Leading member of Egyptian opposition Hisham Genena attacked and badly injured

In this file photo, people walk by a special forces soldiers guard in front of the National Election Authority, which is in charge of supervising the 2018 presidential election in Cairo, Egypt.(AP)
Updated 27 January 2018
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Leading member of Egyptian opposition Hisham Genena attacked and badly injured

CAIRO: A leading member of an opposition campaign which was until this week challenging Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in upcoming elections was attacked outside his home on Saturday in what his lawyer described as a failed kidnap attempt.
Hisham Genena, a former anti-corruption watchdog chief, had been working to elect former military chief-of-staff Lieutenant General Sami Anan, the last challenger seen as a potential threat to the re-election of Sisi in polls slated for March.
Anan's campaign was abruptly halted after he was arrested this week and accused of running for office without military permission.
Anan's family said on Saturday that his exact whereabouts remain unknown.
Genena had just left his home in a suburb outside Cairo when two cars stopped him and a group of men attacked with knives and sticks, Anan's spokesman, Hazem Hosny, told Reuters.
Security sources said the alleged attackers were questioned at a police station along with Genena just after the incident.
The Interior Ministry could not be immediately reached for comment.
Pictures later posted on social media and verified by Genena's family show him with a badly battered eye and a blood-soaked bandage wrapped around his knee.
His lawyer, Ali Taha, told Reuters that Genena was taken to a hospital to be treated for a bleeding eye and several fractures.
"It was a failed kidnapping attempt..(it) was stopped when bystanders interfered," said Taha.
"They were trying to kill him," his wife, Wafaa Kedieh, told Reuters.
As Egypt's top auditor, Genena had stirred controversy by publicly concluding that government corruption had cost the country billions of dollars. He was sacked by Sisi in 2016.
Last week an army statement read on state TV said Anan's presidential bid amounted to "a serious breach of the laws of military service" because as a military officer he was required to end his service and get permission before seeking office. 


Iranian bread permanent guest at Kuwaiti tables

For decades, Taftoon bread has been a staple of Kuwaiti dinning tables. (AFP)
Updated 17 July 2019
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Iranian bread permanent guest at Kuwaiti tables

  • Taftoon has remained popular in Kuwait despite escalating tensions in the past year between Iran on one side and the US on the other

KUWAIT CITY: Khalil Kamal makes sure he regularly visits Kuwait’s popular Souq Al-Mubarakiya, where he enjoys his favorite kebab meal with onion, rocket and freshly baked Iranian bread.
The smell of the bread wafts through the market as it bakes in a traditional oven at the Al-Walimah restaurant in downtown Kuwait City.
The restaurant’s Iranian baker takes one of the many dough balls lined up in front of him and spreads it over a cushion, using the pad to stick the dough against the inside wall of the clay oven.
Once ready, he uses a long stick to reach in and pull out a steaming rounded loaf, served piping hot to customers.
For decades, Iranian bread — known as taftoon — has been a staple of Kuwaiti breakfast, lunch and dinner tables.
“Iranian bread is the only bread we’ve known since we were born,” 60-year-old Kamal told AFP.
Hassan Abdullah Zachriaa, a Kuwaiti of Iranian origin, opened Al-Walimah in 1996. Its tables are spread across a courtyard, surrounded by wooden columns and entryways.
Zachriaa, in his 70s, said the restaurant puts out between 400 and 500 loaves of Iranian bread a day.
“The big turnout in Kuwait for Iranian bread stems from the fact that for decades, our mothers used to make it at home,” he told AFP.
“We then started to buy it from bakeries and stand in lines to get it fresh and hot in the morning, noon and evening.”
The flat bread is offered alongside many dishes popular in Kuwait such as Al-Baja, lamb bits stuffed with rice, Al-Karaeen, cooked sheep feet, classic chickpea plates, or beans and cooked fish.
Almost all restaurants in the old market have their own traditional clay ovens where either Iranian or Afghan bakers work.

HIGHLIGHTS

• Taftoon is offered alongside many dishes popular in Kuwait such as Al-Baja, lamb bits stuffed with rice.

• Almost all restaurants in the old market have their own traditional clay ovens where either Iranian or Afghan bakers work.

• The bread has remained popular in Kuwait despite escalating tensions in the past year between Iran on one side and the US on the other.

• Bakeries specializing in Iranian bread began popping up in Kuwait in the 1970s and have since expanded to more than 100.

Derbas Hussein Al-Zoabi, 81, a customer at Al-Walimah, said many Kuwaitis were raised on Iranian bread.
“Since childhood, Iranians baked bread for us ... and we used to eat it in the morning with milk and ghee” — clarified butter.
Other than at street markets, Kuwaitis can buy Iranian bread from co-ops, where people line up in the early hours of the morning and again in the evening to get the freshly baked goods.
Some bakeries even have designated segregated entryways for men and women.
Some Kuwaitis customise their orders with spreads of sesame, thyme and dates, and many come prepared with cloth bags to keep the bread as fresh as possible on the trip home.
Bakeries specializing in Iranian bread began popping up in Kuwait in the 1970s and have since expanded to more than 100, according to deputy chief of the Union Co-operative Society Khaled Al-Otaibi.
“These bakeries produce 2 million loaves of bread a day to meet the needs of Kuwaitis and residents,” he told AFP.
“They receive fuel and flour at a subsidised price so that bread is available for not more than 20 fils (less than seven cents).”
The price however can go to up to 50 fils depending on the amount and type of additives, including sesame and fennel.
Taftoon has remained popular in Kuwait despite escalating tensions in the past year between Iran on one side and the US on the other.