CAIRO – 31 December 2019: The cultural and the artistic scene in Egypt was very rich in 2019. Numerous events, festivals, concerts, conferences and seminars took place this year. Before we say goodbye 2019, Egypt Today will give its readers glimpses on what happened this year in the cultural and artistic sector.
139- Opera Aida" was back after a hiatus of more than two decades at Hatshepsut Temple in Luxor on Oct. 26 and 27.
140- On October 14, Minister of Culture Inas Abdel Dayem represented Egypt as the only Arab country at the Entertainment Industry Conference organized by the General Authority for Entertainment in Saudi Arabia. The conference bears the name “Entertainment and Building the Economy” and will be attended by a number of ministers and officials of the kingdom.
141- On October 12 Inas Abdel Dayem, and Dr. Ashraf Zaki, inaugurated the first phase of a number of educational institutes and inspected the new established buildings in the courtyard of the Academy of Arts in Al- Haram District. In addition, they opened the first phase of :-the Art School building and The Center for Languages and Translation.
142- On October 12 Cairo Opera House broadcasted live American Metropolitan Opera Shows after renewing the contract for the tenth year in a row.
143- The 35th Alexandria Film Festival for Mediterranean Countries headed by critic El-Amir Abaza kicked off on Oct. 8. This year’s edition carried the name of iconic actress Nabila Obeid who was honoured. Obeid’s honoring included the publication of a book about her artistic career and biography, prepared by Sherine Abdel Khalek.
144- Veteran Comedian Talaat Zakaria passed away on October 8.
145- On Oct. 10, 11, Cairo Opera House celebrated the 31st anniversary of its opening in an artistic ceremony at the Main Hall.
146- Successful Egyptian movie “El-Mamar” ( The passage) topped the Twitter trend after its first TV screening on ON TV channel On October 6. People interacted with the patriotic movie, especially that it screened as part of the celebrations of the glorious victory of October 6.
147- YouTube granted the famed leading production company, Synergy, the Gold Creator Award after its YouTube channel surpassed 1 million subscribers. The award was received by Synergy CEO Tamer Mursi.
148- CIFF head Mohamed Hefzy was selected to serve as a jury member for the Official Competition at the 63rd BFI London Film Festival (October 2-13).
149- Malmo Arab Film Festival kicked off from October 4-8.
150- On October 2, Ministry of Culture announced the establishment a workshop for playwriting and dramaturgy targeting young, ambitious playwrights in the Egyptian towns and villages.
151- An exhibition of sunken Egyptian antiquities dating back to different historical periods was launched in California on October 5.
152- The Ministry of Antiquities displayed the golden sarcophagus of the Pharaonic priest, Nedjemankh, upon its retrieval from the United States. The golden sarcophagus was illegally smuggled out of the country during the 2011 unrest, and was sold through forged documents to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York for $4 million.
153- The 37th edition of World Theater Festival , organized by the Higher Institute of Theatrical Arts kicked off from Sept. 29 to Oct.5.
154-El Gouna Film Festival kicked off from September 19-27. The third edition concluded its events with a closing ceremony held at the Marina Theater, where the award-winning films were announced, with total award value at US $224,000.
The winners were as follows:
Feature Narrative Competition
El Gouna Golden Star for Narrative Film (Trophy, certificate, and US $50,000) went to You Will Die at Twenty by Amjad Abu Alala.
El Gouna Silver Star for Narrative Film (Trophy, certificate, and US $25,000) went to Corpus Christi by Jan Komasa.
El Gouna Bronze Star for Narrative Film (Trophy, certificate, and US $15,000) went to
Adam by Maryam Touzani.
El Gouna Star for the Best Arab Narrative Film (Trophy, certificate, and US $20,000) went to Papicha by Mounia Meddour.
El Gouna Star for the Best Actor (Trophy, certificate) went to Bartosz Bielenia by Corpus Christi.
El Gouna Star for the Best Actress (Trophy, certificate) went to Hend Sabry for her role in Noura’s Dream.
Feature Documentary Competition
El Gouna Golden Star for Documentary Film (Trophy, certificate, and US $30,000) went to Talking About Trees by Suhaib Gasmelbari.
El Gouna Silver Star for Documentary Film (Trophy, certificate, and US $15,000) went to 143 Sahara Street by Hassen Ferhani.
El Gouna Bronze Star for Documentary Film (Trophy, certificate, and US $7,500) went to Kabul, City in the Wind by Aboozar Amini
El Gouna Star for the Best Arab Documentary Film (Trophy, certificate, and US $10,000) went to Ibrahim: A Fate to Define by Lina Alabed.
Short Film Competition
El Gouna Golden Star for Short Film (Trophy, certificate, and US $15,000) went to Exam by Sonia K. Haddad
El Gouna Silver Star for Short Film (Trophy, certificate, and US $7,500) went to Ome by Wassim Geagea
El Gouna Bronze Star for Short Film (Trophy, certificate, and US $4,000) went to Flesh by Camila Kater.
El Gouna Star for the Best Arab Short Film (Trophy, certificate, and US $5,000) Give Up the Ghost by Zain Duraie.
Special Jury Mention for 16 December movie by Álvaro Gago Díaz.
Cinema for Humanity Audience Award
The Festival’s Audience Award for a film exemplifying humanitarian themes (Trophy, certificate, and US $20,000) went to Les Misérables by Ladj Ly.
NETPAC Award for Best Asian Film went to Kabul, City in the Wind by Aboozar Amini
FIPRESCI Award went to 1982 by Oualid Mouaness. The Egyptian recipient of this year’s Career Achievement Award was the one and only comedian Mohamed Henedy and Palestinian director Mai Masry. The American science fiction film "Ad Astra" was the opening movie of the third edition of El Gouna Film Festival. Famed Egyptian-Canadian star Mena Massoud was the international star of GFF opening ceremony.
155- Watch It obtained the exclusive digital broadcasting rights of the Egyptian Premier Soccer League for four consecutive seasons. Also, the digital platform also obtained the digital rights to broadcasting the most popular screenplays.
156-Africa was the guest of honor of the 12th edition of the International Samaa’ Festival for Spiritual Music and Chanting that kicked off on September 21.
157-In the first time in the history of Egyptian cinema, the movie “Blue ELephant P II) starring Karim Abdel Aziz exceeds the LE 100 M mark in revenues since its screening in cinemas on July 25.
158-On September 18, the Immigration Ministry has chosen Egyptian-Canadian actor Mena Massoud as an ambassador for the “Etkallem Masry” (speak Egyptian) initiative, which promotes the national identity among Egyptians abroad.
159-The 26th edition of Cairo International Festival for Contemporary and Experimental Theatre (CIFCET) kicked off on Tuesday, Sept. 10 with a comprehensive program. The festival's opening witnessed the display of the American musical "The Fantasticks" following a ceremony that was held at the Main Hall of the Cairo Opera House. The festival concluded its activities on Sept. 19 at Cairo Opera House.
160- Egyptian Minister of Culture Inas Abdel Dayem, arrived in the Angolan capital Luanda on Sept. 17, accompanied by Deputy Foreign Minister for African Affairs Hamdi Sanad and Director of the National Academy for Training and Rehabilitation of Youth Rasha Ragheb. The Egyptian delegation travelled to Luanda to participate in the Biennale of Luanda - Pan-African Forum For the Culture of Peace.
161-The Board of Directors of the Egyptian Writers Union announced on Wednesday Sept. 18 the names of the winners of this year's awards.The Union stated that the prizes are estimated at LE 10,000.
The Classical Poetry Award was granted to the poet Mohamed Mohamed EIssa, the Literary Criticism Award was won by Abdel Hakam Alami, Short Story Award was granted to Azza Badr, the Folk Poetry Award won by the poet Sahar Sami, the Science Fiction Award won by Salah Maati and the Children's Literature Award was won by Eman Sanad.
162-Head of the Cultural Production Affairs Sector, famed Egyptian director Khaled Galal, and South Korean Ambassador to Egypt Yoon Yeocheol inaugurated the Korean Movie Nights on September 15 at Cairo Opera House's Hanager Cinema.
163-On September 17, the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization in Fustat received a group of antiquities dedicated by the American University in Cairo to the Ministry of Antiquities.
164-The Ministry of Culture has decided to organize an open competition among Egyptian architects to select the project representing Egypt at the 17th Venice Biennale, which will launch on May 23, 2020.
165-Cairo Opera House headed by Magdy Saber hosted a celebration of the Mexican Independence Day, which was held in cooperation with the Mexican Embassy in Cairo on Sept. 16.
166-Greater Cairo Public Library, affiliated with the Cultural Production Affairs Sector, organized a cultural day to celebrate the International Day of Islamic Art on Sept. 18 at the library’s headquarters in Zamalek.
167- Egyptian rising star Ahmed Malek co-star veteran actor, David Wenham in the Australian movie “The Furnace”. The adventure movie is directed by Roderick MacKay, and produced by Timothy White. ‘’ The Furnace’’ incidents take place in Western Australia’s 1890s.
168- Cairo was chosen as the capital of Islamic culture in 2020.
169- Famed Egyptian singer Mostafa Hagag was nominated to the best African artist in North Africa award for his song “Khatwa” ( Step).
170- The 12th edition of the Festival of Traditional Crafts was held from October 20 - 24 in Mahmoud Mokhtar Cultural Center.
171- Famed Egyptian-Tunisian star Hend Sabry was awarded Starlight Cinema Award from Venice International Film Festival to be the first Arab actress to win such prestigious award.
172- Egypt nominated ‘’ Ward Masmoum’’ (Poisonous Roses) movie for acting in the best foreign film competition at the upcoming Academy Awards (Oscars) scheduled to take place in 2020.
173- The Fine Artists Syndicate organised a ceremony honoring the winners of the State Awards in Arts: "Nile Award - Excellence Award - Encouragement Award". The ceremony was held on Sept. 4 at the Syndicate’s headquarters in the Cairo Opera House.
The recipients of the Nile Award are Mostafa el-Razzaz in 2018 and Ahmed Nawar in 2019. The winners of the Excellence Award are Said Badr in 2018 and Ibrahim Desouky in 2019 will also be honored. The recipients of the Encouragement Awards Fatima Abdel Rahman in 2018, Mohamed Banawi in 2018, Mohamed Naguib in 2019 and Asma al-Nawawi in 2019 will also be among the honorees.
174- The president of the Polish delegation visited the special wing of the Egyptian General Book Organization located in the Moscow International Book Fair. During her visit, the head of the Polish delegation called on Egypt to participate in the Poland International Book Fair.
175- On September 1, Minister of CuIture Inas Abdel Dayem attended the closing concert of the 28th Edition of Salah El-Din Citadel Festival of Music and Singing organized by the Egyptian Opera House headed by Magdy Saber. The Citadel Music Festival kicked off on August 18, under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture and Cairo Opera House.
176- The management of the All Africa Music Awards nominated Tamer Hussein for the Best African Poet of the Year Award for the song “Naseny Laih'' ( Why You Forget Me) nby Tamer Hosny.
177- Egypt is preparing to open an archaeological museum in the New Administrative Capital in the upcoming months to tell the history of Egyptian capitals in different eras. The museum will tell the history behind the Egyptian capitals from prehistoric eras to modern times to clarify why the New Administrative Capital of Egypt was created.
178- The Supreme Council for Media Regulation, headed by Makram Mohamed Ahmed, on August 28 issued a decree banning controversial TV presenter Riham Saeed from appearing in media for a year over "insulting" fat Egyptian women.
179- Iconic singer Afaf Radi returns to performing concerts after a long hiatus. Radi was the first Egyptian singer to perform on the stage of Damascus Opera House on August 31.
180- Egypt’s first Festival of Nature Local Cultures at Wadi Degla Protected Area in Cairo came to an end on Saturday. Aug. 24. The three-day festival aimed at promoting ecotourism and nature reserves, showing folklore products, arts and diversified Egyptian cuisines from Sinai, St. Catherine, Red Sea, Fayoum, Siwa, Halaib, Shalateen and Nubia.
181- On August 22, A picture of a sculpture for veteran actor Hassan Hosny went viral on Twitter, with numerous praising the work of young sculptor Mahmoud Fouad.
182- The Egyptian film “El-fakh" (The trap) directed by Egyptian director Nada Riad was selected to participate in the official competition of Toronto International Film Festival's 44th session. The film came to worldwide recognition after its world premiere in the official competition of the critics week at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2019.
183- Akhenaton Museum is currently being renovated. It is the third largest museum in Egypt and the largest in Upper Egypt.
184- Popular singer Mostafa Kamar announced uploading his new album “Dehket Leya” (She smiled at me) on YouTube on Aug. 18.
185- The 12th edition of National Egyptian Theater Festival headed by veteran Egyptian artist Ahmed Abdel Aziz kicked off from August 17-30. The festival honored veteran comedian Lotfy Labib.
186-Super star Tamer Hosny performed a massive concert for the first time in Oman on August 20.
187-Famed Egyptian singer Hany Shaker performed live at the second edition of Festival international de Siliana, in Tunisia, on August 15.
188-The Egyptian film “Be Elm el-Wosool” (Certified Mail) by Hisham Saqr participated in Toronto International Film Festival, being the first Egyptian film to participate in an international film festival since the beginning of 2019.
189- An exhibition marking the 100th anniversary of the beginning of Czech’s work in Egyptology opened in in Carolinum, Prague, Czech Republic in August. The exhibition, held in Prague and Cairo and sheds light on the 20th century work of Czech in Egyptology and the works of the Czech Institute of Egyptology (CIE). It also showcases Czech's excavations in Egypt and Sudan.
190-Welad Rizk (Sons of Rizk) Part 2 revenues totalled LE 8,401,929 million on Saturday, recording the highest-earning Egyptian movie per day in the history of Egyptian cinema.
191-The Ministry of Antiquities announced the completion of developing and restoring Tanta Museum and re-opened it on August 31.
192- For the first time the two megastars Ahmed Ezz and Karim Abdel Aziz will participate together in the film "Kira w el Gen". The film is based on Ahmed Mourad's novel ‘’1919’’; it will be directed by famed Egyptian director Marwan Hamed and produced by Synergy Films.
193- Jennifer Lopez, one of Hollywood’s most successful performers and Hip-hop icons performed her first-ever concert in Egypt’s North Coast on August 9. Large number of audience attended this long awaited concert. Egyptian celebrities such as Mona Zaki, Ahmed Helmy, Hussein Fahmy, Mostafa Fahmy, Egypt's Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr, Egyptian minister of finance Mohamed Maait, Egyptian businessman Naguib Sawiris, Bushra, Mahmoud el Essily among others.
194- Egyptian singer Haitham Shaker made a strong comeback this summer, with his latest album ‘’ Marefa Adema’’.
195- In cooperation with Maulana Azad Center, Egypt’s Public Library is organizing an Indian Cultural Day under the title "India Day" on Aug. 8.
196-Yasmine Sabry has been named as one of the nominees of the top 100 most beautiful faces in the world for 2019 by tccandler.
197- Egyptian Minister of Culture Inas Abdel Dayem called on Brunei’s minister of culture and youth on Aug. 6 to boost cultural and artistic cooperation between the two countries. Abdel Dayem said, during the meeting held on the sidelines of the visit of Sultan of Brunei to Egypt, that the soft power plays an important and influential role in consolidating the friendship between Egypt and the various countries of the world.
198- Al-Mena band represented Egypt in the sixth edition of Visa For Music Festival which was hosted by the Moroccan capital, Rabat, on November 20.
199- Russell Vitale performed a huge successful concert in Egypt for the first time at New Alamein city on August 2. The famed American Rapper visited Giza Pyramids on August 5 along with his wife and expressed his great admiration with it.
200- On August 5, after a long hiatus, popular singer Hisham Abbas surprised his fans with the release of his newest solo titled “Shary Bel Ghaly”.The song was released in the form of a lyrical video clip.
201- The sixteenth edition of Alexandria International Song Festival kicked off on August 22-26. The festival started its events with a concert to the Lebanese megastar Nawal al Zoghbi on August 22.
202- Alexandria Summer Book Fair kicked off from August 1-8. The fair presented daily puppet shows which impressed the children attending the fair.
203- The Cultural Production Affairs Sector, headed by Khaled Galal, celebrated the 1050-year anniversary of the establishment of Cairo on August 1.
204- Egyptian star Mohamed Ramadan's "Mafia" amassed 140 million views on YouTube 7 months after its release.
205- Egypt was the guest of honor at the Belgrade International Book Fair which ran from October 22-28.
206- Famed star Assala Nasri participated in "Welad Rezk Part 2" as a guest of honour in her first acting experience.
207- Famed Egyptian-Tunisian star Hend Sabry was chosen as a jury member of the debut work competition at the 76th edition of Venice Film Festival. Sabry is the first female Arab filmmaker to fill this post.
208- After 17 years of absence Egyptian superstar Mohamed Mounir participated in Jerash Festival for Culture and Arts on July 27.
209- Award-winning Greek composer and maestro Yanni performed at Mountain View North Coast on July 26.
210- Prominent Egyptian singer Angham received Middle East Music Awards ( MEMA) for the best female singer.
211- On July 23, the Sohag Folk Art Ensemble gained the admiration of the audience in Bulgarian cities; the band performed a number of dancing tabloids illustrating the culture of Upper Egypt.
212- Hamsa International Festival of Arts and Literature honoured Mostafa Khater as the best actor for his role in the series "Talqet Haz".
213- On July 25, veteran actor Farouk el-Fishawy died at the age of 67 after a struggle with cancer disease.
214- Mohamed Mounir performed at Family Park on the Cairo-Suez road on March 1 to celebrate the release of his latest album "Watan" (Homeland).
215- Famed Egyptian star Mohamed Ramadan performed his first concert in Saudi Arabia at Jeddah on August.
216- Director Khalid Khaled launched his new play "Cinema Masr" (Cinema Egypt) on July 15. The play stars the second batch of graduates of the department of acting in the Center of Artistic Creativity. The play tells the history of the Egyptian cinema through different scenes from the most prominent Egyptian films. The scenes featured artists with multiple talents in acting, singing, dancing and performing arts.
217- The 17th International Summer Festival kicked off on July 26 at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina. The festival offered numerous concerts and workshops as well as distinguished seminars and lectures on music, singing, theater and independent cinema.
218- The 16th edition of Alexandria International Song Festival kicked off from August 22 to 26.
219- On July 14, Minister of Culture Inas Abdel Dayem inaugurated Naguib Mahfouz Museum. The minister praised the construction of the two-storey museum to honor the iconic Egyptian writer and shed light on his great history and works.
220- On July 12Acclaimed Cinema critic and Cairo International Film Festival artistic director Youssef Sherif Rizqallah died on Friday at the age of 77.
221-Acclaimed Egyptian architect and International Ambassador of Design, Dalia Sadany, was awarded the “Golden Award” at the international A’ Design Award and Competition in Italy for her project entitled “The Cyber Security Museum’’.
222-The Ministry of Antiquities announced that the visitors of the Egyptian museums and archaeological sites will be allowed to take photos using cell phones for free starting from August 1.
223-The 6th edition of the International Forum of Caricature kicked off on Sunday, July 7.
224-Megastar Yousra, famed producer and head of Cairo International Film Festival Mohamed Hefzy and acclaimed director Amr Salama were chose as members to the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.
225-Veteran Egyptian star Ezzat Abu Auf died on July 1 at the age of 71 after a long struggle with disease.
226- Acclaimed Egyptian tabla (drum) player Said el-Artist performed his first concert in Paris's Hall de la Chansonon on June 29.
227- Egyptian sculptor Kamal el-Feki participated in a summer showcase in New York's Agora Gallery's Summer Idyll from June 27 to July 17.
228- Veteran Egyptian star Mohamed Henedy will make a new stand-up comedy show entitled 'Henedy Live,' which will be staged in a number of acclaimed theaters in 20 different countries. Henedy live will last for 6 months. ''Henedy live will kick off on Beacon Theatre at New York's Madison Square Garden.
229- The successful play "Talat Ayam Fe el Sahel" (Three Days in North Coast) was displayed on Saudi Arabia from July 3- 6.
230- The Supreme Council of Culture named former Minister of Culture Gaber Asfour, painter Ahmed Nawwar, and former Minister of Higher Education Mofeed Shehab as winners of the Nile Award.
231- On June 22 Egypt won the membership of the UNESCO Scientific Committee on Underwater Cultural Heritage.
232- Cairo Orchestra Symphony performed at Cairo Opera House on June 22 to celebrate World Music Day.
233- A new path tailor made for visually impaired was inaugurated in Egyptian Museum in Tahrir on June 20.