Egyptian Chronicles

Sunday, September 24, 2017

The Media Empires in Egypt : The Egyptian Falcon

From two weeks ago, Tawasul group announced that it acquired Cairo-based Hayat TV Network from Sigma Media Company in what was described as the biggest media deal in the past couple of years in Egypt.

Tawasul, a subsidiary of Falcon International group declared that it acquired the TV Network founded in February 2008 for LE 1.4 billion “ USD 79million“.

Some say that it is the media deal of the decade but the majority of that money is used to pay the channel’s debts according to its former owner and founder El-Sayed Badawy.
Badawy, the current leader of New Wafd Party aka Wafd Party revealed in the media that the debts of the TV network reached USD 57 million “More than one billion Egyptian pounds”.

It was not a big secret in the Egyptian media realm in that the TV network that once had the highest ratings in the country struggled financially in the past two years.
For more than 8 months the employees in the channel did not get their salaries regularly and they had strikes from time to time.

The Egyptian Media Production City “EMPC” took the channels off the air July on Nile Sat for 24 hours for not paying their studio rents for an over a year and filed a lawsuit against Sigma Media for issuing dud checks in the same month.

For months we have heard and read that that businessman or this media company was negotiating with El-Sayed Badawy and in the end, he reached to a good deal with Tawassol group or rather Falcon International group.

The announcement was not just a declaration that Badawy, the famous politician and pharmaceutical tycoon was leaving the media but it was an announcement that there was a new player in the Egyptian media scene.

That player is Tawassol or rather its mother company “Falcon group” and those behind it.

Who owns the Egyptian Falcon officially?

Falcon International was founded officially in 2006 by the Commercial International Bank “CIB” as a private security company providing private security, cash in transit, general services, and properties management.
It started as the security department originally in the bank before it was turned into a company with 400 employees that grew into a huge Corporation and a group with not less than 6 subsidiaries in 11 years.
Its customers are multi-national companies in Egypt from big names like Orange to Allianz to the United Nations.

Falcon security personnel
Falcon security personnel "Falcon Group official website"
Officially and on papers, Falcon is a joint venture between CIB (40% of the shares), CIB Employees Fund (19.59% of the shares), Al-Ahly for Marketing (5.46%) and undisclosed private entities (35%).
Its current CEO is Sherif Khaled Ibrahim Attaya or Sherif Khaled. In a report about the company in 2014 in Al-Ahram Daily, it is revealed that Khaled was a retired army general who served as the undersecretary of Egypt’s military intelligence.
After leaving the army, Khaled was appointed as the head of the security sector in Egypt’s Radio and Television union “ERTU”.

Usually the head of the security sector in ERTU comes from the army or the state security aka National security.
It is unclear for me at least when he left the army to work in the state TV or when he was appointed as Falcon’s CEO.

Currently, Falcon International is not only operating in the 28 governorates through 13 branches in Egypt but it also operates in Saudi Arabia and UAE with more than 12,000 employees.
Again according to Ahram Daily News’s report about the company in 2014, most of the company’s employees are former and retired officers whether in the army or the police.

Since the inauguration of Egypt’s first private security company “Care Services” in 1979 by former army general Adel Emara to secure the American embassy and that field became a mecca for former military and police personnel.
In 2012, Falcon was also assigned to secure presidential candidate Ahmed Shafik.
Share :

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Seen in Cairo : Another Nile view with questions about its future With GERD

Location 5 Al Nile, Oula, Giza, Giza Governorate, Egypt
Egypt's Nile

 And who could get bored of a scene like that?
 From Egypt’s Giza, an overview of Cairo’s towers and buildings on the other bank of River Nile.
In case you do not know, Egypt's foreign affairs minister Sameh Shoukry expressed official Egyptian concerns concerning the late and delayed technical studies of the Ethiopia's Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam "GERD" at last somehow. 

Do you still remember Ethiopia's Biggest dam that may affect Egypt's share of Nile River negatively but Ethiopia denies so ??

Share :

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Does not this mean bigger external debt for Egypt ?

On Sunday, Reuters said that Egypt’s ministry of finance has asked the cabinet to approve two new Eurobond issuances. According to two sources that spoke with Reuters, the two Eurobond issuance will be in late 2017 and in 2018.
The first issuance will be ranged between 1-2 billion Euros before the end of 2017 while the second issuance will be ranged between from $4-8 billion in 2018.
Egypt's external debt
From Google images -_-
The Egyptian government has already sold $7 billion in 5, 10 and 30-years Eurobonds on the Luxembourg stock exchange in early 2017.
Also in November 2016, Egypt signed an agreement for a three-year $12 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund “IMF”
Now the simple question I have in my mind: Do not those new Eurobonds mean a bigger external debt for Egypt ??
The external debt of Egypt is scary right now.
It has reached in the fiscal year 2016/2017 which concluded in July to $73 billion !!
I did this graph to see the external debt of Egypt from 2010 to 2017 and it is not good.
Share :

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Kodak Agfa presents : A 2016-Ramadan night in Khan El-Khalili Market

Location El-Gamaleya, Qism El-Gamaleya, Cairo Governorate, Egypt
First of all, due to my own personal reasons I have been away from the blog the past few days but I am back thank God to rant as usual ;)
It is never too late to share with you a couple of photos I took in the famous Khan El-Khalili market during the Holy month in 2016.
It has become an annual habit for me as well many Egyptians like me to spend to have a Ramadan Iftar "breakfast" there and hang around in the famous market's alleys.

In 2015, I went to Khan El-Khalili market also in Ramadan and I spent a good night there.
I entered Khan El-Khalili as usual from Al-Azhar square.
In 2016, Al-Azhar Mosque was still being restored then just like in 2015.
The restoration works have not finished yet as far as I have read lately in September 2017.

Al-Azhar Mosque and Mohamed Abu Dahab Mosque
Al-Azhar Mosque was still under restoration works 
I want to visit the Mohamed Abu Dahab Mosque. The 18th-century ancient Mosque looks amazing from inside already according to the photos I found online and I feel it is so underrated.
Abu El-Dahab and Al-Azhar Mosques
Al -Azhar Mosque and Abu Dabab Mosque 

I also want to know what building is standing beside Abu Dahab Mosque and a school.
Besides Abu Dahab Mosque
What is that old building? 

Share :

Monday, September 11, 2017

Days at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo : Mariette Pasha's Tomb

The Egyptian Museum in Cairo does not only include the Sarcophagi and mummies of ancient Egyptians who died thousands of years of ago but interestingly it includes the tomb of its original founder: Auguste Mariette Pasha

Just outside the museum in your way to the exit, you will find a big statue standing over a fancy Art deco sarcophagus, surrounded by a semi-circular memorial topped by busts of men.
Mariette Pasha's tomb at the Egyptian museum in Cairo
Bad iPhone photo for the Memorial 

That's the tomb of French archeologist Auguste Mariette Pasha "1821-1881".

Frenchman August Mariette was the first curator of the first true Egyptian Museum in Egypt as well the founder of Egypt's first official Egyptian department of Antiquities aka the Supreme council of antiquities aka the Current ministry of antiquities.

The big irony is that Mariette Pasha was not the founder of the Egyptian Museum in its current location but he was the founder of the true Museum dedicated to Egyptian antiquities under the supervision of the Egyptian department of antiquities.
Share :

Friday, September 8, 2017

Rebellion in Egypt’s Clubs : Beyond Classism

On Thursday, Egyptian Olympic Committee “EOC” rejected a request from The Egyptian Shooting Club to hold another General assembly meeting on Friday to have a new vote on the Club’s bylaws and rules once again.

The Upper Middle class-Giza club held its general assembly meeting early August and out of 94 thousand members, only 573 attended the meeting.

As a result of failing to meet the minimum number of members eligible to vote on the famous club’s bylaws, the club would be following the guideline bylaws issued by the EOC instead of the Club’s elected board of administration’s bylaws.

An old 1950s news report in some old
Egyptian magazine about Cairo clubs 
What followed then at upscale and Upper/Upper middle classes clubs in Cairo was hysteria and panic reaching to the level of mobilization for a vote to save the “clubs’ independence and class” that some considered unjustified. Before going on with that August hysteria, I must go back a couple of months to explain what is going on.

In May, the Egyptian Parliament approved the new Sports law prepared by Egypt’s Sports and Youth ministry “Yes, we have a ministry with such name” after two years of debates and amendments.
In June, President El-Sisi ratified the Sports law aka No.71 for the year 2017.

Aside from creating a judicial body that has the power to judge sports disputes and to regulate spectators’ attendance and violations “aka a special court, not a civilian court”, the law also regulates the relation between the government or the state and sports clubs as well sports associations.

Compiled as much as it can be with the provisions of the International Olympic Charter, the law moves power and control over sports clubs and sports associations to the elected boards of those bodies themselves as well to the Olympic Committee in Egypt. The government represented in the Youth and Sports Ministry and its minister will be monitoring only the sports clubs and sports associations.

Theoretically, this is a huge improvement because now officially and legally the State has got no control on the clubs and sports associations if their General assemblies chose the official guidelines bylaws over their clubs’ bylaws.
Share :

By Year , By Month