for Egyptian citizens and residents.

One way the government supports entrepreneurs is by launching local incubators. Business incubators are defined as a facility that nurtures new start-ups in their early years by providing ‘affordable space, hand-on management training, marketing support and, often, access to some form of financing.’

While incubators offer key support to fresh entrepreneurs, they also have a key role when it comes to economic development.

According to The United Kingdom Science Park Association (UKSPA) Fact Sheet, incubators “act as a catalyst for economic change development, visibility and credibility in the marketplace, encourage faster sustainable growth and greater survival rates of new and existing companies, and act as catalyst for urban and rural regeneration.”

Here are three key governmental incubators in Egypt who are providing a stepping stone for local entrepreneurs.

Bedaya

Founded by Egypt’s General Authority for Investment and Free Zones in 2009, Beyada is another governmental incubator that offers up to EGP 150,000 in funding as well as office space, business development services, networking opportunities and manufacturing spaces.

It was the starting point for Recyclobekia and Egy Glove.

Although Bedaya is a governmental incubator, it is led by the private sector. They launched an initiative called ‘Bedaya Fund’ managed by Al Ahly for Development and Investment (ADI).

This fund provides financing opportunities depending on the business’s growth stage, which varies between EGP 2 million and EGP 50​​​​​ million, for start-ups in the food, agriculture, manufacturing, services, and IT sectors.

Bedaya allocates 60 percent of its funds to businesses sprouting from governorates outside of the capital Cairo. While their incubation period is a minimum of three months, Bedaya offers funding for three to five years in return for equity. But, it also discloses different exit strategies that vary from business to business

TIEC – Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center

Launched in 2010, TIEC is a government entity that incubates information and communication technology (ICT) startups as part of the governmental plan to develop Egypt’s ICT sector.

While providing office space, mentoring sessions and investment opportunities, TIEC welcome startups from across Egypt including Upper Egypt and Nile Delta.

It is located in Cairo’s Smart Village and was home for the likes of Ta2heal and Bey2ollak. Funding can go up to EGP 120,000 without having to worry about sharing or giving equity. TIEC’s incubation period is one year.

Fekretak Sherketak

‘Fekretak Sherketak’ is the most recent entrepreneurial initiative by Egypt’s Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation.

Launched in 2017, this incubator is “designed to support and empower the next generation of Egyptian entrepreneurs and contribute to the development of the Egyptian startup ecosystem” through its Falak program, the website reads.

This initiative promotes the launch of the Egypt Entrepreneurship Program (EEP) in partnership with Hermes Financial Group and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Along with funding opportunities, Falak program offers mentorship, training and other necessary tools, resources for local entrepreneurs looking to grow and expand their businesses.

Emerging businesses have the opportunity to receive EGP 500,000 in funds in return for four to eight percent equity as well as a four month training period.

One of the start-ups this initiative incubated is ‘Hood’, “a mobile app that provides a device for users’ cars synced with the app, assessing the driver’s use of the car, their driving style and car consumption,” co-founder Abdelrahman Saeed explains in a press release by the ministry.

 

*Cover photo: Rise Up Summit/MENABytes

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In an abrupt turn of events, passengers flying through British Airways on Saturday were shocked to discover that the airline has cancelled all flights to and from Cairo for seven days, citing ‘security reasons’.

“We constantly review our security arrangements at all our airports around the world,” the airline said in an official statement on its website, “and have suspended flights to Cairo for seven days as a precaution to allow for further assessment.”

The decision was mirrored by German airline Lufthansa on Saturday.

“As safety is the number one priority of Lufthansa, the airline has temporarily suspended its flights to Cairo today as a precaution, while further assessment is being made,” a Lufthansa spokesperson said according to the Financial Times.

The news, not touching upon a specific security issue, comes after the British Foreign Office updated its travel advice on Friday and then on Saturday to reflect the British Airways suspension.

“There’s a heightened risk of terrorism against aviation. Additional security measures are in place for flights departing from Egypt to the UK,” it stated.

According to Reuters, there had been a round of security inspection by British staff at Cairo airport on Wednesday and Thursday, just days following the updated travel advice and flight suspension.

As with most travel advice coming from Australia, the US and a majority of European countries, travel to most sites in Sinai Peninsula was advised against. The office, however, added travel to Sharm El Sheikh (by air) and the west of the Nile Delta.

Egypt has had a tumultuous history with aviation and averting terrorism.

Despite heightened security measures in airports throughout the country, namely Cairo International Airport, the downing of a Russian airliner over the Sinai Peninsula in October 2015 and the crash of Paris-bound EgyptAir flight MS804 has strongly stayed in the consciousness of tourists interested in Egypt and foreign governments alike.

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In an abrupt turn of events, passengers flying through British Airways on Saturday were shocked to discover that the airline has cancelled all flights to and from Cairo for seven days, citing ‘security reasons’.

“We constantly review our security arrangements at all our airports around the world,” the airline said in an official statement on its website, “and have suspended flights to Cairo for seven days as a precaution to allow for further assessment.”

The news, not touching upon a specific security issue, comes after the British Foreign Office updated its travel advice on Friday and then on Saturday to reflect the British Airways suspension.

“There’s a heightened risk of terrorism against aviation. Additional security measures are in place for flights departing from Egypt to the UK,” it stated.

According to Reuters, there had been a round of security inspection by British staff at Cairo airport on Wednesday and Thursday, just days following the updated travel advice and flight suspension.

As with most travel advice coming from Australia, the US and a majority of European countries, travel to most sites in Sinai Peninsula was advised against. The office, however, added travel to Sharm El Sheikh (by air) and the west of the Nile Delta.

Egypt has had a tumultuous history with aviation and averting terrorism.

Despite heightened security measures in airports throughout the country, namely Cairo International Airport, the downing of a Russian airliner over the Sinai Peninsula in October 2015 and the crash of Paris-bound EgyptAir flight MS804 has strongly stayed in the consciousness of tourists interested in Egypt and foreign governments alike.

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In coordination with the Ministry of Tourism, Aswan’s governor Ahmed Ibrahim announced a project to renovate Philae Island, turning it into an open tourist attraction to be placed within the agenda of tourism programs in a way that is compatible with the nature conservation plan, reports Sada el Balad.

Ibrahim also mentioned the new vision of using the mountainous highlands surrounding it to build a new hotel or motels in Nubian architectural style, as well as bazaars, cafeterias and restaurants.

The vision also includes the establishment of a museum that tells the story of the rescue of the temples similar to the museum of Abu Simbel, to provide all the historical and archaeological information and enjoy a full touristic experience.

Previously, the temples were visited by President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi and a youth delegation from the Arab-African Youth Forum held in Aswan.

The temple has a great display of sound and light that takes viewers on a journey from the past to discover the myth of Isis and Osiris with dazzling lighting and great music.

The Philae temple was dedicated to the goddess Isis, the wife of Osiris and mother of Horus. Isis is considered to be a very important figure in the ancient world, as she is known to be the enchantress who resurrected Osiris and gave birth to Horus – a giver of life, a healer and protector of kings. She was also known as ‘Mother of God’ and was represented with a throne on her head.

 

 

 

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Caricature by Doaa Adel on Amira’s case

Last Monday, Amira Ahmed Rizk, a junior high school student, was detained for 15 days in a juvenile detention center after she was charged with premeditated murder for stabbing her rapist 14 times.

The 15-year-old girl’s case has been sent to medical and forensic examinations, with investigations still ongoing, and the weapon used in the crime was sent to the criminal laboratory for examination.

The National Council for Childhood and Motherhood (NCCM) commented on the incident in a report, “we offer her all the support,” and pointed out that the legal support unit in the Council was directed to assign a lawyer to follow up and attend the investigations and provide support and support to the girl.

Dina Fouad, Rizk’s lawyer, explained the full story on the TV program ’90 minutes’, stating that Rizk was in a relationship with a young boy named Ibrahim, who agreed to meet her in a zoo in Giza on Friday. Though the narrative was changed as she was surprised to find another friend with him, and Ibrahim later took her mobile mistakenly as a ‘joke’ and then disappeared with it.

Later on, when Rizk tried to get her phone back by calling it through another phone, another person answered and told her to come and get it in the specified place. On her way to the place, she found the two boys in a microbus and went with them. After the boys left, the driver insisted to take her home, and then drove towards a deserted mountain area where the incident of rape began. At first, Rizk rejected his advances, but after threatening her with a knife, she tricked him with consent before taking the knife to stab him 14 times and ran to a police station to report her case.

“The girl was in a state of legitimate self-defense, and the case is not limited to murder only, but also the kidnapping of a female,” Fouad said.

The lawyer added that the young girl is in a state of extreme shock, and that she must be rehabilitated after release. Fouad also stated that she is waiting for the final report that would prove her innocence, and assured that the prosecutor’s decision to detain the girl in custody and to imprison the two young men for investigation confirms that the public prosecution is taking steady steps to achieve justice and support.

Janet Abdel-Alim, a researcher in gender crimes, told BBC that the case should be characterized as “self-defense rather than murder”, as well as giving priority to psychological support rather than confinement.

However, Dr. Ahmed Mahran, lawyer and director of the Cairo Center for Political and Legal Studies, told Sada Al Bada that the girl was not in a state of legitimate defense, as she stabbed him 14 times and not just one or two times, and that there was a great distance between the driver and the girl.

“The presence of women in the judiciary is important. Whatever the case, a man may not know what a woman is suffering,” says Counselor Mohammed, who specializes in issues related to violence against women.

Many on social media came in full support for Amira, with the hashtag “#فتاة_العياط” trending, and calling for her release.

However, at the same time, some criticized her actions of going out with young people and accepting to ride a microbus with them without the knowledge of her family.

These conflicting reactions were demonstrated recently during the African Cup of Nations in Egypt, with the case of Egyptian football player Amr Warda, who was accused of harassing a woman and was dismissed from the team to be quickly returned to play with his team.

At the time, there was widespread sympathy from different groups of Egyptian men and women, with even Mohamed Salah tweeting for people to give him ‘a second chance’. There were also others who found several justifications for him, and insulted some of the girls who exposed him.

 

 

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Credit: CNN

On Friday night, AFCON 2019 drew to a close in Egypt with Algeria securing the decisive goal against Senegal just two minutes into the game, one of the fastest ever in an AFCON final.

Baghdad Bounedjah’s shot that looped over Senegalese goalkeeper Alfred Gomes was enough to give the Northern African country its second AFCON title since they first won against Nigeria back in 1990.

While Senegal dominated for the rest of the match, they were not able to score an equalizing goal. This is only the second time they have made it to the final since 2002 and they have yet to win the African cup.

Credit: Yahoo Sports

Initially scheduled to be hosted in Cameroon, Egypt was chosen to be the host of the 32nd AFCON back in January 2019, the cup taking place from 21 June to 19 July. Hosted in six stadiums across the country, the final was held in Cairo’s International Stadium, which has a capacity of up to 75,000 seats.

The host country and expected winners surprisingly exited the tournament as early as in the first round after a 1-0 loss to the Republic of South Africa. Egypt has the team with the best record in AFCON’s history, winning seven titles since the tournament was founded sixty-two years ago in 1957.

Credit: CNN

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After weeks of uproar, Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah World Fest has announced that Janet Jackson, Chris Brown and 50 Cent will headline the festival, replacing female artist Nicki Minaj. 

Minaj, whose initial involvement in the concert raised eyebrows, pulled out of the concert over LGBT and women right concerns in the kingdom.

“While I want nothing more than to bring my show to fans in Saudi Arabia, after better educating myself on the issues, I believe it is important for me to make clear my support for the rights of women, the LGBTQ community and freedom of expression,” had stated Minaj.

A day later, the festival organizers shared a photo on its social media pages, namely Facebook, where it stated that the concert was ”inclusive for all people.”

Jeddah World Fest, intended to be “one of the biggest music events ever staged in the Middle East”, was supposed to take place on July 18 at King Abdullah Sports stadium, in the coastal city.

It seeks to attract an audience of concert-goes aged 16 and older, both from the country and from around the world. For the sole purpose of the concert, the festival is also marketing and promising faster visa issuance.

Other artists performing at the concert include British musician Liam Payn, Tyga, Future and American DJ Steve Aoki.

As per the official Jeddah World Fest website, tickets are already sold out. However, fans on social media have lamented the continuous change of artists and schedule with many demanding to have their tickets reimbursed.

In the last year, Saudi Arabia has hosted a throng of artists who have given concerts such as the Black-Eyed Peas, Mariah Carey, Sean Paul, Enrique Iglesias and David Guetta.

It has also witnessed massive concerts by famous Egyptians artists such as Hamaki, Amr Diab, Tamer Hosny and even composer Omar Khairat.

Nonetheless, human rights critics have continued to lambast the petrostate for its slow efforts in giving equality to women as well as its poor handling of the murder of journalist and Saudi government critic Khashoggi.

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Credit: Nadia Rifaat

It’s summer, it’s beach time, and if possible we all just want to lie on the beach and get some sun and much needed relaxation.

For some, however, summer is also a top money-making season: We all know the beach vendors, who wander back-and-forth across the sandy beaches in hope of selling us some of their tasty snacks or refreshing drinks.

This phenomenon is not unique to Egyptian beaches, of course, with beach vendors of sorts being popular all across the Mediterranean and beyond, mostly recognizable by their calling-out what is on offer in their boxes or baskets.

During the summer, Egypt’s Sahel is particularly famous for its many luxurious food splurge options and here are a selection of popular snacks and drinks you are likely to encounter on the beach and might want to nibble on or sip:

Freska are what Egyptians call the round, sweet, paper-thin wafers often sold at the beach as vendors carry them inside large cases over their shoulders.

An Italian invention, where the word means ‘fresh’, the snack is popular along the Mediterranean shore of Egypt, with Alexandria formerly being home to many Italians.

The tasty desert consists of two layers of wafer biscuits with various fillings such as nuts, beans, sesame or coconut.

Credit: NPR

Similarly, eating gandofli, fresh clams, on the beach is a typical summer habit, especially in Alexandria and along the North coast.

Often eaten raw, they must be very fresh or else there is a risk of food poisoning. If the shell is open, the gandofli should be avoided.

Credit: NPR

For the more daring, so-called sea urchins have become quite a popular savory seafood trend, their flavor often being compared to oysters. It may seem weird at first to eat the small round and spiny creatures, yet they are considered a delicacy in many parts of the world, including the Mediterranean region.

They are full of protein and minerals and are also considered to be aphrodisiacs. Generally, they may be served both raw and in prepared dishes, adding a tasty twist to pasta or on toast, for instance.

Credit: Alamy

It needs not even to be restated that ice cream in summer never gets old — and whoever seeks a healthier alternative might instead opt for frozen yogurt, which comes with a variety of toppings and does not compromise on taste.

Available in many flavors and served in cones or tubs, you will find countless vans and authentic-looking Italian gelaterias lined up behind the beach.

Credit: Scoop Empire

Want to combine quenching your thirst on the beach with some refreshing juices? Our top choices right now are a classic Egyptian vitamin-C-fueled lemon and mint but also a red grape juice, which is packed with nutrients and antioxidants to make for a rejuvenating summer break.

Credit: Shamloula

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