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ALEXANDRIA, June 8, 2018 (MENA) - Russian Consul General in Alexandria Rashid Sadikov has asserted the depth of the Egyptian-Russian relations in all fields.

The Russian diplomat's remarks came during a ceremony held at the Russian consulate on Thursday night on the occasion of the Russian National Day.

During the ceremony, Sadikov extended his greetings to President Abdel Fattah El Sisi on winning a second presidential term. He also greeted the Egyptian people over their choice of the president for a second term in office.

His Beatitude Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa Theodoros II, a galaxy of Arab and European diplomats along with public figures attended the ceremony.

CAIRO, June 5, 2018 (MENA) - Egypt's Prime Minister Sherif Ismail chaired on Tuesday a ministerial meeting to review implementation of a project to renovate and upgrade Alexandria tram system, which represents one of the major transport facilities in the coastal city.

The project falls within the framework of the government's policy to address the accumulated problems connected with the transportation domain in the big cities.

During the meeting that was attended by the transport minister and Alexandria governor, they agreed to start implementing the project at the beginning of the new year.

The implementation phase is expected to start after finalizing the projects's consultancy work and related studies especially pertaining to Alexandria's entire urban transport system.

The attendees agreed as well to assign the National Authority for Tunnels with carrying out the required consultancy work given the great experience it has in such projects.

The tram’s management will be entrusted to a new company, a step that requires benefiting from a foreign bureau to offer needed consultancies in this domain.

The Alexandria governor said that the project aims to offer an advanced service to the citizens through upgrading facilities, stations and locomotives, a move that would contribute to increasing the tram’s carrying capacities and easing traffic congestion in the Mediterranean metropolis.

The average number of passengers to be ferried by the tram per day is expected to range between 250,000 and 300,000, he added.

He pointed out that the costs of the project are estimated at about 360 million euros, adding that it is set to be finalized by early 2022.

7 minutes early

By Ramadan A. Kader

Some audience of the provincial Alexandria radio was last week confused when the broadcaster aired the azan, or the call to prayer at sunset seven minutes before it was scheduled.

Muslims in Egypt often depend on the azan aired by television and radio stations to alert them to the time of the Iftar at sunset in the holy month of Ramadan when they observe a dawn-to-dusk fasting.

The Iftar signal is particularly important for people living in remote areas where there are no mosques in the vicinity to broadcast the Maghreb (evening) azan.

The discovery of the premature broadcasting on the Alexandria radio raised anger and drew condemnation on social media with some commentators expressing worry that their dawn-to-dusk fasting was invalidated for having taken the Iftar meal before the actual time.

The row prompted head of the state Alex radio, Eman Fatallah, to refer three employees, including an anchor and a technician, to investigations over what she called an “unprecedented, grave mistake.”

“The inquiry is aimed at determining who is behind this grave professional mistake and punish the one responsible,” she told private newspaper Youm7.

MP Hosni Hafez, a lawmaker representing Alexandria, called for sacking anyone found responsible for the incident. “What happened constitutes grave negligence against the institution [radio] and citizens,” he said. “There should be a swift inquiry and the one
responsible should be punished.”

Hafez told the same paper that the premature broadcasting of azan made around 5 million Muslims in Alexandria break their fast.

“Most people in the governorate rely on hearing the azan on the radio to start having their Iftar. This mistake exposes irresponsibility and grave dereliction on the part of the crew who was on duty.”

Muslim clerics, meanwhile, sought to allay local Muslims' worries about the validity of their fasting on that day.

“Those who broke their fasting, depending on the premature azan, did not spoil their fasting because they did not do this intentionally,” said Sheikh Mohamed el-Agamy, a senior official at the Waqfs religious affairs department in Alexandria. “Guilt is on the one who broadcast the azan prematurely if he did this on purpose.”

CAIRO, June 4, 2018 (MENA) - Chinese Consul General in Alexandria Xu Nanshan stressed the depth and strength of Egyptian-Chinese relations in political, economic and cultural fields.

In an interview with MENA on Monday, Nanshan said that several ventures are being studied to be implemented with the Egyptian side in the domains of energy and transportation, including establishing a port and a electric train that links between Cairo and Alexandria as well as projects of waste management and sanitation.

The Chinese diplomat commended the Egyptian government's efforts to improve the economic climate, which, he noted, has become more and more attractive for the Chinese investments.

He pointed to the significant increase in the number of Chinese tourists in Egypt, adding that Egypt is one of the most favorable tourist destinations for the Chinese people.

He also valued the efforts exerted by Egypt to lure investments and tourists. "You can see the Chinese tourists everywhere in Egypt," Nanshan he noted.

A number of cultural events will be held in Alexandria in the coming period, in which Chinese artists will partake, the consul general said, noting that there is an agreement of twinship between Alexandria and Shanghai cities.

Nanshan underscored Egypt's great influence in the Middle East and Africa regions, asserting that China supports Egypt's role in fighting terrorism and achieving security and stability.  He described the Egyptian-Chinese relations as "solid and close".

Relations between the two nations are at their best, he said, highlighting the friendship between President Abdel Fattah El Sisi and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

CAIRO, May 19, 2018 (MENA) - Egypt's Social Solidarity Minister Ghada Wali assigned the rapid intervention team of the ministry to investigate videos and photos that were circulated on a Facebook page, showing supervisors at an orphanage in Alexandria assaulting children living at it.

In statements to MENA on Saturday, the minister said that the local rapid intervention team paid a surprise visit to the El Rashad orphanage in Alexandria on Friday and inspected the nine children living at it.

The team found no child injured in the way that was displayed in the videos, Wali said.

Wali added that the orphanage is believed to be a cooperative one, terming it as "good" in terms of cleanliness, education and care provided for the children.


CAIRO, May 5, 2018 - The head of Egypt's Coptic Orthodox Church, Pope Tawadros II of Alexandria and patriarch of the Saint Mark Episcopate and all Copts, inaugurated Saturday the renovated altars and icons of St. Athanasius Church in Syouf district in Alexandria, according to a statement released by the Coptic Orthodox Church.

St. Athanasius Church was established in 1962.

The Pope also opened the church’s refurbished service building after the completion of its expansion work.




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