Egypt


Harleys to Howard Carter

Harleys to Howard Carter


Posted By on Nov 7, 2012

I really meant to write more about all of the 8,000+ miles I put on The Boss (my Harley) this year but got caught up in … life. My 92-year-old dad has had health problems, I was attempting to fulfill a promise to myself to start writing a book I want to complete, and in all that, I took a left turn. I did get to work on schedule in September, working on an extensive outline for the book and getting more than 10,000 words of a first draft down on the page. As I worked on that, I started investigating the technical aspects of self-publishing, and creating and marketing eBooks. It occurred to me that one way to get savvy about e-publishing would be to—publish an eBook. I looked at the 300-something physical books on my shelves and realized that many of them, especially the rare and out-of-print ones, would be of interest to others and would make a good test case. One day while I was driving, it hit me like a thunderbolt to wonder if anyone had ever done an eBook of Howard Carter’s The Tomb of Tut.Ankh.Amen. This three-volume set has been published many times and was the book that got me interested in Egypt as a young boy. To my astonishment, I not only found out that there was no eBook, I discovered the book is in the public domain. As you can see by the image above, the past two months have been spent starting a new business: BIG BYTE BOOKS. This has been a really great learning experience and very fulfilling. Volumes I and II of Carter’s great work are now available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble at very affordable prices. Anyone with a Kindle, Nook, or a smartphone can download them.     There are many other titles that I want to make available. Most of them would cost anywhere from $25 to a few hundred dollars or more in paper. The eBooks will be available for anywhere from $.99 to $9.99. This is going to be fun and I hope you find something of interest on the website in the coming months....

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Rita Zawaideh is one of my dearest friends and has been recognized locally and nationally as an activist, humanitarian, and businessperson. There is almost no one in Washington politics, from the Governor, our two Senators, and our congresspeople who does not know her on a first name basis. And she’s been harassed by the city of Seattle this year in a very un-American way. She gives tirelessly of herself to aid immigrants by holding fundraisers, including garage sales. If she can be targeted in this way, so can any of us. Please distribute this widely, and follow-up with two actions: 1. Call and email Seattle DPD Director Diane Sugimura: 206-233-3882,  diane.sugimura@seattle.gov 2. Call and email Mayor McGinn: 206-684-4000,   http://www.seattle.gov/mayor/citizen_response.htm (For more info see Real Change News article ) Laws of Invention: Seattle DPD and Creative Enforcement by Howard J. Gale The City of Seattle Department of Planing and Development (DPD), welcomes people to its website with a message from Director Diane Sugimura stating the DPD’s “commitment to making our services accessible and understandable. Our primary goal is to provide you with quality service as we carry out our mission–managing growth and development within Seattle in a way that enhances quality of life.” Rita Zawaideh’s recent experience with the DPD trying to quash her now famous charity garage sales in Wallingford (at Bridge Way N & N 38th St), looks at first glance like a case of one individual who ran afoul of city red tape. Further investigation into the DPD’s actions has revealed some serious issues of accountability lurking behind the DPD’s citizen friendly facade. I reviewed dozens of records from the DPD, obtained under Washington State’s Public Disclosure Act, to investigate what was behind DPD’s zealous prosecution of Zawaideh. A review of what I’ve learned over the last three months reveals impropriety and bias. While the source and nature of the bias remains unclear (dislike of Arabs, immigrants, activists, or just people who have garage sales?), the information at a minimum documents DPD favoritism, selective enforcement, defensiveness bordering on the paranoid, and an undue fascination with the background of people who might complain about DPD actions. The information I’ve seen indicates an irrational unwillingness on the part of Sugimura, as director of the DPD, to respond to citizen complaints in a constructive fashion. Unusual speed of response: Less than 24 hours after a single complaint was filed concerning Zawaideh’s garage sale, the DPD telephoned the person who complained and then promptly issued a “Service Request” (the first step in investigating a suspected violation). A site “inspection” followed in four business days — an unusually speedy response from the DPD for a potential violation...

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Cairo, Egypt Tuesday, February 1, 2011 “I used to call them the spoiled brats of the internet,” one Cairo woman confessed. “Now I kiss their feet,” she said, referring to young men who broke the Egyptians long record of endurance under a dictatorial regime. Today, the seventh day of the revolt against President Mubarak and for democracy in Egypt, 2 million people are said protesting in Cairo.  Some have estimated 8 million nationwide; that’s 10% of the population and that, technically speaking, is a revolution. In Alexandria, the people are standing shoulder to shoulder from one end of that long city to the other. It’s not the usual protestors; everyone knows them – like the Kifaya party (Enough) and the April 6 movement people. No. This is everyone: we see huge clusters of women in their bright colored scarf’s – like a meadow in spring – and the men don’t even flirt with them because the ethic of protest is respect. Crowds open up for people in wheelchairs and assist those walking with canes. The people, once assured that the Army’s interest was in protecting them, fell into easy cooperation.  Troops and people parade side by side,  Egyptian flags raised.  They work together to check people for weapons. People who live near Tahrir Square cook for the protestors.  In Helwan, south of the city, supplies of cooking gas ran out.  Some of the young men in the area located supplies in a neighboring area and delivered them back to Helwan, door-to-door. In the upsurge of pride, some protesters have pulled framed photos of Gamal Abdel Nasser, president of Egypt from 1954 to , off the walls of their homes and wave them above the heads of crowd – reminding their fellow Egyptians of the last time, during the pan-Arab movement, when they felt such self-respect and promise. Everyone uses the same words of protest.  Everyone is on message. There is no doubt that Mubarak is leaving. Power of the Army. It’s true that the army has tremendous economic power in Egypt and that they may be thinking of their own interests as well as those of the people in allying with the protesters.  But, in this country, the army is highly respected; it’s considered the institution of last resort and so far, they are deserving of that respect. Furthermore, from a realistic standpoint, a revolution without their blessing wouldn’t succeed, if only because they hold that tremendous economic power. Muslim Brotherhood, not. The Brotherhood will not assume leadership.  Contrary to what many westerners believe, they don’t have that influence – fact seriously distorted by President Mubarak, who wanted to...

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This is a post from an Egyptian-American psychologist friend in Cairo who sent this to Rita Zawaideh for sharing. Cairo, Egypt Sunday: 9:30pm Today, the fourth day of what must now be called an Egyptian revolution, 100,000 people showed up in Tahrir Square, the political center of the people’s protest against President Hosni Mubarak and his government and for democracy and government respect of the people. Not a bare spot was to be found. The size of the gathering was unaffected by the government’s shutdown of the internet and cell phone services. Nor the fact that it shut down Al Jazeera in Arabic, the county’s main source of news. That fact is, that in spite of the tremendously rapid growth in internet and cell phone use in Egypt, the major pathways for news are mosques—whose messages sound throughout the city each day and which provide public gathering places for the people, and word of mouth. Neighborhood are extremely tight-knit; people help each other—lending money, bartering for services, adjudicating quarrels, offering aid and spreading news. Since very few move house, the ties are long, complex and meaningful.  Neighborhoods tie the country together.  Word travels efficiently. Mohamed al-Baradei At some point, Mohamed al-Baradei, former Nobel Peace Prize winner and spokesman for authentic democracy in Egypt, announced that he would be willing to form an interim unity government. The people’s opinion of al-Baradie is mixed. He’s been out of the country for decades, most recently as head of the IAEA International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and many see him as an interloper and there are others with long established reputations for leadership and opposition to the government. Still, in my opinion, it’s important now that a titular leader emerge. The people will get tired; they need people to replace those who were in positions of power and who are leaving the country in droves. Among many others, President Mubarak’s son, Gamal, often mentioned as a likely successor to his father—much to the peoples’ disgust—is said to be in London with his brother and their respective wives. Meanwhile, the police have returned to the streets and  protesters keep the pressure on one of main sites of oppression, like the Ministry of Interior (known locally as the Ministry of Torture). Today shots were heard from inside the building and there are rumors that the Minister abandoned the country. F-16s over Cairo Early this evening, my apartment rattled violently. Two F-16 fighter jet coming in low to buzz Tahrir Square. The people shout louder. In a phrase which rhymes in Arabic, they yell “You fly; we stay.” Army tanks rolls toward square while rumors spread...

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