Posts in English

Let's Map Qursaya

Photo of Qursaya

While the Army is trying to lay its hands on Qursaya, the island has almost no presence on Google maps. I propose we change this with OpenStreetMaps.

Essam el-Haddad is lying

Photo of Essam El-Haddad with words LIAR LIAR

Essam el-Haddad, one of the Muslim Brotherhood top members and Mursi's assistant on foreign relations and international cooperation, wrote yesterday on his Facebook page the following:
 It is important to note, after the wide circulation of news around attempts to limit free speech through the court system in Egypt, that neither the presidency nor the government pursued any legal action against the comedian, Bassem Yousef. The complaints issued against him, were mainly individual initiatives by independent lawyers. The Egyptian legal system as it stands, based on the old constitution, allows any citizen to file legal complaints against defamation. Moreover, the new legislative framework, as per the new constitution, does not include any articles that single out the president as immune from criticism, or even defamation. The elected parliament will take on the responsibility of issuing legislation based on the current constitution leading to a new legal framework that will support freedom of expression.
This is a very obvious lie. On two accounts.

First Free/Open Source Software protest in Egypt

From Egypt Independent:

A group of technology activists gathered in front of the Cabinet on Sunday morning to protest a governmental deal with software giant Microsoft to buy licensed software for public agency worth almost US$4 million. 
On 26 December, the official Facebook page of Prime Minister Hesham Qandil announced that one of the Cabinet's main achievements is that it sealed a deal with Microsoft to buy and maintain licensed software for the government worth $43,762,321, to be paid over four fiscal years.

Morsi cracks down on psychiatrists

Last week, Dr. Manal Omar was summoned along with TV host Mahmoud Saad by the prosecution and questioned for seven hours over one of their TV episodes on Nahar TV. She is accused of insulting the president. A lawyer from the presidency filed the case on Morsi's behalf. In this video she made indirect references to Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood and their number two, Khairat el-Shater.

Dr. Omar is a psychiatrist specialised in child and adolescent psychiatry. She started to appear on TV following the Mohamed Mahmoud clashes last year to inform the public about trauma, psychology and psychiatry in general. During my early training in psychiatry I used to attend her clinic. As trainees we used to consider ourselves lucky when we had time during our rotations to do so.

She was explaining why some victims of trauma may play the role of the victimizer. This is a very important and valid topic in psychology. As many violent criminals were originally abused during childhood, victims may feel the compulsion to harm themselves or others. This can be due to a number of psychological, social or biological explanations. For instance the traumatised individual may feel the compulsion to harm others as a way to have control over their lives, even for a brief period of time. This happens without total insight and may or may not be followed by guilt.

She was refuting the common misconception that victims will not perpetrate what they have experienced because they have seen how bad it is. This is again a very valid point and she meant to address the Muslim Brotherhood.

Dr. Bibi's Surgery

Egypt police is fighting children

This is crazy. They are all kids on the frontline. Aged 9 and up. Average age by the look of it is 15. Kids lie to me about their age, say 12 when they are clearly 10 years old. Most are wearing surgical masks and eyes red from teargas.

By asking a few why they are here, they say their older brothers were injured or killed by police. It's not clear if this is meant literally or not.

Morsi, CSF and Torturing Protestors on Air

Not only protesters are being teargassed and hit at by shotguns in their face on the outskirts of Tahrir square. They are being dragged, beaten and tortured on the streets. This is not new. What's new is that this was broadcasted live on TV tonight. This happened before during Mubarak and SCAF. But it's new for Morsi.

Morsi: I want the people to revolt against me immediately if I don't respect the law and constitution

This was recorded during Morsi's presidential campaign. This video is going viral today after Morsi's latest constituional powergrab.

Question: I am not going to vote for you because you will sit on the throne and will never leave.

Doctors still struggling for decent conditions

Very little is spent by the government on health care (5.7% of total government expenditure). While private expenditure (from people's own hard earned cash) on health care is higher than what the goverment pays. Thousands of medical graduates every year are introduced to a difficult job market where they have few options.

Examining the election results with Benford's test

The Benford law is a very interesting mathematical observation of naturally occuring numbers. In such numbers the frequency of the first digit from 1 to 9 has a certain pattern. One third of all numbers will have number 1 as the first digit, 17% will have number 2 as the first digit and 12.5% will have number 3 and so on.

Image from Wikipedia.

This can be used to detect if numbers have been manipulated. This is commonly used in detecting financial fraud and sometimes election data.

The Judges from Egypt* group published a detailed count of the presidential elections runoffs between Ahmed Shafik and Mohamed Morsi. The data is of 350 main electoral stations, which provides sufficient granularity to examine the phenomenon described.

Plotted in the graph below is the rate for Morsi, Shafik, invalidated ballots and the ideal Benford rate.

You can see that there isn't much deviation and the numbers follow Benford's law (green line). In Morsi's first digit the number 6 and 7 are more frequent than expected. I used the chi square test and it wasn't a significant difference (p=0.99).

Although article 28 of the constitutional declaration means that whatever result published by the Presidential Election Committee is final. If the data is published in sufficient detail we can compare the numbers to what have been collected so far and see if the final numbers were manipulated.