<![CDATA[rss-Arts & Culture]]> All Rights Reserved for The Cairo post <![CDATA[Arts & Culture]]>]]> 100 29 <![CDATA[Prince's 1995-2010 albums made available for streaming]]>
The tracks come from 23 albums -- from 1995's "The Gold Experience" to 2010's "20Ten" -- that have been launched online as part of a deal struck with Sony's Legacy Recordings.

There is also a new 37-track compilation called "Prince Anthology 1995-2010," made up of highlights from the 23 albums.

"Many of these albums, long sought-after by fans and collectors, are available for the first time for streaming and download, adding more than 300 essential Prince songs to the artist's online in-print catalog," Legacy said in a statement.

The Prince Estate and Sony Music Entertainment reached an agreement in June that would see Legacy digitally distribute 35 Prince albums in total.

The music includes previously-unreleased albums as well as singles, B-sides, live recordings and other rarities.

The songs come from Prince's later career, when he was at his most industrious, and putting out up to four albums a year.

"Freed from major label demands and expectations, Prince was able to write, record and release his own music on his own terms," Legacy added.

Variety magazine noted that Prince's biggest hit from that period, 1994's "The Most Beautiful Girl in the World," has not been included, despite being on "The Gold Experience."

It quoted an unnamed source who said the track was "on legal hold as a result of existing litigation."
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8/18/2018 5:44:06 PM
<![CDATA[Brazil's 'queer museum' reopens in Rio after forced closure]]>
Brazil's "queer museum," forced to close last year after conservatives attacked it for allegedly promoting pedophilia, blasphemy and bestiality, is reopening in the shadow of Rio de Janeiro's iconic Christ the Redeemer statue.

The Queermuseu, which features 200 works by 82 Brazilian artists, originally opened last year in the southern city of Porto Alegre but was forced to close by critics who accused it of attacking Christianity.

The enforced closure sent shockwaves through the artistic community and triggered debate about freedom of expression and a return of censorship, three decades after the end of the military dictatorship that ran the Latin American country from 1964-85.

A crowdfunding campaign raised more than a million reais ($275,000) allowing it to reopen for a month, with free admission, at the School for Visual Arts in Rio de Janeiro's Parque Lage -- a wooded parkland at the foot of the mountain topped by the renowned statue of Christ.

The series of fundraising events included a concert by the legendary musician Caetano Veloso. The curators picked the venue in the park after the city's Evangelical mayor, Marcelo Crivella, banned the use of Rio's Arts Museum for the show.

"It is a very important moment for Brazilian democracy, a convincing demonstration that the most progressive sectors of society will not accept censorship," said curator Gaudencio Fidelis.

"We haven't seen an act of censorship of this size and severity since the dictatorship," he said.

In addition artwork, the exhibition features talks on sexual diversity and LGBT rights as well as musical shows by "queer" performers.



The exhibition is almost identical to the one forced to close in Porto Alegre, featuring the same provocative works that scandalized Brazilian conservatives.

They include a portrayal of Jesus as a monkey in the arms of the Virgin Mary, works illustrating sexual practices in the style of traditional Japanese erotic prints and paintings of clothed kids entitled "Gay Children."

Children."

The images, including one of a multi-armed Jesus called "Crossing Jesus Christ Goddess Shiva," infuriated the right-wing Free Brazil Movement, which lobbied for the show to be shuttered.

The revived exhibition, which opens to the public on Saturday, only admits visitors aged 14 years and over, and carries a warning at the entrance that it contains images of nudity.

- Security precautions -



"We hope for an enormous number of visitors, but not because of all the controversy. People will see that it was a false premise, a fabricated polemic. Society will be able to see the true nature of the exhibition," said Fidelis.

The organizers say they are not afraid of new demonstrations by right-wing groups, but just in case, they have employed 20 security guards and installed surveillance cameras.

School of Visual Arts director Fabio Szwarcwald said that so far he has only received a few dozen emails opposing the opening of the exhibition, unlike his colleagues at the Arts Museum, who received hundreds of protests, including death threats.

"We are not worried about possible attacks on the show," he said. "It's been very different to what happened at the Arts Museum."

The Free Brazil Movement, known in Brazil as the MBL and which spearheaded the boycott in Porto Alegre, has said it will remain quiet, since this time the exhibition is privately funded and not using public money to "sexualize children."

"They'll be praying for the MBL to do something because if it hadn't been all the attention we drew to it, no one would have gone to see this garbage," said Renan Santos, one of the founders of the movement, which came to prominence in street marches calling for the impeachment of former leftist president Dilma Rousseff in 2016.

"The whole world can go see it naked, if they want," he said.

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8/18/2018 5:40:46 PM
<![CDATA[India star Chopra to become 'Mrs Jonas']]>
Jonas, 25, posted a photo with Chopra on Instagram, captioning it: "Future Mrs. Jonas. My heart. My love."

Chopra, 36, posted the same photo on her Instagram page, writing: "Taken... with all my heart and soul."

She was seen wearing a diamond ring that Jonas reportedly bought after shutting down a Tiffany store in New York last month.

Chopra, who won the Miss World pageant in 2000, is one of Bollywood's most identifiable stars and one of the few to have achieved success in the West.

She stars in the ABC thriller series "Quantico" and has released songs with US chart-toppers including Pitbull and The Chainsmokers.

Jonas first found success as a child as the frontman of The Jonas Brothers with his two siblings.

The brothers hailed from a deeply devout Christian family and presented a wholesome image, including wearing purity rings to promote chastity.

In more recent years Jonas remolded himself with with a more mature and edgy musical image, as well as turning to acting.

He has been romantically linked to a number of celebrities including Miley Cyrus and Selena Gomez.

In photos shared on social media Saturday, Chopra and Jonas were seen performing a prayer ritual in traditional Indian attires.

While Chopra opted for a flowing yellow ensemble, Jonas wore white kurta-pyjama. Jonas' parents also wore Indian outfits.

Rumours that the duo were engaged kicked off last month when People magazine reported Jonas had proposed to Chopra after a whirlwind two months of dating.

The couple are yet to announce a wedding date.
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8/18/2018 5:36:36 PM
<![CDATA[Ministry of Culture establishes cinema club for the disabled]]>
A couple of days of each month will be chosen to display carefully selected movies for the disabled.

Abdel Jalil further explained that El-Hanager Cinema has organized numerous activities for the upcoming period, including organizing kids Cinema day on Fridays, focusing on cartoons that address issues that require the attention of parents and caregivers.

During the Friday sessions, discussions will also be held to find solutions for obstacles local children may be suffering from in silence.

It is worth noting that Abdel Jalil has opened a club for the Independent Cinema on Aug. 11 in the presence of numerous public figures and independent cinema supporters in Egypt.

Film producer Mohamed el-Adl, directors Amir Ramses and Ashraf Fayek were the most prominent local film makers among the attendees.

The governmental approach towards the disabled and those who need special care has been changed in Egypt since the 2011 revolution. The disabled have been deprived of their much deserved basic rights for decades.

The new approach towards the disabled in Egypt gained the support of the locals.


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8/18/2018 1:00:00 PM
<![CDATA[MIFF currently screens ‘Sheikh Jackson’, ‘Yomeddine’]]>
“Sheikh Jackson” stars Ahmed al-Fishawy and revolves around the death of the King of Pop, Michael Jackson. The plotline focuses on an aspiring Imam who loves Jackson’s music and imitates the pop star’s performances. His strong relationship with Salafism reflects the contradictions in his life.



“Sheikh Jackson” was the opening movie for the first edition of El Gouna Film Festival, which took place from Sept. 22 to 29. The film also screened in the 61st London Film Festival, which kicked off on Oct. 4. Egypt has selected Salama’s “Sheikh Jackson” as its candidate for consideration at the upcoming edition of the Oscars, set to take place in February 2018.



The 28th edition of Carthage International Film Festival previously chose the Egyptian Movie “Sheikh Jackson” to represent Egypt in the festival’s official competition.

“Sheikh Jackson” was released in the United States in early 2018. “This is a big milestone in my career, which I have always wished for,” Salama posted at the time.

“Sheikh Jackson” screened for the first time in all Egyptian Cinemas on Oct. 4, 2017.

“Yomeddine” was competing for the Cannes Film Festival’s most prestigious award, the Palm d'Or, which will be announced on Saturday. The official website of Cannes International Film Festival previously announced that the Egyptian feature is also nominated for the Golden Camera award, which is granted each year to the best first-time director at the festival.

The tragic comedy “Yomeddine” revolves around a leprosy patient who escapes from the hospital along with one of his friends in order to search for his family. “Yomeddine” is directed by Egyptian-Austrian director Abu Bakr Shawky, who became the first Egyptian to be invited to the main competition of the Cannes Film Festival.

The 71st Cannes Film Festival held a press conference with the Egyptian filmmakers of “Yomeddine” after its screening at the festival on May 9. The screening was attended by many international actors, including Julianne Moore, Louise Bourgoin and Kiko Mizuhara. All the attendees praised the movie’s construction and drama line, as well as the directing technique adopted by Shawky in his debut feature.

The first Egyptian movie participating in Cannes Film Festival’s main competition managed to grab the attention of all those who watched it. International media platforms were keen to put the spotlight on “Yomeddine”, writing extremely positive reviews about the movie, which presents an innovative mixture of tragedy, comedy, and condensed shots of emotions and sentiments.

In the same context, the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) kicked off on Aug. 3, showcasing a wide variety of movies from all around the world, including the Middle East.

Situated in Melbourne, Australia, the MIFF is an annual event running since 1952, which is one of the oldest film festivals in the world. It presents both exceptional Australian talent and films from all across the world, bringing diversity and culture together under one roof.

Several of the films featured this year include Egyptian crime drama “The Nile Hilton Incident”, by Tarik Saleh, which follows corrupt cop Noredin Mustafa as he investigates the murder of a singer.

Matthew Heineman's “City of Ghosts”, a harrowing documentary about a non-violent group of journalists fighting IS through the internet is also featured. Osamah Sami's “Ali's Wedding”, a romantic comedy about a young Muslim man who moves to Melbourne and falls in love head over heels, is also on the list.

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8/18/2018 12:37:07 PM
<![CDATA[AAM to honor Marwan Hamed, Waheed Hamed]]>
AAM will honor Wahid Hamed and his son, Marwan Hamed, at its sixth Annual Awards Dinner on Nov. 7 in Washington, D.C. This annual Media Award recognizes individuals whose work demonstrates a strong commitment to purpose driven content, and who appreciate the unique power of media as a catalyst in informing, inspiring and positively impacting society.

“AAM is proud to honor the Hameds and shed light on their important careers at our Awards Dinner in Washington this fall,” said Dr. Aaron Lobel, founder and president of AAM.

AAM believes that the collective works of both Wahid and Marwan Hamed has succeeded in providing American audiences with a glimpse into the history of the Egyptian entertainment industry, act as a catalyst for social dialogue, hold powerful resonance throughout the Arab world, and lift taboos and bring forth positive change.

“The spirit of the Hameds’ work strongly complements AAM's mission, which is to empower and support local voices that convey universal values through creative content and media programming,” Lobel added.

Wahid Hamed is considered one of Egypt’s most renowned writers with a career that spans four decades. He was born on July 1, 1944, in Sharqia governorate. Hamed received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology in the late 1960s, before embarking on a career in screenwriting.

His first strong and successful work was "Ahlam al-Fata al-Taer" (Dreams of the Flying Boy) released in 1978. This famous television series was the start of his longtime cooperation with the legendary Egyptian actor Adel Emam. Since then, both Hamed and Emam began an artistic partnership that produced many iconic, unforgettable films.


Among their most famous movies together is "Al-Erhab wel Kabab" (Terrorism and Kebab) in 1992, which is a black comedy discussing government corruption and the sufferings of the middle class in Egypt.

The duo also worked together on, "Al-Ghoul" (The Ogre) in 1983, and “Toyour al-Zalam” (The Birds of Darkness) in 1995, which tackled political corruption in Egypt and the appearance of the Muslim Brotherhood at the time.

Their most known collaboration took place in the famous controversial movie "Omaret Yacoubian" (The Yacoubian Building) in 2006, which was the first long feature movie for Hamed's son, Marwan Hamed, as a director.

Hamed also wrote the controversial movie "Al-Baree’" (The Innocent) in 1997; a movie that conveyed a controversial political message which made Hamed face a long censorship battle. "Al-Baree’" was screened 19 years post its production and only after the ending was changed.

In 2002, Hamed wrote the political comedy movie "Ma’ali al-Wazeer" (The Minister) again tackling government corruption.

Hamed received numerous awards from many film festivals. He was awarded for his movies "Al-Le’eb Ma’al Kobar" (Playing with Big People) in 1991, "Ehky ya Scheherazade" (Tell the Story, Scheherazade) in 2009, and "Ot W Far" (Cat and Mouse) in 2015.

His last television series "Al-Gama’a" (The Brotherhood) in 2010, and "Return of Al-Gama’a" in 2017, tackled the history and impact of the Muslim Brotherhood, since its emergence, on Egypt.

Hamed also established a production company titled Wahid Hamed Film Productions, to produce his and others’ works. He has worked alongside many veteran Egyptian directors in over 40 films and numerous TV series including Yousry Nasrallah, Atef al-Tayeb and Sherif Arafa, among others.

Marwan Hamed is an Egyptian filmmaker and director who was born in 1977 in Cairo. He graduated from the High Institute of Cinema in 1999, then started his 16-year career with the short movie “Lili” (2001), based on a short story by the veteran writer Youssef Idris.

In 2006, Hamed directed his first feature film “Omaret Yacoubian” (The Yacoubian Building) which brought together giants such as Adel Imam, Nour el-Sherif, Yousra, Khaled el-Sawy and Essad Younis.

“The Yacoubian Building” garnered several awards from important international film festivals. Following his first success, he directed “Ibrahim Al-Abyad” (2009), starring action hero Ahmed el-Sakka, “El Feel El Azraa” (The Blue Elephant) in 2014, starring heartthrob Egyptian star Karim Abdel Aziz, and finally “El Asleyeen” (The Originals) with Menna Shalaby and El-Sawy, released over Eid El-Fitr.

A film’s fame and success are usually attributed to its stars, but Marwan Hamed, a creative director with a unique style, is one of the very few who captured the heart of their admirers, so they wait eagerly for his next film. To his audience, he is the real star of the movie.
Hamed won many awards such as Best Director Award from Fantasporto Film Festival in Portugal on his movie “El Asleen” (The Originals) in February 2018.
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8/18/2018 12:30:00 PM
<![CDATA[Paul Rudd stars in Netflix's 'Living with Yourself' ]]>
In the eight-episode series, Rudd plays two different characters, where he first portrays a man struggling in life and then receives medical treatment to become a whole new person.

Rudd starred in “Ant Man” and “The Wasp” produced by Marvel Studios. The two movies are currently showing in movie theatres all over the world and have gained $430 million in profits at the box office.

The movies will also be played in China, Japan and other international markets, expanding its network of distribution in the international film industry.

Rudd was born in April 1969. The star majored in theatre at the University of Kansas and the British American Drama Academy, before making his acting debut in 1992 with NBC's drama series “Sisters”.

Rudd co-wrote the screenplay in many of his previous movies, which make him appear as a multi-talented artist in the world of acting. His new series is expected to gain high view rates.


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8/18/2018 11:40:00 AM
<![CDATA[Ahmad Gohar, IhabTal’at attend “Fe Belad El Sa’ada” play]]>
image 2
Part of the play – Egypt Today

Arriving in the lead of attendees was producer IhabTala’at, singer Ahmad Gohar and a number of officials in the Iraqi Embassy in Egypt. The play revolves around a poor man who dislikes the condition of the land where he resides. Furthermore, the man decided to face the King of the ‘land of happiness’ to object about the living conditions that he and his fellow people are living under. The man eventually gets a chance to become the King, under one condition. The condition to become the king is what makes the play intriguing as the story unfolds.

image 3
Part of the play – Egypt Today

The play is monetarily supported by the Modern Theatre Group and written by WalidYousif. The play starsMedhatTikha, Ala’aKoka, Hassan el-Adl, Saied el-Roumi and many others.

The Modern Theatre Group is affiliated with the Ministry of Culture and has organized several events supporting the modern theatre in Egypt. The group also aims to improve theatre in Egypt in general.
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8/18/2018 10:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Tributes pour in for 'Queen of Soul' Aretha Franklin]]>
Tributes have poured in for the beloved and iconic singer Aretha Franklin from friends, musicians, politicians and fans after the legendary "Queen of Soul" died aged 76.

"It's difficult to conceive of a world without her. Not only was she a uniquely brilliant singer, but her commitment to civil rights made an indelible impact on the world," singer and actress Barbra Streisand tweeted about Franklin, who died on Thursday after a history-making career that spanned six decades.

"I'm sitting in prayer for the wonderful golden spirit Aretha Franklin," said Motown legend Diana Ross, while former Beatle Paul McCartney‏ called her "the Queen of our souls".

Franklin influenced generations of female singers with unforgettable hits including "Respect" (1967), "Natural Woman" (1968) and "I Say a Little Prayer" (1968).



Franklin -- who was widely known by only her first name, in true diva style -- rose from singing gospel in her father's church to regularly topping rhythm and blues and pop charts in the 1960s and 1970s
The 18-time Grammy award winner cemented her place in US music history with a powerful, bell-clear voice that stretched over four octaves. In a career crossing generations, her hits spanned from soul and R&B, to gospel and pop.

After a long battle with pancreatic cancer, Franklin passed away Thursday morning surrounded by her family and loved ones at her Detroit home, her family said in a statement issued by her publicist.

"We have lost the matriarch and rock of our family. The love she had for her children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and cousins knew no bounds," the statement said.

The family thanked fans around the world for their "incredible outpouring of love" since it emerged earlier this week that she was gravely ill.



Fans mourning the death of Franklin left balloons, flowers and mementos at Detroit's New Bethel Baptist Church, where as a child the star kicked off her storied career singing gospel.

Reverend Charles Turner described her passing as a "Great loss -- can't nobody replace her," adding that the grief felt by mourners was akin to the loss of a parent.

And in California similar tributes quickly amassed on Franklin's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Franklin's death came on the same day that fellow US music giant Elvis Presley died 41 years ago at his home in Memphis, the city where Franklin was born.

- 'National treasure' -



In 1987, she became the first woman ever inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2010, Rolling Stone magazine put her at the top of its list of the 100 greatest singers of all time, male or female.

She performed at the inaugurations of presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, singing "My Country 'Tis of Thee" at the investiture of the country's first African-American head of state. In 1977, Franklin sang for Jimmy Carter at the Kennedy Center the night before his inauguration.

In a heartfelt tribute from the Obamas, the former president and his wife Michelle praised Franklin's "unmatched musicianship," which they said "helped define the American experience."


"Every time she sang, we were all graced with a glimpse of the divine," the Obamas said in a statement. "In her voice, we could feel our history, all of it and in every shade -- our power and our pain, our darkness and our light, our quest for redemption and our hard-won respect. She helped us feel more connected to each other, more hopeful, more human."

US President Donald Trump called the singer "terrific," saying she "brought joy to millions of lives and her extraordinary legacy will thrive and inspire many generations to come."

Clinton and his wife, former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, hailed her as "one of America's greatest national treasures."

- 'Unmatched' -



Franklin -- who was widely known by only her first name, in true diva style -- rose from singing gospel in her father's church to regularly topping rhythm and blues and pop charts in the 1960s and 1970s.

Other than "Respect," her powerful cover of the Otis Redding tune that became a feminist anthem and her calling card, Franklin had dozens of Top 40 singles, according to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Other hits include "Day Dreaming" (1972), "Jump to It" (1982), "Freeway of Love" (1985), and "A Rose Is Still A Rose" (1998). A 1986 duet with George Michael, "I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)," hit number one in several countries.


AFP / Sabrina BLANCHARD
Aretha Franklin's favorite concert songs, based on data from 110 performances
Franklin's declining health was first disclosed on the Showbiz 411 website late Sunday by Roger Friedman, a reporter and family friend.

The Detroit News later reported that she was in hospice care, as artists from across the musical spectrum offered well wishes to the singer who lived in Detroit -- the Motor City, home of Motown -- most of her life.

In 2005, Franklin was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom -- the highest award for an American civilian -- by then-president George W. Bush.

In 2010, she suffered serious health problems, but continued to perform until late last year, singing last in November 2017 for the Elton John AIDS Foundation in New York. That same year, Detroit named a street after her.


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8/17/2018 3:06:53 PM
<![CDATA[Salah el-Din Citadel Festival’s closing with Saleh’s signature]]>
Chairman of Cairo Opera House Magdy Saber remarked that this year the festival has been granted an international badge for the first time.

Organized by Cairo Opera House, the festival presented 37 various concerts by Egyptian and Arab countries in this year’s edition.



This year the festival’s line-up included Fouad and Mounib band, Tunisian singer Ghali Banali, Egyptian marimba player Nesma Abdel Aziz, Egyptian singers Sheikh Yasin Al-Tuhami, Ali El Haggar, Iman Al-Bahr Darwish and Ihab Tawfik, Monte Cairo band, El Nour W El Amal Orchestra and Syrian singer Majed Al Qasim.

No’man Ashour’s cultural castle in Mit Ghamr district hosted a ceremony to grant the festival the “Salah Hilal” Award for best playwright and “Abu el-Anain Sharaf el-Din” Award for best poet.

The cultural ceremony was supervised by critic Yusri el-Arab. It is worth noting that No’man Ashour was an Egyptian poet and playwright. The late poet died in April 1987.
Minister of Culture Inas Abdel Dayem launched the Salah el-Din International Citadel Festival for Music and Singing in its 27th round on Aug. 2 at the Mahka Theatre at the citadel.

After Abdel Dayem delivered her speech during the inauguration ceremony she honored the artistic figures who greatly impacted the festival’s success: veteran singers Hany Shaker and Medhat Saleh, as well as violin player Alaa Khalil, director Sayed Amin Abou Elhoda, critic Kariman Herk, Mohamed Hamdy and piano maintenance expert Hatem Mansour.

Abdel Dayem gave the honorees the honor shields and certificates of appreciation. The honoring was followed by Chinese shows and folklore songs presented by Chinese youth and children as well as a concert by the singer Shaker.

Medhat Saleh was born in Cairo in 1960 in Shobra district. He started his musical career directly after he graduated from Cairo University. He released his first song, entitled “Akeed” (Sure) in the 1980s.

He performed his song named “Ya Greed el Nakhl el Aly” (O High Palm Leaves) in front of ex Egyptian President Hosny Mubarak in mid 1980s, where the song achieved a booming success, placing Saleh among the top singers at that time.

Throughout his career that extended for more than 30 years, Saleh was famous for performing the songs of the most successful movies such as "Habiby Ya Ashek" in “Short w Fanla w Cap” (Shorts, a T-shirt and a Hat) movie, "El Nour Makano Fel Keloob" (Light Belongs in the Hearts) from “Amir el Zalam” (The Prince of Darkness) movie, “La Hatakhod Eih” (What Will You Gain?) from the movie "Mafia", among others.
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8/17/2018 2:59:54 PM
<![CDATA[Emma Thompson, 59, wants more film roles for older women]]>
Known for period dramas such as “Howards End” and “Sense and Sensibility,” Thompson plays a judge who struggles with a legal decision while also dealing with trouble in her marriage.

At the movie’s red-carpet premiere, Thompson said she was drawn to the role of a woman who has gained power in “a very male bastion.”

“I’d never seen a story about a female judge, and I think in our patriarchal world, when you hear the word judge, you automatically think, ‘Oh, it’s a man,’” Thompson said.

She also said the lack of good film roles for older women remains a long-running problem.

“Men don’t have any problem with that,” Thompson said. “It’s something that hasn’t yet properly changed.

“We are seeing some really good and interesting new roles, so one’s got to be hopeful,” she added.]]>
8/17/2018 2:47:52 PM
<![CDATA[Scarlett Johansson leaps to top of Forbes' highest-paid actresses]]>
Johansson, 33, took in $40.5 million in pre-tax earnings from June 1, 2017, to June 1, 2018, quadrupling her income from the previous year, according to Forbes’ calculations.

She played Black Widow in this year’s hit movie “Avengers: Infinity War” and will return to the role in the 2019 installment from Walt Disney Co’s (DIS.N) Marvel Studios.

Jolie, 43, earned $28 million, largely thanks to a payment for the film “Maleficent 2,” scheduled for 2020.

Jennifer Aniston, 49, who still earns residual income from the 1990s sitcom “Friends,” came in third with $19.5 million. She also received money from endorsements of products including Coca-Cola Co’s (KO.N) Smartwater brand and Johnson & Johnson’s (JNJ.N) Aveeno.

Jennifer Lawrence, 28, who starred in the underperforming films “Mother!” and “Red Sparrow,” was fourth on the Forbes list with continued earnings from her role in the “X-Men” series and an endorsement contract with fashion brand Christian Dior (DIOR.PA). Her $18 million income was $6 million less than the prior year.

In fifth place, Reese Witherspoon, 42, took in $16.5 million.

The rest of the top 10 were Mila Kunis, Cate Blanchett, Melissa McCarthy and Gal Gadot.


Last year’s highest-paid actress, Oscar-winning “La La Land” star Emma Stone, fell out of the top 10.

The 2018 Forbes list of highest-paid actors is scheduled to be released next week. Last year, Mark Wahlberg led the pack with $68 million thanks to his pay days for movies “Daddy’s Home 2” and “Transformers: The Last Knight.”

Forbes said the lack of roles for women means “there are fewer opportunities for stars to earn big bucks.” Only two women topped the $20 million mark, down from three in 2017 and four in 2016.

The magazine compiles its annual celebrity earnings lists from box office and Nielsen data, as well as from interviews with industry insiders.]]>
8/17/2018 2:43:46 PM
<![CDATA[Masterpiece theater: Chinese make-up artist brings paintings to life]]>
The 27-year-old has gone viral on Chinese social media for her videos of her make-up transformations, drawing a million followers on popular video and music platform TikTok.

“It’s more difficult to do this kind of make-up, because it’s more like drawing,” said He, who is based in the southwestern city of Chongqing.

“I need to draw other people’s faces onto my own, with a lot of details added, and I need to change my facial features.”

He has even taken on characters from paintings, such as the “Girl with a Pearl Earring” by 17th-century Dutchman Johannes Vermeer.

It took her more than six hours to recreate, carefully adding layers of foundation to her face to replicate shadows, and wearing a headscarf to match the one on the canvas.

In May, He kicked off her video series, unexpectedly bringing to life Leonardo Da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” in a recreation that captured attention on social media.

Before she became a blogger on the transformative use of make-up, she had her own studio, applying cosmetics in preparation for weddings and advertisement shoots.

Now she estimates her monthly spend on make-up is up to 10,000 yuan ($1,452). She is backed by corporate sponsors.

“I like to try new things,” He said, adding that characters from the “Lion King” and princesses in Disney animated films are next in her lineup for imitation.]]>
8/17/2018 2:40:39 PM
<![CDATA[Samir Salma, the revolutionary Palestinian artist dies at 74 in Paris]]>CAIRO – 17 August 2018. Samir Salma, the revolutionary Palestinian artist died on Thursday, at the age of 74 in Paris, France. Salama was born in the city of Safad on the same day of his death, Aug. 16, 1944.

After the Palestinian defeat in 1948 known in the Arab region as “Nakba” (The Catastrophe), he was forced to move with his family to Galil city, and then to the village of Bint Jbeil in Lebanon.

The popular Syrian artist Adham Ismail played a crucial role in guiding Salama`s career. He also advocated his candidacy at the Faculty of Fine Arts at Damascus University.

Throughout his career, the Palestinian painter played an important role in the establishment of the PLO's Department of Fine Arts and Unified Media.

In 1972, he moved to Beirut where he joined the PLO's Information Service department. He participated in collective exhibitions in Beirut, as well as several international exhibitions in Morocco, Egypt, Jordan and France in which he represented Palestine.

In 1975, he moved to Paris to pursue his Post Graduate Studies at the Faculty of Fine Arts in front of the Louvre Museum.

In France, he opposed the “Israeli address” written on his residence card as the French government linked his address in Safad to an Israeli city. Accordingly, he fought many years until he succeeded in changing it on his card and passport.

Later, he worked at UNESCO in the Arabic publication section.He returned to Palestine at the beginning of 1996 and received a presidential decree in Ramallah to be appointed as advisor to the Ministry of Culture.

He was awarded the Medal of Culture, Arts and Sciences (level of brilliance) by the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in recognition of his successful artistic career.
Back to his home city, Safad, for the first time in 1966, he tried to find his house but it was fully destroyed during an Israeli attack on the city.

In 2005, he arranged an exhibition in Palestine for the first time after dozens of exhibitions held abroad. In France, He collaborated with Ezzeddine Al-Qalk, the Palestinian ambassador to France, and produced a unique collection of political posters advocating “The Palestinians Right for Return”.

Salama recalled his cooperation with Ambassador Ezzeddine, to organize an international exhibition for Palestine in Beirut under the supervision of the popular artist Mona Al-Saudi, and then moved to Tokyo in Japan. His paintings were destroyed by the bombing of the Israeli Air Force during the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982.
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8/17/2018 1:32:04 PM
<![CDATA[Words like no other ]]>
And taking on one challenge after the other, she has gained regional and international recognition; all while serving her message to humanity and ultimate duty towards her society, as a trained haematologist specializing in blood cancer.

Many will know her as a rising novelist who, in the space of just four years, has managed to win plenty of local and international awards and prizes. Some may even know that while writing is her passion, her professional job cannot be any far removed from the world of fictional characters, feminist literature or the complicated mechanics of the Arabic language.

Elabsy, a full-time physician, has yet one more unrelated but impressive talent: she’s also an opera singer with a number of solo performances at the Cairo Opera House under her belt.

Passion, talent and a social duty

With seemingly convergent career paths, Elabsy has decided to follow all of her three dreams. She recounts how she was destined to work as a haematologist after a cousin to whom she is very close was diagnosed with a fierce type of leukemia and lost his sight at the age of four.

“Mahmoud asked me to be a doctor to cure him and this is the reason I joined the Faculty of Medicine and specialized in blood diseases,’’ she says.

Elabsy also recalls how she has always wanted to be a singer, ever since she was a student at school. “I am a singer because singing is the first decision I took without any kind of pressure, when I was five years old and my music teacher asked who wanted to sing. I simply raised my hand and started singing,’’ she says. She performed as a solo singer at Cairo Opera House between 1999 and 2002.

Language too held Elabsy’s fascination at quite a young age. “For me, the composition lessons at school were the most interesting things I experienced as a child, I am very grateful to my Arabic teachers who really taught me with all integrity and professionalism the true and the exact basics of the Arabic language,’’ says Elabsy.

Revealing that the first time she started writing was after going through some personal tragedies in her life, Elabsy adds that for her, writing is not just a choice, it is rather a necessity, a daily routine that keeps her balanced.

“For me, writing is my way to know myself and the world surrounding me, writing continuously opens closed doors in your life that you can’t ever imagine will be opened,’’ she says, stressing her preference for writing about things that she doesn’t know and that she avoids writing about her life and her personal experiences.

A writer’s journey

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In 2014, at the age of 32, Elabsy began writing and released her first collection of short stories titled Hasheshet El-Malak (Angelica). But would her writing create a language of communication between her and her readers? Elabsy wondered, especially that she had never studied writing or even taken any courses or workshops. “At that time [the only thing I had going for me as a writer was] that I am a good reader.’’

The collection was well received, both in Egypt and the region, and even mentioned by veteran literature professor at Al-Mustansiriya University in Baghdad Nadia el-Henawy in her book on feminist literature.

The unexpected success prompted Elabsy to write her second collection of stories Awlad El-Hoor (The Sons of Nymphs), also in 2014, and to enter it into the Central Competition of General Authority for Cultural Palaces, which is affiliated to the Egyptian Ministry of Culture.

“I didn’t expect it to win first place, and I was so happy that the prestigious General Authority for Cultural Palaces published it as it was sold at an extremely affordable price and made available at newsstands,” Elabsy recalls. As most of its stories were published in newspapers and websites, Awlad El-Hoor resonated widely.

Elabsy then decided to try her luck further afield by participating in a competition affiliated to the Iraqi Ministry of Culture in the name of the renowned Iraqi poet, narrator and critic Nazik Al-Malaika.

“I wanted to support Iraq on the cultural level because in 2014 the Iraqi crisis was at its peak as a result of ISIS terrorist practices in Mosul.’’

Elabsy won the story section award for her work “Manwella” and describes it as a turning point in her career because she got the chance to interact directly with Iraqis whom she describes as great intellectuals, as well as art connoisseurs.

Eager to visit Iraq, “this amazing historical country that was for years and years the headquarters of the Islamic Caliphate State,” Elabsy says wasn’t afraid to travel at that critical time. Upon her return, she wrote a series of articles inspired by her trip.

From Iraq, Elabsy set her sights on Lebanon, where in 2015 she approached Al Saqi publishing house to contract her first novel, Al-Fishawi. “Al Saqi is a huge English-Lebanese publishing house who are very picky in choosing which books to publish.

They don’t care if a writer is well known or a bestseller; all they care about is high-quality literary content,” says Elabsy, proudly adding, “Al-Fishawi is now being sold at Al Saqi’s massive bookstore in London, imagine my feelings at that time when I learned that my first novel was to be displayed in that huge bookstore in London.’’

Al-Fishawy narrates 100 years of Egyptian history, starting shortly after the English occupation in Egypt and ending with the events of June 30, 2013. “The main challenge was not to write about this century but to decide what to talk about in these years, what I should highlight and what I shouldn’t,” says Elabsy who explains the novel chronicled her vision of her country as an Egyptian youth, and that she had to return to her origins to form a complete vision.


An example is the candid way she presents the history of Christian and Muslim relations. “I searched about our Muslim, Coptic, Arab and African roots and highlighted that there were extremists living in Egypt years ago and why there was extremism in the past.’’

But even before its official release, the polyphonic novel—which is divided into nine chapters each narrated by either a character or an object—was bringing home the accolades, claiming fourth place in Dubai Cultural Magazine competition in 2016. “This award proves that what I write appeals not only to Egyptian taste but to tastes in the Arab world as well,’’ Elabsy says proudly.

The novel also attracted international attention; and Elabsy was surprised when one day she received a call from the University of the Philippines asking if they could run a translated chapter in a book about the world literature in the 21st century.

“This book will be included in the Philippines’ high school curriculum, and the chapter from Al-Fishawy will be the only example of Arab-African literature in the book. I was over the moon,’’ Elabsy recalls.

More self-exploration led to her second novel El-Eskafy El-Akhdar (The Green Cobbler), which won the Akhbar El-Adab award in 2016. “El-Eskafy El-Akhdar was more of a letting out of certain inner emotions in the form of words,” says Elabsy who was astonished after finishing the work to find she had unintentionally penned a fantasy novel.

“My writing procedure is divided into two parts; the first part any writer does consciously, like setting the plot construction and outlining the characters. The other part; the writer does unconsciously, so you find yourself writing certain things unconsciously then you start to ask yourself how did I write this? And why?’’ explains Elabsy, who believes in the concept of afflatus, or inspiration, and that much of what any writer writes is involuntary.

A leap to realization

On the off chance that she might be chosen, Elabsy, in 2017, submitted the first chapter of El-Eskafy El-Akhdar translated into English to the International Writing Program (IWP), which every year selects 35 writers from all over the world to join its three-month program.

After an interview at the American Embassy in Cairo, Elabsy was granted a spot in the program and she joined writers from Macedonia, Belgium, Palestine, Burma, Russia, Argentina and Brazil, among other countries, in Iowa.

“The other Arab participants were a Belgian-Palestinian poet but she applied as a Belgian citizen, an Iraqi Kurdish writer and a Moroccan writer,’’ Elabsy says, adding that only she and the Belgian-Palestinian poet were writing in Arabic.

“The experience was very rich, the condensed program is full of fruitful activities. Each writer has a scheduled day to read part from his work in two languages: his own and English.” For her main theme, Elabsy chose “the mood of high emotions,’’ and her paper titled “The Unspoken Language” argued that the truest words that really express our emotions are the ones that are not said.

On the sidelines of the program, Elabsy was invited to speak at the Examined Life annual conference at the Carver College of Medicine. Chosen alongside two other American writers to speak about being both physicians and writers, and the relationship between writing and medicine, Elabsy gave a 90-minute speech about her experience as a doctor, writer and singer.

“I prepared a short documentary about Egypt entitled “Takaseem’’ (XXWhat does it mean?XX) with the collaboration of Egyptian painters and photographers; and for the soundtrack I used an Oriental music piece composed by the late great musician Mohamed Abdel Wahab.

It was an amusing journey inside Egypt, and the attendees were dazzled by this documentary as its music and every scene truly reflected the Egyptian identity. Every word of my speech showed how I was proud of being Egyptian as I explained to them where I came from, my identity and the sources of my pride.’’

Before travelling, Elabsy had printed pamphlets with the names of the Egyptian artists taking part in the documentary and distributed them at the conference before giving her speech in which she likened herself to an owl.

“The owl was the symbol of wisdom in ancient Egyptian culture, and it can see through the dark. In my job [as a hematologist] I must see beyond the darkness,” she said, adding that she is a physician in the first place, which imposes upon her duties that she cannot give up.

At the IWP, Elabsy also got to showcase her skills, not only as a writer and physician, but as a singer too, appearing alongside the Chiara String Quartet in a performance titled “The Memory.” The Grammy-nominated quartet worked without any musical sheets, performing from memory as three IWP colleagues read out parts of their works about memory.

Elabsy was asked to sing about memories, and chose “Al-Atlal” (The Ruins) by the late great Umm Kulthum. “After I finished, the audience was crying and applauding for perhaps three minutes continuously, they were deeply and emotionally [touched] despite not understanding the Arabic words of the song,” Elabsy describes.

She also sang at the end of her Carver College speech where audiences told her they were impressed by her voice and the Oriental music. “They asked me to give them the names of the Egyptian singers and composers who made these immortal songs, I was so touched because I felt that I was an ambassador for our great Oriental music.”

Back home Elabsy’s friends recently uploaded a video of her singing in the hospital she works at, while they were celebrating her birthday. The video got hundreds of thousands views, and Elabsy vows, “[I] will continue writing, singing and performing my duties as a doctor all in parallel till the last day of my life.’’

Elabsy is currently working on her upcoming fiction novel, Leilet Yalda (Yalda’s Night), “a somewhat religious novel tackling the relationship between Sunnis and Shiites” through the life of the great Persia poet Khawaja Shams-ud Din Muhammad Hafez-e, dubbed Hafez.

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8/17/2018 12:32:51 PM
<![CDATA[Karim Abdel Aziz to start shooting 'Nadi el-Regal el-Seri' in Sept.]]>
The movie's filming got postponed many times, which pushed the movie out of this year's competition.

Khaled el-Halfawi, the director of the movie, is currently searching for stars to participate in the film alongside Abdel Aziz.

The director decided that actors Ghada Abdel Razik and Bayoumi Fouad will co-star in the movie. The careful search for other actors/actresses is still ongoing.

Halfawy is currently deciding on the décor, costumes and studios to film his project. The director is taking all the time he needs in order to pick the right choices from the wide range of options available in the film industry.

“Nadi el-Regal el-Seri” (Men’s Secret Club) brings Abdel Aziz back to the cinematic spot light after a 4-year hiatus. The star’s last film was “The Blue Elephant” which gained great success at the time and caused great controversy in Egypt.

“The Blue Elephant” was a 2014 film production, starring Khaled el-Sawi, Nelly Karim, Lebleba, Sherine Reda, Mohamed Mamdouh and others. It is written by Ahmad Mourad and directed by famed director Marwan Hamed.





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8/17/2018 12:13:44 PM
<![CDATA['Fe Qalbi Ontha Ebreya' to stage Romance Theatre Aug.17]]>
The play is based on Tunisian author Khawla Hamdi's novel. The play was directed by Mahmoud Abdel Aziz and the play's scenario was written by Mohamed Zaky.

"Fe Qalbi Ontha Ebreya" revolves around the Jewish Alley, south of Tunisia, in which Reema resides; a young Muslim girl who lost both her parents in tragic circumstances. Before the death of her parents, Reema's mother asked a Jewish man named Jacob to raise her daughter under the teachings of Islam, and take good care of her.

Jacob did what he promised Reema's mother to do in the best way possible. He kindly took the girl to the mosque every Friday to attend prayers and teaching sessions.

The play calls for eliminating discrimination between Muslims and Jews by portraying humanitarian acts that touch the spectators' emotions.

The play also relays embedded messages regarding the current political tension in the Middle East, declaring that only love and peace among humans can undo all the damage and violence in the region.

The play illustrates that all humans regardless their race, ethnicity or religion, have love originally residing deep in their hearts, and that politics should never separate us all as humans, despite the decisions taken by politicians.

It is worth mentioning that Hamdi was born in Tunisia in 1984. She has several academic achievements and works at the King Saud University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.]]>
8/17/2018 12:00:00 PM
<![CDATA[ Ahmed al-Qarmalawi to release 4th novel]]>
More details about the novel, which will be issued by the Egyptian Lebanese Publishing Houses, will be declared in the upcoming period.

Qarmalawi won on April 2, 2018, the 12th edition of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award, which aims to promote creativity in the Arab world and North Africa.

The award, founded back in 2007, is divided across eight categories where winners can earn 750, 000DH (LE 3,605.78). These winners were chosen from around 337 nominees all across the Middle East and North Africa.

Born in Cairo in 1978, Qarmalawi graduated from the Faculty of Construction Engineering at the American University in Cairo (AUC), and later went on to receive a master's degree from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.

His first novel, "Abbas First" was published in 2013. He received the Zayed Book Award under the Young Author category for his novel "Summer Rains" (Amtar Sayfiyyah) which was published by Cairo's Maktabat al-Dar al-Arabiyah lil-Kitab in 2017.

Aside from writing, his hobbies also include oil, charcoal, and pastel painting as well as playing oud. Other winners of the award include Syrian novelist Khalil Sweileh, winner of the Literature Award for the novel "Remorse Test" (Ikhtibar al-Nadam), published in Beirut, 2017 by Nofal- Hachette Antoine. This book explores the psychological damage that Syrians suffered in the wake of the Syrian Civil War.

Emirate's Hessa al-Muhairi won the Children's Literature Award for her story "Al-Dinoraf", published by Al-Hudhud in the UAE (2017).

This charming little story for kids teaches the wonders of diversity and respect by following a long-necked dinosaur who searches for his counterpart across the animal kingdom, and he finally meets his soul mate through a giraffe.

Along the way, he learns a lot about the many animals he meets, and understands what makes each of them special.

The Translation Award went to Tunisia's Néji el-Ounelli, who translated the German philosophical text "Ästhetische Theorie" (Aesthetic Theory) by Theodor W Adornointo, which was published by Beirut's Al-Jamal Publications in 2017.


Meanwhile, Morocco's Mohammad Mishbal won the Literary and Art Criticism Award for his work "The Rhetoric of Al-Hajjaj: Towards a Rhetoric Inspired by Al-Hajjaj in Analyzing Discourse", which was published in Amman by Kunouz Al-Ma’refa Publishers in 2017.


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8/17/2018 1:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Ehab Tawfik to perform in Citadel Festival Aug. 16]]>
The ceremony will be attended by Head of the Egyptian Opera House, Magdy Saber and supervised by Magdy Boghdady, head of the House of Arts section in the festival. The festival is fully organized by the Egyptian Opera House.

Tawfik will perform some his most popular 80s and 90s songs, including "Allah Alaik Ya Sidi" (You are So Great), "Tetraga Feya" (Beg Me), "Maraseel" (Letters) and many more.

The first concert is going to be held at 8 p.m. on Mahka Theatre 1, in which singer Niveen Ragab will perform along with Mohamed and Heidi's Orchestra. Ragab is going to sing a selection of the golden era's songs, beside her hits.

Some of the songs included in the program are "Benlef" (We Turn), "Qal Gani Ba'd Yomain" (He Returned Two Days Later), "Habibi Wala Ala Balo" (My Love Never Cares), and more.

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8/16/2018 7:05:47 PM
<![CDATA[Yorkshire Ancient Egypt expert unwraps 6,000 year old mummy secret]]>
The discovery was made after tests were performed on a mummy that dates back between 3,700-3,500 BC, archaeological chemist and mummification expert Dr. Stephen Buckley from the University of York's Bio Arch Facility stated.

The mummy housed in the Egyptian Museum in Turin was previously thought to have been naturally mummified by natural causes; such as hot weather and the rigid desert climate it once resided in.

However, unlike numerous prehistoric mummies displayed in various museums around the world, this specific mummy had never undergone any conservation process, which gives the scientific team a real chance at performing accurate scientific analysis, commented Buckley.

The mummy was indeed drenched with some kind of plant oil with some kind of gum/sugar that had been mixed with it and used to fecundate the funerary textiles in which the body was encased.

The 'mix' of plant matter contained antibacterial agents, similar to those used by the ancient Egyptian undertakers, who had peaking skills in the processing of the dead bodies.

“Having identified very similar embalming recipes in previous research on prehistoric burials, this latest study provides both the first evidence for the wider geographical use of these balms and the first ever unequivocal scientific evidence for the use of embalming on an intact, prehistoric Egyptian mummy,” said Buckley.

“Moreover, this preservative treatment contained antibacterial constituents in the same proportions as those used in later ‘true’ mummification. As such, our findings represent the literal embodiment of the forerunners of classic mummification, which would become one of the central and iconic pillars of ancient Egyptian culture,” he added.

Buckley, along with TV Egyptologist and University of York Prof. Joann Fletcher, were previously part of a team of scientists that won a BAFTA for the 2011 Channel 4 documentary, "Mummifying Alan: Egypt's Last Secret", which was about the mummification process at Sheffield's Medico-Legal Centre.

Currently, Buckley is undergoing forensic tests in search for mummy remains in 19th century paintings.



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8/16/2018 5:36:59 PM
<![CDATA[Archaeological mission studies 2 ancient pieces discovered in Kom Ombo]]>
Waziri remarked that the study will be finished soon to be moved to the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization, Al Fustat.

He added that the two pieces, made of sandstone, belong to King Ptolemy XII; one of them is dome-shaped and topped with a sun disk bearing the image of Ptolemy XII and his wife the fifth Cleopatra with their daughters. The piece contains 29 lines of hieroglyphic writing.

He pointed out that the other piece has the image of Ptolemy XII holding in one hand a whip and the other a prisoner before the triad Kom Ombo. The piece also has two texts; 29 lines of hieroglyphic writing and 33 lines of Demotic.

The Egyptian Commission affiliated with the Ministry of Antiquities discovered on Wednesday the two ancient pieces that date back to the Ptolemaic era.

The discovery was made while the commission was undergoing their current works of removing groundwater from under the Temple of Kom Ombo in the city of Aswan, south of Egypt.

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The Egyptian archaeological mission is studying the two ancient pieces discovered in the Temple of Kom Ombo, Aswan – Ministry of Antiquities’ official Facebook Page

The Ptolemaic Kingdom was founded in 305 BC by Ptolemy I Soter (Macedonian General), who declared himself pharaoh of Egypt and created a powerful Hellenistic dynasty that ruled an area stretching from southern Syria to Cyrene and south to Nubia.

It is worth noting that each discovered piece is two meters in height, and consists of numerous codes and carvings that the commission is working on decoding.

The national project of reducing groundwater in the Temple of Kom Ombo and Edfo in Aswan cost almost $9 million.

The governor of Aswan is co-operating with numerous local and international entities in order to convert Aswan into a modernized touristic hub. Egyptians are very eager for the completion of the conversion and to restore the city’s previous solid position among international touristic hotspots worldwide.
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8/16/2018 5:09:47 PM
<![CDATA[Discussions to add sites along Holy Family journey in UNESCO's list ]]>
The meeting was attended by Professor of Coptic Archaeology at Helwan University Shaza Gamal Ismail, Vice President of the Islamic and Coptic Archaeology Sector Atef Naguib, a representative from the Coptic Church, and Supervisor of International Organizations of Cultural Heritage and International Cooperation Jihad al-Rawi.

In this regard, Supervisor of the Technical Office of the minister of antiquities and a member of the committee, Ali Ahmed, said that the committee has identified the stations of the Holy Family's Flight in Egypt, and the sites, where celebrations for the journey are held, were chosen.

He added that the committee coordinates with the Ministry of Culture to organize a workshop aiming to document intangible cultural heritage of the Holy Family’s journey.
He further remarked that the committee continues its efforts to add Wadi El-Natrun monasteries to the UNESCO's World Heritage List.

The Flight into Egypt, as mentioned in the Gospel of Matthew, is a biblical event marking the appearance of an angel to St. Joseph in a dream to advise him to flee to Egypt with Mary and infant Jesus.

The journey passes through 25 different places that have significant meaning to the Holy Family during the escape from Herod the Great who sought to kill the newborn "King of the Jews" and led the infanticide known as the Massacre of the Innocents.

A statement from the Tourism Ministry said eight main locations have been chosen to be the key stops of the pilgrimage route.

The pilgrimage starts in the city of Al-Arish, North Sinai, crosses to the Eastern Delta of the Nile and reaches Wadi El-Natroun, where a number of important Coptic monasteries lie, including St. Mary Church, Saints Sergius and Bacchus Church and the Garnos Monastery. ]]>
8/16/2018 4:15:07 PM
<![CDATA[Egyptian Museum in Tahrir organizes 'Read up' ceremony]]>
The ceremony will start with a tour inside the Egyptian Museum, where some ancient Egyptian artifacts pertaining to writing are displayed. The tour will be followed by the inauguration of a fair containing free books presented by the General Egyptian Book Authority to encourage visitors to read and to raise cultural awareness in the society.

In an attempt to encourage Egyptians to read, the Egyptian General Authority for Books inaugurated several summer book fairs in the country’s coastal towns. Its first book fair was held in the Mediterranean city of Ras al-Bar from June 26 to July 5, followed by another local book fair in Port Said between July 12 and 21 as well as a fair in Marsa Matruh.

In addition, the authority inaugurated on August 8 a book fair in Alexandria's St. Mark Cathedral.

Haithamal-Haj Ali, the head of Egyptian General Authority for Books, inaugurated the fair, accompanied by a deputy of Pope Tawadros II, the Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St. Mark. The book fair offers up to 50 percent discount on all books. ]]>
8/16/2018 1:49:52 PM
<![CDATA['Crazy Rich Asians' touted as Hollywood watershed]]>
"Crazy Rich Asians," a two-hour celebration of fabulous wealth, stunning clothes and idealized love, complete with heroine who has to out-fox her beau's imperious mother and vicious ex-girlfriend, is a faithful adaptation of the international bestseller by Singapore-American author Kevin Kwan.

More importantly it's the first Hollywood movie in a quarter of a century to feature an majority-Asian cast -- a feat not matched since "The Joy Luck Club" in 1993 and one driving frenzied publicity in the world of US entertainment.

It comes a year after "The Big Sick" made Kumail Nanjiani Hollywood's first Pakistani-born rom-com hero and months after "Black Panther" became the third highest-grossing motion picture of all time in North America.

Kwan turned down a "gigantic" pay-offer from Netflix, to plop for Warner Bros. Pictures and a cinematic general release, looking to send a message and put down a marker for Asian-led box office receipts.

A massive publicity blitz appears to be working. The Hollywood Reporter expects the movie to make at least $28 million at the box office over the first five days in North America, up from $20 million several weeks ago.

Director Jon Chu wants the movie to convince Hollywood bosses that there's plenty of money to be made from Asian-led projects, opening the door to greater representation.

"That we are worth that time, we are worth that energy and worth that effort," he told Fox News.

"The cinematic experience is unparalleled in that kind of context, of putting it in the museum, in the glass box and say this is special."

Filmed on location in Malaysia and Singapore, with a reported budget of $30 million, its cast is almost entirely Asian, Asian-American and Asian diaspora.

As a result, it's American actress Constance Wu who gets to wear the posh frocks and British-Malaysian, former BBC host and hair stylist Henry Golding who gets to be the Cary Grant of summer 2018.

"You don't see that growing up. You don't feel like you can be the hero of your own story. I think every child should feel worthy and feel loved," a tearful Wu told NBC News.

"I want to get to a stage where it's not headline news that this is the first movie in 25 years," agrees Golding. "Let's just tell stories, that's what Hollywood was created for," he told NBC.

Reviews are mostly positive, provided you suspend disbelief that a savvy New York Millennial would never once google the guy she's been dating for a year.

So we see Chinese-American economics professor Rachel Chu fly to Singapore for Spring Break with her lecturer boyfriend Nick Young, seemingly clueless that he's "the Prince William of Asia."

Nick has marriage on the mind, whisking her off to his friend's wedding and to meet his folks, only for Rachel to find out his family are "richer than God."

Thrown into the mix are dazzling jewels, private jets, bitchy rich girls, class conflict and cut-class English accents, sneering not just at a girl from Queens, but an American period.

Prospective mother-in-law Eleanor, played by Michelle Yeoh, provides all the hauteur, while comedy comes from US actress and rapper Awkwafina, who plays Rachel's nouveau-riche but well-meaning friend Peik Lin.

A survey of popular movies from 2007-16 by the University of Southern California found that only 5.7 percent of characters were Asian, and that only three percent of directors were Asian or Asian American.

Nevertheless Asian Americans accounted for the second highest per-capita attendance at the movies in 2017 after Latinos, according to the Motion Picture Association of America. Asians represent six percent of the US population and accounted for eight percent of frequent moviegoers, it said.

"The importance of seeing Asian faces up there is not lost on me," Chu told NBC. "How it would feel if I was a kid to see that, to know you can be a handsome young man and all the world is your oyster."]]>
8/16/2018 1:24:47 PM
<![CDATA[Sohag National Museum witnesses a large number of visitors]]>
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The Sohag National Museum has received a large number of visitors few days after it had been inaugurated by Sisi on Sunday– the Ministry of Antiquities’ official Facebook page

Salah referred that the museum’s staff and trained volunteers have accompanied visitors during their tour inside the museum to provide them with information on the artifacts.
She further explained that the huge head of King Ramses II; the remains of the archaeological site, Abydos; and a decree dating back to 243 BC are the most important artifacts presented in the museum.

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The Sohag National Museum has received a large number of visitors few days after it had been inaugurated by Sisi on Sunday– the Ministry of Antiquities’ official Facebook page

The museum offers free entry for foreign and Egyptian visitors until the end of August to celebrate its inauguration.



Sohag National Museum


In 1989, the foundational stones of this museum were first placed. In 1991, the designs and architectural drawing began and the first contractor received the project in 1993. The project was set to be completed in 1995 but because the museum’s launch was halted several times due to technical and interior design issues as well as the lack of financial resources, its completion was delayed.
In 2016, work resumed on the museum, and finally the museum was completed in 2018.

“The Sohag National Museum (SNM) is not just a regional museum that the Ministry of Antiquities is opening in an Upper Egyptian province; the museum is part of the country’s strategy to improve Upper Egyptian governorates and develop their resources,” Minister of Antiquities Khaled el-Anany told Al-Ahram Weekly.

The museum, spanning over 8,700 square meters, was established to look like a two-story ancient Egyptian sanctuary, overlooking the Nile with a dock for boats. Five huge statues of the lion goddess Sekhmet are placed at the entrance of the museum.

Although Sohag governorate possesses plenty of historical archaeological sites, valuable rare monuments and distinguished landmarks from the ancient Egyptian era, as well as the Ptolemaic, Graeco-Roman, Coptic and Islamic eras, it was rarely visited.

SNM was established to encourage the governorate’s archaeological sites and receive more tourists to visit the museum as well as other monuments in Sohag.

The museum will portray the Egyptian identity through highlighting the changes that occurred in Upper Egypt generally and Sohag particularly.The museum will show six aspects of life in Egypt throughout different eras, focusing on family, the different cooking methods and cuisine, beliefs and religion, employment, and handicrafts.

Additional Report by AngyEssam]]>
8/16/2018 11:18:22 AM
<![CDATA[Man who smashed Trump Hollywood star justifies attack]]>
"I don't personally think there should be any charges brought against me because what I did, I believe, was a rightful and just act, and I think that the repercussions of it were only positive," Austin Mikel Clay, 24, told ABC7 after appearing in court in Los Angeles.

Clay, who faces three years in prison if convicted, smashed Trump's star in Hollywood on July 25 and then reportedly called police and told them "see you soon" before leaving the scene.

He later turned himself in to police in Beverly Hills.

It was the second time Trump's star had been vandalized in less than two years.

In October 2016, a man dressed as a construction worker smashed the star with a pickaxe and sledgehammer. James Otis pleaded no contest to felony vandalism and was sentenced to three years' probation and agreed to pay $4,400 for the damage.

Trump's star in the past two years has been targeted repeatedly by detractors who say they are offended by his treatment of women and his politics.

One man in 2016 tweeted a photo of a pile of dog poop on the Hollywood star with a message that said "Hey, @realDonaldTrump, my dog hates you."

Trump was awarded the star in 2007 for his reality show The Apprentice.]]>
8/16/2018 11:04:02 AM
<![CDATA[2 Ancient Pieces discovered during groundwater lifting works in Aswan]]>
The discovery was made while the commission was undergoing their current works of removing groundwater from under the Temple of Kom Ombo in the city of Aswan, south of Egypt.

The Ptolemaic Kingdom was founded in 305 BC by Ptolemy I Soter (Macedonian General), who declared himself pharaoh of Egypt and created a powerful Hellenistic dynasty that ruled an area stretching from southern Syria to Cyrene and south to Nubia.

It is worth noting that each discovered piece is two meters in height, and consists of numerous codes and carvings that the commission is working on decoding.

The national project of reducing groundwater in the Temple of Kom Ombo and Edfo in Aswan cost almost $9 million.

The governor of Aswan is co-operating with numerous local and international entities in order to convert Aswan into a modernized touristic hub. Egyptians are very eager for the completion of the conversion and to restore the city’s previous solid position among international touristic hotspots worldwide.


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8/15/2018 5:36:18 PM
<![CDATA[Hisham Abbas to perform in Citadel Festival Aug.15]]>
Abbas is going to perform a selection of his most successful romantic songs from the 90’s, such as “Ya Leila” (O Night), “Habibi Da” (My Lover), “Omi al-Habiba” (Dear Mother), and others.

Additionally, Fathy Salama and Sheikh Mahmoud el-Tohami are going to perform Sufi religious recitals and songs on the Mahka 1 Theatre at 8 p.m.

The performance comes as part of Salama's series of concerts in which he promotes the Sufi vision through old Sufi songs and recitals that got renovated by him and Tohami.

The Citadel festival is going to come to a closure on Aug. 17. Renowned singer Hany Shaker performed the opening concert of the festival, followed by Tunisian singer Ghalia Benali, Ali el-Haggar, Magd el-Kassem, Iman el-Bahr Darwish, Mohamed el-Helw, Nadia Mostafa, Loai and many others.

It is worth noting that Salah el-Din Citadel is a medieval Islamic fortress located on the Mokattam hill, famous for its fresh breeze and spectacular views of Cairo.


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8/15/2018 4:15:47 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt to participate in Amman International Book Fair from Sept. 26 to Oct. 6]]>
The Amman International Book Fair is scheduled to be held from Sept. 26 to Oct. 6.
The Jordanian Publishers Union (JPU) Chairman Fathi Al Biss had announced in his speech to the opening session of the 2017 fair on Oct. 5, 2017 that Egypt was selected as the guest honor for the fair’s 18th edition.

In its 17th edition, the Amman International Book Fair, organized by the Jordanian Publishers Union (JPU) in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture, selected the United Arab Emirates as the guest of honor.

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8/15/2018 4:04:26 PM
<![CDATA[Honoring ceremony for Japanese ambassador held in GEM]]>
The honoring ceremony was attended by Minister of Antiquities Khaled al-Anani, Minister of Tourism Rania al-Mashat, Giza Governor Mohamed Kamal el-Daly, Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities Mostafa Waziri, General Supervisor of the GEM Tariq Tawfiq and many other officials.

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Anani praised in his speech the fruitful cooperation between Egypt and Japan in different fields, and the active role played by the ambassador for the Ministry of Antiquities to get the second loan to complete the Grand Egyptian Museum project, due to be inaugurated in 2020.

In the same context, Mashat expressed her pleasure to attend the ceremony at the GEM, which has been constructed in collaboration with Japan. She added that the museum will promote tourism in Egypt in the upcoming period.

She stressed the strong Egyptian Japanese relations, referring to the projects Japan contributed in such as Cairo Opera House and many other projects in the fields of education and health.

Ministries of tourism and antiquities invited Kagawa to attend the GEM inauguration in 2020.

The Japanese ambassador expressed his happiness with the ceremony, and his aspiration to attend the inauguration.

During the ceremony, Anani granted the ambassador a souvenir, a replica of Khufu’s ship; the Japanese mission is now working to unearth the rest of the ship, fully refurbish it, and reassure its transportation to its permanent location, the Grand Egyptian Museum.

The GEM General Supervisor Tawfik revealed on June 9, 2018, that the partial opening of the museum will be in the first quarter of 2019.

Tawfik explained that GEM’s first stage will be completed by the end of 2018. The Grand Egyptian Museum will witness for the first time the display of all Tutankhamun’s artifacts which amount to more than 5,000 pieces gathered in one place.

GEM’s lobby will host the statue of King Ramesses II and the column of his son King Merneptah, the grand staircase will include 87 royal statues and large architectural elements, including statues of kings Khafre, Menkaure, Senusret, Akhenaten and Amenhotep III.
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8/15/2018 4:03:37 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt to participate Amman International Book Fair from Sept. 26 to Oct. 6]]>
The Amman International Book Fair is scheduled to be held from Sept. 26 to Oct. 6.

The Jordanian Publishers Union (JPU) Chairman Fathi Al Biss had announced in his speech to the opening session of the 2017 fair on Oct. 5, 2017 that Egypt was selected as the guest honor for the fair’s 18th edition.

In its 17th edition, the Amman International Book Fair, organized by the Jordanian Publishers Union (JPU) in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture, selected the United Arab Emirates as the guest of honor.

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8/15/2018 3:59:23 PM
<![CDATA[Iman el-Bahr Darwish, Carmen Solleiman in the 16th Edition of the Summer Festival]]>
Moreover, singer Nesma Abdel Aziz’s concert is scheduled for Wednesday Aug. 15; the star’s band, Nesma Group, will present and perform during the performances with the singer.

Abdel Aziz represented Egypt in numerous festivals with her personal band. The star was granted the National Arts Encouragement award recently by the government for her unique performances in many previous events.

Aug. 16 will witness the concert of the veteran singer Iman el-Bahr Darwish, for the 100th anniversary of the 1919 revolution. Numerous artists affiliated with local music band such as; West El Balad and Masar Egbary among many others will perform hit singles on stage.

Folk poet Hisham Algakh is going to perform his most popular poetic pieces on stage. The famed poet is going to perform his poetry on stage for the first time alongside a musical band.

Moreover, musical compositions and recitals are expected to be performed by Sama’e group.

Singer Carmen Sulleiman will perform in the festival’s closing ceremony, in which she will perform a selection of her best songs along Syncope Orchestra lead by George Kolta.
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8/15/2018 1:07:51 PM
<![CDATA[Egyptian marionette artists to perform in Russia’s puppet festival]]>
The International Puppet Carnival held in Yekaterinburg, Russia, is considered the best in the world in its category of carnivals.

Numerous international puppet artists will participate in the event using the famed Petrushka dolls.

The participation in the festival is an initiative from the Ministry of Culture to support the Egyptian youth, making sure they enhance their skills through participating in significant international events around the world, and helping them express themselves in new and creative means.

It is worth noting that puppet theatre actors previously commented in various media platforms that puppets should not be treated as objects. A puppet is something special and should be treated as a precious artistic object.

Some puppeteers claim they actually talk to their puppets before pulling their strings on stage because a special bond is built between them. A puppet’s facial expression could enhance the performance on stage and even send hidden messages within the dialogue, adding more creativity to the performance.
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8/15/2018 1:05:24 PM
<![CDATA[Ahmad el-Sakka, Mohamed Imam unite in new movie]]>
The director of the movie is still undecided, but it is known that the project is going to be an action movie.

Sakka and Imam first worked together in 2012 in a television series titled “Khotot Hamra” (Red Lines). The television series starred Yusra el-Lozy, Ahmad Rizk, Monzer Rehana, Ahmad el-Sa’dany and others, and was directed by Ahmad Shafik.

It is worth mentioning that Sakka is set to film his new TV series that will be broadcasted in Ramadan 2019. The star is also preparing to film a second series written by Baher Doweidar and produced by Synergy Productions.

Sakka has been one of the most prominent actors in Egypt in the past couple of decades. Most of the movies in which he starred throughout his acting career gained exceptional success, such as; “Mafia”, “Al-Jazira” (The Island) and “Taimour we Shafika” (Taimour and Shafika).

Imam is a young comedy/action/drama actor. He is the son of veteran comedian Adel Imam. The star was born in September 1984. His first television series was “Canaria Wa Shorka`oh” (Canaria and His Partners) in 2003, starring alongside Farouk al-Fishawy.
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8/15/2018 12:07:43 PM
<![CDATA[In the hoop: Taiwan's spinning street artist]]>
The 37-year-old Taiwanese American is a master of the metal Cyr wheel, whirling himself around while stretched out inside the ring.

Street performing gives Hou the freedom to work when and where he wants
He performs on stage and television but still busks, drawing crowds in various spots around Taiwan's capital, mainly in the shopping district of Xinyi.

Hou, who also practises the Brazilian dance-like martial art capoeira, as well as ballet, jazz and tango to balance his body, says he finds street performing liberating.

Hou counts Brazilian dance-like martial art capoeira among his skills
"The reason I wanted to become a street performer is because I saw it as a job without an unpleasant boss, having a great deal of freedom, a way to travel," Hou told AFP.

After high school, Hou travelled around the world doing odd jobs and learned kung fu at the Shaolin temple in China, going on to hone his acrobatic skills at circus performance schools in Denmark and Russia.

Isaac Hou is one of Taipei's best-known street artists
He turned to the Cyr wheel as an alternative to torch juggling, which he had started to do for a living.

"I wanted to get away from doing fire so I wouldn't have problems with the police chasing me around," said Hou, who is married to Polish-Canadian dance teacher Magdalena Zieba.

But the freedom he finds as a street artist also has its complications.

"It's hard to maintain a good schedule for a long period of time. When you have too much free time it's easy to get distracted," he said.

When Hou starts losing his way, he says the key is to just keep going.

"I guess what works for me is to keep putting one foot in front of the next, to keep doing something even if it seems pointless, to try to go out and do things and see people."]]>
8/15/2018 11:10:24 AM
<![CDATA[Gregory Peck's grandson to play Spock in new 'Star Trek']]>
The hiring sees the relatively obscure 32-year-old boldly go where stars Zachary Quinto and -- most famously -- Leonard Nimoy have gone before.

"Through 52 years of television and film, a parallel universe and a mirror universe, Mr. Spock remains the only member of the original bridge crew to span every era of 'Star Trek,'" executive producer Alex Kurtzman said in a statement.

"The great Leonard Nimoy, then the brilliant Zachary Quinto, brought incomparable humanity to a character forever torn between logic and emotion."

The show launched in 1966 with a five-year mission "to boldly go where no man has gone before," and became a multi-billion-dollar cultural phenomenon, adored by fans the world over.

Nimoy was introduced as Spock in the original series, as the first officer to Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner), and both Nimoy and Quinto took on the role in the 2009-16 rebooted trilogy.

"We searched for months for an actor who would, like them, bring his own interpretation to the role," Kurtzman added.

"An actor who would, like them, effortlessly embody Spock's greatest qualities, beyond obvious logic: empathy, intuition, compassion, confusion, and yearning."

Peck -- known for ABC sitcom "10 Things I Hate About You" -- will be unveiled in the second season of "Star Trek: Discovery," due for release in early 2019 on the CBS All Access streaming service.

Known for his quiet dignity, Peck's grandfather was one of the great stars of Hollywood's golden era, starring in such classic movies as "Roman Holiday" and "Cape Fear."

He picked up five Oscar nominations, winning for "To Kill a Mockingbird," and died in June 2003 at the age of 87.

The announcement comes days after British star Patrick Stewart, 78, revealed he would be reprising his role as Jean-Luc Picard in a new CBS Star Trek series centering on the character's life post "Star Trek: Next Generation," which ran from 1987 until 1994.]]>
8/15/2018 11:08:46 AM
<![CDATA[The story behind ‘Jinn’ the 1st Arabic series on Netflix]]>CAIRO – 14 August 2018: Netflix declared that its first Arabic series “Jinn” started shooting in Amman on August 13.

“Jinn” is a supernatural teen soap opera that will introduce the Middle East folklore to the whole world. The soap opera will tackle vital life issues such as friendship, love and adventure.

“Jinn” revolves around a group of Arab youth whose love for each other is tested when they accidentally invite supernatural forces into their world. Can this group of teens unite and save everything? We have to watch the series to discover.




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The supernatural teenage series will be produced by Kabreet Productions and directed by rising star, Mir-Jean Bou Chaaya; Elan Dassani works as head writer of the series.

“The freedom Netflix gives producers really allows us to delve deep into the nature of storytelling and bring Arabic stories to life. Arab youth are just like teens everywhere, trying to find the balance between embracing modern culture whilst keeping true to their rich history. We’re excited to be able to bring a show reflecting this to Netflix fans across the world,” Elan Dassani, head writer and executive producer of the series, commented.

The Jordanian Amin Matalqa will direct the last three episodes. The six-episode series is expected to be released in 2019.

“With 'Jinn', we aim to create a show about young people in the Middle East in Arabic that's real, authentic and action-packed. This Netflix show will be full of intrigue, adventure and amazing storytelling from Jordan for our audiences around the world,” Erik Barmack, vice president of International Original Series said.

“Jinn” will feature a notable cast of Arab actors such as Salma Malhas, Hamza Abu Eqab, Sultan al-khalil, Aysha Shahalthough, Yaser al- Hadi ,and Ban Halaweh, among others.

Building on Elan’s sentiment, executive producer and contributing writer Rajeev Dassani said: "Creating Netflix's first Arabic Original, and one of the first teen-focused shows ever from the Arab world, has been an unforgettable experience. We've had so many local teens tell us they've never seen themselves accurately represented on screen, and it is both our pleasure and our responsibility to bring that to them and, in doing so, showcase all that the region has to offer.”

Mir-Jean, director and executive producer of "Jinn", shares the Dassanis’ perspective: “It has been a great experience working with Netflix so far, both on a creative and production level. It’s been a very collaborative partnership where we have felt empowered to bring 'Jinn' to life through our own creative vision with authenticity at the heart of the show."


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8/14/2018 5:39:16 PM
<![CDATA[Egyptian actor under attack after advocating gay rights]]>
The actor posted on Monday a tweet saying, “I follow my conscience. Discriminating against homosexuals for being recognized in the society is exactly the equivalent of racism. Homosexuals are born with romantic attraction to the same sex. That is supported by science, and is certain like the Earth being spherical. Ignorance of such facts is the problem behind the inability of society to understand the suffering of homosexuals.”




Comments vary from refuting any scientific findings on the matter to reiterating that homosexuality is prohibited and denounced by religion. Abul Naga was quite responsive and debated comments disapproving his views and accusing him of propagating “sins” among the society. He also re-tweeted comments defending his right to express his opinion freely.

Associate Head of Religious Affairs Committee at the Parliament, Shokry el-Gendy, said that demands in favor of gay rights contradict religious teachings. “We as an eastern society refute such calls. Any call that does not match religion would not be approved,” he added.

Gendy elaborated that Egyptian people are well known of being religious whether Muslims or Christians, and Egypt, the country housing Azhar, should never be a place to initiate such calls. “Egypt’s fortune is embodied in its religion, religiosity, Azhar, and Church. That is not freedom as some claim,” the MP stated.

Associate Head of Human Rights Committee at the Parliament, Margaret Azer, clarified that the country does not have laws punishing homosexuals. However, it has laws that “preserve customs and traditions” so that only publicizing and promoting homosexuality are considered a crime.

“We have to respect the society’s desire in rejecting such ideas. Promoters of those acts and thoughts want to ruin the lives of your youth,” Azer said.

In 2015, Abul Naga fans questioned his sexual orientation after he changed his Facebook profile picture in support of same-sex marriage. His response was, "If only people give love the chance it deserves, Good will prevail. I only wish God blesses us all to comprehend the diverse rainbow of love."

The latest feature movie by Abul Naga, "Villa 69", was screened in 2013 as he is currently based in Los Angeles. In 2007, the actor was appointed as UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. Beforehand, he was part of UNICEF’s Unite for Children, Unite against AIDS and Hepatitis C Campaign.

The star rose to prominence in 2001 when director Dawoud Abdel Sayed chose him for a leading role in "A Citizen, An Informant, and A Thief". Abul Naga was often criticized for his political opinions.
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8/14/2018 5:27:05 PM
<![CDATA[Al-Noor Wal Amal to perform in the Citadel Festival Aug. 14]]>
Al-Noor Wal Amal orchestra is expected to perform at 8 p.m. on the Mahka 1 Theatre in Salah el-Din Citadel, with Maestro Mohamed Sa’ad Basha being in the lead.

The show is going to include the most significant Arabic and international musical compositions such as “Hungarian Dance No.5” by Johannes Brahms, “The Russian and Chinese Dance” by Tchaikovsky and “Yamama Helwa” (Beautiful Pigeon) by Abu-Bakr Khairat, among others.

It is worth mentioning that Al-Noor Wal Amal is the only orchestra in the world that consists of blind girls who amazed the world with their performances in several events as they were able to perform on musical instruments without being able to read the musical notes.

Al-Noor Wal Amal is originally an organization that supports blind women in Egypt. The blind women adopted by the organization created an orchestra and amazed the world in numerous concerts in which the ladies' performance left the audience stunned.

The special event in Salah el-Din Festival is a great humanitarian initiative to raise the talented blind ladies' spirit and provide them with the support they deserve.

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AL - Noor Wal Amal Orchestra - Egypt Today

Additionally, renowned singer Khaled Selim is going to perform on the Mahka 2 Theatre located in the historical citadel on the same night at 10 p.m.
The star is going to perform a selection of his most popular songs such as “Lekol Ashek Watan” (There is a home for every lover), “Ana Habeit” (I’m in love), “Enta Akid Men Alam Tany” (You are from another world) and others.

Selim is also going to perform a collection of songs performed by stars of the golden age such as Abdel Halim Hafez and Warda al-Jazaereya.

Selim was born in Kuwait on Nov. 6, 1975. He managed to establish a successful musical career in Egypt, performing numerous songs that captured the hearts of fans in Egypt and across the Arab world.

Selim released four albums and participated in three movies. He is a singer, an actor and a great performer on stage. The star is considered one of the biggest icons in modern Egyptian pop music and film.

The star’s decade-long career has earned him a special position among the Arab stars.Living in Kuwait in his early childhood, Selim had a great opportunity to explore various types of music from different parts of the globe, a fact which helped broaden his musical culture.


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8/14/2018 3:19:55 PM
<![CDATA[Egyptian Opera House Team of Sopranos Return Home from China]]>
The show, labeled “Sout El-Nile” (Sound of the Nile), was held on the Claude Tiffin Theatre in the Centre of Eurasian Creativity, as part of the participations of the 4th edition of the annual Arab Arts Festival.

The participating stars, representing the Egyptian Opera House along with a number opera stars in China, worked together in great harmony, resulting in several performances that gained the appreciation from observers.

The participating Egyptian stars were:

• Iman Mostafa
• Reda al-Wakil
• Mona Rafla
• Hisham el-Gendy
• Amro Medhat

The participating Chinese opera stars were Yao Hong,Yin Hai, Geoge Jin and others. Chinese pianist Wang Yogo made sure he participated in the festival, offering great musical compositions that added bliss to the event.


Some of the operatic compositions performed on stage were:

• “Halak Ashbelya” (Seville Barber)
• “Roslaka”
• Toska
• “Don Giovanni”
• “Aida”

Furthermore, International Soprano Iman Mostafa, leader of the Egyptian Opera House team of stars, commented that the invitation received from the Chinese Cultural Centre in Giza to organize the event in China is considered a portrayal of the depth of cultural ties between the two nations.

Mostafa added that the Egyptian Sopranos recently achieved great success through their special performances on both regional and international levels. Mostafa considers Egyptian sopranos as great ambassadors of Egypt abroad, proudly explaining how they were able to intrigue observers worldwide with their exceptional performances, especially of complex international musical compositions.

Moreover, Mostafa added that Egypt is the leading country in the MENA region to ever perform operatic music. The artist further explained that the near future will witness a lot of cooperation between Egypt’s Opera House and other countries through different embassies and international entities, which will help bring nations together through Opera music.

The leader of the Egyptian Opera House team of stars further commented that the team’s new season is going to hold a lot of special surprises for fans and observers. It is worth noting that Egypt’s Cultural Consultant in China, Hussein Ibrahim, along with representatives of different media platforms, officials from the Egyptian Embassy in China, as well as ambassadors representing different Arab and Western Nations were present in the show.
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8/14/2018 12:41:57 PM
<![CDATA['Queen of Soul' Aretha Franklin gravely ill, 'in hospice care']]>
The 76-year-old Franklin -- who influenced generations of female singers with unforgettable hits such as "Respect" (1967), "Natural Woman" (1968) and "I Say a Little Prayer" (1968) -- is said to be surrounded by her family and friends in Detroit.

Franklin has cemented her place in American music history with her powerful, bell-clear voice that stretched over four octaves. In her decades-long career, her hits spanned the genres, from soul to R&B, gospel and pop.

She was the first woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. In 2010, Rolling Stone magazine put her at the top of its list of the 100 greatest singers of all time, male or female.

Franklin's declining health was first disclosed on the Showbiz 411 website late Sunday by Roger Friedman, a reporter and family friend. He wrote that she was "gravely ill in Detroit. The family is asking for prayers and privacy."


Local media later confirmed Franklin's illness. The Detroit News reported that she was in hospice care, citing two sources close to the singer and national radio host Tom Joyner, a Franklin friend.

Evrod Cassimy, a local television journalist for WDIV who also described himself as a friend of the singer, said he spoke with the legend Monday morning and she was "with close friends and family, resting."

"I've been speaking with her family members," Cassimy said during a newscast. "They have not only asked for prayers during this time, but they have also asked for their privacy."

- 'Everybody's fearful' -

Robert Smith, the current pastor at the New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit where Franklin's father was the reverend, told AFP that Franklin's representatives asked him Monday to "keep praying for her."

"Everybody's fearful," Smith said. "I really don't know what it would be like not to have her."

Artists from across the musical spectrum offered well wishes to the legendary singer who has lived in Detroit -- the Motor City, home of Motown -- most of her life.



"My prayers are with Aretha Franklin and her family during this difficult time," tweeted rapper Missy Elliott. "We MUST CELEBRATE the Living Legends while they are here to see it. So many have given us decades of Timeless music."

Boy George said: "This is sad news. Aretha Franklin, what a voice."

"Pray for the Queen, Aretha Franklin, a true warrior and my dear friend," tweeted civil rights activist Al Sharpton.

- Legacy in American music -

Franklin -- who is widely known by only her first name, in true diva style -- rose from singing gospel in her father's church to regularly topping rhythm and blues and pop charts in the 1960s and 1970s.

Beyond "Respect," her powerful cover of the Otis Redding tune that became her calling card, Franklin had dozens of Top 40 singles, according to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Other hits include "Day Dreaming" (1972), "Jump to It" (1982), "Freeway of Love" (1985), and "A Rose Is Still A Rose" (1998). A 1986 duet with George Michael, "I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)," hit number one in several countries.



Her style influenced singers from pop diva Mariah Carey and the late Whitney Houston -- whose mother was a backup singer for Franklin -- to Alicia Keys, Beyonce, Mary J. Blige and Amy Winehouse.

"You know a force from heaven. You know something that God made. And Aretha is a gift from God," Rolling Stone said of Franklin in its list of greatest singers of all time.

She won 18 Grammy awards, including one for lifetime achievement, and sang at the inaugurations of two presidents -- Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.

In 2005, Franklin was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom -- the highest award for an American civilian -- by then-president George W. Bush.

In 2010, she suffered serious health problems, but continued to perform until late last year, singing last in November 2017 for the Elton John AIDS Foundation in New York. That same year, Detroit named a street after her.

Standing outside the Motown Museum in Detroit on Monday, Linda Laura-Culbreath told AFP that Franklin had influenced a generation of women who were empowered by her songs.

"We all were blessed with pure talent," said the 53-year-old musician, who was visiting from Milwaukee.

"She made sure that women in general knew that they were not under a man, that they were supposed to walk next to them."

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8/14/2018 11:04:32 AM
<![CDATA[Like 'The Wife,' Glenn Close says she's a late bloomer]]>
Close plays Joan, the self-effacing spouse of a successful novelist in “The Wife,” which opens in the United States on Friday as women in Hollywood and beyond are demanding a louder voice.

Decades of suppressing her own talents and desires in support of her husband’s career begin to unravel when he wins the Nobel Prize for literature and a biographer probes the couple’s life.

“The film took 14 years to get made and who knew that it would be incredibly relevant?” Close, 71, told Reuters. The film is based on the 2003 book of the same name by Meg Wolitzer.

Close’s performance has won rave reviews, sparking talk of a potential seventh Oscar nomination next year. The Hollywood Reporter said the actress “commands the center of ‘The Wife’: still, formidable and impossible to look away from.”

Despite a 40-year career, three Emmy awards, three Tonys and six Oscar nominations, the star of “Fatal Attraction” and the TV drama “Damages” says she feels she is just beginning.

“I’m a very late bloomer. It took me a very long time to learn some basic things. That’s why it’s kind of wonderful and ironic for me to be at this point at my life and feel like it’s just the beginning,” she said.

Close launched her acting career in the theater in the 1970s and said she feels lucky to have found success in job she is so passionate about.

“I think I’m at a time in my life where I’ve finally accepted certain things about myself, and it’s ok. The fact that I’m not a hugely social person, that I’m very much in my head is okay,” she said.

“I feel happier and more calm and more excited about life than I ever have.”]]>
8/14/2018 10:26:01 AM
<![CDATA[Report: Sohag Museum a mirror reflecting Egypt’s history]]>CAIRO – 13 August 2018: The Sohag National Museum which overlooks the Nile in the Upper Egyptian town of Sohag was finally inaugurated by Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi on Monday.


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In 1989, the foundational stones of this museum were first placed. In 1991, the designs and architectural drawing began and the first contractor received the project in 1993. The project was set to be completed in 1995 but this didn’t happen because the museum launch was halted several times due to technical and interior design issues as well as the lack of financial resources.


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In 2016, work resumed on the museum, and finally the museum was completed in 2018.
“The Sohag National Museum [SNM] is not just a regional museum that the Ministry of Antiquities is opening in an Upper Egyptian province; the museum is part of the country’s strategy to improve the Upper Egyptian governorates and develop their resources,” Minister of Antiquities Khaled el-Enany told Al-Ahram Weekly.


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The museum, spanning over 8,700 square meters, was established to look like a two-storey ancient Egyptian sanctuary, overlooking the Nile with a dock for boats. Five huge statues of the lion goddess Sekhmet are placed at the entrance of the museum.

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Although Sohag governorate possesses plenty of historical archaeological sites, valuable rare monuments and distinguished landmarks from the ancient Egyptian era, as well as the Ptolemaic, Graeco-Roman, Coptic and Islamic eras, it was rarely visited.

The Sohag Museum was established to encourage the governorate’s archaeological sites and receive more tourists to visit the museum as well as other monuments in Sohag.

The Sohag Museum will portray the Egyptian identity through highlighting the changes that occurred in Upper Egypt generally and Sohag particularly.The museum will show six aspects of life in Egypt throughout the different eras, focusing on family, the different cooking methods and cuisine, beliefs and religion, employment, and handicrafts.

The number of archaeological pieces on display in Sohag Museum is about 1000 artefacts, most of which were uncovered in different archaeological sites near Sohag and the rest were selected from the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir, Cairo's Museum of Islamic Art, the Textiles Museum and the Coptic Museum.

The Sohag Museum’s displays include a number of clay pots, small bases and a group of jars and different sizes and shapes of painted lamps made of clay. The museum also hosts a selected group of paintings showing men and women bathing in the Nile River.

A small Persian manuscript pertaining to heritage and an iconic romantic story of Qays ibn al-Mulawah and Layla known as "Layla and Al-Majnun" are also on display in the museum.

Pieces of cloth decorated with earthenware ceramic beads, the remains of children’s linen gowns, and a rectangular piece of Kaaba Kiswa which is the fabric covering the Kaaba in Mecca are also among the museum displays.

The Ministry of Antiquities was keen to display objects that truly reflect Sohag’s traditions, customs, industry and handicrafts.This museum contains archaeological artefacts of various ages. According to Elham Salah, head of the museums sector in the ministry, the museum has a basement containing artefacts that show the religious ideology of ancient Egyptians.

There are also statues of kings and artefacts that shed light on the customs and traditions of families in the past, such as the textile industry in the city of Akhmin.

Salah expressed that the museum is not only going to display artefacts for the sake of entertainment, but it will also be organizing educational and cultural workshops for children to raise their awareness on the heritage of their ancestors.

Some workshops will also teach young adults and women how to make traditional crafts, especially textiles that happens to be famous in Sohag. Ayman Abdel Moneim, governor of Sohag, explained that this national museum represents a strong boost for tourism in the governorate.

The head of Administrative Control Authority also reviewed the stages of the Sohag National Museum construction, noting that the museum’s idea came to effect in light of the state’s strategy to develop and encourage Nile tourism.

“The foundation stone of the Sohag Museum was laid in 1989 until the president issued instructions to complete the project. It was completed on an area of 870 square meters and at a total cost of LE 72 million,” the head of Administrative Control Authority stated.

Ministry of Antiquities aims to transform Egypt’s museums into more educational, cultural and productive hubs. Sohag was the town where the kings of early dynasties lived that’s why kingship is reflected in the first section of the new museum. The most important object in this section is Pharaoh Ramses II colossus. Ramses II was one of the most influential kings in ancient Egyptian history and his temple is located in Abydos, Sohag.

The Sohag Museum's second section portrays family life in Upper Egypt, and the main object in this section is an ancient Egyptian couple statue representing family unity.
The third section of the museum is dedicated to cooking and cuisine to show ancient Egyptians' multiple, developed recipes.

This section also contains food punnets and cooking tools, in addition to the designs of kitchen furniture and dining tables.

Additionally, the main object in the religion section is an Ottoman copy of the Quran taken from the Museum of Islamic Art. The religion section also hosts magical dolls from the Pharaonic, Coptic and Islamic eras.

To make it easier and more informative for visitors, labels and graphics explaining the museum's objects are featured in the museum's different halls. The visitor's route in the museum is provided with ramps to facilitate the visit for disabled people.

“The most-distinguished object in the museum is a Sixth-Dynasty statue of an army leader called Wini, the first known military leader in the ancient Egyptian army,” Salah told the Weekly, adding that reliefs of Seti I and a statue of his son Ramses II are also among the important objects exhibited in the museum.

The museum’s interior design has been inspired by Sohag's natural environment. The museum walls are dark green to symbolise Sohag’s agricultural nature, while the showcases are light beige to represent Sohag’s dessert.

The Sohag Museum includes an audio-visual hall to provide visitors with the needed information as well as a library and a lecture hall.

Egypt Today will provide its readers with a documentary about Sohag Museum.






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8/13/2018 4:26:20 PM
<![CDATA[Lebanese pop sensation reveals breast cancer battle in music video]]>
“Early detection of breast cancer can save your life. Don’t ignore it, face it,” 46-year-old Elissa wrote at the end of her video ‘To all who love me’, released on Tuesday.

Elissar Khoury, who performs under the name Elissa, is one of the best known and highest-selling female artists in the Arabic-speaking world, with 13.3 million followers on Twitter.

Elissa revealed in her video that she was diagnosed with early stage breast cancer in December. Interspersed with glittering dance scenes, the video shows her going under a medical scanner and lying in hospital beds.

It also includes footage of her collapsing on stage in February while performing in Dubai.

“I think there isn’t enough awareness in our Arab region about this. Elissa found out because she was educated enough ... and she does her yearly check ups,” said video director Angy Jammal.

Lebanese gynecologist and member of the National Breast Cancer Campaign, Faysal el-Kak, welcomed Elissa putting breast cancer in the spotlight.

“This is a very bold and progressive move,” he said, hoping increased awareness will help more people detect the early signs of cancer and seek out treatment.

“Women associate breasts with their identity as female and they think that breast cancer diagnosis would affect that. (We should) break this taboo and change this perception: early detection saves lives and saves their femininity,” el-Kak said.

A day after Elissa’s video hit the internet, in neighboring Syria, first lady Asma al-Assad, 42, also said she had started treatment for early stage breast cancer.

A photo published by Syrian state media showed her hooked up to a drip smiling and sitting next to her husband President Bashar al-Assad.]]>
8/13/2018 11:41:39 AM
<![CDATA[Life on the edge: Scottish rapper probes UK wealth gap at Fringe]]>
His upbringing in Glasgow’s poorest high-rise estates, combined with his fluid patter and fresh ideas on how to tackle inequality drive his show, “Poverty Safari Live.”

McGarvey, 33, tells the story of a working class boy who goes to a party with his girlfriend’s university friends. Dressed first as his rapper alter-ego Loki and then bespectacled and in a suit, he dissects the attitudes of Britain’s poor toward the casually privileged and tries to explain it.

The show pokes fun at class; “regeneration” projects with cafes selling “gender-neutral gingerbread” and warns the working class in the audience that the theater bar only sells orange juice “with bits.”

At times it is uncomfortable too, tapping into anger and prejudice and shining a light on how the poor are shut out.

NatCen Social Research has found that the highest backing for Britain to leave the European Union in a 2016 referendum was amongst those classed as most economically deprived and with no educational qualification.

Using his own memoirs as a hook to talk about poverty has proved successful, and this year McGarvey won Britain’s prestigious Orwell prize for political writing with the bestselling “Poverty Safari”.

“Brexit Britain is a snapshot of how things sound when people who are rarely heard decide to grab the microphone and start telling everybody how it is,” he says in his book.

McGarvey, who has worked with police fighting gang crime and with social services helping children with anxiety and deprivation, suffered an abusive mother as a child. In a drunken rage she once held a knife to his throat at a party, one of many harrowing incidents he recounts in Poverty Safari.

“I never regarded my childhood as hard until I saw the look on people’s faces when I talked about it,” he says.

He spent years as an alcoholic and drug user, even as he was working with social services to help young people with the same problems. The exercise of holding up a mirror to society and its assumptions about class is potent because he applies the same process to himself.

“I’ve taken on a potential tension between middle-class sensibilities and working class sensibilities and pulled it in to work, so that it is something that can be used as grist in the mill for creativity,” he told Reuters.

“Instead of accepting it, I’m trying to reconstruct it in my work to make it acceptable to both sides.”]]>
8/13/2018 11:36:50 AM
<![CDATA[Crowd-funded headstone marks lost grave of poet William Blake]]>
Despite his influence today, Blake died in obscurity in 1827 and was buried in an unmarked common grave in Bunhill Fields, a London cemetery.

Only a plain memorial stone recorded that he was buried nearby, much to the dismay of two devotees who visited, and who decided to find his exact resting place.

Luis and Carol Garrido had as their guide the original coordinates of his burial, which were based on a grid of graves but became confused when parts of the cemetery were converted into gardens.

After two years of research and some painstaking work with a tape measure, they found it, and the Blake Society -- of which they were members -- began fundraising for a new memorial to mark the spot.

The society raised £30,000 (33,500 euros, $38,300) through donations from around the world, as well as a benefit gala.


The engraved slab of Portland Stone unveiled on Sunday reads: "Here lies William Blake, 1757-1827, Poet Artist Prophet", followed by two lines of his verse.

"It matters that we recognise those who have contributed to our cultural heritage, and no creative genius has influenced people to the extraordinary extent as William Blake," Nick Duncan, a trustee of the Blake Society, said in a press release.

"Yet almost two centuries after his death, Blake's grave is unmarked. People walk unknowingly over it, dropping litter and thinking of other things."

He added: "At last lovers of Blake from all over the world will have a point of pilgrimage."

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8/13/2018 11:30:09 AM
<![CDATA['The Meg' chomps up competition at N.America box office]]>
The Warner Bros. adaptation of Steve Alten's "Meg: A Novel of Deep Terror" (1997) took $44.5 million in its first weekend in theaters, as viewers rushed to see Jason Statham as a rescue diver who tries to save scientists in a nuclear submarine from a huge, underwater shark attack.

Second place went to Tom Cruise's "Mission: Impossible -- Fallout," from Paramount, with $20 million earnings ending a two-week run at the top, according to industry tracker Exhibitor Relations.

"Fallout," the sixth stunt-filled edition in the popular "M:I" franchise, sees Cruise again do his own vertigo-inducing, cliff-hanging, exploding-car stunts -- and has raked in $162 million during three weeks in cinemas.

In at third was Disney's live-animated hybrid "Christopher Robin" -- which tells the story of Winnie the Pooh's now grown-up and stressed-out friend and how he reunites with his old stuffed friend -- with ticket sales of $12.4 million.

Meanwhile, despite a poor reception from critics, Sony's newly released "Slender Man" took fourth place with $11.4 million.

The supernatural horror story follows a group of friends who, enthralled by online stories about the mysterious Slender Man, try to prove he doesn't really exist -- only for one of them to go missing.

Fifth went to Spike Lee's "BlacKkKlansman," which took $10.8 million.

Starring John David Washington -- son of Denzel Washington -- it tells the true story of black detective Ron Stallworth, who in 1970s Colorado set out to infiltrate the local Ku Klux Klan chapter.

Rounding out this weekend's top 10 were:

"The Spy Who Dumped Me" ($6.6 million)

"Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again" ($5.8 million)

"The Equalizer 2" ($5.5 million)

"Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation" ($5.1 million)

"Ant-Man and the Wasp" ($4 million)

]]>
8/13/2018 11:26:03 AM
<![CDATA[1000 Ancient Egyptian pieces recovered]]>
Waziri further stated that the recovery of the 1,000 ancient pieces is additional to the recovery of the smuggled collection of antiques recovered in Italy recently.
Waziri gave a detailed explanation of the collectibles of the Sohag Museum to Sisi during the opening of the entity.

It is worth noting that Ayman Abd El Moneim, governor of Sohag, explained that this national museum represents a strong boost for tourism in the governorate.
This museum contains archaeological artifacts of various ages. According to Elham Salah, head of the museum sector, this museum has a basement containing artifacts that show the religious ideology of ancient Egyptians.

There are also statues of kings and artifacts that shed light on the customs and traditions of families in the past, such as the textile industry in the city of Akhmin.
Salah expressed that the museum is not only going to display artifacts for the sake of entertainment, but the museum will also be organizing educational and cultural workshops for children to raise their awareness on the heritage of their ancestors. Some workshops will also teach young adults and women how to make traditional crafts, especially textiles that happens to be famous in Sohag.


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8/12/2018 5:55:52 PM
<![CDATA[The museum of Sohag in numbers ]]>
Important Numbers in the Museum’s History:
1- 1981: The foundational stones of this museum were first placed
2- 1991: The designs and architectural drawing began
3- 1993: The first contractor received the project
4- 1995: The Project was to be completed
5- 2018: All the facilities of the museum were completed
6- 4: The number of presidents the project passed through before being completed by current president, Abdel Fatah al-Sisi
7- 8,700 square meters: The area the museum covers
8- LE 72 million: The total cost of the museum
9- 1,000: The number of archaeological pieces on display
10- LE 20: The cost of the ticket for national citizens and LE 10 for students.

According to Egypt Independent, this is one of the largest projects “in over a quarter of a century to attract tourists to the governorate.” Despite fluctuations in funding issues, the project is ready to bring tourism in Upper Egypt.

Ayman Abd El Moneim, governor of Sohag, explained that this national museum represents a strong boost for tourism in the governorate.

This museum contains archaeological artifacts of various ages. According to Elham Salah, head of the museum sector, this museum has a basement containing artifacts that show the religious ideology of ancient Egyptians.

There are also statues of kings and artifacts that shed light on the customs and traditions of families in the past, such as the textile industry in the city of Akhmin.
Salah expressed that the museum is not only going to display artifacts for the sake of entertainment, but the museum will also be organizing educational and cultural workshops for children to raise their awareness on the heritage of their ancestors. Some workshops will also teach young adults and women how to make traditional crafts, especially textiles that happens to be famous in Sohag.

Head of Administrative Control Authority also reviewed the stages of the construction of Sohag National Museum, noting that the museum’s idea came to implementation out of the state’s strategy to maintain the level, development and encourage Nile tourism.
“The foundation stone of the Sohag Museum was laid in 1989 until the president issued instructions to complete the project. It was completed on an area of 870 square meters at a total cost of LE 72 million,” Arfan stated.

]]>
8/12/2018 4:50:01 PM
<![CDATA[GFF screens Arab movies participating at VIFF]]>
El Gouna Film Festival will see the first international debut of the Tunisian director Kaouther Ben Hania’s "Sheikh's Watermelons."

"Screwdriver" by Palestinian director Bassam Jarbawi, which is nominated to take part at the Venice Days' section, will be gracing the El Gouna Film Festival's screen alongside Syrian Soudade Kaadan's "The Day I Lost My shadow," which is set to partake in the festival's Horizons Competition.

Along with "The Day I Lost My Shadow," and "Tel Aviv on Fire" by the Palestinian director Sameh Zoabi who also participates in the same competition.
It is noteworthy that the 75th edition of the Venice International Film Festival, slated to take place from Aug. 29 to Sept. 8, will expectedly witness a strong Arab presence, with seven movies taking part at the festival’s different categories.

Along with Tunisian director Kaouther Ben Hania, Egyptian film producer and director Mohamed Hefzy were also named as jury members of the festival’s the Horizons Section and the lion of the Future - “Luigi De Laurentiis” Venice Award for Best Debut Film.

Amongst the Venice Critics week's line-up are the Syrian co-directed "Still Recording" by Saeed Al Batal and Ghiath Ayoub; the Sudan-produced "A Kasha" by Hajooj Kuka; and “Dashra” by Tunisian director Abdelhamid Bouchnak will be screened as the closing movie of the competition.

“The Wedding Singer’s Daughter” by Saudi director Haifaa Al-Mansour will get a special screening at the prestigious festival.
]]>
8/12/2018 3:36:07 PM
<![CDATA[Nobel-winning writer V.S. Naipaul dies aged 85]]>
Naipaul, who was born in Trinidad and the son of an Indian civil servant, was best known for works including "A House for Mr Biswas" and his Man Booker Prize-winning "In A Free State".

"He died surrounded by those he loved having lived a life which was full of wonderful creativity and endeavour," his wife Lady Nadira Naipaul said in a statement on Saturday.

She described the outspoken author as a "giant in all that he achieved".

Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul settled in England and studied English literature at Oxford University on a scholarship.

But he spent much of his time travelling and despite becoming a pillar of Britain's cultural establishment, was also a symbol of modern rootlessness.

Naipaul's early works focused on the West Indies, but came to encompass countries around the world.

He stirred controversy in the past, describing post-colonial countries as "half-made societies" and arguing that Islam both enslaved and attempted to wipe out other cultures.

When he was awarded the 2001 Nobel prize for literature, the Swedish Academy described him as a "literary circumnavigator, only ever really at home in himself, in his inimitable voice".

It said he was "the annalist of the destinies of empires in the moral sense: what they do to human beings"

"His authority as a narrator is grounded in his memory of what others have forgotten, the history of the vanquished," it said.

Naipaul, who was knighted in 1990, mixed fiction, non-fiction and autobiography without distinction.

AFP - 12 August. 2018: One of his seminal novels was the "A House for Mr Biswas" (1961), which looked at the almost impossible task for Indian immigrants in the Caribbean of trying to integrate into society while keeping hold of their roots.

Overall he wrote more than 30 books, and was one of the first winners of the Booker Prize, now Britain's leading literary award, in 1971 for "In A Free State".

Lehtik
LEHTIKUVA/AFP/File / STF

- Violent affair -

During his early career Naipaul was dogged by money worries and loneliness. He met his first wife, Pat, at Oxford, who became his constant literary support.

She died in 1996, and he later revealed that he felt he hastened her death by publicly admitting, while she fought cancer, that he had frequented prostitutes.

The admission "consumed her. I think she had all the relapses and everything after that... It could be said that I had killed her," Naipaul said in a tell-all biography by British author Patrick French, "The World Is What It Is: The Authorized Biography Of V.S. Naipaul".

He had a quarter-century, sometimes violent, affair with an Argentinian, and he married Pakistani journalist Nadira Alvi the same year Pat died.

He was famously outspoken and had a reputation for cutting people out of his life, and once retorted: "My life is short. I can't listen to banalities."

The objects of Naipaul's ire ranged from corruption in Indian politics to the West's cynical treatment of its former colonies to the cult of personality in "The Return of Eva Peron".

He likened former British prime minister Tony Blair to a pirate at the head of a socialist revolution, and was also disparaging about "sentimental" female novelists.

"Women writers are different, they are quite different. I read a piece of writing and within a paragraph or two I know whether it is by a woman or not. I think (it is) unequal to me," he told the London Evening Standard newspaper in 2011.

He said this was due to women's "sentimentality, the narrow view of the world".

Naipaul also fell out with US travel writer Paul Theroux, who later wrote a bitter, no-holds-barred memoir of their long association. They later resolved their differences.
]]>
8/12/2018 3:11:54 PM
<![CDATA[With K-pop back in U.S. spotlight, Korean-American stars take hope]]>
Several Korean-Americans were among the performers at the seventh annual KCON, an event for all things tied to “Hallyu,” or the “Korean Wave” of popular culture.

Many Americans were given their first taste of K-pop via the viral success of rapper Psy’s music video “Gangnam Style” in 2012.

This year, another Korean act’s growing fan base in the United States has K-pop stars, including some who grew up in America, thinking they too could win fame in the United States.

In June, the boy band BTS became the first K-pop group to top the Billboard 200 album chart, with “Love Yourself: Tear.”

“We K-pop artists are really proud of them, because we know how hard it is to make it in the industry,” Ailee, a U.S.-born K-pop star whose given name is Yejin Lee, said in a phone interview.

“The fact that they opened up those doors and cleared the way for us, it’s a huge hope for us,” said Ailee, who was performing at KCON this weekend.

Ailee, whose hit singles include “U & I” and “Heaven,” went to high school in New Jersey and grew up listening to Beyonce and Mariah Carey, all while consuming a steady diet of movies and television shows from South Korea.

Ailee, 29, said that years ago, when she was trying to find a career in the U.S. entertainment industry, she was told fans would not want to emulate someone like her.

“They told me it’s difficult for people who are Caucasian or black or Latino to feel that way toward an Asian person,” said Ailee, who declined to say which U.S. entertainment companies turned her down.

Ailee moved to South Korea nearly a decade ago, and was signed by an entertainment company there.

Several other Korean-American performers have also turned to K-pop as their path to music careers. They include several past winners of televised singing competitions in South Korea, as well as members of the groups Girls Generation and Seventeen.

K-pop acts sing or rap in Korean, often with snippets of English. On the Web, where K-pop fandom thrives, many music videos include subtitles.

But language was no barrier at KCON, even though most attendees were not of Korean descent.

Attendance at this year’s event in Los Angeles, which has one of the largest Korean diaspora communities, was expected to exceed the 85,000 who attended last year, organizers said.

This year, people of all ethnicities danced in unison to K-pop songs at a “dance workshop,” posed for photos with giant emoticons and tried on traditional Korean robes.

(Corrects paragraph 15 to show attendance at last year’s KCON in Los Angeles was 85,000 people, not 76,000)]]>
8/12/2018 3:01:17 PM
<![CDATA[Egyptologist Somers Clarke’s house included in monuments’ list]]>
The Egyptian Minister of Antiquities Khaled Anany decided to include in the list because of the historical value of that ancient house. Clarke’s house was built in 1906, and is considered a notable example of the architectural trends of the early 20th century.

The house was made with mud-bricks, Egyptian limestone, and Nile alluvium mixed with straw. It was built on a high hill made of rocks on the Nile’s eastern side. The eastern side of the house is surrounded by granges and some houses, and overlooks the Nile from its western side.

The house is ornamented with carved pottery, and has a ventilation system and cylinder shaped vaults to minimize the high temperature. This house is the only remaining monument in Egypt from Clarke’s work.

In 2015, an Antiquities Ministry report stated that Clarke lived between 1841 and 1926, and his tomb is located in al-Nusrab village in Aswan near the house.

Clarke was a veteran English Egyptologist, architect, and Coptologist who was born in Brighton. He designed numerous churches before settling in Egypt, where he was an effective member in archaeological missions since 1893.
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8/12/2018 12:30:00 PM
<![CDATA[Hosny to perform at El Shams Club on Aug. 25]]>
Hosny recently released his latest song “100 Wesh” (100 Faces). “100 Wesh” witnessed for the first time the cooperation of Hosny with prominent Egyptian “Sha’abi” (folk) singers Diab, Ahmed Sheiba and Mostafa Hagag.

The song, which is included in Hosny’s new album, "Eish Beshoqak" (Live with Your Passion), is written by Hosny and Ramadan Mohamed, composed by Hosny along with Mohamed Elsawy and distributed by Ahmed Adel.

“Eish Beshoqak” song amassed over eight million viewers after it had been released on Hosny’s official channel on YouTube.

"Eish Beshoqak" was composed by Mostafa Hassan, distributed by Hany Mahrous and Bilal Sorour and directed by Hadi El Bagoury.

The video clip shows Hosny meeting with people in the streets and trying to draw a smile on their faces despite the problems they face on a daily basis.
Hosny is a singer, songwriter, composer and actor. He began his musical career in 2002 when he released his first album. His romantic music has made him "the Star of the Generation", a name given to him by his fans.

Hosny won many awards, such as Best Selling Album in 2002 from the Nile Variety channel, Best Arab Artist at Murex D’or in 2014 and 2016, and Best Arab Artist at the Middle East Music Awards in 2015. He is also the first Arab artist to receive more than 100 million views on Anghami.

Hosny’s latest movie, “Tesbah ‘Ala Kheir” (Good Night), is an Egyptian romance movie, starring Lebanese actress Nour, Tunisian actress Dorra and Egyptian actress Mai Omar. It was directed and written by Mohamed Sami and produced by Walid Mansour and Talent Media Production.

“Tesbah ‘Ala Kheir” is a movie about a millionaire named Hossam el-Khedawy, portrayed by Hosny, who is gripped with depression due to his wife’s infertility. A software professional, portrayed by Omar, who invented a dream machine, contacts him to offer him a deal. Even though the deal seems simple at first, the situation quickly becomes more complex.

Hosny recently performed a series of concerts in the Middle East, including a concert in Jordan at Arena Theatre and another one in Abu Dhabi.

He finished shooting his upcoming movie “El Badla” (The Suit). He plays the role of a police officer who finds himself involved in a number of critical situations due to the nature of his job.

“El Badla” stars Amina Khalil, Maged el-Masry, Dalal Abdel Aziz, Hassan Hosny and Mai Kassab, among others. The movie is written by Ayman Bahagat Kamar and directed by Mando el-Adl.

Hosny was the first Arab pop singer to perform a concert in Jeddah city in Saudi Arabia, on March 30. The concert witnessed the attendance of thousands of Saudis, about 90 percent of which were women. Hosny performed on a massive stage, made especially where all audience seats were either red, white or black; the three colors of Egypt’s flag.

The concert was organized under the auspices of the Saudi General Entertainment Authority, which stated that Hosny was chosen to perform such a huge concert because of his popularity among all Saudis.

Hosny headed to Los Angeles and had his handprint and footprint permanently engraved on the Forecourt of the Stars at Hollywood's iconic Chinese Theatre in August 2017.

It is worth mentioning that Hosny was included in Forbes’ "Arab Stars on the Global Stage" 2018 list. In the singers’ category, Hosny claimed the second rank after French Montana.
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8/12/2018 11:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Austria singer hit on top after far-right party spat]]>
The Freedom Party (FPOe) has been ruling Austria in a coalition government with the centre-right People's Party since late last year after winning votes on an anti-immigration platform.

Wolfgang Ambros drew the FPOe's ire this week when he told a German daily that there were still "many brown dumps" in the party, hinting as its Nazi past, and saying he did not believe a word of what its leader Heinz-Christian Strache said.

FPOe secretary general Christian Hafenecker hit back, describing the 66-year-old as a "washed up musician", while party supporters also criticised Ambros.

Founded by former Nazis in the 1950s, the FPOe in recent years has sought to clean up its image, with Strache, who is now vice chancellor, saying the party rejects all extremism.

The result of the spat?
One of Ambros' fans launched a Twitter campaign, which has seen his 1976 "Schifoan" -- Austrian for "skiing" -- become the No. 1 downloaded song on the country's iTunes, local media reported Friday, while #schifoan-challenge2018 is trending on Twitter.

"Schifoan" is still a popular apres-ski hit.

Ambros has frequently spoken out against the FPOe.

Austria recorded its hottest day of the year Thursday with 37.3 degrees Celsius (99.14 Fahrenheit), just a few degrees shy of the 2013 record of 40.5 degrees.
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8/11/2018 3:02:15 PM
<![CDATA[Ministry of Antiquities launched Meidum Pyramid’s project]]>
This development project was implemented to serve the ministry‘s desire to develop all the archaeological sites, transferring them to more tourist friendly sites through providing more touristic services.

Gamal El-Semestawy, general director of Middle Egypt Antiquities Department, recounted that the development project included the change of the modern wooden staircase that leads to the entrance of Meidum pyramid, the maintenance of the pyramid’s gate, the entrance gate of the funerary temple and the mastaba no.17 doors.

El-Semestawy added that the development works also included the installation of information panels within the site in Arabic and English, and new garbage baskets.

Omr Zaki, general director of Beni Sueif Antiquities, explained that the Meidum Pyramid was established in the Old Kingdom during the reign of King Senefru from the fourth dynasty (2,620 BC).

The Ministry of Antiquities denied the allegations made by some media outlets about the theft of an ancient icon of Jesus Christ and Virgin Mary at the Coptic Museum.

Elham Salah, head of the Museums Sector in the Ministry of Antiquities, said that the mentioned icon is not archaic but reproduced, and it was put in a box in front of the Coptic Museum’s storehouse to be transferred to the museum’s educational department.

The department aims to raise archaeological awareness among children, youth and people with special needs through acquainting them with the museum’s contents.

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8/11/2018 2:08:00 PM
<![CDATA[Sarajevo film fest honours Turkish Palme d'Or winner]]>
"This is great honour for me, really, and I accept it with my heart," the director said after receiving the "Heart of Sarajevo" award.

Ceylan scooped the top prize at the Cannes film festival in 2014 for his epic drama "Winter Sleep".

His latest feature, "The Wild Pear Tree", was also selected to compete for the Palme d'Or at Cannes.

The Sarajevo film festival, now in its 24th year, will also celebrate Ceylan's talent as a stills photographer with a exhibition of his work in the Bosnian capital.

The festival kicked off on Friday night with an open-air screening of "Cold War" by Oscar winner Pawel Pawlikowski, who took home the prize for best director at this year's Cannes festival.

Pawlikowski also won the best foreign language movie Oscar for "Ida" in 2015.

More than 200 films from 56 countries will be shown during the eight-day festival which highlights work from southeastern Europe.

This year's Sarajevo jury will be led by renowned Iranian director Asghar Farhadi.

Established as an "act of resistance" during the 1992-1995 inter-ethnic war in Bosnia, the Sarajevo film festival regularly attracts big names. Past guests include Robert De Niro, Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Juliette Binoche, Jeremy Irons and John Cleese.

However, its main goal is to promote cinema from the region.

"We are happy that directors from southeast Europe choose the Sarajevo Festival for the premier screening of their movies, therefore opening the doors to other big festivals," its director Miro Purivatra said ahead of the festival.

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8/11/2018 12:15:07 PM
<![CDATA['Insatiable' TV cast rejects fat-shaming jibes but reviews are harsh]]>
The Netflix series, billed as a dark revenge comedy, is about a downtrodden, obese high schooler, Patty the Fatty, who suddenly loses weight, gains popularity and sets out for payback.

An online petition ahead of its release on Friday had called for the show to be canceled, claiming it appeared to promote the narrative that women had to be thin in order to be successful and happy, and that the show would encourage eating disorders.

Creator Lauren Gussis said the trailer “did exactly what it needed to do by starting a conversation around the issues.”

“There’s a long history of satire bringing to the forefront issues that need to be aired out and as a way to get to truths that are uncomfortable, and so I’m hoping that that’s what we’re doing,” Gussis told Reuters Television at the red carpet premiere in Los Angeles on Thursday.

Actress Alyssa Milano said she welcomed the debate.

“I think actually it’s good to have an opinion, and I think that people are going to continue to have an opinion as they get further and further into watching the show,” she said.

However, the show has been slammed by television critics and has only a 10 percent positive rating on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes.

The Hollywood Reporter called it “trite,” “unfunny,” and “a bloated mess,” while Vulture.com called it “an equal opportunity trainwreck” replete with bad jokes about rape and pedophilia, and offensive stereotypes of African-Americans, Christians, Southerners and gay people.

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8/11/2018 12:10:39 PM
<![CDATA['Asian August' comes to Hollywood, but will it last?]]>
“I’ve been driving around town seeing posters for ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ and it gives me a real thrill. It’s like, Wow! Do white people feel like this all the time?” said Yu, who has been writing his Angry Asian Man blog since 2001.

The romantic comedy, based on the best-selling book by Singapore-American Kevin Kwan and opening on Wednesday, is the first all-Asian Hollywood studio movie since “The Joy Luck Club” in 1993.

“Crazy Rich Asians,” which stars Michelle Yeoh, will be joined by two others this month in a breakout moment for Asian filmmaking that will test whether U.S. audiences will turn out en masse to watch.



Sony Pictures indie thriller “Searching,” featuring an Asian-American family and directed by an Indian-American newcomer, opens in U.S. theaters on Aug. 24, while the Netflix adaptation of young-adult novel “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before,” starring an Asian teen, will be released next week.

“I hope it’s Asian August. I think this is the start of a new movement,” said Jon M. Chu, director of Warner Bros.’ “Crazy Rich Asians.”

“The audience needs to decide. If they show up on opening weekend, that sends a very clear message to the studios that more will be made. They are sitting at their desks right now with movies that have not been greenlit,” Chu said.

PRESSURE IS HIGH
Asians make up 5.8 percent of the U.S. population, according to the 2017 census, but a University of Southern California study showed that 37 of the top 100 grossing films in 2017 had no Asian characters.

When they do appear on screen, Asian actors are often cast in martial arts sequences, or as the token ethnic best friend or other stereotypical roles.

Worse still, Hollywood has a history of whitewashing. Emma Stone was cast as a Hawaiian-Chinese character in the 2015 film “Aloha” and Scarlett Johansson played a role meant for a Japanese woman in last year’s “Ghost in the Shell.”

Amid the anticipation among the American-Asian community at the sudden spotlight, the pressure is on.

“There is a lot riding on this,” said Guy Aoki, founding president of the Los Angeles-based Media Action Network for Asian Americans. “On one hand you are excited and on the other you go ‘Oh God, I hope this does well’ because if it doesn’t, we are screwed.”

While “Crazy Rich Asians” is set in the world of the super wealthy in Singapore’s ethnic Chinese community, “Searching,” starring John Cho, could have featured any ethnicity.

“We’re the first contemporary mainstream thriller to ever have an Asian-American lead. That is crazy because it’s 2018,” said director Aneesh Chaganty.

WIDER THEMES
Author Jenny Han insisted on casting an Asian as the lead in the adaptation of her novel, “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.”

“It wasn’t that she needed to be Asian; it’s just that she was. Never in my life have I seen an Asian-American girl star in a teen movie before,” Han said.

The makers of “Crazy Rich Asians” are stressing the movie’s wider themes, aware that the estimated $20 million budget film must succeed outside the Asian-American community.


Yet Aoki and Yu say it is unfair to place the future of Asian filmmaking in Hollywood on one or two films.

“One romantic comedy with two Asian faces on the poster having to hold up the dreams and hopes of an entire community is just not fair,” Yu said.



]]>
8/11/2018 11:34:27 AM
<![CDATA[Picasso Gallery hosts artwork of 20 Fine Arts graduates]]>
The young graduates are proudly going to portray what they have learned throughout their academic life through their artworks that reflect both realistic and expressive approaches.

Dr. Ashraf Reda, a fine arts professor and president of Arac for Art and Culture, explained that the graduates are walking along the foot path of their ancestors; the pioneers of modern fine art such as Yusif Kamel, Ragheb Ayad, Mohamed Hassan, Ahmad Sabri, Hamid Nada and others.

Oil paintings using different classical methods will be present in the gallery, along with wall imaging, creative Mosaic works and artistic works performed on stained glass.

The manager of the Picasso Gallery, Dr. Reda Ibrahim, explained that the initiative was taken to encourage young artists and provide them with support, along with supporting the Egyptian Fine Art movement.

The gallery will be operating until Sept. 11, 2018.]]>
8/11/2018 11:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[A Medical Flash from the Past]]>
1. Egyptian Females were the First Doctors

Five thousand years ago, about 20 miles south of Cairo at the archaeological site of Saqqara, the area was the ancient Egyptian city of Memphis and is still home to the pyramid of Djoser, one of the oldest buildings in the world.

This area holds the tomb of Ptah. She happens to be the first known doctor by name who lived in 2700 B.C. According to the hieroglyphics on her tomb, she was described as the ‘head of doctors.’ Inevitably, this shows that it was possible for women to occupy important, top-level jobs in Ancient Egypt.

Approximately 200 years later, another female doctor by the name, Peseshet, was named ‘doctor’s supervisor.’ Again indicating that female doctors were widely present and valued as part of the Ancient Egyptian society.

2. Eye Surgery was Possible in 6th Century BC India

One of the oldest books in medical history by Sushruta Samhita, explaining detailed information on medicine, surgery, patient pain management, was written in Sanskrit Indian with no original copy now. Experts say that the book was written in about 600 B.C.

The doctor had a lot of surgical descriptions on how to remove the white water (Cataract). For instance, the patient had to look at the tip of his nose while the doctor used a needle to penetrate the eye. One of the tips she expressed would ensure the operations success is to make sure the patient avoids coughing, sneezing or anything that would cause pressure in the eye.

3. The Tree of Life Treats Scurvy

Jacques Cartier, a French explorer from the 1500s, and his ship crew were once confined to the ice near Stadacona, the current city of Quebec. Since their crews were poorly fed, they suffered exhaustion and weak bones that caused their skin to fall off. These symptoms, known as vitamin C deficiency, are scurvy.

They tried to fight the disease by extracting an Iroquois medicine from the leaves and bark of a local conifer, referred to as Annedda. Although the French wondered if this was part of a conspiracy to poison them, those who took the medication were cured within days. Unfortunately this discovery did not gain popularity and so the disease persisted amongst sailors for almost 200 years.

4. Theriac Treats Everything

Mithridates, also known as the Mithradates of Pontus the 6th, tried to resist toxins by gradually increasing doses because in the past, oftentimes kings were targets of poisoning schemes. He was known to have conducted these toxic experiments on convicted prisoners with a drug that combines an all-in-one strong medicine.

However, when he was eventually defeated by a Pompey military commander in 66 B.C, his pharmacological status reached Rome. A doctor composed 64 ingredients which became known as ‘Theriac,’ including the famous botanical components, opium.

By the 12th century, Venice became the main exporter and the substance was of great importance in European, Arab and Chinese medicine.
]]>
8/11/2018 11:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[ “Yomeddine” to be presented at Melbourne International Film Festival]]>
“Yomeddine” was competing for the Cannes Film Festival’s most prestigious award, the Palm d'Or award, which will be announced on Saturday. The official website of Cannes International Film Festival previously announced that the Egyptian feature is also nominated for the Golden Camera award, which is granted each year to the best first-time director at the festival.

The tragic comedy “Yomeddine” revolves around a leprosy patient who escapes from the hospital along with one of his friends in order to search for his family. “Yomeddine” is directed by Egyptian-Austrian director Abu Bakr Shawky, who became the first Egyptian to be invited to the main competition of the Cannes Film Festival.

The 71st Cannes Film Festival held a press conference with the Egyptian filmmakers of “Yomeddine” after its screening at the festival on May 9. The screening was attended by many international actors, including Julianne Moore, Louise Bourgoin and Kiko Mizuhara. All the attendees praised the movie’s construction and drama line, as well as the directing technique adopted by Shawky in his debut feature.

The first Egyptian movie participating in Cannes Film Festival’s main competition managed to grab the attention of all those who watched it. International media platforms were keen to put the spotlight on “Yomeddine”, writing extremely positive reviews about the movie, which presents an innovative mixture of tragedy, comedy, and condensed shots of emotions and sentiments.

In the same context, the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) kicked off on Aug. 3, showcasing a wide variety of movies from all around the world, including the middle-east.

Situated in Melbourne, Australia, the MIFF is an annual event running since 1952, which is one of the oldest film festivals in the world. It presents both exceptional Australian talent and films from all across the world, bringing diversity and culture together under one roof.

Several of the films featured this year include Egyptian crime drama “The Nile Hilton Incident”, by Tarik Saleh, which follows corrupt cop Noredin Mustafa as he investigates the murder of a singer; Matthew Heineman's “City of Ghosts”, a harrowing documentary about a non-violent journalist group fighting IS through the internet; and Osamah Sami's “Ali's Wedding”, a romantic comedy about a young Muslim man who moves to Melbourne and gets in over his head in regards to love. ]]>
8/11/2018 10:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Statue of King Djedefre returns to Egypt from Geneva]]>
In 2017, the Egyptian authorities submitted a request to retrieve the statue. King Djedefre;s statue was illegally transported to a storage company at Geneva Free Port as it was located in a site near the Great Sphinx.

This company alleged that the statue belongs to Switzerland, and not the Giza site. However, the Swiss Federal Criminal Court finally ruled that the statue belongs to Egypt.
Last July, 118 ancient Egyptian artifacts that were smuggled to Italy were retrieved. The restored artefacts were presented at a temporary exhibition at the Egyptian Museum for several days.


Previously, the Italian police notified the Egyptian Embassy in Rome about the seizure of 23,700 artifacts of different civilizations, including 118 Egyptian pieces packed in parcels. The seized artifacts include objects from different Pharaonic periods, in addition to objects from the Islamic era.
]]>
8/10/2018 3:59:15 PM
<![CDATA[Death of Margot Kidder, Lois Lane of 'Superman' fame, ruled suicide]]>
When she died in May at age 69 neither her agent nor the funeral home who handled her arrangements specified a cause, but Montana's Park County coroner's office has announced she killed herself.

"Ms. Kidder's family urges those suffering from mental illnesses, addiction and/or suicidal thoughts to seek appropriate counseling and treatment," the statement said.

Her death came one month before designer Kate Spade and chef Anthony Bourdain took their own lives, casting a spotlight on the jarring global spike in suicides and the importance of confronting the issue.

Kidder starred in the Superman trilogy released between 1978-1983 as hotshot reporter Lane, who was also the love interest of Clark Kent -- played by Christopher Reeve, who died in 2004.

She also made a cameo appearance in the 1987 film about the DC Comics superhero titled "Superman IV: The Quest for Peace."

Born Margaret Ruth Kidder on October 17, 1948 in Canada's Northwest Territories, her career crested in the '70s and '80s, as she worked with film stars including Robert Redford and Richard Pryor.

She continued to act in her later years but her popularity waned after she suffered a highly publicized mental breakdown in 1996.

Diagnosed with bipolar disorder, the actress became an activist for mental health issues as well as a champion of left-wing causes. She became a US citizen in 2005.

]]>
8/10/2018 1:05:47 PM
<![CDATA[Disinherited musician Jean-Michel Jarre scales up challenge over father's will]]>
The decision to go to the ECHR comes after Jean-Michel lost his bid in a French court to overturn the will of Oscar-winning Maurice, who wrote the scores for "Doctor Zhivago" and "Lawrence of Arabia".

"My sister Stefanie and I are taking our case to the European Court of Human Rights, over the failure to respect our familial rights and for excessive infringement of our legal security," the French artist wrote in Friday's edition of Le Parisien newspaper.

Another giant of French music, Johnny Hallyday, also disinherited his children and they have became embroiled in a highly public battle with his widow Laeticia.

In France children's rights to their parents' estate is protected. But Hallyday and his wife had been based in the US for years before his death and he had re-written his will under Californian law.

Jarre's case is similar.

In September 2017, France's Supreme Court ruled in line with the wishes of Maurice, who had bequeathed all his property to his last wife through a "family trust", a valid legal structure under Californian law.

Jean-Michel, 69, said that "the right to inherit is not only about money, it has ramifications in more important areas such as the protection of family ties, and for creatives, the spiritual rights of artists".

"Forbidding access to a photo or to a personal possession of one's father or mother. That is what is shocking," Jean-Michel said.

He also added that he continued to receive "dozens" of requests to use his father's works, which he was unable to answer.

Over his four-decade career Jean-Michel has performed some of history's largest concerts. He performed in front of 2.5 million people during a concert in Paris in 1990 and a show in Moscow in 1997 drew a crowd of 3.5 million.

He was the first Western musician to perform in China after the Cultural Revolution and played a massive city-wide light and music show in Houston in 1986 to celebrate the NASA space program.

Maurice died in 2009 in Los Angeles after suffering from cancer. He won his first Oscar in 1963 for "Lawrence of Arabia", and three years later was awarded a second statuette for "Doctor Zhivago".]]>
8/10/2018 1:03:08 PM
<![CDATA[ Alhadraa band performs at Saladin Citadel ]]>
Alhadraa is considered to be one of the most famous musical bands in Andean Music, which has recently attracted people's attention. It is the first independent band to adopt the theme of the Sufi Hadraa to sing as a group based on the idea of chanting and religious singing. Their most famous songs are “Bardat Al Boseiry” and “Enny Jaaltoka fil Fouad Mohadathy”.

Alhadraa is interested in Sufi songs to convey the spiritual state of the Egyptian traditions of Sufi methods in Egypt and all that is related to God’s names or the praises of the Prophets.



]]>
8/10/2018 12:35:43 PM
<![CDATA[4 Egyptian films apply for Malmo Market Forum]]>
MFF is one of the main activities of the eighth edition of the Malmo Arab Film Festival (MAFF) that will run from October 5-9.

Three out of the four movies are Egyptian-Swedish, which are 'Blood and Honey" produced by Egyptian producer Mohamed Siam and Swedish producer Christer Nelson, "Every day at 6a.m." by Yasser Shafiey and William Johansson and "Omar Sherif" documentary produced by Mark Lotfy and Swedish producer Sigrid Helleday.

The fourth movie is "When We’re Born’’ which is a pure Egyptian film, directed by Tamer Ezzat Ezzat and produced by Moataz Abdel Wahab.

MAFF gives filmmakers the chance “to extend their networks and initiate new international collaborations and co-productions,” according to MAFF website.

In 2011, MAFF was established by its general manager and artistic director Mohamad Keblawi, and grew to become one of the largest Arab film festivals and an important platform for Arab culture.

It is worth mentioning that Siam was selected as a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences responsible for awarding the Oscar prizes along with other 11 Arab filmmakers. Siam was chosen to be a member in the documentary section.

Siam is an Egyptian feature and documentary films director. He studied in a number of global prestigious film institutions such as Sundance Labs, IDFA Academy, Doc Campus, Berlinale and Durban Talent Campus. Siam's first documentary was “Balad Meen” (Whose Country) which participated in a number of renowned festivals and was awarded a prize at the 28th edition of Carthage International Film Festival.

“Balad Meen” revolves around Egyptian police elements' work and daily lives, shedding light on a number of important reasons that led to the emergence of January 25 revolution.

In 2017, Siam garnered worldwide fame for his second movie “Amal” which was the opening movie at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam. “Amal” traces the life of a troubled Egyptian teenage girl during the January 2011 revolution and accompanies her on a six-year journey to search for her identity in a country going through a transition stage.

“Amal” received a number of awards such as Robert Bosch Film Prize, the AfriDocs prize at Durban FilmMart and Thessaloniki Docs-In-Progress award.

Siam is a member of a number of committees and associations of documentaries in the Arab region, and is a lecturer in universities in New York, Paris, Beirut and Egypt.

In his interview with Tess Magazine, Siam announced that he is currently working on his first long feature movie which will focus on police in Egypt, considering it the final chapter in the trilogy he started with “Balad Meen” then “Amal”.

]]>
8/10/2018 11:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Official Promo of ‘Bani Adam’ movie released]]>CAIRO – 10 August 2018: Synergy Production Company released the first official trailer of the movie “Bani Adam” (Human) which is scheduled to be released in cinemas during Eid Al-Adha.

The movie stars Egyptian actor Youssef El-Sherif, Ahmed Rizk, Dian El-Sherbiny, Mahmoud Elgendy, Bayoumi Fouad, and Hana El-Zahed among others. The film is directed by Ahmed Nader Galal and written by Amr Samir Atef.

El-Sherif appeared in a new look and a distinctive form. The promo of the movie includes suspense and ambiguity.



This movie is considered to be a comeback for Youssef El-Sherif after being absent from the big screen for almost nine years, after “Al Alami” movie.

El-Sherif did not participate in Ramadan and preferred to concentrate on presenting a strong and intense movie. However, he will be participating next Ramadan and will be back in the race.

His last Ramadan work was the “Kafr Dilhab” series, starring Sahar El-Sayegh, Mohamed Reyad, Rogena, Ramez Amir and many others. The series was directed by Ahmed Nader Galal and written by Amr Samir Atef.
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8/10/2018 10:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Los Angeles prosecutors review sex assault cases against actors Seagal, Anderson]]>
The case involving Weinstein brings to six the number under review by Los Angeles prosecutors.

District Attorney spokesman Greg Risling did not give details of the allegations or when the alleged assaults took place.

Representatives for Weinstein and Seagal did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Thursday.

Weinstein has been charged in New York with three cases of sexual assault. He has been accused by more than 70 women of sexual misconduct, including rape, but has denied ever having non consensual sex with anyone.

The initial accusations against Weinstein in 2017 sparked the #MeToo social media movement that has seen many people publicly accuse men in business, politics and entertainment of sexual misconduct and many resigned as a result.

Seagal, 66, the star of 1980s movies like “Under Siege,” was made a Russian citizen by President Vladimir Putin in 2016 and earlier this month was made a special representative for Russian-U.S. humanitarian ties.

The claims involving Anderson, 47, were first reported by U.S. media in July.

Entertainment news website “The Blast” said a woman had filed a report with Los Angeles police accusing Anderson of assaulting her last year after she catered an event thrown by the actor.

Representatives for Anderson said in a statement that authorities have not contacted him or his representatives about the matter.

“It’s unfortunate that anyone can file a police report whether it is true or false,” the statement said. “Anthony unequivocally disputes the claim.”

Anderson was nominated last month for an Emmy award for his performance as the head of an African-American family in the comedy series “Black-ish.”]]>
8/10/2018 9:47:35 AM
<![CDATA[Grammy-award winning singer Albita lights up Cuban version of Carmen]]>
Albita plays Senora in Carmen La Cubana, a production of Georges Bizet’s 19th century opera playing in London this month as part of a world tour that started in Paris in 2016.

“It is very touching and very exciting and I also feel a great responsibility, I somewhat carry the story. I am telling the story and recreating it,” she told Reuters about her part.

“There is mambo, chachacha, guajira, danzon, Afro-Cuban santería music. It (the opera) goes through almost all the genres of Cuban music and the truth is that it’s a wonderful job, she said.

Carmen is just the latest act in a distinguished career. Rodriguez, known as Albita, was born in Havana in 1962 to parents who were popular Cuban folk singers. She gained fame in Cuba but her career exploded when she arrived in Miami in 1993.


“I left because I am against ... the communist dictatorship in Cuba .... But I believe a lot in Cuban culture, since I was a child .... I believe in music and I have invested in it because I feel proud of my culture and of my country,” she said.

Since then, she has performed around the world, befriended stars such as Madonna and Gianni Versace, and released eight albums, two of which have won Grammys.

]]>
8/10/2018 9:43:34 AM
<![CDATA[Spike Lee hopes Trump watches KKK film 'BlacKkKlansman']]>
“BlacKkKlansman,” based on the true story of an African-American police detective in the 1970s who infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan, arrives in movie theaters on Friday.

Lee has said the movie is specifically timed to mark the anniversary this weekend of last year’s violent clashes between white nationalists and anti-racist protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, in which one woman died.

Trump last year drew broad criticism for blaming both sides for the violence and news footage of the protests is included in the film.

“I want the guy in the White House to see it too. I don’t say his name though,” Lee told Reuters Television at a Beverly Hills premiere of the film on Wednesday.

“When I saw the horrific act of domestic, American homegrown terrorism, I knew right away I wanted to do this,” Lee said of the events in Charlottesville.

Topher Grace, who plays 1970s Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, said the cast and crew were struck by the movie’s contemporary relevance while filming.

“It gets more and more timely with every second that passes, sadly. This film shouldn’t be more timely now than when it takes place, but unfortunately it is,” Grace said.

“BlacKkKlansman,” also starring Adam Driver and John David Washington, has won warm reviews, scoring a rare 100 percent approval from top critics on aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes. Several critics have called it Lee’s best film in years.

The New York Times called it “a furious, funny, blunt and brilliant confrontation with the truth. It’s an alarm clock ringing in the midst of a historical nightmare.”]]>
8/10/2018 9:40:13 AM
<![CDATA[Chinese culture strongly present in Bibliotheca Alexandrina]]>
Titled “The Intangible Cultural Heritage of Shanghai”, the exhibition is part of a series of cooperative participations between the Chinese city, Shanghai, and Alexandria of Egypt and comes as part of the Belt and Road Initiative.

The cultural exchange between the two ancient cities is organized by the Chinese Cultural Center in Giza Governorate. The exhibition is the first of its kind to be organized by China and is set to run from Aug. 8 to Aug. 27, 2018.

Representatives of several cultural entities in China will attend the exhibition such as representatives from the Department of Shanghai Municipality of Culture, Shanghai Museum of Art Collections, Shanghai Academy of Art and Design, and the Shanghai Municipal Culture Archives.

The organizing committee of the event chose several artistic and professional works that represent the entities responsible for protecting the intangible cultural heritage in the Chinese city of Shanghai.

More than 130 artistic pieces, including peasant drawings from the village of Jin Xian in Shanghai, as well Kashmir and silk embroidery done in the Chinese style will be displayed.

The exhibition will be divided into four sections. In the first section, 20 artworks done by peasants in Jin Xian village, Shanghai, will be displayed; this type of art work is considered the traditional art of the southern part of the Yangtze River. The peasant illustrations usually contain a lot of bright colors which add creativity and soulfulness to the paintings.

In the second section, reside the costumes used by theatrical artists and the silk art works represented by the Kashmiri embroidery.

In the third section, 50 creative sculptures will be displayed, consisting of wood printing, wood drilling, jade stone crafts, in addition to porcelain, glass, gold, silver and copper works.

Last but not least, Duanchuan Group displays special traditional Chinese musical instruments which portray the importance of music in the Chinese culture.
]]>
8/10/2018 9:33:44 AM
<![CDATA[Nesma Abdel Aziz to perform in 16th International Summer Festival]]>
Bibliotheca Alexandrina’s International Summer Festival is a huge cultural season and a tradition that the Bibliotheca Alexandrina has created in order to add a unique taste to summer in Alexandria; the festival started on July 16 and will end on August 18.

In the same context, Abdel Aziz is considered one of the contemporary music icons, as she is the first marimba player in Egypt. She participated in numerous concerts in Cairo Opera House such as Omar Khairat concerts.

Having her debut in 2001, Abdel Aziz founded her ensemble and released music pieces like "Marimba Fusion," and "Tico, Tico".

Abdel Aziz toured the world with her ensemble under the theme of "Spreading Happiness" and achieved huge international success.

Abdel Aziz has dazzled audiences worldwide with her combination of classical and contemporary music, bringing together a unique blend of western and Arab instruments to create a whole new genre. ]]>
8/9/2018 4:47:40 PM
<![CDATA[Hala Shiha returns to cinema with Mohamed el-Sobky production]]>
It is worth noting that numerous film producers in Egypt tried to reach the star but eventually she signed with the biggest film producer in Egypt, Sobky.

During a phone call with Sobky, Hana Shiha, Hala's sister, explained to the producer that Hala is travelling to Canada on August 21 and will stay there for 45 days.

Hana continued that her sister is obliged to travel to Canada regularly, as she is married to a Canadian man who converted to Islam, and her family resides between Egypt and Canada.

Hana commented that once her sister returns to Egypt, she will decide whether she will stand in front of the cameras again or not.

On the other hand, Sobky is currently preparing for a comic movie starring Mohamed Saad. The movie will be titled “Mohamed Hussein” and will revolve around a limousine driver who faces a series of comic incidents.

Sobky is currently deciding on a director for the movie as numerous directors previously apologized.

Moreover, the film producer is currently working with star Mohamed Ramadan on a film project for Eid El-Adha (Muslim celebrations) named “El-Diesel”. Stars Hana Shiha, Fathy Abdel Wahab and others are also participating in the movie.

“El Diesel” is written by Amin Gamal and Mahmoud Hemdan and directed by Karim el-Sobky. It is greatly anticipated by the fans and is expected to be in the lead during Eid El-Adha movie competition.]]>
8/9/2018 4:17:24 PM
<![CDATA[New sphinx discovered in Luxor]]>
Abdel Aziz remarked that the ministry is currently working on lifting the statue because due to the nature of the environment it is in, it cannot be extracted directly from its place.

He added that Minister of Antiquities Khaled al-Anani has urged tourists to visit Al-Kabbash road to see the statue.

In the same context, Bassam al-Shamma, a researcher in Egyptology, remarked that the Sphinx’s discovery is expected as several sphinx statues are found across Luxor such as the sphinx statues for King Aymanhotb III and Thutmose IV.

Al-Kabbash Road project, which would be finished by the end of 2018, was resumed in 2017 with a budget of LE 230 million ($12.7 million) in cooperation with Luxor governorate, the head of the projects’ sector at the Ministry of Antiquities, Waheed Abou el-Ela, told Egypt Today Friday, quoting Minister al-Anani.

Abou el-Ela said the road will be paved to allow easy access for visitors in addition to moving utilities like electricity and water. The project includes the development of the floors, the completion of the excavation and repairs to the collection of Al-Kabbash, ram-headed sphinxes, in the warehouses followed by re-installing them.

Al-Anani announced that an engineering committee visited Luxor on May 27 to discuss all the project’s obstacles, to prepare a detailed study of the current situation and to prepare a comprehensive financial feasibility study for the project.

Al-Kabbash Road is the road that connects Luxor Temple to Karnak Temple.

The project to excavate and restore Al-Kabbash Road began in 2005 and about LE 600 million have been spent on the project. The project was halted after the January 25 Revolution.

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8/9/2018 3:38:26 PM
<![CDATA[Oscars to add 'best popular film' award, shorten gala]]>
"Change is coming to the Oscars," tweeted the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which has traditionally put together the glittering awards gala each year in late February or early March.

Earlier this year, the 90th Oscars on March 4 lasted nearly four hours, and posted all-time low television ratings with 26.5 million viewers.

For 2019, organizers are hoping to produce a "more accessible" three-hour show -- by presenting some of the awards during commercial breaks, Academy president John Bailey and chief executive officer Dawn Hudson told members.

Edited excerpts of those presentations will then be shown during the broadcast.

They will also create a new award for "outstanding achievement in popular film" -- a response to accusations that for the past decade or more, the Academy has honored arthouse fare only seen by limited audiences.

The Academy did not offer specifics about how the category will be defined.

The final reform will be to hold the ceremony earlier in the calendar year -- in 2020, it will shift to February 9. In 2019, the date already set -- February 24 -- will be maintained.

Industry observers have complained that sometimes, the Oscars come nearly two months after the Golden Globes, making Tinseltown's awards season a marathon of gowns, glitz -- and stress.

"We have heard from many of you about improvements needed to keep the Oscars and our Academy relevant in a changing world," Bailey and Hudson said in a letter to members, a copy of which was sent to AFP.

"The board of governors took this charge seriously."

But the new measures were immediately met with criticism -- with some suggesting the new "popular film" would mean critical and box office hits like "Black Panther" might be snubbed in the race for the coveted best picture statuette.

"The last thing that the Academy should now be doing is creating a reactionary new category that is, in effect, the Popular Ghetto," said Owen Gleiberman, the chief film critic for Hollywood news outlet Variety.

"Instead, it should be working to take off its blinders and make more room in the big tent for every movie that comes out. That's how to win viewers back to the Oscars without trashing the essence of what movies are."]]>
8/9/2018 1:33:07 PM
<![CDATA[Inas Abdel Dayem hosts ‘Ya Sitti’ Palestinian Delegation]]>
The delegation consists of singer Dalal Abu Amneh along with her musical team, led by musician Dr. Taisser Haddad.

Palestine is being represented by the team for the first time in Salah el-Din Citadel Festival for Music and Singing in its 27th edition this year.

The minister expressed her happiness towards the first international representing of Palestine in the festival which aims to restore the spirit of the Palestinian family and culture in the hands of its elderly.

Abu Amneh expressed her happiness for co-operating with the Egyptian Opera House for her first official concert, confirming that Egypt has an exceptional musical heritage and consists of numerous historical musical entities.

The singer further explained that she always felt at home while in Egypt, and is looking forward to her participation in the festival along with her team.

At the end of the meeting with Abdel Dayem, the Palestinian team granted the minister a shield to express their gratitude towards her commitment for allowing the participation of the Palestinian women and music in cultural and musical festivals in Egypt.
]]>
8/9/2018 1:19:54 PM
<![CDATA[Saudi Arabia bids artist Majid el-Majid farewell]]>
Majid El-Majid, 51, was transferred to the hospital last week in a critical condition after being shot in the head. He died on Sunday night few days later.

Authorities have carried out investigations to disclose the circumstances of the accident.




In an interview with Sayidaty, Khaled el-Majid, the victim’s cousin, said that the famous artist was killed by mistake, and that he is waiting for authorities to complete investigation in order for further details about the incident to be revealed.

Majid left a legacy of personal history that had begun in the 80s. He created 14 albums including “Ya Hajiri” (Oh, My Abandoner), and “Al-Tofan” (The Flood). He also worked as a composer for other singers like Khaled Abdel Rahman and others.
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8/9/2018 12:15:46 PM
<![CDATA[In photos: Book fair at Saint Mark's Cathedral to commence]]>
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The Egyptian General Authority for Books will inaugurate on Wednesday the book fair at the St. Mark Cathedral in Alexandria-Press Photo

Haitham Al-Haj Ali, the head of Egyptian General Authority for Books, will inaugurate the fair, accompanied by a deputy of Pope Tawadros II, the Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St. Mark. The book fair offers up to 50 percent discount on all books.

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The Egyptian General Authority for Books will inaugurate on Wednesday the book fair at the St. Mark Cathedral in Alexandria-Press Photo

In an attempt to catch readers at the beach, the Egyptian General Authority for Books has inaugurated several summer book fairs in the country’s coastal towns. Its first book fair was held in the Mediterranean resort town of Ras al-Bar from June 26 to July 5, and followed by another local book fair in Port Said between July 12 and 21 as well as the fair at Mersa Matruh.

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The Egyptian General Authority for Books will inaugurate on Wednesday the book fair at the St. Mark Cathedral in Alexandria-Press Photo
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8/8/2018 4:43:13 PM
<![CDATA[TV-for-phone start-up raises $1bn, Hollywood backing]]>
Disney, 21st Century Fox, MGM, Sony Pictures and Warner are among the investors in NewTV, a working name for the new company, Katzenberg's WndrCo company announced Tuesday.

Katzenberg, 67, co-founded DreamWorks in 1994 with Steven Spielberg and David Geffen, overseeing production of hits such as "Shrek".

Before that, his stint at Disney spurred the studio's Renaissance with animation successes such as "Beauty and the Beast," "Aladdin" and "The Lion King".

He has brought on board Meg Whitman as NewTV's top executive. One of the most prominent women in Silicon Valley, she was chief executive of Hewlett Packard Enterprise from 2011-2017 and of eBay, from 1998 to 2008.

Katzenberg will remain in charge of content.

NewTV, being nurtured into existence at WndrCo, envisions high-quality shows being custom-designed to be consumed in 'bite-sized' formats of 10 minutes or less on people's mobile phones.

No other platform has so far managed to monetize the format, other than through advertising, with the market flooded by free content dominated by the likes of Facebook and YouTube.

Whitman told television network CNBC that Hollywood studios were on board because the new platform is "a growth area" that would allow stories to be told "in an entirely new way."

She described the market as "enormous," estimating that two billion people spend an average of an hour a day looking at videos on their smartphones.

To develop a platform optimized for cell-phone use, NewTV has partnered with China's online sales giant, Alibaba.

NewTV's target launch is Christmas 2019, Whitman told CNBC.]]>
8/8/2018 4:16:41 PM
<![CDATA[Min. of Antiquities denies claims on theft of ancient icon]]>
Elham Salah, head of the Museums Sector in the Ministry of Antiquities, said that the mentioned icon is not archaic but reproduced, and it was put in a box in front of the Coptic Museum’s storehouse to be transferred to the museum’s educational department.

The department aims to raise archaeological awareness among children, youth and people with special needs through acquainting them with the museum’s contents.

She added that the Permanent Committee for Egyptian Antiquities has agreed on the possibility of using the non-archaic possessions, which were made as a model to help children get acquainted with the archaic replicates.

In this regard, Salah has filed a notice with the above mentioned details to Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, Mostafa Waziri, who transferred it to the Administrative Prosecution, as even if the icon is not archaic, it should not be left outside the museum's store.

Located in the heart of Old Cairo, the Coptic Museum is an old historic building that houses many priceless artifacts reflecting the real Egyptian heritage of Coptic Christians, Roman Catholics and a number of protestant sects.

The Coptic Museum, founded in 1908, story-tells Christian history in Egypt through its elaborate woodcarving galleries and many other treasures, including the 1,200 pieces on display that illustrate history from the Ptolemaic period.

The old, original wing of the museum is a fine piece of architecture, consisting of a series of large rooms, with ancient decorated wooden ceilings and beautiful mashrabiyas. Its walls are overlaid with fine slabs of marble, arches and tiles.

A few steps into the museum, one can see a wonderful artistic work, dating back to the seventh and eighth centuries, of three mice begging a cat to leave them in peace. This mesmerizing piece of art leaves viewers in a state of trance, where they start to imagine a life full of talking mice and cats. The work depicts animals behaving like humans, an Egyptian artistic style that dates back to 1500 BC.

Up the stairs are two large rooms with exquisite fourth to seventh century Coptic textiles and Nag' Hamady manuscripts. The large rooms also hold the oldest book of Psalms in the world, with two original wooden covers.

Additional report by Omnia Osama]]>
8/8/2018 4:07:37 PM
<![CDATA[West Hollywood council says Trump's Walk of Fame star must go]]>
The initiative by the city council of West Hollywood comes less than two weeks after the star was vandalized by a man with a pickax.

The body unanimously approved a motion urging the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce to remove the brass-rimmed star, which was installed in 2007 in recognition of Trump's performance on the reality TV show "The Apprentice."

West Hollywood is a liberal district with a large LGBT community and free- wheeling nightlife.

The council said the star must go because of Trump's "disturbing treatment of women and other actions that do not meet the shared values of the City of West Hollywood, the region, state, and country."

However, the city council does not have jurisdiction over the Walk of Fame. It's up to the Chamber of Commerce whether to remove the tribute to Trump.

In 2015, it rejected a request to remove the star of Bill Cosby, the once beloved comedian now convicted of sexual assault.

Trump's star was also vandalized in October 2016 while he was the Republican candidate for president.]]>
8/8/2018 3:59:34 PM
<![CDATA['Communist' Frida Kahlo swept up in debate on cultural change in Hungary]]>
A right-wing pro-government newspaper has criticised a hugely popular exhibition of her work at the Hungarian National Gallery in Budapest for "promoting communism".

The criticism comes as part of a wider national debate on culture and cultural policy since nationalist Prime Minister Viktor Orban won a third consecutive mandate in April.

Orban's supporters and pro-government journalists have argued in the past weeks that after Orban won another strong mandate, it was now time for a shift in culture towards conservative values to end what they call a dominance of leftist-liberal artists.

In a July 14 article entitled "This is the way communism is promoted using state money", the Kahlo exhibition was listed in the right-wing newspaper Magyar Idok along with some other galleries, artists and exhibitions.

"You won't believe it but Trotsky has emerged in Budapest again, this time from Frida Kahlo's bed," the newspaper wrote, referring to her affair with Leon Trotsky, a key figure in the Bolshevik seizure of power in Russia, during his later exile in Mexico. Trotsky was assassinated in 1940.

Kahlo was affiliated with the communist Party of Mexico and is also said to have decorated the head of her bed with images of communist leaders Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin and Mao, according to Mexico's Museo Frida Kahlo.

The Kahlo exhibition, the international musical Billy Elliot and a string of gallery shows have found themselves under fire in a series of articles in the newspaper.

The paper added there was "no aesthetic problem" with the exhibition of the "Mexican communist painter", which is drawing up to 3,000 visitors a day.

The National Gallery declined comment. Kahlo has become one of the twentieth century's most famous artists in the decades since her death, and her work draws huge interest.

The Budapest exhibition of paintings coincides with a Kahlo exhibition at London's Victoria & Albert Museum that focuses on her life story through personal artefacts.

NEW ERA

Galvanising the debate about cultural policy, Orban said on July 28 major changes lie ahead in this field and his third election victory was "nothing short of a mandate to build a new era."

"An era is determined by cultural trends, collective beliefs and social customs. This is now the task we are faced with: we must embed the political system in a cultural era," Orban told hundreds of supporters in a landmark speech.

A government spokesman declined comment when asked about the looming changes.

Since Orban was first elected in 2010, his Fidesz party has rewritten Hungary's constitution, gained control of state media, and businessmen close to Orban and Fidesz have built empires.

Orban has successfully challenged western liberal taboos, winning the 2018 election with a strong anti-immigration campaign and by focusing on the importance of national pride and unity, and a "strong Hungary".

A group of around 60 artists and art historians signed a manifesto rejecting the listing of artists in Magyar Idok saying the attacks were unfounded.

In June, Magyar Idok also published an article by a guest commentator who accused the musical Billy Elliot in the Hungarian State Opera of spreading homosexual propaganda among its young audience. Billy Elliot has been on the programme for two years, with over 100,000 viewers so far.

The State Opera cancelled 15 of 44 performances planned for June-July.

It said in a statement on its website the performances had not been cancelled because of the press controversy. But it noted people had lost interest in seeing the show following the coverage.

Tamas Fricz, a right-wing political analyst who has helped organise mass rallies for Orban, said the aim was "not to destroy liberal culture" but to adjust the system to reflect the right-wing conservative political dominance, while also preserving the values of liberal arts.

"The autonomy of individual institutions should be preserved but I think the government ... has the right to firmly and consciously favour and support conservative thinking, artists, works of culture," Fricz said.

One way would be to channel more money to historical movies showing the grand chapters of Hungarian history, he said.

"A conservative culture must build itself ... which would show the historical strength of the Hungarian nation," he said.
]]>
8/8/2018 1:11:41 PM
<![CDATA[Netflix to launch new series 'White Lines']]>
The new series revolves around the mysterious and legendary disappearance of DJ Manchester, who was last seen in Spain before he vanished into thin air.

After two decades of the alleged disappearance, Manchester’s dead body was found in the Spanish island, Ibiza. His sister decided to travel to Ibiza to further investigate the mysterious disappearance of her brother 20 years back.

After arriving to the island, his sister becomes exposed to an evil world of luxury, yachts, music and dancing with deceitful and cunning monsters everywhere. This takes her and the audience to a world of action and suspense.

Mancherster’ sister discovers the evil, dark side of her own personality as the events of the series unfold, and while discovering a sinister world where people live at the edge of life.

The series is expected to gain exceptional success.

]]>
8/8/2018 11:48:46 AM
<![CDATA[Nashwa Mustafa returns to theatrical scene with 'Death Selfie']]>
The play is performed and written by Nashwa Mustafa and directed by Mohamed Allam. Advanced technical equipment was used on stage which added more bliss to the performance.

The actress returned to the theatrical scene after a long hiatus. The play mainly revolves around one main idea; the only solid truth in life is death.

The play is a melodrama and depends on one solo actor. The duration of the play is 55 minutes only, but the short duration does not affect the quality of the content.

According to the star, the play’s name was changed from "Selfie Ma’a Sayedna" (Selfie with our Sheikh) to “Selfie Ma’a el-Mot” (Death Selfie) because of the Media Control Department obligations.

According to Mustafa, the play holds a philosophical approach towards how individuals deal with the idea of death.

Mustafa stated that the success she achieved exceeded all her friend’s expectations, which made her more proud of the efforts she exerted to gain such flattering comments from family members and friends.

Mustafa was born in October 1968 and has two children. She got married to her spouse, Mohamed Emad, in 1993.

]]>
8/8/2018 11:42:59 AM
<![CDATA[Angham’s latest Album to be released soon]]>
The super star uploaded a promotional video for her new album on Twitter, commenting “Angham Soon”.

Angham’s last album “Rah Tethkerni” (You’ll Remember Me) gained great success at the time of its release. Angham cooperated with numerous Arab musicians such as Ahmad al-Sane’e, Khaled al-Awadhi, and Turki al-Moshaikah in the album.

Angham’s new album is expected to continue the series of successes she has been achieving in her previous musical projects.

Profits made by Angham's albums during the past two decades remain the highest among the other Egyptian singers of her category.

It is worth noting that the star’s fans and critics in the industry named her “Egypt’s no.1”.
The singer comes from an artistic family and was born in the year 1972.

Her father is the veteran musician and composer Mohamed Ali Sulliman and her Uncle is Emad Abdel Halim.
]]>
8/7/2018 7:00:42 PM
<![CDATA[Lebanese star Elissa defeats cancer]]>
The singer always appeared lively and beautiful on stage and in the numerous video clips she released throughout her musical career.

The fans were always oblivious to the fact that the super star was fighting a fierce battle with cancer.

The star decided to keep her struggle secretive and only exposed it to the public through her new music project and video clip; “Ela Kol Eli Beyheboni” (To All Those Who Love Me).

The singer explains her agony and struggle through acts in the video clip, eventually exposing how she overcame the struggle with breast cancer through the support of her family, friends and loved ones.

Elissa found abundant support from friends whom she thanked dearly, commenting that they are the reason why she managed to defeat the deadly disease.

The star assured that the video clip is how she decided to thank the people who gave her support in any way during her struggle.

Lebanese singer and actor Maya Diab commented on Elissa’s struggle saying: “Surely, it was hard.”
]]>
8/7/2018 6:58:12 PM
<![CDATA[Museum entry prices raised by Minister Inas Abdel Dayem]]>
The increase in prices will differ from one category to the other.
For instance, the fee will be lower for locals than for expats and tourists. Additionally, a fixed photography fee of LE 20 will be applied for all museum visitors.

The decision will be applied on 11 entities.

The increase in prices will be as follows:

• The Egyptian Museum of Modern Art:

- Locals: LE 10
- Students: LE 5
- Expats/tourists: LE 20
- Photography fee: LE 20

The previous prices will be also applied in Mohamed Mahmoud Khalil Museum. This monument was originally a palace built in the early 20th century.

The following artistic and cultural museums will witness a slight increase in prices:

• Al-Nasr Musem of Modern Art – Port Said
• Effat Nagy & Sa’ad al-Khadem Museum
• Mohamed Nagy Museum
• Mahmoud Mokhtar Museum
• Zakaria al-Khanani Museum
• Ratib Sadik Museum
• Anji Aflaton Museum
• Hassan Heshmat Museum

The increase in prices will be as follows:

- Locals: LE 5
- Students: LE 3
- Expats/tourists: 10 LE
- Photography fee: LE 20

A different increase in prices will be applied on the following national museums:

• Beit El-Umma Museum
• Ahmed Shawki Museum
• Taha Hussein Museum
• Mansoura Museum (Dar Ibn Loqman)
• Denshway Museum

The increase in prices will be as follows:

- Locals: LE 5
- Students: 3 LE
- Expats/tourists: LE 10
- Photography fee: LE 20

Furthermore, El-Abnoudi Musuem and Mustafa Kamel Museum will remain free of charge for locals, students and foreigners alike.

The following six categories are exempted from paying any fee:

• People with special needs
• Seniors above 60 years of age
• Children under 12 years of age
• Members of professional art unions
• Members of national committees for international museums

]]>
8/7/2018 3:59:26 PM
<![CDATA[ Pink cancels Sydney shows after being hospitalized]]>
The singer of 'Just Give Me a Reason' and 'Get the Party Started' cancelled a performance on Friday due to illness but battled through a Saturday show before her trip to the emergency room the next day.

"Pink was admitted to hospital in Sydney on Sunday night, suffering from dehydration. She was treated and discharged. She was readmitted to hospital (Monday) and diagnosed with a gastric virus," her promoter Live Nation said.

"Pink will remain in hospital overnight, continuing her treatment and recovery."

The statement gave no indication of when the singer would return to the stage.

Monday and Tuesday concerts were "postponed" but tickets for the next concert slated for Thursday are still on sale, according to the Live Nation website.

While some fans were disappointed, most sent their well-wishes.

"Get well soon Miss Pink! I have tickets for Sunday's concert and want you to know we'll totally understand if it's postponed -- you've got to look after yourself!" one fan said to Pink's tour Facebook page.

The pop sensation took to social media on Friday to defend that night's cancellation after she was snapped by photographers relaxing on an Australian beach with her family.

"I scheduled this tour meticulously, trying to do what was best for my children, while also putting on the best and most physically demanding and beautiful show of my life," she said in an Instagram post.

Pink said her children had also both been ill, and that "parasite paparazzi" had failed to capture her multiple visits to the doctor.

"You can think whatever you want, it's your right, but I have never taken advantage of any one in my entire life," she said, defending the Friday postponement while she was at the beach.

It prompted fellow star Justin Timberlake to come to her defence.

"I'm here to tell you that you won't find a harder working, more authentically talented, and more thankful for her place on that stage and her fans than that woman," he said on Instagram.]]>
8/7/2018 2:50:59 PM
<![CDATA[TV's 'Homeland' to end after eighth season]]>
The announcement, made on Twitter on Monday, brings to a close the adventures of Carrie Mathison, a bipolar, former CIA agent played by Claire Danes, and her mentor Saul Berenson played by Mandy Patinkin.

Based on the Israeli series "Prisoners Of War," it debuted to critical acclaim in 2011, quickly becoming a game-changer for premium cable channel Showtime.

The show counted former president Barack Obama among its devotees, while racking up eight Emmy awards and five Golden Globes.

But it was also decried by critics for its portrayal of Muslims and was once called the "most Islamaphobic show" on television.

In 2015, three graffiti artists hired to give its sets more realism instead caused embarrassment by using their artwork to accuse the show of racism.]]>
8/7/2018 2:42:26 PM
<![CDATA[Janet Jackson, Cardi B to play festival for foreign aid]]>
The critically acclaimed experimentalist Janelle Monae, R&B sensation The Weeknd, activist songwriter John Legend and young pop star Shawn Mendes will also play the September 29 festival in Central Park, organizers announced Tuesday.
Taking place each year since 2012 as world leaders gather in New York for the UN General Assembly, Global Citizen distributes tickets for free to supporters who pledge to take actions such as sending letters to their governments in support of development aid.

Global Citizen has gradually broadened its reach with international editions and panel discussions and is planning a major festival in Johannesburg on December 2 led by Beyonce and Jay-Z to mark the centennial of the birth of anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela.

The latest Central Park edition aims in part to build opinion in support of US foreign aid, which President Donald Trump has proposed slashing by one-third as part of his "America First" platform, although he has met resistance in Congress.

Hugh Evans, the CEO of Global Citizen, said that the festival was expected to draw more than 60,000 people and would also demand that world leaders fight to improve maternal health, end child marriage and reduce the use of plastics.

"It's essential that we speak out -- and continue to vote -- so that our voices are heard," he said.

Global Citizen set a goal of pressing the Group of Seven major industrialized democracies to commit $2 billion to addressing maternal health, pointing out that more than five million mothers and children die each year of preventable diseases.

One performer familiar with motherhood is Cardi B, with the festival marking her first scheduled show since she gave birth in July.

The Bronx native, who has quickly become one of the highest profile women in the male-dominated world of hip-hop, recently bowed out of a September tour with Bruno Mars, saying she underestimated how long she needed at home with her newborn daughter Kulture.

The September 29 festival will be hosted by Australian acting couple Hugh Jackman and Deborra-lee Furness, with co-hosts to include Forest Whitaker and Naomi Campbell.

Global Citizen has been pushing to support the UN Sustainable Development Goals, which call for an end to the world's worst poverty by 2030.]]>
8/7/2018 2:33:01 PM
<![CDATA[Screen legend Robert Redford is retiring from acting]]>
Redford, best known for films such as “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” and “Out of Africa,” plays a seasoned bank robber in the new movie, which is scheduled to debut in theaters in September.

“Never say never, but I pretty well concluded that this would be it for me in terms of acting, and (I’ll) move toward retirement after this ‘cause I’ve been doing it since I was 21,” Redford told the magazine.

“I thought, well, that’s enough. And why not go out with something that’s very upbeat and positive?” he added.

In the film, Redford plays Forrest Tucker, a real-life career criminal who was caught robbing banks 17 times. Each time he was jailed but managed to escape.

“To me, that was a wonderful character to play at this point in my life,” Redford said of Tucker, whose robberies spanned more than 60 years.

“It made me wonder: I wonder if he was not averse to getting caught so he that could enjoy the real thrill of his life, which is to escape?”

Redford got his big screen breakthrough in 1967 with a role in “Barefoot in the Park” opposite Jane Fonda, and he cemented his stardom with roles in classic movies such as “The Sting” and “All The President’s Men.”

In 1980, he won an Academy Award for his directorial debut, “Ordinary People” and in 2002 he received a Lifetime Achievement Oscar.

As for whether he will also retire from directing, Redford said: “We’ll see about that.”]]>
8/7/2018 1:24:17 PM
<![CDATA[Beyonce embraces her curves in interview, cover shoot for Vogue]]>
The fiercely private “Lemonade” singer, 36, who rarely gives interviews, got personal for the September issue of Vogue magazine, in which she appears on the cover with little makeup.

“I have a little mommy pouch, and I’m in no rush to get rid of it,” she said in the interview, released on Monday. “I think it’s real. Whenever I’m ready to get a six-pack, I will go into beast zone and work my ass off until I have it.”

She said she weighed 218 pounds when she underwent an emergency cesarean section to deliver her twins Rumi and Sir in June 2017 and decided to allow herself time to recover rather than rushing to lose her baby weight.

“I embraced being curvier. I accepted what my body wanted to be,” Beyonce said. “I was patient with myself and enjoyed my fuller curves.”

The influential singer, who last year topped the Forbes 2017 list of highest-paid women in the music industry with an estimated $105 million, said she had decided to do the Vogue photo shoot without wigs or hair extensions, and with as little makeup as possible.

“I think it’s important for women and men to see and appreciate the beauty in their natural bodies ... To this day, my arms, shoulders, breasts, and thighs are fuller,” she told Vogue.]]>
8/7/2018 10:21:30 AM
<![CDATA[Cairo Jazz Club to host Telepoetic band tomorrow]]>
The concert is the first to be performed by the Alexandrian band in Cairo this summer.
The band Telepoetic is among the most recognizable in the electronic music genre locally.

They have been performing for almost three years and include guitarist Ahmed Salah, bass guitarist Mohammed Desouky and drummer Samo al-Tawil.
Saleh has recently performed live in the USA and Britain, including a concert in London’s Hyde Park on July 18 and another in Chicago’s cultural center on July 24.

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Telepoetic Band, 6 Aug 18, Youm7/File

Telepoetic’s previous live performances include events such as the 11LIVE Electronic Music Festival and DCAF Festival.

The band has also shared the stage and performed at various events internationally, sharing the stage with the likes of Mouse on Mars and Jan Jelinek from Germany, IGBIT from Italy and Erik Truffaz from France.



]]>
8/6/2018 6:00:49 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt restores 500-year-old ancient manuscript from London]]>
At a press conference, the minister lauded cooperation of the Foreign Ministry and the Egyptian National Library and Archives in stopping the sale of the ancient Islamic manuscript in London and bringing it back to Egypt.

The manuscript entitled "A Summary in History Science" by Mohammed bin Sulaiman Masood Al Kafiji known as Mohiuddin Al Kafiji, belongs to the Egyptian National Library and Archives but was lost in the seventies of the last century.

The minister said the Egyptian National Library and Archives addressed the auction house in London to stop the sale of the manuscript and presented necessary documents proving its ownership of the rare manuscript.

The London auction house handed over the manuscript to Chairman of the national library Hisham Azmi on July 13.

Al Kafiji was born in the country of Srokhan from Diyar Ibn Uthman in 788 AH, and then went to the land of Ajam.

After that, he traveled to Jerusalem and then to Cairo.
]]>
8/6/2018 5:08:03 PM
<![CDATA[Sharm el Sheikh gearing up for World Art Youth Forum]]>
Famous world artists were invited to attend the event due to be held under the auspices of South Sinai Governor Khaled Fouda.

In statements on Monday, Ostraka Arts founder and organizer of the event Mohamed Hemeida said the forum will include workshops on graphics, photography, sculpture, music, cinema, short films, etc.

He noted that the foundation - licensed by the General Authority For Investment and Free Zones (GAFI) - invests in the culture and arts which are the soft power in order to send a message to the whole world that Egypt is safe.

The success of the event will promote Egyptian tourism and culture and underline peace and security in the country, he said.

He added that Lebanese violinist Hanin will participate in the opening ceremony to promote tourism in Egypt. ]]>
8/6/2018 2:17:22 PM
<![CDATA[Egyptian-Italian ties portrayed at the Egyptian Museum]]>

egypt italy 1

During their visit to the museum, the two ministers visited the temporary exhibition that hosts important artifacts uncovered by Italian excavations in Egypt; these artifacts are displayed for the first time, according to Elham Salah, head of the museums sector at the Ministry of Antiquities.



egypt italy 3

"More than 20 Italian archaeological missions are currently working in Egypt upon the approval of Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities and under the auspices of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation," Salah recounted.


egypt italy 4

Salah elaborated that the 20 Italian archaeological missions work in different sites in the Valley of the Eastern Desert, the Western desert, oases, and the Delta.


egypt italy 5

Salah added that the temporary exhibition houses 180 artifacts. "The most important among the artifacts is a papyrus that comes from Gebelein, found by the archaeological expedition from the Museo Egizio in Turin.

It is one of the most ancient administrative papyri we know," Salah said.

The papyrus dates back to the Old Kingdom. During the last century it was restored in Turin, and was restored again in Cairo in 2005 by Corrado Basile who established the restoration laboratory for papyri in the Egyptian Museum. The laboratory was financed by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Salah pointed out that the most famous object among the Italian discoveries is the statue of Pharaoh Merenptah that welcomes visitors at the main entrance of the museum.

Sabah Abdel Razik, head of the Egyptian Museum, said that the exhibition also includes a hoard of 171 golden coins discovered by the Papyrological Institute of Florence's archaeological mission in Antinoupolis, close to Menya Governorate.

"Also, the exhibition displays a rare lamp with an elegant design that was found at the tomb of the overseer of works, royal architect Kha, and his wife Merit in Deir el-Medina Luxor. It dates back to the reign of Amenhotep III (about 1388-1351 BC)," Abdel Razik said.

She further added that various ancient textiles are in display, including a funerary shroud discovered by Edda Bresciani (University of Pisa) in Saqqara, depicting the god, Osiris, surrounded by a snake, flanked by Isis and protected by Nephtys, in addition to a Coptic cloth with two hairnets from Antinoupolis uncovered by the Papyrological Institute of Florence's archaeological expedition.

She revealed that a stela uncovered by L’Orientale University of Naples' expedition is being showcased in the exhibition for the first time. The stela possesses a historical significance, as it dates back to the Middle Kingdom (Reign of Amenemhat III, 1831-1786 B.C.) and testifies to the Egyptian trips to the exotic Land of Punt.

"It was found in Mersa Gawasis, a pharaonic harbour on the Red Sea, from which the Egyptian expeditions sailed," Abdel Razek added.

"The first archaeological expedition in the history of Egyptology was a joint French-Italian mission, where famous Italian Egyptologist Ippolito Rosellini worked side by side with Jean-François Champollion, the decipherer of Egyptian hieroglyphs," Dr. Giuseppina Capriotti, head of the Italian Antiquities Institute, stated.

During the last two centuries, Italian expeditions discovered important monuments in Egypt.

Italian missions are currently using the most recent technology to carry out continuous excavations and contribute to the conservation of the Egyptian cultural heritage, in collaboration with Egyptian authorities, according to Capriotti.


]]>
8/6/2018 1:19:35 PM
<![CDATA['Make it so': Patrick Stewart to reprise Star Trek role in new series]]>
The British actor, 78, said he would return to the iconic role during a surprise appearance at the annual Star Trek convention in Las Vegas, said "it is an unexpected but delightful surprise to find myself excited and invigorated to be returning to Jean-Luc Picard and to explore new dimensions with him."

"Seeking out a new life for him, when I thought that life was over."

The new series, which the CBS All Access streaming service will carry, is to center on Picard's life post Star Trek: Next Generation.

That series ran from 1987 to 1994 with 178 episodes, and spawned several films, the last in 2002.

"I will always be very proud to have been a part of the Star Trek: The Next Generation, but when we wrapped that final movie in the spring of 2002, I truly felt my time with Star Trek had run its natural course," Stewart said.

"It has been humbling to hear stories about how The Next Generation brought people comfort, saw them through difficult periods in their lives or how the example of Jean-Luc inspired so many to follow in his footsteps, pursuing science, exploration and leadership," he continued.

"I feel I'm ready to return to him for the same reason -- to research and experience what comforting and reforming light he might shine on these often dark times."

Star Trek, a multi-billion-dollar cultural phenomenon beloved by fans worldwide, turn 50 years old in 2016.

Details on the new series, including title or release date, remain under wraps.]]>
8/6/2018 12:32:35 PM
<![CDATA[Murakami delights fans with radio show debut]]>
Many fans expressed excitement on social media as they heard the show by the 69-year-old Japanese novelist, perennially touted as a contender for the Nobel literature prize.

"It's the first time I listened to his voice. I'm surprised that his way of talking and his voice are young!!" said one Twitter user.

"Appreciate I can listen to his voice!! So excited I have tears!!," tweeted another.

The reclusive writer, an avid music fan, introduced songs by US and British musicians.

Murakami became a global sensation with the publication of "Norwegian Wood" in 1987 and has written several other bestsellers including "1Q84" and "Kafka on the Shore".

In 2007, he published a non-fiction work, "What I Talk About When I Talk About Running". He has said he uses several iPods to listen to music while running.

Music, he told the radio show, had helped him to write.

"I didn't learn writing techniques from someone's literature. I learnt about rhythms, harmony and improvisations from music," he said.

Even so, he said, he "prefers to die quietly" -- when the co-host of the show relayed a listener's question about what music he wants at his funeral.

The writer, who spends much of his time in the United States, has a cult following for his sometimes surreal works peppered with references to pop culture, which have been translated into some 40 languages.]]>
8/6/2018 12:29:13 PM
<![CDATA['Zorba' composer Mikis Theodorakis in hospital after heart attack]]>
Doctors said the 93-year-old was "out of immediate danger" but was being kept in hospital in Athens as a precaution given his advanced age.

Theodorakis penned what is probably the best-known piece of Greek music, the theme tune to Zorba, an instrumental which is still played and danced to around the world.

He is also known in Greece as an icon of resistance against World War II Nazi Germany, as a militant communist in Greece's 1946-49 civil war and as an activist against the military junta that ruled Greece from 1967-74.

Theodorakis has remained a high-profile political campaigner and in February this year was out on the streets again, urging the Greek government not to compromise in the festering name row with neighbouring Macedonia.

In 2012 riot police used tear gas against him during an anti-austerity demonstration outside parliament.]]>
8/6/2018 12:25:46 PM
<![CDATA[For exiled novelist, Turkey 'like 1930s Germany']]>
The award-winning author, still traumatised by the four months she spent in an Istanbul prison, warns that Turkey's institutions are "in a state of total collapse".

In President Recep Tayyip Erdogan -- no relation -- she sees a man tightening control over everyday Turkish life, emboldened by an outright victory in June elections, sweeping new powers and a crackdown on opponents.

"The extent of things in Turkey is like Nazi Germany," the flame-haired 51-year-old told AFP in an interview in Frankfurt, her temporary home as she awaits the outcome of her court case in absentia.

"I think it is a fascist regime. It is not yet 1940s Germany, but 1930s," said Asli.

"A crucial factor is the lack of a judicial system," she added, describing a country of overcrowded prisons and pro-Erdogan judges in their twenties rushed in to replace ousted peers.

Asli herself was among the more than 70,000 people caught up in a wave of arrests under a state of emergency imposed after a failed 2016 coup against Erdogan.

She was held for 136 days over her links to a pro-Kurdish newspaper before being unexpectedly freed on bail.

The detention of the author of such novels as "The City in Crimson Cloak" and "The Stone Building and Other Places", famed for their unflinching explorations of loss and trauma, drew international condemnation.

Turkey's Nobel literature laureate Orhan Pamuk has called her "an exceptionally perceptive and sensitive writer."

- 'Pathetically funny' -

Turkey's post-coup purge targeted not just alleged backers of preacher Fethullah Gulen, blamed by Ankara for the attempted putsch, but also opposition media and people accused of ties to Kurdish militants.

Turkish authorities reject accusations of widescale rights violations after the coup, and the state of emergency was lifted last month, after Erdogan was re-elected under a new executive-style presidency giving him direct control of ministries and public institutions.

"Erdogan is almost omnipotent," Asli said.

"He decides on the price of medicine, on the future of classical ballet, his family members are in charge of the economy... Opera, which he hates, is also directly tied to him," she added, chuckling.

"That's the nice thing about fascism, it's also pathetically funny sometimes."

Turkish lawmakers have also approved new legislation giving authorities greater powers in detaining suspects and imposing public order, which officials say is necessary to combat multiple terror risks.

"It's an emergency state made permanent," said Asli.

- 'Not bluffing' -

As for herself, Asli has given up hope of being acquitted and returning to Turkey anytime soon.

"They are not bluffing," she said she realised after several journalists were sentenced to life terms.

She faces charges of spreading "terror propaganda" for her work as a literary advisor to the newspaper Ozgur Gundem.

The paper itself was shut down, accused by Turkish authorities of being a mouthpiece for the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), considered a terror group by Ankara and its Western allies.

The next hearings in Asli's case are scheduled for October and March.

The diminutive former physicist said the wait for the verdict was "almost unbearable".

"One of the biggest tortures you can do to a human being is to keep his fate unknown."

- 'You write with blood' -

Released from prison in late December 2016, it took Asli until last September to get her passport back from Turkish authorities.

She immediately left for Germany, following other Turkish artists and intellectuals into exile.

She now lives in Frankfurt, the recipient of a flat and a monthly stipend as part of the international Cities of Refuge project.

The scheme aims to provide persecuted writers with a safe haven from where they can continue working.

But Asli, who has written eight books translated into 20 languages, hasn't been able to pick up a pen yet.

Struggling with insomnia, depression and health problems, it has been easier to "play the professional writer" in past months, travelling abroad for literary events and talks.

But slowly her nightmares about prison are becoming less frequent, she said, while a painful neck hernia has done her the unexpected favour of forcing her to slow down.

Asli said she was getting "more in the mood" to write, but her immediate focus remained on raising the plight of those still locked up in Turkey.

"I have been pushed into a political role, which I try to carry with grace."

But when she is ready, she will put her own experiences of prison to paper, in what Asli predicts will be "a very heavy confrontation".

"In literature, you have to be more than 200 percent honest," she said. "You write with blood."]]>
8/6/2018 12:23:13 PM
<![CDATA[After 'Mary Shelley', pioneering Saudi female director keen to film back home]]>
"When I started making films -- I started in 2005, when my first short came out -- people didn't believe in cinema in Saudi Arabia -- films were illegal, the country was very segregated, so it was like 'a woman making films, oh!'," the 43-year-old director told AFP in an interview.

"But Saudi Arabia has changed," Mansour said.

Late last year Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman lifted a decades-old ban on cinemas as part of his push to modernise the ultra-conservative country, which included in June allowing women to drive.

Saudi Arabia this year made its first official appearance at the Cannes film festival with its submission of a series of short films.

Mansour was the first woman to shoot a film in the country, the critically acclaimed "Wadjda" from 2012 about a girl who dreams of riding her own bike.

During the filming, she often had to direct her team via walkie-talkie while keeping out of sight in a van, since she could not be seen in public alongside male actors and crew members.

"I don't think I will be in the van anymore," she said.

"Now we have a film fund and they are supporting my next project, which is called 'The Perfect Candidate', about a young Saudi female doctor who decides to run for an office in a municipal election," she said.

"It will be wonderful to be part of the evolution of film in the country," she added.

"I think it's amazing to have Saudi Arabia becoming normal again."

- 'Definitely a Haifaa film' -

Mansour now lives in Los Angeles with her American husband and children. "Mary Shelley", her biopic of the 19th-century author of the horror classic "Frankenstein", is now hitting screens worldwide.

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley was just 18 when she travelled to Lake Geneva in 1816 with her future husband, the poet Percy Shelley, and their son to vacation alongside friends including Lord Byron.

Kept inside for days by heavy rains, they challenged each other to write a ghost story, sparking the Gothic tale of "Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus", which was eventually published in 1818, but without Mary Shelley's name on the cover.

"For her, to come and write something so original and not to have her name on it, I could not not tell that story. I felt just like, 'this is definitely a Haifaa film'," Mansour said.

The offer to direct the film, starring Elle Fanning, came as a surprise -- not least because Mansour had previously filmed mainly in Arabic.

But having studied literature at the American University in Cairo and film at the University of Sydney, she was ready for the challenge of working in English.

"We did a lot of rewriting on the script -- it's not only a love story," she said.

After filming the movie in Ireland, Luxembourg and France, Mansour said she was eager to work again in her native Saudi Arabia.

"I think it is very important to make films there, especially with Saudi Arabia embracing films and allowing film theatres. It will be wonderful to be part of the evolution of film in the country," she said.

"I think it will have a great impact on young professional women."]]>
8/6/2018 12:19:07 PM
<![CDATA[Assem Nagaty, the 1st Arab-African in Shanghai Theatre Academy]]>
Nagaty assured in special remarks to Egypt Today that during this workshop he focused on the ghost figures and prophecies in Shakespeare's work and mixed it with the mystical poems of Ibn al-Farid and Sufi music, in addition to the jinn in Taghribat Bani Hilal and the magic and prophecy in the Pharaonic civilization.

Nagaty presented his scientific experiences to art students at the Shanghai Academy. He started a new path in the analysis of the characters to the poems of Ibn al-Farid and Sufi music and its visual vocabulary.

Nagaty is an Egyptian actor, stage director and a professor at the Academy of Arts. He was the Head of the National Center for Theatre.
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8/6/2018 10:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[National Theatre Festival announces award winners ]]>
Several names were awarded during the festival, the following being the most significant:

“Mosafer Eleil” (Night Traveler) was granted a special award for performance using the grammatically complex Arabic dialect. The play was granted an additional award for its hero’s Alaa Koka.

The play “Qale’et Elmot” (Citadel of Death) was awarded the ‘best physical’ performance on stage in addition to the award for best scenography and lightning.
The main hall in the Egyptian Opera House hosted the National Theatre Festival, lead by Dr. Hassan Ateya. The festival this year held the name of veteran writer Mahmoud Diab.

The festival witnessed a vigorous competition among 37 plays, in the presence of Minister of Culture Inas Abdel Dayem and the elites of the Egyptian theatrical scene.
The festival’s 11th round awards were granted by artist Samira Abdel Aziz, head of the judging committee.

The artist commented that the dramatic works competing in the festival this year have increased compared to participations in previous years, which is a clear indication that Egyptian drama is on the right track of development and improvement offering valuable dramatic works to the Egyptians and Arabs.

The show “Snow white” achieved the award for Best Theatrical Play which is estimated to be worth LE 35,000. Mohsen Rizq, the director of the play was granted the Best Director award, which is valued to be worth LE 30,000.

Moreover, the Best Actress Award was granted to the play’s starring actress Marwa Abdel Men’em. The prize is estimated to be worth LE 25,000.
Poet Khaled Al-Shibany was awarded a certificate of appreciation for the sublimity of the poetry used in the play.

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Part of the shows - cc via Youm7

“Drama El Shahatin’ (The Beggars’ Drama) was ranked second in terms of awards granted in the festival. The play won the second rank in the Best Show Award and LE 30,000.
The director of the show Mohamed Elrakh was awarded the prize for best promising director which is estimated to be worth LE 15,000. The hero of the show, Mohamed Nasif was awarded the prize for Best Promising Actor worth LE 15,000.

The play “Qale’et Elmot” (Citadel of Death) was granted a few awards as well such as Best Physical Performance on stage. The award is estimated to be worth LE 20,000.

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Part of the shows during the festival - cc via: Youm7

The show “Salem Nafsak” (Surrender) was granted the award for Best Team-Play.
A documentary was played around the closure of the festival, “Shams Elmasrah Elmasry” (Sun of the Egyptian Theatre) which shed light on the important activities of the festival in its 11th round. The documentary is directed by Ali Dawood, montage by Ayman Mahfouz, narrated by Khaled Hilal, filmed by Mohamed Farouk Michael Saeed and Mostafa Yehia.

The closing ceremony of the National Theatre Festival was launched by playing the show “Nefsy” (I Wish) starring actress Reem Ahmad.


]]>
8/5/2018 5:39:17 PM
<![CDATA[Current GEM logo is temporary: Minister ]]>
Minister of Antiquities Khaled al-Anany told Egypt Today that the

logo

is temporary, and that it is a part of the promotional campaign executed by the German company Atelier Bruckner which had won the bid out of 12 companies to accomplish the exhibit design.

The minister declared that a competition will be held locally and abroad for designers to submit their designs prior to the inauguration in 2020. Tutankhamun’s division was supposed to open by the end of this year but President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi decided to inaugurate the entire museum at once two years from now.

Anany stated that all students and faculty members at art schools are also welcome to submit logo designs for all museums across the country. Prior to those statements, many Egyptian designers had posted drafts and propositions for the logo on social media.

It is worth mentioning that GEM’s first stage will be completed by the end of 2018. The Grand Egyptian Museum will witness for the first time the display of all Tutankhamun’s artifacts, which amount to more than 5,000 pieces, gathered in one place.

GEM’s lobby will host the statue of King Rameses II and the column of his son King Merneptah; the grand staircase will include 87 royal statues and large architectural elements, including statues of kings Khafre, Menkaure, Senusret, Akhenaten and Amenhotep III.]]>
8/5/2018 4:51:50 PM
<![CDATA[Maddah: A singer with ‘A Golden Throat’ ]]>
The doodle also appears to Google users in Australia, New Zealand and Sweden.
Hijaz, the western region of Saudi Arabia, means “the barrier”.

Ironically, Hijaz ( means barrier) was Maddah's home city; maybe that’s why destiny has chosen him to break barriers between countries through his music and melodious voice that significantly affected the Arab music scene during his 50-year career.

Maddah's passion for music manifested at an early age, as he sang in every school concert in Mecca, and started to play oud.

At the beginning of his journey, he followed the footsteps of great singers such as Hassan Jawa.

He was famous for playing oud while singing. Between 1960 and 2000, Maddah participated in numerous Saudi festivals, in addition to a number of concerts in Egypt, Syria and Lebanon. Maddah was truly a pan Arab singer.

The launch of Saudi Arabia’s radio contributed in building Maddah's huge stardom. “Wardak Ya Zarea al-Ward” (Grower of Roses) was the song that made him famous.

In 1976, he released his masterpiece “Maqadir” which became the first song from the Hijazi region to gain that huge popularity. Maddah cooperated along his career with a number of prominent composers such as Gamal Salama and Mohammed Shafiq, among others.

Maddah was the godfather and mentor of famed singer Abadi al-Johar. Furthermore, Maddah composed more than 1,000 songs along his career. He also acted once in a movie named “Fog Street” with Lebanese singer, Sabah.

In 2000, Maddah, known as “The Golden Throat” and “The Earth’s Voice”, died of a heart attack at the age of 60 during a live television performance, the “Al-Meftaha” show, on Saudi Arabian TV.

Even after his death, his recordings continue to reach new listeners, proving that fine art never dies. Happy birthday in heaven, Maddah.

]]>
8/5/2018 4:21:51 PM
<![CDATA[Anani inspected on Saturday Abydos archaeological site]]>
The minister's visit came to follow up the development of visitors' center at King Seti I and King Ramses II temples, the statement read.

During the tour, Anani reviewed the demands and problems facing the workers, promising them to ease all obstacles which hinder their work.

The visitors' center includes all facilities for serving the temples' visitors and tourists. (MENA)]]>
8/5/2018 3:29:50 PM
<![CDATA[Anani inspected the restoration works of Luxor Temple's sanctuary]]>
Anani pointed out that one of the most important projects, currently implemented in the Luxor, is preparing for opening the Sphinx Avenue soon.

The minister was accompanied by Luxor Governor Mohamed Badr and Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities Mostafa Waziri. (MENA)




]]>
8/5/2018 3:21:31 PM
<![CDATA[Russia tasks Hollywood actor Seagal with improving U.S. ties]]>
President Vladimir Putin presented a Russian passport to U.S. actor Steven Seagal in 2016, saying he hoped it would serve as a symbol of how fractious ties between Moscow and Washington were starting to improve.

Since then, U.S.-Russia relations have only got worse however with U.S. intelligence agencies accusing Moscow of interfering in Donald Trump’s White House run, an allegation Russia denies. The two countries are also at odds over Syria and Ukraine.

The Russian Foreign Ministry likened Seagal’s new role to that of a U.N. goodwill ambassador and said that the actor, who is known for his martial arts prowess, would receive no salary.

“It’s a case of people’s diplomacy intersecting with traditional diplomacy,” the ministry said.

Seagal, who sometimes appears on Russian state TV to talk about his views and career, was cited by Kremlin-backed TV station RT as welcoming the appointment.

“I’ve always had a very strong desire to do all I can to help improve Russian-American relations,” RT cited Seagal as saying. “I have worked tirelessly in this direction for many years unofficially and I am now very grateful for the opportunity to do the same thing officially.”

For more than a decade Seagal, who according to his own website is 66, has been a regular visitor to Russia. His movies, including such titles as “Under Siege” and “Sniper: Special Ops,” are popular with Russian audiences.


President Putin is also a fan of the kind of martial arts that Seagal often practiced in his Hollywood action movies.]]>
8/5/2018 11:26:17 AM
<![CDATA[New York art turns Bulgarian village into outdoor gallery]]>
Andy Warhol’s banana, Salvador Dali’s clocks and Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” are among the murals that have turned the village into a spectacular open-air gallery in what is becoming an annual event.

It is the fourth year that students from Poland have painted the walls of Staro Zhelezare, a project launched by Polish woman Katarzyna Piriankov and her Bulgarian-born husband Ventzislav who decided the theme this time should be the New York gallery.


“We always want to make our projects on the basis of contrast and absurdity, connecting them with special places,” said Piriankov, from the Polish city of Poznan.

“So, we decided to invite New York to Staro Zhelezare and its people. They also deserve to see the beauty of MoMA’s art works.”

As well as the locals, foreign visitors have come to see the street art.

“It is just amazing,” said Englishman Nigel Thompson. “I’ve never imagined something like that, you can even see Marcel Duchamp’s bicycle wheel.”]]>
8/5/2018 11:23:10 AM
<![CDATA[Black Theama celebrated their 14th anniversary at El Sawy Cultural Wheel ]]>
Black Theama chose El Sawy Cultural Wheel because it was the same place and the same theatre that witnessed their first concert 14 years ago.

Founded in 2004 by Amir Salah el-Deen, originally a member in Karisma theatrical troupe, the three-member band presents a wide range of music styles, including Nubian rhythms, reggae, hip-hop, R&B and African music. The band infuses traditional Nubian folk songs with modern beats.

Over the years, the band collaborated with many other bands and musicians such as Massar Egbari and Cairokee.

Black Theama represented Egypt in different international competitions; they were nominated at the 2013 World Music Awards for the Best Group, Best Live Act, Best Song and Best Video Clip awards for the song "Fi Belad Al-Ayy Haga".
]]>
8/5/2018 6:44:04 AM
<![CDATA['Akhdar Yabes' will screen at Cinema Club on Aug.9]]>
The movie focuses on a woman, Iman, living in an oriental society; she tries to convince her uncles to meet her sister’s suitor in place of their deceased father. The protagonist is very traditional and strict. However, Iman receives medical news that causes her to rethink her life and question her beliefs.

The movie’s director, Mohammed Hammad, was the first Egyptian to win the Muhr Award for Best Director in the Narrative Feature Competition at the Dubai International Film Festival. He also won a Golden Palm Award for Best Director in the Narrative Feature Competition at the Mexico International Film Festival.

The film participated in 45 international film festivals including the Hamburg International Film Festival, Festival de Cannes, and Stockholm International Film Festival.
“Akhdar Yabes” was written and directed by Hammad and stars Heba Ali, Asmaa Fawzi, Ahmed Alaidy, and John Ekram Hanna.

The internationally-awarded Egyptian film was screened for the first time in Egypt at Zawya cinema on October 25, 2017. It premiered at Locarno International Film Festival last year and was the first Egyptian film to be featured at the festival.
]]>
8/4/2018 6:03:07 PM
<![CDATA[Google honors Khalidi, the late prominent pioneer ]]>
On this occasion, Egypt Today will give its reader a glimpse on the life of the great writer, translator and women rights advocate who had a great impact on Arab women in her time.

Khalidi was born in Beirut in 1897 to a notable Muslim Lebanese family. Her father Salim Ali Salam was a rich merchant and a deputy in the Ottoman parliament.

Her brother Saeb Salam was an ex Lebanese prime minister. Two of her brothers served as cabinet ministers of Lebanon, as well.

She was educated based on the latest trends of education at her time and learned French. She and her brothers joined the Anglican Syrian College in Ras Beirut, which is the predecessor of the American University of Beirut.

In 1925, she travelled to the United Kingdom to study there for two years.After returning back to Beirut, Khalidi joined the women's movement in Lebanon.

Khalidi was a pioneer in almost everything she had ever done. She was a bold intellectual woman who was never afraid to express her opinion in public and ready at any time to defend her stances.

In 1927, she was the first Muslim woman in Lebanon to desert the veil in public during a lecture at the American University of Beirut.

She was the first translator to translate Homer's master piece ‘’Odyssey’’ into Arabic. Khalidi was also the first to translate ‘’Aeneid’’ written by Virgil to Arabic.

In 1978, she published her memoir entitled ‘’Jawalah fil Dhikrayat Baynah Lubnan Wa Filastin’’ (A Tour of Memories of Lebanon and Palestine in English).

In 2013, her memoir was translated into English under the title of ‘’Memoirs of an Early Arab Feminist’’.

In her memoir, Khalidi elaborated on the negative effects of the activities performed by Ottoman ruler of Syria at that time, Jamal Pasha, on her family and childhood. A whole chapter in her memoir is pertaining to Jamal Pasha, titled ‘’Jamal Pasha and his Crimes’’.

Anbara Salam’s husband was a Palestinian educator named Ahmad Samih Al Khalidi. He was the principal of the Arab College in Jerusalem in Mandatory Palestine. They settled during their early marriage years in Jerusalem and later moved to Beirut where she died in May 1986.

The veteran writer led a rich life with a career that spanned over 60 years. A long successful journey launched Khalidi as an icon of literature and translation during her life and after her death.]]>
8/4/2018 5:39:30 PM
<![CDATA[Broken art: Ai Weiwei's Beijing studio faces wrecking ball]]>
As dusk descended on the old car parts factory on the outskirts of the capital, shirtless, sweating labourers packed large wooden crates filled with artworks onto a truck bed.

Hours earlier, Ai, who now lives in Berlin, had posted videos on Instagram showing several men looking on from inside the hollowed-out brick and concrete building as a backhoe went to work.

"Farewell," Ai wrote in English, saying the demolition had begun without notice.

Ai helped to design the Bird's Nest Olympic Stadium for the 2008 Beijing Games, but fell out of favour following his criticism of Chinese leadership.

The artist was detained for 81 days in 2011 amid a crackdown on government critics. His passport was confiscated and he moved to Berlin after it was returned to him in 2015.

Ai wasn't overly angry about the demolition, as the rental contract for the space had expired last autumn, said Ga Rang, an assistant who has worked for 10 years alongside the artist.

But it "simply wasn't possible" to move out at the time due to the vast quantity of things stored in the space, Ga said.

Ga managed the hangar-sized space in the Left Right Art District, where Ai had worked since 2006.

"They came and started knocking down the windows today without telling us beforehand. There's still so much stuff inside," said Ga, wiping his brow in the extreme summer humidity as he directed a crew of movers.

They had been warned that the move needed to happen within days, but had not been told when the wrecking machines would appear.

"The authorities say they want to develop things here, build malls and commercial buildings. But it's a shame -- you won't ever find a place in Beijing like this again," he said.

- Ghostly retrospective -

Around the back of the building lay a cemetery-like collection of different parts from Ai's various works, a ghostly outdoor retrospective.

Tall ceramic pillars in green, yellow and blue, like those from his 2006 "Pillar" series, stood next to twisted metal rebar reclaimed from schools destroyed in the devastating 2008 Sichuan earthquake, all encircled by a silent chorus of enormous, gnarled tree roots resembling those from his 2009 work "Rooted Upon" -- an abstract meditation on encroaching modernity and displacement.

It was going to be impossible to find another space to house such large-scale works in Beijing, Ga lamented, and they were considering simply storing the works outside somewhere.

"Mr. Ai made countless works in this space -- a lot of his iconic works were all made here."

Work from Ai's first solo show in his home country -- a reconstructed Ming dynasty temple, rebuilt with all its 1,500 parts in a Beijing gallery in 2015 -- stood packed up in boxes in the middle of the window-lined studio amid broken glass and timber.

- Changing district -

Far beyond Beijing's city centre, the Left Right Art District is an old factory converted into artist studios and office spaces.

It lies next to the "Big Wealthy Regal Industrial Park" -- an area full of tractors, dirty low-lying buildings and roadside watermelon vendors selling their wares for 20 cents a kilo.

Ai's studio dominates the complex, where many of the other buildings dating back to the 1960s and 70s have already been reduced to rubble.

Demolitions began three months ago, said De Aihua, a longtime resident who moved into the factory in her early teens.

Ai's studio used to be the state-owned factory's meeting hall, she explained.
At its peak, the complex was home to 1,000 residents, but numbers began to drop after China's reform in the 1980s shifted the economy away from rigid state-controlled planning. In recent years, only 20 or so residents remained.

She expected the government to allot her an apartment in a high-rise complex somewhere to compensate her for having to move, but deeply mourned the change.

"It was a wonderful life here. It was the way a life should be -- with neighbours, trees, closer to nature," she said, pulling her puppy Miaomiao through a leafy boulevard now overgrown with weeds and hedged on either side by debris.

She would speak with artists when they crossed her path, but didn't know much of Ai Weiwei's international renown, referring to him as "Ai Qing's son". His father was a famous Chinese poet.

As he prepared a jackhammer for the next morning, the young construction worker who would drive the demolition vehicle said he had no particular feelings about tearing down the historic building, but still preferred low houses to towering commercial malls.

"But even if I don't like it, I'm just an ant, what say do I have?” he said. "And anyway, I don't really know what you mean by art."]]>
8/4/2018 3:56:13 PM
<![CDATA[YouTube launches first series in Spanish, starring Gael Garcia Bernal]]>
In addition to the show featuring the star of "Motorcycle Diaries," Google-owned YouTube is preparing two other Spanish-language series starring Colombian singer Maluma and another with Mexican actress and comedian Sofia Nino de Rivera.

YouTube, whose free content was until now mostly uploaded by users themselves, has this year embarked on a new strategy of investing in its own programming.

It is trying to flesh out content on its new service, YouTube Premium, a reboot of the YouTube Red platform that will offer paying subscribers an ad-free streaming service whose shows they can also download and watch offline.

In May, the online video service launched its most ambitious project yet, "Cobra Kai," which is inspired by the "Karate Kid" films.

The first episode, which was free, was viewed more than 40 million times. Its success was such that just a week after its launch, YouTube announced the production of a second season.]]>
8/4/2018 3:51:11 PM
<![CDATA[Haggar, Abdel Aziz performs at Citadel Festival Aug. 4]]>
The first concert will be performed by the renowned singer Ali el-Haggar while the second will be performed by the famed marimba player Nesma Abdel Aziz.

Haggar is expected to perform a collection of songs from his recent album “Ma Takhdy Balek” (Please Take Care). He will also sing some of his classic hits such as “Hona al-Qahera” (Here is Cairo), “A’m Batata” (Uncle Batata), and “Dehket al-Masagen” (The Prisoners’ Laughter).

Moreover, he will sing a selection of his iconic soundtracks such as “Bawabet al-Halawany” (Halawany’s Gate), “Al-Mal wal Banon” (Money and Sons), and “Masa’let Mabdaa” (A Matter of Principle).

Haggar graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts in 1979 and was influenced by late Egyptian music legend Baligh Hamdy, who trained Haggar, Mohamed Mounir and Mohamed el-Helw in a band called el-Takht, which was formed in the Arabic Music Institution.

Inspired by poet, cartoonist, and painter Salah Jaheen, Haggar always wanted to sing Jahin's sonnets; he grew popular after singing them in the 1980s. Around the same time, he also began blending authentic Arabic music with modern technology and sound effects.

In addition to his prolific album releases, Haggar also performed in several theatrical plays, movies, and TV series.

nesma abdel aziz
Nesma Abdel Aziz - Egypt Today.


Abdel Aziz is considered one of the contemporary music icons; she is the first marimba player in Egypt. She participated in numerous concerts in Cairo Opera House such as Omar Khairat concerts.

Having her debut in 2001, Abdel Aziz founded her ensemble and released music pieces like "Marimba Fusion," and "Tico, Tico." Abdel Aziz toured the world with her ensemble under the theme of "Spreading Happiness" and gained huge international success.

Abdel Aziz has dazzled audiences worldwide with her combination of classical and contemporary music, bringing together a unique blend of western and Arab instruments to create a whole new genre.

Minister of Culture Ines Abdel Dayem launched the Salah el-Din International Citadel Festival for Music and Singing in its 27th round on Thursday at the Mahka Theatre at the citadel.

After Abdel Dayem delivered her speech during the inauguration ceremony she honoured the artistic figures who greatly impacted the festival’s success: veteran singers Hany Shaker and Medhat Saleh, as well as violin player Alaa Khalil, director Sayed Amin Abou Elhoda, critic Kariman Herk, Mohamed Hamdy and piano maintenance expert Hatem Mansour.

Abdel Dayem gave the honorees the honor shields and certificates of appreciation. The honoring was followed by Chinese shows and folklore songs presented by Chinese youth and children as well as a concert by the singer Shaker.
Chairman of Cairo Opera House Magdy Saber remarked that this year the festival has been granted an international badge for the first time.

Organized by Cairo Opera House, the festival will run until Aug. 17, presenting 37 various concerts by Egyptian and Arab countries in this year’s edition.


This year the festival’s line-up includes Fouad and Mounib band, Tunisian singer Ghali Banali, Egyptian marimba player Nesma Abdel Aziz, Egyptian singers Sheikh Yasin Al-Tuhami, Ali El Haggar, Iman Al-Bahr Darwish and Ihab Tawfik, Monte Cairo band, El Nour W El Amal Orchestra and Syrian singer Majed Al Qasim.

No’man Ashour’s cultural castle in Mit Ghamr district is going to host a ceremony to grant the festival the “Salah Hilal” Award for best playwright and “Abu el-Anain Sharaf el-Din” Award for best poet.

The cultural ceremony will be supervised by critic Yusri el-Arab. It is worth noting that No’man Ashour was an Egyptian poet and playwright. The late poet died in April 1987.

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8/4/2018 1:43:51 PM
<![CDATA[Veteran August head of CIFF International competition]]>
"Bille August is one of the eminent names in world cinema; his films have captured the hearts of audiences all over the world. It is an honor to have him as the Jury President in this historic 40th edition of the Festival,” recounted Mohamed Hefzy, CIFF President


August is one of few directors around the world who was awarded three of the most prestigious cinematic awards during his long career: The Academy Award, Palm d'Or and the Golden Globe. Also he is one of eight directors throughout history who have received the Palm d'Or twice.

"I am excited and honored to be the jury president of this year's Cairo International Film Festival and looking forward to watching all the films from around the world along with the jury member,” said August.

The artistic director of CIFF, the veteran cinematic critic Youssef Cherif Rizkallah, announced that the International competition will host other internationally acclaimed jury members beside August, as it will include for the first time this year a notable group of filmmakers who have wide and unique artistic experiences. The 40th edition will take place from Nov. 20-29.


August was born in Denmark in 1948. In the 1970s he studied cinema at The National Film School of Denmark. In 1978, August made his first feature film "Honning Mane – In My life'' on which he was awarded the Bodil Award for Best Danish Film.

August’s film repertoire include many movies that were featured all over the world such as "Zappa”, ''Tro, håb og kærlighed – Twist and Shout”, and “Busters Verden - Buster's World'' among others.

In 1987, August achieved a huge worldwide success with his film “Pelle Erobreren - Pelle the Conqueror”, which received the three major accolades in cinema: the Palm d'Or in Cannes Film Festival, and the Academy Award and the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film.

In 1992, his film “Den Goda Viljan – The Best Intentions'' received the second Palm d’Or award in August’s life.

Subsequently, August started working on massive production films along with internationally acclaimed stars like "The House of Spirits” in 1993 starring Meryl Streep and Jeremy Irons, "Smilla's Sense of Ice” starring Julia Ormond and Richard Harris, "Les Misérables'' in 1998 starring Liam Neeson, Geoffrey rush and Uma Thurman, and ''55 steps'' in 2017 starring Hilary Swank and Helena Bonham Carter.

August directed many films that received awards and prizes from prominent festivals around the world. In 2001, "A Song for Martin'' received awards for best actor and best actress in Karlovy Vary Film Festival. In 2007, his film "Goodbye Bafana'' was awarded the Peace Film Award from Berlin International Film Festival.

In 2014, his film "Silent Heart" received the Silver Seashell award for best actress from San Sebastián International Film Festival.

August has been honored both by the Danish and the Swedish Royal Order of Chivalry and the French order chevalier Ordre des Arts et Lettres.

“What a great film can do is to give soul and heart to moments, to characters, and to give us the possibility to identify with other people. What we see and experience becomes a part of us; we become the other person and we are able to understand unknown sides of other human beings. We learn something about the nature of mankind, which can be difficult in our everyday lives because we do not experience reality as concentrated as we do on film. And because we are able to portray the individual human being in a film, it also gives us a possibility, in short moments, to understand something about the world in the greater picture,” said August describing the effect of movies on our hearts and souls.



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8/4/2018 1:33:23 PM
<![CDATA[Movie producer Weinstein seeks to dismiss sex charges based on emails]]>
Weinstein has denied having non-consensual sex with anyone following accusations by more than 70 women, mostly young actresses and other women employed in the movie business, of sexual misconduct, including rape, dating back decades.

In a motion filed in New York state court in Manhattan, Weinstein’s lawyers said the emails showed “a long-term, consensual, intimate relationship” between Weinstein and an unnamed woman who has accused him of raping her in 2013.

Weinstein’s lawyers said they meant “not to ignore that rape can occur in relationships,” but that prosecutors should have shown the grand jurors the emails in order for them to make an “informed decision.”

The woman and Weinstein communicated over a four-year period after the date she said he raped her, Weinstein’s lawyers said.

A lawyer or representative for the woman was not immediately known to request comment on the motion.

A spokesman for Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, who is prosecuting the case, declined to comment on the motion.

The case against Weinstein in Manhattan involves three women. Weinstein, 66, has pleaded not guilty to all of the charges and is free on $1 million bail.

Weinstein lawyer Benjamin Brafman said in a statement that the motions “reveal the existence of exculpatory evidence.”

The accusations against Weinstein led to the #MeToo movement in which hundreds of women publicly accuse powerful men in business, politics and entertainment of sexual harassment and abuse.

Weinstein’s lawyers said charges against Weinstein in New York involving two other women were flawed and must be dismissed as well. One involves a former actress who said Weinstein forced her to perform oral sex on him in 2004. The other is a former production assistant who said he performed oral sex on her against her will in 2006.

Weinstein’s lawyers said the charges relating to the former actress failed to provide enough detail because they did not say exactly when the assault happened, instead giving a three-month range.

Prosecutors failed to give Weinstein adequate advance notice that they were presenting the “far more serious charges” to the grand jury of the allegation from 2006, his lawyers said.

The former production assistant’s lawyer, Gloria Allred, said in response to Weinstein’s motion to dismiss that the grand jury “would not have indicted him if they did not find the testimony that they heard credible.”

A lawyer or representative for the former actress was not immediately known to request comment.

As accusations against Weinstein mounted, his company Weinstein Co fired him and filed for bankruptcy, and he was expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Through his company and Miramax, Weinstein won plaudits and awards for movies including “Shakespeare in Love,” “Pulp Fiction” and “The King’s Speech.”]]>
8/4/2018 11:30:16 AM
<![CDATA[Chris Rock to star in new season of FX crime drama 'Fargo']]>
Production on the new installment will start in 2019, FX Networks Chief Executive John Landgraf said at a Television Critics Association event, where networks promote upcoming shows.

The season will be set in Kansas City, Missouri, at a time when the Midwest was dealing with clashes between Europeans who had emigrated to the United States and African Americans who had left the U.S. South to escape discrimination, Landgraf said.

Rock will play the head of an African-American family who surrenders his oldest boy to his enemy - an Italian - to keep an uneasy peace, Landgraf said.

The “Fargo” television series was adapted from Joel and Ethan Coen’s 1996 Oscar-winning film of the same name. It won the Emmy award for best limited series in 2014.

Four-time Emmy winner Rock is a stand-up comedian who created and produced the TV sitcom “Everybody Hates Chris,” based on his own life, which ran from 2005 to 2009. He also has appeared in films including “Lethal Weapon 4” and “The Longest Yard” and has hosted the Academy Awards.

FX is owned by 21st Century Fox.]]>
8/4/2018 11:12:03 AM
<![CDATA[Grand Egyptian Museum receives head of King Senusert I]]>
In a statement, GEM general supervisor Tareq Tawfiq said the head is carved from red granite and has the common artistic features found in pieces attributed to the Middle Kingdom.

The head, which was discovered in 2005 in Souq Al-Khamis at the Matriya archaeological site by an Egyptian-German mission, portrays the facial features of King Senusret I wearing a partial headdress.

The statue's royal beard, which was discovered 10 meters away from the corresponding head in 2008, was also transported to the museum.

The head, according to Ayman Ashmawy, the head of the Ancient Egyptian Antiquities Section who discovered the artifact in 2005, measures 122 cm x 108cm x 75cm and weighs roughly two tons.

Eissa Zidan, general director of the First Aid Restoration Department at the GEM, said Friday that the restoration team and archaeologists used the latest technology in the packing and transportation of the head and beard, which required wooden beams to settle the objects onto a hydraulic crane for lifting.

The head and beard are now at the GEM conservation center for restoration, study, examination, analysis and documentation, while a three-dimensional imaging technique will be used to illustrate the suggested methods to re-attach the head to the beard.]]>
8/4/2018 8:37:00 AM
<![CDATA[Abdel Dayem honors Shaker, Saleh at Salah el-Din International Citadel Festival]]>
After Abdel Dayem delivered her speech during the inauguration ceremony she honoured the artistic figures who greatly impacted the festival’s success: veteran singers Hany Shaker and Medhat Saleh, as well as violin player Alaa Khalil, director Sayed Amin Abou Elhoda, critic Kariman Herk, Mohamed Hamdy and piano maintenance expert Hatem Mansour.

Abdel Dayem gave the honourees the honor shields and certificates of appreciation. The honoring was followed by Chinese shows and folklore songs presented by Chinese youth and children as well as a concert by the singer Shaker.

facebook festival 2
Hany Shaker performing in the festival - Facebook.


Chairman of Cairo Opera House Magdy Saber remarked that this year the festival has been granted with an international badge for the first time.

Organized by Cairo Opera House, the festival will run until Aug. 17, presenting 37 various concerts by Egyptian and Arab countries in this year’s edition.



This year the festival’s line-up includes Fouad and Mounib band, Tunisian singer Ghali Banali, Egyptian marimba player Nesma Abdel Aziz, Egyptian singers Sheikh Yasin Al-Tuhami, Ali El Haggar, Iman Al-Bahr Darwish and Ihab Tawfik, Monte Cairo band, El Nour W El Amal Orchestra and Syrian singer Majed Al Qasim.

No’man Ashour’s cultural castle in Mit Ghamr district is going to host a ceremony to grant the festival the “Salah Hilal” Award for best playwright and “Abu el-Anain Sharaf el-Din” Award for best poet.

The cultural ceremony will be supervised by critic Yusri el-Arab. It is worth noting that No’man Ashour was an Egyptian poet and playwright. The late poet died in April 1987.

Shaker was born in Cairo in 1952. He started his musical career at a very young age in Abdel Halim Hafez choral with the song “Sora” (Photo). Later, Shaker performed the role of young Sayed Darwish in the movie “Sayed Darwish”.

He studied music in the Cairo Conservatoire. In 1972, while he was a student in the second year, he released his first breakthrough hit “Heloua Ya Donia” (It’s a Wonderful Life). Shaker had much support from the musical legends at that time, such as Umm Kulthum, Mohamed Abdel Wahab and Abdel Halim Hafez, as they believed in his talent.

Shaker's musical repertoire includes more than 461 songs such as “Ghalta” (A Mistake), “El Helm El Gameel” (The Beautiful Dream), and “Tekhsary” (You Will Lose) among others. Shaker is the current head of the Egyptian Musicians Syndicate.

Saleh was born in Cairo in 1960 in Shobra district. He started his musical career directly after he graduated from Cairo University. He released his first song, entitled “Akeed” (Sure) in the 1980s.

He performed his song named “Ya Greed el Nakhl el Aly” (O High Palm Leaves) in front of ex Egyptian President Hosny Mubarak in mid 1980s, where the song achieved a booming success, placing Saleh among the top singers at that time.

Throughout his career that extended for more than 30 years, Saleh was famous for performing the songs of the most successful movies such as "Habiby Ya Ashek" in “Short w Fanla w Cap” (Shorts, a T-shirt and a Hat) movie, "El Nour Makano Fel Keloob" (Light Belongs in the Hearts) from “Amir el Zalam” (The Prince of Darkness) movie, “La Hatakhod Eih” (What Will You Gain?) from the movie "Mafia", among others.

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8/3/2018 4:00:19 PM
<![CDATA[Restoration of Rosetta city to be included in World Heritage List]]>
He was accompanied by Mohamed El-Tohamy, director general of Rosetta Antiquities, Dr. Diaa Zahran, director general of Technical Follow-up in the Sector, and a group of managers of archaeological areas and Directors of Archaeological Affairs.

Gamal Mustafa clarified that the ministry is working in full swing to take all the executive procedures in cooperation with all concerned parties to implement the project of developing the city of Rosetta.

The ministry is also preparing a special file on the historical city to submit to UNESCO to put it on the World Heritage List. The city has been on the organization's preliminary list since 2003.

Mustafa assured that all the necessary measures have been taken to accomplish this task.

A committee has been formed which includes a group of officials of space and property in the ministry, Department of International Cultural Heritage and the Department of Geographic Information Systems (GIS), whose mission is to define the city's historical boundaries and to establish a sanctuary for a number of archaeological sites.

The committee has completed the establishment of 20 antiques from a total of 39, in addition to assigning professional specialized photographers to document the moments of all the antiques in the historic city.

Dr. Gamal inspected the ongoing works at the Zaghloul archaeological mosque, the hub of archaeological crafts, including carpentry workshops and carpets, and provided all necessary raw materials for them.

Dr. Mustafa said that the ministry will begin the work of restoration and maintenance of three mosques in Rosetta, namely the Halabi mosque in Idfina, the dome of Nur al-Din in Dibi, and the dome of Abu Shusha in Dairut.

The financial support for restoration works from the Ministry of Awqaf amounted to more than LE 14 million.

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8/3/2018 1:59:49 PM
<![CDATA[Banned on screen, but published as books]]>
1- “Revenge of God” by Abdul Rahman Al-Sharqawi.

This remains to be the dream of every theater director but has been rejected by Al-Azhar in the seventies. The play remained banned from production since it was written in 1969.

In 1972, director Karam Mutawa agreed that he would take it to the theater for production with the opening scheduled to be in December of that year. Yet, by the time it was November, Al-Azhar began expressing his discontent over its production.

Consequently, Al-Azhar tried to alter some characters and names; however, it was not enough and the play was never produced.

2- “Naeb Azrael” by Youssef Al Seba’i

This novel, although bold and courageous, has also been banned from production.
It was presented to several artists as theater projects. Some tried to submit it as a film.

However, all requests were met with rejection due to the novel’s boldness. The main theme of the novel revolves around the hero Ezrael, the King of Death, when he assigns his duties to the son of Adam and demands he takes the lives of people on his behalf due to his busy schedule with a fairy from the nymphs in Heaven, thus changing the laws of death.

3- “Children of Gebelawi” or “Children of our Alley” by Naguib Mahfouz

This novel, although by Nobel Prize winner, Naguib Mahfouz, was met with opposition and criticized by religious authorities.

The plot basically revolves around the interlinked history of Islam, Christianity and Judaism.

Critics saw that ‘Gebelawi’ represents God. However, Mahfouz explained that he is only representative of the idea of God that people created. It is interesting to note that publication in book format was actually banned in Egypt and that it was first published in Lebanon in 1967.

4- “A Visit to Heaven and Hell” by Mostafa Mahmoud

This play deals with the idea of meeting people we will know in Heaven and Hell, such as Gamal Abdel Nasser, Fifi Abdo, Karl Marx and Satan.

It also touches on the concept that perhaps the people we think will be in heaven are in hell and vice versa. Much like the rest of the novels, this was rejected because of the bold ideas it discusses.


5- “The Committee” by Sonallah Ibrahim

It was not always Al-Azhar who was to make a final decision on banning plays; politics often played a role too. As an author, Ibrahim was often seen as the ‘Egyptian Kafka’ and hence rendering himself as controversial.

‘The Committee’ was prohibited from theatrical display due to its ideas regarding inheritance.

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8/3/2018 1:49:17 PM
<![CDATA[Bilingual and woman-led, Downtown Boys bring fresh relevance to punk]]>Attacking male entitlement and economic disenfranchisement with a shouted mix of English and Spanish and intense bursts of saxophone, Downtown Boys are rejuvenating punk rock for a new era.

Formed when frontwoman Victoria Ruiz and guitarist Joey La Neve DeFrancesco worked at a hotel in Providence, Rhode Island, and organized employees into a union, Downtown Boys proudly wear their working-class identity as they take their message everywhere from DIY clubs to major festivals.

While punk rock, despite its long association with politics, became closely identified with white male culture, Downtown Boys are bilingual and mixed gender, with lyrics that take on the fraught issues of race, class and sexuality in the contemporary United States.

Performing at Panorama, the New York weekend put on by the promoters behind California's Coachella mega-festival, Ruiz led the crowd in chanting a profanity against ICE, the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, which has sparked outrage over its aggressive removal of undocumented people.

Despite a small and largely uninitiated crowd during the early set-time assigned by the festival, Ruiz plunged from the stage to run about and invite unsuspecting bystanders to yell into the microphone alongside her.

Downtown Boys attack the mindset behind border divisions on "A Wall" and the generational lock on wealth in "100% Inheritance Tax."

Yet the group also reaches into less didactic, more uncomfortable terrain, addressing gender and ethnic double-standards on songs such as "Somos Chulas (No Somos Pendejas)" -- which means "We're Elegant (We're Not Stupid)" -- and taking aim at the attitudes behind gentrification on "It Can't Wait."

"Get out of my city / Don't you have somewhere to be? / You're worried I'll treat you like you treat me," the song goes.

- Musicians as workers -

Ruiz said Downtown Boys saw themselves as part of the larger labor movement, even as artists.

"I think that the internet can really be a race to the bottom for a lot of musicians right now because you are constantly trying to create content, constantly trying to get that next hit," she told AFP.



"But it can be hard to go outside of your band and really work with other workers. So I think the more we think about everything that happens behind the stage, we will hopefully be able to build more power," she said.

If the views seem tailored to rally behind the growing US movement of self-described socialists battling President Donald Trump, the band predates the real estate mogul's rise. Downtown Boys released their debut album, "Full Communism," in 2015.

The band members still hold day jobs but have seen rising success, recently completing a tour of Europe.

Downtown Boys have signed on to Sub Pop, the influential Seattle indie label best known for Nirvana, and their latest album, "Cost of Living," was produced by Guy Picciotto of DC-based hardcore favorites Fugazi.

Downtown Boys have tried to live up to their principles, fighting at last year's South by Southwest to remove a clause that threatened to collaborate with immigration authorities over artists' visas and giving to gay rights groups to counter the donations of the conservative mogul who co-owns Coachella.

At Panorama, the band was quick to meet the back-stage workers and make sure they were unionized.

- Sax power -

Unlike the infamous three-chord songs of early punk, Downtown Boys bring melodious guitar shifts over the heavy bass. And most notably, the lyrics are answered by ferocious responses on saxophone.

"It feels like a natural extension of a voice that can just express tensions that you can't do with just words," saxophonist Joe DeGeorge said.

"When I'm playing, I feel like I'm imagining a better world and the dissonances from the saxophone are the clash with reality," he said.

DeGeorge, clad in a sleeveless shirt, periodically leaps to center-stage as if convulsed by his saxophone.


If the influence of Bruce Springsteen is not already obvious with the sax, the group covers "Dancing in the Dark," bringing a fresh, noisier joy to The Boss's hit.

Other covers by Downtown Boys include "Poder Elegir" ("Power to Choose"), a song about making right personal decisions by Los Prisioneros, the Chilean band that was a thorn in the side of dictator Augusto Pinochet.

DeFrancesco called Los Prisioneros one of the biggest influences on Downtown Boys and wished the Chilean group had a wider audience outside Latin America.

"The lyrics to the songs still have a lot of contemporary relevance to our situation, in terms of just keeping on doing it and fighting," he said.

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8/3/2018 1:39:51 PM
<![CDATA[Ariana Grande, Mendes among performers at MTV awards]]>
Announcing the first batch of appearances for the live broadcast from New York, MTV said Grande would sing "God Is a Woman," the 25-year-old former child star's newly mature track about the delights of sex.

The awards will come three days after Grande releases her fourth album, "Sweetener."

MTV also said that rapper Logic would perform live for the first time his new song "One Day" alongside featured artist Ryan Tedder, the singer of pop group OneRepublic.

MTV earlier announced that Jennifer Lopez would receive an award named after Michael Jackson for her lifetime contributions to pop culture.

The bilingual New York-born diva will appear at the awards for the first time since 2001.

Rapper Cardi B is the frontrunner at the latest VMAs, narrowly taking more nominations than Jay-Z and Beyonce for their Louvre-shot video "Apeshit" and Childish Gambino for his politically charged "This Is America."

But unlike the industry-led Grammys, the VMAs prides itself on outrageous made-for-television moments with less focus on who wins the awards.
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8/3/2018 1:32:30 PM
<![CDATA[Xavier Dolan to make English language debut at Toronto film festival]]>
Festival organizers made the surprise announcement late Wednesday at the rollout of its Canadian film lineup. The drama, said to be his most ambitious project yet, will be part of its Special Presentations program.

"In only a few short years, Xavier Dolan has drawn film lovers all over the world into his personal vision," festival artistic director Cameron Bailey said. "That vision and his remarkable skill as a filmmaker are on full display in his English-language debut."

"We are honoured to premiere it in Toronto."

The film tells the story of a young actor reminiscing about his correspondence with an American television star who passed a decade earlier, and the profound impact this letter exchange had on them.

Dolan skipped Cannes this year to continue editing the film, whose ensemble cast includes Kit Harington, Jacob Tremblay, Natalie Portman, Ben Schnetzer, Susan Sarandon, Kathy Bates, Thandie Newton, and Sarah Gadon.

Dolan announced in February that Jessica Chastain's villain character in the film was dropped after he reworked the first cut of the movie, saying it "did not feel like it belonged to the rest of the story."

He stressed that the decision was not reflective of Chastain's performance.

Dolan has often world premiered his movies at Cannes. His last directorial effort, "It's Only the End of the World," won the Grand Prix at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival.

The Toronto film festival runs from September 6 to 16.]]>
8/3/2018 1:28:46 PM
<![CDATA[Chilean band brings jazzy touch to classic game soundtracks]]>A Chilean band is bringing smooth saxophone melodies and spine-tingling bass lines to classic video game soundtracks in its quest to attract more youngsters to jazz.

The four friends in their twenties who make up the group "Jazztick" started out playing on the streets of Santiago, hoping to popularize the genre in Chilean culture.

Now full-time musicians, the question they're most often asked is what does America's original art form have to do with the geeky world of gaming?

"The worlds of jazz and video games aren't so far apart," explains pianist Max Gonzalez, who counts US greats Bill Evans and Chick Corea among his heroes.

"They are both tools that allow for a lot of improvisation. And on the piano, the notes and the melody belong to me, I am master of my character and my actions."

The sounds of the sax, electric bass, drums and piano mingle with the pings and crashes of 1980s classics such as "Super Mario Bros," "The Legend of Zelda," "Sonic the Hedgehog" as well as some more recent hits like "Metal Gear Solid."

It is a musical journey through time in which listeners finds themselves immersed in a melange of jazz-fusion peppered with funk and Latin influences.

"Video games are huge in Chile, and we grew up on these sounds. Through our music, we take our audience back to their childhood," says Jazztick's bassist Sebastian Vera, who founded the band in 2014.]]>
8/3/2018 1:25:05 PM
<![CDATA[Mounshid Zain Mahmoud to perform at Al Moez]]>CAIRO – 3 August 2018: Egyptian artist Sheikh Zain Mahmoud is getting ready to hold his first summer concert at Al Moez Ldin Allah Al Fatmi Street on Aug. 10. The concert will be held at 8 p.m.

Sheikh Zain was born in Minya Governorate and was originally a Praiser.

He became a famous Mounshid when he travelled to Cairo and met with Sayed El Dawy, the Mounshid of “Seera Helaleya” in Egypt, and he taught him how to sing. He also met with the Arghoul player, Mostafa Abdel Aziz.

France became his major starting point after successfully singing in the country. He has also performed at most European countries.

His first album was produced in Paris by the Arab World Institute. One of his famous songs, “Yabky wa Yadhak” (He Laughs and Cries), is included in the movie “Bab El Shams” (The Sun’s door). The movie was directed by Yousry Nasr Allah.



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8/3/2018 1:07:44 PM
<![CDATA[Spiritual atmosphere prevails in the National Theatre Festival]]>
The play was performed in the Balloon Theatre as part of the festival’s 11th round and consisted of numerous religious songs and recites.

Two just-wed couples were present during the show along with their families and loved ones, to enjoy their special night in the midst of a religious and spiritual atmosphere.

The special presence of the couple caused a noticeable social engagement to take place between them and the performers on stage, who in turn congratulated the couple for their recent marriage and wished them happiness.

The play mainly revolves around the youth who grew up around Prophet Mohamed and how both impacted each other’s lives. The play also illustrates how Prophet Mohamed observed the youth around him and how he influenced their up-bringing through his holy advice and guiding.

Famous religious singer Ahmed al-Kahlawy, along with Ahmad Maher and Madiha Hamdy share the leading roles in the play. Several young actors/actresses are performing as well such as Ahmed Azmi, Iman Imam and Reda Idris.

The play is written by Serag el-Din Abdel Kader and the director assistant is Mohamed el Asyouty.

Al-Kahlawy and actress Madiha Hamdy claimed that the play aims to target the youth nowadays and encourage them to become more like the youth that were influenced by the Prophet, by taking them as role models and becoming more engaged in building the nation and becoming trustworthy and dependable individuals.

Moreover, the play illustrated how the Prophet trusted certain youths at the time, such as Asma’a Bint Abu Bakr and Osama ibn Zeid; the Prophet allowed them to handle leading roles even though they were young in age, but mature and trustworthy.

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8/3/2018 10:14:19 AM
<![CDATA[Paris painters threaten to fold up easels over creeping cafes]]>
But now the painters are threatening to fold up their easels and relocate elsewhere in the French capital, accusing restaurateurs of encroaching on their space.

“It’s very difficult to paint now – it’s almost impossible,” said painter Midani M’Barki, 70. “We are now working in the gutter. Is it normal for artists to be put in the gutter?”

The street painters - who have included Franco-Dutch artist Kees van Dongen and Spaniard Pablo Picasso - have been a centerpoint of the neighborhood since the late 19th century.

About 300 artists share some 140 1 meter squared plots in the Place du Tertre, perched high above Paris in the shadow of the Sacre Coeur.

But in recent years they have felt squeezed by bistro and cafe terraces, and the coach-loads of tourists that pour into the square during the summer months.

“The easel alone doesn’t fit in a meter square,” lamented painter Kinga Zakrzfeska, 45. “And with all our equipment - chairs, paints - 1 meter alone is insufficient.”

The artists last month downed their brushes and protested in front of the local town hall against a new layout they say resulted in restaurants’ seating occupying up to 80 percent of the square.

M’Barki, who has painted in the square for almost 50 years, said artists were now considering moving elsewhere.

“If it continues like this we’re going to move to another square down the hill,” he said.

No one was available at the 19th arrondissement’s town hall to comment on the artists’ complaints.

Other painters said the council was ignoring the painters’ concerns in pursuit of profiting from the restaurant trade.

“This square is not renowned for its extraordinary cuisine, but for its paintings, historically. Tourists come here to see the paintings,” said Yola Marie-Jolan, 55.]]>
8/3/2018 9:10:09 AM
<![CDATA[Salah el-Din Citadel Festival opens Thursday]]>
Minister of Culture Inas Abdel Dayem launched the Salah el-Din International Citadel Festival for Music and Singing in its 27th round. Several social engagements were held Thursday in several artistic and cultural entities.

The festival is being supervised and organized by the Egyptian Opera House and is going to be held on the Citadel’s theatre at 8 p.m.

The celebrations are expected to take place until Aug. 17.

No’man Ashour’s cultural castle in Mit Ghamr district is going to host a ceremony to grant the festival’s the “Salah Hilal” Award for best playwright and “Abu el-Anain Sharaf el-Din” award for best poet.

The cultural ceremony will be supervised by critic Yusri el-Arab.
It is worth noting that No’man Ashour was an Egyptian poet and playwright. The late poet died in April 1987.


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8/2/2018 4:24:39 PM
<![CDATA[3 months of ‘Tanoura’ dance shows]]>
The entities are also aiming to remind the local society that museums play a major societal role in reminding people the significance of loving one’s homeland, through displaying ancient treasures that are symbols of the nation’s historical status, and by organizing numerous events that promote societal engagement.

The series of shows will be launched on Aug. 4, 2018.


tanoura dance cc via youtube
Tanoura Dance - cc via: Youtube.com



Elham Salah el-Din, head of the museum sector in the Ministry of Antiquities, stated that this is the first time such a program is planned by the museum sector in the ministry, in which Saturday of every week is going to promise a new cultural Tanoura show for a time-span of three months.

General Manager of the Museum of Islamic Art Mamdouh Osman stated that the opening ceremony for the series of shows will take place at 7 p.m. on Aug. 4, as many folkloric and Tanoura shows will be performed.

The Tanoura Dance in Egypt is the practice of whirling a colorful skirt worn by the dancer.

The dance is derived from Turkish/Sufi origins and eventually blended in with Egyptian folklore and society.



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8/2/2018 3:09:42 PM
<![CDATA[National Theatre Festival to hold closing ceremony on Aug. 3]]>CAIRO – 2 August 2018: The National Theatre Festival ended its program on Wednesday. A documentary and a show will be the closing for the festival, which will be held in the Opera Theatre on Friday.

A show directed by Sally Ahmed and starring Reem Ahmed, singer and composer Dalia Farid, and scenography by Amro Abdallah will be the closing performance for the festival this year.

The show will be performed alongside a documentary that will be played for the attendees titled “Shams Almasrah Almasry” (Sun of the Egyptian Theatre), narrated by Khaled Hilal, filmed by Mohamed Farouq, Michael Saed, Mostafa Yehya and directed by Ahmed Adel.


The documentary will be played before the announcing of the award winners of the festival by Mohamed el-Khouly, chairman of the National Centre for Theatre, Music and Folklore.

The closing ceremony will be held at 8 p.m. in the Main Hall in the Egyptian Opera House.

The management of the National Theatre Festival postponed the closing ceremony for the festival’s 11th round, from Aug. 2 to Aug. 3.

It was postponed because of maintenance works taking place in the Main Hall.
The festival’s program consisted of three shows that were performed on the National Theatre among others; “Mosafer Eleil” (Night Traveler), “Elthamena Masa’an” (8 p.m.), and “Rehlat Elzaman Elgamil” (The Journey into the Golden Days).

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8/2/2018 2:53:13 PM
<![CDATA[Dark synth-pop heroine Robyn back after eight years]]>
"Missing U" is driven by a quick-paced and airy electronic keyboard with a tinge of melancholy over a retro synthesized bass, true to Robyn's signature style of sad but energetic love songs.

The usually reclusive singer accompanied the track with a short documentary film in which she shows up at a long-running twice-a-year party in Brooklyn devoted to her music.

Robyn emerged in the early 1990s in Sweden as a child star and soon developed a niche cultural status rare to such seemingly mainstream pop singers, with her hits such as "Dancing On My Own" and "Show Me Love" in steady rotation at gay clubs and the singer preferring to work with underground DJs rather than major producers.

Robyn, who goes only by her first name, said that she spent much of the time since her last album, 2010's "Body Talk," traveling, going to a therapist and, in line with her song, dancing by herself.

Speaking to BBC Radio 1, Robyn said that she had finished recording her latest album and expected it to be released in 2018.

"I feel like what's different about it, maybe, is that there is this sensuality and a softness to it that maybe wasn't there before in the same way," she said.

"And I think it came also from just shutting down for a while and hearing myself... going inside instead of outside," she said.

Robyn, 39, has still performed periodically since her last album and wrote a song last year for the final season of the HBO series "Girls."]]>
8/2/2018 2:06:35 PM
<![CDATA[Royal Dutch Orchestra fires chief conductor amid harassment allegations]]>
The allegations first arose in an article on July 26 in the Washington Post, in which female singers accused Gatti of groping and other inappropriate sexual behaviour.

Gatti, who joined the Concertgebouw Orchestra in 2016, could not immediately be reached for comment. But after the Post story appeared, he issued an apology to "all the women I have met in my entire life", especially those who believed he had not treated them with the respect and dignity they deserved.

"Since the publication of the article in the Washington Post, a number of female colleagues of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra reported experiences with Gatti, which are inappropriate considering his position as chief conductor," the orchestra said in a statement.

"The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra has terminated the cooperation with chief conductor Daniele Gatti with immediate effect," it said.

The accusations have "irreparably damaged the relationship of trust between the orchestra and the chief conductor" and Gatti will be replaced by other conductors in all upcoming concerts, it said.

Gatti is the first international figure in the Netherlands to come under scrutiny by the #MeToo social movement, which has sought to hold accountable male business leaders, politicians and entertainers for sexual misconduct, leading to resignations in major corporations, Hollywood and among lawmakers.

Gatti was accused in the Post article of assaulting two women in his dressing rooms, one in Chicago and one in Bologna, Italy in the 1990s. ]]>
8/2/2018 1:48:21 PM
<![CDATA[Liza Minnelli auction fetches superstar prices]]>
The three-day “Love, Liza” auction in Los Angeles, coming from the vast personal collection of the actress and singer, raised more than $1.2 million, with some items selling for more than triple their pre-sale estimates.

The more than 1,700 lots included items belonging to Minnelli’s parents - actress Judy Garland and film director Vincente Minnelli - and hundreds of the singer’s hats, scarves and Halston designer outfits from the 1970s.

Garland’s blond Dorothy wig from “The Wizard of Oz,” which was later replaced by simply brown braids, went for $17,500 - 16 times the original estimate. Vincente Minnelli’s photo collection spanning his film career fetched $11,875.

Profiles in History declined to release information on the buyers.

Memorabilia from “Cabaret,” which brought Minnelli an Oscar for her performance as Berlin nightclub singer Sally Bowles and sent her career rocketing, attracted some of the fiercest bidding.

Her shooting script for the musical was estimated to fetch just $2,000 ahead of the sale, while her iconic boots and bowler hat costume had an estimate of $6,000.

Minnelli, 72, said earlier this year that she wanted to downsize her life and sell off the collection she had amassed over decades and kept in more than six locations.

“I woke up one day and thought, ‘Honey, you ain’t gonna wait till you’ve bought the farm and leave your life on someone else’s doorstep.’ So it was time to go there, and I have, and it feels good,” she is quoted as saying in the auction catalog.

Some of the proceeds of the sale will benefit the Great American Songbook Foundation which aims to preserve America’s musical legacy.]]>
8/2/2018 10:57:32 AM
<![CDATA[Yuma to perform live in International Festival De Dougga tonight]]>
The concert will be held on the Roman Theater in the ancient city of Dougga at 9 p.m. on Aug. 1.

Yuma consists of only two players; Ramy and Sabreen. The couple depend on performing simple, equisetic music; Sabrine’s soft feminine voice blends in with the sound of Ramy’s guitar.

Yuma has been recognized recently after their participation in the JMC festival “Ayam Kertaj Festival” (Kertaj Musical Nights Festival) in Kertaj Tunisia last April.

The duo recently released their latest album “Ghobar Njoum” (Star Dust), in which “Habaitek” (I Loved You), “100 Haga Feek” (100 Things About You) and “Sho” (What) are the most popular songs.

Yuma represent the Tunisian youth through their soft, equisetic music. The duo were formed late 2015.
]]>
8/1/2018 4:29:58 PM
<![CDATA[Ahmed Ezz undergoing rigorous training for his new role]]> download
Ahmed Ezz - cc via: Twitter.com

CAIRO – 1 August 2018: Egyptian star and ex model Ahmed Ezz is currently undergoing rigorous training for his new role in his much anticipated movie “El Mamar” (The Passage).

The star commented to “Al Watan” news agency that he is not only training in the gym, but actually training on how to hold weapons and deal with military hardware.

Ezz mentioned that the style of training for his new role completely differs from the type of training he performed for his previous movie “El Khaleya” (The Cell) that gained exceptional success at the time of its release.

“El Mamar” (The Passage) is scheduled to be filmed during the next few weeks.
Stars Ahmed Rizq, Mohamed Farag, Mohamed al-Sharnouby and Asma’a Abu Zeid are performing alongside Ezz in his new movie.

Scenarist Amir Teima and veteran Egyptian director Sherif Arafa cooperated on the movie. It is expected to be another great success for the star and the entire cast.
It is worth noting that numerous stars previously declined requests to participate in the movie for reasons that were not made public.

Ezz recently returned from a short vacation in the Netherlands, particularly in the beautiful city Amsterdam, and is finally preparing for the filming.

The star headed for the short vacation in Amsterdam after filming his Ramadan series “Abu Omar el-Masry”, which achieved booming success.

Arafa is currently putting the final touches on the movie’s costumes, making sure it matches the era the movie is representing; the 1960s.

The experienced director assured that costumes used in the dramatic project are very important as they must match the era the work represents in order for it to be more realistic.

Star Ahmed Rizq was nominated for the leading role in the movie instead of actor Mohamed Mamdouh, who stepped down from the role.

The director nominated actress Asma’a Abu Zeid to perform one of the important female roles.

]]>
8/1/2018 4:06:25 PM
<![CDATA[Oran International Arabic Film Festival announces award winners]]>
Scenarist Haitham Dabbour earned the award the Egyptian film “Photocopy”, which entered in the Long Novel category among the festival’s films.

Egyptian actor and guitarist Hany Adel received the award on behalf of the scenarist.
The judging committee in the festival shed light on the exceptional performance of actress Sherine Reda.

Director Ezz el-Arab Alawi won the award for Best Director for his long novel “Dwar Albom”, which illustrates the agony and pain that Moroccans witnessed in a certain era.
Star Amira Shalaby won the prize for Best Acting Performance in the festival for her Tunisian movie “Beleil” (At Night).

The Algerian movie “Ela Akher Ezaman” (Until the End of Time) won the Golden Dawn Prize.]]>
8/1/2018 3:58:46 PM
<![CDATA[Flamenca Cairo: spending a Hispano-oriental musical night ]]>
Flamenca Cairo Band concert was hosted by Darb 1718’s Music On The Roof event on Thursday. The live musical performance stirred loud cheers and applauses by eager audience.

Wael Khedr, the founder of Flamenca Cairo, expressed his enthusiasm to Egypt Today, saying “the audience gave us power during the performance.”

IMG_3465
Wael Khedr, founder of Flamenca Cairo, performing at Darb 1718 - Nourhan Magdi /Egypt Today


The band started in 2002 as a group of friends, where they began with different music experiences and played in many places.



“Flamenca Cairo is a name derived from the Spanish language. The word comes from Flamenco music. But because we are from Cairo, we called the band ‘Flamenca Cairo’ meaning Flamenco music from Cairo,” Khedr explained.

IMG_3468
Flamenca Cairo band performing at Darb 1718 in a special Hispano-Arabic night - Nourhan Magdi/Egypt Today


Khedr reiterated that the word Flamenco comes from the Hispano-Arabic term fellah mengu, meaning "expelled peasant”, adding that both types of music “are very close and share the same soul.”

Speaking about the large number of underground bands that emerged a while ago in Egypt, Khedr assured that the type of music he plays is different from that played by other underground bands, and thus the audience are different too.

“We are not affected by the presence of other bands, as I believe we satisfy a good segment of the audience,” he said.
IMG_3492
Lead singer Ezz el-Ostoul performing with Flamenca Cairo band at Darb 1718 - Nourhan Magdi/Egypt Today



Singer Ezz el-Ostoul joined Flamenca Cairo in 2006 because their music is mixed with Sufi music; the type of music he like to sing, according to Ostoul.

He said that the band had temporarily halted its activities during the period of political changes in the country, but then resumed and currently enjoys a great attention by the audience.
]]>
8/1/2018 3:24:12 PM
<![CDATA[Actor Alan Alda reveals Parkinson's diagnosis]]>
The 82-year-old star of TV series “M*A*S*H” told “CBS This Morning” that he had learned of the diagnosis more than three years ago, but that so far the progressive disease has not stopped him from acting or pursuing other career opportunities.

“I’ve had a richer life than I’ve had up until now,” Alda told “CBS This Morning.”

Alda, a six-time Emmy Award and Golden Globe Award winner, is best known for his role as Hawkeye Pierce in “M*A*S*H,” a CBS comedy-drama set during the Korean War.

He also wrote and directed numerous episodes of the show, which ran from 1972 to 1983, and later appeared in other TV series, plays and films. In 2004, he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in “The Aviator.”

He told “CBS This Morning” that he got tested for the disease after noticing what proved to be early symptoms of Parkinson’s, which affects movement and often causes uncontrollable tremors.

Alda added that he decided to go public with his diagnosis after noticing his thumb twitching in a TV appearance, saying that he wanted to tell people he was optimistic about his future.

“In the very beginning, to be immobilized by fear and think the worst thing has happened to you – it hasn’t happened to you,” Alda said. “You still have things you can do.”

Earlier this year, singer Neil Diamond said he was retiring from touring after a Parkinson’s diagnosis. Actor Michael J. Fox and boxer Muhammad Ali both struggled with the disease, which affects more than 10 million people worldwide, according to the Parkinson’s Foundation. Ali died in 2016, more than three decades after he was first diagnosed.]]>
8/1/2018 11:01:57 AM
<![CDATA[Anna Wintour to stay 'indefinitely' at Vogue, quashing exit rumors]]>
“Anna Wintour is an incredibly talented and creative leader whose influence is beyond measure. She is integral to the future of our company’s transformation and has agreed to work with me indefinitely in her role as @voguemagazine editor-in-chief and artistic director of Conde Nast,” Conde Nast Chief Executive Bob Sauerberg said in a statement on the company’s Twitter feed.

Wintour, 68, known for her large sunglasses, pageboy haircut, and aloof public profile, has been editor in chief of the fashion magazine since 1988.

Rumors that she was about to step down or be pushed aside have been swirling in the fashion industry for weeks. Women’s Wear Daily wrote earlier this month that speculation about her exit “has reached a crescendo louder than a tea kettle on full boil.”

London-born Wintour has a towering influence in the fashion world, which was only boosted by 2006 movie “The Devil Wears Prada” starring Meryl Streep as a formidable magazine editor thought to be based on her.

Wintour was promoted to artistic director of Conde Nast, Vogue’s publisher, in 2013.]]>
8/1/2018 10:58:34 AM
<![CDATA[International Festival of Carthage between musical sublimity and metal]]>
The music festival has been held in the coastal Tunisian beauty Carthage since the year 1967.The big event is being held in its current edition simultaneously with the festival’s anniversary of overriding the Golden Jubilee, 4 years ago.

In this year's edition, numerous Arab and Tunisian artists are going to perform in the intriguing music event. The festival’s program is going to consist of 22 separate shows.

The music festival of Carthage is going to offer a magnificent blend of musical compositions by assigning several pioneers in the industry to perform, such as; Lebanese composer Marcel Khalife and Lebanese Soprano Majida el-Roumi, who is expected to meet her Tunisian fans on August 15.

majda roumy file


Iraqi singer Kathem al-Saher is also set to perform on August 15. Moreover, Lebanese singer, Melhem Zein, is going to perform on August 2, 2018, followed by Palestinian young star Ameer Dandan on August 6.

Beautiful Tunisian singer, Yosra Mahnouch, is meeting her fans in Carthage on August 13, ending a series of music festivals she has recently attended, such as International De Gabes Festival, de Bizerte International Festival and several others.

The music genre ‘metal’ has always been controversial in the Arab world for several reasons and was generally considered taboo by many. However, metal is present in this year's edition of the International Festival of Carthage for the first time through the Tunisian band; Myrath.

Myrath is a Tunisian band performing for over a decade now; they performed numerous shows in Tunisia and in Europe and released four musical albums. Myrath performed a series of concerts in 2018, where 21 shows have already been performed in several locations in Europe and Japan.

The Tunisian metal band is going to carve their name in history post their participation in the International Festival of Carthage, presenting a new genre of music, metal, to their Tunisian and Arab fans for the first time.

]]>
8/1/2018 9:32:35 AM
<![CDATA[4 art spaces for art enthusiasts in Cairo]]>
Arts enthusiasts can sit back, relax and explore Cairo's art spaces listed below:

• Cairopolitan:

This specific art space offers workshops with artists that use local materials to craft and create artistic pieces that are eventually presented and sold.
Art fanatics can meet in this cozy space and enjoy an artistic evening in the classy Garden City district.

Address: 8 Dar el Shefa St., Cairo Governorate
Phone: +227931153

• Room ArtSpace:

This place is one of the most vibrant artistic spaces as it hosts constants events; it is considered a multi-purpose facility that hosts talented performers and offers a space to socialize, create and share ideas.
Food and drinks are offered as well, making the place all the more convenient.
The space hosts everything from film screenings, to live music concerts, stand-up comedy shows and more.
Address: 10 Etehaad Al-Mohamin St., Cairo Governorate
Phone: +201000681539

• Antique Khana:

Antique Khana, the cultural and artistic hub, resides in the beautiful and ancient district of Zamalek. The space is not just a place for art enthusiasts; in fact, it is a restaurant and an art gallery as well. The vintage looking space provides the visitors with the perfect atmosphere to share ideas and create good art.

a

Address: 8 Brazil St. Mohamed Mazhar St., Giza Governorate
Phone: +201222168458

• Yellow Umbrella:

Many people love this place just because of its unique name! The bad thing about this beautiful artistic hub is that it only operates during events.
The space hosts art galleries, live music concerts, barbeque nights and more!
Maadi residents and Maadi lovers can always chill and enjoy some good art and music in Yellow Umbrella.

Address: Al-Arqam Ibn Al Arqam, El – Basatin Sharkeya, El-Basatin, Cairo Governorate
Phone: +201222218538

• Soul Lounge:

This place is very relaxing and has a cozy vibe to it. Visitors feel quite at home in this artistic space while enjoying coffee and food.
Soul Lounge is the ideal place to enjoy a calm and relaxing artistic evening.

Soul Lounge - cc via Facebook Page
Soul Lounge - cc via: Facebook Page

Address: 22 Baghdad St. El Korba, Heliopolis, Cairo Governorate
Phone: +201118914147


]]>
7/31/2018 4:47:07 PM
<![CDATA[Five Egyptian movies compete in Oran festival]]>
Two Egyptian short movies participate in the short movies competition, which are “Syndrome” directed by Nouran Tarek and “Nada" directed by Ahmed Yehia.

In the documentary competition, Egypt participates with two documentaries “Boody the Sumo Pharaoh” directed by Sara Riad and "El-Naht Fel-Zaman" (Sculpting in Time).

"El-Naht Fel-Zaman" received the Jury Award at the first edition of the Arab Cinema Festival (ACF) in Paris. The documentary recounts the life of acclaimed pioneering puppetry artist Nagi Shaker; it tackles Shaker’s various contributions in other areas, such as directing, design and fashion, throughout his 50-year long career.

"El-Naht Fel-Zaman" is directed Youssef Nasser and produced by RedStar.
Furthermore, the Egyptian movie “Photocopy” competes in Oran Festival feature movies competition. The film narrates the story of an elderly man who, upon his retirement, decides to open a photocopying shop. He begins to re-discover life, his love for his neighbor and the people around him.

The movie stars Mahmoud Hemeida, Sherine Reda, Farah Youssef, Aly Tayeb and Ahmed Dash, among others. It was written by Haitham Dabbour and directed by Tamer Ashry. "Photocopy" premiered at the first edition of GFF, and won El-Gouna Golden Star Award for Best Arabic Feature Narrative Film. The movie was also screened at the fifth International Arab Cinema Meetings in Marseille on November 22.

"Photocopy" was shown as the closing film in the Arabian Cinema Week in New York City on November 23. The film was also screened in the Cairo International Film Festival on Friday, November 24.

Egyptian journalist and "Photocopy" scriptwriter, Haitham Dabbour, previously stated in an interview with Egypt Today that he chose to present a love story between an elderly couple because this type of love stories “have not been well-presented in the Egyptian cinema.”

The script was nominated for the Sawiris Cultural Awards. Dabbour explained that he worked a lot on the script to develop it before reaching the final version. He began writing it in 2013 and finished a year later.

"Photocopy" tackles issues and problems facing the elderly, topics that are rarely addressed in Egyptian cinema. “The main challenge that faced me while writing such a different movie is to maintain high artistic sides and values and at the same time remain amusing for the audience so they would not get bored,” Dabbour explained.

The winners of the 11th edition of Oran International Arabic Film Festival’s prizes will be announced at the closing ceremony of the festival which will take place on Tuesday, July 31.

It is worth mentioning that the 11th edition of Oran International Arabic Film Festival honored Egyptian director Khaled Youssef, veteran comedian Mohamed Henedy and the late veteran Egyptian actress and singer Shadia.

The festival chose the Egyptian movie “Karma” to be the opening film of the festival. The movie revolves around two people who never cross paths, but have common life circumstances.
]]>
7/31/2018 3:49:19 PM
<![CDATA[Cairo Opera House's concerts go to China]]>CAIRO – 31 July 2018: The Ministry of Culture will be sending the Cairo Opera House's concerts to the Chinese city of Sheng Du to mark the 62nd anniversary of the establishment of the Egyptian-Chinese diplomatic relations, said President of the External Cultural Relations, Heba Youssef.

Youssef added that Minister of Culture, Enas Abdel Dayem, accepted the opera’s suggestion to hold artistic concerts in Sheng Du on August 1 to 8, 2018.

Abdel Dayem added that the cultural and historical relations between Egypt and China, which began in 1956, contributed to strengthening the diplomatic relations between the two countries. On July 1, the Cairo Opera House, in cooperation with the Chinese Cultural Center in Cairo, put on a music concert, dubbed "Sound of the Nile", featuring Yao Hong, a Chinese famous soprano and an award-winning national actress.
]]>
7/31/2018 3:42:00 PM
<![CDATA[Mohamed Henedy competes with new play ‘Sera’a Fel Villa’]]>CAIRO – 31 July 2018: After a hiatus of 16 years, comedy star Mohamed Henedy returns to the theatre and competes with a new play "Sera’a Fel Villa" (Struggle in the Villa).

The play is going to compete against the films produced for Eid El Adha season (Muslim celebrations).

The show is written by Ahmad Abdallah and directed by Mohamed el-Hawary.
Currently, Henedy is rehearsing and the final commercial poster for the play is going to be released within the next few days.

Numerous stars are participating in Henedy's play and their names are yet to be announced.

Henedy’s last play was named "Tarae’eo", was directed by Samir el-Asfoury and was written by Nabeel Ameen. Stars Ala’a Morsy, Hanan Turk and Ghada Abdel Razek participated alongside Henedy in the play.

"Tarae’eo" revolved around the obstacles Egyptians may face in their daily lives. The main idea of the play was portrayed in a comic way supported by several dances.
Fares, a young man from Upper Egypt and the main character of the play, was sent to Cairo by his parents to pursue a successful academic career.

Unfortunately, Fares faced numerous obstacles that disabled him from reaching his main goal.

]]>
7/31/2018 1:33:54 PM
<![CDATA[Franklin, first black 'Peanuts' character, turns 50]]>
The young Franklin joined the iconic line-up on July 31, 1968 during a summer of race riots and civil unrest in the wake of King's assassination on April 4 that year.

At the time, "Peanuts" was carried in hundreds of newspapers -- and at the height of its popularity, exposing the foibles of humanity through the shenanigans of a group of children and one crafty beagle.

Franklin's arrival made a major splash -- and earned mainly praise. It also might not have happened were it not for a Los Angeles teacher and mother-of-three with an idea.

On April 15, Harriet Glickman wrote to 'Peanuts' creator Charles Schulz and suggested he include a "Negro" character into the comic strip, which had been running since 1950.

"Since the death of Martin Luther King, I've been asking myself what I can do to help change those conditions in our society which led to the assassination and which contribute to the vast sea of misunderstanding, fear, hate and violence," she wrote.

"I'm sure one doesn't make radical changes in so important an institution without a lot of shock waves from syndicates, clients, etc. You have, however, a stature and reputation which can withstand a great deal," she added.

The letter now hangs in the Charles M Schulz Museum in California.

Several days later, Schulz wrote back that he would like to do so, "but I am faced with the same problem that other cartoonists are ... We would all like very much to be able to do this, but each of us is afraid it would look like we are patronizing our Negro friends."

"I don't know what the solution is," he said at the end of the brief letter.

- 'My Dad is over in Vietnam' -

Undeterred, Glickman wrote back with an offer to run the idea past some of her black friends, all of them fans of Peanuts, to see if they found it reductive.

She told Schulz of their approval, but he still appeared to be unconvinced.

Then, at the beginning of July 1968, he again wrote to Glickman, telling her to keep an eye on the comic strip in the week starting July 29.

In the July 31 edition, Charlie Brown loses his ball at the beach: it is returned by an African-American boy.

Franklin had made it onto the page, and bonded with Charlie Brown over sand castles and baseball.

"Is your whole family here at the beach, Franklin?" Charlie Brown asked his new pal.

"No, my Dad is over in Vietnam," Franklin responded.

"My Dad's a barber," said Charlie Brown. "He was in a war too, but I don't know which one."

The response from readers and newspaper editors was largely positive, Schulz later recalled, although he did receive at least one complaint from an editor in the South about the white Charlie Brown going to the same school as the black Franklin.

Two years earlier, Marvel had created its own first black superhero, Black Panther, created by the masters of the genre, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.

But Franklin proved a novelty in the mainstream comic strips world, whose audience was mainly white and middle class, even if some black readers saw him at times as a little bland in the cast of quirky characters.]]>
7/31/2018 12:59:21 PM
<![CDATA[Latest "Mission Impossible" flick cruises to box office gold]]>
The Paramount/Skydance production took in $61.2 million for the three-day weekend, according to industry tracker Exhibitor Relations, more than quadrupling the $15.1 million earned by second-place "Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again."

"Impossible" has 56-year-old Cruise, who famously still does his own cliff-hanging, car-rolling stunts, ordered to track down some missing plutonium and find a terror-minded villain.

Universal's "Mamma Mia" clung to the second spot for a second straight weekend, though its take was nearly 60 percent below its opening.

With a star-studded cast including Meryl Streep, Amanda Seyfried, Colin Firth and Pierce Brosnan, the film uses plentiful flashbacks to fill in the story of Streep's carefree character on the only Greek island with a built-in ABBA soundtrack.

In third was Sony's "The Equalizer 2," with Denzel Washington again playing a former black-ops agent -- and now low-profile Lyft driver -- drawn into action to avenge a friend's death. It took in $14 million.

Fourth spot went to another Sony film, "Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation," at $12.3 million.

The animated comedy, whose voice cast includes Adam Sandler and Selena Gomez, follows Count Dracula and his family as they get away from their hotel for their own vacation.

In fifth was a new release, Warner Bros.'s family-friendly "Teen Titans Go! To the Movies," at $10.4 million, which Variety called slightly disappointing given the film's 90 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

The first feature film based on a popular animated series, "Titans" has a voice cast including Kristen Bell, Will Arnett and Greg Cipes.

Rounding out the top 10 were:

"Ant-Man and the Wasp" ($8.8 million)

"Incredibles 2" ($7.3 million)

"Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom" ($6.7 million)

"Skyscraper" ($5.3 million)

"The First Purge" ($2.2 million)]]>
7/31/2018 12:55:50 PM
<![CDATA[New US series spotlights Trayvon Martin killing]]>
Six years later, a new television series is reliving what happened and forcing viewers to confront the gut-wrenching agony of losing a child in what Trayvon's parents and the filmmakers hope will enact change.

"Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story" premiered on the Paramount Network and BET on Monday, a docu-series bankrolled in part by rap mogul Jay Z and due to run in six, weekly installments.

It crystalizes human loss -- showing up close Trayvon's mother Sybrina Fulton being forced to choose between grief and fighting for justice.

The viewer sees father Tracy Martin recalling a nine-year-old Trayvon saving him from a burning kitchen but heartbroken at not being able to protect his 17-year-old son in a gated Florida community.

"I want people to use what happened with Trayvon as an example -- that you need to get busy now," Fulton told a screening in Harlem.

"Don't wait until something happens to your child or to your loved one in order to say 'ok, I need to do something.'"

The series interlaces America's ongoing racism problem with the debate about gun control and how the powerful National Rifle Association has lobbied to make guns easier to buy and shoot.

- 'Heartbreak' -

It explores the family's quest for justice, how Zimmerman became a far-right hero and draws a line from Trayvon's shooting to the emergence of the Black Lives Matter movement and the so-called "white lash" that influenced the 2016 election of President Donald Trump.

"We opened up Pandora's Box and I had no idea what was going to happen," says Tracy at the end of the first episode, after a clip of Trump shouting his campaign promise "We will make America great again."

Reviews have been positive. The Guardian called it a "triumph," that examines racial injustice "with skill and packs an almighty punch."

"There is no way around the heartbreak and pain here, and that's likely the point," wrote the Los Angeles Times.

Trayvon died in Sanford, a town with a history of racism where Zimmerman called police repeatedly about black people and the Ku Klux Klan had black baseball hero Jackie Robinson kicked off the pitch in 1946.

"This is a old as the country and the type of hatred and violence, and murder that's taken place in Sanford is emblematic of America's story," co-director Jenner Furst told the audience in Harlem.

Video footage shows Zimmerman telling police that Trayvon threatened to kill him, before being allowed to go home, and the relaying of a 911 call on which Trayvon's parents heard their son screaming "help."

Zimmerman's claim of self-defense meant that he was not arrested, forcing Trayvon's family into the hands of civil rights lawyers who jettisoned the case into the national limelight.

- 'Numb' -

Florida's "stand your ground" law, passed by Republican governor Jeb Bush in 2005, allows people in the state to use lethal force to defend themselves if they felt their lives were under threat.

Zimmerman, a wannabe police officer, was ultimately acquitted of second-degree murder by a jury.

Markeis McGlockton was shot dead earlier this month in Clearwater, Florida after a dispute over a handicapped parking space. The shooter was not charged under the stand your ground law.

The series' strength is interviews with the family, both past and present, Zimmerman's own words on tape and interviews with the crack team of civil rights lawyers who quickly took on the case.

Since Trayvon's death, a series of unarmed black men have been killed at the hands of police officers, provoking nationwide protests and soul-searching about institutional racism and police brutality.

The series comes from the same team behind "Time: The Kalief Browder Story" about a black teenager who spent three years in jail awaiting trial for allegedly stealing a backpack. In 2015, he committed suicide.

"These injustices happen every day... America's sort of grown numb to all of this," said executive producer Chachi Senior.

"The hope really is that America watches this, looks at itself, reflects and hopefully changes for the better in some capacity."]]>
7/31/2018 12:43:01 PM
<![CDATA[Lindsay Lohan to make U.S. TV comeback in MTV reality series]]>
MTV said on Monday that “Lohan Beach Club” will follow the actress as she works to expand a recently launched nightclub and restaurant business in Greece.

The TV network said the show, expected to air in 2019, will see Lohan, 32, lead a team of “brand ambassadors” who will help promote her business “while striving to rise above the temptations the Mykonos night life scene has to offer.”

Lohan, once one of Hollywood’s most-sought after young actresses after starring roles in “The Parent Trap” and “Mean Girls,” went to rehab six times between 2007 and 2013, and was in and out of jail and court repeatedly for offenses ranging from theft to drunken driving and drug possession.

Her last feature movie was the 2013 low-budget thriller “The Canyons” after which she moved to London, and later Dubai. Her biggest acting job since then is dark British TV comedy “Sick Note,” in which she plays a supporting role in the second season that began airing last week.

The Mykonos beach club is Lohan’s third business venture in Greece following the 2016 opening of a nightclub bearing her name in Athens and a beach house in Rhodes which is due to open this summer.]]>
7/31/2018 12:40:32 PM
<![CDATA[Cairo International Film Festival to honor Hassan Hosny]]>
The 40th round of the Cairo International Film Festival will be launched on November 20 and will end on November 29.The festival’s management released an official statement announcing granting the Faten Hamama Award to the experienced super star, Hosny.
Film producer and scenarist Mohamed Hefzy is the festival’s president.

Hefzy announced in an official statement that Hosny deserves the award because of the countless dramatic works that he participated in throughout almost half a century.
The star’s dramatic works will always be carved in the people’s memories and hearts, according to Hefzy.Hosny is known for supporting the young talents in the movie industry.The star’s works have gained numerous awards both locally and on the Pan-Arab level.Also, film critic and the festival’s technical manager Youssef Cherif Rizkallah stated that the experienced star deserves the award as he owns a unique talent that enriched all the works he participated in.

A mini biography of Hassan Hosny:

Hosny was born in Cairo in 1931. The child soon recognized his artistic talents and made sure he participated in all the shows and theatrical works in his school.
Growing up, Hosny was granted numerous medals and certifications from the Ministry of Education.During the early sixties, the star joined the military’s theatrical group and performed in numerous shows.

The star first participated in small roles in the movie "La Wakt Lel Hob" (No Time for Love) in 1963 and the movie "Bent el-Heta" (Neighborhood's Girl) in 1964.The seventies held a lot of surprises for the young actor, as he participated in several movies such as "Sook el-Hareem" (Females' Market), "Hob Wa Kebreya’a" (Love and Pride), "Madinat el-Samt" (City of Silence) and many others.

Hosny did not appear to slow down during the eighties as he continued to participate in successful movies such as the movie "Sawa’a el-Otobees" (The Bus Driver), directed by Atef el-Tayeb.Hosny’s role in that movie in particular made him shine more as a very talented actor and was a great turning point in his acting career, shedding light on his abilities to master the role of a villain.

The star continued co-operating with Tayeb in several movies such as "El-Bare’e" (The Innocent) in 1985 and "El-Horoob" (Getaway) in 1991.Hosny worked with numerous other pioneer directors in the film industry in Egypt, such as Mohammed Khan, Osama Fawzy and Dawood Abdel Sayed.Furthermore, the 90’s witnessed Hosny’s great success as a veteran actor as he started to play significant roles in movies starring young actors at the time, such as Ala’a Wali el-Din, Ahmed Helmy and Ramez Galal.

This proved to be a great decision as he played a series of important roles in movies such as "Abood Ala el-Hodood" (Abood on The Border) with late Wali el-Din, "Africano" with Ahmed el-Sakka, "El-Lemby" with Mohammed Sa’ad and several others.The Faten Hamama Award is the highest level prize granted by the Cairo International Film Festival; it was awarded last year to veteran comedian Samir Ghanem, star Maged el-Kedwany and actress Hend Sabry. The late actress, Faten Hamama's family supports the award financially.

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7/31/2018 11:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[The XX, intimate and shy, close tour in festival style]]>
But the London trio on Sunday night closed an exhaustive global tour before thousands of enthusiastic fans at Panorama, the New York festival put on by the promoters behind Coachella, the California mega-event.

Showing a palpable nervousness on stage even after being on the road since February 2017, co-lead singer Romy Madley Croft profusely thanked the audience and recalled that the latest album, "I See You," was partially recorded in New York.

Turning the solitary-minded music into a live show, The XX transformed the stage into a mirage of mirrors, clear sheets of light shining inward as if illuminating the music's secrets.

Co-lead Oliver Sim, his comforting baritone making him sound like a self-effacing version of Bono, dedicated "Fiction," his song of lonesomeness, to the LGBTQ community.

"I see you, I love you, I'm one of you, and this song is for you," Sim, who like Madley Croft is gay, said to cheers.

The winner of Britain's prestigious Mercury Prize in 2010, The XX has topped the charts in Britain and reached number two in the United States with albums whose shadowy guitar, darkly powerful bass and understated electronic backdrop have drawn parallels to The Cure.

"I See You," however, marked a more uptempo turn for the group, with danceable tracks and nods to club culture.

- Weather cancellations -

Coachella promoter Goldenvoice launched Panorama in 2016 amid soaring growth of festivals in the United States, setting up the three-day summer party on Randall's Island where Manhattan, Queens and The Bronx come together.

After two years of luck with the weather, Panorama on Friday scrapped most of the first evening due to thunderstorms including performances by headliner The Weeknd and the whispering French actress and pop singer Charlotte Gainsbourg.

The cancellation evens the score two years after rival Governors Ball, which also takes place on Randall's Island and had protested the arrival of Panorama, called off headliner Kanye West due to a storm forecast.

Panorama -- this year taking on more of a picnic atmosphere, with less of the avant-garde art of previous editions -- also featured Janet Jackson, who opened her finely choreographed headlining set on Saturday with "The Skin Game," her still pertinent 1990 song about racial double-standards, and covered her late brother Michael's "Scream."

The festival closed with Las Vegas rock showmen The Killers, who delighted a young fan in the front row after he held a sign requesting to play drums, and they invited him to play on "For Reasons Unknown."

- Innovation by Byrne -

One of the most innovative performances of the festival came from pop legend David Byrne, who designed an ultra-sleek stage with nothing but the 11 musicians -- dressed in matching gray suits -- and their cordless instruments.

The former Talking Heads frontman, in a set identical to his Coachella performance and ongoing tour, opened by sitting barefoot, serenading a model of a brain, on "Here," a song touching on neuroscience off his latest album "American Utopia."

Byrne danced as if swished by a forceful wind on the Talking Heads classic "Burning Down the House" but ended on a non-ironic note with his cover of Janelle Monae's protest song "Hell You Talmbout."

Set only to percussion, Byrne and his band listed African Americans killed by police or in vigilante attacks, urging the audience to join in saying their names to remember their humanity.]]>
7/30/2018 5:50:12 PM
<![CDATA[Et Guide: places to go this evening]]>
The cinema hall at the Cairo Opera House will show three short documentary films called "Ard Moshtaraka" (Common Ground), "Resalit Zahra" (Zahra’s message), and "Al-Hara"’ (The Neighborhood) at 7 p.m.

The Forum of Philosophy at El-Sawy Culture Wheel, in cooperation with the Strategic Forum for Development and Social Peace, will organize a symposium titled "The Philosophy of Contemporary Women" at 6 p.m.

Also, El Sawy's Al-Hikma Theater will host the play "Hawil Mara Okhra" (Try Again), which will be performed by Al-Halatiya band at 7 p.m.

Furthermore, Al-Qisa club organizes a seminar to discuss the novel "Saradeeb al-Thahab" (Golden Catacombs) by Mohammed al-Oun, at 7 p.m.

In Jordan, writer of children’s literature Yaqoub al-Sharouni will be giving a lecture titled "Reality and Future of the Child’s Book and Reading in our Modern Arab World". This event will take place at 6:30 p.m. at the Abdel Hamid Shoman Foundation.

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7/30/2018 3:53:48 PM
<![CDATA['Tunis Fel Leil' participates in Oran Festival]]>
The movie revolves around a singer named Aziza who suffers from the absence of her father and all the social complications she faces in the conservative society.

“Tunis Fel Leil” stars Amira Shalaby, Raouf ben Amor, Amel Hedhili, and Helmi Dridi, among others. The film is co-produced by Elyes Baccar and Mohamed Ali ben Hamra, written and directed by Elyes Baccar.

“Tunis Fel Leil” made its international premiere at the 39th edition of the Cairo International Film Festival. The movie was the only Arab film participating in the Official International Competition.

The movie was well-received after screening in Tunisian cinemas. Shalaby previously announced that she was happy with the audience’s feedback.

It is worth mentioning that the 11th edition of Oran International Arabic Film Festival honored Egyptian director Khaled Youssef, veteran comedian Mohamed Henedy and the late veteran Egyptian actress and singer Shadia.

The festival chose the Egyptian movie “Karma” to be the opening film of the festival. The movie revolves around two people who never cross paths, but have common life circumstances.

“Karma” stars Amr Saad, Zeina, Ghada Abdel Razek, Suheir el-Ghadban, Khaled el-Sawy, Wafaa Amer, Maged el-Masry, Dalal Abdel Aziz, Magdy Kamel, Ehab Fahmy, Mostafa Darwish, Hassan Harb and the young child, Birla.

The movie is written and directed by Khaled Youssef, produced and distributed by Masr Arabia Production Company. The film is scheduled to be released in several Arab countries soon.

“Karma” marks famed Egyptian director Youssef's comeback to movie directing after seven years of hiatus. His last film, “Kaf Qamar” (Qamar’s Hand), was screened in 2011. “Karma” also marks Youssef's fourth collaboration with Amr Saad, the sixth with Ghada Abdel Razek and the third with Wafaa Amer.
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7/30/2018 1:42:19 PM
<![CDATA[Monte Cairo band to perform in Salah El-Din Citadel Festival on Aug.8]]>
Monte Cairo portrays each music piece by dancing, in a technique close to that of the famous Moulin Rouge. The band presents the most famous songs of the 1960s and 1970s, such as "I will survive", mixing them with Egyptian oldies.

Minister of Culture Inas Abdel Dayem will inaugurate on August 2 the Salah El-Din Citadel Festival for Music and Singing at the citadel's Mahka Theatre.

Chairman of Cairo Opera House Magdy Saber remarked that this year's edition of the festival has been granted an international badge for the first time.

Organized by the Cairo Opera House, the festival will run until Aug. 17, presenting 37 various concerts by Egyptian and Arab artists.

Saber referred that after Abdel Dayem delivers her speech during the inauguration ceremony, several figures, who have a great impact on the festival’s success such as singers Hany Shaker and Medhat Saleh as well as the violin player Alaa Khalil, will be honoured with honour shields and certificates of appreciation.

The honouring ceremony will be followed by Chinese shows and folklore songs presented by Chinese youth and children and a concert by Shaker.

This year the festival’s line-up includes Fouad and Mounib band, Tunisian singer Ghali Banali, Egyptian marimba player Nesma Abdel Aziz, Egyptian singers Sheikh Yasin al-Tuhami, Ali el-Haggar, Iman al-Bahr Darwish and IhabTawfik, in addition to El-Nour Wel Amal Orchestra and Syrian singer Majd al-Qasim.

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7/30/2018 1:28:18 PM
<![CDATA['The Reports on Sarah and Saleem' Wins Best Picture in Durban]]>
The film tells the story of the political ramifications of an extra-marital affair between a Palestinian man and an Israeli woman. Variety described it as a “taut psychosocial drama.”

In a pre-recorded message from Jerusalem, Alayan offered thanks to the audience in South Africa - a country, he said, “which we as Palestinians hold in a very special place in our hearts” - while dedicating the award to “all the filmmakers out there in this world who are fighting all forms of injustice with their films and their art.”

The award punctuated a DIFF whose 2018 edition “had a very special focus on hearing and seeing the marginal voices, with a focus on celebrating diversity,” according to Lliane Loots, speaking on behalf of the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Center for Creative Arts, which manages the festival.

“There’s been a very special focus on voices of women...and other marginalized identities find[ing] a platform to be heard. The focus has offered some wonderful levels of controversy and some fierce criticism, and also some ferocious dialogue. And we love all of it.”

She continued, “Spaces for artists...are places for controversy. They are spaces that push boundaries and push tolerance. Remember that none of us will be of one mind around what is good, bad, or even mediocre filmmaking, around who is included or excluded. But I am grateful that we will all be of one heart.”

It was something of a rallying cry for a festival that’s been faced with a leadership crisis in recent years, and which received a scare when DIFF manager Chipo Zhou was hospitalized just weeks before opening night. Durban Film Office head Toni Monty has been widely credited with almost willing this year’s fest into being, even while balancing her own responsibilities at the helm of the successful Durban FilmMart.

This week in Durban, Monty was resolute about the future of DIFF, telling Variety that “there will be some positive news in the coming months that will bring confidence to the industry that things are moving forward in a positive direction.”

Loots’ closing words, meanwhile, were a reminder that a festival born out of the anti-apartheid struggle remains a vital platform for South African filmmakers. “No matter what our different opinions are, spaces like DIFF need to survive to support and nurture and promote the critical voices of our nation’s filmmakers,” she said.

The festival closed with the South African premiere of “Rafiki,” by Wanuri Kahiu, which world premiered in Cannes’ Un Certain Regard this year.

Also on Saturday night, the award for best South African feature film went to “High Fantasy,” directed by Jenna Bass and produced by David Horler and Steven Markovitz. The jury heralded it as “a unique film that we found surprising and challenging,” while celebrating it “for its originality and innovativeness in cinematic approach.”

Best documentary went to “New Moon,” produced and directed by Philippa Ndisi-Hermann, described by the jury as “a poetic, well-edited, soul-searching documentary,” whose director “bravely bar[ed] herself as the central subject character that many a woman in today’s cynical and fast-paced world can totally relate to.”

The prize for best South African documentary went to “Sisters of the Wilderness,” directed by Karin Slater and produced by Ronit Shapiro, “a film which dares to leave the beaten pack of traditional documentary filmmaking in exploring the cinematic wilderness,” according to the jury’s citation.]]>
7/30/2018 1:16:36 PM
<![CDATA[Netflix teases 'fitting end' to defining series 'House of Cards']]>
“House of Cards” put Netflix on the map as a home for original entertainment when the series debuted in 2013 starring Spacey as conniving politician Frank Underwood. The show’s coming sendoff centers on Robin Wright, who plays Frank’s devious wife, Claire.

“We’re really proud of the show, and it’s a fitting end,” Cindy Holland, vice president of original series at Netflix, said in response to questions at a Television Critics Association event where networks promoted upcoming shows.

“We always planned for season six to be the final season, and we are proud of the work of Robin” and the rest of the cast and crew, she added. The company has not yet set a release date.

“House of Cards” upended television when Netflix released the first season’s episodes all at once to encourage online “binge viewing.” The show earned widespread critical praise.

In November 2017, Netflix quickly cut ties with Spacey after allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced. Spacey has been accused by more than 20 men and has said nothing publicly about the allegations since an apology to the first accuser in October 2017.

Five years after Netflix’s gamble with “House of Cards,” the company plans to release about 700 original TV series, movies and other types of programming around the world this year. The sheer volume has led to questions about whether Netflix can keep churning out programming with a high level of quality.

“Quality and quantity are not mutually exclusive,” Holland said. “We are maintaining quality as we grow by hiring brilliant talent who are passionate about the stories they want to tell and giving them creative space.”

She also addressed complaints from some producers that their work can get lost in the flood of Netflix programming. Netflix devises a marketing plan for each show and is one of the biggest online advertisers in the world, Holland said.

She added that the best way to reach viewers was by Netflix’s promotion of the shows when people turn on the service. The company reported it had 130 million subscribers at the end of June.

“That is by far the most powerful promotional vehicle we have,” she said. “I’m confident we are doing justice to our programming.”

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7/30/2018 12:54:18 PM
<![CDATA[Better with age? Cruise's latest 'Impossible' tops box office]]>Improbable? Maybe, but "Mission Impossible -- Fallout," the sixth and latest stunt-filled edition of the Tom Cruise action franchise has topped the weekend box office in North America, outperforming the five earlier "Impossibles."

The Paramount/Skydance production took in an estimated $61.5 million for the three-day weekend, according to industry tracker Exhibitor Relations, more than quadrupling the $15 million earned by second-place "Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again."

"Impossible" has 56-year-old Cruise, who famously still does his own cliff-hanging, car-rolling stunts, ordered to track down some missing plutonium and find a terror-minded villain. Critics seem to like the film despite its evident weaknesses: Though "often ridiculous," the Washington Post wrote, the film "works amazingly well."

Universal's "Mamma Mia" clung to the second spot for a second straight weekend, though its take was nearly 60 percent below its opening. With a star-studded cast including Meryl Streep, Amanda Seyfried, Colin Firth and Pierce Brosnan, the film uses plentiful flashbacks to fill in the story of Streep's carefree character on the only Greek island with a built-in ABBA soundtrack.

In third was Sony's "The Equalizer 2," with Denzel Washington again playing a former black-ops agent -- and now low-profile Lyft driver -- drawn into action to avenge a friend's death. It took in $14 million.

Fourth spot went to another Sony film, "Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation," at $12.3 million. The animated comedy, whose voice cast includes Adam Sandler and Selena Gomez, follows Count Dracula and his family as they get away from their hotel for their own vacation.

In fifth was a new release, Warner Bros.' family-friendly "Teen Titans Go! To the Movies," at $10.5 million, which Variety called slightly disappointing given the film's 90 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The first feature film based on a popular animated series, "Titans" has a voice cast including Kristen Bell, Will Arnett and Greg Cipes.

Rounding out the top 10 were:

"Ant-Man and the Wasp" ($8.4 million)

"Incredibles 2" ($7.2 million)

"Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom" ($6.8 million)

"Skyscraper" ($5.4 million)

"The First Purge" ($2.2 million)

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7/30/2018 11:38:46 AM
<![CDATA[CBS weighs Moonves suspension over assault claims: report]]>
The CBS board is expected to choose a special committee that would oversee the probe, which will include an examination of the company's workplace culture, people familiar with the matter told the Journal. Board members meet via conference call on Monday.

The special committee is set to choose a law firm to lead the probe by mid-week, and determine whether Moonves should be suspended during the investigation, according to the Journal.

"I think the board realizes as a whole that this is a very, very, very serious situation," a person familiar with the matter told the newspaper.

"While there is an important Les piece to this, really, more important to the company as a whole is that this raises serious issues with regard to culture and harassment throughout the company."

A New Yorker article published Friday recounted accounts by six women who had professional dealings with Moonves and said he sexually harassed them between the 1980s and late 2000s.

Four described forcible touching or kissing during business meetings, and two said Moonves physically intimidated them or threatened to derail their careers, The New Yorker's Ronan Farrow reported.

Moonves expressed regret for any behavior that may have made women "uncomfortable," but insisted he had not retaliated to "harm or hinder anyone's career."

The revelations come amid a legal battle for control of the US television giant -- between the Redstone family, which controls CBS, and the board, chaired by Moonves.

Shari Redstone is a major shareholder of both CBS and Viacom, and is seeking to merge the two companies. Moonves opposes the deal.]]>
7/30/2018 11:34:50 AM
<![CDATA['Iron Fist' official trailer released]]>



After presumingly dead Danny Rand returns to New York to protect the city with the power of the iron fist. Rand bears the huge responsibility of protecting New York without Daredevil; however, a twist in the plot threatens his identity.

The series stars Finn Jones, Jessica Stroup, Jessica Henwick, Tom Pelphery, Sacha Dhawan, and David Wenham, among others. Several directors cooperated in this series such as John Dahl, Farren Blackburn, Uta Briesewitz, Deborah Chow and others; the series is written by Scott Buck, Gil Kane, Roy Thomas, Dwain Worell and many others.

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7/30/2018 6:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Sandler, Aniston reunite again in ‘Murder Mystery’]]>

“Murder Mystery” revolves around an American police officer who decides to fulfil the promise he made to his wife and embark on a long European trip together. On the flight, the couple meet an anonymous man who invites them to join a family party on a luxurious Yacht owned by a rich billionaire named Malcolm Quince. When Quince is murdered, the couple find themselves becoming suspects.



The movie is being shot the harbour of Santa Margherita Ligure and Lake Como in Italy.

Besides Sandler and Aniston, the movie contains a notable cast such as Gemma Arterton, Luis Gerardo Mendez, Shioli Kutsuna, David Walliams, Adeel Akhtar, John Kani, Ólafur Darri Ólafsson, Dany Boon and Terence Stamp.

“Murder Mystery” is Written by James Vanderbilt and directed by Kyle Newacheck.


“I love Italy. I was here with my wife a year ago and loved it so much I brought the kids with me this time and an entire movie crew... great food, great people, great family life,” recounted Adam Sandler about filming in Italy for the first time to ComingSoon.net.



“Murder Mystery” will be released globally on Netflix in 2019.

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7/29/2018 6:50:24 PM
<![CDATA[‘Capharnaum’: First Arab film participating at Toronto Festival]]>

The movie’s idea revolves around the story of a child that files a lawsuit against his parents, in a twisted manner of objecting for bringing him to life.


The film will be screened in North America’s premiere, and will be categorized under the ‘special presentations’ segment. This segment consists of international films starring significant superstars and directors in the global film industry.


The Lebanese film is viewed by many as politically-charged. “Capharnaum” previously won the Jury Prize at Cannes Film Festival which makes Labaki the first Arab Filmmaker in a twelve-year span to win the official Cannes Film Festival competition.

The director has previously won TIFF’s People’s Choice Award in 2011 for her film ‘’Where Do We Go Now?’’, which achieved great success at the time of its release.

Director Damien Chazelle’s movie “First Man” will be previewed during the festival’s opening. About 17 highly anticipated film names are lined up already for Toronto’s Film Festival, however, the full list will be revealed soon.

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7/29/2018 6:32:03 PM
<![CDATA[Polish avant-garde jazz trumpeter Tomasz Stanko dies at 76]]>
Born in Rzeszow in southern Poland in 1942, Stanko made his debut in the late 1950s in Krakow. He later gained a global reputation playing alongside jazz luminaries such as drummer Jack deJohnette and bassist Dave Holland.

Slideshow (2 Images)
Stanko’s early influences came from jazz trumpet icons such as Miles Davis and Chet Baker, but he was soon drawn primarily to the free-form jazz of Ornette Coleman and Don Cherry, and often recorded for the ECM label.

His first global bestseller was a 1997 album, Litania, a tribute to the music of Polish film music composer and jazz pianist Krzysztof Komeda, the record company ECM Records said.

“I am in shock ... (Stanko) was an absolute prophet, a great musician, and a consistent one,” said Michal Urbaniak, a Polish jazz violinist and saxophonist.]]>
7/29/2018 5:53:58 PM
<![CDATA[Sobhy: ‘Khebetna’ is a magical realism play]]>
Sobhy stated that he started writing this play in 2004 after the occupation of Iraq and the loss of its ancient civilization and finished writing it in 2007, during this period he was contemplating the fate of our nation in light of what happened in Iraq and concluded what will happen in the world.

"I wondered what our problem was in the Arab world, and answered this question in the drama of this play. "Khebetna" is a magical realism play where you do not know whether what you see is fantasy or reality,” Sobhy stated in his statement.

Sobhy is currently performing the final rehearsals for “Khebetna”. The play is inspired by "The End of History and the Last Man" by Francis Fukuyama, which tackles the final form of liberal democracy; the play is also influenced by the work of renowned historian Bernard Lewis. "Khebetna" was written in 2004, but turning it into a play was delayed several times.

The play has been updated to suit current events. Studio Tamseel (Acting Studio) troupe will participate in “Khebetna”. Alongside Sobhy, the play stars Samah el-Saeed and Nada Maher among others.

Sobhy was born in Cairo in 1948. In 1967, he caught attention by playing the role of “Hamlet” during his final exam at the Higher Institute of Dramatic Arts. At the time, he wrote, performed and directed “Hamlet” using his unique theatrical vision.

Sobhy graduated with honors and was appointed demonstrator at the institute.
Sobhy started his theater career by performing minor roles in famous plays alongside great actors like Salah Mansour, Mohamed Awad, Fouad el-Mohandes, and Mohamed Negm, among others.

His first minor yet influential role was in the famous play “Hello Shalaby” in 1970. Sobhy’s first leading role was in “Entaha el Dars Ya Ghabi” (The Lesson is Over, Stupid).

Sobhy’s theatrical repertoire includes “Al Joker” (The Joker), “Al Hamagy” (The Barbarian), “Weghet Nazar” (A Point of View), and “Carmen”, among others.

He performed in many popular soap operas; among the most famous are “Fares bela Gawad” (A Knight without a Horse) and the seven seasons of “Yawmeyat Wanees” (Wanees’s Diaries).

Carthage Theater Days Festival, which kicked off on December 8, 2017, honored Sobhy on December 11. CTDF organized a big ceremony to honor the veteran theatrical actor; the honoring ceremony was followed by a seminar discussing Sobhy’s theatrical career and was attended by different media agencies, newspapers and TV channels.

The third edition of Sharm El-Sheikh Youth Theatre Festival management also honored Sobhy; additionally, the edition bore the name of the great theatrical actor and director.
The owner of Sama Company, Egyptian businessman Hassan Rateb, acquired 80 percent of Sonbol City, owned by Sobhy.

Rateb will transform Sonbol City into Sama Sonbol Academy, which will target discovering talents in various fields of arts, such as music, singing, acting, directing and photography. The academy is expected to become the second technical entity specialized in this field, the first being the Academy of Arts.

Sobhy previously explained that the academy is expected to make a quantum leap in the field of discovering artistic talents in order to create a new generation of talented people in the areas of acting, directing, photography and writing.

Rateb previously pointed out that the academy also aims to maximize the cultural and artistic role in the society. Sonbol Academy was built on an area of 20 acres and includes studios and a unique theatre that can hold up about 500 people.

Rateb added that they are planning to update all the studios to be equipped with the best modern equipment in photography, lighting and visual effects. Rateb also plans to introduce a number of specialists meant to better develop discovered talents.

Sultan bin Muhammad Al-Qasimi, the sovereign ruler of the Emirate of Sharjah, honored veteran Egyptian theatrical artist Sobhy on Tuesday, March 13, at the opening ceremony of the 28th edition of Sharjah Theatre Festival.

A cultured, enlightened and multi-talented artist who has enriched the Arab theater with many of his plays; Sobhy’s rich theatrical experience has made him a role model to all Arab theatrical artists.

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7/29/2018 12:41:45 PM
<![CDATA[Khairat to perform two concerts at Bibliotheca Alexandrina on Aug 6, 7]]>
The Egyptian virtuoso musician performed a dazzling concert at the Mariinsky Theatre in the cultural city of Saint Petersburg on Monday, June 18, celebrating the Egyptian national football team’s participation in the World Cup after 28 years of absence.

The massive concert, which was presented by Egyptian star Sherif Mounir, witnessed the attendance of a large number of Egyptian fans, celebrities and public figures such as Ashraf Salman, former minister of investment and the current chairman of the concert organizer, AUR Capital Company; famed writer Khaled Salah, the editor in chief of Youm 7, the concert media sponsor; famed TV presenter Sherihan Abul Hassan; Egyptian director, Amr Arafa; famed actors, Ahmed Rezk; Ashraf Zaki; Rogina; and famed Egyptian businessman Ahmed Abou Hashima, among others.

AUR Capital managed to secure an agreement with the Russian Mariinsky Theatre to host the concert. Salman previously told Egypt Today that the concert was set to hit several goals; presenting a respectable image of Egypt through one of its most talented musicians is on top of these goals. Salman added that Khairat was chosen for his global reputation as a magnificent musician.

“Mariinsky Theatre was picked to host the concert for its worldwide fame; it is considered as one of the three most important theatres in the international cultural field,” said Salman.

The concert was also organised to boost tourism and spread awareness about the Egyptian culture.

The renowned composer and pianist was born in Alexandria and raised in a family of musicians. He began his career in 1959 as a pianist.

Khairat was a member of the Egyptian band Les Petits Chats, founded in 1967. They presented Italian, French and English songs. The band was immensely popular in the late 1960s and the early 1970s.

Khairat is influenced by different genres of music such as Arabic, European classical, Egyptian, African, Jazz, Pop, and Blues. He won the Best Musician award in 1989 from the Egyptian Society for Cinema.

Khairat is a composer that can blend the style of international symphonies with Egyptian music masterfully. He has composed many successful music pieces, such as “Dameer Abla Hikmat” (Abla Hikmat’s Conscience), “Wagh el-Kamar” (The Moon's Face) and “Leilet el-Kabd ala Fatma” (The Night Fatma was Arrested), among others.

It is worth mentioning that Khairat performed his first concert in London at the Concert hall in St. John’s, Smith Square on December 1, 2017. This concert aimed to collect donations for charity and raise public awareness about street kids and orphans in Egypt. ]]>
7/29/2018 11:54:31 AM
<![CDATA['The Meg' is here and she's pleased to eat you]]>
The increasingly poor sequels to Steven Spielberg's 1975 masterpiece launched their own era of corny aquatic monster movies, from The Asylum's "Sharknado" series to more sober but uninspiring releases like "Deep Blue Sea" and "The Shallows."

"The Meg" lunges out of the deep in US and Chinese theaters on August 10 with the aim of giving the genre back its teeth with a two-million-year-old megalodon five times the size of a great white.

"When you're a kid, you think there's a monster under your bed or in your closet, and monsters haunt us. They're there in our darkest dreams," one of the movie's stars, American actor Rainn Wilson, told AFP.

"They are in the Jungian shadow part of ourselves. Humanity's in some dark times right now and I think the monster movies and post-apocalyptic monsters reflect that."

Based on the best-selling novel "MEG" by Steve Alten, Jon Turteltaub's movie stars Jason Statham ("The Fate of the Furious," "The Expendables") and Chinese actress Li Bingbing ("Transformers: Age of Extinction").

A deep-sea submersible -- part of an international undersea observation program -- has been attacked by a massive creature and lies disabled at the bottom of the deepest part of the Pacific Ocean with its crew trapped inside.

Former deep-sea rescue diver Jonas Taylor (Statham) is drawn out of self-imposed exile by a visionary Chinese oceanographer, Dr. Zhang (Winston Chao), against the wishes of his daughter, Suyin (Li), who thinks she can rescue the crew on her own.

- 'Indelible impression' -

But it will take their combined efforts to save the crew, and the ocean itself, from this seemingly unstoppable threat -- a prehistoric 75-foot (23-meter) shark known as the megalodon.

Wilson -- best known as creepy salesman Dwight in NBC's "The Office" -- remembers being around 12 years old when he first saw "Jaws."

when he first saw "Jaws."

"I had never seen a movie like that before. I remember it really made an indelible impression -- it did on a lot of people," he said during a press preview for the movie in Los Angeles on Saturday.

"The filmmaking was just so beautiful and visceral and it was absolutely terrifying."

For Masi Oka, who plays one of the crew members stranded in the sub, a good monster movie is enjoyable precisely because the audience feels safe as the carnage unfolds onscreen.

"I think if you were watching this while you were out on the sea, it would be a very different story, it would feel more real," saidthe former star of CBS cop show "Hawaii Five-O."

"Jaws" is famous for the problems Spielberg had getting his shark model Bruce -- named for his accountant -- to work in the salty water.

The Meg and all of the other aquatic life seen in the film were brought to life via state-of-the-art CGI, starting with extensive research on the beast's appearance.

- Terrifying but... graceful -

The idea was to create something that looked massive and terrifying but, at the same time, very graceful in the water.

Oka, a former visual effects artist who worked on the "Star Wars" prequels as well as "Mission to Mars," "Terminator 3" and many other huge blockbusters, said the technology has improved beyond recognition.

"Filmmakers are no longer limited by what you can do, it's what you can think of," he said.

As with many recent blockbusters -- including "The Great Wall," "Transformers: Age of Extinction," "Furious 7," "Skyscraper" and "Pacific Rim 2" -- "The Meg" has significant Chinese funding, and much of the movie takes place in the Middle Kingdom.

The Hauraki Gulf in northern New Zealand doubled as China's Pacific coast and much of the shoot took place in huge tanks at the Kumeu Film Studios in Auckland.

But the production moved to China's Hainan Island for extensive sections of the movie and the beachside city of Sanya provided the setting for a climactic attack involving thousands of extras.

"China is an amazing place -- vibrant, colorful and bright. The script called for a densely populated beach, and that's Sanya Bay," Turteltaub said.

"It's not lacking for people, which was heaven for a giant shark movie."
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7/29/2018 11:11:16 AM
<![CDATA[Into The Void: hyper-real 'Star Wars' VR makes you the hero]]>
Well, holster that blaster because the kind of fantasy that could once only be woven into the dreams of the young is coming to a theme park or shopping mall near you -- perhaps sooner than you think.

The Void is the latest in a flood of businesses offering whole-body, fully immersive virtual reality experiences for about double the price of a movie ticket.

The company's "Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire" scenario instructs players that their mission is to recover Imperial intelligence critical to the survival of the Rebellion -- yes, that Rebellion, of Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia.

In reality, the players are in a room full of cameras, movement sensors and other gadgetry in the shadow of Disneyland in southern California.

As far as they are concerned, they are rebels disguised as Imperial stormtroopers on the molten planet of Mustafar, battling giant lava monsters and generally taking care of business.

Wearing vests weighed down by high-tech hardware, the players can reach out and touch what they are seeing in their visors, feel the breeze on their faces and hear creatures scuttling around them.

Designed in partnership with Disney-owned Lucasfilm, which makes the "Star Wars" movies, the experience involves all the senses, says marketing director John Kirkpatrick.

"I really felt like I was in the movie," says player Sean Oshima, 29, a technology consultant.

"I was really amazed by this technology. You can really feel the agents shooting you."

- Cusp of a boom -

The experience -- typically enjoyed in groups -- costs about $30-35 for 10 minutes, and gets about 500 visitors a day in Anaheim.

There are locations in North America, the Middle East and Europe and the company is still growing, with other scenarios including a narrative tour around the movie "Ghostbusters," and a haunted house experience.

Without the bells and whistles, the interior is much as you might expect -- a room measuring about 10 square meters (110 square feet), partitioned here and there to guide players through the attraction.

The cutting-edge tech works in tandem with run-of-the-mill radiators and fans varying the atmospherics, while foam mats double as magma and scent diffusers provide the "smell-o-vision."

Jeremy Bailenson, founding director of Stanford University's Virtual Human Interaction Lab and author of the best-selling "Experience on Demand," told AFP the sector was on the cusp of a boom.

In California, VR attractions under development or already out there include the free-roaming group experience "Alien: Descent" in Orange County and an ImaxVR center in Los Angeles.

An attraction based on CIA analyst "Jack Ryan," the hero of the Tom Clancy novels and an upcoming Amazon TV series, was among numerous VR experiences showcased at the recent San Diego Comic-Con fan event.

- VR Oscar -

Video games are criticized for isolating players, but proponents of virtual reality say it can be an inherently social experience, as it promotes teamwork through problem-solving.

The technology is developing rapidly and has already moved beyond pure entertainment into education and science.

Acclaimed filmmaker Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu got a special Oscar last year for a virtual reality installation focusing on the plight of migrants, which was shown in several cities including Los Angeles.

The six-minute "Carne y Arena" ("Virtually Present, Physically Invisible") takes viewers on the harrowing trek many migrants undertake through the Sonoran desert in the southwestern US.



As sirens wail, each participant -- barefoot on the sandy ground and wearing VR goggles -- experiences the journey alone, joined only by a small band of virtual people hoping to reach America.

Border guards armed to the teeth separate the men from the women and the children. Their abandoned shoes litter the ground, as one person screams out in pain and a tragedy looms.

From the art world, a successful exhibition on David Bowie is to be adapted into a VR experience by Sony, while architects, teachers and many others in the public and private sectors are increasingly using the technology to illustrate projects and ideas.

"Picture if an educator or a student goes into a world, and instead of just learning about it through a textbook, you can actually interact (with) that locale," said Kirkpatrick.

"Or even see what those worlds might have looked like in the times that you're studying."

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7/29/2018 11:06:12 AM
<![CDATA['Nico, 1988': movie for muse who couldn't shake her fame]]>
But her days mixing with Andy Warhol and alternative US rockers The Velvet Underground are far behind the drug-addled forty-something we meet in Susanna Nicchiarelli's upcoming feature "Nico, 1988."

The singer, embodied in a pitch-perfect performance by the Danish actress and one-time Eurovision contestant Trine Dyrholm, is addicted to heroin and washed up, yet stubbornly content that she has remained true to herself.

It is a movie not so much about Nico's fleeting brush with global celebrity as it is about the panache with which she dealt with the frustration at not being able to leave it behind.

"The Velvet Underground and Nico," the 1967 collaboration on which she sung lead on just three songs, has ranked as high as 13 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.

It was seen as the progenitor of much of the alternative rock that followed in the 1970s -- and the album and associated tours were pretty much the only thing that interested the music press about Nico.

Nicchiarelli, a fan of Nico's lesser-known later music, became intrigued by the singer after listening to her dry, laconic interview answers about her supposed heyday.

"She did much more interesting things afterwards, as a solo artist, and I found it very funny the way she treated journalists and the way she took out all the myths from the 60s," Nicchiarelli told AFP.

- Struggling with demons -

"My favorite answer, which I put in the first interview in the movie, is when they say, 'That must've been the best period of your life.' And she says, 'Well, we took a lot of LSD.' That fascinated me and made me like her a lot."

"Nico, 1988" is a poignant and at times hilarious chronicle of the performer's last tour of Europe before her death from a heart attack on the Mediterranean island of Ibiza in the summer of that year.

Leading a solitary existence in Manchester, northern England, her career and personal life are on the ropes, and a new manager (John Gordon Sinclair) convinces her to hit the road again.

Approaching 50 and struggling with her demons, she is distracted by the never-ending quest to score another hit and yearns to rebuild a relationship with the son of whom she lost custody (Sandor Funtek).

Her voice meanders out of tune as she shambles on stage, her behavior erratic and tone unguarded, while her legs are covered in puncture marks from needles and unsightly bruises.

Nico -- Christa Paffgen to her few friends -- suffered poverty and hunger growing up in West Berlin and shared in the national sense of shame that accompanied defeat in World War II, even though she was just seven when it ended.

Her father had been a German soldier, but whenever she met Jewish people as an adult she would pretend that he had been a brave resistance fighter.

- Past glories -



"That wasn't true and I find that very touching, the way she made up that story. What I think is interesting is that she died a year before the end of the Cold War," Nicchiarelli said.

"So she didn't even have time to see the end of it. She didn't see her country reunited at the end of the Cold War. And I liked the idea of telling that part of her life, the final part of her life, because I think it was the best part of her life."

Nicchiarelli's thesis is that, even to this day, the singer is regularly done the injustice of being mentioned mostly in association with the "famous men she slept with."

Warhol, a leading figure in the pop art movement, once said that Nico "became a fat junkie and disappeared," and Nicchiarelli's third feature is nothing if not a 93-minute refutation of this notion.

Although Nico's commercial successes were well behind her in her final years, the filmmaker sees her as almost the polar opposite of the faded star reveling in past glories, lamenting vanished beauty.

"The whole thing gave me the possibility to turn around the cliches about Nico -- her life in the final part and then the relationship with her son and her relationship with history, her European identity, her German identity," Nichiarelli told AFP.

"All these elements were much more interesting for me than the things they usually care about in a biopic -- being famous or not famous, successful or not successful -- which somehow didn't seem to be the major interest in Nico's life."

"Nico, 1988" is being rolled out in select US theaters during August.

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7/29/2018 11:02:00 AM
<![CDATA[Mohamed Sharaf, hero of comic supporting roles, dies at 55]]>
Some may not know his name but all know his cheerful smile, sense of humor and smooth funny performance. Mohamed Sharaf wasn’t that big star whose name was written at the beginning of the movie poster or the series, but he was definitely another kind of hero whose sense of humor drew the smile on millions faces.

Despite always performing small roles, he managed to leave a significant mark on Egyptian drama. Sharaf’s funny jokes are immortal in our minds and hearts and we tell them to each other constantly.



“As long as I entered the field of drug dealing, I have to stay in it for not less than a year before I can transfer to another field.” “Slap me more, I want them a whole grand.” These were Sharaf’s unforgettable jokes in the movie “Zaki Shan” that we will never forget and which made us laugh from our hearts.

Sharaf appeared in only one scene in the Egyptian movie “ Zarf Tark” that made us burst into laughter. In “ Zarf Tark” he entered all of a sudden the apartment of Ahmed Helmy and said '' Hi , there is water in the refrigerator I am soo hungry''.

In the same scene Sharaf said other funny jokes such as ''I don’t belong to anyone, I am the president of myself'', “ My name is Bassiouny Mourad El Haywan” and ''I am an Egyptian so definitely I have to support the Nigerian team''.

He proved by this scene that the real hero is not the one who appears in many scenes but the one who manages to achieve the greatest impact, because the influence he achieved with one scene exceeded the influence many stars achieved in their movies.

Sharaf participated in many movies such as “Galatiny Mogreman” (She Made Me a Criminal), “Asf ‘Ala el Ezaag” (Sorry for Disturbance), “X Large”, “Sabaho Kedb” (A Morning Full of Lies), and “El Rahina” (The Hostage) among others. Sharaf appeared in most Egyptian star Ahmed Helmy’s movies, who mourned Sharaf saying that he was one of the kindest actors he had dealt with.

Egypt Today presents the best of Sharaf's scenes:











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7/28/2018 6:19:07 PM
<![CDATA[In photos: Diab’s concert in Mykonos to promote ‘Kol Hayati’ album]]>
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Diab sang some of the songs of his new album in the concert that was attended by thousands, all of whom interacted with the songs.


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Diab released the promo of the first song entitled, “Da Law Etsab” (If He’s Abandoned), from his new album “Kol Hayati” (All My Life), which will be released soon.

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“Da Law Etsab” is written by Ayman Bahgat Kamar, composed by Mohamed Yehia and distributed by Osama el Hendy.



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Diab collaborated with several poets, composers and distributers to produce his new album “Kol Hayati” including Tarek Madkour, Ayman Bahgat Amar, Nader Hamdy, Amr Mostafa and Ahmed el-Malky.

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Diab, born in 1961 in Port Said, has risen to fame over the past two decades in the Arab world. He continues to break sale records, according to a BBC report and his official Facebook page.

His most famous album, “Nour el-Ain” (Our Eyes Beam), brought him international recognition and earned him the title of “The Father of Mediterranean Music” for his style of blending Egyptian and western rhythms.

The mega star, who founded the record company Mediterranean Music, had his songs translated into seven different languages.

Diab received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Big Apple Music Awards in 2009. At the 2014 World Music Awards, Diab was also awarded Best Egyptian Artist, Best Male Arab Artist and World's Best Arab Male Artist Voted Online.

Diab’s first album, “Ya Tareeq” (The Path), was released in 1983. His most recent album, “Meaddy El-Nas” (Surpassing People), was released in July 2017, following a major viral promotion campaign across Cairo sponsored by Egypt Linx.



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7/28/2018 3:40:12 PM
<![CDATA[Hefzy now a jury member of international competition at Venice Film Festival]]>
Hefzy was selected as the president of the 40th Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF) on April, following acclaimed Egyptian film critic Magda Wasef.

"I attended the Cairo International Film Festival as an audience member, a filmmaker, and then a member of the festival's team in recent years. To be chosen as president of one of the most important and oldest festivals in the Arab world, I've mixed feelings of happiness and responsibility,” Hefzy previously stated on his official Facebook page.

Hefzy added on his Facebook page that his main plan is to develop the festival, solve the problems of the previous editions, and build on the efforts and achievements that have been executed before.

“What makes me enthusiastic is to cooperate with the salient Youssef Sherif Rizkalla as he continues in his position as the Artistic Director of the Festival. I'm very thankful to the Minister of Culture, Ines Abdel-Dayem, for her confidence in me."

Mohamed Hefzy is an Egyptian film producer and screenwriter who was born in 1975. He is the founder of the Film Clinic that is now considered as one of the leading production companies in Egypt and the Arab world.

Hefzy is also a film activist who gives workshops and training programs conducted in cooperation with acclaimed international organizations and institutes.

In 2013, Hefzy was named by Screen International as the only Arab among 30 future leaders in film production. In 2016, he was chosen by Variety on top of a list of Ten Names You Need to Know in the Arab Film Industry.

His films have participated widely in numerous prominent film festivals, including Cannes, Venice, Berlin, Sundance, and Toronto, and have won more than 80 international awards. In 2016, one of his latest productions (Clash) was chosen as the opening film of the Un Certain Regard section of Cannes Film Festival.

In 2011, Hefzy was a jury member at several local and Arab festivals such as the Abu Dhabi International Film Festival. He is familiar with Cairo International Film Festival as he was on the Advisory Board of CIFF, an advisor for the Cairo Film Connection (CFC), and a jury member of the CIFF in 2010.

Hefzy is a former director of the Ismailia International Film Festival for Documentaries and Shorts, and is currently a board member of the Egyptian Chamber of Cinema since 2013, and continues to represent and lobby for independent filmmakers in Egypt and throughout the Arab world.

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7/28/2018 11:18:16 AM
<![CDATA[‘Turab al-Mass’ in all Egyptian cinemas on Oct. 10]]>



The film's star Asser Yassin previously explained that working with a director like Marwan Hamed and a scriptwriter like Ahmed Mourad in a movie based on a novel is a difficult challenge that requires significant effort. He expressed his enthusiasm in partaking in such an important film featuring a notable cast.


"Turab al-Mass" is based on the novel of the same name by Ahmed Mourad. The plot revolves around Taha, who works for a pharmaceutical company and lives an extremely boring life with his disabled father. Taha’s life is turned upside down after a mysterious murder reveals many secrets, dragging Taha into the world of crime and corruption.

Alongside Yassin, the cast includes Menna Shalaby, Maged el-Kidwany, Ezzat al-Alayly, Mohamed Mamdouh, Khaled al-Sawy and Sawsan Badr.

Yassin started as an engineering student at the American University in Cairo (AUC) and became involved in the university’s theatre department, where he was spotted by director Khairy Beshara.

He has come a long way from AUC productions, and has since become one of the leading Egyptian actors on both the small and the big screens. Through a diverse portfolio, Asser Yassin proved he’s an artist of many talents; one of his first challenging roles was in “Zay el-Naharda” (Like Today) in 2008, where he portrayed a drug addict antihero who made audiences both love and hate him. In his latest series “30 Youm” (30 Days), he expertly showed the drastic changes his character underwent.

He also perfected a stutter for his role in “Rasayel el-Bahr” (Messages from the Sea) in 2010 and showed us his comedic abilities in “Bebo wa Bashir” (Bebo and Bashir) in 2011.

Always a hard worker seeking new challenges, Yassin has also been in the director’s chair, working first in 2016 on the music video for Abu’s “Ahwak” (I Love You) song, featuring a retro vibe evoking the old Agamy days on the beaches of the North Coast’s Marassi, and more recently on the music video for the latest Wust el-Balad song “El-Ekhtelaf El-Motalef” (Our Familiar Differences).

His latest work as a director has created quite the social media buzz; featuring an unconventional storyline and a rather quirky vibe.


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7/28/2018 11:11:56 AM
<![CDATA[Prince heirs take his copyrights lead, nix 'Purple Rain' tribute]]>
A photojournalist for the Star Tribune, the daily newspaper in Prince's hometown of Minneapolis, posted on Twitter a video of a street crowd spontaneously singing the Purple One's celebrated ballad on the day of his death in 2016.

The video, which was retweeted more than 13,500 times, recently vanished.

The photographer, Aaron Lavinsky, said that the Universal Music Publishing Group, which holds rights to Prince's songs, had ordered it removed.

The publisher, he said, was acting under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, an often controversial 1998 US law that allows copyright holders to issue takedown notices to online material and exempts internet companies from liability.

"DCMA takedowns are an important tool for artists who need to protect their intellectual property online, but a major corporation abusing system to remove a news video shot by a newspaper photographer is inappropriate," Lavinsky tweeted.

Representatives for Universal, the largest music label conglomerate and parent of the publisher, did not immediately return a request asking for comment.

Prince vigorously took aim at online postings during his life, with his team demanding that fans take down footage of live performances and their own covers of his songs.

Most famously, Universal in 2007 demanded that a mother, Stephanie Lenz, remove a half-minute video from YouTube of her toddler son dancing to Prince's "Let's Go Crazy."

The case went to the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which in a nuanced opinion did not fully back Lenz but said that copyright holders needed to consider fair use, meaning the right to use material for purposes such as social commentary and criticism.

The Supreme Court declined to take up the case and Universal settled with Lenz out of court last month. The video, dubbed "Dancing Boy," remains on YouTube where it has been viewed nearly two million times.

Prince's estate has eased some of the singer's directives since his death, including putting his music on major streaming services such as Spotify and signing new deals with record labels, with which Prince feuded so intensely that he briefly changed his name to an unpronounceable symbol in the 1990s to escape contractual conditions.]]>
7/28/2018 10:25:38 AM
<![CDATA[YouTube plans original programing in India, Japan and other markets]]>
The programing will come in the form of multiple genres such as music documentaries, reality series, talk shows and scripted series, Susanne Daniels, YouTube’s global head of original programing, said in an interview. It will be produced in local languages and subtitled or dubbed for other markets.

Some of the programing will appear on YouTube Premium, the monthly subscription service formerly called YouTube Red. Other content will be available on YouTube’s free service with advertising.

“We are targeting markets where we believe we have a tremendous upside in potential subscribers,” Daniels said.

YouTube already has released a handful of original shows in South Korea and one in India, a talk show in Hindi about cricket. Called “UnCricket,” the show has performed “beyond expectations,” Daniels said.

Daniels also said a reality show starring South Korean pop band Big Bang had boosted subscriptions, and that 50 percent of the new customers came from outside of Korea.

More details about the new international slate will be released in the coming weeks, she said.

YouTube will be competing with companies including Netflix Inc and Amazon.com Inc that are investing in local language programing for online audiences around the world.

The first original shows from YouTube debuted on its premium service in 2016, starting with series from some of the platform’s most popular video creators. It added programing from Hollywood stars and also released a batch of children’s shows including Emmy-winning “Fruit Ninja Frenzy Force.”

There are no current plans for more original children’s programing, Daniels said. The YouTube Kids app serves that younger audience, she said, and the company does not believe children’s content will drive subscriptions to YouTube Premium at this time.

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7/28/2018 10:19:44 AM
<![CDATA[Next 'Star Wars' to use old footage of late Carrie Fisher]]>
Actor Mark Hamill, whose Luke Skywalker character appeared to die in last year’s “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” will also appear in the next movie, which will start filming in London on Aug. 1, Disney said in a statement.

Fisher, who played Princess Leia, died suddenly in December 2016 at age 60 after suffering a heart attack just as she was enjoying a career revival with the re-invigorated “Star Wars” movie franchise that reunited her with original cast members Hamill and Harrison Ford in the 2015 film “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”

She had just finished shooting “The Last Jedi” and Leia was to have been the central character in the ninth film in the sci-fi franchise, “Star Wars: Episode IX.”

“We desperately loved Carrie Fisher,” director J.J. Abrams, who will direct “Episode IX,” said in a statement.

“Finding a truly satisfying conclusion to the Skywalker saga without her eluded us. We were never going to recast, or use a CG (computer-generated) character. With the support and blessing from her daughter, Billie, we have found a way to honor Carrie’s legacy and role as Leia in Episode IX by using unseen footage we shot together in Episode VII,” he added, referring to “Force Awakens.”

Disney said after Fisher’s death that the script for the ninth movie was being reworked.

Billy Dee Williams will reprise his role as scoundrel Lando Calrissian, who was first seen in 1980’s “The Empire Strikes Back” and 1983’s “Return of the Jedi,” the Disney statement added.

Williams will join returning cast members Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Lupita Nyong’o and Kelly Marie Tran, the studio said.

“Episode IX,” which has yet to get a formal title, is due to arrive in movie theaters worldwide in December 2019.

Disney and Lucasfilm announced last year that the release date for “Episode IX” had been pushed back six months to December 2019 and that Abrams had been hired to write and direct after the departure of original director Colin Trevorrow.

The “Star Wars” franchise is among the most valuable film properties in the world. “The Force Awakens” took in more than $2 billion at the global box office while “The Last Jedi” raked in $1.3 billion.
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7/28/2018 10:13:00 AM
<![CDATA[Indian megastar Priyanka Chopra engaged to Nick Jonas: report]]>
People magazine, citing unnamed sources close to the pair, said Jonas, 25, proposed to Chopra in London for her 36th birthday after shutting down a Tiffany store in New York to choose a ring.

Representatives for the two stars did not respond to requests for comment.

But director Ali Abbas Zafar appeared to allude to the engagement when he announced that Chopra was leaving the film "Bharat," a historical drama about modern India.

"The reason is very very special," he tweeted. "She told us in the Nick of time about her decision and we are very happy for her."

Chopra, who won the Miss World pageant in 2000, has become one of Bollywood's most identifiable stars and, more recently, one of the few to achieve success in the West.

She has starred in the thriller series "Quantico" on US network ABC and, in her career as a singer, has released songs with US chart-toppers including Pitbull and The Chainsmokers.

Jonas first found success as a child as the frontman of The Jonas Brothers with his two siblings.

Also an actor on theater and in television, Jonas returned to music as a young adult with a new, mature image and has often been seen as a sex symbol. He has been romantically linked to a number of prominent women including Miley Cyrus and Selena Gomez.

People magazine said that, while Jonas and Chopra have known each other for some time, they began dating just two months ago and the relationship was serious enough that she introduced him to her mother in India.]]>
7/27/2018 4:22:27 PM
<![CDATA[Hayatem passes away on Friday at the age of 68]]>
Hayatem was considered one of the most famous Egyptian seductive actresses in Egyptian cinema history. Most of her fans view her as the complete femme fatale.

She was born in Alexandria on July 22, 1950. She started her artistic career as a belly dancer in Alexandrian night clubs, then she moved to Cairo to start her acting career.

In 1972, she participated in her first movie “Leilet Hob Akhera” (The Last Night of Love) along with Emad Hamdy, Nabila Ebeid and Salah Kabeel. Hayatem participated in numerous movies such as “Ghareeb fe Beity” (A Stranger in my House), “Aly Beih Mazhar”, “El Motaswel” (The Beggar) among others.

She performed in some TV series such as “El Batnya”, “Zohra w Azwgha el Khamsa” (Zohra and Her Five Husbands), “El Mal w el Banon” (Money and Children) among others.

Hayatem’s last public appearance was in December 2017 during a fashion show performed by the famed Egyptian fashion designer Hany El Behairy, where she appeared pale, has lost a lot of weight, supporting the information circulated about her colon cancer. She was married for a short period to a football player named Mahmoud el Khawaga.
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7/27/2018 4:16:13 PM
<![CDATA[Oran festival honors Youssef, Henedy, Shadia]]>
The festival chose the Egyptian movie “Karma” to be the opening film of the festival. The movie revolves around two people who never cross paths, but have common life circumstances. “Karma” stars Amr Saad, Zeina, Ghada Abdel Razek, Suheir el-Ghadban, Khaled el-Sawy, Wafaa Amer, Maged el-Masry, Dalal Abdel Aziz, Magdy Kamel, Ehab Fahmy, Mostafa Darwish, Hassan Harb and the young child, Birla.

The movie is written and directed by Khaled Youssef, produced and distributed by Masr Arabia Production Company. The film is scheduled to be released in several Arab countries soon. The film marks famed Egyptian director Youssef's comeback to movie directing after seven years of hiatus. His last film, “Kaf Qamar” (Qamar’s Hand), was screened in 2011. “Karma” also marks Youssef's fourth collaboration with Amr Saad, the sixth with Ghada Abdel Razek and the third with Wafaa Amer.


Shadia who was born in 1931 as Fatma Shaker, played various roles and nailed movie genres that range from the political to the comic farce; but in addition to her diverse roles, Shadia was also a prolific singer whose songs also remain favorites on many playlists.

In fact, 25 years after retiring and completely disappearing from the limelight, her song “Ya Habebty ya Masr” (Egypt, My Beloved) became the voice of the January 25 uprising.
She was dubbed "Dalouet El Cinema" (The Cinema’s Sweetheart) by her loyal fans from all over Arab world.

Her fans consider her as their dear sweetheart singer. Shadia has enriched Egyptian art with about 114 songs spanning over 37 years. She was enchanting with her melodious charm and light-heartedness.


Shadia debuted her acting career in 1947, at the age of 16, and was often cast in the role of a lively young girl. Then in 1953, she debuted her singing career and started taking on more dramatic roles, having just suffered the loss of a fiancé to the war. Shadia’s career turning point came when she married actor Emad Hamdy, who was 20 years older than her, but the marriage only lasted three years.

After her divorce from Hamdy, she married Fathi Aziz but also got divorced two years later. Her last and longest marriage was that to her on-screen love interest Salah Zulficar. That marriage lasted six years but ended in divorce in 1967.

More than a talented show woman, Shadia managed to encapsulate just about every issue facing the Egyptian woman; from young love and jealousy to struggling between careers and families, and all the way to women’s honor, poverty, prostitution, oppression and uprising against injustice.


One of her most iconic roles was Soheir, the famous actress who falls in love with the less prominent Ibrahim (played by Abdel Halim Hafez) in the romantic classic “Maaboudet El Gamahir” (The People’s Idol), which also features Fouad El Mohandes, Youssef Shaaban, Hassan Fayek and Zeinat Sedky. 2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the movie, but we still memorize scenes from it by heart. And when we ride our bikes, we still playfully sing one of the most popular duets in Egyptian cinema “Haga Ghariba” (A Strange Thing).


After her last role in “La Tas’alni Man Ana” (Don’t Ask Me Who I am), Shadia officially announced retiring in the late 1980s, turning the page on her artistic career and dedicating her life and time to worship and looking after orphans and her nephews, never having had children of her own.

Shadia told the media back then that she preferred her fans to remember her as the young woman they knew, and doesn’t want them to see her old and wrinkled, and she has ever since remained true to that statement, having made very rare public appearances since her retirement.

Shadia starred alongside mega stars like Abdel Halim Hafez, Farid El Atrash and Kamal El Shennawy, with whom she co-starred in more than 30 films.
Shadia passed away on Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017 at the age of 86 after being transferred to the hospital as she suffered a brain stroke.
]]>
7/27/2018 4:10:49 PM
<![CDATA[Iraq street satirists peddle culture change]]>
With a rich repertoire of skits, Khaled al-Atbi and his peers poke fun at politicians more interested in lining their pockets than rebuilding a country devastated by decades of war.

"Theatre is a message," said the 42-year-old al-Atbi, director and actor in the seven-strong troupe.

"With our satire, we condemn... corruption, lack of public services and tribal activities," he said, citing those factors as central to discontent in Iraq.

Since the US-led ouster of dictator Saddam Hussein in 2003, Iraq has been plagued by graft and sectarian fighting, culminating in the Islamic State group seizing around a third of its territory in 2014.

As Iraq seeks to move beyond the brutal war that last year finally defeated the jihadists, al-Atbi is determined to embarrass officials who pocket bribes and hand out plum civil service jobs to relatives.

The father-of-two hopes his little troupe can help trigger a culture change, even as he juggles his satirical ventures with a full-time job as a policeman.

- Rubbish piles vanish -

In one sketch, al-Atbi plays a diligent official obliged to work with incompetent but politically connected colleagues.

The scene did not require much in terms of props -- just a table and a few chairs, which were quickly encircled by rapt onlookers.

"Our audience is very receptive because they know what we are enacting exists in reality," said al-Atbi.

Less than two years after they began working the streets, the group's efforts have already brought about change, according to Kut residents.

"We can challenge leaders and solve social problems," said 48-year-old teacher Abu Ali, who never misses a Friday skit.

Where rubbish was once piled high, roads are now clean and refuse is collected regularly, Abu Ali added -- thanks at least in part to pressure created by street plays.

But not everyone is a fan.

The group has attracted online trolls, and while street audiences are generally very supportive, hecklers make their presence felt.

"'You exaggerate!' 'Stop insulting the parties and leaders!'" are common refrains, al-Atbi shrugged.

- 'Breath of air' -

But the performers are not discouraged.Once a week, they set up on "Tigris Culture Street", among stalls of second-hand books lining the banks of the river running through the agricultural region.

The plays are the only "breath of air... for people of culture" in the area, said hairdresser Karim al-Bahadli.

"They express the feelings that are inside," said al-Bahadli -- a must, he believes, for a turbulent country that is ranked by Transparency International as the world's 12th most corrupt.

Southern Iraq was the epicentre of protests in July against corruption and poor public services.

Iraq's state human rights commission said Monday at least 14 people were killed in the demonstrations, which spread from Basra to Baghdad, before waning under pressure from the security services.

For fans of al-Atbi and his troupe, laughter is something of a social safety valve.

They scored their "greatest success" with a series of skits in the lead-up to May 12 elections, said troupe member Jalal al-Chati, who works as a reporter.

No shade of political sentiment escapes the group's ridicule.

In one scene, the actors play two politicians -- one a devout man offering voters access to the afterlife, the other promising to fend off government efforts to shut down shops selling alcohol.

To avoid sailing too close to the political wind, they use no names. But appreciative murmurs and giggles among the audience indicate they know exactly who is being mimicked.]]>
7/27/2018 2:05:20 PM
<![CDATA[Emma Thompson: I grew up with 'primitive model' males]]>
The change sweeping Hollywood in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal and the #MeToo movement has left the British actress and director musing on the "primitive model" males that women of her age have had to grapple with.

"I feel like I was still part of a really backward generation, which was very binary in its views on males and females," said the double Oscar winner whose film performances include star roles in "Love Actually", "Nanny McPhee", "Sense and Sensibility" and the Harry Potter series.

"I feel like I grew up surrounded by quite primitive, raw models," she told AFP.

But the Weinstein scandal has been a massive catalyst for change.

"We've got a long way to go. But it is very interesting at the moment, there is a lot of changes occurring," said Thompson, who has long campaigned for equal rights and pay.

"I think the generation below mine, and with my daughter's generation (her daughter Gaia is 18) you are going to see quite a lot of changes soon, because they are writing new stories," she added.

That said, Thompson who plays a judge struggling to fight her corner in the male-dominated higher courts in her new film, "The Children Act", insisted that women are still excluded from large parts of the movie industry.

"I think I've seen (only) one woman electrician. You try to be an electrician as a woman, impossible!" she said.

A human rights activist as well as a feminist, Thompson, 59, made her name playing strong and enigmatic women in the 1990s when she and former husband Kenneth Branagh were the golden couple of British cinema.

- 'We can't have it all' -

But the feminism of that time, "that dreadful period of 'Women can have it all'" appalled her. "I screamed loudly at the top of my voice in public, 'No we can't!'

"The whole point is there's an imbalance. When men were going out to work, they didn't do the domestic work as well. When women go out to work they still have to do all of that," she added.

"It's not about everybody having everything. it's about us understanding what our priorities are, how we are going to change the world of work."


For Thompson that means first all not falling in the trap "about us being like men. Forget men. We've been talking about men for centuries, they need to come to us. It's for us to bring the feminine into the world, and to rebalance all this shit...

"Those old men, they're all going now, they're all dinosaurs. Thank God."

Thompson -- the daughter of "The Magic Roundabout" creator Eric Thompson and renowned actress Phyllida Law -- is well aware of her own privilege.

"I had access to a drama career, to some very great feminist literary critics and all of that. So you know, I was lucky, much luckier that my mother's generation."

Outside her "small bubble of privileged, white, highly-educated women", she said there "is a long way to go for very many. For the women of colour, it is very hard."

And the problems women face go deeper than gender discrimination, Thompson argued.

- Husband asks for affair -

"People don't want to work all the time, they want to do a job that they can live on. It would be really nice if the word job actually meant what it used to mean. It used to mean that you could also have time for yourself and you would earn enough to live.

"Now people have to do two or three jobs in order to survive. Both parents. It's impossible... but it suits our political structures at the moment. And it's not working."

Her character Fiona Maye in "The Children Act" -- which is adapted by Ian McEwan of "Atonement" fame from his own novel -- is "not someone who went into a posh school or a posh university... She has had to be better than a man, she has had to be twice as brilliant, just to get where she is."

Directed by Richard Eyre, the former director of Britain's National Theatre, it turns on a legal dilemma over whether she has the right to force a teenage boy in the Jehovah's Witnesses to have a blood transfusion that would save his life.

Thompson said that decision comes as the judge's own life is falling apart, with her husband asking her permission to have an affair with a younger woman.

"In her private life she has developed a kind of blindness, because in the family court in which she works every day you witness some terrible suffering, cruelties, stupidities, brutalities, really awful things. And you have to create a barrier between you and this suffering."

The film is released in the UK and much of Europe in August and in the US and South Africa in September.]]>
7/27/2018 2:01:55 PM
<![CDATA[Samira Said to release ‘Superman’ album soon]]>
Said appeared on the poster with a bold new look which indicated that the album will contain a lot of surprises to the Moroccan star’s fans. “Superman soon,” commented Said under the poster.

Said cooperated with a number of prominent poets and composers in this album such as composer Belal Serour, poet Shady Nour , and distrbutor Hany Yachoub among others.




Saeed was born in Rabat, Morocco, in 1958; she started singing when she was only nine years old. She was discovered when she participated in “Mawaheb”, the famous Moroccan talent show, broadcasted at the time on the Royal Moroccan TV network.

Although she has recorded some songs in Moroccan, such as "Kifash Tlakina" (How We Met), "Fayetli Sheftek Shi Marra" (I've Seen You Once), "Sarkouh" (They Stole Him), and "Al Behhara" (The Sailors), most of her songs are in the Egyptian dialect such as "Mahaslesh Haga" (Nothing Happened), "Ayza Aeesh" (I Want to Live) and "Hawa Hawa" (Air Air), among others.

Said’s songs reflect various topics that discuss women's issues. She has a wide fan-base from different ages and from all over the MENA region. Said’s musical repertoire includes about 46 music albums, and more than 500 songs.

She received praise from the late great Egyptian singer Abdel Halim Hafez, and composer Baligh Hamdi. She's been living in Egypt for years. Said has collaborated with many international artists; she successfully reintroduced, and evolved the Arab music scene in the early 2000s when she collaborated with Cheb Mami in “Youm Wara Youm” (Day After Day) which was considered a new wave in music back then.

Said was the first singer from the MENA region to be chosen by the international Eurovision Song Contest to perform her song “Bitaqat Hub” (Love Card). Samira won many international awards, including the World Music Award, and the BBC Music Award.
]]>
7/27/2018 1:09:42 PM
<![CDATA[Kristen Stewart to star in new, female-directed 'Charlie's Angels']]>
“Twilight” star Stewart, along with rising British actresses Naomi Scott and Ella Balinska, will play the lead roles in the latest movie reboot of the 1970s crime caper, to be directed by Elizabeth Banks, Sony Pictures said on Thursday.

“ ‘Charlie’s Angels,’ for me, is one of the original brands to celebrate the empowered woman since its debut in the ‘70s. This film honors the legacy of Charles Townsend and his agency while introducing a new era of modern and global Angels,”Banks said in a statement.

Banks, who also directed “Pitch Perfect 2,” is also a co-producer and co-writer and she will play the role of the avuncular Bosley, which was played by a man on both the original television series and in two movie versions.

The new “Charlie’s Angels” marks a trend in Hollywood to entrust more women with directing big budget fare, and towards ethnic diversity. Scott is of Indian descent, while Balinska is mixed race.

“Charlie’s Angels” first appeared on U.S. television in 1976, starring Farrah Fawcett, Kate Jackson, and Jaclyn Smith as sexy private detectives sent on missions by their unseen boss, Charlie Townsend.

The series spawned a 2000 movie adaptation starring Lucy Liu, Cameron Diaz and Drew Barrymore, who returned for a 2003 sequel “Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle.”

The new movie is expected to be released in September 2019 but the title and plot details were not announced.]]>
7/27/2018 12:47:44 PM
<![CDATA[Michelle Williams finds love, marries after Heath Ledger death]]>
Williams, 37, the fiercely private Oscar-nominated star of “Brokeback Mountain,” told the magazine in an interview published on Thursday that she married American indie musician Phil Elverum at a private ceremony earlier this month in the rural Adirondacks region of upstate New York.

She described her relationship with Elverum, whose first wife died of pancreatic cancer, as “very sacred, very special.”

Williams had a daughter, Matilda, with Ledger but the couple ended their three-year romance a few months before his 2008 death at age 28 of an accidental prescription drugs overdose.

“I never gave up on love,” she said. “I always say to Matilda, ‘Your dad loved me before anybody thought I was talented, or pretty, or had nice clothes.’ Obviously I’ve never once in my life talked about a relationship but Phil isn’t anyone else.”

Williams spoke of how she and Matilda were hounded by media in the months after Ledger’s death.

“I’ll never forget going to the post office and seeing a sign hung on the wall for anyone with information about myself and my daughter, to please call this number. Um, so I took that down,” she told Vanity Fair.

“When you’re a single parent, and that element of provider and protection is missing, it’s scary,” she added.

The interview appears in the September edition of Vanity Fair, on newsstands on Aug. 7.]]>
7/27/2018 12:45:42 PM
<![CDATA[Hosny, Diab, Sheiba, Hagag for the first time in ‘100 Wesh’]]>
“100 Wesh” will witness for the first time the cooperation of Hosny with the prominent Egyptian “Sha’abi” (folk) singers Diab, Ahmed Sheiba and Mostafa Hagag.

The song, which is included in Hosny’s new album, "Eish Beshoqak" (Live with Your Passion), is written by Hosny and Ramadan Mohamed, composed by Hosny along with Mohamed Elsawy and distributed by Ahmed Adel.



“Eish Beshoqak” song amassed over eight million viewers after it had been released on Hosny’s official channel on YouTube.

"Eish Beshoqak" was composed by Mostafa Hassan, distributed by Hany Mahrous and Bilal Sorour and directed by Hadi El Bagoury.

The video clip shows Hosny meeting with people in the streets and trying to draw a smile on their faces despite of the problems they face on a daily basis.
Hosny is a singer, songwriter, composer and actor. He began his musical career in 2002 when he released his first album. His romantic music has made him "the Star of the Generation", a name given to him by his fans.

Hosny won many awards, such as Best Selling Album in 2002 from the Nile Variety channel, Best Arab Artist at Murex D’or in 2014 and 2016, and Best Arab Artist at the Middle East Music Awards in 2015. He is also the first Arab artist to receive more than 100 million views on Anghami.

Hosny’s latest movie, “Tesbah ‘Ala Kheir” (Good Night), is an Egyptian romance movie, starring Lebanese actress Nour, Tunisian actress Dorra and Egyptian actress Mai Omar. It was directed and written by Mohamed Sami and produced by Walid Mansour and Talent Media Production.

“Tesbah ‘Ala Kheir” is a movie about a millionaire named Hossam el-Khedawy, portrayed by Hosny, who is gripped with depression due to his wife’s infertility. A software professional, portrayed by Omar, who invented a dream machine, contacts him to offer him a deal. Even though the deal seems simple at first, the situation quickly becomes more complex.

Hosny recently performed a series of concerts in the Middle East, including a concert in Jordan at Arena Theatre and another one in Abu Dhabi.

He is currently shooting his new movie “El Badla” (The Suit). He plays the role of a police officer who finds himself involved in a number of critical situations due to the nature of his job.

“El Badla” stars Amina Khalil, Maged el-Masry, Dalal Abdel Aziz, Hassan Hosny and Mai Kassab, among others. The movie is written by Ayman Bahagat Kamar and directed by Mando el-Adl.

Hosny was the first Arab pop singer to perform a concert in Jeddah city in Saudi Arabia, on March 30. The concert witnessed the attendance of thousands of Saudis, about 90 percent of which were women. Hosny performed on a massive stage, made especially where all audience seats were either red, white or black; the three colors of Egypt’s flag.

The concert was organized under the auspices of the Saudi General Entertainment Authority, which stated that Hosny was chosen to perform such a huge concert because of his popularity among all Saudis.

Hosny headed to Los Angeles and had his handprint and footprint permanently engraved on the Forecourt of the Stars at Hollywood's iconic Chinese Theatre in August 2017.

]]>
7/27/2018 12:29:40 PM
<![CDATA[Diab releases promo of 1st song ‘Da Law Etsab’ from new album]]>
“Da Law Etsab” is written by Ayman Bahgat Kamar, composed by Mohamed Yehia and distributed by Osama el Hendy.




Diab collaborated with several poets, composers and distributers to produce his new album “Kol Hayati” including Tarek Madkour, Ayman Bahgat Amar, Nader Hamdy, Amr Mostafa and Ahmed el-Malky.

Diab, born in 1961 in Port Said, has risen to fame over the past two decades in the Arab world. He continues to break sale records, according to a BBC report and his official Facebook page.

His most famous album, “Nour el-Ain” (Our Eyes Beam), brought him international recognition and earned him the title of “The Father of Mediterranean Music” for his style of blending Egyptian and western rhythms.

The mega star, who founded the record company Mediterranean Music, had his songs translated into seven different languages.

Diab received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Big Apple Music Awards in 2009. At the 2014 World Music Awards, Diab was also awarded Best Egyptian Artist, Best Male Arab Artist and World's Best Arab Male Artist Voted Online.

Diab’s first album, “Ya Tareeq” (The Path), was released in 1983. His most recent album, “Meaddy El-Nas” (Surpassing People), was released in July 2017, following a major viral promotion campaign across Cairo sponsored by Egypt Linx.

]]>
7/27/2018 12:25:54 PM
<![CDATA[King Ramses II’s statue at San al-Hagar site restored, compiled ]]>
A stela of 19th Dynasty King Ramses II was discovered in January 2018 by an Egyptian mission during work carried out at the San Al-Hagar archaeological site in the Sharqiya governorate.

Mostafa el-Waziri, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, announced that the stela is carved in red granite and depicts King Ramses II presenting offerings to an ancient Egyptian deity.

He recounted that although several foreign missions have worked on San Al-Hagar archaeological site it has never been extensively excavated and was neglected for some time.

“This neglect pushed the Egyptian mission and the Ministry of Antiquities to establish a comprehensive development project at the site to protect its monuments and convert the site to an open air museum,” Waziri added.
106020-تمثال-رمسيس-الثانى-(1)
The archaeological mission at San al-Hagar, Sharqiya governorate, finished restoring and compiling one of King Ramses II’s statues at the site-Press Photo
San Al-Hagar is a prominent archaeological site that houses a wide collection of temples, among which, there are temples tailor-made to the goddess Mut, the god Horus and the god Amun. Several foreign missions previously worked at San Al-Hagar because of its archeological importance.

Waadalla Abul Ela, head of the ministry's projects sector, announced that a development project that started a month ago, targets to establish a collection of concrete mastabas for the monumental blocks and stelae that were in the temple.

Additionally, the Egyptian-American archaeological mission from the University of Chicago uncovered an administrative complex, dating back to the late Fifth Dynasty, during excavation works carried out at Tel Edfu, according to the Ministry of Antiquities on Thursday.

Waziri said that the administrative complex is the oldest archaeological evidence found at the Tel Edfu site until now, proving that the site still has many undiscovered treasures.
101189-تمثال-رمسيس-الثانى-(3)
The archaeological mission at San al-Hagar, Sharqiya governorate, finished restoring and compiling one of King Ramses II’s statues at the site-Press Photo ]]>
7/26/2018 4:54:34 PM
<![CDATA[Dahab’s biggest music festival to be held from Aug. 22 to 25]]>
In the festival’s second edition, the lineup has been doubled; the opening party, which will be held at downtown Dahab’s Totta, will feature Lebanese lines up of Wael Ariss, L.O.C and MadJam while the second day includes two events. The first one is a Pool Party by Egyptian line up Safe and Jordanian Avidbold and Ayn, and the second event will take place in Jabal Al Twailat Mountain by Egyptian Fulltone, Ouzo B2B Sebzz, Jordanian Diya, English DJ Nick Warren and famed German duo Just Emma.

Additionally, the third day will kick off with another Pool Party featuring Egyptian roster of Arrab, The Disc Jockeys and Kareem Yousry along with the concerts that will be performed at the Acacia Hotel’s rooftop by Voinic, Dandara, Saif Halasa, and Latefall lines up. At the same time, the fourth day’s program is limited to chilling by the pool to the music of Palestine’s +970, Jordan’s Sou and Sayt.

Chill O'posite Festival was created in 2017 by two Jordanians,Yazeed and Osama, who were inspired by Dahab’s simple lifestyle and beautiful nature, aiming to make the festival the premium dance music destination taking place in Egypt through hosting bands, artists playing chilled tunes, and DJs and live acts playing a more upbeat sound.]]>
7/26/2018 3:09:07 PM
<![CDATA[Min. of Antiquities seeks to put Egyptian Museum in UNESCO World Heritage ]]>
This was during Anany’s tour at the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir to follow up the upgrade of the displays in the exhibition space and the procedures the museum is set to take after Tutankhamun’s treasures are moved to the Grand Egyptian Museum.

Anany remarked that the ministry had previously declared that on November 15, which marks the anniversary of the museum’s establishment in Tahrir, the ignored ancient treasures including the shabtis of Yuya and Tjuya and golden Tanis collection will be displayed. He referred that they are as beautiful as Tutankhamun’s artifacts.

m
Minister of Antiquities Khaled al-Anany visited the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir on Wednesday-Ministry of Antiquities' official Facebook page

The minister further explained that the ministry seeks to work with five international museums; Torino Museum, Berlin Museum, Louvre and the British Museum through a grant from the European Union (EU). A committee of the Ministry of Antiquities is working on a long-term plan to transform the Egyptian Museum’s architectural style to that of UNESCO museums to be put in the World’s Heritage list.

image
Minister of Antiquities Khaled al-Anany visited the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir on Wednesday-Ministry of Antiquities' official Facebook page

On October 3, 2017, the Grand Egyptian Museum team packaged the second historic chariot and bed of Tutankhamun to transport them to the Grand Egyptian Museum, located about two kilometers from the Giza Pyramids.

The repair team used modern materials and methods in the process of packing and moving the bed. They also used precise air lifters that facilitated moving the bed from the base area without exerting any mechanical stress on it. Previous studies on the internal structure and wooden joints of the king's bed have been implemented using an X-ray device, which greatly helped to identify the weak points in the bed and determine the amount of intervention needed to maintain it during the transfer process.

The treasures of King Tutankhamun were exhibited in the Egyptian Museum located in Tahrir Square since their discovery inside King Tutankhamun's tomb in the Valley of Kings on the western bank of Luxor in 1922.

In earlier statements, the Minister of Antiquities had revealed that 50 percent of the work needed to build the new museum has been finalized and that the first phase will be inaugurated in 2019. The first phase will include a room for Tutankhamun’s relics.
]]>
7/26/2018 12:22:25 PM
<![CDATA[Amr Diab releases his new album ‘Kol Hayati’]]>
Diab collaborated with several poets, composers and distributers to produce his new album “Kol Hayati” (All my Life) including Tarek Madkour, Ayman Bahgat Amar, Nader Hamdy, Amr Mostafa and Ahmed el Malky.

Diab, born in 1961 in Port Said, has risen to fame over the past two decades in the Arab world. He continues to break sale records, according to a BBC report and his official Facebook page.

His most famous album, “Nour el-Ain” (Our Eyes Beam), brought him international recognition and earned him the title of “The Father of Mediterranean Music” for his style of blending Egyptian and western rhythms.

The mega star, who founded the record company Mediterranean Music, had his songs translated into seven different languages.

Diab received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Big Apple Music Awards in 2009. At the 2014 World Music Awards, Diab was also awarded Best Egyptian Artist, Best Male Arab Artist and World's Best Arab Male Artist Voted Online.

Diab’s first album, “Ya Tareeq” (The Path), was released in 1983. His most recent album, “Meaddy El-Nas” (Surpassing People), was released in July 2017, following a major viral promotion campaign across Cairo sponsored by Egypt Linx. ]]>
7/26/2018 12:15:14 PM
<![CDATA[Man takes pickax to Trump's Hollywood Walk of Fame star]]>
It's the second time vandals have damaged Trump's star at the tourist site.

ABC7 television cited witnesses as saying a man removed the pickax from a guitar case and began swinging it at the brass-rimmed star -- one of more than 2,500 embedded in Hollywood's sidewalks in honor of famous entertainment figures.

Before he was elected president in the November 2016 election, Trump starred as himself in "The Apprentice" TV reality series.

Los Angeles police confirmed that they were called about 3:30 am for a report of vandalism at the star's location on Hollywood Boulevard.

After bashing the plaque, the suspect called police "and advised he had vandalized Donald Trump's star," the Los Angeles Times quoted police Lieutenant Karen Leong as saying.

The entire center of the star was hacked out, leaving only pebbles and dirt where Trump's name had been written large above a small image of a television.

The police confirmed to AFP that the suspect, Austin Mikel Clay, 24, turned himself in and was booked on a charge of felony vandalism.

Trump's star was targeted once before, in October 2016, when a man dressed as a construction worker defaced it with a sledgehammer and pickax, in what was reportedly a protest at Trump's treatment of women.

In February 2017, the month after Trump's inauguration, the man named James Otis pleaded no contest to felony vandalism.

He was sentenced to three years' probation and agreed to pay $4,400 for the damage.

Tensions have risen in US society over Trump's unorthodox and divisive presidency, though the motive in Wednesday's attack was not immediately clear.

"The Hollywood Walk of Fame is an institution celebrating the positive contributions of the inductees," said Leron Gubler, president and CEO of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, which administers the Walk of Fame.

"When people are unhappy with one of our honorees, we would hope that they would project their anger in more positive ways," he said. "Our democracy is based on respect for the law. People can make a difference by voting and not destroying public property."

The Hollywood Historic Trust will repair the star.]]>
7/26/2018 9:39:01 AM
<![CDATA[Coen Brothers are surprise entry at Venice film fest]]>
"The Ballad of Buster Scruggs" is competing for the coveted gong alongside 20 other films featuring a raft of Hollywood stars, including Ryan Gosling, Natalie Portman and Willem Dafoe.

Starring Tim Blake Nelson, James Franco and Liam Neeson, "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs" features six tales about the wild west narrated by Joel and Ethan Coen.

The movie is one of two westerns on show in Venice, with French director Jacques Audiard's "The Sisters Brothers" starring Joaquin Pheonix and Jake Gyllenhaal also up for the top prize.

It is also one of several films being shown in Venice to have been picked up by streaming service Netflix.

The star-studded festival begins on 29 August, kicking off with "First Man" -- the new film from Oscar-winning director of "La La Land" Damien Chazelle.

The film, which stars Canadian star Ryan Gosling, follows the life of astronaut Neil Armstrong in the years leading up to 1969, when he became the first man to walk on the moon.

- Orson Welles' unfinished film -

Not featured in the official selection, but tipped for Oscar success, US actor Bradley Cooper's directorial debut "A Star is Born", will also be shown on the glamorous Lido di Venezia.

Cooper stars in the film alongside US popstar Lady Gaga.

The two also wrote and recorded new songs for the film, the fourth remake of the entertainment industry romance classic.

One of the festival's most eagerly-awaited events will be the out-of-competition world premiere of Orson Welles' final and previously unfinished film, "The Other Side Of The Wind".

The movie remained in limbo for decades after initial shooting between 1970-76. At the time of Welles' death in 1985, it was far from finished, and a complex legal battle over ownership of the film -- left in a vault in Paris -- had already broken out.

The battle only came to an end in March 2017, when Netflix announced their distribution of the film, enabling a post-production team to finally finish it nearly half a century after shooting began.

The film is a satire of the passing of classic Hollywood filmmaking and the arrival of the American new wave in the 1970s.

Presiding over the jury this year is Guillermo del Toro, whose "The Shape of the Water" bagged the Golden Lion in 2017 before going on to win Best Picture at the Academy Awards.

In April organisers announced they would be honouring Canadian director David Cronenberg with its Golden Lion prize for Lifetime Achievement.]]>
7/26/2018 9:36:07 AM
<![CDATA['Hamilton' to be celebrated at Kennedy Center Honors]]>
The Kennedy Center, the performing arts complex in Washington that serves as a living monument to slain president John F. Kennedy, announced Wednesday that it will also honor leading composer Philip Glass, pop superstar Cher, country crooner Reba McEntire and jazz saxophonist Wayne Shorter on December 2.

The Kennedy Center Honors traditionally take place in the presence of the president but Donald Trump, despised by many cultural and entertainment figures, skipped the gala evening last year.

The 2018 edition looks unlikely to be any different as both "Hamilton" creator Lin-Manuel Miranda and Cher are vociferous critics of Trump.

"Hamilton," a production of which recently opened at the Kennedy Center, is still one of the hottest tickets on Broadway, years after its 2015 premiere.

The musical tells the story of Alexander Hamilton and fellow founding fathers of the United States -- but through the lens of modern, multiethnic America, with rap and hip-hop numbers mixed in with more traditional show tunes.

The Kennedy Center said in a statement that it was recognizing the "trailblazing creators of a transformative work that defies category."

"This year's slate of honorees represents the pinnacle of our nation's originality and the rich mosaic of diverse perspectives and art forms that has come to define who we are as a people," Kennedy Center president Deborah Rutter said.

The 81-year-old Glass, generally considered the foremost living US composer, earlier this year made his performance debut at the Kennedy Center, testing himself by appearing as a pianist.

Cher, 72, is the former half of folk duo Sonny and Cher, who has transformed herself into a concert-packing pop performer and Oscar-winning actress.

She holds the record for the longest gap between number-one songs on the US chart at nearly 25 years, and is currently starring in a sequel to the Abba film musical "Mamma Mia!"

Shorter, 84, performed with Miles Davis and went on to become a leading bandleader and improviser on both soprano and tenor saxophone, including with his group Weather Report.

McEntire became a top country star in the 1980s, originally with a sound that blended pop and gradually with a more traditional sound.

McEntire, who has also starred on Broadway and in film, has been circumspect about politics, saying she avoids the topic so as not to alienate fans who paid to see her.]]>
7/26/2018 9:33:53 AM
<![CDATA[Salah El Din Citadel Festival for Music, Singing to be inaugurated on Aug.2]]>
Chairman of Cairo Opera House Magdy Saber remarked that this year the festival has been granted with an international badge for the first time.

Organized by Cairo Opera House, the festival will run until Aug. 17, presenting 37 various concerts by Egyptian and Arab countries in this year’s edition.

Saber referred that after Abdel Dayem delivers her speech during the inauguration ceremony several figures, who have a great impact on the festival’s success such as the singers Hany Shaker and Medhat Saleh as well as the violin player Alaa Khalil, will be honored with the honor shields and the certificate of appreciation.

The honoring will be followed by Chinese shows and folklore songs presented by Chinese youth and children as well as a concert by the singer Shaker.

This year the festival’s line-up includes Fouad and Mounib band, Tunisian singer Ghali Banali; Egyptian marimba player Nesma Abdel Aziz; Egyptian singers Sheikh Yasin Al-Tuhami, Ali El Haggar, Iman Al-Bahr Darwish and IhabTawfik, Monte Cairo band, El Nour W El Amal Orchestra and Syrian singer Majed Al Qasim. ]]>
7/25/2018 3:54:49 PM
<![CDATA[Warner Bros unveils $1 billion indoor theme park in UAE]]>
The $1 billion (850 million euro) facility boasts 29 rides and six themed areas -- including a cartoon junction and the fictional Gotham City made famous by Batman.

A golden Bugs Bunny statue, doffing his cap and holding a golden carrot, welcomes visitors to the complex, which took 11 years to take from the drawing board to reality.

Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi is the entertainment giant's first indoor theme park in the region and is located on Yas Island, on the outskirts of the capital.

Yas is already home to several major attractions including Ferrari World, a Formula One Grand Prix circuit and Yas Water World.

The Warner Bros complex is built across 1.65 million square feet (153,000 square metres) and is pitched at UAE citizens and foreign tourists.

Abu Dhabi's sister city Dubai is a major tourist destination, attracting 15 million visitors last year.]]>
7/25/2018 3:52:13 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt to participate in international Childrenof Peace Festival]]>
Abdel Dayem nominated the children of the Cairo Opera House's Talents Development Centre to partake in the festival, organized by the Bouregreg Association in Salé, Morocco.

Head of the External Cultural Relations Sector at the Ministry of Culture, Heba Youssef, remarked that the minister of culture’s approval came as a response to Morocco’s invitation to the festival, which will mark the Throne Celebration in Morocco, commemorating the day of King Mohammed VI's accession to the throne.

In this year’s edition, around 700 children of different cultural backgrounds, colors and ethnicities will present spectacular paintings and will raise a standard logo calling for spreading the values of peace among the world’s peoples.

Established in the early 1990s, the Talents Development Centre presents a wide range of activities including ballet, piano, flute, oud, kanoun, guitar and opera singing, through which the Opera House aims to develop young talents.]]>
7/25/2018 3:19:54 PM
<![CDATA[Tamer Hosny’s new song exceeds 8 million viewers ]]>
The song"Eish Beshoqak" (Live with Your Passion) was composed by Mostafa Hassan, distributed by Hany Mahrous and Bilal Sorour and directed by Hadi El Bagoury.

The video clip shows Hosny meeting with people in the streets and trying to draw a smile on their faces despite of the problems they face on a daily basis.

Hosny is a singer, songwriter, composer and actor. He began his musical career in 2002 when he released his first album. His romantic music has made him "the Star of the Generation", a name given to him by his fans.

Hosny won many awards, such as the Best Selling Album in 2002 from the Nile Variety channel, Best Arab Artist at Murex D’or in 2014 and 2016, and Best Arab Artist at the Middle East Music Awards in 2015. He is also the first Arab artist to get more than 100 million views on Anghami.

He is one of the celebrities mentioned in the Forbes list, which includedthe famed football player Mohamed Salah, the iconic singer Amr Diab, the director Abu Bakr Shawky and the famed actor Amr Waked. In the singers’ category, Hosny claimed the second rank after French Montana while Diab claimed the ninth rank. Shawky grabbed the third rank in the directors’ category after Nadine Labaki and Zaid Doueiri, while Waked was ranked the second after the Algerian actress Sofia Boutella in the actors’ section. Mohamed Salah was the only sportsman onthe list.

Hosny is currently shooting his new movie “El Badla” (The Suit). He plays the role of a police officer who finds himself involved in a number of critical situations due to the nature of his job. “El Badla” stars Amina Khalil, Maged el-Masry, Dalal Abdel Aziz, Hassan Hosny and Mai Kassab, among others. The movie is written by Ayman BahagatKamar and directed by Mando el-Adl.

Hosny’s latest movie, “Tesbah Ala Kheir” (Good Night), is an Egyptian romance movie starring Lebanese actress Nour, Tunisian actress Dorra and Egyptian actress Mai Omar. It was directed and written by Mohamed Sami and produced by Walid Mansour and Talent Media Production.

“Tesbah Ala Kheir” is a movie about a millionaire named Hossam el-Khedawy, portrayed by Hosny, who is gripped with depression due to his wife’s infertility. A software professional, portrayed by Omar, who invented a dream machine, contacts him to offer him a deal. Even though the deal seems simple at first, the situation quickly becomes more complex.

Hosny performed a concert in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia for the first time on Friday, March 30. The concert witnessed the attendance of thousands of Saudis, about 90 percent of whom were women.

Hosny performed on a massive stage, where the audience seats were red, white or black – the three colors of Egypt’s flag. The concert was organised under the auspices of the Saudi General Entertainment Authority, which stated that Hosny was chosen to perform such a huge concert because of his popularity among all Saudis. ]]>
7/25/2018 12:42:22 PM
<![CDATA[Cairo Impro to perform concert at French Institute]]>
Established in 2017, the seven-member Cairo Impro relies on the free improvisation, making music on the spot and letting musicians do whatever they want regardless of any rule.

The high-level experts in the free improvisation, el-Ansary and Kuźma, gave several free improvisation concerts and workshops in Cairo to educate both musicians and audience in Egypt about Free Improvisation, which is not well known yet in Egypt.

El-Ansari, born in 1991, studied composition at the Academy of Arts in Cairo under Ezz El-Din Slim. In 2012, he participated in the 46th International Summer Course for New Music in Darmstadt, Germany, which serves as a hub for interesting, future-oriented artistic concepts and contributions to the development of contemporary music, besides other prestigious international festivals and venues.

“As a scholar from Institute Français d’Egypte he studied at Conservatoire de Bordeaux (2013-2014) under Jean-Louis Agobet, and Conservatoire de Boulogne-Billancourt (2014-2015) under Jean-Luc Hervé,” Cairo Impro’s official Facebook page states.

At the same time, the classical Polish guitarist Kuźma is an adjacent professor at The American University in Cairo where he teaches World Music and private applied guitar.]]>
7/25/2018 12:32:18 PM
<![CDATA[Petition urges 'fat-shaming' Netflix series to be scrapped]]>
The series, which features Alyssa Milano and Debby Ryan and will be on Netflix from August 10, features an overweight teenager who is ridiculed by her classmates. After losing weight, she seeks revenge.

The petition states that the series encourages young women to value "their worth on their bodies," and "perpetuates not only the toxicity of diet culture, but the objectification of women's bodies."

"We still have time to stop this series from being released, and causing a devastation of self-doubt in the minds of young girls who will think that to be happy and be worthy, they need to lose weight," it says.

Debby Ryan defended the series on her Instagram account.

"As someone who cares deeply about the way our bodies, especially women's, are shamed and policed in society, I was so excited to work on Insatiable because it's a show that addresses and confronts those ideas through satire," wrote Ryan.

She spoke of "twelve years into my own struggles with body image, struggles that took me in and out of terrible places I never want to go again."

"The redemption is in identifying the bullies and saying 'this is not OK,'" Ryan said.

Her character "undergoes a physical transformation, but doesn't make her happy. We're not in the business of fat shaming. We're out to turn a sharp eye on broken, harmful systems that equate thinness with worth."

Netflix did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The streaming giant has already been the subject of controversy in recent months for the series "13 Reasons Why," accused of encouraging suicide in adolescents.]]>
7/25/2018 12:19:55 PM
<![CDATA[Disney invests in bear market with 'Christopher Robin']]>
The 65-year-old American voice actor has been playing the Disney character based on the stories of English novelist A.A. Milne since "The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh" in 1988.

After more than a dozen movies and various other television and video game appearances, Cummings plays Pooh and his bouncy feline friend Tigger in their first live-action outing, the upcoming "Christopher Robin."

"These guys are extremely special. Everybody says, 'Who's your favorite? Who's your all-time favorite?' First of all, I don't have 'a' favorite but, if I had two, it would be Pooh and Tigger," Cummings said.

"They're kind of in their own class, their own category. They're on their own shelf and everybody else isn't."

Disney's history with A.A. Milne's characters dates back to 1966 when the studio released the animated short "Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree," featuring the character Christopher Robin, based on the author's son.

In the new live action adventure, the young boy who embarked on countless adventures in the Hundred Acre Wood with his band of spirited and lovable stuffed animals, has grown up and lost his way.

- 'Stealth celebrity' -

It is up to his childhood friends to venture into the world of humans and help Christopher Robin remember the loving and playful boy who is still inside.

Starring Ewan McGregor ("Fargo") and Hayley Atwell ("Agent Carter") as Christopher Robin and his wife Evelyn, Marc Forster's version of the fuzzy, ursine joy bundle hits US theaters on Friday of next week.

Born and raised in Youngstown, Ohio, Cummings spent Saturday mornings as a child riveted to the television, mimicking his favorite cartoon characters and dreaming that one day he would voice them himself.

The recipient of two Daytime Emmy nominations for his television work, his many movie credits include "Shrek," "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" -- and most of the Disney animated movies you can think of.

Cummings has appeared in almost 400 roles -- from family favorites like Sonic the Hedgehog, Captain Caveman and the Tasmanian Devil to Marvel characters Iron Man, Ghost and Thanos -- but he enjoys relative anonymity.

"When I was a kid I wanted to be facially famous. I joke around and say, 'Well anybody could win an Oscar or an Emmy if they use their face,' Cummings laughs.

"But I don't mind it. My friend calls me a stealth celebrity. So, okay -- I'll take it."

- 'Timeless quality' -

Asked how he accounts for his longevity, Cummings jokes that his secret is "blackmail -- I just have the goods on everyone." In reality he speaks of every role with passion.

"I'm as happy as I could be. The first job I got was Lionel the Lion in Dumbo's circus in 1985. And then the first movie I did was 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit' another famous Disney movie," Cummings said.

"I don't have my shirt anymore but I've got the picture of me with my Mouseketeers shirt on. And I had my Zorro hat and I still have my Davy Crockett hat from the 1950s."

A.A. Milne's characters, who first appeared in print in 1926, owe their own staying power to the fact that they've never relied on being cutting-edge, says Cummings.

"They're not really attached to a fad. It's not like they're Transformers," he told AFP.

"If robots who turn into a lunchbox go out of style, Pooh and the gang will still be there."]]>
7/25/2018 8:55:01 AM