Saturday, 4 May 2013

Solar powered solutions to Egypt's energy crises

Egypt's fuel and energy problems are increasing at an alarming rate, but the solution may lie in one the country's most abundant resources - the sun. 

With electricity blackouts and fuel shortages becoming all to common, a group of young Egyptians believe the answer is to go green.

Ice Cairo have drawn on the 40 years worth of experience of solar power expert Adel Hanna to develop a low cost solar powered water heater that brings hot water into your home with no electricity - and crucially, no electrical bills.

What's more, they want to spread this knowledge. On what they call 'Solar Hackathons', they teach others how to construct the water heaters - created using local materials at an affordable cost. 

At this Hackathon, the Ice Cairo team went to the 'Deep South' camp in Marsa Allam to give a workshop. They hope that having a functioning working model there will encourage other camps and hotels - as well as local bedouins - to make the switch to solar power. 

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Port Said - City of Resisitance

Press 'captions' for English subtitles.

Video by Simon Hanna for Ahram Online. Still photography by Mohamed Nada.

Music by Port Said's El Tanbura.

Friday, 1 February 2013

Egyptians fight sexual assault

Egyptian activists are rising up against sexual harassment and sexual assaults that have recently plagued Cairo's Tahrir Square.

Formed in November 2012, Operation Anti Sexual Harassment is one of those groups. They consist of scores of volunteers who give up their free time to fight against one of the ugliest issues to emerge in Tahrir Square recently - sexual assaults targeting women.

The group distributes fliers in the square with their hotline number, which women call if they get attacked. The call reaches a control room, then organisers phone 'intervention teams' on the ground who immediately rush to the victim. The group attempts to remove her from the crowd, take her to a safe place and provide her with medical and psychological assistance. 

Tahrir - for over 2 years a symbol of Egypt's revolution - has suffered from fights, scuffles and clashes often attributed to the infiltration of counter revolutionary forces, and now violence against women seems to be the latest tool to undermine the demonstrations there.

On 25th January 2013, the two year anniversary of the revolution, Operation Anti Sexual Harassment dealt with 19 serious cases of sexual assault. Six women were taken to hospital due to their injuries.

Despite the horrific attacks, women are not staying away from the square. A week after the anniversary, women still made up a significant proportion of the Friday protests. 

Engy Ghozlan, a long time women's rights activist and member of Operation Anti-Sexul Harassment says women will not be deterred. "This won't stop women from going or force them to stay at home, nothing will prevent us from going. The street belongs to us as it belongs to anyone. This is our country and we will not be silent against sexual harassment. Not the type that happens everyday nor that of Tahrir... In Egypt there is no revolution without the participation of women and their security"

For more information, or to see how you can donate to Operation Anti-Sexual Harassment, visit their facebook page - or email

They are also on twitter: @OpAntiSH

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Ahly Ultras joy at Port Said ruling

Caution: Video contains strong language.

Jan 26 - There were wild celebrations outside the Ahly Sporting Club on Saturday after a court ruled against those accused of killing over 70 Ahly fans in Port Said last February.

The court handed 21 death penalties to the defendants.

In the moments after the court ruling, Ahly Ultras - hardcore supporters of the club - chanted against fans of Port Said and against former defence minister Mohamed Hussain Tantawi, who they hold partially responsible for the killings.

Friday, 25 January 2013

Protesters clash with police near Tahrir on Jan25 anniversary

Protesters involved in clashes with police on Qasr el Ainy street - moments from Tahrir Square - say that state security forces have fired birdshot at them, in addition to throwing rocks and shooting tear gas.

Witnesses say the clashes began on the evening of the 24th January when demonstrators attempted to take down a huge concrete wall on Qast el Ainy erected by security forces.

The fighting continued through the night and into the 25th - the second anniversary of the Egyptian uprising in 2011.

Tens of thousands of demonstrators are filtering through to Tahrir Square demanding the realisaiton of the revolution's goals, justice for those who died and an end to the Muslim Brotherhood's monopoly on state power.