Governor, Please… Bring the billboards down

The Billboard at Maadi Kornish Entrance

The Billboard at Maadi Kornish Entrance

Overnight, and while the residents of Maadi were sleeping unaware, the first of the symptoms of the Helwan take over appeared so grotesquely all over Maadi’s urban landscape.

At all the districts’ entrances, which are considered the urban gateways of Maadi; suddenly and out of the blue, these humongous billboards sprung out, as if made overnight by some evil work of demons (or orcs!!!).
These billboards are intolerable and dangerous, aesthetically and functionally, for many reasons.

Aesthetic these horrid billboards ruin the rather elegant and harmonious urban landscape of maadi, a suburban district that enjoyed since it’s initial planning and establishment in 1904, a unique and quiet vicinity, and managed to retain this distinctive characteristic against the continuous urban expansion of the adjacent districts.

Furthermore, these hideous billboards spoil the gateways of Maadi and leave a lasting impression on the residents and visitors.

The Billboard at Maadi Autostrad Entrance

The Billboard at Maadi Autostrad Entrance

Now, functionally speaking, these billboards distract drivers approaching the busy entrances of Maadi and may cause traffic jams if not accidents. In addition, and more hazardously, I don’t think that these billboards are the safest structures, judging by it shape. I don’t claim to be a structural expert, but my limited structural knowledge, and my observation of the shady Egyptian means of construction, would make me worried driving under these billboards daily!

All the above have derived me to form a facebook group , which advocates for bringing these outrageous monstrosities down and the implementation of  strict outdoor advertising regulations. And going further in calling on the banning of the construction of new billboards in all Cairo suburbs and regulating the use of the billboards that already exist in a way that would protect the visual environment of Cairo.

We request that the government would issue a more strict building code regulating billboards all over the capital and form a Legislative and Regulatory Center to control outdoor advertising.

Bans on billboards exist in various parts of the world—even America. Vermont, Maine, Hawaii and Alaska all prohibit them, as do some 1,500 towns.

In the UK, billboards are controlled as part of the planning system. To display such an advert is a criminal offence with a fine of up to £2500 per offence (per poster). In Europe, the Norwegian city of Bergen does the same and many others are imposing severe restrictions on billboards: the mayor of Moscow, for example, is about to introduce regulation to reduce their number and size.

We’ve raised this issue before in Zed mag’s October issue; But this is far more precarious, explicit and dangerous.

If you are concerned for Maadi, and Cairo raise awareness and raise your voice. We are preparing an email template to be sent to all relevant governmental offices and institutions and media outlets. We will email the media, talk about it in talk shows (radio and TV) and voice out our objection.

Join the facebook group and invite your friends to stop the blight of billboards that is plaguing our city.

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War-Genocide as an election stunt!

Olmerian dreams!

Olmerian dreams!

Yahoo! News wrote today: “Analysts maintain a victory for hard-liner Benjamin Netanyahu in Tuesday’s parliamentary vote could shift Israel’s dealings with the Palestinians away from negotiations and toward an even tougher line against Hamas.”

Now what does that mean? Seriously?!!

“Netanyahu could shift Israel’s dealings with the Palestinians away from negotiations”!!!

Was Israel Negotiation with the Palestinians, to start with??? have the peace process not been in halt mood for more than 5 years now?

Or did they not notify me that they changed the meaning of the word Negotiations, so that it now means massacres and carnage?

“… toward an even tougher line against Hamas”

Meaning? what “tougher” action can Israel do? NUKE GAZA?!

What difference would it make if Likud’s Netanyahu wins the election or Kadima’s Tzipi Livni… or even the Labor’s Barak?!
They are all hard liners who threaten (or actually promise) to kill more Palestinians… for the satisfaction of the Israeli nation!
They all have no intention of resuming negotiation, with Hamas or Fatah!
They all have no desire for peace, be it in Gaza or else where…

There is NO PEACE that is “coming soon” to the middle east…
No Prospect for Palestine or a Palestinian state, only more blood and misery, while the world continues watching…

Just an afterthought, from the news archives: “The election frontrunner and leader of Israel’s right-wing Likud party, Benjamin Netanyahu, informed Middle East envoy Tony Blair that he would continue the policy of the Israeli governments of Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert by expanding settlements in the West Bank, in contravention of the Road Map.”

Obama: A New Hope?

First Published on Obama’s inauguration day:

A new hope?

A new hope?

First of all, I would like to Congratulate the American People and the world with departure of the abomination, otherwise known as George W. Bush. Finally! This demon for a president should have left 8 years ago (not 4! He shouldn’t have been president in the first place), yet the Americans re-elected him, and probably, if the constitution allowed it, he would have found enough rednecks to re-re-elect him… with another fear and hate campaign of his.

(Sign the petition to Arrest & Prosecute Bush for War Crimes at “The petition site” or Join the facebook group)

Secondly, which concurrently occurs, I would like to Congratulate them (this time the Americans only, bar the world), with the inauguration of Barak Hussein Obama (the “Change” they wanted) as America’s 44th President.

Now Obama’s presidency and rise to power are phenomenal and inspirational on so many levels, to the Americans and the world, this we’ve to admit.

A lot of people will be tuning in to his Inauguration Ceremony, to which he cinematically followed Lincoln’s route and which comes a day after Martin Luther’s day, just like a huge Hollywood finale to an epic story. (even Israel ended it’s criminal assault on Gaza, so as not to steal Obama’s thunder, after all, you can’t celebrate a proper presidential inauguration to the drums of war, and the wailing of the women and children, these comes well after he is settled in the embracing warmth of the oval office).

And although, I don’t want to spoil a good party, or ruin the euphoria of optimism that is surging all over the globe.

Still I couldn’t help but notice that as Mr. Obama is preparing to take the oath of office, there is evidence that, he doesn’t have all the answers he promised and there are no expectations for quick fixes.

The calculatedly sober tone Mr. Obama has adopted — most recently in his no-applause-line speeches — has provided something of a reverse from for the 2 years long Messiah image, that Mr. Obama so successively maintained.

He now knows that his promise to withdraw from Iraq within 16 months is “unrealistic”. Already he declared he is reconsidering the time frame for closing down Guantanamo Bay detention facility (Gitmo), he was quoted as saying it might not be as “easy” as he thought it was and calling it “a challenge” at sometimes.

The economy “hot fix” might turn into the economy “cold fix” as projections predict that the American economy might stay in recession for another two years.

As for foreign policy Mr. Obama, surprised the world with his utter silence towards the Gaza War, he gave no comment at all (neither for nor against Israel), while giving the feeble explanation that “There is one president at a time.” [1]

Two weeks into the assault, he gave another flimsy statement saying that the “Gaza Violence” is “Heartbreaking”.

All these stances coupled with his choice administration[2], reveal that, now that he is down to business, Obama knows well that not all his promises are attainable, at least not in the time frames his campaign had promised. Some might even say that he has cast down the mantle of the Messiah and wore the suit of the politician… and we know that no one likes the Politician suit!

You might discard these remarks as mere skepticism, coming from a cynical person, and they might as well be.

I sure hope I’m wrong and he is the “change” he promised to be (for Americans sake if for anything), I hope that he fixes everything that is wrong with America (if anyone can ever do that!). And that their economy would spring back to life, the American army would leave Iraq entirely, health care coverage would be for all and, to quote Hillary Clinton (now Secretary of State) back when she was still an Obama enemy, “celestial choirs will be singing and everyone will know we should do the right thing and the world will be perfect.”!!!

But I know for sure, that even if all of this really happens, this doesn’t mean a shift in the American foreign policy or it’s strategy in the middle east.

The echoes of Mr. Obama’s “Change” will not ring down here…

So Americans, Congratulations, enjoy it while it lasts…

The rest of the world: Don’t expect change to come from outside, it usually comes from within!

However, in the spirit of celebration and festivity, Zedmag have prepared a little something for Obama and his supporters, you can download Obama’s “New Hope” poster from Zedmag’s website

(Download Hi-Res Wallpaper no. 5)

Enjoy using it in the ceremonies and may you have a rather “Hopeful” 4 years

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Footnote 1: When Mr Obama arrived in Washington, his first appointment was with the House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, because as he said “the business of the people cannot wait”. He has made statements on the economy, the carmakers’ bail-out, and the attacks in Mumbai – so why so little on Gaza?
Footnote 2: In reference to the appointment of the new foreign policy team, the Mr. Obama’s campaign promise of change looks less than exciting considering his choices.
One there is the appointment of the Israeli-American congressman “Rahm Israel Emanuel” as White House Chief of Staff, Rahm is a well known Zionist as his name suggests, who served in the Israeli Defense Force, as recent as the 90s.
Then there is Hillary Clinton who was appointed as Secretary of State, Hillary is not a Zionist, but with Zionist ties, and surly not friendly to Palestinians or Arabs in general.
If anything this means that the case is closed and we shouldn’t expect any fresh thinking or new approaches to Middle East peace.