Egyptians celebrate falconry heritage

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A Bedouin boy holds a falcon after using a pigeon to hunt in the desert during World Falconry Day at Borg al-Arab desert in Alexandria, Egypt, November 17, 2018. Picture taken November 17, 2018. (Reuters)
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A member of Al Qannas Al Masry releases his falcon during a celebration by Egyptian clubs and austringers on World Falconry Day at Borg al-Arab desert in Alexandria, Egypt, November 17, 2018. (Reuters)
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A member of EGY Falconer Club releases his falcon during a celebration by Egyptian clubs and austringers on World Falconry Day at Borg al-Arab desert in Alexandria, Egypt, November 17, 2018. (Reuters)
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Yasser al-Khawanky feeds his hunting Golden eagle during a celebration by Egyptian clubs and austringers on World Falconry Day at Borg al-Arab desert in Alexandria, Egypt, November 17, 2018. Picture taken November 17, 2018. (Reuters)
Updated 18 November 2018
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Egyptians celebrate falconry heritage

  • Under the slogan "Egypt ... Where It All Began", the birds of prey of the Egy Falconer Club soared through the clear blue skies

CAIRO: Egyptian falconers gathered in the desert of Borg al-Arab near Alexandria to celebrate World Falconry Day, hoping to increase awareness of the sport and help preserve the ancient tradition.
Under the slogan "Egypt ... Where It All Began", the birds of prey of the Egy Falconer Club, which organised the event on Saturday, soared through the clear blue skies and showed off their hunting skills, swooping on pigeons or rabbits.
Mohamed Mowafy, a member of the club, said falconry in Egypt dated back to the ancient Egyptians' worship of the falcon-headed god Horus.
The celebration brought together falconers from across Egypt and included a competition that featured more than 10 types of birds of prey, including a two-year-old golden eagle owned by Yasser al-Khawanky.
Among the younger competitors was 11-year-old Ammar, who said he was introduced to falconry by his father at the age of seven. Ammar named his light-feathered Shaheen falcon "Ashqar", meaning blond.


Battle for change far from over for women in new Sudan

Updated 8 min 35 sec ago
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Battle for change far from over for women in new Sudan

  • Women have been at the forefront of the revolt which led to Bashir’s overthrow by the military on April 11
  • A female lawyer was detained on the evening of Jan. 12 and escorted to “the fridge,” a grim room where interrogations are paired with extreme cold

KHARTOUM: She may have spent 40 days in jail for demonstrating against president Omar Al-Bashir who has since been toppled but activist Amani Osmane says the battle for women’s rights in Sudan is far from over.
Women have been at the forefront of the revolt which led to Bashir’s overthrow by the military on April 11 after three decades of iron-fisted rule.
Osmane, who is also a lawyer, was detained on the evening of January 12 and escorted to “the fridge,” a grim room where interrogations are paired with extreme cold.
“There are no windows, nothing, just air conditioning at full blast and the lights on 24/7,” she told AFP.
The fridge is part of a detention center run by the all-powerful National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) in a building on the Blue Nile that runs through Khartoum.
Dozens of activists and political opponents of Bashir’s regime have passed through what NISS agents cynically refer to as “the hotel.”
Osmane, who spent 40 days behind bars after a frigid seven hours of questioning, said she was arrested “contrary to all laws... because I stand up for women in a country where they have no rights.”
Another activist, Salwa Mohamed, 21, took part each day in protests at a camp outside the army headquarters in central Khartoum that became the epicenter of the anti-Bashir revolt.
Her aim was “to have the voice of women heard” in a Muslim country where she “cannot go out alone, study abroad or dress the way I want.”
Student Alaa Salah emerged as a singing symbol of the protest movement after a picture of her in a white robe leading chanting crowds from atop a car went viral on social media.
Portraits of Salah — dubbed “Kandaka,” or Nubian queen, online — have sprouted on murals across Khartoum, paying tribute to the prominent role played by women in the revolt.
Unrest which has gripped Sudan since bread riots in December that led to the anti-Bashir uprising left scores dead.
Doctors linked to the protest movement say that 246 people have been killed since the nationwide uprising erupted, including 127 people on June 3 when armed men raided the protest camp in Khartoum.
On Wednesday, protesters and the generals who took over from Bashir finally inked a deal that aims to install a civilian administration, a key demand of demonstrators since his fall three months ago.
The accord stipulates that a new transitional ruling body be established, comprised of six civilians and five military representatives.
A general will head the ruling body during the first 21 months of a transition, followed by a civilian for the remaining 18 months, according to the framework agreement.
“We will no longer wait for our rights, we will fight to obtain them,” said Osmane, stressing that women wanted 40 percent of seats in parliament.
Amira Altijani, a professor of English at the all-female Ahfad University in Omdurman, Khartoum’s twin city, said: “This movement is an opportunity for women to have their voice heard.”
For Osmane, Bashir “hijacked” sharia laws for three decades to oppress women.
“But a new Sudan is rising, with a civilian government that will allow equality,” she said.