EIt is part of the new reality of aviation that more aircraft are on the ground than in the air. According to calculations by the consulting firm Cirium, 17,000 jets have been decommissioned in the wake of the Corona crisis. That corresponds to a good two thirds of all passenger aircraft. And it presents the airlines with unforeseen problems: Usually, half a million people are in the air at any time of the day or night, space for these aircraft was never provided on the ground. The Lufthansa Group alone is currently parking 580 of its 763 aircraft not only at its Frankfurt and Munich hubs, but also at BER, Cuxhaven / Nordholz Airport and the Dübendorf military airfield near Zurich.
“Criteria include parking fees and the on-site infrastructure for maintenance options,” says a spokeswoman. Because major European airports charge up to 250 euros per hour for parking an airplane. Lufthansa has therefore moved part of the fleet to Amman in Jordan and to Teruel Airport near Valencia. “With around 240 days of sunshine a year and little rainfall, the region is particularly well suited for the parking of aircraft.”
Aircraft cemeteries, the name of which does not necessarily indicate that they will be scrapped soon, are often located in desert regions not only for reasons of space – the largest is Davis-Monthan Air Force Base near Tucson, Arizona. The arid climate protects the machines from corrosion and water damage, the seclusion from theft and vandalism. This is also not cheap: To keep a Boeing 777 airworthy, for example, up to 300,000 euros a year are due.
Parking in the Australian outback
Singapore Airlines also removed its wide-bodied aircraft from warm, humid Singapore and moved them to the heart of the Australian outback in Alice Springs (our photo), where the former Deutsche Bank analyst Tom Vincent founded “Asia Pacific Aircraft Storage” eleven years ago. The crisis-stricken Boeing 737 Max from Singapore subsidiary SilkAir has been here since 2019. “Depending on how long they are parked, the aircraft are serviced regularly to ensure that they remain operational. This includes washing the outside surfaces, lubricating the flight control and landing gear, and checking the tire pressure, ”says a spokesman for Singapore Airlines.
It is currently not possible to say when the planes will come back into service. For many Airbus A380s, this crisis could mean the premature end. It had already become apparent in the past year that numerous airlines are thinking about rapidly wiping out the models due to a lack of economic prospects. The Lufthansa A340-600 parked in Teruel also faces an uncertain future. You will not return to regular service for at least twelve to 18 months. According to experts, however, the jets should not be parked for longer than two years – otherwise they will soon only be used as spare parts stores.
Reality often exceeds fantasy. Other than Drogon, Viserion and Rhaegal, the dragons of the series “Game of Thrones”. The Spinosaurus, T-Rex’s most fearsome dinosaur, was also a skilled swimmer. He could chase his prey for a long time, fast and even against the current. This is because the largest known carnivorous dinosaur, which researchers have already established to be a semi-aquatic creature, did not have a simple tail, like common theropods, but a gigantic and powerful fin.
This “dragon”, lived in the Cretaceous period, between 100 and 66 million years ago when the drift of the continents had not yet completely separated Europe and Africa and the emerged lands were crossed by creatures as large as trucks, it was a mosaic of animals. A little reptile, a little amphibian. With the elongated and narrow skull similar to that of the modern crocodile, the “nose” one meter long and the back nostril as adaptation to the water and a super-sensitive trigeminal nerve (almost a sonar, like the one that allows sperm whales to identify distance the prey in the water), huge conical teeth with a lethal interlocking mechanism, a real trap from which not even a slippery prey like a fish could escape. And then, the sails on the back like a chameleon and the legs of a carnivore.
The first bones, found in 2008 by a Bedouin and then kept by an Italian geologist, caused a sensation in 2014 with an article in Science. Now it took four excavation campaigns in the Kem-Kem desert in south-eastern Morocco, between 2015 and 2019, to extract almost forty vertebrae and other bones from its tail from the same rocky slope, a few meters away. It was the missing and precious detail that allowed paleontologists to understand the propulsion of the animal in water. The new research published in the international journal Nature. The Spinosaurus thus “reconstructed” therefore represents a unique evolutionary experiment, which has no equivalent in the animal kingdom.
For 220 million years – experts write – in the history of dinosaurs no one else has ever appeared with a similar tail. And the discovery of a finned and flexible tail attached to the body of a large theropod dinosaur (that is, walking on two legs) the first proof that at some point in their history dinosaurs invaded aquatic habitats, adds the Milanese paleontologist Cristiano Dal Sasso , at the head of the Italian team with Simone Maganuco, the PhD student Gabriele Bindellini and Marco Auditore who helped to identify and study the bones of the Spinosaurus, to then draw them one by one up to recompose the skeleton. One hundred million years ago, the Sahara desert was a lush land crossed by rivers as large as the Nile that flowed into the Mediterranean sea. Rivers in which the Spinosaurus hunted its prey: fish as big as cars. Nobody expected the tail to have a similar shape and now – continues Dal Sasso – books on dinosaurs will have to be rewritten. Decades of false certainties are erased that all featherless dinosaurs were forced to inhabit only mainland ecosystems.
The bones found and restored at the University of Casablancaand therefore aligned, they form a structure almost five meters long. Large muscle bundles were present at the base of the tail, while long spines both above and below the vertebrae made it high and flat like a long ribbon or the end of a paddle. The powerful muscles and flexible joints – reads the study – allowed the dinosaur to move its tail sideways with a very powerful motion, as do certain amphibians (tritons for example) and reptiles that live in water (crocodiles but also snakes marine). Biomechanics experts from Harvard University were involved in testing the real driving force of the tail. It was thus understood that to give more stability to the mighty animal contributed the sail on the back which perhaps functioned as a “reverse keel”.
But studies have also allowed us to better understand how the dragon perhaps moved on the ground. A digital reconstruction of Davide Bonadonna, one of the Italian coauthors, has in fact allowed to calculate the actual volume of the dinosaur which exceeded 3 and a half tons over 10 meters in length. It is probable that when he was on earth this mass made it difficult for him to walk on two legs, like a bipedal, because the center of gravity was in front of the pelvis and the thighs and perhaps he had to use his arms to support himself. This is why it is assumed that he was more comfortable in rivers. The four years of excavation were sponsored by the National Geographic Society with the support of various universities and the Natural History Museum of Milan.
Thus the incredible story of the Spinosaurus is being completed. Recall that the Milanese museum preserves a 21 mm nail phalanx, collected in 1999 in Morocco and brought to Milan, from which Dal Sasso reconstructed a meter and 78 cm long puppy: the finding had remained unnoticed until the discovery of the skeleton of Spinosaurus aegyptiacus in 2014 that had long and flat foot phalanges similar to those of cormorants and flamingos. Milan also houses the remains of the more complete adult Spinosaurus skull, which is assumed to be 15 meters long, thanks to which it was possible to understand the sonar function that helped it find prey in the water. Spinosaurus was the longest and one of the largest predatory dinosaurs adapted to aquatic life and is thought to be larger than the tyrannosaurus.
After several days of walking in France, I suggest you give in to the attraction of the desert by going, still from our sofa, to Mauritania. It was a favorite destination for adventure tour operators, especially La Balaguère, Allibert trekking, Land of adventure and Nomad adventure, until insecurity in the Sahel prohibits going there for years: in its “travel advice”, the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs had indeed classified as “red zone” most of the territory Mauritanian. A disaster for all those (guides, camel drivers, cooks, 4 x 4 drivers, etc.) who locally lived thanks to this tourism reserved for lovers of off-road travel.
Then in autumn 2017, the quay of Orsay revised its recommendations and turned the region around Atâr orange. It didn’t take more for the adventurer Maurice Freund, founder of the Africa point, resumes its air services and that, in the process, adventure tour operators offer stays that have had little success.
In this regard, read: In Mauritania, tourism is off again
With the coronavirus, patatras! There is now no question of going there, regardless of the area defined by the Orsay wharf.
While waiting for better days, it will be enough to respond to the call of the desert by watching videos, for example this one (visible until May 30, 2020) which evokes the Mauritanian desert of course, but also the journey of the French naturalist, biologist, explorer, scholar and humanist Theodore Monod. Being content with little to survive and endowed with an exceptional endurance, also endowed with an inextinguishable curiosity, this Protestant, great walker in the desert, led to the XXe century several major exploration missions in regions of the Sahara that are still little known. It was in the Adrar that he made his first major camel exploration in 1934. He was barely 32 years old. He then spent a year in the Adrar desert which will remain his favorite desert. He recounted this experience in his book Camel rides.
Théodore Monod spent a lot of time in Chinghetti, a city founded at the end of the 13th century. Famous for its wells, this ancient city was an important center of trans-Saharan caravan trade. Since the beginning of the 16th century, it has also been renowned for its scholars and libraries filled with works of religion, astronomy, mathematics, astrology, grammar, geology, poetry, written in local dialect or in Arab. Anxious to better understand nomadic culture, Théodore Monod will translate many of these works which are so many testimonies on a civilization. Chinghetti is also the 7e holy city of Islam under the name of “city of libraries”. But, Western scholars, including Monod, also looked at Chinghetti to try to locate a meteorite they supposed fell near the city, in the desert.
Chinghetti has been on the Unesco World Heritage list since 1996, like other ancient cities of Mauritania, including Oualata. About Oualata, read the three posts published on this blog in 2014: three days in Oualata.
Is it to know that they have disappeared? In the photos, the works are reminiscent of the silent relics of an extinct civilization. A conical volume decorated with two eyes and a navel, which stands like a totem in the middle of a deserted workshop (1 + 1 = 3, 1934). A puzzle of geometric shapes assembled on a plate (Composition, circa 1927-1928), like a miniature Stonehenge. A faux menhir tapered like a knife, where we recognize two nipples and two arms – Woman (flat I), 1928-1929. These ghostly works are all by Alberto Giacometti, who is between 26 and 33 years old when he creates them, and they have all disappeared. Destroyed, by the artist or by accident, or simply passed out in ether without a trace.
The phenomenon was more common in Switzerland than in others, we learn in the very pretty exhibition “In search of missing works”, at the Giacometti Institute (Paris XIVe), because the young artist willingly got rid of his work, whether it was due to a lack of space in his small studio or by perfectionism, destroying and starting over again, continuing in the same vein. And that’s without counting the fragility of the plaster with which they were made (the least expensive material for a student) or the casualness of its first collectors, not very attentive to the creations of a quasi-unknown. From 1935, according to the catalog, it is entirely that “Destroying is part of the creative process” from Switzerland, who then begins to document the works before liquidation.
We can lament these disappearances (because everything, or almost everything is good, with Giacometti, even before he makes Giacometti), we can also do something with it, and that is precisely what undertook the commissioner, Michèle Kieffer. Because of these sculptures there remain sketches, photos, written comments, and unlike the prehistoric artefacts to which they are related, on the beautiful black and white prints signed by anonymous or friends, Man Ray or Marc True, it is still possible to make them speak, even to reconstruct them.
So this little rectangular man, like robotics before the hour, behind which the artist poses in 1927. A letter from Giacometti to Matisse tells us that he sometimes had “Want to do it again” : “It was my first figure”, he writes. So this Anxious woman in a bedroom harmed hert (1931-1932) that we discover in a photo of Man Ray: a jaw, like a wolf trap, seems to attack a female form lying, echoing both the Slaughtered woman (1932-1933) than a superb, immense documentary reconstruction produced for the expo, that of Silence bird (1930-1933). Heart of the journey, she cages two gigantic creatures half-insects half-human – unless it is a praying mantis and a man armed with a fork – in a fight whose violence has something as striking as the sheer beauty of its forms.
With LeBron James put aside, Anthony Davis knew he had to do a little more – everyone had to do a little more to fix it.
Davis scored 23 points and six rebounds in three quarters and the Los Angeles Lakers won their seventh game in a row and the NBA 18 in a row on the road against the Western Conference, beating the Golden State Warriors 116-86 plagued by injuries 116-86 without King James.
It meant taking better care of the ball in the second half and bringing energy to both ends.
“LeBron, when he’s out, is taking a lot of the things we do, so it’s up to all of us to make sure we fill in those gaps, and I think we did it tonight,” Davis said.
Rajon Rondo started in James’s place and contributed 12 points and six assists, while Los Angeles turned him into a 40-17 third quarter defeat. James sat outside due to recurring pain in his problematic left groin.
Davis fired 6 by 13, made 10 of the 12 free throws and also had a couple of blocked and stolen shots for the Lakers, whose 12 bills in the first half allowed the Warriors to keep him close. Kyle Kuzma added 18 points from the bench.
Rookie Eric Paschall scored 23 points off the bench for his eleventh 20-point game and Jordan Poole had 16 in the Warriors’ eighth consecutive defeat both overall and at home in the new Chase Center. Poole limped with 5:44 remaining in the third after rolling his right ankle, then returned after registering it, but briefly left Golden State with eight players available, two of them with 10-day contracts.
Golden State guard Ky Bowman came down with 1:11 to play and was helped.
The return of the Golden State striker Draymond Green from an absence of two games with a bruise in his right pelvic area was short: he was sent off 5:45 before the interval in his second technician just 11 seconds from his first at 5:56 am.
Golden State also lost Andrew Wiggins, a late scratch with spasms in the upper back. The Warriors resisted early but were unable to stay with the Lakers as they did in Los Angeles’ 125-120 victory here on February 8.
And if it couldn’t get any worse for the home team, beloved super-sub Lakers Alex Caruso drew the late MVP delays as the arena emptied quickly.
This losing streak is taking place on Warriors.
“We have to win a game,” said coach Steve Kerr. “We need to win a game every now and then to feel better about things. We are in a bad stretch right now. It’s hard.”
UPDATE OF JAMES
James had already been banned on Wednesday and coach Frank Vogel said that after the game a decision on James’s status would come Saturday morning before a game in Memphis that night.
“I’m just dealing with a little pain. There are still two days to go, “said Vogel.
James, who lost 27 games last season while breastfeeding the tender groin that injured Christmas Day 2018 at the Golden State, scored 40 points in Tuesday’s home season against Zion Williamson and the pelicans.
Kerr can see James as an example of a superstar taking him to a new level after a full offseason given that the Lakers star had played in eight consecutive NBA finals before last year.
Golden State has reached five consecutive finals, but not this season – so players like Stephen Curry, Green and Klay Thompson can benefit from prolonged rest.
“Looking at LeBron, he looks refreshed, he seems recharged. The idea of eight consecutive finals is crazy when you think of five here and what has been done and how our players have felt last year and the injuries they have hit, “said Kerr. “When everything is said and done, I think our kids should feel refreshed, refreshed and ready to go by next year’s training camp. I hope so. LeBron is also LeBron. It built differently than most people. “
Lakers: The Lakers have won their first three games with one left on April 7 in Los Angeles. This marks their first win in the season series against Golden State since they went 3-1 in the 2012-13 season and the first time the Lakers have won both games on the Warriors home floor since they swept all four started in 2011-12. … Los Angeles improved overall 18-1 from the Staples Center against the West, having lost its forerunner “road” on October 22 against the Clippers at the Staples Center. The Lakers have won their fourth consecutive road game to improve to 24-5 in the season.
Warriors: The Warriors used its 29th different lineup, most in one season from a franchise record 49 in 2009-10. … Golden State is planning an update on Saturday about Curry’s status, which has long targeted Sunday’s home game against the Magicians as a return date from a broken left hand – and if it does, it will have lost 56 games since when he hurt himself against Soli on 30 October. … The Warriors went down to 7-23 at home and 5-16 against the West. … Golden State had won 12 of their previous 14 home games against the Lakers. … The Warriors signed G Mychal Mulder with a 10 day contract.
Lakers: At Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday night looking for a 4-0 season before a quick turnaround to play Sunday in New Orleans. The Lakers are 8-0 this season when they play consecutive days on the road.
Warriors: to the Phoenix Suns on Saturday after losing their last in the desert, 112-106 on February 12. This marks the start of the team’s seventh back-to-back set this season.
The enemy Hank Bolden
faced did not come from a distant front line.
It came from the skies.
It’s a battle that’s still going on 65 years later. Bolden, who is now 82 years old, is an atomic veteran – one of hundreds of thousands of American service members used in human testing by the United States government during post-WWII nuclear tests and sworn to a secret life.
“They wanted to see how the living soldiers would resist the exposure
to radiation, ”recalls Bolden. “Before using live soldiers they were using
mannequins. But you don’t get real results using mannequins as you would
live bodies. “
A DIFFERENT TIME
While accompanying a friend to a New Haven recruiting station in 1953, Bolden was invited to join the army. At just 16 years old then and already out of high school, he admits that he “pulled down” his birth certificate to move to the age of 18, joining the approximately 200,000 underage soldiers who would have served during the Second World War and the eras of the Korean War.
After basic training in
Fort Dix was assigned to work as a tank mechanic in Texas before moving to Texas
California and becoming a surface-to-air missile mechanic.
Despite an executive order issued in July
26, 1948, by President Harry S. Truman to desegregate the armed forces, the last one
the all black units of the army were not abolished until 1954. And in 1955, Bolden
he says, racist attitudes persist even after the units have been racially integrated.
“The residual thoughts of people were firm
linger, “he says.” My outfit was 800 people strong. Thirteen of us were
black. Ten were from the South, who were more tolerant of treatment
they got racially. But the three of us from the North couldn’t tolerate it,
so I have had many fights over this. So I was the guy they wanted
get rid of.”
It would not be the only race
discrimination Bolden would witness as a soldier.
In 1955, the seventeen year old
he was suddenly ordered to the Nevada desert without explanation.
“They don’t tell you what you’re going to face,” he said. “Nobody
they knew what they were going to face. ”
What he would eventually face was a classified operation known as Operation Teapot at the Nevada Test Site. In a series of 14 bomb throws, or “hits”, military officials tried to test the effects of nuclear bombs on structures and strategies, animals and people.
All races of military personnel
participated in the Teapot operation. But upon arrival in Nevada, Bolden was
astounded to accomplish all the other soldiers in his new specially selected unit
for a mysterious assignment they were also black.
“There was this myth about black people
be able to resist, tolerate certain things more than any other race “, he
He says. “So it was a test on that too.”
AN ATOMIC NIGHT
One morning in February, Bolden
the unit was ordered in a desert trench. Unbeknownst to them, it was excavated
the expected route of the fallout, only 2.8 miles away from what it would have become
ground zero for the launch of an atomic bomb.
Even though a countdown sounded on the speakers, Bolden says, the soldiers still had no idea what they were about to face. Without protective gear in addition to the normal fabrics and helmets, they waited and looked.
“They tell you to cover your eyes”
On February 18, 1955, Shot Wasp, the first nuclear test of Operation Teapot, detonated a Mark 6 nuclear bomb dropped by a B-36 exactly at noon. A monstrous cloud of mushrooms filled the sky, reaching 21,500 feet in height.
“With radiation, when you put your arms over your eyes or hands, you actually see the bones, you see the bones in your body from the exposure. You can see your skeleton. “
After the relapse the warning came.
“You swore not to speak
“said Bolden. The soldiers were threatened with imprisonment and fines for violation
For 60 years, Bolden didn’t tell anyone. No this
family, not his wife, not his children. Not even her doctors when she spies on her
tumors have started to show. He developed bladder and posterior subcapsular cancer
cataract and in 1990 multiple myeloma was diagnosed.
“They actually gave me three and a half years
four years to live, ”recalls Bolden. So in 1995 I should have been a statistic. “
But in 1995, Bolden was in remission. He is a citizen
the secret was coming to light.
Government figures estimate between 400,000 and 550,000 US military personnel who participated in a series of nuclear tests between 1946 and 1992. According to the Department of Defense’s Defense Threat Reduction Agency, this includes post occupation forces -Second World War of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, prisoners of war in Japan at the end of the Second World War, participants in the atmospheric nuclear tests in Nevada and the Pacific from 1945 to 1962 and participants in the underground nuclear tests in Nevada from 1951 to 1992.
Many of these “atomic veterans” have succumbed before their own
the stories have become public, their bodies are full of tumors. In
1990, the veil of secrecy began to lift.
After setting up the Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments to investigate 10-year experiments, President Clinton made a formal apology to American atomic veterans on October 3, 1995. By order of the president, Congress would repeal the nuclear radiation agreement law. and secrecy, allowing atomic veterans to talk about their experiences without fear of fines or treason charges. And financial compensation has been opened to all qualified atomic veterans.
“Those who led the government when these decisions were made are no longer here to take responsibility for what they have done. They are not here to apologize to survivors, family members or their communities whose lives have been overshadowed by shadow of these choices So today, on behalf of another generation of American leaders and another generation of American citizens, the United States of America offers sincere apologies to those of our citizens who have undergone these experiments. the government is wrong, we have a moral responsibility to admit it, “said President Bill Clinton on October 3, 1995
But the television address has been obscured. The same happened
day when OJ Simpson’s verdict was issued in a live classroom feed, taking
on televisions and news cycles across America.
As a result, many skilled veterans had no idea of the ban
the secrecy had been lifted, nor that they could claim benefits. Bolden no
find out until he researched the Internet, he says, in 2015.
“I was once so angry and so aggravating with the government that I thought I would be murdered to keep me from talking,” he says.
When Bolden attempted to apply for subsidies, he found that the burden of proof was placed on his fellow atomic veterans. The government would give compensation from the date a complaint was filed, but not retroactively, and only if the veteran could prove that he had participated in the tests – which proved to be an almost impossible task after millions of military documents were destroyed in a 1973 fire against the National Staff Registration Center. As many as 18 million documents were burned, including 80% of all army personnel discharged between 1912 and 1960.
“They hoped for it
would have died sooner or would have been one of those guys who surrendered ”
says Anthony Bolden, Hank’s son. “No thanks. Hank doesn’t have it.”
After paying her
own pocket for a polygraph lie detector pouch, Hank eventually claimed
approved, setting a precedent for other atomic veterans whose records were
Photo: Hidden story: the atomic veterans of America
Hit a high note
“The love of music has
I’ve always been there. “
After his honorable discharge
from the army, Bolden went to work as an engineer before deciding to pursue a
career as a jazz musician who works while his family grows. Tell the story
while cradling the tenor saxophone that has been at his side since 1967. The “Rolls
Royce “of tools, he says.
The brand is Selmer. IS
in a strange coincidence, the model is a 6 sign. It is the same name as the shot
Wasp atomic bomb design.
But this is where the
the similarities end. The bomb was his nightmare. Music, his dream and his
outlet to work through the trauma of what lived in Nevada
“It’s like the blood inside
my veins. It takes away all my other thoughts, “he says
Bolden is finally
he receives compensation from the government and is now using it to help make his dream come true.
He returned to school, studying jazz performances at Hartt University of Hartford
“They are like the relic
here with all these kids, you know, “he chuckles.
Professor Javon Jackson
says that the 82-year-old is leaving a unique mark on the prestigious program.
“He has a lot of emotion,” says Jackson. “He is a very bluesy, very full of feeling, a natural player. His life, wisdom and the things he has acquired allow him to play the way it sounds.”
The vast majority of
Today, the American atomic veterans of the atmospheric test era are gone. About
400,000 veterans were present during these tests, according to the veterans
Administration. Survivors’ numbers vary, from around 10,000 to 80,000
Bolden believes he is one of only two surviving African American atomic veterans who are recognized and receive compensation from the government. He is on a mission to reach as many survivors as possible and help them request the long-awaited recognition and compensation.
And he’s sharing his story, he says, to make sure the plight of American atomic veterans is no longer ignored.
“When people like me pass by, this won’t be part of the story unless someone makes sure it’s kept alive.”
“It will be a bigger square than Tiananmen,” Ahmed (figurative name) boasts, amid the suffocating dust cloud lifted by dozens of trucks that roam in a place strewn with cranes between the Nile and the Red Sea. The employee of the public company that builds the New Administrative Capital of Egypt, 40 kilometers east of Cairo, points to the brand-new facades of the ministries, lined up like the millennial palaces of Luxor, which delimit the government agora before the imposing mass of Parliament . On the far horizon – “it is for security reasons,” he muses – the future residence of President Abdelfatá al Sisi, father of the pharaonic project, is glimpsed. As far as the eye can see, blocks of flats rise, with evocative names in Spanish such as El Patio or La Vista, where two million people will soon live.
Egypt has just crossed the threshold of 100 million inhabitants amid official silence. Crowded in the valley and the Nile delta, which barely represent 8% of the national territory, the demographic time bomb – two out of three Egyptians are under the age of 30 – has already been activated. If not remedied, the Arab country’s census will break the 150 million barrier in 2050. Al Sisi himself has pointed to the demographic explosion – each year there are 2.5 million more inhabitants and three-quarters of a million young people enter the labor market – as the greatest challenge facing Egypt along with terrorism.
After four years of work by 150,000 operators in which it is planned to invest 23,000 million euros, 54,000 officials will be transferred in the coming months to the new administrative district, surrounded by luxury residential areas and a business center with 21 office towers . The megalomania of the project contrasts with the misery of more than a third of the population, which survives on two dollars a day according to the World Bank.
“Not a pound is going to be spent from the public budget,” says Colonel Jaled el Huseini, spokesman for the Urban Development Agency for the Administrative Capital (ACUD). “The entire project will be self-financing through the sale of public land to private developers,” said this official in his office, located in a military compound that includes a luxury hotel and leisure areas in New Cairo, one of the districts Peripherals built in the last decades to alleviate the demographic congestion of the historical capital of Egypt, which exceeds 20 million inhabitants along with its metropolitan area. The Armed Forces control an important part of the country’s economic activity: up to 3% of GDP, according to some analysts.
The new administrative center dreamed of by ex-marshal El Sisi will extend over 730 square kilometers, somewhat more than the island of Menorca, and will house six million inhabitants. The first phase that is now being finalized will comprise only a third of the perimeter and of the population. “The massive transfer of officials is planned between July and August of this year,” Colonel El Huseini said, “but the final decision will be political.” While the ministries seem to be very advanced, the Parliament has been built at 60% and the presidential palace at 50%. Al Sisi’s move to the desert capital will make the birth of the administrative capital official next year. The landscape of palm trees and buildings is beginning to resemble an American residential suburb. Most of the operation’s land belongs to the army.
“It is true that the financing model of the new capital does not itself depend on the state budget, but not much is known about the accounts of the company that manages it, owned by the Ministry of Defense (51%) and the Ministry of Housing” , argues Amro Adly, professor of Political Science at the American University in Cairo.
Many Egyptians question whether Al Sisi’s big projects – pharaonic works such as the expansion of the Suez Canal (€ 3 billion) – monopolize funds necessary for the country’s development and social welfare. “Heavy investment in land and construction is only beneficial in the very short term. The real estate sector has been the main source of growth for the economy since the 1980s, ”Adly qualifies as an economic analyst in the Middle East.
The Chinese construction company CSCEC is in charge of the execution of the financial district of the new Egyptian capital, which will be crowned by a 390-meter high skyscraper. Hundreds of Chinese technicians and specialists live on site in a beehive of prefabricated modules. “Only the domestic market is intervened and Egypt’s chronic balance of payments problems are not mitigated. Private savings are thus consumed in dead assets in desert cities that do not help to solve the lack of housing for the population, “says Professor Adly.
From the direction of the project, Colonel Al Huseini emphasizes that the land released in the center of Cairo by the transfer of the ministries will also contribute to financing the new capital, where a diplomatic neighborhood has been planned for foreign legations. The plans of the public company ACUD include plots reserved for the United States, China or Brazil. The high prices demanded for the land and the high real estate value of the current headquarters have led many EU countries not to decide yet on their transfer to the new capital, according to a European diplomatic official.
The utopia announced by Al Sisi nearly four years ago is about to come true in an arid landscape that evokes the ghost residential developments of Seseña (Toledo), a decade ago in the midst of the Spanish real estate crisis. Dubai’s office tower profile has not yet emerged in the Egyptian desert, although half of the first-phase land has already been purchased by developers, Reuters reported.
Ahmed, employed at the company that builds the new capital, does not dare to dream of living one day in the apartments that he promotes. The price of the apartments will be around 50,000 to 100,000 euros, unattainable for the salary of 200 to 300 euros per month for the average Egyptian. The 54,000 officials traveling from Cairo will also be unable to reside near their new offices. They will have to travel more than an hour by bus, while building a regional monorail, or relocate to the nearby satellite neighborhood of Ciudad Bader.
In an Egypt overwhelmed by overpopulation, the poverty rate has grown 4.7% between 2015 and 2018, according to the World Bank, to 32.5% of the population. An intensive employment sector, such as tourism, –that offers employment to 14% of the population– It is beginning to overcome the collapse of 2015, after the attack in which all 224 occupants of a Russian plane were killed. Professor Adly stresses that it is thanks to the stabilization of security and the depreciation of the Egyptian pound, “but he is not generating the necessary currencies to improve the balance of payments position,” he points out.
The gigantic Al Fatah al Ali mosque, with a capacity for 12,000 faithful, or the Cathedral of the Nativity, the largest Christian temple in the Middle East, were the first buildings to be erected in the new capital. The flight to Egypt of the Holy Family against the backdrop of the pyramids, could not be otherwise, is the reason for the fresco on the main vault of the Coptic temple.
It was inaugurated last year by President al Sisi together with Pope Theodore II on the feast of the Epiphany, in full celebration of Orthodox Christmas by 10% of the Egyptian population. “Since then, almost no one has returned,” admits the police officer in charge of the detachment, which stands guard heavily armed with an armored vehicle in the dust of the cement trucks, before an endless landscape of cranes that sprout in the Egyptian desert.
(MENAFN – Gulf Times) Saleh Al Hamad Al Mana Co, Nissan’s exclusive agent in Qatar, recently held an event in the desert to offer Nissan Patrol customers and VIP guests a “test drive” like no other. The exclusive desert driving experience allowed participants to test all the off-road features of the new Nissan Patrol 2020, Patrol Safari and Super Safari on the Sealine dunes. The event brought customers, VIPs, sports TV personality Khaled Jasim, social media influencers Mohamed Rashed al-Sulaiti and other media representatives led together by Qatar international rally champion Adel Hussein Abdulla to learn more about the new Nissan Patrol 2020. , the legendary 4WD SUV that allows drivers to conquer the most difficult off-road conditions, according to a press release. Nassim Mourani, general manager of the Automotive Group, Saleh Al Hamad Al Mana Co, said: “Today was a truly immersive experience, which allowed customers to try the new Nissan Patrol 2020 and discover its power to perform in the desert terrain. Customers experienced Patrol’s hydraulic body movement control, which offers exceptional stability, and other Nissan Smart Mobility features such as the intelligent 4X4, which ensured that they maintained momentum on the desert dunes. ” It was a fun day of driving and, above all, an opportunity to get to know the awareness of off-road safety. Special thanks to the rally champion pilot Adel Hussein Abdulla for his expert briefing, which guided the drivers towards the main safety features of the patrol. Customer safety has always been our top priority and events like these help us create greater awareness of the care and attention that must be taken while driving on more difficult terrain. Adel Hussein Abdullah guided guests through Patrol 2020’s impressive technology and advanced security features. He also invited the media aboard his rally-winning Nissan Patrol to co-pilot his exhilarating drive over the desert dunes, demonstrating the high performance and durability of the vehicle. Once informed of how to safely face the dunes, customers were able to test the ability of the Nissan Patrol 2020 on their own. Saleh Al Hamad Al Mana Co provided 20 Nissan Patrol 2020 vehicles to customers to explore unmatched power the vehicle and intelligent mobility features that allow drivers to drive with confidence, the note says. Praising the Nissan Patrol 2020, Adel Hussein Abdullah said: “I am always ready to demonstrate the characteristics and capabilities of the Nissan Patrol. I have a special affinity for the brand and the Patrol as it has seen me win local rally titles and abroad, it is an off-road SUV that can handle any adventure. However, the most important thing is to ensure that motorists make full use of the Patrol’s safety functions and are aware of how to manage the different road surfaces, including the slippery slopes of the desert. The desert test drive ended at the Regency Sealine Camp where customers enjoyed a nice barbecue with relaxing views of the beautiful Qatari desert at sunset before returning to Doha. “Dubbed” the hero of all terrains, “Patrol is Nissan’s flagship SUV. By combining powerful performance, superior style and innovative safety features, Nissan Patrol has a rich heritage and vast following in Qatar and the region that dates back to the 1950s. To date, it is one of the main cars to buy, the note added. To book a test drive of the brand new Nissan Patrol 2020, contact 44283333 or visit the Nissan showrooms on Salwa Road and Al Sadd, Bin Omran, Al Khor and Barwa Commercial Avenue.