Office: (44) (0) 5603 676623  |  Independent Communications Consultancy based Westminster, London SW1
Office: (44) (0) 5603 676623  |  Independent Communications Consultancy based Westminster, London SW1

Egypt Posts

During 2013 I created a personal (not official) website for Egyptian Railways, to try to create an international community interest in this interesting and historic system. This coincided with the revolution and military coup, which led to far-reaching consequences for the railways. I have preserved some of my 2013 blog posts here below:
Beirut News Stand 2007

What it’s like to know Arabic

Introduction Over the years many people have asked me what it’s like knowing Arabic, but it’s not actually an easy question to answer or, at least, to give a simple short answer. My responses have varied depending on whether the questioner is monoglot or knows other languages; whether they already know Arabic, or are Muslim; and...
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Old Larnaca Bus

Dulce et decorum erat

When the Major confiscated the Evening Standard that began the end of my career. It was 8am in the Cyprus office where we all worked. Breakfast time. Saturday 23rd September. I had sent the paper down the line of my colleagues, who read it in hushed horror, for few listened to the radio before we...
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Mark stayed at Kantara Castle the weekend the Berlin Wall came down

Dancing on Fortress Walls

O the hope and excitement; the anticipation that Saturday. Was there relief as the threat of a nuclear war seemed to recede? Some have since said so. It added to the fresher air we breathed as we viewed a remade landscape of possibilities. The season had changed, fresher after another hot Summer on the Mesaoria Plain and...
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Rush Hour Blackberries

Imagine if your rush-hour commute faded away to a surreal moment picking blackberries, and viewing a cross in the sky. It happened when my busy train stopped, reminding me of Edward Thomas’s poem ‘Adlestrop’… (below). For a couple of weeks in 2000 I caught the 19:00 train from Charing Cross to the coast at Deal....
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Insight in Baghdad

Presentation on Middle East to U3A

How do you to create a coherent narrative to present complex historic trends to an audience of non-specialists? I decided to use my personal experience to illustrate them. I was invited to be the speaker at the White Cliffs U3A August meeting, and was delighted to accept. That was way back in March, but the...
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Western semaphores at Mit Qurashi. Dundit is 5kms west of here and has similar signalling installations.

Two incidents near Zaqaziq

I’m reproducing 2 reports about incidents last week on the single line between Zaqaziq and Mit Ghamr in the eastern Delta, and make some comments afterwards. The second is potentially more serious, but the first comes from a report from Masr al-Arabia last Tuesday: Train 590 heading from Zaqaziq to Alexandria struck a donkey cart...
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Is ENR a hostage of the Morsi trial?

Egypt’s skeleton train service continues amid tight security. There is little news, and I haven’t been able to find any photographs from the past week. The country seems to be holding its breath ahead of tomorrow’s trial of ousted President Morsi. It seems any further normalisation on Egyptian railways is a hostage of Morsi’s trial, mainly because...
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A 3rd class single ticket from el-Shuhuda to Etay el-Barud (via Dinshwai) dated 26th January 1995. (Author)

Rail theft thwarted near Minuf

The spate of rail thefts continues, prompted by desperation among certain sections of society and easy access to the source, if a railway track runs through your village or district. This recalls the lazy decision last month by Cairo transport chiefs to simply bury miles of the Nuhas Street tram tracks under hardcore and tarmac. If salvaged and...
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The remnants of the Ismailiya - Bir el-Abd line in north Sinai. Photo: Ala el-Qamhawi from Al-Masry Al-Youm.

Sad fate of the Sinai line

In response to a question from a reader about the Suez Canal bridge, I unearthed 2 recent reports here and here from el-Masry el-Youm, both dated 24th October 2013 and by Izzat Maghazi. They relate the sad fate of the Ismailiya-Rafah (Cairo-Jersusalem) line through its destruction and rebuilding more than once during the 20th century...
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