Return to Transcripts main page


Egypt's President Speaks Out Against Religious Extremism; Israeli Airstrikes Hit 50 Targets Overnight; Brazil and Germany Set To Faceoff In Today's World Cup Semifinal; One Square Meter: Lima's Pre-Hispanic Roots; Egypt Mosque Crackdown; World Cup Semifinals; Streaming Brings Fans Together; Cairo's Secrets; Parting Shots: Egypt's Role in World War I

Aired July 8, 2014 - 11:00   ET


BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: We come to you live from a region in the throes of conflict, but from a country determined to keep extremism at bay. I'm

Becky Anderson and this is Connect the World live for you tonight from Cairo.

Coming up, rocket fire from Gaza leaves Israel to strike back and authorize a massive call for reserve troops.

Taking up arms in Iraq, we meet the women joining the fight against ISIS if the militants make their way into Baghdad.

And away from the region, high hopes with no Neymar. Brazil at least has home advantage on its side for their World Cup semifinal against


Well, we are live all this week from a country in search of stability. Egypt's roll call of problems is well documented -- economic stagnation,

youth unemployment, alleged human rights abuses and a glaring political divide. As Connect the World travels through the Middle East this month,

the last of these issues is a common them.

Next door to Egypt, tensions between Israelis and Palestinians are escalating with an Israeli assault on Hamas in Gaza gaining strength.

In Iraq, the onslaught of the Sunni militant group ISIS continues with the capital Baghdad preparing to defend itself.

And in Syria, rebels are now fighting a war on two fronts. To the opposition forces, ISIS is as much of an enemy as President Bashar al-

Assad. Little wonder then, Egypt's new president says there is no place for extremism under his watch.


ABDEL FATTAL EL-SISI, EGYPTIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): This is important to the Americans, it's important to the Russians, it's

important to the Chinese, it's important to the Europeans, be aware of what is happening in this region. This region is being destroyed now. With

complete clarity, this area is being destroyed now. And this is something we must not allow to happen.


ANDERSON: We'll examine each of those conflicts this hour. Be we want to start for you tonight in Gaza at the center of what is a ferocious

exchange between Israeli forces and Hamas militants.

Now dozens of air strikes have slammed into Gaza over the past day. Israel says those strikes have hit militant houses and compounds.

Palestinian sources say at least 16 people have been killed since Monday night.

At the same time, Hamas is taking aim at southern Israel. According to the Israel defense forces, militants have fired more than 130 rockets in

the past 24 hours alone. But Israel says those rocket attacks will not be tolerated. There are signs of preparations for what could possibly be a

much larger assault on Gaza.

Well, let's get to Gaza City now where CNN's Ben Wedeman is standing by. Ben, how close is this to turning into a full on conflict?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It certainly looks like it's going in that direction with the call up by Israel of potentially

40,000 reservists and it indicates that this is going to be, or could be, a very big operation.

Now we're being told by Hamas security sources that since daybreak today there have been 110 air strikes on Gaza. And we just came from a

home, which was the bloodiest air strike yet today at about 3:00 in the afternoon, that's just three hours ago, a house in Han Unis (Ph) in the

southern part of the Gaza Strip. The woman -- head of the household received a call. She said it was from somebody who called himself David

speaking in perfect Arabic. He said, listen, you have children. Get your children out of the house as quickly as possible.

She, however, for reasons I still don't understand, she didn't leave the house. Minutes later, the house was struck by a missile. Seven people

were killed, including two young boys aged 10 and 11 in that particular strike.

Now, there have been, as I said, 110 air strikes in Gaza today, many of them on the homes of people affiliated with the Hamas movement.

At this point, we understand that as many as 30 people have been wounded, probably more than that.

There was also a strike in Gaza City on a car that contained a senior Hamas military leader by the name of Muhammad Sa'aban who is the head of

Hamas's naval forces.

Now the situation despite all of this, Becky, is rather strange. If you go into Gaza City you'll see a lot of the stores are still open, people

are going about buying, shopping, groceries and whatnot. It appears that people understand that there are specific targets and that those who many

not be affiliated with Hamas have so far, at least - and I'm stressing so far -- have been spared in this particular Israeli operation. But the

operation only was declared last night. And as we heard from Israeli officials this could go on for quite some time -- Becky.


And reminding you that according to Israeli defense forces, militants have fired more than 100 rockets in the past 24 hours, taking aim, of

course, at southern Israel. Clearly things are ratcheting up.

Ben, thank you.

We're going to have much more on this flare-up ahead on Connect the World with me Becky Anderson.

First, we're going to take a look at some of the deeper issues fueling this fight between Israel and Hamas.

And Egypt, well, it's traditionally played the mediator in past conflicts between Israel and the Palestinians, but it may not take on that

role this time. That's what we're going to discuss with our guest live from Cairo with me here just ahead.

Getting you, though, to Iraq first where there are reports of at least eight people were killed in two separate attacks near the city of Samarra,

home to one of the holiest sites for Shiites.

And in an attempt to tackle the political deadlock, the country's parliament says they will be meeting on Sunday after criticism over

yesterday's announcement that they were going to take a five week break.

Well, meantime, the extremist Sunni insurgency in Iraq is showing no sign of backing down. And residents of Baghdad are themselves preparing

for a possible ISIS attack.

CNN's senior international correspondent Arwa Damon joining us live now from the Iraqi capital.

And when we say preparing themselves, we are talking it seems about everybody at this point, Arwa.

ARWA DAMON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: They are, Becky, because this is a country where politics and violence go hand in hand and with that

political stalemate ongoing and no guarantees that parliament will, in fact, meet on July 13 because the various leaders are unable to agree on

their candidates.

The Sunnis who are set to elect a speaker of parliament are refusing to do so until they know who the Shias are going to be putting forward as

prime minister. Remember, they do not want to see current Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's name as one of the potential nominees.

And with those threat of ISIS continuing to loom, people here are no longer waiting or relying on the government or the Iraqi security forces,

not even, Becky, the women.


DAMON: In a palm orchard in Baghdad, these women are not being trained for the front line, but rather the worst case eventuality that ISIS

penetrates the capital, awakening the sleeper cells everyone fears, and that they will be left vulnerable.

"When Mosul happened, we all went crazy. We saw that a woman needed to be trained to shoot," 47-year-old Aliyah (ph), a trainee explains. "And

all our men are on the front lines. So it's up to the women to protect their homes, their children.

Her 25-year-old daughter is here with her as well.

They are covering their faces, because of our camera, not wanting their identities revealed to the identity.

This course is run by the Badr Brigade (ph), itself formally trained in Iran to fight Saddam's regime.

"I hear cease-fire, I immediately put the safety on and I lower my weapon like this," instructor Captain Jaffa Hassan (ph) barks.

Around 20 to 30 women go through a five day course on the basics. Not a skill that any of them wanted to acquire, but in a country that knows

merciless bloodshed too well, this at the very least makes them feel that little bit stronger.

Most know the bitter pain of losing a loved one, evident when we ask how many have.


Hajiv's (ph) father and brother were killed within 40 days of each other in the early years of the war.

When you look at your children and you look at the situation in the country, as a mother how do you feel about their future?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Not good, really not good. I have -- I told you, I feel that I have a problem in my soul. I have a psychological

situation. I have some problems because I'm afraid -- thinking, thinking this is make us not in good -- are not in good feelings. It is something

about worries. About worry from future, about worry -- if my children go to school that he will return back. This is something I lost.

I was thinking about it every day.

DAMON: And now it has come to this.


DAMON: And Becky, that emotion you heard that in Hajiv's (ph) voice, that fear, that anxiety, that is something we hear in almost every single

Iraqis voice that we speak to.

ANDERSON: Arwa Damon in Baghdad for you this evening.

Well, United Nations has issued an urgent call for international donors to help hundreds of thousands of refugee families who are headed by

women. UN agency for refugees says women in Egypt, in Lebanon, Iraq and Jordan are struggling to feed their families after their men were killed,

captured, or separated from their families.

Now, the women face hardship. They face isolation, anxiety and a constant threat to their safety. The war in Syria has produced nearly 3

million refugees, becoming the world's largest displacement crisis.

This war on two sides, refugees in Syria trying to escape the ongoing violence between government forces and the rebels, but those rebels are

also facing a second enemy, the Sunni militant group ISIS which is making major advances in the north.

Nick Paton Walsh joining us live now from Beirut with more.

And as they make more advances in the north, just how significant if that, Nick?

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the major concern, or theory, I think was, that with ISIS busy trying to gain ground

in Iraq that would sap their ability to hold or advance territorially in northern Syria. Quite the opposite, though, appears to be happening. They

seem emboldened, certainly, and their morale in terms of victories they're seeing in Iraq and perhaps equipment, too, taken off Iraqi army assisting

them as well.

We understand if you go heading west from the Iraqi border in the past few days there's a growing narrative really. Deir ez-Zor, one town they're

growing in control over. Today, 12 brigades, most Islamist it seems, have pledged their allegiance to ISIS, that's meaning they're no longer going to

be fighting against ISIS, or certainly not part of a moderate rebel groups. And at the same time, many of the villages around there have been taken by

ISIS. And they're not letting it seeing just over 10,000 villagers back into some of their homes, according to some observers and activists,

because they haven't pledged adequate allegiance to that particular group.

A more troubling development, though, is what seems to be happening around the major commercial hub over Aleppo. There's been a lenghty

standoff there between rebels who have changed in consistency between more extremists with ISIS in the ranks and now more moderates in the rebel held


The major fear now is the regime are beginning to encircle the entire city. There's only -- if you look a clock face imagine that around Aleppo

itself, between about 1:00 and 2:00, are the access roads rebels can still use. And the regime forces are now pushing tight around that. Fears being

if they continue their advances, and they seem to be moving Hezbollah, we're being told, and Republican Guard, Syrian Republican Guard into that

area to assist that operation, if they continue that they could actually cut off rebel access to the city putting people inside in rebel areas

effectively under siege -- Becky.


Nick Paton Walsh in Beirut on the Syria story for you.

I'm in Cairo tonight in Egypt, of course, and as we take a look at the October 6 Bridge behind us you can see -- if you can see that shot, that

it's rush our and there are a lot of people around. It's -- it is Ramadan. It's, what, an hour and a half before sundown and people breaking fast

here, their Iftar meal. They'll be looking forward to that.

I was here a year ago, just brings to mind a moment in time about a year ago today there was a battle on that bridge as the end of Morsy's era

was clear and the man who now runs the country was taking control.

We have a different picture tonight here in Cairo. Still to come from here, a new law in Egypt hopes to stop Islamic extremists from preaching in

mosques. A safety measure or a violation of religious freedom. We'll ask that question.

Clash of the titans, Germany battle host nation Brazil for a spot in the World Cup final. That's coming up, all that and more when Connect the

World with me Becky Anderson continues after this. Stay with us.


ANDERSON: Right, you're back with us here in Cairo watching CNN. This is Connect the World with me Becky Anderson.

Well, the aerial offensive that we are seeing over Gaza threatens to explode into a bigger and much more deadly battle between Israel and Hamas.

The two sides have launched dozens of rockets and air strikes over the Gaza-Isarel border in the past few days. So far, Israeli airstrikes have

killed 13 people, including several militants. Now Israel's military is calling up 40,000 reservists for what could be a ground strike against


The long running tensions between Israel and Hamas erupted last week after the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers and a

Palestinian teen.

Well, the ongoing and increasingly deadly Israeli-Palestinian crisis clearly provides Islamic and militants an excuse so far as they are

concerned, at least, for their ongoing and growing insurgency across this region of the Middle East, feeding the likes of not least ISIS in Syria and

in Iraq. And that is a real concern to the leadership here.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi warning only last night at this time that this region is being destroyed in the name of religion.

Well, I'm joined from Egypt by Issandr El Amrani, project director for North Africa at the International Crisis Group.

And before we talk, I just want our viewers to get a sense of what is going on across the border from Egypt at president. For its part, the IDF

describing the ongoing Hamas rocket attacks as an unacceptable situation that cannot be ignored. Just have a listen, viewers, to spokesman Peter



LT. COL. PETER LERNER, IDF SPOKESMAN: Well, what we know at this stage is that Hamas have decided to not reciprocate our intentions to try

and de-escalate the situation from last week. And what they've actually done is launched a huge barrage of rockets against Israel.

What we are doing in this mission is safeguarding the population of the state of Israel, putting our forces forward so that they are the buffer

to our civilians. It's an unacceptable situation, we're not willing just to let it go by. And we have to operate in order to protect them.


ANDERSON: OK. That's from the Israeli side.

Both U.S. President Barack Obama and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas have weighed in on what is this current crisis with opinion

pieces for the Israeli newspaper Hurriyet. Mr. Obama wrote, and I quote, "refusing to compromise or cooperate with one another won't do anything to

increase security for either the Israeli or the Palestinian people. The only solution is a democratic Jewish state lying side by side in peace and

security with a viable independent Palestinian state."

And this from Mr. Abbas, "we ask that the international community stop hiding behind calls for resumption of talks," he said, "without holding the

Israeli government accountable to its obligations. Well, the international community has the responsibility to protect our defenseless people living

under the terror of settlers and occupying army and a painful siege."

Let me reintroduce our guest for you this evening, Issandr El Amrani.

El-Sisi absolutely emphatic, the Egyptian president her in a warning to the rest of the world last night in his televised speech he said that

this is a region being destroyed and he will not let that happen. Your analysis.

ISSANDR EL AMRANI, NORTH AFRICA PROJECT DIRECTOR, INTERNATIONAL CRISIS GROUP: I thought it was one of the most remarkable things about Sisi's

personality is the extent to which he's been willing to frame his war on terror narrative against religious extremism. I think to -- there's some

continuity with previous Egyptian leaders, but for him it has a domestic aspect too. He's been fighting against the Muslim Brotherhood, the Muslim

Brotherhood considers his regime illegitimate, accuses him of having carried out a coup to depose President Morsy last year.

So this is an existential issue now. They (inaudible) into other regional developments.

ANDERSON: This current regime, interestingly, is very hostile towards Hamas, which is the polar opposite, of course, of how President Mubarak ran

his relations, as it were. I mean, he played a mediator in efforts in the past to bring the two warring sides together. Can you explain why Sisi is

so adamantly against Hamas?

AMRANI: Well, Hamas is a sister organization to the Muslim Brotherhood. It's part of the International Muslim Brotherhood networks.

It was founded by people who studied in Egypt. It has very close links to senior Egyptian Muslim Brothers.

But on top of that, there's been for the last year an insurgency being fought by jihadists in Sinai near the Gaza border. And Egyptian security

believes that these people have gotten some help in the past from Gaza based groups, including Hamas.

ANDERSON: It's interesting that the charges against the former and now deposed president of Egypt, Mohamed Morsy who clearly is in jail at

present, the charges against him include accusations of espionage and that Hamas actually tried to help him break out of prison.

Now, to a certain extent, for western ears who will not accept Hamas as a political organization, to a certain extent one could suggest surely

that Sisi's positioning is music to their ears?

AMRANI: That's true. The United States and many other western governments...

ANDERSON: But it doesn't help, does it what's going on?

AMRANI: a terrorist organization.

That being said, rest of the world and Egyptians in particular who are next door to Hamas have a more pragmatic approach. Sisi doesn't like

Hamas, but he has to live with Hamas, just like the Israelis have to live with Hamas. And previous exchanges of fire and hostilities between Israel

and Hamas have actually been tests of Egyptian resolve. And we saw that under Mubarak, under Morsy and now we see it under Sisi.

The question is what will Egypt do if Israel escalates? There will be tremendous pressure from public opinion, from Gaza itself, to open the Rafa

crossing to allow humanitarian aid in...

ANDERSON: Is that likely to happen, do you think? Will he be forced?

AMRANI: Right now, the Egyptian government has a lot of arguments against doing it. It's facing a security crisis in Sinai. There's a

curfew in the region. that starts I think at 4:00 p.m. And -- it has not fully opened the border in the last few months, because of those reasons.

But we've seen in the past Egypt's hand being forced on those issues.

ANDERSON: Fascinating. We'll have you back. This is an ongoing crisis, of course. (inaudible) we thank you very much indeed for getting us

for context for us this evening.

Well, one of our top stories online looks at the five things that you need to know about the unfolding crisis between Israeli and Palestinian

leaders from a concise summary of events, recent events that led us to this point to the questions of whether the violence could spread to neighboring

countries, to a potential role for the U.S.

Read more and do join the conversation -- it's a global one, it's yours, it started and it's at

Well, live from Cairo, this is Connect the World with me, Becky Anderson. Coming up, is Egypt violating freedom of religion when it goes

after Muslim extremists in mosques. That discussion coming up.

And where the past meets the future, how prehistory is inspiring innovation in one South American city. That, after this.



JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In Lima, the city's future economic growth is being driven by its past between the intersections of

Brena (ph) and Pueblo Libre (ph) two districts are being modernized through the preservation of five pre-Hispanic pyramids built between 1100 and 1400.

PEDRO ESPINOZA, DESIGNER: The biggest one in which we are standing was the local temple. It has a special characteristics like open spaces

and private access. In the pyramid that we can see behind me was the main palace. Over there they had areas dedicated to the administration and

government of this place.

DEFTERIOS: Similar to those days when cultures conquered other civilizations and built new structures on top of existing ones, the

pyramids of Mateo Solado (ph) archeological complex were surrounded by the growth of Lima.

Seven years ago, the ministry of culture decided to invest nearly $1.5 million to start a preservation and tourism program.

ESPINOZA (through translator): What we aim for is to get a harmonic balance between the city and archeological sites. Obviously, they can be

incorporated in a respectful way into the growth of the city and that can bring multiple benefits.

DEFTERIOS: This site is not just for tourists, but open to the local community as a meeting place and used for cultural activities. The

restoration program has had the knock on effect of raising the value of real estate in the area.

ESPINOZA (through translator): Until after the recuperation of Mateo Soledo (ph) the prices of houses around this area were very depreciated.

Now that we show positive results, the prices have been going up and there's more interest in moving in to the surrounding areas.

DEFTERIOS: Since 2007, the land price per square meter has gone up 150 percent. Look out across the horizon and you see vibrant construction


And perhaps one of the most notable side effects has been the improvement of security. Delinquency and drug abuse, which used to be

commonplace when Mateo Solado (ph) was abandoned have decreased. For the people of this region, growth and progress have been built upon respect for

their cultural heritage.

John Defterios, CNN.


ANDERSON: If we've written to it we can -- if Ian is ready to throw to it, then let's him throw to it. I think. Yeah? Yeah.


ANDERSON: A very warm welcome back, this is CONNECT THE WORLD live from Cairo. The top stories for you this hour.

Israel has stepped up its aerial offensive in Gaza in response to the continued rocket fire coming from Hamas militants. Palestinian sources say

at least 13 people have been killed in the airstrikes since Monday night. Israel also calling up 40,000 reserve troops.

Abdullah Abdullah says he won Afghanistan's presidential runoff even though early results point to a win for his opponent. Officials say former

finance minister Ashraf Ghani won with 56 percent of the vote. The final tally due in two weeks' time.

The Vietnamese air force has grounded all training flights after a helicopter crash that killed at least 18 people. The Russian-made

helicopter crashed in Hanoi with 21 military personnel onboard. Authorities recovered the flight recorder and are looking into the cause of

the crash.

And a large typhoon is on course to bring large amounts of rain to mainland Japan. This video is from Okinawa, where residents are just

starting to assess the damage left by this storm. Half a million people were under a voluntary evacuation order on that island.

In an effort to stop Muslim extremists from getting their message out in Egypt, the government there -- or here is cracking down on unauthorized

speakers and teachers in mosques. Some say the government is going too far here and is violating the freedom of religion. Ian Lee reports from the

city Cairo.



IAN LEE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The call to prayer rings out over Cairo as it does every Friday, beckoning the

faithful. Men of all stripes from the surrounding neighborhood gather for this week's sermon.

The imam takes the podium. On the agenda, the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. He drives home the importance of fasting, patience, and devotion

to God. What you're witnessing here isn't just how to be a good Muslim, but rather, a battle raging for Egypt's spiritual soul.

The government recently clamped down on hundreds of small mosques and outlawed unlicensed imams, all the while handing out guidelines for unified

weekly sermons. It's a move to bring what they see as stray radical sheep back into the fold.

"The state has recently issued a law to regulate religious speech to ensure the soundness of youth's thoughts, to ensure the security of

mosques' podiums from deviating to specific political parties or currents," says Sheikh Mohamed Abdel Razek of the Ministry of Religious Endowments.

The move targets people like this, whose message is seen by the government as bizarre to downright dangerous. Here, a prominent preacher

and supporter of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood talks about the police.

"All we tried to do is terrorize those people by torching their cars," he says, "threatening them, or torching their homes." The law aims to stop

the Muslim Brotherhood from spreading political ideology. Some human rights groups here in Egypt say that's all the law is meant to do, stop

unfavorable political speech at mosques.

President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi gave this warning. "We will firmly and powerfully confront those who call for aggression and backwardness, those

whose words contradict the fundamentals of religion, and their actions contradict its teachings," says the president.

LEE (on camera): The government argues that by shutting down small, unregistered mosques, that they can control the message and thus reduce

extremism by sending people to larger ones, like this one. But critics say that this is just a crackdown on freedom of religion.

"This could force many youth to more extremism. It could force many youth to educate themselves away from the preachers that will be banned

from the mosques' podiums," says Salafi sheikh Sha'ban Darwish, who is one of the imams forbidden to take the pulpit. He heads the Salafi, which

holds an ultraconservative view of Islam.

Darwish fears the government could alienate some followers, but he is taking a more pragmatic route, working with the state to keep his movement

alive and to one day return to the podium. "We have reservations, but we understand the circumstances in which this law was issued," he says. "We

will unfortunately have to readjust our status."

Will the Egyptian government win Egypt's spiritual soul? We'll see. But for now, at least on the surface, Cairo, the city of 1,000 minarets,

and the rest of Egypt, are in unison.


ANDERSON: Ian Lee joining me now here in the bureau -- in the studio in Cairo. Ian, if anyone doubted his resolved, just last night, President

el-Sisi reinforcing what he sees as Muslim extremists preaching in mosques and what he sees as a threat to national security. This is what he said.


ABDEL FATTAH EL-SISI, PRESIDENT OF EGYPT (through translator): There is a group of people that does not know God. They are prepared to destroy

the Egyptian state. They are working toward this and believe that it is holy war. Don't forget, my fellow Egyptians. I haven't forgotten, and I

urge us all not to forget.

Beware. Today, religion is being used as a tool to destroy nations. The past, the enemy came at us from outside. You could see him, and people

all stood together to face him. Now, it's much more devious than that.


ANDERSON: Pretty emphatic stuff from the president last night.

LEE: Oh, that's definitely right. And the government does believe that they are waging a war for the spiritual soul of Egypt. And also, they

are fighting a low-level insurgency here in Egypt. We've had almost daily attacks by different groups against security forces.

And as well as this is a move by the government right now to finish the Muslim Brotherhood off once and for all. They've been going after

their members, they've been going after their finances. And now, they're going after the mosque, and that's where they get a lot of their grass

roots support.

ANDERSON: It is Ramadan here, and when you look out -- and I don't know if you can get a shot of it -- you can see the October the 6th Bridge.

It's absolutely packed with cars. Iftar, breaking fast, about an hour or so from now.

I have to say, we work with a lot of Muslims here on staff, those who are fasting more than happy for us to be eating, drinking, with respect to

them who are suffering, to a certain extent, through the heat of this day.

It feels like a very tolerant society here. It's very different, for example, to the Gulf where, during Ramadan, as a Westerner, you really have

to be very careful about what you do and say.

LEE: That's right. And Egypt is a very moderate country. It's always been a very moderate country, and that could be chalked up, also, to

the pluralism here. You have a lot of Christians here in Egypt, you have a lot of people from all over around the world come to Egypt. It's been a

very tolerable society.

And really, you haven't seen -- you've seen this wave of more fundamental ideas coming to Egypt in the 70s, when you saw a lot of those

Egyptians coming from the Gulf, returning where they worked as construction workers and other different jobs.

ANDERSON: Fascinating, isn't it? When you hear the president, and then you see what's going on in the streets, you hear the president, you

might think this was a very intolerant society. When you hit the streets and you just see what's going on here, this is feeling like a country on

the mend at present, but clearly still with significant problems. Ian, for the time being, thank you very much, indeed.

Live from Cairo, you're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. Still ahead, a city of legends, traditions, and hidden gems. We unlock the secrets of

Cairo for you.

And then away from this region, fighting for the finals. Football's giants Brazil and Germany battle it out for a chance to win the World Cup.

All that coming up, stay with us.


ANDERSON: Let's get you to the World Cup, where European teams will be battling their South American counterparts for spots in Sunday's final,

a two-day football fest forthcoming. Argentina and the Netherlands go head-to-head on Wednesday.

First, though, host nation Brazil will face Germany less than five hours' time. The only time the only time the two nations met at a World

Cup was in the finals in 2002, actually, where Brazil won two-nil. This time, Brazil are the unlikely underdogs, it's got to be said, facing the

possibility of being booted out of the World Cup in their own front yard.

Germany on the other hand are playing their fourth consecutive World Cup semifinal. Frederik Pleitgen is in Rio, and he joins us now with the

latest. Brazil's poster boy, Neymar, won't play against German after, of course, suffering a serious injury. So, I know you've been out and about.

Are German fans feeling confident?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the strange thing is, Becky, that I haven't seen confidence on either side of the

equation. The interesting thing is, we're about four hours before the match, as you said. If you look down here, you'll scarcely find a single

German fan out here. It's a sea of yellow, if you will, with the occasional German fan sprinkled in every once in a while.

The Germans, however, not confident at all. The Germans that I've spoken to, they say they have maybe a 50-50 chance of possibly winning this

thing. They've seen the performance of their team so far in this World Cup, they feel it's been an up-and-down World Cup for them. They had some

very good matches, like the last one against France, but also some very bad ones, like the one before that against Algeria.

And if you talk to the Brazilian fans, they'll see that their team needs to play as a team to compensate for the fact that they've lost their

star player, Neymar, and won't be without their regular captain, Thiago Silva, as well.

Nevertheless, I do sense some confidence among the Brazilian fans. They say they do think that with the support of the crowd, with the support

of the nation, they can pull this thing off.

Apparently, a company here in Belo Horizonte has even started somewhat of an action here. It's given out 60,000 Neymar masks just to assure the

team that at least in spirit, everyone in this town will be a Neymar in some way, shape or form.

So, very little confidence on both sides, but a lot of hope on both sides, I would say. And I have to say, the fans are very, very fair and

very good to each other. I always hear the Brazilians say they love the Germans. I always hear the Germans say they love Brazil, they love the way

this World Cup is being conducted.

So it is, if you will, a match of two titans in the football world, but certain two where the fans respect each other and the teams respect

each other as well, Becky.

ANDERSON: Should we very briefly, shall we declare your allegiance, or not?


ANDERSON: You don't --

PLEITGEN: Well, you know my allegiance. You know, I come from Germany, I have to root for Germany. But I'm also -- and like all Germans,

Becky, I'm a pessimist, so I don't believe the Germans are going to be able to pull it off.


PLETIGEN: But we also always have to note that Germans are at their best when they are the most pessimistic. It's one of the strange things

about this nation.

ANDERSON: Yes, all right. And I think wherever you're from in the world, clearly also the Brazilian team is one that people tend to support

as well, so yes. All right, we're looking forward to it, five or so hours from now. Thanks, Fred.

In Cairo, we might be a long way from all the action, but there's been no shortage of enthusiasm, it's got to be said, for the World Cup all over

the Middle East. And with streaming technology, fans have the chance to watch the matches with their friends, who aren't even on the same

continent, it's got to be said.

For more on this, Samuel Burke joins me now, live from New York. And Sam, you've been trying out new technology that allows us all to virtually

watch World Cup matches and video, chat with our mates, all at the same time.

SAMUEL BURKE, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Becky. We all know that streaming is the future of media, whether you're streaming a

video from CONNECT THE WORLD online, or even the World Cup. But we haven't had that ability to also watch something online and watch our friends, but

his technology, from an Israeli company called Round Live, allows you to kind of Skype and watch something at the same time.

So, what you're seeing on your screen right now is one of these World Cup games, and you're seeing people who are in different parts of the

world, and you can hear them and see them as you're watching the game.

So, instead of gathering around the couch, Becky, you in Cairo, me here in New York, we could just gather around our laptops and watch the

game this way. It's a web extension for a web browser right now, not a mobile app yet, but a web extension. And so, you can talk, you can type,

and you can celebrate the game.

ANDERSON: It does look extraordinary. Are there any limitations to what is this streaming technology, do you think?

BURKE: What I see as limitation right now is that it's only available as a web app for the Chrome browser, so if you don't have Firefox

installed, or you don't have -- or you have Internet Explorer installed, rather, you're not going to be able to use this. You have to have the

Chrome app.

Sometimes, streaming rights get in the way. For instance, ESPN may not work in the Middle East, so I know a lot of people in the Middle East

use VPN, Virtual Private Network software, to get around all those blocks. So that can be a challenge sometimes.

And of course, they don't have a mobile app yet, but they've told me that they're going to be working a mobile app. So hopefully one day, you

and I can both be on our phones, see each other, and see the game at the same time.

ANDERSON: Samuel Burke in New York for us. Let's get in touch later on, game coming up, I can't wait.

Coming up after this short break, though, on CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Becky Anderson, a place where the past can't be forgotten however hard

it tries. A look beyond the pyramids and sphinxes to uncover what is the hidden Cairo.



TEXT: Egypt has 111 telephone lines for every 100 people.

About 44 percent of Egyptians have internet access.

The oldest known Egyptian hieroglyphs date from 3400 BC.

JOHN SWEENEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It was ancient paper artwork to be hung on marble around the world.

John Sweeney, CNN, in Amos (ph) Village, Egypt.


ANDERSON: Well, a shot of Egypt just before the sun goes down and people break fast here, their Iftar meal forthcoming. It's Ramadan, of


Now, the very name of this city is the stuff of legend, evoking images of pharaohs and pyramids, golden tombs and desert landscapes. We were

given the chance to witness, though, some of the city's secrets firsthand, thanks to a leading Egyptian architect who took us to see the Cairo that

you won't always find in guidebooks. This is for you, have a look.


KARIM EL HAYAWAN, EGYPTIAN ARCHITECT: Being an architect with a newly-discovered passion for photography, I decided to hit the streets once

a week with my camera to take photographs, try to catch a glimpse of what this city is made of and what keeps it alive.

Over a thousand years ago, this used to be the spine of Islamic Cairo. Now that it's newly-restored, it's become my gateway to alleys and hidden

gems on both sides of the street. You can find people playing music, you can find people selling souvenirs and accessories. You can find details

everywhere. It's just magical and enchanting.

In this area, which is called Hosh Adam (ph), one of the well-restored houses, it was owned by Gamal el-Din el-Dahabi, a famous gold merchant back

in the 17th century. The house is well-restored and nestled within a residential area.

It's still (inaudible). So I developed the habit of walking around authentic and old ages around historic Cairo, taking pictures of people

living here and coming back to them at some point with a printout of their photos.


HAYAWAN: One of the best tailors in the area, I've taken some pictures of him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I used to walk into the neighborhood and hear the tunes of heavyweights. They were full of

creativity. They lived for art.

HAYAWAN: And now, time for a bite. These are the traditional food stores, available all around the traditional areas. As you can see, it's

breakfast time, so everyone is all around the place asking for a bite or two. And someone just decided to buy us breakfast. This is the typical

generosity in Egypt.

Our next stop is the Said Halim Palace. It's one of my favorite stops to trespass. It's an old palace built by the prince Said Halim, grandson

of Mohamed Ali. It was built in the late 1890s. As you can see, the details in the architecture are just pure mastery, built in the late 1890s

for Prince Said Halim, and it has turned into a school since 1914, and it has been a school ever since, until the year 2007.

Iconic figures have graduated from this school, such as Mustafa Amin and Ali Amin, and famous actor Hussein Fahmy. And as you can see, every

angle has picture-perfect detail. The light is just phenomenal, and the architectural details are just marvelous.

For me, trespassing in itself is quite a rush. You have amazing spots in Cairo where actually they are quite abandoned, and in itself beholds

such amazing value. This palace combines everything together. It's aged, it has architectural detail, it has the essence of trespassing, and above

all, it gives me photographic angles that wouldn't be found anywhere else.

So, right here is a boutique hotel hidden in the wisest streets. It's le Riad. It has a beautiful rooftop, and we can go and have some tea up


The more I walk around Cairo, the more I realize how endless it is. As much as I want to discover other cities, I'm not done with Cairo yet.


ANDERSON: Well, the team at CONNECT THE WORLD wants to hear from you,, have your say. You can tweet me @BeckyCNN, we're

on Instagram, of course, as well. Search for Becky CNN.

Now, throughout this month, we are live from Cairo, from Beirut, from Istanbul, back in the UAE in Sharjah, and our hometown in Abu Dhabi. If

you live in any of those cities and would like to share your images with the world, visit and follow the instructions from the homepage.

And I can promise you, the best pictures will be featured right here on CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Becky Anderson. Anything that you want to

discuss with us, hash tag #CTWlivefrom during this month of work around the region.

Well, the world is preparing to mark 100 years since the start of something that truly changed it forever: World War I. And in our Parting

Shots, tonight from Egypt, we want to take a moment to look at the unique role this country played in the conflict.

Troops like these from Australia and New Zealand were sent here to counter the threat to British interest in the Middle East, in particular,

the crucial Suez Canal. Here, Australian infantrymen are riding camels near the Sphinx. This photo was taken around 1915. You can see the Great

Pyramid of Giza in the background.

And this photo of an officer's mess gives you an idea of what training camps were like it in the desert. Australian troops stayed here for about

four and a half months before heading to Gallipoli.

And despite the extraordinary circumstances, life still went on as normal in many ways. Here, troops taking time out of their training to cut

each other's hair.

I'm Becky Anderson, that was CONNECT THE WORLD, live from Cairo this evening. We'll be back in the Egyptian capital at the same time tomorrow.

For the time being, thank you for watching.