360 degree panorama of Tahrir square

Not an amazing quality since it's done with a cheap point and shoot camera and poor lighting. You can blame the Egyptian army that deleted a better set of pictures from my camera a couple of days ago.

You can view a larger version here.

الشعب يريد إسقاط النظام

Deluge of news. This time it is very big.

Yesterday, young people were defiant despite the ban on protests. A thousand or more appeared from no where on the streets of downtown after every attempt to disperse, beat and arrest them by the police and police hired thugs.

Photo by Sarah Carr

تفجيرات الأسكندرية

مش عارف أرتب اللي عايز أقوله أو التفكير بوضوح بعد تفجير اليوم.

صور ما بعد الأنفجار تذكرني ببغداد.

ساعات من الرعب والهلع في مطلع عام جديد. صدمة.

هل العمل في التوعية في الموضيع الغير مثيرة للجدل مثل التعذيب هو تضييع وقت؟ بمعنى الناس كلها في أغلب الوقت متفقة على أن التعذيب يجب أن ينتهى وأنه بمجرد تغيير سيحدث قريبا أو بعيدا قد تحل المشكلة بشكل كبير؟ هل من الأهم العمل على التوعية بأهمية المواطنه والمساواه بين أصحاب الأديان المختلفة وتقبل الآخر؟ أم كل القضايا مهمه؟

من جهة أخرى حيوانات الحكومة التي لا تمل من خلق قصص مؤامرة وإتهام الموساد أو أمريكا أو أي حد عنده مصلحه.

وأنت ركز قبل إتهام جهة ممكن تكون ليها مصلحة. فكر كده هل هناك دليل على هذا؟ هل إستخدام العنف دائما خلفة مصلحة؟ هل هناك فعلا من يهتم بتفرقة المصريين عن بعض؟ هل هم محبين لبعض جدا؟ هل أعطوا بعض كل الحقوق؟ هل لا يتكلمون عن بعض بالسلب من وراء بعض؟ هل هم مختلطين جدا في كل النشاطات الاجتماعية؟

أقترح البعض حضور المسلمين قداس العيد مع المسحيين، ولكن هل هذا لائق في مثل هذه الأوقات؟ وهل هذا ما يريدون؟ أم هو تطفل عليهم في وقت خاص. فلم نفعل ذلك في أي وقت من قبل هل نتذكر الآخر فقط عندما تحدث الكوارث؟

هل نلوم الحكومة؟ فهي مقصرة بدرجة إجرامية في حق الأقليات (والأغلبية) أم هل نلومها لفشلها في تأمين الناس؟ الحكومة كانت المسئول الأول والمباشر عن أحداث العمرانية. لكن هذه المرة هل لوم الحكومة هو رد فعل مشروع؟ أم انتهازي؟ فالأرهاب صعب منعه بدون العمل على جذوره.

هل يعني لوم الحكومة لفشلها في تأمين الناس أنك تطالب بقوات أمن أكثر واجرائات أمنية وقوانين صارمة ومضيقة أكثر؟

أم ﻷنها تستثمر وقتها في القبض على النشطاء وتعذيبهم والمنع والتضييق على التظاهرات السلمية؟

صح العادلي مسؤول ومبارك وكل ده. فين تصريحات و أسف عمرو خالد لما حدث؟ فين مصطفى حسني، محمود حسان، الحويني، وكل الشيوخ الي بيروح يسمعلهم الآف من الشباب ويصلوا خلفهم وفاكرين أنهم علماء بجد ومهمين في حياتهم وبيرشدوهم؟

Zaha Hadid's Cairo Expo City will destroy Egypt's largest and most important Mental Health Hospital

UPDATE Wed. Dec 29, 2010:The Supreme Council for Antiquities announced today that building housing the Abbaseyya Psychiatric Hospital will be listed as an Islamic heritage site.

UPDATE Mon. Apr 18, 2010:
The designs changed on Zaha's website to include the hospital. Thanks to Luiz for the tip.

Original post:

Award winning Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid will help the Egyptian government destroy Egypt's largest mental health hospital, the Abassia hospital situated in the middle of Cairo, to build something called Cairo Expo City.

Cairo Expo City

Opened in 1883, after a fire consumed a number of royal palaces except for one that was painted yellow and named the Yellow Palace (el-Saray el-Safra) it became Egypt's first modern hospital for the mentally ill.

Now it's in an area of 28 hectares and has around 3000 beds, offers almost all major psychiatric sub-specialities and an outpatient and emergency psychiatry services. The hospital serves around 60,000 patients each year.

Old street sign written on it 'the hospital of the deranged street'

History of PTSD in Google Books database

Train accident in 1875 Sweden

In the 19th century, with the development of railway transportation, train accidents became a frequent source of death and serious injury.

Some of the victims claimed injury following an accident without a visible pathology. Jon Eric Erichsen, a British surgeon, in 1867 published a book called On Railway and Other Injuries of the Nervous System in it he argued that an unseen physical injury to the spine and brain caused the condition `railway spine.'

Railway spine was a concept that rooted the illness to the body and not the mind thus making it more legitimate and avoided stigma of mental illness.

Later, work by Jean-Martin Charcot, Piere Janet and Freud established the idea that overwhelming events can cause mental disorders.

Before WWI the terms “soldiers’heart,” “war neuroses” and “general nervous shock” were used to refer to the psychological casualties of combat. During WWI the term “shell shock” became widely accepted as it avoided the term hysteria. During World War II the U.S. military used the term “operational fatigue” or more often “combat fatigue.”

The new Kindle

Rehabilitation of Police Officers?

Since change from the top seems unlikely. Civil society should establish programs to reach out and provide alternative career options for current police officers who are willing to leave their jobs.

For example, they may help them transform into lawyers. NGOs may fund masters programs in different Law schools, provide them with extra tuition help, enroll them in human rights courses and help them establish small combined legal offices through grants.

Khaled Said

Exploring family relations from online obituaries using text mining and data visualisation tools

Using a copy of all the obituaries published online by the Ahram newspaper from January 2002 till April 2008 it is possible to use Linux command line tools (gawk, sed, bash) to find family relations between individuals in certain professions. An example given here explores the family links between a sample of 456 Egyptian state security officers.

This is a very brief description of the method.

  1. The first step is to convert the HTML files downloaded by curl into one giant text file.
  2. Then to move each separate obituary into a line of it's own.
  3. Extract officer names sandwiched between rank and place of work into a separate text file.
  4. Search for the names of each officer through each obituary, family links between different officers can be discovered.
  5. The output is in GraphViz .dot format, which draws a graph similar to the one below.
  6. Graph showing 63 family links between 174 officers from 456 Egyptian state security officers. Each link corresponds to a family tie of a variable degree of relationship including in-laws.

    Graph showing 63 family links between 174 officers from 456 Egyptian state security officers. Each link corresponds to a family tie of a variable degree of relationship including in-laws.

    This is just a preview of what might be possible using a data set of 43,156 obituary. Without control group(s), this graph says nothing other than it's pretty and that there are family links between officers. Other methods for analysis of data could be done using statistical methods to answer different questions.

    UPDATE: I attached the list of SS officers and the script used to find links between officers and output a .dot Graphviz file. You can download the obituaries dataset from here.

The NDP Synagogue 2

Lina Attalah and Mohamed El Dahshan of Al-Masry Al-Youm followed up on my post about the Magen Abraham synagogue that was turned into an NDP office in Hadayeq el-Quba. They did a very good job in finding answers to many of the questions regarding why this building is in such a horrible state.

the interior of hte synagogue

“This temple was built by the Adda family,” says Carmen Weinstein, president of the Egyptian Jewish Community Council (JCC).

"The Adda's were a Jewish Egyptian family of industrialists and bankers, who contributed to the growth of the Egyptian economy in the 1940s. I wish the state would preserve this temple, which is unique in this part of the city." For Jewish communities in Egypt before 1952 it was customary to erect neighborhood synagogues. "In each neighborhood, the local Jewish collectivity built a synagogue," says Weinstein, who also points out that while 29 synagogues once existed in Cairo, only 13 remain.

When contacted for more information about the building, Cairo Governorate officials expressed surprise with respect to the building's unusual status, and gratitude that Al-Masry Al-Youm reporters brought the matter to their attention. According to one governorate employee who wanted to remain anonymous, the building is recognized in the district's files, but has no licenses or ownership documents.

"This means that no measures of demolition, or restoration, have been taken with respect to the building. Nevertheless, the Hadayeq el-Qubba district headquarters believe the construction to be stable and safe," he says. "Since there has been no ownership documents for the synagogue, the government has put its hand on it."

Madness constitutes only 15% of all psychiatric diagnoses

Severe mental disorders constitute only 15% of all the psychiatric diagnoses in the ICD-10

The hypothetical column on the left is meant to show that as a result of the stigma of mental illness, most people think that mental illnesses are always severe.

Delirium is a totally reversible state, people with dementia need long term care and can never be more harmless. Lots of people recover from psychosis totally and some retain symptoms.