Wednesday,19 June, 2019
Current issue | Issue 1413, (11 - 17 October 2018)
Wednesday,19 June, 2019
Issue 1413, (11 - 17 October 2018)

Ahram Weekly


Palms on fire

A FIRE swept through palm plantations near the New Valley village of Al-Rashda on Friday, threatening residential areas. Thirty seven people were reported injured, the majority after inhaling smoke.

According to villagers it is the fifth big fire to break out in Al-Rashda village in the last few years.

Authorities declared a state of emergency, cutting off electricity and evacuating nearby houses. Fire fighting vehicles backed by air forces helicopters battled the flames for more than 16 hours before the fire was brought under control.

New Valley Governor Mohamed Al-Zamalout was quoted as saying the fire had affected an area of 100 feddans of mainly palm plantation at one point threatened to spread to a nearby village. According to Al-Zamalout the fire started as a group of farmers were burning agricultural waste and high winds spread the flames.

Ultras detained

ON SATURDAY the Higher State Security Prosecution ordered the detention of seven Al-Ahly fans for 15 days pending investigations into chants raised during a football match between Al-Ahly and Guinea’s Horoya AC on 14 September.

The prosecution has accused the seven of membership of an illegal group, spreading false news and inciting against state institutions. In May 2015 the Court of Urgent Affairs banned Ultras groups – associations of hardcore football fans – labelling them terrorist organisations.

During the match, held in the Military Production Stadium in Dar Al-Salam as part of the African Champions League, chants by football fans included calls for the release of detainees and attacks on the head of Saudi Arabia’s General Sports Authority Turki Al-Sheikh.

Al-Sheikh is a major investor in Egypt. Following the match he announced on his official Facebook page that he is considering withdrawing his investments from Egypt due to “strange attacks from every side” which he described as “a headache”.

Khaled Ali travel ban

HISHAM Abdel-Meguid, investigating judge in what has come to be known as the foreign funding case, issued an order banning prominent rights lawyer and former presidential candidate Khaled Ali from travelling abroad on Saturday.

The case dates back to 2011 when a number of rights groups, NGOs and activists were accused of receiving funds from abroad with the aim of harming national security. Ali had not previously been part of the case and denies any involvement beyond defending some of the defendants.

Last month an appeals court upheld a suspended three-month prison sentence against Ali in a case dating back to 2017. Ali was accused of offending public morals by making an obscene gesture with his finger outside a Cairo courthouse after winning a final ruling overturning an agreement transferring the sovereignty of two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia. The agreement was later implemented after being endorsed by a majority of MPs.

Temple wedding outrage

OFFICIALS who allowed a wedding ceremony to be celebrated in Karnak Temple in Luxor are to be interrogated, it was announced on Sunday. The move came after social media reports that a wedding party with more than 300 guests was held inside the temple on Thursday night went viral.

The head of Al-Karnak Temple said the party organisers had presented all the required approvals. Mustafa Al-Waziri, the chairman of the Supreme Council for Antiquities, says the tourist company that organised the event had received permission to hold a dinner at the site and not a wedding party.

“A legal complaint will be filed against the company for violating the terms of the permission it received,” he said.

Representatives of Luxor tourist companies say commercially renting the town’s temples out for any kind of function is unacceptable. They issued a statement condemning the way temples were being used as restaurants and party venues.

The Nile-side temple Karnak complex is Luxor’s major tourist attraction.

Former justice minister dies

FORMER justice minister Mamdouh Marei died on Sunday at the age of 80. Funeral prayers were held on Sunday afternoon at Al-Mowasah Mosque in Alexandria.

Marei served as justice minister from 2007 to 2011 after holding a number of senior positions. He was chief justice of Cairo Appeals Court from 2001 to 2003 and chairman of the Supreme Constitutional Court from 2003 to 2006.

Marei began his career in 1957 as an assistant prosecutor before becoming a judge in first degree courts and then in appeals courts.

Compiled by Mona El-Nahhas

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