“Egypt is among the top 10 jailers of journalists, according to CPJ’s annual census conducted on December 1. The country was the third deadliest for the press in 2013, CPJ research shows.” – read more…http://www.cpj.org/2014/01/anti-press-abuses-on-third-anniversary-of-egypt-up.php
“Today, the Committee to Protect Journalists joined other leading international media freedom and human rights organizations, including Article 19, Index on Censorship, and Reporters Without Borders, in calling on the European Union and United States to demand Egyptian authorities drop charges against Al-Jazeera journalists and release those under arrest.” – read more … http://www.cpj.org/blog/2014/01/terror-charges-for-al-jazeera-in-egypt-prompt-outc.php
“Reporters Without Borders condemns the Egyptian government’s continuing crackdown on news media and journalists.” – read more… http://en.rsf.org/egypt-more-worrying-violations-of-11-12-2013,45590.html
SOUNDS ALL TO FAMILIAR TO JOURNALISTS COVERING EGYPT OVER THE YEARS:
Iaca ne plimbam noi asa prin Rosia Montana si dam de o cladire care a fost frumoasa la vremea ei dar acum era lasa in paragina de asteptam sa se darame. Admirand-o de la distanta, am pus camera la ochi sa trag o poza cu usa aia cand, ce sa vezi, colac peste pupaza…am vazut o tablita deasupra cu un bine cunoscut logo al “Dusmanului numaru 1 al Apusenilor” (considerat de unii) si poate al intregului popor.
Si uite ce scria pe placuta :
Oare despre ce mentenanta este vorba daca cladirea arata in halul asta !?
Around Doha. A touch of rain to wash the dust away.
25th Dec, 2013. Christmas morning, when people all over the world celebrate and enjoy, Pungesti community was questioning the democracy in Romania (EU member and Schengen Area aspiring country) and wondered when they will be listened to by the politicians they previously trusted and voted for (that so aggressively campaigned against such destructive projects before the elections) hoping they will start defending their rights and care for the country’s future rather than for their own pockets.
As soon as I entered the village I understood what was the general feeling during the communist era in Romania. I was greeted by a police road block that checked every person’s id. I felt privileged my driver and I didn’t have to put on the effort of pulling out our id’s from our back pockets. Sure it had something to do with the fact that I have announce my presence a week in advance , and to add to the communist era feeling ,authorities weren’t keen on making a bad impression. Driving around the only paved road of this village where most of the people have long crossed their 60Th birthday, I was impressed with the police forces deployed there to defend the “mighty and generous” Chevron from the fury of a handful of angry senior citizens.
I was touched by the reaction of my driver as we were cruising along. He was a bit surprised by all the commotion around saying that ” he hasn’t seen such a high number of riot police gathered in one place since the 1989 Romanian revolution against the communist regime of Nicolae Ceausescu”. Trying to have short conversations with the villagers , I was shocked at the fear installed in them by the intimidation techniques employed by the authorities. An old man, fetching water from a well down the road, was clearly scared to talk out loud. ” We were beaten and unlawfully fined by the police, we can not walk on the road in groups of more than 2-3 people, they even searched our houses in the middle of the night and threatened us” he whispered leaning in. A shop keeper, recognizing I am not a local and before I could say good morning, was quick on letting me know, upon me entering to buy a coffee, that he has no clue of what is happening in the village, he knows nothing of whom the protesters are or anything else I might be interested to know about the protests.
The people of Pungesti took matters into their own hands and started protesting against the oil giant Chevron and the shale gas fracking project so vehemently promoted by Romanian government. On 2nd Dec , 2013 and after months of protests, the first scuffle took place between protesters and riot police. The Vaslui district prefect ordered a road to be cleared after being blocked by peasants worried about their treasured land and water sources being polluted by the controversial fracking procedure that Chevron will use in their quest for profits from shale gass. On Dec 17th after the bruises (obtained during the previous encounter mainly from pushing and being dragged on the ground by police) healed , people took stand again against the police forces defending the corporation that was allowed to poison their future. This time the scuffle turned into a brawl with grandparents and environmental activists fighting riot police and managing to destroy the fence that surrounded Chevron’s installation. This opened the road for the head of Vaslui District Police (Pungesti village belongs to Vaslui District) to declare Pungesti a zone of “special security for public safety” (it is worth mentioning that the law states that such measure should be taken when on a relatively small area are concentrated illegal elements like extreme violence, drug trafficking, prostitution etc) . Ironically, the inhabitants of the village seemed to be under threat from the huge number of police forces deployed in the area that used threats and fines, arrests and all sort of wired accusations as intimidation methods to deter land owners, farmers and simple peasants from protesting.
Hunger strike is now considered the last resort as people are decided to continue the fight for their rights and freedom, for their land and precious water sources (which they harvest through old fashioned wells scattered around the village) not be polluted by the greed of a handful of corupted politicians (starting with the the district council president Dumitru Buzatu and ending with the Romanian prime minister Victor Ponta). People like Alexandru Popescu ( who took his protest to the capital city of Bucharest and now he is in his 22nd day of hunger strike) and few Pungesti residents have decided to continue their huger strike till their demands for a democratic, free and just Romania are met, Chevron stops their activities and corrupted politicians and policemen guilty of abuses against protesters are brought to justice. They hope that people will once again come together and fight for what they believe in, for a free and democratic Romania and for a healthy future for their children.
“To be ignorant of what occurred before you were born is to remain always a child. For what is the worth of human life, unless it is woven into the life of our ancestors by the records of history?”
A minaret is a distinctive architectural feature of mosques,usually either free standing or taller than the connected support structure.
Other than providing a visual cue to a Muslim community, the main purpose of the minaret is to provide a vantage point from which the call to prayer is made.
The earliest mosques lacked minarets, the call to prayer performed elsewhere; hadiths relay that the Muslim community of Medina gave the call to prayer from the roof of the house of Muhammad, which doubled as a place for prayer. Around 80 years after Muhammad’s death the first known minarets appeared. ( Paul Johnson, Civilizations of the Holy Land.)
The tallest minaret, at 210 metres (689 ft.) is located at the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca, Morocco The tallest brick minaret is Qutub Minar located in Delhi, India. ( Jamal Malik, Islam in South Asia)
“Life is a difficult assignment. We are fragile creatures, expected to function at high rates of speed, and asked to accomplish great and small things each day. These daily activities take enormous amounts of energy. Most things are out of our control. We are surrounded by danger, frustration, grief, and insanity as well as love, hope, ecstasy, and wonder. Being fully human is an exercise in humility, suffering, grace, and great humor. Things and people all around us die, get broken, or are lost. There is no safety or guarantees.
The way to accomplish the assignment of truly living is to engage fully, richly, and deeply in the living of your dreams. We are made to dream and to live those dreams.”
It was built from 1609 to 1616, during the rule of Ahmed I. Its Külliye contains a tomb of the founder, a madrasah and a hospice. The Sultan Ahmed Mosque is still popularly used as a mosque.
The design of the mosque is the culmination of two centuries of both Ottoman mosque development. It incorporates some Byzantine elements of the neighbouring Hagia Sophia with traditional Islamic architecture and is considered to be the last great mosque of the classical period. The architect, Sedefkâr Mehmed Ağa, synthesized the ideas of his master Sinan, aiming for overwhelming size, majesty and splendour. – (Wikipedia)
“I’ll be here tomorrow
If I can make it through today.”
The signs of progress…?
Fooling around with some snapshots !
“The frame, the definition, is a type of context. And context determines the meaning of things. There is no such thing as the view from nowhere, or from everywhere for that matter. Our point of view biases our observation, consciously and unconsciously. You cannot understand the view without the point of view.” – Noam Shpancer
“There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.” – Ernest Hemingway
“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt
“All censorships exist to prevent anyone from challenging current conceptions and existing institutions. All progress is initiated by challenging current conceptions, and executed by supplanting existing institutions. Consequently, the first condition of progress is the removal of censorship.” – George Bernard Shaw