Wednesday,19 September, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1169, (24 - 30 October 2013)
Wednesday,19 September, 2018
Issue 1169, (24 - 30 October 2013)

Ahram Weekly


Al-Ahram Weekly

Transformer fire

CIVIL defence forces and engineers on Tuesday were in the process of fixing a High Dam transformer at one of its power stations which caught fire. An official source from the station said that the fire did not cause any stoppage of electricity production and added that the station was still working effectively. He maintained there would not be a power cut. Civil defence forces and ambulances extinguished the blaze with the help of workers at the station after a sudden short circuit in one of its transformers. No casualties were reported. According to High Dam officials, the company in charge of maintenance should be able to fix the problem within two weeks.


Trains are back

EGYPTIAN railway stations resumed work this week after a two-month halt, the first time in its history, Nesmahar Sayed reports. Partial transport from Cairo to five governorates restarted on Tuesday. “For security reasons the Misr Railways Association had to stop long distance trains all over the country,” Rashad Abdel-Ati told Al-Ahram Weekly. The re-operation of 28 trains daily came in coordination with the Ministry of Interior and the military forces, Abdel-Ati added. Trains had stopped after the forced dispersals of Brotherhood supporters from the Nahda and Rabaa sit-ins in August and the increase in terrorism operations in Egypt. According to Mohamed Al-Sisi, a policeman at the Railways Association’s investigation department, the security plan includes securing the entrance of the train stations, guarding the main roads through which trains pass, and the presence of policemen inside trains. “In addition there is checking the passengers and their luggage by electronic gates at the entrance of the train stations,” Al-Sisi added. According to Nagwa Albert, a top railways official, the partial re-operating lines are Cairo-Alexandria and back, east governorates Ismailia and Mansoura, Monouf (Cairo-Tanta) and Manashi routes (Cairo-Itay Al-Baroud). “Re-operating the five lines on the first day was 70 per cent,” Albert said.


Al-Baradei facing trial

THE SECOND session of the case against former vice interim president Mohamed Al-Baradei has been set for Saturday 26 October. The Nasr City Misdemeanour Court, headed by Judge Ahmed Thabet, adjourned until 26 October the trial of Al-Baradei who is accused of “betraying trust” by resigning following the violent dispersal of the sit-ins at Rabaa Al-Adaweya and Nahda Square on 14 August.

The lawyer who filed the charges against Al-Baradei based the case on the fact that Al-Baradei was chosen to be the state’s vice president as a representative of the National Salvation Front and the revolutionary forces, not because of who he is as an individual. The lawyer argues that Al-Baradei took the position as a representative and not as an individual, considering his resignation as “a betrayal of confidence”.

The lawyer adds that the resignation is considered a betrayal of the public, stressing that Al-Baradei’s failure to consult the national forces that appointed him before resigning “gave the international and foreign parties an impression of him that is contrary to reality”.

Al-Baradei was named vice president following Mohamed Morsi’s 3 July ouster as president.

Al-Baradei’s resignation had been met with anger from his allies at the National Salvation Front (NSF), with NSF members saying that they hoped Al-Baradei would have consulted them on the resignation. Moreover, the Tamarod movement, which spearheaded protests that led to Morsi’s overthrow, said Al-Baradei had escaped a “historical” responsibility.

Tamarod spokesman Hassan Shahin has attacked former political ally Al-Baradei, describing the tweet made by the former vice president a month ago as “shameful for those who trusted him”. Al-Baradei tweeted on 29 September that a “systematic fascist campaign by ‘sovereign sources’ and ‘independent’ media” had pitted itself against “upholding the value of human life” and “the inevitability of national consensus”.


Drivers set free

EGYPT’S ambassador to Libya announced on Sunday afternoon that the Egyptian truck drivers detained near the eastern Libyan city of Ajdabiya since Thursday night have been released.

Dozens of Egyptian drivers were seized alongside their trucks by armed men on the Tobruk International Road near Ajdabiya.

“Egypt’s embassy held successful talks with the eastern Libyan tribes in order to secure the detained drivers’ release,” Ambassador Mohamed Abu Bakr told state news agency MENA on Sunday.

Seventy-seven Egyptian trucks and micro-buses carrying goods bound for Egypt were stopped in Ajdabiya and detained by Libyan militiamen. Between 70-100 drivers and their assistants were taken hostage in the north-eastern Libyan town.

Before the release of the drivers, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry stated that it was communicating with Libyan officials and tribal chieftains to “secure the safety of the abducted Egyptians and guarantee their swift return to their homeland.”

Abu Bakr praised what he described as “significant cooperation” between the Egyptian and Libyan authorities. He also applauded the efforts of eastern Libyan tribes and chieftains who “contributed to the drivers’ release”.

The leader of the group that carried out the abductions stated on Saturday that the drivers would be released within 48 hours, MENA reported. He reportedly stressed that the abduction holds no political dimensions, stating that the abductors were ready to release the prisoners on condition that the Egyptian government releases Libyan nationals held in Egyptian prisons.

Libya’s borders with Egypt have become a hot spot for arms smuggling over the past two years, following the fall of former Libyan president Muammar Gaddafi.


No-show for Abu Ismail

CAIRO’S Criminal Court adjourned the case of Salafi preacher Hazem Salah Abu Ismail to 18 November on charges of forging his mother’s nationality in official documents. The judge adjourned the case because of Abu Ismail’s absence for the third successive time. Monday’s session marks the third time that Abu Ismail does not appear in person in court due to security reasons preventing his transfer from detention in Tora prison to the courtroom.

Abu Ismail was detained in early July in the crackdown of the interim authorities on Islamists following the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi on charges of inciting violence that led to the deaths of nine protesters in Giza. He was later accused of allegedly forging his mother’s nationality in the official papers submitted to the Supreme Elections Committee in the 2012 presidential elections.

Abu Ismail, a lawyer and Islamist figure with a wide following, was disqualified from the presidential race after reports that his mother held a US passport. The election law in Egypt bans candidates who, themselves or their parents, carry any nationality other than Egyptian.


High posts for women

THE GRAND Mufti Shawki Allam has issued a fatwa, or religious edict, on the Dar Al-Iftaa website that permits women to work in judiciary and senior state positions. Allam said women and men are the same in their obligations according to the Quran and Sunna, as equal obligations will help develop the community and achieve justice and equality. He added that many Quranic verses and the prophetic hadiths address both men and women with the terms “believers”, “people” and “those who believed”, even if the terms are masculine.

On Monday the National Council for Women (NCW) praised Allam’s fatwa. In a statement, NCW Chairwoman Mervat Al-Tellawi said that the mufti’s fatwa came at the right time “to refute ideas promoted by some individuals that women have no right to take top positions”. Al-Tellawi also stressed that Islam is a religion that honours women and gives them full rights.


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