<![CDATA[rss-Arts & Culture]]> All Rights Reserved for The Cairo post <![CDATA[Arts & Culture]]>]]> 100 29 <![CDATA[Sisi: Egypt to witness great cultural progress by inaugurating GEM]]>
This came during Sisi’s meeting with Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly, Minister of Antiquities Khaled al-Anany, Chairman of the Administrative Control Authority (ACA) Mohamed Erfan, Giza Governor Mohamed Kamal el-Daly, and Chief of the Engineering Authority of the Armed Forces Kamel al-Waziri, according to the presidential spokesperson Bassem Rady.

The meeting tackled the recent developments in the GEM, Giza Plateau development project, and other projects aiming to develop archaeological sites across Egypt.

President Sisi called for completing GEM's construction phases by 2020 to coincide with the inauguration of the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization, Ain al-Sira site, New Alamein City, and the New Administrative Capital, to which the ministries will move in 2019.

The president stressed the importance of showing commitment toward taking the necessary safety measures at the GEM and carrying out the required preparation procedures for the museum's inauguration, affirming that the GEM will be an icon in terms of design, space, and the antiquities presented.

Minister of Antiquities Anany reviewed during the meeting the efforts exerted by the National Commission for Antiquities in Egypt, and the ministry’s plan to develop antiquities’ stocks and promote for tourism in Egypt through the temporary exhibitions presenting Egyptian antiquities.

Chief of the Engineering Authority of the Armed Forces Waziri pointed out to the projects implemented by the Ministry of Antiquities in cooperation with the Engineering Authority of the Armed Forces, including the development project of Luxor's Al-Kabbash Road and the restoration project of the Baron Palace, the Greek museum, and the Jewish Museum in Alexandria.

The general supervisor of the Grand Egyptian Museum Tarek Tawfik (GEM) revealed that the soft 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. ]]>
7/19/2018 5:28:58 PM
<![CDATA[Archeologist denies reports on replacing basalt tiles floor with asphalt at Al Moez st.]]>
In a statement to MENA on Thursday, Zahar termed the circulated video as “groundless”, pointing out that the street which is depicted in the video is Bab El Wazir in el Darb el Ahmar district and not Al Moez.

He called on social media users to ensure accuracy before publishing such false information, which may negatively affect Egypt as a cultural destination, urging the government to modernize el Darb el Ahmar district in general and Bab el Wazir in particular so that it would be turned into an open museum and a tourist attraction.

Al Moez street is an open street museum of Islamic architect. A United Nations study found it to have the greatest concentration of medieval architectural treasures in the Islamic world. The street is named for Al-Mu'izz li-Din Allah, the fourth caliph of the Fatimid dynasty.]]>
7/19/2018 5:01:30 PM
<![CDATA[LIVE UPDATE: Opening of ancient sarcophagus in Alexandria]]>
On July 1, Egypt unearthed a 2,000-year-old sarcophagus in Alexandria, revealing that it is made of black granite of about 265 meters in length and 185 cm in height. The 30-ton tomb was found at a depth of 5 meters beneath the surface of the land.

Here is the live update:


Waziri stated in a press statement that one of the found skulls shows multiple fractures, revealing that it has been hit by a sharp instrument and that it belongs to a warrior.

He added that the other two skulls are intact and belong to men, pointing out that they will be subject to rays to identify their ages and face shapes.


The Armed Forces removed the cars in the area surrounding the sarcophagus to facilitate the entrance of the loader, which will be used for lifting the mysterious sarcophagus.

Waziri remarked that experts from Upper Egypt have participated in opening the coffin; he further revealed that the red liquid was found to be sewage water that leaked inside the coffin through a crack in its eastern side, causing the decomposition of the mummies.

In the same context, Alexandria Governor Mohamed Sultan told Egypt Today that the three mummies will be moved to the Alexandria National Museum, while the coffin will be transferred to the Military Museum located at the military northern region.

Sultan explained that the Ministry of Antiquities will use sensor devices to detect the presence of more antiquities, and carry out studies on the discovered mummies to determine the era they belong to.

Three decomposed mummies were found in the sarcophagus, declared Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities Mostafa Waziri.

Waziri stressed that none of the three mummies belong to a Ptolemaic or Roman royal family and the coffin does not have inscriptions or a cartouche bearing their names.

Three decomposed mummies were found in the sarcophagus- Egypt Today/Asmaa Ali Badr

He further pointed out that no evidence such as silver or gold metallic masks, small statues, amulets or inscriptions were found to prove that the mummies belong to a royal family.

In this regard, he denied the rumors spread by some international newspapers that opening the sarcophagus would unleash the curse that would bring disaster to the world.

"The sarcophagus has been opened, but we have not been hit by a curse," said Waziri, dismissing claims made by some UK media outlets about "possible curse" could be cast on the world in case the tomb was opened.

Since its discovery, the mysterious tomb has internationally grasped the attention, and several international websites warned of its opening as it would be “a risky business or so history tells us” for the possibility of unleashing the curse that would bring disaster to the world, as remarked by the British news website The Sun.

“BAFFLED archaeologists who found a 2,000-year-old mysterious black granite tomb in an Egyptian city where Alexander the Great is believed to be buried have pried it open two weeks after it was dug up,” according to the British news website Express.

Here is a video footage showing a man pouring red-colored liquid found inside the tomb after taking samples to be analyzed by the archaeological team assigned to assigned to supervise the opening of the mysterious sarcophagus.

You can read

Egypt starts opening 'mysterious' sarcophagus in Alexandria

CAIRO - 19 July 2018: Egypt started opening the mysterious sarcophagus unearthed 20 days ago in Alexandria, amid rumors over a "possible curse" that could be cast on the world once the sarcophagus is opened.

Additional reporting by Asmaa Ali Badr
7/19/2018 3:23:35 PM
<![CDATA[Minister of culture to launch National Theatre Festival July 19]]>
The 11th round of the festival is named after writer Mahmoud Diab, and is headed by Dr. Hassan Ateya.

Several officials of the Ministry of Culture along with numerous theatrical artists are expected to be among the attendees.

Atteya revealed that the festival will present the show "Ard La Tonbet Alzohoor" (A Land That Does not Grow Flowers) written by Mahmoud Diab, and directed by Sally Ahmed.

A documentary film titled "The Truth Seeker" produced by the National Centre for Theatre, Music & Folklore about Diab will also be displayed. The documentary is written by Abdel Hameed Abu el-Magd and directed by Ahmed Adel.

In the opening ceremony, the festival’s management will honor artist Galal el-Sharkawy, theatrical writer Abul-Ela el-Salamouny, Dr. Hussein Abdel kader, Dr. Samira Mohsen and late critic Mohammed el-Refa’e.]]>
7/19/2018 1:43:18 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt starts opening ‘mysterious’ sarcophagus in Alexandria ]]>
The archaeological team, assigned to supervise the opening of the mysterious sarcophagus uncovered in Alexandria, found a red liquid and equipments used to remove the liquid; they also took samples for analysis.

The coffin was left for an hour after its lid had been opened to get rid of the bad odor the tomb emanated.

A committee, assigned by the Ministry of Antiquities to supervise the newly-discovered sarcophagus, is currently opening the 2000-year-old sarcophagus, an official at Alexandria Antiquities Office told Egypt Today on condition of anonymity as he is not authorized to brief the media.

Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities Mostafa Waziri inspected on Thursday the Ptolemaic tomb to check the lifting works of the sarcophagus, the official added.

The mysterious 30-ton archaeological sarcophagus belongs to a priest not to a king or an emperor as it does not have inscriptions, Waziri revealed in media remarks on Tuesday.

In a telephone call with “Public Opinion” TV program on Ten, Waziri denied the rumors spread which refer that opening the sarcophagus will cast the "curse of the pharaohs" on the world. He further added that the tomb dates back to 4000 or 3000 BC, and it will be opened in the upcoming period; media will be invited to cover the event.

Since its discovery, the mysterious tomb has internationally grasped the attention, and several international websites warned of its opening as it would be “a risky business or so history tells us” for the possibility of unleashing the curse that would bring disaster to the world, as remarked by the British news website The Sun.

“BAFFLED archaeologists who found a 2,000-year-old mysterious black granite tomb in an Egyptian city where Alexander the Great is believed to be buried have pried it open two weeks after it was dug up,” according to the British news website Express.

Inspection of the sarcophagus revealed that it is made of black granite of about 265 meters in length and 185 cm in height; the security forces coordinated with the Engineering Department of the Armed Forces, as well as the Tourism Police, to extract the sarcophagus.

Ayman Ashmawy, head of the Ancient Egyptian Antiquities Sector, said that the tomb was found at a depth of 5 meters beneath the surface of the land. It is noted that there is a layer of mortar between the lid and the body of the sarcophagus, indicating that it had not been opened before.

Alexandria is full of ancient Egyptian antiquities, which makes citizens illegally dig to search for these monuments below their buildings.

In 2015, the security forces arrested three brothers with 35 artifacts in their possession; the brothers were digging below their homes in search for more artifacts.
7/19/2018 1:00:01 PM
<![CDATA[UNFPA to launch 'Music for Development' in 16th Summer Festival]]>
The project is part of the UNFPA’s 10th program cycle on entertainment education starting from 2018 to 2022, through which it will combat all forms of harmful practices in Egypt such as population growth, female genital mutilation (FGM) and early marriage, where young men and women and youth bands will raise awareness on these issues through arts.

The initiative, supported by the Embassy of Switzerland in Egypt, will be launched through a concert presented during the International Summer Festival, hosted annually by the Bibliotheca Alexandrina.

Attended by UNFPA Representative in Egypt Aleksandar Bodiroza, the concerts’ songs will be performed by Alexandria-based bands, presenting five thematic songs on small-sized families, abandonment of female genital mutilation, promoting youth engagement and women’s rights to education and reproductive health.

“Music is a fundamental channel of communication; it provides a means through which people can share emotions and intentions. Music can exert powerful physical and behavioral effects, can produce deep and profound emotions… That’s why UNFPA has been partnering with a number of celebrities in order to use their prominent social standing and the peer credibility they have with young people to raise awareness on issues related to family planning, female genital mutilation and early marriage,” said Bodiroza.

The International Summer Festival kicked off on July 16. The International Summer Festival is a massive music and arts festival organized by the BA Arts Center with the goal of adding a “colourful taste” to summers in Alexandria, as explained in their mission statement. The 2018 edition will house more than 60 versatile artistic events, varying between music, theatre, cinema and dance. ]]>
7/19/2018 12:55:21 PM
<![CDATA[Singer Cliff Richard wins BBC privacy case, sparking media alarm]]>
High Court Judge Anthony Mann said the BBC had infringed Richard's rights in a "serious" and "somewhat sensationalist way" and awarded him at least £210,000 ($274,000, 236,000 euros) in damages.

The 77-year-old singer, who was never charged with any offence, was applauded by fans as he left court, and they sang his hit song "Congratulations".

Britain's first home-grown pop star later said senior managers at the BBC "have to carry the can".

"If heads roll then maybe it's because it was deserved," he told ITV News. "It's too big a decision to be made badly. It was nonsense."

The BBC said it would consider an appeal, saying the ruling "represents a dramatic shift against press freedom and the long-standing ability of journalists to report on police investigations".

Richard's home was raided in 2014 as part of an investigation into an allegation of sexual assault involving a young boy dating back to the 1980s.

The BBC's live coverage, including a helicopter, was picked up around the world, but the singer was never arrested or charged and was told in 2016 there was insufficient evidence against him.

"My life was effectively turned upside down and my reputation, worldwide, was unnecessarily damaged," Richard said at the start of the case.

- 'Sorry for the distress' -

The BBC heard about the investigation by South Yorkshire Police and cut a deal in which they agreed to delay breaking the story in return for a tip-off about the raid on Richard's home.

The judge awarded £190,000 in general damages plus another £20,000 "aggravated damages" because the BBC nominated the story for a "Scoop of the Year" award, which it did not win.

Richard is also entitled to further sums for the financial impact of the case, which will be decided another time.

The police force has already agreed to pay Richard £400,000 after settling a claim.

In a statement, the BBC said it was "sorry for the distress Sir Cliff has been through".

It admitted there were "things we would have done differently, however the judge has ruled that the very naming of Sir Cliff was unlawful".

"So even had the BBC not used helicopter shots or ran the story with less prominence, the judge would still have found that the story was unlawful; despite ruling that what we broadcast about the search was accurate," it said.

The ruling "will make it harder to scrutinise the conduct of the police and we fear it will undermine the wider principle of the public's right to know", it said.

- 'Shockingly bad' -

"We don't believe this is compatible with liberty and press freedoms," the statement said, adding that it was "looking at an appeal".

Tony Gallagher, the editor in chief of Britain's best-selling The Sun tabloid, also railed against the "shockingly bad" ruling.

"Victory for (alleged) criminals and money-grabbing lawyers. Terrible for media," he tweeted.

In the House of Commons, an MP suggested formally changing the law to make it illegal for the media to name suspects until they are charged.

But Prime Minister Theresa May, who looked into the issue in her previous job as interior minister, expressed scepticism.

She noted "there may well be cases where the publication of a name enables other victims to come forward and therefore, to strengthen the case against an individual".

She said it was an "issue for careful judgement" in which both police and media must recognise their responsibilities.

Richard, who burst onto the pop scene in the late 1950s, is the third biggest-selling artist in British singles chart history, behind The Beatles and Elvis Presley.

His hits include "The Young Ones", "Living Doll", "Summer Holiday", "Mistletoe And Wine" and "The Millennium Prayer".

There has been a wave of accusations of historical sex abuse against prominent figures in Britain since 2012, when the late BBC presenter Jimmy Savile was revealed to be a serial paedophile.]]>
7/19/2018 11:01:51 AM
<![CDATA[Billy Joel celebrates 100th show at Madison Square Garden]]>
"Let's be real -- I'm from New York," the 69-year-old engine of pop favorites, donning a baseball cap, told a news conference ahead of his 100th performance at the Midtown Manhattan arena.

"This is my venue. Fortunately for me, Madison Square Garden is a world venue. You can play almost any other arena in the country and nobody else in the world is going to know about it," he said.

"So I'm very fortunate just because of where I'm from -- not to take the shine off of it."

More than two million people have seen Joel at Madison Square Garden, according to the iconic venue. He has cruised past Elton John after surpassing the English legend's record when Joel performed his 65th show in 2015.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, a professed fan and friend of Joel who in 2015 officiated the singer's fourth wedding, issued a proclamation declaring July 18 "Billy Joel Day."

Cuomo called Joel a "quintessential New Yorker" who embodied the values of the city's middle class.

"Forty years in this town, which is one of the toughest audiences on the globe, and after 40 years, the same tough, hometown crowd loves him," Cuomo told the news conference.

"Why? Because there is an authenticity about Billy and his music. You can't fool New Yorkers for 40 years," he said.

With a stream of hits from "Uptown Girl" to "We Didn't Start the Fire," Joel has sold more than 150 million records around the world, according to his representatives.]]>
7/19/2018 10:56:58 AM
<![CDATA[Batwoman to become first openly gay TV superhero]]>
The show being developed by an American network would be the first live-action superhero series with an openly gay lead and is based on the DC Comics star Kate Kane - aka Batwoman.

"Kate Kane soars onto the streets of Gotham as Batwoman, an out lesbian and highly trained street fighter primed to snuff out the failing city's criminal resurgence," said a brief for the show.

Caroline Dries, a writer and executive producer on the project, said she was "thrilled" to be helping bring the flawed heroine to the small screen with the CW Network.

"CW is so badass for taking on #Batwoman. Grateful to the DC comics writers for reviving this hero and giving us a fun and complicated hero who reflects so many of us," she tweeted.

The project will also include Greg Berlanti, a producer who has previously worked on superhero TV series The Flash, Green Lantern and Legends of Tomorrow.

The show's creators are reportedly hoping to find a lesbian actress to play the lead role, though that has not been confirmed.

The U.S. charity GLAAD, which campaigns for LGBT representation in the media, welcomed the prospect of more gay characters on television.

President Sarah Kate Ellis said Berlanti had "amassed a track record of telling diverse and powerful LGBTQ stories, so it is not surprising he is a driving force behind Batwoman".

The number of gay characters in comics has risen steadily in recent years, both through the introduction of new LGBT figures and by adding to backstories of established stars to reveal a gay back story.

Batwoman first appeared in the comics in 1956, but was only "outed" as a lesbian by writer Greg Rucka in 2009.

"Yes, she's a lesbian," Rucka told the Comic Book Resources website at the time. "If people are going to have problems with it, that's their issue." ]]>
7/19/2018 8:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Al-Azhar imam introduced to world's oldest Qur'an manuscript in London]]>
The manuscript, which is kept at the University of Birmingham, was moved to Lambeth Palace in a nice gesture to help Tayyeb see it, Al-Azhar said in a statement Wednesday.

Al-Azhar Grand Imam Ahmed el Tayyeb was introduced to the most ancient manuscript for the Holy Quran at his residence in Lambeth Palace, London on July 18, 2018 - Press photo/Official Facebook page of Azhar

A researcher at the UK university disclosed that the manuscript dates back to the first half of the 1st century AH, noting that it is the world’s most ancient manuscript of its kind.

The manuscript was found about 70 years ago.

3 Al-Azhar Grand Imam Ahmed el Tayyeb was introduced to the most ancient manuscript for the Holy Quran at his residence in Lambeth Palace, London on July 18, 2018 - Press photo/Official Facebook page of Azhar
7/19/2018 2:10:00 AM
<![CDATA[Palace Cinema to be renovated ]]>
More than 228 cinemas have been closed off across Egypt in the last few years, 61 of which are found in Cairo.

Furthermore, in an attempt to preserve the Egyptian cinematic heritage, the Egyptian Ministry of Culture decided to create the first documented archive of the Egyptian cinema and its heritage since 1896 and name it "Egyptian Cinematic".

The "Egyptian Cinematic" comes in light of the ministry's efforts to immortalize the Egyptian cinematic heritage through the creation of a documented archive.

The Egyptian cinema was the first representative of Egyptians to the Arab world and the representative of Egyptians and Arabs to the rest of the world.

Head of the National Film Center, Khaled Abdel Jalil, stated that the archive comes as part of the Ministry of Culture's efforts to support the Egyptian cinematic heritage that represented the Egyptian and Arab identity and culture for decades. ]]>
7/18/2018 4:13:08 PM
<![CDATA[World's oldest bread found at prehistoric site in Jordan]]>
No matter how you slice it, the discovery detailed on Monday shows that hunter-gatherers in the Eastern Mediterranean achieved the cultural milestone of bread-making far earlier than previously known, more than 4,000 years before plant cultivation took root.

The flatbread, likely unleavened and somewhat resembling pita bread, was fashioned from wild cereals such as barley, einkorn or oats, as well as tubers from an aquatic papyrus relative, that had been ground into flour.

It was made by a culture called the Natufians, who had begun to embrace a sedentary rather than nomadic lifestyle, and was found at a Black Desert archeological site.

“The presence of bread at a site of this age is exceptional,” said Amaia Arranz-Otaegui, a University of Copenhagen postdoctoral researcher in archaeobotany and lead author of the research published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Arranz-Otaegui said until now the origins of bread had been associated with early farming societies that cultivated cereals and legumes. The previous oldest evidence of bread came from a 9,100-year-old site in Turkey.

“We now have to assess whether there was a relationship between bread production and the origins of agriculture,” Arranz-Otaegui said. “It is possible that bread may have provided an incentive for people to take up plant cultivation and farming, if it became a desirable or much-sought-after food.”

University of Copenhagen archeologist and study co-author Tobias Richter pointed to the nutritional implications of adding bread to the diet. “Bread provides us with an important source of carbohydrates and nutrients, including B vitamins, iron and magnesium, as well as fiber,” Richter said.

Abundant evidence from the site indicated the Natufians had a meat- and plant-based diet. The round floor fireplaces, made from flat basalt stones and measuring about a yard (meter) in diameter, were located in the middle of huts.

Arranz-Otaegui said the researchers have begun the process of trying to reproduce the bread, and succeeded in making flour from the type of tubers used in the prehistoric recipe. But it might have been an acquired taste.

“The taste of the tubers,” Arranz-Otaegui said, “is quite gritty and salty. But it is a bit sweet as well.”

7/18/2018 1:58:40 PM
<![CDATA[BA organizes advanced course in Arabic manuscript cataloging]]>
The course aims at training participants on how to solve issues concerning cataloging and documenting Arabic manuscripts, create a wider database of manuscript catalogers, explain the relationship between codicology and cataloging and highlight the rules of e-cataloging.

The course targets MA and PhD researchers who specialize in Arabic manuscript editing and cataloging.]]>
7/18/2018 1:46:06 PM
<![CDATA[Majida El Roumi releases new song ]]>
The new song is composed by Charbel Rouhana and directed by Awad Romy.
In this regard, the Emirati singer Ahlam congratulated Roumi on Twitter for her new song.

Influenced by Umm Kulthoum, Fayrouz and Laila Mourad, Roumy has been one of the most popular female voices in the Arab world since the 1980s. The Lebanese singer released her first single “Am Bahlamak Ya Helm Lebnan” (Lebanon, I am Dreaming Your Dream) in 1975.

She hasreleased 14 albums to date and has performed in the most prestigious cultural venues in the Middle East. Due to her classical music style and unique voice, she was referred to as the“Arab Music Angle.”

Her most celebrated songs are “Kalemat” (Words), “EntaWi Ana” (You and Me) and “Ebhath Aa’ny” (Search for Me).]]>
7/18/2018 1:43:25 PM
<![CDATA[Mostafa Waziri: Sarcophagus uncovered in Alexandria belongs to priest not king]]>
In a telephone call with “Public Opinion” TV program on Ten, Waziri denied the rumors spread which refer that opening the sarcophagus will cast the "curse of the pharaohs" on the world.

He further added that the tomb dates back to 4000 or 3000 BC, and it will be opened in the upcoming period; media will be invited to cover the event.

Since its discovery, the mysterious tomb has internationally grasped the attention, and several international websites warned of its opening as it would be “a risky business or so history tells us” for the possibility of unleashing the curse that would bring disaster to the world, as remarked by the British news website The Sun.

In the same context, other news websites remarked that the tomb was opened, and an unknown corpse was found in it, believed to belong to Alexander the Great.

“BAFFLED archaeologists who found a 2,000-year-old mysterious black granite tomb in an Egyptian city where Alexander the Great is believed to be buried have pried it open two weeks after it was dug up,” according to the British news website Express.

On July 1, an Egyptian archaeological mission uncovered the largest sarcophagus to be found in Alexandria.

Inspection of the sarcophagus revealed that it is made of black granite of about 265 meters in length and 185 cm in height; the security forces coordinated with the Engineering Department of the Armed Forces, as well as the Tourism Police, to extract the sarcophagus.

Ayman Ashmawy, head of the Ancient Egyptian Antiquities Sector, said that the tomb was found at a depth of 5 meters beneath the surface of the land. It is noted that there is a layer of mortar between the lid and the body of the sarcophagus, indicating that it had not been opened before.

Alexandria is full of ancient Egyptian antiquities, which makes citizens illegally dig to search for these monuments below their buildings.

In 2015, the security forces arrested three brothers with 35 artifacts in their possession; the brothers were digging below their homes in search for more artifacts.]]>
7/18/2018 12:43:19 PM
<![CDATA[As Amazon slashes prices, Bezos sees jump in wealth]]>
Bezos's net worth topped $150 billion on Monday, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, making him the world's richest person in decades.

The surge in the share price for Amazon -- in which Bezos holds a stake of some 16 percent -- has lifted his wealth by some $50 billion this year.

And Bezos has moved into a wealth category all by himself, far ahead of Microsoft founder Bill Gates, worth an estimated $95 billion, according to the Bloomberg ranking.

Gates saw his net worth briefly hit $100 billion in 1999, but since then Bezos appears to be the only person to top that milestone.

Historically, Bezos still trails other wealthy individuals such as oil magnate John D Rockefeller and steel baron Andrew Carnegie, whose inflation-adjusted net worth would be more than $300 billion.

Yet his rise has been nothing less than spectacular since 2014 when his fortune was estimated at around $32 billion.

Bezos founded Amazon two decades ago as an online bookseller, and it has mushroomed into one of the world's most valuable companies. It features retail operations in more than a dozen countries, a major cloud computing division, and operations in digital devices, artificial intelligence, video streaming and groceries.

Amazon's market capitalization his risen to nearly $880 billion in recent weeks, ahead of that of Google parent Alphabet but behind Apple.

This week, Amazon marked its "Prime Day," a 36-hour period with special discounts for its Prime subscribers, in several countries, touting "more than one million deals worldwide."

Amazon acknowledged some glitches with the sales day, saying some customers were unable to complete their orders.

Some customers complained they were directed to the "Amazon dogs" error pages featuring canine pictures. Still, Amazon said the day had gotten off to a better start than last year.

Bezos, 54, also owns the private space exploration firm Blue Origin and purchased the Washington Post in 2013.]]>
7/18/2018 10:39:12 AM
<![CDATA[Black Panther's sister Shuri gets own spin-off comic]]>
Marvel Comics has announced a spin-off series, to begin in October, in which Black Panther is lost on a mission to space, and Shuri is looked upon to step up to fill the void left by her big brother in their mythical home nation Wakanda.

"The world fell in love with Shuri in the movie. Now, the Black Panther's techno-genius sister launches her own adventures," the publisher said, confirming news first published by news site Bustle.

British-Guyanese actress Letitia Wright earned praise for her portrayal of Shuri in the smash hit film, which critics agree was a groundbreaking moment for blacks on the silver screen.

While Shuri is not the first black heroine in the Marvel universe -- Storm, one of the X-Men, has been around for decades -- entire books dedicated to black female characters are rare.

Female Nigerian-American sci-fi author Nnedi Okorafor will write "Shuri." She is already working for Marvel on its "Wakanda Forever" series, which focuses on the Dora Milaje, the all-female special forces unit in the fictional nation.

According to Box Office Mojo, "Black Panther" has taken in more than $1.34 billion, making it number nine on the all-time box office list. "Avatar" is the all-time champion at nearly $2.8 billion.]]>
7/18/2018 10:33:28 AM
<![CDATA[‘Mama’ in the most prominent festival in the world, Festival d'Avignon]]>
mama 1

The play explores the methods used by women in a wealthy Egyptian family to impose power and hegemony over men of the same family.

mama 2

However, this ongoing battle performed by the females to control the male family members, driven by their desire to get back at the masculine society, leads to re-creating the same oppressive male monsters that these women have fallen victims to.

mama 3

"Mama" is performed by the members of Temple Independent Theatre Company , including Ramzy Lehner, Menha el-Batroui, Mohamed Hatem, Nanda Mohamed and Botrous Ghali.

mama 4

Festival d'Avignon management announced that the play is going to be shown five times during the festival on July 18, 19 and from July 21 - 23.
This is the second participation for Attar in the official program of Festival d'Avignon after his participation in last year's edition with his play "El-Ashaa el-Akheer" (The Last Supper).

mama 5

The last play presented by the Temple Independent Theatre Company was “Before the Revolution” which was presented as part of the annual Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival (D-CAF).

The play’s dramatic events all happen before the time of the revolution and tackle Egyptians’ emotional and societal state at the time.

Through dramatic events illustrated in the play, “Before the Revolution” features the specific concept that the revolution portrays people’s resistance against many oppressive powers that they experience in their lives, such as deception, violence, insecurity and depression.

Attar, who is the artistic director of D-CAF and Falaki Theater, as well as the founder and manager of Orient Productions, and Studio Emad Eddin, has received various awards from remarkable institutions, such as Best Theater Text from the Sawiris Foundation for Social Development.

He has also been chosen by the Arabic edition of Newsweek as one of the most influential 42 personalities in the Arab world.

He participated in numerous international festivals across Europe and the Arab region with his plays “Waiting for My Uncle” and “The Last Supper”.

7/17/2018 5:20:22 PM
<![CDATA[Nesma Abdel Aziz to perform at Cairo Opera house]]>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.
7/17/2018 4:48:16 PM
<![CDATA[Amr Diab’s daughter sings ‘In Another Life’ ]]>
CAIRO – 17 July 2018: Jana Diab, daughter of Egyptian singer Amr Diab, posted a video on Instagram of her singing "In Another Life". The video was posted on Monday and received more than 30,000 views.

In another life...

A post shared by JUJU (@janadiab_) on

“A voice from heaven, girl. Keep going,” Arwa Mansour one of Jana’s followers commented.

People on Instagram were wondering why she doesn’t release an album, “Why doesn’t she have an album by now?” One of Jana’s followers asked.
This is not the first video Jana posts on Instagram of her singing; she has more than four videos on her page.

Jana Diab is a singer, song writer, and an aspiring scriptwriter, according to her official Instagram page.

On the other hand, the best-selling Middle Eastern Artist Amr Diab is getting ready for four upcoming concerts. The first concert will be held in Mykonos, Greece, on July 26, 2018. The second concert will be in Marina, Egypt, on August 4, 2018, and the last two concerts will also be in the North Coast.

Diab will be singing a number of songs from his upcoming album which is scheduled to be released by the end of the summer. He is currently adding the last touches to his new album with Egyptian musician Tarek Madkour.
7/17/2018 4:41:47 PM
<![CDATA[Get your geek on: 130,000 head for San Diego Comic-Con]]>
The 49th Comic-Con International will revel in movies, TV and -- yes -- comic books, as fans in pitch-perfect monster, alien and manga costumes swelter in the southern Californian heat over five surreal days.

Where fandom abounds, controversy is never far behind. And the big bone of contention this year is Disney's decision not to bring its Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) to Comic-Con, despite a record-breaking year with "Black Panther," "Avengers: Infinity War" and "Ant-Man and the Wasp."

"It's going to be an interesting year this year," said SyFy Wire editor-in-chief Adam Swiderski in a video preview of the Wednesday to Sunday get-together at the city's harborfront convention center.

"A lot of the big players like 'Marvel,' 'Star Wars' and 'Game of Thrones,' who dominated past cons, aren't going to be there, which gives other properties an opportunity to step into the spotlight."

Since its humble beginnings in 1970 as the Golden State Comic Book Convention, a gathering of a few dozen geeks who swapped superhero magazines, Comic-Con has exploded in popularity.

Each July, it attracts around 130,000 cosplayers, movie executives, sci-fi fans and bloggers to a feast on all manner of panels, screenings and other attractions.

- Scare Diego -

Described by Rolling Stone as the "Super Bowl of people who don't like watching the Super Bowl," Comic-Con's beating heart is the 6,500-seat Hall H, where a cornucopia of stars hawk their latest work.

Devotees have been known to wait for days to be among the first to get into the sprawling arena, taking turns with family members and other fans for toilet breaks and sleep.

New Line Cinema and Warner Bros. kick off proceedings Wednesday with "Scare Diego," where fans will enjoy insights into "It: Chapter Two" and the frankly terrifying-looking "The Nun."

The convention has traditionally persuaded most of the big studios to turn up for detailed presentations of their highly anticipated slates of upcoming movies -- but not this year.

Disney is presumably saving its biggest treats for its own biennial D23 fan convention, and Universal's segment is dedicated to just two movies -- M. Night Shyamalan's "Glass" and David Gordon Green's "Halloween."

Elsewhere, Paramount brings its spinoff Transformers film "Bumblebee" and Fox has a "Deadpool 2" celebration and preview for its "Predator" reboot.

Sony presents "Venom," and the animated "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse," neither of which are considered part of the MCU, although Marvel was part of the production team.

That cedes the center stage to Warner Bros., which is expected to pull out all the stops in its two-hour Saturday spot.

The schedule is kept tightly under wraps, but insiders say there will almost certainly be thrills and spills from "Aquaman," "Godzilla: King of the Monsters," the new "Fantastic Beasts" movie and "Shazam!"

- 'Crazy busy' -

"This is a fun room. It's going to be crazy busy for Warner Bros., like it always is," said James Riley of the SDConCast podcast.

"But without the pull of the evening Marvel panel to generate such a fervor for the line... we have a feeling this is actually going to be an easy day to get into Hall H."

going to be an easy day to get into Hall H."

The television side of the Comic-Con gets increasingly bigger as the stars follow the voluminous torrent of cash into TV productions funded on a scale never seen before.

This year's Hall H is expected to be more notable than ever for its small-screen content, despite the absence of HBO's big-hitters.

"Several other networks will be showing off new and returning series in a hope to cut through the cluttered landscape and maintain, or possibly grow, viewership," said Lesley Goldberg of The Hollywood Reporter.

AMC has the pick of the convention with a debut appearance from "Better Call Saul" alongside a 10th anniversary reunion panel for "Breaking Bad" and a discussion on acclaimed graphic novel adaption "Preacher."

"The Walking Dead," the most successful show in US cable television history, is back ahead of season nine, expected to debut in October, and there is a panel for its sister show, "Fear the Walking Dead."

Other studios plying their TV wares include YouTube Originals and Fox, while SyFy stages what promises to be an emotional farewell to the "Sharknado" franchise.

Marvel's movie people might be largely absent, but the studio boasts numerous panels and other event for its TV output, including "Cloak & Dagger," "Iron Fist," and "Marvel's Avengers: Black Panther's Quest."]]>
7/17/2018 4:37:04 PM
<![CDATA[Ali el-Haggar to perform in Alexandria's Summer Festival opening]]>
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.

Haggar is expected to perform a collection of songs from his recent album “Ma TakhdyBalek” (Please Take Care). He will also sing some of his classic hits such as “Hona al-Qahera” (Here is Cairo), “A’mBatata” (Uncle Batata), and “Dehket al-Masagen” (The Prisoners’ Llaughter).

Moreover, he will sing a selection of his iconic soundtracks such as “Bawabet al-Halawany” (Halawany’s Gate), “Al-Mal walBanon” (Money and Sons), and “Masa’letMabdaa” (A Matter of Principle).
7/17/2018 2:41:47 PM
<![CDATA[Johnny Depp and ex-managers settle lawsuit over finances]]>
They said in a statement that terms of the agreement were confidential. A trial was scheduled to begin in Los Angeles in August.

A source close to The Management Group, the Los Angeles company that had handled Depp’s affairs for 17 years until being fired in 2016, said it was “pleased with the settlement.”

In a $25 million lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court in January 2017, Depp accused The Management Group of fraud, theft and financial mismanagement.

The Management Group filed a countersuit a month later seeking $550,000 in unpaid fees and damages, and alleging that Depp was in financial turmoil because he had spent millions of dollars on cars, works of art, homes, wine and Hollywood memorabilia.

Depp was ranked by Forbes as Hollywood’s highest paid actor in 2010 with earnings of $75 million, mostly from the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie franchise.

The settlement came as promotions were gearing up for “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald,” a spinoff sequel from the “Harry Potter” movies in which Depp plays a younger version of Grindelwald, who embodies the dark forces in the wizarding world.

The film is due in movie theaters in November.]]>
7/17/2018 11:10:30 AM
<![CDATA[Cardi B crowns break-out year with leading 10 MTV VMA nominations]]>
The New York singer, 25, earned nominations in all the top categories, including both best artist and best new artist, as well as best video, collaboration and choreography mostly for her work with Bruno Mars on “Finesse.”

Cardi B, who shot to fame in August 2017 with her brash female empowerment song “Bodak Yellow,” led a VMA contenders field that included Drake, Camila Cabello, Beyonce and husband Jay-Z.

Performing as The Carters, the power music duo earned eight nominations for their “APES**T” video, which was shot inside the Louvre in Paris against the backdrop of some of the world’s most famous art works.

Childish Gambino, the music stage name of actor Donald Glover, earned seven nominations for his hard-hitting video “This Is America” about black identity and police brutality.

Cardi B and Bruno Mars, The Carters, and Childish Gambino will face off for the top prize - video of the year - against Ariana Grande’s “No Tears Left to Cry,” Camila Cabello’s “Havana,” and Drake’s “God’s Plan.”

Monday’s nominations reflected the popularity of rap, which in 2017 surpassed rock as the most dominant music genre in the United States, and R&B.

Pop singer Taylor Swift managed only three nominations, all in technical categories, for “Look What You Made Me Do,” despite her album “Reputation” being the biggest seller in the United States in 2017.

Britain’s Ed Sheeran got four nominations, including song of the year, for his romantic ballad “Perfect,” which was a worldwide hit.

The fan-voted, youth-oriented VMA awards ceremony with a reputation for irreverence and outrageous stunts will be broadcast live on MTV from New York City on Aug. 20.]]>
7/17/2018 11:06:58 AM
<![CDATA[China big-budget movie pulled after box office flop]]>
The move highlights the challenges being faced by China as it looks to promote home-grown productions to rival imported blockbusters from Hollywood. The country has seen several big-budget films flop though some lower-cost ones have done well.

The latest disappointment “Asura” had been billed as one of China’s biggest-budget movies after the $150 million U.S.-China co-production “The Great Wall”. That 2016 movie, starring Matt Damon, also failed to impress at the box office.

“Asura”, a fantasy epic based on Tibetan mythology, was yanked from cinemas by producers after it brought in a meager 49.46 million yuan ($7.41 million) and got a lowly rating of 3.1 on local movie review site Douban.

In a statement posted on the film’s official social media platform, the producers said the movie was pulled from Sunday night and apologized to viewers who would not be able to see the movie that had been six years in the making.

Asura is something of a warning for Chinese producers about the perils of big-budget movie making.

Even as the fantasy movie flopped, another unexpected film with a budget reportedly of around $15 million struck a chord.

“Dying to Survive”, the real-life story of a Chinese cancer patient arrested for importing drugs from India, has made over $350 million, according to box office tracker EntGroup.

China, which is on track to overtake the North America film market, has become an increasingly important region for global producers looking to pump up their box office returns, despite a quota on imported films and strict censorship.
7/17/2018 11:03:00 AM
<![CDATA['Mamma Mia!' sing-along returns with star-studded sequel premiere]]>
Ten years after the movie version of the hit theater musical, “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” sees old faces return and new ones join the ABBA sing-along set on a picturesque Greek island where stars belt out tracks by the hugely popular Swedish band.

The plot follows on from the first film, which grossed over $600 million at the box office, but this time has flashbacks explaining how Meryl Streep’s character Donna arrived in Greece.

While fans have highly anticipated the sequel, ABBA founding members Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus said they were not so keen on the idea at first.

“We were kind of protective of the first one because we were very proud of it, it was very good and it became kind of a cult movie ... and we thought what’s the point of risking ... taking away from that legacy, so we were reluctant,” Ulvaeus told Reuters.

But the film writers’ idea of making the movie a sequel and prequel at the same time helped change their minds, he said.

“I laughed out loud many times when I read (the script’s first draft). It was funny, it was moving so we said go ahead and here we are.”

Chanting “Waterloo”, “Super Trouper” and “Dancing Queen”, fans cheered as Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, Amanda Seyfried and Christine Baranski - who starred in the 2008 film - arrived.

The sequel’s cast additions include Lily James, who plays the younger Donna, and Cher, who portrays Donna’s mother.

“I don’t know what I was expecting but I walked onto the set and I just thought everyone’s just having fun,” Cher said.

Like the first film, the sequel has plenty of colorful and comic scenes. It also has touching moments, cast members said.

“It’s a great time for this movie to be out in the world, because we’re all feeling a little down about the world right now,” Baranski said.

“I think people are going to be transported to this beautiful Greek island with all these beloved characters and all these fabulous songs.”

“Mamma Mia!” the musical originated more than 20 years ago and has gone on to have productions around the world with generations of fans still singing and dancing to ABBA songs some 40 years after their release.

“It’s so humbling and I’m grateful but I cannot say I understand quite how that happened. It’s kind of a miracle,” Ulvaeus said of the band’s success.

“Never in our wildest dreams did we think that these songs that we wrote would last for such a long time”.

7/17/2018 10:59:27 AM
<![CDATA[Boxer Mayweather, George Clooney lead world's highest paid entertainers]]>
Reality star Kylie Jenner, 20, came in third on the annual Forbes Celebrity 100 list, largely thanks to her booming cosmetics line that Forbes said put her on track to become the youngest self-made billionaire in the United States.

Forbes compiled its 2018 list estimating pre-tax earnings from June 2017-June 2018, before deducting fees for managers, based on data from Nielsen, touring trade publication Pollstar, movie database IMDB, and interviews with industry experts and celebrities themselves.

Mayweather pulled in some $285 million in the period, largely thanks to his August 2017 comeback fight win over mixed martial arts champion Conor McGregor.

Oscar-winning star Clooney earned an estimated $239 million after selling the Casamigos tequila company he co-founded to British spirits company Diageo in June 2017. Forbes said the sale gave Clooney the best annual earnings of his 35-year career in film and television.

Forbes said entertainers on its 2018 Celebrity 100 list earned a combined $6.3 billion before tax, up 22 percent from last year’s list. Many of the highest earners came from celebrities leveraging their brands through side ventures and through their social media presence.

“There’s never been a more lucrative time to be famous than now, with 11 superstars earning $100 million or more over the past year,” Zack O’Malley Greenburg, senior entertainment editor at Forbes, said in a statement.

“Entertainers have found all sorts of new ways to monetize their audiences, especially with the help of social media,” he added.

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson almost doubled his earnings from the previous year to land in 5th place with estimated earnings of $124 million. Forbes said the earnings of the “Jumanji” and “Fast & Furious” star were the largest acting-related earnings it had recorded in 20 years.

The top earner on last year’s list, musician Sean Diddy Combs, dropped to No. 32 on the current list. His earnings on the 2017 list were inflated by a tour and the sale of part of his Sean John clothing line, Forbes said.

Musicians and athletes fared well, with Irish band U2, British band Coldplay and British singer Ed Sheeran appearing in the top 10. Soccer players Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo also earned more than $100 million, Forbes said.]]>
7/17/2018 10:54:36 AM
<![CDATA[Hisham Kharma will perform at Cairo Opera House]]>
Kharma was born in Cairo but lived most of his life in Miami, Dubai and Hamburg which is heavily influenced by the eclectic cultural mix. His music is a combination of electronic, ethnic, lounge and funk sounds.

Kharma’s melodies cross all cultural barriers transferring the listener to different worlds. His first official release by Virgin Megastore and Hybrid Records was “First Voyage”.

Kharma’s second album was produced by Sony Music in the “Arabesque” series along with the Grammy award winner Yanni and Cat Atilla.

His third and last album was released in 2016 entitled “Al Yaqeen.”

7/16/2018 6:47:35 PM
<![CDATA[Fresh DNA tests authenticate bones of Russia tsar, family]]>AFP/File / Mladen ANTONOV
An Orthodox icon of the last Russian tsar and his family in a cathedral built on the exact place where the Bolsheviks executed them
Fresh genetic tests on bones of Russia's last tsar and his family murdered a century ago have confirmed their authenticity, investigators said Monday.

The tests could be a step towards the Russian Orthodox Church finally recognising the bones and burying them with full rites.

Genetic tests ordered by the Church -- which disputed earlier results -- "confirmed the remains found belonged to the former Emperor Nicholas II, his family members and members of their entourage," said the Investigative Committee, which probes serious crime and has been roped in to resolve the long-running debate.

The tests involved exhuming Nicholas's father Alexander III, proving "they are father and son," investigators said.

The Orthodox Church said it would consider the findings and praised the way the investigation was going.

The Bolsheviks shot the abdicated tsar, his German-born wife and their five children along with their servants and doctor on the night from July 16 to 17, 1918, as they were living under guard in the Urals city of Sverdlovsk, now Yekaterinburg.

The killers then hastily buried the remains, first discovered in 1979.

The bones of Nicholas, his wife and three of their children were interred in Saint Petersburg in 1998 but the Orthodox Church refused to give them a full burial service, disputing their authenticity after an investigation under President Boris Yeltsin in which the clergy felt sidelined.

Amid popular legend that one of the children may have survived, several pretenders claimed later to be Anastasia, one of the tsar's daughters, but these were never proven.

The bones of the tsar's only son Alexei and his daughter Maria were found separately in 2007 and have never been buried.

The issue touches on sensitive religious issues since the Orthodox Church has canonised the ex-tsar and his family as martyrs, making their bones holy relics.

Yet the Church's reluctance puzzles secular figures since previous DNA testing was carried out by international experts.

Some had expected the Church to recognise the remains in time for a full burial ahead of the centenary.

Church spokesman Vladimir Legoida in a statement said it would study the latest findings "with attention" and praised the current investigation for its "atmosphere of openness."

The investigation is still ongoing and will include looking at historic documents.

Church leader Patriarch Kirill is to lead thousands in a procession on Monday night from the murder site to a monastery commemorating the victims.

7/16/2018 6:34:12 PM
<![CDATA[Antiquities ministry receives 116 archaeological pieces]]>
The pieces were seized in 2014 and the prosecution has finally decided to hand over the pieces to the Ministry of Antiquities, a top official said.

The pieces consist of wooden furniture and wooden and porcelain crafts dating back to the era of Muhamed Ali as well as utensils made of pottery dating back to the Islamic era.

7/16/2018 5:28:49 PM
<![CDATA[Taba Heights Summer Nights to kick off July 20]]>CAIRO – 16 July 2018: In the beautiful Sinai Peninsula, Taba Heights Summer Nights Festival will kick off on July 20 and will run until July 27.

Faris Karam, Ramy Sabry, Bosy and Ahmed Sheeba are among the most significant singers participating in the second edition of Taba Heights Summer Nights Festival.

Faris Karam, Mo’een Sherif, Ziyad Saleh and Ahmed Sheeba will be launching the festival’s concerts on July 20.

The stars Ramy Sabry, Carmen Suleiman and Bosy will be participating in the festival for the first time.

Held in the shopping area in Taba Heights, the festival concerts will be supervised by Emad el-Tarabeeshi.

The beautiful Taba Heights also welcomed numerous stars in the last edition, including Shereen Abdel Wahab, George Wassouf, Wael Jassar and Najwa Karam.

The concerts will be held in Taba Heights to revive tourism in Sinai and enable the captivating city of Taba to return to its previous status as one of the best touristic hotspots in the world.

7/16/2018 2:32:12 PM
<![CDATA[Eid El-adha to witness the release of 3 new musical albums]]>
Numerous music production companies will participate in the release of the albums that are anticipated to revive the Arab music market that has been troubled for several years.

Lebanese superstar Elissa, in co-operation with Rotana Network, is expected to release her new album "Ela Kol Eli Beyheboni" (To All Those Who Love Me) within the next few days.

Elissa's album will consist of 16 songs. Elite writers and composers such as Nader Abdallah, Tamer Hussein, Selim Asaf, and Shady Noor participated in the creation of her new song "Wahashtooni" (I Miss You All).

After five years of absence, the star Mohammed Noor returns with his new album "Mesa Mesa" (Good Evening) produced by Mazzika.

Noor’s single "Modares Geography" (Geography Teacher) has been recently released. The single was created in co-operation with promising composers and writers like Mohammed Atef, Gamal el-khouly and Mohammed Shafique.

Ramy Gamal's "Layalina" (Our Nights) is the third album expected to be released before Eid El-Adha; the album is produced by Nogoom Records.

The album consists of 12 songs that were created in cooperation with a select of prominent writes and composers, such as Amir Te’ama, Baha’a Eddin Mohammed and Mohammed Yehya.

Gamal's single "Mafish Menha" (No one’s like her) has been filmed as a video clip.

7/16/2018 1:25:19 PM
<![CDATA[George Martin as ancient Egyptian Pharaoh]]>CAIRO – 16 July 2018: "Game of Thrones" author George Martin posted a photo on his official Twitter account wearing a Pharaoh costume and captioning the photo: “Me and one of my minions having a bit of fun.”

The final season of "Game of Thrones" is scheduled to be released in 2019. The series has been nominated for 22 Emmy awards this month in different categories, including Outstanding Music Compositions, Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series, Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Actress, and Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series.

The actors who were nominated are Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, and Diana Rigg, among others, according to "Game of Thrones" official Twitter account.

George R.R. Martin is an American novelist, short story writer, screenwriter, and television producer who is famous for his fantasy, horror and science fiction writings. He is best known for the fantasy novel, "A song of Ice and Fire", which was adapted into the series "Game of Thrones" which airs on HBO.

7/16/2018 12:17:19 PM
<![CDATA[With dreamy electro pop, Milk and Bone charts own path]]>
The Montreal duo of Camille Poliquin and Laurence Lafond-Beaulne met studying jazz together and playing as back-up musicians when, sensing a chemistry between them four years ago, they posted on their personal social media accounts a snippet of a song that became "New York."

To their surprise and delight, they quickly amassed a following. The two friends had suddenly become a band. They rushed to find management, figure out a look and choose the duo's name, whose meaning they still struggle to explain.

"We never saw it coming because at first this was just a platform for people we knew to listen to our music," Poliquin told AFP alongside Lafond-Beaulne at their hotel in Quebec City where they played the historic provincial capital's summer festival.

"Pressure" -- like many of Milk and Bone's songs, marked by chill but dominant percussion, melancholic keyboards and delicate, complementing layers of the two women's voices -- has been streamed nine million times on Spotify or the sharing site SoundCloud.

The lyrics delve into emotional sagas, often on uncertain romances. "Pressure" likens a lover to the solace of a robust shower while "Daydream" -- a track off their second album, "Deception Bay," which came out earlier this year -- conjures up a dreamy fantasy boyfriend.

One consistency is that the songs are always in English. Both women, who are in their 20s, speak English fluently although they are French Canadians.

"When I do write in French I find myself writing something outside of what happens to me, while we like to write music that is from the heart," Poliquin said.

"It's a generation thing as well. People our age are a bit more open and just want to do whatever we want to do," she said.

Montreal, with its complicated linguistic politics, has generated plenty of native English-language artists, from the iconic poet turned singer Leonard Cohen to indie rockers Arcade Fire.

But French Canadians crossing over entirely to English is less common. Celine Dion, Quebec's best-known singer, performs in both English and French.

Lafond-Beaulne -- who feels that French carries a "harder" sound when sung -- said Milk and Bone has not faced much backlash over singing in English.

"People like to know why, and when we say it's not a conscious decision, they get it," Lafond-Beaulne said.

- Finding an aesthetic -

As Milk and Bone pulls in larger audiences on the road, the duo is also planning to release collaborations with other musicians, although they cannot yet publicly reveal details.

At Quebec City's summer music festival, known in French as the Festival d'ete de Quebec, Milk and Bone opened for Cyndi Lauper and Lorde on an all-women night on the vast main stage.

The duo perched themselves on a podium behind their drums and synthesizers, the group's name written out in oversized balloon letters as two air dancer puppets shot out of vents.

When the duo first tasted success, the pair tried to find a persona. At first they thought to associate with anime culture and released songs with subtitles not only in French but in Japanese before settling on a stage look that is somewhere between free-spirited partying and lounge chic.

Poliquin said that visuals amounted to a new, and sometimes overlooked means of self-expression for musicians.

"You can see right away if a major (label) is behind the aesthetic and it doesn't quite fit," she said.

"It's fun to think about the visuals," added Lafond-Beaulne. "It's like you're a teenager finding who you are. And now we're adults -- young adults."]]>
7/16/2018 10:59:33 AM
<![CDATA[Hollywood star Will Smith brings down curtain on Russia World Cup]]>
As Smith performed at Moscow’s Luzhniki stadium, giant screens laid out on the pitch showed images of soccer players and the colors of the Croatian and French flags - the two teams who face each other in the final.

Smith was joined on stage by Nicky Jam, a U.S.-born singer with Puerto Rican roots, and by Era Istrefi, a pop singer who describes herself as Albanian Kosovar. Both artists had featured with Smith on the “Live It Up” single.

In the final sequence of the ceremony, Russian opera singer Aida Garifullina performed Russian folk song “Kalinka” accompanied by bagpipes, a children’s choir, and a percussion section.

That section featured a guest performer: Brazilian soccer star and past World Cup winner Ronaldinho, who for a few bars of the song hammered out the rhythm on an African drum.

The performances were a prelude to France and Croatia’s players taking to the pitch to begin their final match, in front of a packed crowd at the 80,000-seat stadium.]]>
7/16/2018 10:53:05 AM
<![CDATA[Box Office: 'Skyscraper' Gets Rocky Start as 'Hotel Transylvania 3' Checks In at No. 1]]>
“Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation” topped the domestic box office charts with $44 million from 4,267 locations, while Dwayne Johnson’s “Skyscraper” washed up with a paltry $25.5 from 3,782 theaters.

Sony’s animated family feature picked up $46.4 million overseas this weekend for a global start of $100 million, including Amazon Prime showings. The third installment of the franchise — featuring the voices of Adam Sandler, Selena Gomez, Andy Samberg, and Kathryn Hahn — carried an $80 million production budget.

“We’re thrilled,” Sony’s president of worldwide distribution Josh Greenstein said. “We took the No. 1 slot this weekend with a tremendous amount of competition.”

As the first film in the series debuting during summer (its predecessors opened in September), Greenstein said the studio hopes “Hotel Transylvania 3” will benefit in coming weeks from kids being out of school.

The opening for “Hotel Transylvania 3” represents the second-best for the franchise. The first film, 2012’s “Hotel Transylvania,” bowed with $42 million, while the sequel started with $48 million.

“Skyscraper’s” debut wasn’t enough to secure the No. 2 slot, which went to the second weekend of Marvel’s “Ant-Man and the Wasp” with $29.5 million from 4,206 locations. The superhero sequel picked up another $35.3 million internationally, taking its global total to $284 million. Domestically, the Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly-led tentpole earned $133 million, while overseas it has made $151 million.

Universal and Legendary’s “Skyscraper” checked in third place, coming in way under projections. With $25 million, “Skyscraper” represents the lowest opening for a Johnson-starrer in recent years. The studio is banking on his massive international following to justify the film’s pricey $125 million budget. It bows in China, where the action film is set, next weekend.

Universal’s head of domestic distribution Jim Orr emphasized “Skyscraper’s” reliance on overseas markets.

“The domestic results are part of a broader global play,” Orr said. “I think we’re going to have a great run. It’s not all about opening weekend.”

“Incredibles 2” landed in fourth place with $16 million in its fifth weekend, while “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” rounded out the top five with $15.5 million in its fourth frame. However, that order could fluctuate when final numbers are tallied on Monday.

Disney-Pixar’s “Incredibles 2” is now the ninth-highest domestic release of all time with $535.8 million. The animated family film has amassed $856.9 million worldwide, including $321 million from overseas markets.

At the specialty box office, A24’s “Eighth Grade” generated the best per-screen-average of the year with $63,071. Bo Burnham wrote and directed the critically lauded feature, which made $255,000 when it opened on four screens. The coming-of-age film stars Elsie Fisher navigating her last week of middle school.

Meanwhile, Annapurna’s “Sorry to Bother You” nabbed seventh place at the domestic box office. Boots Riley’s satirical comedy pocketed $4.3 million when it expanded to 805 theaters. In total, it has earned $5.3 million.

Gus Van Sant’s “Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot” premiered in four theaters with $83,120. Joaquin Phoenix stars in the Amazon Studios comedy, which earned $20,780 per theater.

The summer of theatrical documentaries is still in full swing, as “Won’t You Be My Neighbor” earned $1.8 million in its sixth weekend. Morgan Neville’s film centering on Mister Rogers has grossed $15.8 million, making it the highest grossing documentary of the year, as well as the 16th-highest earning of all time.

Roadside Attractions and Miramax’s “Whitney” pulled in another $535,385 from 208 screens. The Whitney Houston documentary has made $2.6 million to date.

7/16/2018 10:49:18 AM
<![CDATA[Egyptian Film Week in Belgrade achieves huge success]]>
Marjan Vujovic, the international director of Kinoteka, recounted that the museum wishes to increase the number of contemporary Egyptian films in the museum's archives, while welcoming cooperation with counterpart institutions in Egypt, including the National Film Centre.

Vujovic elaborated that Kinoteka had translated the films into Serbian to facilitate the cultural outreach to the public. Ena Pavlovic, the president of the Arab Cultural Centre, expressed his happiness for the centre's participation in organizing activities related to Egyptian cinema which is the leading in the Arab World. “The centre, which gathers a group of graduates of the Department of Arabic Language in the Faculty of Philology, University of Belgrade, also promotes audio, visual and printed instruments for Arab culture,” Pavlovic added.

The Egyptian ambassador to Serbia stressed that selecting a variety of films that satisfies different tastes was the main reason behind the Film Week's success. The week hosted screenings of the following movies: "Ihky ya Shahrazad" (Shahrazad, Tell me a Story), "Betawkeet el-Kahera" (Cairo Time), "Fatet el Masnaa" (Factory Girl), "El-Ard" (The Land) and "Gharam Fel Karnak" (Love in Karnak).

“This prompted a number of local television channels in Serbia and the Balkans to request the screening of Egyptian films for a wider audience base,” the Egyptian ambassador added. He pointed out to the ability of the Egyptian film industry to communicate with wider societal circles in Serbia and neighbouring countries, noting that the embassy will continue to promote the Egyptian cinematic presence in the Serbian cultural institutions.

The ambassador called on the Egyptian film industry leaders to prepare for the Belgrade Film Festival. The festival is usually held in February and is considered the largest in Eastern and Southern Europe.
7/15/2018 6:42:01 PM
<![CDATA[Famine Stela: A piece of Pharaonic diary]]>

Imhotep, the architect of the Djoser pyramid in Saqqara, traveled to Yebu, where he visited the Temple of Khnum and saw the granite, precious stones, minerals, and building stones. Khnum, the god of fertility, was believed to have created mankind from clay.

After his state visit to Yebu, Imhotep updated king Djoser on his journey. On the day following his meeting with Imhetop, Khnum, came to the king in his dream, promising to end the famine and to allow the Nile to flow again if Djoser restores the temple of Khnum. Consequently, Djoser executed Khnum's wishes, allocating the revenue of the area from Elephantine to Khnum temple. Shortly afterwards, the famine and people’s suffering came to an end.

Famine Stela at Sehel Island in Aswan- Egypt Today/Mahmoud Sheleib

The famine story had been engraved on a granite stone in 250 BC during the era of Ptolemy V on the Sehel Island, Aswan. The Stela, which is 2.5 meters in height and 3 meters in width, includes 42 columns of hieroglyphic texts read from right to left. The Stela had a natural horizontal fissure when the Ptolemies engraved the story on it. Above the inscriptions, there were drawings depicting King Djsoer’s offerings to the triad of the Elephantine deities (Khnum, Anuket, and Satis), which were worshipped in Aswan during the Old Kingdom.

The stone was discovered in 1889 by American Egyptologist Charles Edwin Wilbour, according to his notes preserved in Brooklyn Museum Archives. Wilbour tried to translate the inscriptions on the Stela, but he only managed to recognize when the story was engraved on the stone. The engravings were deciphered for the first time by German Egyptologist Heinrich Brugsch in 1891 and it took 62 years for the mission to be completed. The texts had to be translated and revised by four other Egyptologists. The complete translation was later published in a book penned by Miriam Lichtheim, titled “Ancient Egyptian Literature: A Book of Readings”.

Perhaps, the story was previously documented on papyrus and reformulated on stone in the Ptolemy era, General Director of Aswan Antiquities Ahmed Saleh told Egypt Today.,

Religious conflict

Some Egyptologists, including Saleh, think that the story of the Khnum famine is a fictional story invented during the era of Ptolemy V to consolidate Khnum’s priesthood and perpetuate the idea that Khnum has the upper hand, thereby, ensuring his control over Egypt. The same theory is backed by Lichtheim in her book “Foundations of Atlantis, Ancient Astronauts and Other Alternatives.”

“The Stela demonstrates a religious conflict between Khnum priests and goddess Isis’ clergymen,” Saleh explains, adding that another story on a famine engraved in the Philae temple states that Isis, a goddess of ancient Egypt, is the source of the Nile water.

Famine Stela in Sehel Island, Aswan- Egypt Today/Mahmoud Sheleib

During the Ptolemaic era, Isis was worshipped all over Egypt. With the revenues from land plots extending from Aswan Dam to the city of Mahraqqa, southern Aswan, were allocated for Isis’ Philae Temple priests. Khnum’s clergymen were angry for not having the upper hand in Egypt; thus, it is believed that the story of the famine is just a fictional tale invented by the jealous priests, according to Saleh.

“Such conflict could be the reason behind the creation of the famine story engraved on the Stela as it would empower them to religiously take control of Egypt,” he said.

At Isis’ Temple of Philae, another story on a famine was engraved on granite. Isis’ story was engraved in the era of Ptolemy VI (186–145 BC), Saleh explained. “Each party (Khnum priests and Isis’ clergymen) wanted to bestow their favors on Egypt,” and to have the revenues of the 12-mile-long area between Aswan dam and Elephantine, Saleh confirmed.

At the end of the story, according to the inscription of the Famine Stela in Sehel Island, the Khnum priests were honored by the revenues.

Egypt depended on the Nile flood water, and was exposed to several famines. However, in Minya, Upper Egypt, another inscription was engraved in the tomb of Amenemhat, from the 12th Dynasty during the era of Senusret I, in Beni Hasan Cemetery; it talks about a just king, whose era had never seen a famine, Head of Minya Antiquities, Gamal Samastawy, told Egypt Today.

‘Is Imhotep and Prophet Joseph the same person?’

Many people believe that this story is related to Prophet Joseph's story of the seven-year starvation in Quran and the Old Testament. However, Saleh said that the two stories are not necessarily connected.

“There are no historical facts that prove the famine story is related to the divine one,” Saleh said, continuing that that number seven in Sehel’s Famine Stela does not necessarily mean “seven years” but could merely be a symbol of perfection and completion.

Stela of Famine engravings have been affected by erosion. “Some inscriptions were scratched due to erosion, rains and winds,” Saleh pointed out. “These inscriptions were restored in 2015 by the Egyptian archeological mission,” he added, noting that the Ministry of Antiquities plans to build a tent over the Stela to protect it from the rains.

‘Book of Memories’

Sehel Island, where the Stela exists, is considered by the Egyptologists as a piece of Pharaonic diary of 550 stones engraved by ancient Egyptian kings, rulers, pilgrims, travellers, and patients.

Pharaonic stones at Sehel Island in Aswan- Egypt Today/Mahmoud Sheleib

“The Sehel Island is a book of memories. Whenever a king or priest passed by the island, he wrote his memory like ‘I am…son of…my mother is…’. The area has 550 engraved memories dating from the prehistoric period to Roman Greek era,” Saleh said.

The engraved stories also served as a way of documenting tasks. “Any state official who was sent to get gold from the South used to engrave his mission on the stone,” Saleh continues.

Sehel was a place of worshipping the Goddess Anuket, one of the Elephantine triad; the stones could be classified into two categories: royal engravings and inscriptions by individuals.

Inscription on a stone at Sehel Island in Aswan- Egypt Today/Mahmoud Sheleib

Most engravings include the depiction of the triad, where travelers or patients asked for success in life or treatment from an illness.

The stones also include one of the most important engravings that prove that Senusret III (1878 BC to 1839 BC) decreed to dig and expand a canal in the western side of the Sehel Island, for his warships and to serve as a maritime trade passage.

7/15/2018 6:36:48 PM
<![CDATA[Baalbeck Festival to honour Umm Kulthum]]>
The festival is scheduled to run from July 20 to August 18 at the Roman Temple of Bacchus, Lebanon.

The opening ceremony titled “Baalbeck Remembers Umm Kulthum” will honour the Arab world's greatest singer through a 90-minute combination of her most famous songs presented by renowned Egyptian composer and conductor Hisham Gabr.

The collection will include "Seerat El-Hob" (Love’s Name), "Enta Omry" (You Are My Life), "Fakkarouni" (They Reminded Me), "Hayyart Albi" (You Confused My Heart), "Alf Laila Wa Laila" (One Thousand and One Nights), and "Aghadan Alkak" (Am I Going To Meet You Tomorrow?).

The festival will witness the participation of prestigious artists such as Rossini’s Stabat Mater, Matthieu Chedid, Ibrahim Maaouf, Georges Khabbaz, Jahida Wehbe, Elie Maalouf and many others.

“The festival was launched in 1956. Initially, the festival was managed by people on a mission to promote culture and tourism in Lebanon. They aspired to nurture an enticing artistic environment rooted in cross-cultural exchange. They also strove to establish a unique setting for innovative performances by local, regional and acclaimed international talents. Soon the festival became an annual highlight on the calendar every summer, gaining an international reputation and attracting big names on the music, theatre and dance scenes,” the festival’s website reads.

Who is Umm Kulthum?

Umm Kulthum was a beloved Egyptian singer and actress; she is considered one of the greatest singers in Arab history.

Umm Kulthum's voice was quickly identified as unique, strong, vibrant and instantly recognizable.

Her famous songs include: “Al Atlal” (The ruins), “El hobb Kolloh” (all the love), “Ya Zalemeny” (You were unjust to me), “Ya Mesharany” (You keep me awake all night), “Hayart Albi Ma’ak” (You confused my heart) amongst others.

In 1944, Umm Kulthum was granted the highest level of Order of Virtues, ‘Nishan el-Kamal’ by King Farouk. After Egypt’s 1952 revolution, the new military leadership attempted to prevent her from singing because of the award, but Gamal Abdel Nasser, a fan of Umm Kulthum, intervened and reversed the decision.

After the 1967 War, in which Israel occupied parts of Egypt, Umm Kulthum sang a series of nationalistic songs that fuelled patriotism and pan-Arab sentiment. She also gave many performances in various Arab countries to raise money for the Egyptian army.

More than three decades after her death, Umm Kulthum still lives on in the hearts of all her fans and her brilliant voice still rings in their ears. Her fans gave her the title "Kawakab Al-Sharq" (Star of the East). Umm Kulthum was considered the greatest Arab singer of the 20th century.

Her valuable belongings and old records and tapes were moved to the Umm Kulthum Museum at Manasterli palace in December 2001. The museum is a wonderful tribute to the singer's life.

Umm Kulthum’s spirit is felt in every corner of the museum. People have reported hearing her voice in the museum despite none of her songs was played at the time. Only there, can one know the story of this dazzling Egyptian woman sticking to her silk scarf, which she could never do without during performances.

Umm Kulthum died on February 3, 1975.

7/15/2018 4:04:40 PM
<![CDATA[A closer look at Saqqara's unique discovery]]>
The discovery was unveiled south of King Unas' Pyramid in Saqqara by an Egyptian-German mission from the Tübingen University. The mission also found a gilded sliver mummy mask in one of the burial chambers of the main shaft attached to the mummification workshop.

The mask belonged to the Second Priest of Mut and Niut-shaes and measures 23 x 18.5 cm. The initial microscopic examination indicated that the mask is made of gilded silver, calcite and obsidian and contains a black precious stone, most probably black onyx.

The toupee was also inlayed with gemstones that were once embedded in colour pastes. A research and conservation project is currently being planned for the mask.

“The importance of such a discovery lies in its relevance to an important issue that the whole world is concerned with, which is mummification with its methods of embalming, workshops and tools,” Anany recounted in the press conference.

Ramadan Badry Hussein, director of Saqqara Saite Tombs Project and Professor at Tübingen University, announced that this discovery is considered a unique one.

According to Hussein, the discovered mummification workshop is a rectangular building of mud brick and irregular limestone blocks; it has an entrance on the south-western corner that leads to an open area with two large basins and a mud brick ramp between them. The two basins are surrounded with mud brick walls and are believed to have been used for the preparation of linen bandages.

Hussein recounted that the mummification workshop includes an embalmer’s cachette with a 13 meter deep shaft that ends with a rectangular subterranean chamber, where a large number of pottery vessels, bowls and measuring cups used for keeping mummification oils and materials were found.

Additionally, a large shaft used as a communal burial place was found in the middle of the mummification workshop. Shaft number K24 comprises several burial chambers, including a complex of burial chambers cut into the bedrock at a depth of 30 meters.

The burial chambers are arranged on the sides of two inlets. The first inlet has an intact burial chamber on the west, where three decayed wooden coffins were found at the western end of a large limestone sarcophagus, a fourth mummy was found to the north of that sarcophagus and a large number of ushabti figurines were also found along the northern side of the sarcophagus.


Hussein further pointed out that the middle wooden coffin is badly damaged, and the mummy inside it had a gilded mask. The wooden coffin was once plastered and painted with an image of the goddess Nut, the mother of the god of the dead, Osiris.

The decorations on the coffin also include the titles of the owner of the mask along with his name. The owner is the Second Priest of the goddess Mut and the Priest of the goddess Niut-shaes, a serpent form of the goddess Mut. The theophoric name of the owner of the mask includes the name of the goddess Neith, the patron goddess of Dynasty 26. Pieces of the painted plaster carrying the rest of his name are still missing, and the mission is searching for them in order to read the full name of the deceased.


Head of the supreme council of Antiquities Mostafa Waziry announced that the importance of this discovery lies in that it was found in Saqqara, a site that has not been visited by an archaeological mission since 1900.

Waziry explained that the well in which the workshop is located is connected to another well that is expected to be uncovered during the upcoming period.

The Egyptian- German mission has started the implementation of the art technology method in the documentation and recording of monuments, particularly the laser scanning and photogrammetry techniques. The mission’s digital documentation methods include the 3D photogrammetric models and laser scans of the burial chambers of Padinist. The Mission also conducted a conservation project of the polychrome reliefs and inscriptions found in the burial chambers.


7/15/2018 3:22:07 PM
<![CDATA[China's 'Dallas Buyers Club' is surprise box-office hit]]>
"Dying to Survive" is based on Lu Yong, who was arrested in 2013 after illegally importing a generic cancer drug in a case that sparked public debate about high medical costs.

It is being compared to "Dallas Buyers Club", the critically acclaimed 2013 US film about smuggled HIV treatments, and praised as a breath of fresh air in China's heavily censored cinema landscape.

The public debate eventually saw Lu's case dismissed and his experience is credited with prompting government steps to make cancer medicines more accessible and affordable.

Starring popular comic actor and director Xu Zheng as a character modelled after Lu, the movie uses touches of black comedy to leaven the heavy subject matter and is on course to become one of China's highest-grossing films.

Released July 5, it surpassed even the first-week box office take of "Wolf Warrior 2", a commando adventure that last year capitalised on rising patriotism to become China's highest-grossing movie ever and the first non-Hollywood title in the 100 all-time top-earners worldwide.

- Three years to live -

Lu, now 50, was told in 2002 he had three years left after being diagnosed with chronic myelogenous leukaemia (CML).

Doctors said Glivec, manufactured by Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis, could stabilise his condition until he was able to get a potentially life-saving bone-marrow transplant.

But Glivec -- Novartis' brand name for the drug Imatinib -- cost a prohibitive 24,000 yuan ($3,600) per bottle in China then.

An Indian generic version cost only 2,000 yuan, however, so Lu began ordering it from abroad, increasing the volume over the years as other patients sought his help.

The Indian drug was barred under Chinese rules and Lu was eventually arrested.

But in a rare case of Communist authorities bending to popular opinion, prosecutors in central Hunan province dropped Lu's case after thousands of Chinese leukaemia patients signed an open letter urging his release.

Lu, who says he never sought to profit from the scheme, was never charged.

Since then, the government has relaxed policies on cancer drug imports and allowed reimbursement for Glivec prescriptions under national health insurance.

"I know the pressure of being tortured by disease, so I never thought to make one cent," Lu said in comments on his personal blog.

"Since the movie's release, it's become a sensation. To be able to push healthcare reform is an excellent thing."

Lu, still awaiting his bone-marrow transplant, is now a businessman who owns a handglove factory in eastern China.

As of Friday, the film had earned 2.04 billion yuan ($300 million). "Wolf Warrior 2" earned a total 5.67 billion yuan in a 12-week cinema run.

- Changing minds -

China's censors rarely green-light mass releases of films on touchy subjects.

But the key villain in "Dying to Survive" is the pharmaceutical industry, and the Communist Party apparently saw the propaganda value of a movie that portrays the government as responsive on the issue.

The government announced earlier this year that it would lift tariffs on many cancer treatments, and the buzz around the film's release has coincided with yet more change.

In late June, it was announced that dozens of previously-barred imported drugs had been added to national medical insurance.

After the release of "Dying to Survive" rekindled the discussion, China's drug administration said it also would remove hurdles to foreign generic drugs "to better satisfy the medication need of China's patients".

The movie hit a 9.1 average rating on popular Chinese film-review website Douban.com shortly after its release, one of the site's highest-ever marks.

Bai Feng, the original prosecutor in Lu's case, told a government-run news portal after the film came out that Lu's case helped change government thinking.

"It promoted a transition in our concept of justice and the perception of how we enforce the law," Bai said.]]>
7/15/2018 11:33:51 AM
<![CDATA[U.S. lawmakers shown backing fake kindergarten gun scheme in Sacha Baron Cohen satire]]>
In a seven-episode series launching on cable channel Showtime on Sunday, the British prankster takes on four different personas as he satirizes the political and cultural life of the United States in the era of President Donald Trump.

In the first episode of “Who is America?”, previewed for media by Showtime, Baron Cohen poses as an Israeli anti-terror expert who gets two U.S. congressmen to voice support for his fake “Kinderguardians” scheme for children as young as three.

The scheme includes a fake instructional video featuring children’s songs and “gunimals” — weapons adorned with soft toys — that would purportedly help kids confront the school shootings that have plagued the United States for the past decade.

Republican congressmen Dana Rohrabacher of California and Joe Wilson of South Carolina, along with former Senate Republican leader Trent Lott, who is now a lobbyist at a Washington law firm, are shown enthusiastically backing the idea, alongside gun rights advocates and a former congressman-turned-talk radio host, Joe Walsh.

Showtime and Sacha Baron Cohen both declined to comment on the series. Those shown endorsing the fake scheme, including the politicians, had not seen the finished show ahead of its Sunday premiere. Rohrabacher, Wilson and Lott did not immediately reply to requests for comment late on Saturday.

Walsh told CNN on Saturday that he was tricked into reading the words off a teleprompter.

The show marks Baron Cohen’s first television project in a decade after he launched his comedy career as subversive white English rapper Ali G., whose interviewees included Donald Trump and Newt Gingrich. His 2006 faux documentary film “Borat” ridiculed Kazakhstan and Middle Americans.

In “Who is America?”, Baron Cohen also takes aim at the media and political correctness, with the comedian posing as a pony-tailed liberal radio reporter on a post-2016 election cycling tour, and a man in a disability scooter who purports to investigate fake news.

In the first episode, Baron Cohen’s radio journalist persona is shown dining at the home of two Trump supporters in South Carolina and regaling them with lurid stories about his supposed family.

Walsh, the former congressman from Illinois, told CNN on Saturday that he had been asked by a documentary crew to read lines from a teleprompter endorsing various supposed Israeli innovations, including the idea of arming four-year-olds to defend themselves against terrorists.

“I’ll probably laugh at myself” when the episode airs, Walsh told CNN, adding that he is a fan of Baron Cohen. “He’s a funny guy because he gets people to say stupid things.”]]>
7/15/2018 11:32:10 AM
<![CDATA[Jamie Cullum brings new material to Montreux, takes a jab at Trump]]>
Cullum, who turns 39 next month, leapt from the piano during the opening number “Get Your Way” to set the tone for a high-energy two-hour show at Stravinski Auditorium that ended at midnight on Friday.

It was Cullum’s fifth appearance at the prestigious event since 2004, which was shortly after the release of his breakout album “Twentysomething”, which went on to become the No. 1 selling studio album by a jazz artist in Britain.

“To be here is a dream, coming back here five times to Montreux, this is one of the greatest festivals of the world. I don’t take it lightly at all, so many of my heroes played here,” Cullum told the crowd of 4,000 at the festival’s 52nd edition.

“You know who we have in London at the moment, a visitor... What I’m saying is it is very, very good to be here,” he said.

Cullum said the Montreux Jazz Festival, founded by the late Claude Nobs and directed by Mathieu Jaton since 2013, “always supports musicians in their creative endeavor, they don’t tell you when you have to finish, they say ‘go and do what you want and have fun’.”

Wearing black and backed by a band and two female vocalists, he played tracks from his repertoire including “All at Sea” and “These are the Days”.]]>
7/15/2018 11:30:22 AM
<![CDATA[Omar Taher to sign his latest book ‘Mowasalat’ in Alexandria]]>
Omar Taher provides in his book two aspects for the reader; first, that it offers entertainment to the reader during the trip and it kills time. Second, the author believes that the stories make the trip more interesting.

Omar Taher is an Egyptian journalist born in 1973 to a wealthy family from Upper Egypt. He published several novels and poems such as, “Labodda min Kheyana” (Betrayal is a Must), “Shakalaha Bazet” (It’s Done For), “Captain Masr” (Captain of Egypt), the Arabic translation of Paulo Coelho’s “By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept”, and many more.

He also wrote songs for many famous singers such as Asala Nasri, Ramy Sabry, Cairokee, Ahmed Saad, Ahmed Adaweyah, and Mohammed Assaf among others.


Taher received various awards in his career so far; he won the Best Author Award in 2015 from Shabab Magazine. In the same year, his book “Ezait Al Aghani” (Airing the Music) won the Best Book Award.

7/15/2018 10:14:37 AM
<![CDATA[Frank Sinatra's first wife, Nancy, dies at 101]]>
The announcement was made by Nancy Sinatra Jr who wrote on her website that her mother had died at 6:02 pm on Friday but did not say where.

"She fought hard to remain on this earth but time got the better of her," she wrote, adding that her mother passed "peacefully."

"Godspeed, Momma and thank you for everything."

Frank and Nancy Sinatra had three children together.

Born Nancy Barbato on March 25, 1917 in Jersey City, she met her future husband in the summer of 1934, while they were holidaying with their families on the Jersey Shore.

At the time, she was 17 and he was 19.

"Nancy was giving herself a manicure on the front porch when Frank came over with his ukulele and began to serenade her," according to an account on Sinatra's website.

"One thing led to another, and they started going together."

They wed in 1939 at the Our Lady of the Sorrows church in Jersey, then moved into a modest New York apartment while Nancy worked as a secretary.

In 1950, humiliated by reports in the press of Frank's affair with screen siren Ava Gardner, Nancy filed for separation and their divorce was finalized in 1951.

Notorious for his romantic conquests, Frank would go on to marry Gardner (1951-57), then Mia Farrow (1966-68), and eventually model Barbara Marx in 1976.

But he remained close with Nancy until his death in 1998, according to the New York Times.

The oldest of their three children is Nancy Sinatra Jr, who went on to have a successful singing career with hits such as "These Boots Are Made for Walkin" and "Something Stupid", a duet she sang with her father.

Their second child Frank Jr, who died in 2016, also had a career in music, while the youngest is Tina Sinatra.]]>
7/14/2018 4:48:39 PM
<![CDATA[In pics: Discovered mask in Saqqara might belong to priest during 26th dynasty]]>
“There is a layer of masking and calcification on the discovered mask, after initial examination, it was found that the mask was made of gold-plated silver while his eyes was made of Black Onyx,” Hussein declared to the media on the sidelines of the press conference.

حسين طلال (12)
Some of the discovered items at five stone coffins uncovered at Saqqara area. The new archaeological discovery in Saqqara dates back to the late period of Ancient Egypt, from the seventh century BC to the fifth century BC - Hussein Talal/Egypt Today

حسين طلال (18)
The site of the new archaeological discovery at Saqqara area, Giza. The discovery dates back to the late period of Ancient Egypt, from the seventh century BC to the fifth century BC - Hussein Talal/Egypt Today

The head of the supreme council of Antiquities Mostafa Waziry announced that the importance of this discovery lies in that it was found in Saqqara, which no archaeological mission had visited since 1900.

Waziry pointed out that the discovered mummification workshop hosted 1,500 Ushabti statues, explaining that the well in which the workshop is located in is connected to another well and is expected to be uncovered during the upcoming period.

حسين طلال (22)
Some of the discovered items at five stone coffins uncovered at Saqqara area. The new archaeological discovery in Saqqara dates back to the late period of Ancient Egypt, from the seventh century BC to the fifth century BC - Hussein Talal/Egypt Today

حسين طلال (27)
Some of the discovered items at five stone coffins uncovered at Saqqara area. The new archaeological discovery in Saqqara dates back to the late period of Ancient Egypt, from the seventh century BC to the fifth century BC - Hussein Talal/Egypt Today

Minister of Antiquities Khaled Anany announced on Saturday the discovery of more than five stone coffins at Saqqara area, and declared it “a great archaeological discovery”.

Anany added that the Egyptian-German mission succeeded in uncovering a complete mummification workshop which contains burial chambers with mummies dating back to the 26th and 27th dynasty.

حسين طلال (10)
Some of the discovered items at five stone coffins uncovered at Saqqara area. The new archaeological discovery in Saqqara dates back to the late period of Ancient Egypt, from the seventh century BC to the fifth century BC - Hussein Talal/Egypt Today

حسين طلال (11)
Some of the discovered items at five stone coffins uncovered at Saqqara area. The new archaeological discovery in Saqqara dates back to the late period of Ancient Egypt, from the seventh century BC to the fifth century BC - Hussein Talal/Egypt Today

A gilded mummy mask decorated with half-precious stones was discovered covering the face of one of the mummies. The discovered items included three mummies, a group of canopic vessels made of calcite and a number of Ushabtis as well.

Anany stressed that the new archaeological discovery in Saqqara dates back to the late period of Ancient Egypt, from the seventh century BC to the fifth century BC.

“The importance of such a discovery lies in its relevance to an important issue that the whole world is concerned with, which is the mummification, methods of embalming, its workshops and tools,” Anany recounted in the press conference. ]]>
7/14/2018 3:48:10 PM
<![CDATA[‘122’: An Arab horror success or failure?]]>
Following the success of “The Blue Elephant” movie, a group of superstars are now working together on casting in a new movie named “122” that is anticipated to achieve success.

Among the stars casting in “122” are Amina Khalil, Tarek Lotfy, Ahmed Elfishawy, Mamdooh Mohammed, Gihan Khalil, Mohammed Dawood and numerous others.

The movie revolves around a couple that face a catastrophe inside what appears as a hospital. The couple eventually try to escape and run for their lives, but that won’t be easy as they face a lot of obstacles along the way.

The public have split expectations towards “122”. Some expect it to be a great success while others don’t expect much from the movie.

A photo behind the scenes

“122” is written by Salah Eljohainy. Eljohainy also previously wrote “Alkhaleya” (The Cell) and “Awlad Rezk” (Rezk’s Sons), both movies that gained great success at the time of their release.

The movie is directed by Iraqi Best Arab Director award winner Yasser Elyassery.

7/14/2018 1:14:58 PM
<![CDATA[Cheb Khalid, Tamer Hosny’s to cooperate for the first time in ‘Wenta Ma’aya’ ]]>

“Eesh Beshoa’ak” (Live as You Please) is the name Hosny chose for his new album that is widely anticipated by his fans for over two years now.

The album is promised to consist of numerous surprises for the star’s fans.

Among the surprises is the duet “Wenta Ma’aya” (When You Are with Me) with the great Algerian star Cheb Khalid.

Distributor Elhamadawy stated to Egypt Today that he is almost done with the final touches for the duo’s much anticipated song.

Elhamadawy further stated that the song is unique and different from Hosny’s usual musical style and that is going to be a great surprise for the fans.

Distributor Elhamadawy is currently considered as the pioneer musical distributor in Egypt after the recent release of his musical project “Aamer” (Whatever You Want) in which he signed with the Moroccan star Eldozy.

The song “Aamer” (Whatever You Want) passed the five-million view stage in YouTube alone in just a couple of days since its release.

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 Bahagat Kamar 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.

Tamer Honsey performing in Saudi Arabia/ March 30 - 2018 / File Photo

Tamer Honsey concert in Saudi Arabia/ March 30 - 2018 / File Photo
7/14/2018 12:20:06 PM
<![CDATA[In pics: 5 ancient Egyptian stone coffins discovered at Saqqara ]]>
Anany added that the Egyptian-German mission succeeded in uncovering a complete mummification workshop which contains burial chambers with mummies dating back to the 26th and 27th dynasty.

حسين طلال (12)
Some of the discovered items at five stone coffins uncovered at Saqqara area. The new archaeological discovery in Saqqara dates back to the late period of Ancient Egypt, from the seventh century BC to the fifth century BC - Hussein Talal/Egypt Today

حسين طلال (18)
The site of the new archaeological discovery at Saqqara area, Giza. The discovery dates back to the late period of Ancient Egypt, from the seventh century BC to the fifth century BC - Hussein Talal/Egypt Today

A gilded mummy mask decorated with half-precious stones was discovered covering the face of one of the mummies. The discovered items included three mummies, a group of canopic vessels made of calcite and a number of Ushabtis as well.

حسين طلال (22)
Some of the discovered items at five stone coffins uncovered at Saqqara area. The new archaeological discovery in Saqqara dates back to the late period of Ancient Egypt, from the seventh century BC to the fifth century BC - Hussein Talal/Egypt Today

حسين طلال (27)
Some of the discovered items at five stone coffins uncovered at Saqqara area. The new archaeological discovery in Saqqara dates back to the late period of Ancient Egypt, from the seventh century BC to the fifth century BC - Hussein Talal/Egypt Today

Anany stressed that the new archaeological discovery in Saqqara dates back to the late period of Ancient Egypt, from the seventh century BC to the fifth century BC.

“The importance of such a discovery lies in its relevance to an important issue that the whole world is concerned with, which is the mummification, methods of embalming, its workshops and tools,” Anany recounted in the press conference.

Additional reporting by Reham Abdullah ]]>
7/14/2018 12:17:28 PM
<![CDATA[Acclaimed "Downton Abbey" TV series to be turned into a movie]]>
Julian Fellowes, who created the show, has written the screenplay and will also produce the movie, production and distribution company Focus Features said on Friday.

Brian Percival, who directed the first and several other episodes, will reprise the role for the film, and production will start later this summer.

“When the television series drew to a close it was our dream to bring the millions of global fans a movie and now, after getting many stars aligned, we are shortly to go into production,” producer Gareth Neame said in a statement.

“Julian’s script charms, thrills and entertains and in Brian Percival’s hands we aim to deliver everything that one would hope for as Downton comes to the big screen”.

The show, which first aired in 2011 and went on for six seasons gaining a huge following in Britain and the United States, followed the Crawley family in their huge country home as well as the lives of their servants.

It went on to win several Golden Globes and Primetime Emmy awards and there has long been speculation that it would be turned into a film.

Fans as well as cast members took to Twitter to express their delight at the news.

“Delighted to announce we’re getting the band back together!” actress Joanne Froggatt wrote on Twitter alongside a picture of her with fellow cast members Michelle Dockery and Maggie Smith.]]>
7/14/2018 7:30:00 AM
<![CDATA[Love machine on sympathy crutches: Beck embraces inner weirdo]]>
Playing Thursday night to thousands at Quebec City's summer festival on the sweeping Plains of Abraham battle site, Beck quickly made clear that his classic, wacky side was in the house.

"Love machines on the sympathy crutches / Discount orgies on the dropout bases," Beck sang as he kicked off his set with "Devil's Haircut," which also opened his best-selling album, 1996's "Odelay."

Backed by a seven-member band, Beck ripped into his catalog with crescendoing force, the powerful, quick-shifting drums of Chris Coleman driving the way and bluesy keys and bass building a marathon extended version of "Where It's At."

"Odelay" cemented Beck as one of the progenitors of alternative rock, with his suave fusion of funky rhythms, grungy guitars and hip-hop delivery, coupled with surrealist lyricism that references street life in his native Los Angeles and science fiction, providing inspiration to two decades of artists.

But Beck has also defied predictability. In 2015, he was the surprise winner of the Grammy for Album of the Year with "Morning Phase," one of two works on which Beck strips back the layers for mournful, acoustic reflections.

As if heeding a music industry narrative, Beck last year followed up the Grammy with his most mainstream pop album to date, "Colors."

Beck, who on his breakthrough hit "Loser" spoke of shaving with mace in the dark and maggots on his sleeve, instead is singing, "All the colors, see the colors, make the colors, feel the colors."

Yet "Colors" was no knee-jerk album, with Beck postponing its release for a year as he fine-tuned an elaborate production, and Beck seamlessly brought the songs, with their boisterous beats, into his live show.

- Adapting battlefield stage -

Clad as a hipster cowboy in a black-and-white checkered shirt and boots before switching to a pink coat, Beck voiced amazement at the size of the crowd assembled before one of North America's largest stages, set on the site where British forces routed the French from Canada in 1759.

Beck took care when segueing to the more intimate sounds of "Morning Phase," bringing his band to the front as if in a group serenade.

Yet alone with his guitar, Beck also offered a free-wheeling version of "Debra" -- in which his Hyundai, heading to a suburban shopping mall, becomes a spaceship -- and, as has become his wont, an acoustic, falsetto-driven cover of Prince's pop classic "Raspberry Beret."

The Purple One also made a less expected appearance as the hard funk rhythms of his song "Controversy" introduced to the stage Phoenix -- a band whose infectious electro-pop in fact steers clear of controversy.

In an unusual opening slot for a group that has headlined top US festival Coachella, the French rockers cranked up the bass to painful levels before a joyous set led by tunes from their latest album, the Italian holiday-themed "Ti Amo."

Frontman Thomas Mars, slipping the cherry-red microphone into his pocket, gave his body to the crowd as he surfed 50 meters, fans propping him up while trying to snap photos on their phones.

The summer festival, known in French as the Festival d'ete de Quebec, follows an unusual public model with low-price passes for a full 11 days of music, the sheer volume of selling some 100,000 tickets helping recoup costs.

Other headliners this year have included rock legend Neil Young, R&B sensation The Weeknd and post-grunge standard-bearers Foo Fighters.]]>
7/14/2018 6:10:00 AM
<![CDATA[McQueen thriller 'Widows' to open London Film Festival]]>
The film stars Academy Award winner Viola Davis, “Fast and Furious” actress Michelle Rodriguez and “The Night Manager’s Elizabeth Debicki among other big names.

The festival website describes the movie, set in Chicago, as a “complex thriller about a group of women with nothing in common except a debt left behind by their dead husbands’ criminal activities”.

It is adapted from an 1980s television series by British crime writer Lynda La Plante.

“Watching the UK TV version of Lynda La Plante’s original thriller as a teenager in the 80s had a major impact on me and so it feels very special to be sharing this film with a UK audience,” McQueen said in a statement.

The film, co-written by McQueen and novelist Gillian Flynn, will kick off the Oct 10-21 festival at its Opening Night Gala.]]>
7/14/2018 4:20:00 AM
<![CDATA[Young Portuguese inmates sing Mozart opera on way to freedom]]>
This was the second performance outside of the prison in as many years for the four-year old project, which has helped a former inmate land a job in the Gulbenkian Foundation’s concert hall. Others hope to follow suit and launch a music career.

“That’s the best social reintegration we can do,” said Carla Pragosa, a director of the Leiria prison for young offenders.

The project brings together officers and inmates as well as their families and friends, who sing or work on scenic design.

Tiago Silva was among the 19 young inmates who got up on stage to sing in front of hundreds of people at the foundation’s concert hall, while accompanied by the acclaimed Gulbenkian Orchestra - an experience the 23-year-old will never forget.]]>
7/14/2018 3:40:00 AM
<![CDATA[Ramy Sabry to perform in El Alamein City]]>
“Opening Ceremony concert of the New El Alamein City project in the Northern Coast on Friday July 13, 2018” Ramy Sabry posted on his official Facebook page.

Ramy Sabry is a well-known Egyptian singer and composer born on March 15, 1978. He released almost five albums so far in his career, Agmal Layaly Omry (The best nights of my life), Ghammadt Einy (I closed my eyes), Habib El Awalani (My first love), Wana Maah (When I’m with him), and Al Ragel (The man).

7/13/2018 4:42:58 PM
<![CDATA['Mission: Impossible - Fallout' premieres in Paris]]>
“Mission: Impossible – Fallout” tells the story of a mission gone wrong. Agent Ethan Hunt, played by Cruise, is hunted by assassins and former allies as he races against time to prevent a terrorist organization from provoking a global catastrophe.

Cruise, who is known for doing his own stunts, also races a motorbike helmet-less through oncoming traffic round Paris’ Arc de Triomphe and pilots a helicopter though mountain ravines in Kashmir.

Hundreds of fans queued for hours to see the actor arrive at a movie theater close to the Eiffel Tower.

“I have been attending Cruise’s premieres for the past six years and it still has the same effect; I am just as happy,” fan Julia Margot told Reuters.

Cruise told reporters that filming in the city had often been difficult.

“It is always a challenge but I am never afraid,” he said. “I chose to shoot in Paris because it is so beautiful, it is a city of cinema.”

Rebecca Ferguson, returning as Hunt’s love interest — a government agent sent to track his enemies down — said she was happy women were involved in the action.

“We shouldn’t bring women in films just to create an equality ... women need to be there,” she said.

The film, directed by Christopher McQuarrie, will be released in movie theaters worldwide from July 25th.

The first five “Mission: Impossible” movies have raked in $2.8 billion at the box office, according to Box Office Mojo, putting it in the top 20 movie franchises of all time.]]>
7/13/2018 2:00:00 PM
<![CDATA['Balash Tebosny' is now at Vox Cinema]]>
The film revolves around a director, Tamer, who struggles to deal with an actress, who refuses to partake in a kissing scene and quits the whole film industry after she decides to wear a veil (hijab). The film stars Yasmine Raies; award-winning directors Khairy Beshara, Sawsan Badr; and honorary cameos from late renowned directors Mohammed Khan and Mohamed Mahan. “Balash Tebosny” is directed by Egyptian-American writer and director Ahmed Amer.

The movie’s first screening was at the Dubai International Film Festival in December, 2017. Raies was a previous winner of the outstanding performance award for her leading role in Mohamed Khan’s “Factory Girl” in the festival’s 2013 edition, which was a milestone in her career.

Raies made her name through films such as “X-Large”, “Wahed Saheh” (The Whole One), “Taraf Talet” (Third Side) and “Al Maslaha” (The Benefit).]]>
7/13/2018 12:45:22 PM
<![CDATA[Netflix topples HBO in Emmy nominations, but 'Game of Thrones' still rules]]>
A slew of first time Emmy contenders included Sandra Oh as the first Asian-American lead comedy actress nominee for her role in quirky spy series “Killing Eve,” and Rachel Brosnahan’s 1950s housewife turned comedian in “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.”

Female-led shows and stories also did well as television continued to lead the way in reflecting social change, while the likes of Donald Glover, Tracee Ellis-Ross, Penelope Cruz, Antonio Banderas, Issa Rae, Regina King, and John Legend headed a racially diverse acting line-up.

“Games of Thrones,” a worldwide hit, got 22 nods, including for the top prize of best drama series. It was followed by NBC’s CMSCA.O sketch show “Saturday Night Live” and HBO’s sci-fi series “Westworld” with 21 nominations each, and Hulu’s dystopian vision “The Handmaid’s Tale” with 20.

Just five years after the launch of its first original series, “House of Cards,” Netflix ended HBO’s 17-year streak as the most Emmy-nominated network.

Netflix gathered 112 nods for shows that ranged from supernatural drama “Stranger Things” and British royal show “The Crown” to female wrestling comedy “GLOW,” new Western drama “Godless” and reality makeover series “Queer Eye.”

HBO, which was recently acquired by wireless carrier AT&T Inc, had 108 nominations, and noted in a statement that it was the eighth year it had gathered 100 nominations or more. NBC shows earned 78 nods.

Netflix campaigned heavily for the Emmys, the highest honors in television, and says it has budgeted $8 billion for programming in 2018. nL2N1T61QO

“Stranger Things” executive producer and director Shawn Levy said the streaming service was a joy to work with.

“They follow our lead and they don’t make us live inside a box either creatively or financially, and that is almost unheard of among networks and movie studios,” Levy told Reuters on Thursday.

The Emmy awards will be handed out in Los Angeles on Sept. 17 hosted by “Saturday Night Live” cast members Michael Che and Colin Jost.

“Game of Thrones” will compete for best drama with last year’s Emmy champion, Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale”, which also won nods for actresses Elisabeth Moss, Alexis Bledel, Samira Wiley, Ann Dowd and Yvonne Strahovski.

Bruce Miller, executive producer of “The Handmaid’s Tale,” acknowledged that the show’s vision of a theocracy where women are treated as property was hard to watch.

“You are basically writing a show about the way you pray that the world won’t go, and then it starts going that way.

We sit around and pray for irrelevance,” Miller told Reuters.

Other best drama contenders include “The Crown,” NBC’s family drama “This Is Us,” Cold War spy series “The Americans” on FX (FOXA.O) and “Westworld.”

“Game of Thrones” was out of the running in 2017 because the show aired later than usual.

In the comedy categories, hip-hop themed FX show “Atlanta” is up against Amazon’s (AMZN.O) “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” ABC’s (DIS.N) “black-ish,” “GLOW,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” quirky comedy “Barry”, tech comedy “Silicon Valley” and “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.”

FX’s true crime dramatization “The Assassination of Gianni Versace” led the limited series category with 18 nominations, including a best actor nod for Darren Criss who plays the killer of the gay Italian fashion designer.

Creator Ryan Murphy said it was a “heartbreaking story to tell, made more so by the fact that we continue as a culture to grapple with homophobia and shame and intolerance.”]]>
7/13/2018 11:50:22 AM
<![CDATA['Game of Thrones' storms back into Emmys race with 22 nominations]]>
The smash hit HBO show, which returns for a shortened eighth and final season next year, will compete once again for the coveted best drama series prize, several acting trophies and a slew of technical awards.

The show about noble families vying for the Iron Throne faces a tough challenge from perennial favorite comedy sketch show "Saturday Night Live" and HBO stablemate "Westworld" with 21 nominations each.

The Television Academy's 22,000-plus members spent two weeks in June sifting through more than 9,000 entries to choose nominees for the Emmys, the small-screen equivalent of the Oscars.

"The continued growth of the industry has provided opportunities for acclaimed new programs to emerge, while allowing last season's breakthrough programs to thrive," said academy chairman Hayma Washington.

The Emmys recognize programs shown in the year to May 31, meaning some of the usual heavy hitters -- from "Better Call Saul" to "House of Cards" and "Veep" -- are absent this time around.

With women's rights advocates angry over President Donald Trump's nomination of a deeply conservative judge to serve on the Supreme Court, a show about a fictional nightmarish America run by a totalitarian regime bent on oppressing women is tipped to steal some of the thunder of "Thrones."

- 'Thrones' supreme -

Hulu's "The Handmaid's Tale" scored 20 nominations -- seven better than last year -- and is an early favorite to repeat as the winner for best drama in September.

Another big story on Thursday was Netflix ending a 17-year winning streak by HBO. The streamer led the nominations with 112, while HBO scored 108. Adrift in third was NBC with 78 nods.

But it was "Thrones" that set the Emmys pace with its seventh season, which aired last summer, earning recognition for cast members Lena Headey, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Peter Dinklage and Diana Rigg.

It will also be in contention for directing, writing and a host of technical awards, as well as best drama, where the other rivals include FX's "The Americans," which wrapped recently and has four nods in total.

The category is completed by "Westworld," Netflix's "The Crown," which finished on 13 nominations, and the streaming service's sci-fi series "Stranger Things" (12), as well as NBC's family drama "This is Us."

- Entirely new -

Ryan Murphy's FX show "The Assassination of Gianni Versace," one of the few serious contenders this year that can claim to be entirely new, picked up an impressive 18 nominations, including for actors Darren Criss, Penelope Cruz, Edgar Ramirez and Ricky Martin.

The comedy crown usually stored in the "Veep" trophy cabinet went this year to "Atlanta," the FX comedy created by and starring Donald Glover, which amassed 16 nods.

Samantha Bee's nomination in the variety talk series category for her TBS show "Full Frontal" is likely to be interpreted as a gesture of support from Hollywood after she was upbraided for using a taboo curse word to describe Ivanka Trump.

"TBS bravely put a woman over 45 on TV and in turn I only got yelled at by the president once," she said in a statement.

"We have some seriously special people on our staff and hearing them go crazy in the office right now is just the medicine this world needs."

Samira Wiley, nominated for guest actress in "The Handmaid's Tale," and Ryan Eggold ("New Amsterdam") presented the nominations from the Television Academy in Los Angeles.

- Star-studded -

The most star-studded category, as is often the case, was best actor in a limited series or TV movie, where Antonio Banderas, Benedict Cumberbatch, John Legend and Jeff Daniels all picked up nominations.

Al Pacino, Kyle MacLachlan, and Michael B. Jordan were all in the hunt but missed out.

But the early money for the win in September is on Criss, a much lesser-known face who plays Versace's killer Andrew Cunanan in the FX drama.

Returning after a two-decade hiatus, "Roseanne" was one of the few depictions of working-class life on US television in the last 12 months, and also one of the only shows about Trump supporters otherwise largely ignored by Hollywood.

It looked like it was going to be shut out of this year's Emmys after 65-year-old star Roseanne Barr -- a vocal Trump backer who has aired far-right and conspiracy theorist views -- was dropped by ABC for making a racist slur on Twitter.

But the scandal appeared not to have tainted much-admired Tony winner and Oscar nominee Laurie Metcalf, Roseanne's sister Jackie in the show, who picked up her eighth nomination.

Second round voting takes place in August while the ceremony itself will be beamed live from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on September 17 on NBC -- hosted by "Saturday Night Live" duo Colin Jost and Michael Che.]]>
7/13/2018 3:30:00 AM
<![CDATA[Black Theama to perform at Cairo Opera House's Summer Festival]]>
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 the 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".

The Cairo Opera House launched its Summer Festival, which takes place in Cairo, Alexandria and Damanhur, with a concert for Al Nour Wal Amal Orchestra (Light and Hope) on Wednesday July 4, 2018, at the Open Air Theatre.

Al Nour Wal Amal is considered to be the only orchestra in the world to perform without musical notes as it consists of blind women. Several prominent musicians led the orchestra such as Andre Ryder, Ahmed Abul Eid, and Ali Othman, among others.

The festival’s program includes 58 concerts varying from jazz concerts to religious hymns concerts; ten concerts will take place at the Cairo Opera House's Open Air Theatre from July 4 to 19, and four concerts in the Damanhur Opera, 14 concerts at the Sayed Darwish theatre and El Romany Theater in Kom el-Dekka, Alexandria, will take place from July 18 to 30.

The festival includes several musical and dancing performances for great artists, and presents a collection of Arab and foreign shows such as, Habanera, Alla Turca (Turkish March), Mozart Serenade, Longa Ryad, Greek Zorba ballet, Farandole and many other performances.
7/12/2018 4:38:02 PM
<![CDATA[Deadline for applying for running GEM extended to Aug. 21]]>
GEM curator Tareq Tawfiq said the extension came at a request from several national and international companies that are vying to run services in the grand museum.

The committee will observe international transparency standards during the selection process, he promised.

On June 10 Investment Minister Sahar Nasr invited companies and consortiums wishing to contribute to operating services at the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) from seven to 10 years to submit their résumés that should include previous work experience in managing major cultural, trade and tourism institutions.

She made it clear that applicants should also prove efficiency in the fields of investment, development, operation and maintenance.]]>
7/12/2018 4:31:36 PM
<![CDATA[Minister of culture honors late actor Hussein Riad]]>
The ceremony was attended by Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr, Head of Cultural Production Affairs Khaled Galal, Director of the theater's Art House Ismail Mokhtar, and Head of the National Center for Theatre Mohamed al-Khouli.

inister of Culture, Inas Abdel Dayem, honored Thursday late actor Hussein Riad and actor Abdel Rahman Abu Zahra during a ceremony-Press Photo

“Today, we celebrate together two figures and icons of the Egyptian cinema and theatre; we share a sense of gratitude and appreciation for their works that have spoken about our souls and lives. They have respectful careers that shall never fade away, and will be passed on from one generation to another,” said Abdel Dayem during the ceremony.

The minister of culture granted Abu Zahra and Fatma, Riad's daughter, an appreciation certificate and the Shield of Pioneer; the ceremony was followed by a concert performed by the band of the National Center for Theater, Music and Folklore.]]>
7/12/2018 3:34:57 PM
<![CDATA[Archaeological site uncovered in Mit Abul Kom ]]>
Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, Mostafa Waziri, said that some of the discovered rooms are an obvious portrayal of the Roman architectural style; the rooms contain the well-known Roman marble columns and walls of large stone blocks with right angles, proving they date back to the Roman era. A large number of coins were also found in these rooms.

The Egyptian archaeological mission uncovered during rescue excavations, carried out in Mitt Abu al-Kom, an archaeological site-Ministry of Antiquities'official Facebook page

Meanwhile, other rooms show Byzantine walls with irregularly sized stone blocks with spaces filled with weak Byzantine mortar, which were found broken, according to the mission.
The Egyptian archaeological mission uncovered during rescue excavations, carried out in Mitt Abu al-Kom, an archaeological site-Ministry of Antiquities'official Facebook page

Furthermore, the mission discovered in one of the rooms a crown decorated with a six petal rosette known in the Greek and Hellenistic art, which was used by Copts as a symbol of the six-armed cross.

In the same context, Nadia Khedr, head of the Central Department of Lower Egypt’s Antiquities, said that antiquities representing Christian motifs such as the symbol of the cross and the palm branches of the Roman period were also found in a good condition, along with slightly burnt dishes, two large jars and a large number of fragments of pottery.]]>
7/12/2018 2:31:55 PM
<![CDATA[TV land launches awards slugfest with Emmy nominations]]>
The Television Academy's 22,000-plus members spent two weeks in June sifting through thousands of entries for the small-screen equivalent of the Oscars.

Critics agree that it hasn't been a vintage year, with very few new shows breaking through, but perennial favorites have delivered and the medium continues to out-innovate cinema.

"As someone who has traditionally been more about movies than TV, the richness of the small screen landscape these days genuinely excites me," Hollywood entertainment journalist and producer Simon Thompson told AFP.

"It's taking risks that Hollywood is still hesitant to take, and so far they are paying off."

The Emmys recognize programs shown in the year to May 31, meaning traditional big-hitters from "Better Call Saul" to "House of Cards" and "Veep" are absent this time around.

But HBO's "Game of Thrones" returns from a year off, having made television history in 2016 to become the most decorated fictional show in the Emmys' seven-decade history.

That pits the 2016 drama champion against last year's winner, Hulu's dystopian sci-fi series "The Handmaid's Tale," which is also the 2018 favorite.

Other nominations are likely to come from NBC's family drama "This Is Us" and HBO's dark sci-fi western "Westworld," Netflix hits "Stranger Things" and "The Crown," and FX Cold War spy show "The Americans."

The most star-studded category is likely to be best actor in a limited series or TV movie, with Al Pacino, Kyle MacLachlan, Benedict Cumberbatch and Michael B. Jordan all in the hunt for nominations.

The early money for the win in September is on a much lesser-known face, Darren Criss ("The Assassination of Gianni Versace").

The follow-up to the acclaimed "The People v. O. J. Simpson" (2016) in Ryan Murphy's "American Crime Story" strand for FX is expected to dominate the miniseries/TV movie acting races.

"Veep," which delayed its seventh and final season to allow star Julia Louis-Dreyfus to recover from breast cancer treatment, is likely to pass its comedy crown to Donald Glover's FX show "Atlanta."

Second round voting takes place in August while the ceremony itself will be beamed live from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on September 17 on CBS -- hosted by "Saturday Night Live" duo Colin Jost and Michael Che.]]>
7/12/2018 11:07:59 AM
<![CDATA[Animation icon Genndy Tartakovksy draws blood for Drac's return]]>
The razor-fanged quincentenarian -- that's Drac, not Tartakovsky -- has sucked a bloodcurdling $800 million out of global audiences but the sequel, undertaken during a massive North Korean cyber attack on Sony, was grueling work.

"We're finishing it. And all the executives are getting fired, and all this ugliness is coming out, and we still have to make a funny, entertaining movie," the 48-year-old filmmaker told AFP.

Burned out, Tartakovsy announced very publicly that he had no intention of committing to a third movie -- and learned an important Hollywood lesson: never say never again.

Having rejected the offer to direct a script he didn't like, the animator decided during a family cruise off northwestern Mexico that transplanting Drac onto an ocean liner could open up comedy doors.

"Some people love cruising and I don't. I don't like to be part of the cattle. I like to just do my own thing," Tartakovsky told AFP in a recent interview on LA's Sunset Strip.

"So I had all that, and my in-laws were on the ship, so you were with the family constantly, so all these ideas came."

"Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation," out in the US on Friday, sees the Transylvanian vampire (Adam Sandler) and his Drac Pack enjoying monster volleyball while topping up their moon tans on the SS Legacy.

- 'Kids are smart' -
It's plain sailing at first, but the fun turns nightmarish when Drac's daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez) realizes her doting pop has fallen for the secretive, dangerous ship's captain.

From the Marx Brothers' "Monkey Business" (1931) through "Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked" (2011) and this year's "Overboard," the deep blue has always been a reliable comedy backdrop.

"You're just trapped in a space, all together. So usually good comedy comes from that," says Tartakovsky, who also took on crytpwriting -- sorry, scriptwriting -- duties.

The acclaimed creative behind the Cartoon Network's "Star Wars: Clone Wars," "Samurai Jack" and "Dexter's Laboratory" has been making children's comedy for the best part of three decades.

His experience, he says, has taught him that the secret to writing effectively for kids is, well, not to write for kids.

"As soon as you think, 'Pirates are really popular right now with kids so I'm going to write a pirate movie'... that's when you're dead," he tells AFP.

The director sticks to writing what he finds funny, placing trust in his ability to come up with material that youngsters will enjoy too, rather than trying to alter his sense of humor.

"Kids are smart. They pick up on that stuff, when they're getting talked down to. So you've got to talk at that level and hopefully you've got a good sensibility that kids think is funny," he says.

"But I don't know what a kid thinks is funny to begin with."

- 'Double standard' -

Genndy, who was born to Jewish parents in the Soviet Union, grew up in the United States, falling in love with "Popeye," "Looney Tunes," and Japanese anime.

He got his start at Hanna-Barbera at a time when all the mid-20th century filmmakers were still in place, working on old dinosaurs -- pun intended -- like "The Flintstones."

He attended the California School of Arts, made short animations and went on to make Kurosawa-influenced "Samurai Jack," widely regarded as among his and the Cartoon Network's greatest achievements.

Kids' television, he says, has broken its shackles to a certain extent and is no longer afraid to be irreverent and odd.

Tartakovsky's antagonist is the seductress Ericka van Helsing -- a character critics have pointed out looks more like a pneumatic Olive Oyl than a conventional beauty.

"We don't want to just do a generic, beautiful, unoffensive, very nice model face. We wanted to have character and personality as much as Dracula,'" Tartakvsky said.

"There's this double standard where you can make men ugly and then appealing but all women have to be attractive. So we go, 'Well we want her to be unique looking because unique is also attractive.'"

Since Tartakovsky has stopped publicly ruling out future work, asking him what answer he would give to a job offer for "HT 4" seems rather pointless -- but AFP asks anyway.

"Hah! Same one from 'HT2,'" he says, bursting into raucous laughter.]]>
7/12/2018 11:02:38 AM
<![CDATA[Thailand cave rescue to be turned into Hollywood movie]]>
Managing partner Michael Scott, who lives in Thailand and was at the rescue site in Chiang Rai as the boys were being pulled to safety, made the announcement late Tuesday on Twitter.

"I couldn't be more excited. This story has meant so much to me as I have followed it in Thailand this summer," he said in a video filmed at the scene of the flooded cave in the country's north.

"My wife actually grew up with the Thai Navy SEAL that died in the cave. To see all that heroic bravery in the cave, and to get all the divers out, it's just such a touching event and so personal to me."

Stunning video footage emerged Wednesday of several of the "Wild Boars" team -- aged 11 to 16 -- being freed from the Tham Luang cave on stretchers, ending a successful three-day rescue.

They are in good physical and mental health, say doctors, despite a harrowing 18 days inside the dank, dark cave before a risky rescue operation that was dubbed "Mission: Impossible".

Scott's wife has been involved with planning the funeral for Saman Kunan, the former SEAL that died on July 6 while helping install oxygen tanks in preparation for the extraction.

"We're here really looking at this as a movie that could inspire millions of people across the globe," Scott added.

"And we're here witnessing the events, gathering some contacts and everything, to really tell a story about an international effort, the entire world coming together to save (12) kids trapped in this Thai cave."

Pure Flix co-founder David A.R. White told The Wall Street Journal the company -- which was behind the 2014-18 "God's Not Dead" trilogy -- was talking to actors, writers and potential investors.

"Pure Flix joins the rest of the world in thanking God for answering prayers for the successful rescue of those trapped in the cave in Thailand," the company said in a statement.]]>
7/12/2018 10:57:50 AM
<![CDATA[Minister of Culture attends Souk Okaz Festival’s closing ceremony ]]>
Abdel Dayem inspected the preparations of the cultural activities of the festival, held under the supervision of General Supervisor of the Cultural Affairs Abdullah al-Kanani.

Minister of Culture, Inas Abdel Dayem, attended Tuesday the closing ceremonies of the cultural and artistic activities presented by Egypt as the honor guest at the 12th edition of Souk Okaz Festival-The Supreme Council of Culture's official Facebook

In a press conference held on the sidelines of the closing ceremonies, the minister highlighted the ways to enhance the cultural and artistic cooperation between Egypt and Saudi Arabia, ensuring that the intellectual heritage of the two peoples should be preserved; the festival is an important historical hub that gathers writers, intellectuals and artists from all over the Arab world.

Abdel Dayem indicated that choosing Egypt to be the festival’s guest of honor for the first time reflects the strong relations between the two countries.
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Minister of Culture, Inas Abdel Dayem, attended Tuesday the closing ceremonies of the cultural and artistic activities presented by Egypt as the honor guest at the 12th edition of Souk Okaz Festival-The Supreme Council of Culture's official Facebook
The press conference was followed by a concert, presented by The Arab Music Ensemble and led by Maestro Mostafa Hilmi; Saudi singer Rami Abdullah and the stars of Egypt’s Opera House, including the violinists Hazem al-Qasabji and Mohammad Zuhair, guitarist Wahid Mamdouh and Oud players Mahmoud Abdel Fattah, Hamada and Wael el-Naggar participated in the concert.

During Souk Okaz Festival that kicked off on June 28, Egypt organized several cultural seminars, poetry evenings, photo exhibitions, and a series of artistic concerts held in Jeddah, Abha, Taif and Al-Dammam.]]>
7/12/2018 10:52:55 AM
<![CDATA[Plan set to lift sarcophagus uncovered in Alexandria revealed]]>
Abul-Ela told Egypt Today that the plan consists of two steps; the first is filling the area surrounding the sarcophagus; then, lifting the sarcophagus by a tow truck in a scientific way that does not harm the antiquity.

He further remarked that if they cannot lift it due to its heavy weight, the area below and surrounding the sarcophagus will be dug, then, its cover will be lifted first followed by its body, referring that the latest scientific means will be used in this process in the presence of the Ministry of Antiquities' experts.

A 30-ton archaeological sarcophagus was found below a building in Alexandria governorate, Egypt, by the security forces, Mostafa Waziri, general secretary of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, announced on July 1.

Inspection of the sarcophagus revealed that it is made of black granite of about 265 meters in length and 185 cm in height; the security forces coordinated with the Engineering Department of the Armed Forces, as well as the Tourism Police, to extract the sarcophagus.

Ayman Ashmawy, head of the Ancient Egyptian Antiquities Sector, said that the tomb was found at a depth of 5 meters beneath the surface of the land. It is noted that there is a layer of mortar between the lid and the body of the sarcophagus, indicating that it had not been opened before.

Alexandria is full of ancient Egyptian antiquities, which makes citizens illegally dig to search for these monuments below their buildings.

In 2015, the security forces arrested three brothers with 35 artifacts in their possession; the brothers were digging below their homes in search for more artifacts. ]]>
7/11/2018 4:31:38 PM
<![CDATA[Japan’s JICA director general inspects reconstructing Khufu’s solar boat]]>
Director General of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in Europe and the Middle East, Masataka Takeshita, and JICA Chief Representative in Egypt, Yoshifumi Omura, inspected on Wednesday the project of reconstructing Khufu’s solar boat-Ministry of Antiquities' official Facebook page

During the visit, Takeshita was accompanied by Director-General of the restoration project Eissa Zidan, the project's main Supervisor Mamdouh Taha, and Head of the restoration team Hiromasa Kurokochi.

In this regard, Zidan remarked that the visit included the inspection of the first phase of the restoration and lifting works carried out at the site’s laboratory on the wooden pieces inside the hole.

According to Zidan, Takeshita was pleased with the project's achievements and the scientific methods used in the restoration and lifting processes, expressing his hope to see the re-assembled boat at the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM).

In the same context, Takeshita visited the temporary exhibition where 870 wooden pieces out of the 1,264 pieces of the whole boat are showed after being restored and lifted.
Director General of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in Europe and the Middle East, Masataka Takeshita, and JICA Chief Representative in Egypt, Yoshifumi Omura, inspected on Wednesday the project of reconstructing Khufu’s solar boat-Ministry of Antiquities' official Facebook page

The project of Khufu’s boat restoration is an Egyptian Japanese project implemented by the Ministry of Antiquities and Higashi Nippon International University; it is also considered one of the most important projects supported by JICA.

Since its discovery in 1954 by Egyptian archaeologists Kamal al-Mallakh and Zaki Nour while carrying out routine cleaning procedures on the southern side of the Great Pyramid, dozens of workers and Egyptologists have been removing the wooden beams of the pharaoh’s second solar boat, which has been buried for 4,500 years.

In 2009, a Japanese scientific and archaeological team from Waseda University headed by Sakuji Yoshimura offered to remove the boat from the hole, restore and reassemble it and put it on show to the public.
7/11/2018 4:04:55 PM
<![CDATA[Experius VR produces virtual reality film about Nefertari’s tomb ]]>
The world's best filmmakers, Experius VR, a virtual reality studio creating 360 video content, and Curiosity Stream have found a way to take the audience on a virtual reality tour in Nefertari’s 3,000-year-old tomb, located in the Valley of the Queens.

A tour guide’s voice is incorporated in the VR film for the viewers to learn about Nefertari's life and death during the tour, which captures the tomb's vivid paintings, countless hieroglyphs and depictions of ancient gods.

Experius VR revealed that thousands of photos and scans taken along two days of continuous work inside the tomb have been used to create a more realistic 3D model.

The team said that all lighting was done in-engine in real-time and optimized for VR at 90 frames per second for the viewers not to see any shadows or light variations
Elliot Mizroch, CEO of Experius VR, referred that his team spent two months in post-production to transform the 3D scans and photographs into a true 3D model that suits VR devices.

"We’re also running extremely high texture qualities using some advanced techniques and software, which allow us to really push the limits of what we can achieve visually,” the team remarked.

Although the tomb was renovated by the Getty Research Institute (GRI) and the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) in 1986-1992, it is exposed to the bacteria degradation and humidity that enters the tomb when people visit it; hence the number of visitors have been restricted, making its entry price LE 1000 or around $56.

Hence, Egyptian archaeologist Zahi Hawass said that the tour will contribute in saving the tomb.]]>
7/11/2018 3:45:02 PM
<![CDATA[New murals now being designed in El Shorouk City]]>
The murals will be created by 60 students of the Applied Arts Faculty of Helwan University in cooperation with the New Urban Communities Authority, he added.

Cooperation between the faculty and the authority began in 2011 as such experiments allow students to come up with innovative ideas and apply what they have studied, said Helwan University Professor Heba Zohni who is in charge of the murals project.

She lauded the support of Prime Minister and Housing Minister Moustafa Madbouli to such an initiative.

El Shorouk is a city located at the northeast of Cairo. It is part of Greater Cairo. It was established upon a governmental decree issued in 1995 within the framework of the efforts of the Egyptian state to serve urban expansion and achieve several development goals, the most important of which is to ease population pressure through the redistribution of the population within the Greater Cairo area, and at the same time raise the standard of living, generate new job opportunities and implement new industrial projects.]]>
7/11/2018 12:44:04 PM
<![CDATA[Warner Bros. plans $100 mn cable car to Hollywood sign]]>
The company, one of Tinseltown's "Big Six" film distributors, told city officials on Monday it would put up the entire funding for the "Hollywood Skyway."

The six-minute ride would extend more than a mile (1.6 kilometers) from Warner's base in Burbank up Mount Lee to a visitor center near the sign, with pathways to a viewing area, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The iconic studio behind "Casablanca" and "Gone with the Wind" didn't respond to AFP's request for comment but circulated a statement saying the project would "reduce street congestion, improve safety, and ease neighborhood frustrations."

"Given our close proximity to the north side of the Hollywood sign, we believe we offer a solution that has the least impact on the environment -- protecting and preserving (nearby) Griffith Park -- and the surrounding residential neighborhoods," the company added.

The area is dotted with housing on all sides and the "aerial tramway" would spare homeowners the annoyance of hikers and traffic coming past their front doors, says Warner.

Locals say ride-hailing services like Uber, combined with ever more sophisticated navigation apps, have made it much easier in recent years to get close to the sign in a car, exacerbating the problem.

The idea has been floated for years but has always hit stumbling blocks. It was resurrected in 2017 by Mayor Eric Garcetti, with a proposal involving the nearby Universal Studios.

The project is expected to take about five years to complete, including the approvals process, if it is approved.

The landmark was erected in 1923 as "Hollywoodland" to advertise a local real estate development.

It has undergone a number of transformations over the years, including in 1987, when pranksters changed it to "Holywood" to mark the visit of Pope John Paul II.

Last year Los Angeles police arrested a local artist suspected of a New Year's Day prank in which he altered the letters to read "Hollyweed."]]>
7/11/2018 10:22:35 AM
<![CDATA[Ingmar Bergman in five films]]>
Here are five key works from a six-decade career that has marked the history of cinema and influenced generations of directors to this day.

- 'The Seventh Seal' (1957) -

Bergman's period masterpiece set at the time of the Crusades contains one of his now iconic scenes: a knight playing a game of chess with Death.

It encapsulates Bergman's central concerns -- how faith is sustained in the face of evil and human misery.

Picking up a prize at Cannes and quickly considered an arthouse classic, "The Seventh Seal" was also a hit with film audiences at the time, and has been the subject of many popular parodies.

Fifty years after its release, Britain's The Guardian newspaper deemed it "an untarnished gold-standard of artistic and moral seriousness".

- 'Persona' (1966) -

Two women, 84 minutes of near constant close-ups and a morphing of their faces -- Bergman ratcheted up psychological intensity in this mysterious drama set in an isolated cottage on the island of Faro.

Exploring the relationship between an actress who has fallen mute and her nurse, Bergman's beautifully shot film interrogated the unstable foundations of identity.

- 'Scenes from a Marriage' (1973) -

Bergman was one of the rare directors of his generation to successfully transition from cinema to television, notably with this low-budget mini-series of six episodes delving into the marital issues of a couple as they go through a protracted divorce, sparked by infidelity.

Bergman drew on his own troubled relationship with Liv Ullmann, who played the wife in the series.

In the words of Pulitzer Prize-winning US film critic Roger Ebert, writing in the Chicago Sun-Times in 1974, Bergman's series was "the truest, most luminous love stories ever made" and circled around one of his classic themes -- communication between two people.

- 'Fanny and Alexander' (1982) -

Bergman revisited all the stages of life from childhood to marriage to old age with this epic tale tracing the life of a brother and sister with strong autobiographical overtones. It was filmed mostly on location in his birth place, the city of Uppsala.

Shot by his long-time cinematographer Sven Nykvist, Bergman's last cinema movie was a sumptuous family epic that drew comparisons with the work of Charles Dickens and picked up four Oscars including Best Foreign Film.

The three-hour cinema version was trimmed from an original five-hour television miniseries.

"Fanny and Alexander" came third after "Apocalypse Now" and "Raging Bull" in a poll on the best films of the last 25 years given to world directors and critics by UK film magazine Sight and Sound in 2002.

- 'Saraband' (2003) -

After a hiatus of nearly 20 years, Bergman returned for a last hurrah with this TV film sequel to "Scenes from a Marriage". In it, he revisited his characters two decades later and explored the painful lessons of life, from the failures of parenthood to the selfishness at the heart of human relationships.]]>
7/11/2018 10:15:23 AM
<![CDATA[Emmy nominations set to be a race between old favorites]]>
The Television Academy's 22,000-plus members were given two weeks in June to sift through a crowded field of several thousand entries for the small-screen equivalent of the Oscars.

Critics agree that it hasn't been a vintage year for new TV, with very few shows breaking through. Still, perennial favorites have largely delivered and the medium continues to out-innovate cinema.

"As someone who has traditionally been more about movies than TV, the richness of the small screen landscape these days genuinely excites me," Hollywood entertainment journalist and producer Simon Thompson told AFP.

"It's taking risks that Hollywood is still hesitant to take, and so far they are paying off."

Pundits say that while perennial awards darlings like "Saturday Night Live" have been tapped to bag the most trophies come September, the race for the most nominations remains up in the air.

The Emmys recognize shows that were on in the 12 months to May 31, meaning several big-hitters are absent, from "Better Call Saul" to "House of Cards" and "Veep," shows that have earned almost 100 nominations combined.

Netflix's "House of Cards" has been keeping a low profile since its star, double Oscar winner Kevin Spacey, became embroiled in Hollywood's sexual misconduct scandal, and returns next year minus its star.

HBO's "Game of Thrones" made television history in 2016, becoming the most decorated fictional show since the awards began nearly seven decades ago, and returns after a year off.

Surprise hit

That means the defending drama champion from 2016 will be pitted against last year's winner, Hulu's dystopian sci-fi series "The Handmaid's Tale," which is also the 2018 favorite.

Other nominations are likely to come from NBC's family drama "This Is Us" and HBO's dark sci-fi western "Westworld," Netflix hits "Stranger Things" and "The Crown," and FX Cold War spy show "The Americans."

The most star-studded category, as ever, is best actor in a limited series or TV movie.

The contenders include Al Pacino ("Paterno"), Kyle MacLachlan ("Twin Peaks"), Benedict Cumberbatch ("Patrick Melrose") and Michael B. Jordan ("Fahrenheit 451").

The early money for the win in September is on a much lesser-known face, Darren Criss ("The Assassination of Gianni Versace").

"Versace" is one of the few serious contenders this year that can claim to be entirely new, although it is part of FX's "American Crime Story" brand from the mind of Emmys mainstay Ryan Murphy.

The follow-up to the acclaimed "The People v. O. J. Simpson" (2016) is expected to dominate the acting races among the limited series and TV movies -- with Penelope Cruz, Judith Light and Edgar Ramirez also hoping for nominations.

The absence of "Veep" is seen as breath of fresh air by many critics, since the HBO comedy and its star Julia Louis-Dreyfus, out much of 2017 and 2018 with breast cancer, bag Emmys year in, year out.

Its mantle will likely pass to "Atlanta," the FX comedy created by and starring Donald Glover.

'A real shame'

Returning after a two-decade hiatus, "Roseanne" was one of the few depictions of working-class life on US television in the last 12 months, and also of Trump supporters otherwise largely ignored by Hollywood.

But its 65-year-old star Roseanne Barr -- a vocal Trump backer who has tweeted far-right and conspiracy theorist views -- was dropped by ABC last month after making a racist slur on Twitter.

"The fact that so many people in the show, on and off screen, will likely miss out on the acclaim they deserve because of Roseanne Barr's action is a real shame," said Thompson.

The New York Post's Robert Rorke believes that one show that has gone somewhat under the radar, BBC America's crime drama series "Killing Eve," deserves to pick up the "dark horse" votes.

"Stars Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer deserve lead actress nominations for their refreshing, offbeat performances, especially given the usual suspects likely to be nominated," he said.

Second round voting takes place in August while the ceremony itself will be beamed live from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on September 17 on CBS -- hosted by "Saturday Night Live" duo Colin Jost and Michael Che.]]>
7/10/2018 7:01:01 PM
<![CDATA[‘Egyptian Cinematic’ to archive Egyptian cinematic heritage]]>
The "Egyptian Cinematic" comes in light of the ministry's efforts to immortalize the Egyptian cinematic heritage through the creation of a documented archive.

The Egyptian cinema was the first representative of Egyptians to the Arab world and the representative of Egyptians and Arabs to the rest of the world.

Head of the National Film Center, Khaled Abdel Jalil, stated that the archive comes as part of the Ministry of Culture efforts to support the Egyptian cinematic heritage that represented the Egyptian and Arab identity and culture for decades.

7/10/2018 4:52:07 PM
<![CDATA[Main features of 50th Cairo International Book Fair]]>
Also, great writer and ex Minister of Culture, Tharwat Okasha, and late great writer Soheir al-Kalamawi are set to be figures of the year in the 50th edition of the book fair.

Haitham el-Hag, head of the Egyptian General Authority for Books, announced that Serbia is participating for the first time in the Cairo International Book Fair's Golden Jubilee.

Furthermore, Hag stated that agreements between officials from Egypt and Serbia on cultural exchange have been made.

Hag continued that Egypt is supposed to participate for the first time in Belgrade’s International Book Fair in 2018 and 2019 and will be the fair’s Guest of honor in 2020.

Hag finally stated that Cyprus is also participating for the first time in the Book Fair’s Golden Jubilee.

Additional efforts are exerted to get Senegal to participate in the next Egyptian fairs.
It is worth mentioning that 27 countries, including 17 Arab countries and 10 foreign countries participated in the 49th Cairo International Book Fair, which ran from January 27 to February 10.

The late veteran writer Abdel Rahaman el-Sharakawy was chosen as figure of the year because he participated in the renewal of religious discourse, in addition to being a renowned theatrical writer.

The Ministry of Education coordinated the first week of the second semester in tandem with the book fair’s second week as a “Reading Week”.

The art camp of the 49th edition bore the name of late great Egyptian artist Shadia.

The 49th edition poster was designed by the book fair’s permanent committee, in collaboration with the Egyptian Fine Arts Sector.

Algeria has been chosen as a guest of honor in the 49th edition, after Egypt was chosen as a guest of honor for a similar fair in Algeria last year. About 10 percent of the participating publishing houses are Algerian.

The publishing houses' participation in the 49th edition of Cairo International Book Fair marked a 120 percent increase compared to the previous year, where about 144 new publishing houses participated in the book fair for the first time.

The 49th edition hosted a lot of new activities for the first time, such as establishing theaters, cinema halls and fine arts halls, in addition to increasing the number of children books.

7/10/2018 4:49:59 PM
<![CDATA[National Theatre to present 'Leila min Alf Leila' after Eid Al-Adha]]>
Among the plays set to be performed after Eid Al-Adha is "Hulagu", written by Farouk Gouida and directed by Galal el-Sharkawy, and "Edhak Lama Temoot" (Laugh until you die), written by Lenin el-Ramly and directed by Essam el-Sayed.

"Edhak Lama Temoot" stars Nabil el-Halafawi, Mahmoud el-Gendy, Salwa Osman, Eman Emam, Tamer el-Kashef, and Zakaria Maarouf.

Ismail explained that "Edhak Lama Timoot' will not be participating in the 11th Egyptian National Theatre Festival because the actors are exhausted after a successful season of performing at the National theatre. Ismail further stressed that it is not possible to use other performers for that purpose as working on the play requires intensive rehearsals for long periods of time.

The Egyptian National Theatre Festival is set to kick off on July 19, 2018, and will run until August 2.

On the other hand, Ismail Mokhtar, head of the Theatre House, said that the Selection Committee formed by the Theatre House is currently selecting suitable plays to participate in the festival.

7/10/2018 4:47:04 PM
<![CDATA[Ancient city dating back to Greco-Roman era uncovered in Minya]]>
The security forces in Minya governorate discovered the ancient city after foiling a theft attempt of the ancient city's artifacts.

Ancient artifacts discovered in Minya - Egypt Today

On July 3, the Ministry of Antiquities found a cache containing hundreds of pottery vessels, dating back to the beginning of the Greco-Roman era, the Coptic era and the Islamic era.

Head of the Egyptian Antiquities Sector, Ayman Ashmawy, said that it seems that during the Second World War between 1939 and 1945, famous British archaeologist, Alan Rowe, along with Greco-Roman Museum officials hid a number of pieces in the garden of the Greco-Roman Museum to protect them from being looted or damaged.

Ancient artifacts discovered in Minya - Egypt Today

The discovered items include vessels which contain ashes of dead people; these vessels were used to bury the ashes during the Hellenistic period in the Greek era. The items also include a large collection of liquid vessels of various shapes and sizes, as well as crockery and colored pots, a large number of dishes which date back to the Greek, Roman and Byzantine periods and large quantities of glazed pottery decorated with geometric and vegetal drawings dating back to the Islamic era.

Such an archaeological discovery is very important because it unveils archaeological collections which have not been studied before, making it a reference for future archaeological studies. ]]>
7/10/2018 3:56:46 PM
<![CDATA[Star of 'Borat' and 'Bruno' returns satirical gaze to U.S.]]>
Cable channel Showtime said the seven episode “Who Is America?” will launch on Sunday in the United States and on July 16 on Britain’s Channel 4.

The announcement gave few details about the new series other than to say it will “explore the diverse individuals, from the infamous to the unknown across the political and cultural spectrum.”

In a trailer, former U.S. defense secretary Dick Cheney is pictured signing what is described as a water-boarding kit, and saying, “I hope you’ll tune in next week for an interview with me.”

Showtime Chief Executive David Nevins called Baron Cohen “the premier provocateur of our time” and said the series had been in the works during the past year.

It was not clear whether Baron Cohen, 46, would resurrect his cheeky alter ego Ali G., a white English rapper, whose interviews with subjects including Donald Trump and Newt Gingrich launched his comedy career some 20 years ago.

His award winning 2006 faux-documentary film “Borat,” in which he played an anti-Semitic reporter from Kazakhstan who interacts with real Americans unaware they were being set up, earned some $261 million at the global box office. Recent projects, including “The Dictator” and “The Brothers Grimsby” have been less successful.]]>
7/10/2018 11:32:56 AM
<![CDATA[Incredibles 2 film shows fantastic vs the ordinary, says actress Holly Hunter]]>
Hunter was speaking after the British premiere of “Incredibles 2” at London’s British Film Institute on Sunday, where she was joined on the red carpet by co-star Samuel L. Jackson, who plays the character Frozone.

The film features a family of superheroes who also have an ordinary family life.

“People really want the fantastic and they recognize the (ordinary). They recognize the fights and the stresses and the tensions and the bickering and the fussing and the challenges and the competition that we see with this family,” Hunter told Reuters on Monday.

Elastigirl becomes a poster girl for superheroes who are outlawed. She juggles family life with a full-time job as well as fighting the evil ‘Screenslaver’.

Hunter said “having it all” was a difficult concept to live up to as a career woman and mother. This is recognized in writer-director Brad Bird’s film.

“Most women have some conflict with leaving family and a lot of men feel some insecurity about being the primary caretaker,” she said. “She will leave it all in one second to run back home if she thinks that Mr. Incredible can’t do it.”

Hunter believes the changes in equality and diversity in Hollywood is “not a trend” but a “renaissance” though more is needed to be done.

“Incredibles 2” is out in UK cinemas on July 13.]]>
7/10/2018 11:31:14 AM
<![CDATA[Strong Egyptian participation in Manarat Mediterranean Film Festival ]]>
Sabry is assigned to host the opening of the first round of the Manarat Mediterranean Film Festival scheduled to be held in Tunisia on July 9-15, 2018.

The star is also going to be honored during the festival for her participation in the movie “Samt el-Qusur” (Silence of the Palaces) , one of Sabry’s first movies.

“Samt el-Qusur” was directed and written by Moufida el-Talati in co-operation with Tunisian director Nuri bu Zaid.

The movie was awarded the Golden Camera Award at Cannes Film Festival.

Egyptian actor, Bushra, will also travel to Tunisia to participate in the festival as a jury member.

Bushra is also going to be honored in the festival for her participation in the movie "678" that revolves around the problem of sexual harassment in Arab societies.

However, scriptwriter, producer and new President of the Cairo International Film Festival, Hefzy, will participate in the festival through the seminars organized to discuss the various achievements of producers in the film industry.

7/10/2018 10:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Mazaher band presents different styles of Zar]]>
Zar is a community healing tradition that depends on drums and dancing and is mainly performed by women. The band consists of 10 members, where women play the leading roles and men play secondary roles in the performances.

The band is inspired by three different styles of Zar; the Upper Egyptian Zar, Abul Gheit Zar, and Sudanese or African Zar. Mazaher performed in several countries such as Germany, Spain, Belgium, France, Tunisia, Morocco, and Lebanon, among others.

“The concert in Morocco was one of my favorites as Morocco is actually one of the leading communities in terms of Zar music,” Umm Sameh, the lead singer of Mazaher ensemble, said in Scoop Empire website.

Mazaher Band - Youtube

Their shows are built on interaction with the audience from different nationalities sitting on wooden chairs, pillows and colorful rugs and being served tea in the breaks; the atmosphere indulges people in a spectacular experience.

Mazaher was founded in 1999 by Makan owner, Ahmed el-Maghraby, and situated in Saad Zaghloul Street in Cairo. “We’re not just a platform for bands to perform but we’re also trying to organize workshops for different types of arts,” Ahmed, one of the coordinators in Makan, said.
7/9/2018 5:49:58 PM
<![CDATA[Graffiti art spreads in Egyptian streets]]>
Graffiti artist Ahmed Fathy, also known as El Na2ash explained his passion and love for graffiti drawing and said “We choose to fight radicalism and the status quo through art, and we intend on spreading our ideas through creativity.”

The Egyptian government was very supportive and the allowed the Faculty of Fine Arts students to draw and paint the walls of the Opera metro station with Egyptian Icons.

graffiti 2

The Opera station is located in Cairo’s cultural hub near the Cairo Opera House, which has hosted some of the great performances. There was a time where the station’s walls turned into grey but 11 artists came to the rescue and brought the station back to life. The group of eleven artists is called Mobdeoon (Innovators).

They drew and painted faces of famous Egyptian figures. They took three weeks of work and sprayed the walls to represent the solar system.

It was a chance to rediscover ourselves and how we’ve grown artistically. There was definitely better coordination than last time”, Sara Youssef a member of Mobdeoon stated in Egypt Independent website. Their first work was about two years ago.

7/9/2018 5:27:33 PM
<![CDATA[Elham Shahin appointed president of honor of CAM Festival ]]>CAIRO – 9 July 2018: Hamamat city, Tunisia hosts the eighth round of CAM International Film Festival on July 11-15, 2018.

The Cam International Film Festival in its Tunisian edition focuses on short films, documentaries and stories.

The Egyptian Arab Cultural Assembly, in association with a broad-action firm, took the initiative to hold the festival and chose Palestine as the state of honor for this edition.

Cam International Film Festival’s president, Tunisian film director, Lamya bin Mohammed, stated that the festival is Egyptian in its origins and that it witnessed seven great rounds in the past, adding that this is the first time for the festival to be held in Tunisia.

Bin Mohammed further stated that the festival will focus on the strong bonds between Egypt and Tunisia, and the rest of the Arab world. The director pointed out that she is trying to authenticate the cultural cooperation between Egypt and Tunisia through the festival and encourage the youth to be creative, highlighting this year's edition motto; "Cinema without limits".

According to the Tunisian director, several guests of honor from countries like Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Kuwait, Iraq, Jordan, UAE, Palestine, KSA and India are invited to attend the festival.

Furthermore, bin Mohammed mentioned that the final list of short films/documentaries participating in the festival will be announced within the next few days.

It is worth mentioning that according to bin Mohammed, the festival is dedicated to late Tunisian actor Omar al-Khalifi, who is considered the Godfather of the Tunisian cinema, whereas, Egyptian actress Elham Shahin is the president of honor of the festival.

The jury of the festival includes director Adel Yehya from Egypt, Tunisian star Hisham Rostom and director Busheab al-So’ody from Morocco.

As part of the festival's events, several workshops will be held focusing on teaching the basics of scriptwriting a short film/documentary, development of a professional star, short film production and many other related topics.

Moreover, a seminar on film production in Egypt and Tunisia as well as a seminar discussing the film industry in Palestine will be organized.

Several Arab and western stars will be among the attendees of the festival; such as director Magdy Ahmed Ali, Horeya Farghaly, Sameh Hussein, Amr Mustafa Metwali, Hala Turk from Bahrain, Media figure Ala’a al-Banna from Kuwait, and Suzan Mohareb from Jordan, among others.

7/9/2018 3:19:55 PM
<![CDATA[Jane Birkin recalls memories as she brings back Gainsbourg]]>
Birkin has revived the legendary French songwriter's music by singing accompanied by a full orchestra -- a format that would have pleased Gainsbourg, who frequently brought in classical motifs.

Birkin, who took her "Gainsbourg Symphonique" Saturday night to Quebec City's giant summer festival, the Festival d'ete de Quebec, explained to AFP some of the memories behind the songs:

- "Je t'aime... moi non plus" -

When Birkin first met Gainsbourg in 1968, the songwriter was heartbroken from a failed romance with film icon Brigitte Bardot. Birkin, a fledging actress from England, had just arrived in France after divorcing composer John Barry.

"Je t'aime... moi non plus" -- which means, awkwardly, "I love you... neither do I" -- became infamous for its raciness including recorded groans of erotic pleasure. The song was banned on radio in several countries and even condemned by the Vatican.

Gainsbourg had written the song for Bardot, which he dubbed "the most beautiful love song you can ever imagine," in 1967 and had pictured it as a duet. But in 1969, he ended up recording it with Birkin.

Birkin, who had a heavy English accent in French, said she was not taken aback when Gainsbourg invited her to sing as he was worried he would team up with one of the many actresses eager to collaborate with him, such as Mireille Darc.

"So when he asked me to sing it, after Bardot, I understood well," she said. "I did it, but one octave higher, although not on purpose. It just happened that way.

"It gave it a choirboy side that he liked a lot. It of course was transposed to our relationship -- he was 40, I was 20, but we were both acting younger.

"He also liked that I was English. Even the fact that I was married to John Barry, the James Bond composer, that flattered him a bit, with him just leaving Bardot."

- "Jane B" -

Gainsbourg wrote the song for Birkin even before he asked her to sing on "Je t'aime... moi non plus," she recalled. Set to Chopin, the song -- which appeared as a B-side to "Je t'aime... moi non plus" -- became an introduction of sorts of Birkin to listeners.

"It's funny to sing it again 50 years later," the 71-year-old Birkin said, recalling the line, "Age: between 20 and 21."

"It makes me smile a bit. People crack up when hearing me say that."

- "Les dessous chic" -

In 1983, Gainsbourg and Birkin had been separated for three years but he continued to write songs for her. Birkin said she remembers him intensely when she sings "Les dessous chic."

"It's the most beautiful song about separation you could ever have," she said. "It's probably my favorite because everything that's inside of it is really him."

"There's a great modesty in all of his songs that he wrote about separation. Serge never stopped writing about me until the end."

- 'Lost Song' -

In 1987, Jane had been involved for seven years with director Jacques Doillon with whom she had a daughter, Lou.

"Eternal questions had been gnawing on me about my identity, whether more French or English, and about aging," she said. "Serge refused to write me a song on that theme and would tell me, 'You'll never get old.'"

After Birkin told Gainsbourg how she hummed a melody of Edvard Grieg in a commercial, the songwriter wrote her a song based on the Norwegian composer's "Peer Gynt." But he insisted on choosing the theme.

"It's strange to sing about the pains of someone else, who knowingly asks you, and no one else, to sing them. Serge was crying during the recording and I was singing the best I could and as high as I could to make an impression."]]>
7/9/2018 3:16:29 PM
<![CDATA[Latvian mega choir echoes Baltic state's history]]>
"After a week of rehearsals, we feel pretty exhausted," choir singer Aija Rijniece told AFP before going on stage dressed in a colourful folk costume, adding that the hours of preparation are "always worth it".

Over nine days, organisers estimate that the 26th edition of Latvian Song and Dance Festival has drawn up to 500,000 people to a massive forest amphitheatre in Riga.

"It's a unique experience for every concertgoer: not only does the sheer size of the performing crowd looks overwhelming, but also the artistic level is so high that it had exceeded our expectations," Aleksandrs Zeltins, who came to the festival from Germany with his wife Dina, told AFP.

On Saturday night, over 18,000 folk dancers thrilled a massive audience happy to miss the World Cup quarter-final between Russia and Croatia.

Over the last week around 43,000 performers, or just over two percent of Latvia's population, have taken part in the festival which drew around 1,000 folk choirs and dance troupes from across the EU and NATO country of 1.9 million people.

Taking place every five years, the festival began in 1873 as a rare opportunity for Latvians to use their own language in public under Tsarist Russian rule.

After the Bolshevik revolution brought down the Tsar, Latvia declared independence on November 18, 1918, but the freedom was short-lived.

Alongside Estonia and Lithuania, Latvia was reoccupied by the Soviet Union in 1940, seized by Nazi Germany in 1941 and again taken over by Moscow in 1944.

Unable to coerce Latvians into giving up the festival, Soviet authorities allowed it but added propaganda songs.

Latvian singers, however, had their own ideas and in 1985, they used the last verse of the popular "Castle of Light" folk song to call for independence and democracy.

It was not long in coming; in June 1988 the so-called "Singing Revolution" began in Estonia. Tens of thousands sang anti-Soviet anthems and it soon spread to Lithuania and Latvia.

Long-banned national songs and flags reappeared in the 1990 edition of the festival as the Soviet Union crumbled, restoring independence in the Baltic states.]]>
7/9/2018 2:12:18 PM
<![CDATA[Justin Bieber engaged to model Baldwin: reports]]>
The 24-year-old Canadian heartthrob, who has become better known for his off-stage antics, proposed to the 21-year-old over dinner Saturday night at a restaurant in The Bahamas, the celebrity news site TMZ said.

The site quoted witnesses at the restaurant, who said that Bieber's security team asked them all to put their phones away for the proposal.

A representative for Bieber did not comment but relatives of the couple suggested that the news was true.

"Proud is an understatement! Excited for the next chapter!" the singer's father Jeremy Bieber wrote on Instagram with a picture of his son.

His mother, Pattie Mallette, simply tweeted: "Love Love Love Love Love Love Love."

Hailey Baldwin, a model who has taken small acting roles, is the daughter of "The Usual Suspects" actor Stephen Baldwin and niece of Alec Baldwin, the "30 Rock" star and nemesis impersonator of US President Donald Trump. The model's mother is from Brazil.

Bieber has been romantically linked with many famous young women including fellow pop singer Selena Gomez and model Sofia Richie. He was first seen dating Baldwin a month ago.

Bieber, while remaining a top-selling pop star, became a fixture of tabloids over incidents including racing a car through Miami and throwing eggs at a neighbor's house in Los Angeles.

He abruptly ended his global tour last year after more than 150 shows, explaining that he was trying to deal with his insecurities.]]>
7/9/2018 2:09:31 PM
<![CDATA[Mick Jagger reacts to Walesa appeal in Poland judicial row]]>
Thousands of Poles protested this past week against a controversial law passed by the nationalist Law and Justice (PiS) government that has forced dozens of senior judges to retire early.

"I'm too old to be a judge, but I'm young enough to sing," Jagger said, speaking in Polish, according to a Periscope recording of the concert posted by Poland's liberal Gazeta Wyborcza daily.

"You know we came to Poland a long time ago in 1967," Jagger then said in English, referring to the Stones' first concert in Poland that made them one of the first Western bands to perform behind the Iron Curtain.

"I hope you get to hang onto everything you've learned since then, God bless you!" he added.

The European Union has criticised the law forcing the early retirement of judges as a threat to the country's judicial independence and the separation of powers in a democracy.

Walesa, who won the 1983 Nobel Peace Prize as leader of the freedom-fighting Solidarity trade union, told the Stones in a Saturday Facebook post that "bad things are happening in Poland right now."

"Many people in Poland are defending freedom, but they need support. If you can say or do anything while in Poland, it would really mean something to them," Walesa, the country's first post-communist president, said in the post addressed to "Mr. Mick Jagger and The Rolling Stones".

- 'Systemic threats' -

Walesa's appeal followed turmoil over the forced early retirement of Poland Supreme Court's chief justice Malgorzata Gersdorf, who has rejected the move that cuts short her six-year term as unconstitutional.

European judicial authorities backed Gersdorf on Friday, urging the ruling PiS party to restore judicial independence.

The European Union launched legal action against Poland last Monday over the dubious retirement rules that could end up in the European Court of Justice (ECJ), the bloc's top tribunal.

But the PiS government has refused to back down despite the EU legal action, insisting the reforms are needed to tackle corruption and overhaul a judicial system still haunted by the communist era.

In December, the EU triggered Article Seven proceedings against Poland over "systemic threats" to the rule of law, which could eventually see Warsaw's EU voting rights suspended.

Tens of thousands of Poles have hit the streets since the PiS party came to power in 2015, protesting against its judicial reforms and attempts to tighten Poland's already strict abortion law, among other causes.]]>
7/9/2018 2:07:14 PM
<![CDATA[Beyonce leads S.Africa anti-poverty festival for Mandela]]>
The December 2 event, which will be internationally broadcast, will celebrate the late anti-apartheid icon and draw a number of leaders in an attempt to throw a spotlight on fledging efforts to eradicate the world's worst poverty, Global Citizen announced Monday.

Beyonce and her husband Jay-Z will headline the music at the FNB Stadium alongside several other stars: Coldplay frontman Chris Martin, English singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran, Pearl Jam singer Eddie Vedder, hit pop producer Pharrell Williams and R&B chart-topper Usher.

The festival will also feature some of the continent's most popular musicians including South African hip-hop producer Cassper Nyovest and Nigerian artists Wizkid, D'banj and Femi Kuti, who is the son of Afrobeat legend Fela Kuti.

Global Citizen said it hoped that the run-up to the festival would raise commitments of $1 billion to help the world's poorest, with half of the amount aimed at women and girls.

Global Citizen has held festivals since 2012 in New York's Central Park on the sidelines of the annual UN General Assembly to rally support, especially among young people, in the fight against poverty. The group has since branched out overseas with seminars and music in India, Germany and elsewhere.

Hugh Evans, the founder and CEO of the movement, said he expected the Johannesburg festival to be the biggest Global Citizen festival ever in terms of reach, symbolism and lineup.

"On every way that we measure outcomes -- the number of citizens engaged, the number of policy outcomes that are achieved, the number of lives that are affected as a result of those policy outcomes -- we believe it has the potential to be the most significant campaign we've ever been part of," Evans told AFP.

Unlike traditional benefit concerts, Global Citizen distributes tickets for free to supporters who pledge to take actions such as writing their governments to support international development assistance.

For the Johannesburg edition, Global Citizen will also hand out tickets to people who are taking direct action for good including community health workers who conduct HIV tests or who instruct mothers on child nutrition as well as teachers and South Africans who recycle plastics.

- Mandela as inspiration -

Evans said that Mandela offered a model for the Global Citizen movement through his magnanimous efforts at racial reconciliation and democracy as well as through his focus on tackling poverty and global health.

Beyonce previously performed in South Africa in 2003 at a concert hosted by Mandela to raise awareness on HIV and AIDS. Two years later Mandela delivered a landmark speech in London's Trafalgar Square urging concerted efforts to "make poverty history."

But Evans said that the world was falling behind on the UN Sustainable Development Goals which include ending hunger and ensuring educational opportunities to all children, regardless of gender, by 2030.

While Britain, Germany and Nordic countries are meeting the UN-backed goal of devoting 0.7 percent of gross domestic product to international aid, other major countries are lagging behind.

In the United States, President Donald Trump has called for slashing foreign assistance by one-third, although Congress has largely resisted his "America First" push on aid.

"The truth is the world is not on track to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals unless there is greater political will," Evans said.

Global Citizen said that South African President Cyril Ramaphosa as well as the leaders of Norway and Ghana plan to attend the December 2 festival in honor of Mandela, who was born on July 18, 1918.]]>
7/9/2018 2:04:42 PM
<![CDATA[Box Office: 'Ant-Man and the Wasp' marches to $76 million launch]]>
The Marvel sequel — starring Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly — opened with $76 million from 4,206 North American locations. That start is significantly ahead of the original “Ant-Man,” which debuted with $57 million in 2015.

“Ant-Man and the Wasp” easily topped the weekend, as fellow box office newcomer “The First Purge” scared up $17 million from 3,031 theaters. Meanwhile, “Incredibles 2” narrowly stole the No. 2 spot from “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.” The blockbusters earned $29 million and $28.6 million respectively this weekend.

Overseas, “Ant-Man and the Wasp” collected $85 million, bringing the worldwide opening to $161 million. Across 20 films, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has brought in $17 billion globally. All 20 films have opened No. 1 at the box office.

Praise seems to be strong for “Ant-Man and the Wasp,” which holds a promising 86 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. The acclaimed first film came in slightly lower with an 82 percent Rotten Tomatoes average.

“We are really thrilled about the results,” Cathleen Taff, Disney’s head of domestic distribution, said. “We continue to be amazed by what Kevin Feige and the team do with these films.”


Taff also pointed to Lily as Marvel’s first female title character. “Kevin and his team always try to come up with a great story diversity. I think you see that come to play here,” she said.

With a production budget around $162 million, “Ant-Man and the Wasp” looks like another win for Marvel. The studio has had a string of box office hits in 2018 with “Avengers: Infinity War” racking up over $2 billion and counting, and “Black Panther” passing $1.3 billion globally.

Universal and Blumhouse’s “The First Purge” debuted on Independence Day, getting a head start on the weekend. Its five-day total sits at $31 million. Gerard McMurray directed the $13 million film, which was written and produced by James DeMonaco.

Jim Orr, Universal’s president of domestic distribution, praised DeMonaco and Blumhouse for the strong opening.

“The new chapter really taps into the zeitgeist. It’s the fourth in a franchise that they happen to keep very relevant,” he said. “We think we’re going to be great counter-programming for the rest of the summer.”

The fourth movie in the series serves as an origin story, starring Y’lan Noel, Lex Scott Davis, Joivan Wade, Luna Lauren Velez, and Marisa Tomei. The most recent iteration was 2016’s “The Purge: Election Year,” which ended its theatrical run with $79 million domestically and $118.5 million worldwide. “The “Purge” movies have pocketed over $360 million globally.

Universal and Amblin Entertainment’s “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” recently charged past $1 billion at the worldwide box office. In three weeks, the dinosaur tentpole has earned $333.3 million in North America.

Now in its fourth frame, Disney-Pixar’s “Incredibles 2” just hit a major milestone of its own. Everyone’s favorite crime-fighting family has crossed the $500 million mark domestically and $700 million worldwide. It’s the first animated film to ever surpass $500 million at the North American box office, and the 12th film ever to do so. Internationally, “Incredibles 2” has made $269 million.

Also in the top five is Sony’s “Sicario: Day of the Soldado.” The Benicio Del Toro and Josh Brolin-led sequel picked up another $7.6 million, taking the domestic tally to $35 million.

At the specialty box office, Roadside Attractions and Miramax’s “Whitney” bowed with $1.3 million from 452 locations. The documentary focusing on the life and career of Whitney Houston holds an A CinemaScore and a Rotten Tomatoes average of 90 percent.

Also opening in limited release was Annapurna’s “Sorry to Bother You,” which landed the best per screen average of the weekend with $44,881. Boots Riley’s film brought in $717,302 when it opened in 16 theaters. Lakeith Stanfield, Armie Hammer, Tessa Thompson, Steven Yeun, Danny Glover, Terry Crews, David Cross, Patton Oswalt, and Omari Hardwick round out the cast.

Elsewhere, Focus Features’ “Won’t You Be My Neighbor” landed in the top 10 at the domestic box office again, drawing another $2.6 million when it expanded to 893 locations. In five weeks, the documentary on Fred Rogers has amassed an impressive $12.4 million.

Another documentary, Neon’s “Three Identical Strangers” earned $717,008 million from 5 locations, bringing its domestic tally past $1 million.

The 2018 box office, which just hit $6.5 billion, is up 9 percent from last year, according to ComScore.]]>
7/9/2018 12:20:42 PM
<![CDATA[Prague to host 1st Arab Film Festival ]]>
Prints as significant as Screen Daily and The Hollywood Reporter shed light on the launching of "Mad 3araby" (Arab Flow) festival taking place in the beautiful capital of Czech, Prague, on October 31 - November 4, 2018.

Post the 53rd edition of the Karlovy Vary International Festival (KVIFF), the Arab Cinema Center (ACC) revealed news about the launching of "Mad 3araby".

Alaa Karkouti, CEO of MAD Solution and Co-Founder of Arab Cinema Center, stated to The Hollywood Reporter that "MAD 3araby" is a new development for the ACC’s initiatives that aim to promote the Arab culture around the world through different activities.

The ACC is annually present in 20 different locations worldwide through film festivals and markets focusing on the film industry.

The ACC is currently aiming to launch its own magazine printed in the English. The magazine will focus on news about the Arab cinema productions and prestigious film festivals around the globe.

The magazine is affiliated with the International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR), Malaga Film Festival, Mar Del Plata International Film Festival, and Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF), among others.

The ACC launched several initiatives to promote the Arab culture to the European market such as The Latin-Arab Co-Production Forum, Annual Critics Award, Arab Cinema Personality of the Year, and the Achievement Award for Film Critics.

Karkouti told Screen Daily that Prague is the first city to host the festival and that they plan to spread it to other cities in Czech Republic and around the world in the future.

Maher Diab, creative director and co-founder of "Mad 3arabi", and Abdallah al-Shami, the GCC representative at "Mad Solutions" and the managing partner, are both the artistic directors of the festival. Iranian Filmmaker Kavech Daneshmand is the festival’s managing director.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Daneshmand stated, “Arab cinema has been in constant rise for years now, and more than ever before; a well curated presentation of the works of Arab filmmakers has become essential internationally.”

Speaking about the festival’s strategy, Shami said: “‘Mad 3araby’ will work with all the ACC’s partners from institutions and festivals to film companies to promote Arab cinema in a more effective way, especially in countries that lack Arab film representation in its movie theatres.”

Furthermore, Diab pointed out that "Mad 3araby" is implementing the ACC’s strategies aiming to open new horizons for Arab film makers internationally, and create an international market for the Arab Film industry, broadening the audience base of Arab cinema.

Since Prague is known for its liberal views and support for film production of various kinds and genres, it has been chosen as the starting point of the festival taking place on October 31 - November 4, 2018.

The festival is organized by MAD Solutions and the Iranian Film Festival.

The ACC is considered by many in Egypt and the Pan-Arab region as an international promotional platform for Arab Cinema as it links the Arab filmmaking industry with its counterparts in different locations worldwide through events and festivals organized annually for sharing experiences.

Digital copies of the ACC magazine can be obtained through the magazine’s website and newsletter subscriptions. News about the ACC is also available post subscribing and notifications can be turned on/off depending on the individual’s preference.

Newsletter subscribers will receive all kinds of news about the ACC activities, festivals, notifications on application dates for grants, offers from educational and training institutions, updates on Arab film participations in festivals, exclusive news about the Arab Cinema LAB and highlights from the ACC partners.

Moreover, the ACC launched an Arab Cinema Guide in English available on its official website.

The guide is comprehensive focusing on Arab cinema and everything related to it. It compromises a variety of tools offered for the first time to filmmakers inside and outside the Arab region.

The ACC aims through its website to enable local filmmakers to reach international markets and to allow film industry representatives to easily locate Arab film productions.

7/9/2018 11:51:12 AM
<![CDATA[‘El-NahtFel-Zaman’, ‘Wanas’ awarded at ACF]]>

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. "Sculpting in Time" is directed Youssef Nasser and produced by RedStar.

“Wanas”, a short film directed by Ahmed Nader, previously, won a special prize for short films at the closing ceremony of the fourth edition of Alexandria Short Film Festival.

The 22-minute film stars Abdul RahmanAbou Zahra and Ragaa Hussein as a married couple in their 80s, with the wife struggling with her husband’s ill health. “Wanas” is a very humanistic movie about a love story between an elderly married couple and how death deprives one of them from the other.

Previously, the short film won the Bronze Tanit award for short films at the Carthage Film festival in Tunis in November 2017.
7/8/2018 6:00:30 PM
<![CDATA[Netflix to broadcast season 3 of'Glow']]>CAIRO – 8 July 2018: After the booming success of the second seasonof "Glow", Netflix gives the green light to broadcast the third season. The second season attracted many viewers and included many unexpected events.

The series looks at the professional and personal lives of a group of women who are members of a wrestling organization in Los Angeles.

The series stars Alison Brie, Betty Gilpin, Sydelle Noel, Britt Baron, Britney Young, Kate Nash, and Marc Maron,among others.

Many writers participated in writing the episodes of the series, including Liz Flahive, Carly Mensch, Rachel Shukert and Kristoffer Diaz. The series is directed by Jesse Peretz, Kate Dennis, Sian Heder, and Lynn Shelton Phil Abraham,amongothers.

7/8/2018 4:14:45 PM
<![CDATA[Ali el-Haggar to perform at El Sawy Culture Wheel]]>CAIRO – 8 July 2018: Renowned Egyptian singer Ali el-Haggar will perform a concert at El Sawy Culture Wheel on July 14.

Haggar graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts in 1979 and was influenced by late Egyptian music legend BalighHamdy, 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.

Haggar is expected to perform a collection of songsfrom his recent album “Ma TakhdyBalek” (Please Take Care). He will also sing some of his classic hits such as “Hona al-Qahera” (Here is Cairo), “A’mBatata” (Uncle Batata), and “Dehket al-Masagen” (The Prisoners’ Llaughter).

Moreover, he will sing a selectionof his iconic soundtracks such as “Bawabet al-Halawany” (Halawany’s Gate), “Al-Mal walBanon” (Money and Sons), and “Masa’letMabdaa” (A Matter of Principle).
7/8/2018 3:38:13 PM
<![CDATA[Neil Young finally finds Quebec in an under-the-radar mega-festival]]>
The rock legend, who after the death of Leonard Cohen is perhaps Canada's most emblematic musician, on Friday night played a high-powered, two-hour set before tens of thousands on the vast and historic Plains of Abraham park that extends westward from Quebec City.

Young -- who was born just an eight-hour drive away in Toronto -- headed to the French-speaking province for Quebec City's summer festival, the Festival d'ete de Quebec, a rare public concert with low-priced tickets and a community feel.

"It's my first time here! I can't believe it, or I can't remember," Young exclaimed at the end of his set with his energetic back-up band, the Promise of the Real, which features Willie Nelson's rocker son Lukas.

A day after the festival opened with another major Canadian star, The Weeknd, amid an unusually brutal heat wave, temperatures plunged sharply for Young, who took the stage in his trademark Stetson hat with a black T-shirt under a thick plaid shirt.

He kicked off with his 1982 song "Like an Inca," with 10 minutes' worth of crackling guitars setting the tone for the evening.

He ramped up the energy further on "Fuckin' Up," a track off his hard-charging 1990 album "Ragged Glory" that turned the onetime folk rocker into a godfather of the nascent grunge scene.

Young didn't wait long before ripping into his possibly best-known song, "Rockin' in the Free World," which the left-leaning transplant to the United States released in 1989 as a critique of then president George H.W. Bush.

Battling his guitar strings nearly to the point of breaking them, the former Buffalo Springfield rocker offered a grandiose take on "Down by the River" before a climax on "Hey Hey, My My." He returned for an encore before the open-air sea of people, playing the exquisite "Harvest Moon" before ending on "Roll Another Number (For the Road)."

- Historic battleground -

The Festival d'ete de Quebec, in its 51st season, is drawing a slew of major acts including Foo Fighters, Lorde, Beck, Future, Camila Cabello and the Dave Matthews Band.

The organizers said it took some work to bring Young.

"It was difficult to persuade him. We had to tell him about the Plains of Abraham, our philosophy, our economic model and, finally, I succeeded," Louis Bellavance, the programming director, said with a smile.

The Plains of Abraham was the scene of the 1759 battle in which Britain decisively defeated France for domination of Canada. For the festival, the historic site becomes one of the largest stages in North America, able to accommodate crowds of nearly 100,000.

For a festival with its lineup, tickets are incredibly inexpensive. A pass that costs 100 Canadian dollars (US$76) gives access to all 250 shows, big and small, around the city.

- A 'far-fetched' success -

And, unlike big festivals such as Coachella where security guards rigorously check wristband passes to avoid resale, the Quebec festival not only allows but encourages fans to share their tickets.

Drink sales help recoup costs as does support from the Quebec government, which sees the festival as a way to encourage tourism.

"It's a system that's far-fetched because we eat ourselves alive when it comes to revenue," Bellavance said. "But it works marvelously if we sell 120,000 passes."

Launched initially as a neighborhood block party, the festival has grown to draw mega-stars including the Rolling Stones, The Who and Metallica. But Bellavance acknowledged that the festival is still not well-known internationally -- or even in western Canada.

"For many, we're classified as 'the most extraordinary festival that you've never heard of,'" he said.]]>
7/8/2018 2:48:56 PM
<![CDATA[Race to restore Myanmar's film classics for a second screening]]>
The survival of Myanmar's earliest film still in existence, "Mya Ga Naing" (The Emerald Jungle), and its rise to international acclaim is perhaps as unlikely a feat as its lead role's triumph over pythons and bandits with his bare hands.

The Southeast Asian country's once flourishing film scene hit a major setback with the arrival of a military junta in 1962 that enforced stringent censorship and gutted the economy during a 50-year reign.

As the creative climate withered, Myanmar's merciless heat, torrential rains and stifling humidity took its toll on delicate film reels in a country that had neither the resources nor know-how to store them properly.

Some reels were recycled to save money and now only a dozen of the country's early black-and-white pictures remain.

"Mya Ga Naing", originally a silent movie that later had music and printed title cards added, is the oldest to have been found so far.

It languished in the state archives for decades before specialists in Italy spent one year painstakingly retouching the film frame-by-frame, screening the restored version in 2016.

Experts spent hundreds of hours at the laboratory of L'Immagine Ritrovata (The Rediscovered Image) in Bologna removing every small scratch and spot from the film and digitising using various resources including some film found in archives in Berlin -- a testament to how far the original movie travelled.

"Each time the restoration progressed, it was like a new birth for the film," said Severine Wemaere, co-founder of MEMORY! Cinema, which oversaw the restoration and raised funds from donors for the $100,000 price tag.

"It was very moving because we could tell that we were in a country of cinema."

- Sound or colour? -

The classic has also played at festivals in Singapore, Thailand and Switzerland as well as enjoying regular screenings at home in Myanmar.

A live group of musicians accompanied a recent sold-out performance in Yangon, staying true to an original soundtrack added in 1954 that mixes local traditional music with western jazz.

The film gained further international acclaim this year after UNESCO awarded the film a place on its Asia-Pacific list of "documentary heritage of influence" -- a nod not just to the movie, but also to Myanmar's cinematic tradition.

The country's first-ever film was screened in 1920.

By the 50s, the industry was in its heyday with Myanmar filmmakers pumping out scores of features each year.

But the plot turned in the latter half of the 20th century as military rulers crushed creativity and closed the country off to foreign influences and technology.

While nearly all the earliest movies have been lost, the successful revival of "Mya Ga Naing" is spurring a movement to preserve what remains.

The next film to be restored in 2017 was Pyo Chit Lin (My Darling), a 1950 comedy shot on such a tight budget that director Tin Myint had to choose between sound or colour.

He opted for the latter -- making it the country's earliest known surviving colour film.

- Every second counts -

Contemporary Myanmar filmmaker Maung Okkar is playing a lead role in the effort to salvage his country's classics.

Few could be better placed -- the 31-year-old has moviemaking in his blood with both his father and grandfather renowned directors.

In 2012, Maung Okkar realised with horror that some of his family's original reels were damaged beyond repair while others were slowly decaying in his storeroom.

"Some films could not be restored and, for me, it was as if I had lost one of my parents," he remembered.

"I learned there were other old films which were not looked after properly and decided to do it myself."

After receiving training in restoration and archiving techniques in Italy, he launched "Save Myanmar Film" in 2017 with a group of fellow filmmakers.

Their slogan is "Every Second Counts!" and they aim to find and preserve as many old reels and other cinematic paraphernalia -- including cameras, projectors and film posters -- as possible.

Some two thousand people viewed an exhibition and screenings held by the group this May in Yangon's prestigious former parliamentary building, and plans are under way to restore a third film.

he surviving films still piled up in metal tins in Yangon's crumbling state archive building
The clock is ticking, with all of the surviving films still piled up in metal tins in Yangon's crumbling state archive building.

Round-the-clock air conditioning is an improvement from the past but the temperature, at 16 degrees Celsius (61 degrees Fahrenheit), is still far above the optimal level of four degrees Celsius.

Actress Grace Swe Zin Htaik, 65, starred in many of Myanmar's biggest films in the 70s and 80s and faces the challenge of organising the upcoming 100th anniversary of the country's movie industry.

"People in this country have no idea how to value the old movies," she said wistfully while tracing her finger along the ramshackle shelves that are home to the remnants of the country’s cinematic heritage.

"(Through) old movies we can see our history, we can see our culture, we can see our identity and values."

7/8/2018 2:46:16 PM
<![CDATA[All you need to know about 2018 summer concerts]]>
Among the stars who will be performing during the summeris AmrDiab who is getting ready fora huge concert that will take place in Mikonos Island, Greece on July 26, 2018.

Diab will be performing a selection of his oldand recent songs, including "Ahla w Ahla" (Beter& Better), "Wahashtene" (I Miss You) and many others.

sherine youm 7
Sherine Abdelwahab - Egypt Today

On the other hand, super star Sherin AbdelWahab flew to Morocco to perform her second concert for the season on July 7.

Sherin’s concert came as a closure for the fourth day of Timitar Music Festival in Morocco's city of Aghadeer. The Timitar Music Festival focuses on Amazighi music and international genres.

The 15th edition of Timitar Festival presented a selection of themost talented Arab stars;such as Iraqi star Kazem el Saher,and Lebanese super star Magda el Rumi,among others.

Additionally, Ahmed Gamal and Shahinaz performed in the Mediterranean city of Alexandriaon June 29.

It is worth noting that both artists were discovered through talent shows;Ahmed Gamal was discovered through "Arab Idol"and Shahinaz was discovered through "Star Maker".

massar egbari
Massar Egbari Band - Egypt Today

Meanwhile, Masar Egbari band is set to perform their first concert for the summer in the North Coast at the opening of Hang Out theater on Friday at 8 p.m.

The band has recently surprised thefans with the song "WeselnaBa’adSeneen" (We finally made it); a song especially made for the national football team’s participation in the world cup in Russia.

The band is currently adding their final touches to their new album "Mosawamat" (Bargains), which is going to be the third album in their short but special career in the music industry.

The album comes after a three - year hiatus for the band, since the release of their last album "Toqa’a w Tqom" (Fall & Rise).

On July 27, ZapTharwat will perform in the Bibliotheca Alexandrina.

Tharwat recently celebrated the release of his last album "El Madina" (The City) that was made using the expertise of music producer SaryHany.

Also, Nessma Mahgoub will perform on El Romany (Roman) theatre in Alexandria on July 26.

Mahgoub will sing the soundtrack of the Ramadan TV series "Layaly Eugenie" (Eugenie Nights) for the first time along with other songs.

In summer 2018, Kazem el Saher is going to perform a series of concerts in numerous Lebanese festivals, including two concerts on June 27,28in Bait el Den Festival and two concertson August 3, 4in Ahdnyat Festival.

7/8/2018 1:35:23 PM
<![CDATA[Polanski's wife says 'Non merci!' to Oscars' academy invite]]>
Seigner, from France, is one of 928 artists and executives which the Academy, best known for giving the Oscars movie awards, last month invited to become members.

The Academy expelled Oscar-winning Polanski in May for violating a conduct code it had adopted following hundreds of accusations of sexual harassment or assault in the entertainment industry.

“How can I ignore the fact that a few weeks ago the Academy expelled my husband, Roman Polanski, in an attempt to appease the zeitgeist – the very same Academy which in 2002 awarded him an Oscar for The Pianist! A curious case of amnesia!” Seigner said in the column published in France’s Le Journal du Dimanche.

“The Academy probably thinks I am enough of a spineless, social climbing actress that I would forget that I have been married for the past 29 years to one of the world’s greatest directors,” she said, denouncing what she called “insufferable hypocrisy.”

Polanski, 84, who won the best director Oscar in 2003 for “The Pianist,” had in 1977 admitted to having unlawful sex with a 13-year-old girl in Los Angeles.

Polanski and television star Bill Cosby, who had been members since 1969 and 1996 respectively, were the first known members expelled for violating the Academy’s new code of conduct.

The entertainment industry is grappling with misconduct allegations that have led to dozens of politicians, businessmen and entertainers stepping down or being dropped from creative projects, sparking the #MeToo social movement and the Time’s Up campaign against workplace harassment and equal pay.

Seigner, 52, well known in France for movies that included Polanski’s “Based on a True Story” and “Venus in Fur” movies, said she felt offended by the offer to join the Academy.

“As for the members of the Academy, I have only one thing to say to them: this is one woman you won’t have,” she wrote in the piece, made available to Reuters in English but with a French headline: “Non merci!”]]>
7/8/2018 12:12:30 PM
<![CDATA[KSA tops USA in releasing Mission Impossible - Fallout]]>CAIRO – 7 July 2018: Saudi Arabia is racing the United States in showing the last of the Mission Impossible series, Mission Impossible – Fallout. The movie will show in USA cinemas on July 27, 2018, however it would have already screened in Saudi Arabia 24 hours before its USA release on July 26, 2018.
After deciding to launch cinemas in Saudi Arabia, the Saudis are waiting on several important upcoming Hollywood movies during the month of July, which made cinema lovers delighted. They will be waiting for two important movies other than Mission Impossible, including Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation scheduled for release on July 12 and Ocean’s 8 on July 19.
“Mission Impossible” sequel, “Fallout”, tells the story of Ethan Hunt and his team as well as some familiar allies’ race against time after a mission gone wrong. The stars of the movie include Tom Cruise, Rebecca Ferguson, Vanessa Kirby, Henry Cavill, Michelle Monaghan, Angela Bassett, Simon Pegg and Alec Baldwin. The film is directed by Christopher McQuarrie and written by Christopher McQuarrie and Bruce Geller.

The movie will be released on July 27, 2018 in the USA and July 26 in KSA.
Mission Impossible – Fallout official trailer

Ocean’s 8 official trailer

Hotel Transylvania: Summer Vacation

7/7/2018 7:08:29 PM
<![CDATA[Cairo Symphony Orchestra to perform July 7]]>CAIRO – 7 July – 2018: Extensive practice sessions for the ‘Cairo Symphony Orchestra’ are taking place daily at Egypt’s Opera house in Cairo, in preparation for the closing concert scheduled Saturday, July 7.

The Orchestra group will perform in the ‘Grand Theatre,’ one of the numerous theatres held at the Egyptian Opera House.

Ahmed al-Saeedi will be the Maestro, along with Violinist Ebada Ahmed and Soprano Mona Rafla.

The concert’s program consists of numerous musical compositions created by significant artists in the industry, such as Stravinsky, Leo Hans and Muller.

The concert dates back to the year 1959, when it was by the hands of Austrian Maestro Franz Letcher. Ever since, the concert has been considered a catalyst for the music industry in Egypt and the Arab – Pan region for many decades.

The event annually combines a vast majority of bold musical figures in the music industry, including both local and foreign talent. Letches had also organized various festivals such as ‘Beethoven’, ‘21st Century Festival,’ among others.

7/7/2018 5:07:21 PM
<![CDATA[Swedish intellectuals form new literature prize in Nobel protest]]>
You create your own award.More than 100 Swedish intellectuals have joined forces to form a new prize-giving body in protest after the Swedish Academy, which selects Nobel laureates, was plunged into crisis over its long-standing ties to a man accused of assaulting several women.

The alternative honour serves to denounce "bias, arrogance and sexism", according to its founders The New Academy, whose members include authors, artists and journalists.

It is meant to "remind people that literature and culture at large should promote democracy, transparency, empathy and respect, without privilege", the 107 intellectuals wrote in a joint statement.

As the #MeToo movement has made waves globally, the Swedish Academy descended into turmoil in November when local media published the testimonies of 18 women claiming to have been raped, sexually assaulted or harassed by an influential French cultural figure who has long been connected to the institution.

The revelations led the Academy to announce in May there will be no Nobel Literature Prize this year, as disagreements on how to deal with the scandal sowed deep discord among its 18 members and prompted six to quit -- including the first woman permanent secretary Sara Danius.

But for some the lack of a Nobel literature award for the first time in almost 70 years was unacceptable.

"Sweden is one of the world's most democratic, transparent and gender-equal countries... it needs a great literary prize," Swedish columnist and one of the founders of the new prize, Alexandra Pascalidou, told AFP.

- 'Open and inclusive' -

The Swedish Academy's members used to be appointed for life before its patron, Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf, was forced to change the statutes, making it possible for members to resign and be replaced.

Resigning member Kjell Espmark told the Dagens Nyheter newspaper that the institution had "given way to nepotism, attempts to cover up serious violations, stale macho values and arrogant bullying".

Seen as the bearer of high culture, the Swedish Academy, founded in 1786, is traditionally known for its integrity and discretion, with meetings and decisions on prizes kept secret.

But the New Academy plans to make its prize-awarding process transparent.

"We want to create something which is open and inclusive and which allows people to contribute," said Pascalidou.

The new literature award -- which carries a prize of one million kronor (around 97,000 euros, $113,000) raised from crowdfunding and donations -- will be handed out at a December 10 ceremony, the same day as the Nobel banquet.

Librarians across Sweden have been asked to nominate up to two authors, with a deadline set for July 8. Authors with the most nominations will then receive votes online from the public in Sweden and abroad.

Based on the nominations and the vote results, a jury including publishers, literature professors, culture journalists and critics will shortlist four authors -- two men and two women -- and make the final choice.

The winner, who may come from anywhere in the world and must have published at least one literary work in the last 10 years, will be announced on October 14, in the same month as the Nobel Literature Prize would have been announced.

- Scepticism, warnings -

But some observers are sceptical about whether the New Academy can compare with the Nobel Literature Prize's history of recognising distinguished authors including Ernest Hemingway, Albert Camus, Boris Pasternak, Alice Munro and Doris Lessing, among others.

For Asa Linderborg, chief culture editor at daily paper Aftonbladet, it's "deeply provocative" of the New Academy to use literature to promote moral values and even "the most disturbing ideas" can become high-quality literature.

"Art should be free. You cannot label it based on righteousness or evil. The New Academy is after total purity... total goodness," Linderborg told AFP.

She warned that allowing the public, who may not have a profound understanding of languages and books from different parts of the world, to vote for an author risks turning the prize in favour of "predictable and Western-translated" literature.

Meanwhile others are indifferent to the initiative.

"They're free to do as they wish," Swedish Academy member Per Wastberg told AFP.

The new literature prize is the latest award to be dubbed an alternative to the Nobel, joining the Swedish Right Livelihood Award honouring those who work to improve the planet, and Finland's Millennium Technology Prize.

7/7/2018 3:42:04 PM
<![CDATA[Stephen Ditko, Spider-Man co-creator, dies at 90]]>
Police in New York said he was found in his apartment on June 29, according to the Hollywood Reporter. No cause of death has been confirmed.

Born in 1927 in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, Ditko worked alongside the then-future Marvel Comics CEO Stan Lee in the early 1960s. It was Ditko who came up with Spider-Man's iconic red and blue suit, complete with web-shooters.

"Today, the Marvel family mourns the loss of Steve Ditko. Steve transformed the industry and the Marvel Universe, and his legacy will never be forgotten," Marvel Entertainment President Dan Buckley said in a statement Saturday.

Ditko, a reclusive figure who is thought to have never married, had left Marvel by 1966, reportedly due to a disagreement with Lee.

He went on to work for other publishers -- including DC Comics, where he created characters such as The Creeper -- but did draw for Marvel again from in 1979.

"Of course, he is best known for co-creating Spider-Man but he also ushered in a slew of unique, very personal and eclectic characters for DC such as the Question, Blue Beetle, Hawk and Dove and more," said DC Entertainment Chief Creative Officer Jim Lee on Twitter.

"Polite and unassuming--he never sought attention or the limelight but in many ways represented the hidden hero he saw in all of us," he added.

Elsewhere on social media, fans paid tribute to Ditko alongside images of his work -- hailed by many for its unique, zany style.

"RIP to comic book legend Steve Ditko, beyond influential on countless planes of existence.", wrote film director Edgar Wright, whose works include Shaun of the Dead (2004).

Meanwhile, author Neil Gaiman reflected: "Steve Ditko was true to his own ideals. He saw things his own way, and he gave us ways of seeing that were unique. Often copied. Never equalled."]]>
7/7/2018 3:15:29 PM
<![CDATA[Singer Chris Brown arrested after Florida concert]]>
Police seized the R&B star shortly after he left the stage Thursday night in West Palm Beach. He was booked on a charge of felony battery and released after he paid a $2,000 bond, the sheriff's office said.

7 July 2018: The Palm Beach County sheriff's office said that Brown was arrested on a warrant from Tampa but did not give specifics.

The celebrity news site TMZ said the warrant was related to an incident last year when Brown punched an in-house photographer during a paid appearance at a nightclub.

The singer was due to return to Tampa on Friday for a concert as part of an ongoing tour.

Brown, 29, has a long history of violence. In May, a Los Angeles woman said she was lured to the singer's house and repeatedly raped by him and a rapper.

Prominent lawyer Gloria Allred called it "one of the most horrific cases involving alleged sexual assault that I have ever seen."

Most notoriously, Brown in 2009 was convicted of beating fellow singer Rihanna, who was then his girlfriend and was forced to miss the Grammy Awards due to her injuries.

In 2016, he was arrested and charged with assault with a deadly weapon following a standoff with Los Angeles police, after a woman said he threatened her at his home.

He also pleaded guilty to assaulting a fan in Washington in 2014 and was accused of violence by a woman in Las Vegas.

Brown was discovered by record label scouts when he was a boy working at his father's gas station in Virginia. First identified as a rapper, he quickly found success with his rich singing voice but he has been in the news more often in recent years for his legal troubles.]]>
7/7/2018 11:20:09 AM
<![CDATA[ A whimsical white house exhibit beckons the imagination in Washington]]>
The idiosyncratic group -- which sees itself as creating neither art nor architecture, but rather something in between -- invites Washingtonians to immerse themselves in a tactile show that captivates with a sprinkling of whimsy.

"We are looking to make architecture accessible and engaging. Part of doing that is to integrate this concept of play," said Alex Mustonen, who co-founded Snarkitecture with Daniel Arsham. Ben Porto joined the pair in 2014.


"We like people to experience architecture and environments in ways that children might experience them," he said. "Ideally to let your guard down to approach something in a new way."

Visitors enter the free-standing structure filled with interactive pieces through what looks like a primitive cavern entrance, created by hammering and chiseling away at a solid piece of EPS (expanded polystyrene) architectural foam.

A carved out skylight appears after clambering through one of the openings, the tightly packed foam beads crunching beneath your feet.

Forced perspective -- an optical illusion that makes objects appear a different size than they actually are -- gives an impression of depth in "Playhouse" (2017), scaled for adults in front and growing increasingly smaller for children.


In the larger house, wall shelves emerge from excavated forms, a tilted white oak chair becomes usable thanks to a tapered black marble stone and a cabinet that looks cracked open at the center is completely functional.

"People could take home that the most normal and simple things can be looked at in different ways. This is a sign of (creative) freedom and freedom is the seed of the future," said Milan-based curator Maria Cristina Didero.

Working mostly in monochrome tones is "like a tabula rasa where you are open to everything," said Didero.

The main structure looks like a typical American house, complete with white picket fence -- except this one was built with EPS foam

The precisely milled siding, gutters and roof eventually dissolve in an irregular pattern -- as though chomped off by some large, hungry animal -- to reveal the frame and rafters beneath.

It's a "balance between precision and looseness," Mustonen explained.


One of the highlights of "Fun House" -- the fifth in the museum's annual Summer Block Party installations that runs through September 3 -- is a kidney-shaped pool.

After dipping in some 175,000 translucent balls, visitors can lounge on beach chairs under parasols, white astro turf mimicking sand all around.

It's a new take on Snarkitecture's uber-popular 2015 installation at the museum, "The Beach."

While "Fun House" is sure to be an Instagram hit, Mustonen encouraged people to also lift their eyes from their tiny screens to "appreciate the moment and have a more physical, tangible, tactical, memorable experience."
7/7/2018 10:49:08 AM
<![CDATA[The Gold of the Pharaohs: Massive Egyptian exhibition in Monaco]]>
Still, this is not the first exhibition to be hosted by the Grimaldi Forum to showcase Egyptian Antiquities. According to Grimaldi Forum’s General Director, Sylvie Biancheri, a somewhat similar exhibition was hosted in Monaco ten years ago.

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Prince Albert II with Minister of Antiquities Khaled Anany and the Minister of Tourism Rania Al-Mashat during the inauguration of The Gold of the Pharaohs exhibition, July 6 2018 - Egypt Today/Khaled Salah

Biancheri told Egypt Today on Friday that the “Queens of Egypt” exhibition, which was hosted ten years ago, was one of the most successful and well-received exhibitions organized by the Grimaldi Forum. “At the time, the government allowed moving several pieces of the ancient antiquities to be displayed inside the exhibition. I remember that it achieved huge success, something that encouraged us to seek repeating the experience once again this year,” Biancheri explained.

150 ancient Egyptian masterpieces in Grimaldi's Forum July 7

Monaco - 6 July 2018: Minister of Antiquities Khaled Anany held a press conference on Friday with Grimaldi Forum's director, and the Minister of Tourism Rania Al-Mashat, before the opening of "The Gold of the Pharaohs exhibition" in Monaco.

Biancheri pointed out that the government has fully supported the forum, but also highlighted the low profit level achieved by the exhibition due to low ticket pricing and high cost. The exhibition cost the organisation some €2.5-2.7 million, while entry tickets cost only €8 each.

“It’s extremely important for Monaco to show it’s abilities of hosting and organizing such huge and significant international exhibitions,” Biancheri revealed, adding that Monaco’s display of the Egyptian antiquities is considered to be kind of publicity for the Egyptian civilization; it urges people to visit Egypt and discover it by themselves.

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Prince Albert II with Minister of Antiquities Khaled Anany and the Minister of Tourism Rania Al-Mashat during the inauguration of The Gold of the Pharaohs exhibition, July 6 2018 - Egypt Today/Khaled Salah

“We need to change the stereotyped image of our country, which is known globally of being the center of entertainment. It’s true that we have casinos, where tourists can have fun, but we can also organize and host huge exhibitions like this one; we are also interested in cultural events, opera and ballet,” Biancheri revealed, assuring that Egypt is certainly a great partner in this regard.

Choosing the displayed 149 ancient pieces in particular came after much thought and discussion by Monaco’s government, according to Biancheri, who said that they needed to try something different and special for the exhibition this time.

“Focusing of the Egyptian ancient Jewelry and its historical development over 25 centuries was a brand new, interesting idea, which crossed our minds during preparing for this event; eventually we decided to highlight it.” Biancheri stated, affirming that the idea will achieve gains for both Egypt and Monaco.

The excessive usage of the dark blue color, as part of the displayed ancient pieces in the exhibition, was an idea that crossed the mine of William Chitran, one of Grimaldi Forum’s most prominent staff members, whilst preparing for this exhibition.

Interview: On the Ancient Egypt exhibition held in Monaco

MONACO, France - 6 July 2018: Egypt Today interviewed the General Manager of the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco Sylvie Biancheri, on Friday, about the ongoing Ancient Egyptian exhibition currently held there. The Grimaldi Forum is currently hosting an exhibition of Ancient Egyptian gold jewelry, reviewing their evolution over the centuries and their importance historically and culturally.

In statements to Egypt Today, Chitran revealed that in an attempt to come up with new ideas for the exhibition, he visited Egypt, looking for inspiration. “This color was excessively used by the ancient Egyptians in everything they used to create. I was pretty much keen on making all the exhibition’s visitors feel that they are inside a real ancient Egyptian tomb,” Chitran said.

At least 75,000 visitors are expected to hit the exhibition this year, according to Biancheri, who hopes that the exhibition will be a huge success, similar to the exhibition held ten years ago. “This exhibition is extremely exceptional and we believe that it deserves a massive triumph,” Biancheri said proudly.

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Prince Albert II with Minister of Antiquities Khaled Anany and the Minister of Tourism Rania Al-Mashat during the inauguration of The Gold of the Pharaohs exhibition, July 6 2018 - Egypt Today/Khaled Salah

The Grimaldi Forum, in partnership with major cultural institutions, has been organizing and hosting successful exhibitions for 19 years.

Minister of Antiquities Khaled Anany held a press conference earlier on Friday with Grimaldi Forum’s director and the Minister of Tourism Rania Al-Mashat.

Anany told Egypt Today that the event is under the auspices of Prince Albert II, and that it is the second forum for Egyptian antiques to be held in Monaco. The first exhibition was held in 2009 and included 26 pieces under the title “Queens of Egypt.”

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Prince Albert II with Minister of Antiquities Khaled Anany and the Minister of Tourism Rania Al-Mashat during the inauguration of The Gold of the Pharaohs exhibition, July 6 2018 - Egypt Today/Khaled Salah

“The Gold of the Pharaohs exhibition includes two pieces from the Collection of King Tutankhamen, other antiques, ornaments and jewelry from different collections. This exhibition will deliver a message that the Egyptian Museum will further impress its visitors,” he said.

Along with presenting 149 ancient masterpieces from the Egyptian Museum, the exhibition will also present a series of superb ensembles discovered in the royal and princely tombs of Pharaonic Egypt.

Additional reporting from Cairo by

Aya Samir

7/6/2018 8:43:29 PM
<![CDATA[Archaeologists in Peru uncover Incan burial site in desert valley]]>
Two dozen cave-like tombs with human remains and pottery from the Incan culture have been unearthed so far at the Tucume Archaeological Site, Jose Manuel Escudero, director of the archaeological team working there, said on Thursday.

The finding was a reminder of the vast terrain - from the Pacific coast to the high Andes - that the Incan Empire, using a network of roads and a labor-based tax system, controlled before the Spanish conquest in the 16th century.

Tucume, some 400 miles north of the Peruvian capital, Lima, is believed to have been first settled by the Lambayeque coastal people at the turn of the 12th century before being occupied by the Chimu culture and later the Incan Empire some 500 years ago.

“There’s a reutilization of the space,” Escudero said, adding that archaeologists have yet to find evidence that the space changed hands through warfare. “It appears each culture just found that it was convenient to use this site to govern.”

The remains of men holding spiked spondylus shells, which were used in rituals by pre-Colombian people in Peru, were found in five of the tombs, said Escudero.

Another tomb appears to have been made for a member of the elite because the body was buried on a bed of ceramic pieces and wrapped carefully.

“It’s wrapped in more than 4 shrouds, one of which is quilted,” said Escudero. “You’re not going to bury an ordinary person that way.”

Escudero said archaeologists hope the discoveries will tell them more about the so-called Pyramid of the Bees where the tombs were found, one of the several adobe structures at the site. “The Pyramid of the Bees must have had great significance for them to be buried there,” he said.]]>
7/6/2018 4:31:16 PM
<![CDATA[150 ancient Egyptian masterpieces in Grimaldi’s Forum July 7]]>
A press Conference for Minister of Antiquities Khaled Anany with Grimaldi Forum’s director, and the Minister of Tourism Rania Al-Mashat

The exhibition will be held July 7 until Sept. 9, and will present 150 ancient masterpieces from the Egyptian Museum. It will also present a series of superb ensembles discovered in the royal and princely tombs of Pharaonic Egypt.

Anany told Egypt Today that the event is under the auspices of Prince Albert II, and that it is the second forum for Egyptian antiques to be held in Monaco. The first exhibition was held in 2009 and included 26 pieces under the title “Queens of Egypt.”

“The Gold of the Pharaohs exhibition includes two pieces from the Collection of King Tutankhamen, other antiques, ornaments and jewelry from different collections. This exhibition will deliver a message that the Egyptian Museum will further impress its visitors,” he said.

Sylvie Biancheri, General Director of Grimaldi Forum Monaco, told Hello Monaco news website that they have been preparing for this remarkable exhibition for more than two years in cooperation with the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities and the Egyptian Museum in order to host 150 pieces of art; some of which will be exhibited for the first time out of Egypt.

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Golden-silver female Swimmers Cup (Tanis, 11th Dynasty) CC Grimaldi Forum

591-37_collar of Princess Neferuptah-JE 90199-SR 3-11272
Falcon dual-headed broad Useck golden necklace with counterweights (Hawara, 12th Dynasty) – made of gold, carnelian and aventurine stones. CC Grimaldi Forum

The forum will be an exceptional opportunity for the visitors to experience the distinctive talent of Egyptian artists.

The exhibition will include jewels, vases, bracelets, pendants, goldsmith belts, gold-plated mirrors, necklaces, sarcophagi, funerary masks and gold-plated furniture

591-1 et 2_outer coffin of Tjuya-KTJ 23 12 11 A - 048
Yuya's Coffin, made of wood, coated with gold - Valley of the Kings, The Tomb of Iouiya and Touiyou.

7/6/2018 4:25:44 PM
<![CDATA[Gala: Muse behind Dali's work gets own show in Barcelona]]>
Pepe Serra, director of the National Art Museum of Catalonia where the exhibition opens on Friday, said it highlights that Gala had an important, active role in the surrealist artist's "creative, life-long project."

"Gala Salvador Dali" gathers more than 300 elements from 18 museums and collections like the Georges Pompidou Centre in Paris or the Salvador Dali Museum in Florida.

It includes Dali's paintings and sketches of Gala, as well as items of their private life like letters, postcards, photos, clothes and personal objects.

Born in 1894 into a family of intellectuals from Kazan, Russia, she spent her childhood in Moscow.

She settled in Switzerland where she met the French poet Paul Eluard, with whom she moved to Paris and had a daughter.

Gala was the mistress of German painter Max Ernst and the muse of photographers such as Britain's Cecil Beaton.

But her life changed when she met Dali in 1929 and moved in with him. The pair later wed and were inseparable until her death in 1982.

"Gala has much more of a role in (Dali's) work than what is attributed to her," said Estrella de Diego, curator of the exhibition.

"She collaborates, comes up with ideas and thinks like Dali."]]>
7/6/2018 3:59:08 PM
<![CDATA['Sacred Games' marks Netflix debut into Indian original series]]>
“Sacred Games,” based on the 2006 novel by Vikram Chandra, is a thriller set in Mumbai with a cast of police officers, politicians and spies, and stars some of Bollywood’s biggest personalities: Saif Ali Khan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Radhika Apte.

The eight-episode series, in Hindi and with English subtitles, is the first of seven original Indian series for Netflix, including a new adaptation announced last week of Salman Rushdie’s 1981 epic novel “Midnight’s Children.”

Netflix now has more than 125 million subscribers around the world and has said it expects a large chunk of future growth to come from India.

Cheap data has spurred the rise of streaming video usage in India, the world’s fastest growing Web services market, and turned it into a battleground for content wars between global giants such as Amazon.com Inc and Netflix as they look for growth beyond a saturated U.S. home market.

India’s media and entertainment market is expected to grow to more than $31 billion in two years, from $22.7 billion in 2017.

Netflix, which launched in India in 2016, has also said it is developing a multilingual espionage series “Bard of Blood,” female-led supernatural series “Again” and “Selection Day,” a story of cricket and corruption.

Other Netflix series in the works include “Leila,” about an Indian woman searching for her lost daughter; “Ghoul,” a horror series based on Arabic folklore and set in a covert detention center; and young adult murder mystery “Crocodile.”]]>
7/6/2018 2:20:22 PM
<![CDATA[Alice Cooper, Johnny Depp, Joe Perry storm Montreux stage]]>
The American trio, all dressed in black with silver chains around their necks, lived up to their reputation as “bad boys” during the 90-minute set.

Cooper, 70, wore gothic eye make-up and carried a black stick, while heavily tattooed Depp, 55, and Aerosmith’s Perry, 67, both appeared to smoke briefly on stage as they played guitar.

“We are the Vampires and we pay homage to our old friends,” Cooper told the crowd as they sang “Raise the Dead”.

In the 1970s, “The Hollywood Vampires” was a drinking club for rockers in Los Angeles founded by Cooper, whose members included Keith Moon and Ringo Starr.

The group was set up in 2015 to honor musicians who died early deaths and during the set photos of artists including Jim Morrison, John Lennon, and Prince flashed on stage.

In addition to playing Cooper and Aerosmith classics, they revisited titles from Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, David Bowie, and Motorhead.

Highlights included “Dead Drunk Friends”, written by Cooper and Depp, and the Who’s “Teenage Wasteland”.

Depp, with long hair and a black paisley bandana around his head, looked as if he had walked off the set of “Pirates of the Caribbean”, where his role of Jack Sparrow is modeled on Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones.

“I’ve been a villain now for centuries but this song is about a hero,” Cooper said, handing over to Depp who gave a moving rendition of the late Bowie’s hit “Heroes”.

They sang Cooper’s signature hit “School’s Out” - appropriately on the day classes ended in the local area - spicing it up with Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall”, before throwing hundreds of guitar pics out to the crowd.

Fans paid up to 335 Swiss francs to attend the concert in Stravinski Auditorium.

Jack White, Nick Cave, Jamie Cullum and Jamiroquai are booked at the 52nd edition of the festival, where the eclectic line-up also includes hip hop and electronic music.

American producer Quincy Jones, 85, attended the Hollywood Vampires concert, days after being honored in Montreux where he served as co-director in the 1990s and which he still calls “the Rolls Royce of all festivals”.
7/6/2018 2:17:50 PM
<![CDATA[French filmmaker Claude Lanzmann, creator of 'Shoah', dies at 92]]>
A man of letters and high learning, who spent much of the 1950s living with Simone de Beauvoir and working alongside Jean-Paul Sartre and other philosophers, Lanzmann was equally at home as an author, filmmaker, memoirist, journalist and lecturer.

He was awarded the Legion d’honneur, France’s highest order of merit, for his work in 2006, and continued as editor of Les Temps Modernes, a journal founded by Sartre, into his 90s.

Born in the suburbs of Paris in 1925 to a Jewish family that had migrated from eastern Europe, Lanzmann came of age during the Nazi occupation of France and served with the resistance.

In the mid-1970s, he started working on an oral history of the Holocaust, conducting a mass of interviews with survivors, perpetrators and witnesses to the murder of six million Jews by the Nazis. In all he spent 11 years making “Shoah”, the Hebrew word for the Holocaust, which was released in 1985.

More than nine hours in length, the film met with wide critical acclaim. Much of the raw footage and transcripts of interviews are held at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial museum in Washington, DC.

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin described “Shoah” as a film that “changed the entire world’s perspective”.

“In his less well-known films, too, his humane gaze and sharp and original eye are evident,” Rivlin wrote on Twitter.

“This combination, together with his love of life and faith in humanity, lent him an eternality which makes it difficult to accept his parting from the world.”

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said the world had lost “a tireless admonisher against forgetting”.

“His works are an everlasting appeal to later born generations that the freedom and dignity of the individual are paramount,” he said in a statement.

Lanzmann continually “brought the suffering and terror of the Nazis against the Jews into the world of the unaffected, and laid bare the pain of the Nazi barbarism with its virtually industrialized extermination of the Jewish people,” said Germany’s Commissioner for Culture Monika Gruetters.

In 2009, Lanzmann published his autobiography, The Patagonian Hare, which traces his youth, the impact of Nazism on his life and touches on his relationship with Simone de Beauvoir, who during their time together was also with Sartre.

Lanzmann, who was married three times, had two children, a daughter Angelique who survives him and a son, Felix, who died of cancer in 2017 aged 23.

French philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy described himself as overwhelmed by Lanzmann’s death.

“He was a brave man. A huge filmmaker. A good man,” he said on Twitter. “I’ll never forgive myself for our quarrels. I will cherish like treasure the beautiful times we spent together.”

7/6/2018 1:23:56 PM
<![CDATA[Singer Elvis Costello cancels tour after revealing cancer surgery]]>
Costello, 63, whose hits include “Oliver’s Army”, “Everyday I write the Book” and “Alison”, said he had been forced to call off the final six dates of his tour which included concerts in Croatia, Austria, Norway and Sweden on medical grounds.

“Six weeks ago my specialist called me and said, ‘You should start playing the Lotto’,” Costello aid in a statement. “He had rarely, if ever, seen such a small but very aggressive cancerous malignancy that could be defeated by a single surgery.”

He said he had been elated that the tour could go ahead but did not realize the demands that playing long performances on a nightly basis would have on him as he recovered from the treatment. His doctor had now advised him to take a break and rest.

“The spirit has been more than willing but I have to now accept that it is going to take longer than I would have wished for me to recover my full strength,” he said. “Therefore, I must reluctantly cancel all the remaining engagements of this tour.”

Costello, born Declan Patrick MacManus, rose to fame in the 1970s and has produced a string of influential albums since with his bands the Attractions and the Imposters. He said he would have a new record out in October.

“We will return at the soonest opportunity to play that music and your favorite songs that still make sense to us all,” he said.
7/6/2018 1:20:41 PM
<![CDATA[10 Arab filmmakers, including 2 Egyptians become Oscar members]]>
The new Arab members who joined the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences are:

Writing and directing: Lebanese director Ziad Doueiri
Writing: Lebanese screenwriter Joelle Touma
Directing: Palestinian director Annemarie Jacir, Lebanese director Nadine Labaki
Acting: Algerian actress Sofia Boutella, Palestinian actress Hiam Abbas
Documentary: Tunisian producer Dora Bouchoucha, Syrian director Feras Fayyad, Egyptian director Mohamed Siam
Production: Lebanese producer Antoun Sehnaoui, Tunisian producer Saïd Ben Saïd
Animation: Egyptian Disney animator Yasser Hamed

Six of the academy's new members were on The 100 Most Important Names in the Arab Film Industry list that was featured in the eighth issue of the Arab Cinema Magazine launched by the Arab Cinema Center (ACC) at the 71st Cannes Film Festival, who are Ziad Doueiri, Dora Bouchoucha, Annemarie Jacir, Nadine Labaki, Hiam Abbas and Feras Fayyad.

The list also featured non-Arab filmmakers who contributed to the success of the Arab film industry, such as producer Roman Paul.

Who are Mohamed Siam and Yasser Hamed?

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 life 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”.

Yasser Hamed was born in Egypt and moved with his family to Australia when he was 11. He studied mechanical engineering at the University of Newcastle in New South Wales. Hamed is a senior creative at Walt Disney Animation Studios in Los Angeles, having worked on major films including "Big Hero 6" (2014), "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" (2009) and "Happy Feet" (2006), and "Moana" (2016) which is an Academy Award-nominated film.

He is also crowds supervisor for Disney Animation which is the department responsible for animating the background characters.

7/6/2018 1:15:48 PM
<![CDATA[Cairo Film Festival in its 40th round ]]>
The festival in its 40th round will include an international competition among various films.

The festival will be held on November 20-29.

Mohammed Hefzy, president of the Cairo Film Festival, stressed the festival will witness a unique and strong participation of an Egyptian film that will cause a great havoc in the filming community across the entire Arab region and the world.

Hefzy views the Egyptian movie "Lail Khargy" as one of the greatest films in the modern history of Egypt’s film industry.

The movie does not only feature a special story and cast, it also presents a special social vision that encourages peace and compassion.

The movie encourages changing to the better and opening new horizons for oneself through changing one’s mind set through positive thinking and meditation.

“The director of the movie has great experience in the film industry that left a positive effect on the viewers locally and across the world through movies like 'Microphone’, ‘Heliopolis’, ‘Farsh W Ghata’ and ‘Décor’ that participated in the same festival in 2014," Hefzy pointed out.

Yusuf Sherif Rizq Allah, the technical manager of the festival, mentioned that the movie is going to sit aside a long list of great works directed by the experienced director, Sayed.

On the other hand, Sayed said “No other festival could influence me like Cairo Film Festival; not only because it takes place in my hometown and that I watched the festival's movies in the various old theatres in Cairo's downtown, but also because my basic knowledge of the industry started through this festival. The directors and prominent figures participating in the festival as well as the festival's seminars and movies were the basic film making education that I received, and it made up for the education I missed academically.”

“Each Seminar held to discuss the participating movies was a school in itself," continued Sayed.

The director also expressed his gratitude and overwhelming of happiness for taking part in the festival this year with his special movie "Lail Khargy".

The director further mentioned that he hopes his participation in the festival with the movie "Lail Khargy" is going to be a spark for new film experiences in the coming festivals.

The movie revolves around three individuals; Mo, Toto and Mustafa, who meet against all norms, each battling his own way to stand his ground and leave his mark; they eventually find themselves in an unexpected journey in the city that helps them see a world they have never seen before.]]>
7/6/2018 10:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[In Pics: Ancient Egyptian artifacts sold in auction in London ]]>
The Bonhams International Auction House in London sold Thursday ancient Egyptian artifacts in an auction titled “Antiques”-Press Photo

The pieces, displayed in the auction, are Egyptian Hieroglyphs carved on a sandstone rock, worth £7,000 to £10,000; and an Egyptian crocodile mummy dating back to the Roman-Ptolemaic era of a value estimated at £4,000 to £6,000.
The Bonhams International Auction House in London sold Thursday ancient Egyptian artifacts in an auction titled “Antiques”-Press Photo

Additionally, the auction presents a mask of the ancient Egyptian stone coffin from the Ptolemaic era, estimated at around £12,000- £18,000; an Egyptian mummy’s mask from the Roman era estimated at around £10,000 – £15,000 and a portrait of a woman from the Roman era estimated at £3,000 - £5,000.
The Bonhams International Auction House in London sold Thursday ancient Egyptian artifacts in an auction titled “Antiques”-Press Photo

Other exhibited antiquities include two strips of Egyptian papyrus from the "Book of the Dead of Ptah-Hetep" from the early Ptolemaic era estimated at £15,000 – £25,000; a mask of an Egyptian mummy estimated at £10,000 – £15,000 and a painting of an Egyptian coffin in the late period, worth £5,000 – £8,000.

The Bonhams International Auction House in London sold Thursday ancient Egyptian artifacts in an auction titled “Antiques”-Press Photo

The Bonhams International Auction House in London sold Thursday ancient Egyptian artifacts in an auction titled “Antiques”-Press Photo

The Bonhams International Auction House in London sold Thursday ancient Egyptian artifacts in an auction titled “Antiques”-Press Photo
7/5/2018 5:36:14 PM
<![CDATA[Ahmed Mourad posts 'Torab el-Mas' Promo]]>
The movie is based on the novel by Ahmed Mourad and is directed by Marawan Hamed.
The much anticipated movie is about Taha who leads a boring life and works as a medical representative at a pharmaceuticals company. Taha is good with words and can easily convince customers to buy his company’s products. Taha’s life turns upside down when a mysterious murder occurs, transforming his dull life into a life full of secrets, mystery, corruption and bribery.

Along with Yassin, the movie co-stars Menna Shalabi, Maged el-Kedwany, Sherine Reda, Mohamed Mamdouh, Ezzat el-Alayli, Sabreen, Eyad Nassar, Tara Emad, and Bayoumi Fouad, among others.

Mourad is an author and screenwriter of fiction and non-fiction novels. He wrote several successful novels such as, "Vertigo", "Al Fil al-Azraq" (The Blue Elephant), "Ard Al Ellah" (The Land of God), "Mossem Seid al-Ghizlan" (Season of Gazelles Hunting). He is the screenwriter of "El-Asleen" (The Originals) movie, released in 2017. He was supposed to write it as a novel, but he decided to turn it into a feature movie.

7/5/2018 4:55:15 PM
<![CDATA[Assala’s new song ‘Ordinary Word’ exceeds 1 million views ]]>
“Ordinary Word” is one of the songs included in her new album; it is distributed by Ahmed Ibrahim and written by Said Kamal.

The Syrian singer was born on May 15, 1969. Her musical career started in 1991 with an album that included four songs. In 1993, she became famous after releasing her album "If You Know".

Nasri, 48-years-old, is one of the most popular singers in the Arab world and is famous for her strong, melodious voice; she is the daughter of late Syrian artist Mustafa Nasri. Since the beginning of the Syrian Civil war in 2011, Nasri supported the Syrian rebels and strongly opposed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Nasri released numerous successful songs throughout her career, such as “Ya Magnoon” (Oh Madman), “Shakhsya Aneeda” (Stubborn person), and “Tasawar” (Imagine), among others. She is married to famous Egyptian director and producer Tarek el-Erian.

The famous Syrian singer won the Best Arab Singer award from Dear Guest Awards.

Nasri received the award on her album “Mohtama bel Tafaseel” (Concerned with Details), released in 2017. ]]>
7/5/2018 3:31:35 PM
<![CDATA[Al Nour Wal Amal Orchestra opens Cairo Opera House Summer Festival]]>
Al Nour Wal Amal is considered to be the only orchestra in the world to perform without musical notes as it consists of blind women. Several prominent musicians led the orchestra such as Andre Ryder, Ahmed Abul Eid, and Ali Othman, among others.

The festival’s program includes 58 concerts varying from jazz concerts to religious hymns concerts; ten concerts will take place at the Cairo Opera House's Open Theatre from July 4 to 19, and four concerts in the Damanhur Opera, 14 concerts at the Sayed Darwish theatre and El Romany Theater in Kom el-Dekka, Alexandria, will take place from July 18 to 30.

The festival includes several musical and dancing performances for great artists, and presents a collection of Arab and foreign shows such as, Habanera, Alla Turca (Turkish March), Mozart Serenade, Longa Ryad, Greek Zorba ballet, Farandole and many other performances. ]]>
7/5/2018 3:28:21 PM
<![CDATA[Minister of Antiquities to inaugurate ‘Egyptian Treasures’ exhibit in France ]]>
The two-month-exhibition includes 150 artifacts from different eras that will be showed for the last time abroad before returning to Egypt for a permanent display in the Egyptian Museum, set to reopen on November 15.

Elham Salah al-Din, head of the museums sector at the Ministry of Antiquities, said that holding Egyptian exhibitions abroad has political, economic and educational objectives, as through such exhibitions the world gets acquainted with Egypt’s civilization and culture.

In the same context, Sydney, Australia, will host in 2021 the largest exhibition of King Tutankhamun, entitled "King Tut: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh", according to ABC News.

The exhibition will tour 10 cities across the world, Sydney is the fifth of which, to show more than 150 exquisite objects.

Hence, the New South Wales Government previously announced that the museum will carry out a $50 million upgrade to be able to accommodate the Golden Pharaos' artifacts.

“The significant upgrades to the Australian Museum will ensure we have world-class museum exhibition spaces for visitors,” NSW Minister for the Arts, Don Harwin, said in a statement.

Forty percent of Tutankhamun’s objects will leave Egypt to tour the world before returning to Egypt for a permanent display in the Grand Egyptian Museum, which is currently under construction.
Around 800,000 are expected to visit the exhibition during its six-month accommodation in Sydney.

The exhibition will include 60 artifacts out of the 150 pieces that have never been seen outside Egypt, according to Australian Museum Director and Chief Executive, Kim McKay. ]]>
7/5/2018 1:18:39 PM
<![CDATA[EU Parliament to vote on controversial copyright law]]>
The law is a major overhaul of EU copyright law intended to make sure that creators of creative content -- whether music, movies or news -- are paid fairly in a digital world.

A vote to be held at noon (1000 GMT) in the eastern French city of Strasbourg was considered by European Parliament members to be too close to call.

The two most disputed aspects to the reform are an effort to boost revenue for hard-up news publishers and a crackdown on non-copyrighted material on tech platforms such as Google-owned Youtube or Facebook.

Major publishers, including AFP, have pushed for the news media reform -- known as article 11 -- seeing it as an urgently needed solution against a backdrop of free online news that has decimated earnings for traditional media companies.

But US tech giants and internet freedom activists are against the idea, calling it a "link tax" that will stifle discourse on the Internet.

They also argue it would only benefit well-known news providers to the detriment of independent and start-up news companies.

- 'Very difficult question' -

Resistance has been especially heated to Article 13: the proposal to make online platforms legally liable for copyrighted material put on the web by users.

Music legend McCartney as well as major music labels and film studios have lobbied politicians urging them to back the changes.

But critics warn the reform will lead to blanket censorship by tech platforms that have become an online hub for creativity, especially Youtube. It would also restrict the usage of memes and remixes by everyday internet surfers, they say.

Wikipedia went down in at least three countries on Wednesday in a protest at the upcoming European Parliament vote.

"The directive would threaten online freedom and would impose new filters, barriers and restrictions to access the web," Wikipedia Spain said in its statement.

Thursday's parliament vote is not final, but only sets out the negotiating position of MEPs.

There then follow negotiations with member states for a finalised law which Austria, holder of the EU's six-month rotating presidency, would like finished by the end of the year.

"This is a very difficult question," said Austrian Technology Minister Norbert Hofer in Vienna.

"We are trying to find a good solution, it is not very easy," he said.]]>
7/5/2018 12:58:42 PM
<![CDATA[Arab Arts Focus participates in France's Avignon Le OFF ]]>
image 1
Lebanese show ‘As Far As My Fingertips Take me’ during the Arab Arts Focus (AAF)-Press photo

The AAF program at the festival will include five performances from four Arab countries, including Egypt, Palestine, Morocco, and Lebanon.
image 2
‘Gesturing Refugees - Palestine/ UK’ during the Arab Arts Focus (AAF)-Press photo

The performances are "As Far As My Fingertips Take Me" by Lebanon and the United Kingdom, "Délire Parfait" (Perfect Delirium) by Morocco, "Gesturing Refugees" by Palestine, "In Jogging" by Lebanon, and "Without Damage" by Egypt.
image 3
‘Perfect Delirium - Morocco’ during the Arab Arts Focus (AAF)-Press photo
Avignon Le OFF is one of the biggest performing arts market in France, where several artistic shows across the world are presented to gather, promote and support artistic creation.
image 3
‘Without Damage - Egypt’ during the Arab Arts Focus (AAF)-Press photo
This is the second international edition of AAF and its fifth national edition.

AAF was launched in 2014, aiming to provide a biennial event that brings works from across the Arab world and the Middle East to industry professionals and international audiences, actively supporting the development of artistic creation in the region.

It was brought together through collaboration between the Tamasi Collective, Scotland’s Kenmure Productions, and Orient Productions and the D-CAF festival, both founded by Ahmed el-Attar.

Being a fixture of every edition of Cairo’s Downtown Contemporary Arts festival (D-CAF), AAF could become in 2017 an international event when it participated for the first time in the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, one of the biggest arts festivals in the world. ]]>
7/5/2018 12:51:52 PM
<![CDATA[Three indicted for kidnapping 'Halloween' actress, actor]]>
Keith Andre Stewart, Johntae Jones and Amber Neal were charged with 17 felony counts, including kidnapping, assault with a firearm, grand theft, mayhem and conspiracy and possession for sale of methamphetamine, according to a grand jury indictment unsealed Tuesday.

Prosecutors say the three of them traveled to McCrackin's home on May 3, where Stewart pistol-whipped Capone. The trio then placed black hoods over the actors' heads and drove them to Jones's home in Compton.

There, the trio stripped Capone naked and forced him to stay in a bathtub for 30 hours without food.

Jones and Neal meanwhile took McCrackin's car and drove her to various banks demanding she pay at least $10,000 to free Capone.

Eventually, McCrackin was forced to write a check for the same amount to Neal, who deposited it into her account, the indictment says.

The group brought McCrackin back to her home on May 4, where she escaped and contacted police, leading to the defendants' arrest.

Neal's arrest with her hands up in front of multiple police cars and police officers with their weapons drawn, has been viewed more than 3.2 million times on Twitter, the original poster suggesting it was an example of police brutality toward African Americans.

The Los Angeles District Attorney's Office said Stewart and Jones face a maximum possible sentence of life in state prison without the possibility of parole if convicted as charged, while Neal faces up to life in prison.

Bail was set at $1 million for Jones and Neal, and $2.08 million for Stewart. They are due in court for a pretrial hearing July 23 at the Foltz Criminal Justice Center county courthouse.]]>
7/5/2018 10:39:06 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt's smuggled treasures to Italy exhibited at Egyptian Museum]]>
Egypt received 118 ancient Egyptian artifacts that were smuggled to Italy on Friday, Egyptian General Prosecutor Nabil Sadek stated Saturday.

The statement of the general prosecutor affirmed that authorities of Cairo International Airport received the artifacts returning from Italy on Friday.

Italian prosecution in Salerno, Italy, agreed to return to Egypt the smuggled artifacts that the Italian authorities seized in Naples, Italy, in May.

This came in response to Egyptian prosecutor-general request to Italy to bring back the ancient Egyptian artifacts.

In this regard, Sadek issued a decision to send a member of the General Prosecution to Italy to supervise the procedures of returning the artifacts.

In the same context, Minister of Antiquities Khaled al-Anani was tasked by the Supreme Council of Antiquities to travel to Italy to receive the artifacts.

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, according to the Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid.

Shaaban Abdel-Gawad, head of the Egyptian Antiquities Ministry’s Repatriation Department said on May 24 that the examination of the seized artifacts' photos, sent by the Italian authorities, suggested they are authentic antiquities, adding that the two countries cooperate to return the seized pieces to Egypt.

The seized artifacts include objects from different Pharaonic periods, in addition to objects from the Islamic era, according to a statement by the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities.

Abdel Gawad said that the artifacts were not looted from museums; it seems that they were illegally taken from excavation sites. He added that the two countries will conduct a joint investigation to uncover the circumstances of the smuggling operation and arrest perpetrators. ]]>
7/4/2018 4:35:02 PM
<![CDATA[Fouad, Mounib band to perform at Cairo Opera’s Summer Festival ]]>
Working in the field of medicine, Fouad fell in love with music at a very early age and used to play the Piano and express his thoughts and feelings through music.

Mounib is a professional violinist who studied music at the Higher Music Institute Conservatoire then travelled to continue his studies in Germany. Mounib and Fouad met in Germany and decided to create the band despite the distance; they performed concerts in various music venues across the country.

The band is known for playing a special kind of music that is a mixture of oriental music and Jazz.

The International Summer Festival is a considered a rich cultural season and a tradition that the Bibliotheca Alexandrina has created in order to add a unique color and taste to summer. The Art Center at BA aims at presenting a variety of arts, in addition to classic Egyptian art which attracts a diverse audience.

Cairo Opera House’s annual Summer Festival will be presented at Damanhur, Al-Beheira Governorate, as well as Alexandria and Cairo in July and August.

The festival’s program includes 58 concerts varying from jazz concerts to religious hymns concerts; ten concerts will take place at the Cairo Opera House's Open Theatre from July 4 to 19, and four concerts in the Damanhour Opera, 14 concerts at the Sayed Darwish theatre and El Romany Theater in Kom el-Dekka, Alexandria, will take place from July 18 to 30.

Additionally, 30 concerts will be presented during the 27th edition of the Salah El-Din Castle Festival for Music and Singing.]]>
7/4/2018 2:58:10 PM
<![CDATA[Teach feminism in schools, says film legend Agnes Varda]]>
Varda, 90, who was nominated for an Oscar this year for her documentary "Faces Places" after winning an honorary one in 2017, said activism had to start in schools.

"Feminism is not active enough in schools and colleges, and sexual education has flatlined," the veteran director told a "Women in Motion" gathering in Paris on Tuesday organised by the fashion conglomerate Kering.

"We do not talk enough about it to young men and women," she added.

"We have to continue the fight. We thought in the 1960s that things would change quickly. But clearly that has not been the case."

Varda, the only female director who emerged from the French New Wave that rewrote the rules of cinema in the 1960s, has become an icon for many women in the industry.

She helped lead a protest by Hollywood stars and female directors on the red carpet at the Cannes film festival in May to demand equal pay for women and "a safe workplace" in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal that rocked the industry.

"The problem goes way beyond the film industry," said Varda, who made her name with such arthouse classics as "Cleo de 5 a 7" (Cleo from 5 to 7), "Vagabond" and "The Gleaners & I", which the BBC listed as one of the best films of the 21st century so far.

The director was married to the great French auteur Jacques Demy, whose final weeks before his death from AIDS she immortalised in her 1991 film "Jacquot de Nantes".

Varda, known for her distinctive two-tone bowl haircut, pioneered a documentary style that weaved real life and fiction, often featuring herself as an unreliable narrator.

She told the talk that she always "likes putting real people in the limelight.

"Reality inspires me. I get a kick out of showing the lives of people who are completely unknown in a world where entire pages of advertising are dedicated to cosmetics and fashion," said the Belgium-born film-maker.

A restored version of Varda's 1976 film, "One Sings, the Other Doesn't", that touches on contraception and abortion, will be re-released next week in France.]]>
7/4/2018 2:34:27 PM
<![CDATA[El-Tanbura to perform at El-Dammah Theater July 5]]>
Based in Port Said, El-Tanbura is an Egyptian traditional folk band formed by Zakaria Ibrahim. Made up of traditional musicians, singers, fishermen, and Sufi philosophers, the group will perform some of Egypt’s oldest folk songs.

According to El-Mastaba Center for Egyptian Folk Music, a specific traditional musical instrument, the simsimeyya, played a part in the resistance movement in the years after the Suez Crisis. In the aftermath of the 1967 war, exiles of Port Said would sing nostalgic folk songs using simsimeyya.

When Zakaria Ibrahim returned to Port Said in 1980 after exile, he found the old methods and the simsimeyya abandoned. Ibrahim spent years searching for the old masters of traditional folk music, trying to reconnect with them and encourage the revival of that traditional genre of music; their nostalgic folk songs revive the history of resistance of Port Said's people.

El-Mastaba Center for Egyptian Folk Music is a cultural institution that helps promote traditional Egyptian arts; from space renting to educational workshops, its mission is to “pioneer social change through arts.”]]>
7/4/2018 12:23:07 PM
<![CDATA['The Merry Widow' to be performed at Cairo Opera House July 5-7]]>
Directed by Mahdy el-Sayed, "The Merry Widow" will be performed by soloists from the Cairo Opera Company, the Cairo Opera Orchestra conducted by Hisham Gabr, the Cairo Opera Choir with Aldo Magnato as choir master, and the Cairo Opera Ballet Company under the supervision of artistic director Erminia Kamel.

“The Merry Widow” revolves around a woman born in a small eastern village, who then marries a rich old man to leave the poor country. The woman returns to her country as a rich widow and the country’s governor starts to woo her into marrying one of the country’s inhabitants as an attempt to help the country with her wealth. The widow suddenly meets her first love, who in the beginning refuses to love her again after she left him for another man. The widow marries her first love at the end and donates a large sum of money to save her country’s future.

Kamel told Egypt Today that late renowned director Abdel-Moneim Kamel took the initiative to introduce this operetta to the Egyptian Opera scene for the first time in the 1990s.

Kamel clarified that nothing changes in the original scenario of the play except that it will be conducted in Arabic. When Abdel-Moneim Kamel first directed this operetta, he insisted to direct it in Arabic to better involve the audience in the events of the play. ]]>
7/4/2018 12:15:35 PM
<![CDATA[Marvel's newest star on female villainy, karaoke with Spielberg]]>
"Wrecking Ball" might have been a better fit, given the actress's shock-and-awe introduction in "Ant-Man and the Wasp" as Ghost, an ethereal entity who passes through walls but packs a vicious punch.

"I was back in London and I got the call, and it was all my agents together. I remember I literally just screamed. I was in my apartment, I was walking around, going, 'Oh my God, oh my God!'" the 28-year-old Briton recalls.

"I was so excited, And then I just blasted out Miley Cyrus's song 'Do My Thang.' I don't know why, it was just on my playlist, and I blasted that out and just danced."

In Hollywood, a role in a Marvel movie that lasts until the end credits can be a key to the kingdom, offering follow-up appearances in spin-off movies and all manner of "Avengers" mashups.

John-Kamen -- who has credits in "Game of Thrones" and "Black Mirror" as well as parts in "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," "Tomb Raider" and "Ready Player One" -- is ready for superstardom.

- 'Movie moment' -

The daughter of a Nigerian forensic scientist and Norwegian former fashion model from northeastern England, she still pinches herself when she thinks about working with Steven Spielberg.

She describes taking direction from the icon on the spring blockbuster "Ready Player One," in which she played sinister gamer gang leader F'Nale Zandor, as "absolutely amazing."

"There's no feeling like when you've done a take and he's so happy and he'd go, 'Now that's a movie moment!' And you've got that coming from Spielberg," she told AFP in an interview in Pasadena, southern California.

"I mean, it's nuts. We would sing show tunes together. We'd sing 'Singin' in the Rain,' we'd sing 'Guys and Dolls.' In between takes, we'd sit. Sometimes we'd get the lyrics printed and we'd just sing."

Spielberg, according to John-Kamen, has a "wonderful voice" and a joy about him that makes his movie set a "fun playground that you get to go in and play."

"Ant-Man and the Wasp," which hits US theaters on Friday, is the sequel to 2015's "Ant-Man," the 20th release in Disney's Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), and the first to feature a woman in the title role.

Starring Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly, it is also only the second MCU film with a female principle adversary, after Cate Blanchett's Hela in "Thor Ragarnok" (2017).

John-Kamen's Ava/Ghost -- an anti-capitalist saboteur turned supervillain in the comics -- acquires her mysterious powers in a lab accident that makes her cells intangible.

"It's a male character in the comics... but to be the first person to take it off the page and actually give her life, it was an honor," John-Kamen said.

- High stakes -

The actress says it was important not to play Ghost as a traditional villain -- no dastardly plans for taking over the planet -- instead giving a nuanced performance that emphasizes her tragedy.

"I'm doing this for a reason, as an objective. The stakes are high. I don't think you just wake up in the morning and go, 'Ha ha ha! World domination -- that sounds fun!'" the actress said.

"So I definitely approached that with the mind of going, 'Okay she's the good guy and everyone else can go to hell.'"

Executive producer Stephen Broussard said Marvel was looking for someone less recognizable and was taken with John-Kamen's "intensity, her vulnerability and with her sense of humor."

Her previous training as a dancer coupled with the desire to fully flesh out Ghost's threadbare backstory made her perfect for the role, he added.

As is Marvel's custom, John-Kamen was initially told very little about the part but enjoyed "every single minute" of the audition process, which eventually took her to Atlanta to meet director Peyton Reed.

"You think with an audition you'd be like, 'Oh my gosh, I was so nervous. Oh my goodness, I was shaking.' Of course, there's a high anxiety but I remember just getting in there and going, 'Oh, okay -- I feel really relaxed,'" she recalled.

"I'm really excited about this material and what we can do, and I'm excited to show you what I've come up with."]]>
7/4/2018 10:01:12 AM
<![CDATA[Dystopian 'Sorry to Bother You' affirms vitality of black cinema]]>
The movie, which hits US theaters on Friday, comes a year after the runaway success of "Get Out," the first feature film by Jordan Peele about a town of wealthy white people who conspire to implant themselves into African American bodies.

"Sorry to Bother You," also made on a small budget, marks a new outlet for the militant voice of Riley, best known as the frontman of The Coup, the politically engaged and critically praised hip-hop group.

With echoes of science-fiction classic "Metropolis," the film focuses on exploitation at a telemarketing firm, whose workers are crammed into the basement as executives work on floors above them in vast rooms bathed in light.

Separating them is an elevator, which becomes the setting for several comical scenes. The hero Cassius -- played by Lakeith Stanfield, who also starred in "Get Out" -- can only ascend in the elevator, and the symbolic social ladder, as he switches into a "white voice."

- New settings for race -

Much like "Get Out," set in a placid town where the villain is said to have voted for Barack Obama, "Sorry to Bother You" shines a light not on police brutality or other more obvious issues in Donald Trump's America but instead looks at racism in ostensibly safe confines.

In "Sorry to Bother You," the CEO of fictitious corporation WorryFree reflects the worst traits of a Silicon Valley executive, a visionary who dreams of uber-workers who are half-human, half-horse.

Riley -- the son of Chicago labor activists who has spent his life on the fringes of Silicon Valley in Oakland, California -- searched for several years to find an audience for his screenplay. He first turned "Sorry to Bother You" into a 2012 album by The Coup which merged rap delivery with live orchestration.

The 47-year-old first-time director said it was an uphill battle to be taken seriously in film.

It's "as difficult as it would be if your favorite saxophone player said he wanted to build your house. You are a musician with a script -- who wants to read that?" he told AFP.

The film pays tribute to several social movements of recent years including Black Lives Matter and Occupy Wall Street, in which Riley was active.

It is too early to tell if "Sorry to Bother You," which won acclaim at the Sundance Film Festival in January, will see the same success as "Get Out" -- let alone "Black Panther," the much-larger budget film from Marvel about an African super-hero that has quickly become one of the highest-grossing movies of all time.

But cast members are saluting the rise of such films as proof that, some 30 years after the breakthrough of Spike Lee's racial drama "Do the Right Thing," African American cinema is dynamic, original and nuanced.

Tessa Thompson, who plays Cassius' girlfriend Detroit in "Sorry to Bother You," voiced hope that more movies would follow, saying that black cinema's problem had never been a lack of talent.

"It really has to do with a lack of opportunity and a perceived lack of an audience. What you see with 'Get Out' is that there is an audience for it -- and the audience, by the way, is not just black," said Thompson, whose previous films have included 2014's historical saga "Selma" and last year's action flick "Thor: Ragnarok."

Stanfield said that African American films were showing they can be "imaginative and crazy" -- and also simply fun.

"You don't have to come see us talk about our place in America and cry all the time," he said. "You can leave the theater feeling hopeful, like this film makes me feel, and still talk about the deep things that affect us every day."]]>
7/4/2018 9:54:48 AM
<![CDATA[Draft law amending Protection of Antiquities Law to be approved next week]]>
In a statement to Al-Akhbar El-Youm newspaper, Maher said that after the draft law is amended during a meeting of the board of directors of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, it will be sent to the State Council to be legally revised.

He referred that the "Protection of Antiquities Law" includes 199 articles, and that most of them were amended.

“Whoever steals a state owned or a registered antiquity or part of such for the purpose of smuggling shall be punished by imprisonment and by a mulct not less than LE 50,000 and not more than LE 500,000. Except for the mulct penalty, whoever hides an antiquity or part of such for the purpose of smuggling shall be punished by an imprisonment sentence not exceeding 7 years,” according to Article 42 of the Protection of Antiquities Law.

The draft Law, therefore, amends Article 42 to be "whoever steals, possesses, hides and collects an antiquity for the purpose of smuggling or is involved in such act shall be punished with life imprisonment and a fine not less than LE 50,000 ($2,821) and not more than LE 250,000. In the same context, whoever steals a state-owned or registered antiquity or part of such while being aware of his/her involvement in such act shall be punished by heavy imprisonment and a fine of not less than LE 50,000 and not more than LE 100,000."

Additionally, according to Article 45 of the law, whoever intentionally destroys, damages, or spoils an immovable or movable antiquity or separates of such or digs to possess an antiquity without license or is involved in such act shall be punished by imprisonment for a period not more than one year and by a mulct of not less than LE 1,000 and not more than LE 50,000. Under the draft law, the above-mentioned crime shall be punished with life imprisonment.

Under the new amendments, the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) shall remove violations found at archaeological sites and set regulations for the activities on these sites.

During the plenary session, Minister of Antiquities Khaled al-Enani said that the amendments include deterrent penalties to fully protect the antiquities in Egypt.

The problem of the illicit excavation of archaeological sites in the hope of finding antiquities that can then be sold abroad has been growing in Egypt since the January 25 Revolution. The government has exerted many efforts to combat antiquities smuggling.

Minister of Antiquities Enani said in a statement in December that 329 ancient coins were seized with an Egyptian passenger at Cairo International Airport while trying to smuggle them to France. ]]>
7/4/2018 9:45:28 AM
<![CDATA[A cache of pottery vessels discovered]]>
pottery 1

Head of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, Mostafa el-Waziri, said that the discovered potteries were examined carefully in order to be documented and preserved in the storehouses.

pottery 3

Head of the Egyptian Antiquities Sector, Ayman Ashmawy, said that it seems that during the Second World War between 1939 and 1945, the famous British archaeologist, Alan Rowe, along with Graeco-Roman Museum officials hid a number of pieces in the garden of the Greco-Roman Museum to protect them from being looted or damaged.

The discovered items include vessels which contain ashes of dead people; these vessels were used to bury the ashes during the Hellenistic period in the Greek era.
The items also include a large collection of liquid vessels of various shapes and sizes, as well as crockery and colored pots, a large number of dishes which date back to the Greek, Roman and Byzantine periods and large quantities of glazed pottery decorated with geometric and vegetal drawings dating back to the Islamic era.

Such an archaeological discovery is very important because it unveils archaeological collections which have not been studied before, making it a reference for future archaeological studies.

It is worth mentioning that Egyptian archaeologists uncovered a statuette of Osiris while performing restoration works on the eastern side of the King Djoser Step Pyramid in Saqqara on Sunday.

Waziri, the head of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, announced that the statue was found in a small incision between the huge blocks of the pyramid’s eastern façade.
Waziri added that the statuette is for Osiris, the god of resurrection and eternity, and depicts Osiris wearing the double crown, and holding a feather in one hand and a scepter in the other.

The statuette's height is 63 cm and its width is about 15 cm. Head of the Saqqara archaeological site, Sabri Farag, said that a priest of Saqqara probably concealed the statue in this area. The statuette is currently under restoration.

A 30-ton archeological sarcophagus was also found below a building in Alexandria governorate, Egypt, by the security forces on Sunday.

Inspection of the sarcophagus revealed that it is made of black granite; the security forces coordinated with the Engineering Department of the Armed Forces, as well as the Tourism police to extract the sarcophagus.

Ashmawy, head of the Ancient Egyptian Antiquities Sector, said that the tomb was found at a depth of five meters beneath the surface of the land. It is noted that there is a layer of mortar between the lid and the body of the sarcophagus, indicating that it had not been opened since it was closed.

pottery 4

7/3/2018 5:19:56 PM
<![CDATA[Harvey Weinstein charged with assaulting third woman]]>
The new indictment accuses Weinstein of forcibly performing oral sex on a woman in July 2006. The new charges, which include predatory sexual assault, carry a sentence of 10 years to life in prison, according to the office of District Attorney Cyrus Vance.

Weinstein, 66, once one of Hollywood’s most powerful filmmakers, has pleaded not guilty to the first set of charges and has denied ever having non-consensual sex. His lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, could not be reached immediately for comment on Monday.

Vance issued a statement about the new charges saying, “This indictment is the result of the extraordinary courage exhibited by the survivors who have come forward. Our investigation continues.”

More than 70 women - mostly young actresses and women in other aspects of the movie business - have accused the Miramax film studio’s co-founder of sexual misconduct, including rape, in a series of incidents dating back decades. The accusations gave rise to the #MeToo movement, which has seen hundreds of women publicly accusing powerful men in business, government and entertainment of sexual harassment and abuse.

Weinstein has been free on a $1 million bail after surrendering in May to face the first set of charges, which came after a monthslong investigation by the New York Police Department.

Prosecutors have not named any of the women accusing Weinstein of sexual assault in court papers.

The details of one of the cases in the earlier charges align with the account of Lucia Evans, a former aspiring actress who told the New Yorker in October 2017 that Weinstein forced her to perform oral sex on him in 2004. The earlier indictment also accused him of raping a different woman in March 2013.

As the accusations against him came out, the Weinstein Co’s board fired him, the company filed for bankruptcy in March, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences expelled Weinstein.

In years past, the academy had showered him with Oscars for a string of films that helped define independent cinema in the 1990s. Miramax and later the Weinstein Co put out acclaimed movies such as “Shakespeare in Love,” “Pulp Fiction,” “Sex, Lies and Videotape,” “The Crying Game” and “The King’s Speech.”

London’s Metropolitan Police and Los Angeles prosecutors have said they are reviewing accusations of sexual assault against Weinstein.]]>
7/3/2018 3:08:57 PM
<![CDATA[Saudi rapper releases Hejazi rap song celebrating lifting driving ban ]]>
It is worth mentioning that Tamer Hosny performed the first licensed/official concert to ever take place in the Kingdom.

Leesa uploaded her Hejazi rap song on social media platforms. In the video, Leesa seemed very happy and excited about the ban lift; she sang and jumped around in what appeared to be a car seat.

Leesa is happy to bid taxi drivers farewell as now she can drive freely whenever she wants.

The lyrics of the song weren't only revolving around driving; in fact, it also contained advice for the girls grabbing the wheel for the first time soon!

Saudi girls marked the day of the ban lifting, June 24, or 10/10 as it represents the 10th day of the tenth Islamic month, Shawwal, as one of the most important days in their history.

7/3/2018 3:04:06 PM
<![CDATA[Hisham Nazih wins Faten Hamama special award at CIFF]]>
The Cairo International Film Festival's high consultative committee announced honoring music composer Hisham Nazih with Faten Hamama special award.

The festival's 40th edition will be held on November20-30, 2018.

Faten Hamama is a huge name in the Egyptian and Arab film industry. She is an Egyptian symbol and legend appreciated by many in the Arab world.

Nazih was awarded the special prize for his intriguing talent and several- decade-long career of composing beautiful music pieces.

Nazih expressed his great happiness for wining such a special award at the Cairo Film Festival which he considers one of the most important festivals in the film industry in Egypt and the Pan-Arab region.

The committee includes a large number of prominent figures in the film industry; such as critics Yusuf Sherif Rizq Allah and Ahmed Shawky, as well as actors Layla Elwi and Nelly Karim.

Nazih was born on October 23, 1972; he started his amazing career with the soundtrack of the film "Hysteria" starring late Ahmed Zaki.

He further composed numerous soundtracks for movies that rocked the entire Arab region, including "El Saher" (The Magician) (movie) starring Mahmoud Abdel Aziz, "Harameya Fe KG 2" (Thiefs in KG 2), "Al Solam Wal Tho3ban" (Ladder & Snake) and many others.

Nazih won several awards at different film festivals for the soundtracks of movies like "Tito", "Sahar el Layaly" (Staying Up All Night) and "El Feel El Azrak" (The Blue Elephant).

7/3/2018 1:58:01 PM
<![CDATA[Sobhy tackles social issues in his new play ‘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 be suitable for the 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 to 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.

7/3/2018 1:53:49 PM
<![CDATA[Michael el Masry dies at 85]]>CAIRO – 3 July 2018: Egyptian musician Michael el Masry passed away on Saturday evening at the age of 85.

Masry composed numerous masterpieces, most notably the soundtracks of series like "Layali al-Helmiya" (Helmiya nights), "Meen mabiyhebish Fatima" (Who doesn’t love Fatima?), "Aelat al-Hag Metwali" (Metwali’s family) and many others; in addition to songs and film soundtracks that are engraved in the memory of all Egyptians.

Masry played the violin in concerts of many of the great artists, including Umm Kulthum's last few concerts, in songs like, "Ghadan Alkak" (I’ll meet you tomorrow), "Men Agl Eneik" (For your eyes), "Ya Mesaharny" (Keeping me awake), and "Laylit el Hob" (The love night). He also collaborated with Egyptian singer and composer Mohamed Abdel Wahab by producing the songs Abdel Wahab composed.

Masry was born in 1933 in Cairo. He was a violinist, a composer and a music producer. The Egyptian musician created more than 100 music pieces, between soundtracks, songs, and operas.

7/3/2018 11:43:36 AM
<![CDATA[Post-apocalypse now: the end of the world at the movies]]>
Movie directors love nothing more than feeding our deepest fears concerning overpopulation, pestilence and nuclear armageddon -- and the cinema-going public laps it up.

The glut of dystopian fiction coming to theaters and video-on-demand over the coming months includes Peter Jackson's "Mortal Engines," Kim Jee-woon's "Inrang" and Myroslav Slaboshpytskyi's "Luxembourg."

Shawn Robbins, the chief analyst at Boxoffice.com, sees the genre as the "definition of escapism," an art form that assuages the primal desire to get back to basics.

"These types of films are often viewed as pessimistic glimpses into the future, which is certainly one valid interpretation, but they can also be self-reflective in a positive way," he told AFP.

"It's easy to see post-apocalyptic and dystopian film settings as part of our inevitable doom, but we can also take them as lessons and parables because, at the heart of any good story, the human condition is explored and challenged."

- 'Rat race' -

Zombies, big rocks from outer space and our own weapons of mass destruction are often the cause of the fictional apocalypse, but not always.

This year's breakout hit "A Quiet Place" unleashed carnivorous aliens, while in "I am Legend," "The Andromeda Strain," "12 Monkeys" and the "Planet of the Apes" movies, the bad guy was a virus.

Geophysical disasters do for the human race in "Soylent Green," "Waterworld," and "Wall-E," while technology is the enemy in "Logan's Run" and the various "Terminator" and "Matrix" movies.

George Miller's 1979-2015 "Mad Max" films have inspired an army of so-called "cosplayers" who meet up at festivals to live out their fantasies as road warriors seeing in the collapse of civilization.

Every summer, more than 2,000 desk jockeys leave their day jobs across America to decamp to the Wasteland Weekend festival in the heat of the southern Californian desert.

"It's a chance to get away from the regular rat race life and have fun," 52-year-old Joseph Hileman, a security supervisor from Concord, near San Francisco, told AFP on his seventh visit in 2016.

Filmmaker Mike P. Nelson's own pulpy take on the apocalypse, a slick but bloody 95-minute shocker called "The Domestics," came out in select US theaters and on video-on-demand over the weekend.

- 'Macabre fascination' -

"There's a slight bit of macabre fascination with the idea that we could all be done for at any time, whether people want to admit it or not," he said in an interview.

"There's a strange almost-fantasy in most people's minds that this is something that could happen. And I think some of these movies give us that glimpse and allow us to be fearful for a moment but safe."

Starring Kate Bosworth ("Blue Crush"), and Tyler Hoechlin ("Fifty Shades Freed"), "The Domestics" is set in America's Midwest, transformed into a lawless wasteland after a government-induced chemical atrocity.

Bosworth and Tyler -- an estranged couple who were preparing for their divorce before the world went dark -- must learn to survive in a harrowing, gang-ravaged landscape.

Nelson said he was going for the near-future, down-to-earth look of the original "Mad Max" rather than the more stylized landscapes of recent dystopian sci-fi.

"It created this world that wasn't too far gone and people still drove on the right side of the road, ate at restaurants. There was still kind of a police force," he said.

"But it was the people that had turned bad. That was what fascinated me, and I was like, 'I want to do something that's similar to that.' I wanted to tell a story about how the people of this world go sour after something terrible happens."

7/3/2018 9:57:02 AM
<![CDATA[That's butter! The Indian ads punning for half a century]]>
The adverts for Amul dairy products, which often star the brand's mascot -- a blue-haired girl in a polka dot dress -- have been humorously reflecting social, political and cultural life as India has evolved through the decades.

"Singapower Treaty? Amul -– Leaders love it!" read one after Trump's historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore, showing a young, rosy-cheeked Trump handing a slice of bread lathered in butter to an equally impish-looking Kim.

"We cover a variety of topics. But essentially it is always an issue that India is talking about," says Rahul daCunha, the creative head of the campaign, at his Mumbai office.

The colourful ads, which play on English and Hindi words, have been running for 52 years on billboards, newspapers and now most regularly on social media, striking a chord with educated, mainly urban Indians.

Almost every topic is cheekily covered: from political controversies to corruption scandals, sporting triumphs and failures, movie blockbusters and the lives of celebrities.

Deaths are dealt with more solemnly, in black and white.

"To have a campaign that has become part of the social consciousness is phenomenal," says marketing expert Deepali Naair.

"They evoke emotions. Sometimes they put a smile on my face, sometimes they make me frown," she adds.

The ads are the work of a three-man team working for Mumbai-based ad agency daCunha Communications. Along with daCunha himself, there's cartoonist Jayant Rane and copywriter Manish Jhaveri.

- Recipe for success -

More than 4,000 ads have been produced since daCunha's father, Sylvester daCunha, started the campaign in 1966. Rahul took over in the early 1990s. Initially one ad was done a month but in the age of Twitter they average four or five a week.

Many of them feature the "Amul girl", as she is affectionately known in India. Her innocent expressions, round eyes, red-spotted white dress and slightly roly-poly physique disarm anyone who may take offence at what she is saying.

"When she says something she's always smiling about it. There's no malice and it's light-hearted," says daCunha, 55.

The Amul girl was created when it was common for companies to come up with a mascot to help illiterate Indians easily recognise their products.

She appears on the packets of some of Amul's biggest-selling items including butter and milk, and is India's most recognisable mascot along with the Air India Maharajah.

The first ad, in March 1966, featured her riding a horse while holding a piece of bread.

Horse racing at the time was becoming popular in Bombay -- as Mumbai was then known -- and the ad read "THOROUGHBREAD" alongside brand slogan "Utterly Butterly Amul".

"In the first year the campaign was more about food but my father quickly realised there was only so much you could say about butter," explains daCunha.

So Sylvester got permission from Amul to vary the topics. Amul also agreed that they didn't need to approve the ads before release, granting creative freedom that is rare in the advertising world.

The "topicals", as daCunha Communications calls them, started referring to news stories, including sporting events and Hollywood and Hindi-language films, and did not shy away from controversy.

- Cooking up a storm -

In 1976, one made light of the Indian government's forced sterilisation procedures during emergency rule. Two years ago another celebrated surgical strikes against Pakistani militants.

In March, to mark Emmanuel Macron's visit to India, the Amul girl was shown taking a selfie with the French president and his wife.

"Growing Frenchship! Amul – France loafs it!" it screamed.

The campaign hasn't always pleased everyone.In 2015, British Airways complained after Amul joked about an incident in which the airline misplaced Indian cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar's luggage. "British Errways?" quipped the caption.

The creators tend to avoid national calamities or hugely distressing incidents.

However, a poignant illustration this year was well received for capturing the sense of hopelessness as India reeled in shock from two high-profile child rapes.

It showed the Amul girl sitting down, her head buried in her hands, weeping.

DaCunha believes politicians have never expressed their displeasure "because we have made fun of everybody".

But he admitted the team held back sometimes as ultimately they represent a brand.

With India's history of communal riots and a Hindu nationalist movement emboldened by the election of Prime Minister Narendra Modi four years ago, there is one subject the team dares not touch –- religion.

"It's an area where nothing you say will end up being funny. And we want you to chuckle," says daCunha.

7/3/2018 9:51:13 AM
<![CDATA[Sheryl Crow plans final album with A-list guests]]>Sheryl Crow says she is finished with recording albums and will put out one final full-length record next year with an all-star list of collaborators.

In an interview broadcast Monday, the nine-time Grammy winner said that her 2019 album will feature Stevie Nicks, Keith Richards, Don Henley and the late Johnny Cash.

The country rocker, who is best known for her 1994 smash hit "All I Wanna Do," said that she will still put out individual songs.

"I do think that albums... are a little bit of a dying art form, that people are more interested in singles," she told the syndicated radio host Kyle Meredith.

"It feels great not to spend the time in the studio to make a fully realized, conceptual album but just to put out really pertinent songs that feel immediate," she said.

Artists in the age of streaming have increasingly debated the relevance of albums, whose duration was originally dictated by the limitations of vinyl LPs.

While many musicians still see albums as focused artistic statements, others -- especially in hip-hop and electronica -- prefer to put out music at their own pace.

Crow, who has long teamed up with star musicians, recently released a single with the indie rocker St. Vincent.

After high-profile relationships to men including Eric Clapton and Lance Armstrong, the 56-year-old Crow has spoken of how her life has been transformed by adopting two children on her own.

Crow said she considered it was a "luxurious time to be an artist" as she handles her outrage following the election of President Donald Trump.

"Just this climate of the truth not mattering has really been unnerving to me, especially when you're raising kids and you're trying to explain that no matter how painful it is, the truth is the most important thing," she said.

7/2/2018 7:34:24 PM
<![CDATA[Cairokee to perform 2 concerts in Alexandria]]>
In May, the famed Egyptian band performed a huge concert in Amman, Jordan. It was their first Ramadan concert. In the same month they performed a successful concert at Cairo Festival City; the concert was a big hit and was organized by the band for the first time under the theme "Cairokee Empire".

Cairokee is one of the most successful bands in Egypt; they are well-known for their folk and indie rock music, as well as their lyrics that tackle social and political issues in the country. The band was founded in 2003, but their hit "Soot al-Horreya" (Voice of Freedom), launched online in 2011, took them to another level of fame and placed them among pop stars.

The band released their latest album this past summer by the name “No'ta Beida” (White Dot), which has gone viral and achieved millions of views on YouTube. The whole album was filmed as music videos in a single location, except for their track “El Dinosaur”. The album was made in their style along with different twists that their audience was not used to, but were well-received.
7/2/2018 1:14:35 PM
<![CDATA[Helmy, Shalabi cooperate in 'Al Jan Et-han']]>CAIRO – 2 July 2018: Egyptian actor Ahmed Helmy is currently shooting his new movie, "Al-Jan Et-han". Scheduled to be released during Eid Al-Adha, the movie co-stars Menna Shalabi and is directed by Khaled Marei.

Helmy and Shalabi work together again 10 years after their movie "Asif ala El-Ezag" (Sorry for disturbing), released in 2008. "Asif ala El-Ezag" achieved huge success; it co-starred Mahmoud Hemida, Dalal Abdel Aziz, and Mohamed Sharaf. The movie was written by Ayman Bahgat Kamar and directed by Khaled Marei.

Helmy's most recent movie was "Laf we Dawaran" (Turning in circles) which co-starred a group of talented actors like Donia Samir Ghanem, Sabreen, Bayoumi Fouad, Mimi Gamal, and Jamila Awad. The movie follows a young man who is being pressured by his family not to marry a foreign girl; after a series of comic events, he falls in love with an Egyptian girl.

Meanwhile, Shalabi is waiting for the release of her new movie, "Torab el-Mas" which co-stars Asser Yassin, Sherine Reda, Sabreen, and Eyad Nassar, among others.
7/2/2018 12:44:01 PM
<![CDATA[ 8 national songs in celebration of June 30 revolution ]]>CAIRO – 2 July 2018: Five years have passed since June 30 revolution. Egypt celebrates the special day when millions of Egyptians took to the streets, revolted against the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood and overthrew Brotherhood-affiliated President, Mohamed Morsi.

In the past 5 years, numerous songs were produced describing the victory of Egyptians against the terrorist regime.

Some of the songs are:

• "Teslam el Ayady" (Thank You):

This song was one of the most influential songs produced since June 30 revolution. It is composed and written by Mustafa Kamel. Numerous artists co-operated in the song such as Hakim, Ghada Ragab, Soma, khaled Agag, Mustafa Kamel, Hisham Abbas and Ihab Tawfiq.

The song was dedicated by the participating artists (Mustafa Kamel in particular) to the Egyptian military and President Abdel Fatah al-sisi, thanking them for saving Egyptians from the terrorist group that left Egypt in a state of devastation.

• "Teslam Edak" (Thank You):

This song was performed by Emirati star Hussein el-Jasmi in honor of the Egyptian army. The song is directed by Mohammed Mokhtar, written by Nader Abdullah, composed by Walid Saad and distributed by Tarek Abdul Jabbar.

• "Toba Foq Toba" (Brick on Brick):

Amal Maher sang this song written by Ayman Bahgat Amar, composed by Amr Mustafa and distributed by Ahmed el-Mogy. The song is a dedication from the University of Science and Technology to the Egyptian people.

• "Bushrat Khair" (Good News):

Performed by Jasmi, this song achieved booming success among Egyptians and gained humongous viewership on YouTube upon its release.
The song sends a very positive vibe and numerous people enjoyed dancing to its beat.
Jasmi dedicated this song to Egyptians after the revolution. It is written by Ayman Bahgat Amar, composed by Amr Mustafa and distributed by Toma.

• "Aash el Geish el Masri" (Long live Egyptian Army):

Folklore singer Amina performed this song written by Mahmoud Salah, and composed by Hassan Donya. This song was released during the presidential election at the time.

• "Belady" (My Country):

This song was performed by super star Mohammed Hamaky and gained massive success. It is written by Mohsen el-Khayat, composed by Baleegh Hamdy and distributed by Khaled Ezz. The song aimed to encourage the Egyptian people to stand against their country’s enemy and defend it by all means.

• "Taheya Lel Sha’ab el Masry" (Greetings to Egyptians):

Hamada Helal performed this song as a dedication to those who participated in the revolution. The song is composed and written by Mohammed Goma’a.

• "Ya Masriyeen" (Egyptians):

This song is written by Tamer Hussein and composed by Amr Mustafa. Amal Maher performs this song with her warm beautiful voice. The song has been released in two parts. Mustafa later recorded this song with his own voice after the great success it gained.

7/2/2018 12:39:33 PM
<![CDATA[Sotheby's auction vies with Christie's on selling Egyptian antiquities in London]]>
Sotheby's auction sells the Egyptian artifacts under the title “Antiquates”, while Christie's auction sells them under “Sculpture and old arts”.

One of the most prominent artifacts exhibited in the Sotheby’s auction is an ancient limestone statue called Nakht-ankh which dates back to 1800 – 1700 BC, with an estimated price of $ 1- 1.5 million.

Sotheby’s auction also exhibited a multicolored mummy mask dating back to 1075 - 1716 BC, with an estimated price £100,000 - £ 150,000.

Also, the auction exhibited an 18th Dynasty limestone statue from the reign of Apries, 589-570 BC, with an estimated value of £ 120,000- 180,000 and a wooden piece of a mummy of a girl from the Roman era, with an estimated value of £60,000 – 90,000.

Furthermore, the auction exhibited many small Pharaonic statues, including a bronze statue of an Egyptian member of the Amon family, dating back to 946 to 600 BC, with an estimated value of £7,000 - £10,000.

An Egyptian Basalt Bust of Tuthmosis III, 18th Dynasty, reign of Tuthmosis III, 1479-1426 B.C. - CC

Christie’s auction offered an Egyptian fossil limestone jar, from the first and second dynasties, dating back to 3000-2650 BC, as well as an Egyptian anorthosite gneiss bowel, from the first and second dynasties, dating back to 3000 – 2650BC.

An Egyptian Fragmentary Black Basalt Head of a Man, 12th Dynasty, period of Amenemhat III, 1818-1772 B.C.- screen shot from Sotheby'a auction website
7/2/2018 11:29:50 AM
<![CDATA[Social realism and a 'new voice' in Nigerian cinema]]>
Instead it almost oozes sweat, dust and marijuana with the smell of rotting meat and engine oil in what is effectively a love letter to Lagos that reflects a growing interest in social realism.

The film, whose title means "problems" in local street slang, is set in the streets of Ojuelegba, a working class suburb in Lagos's densely populated "mainland".

Wandering through the neighbourhood, residents greet this 34-year-old director like a local.

Even though Edosio herself lives on the "islands" -- the more well-to-do area of this megacity of 20 million people -- it is a reality she knows well after growing up in a similar area with her eight siblings.

"Eighty percent of Lagos is like this but it's... under-represented in the cultural scene," she told AFP.

"I want to be the voice that puts their life to the screen."

The plot, which unfurls over 24 hours, involves four young friends who are out for a good time and steal a car belonging to one of their uncles. But they end up having to find 20,000 naira ($55, 47 euros) to fix it when they have an accident.

TJ and his friends are typical teenagers but even a youthful error of judgment can have serious consequences in a poor neighbourhood of Lagos.

The uncle is up to his eyes in debt and risks being killed if he doesn't sell the car.

The film shows young Africans stuck in poverty, debt and second-hand clothes, dreaming of a better life just like their idol, Afropop superstar Davido.

Above all, it is a film about friendship in which the resourcefulness of Africa's big cities is ever-present.

- 'Social cinema -

Gritty realism is exactly what attracted Abiodun Kassim, who plays the poor, indebted uncle who is trying to make ends meet at his filthy meat stall in the local market.

"My character represents the backbone people of Nigeria. It's the daily life story of all these people who force their way through life," he said.

"These... are the majority, but people don't talk about them."

Since its release, "Kasala!" has won critical acclaim in the Nigerian press.

"2018 has not been a very good year for Nollywood," wrote Oris Aigbokhaevbolo on the Bella Naija website.

"But 'Kasala!' might yet save the year."

Writing on the Lagos Film Society website, Dare Dan hailed Edosio's "razor-sharp sensitivity to what life is like in these neighbourhoods from the very first shot".

"Comedy, rooted in realism, is not something we often come across on Nigerian screens," he said.

- 'Refreshing, authentic' -

Yet no local cinema has agreed to show "Kasala!"

"Everywhere I am told that people want to see inspiring movies," said Edosio, which for most Nigerians means showing wealthy people.

"This kind of social cinema is struggling to emerge," said Serge Noukoue, the organiser of the annual Nollywood Week film festival in Paris.

"It's not in the DNA of Nollywood, which aims to entertain.

"We're still in the 'high life' wave of Nigerian cinema -- very sophisticated, in fashionable areas, women wearing lots of make-up... "

At the festival, however, "Kasala!" was singled out as one of this year's "must watch" films.

"It's a refreshing, authentic film," said Noukoue.

"Ema Edosio is a 'new voice' in the universe of Nollywood. That's a good and very positive thing."

- Counter-current -

Abba Makama, director of "Green White Green" (2016), said he was "sick and tired" of "glossy and shiny" productions using actors with British or US accents.

He describes his film, whose title refers to the colours of the Nigerian flag, as his "mosaic of madness".

It was one of the first examples of a small but growing movement of social realism to hit the cultural scene in Africa's most populous nation.

The film has been shown at about 20 festivals across the world, including in Toronto, and is available on Netflix.

But again, it has never been shown on the big screen in Nigeria, despite its huge success.

"In the 2000s, there were only about 20 cinemas in the whole country," said Makama.

"Now, we have multiple portals, Africa Magic, YouTube, more cinemas... However the movies are pretty much the same. We do need an alternative cinema distribution platform."

Edosio agrees, confident there is an audience for her films and those of others who are also swimming against the tide: it just requires success to prove it to distributors.

7/2/2018 9:57:47 AM
<![CDATA['Cats' choreographer Gillian Lynne dies at 92]]>
Lynne died on Sunday at the Princess Grace Hospital in London."She leaves behind a huge legacy & is adored by many," her husband, actor Peter Land, said on Twitter, paying tribute to his "dearest wife & friend & love for 40 years".

Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber wrote: "Farewell dearest Gillie, three generations of the British musical owe so much to you."

Lynne trained as a ballerina, working at the Sadler's Wells Ballet and the Royal Ballet, before starting her career in musicals.

Lynne choreographed more than 50 productions on the West End and Broadway and was the recipient of two Olivier Awards.

She was made a Dame by Queen Elizabeth II for her services to dance and musical theatre in 2014.

7/2/2018 9:53:18 AM
<![CDATA[In pics: Pharaonic transcripts exhibition kicks off in Italy]]>
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President of the Italian Cultural cent,er Eugenio Benedetti- photo by Ahmed Gomaa

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President of the Italian Cultural cent,er Eugenio Benedetti- photo by Ahmed Gomaa

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The Egyptian Ambassador in Rome Hisham Badr said that the exhibition represents Egypt’s soft powers. “The exhibition aims to employ our cultural heritage and contribute to strengthening the bilateral Egyptian – Italian relations, as such exhibition represents a common language between the two nations,’’ Badr recounted.

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Badr pointed out that the exhibition includes a series of artistic and cultural events, most notably the pavilions of the ancient Egyptian monasteries and the performances of the Egyptian folklore ensembles, including Pharaonic Ballet Company, Reda dancing troupe and Tanoura band, in addition to a group of seminars about Egyptian history and civilization.

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Eugenio Benedetti, the president of the Italian Cultural center and the chair of the Italian Benedetti charity organization, thanked the Egyptian Embassy in Rome and all those who participated in organizing this exhibition, pointing out that the exhibition represents a message and an invitation to the Italians to return to Egypt, which is a friend country to Italy.

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“This exhibition is different from all the other exhibitions in the world because students are allowed to touch the exhibits and benefit from the hidden energy,” Benedetti added.
Benedetti pointed out that the Coptic Icons Exhibition will not return to Egypt as it will be purchased to tour all Coptic churches in Italy.

According to famous Egyptian archaeologist, Zahi Hawass, the exhibition of the Pharaonic transcripts was unprecedented in terms of accuracy; some considered the transcripts shown at the exhibitionto be more beautiful than the original ones, noting that there are some transcripts that are still in Egypt.

"Egypt is a safe friendly country that has never waged wars against any other country and is a good friend of all the world countries; Egypt has a multiplicity of religions and is open to European visitors,” Benedetti announced.

The exhibition includes about 190 pieces of antiquities, including the most important treasures of the tomb of Tutankhamen, such as the golden mask, the wheel of war and his bed, a model of the cemetery in the Valley of the Kings and models of Nefertiti's head.

The exhibition witnessed the flock of large numbers of Italian citizens who are interested in the Egyptian antiquities in general; this is the first exhibition of its kind to be held in the Palace of Papal, a palace that represents an important religious value for the Italian people.

Reda Dancing Troupe performed in the exhibition opening ceremony, amid the admiration of all the attendees.

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President of the Italian Cultural center Eugenio Benedetti during a tour- photo by Ahmed Gomaa

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Side of the opening of Pharaonic transcripts exhibition in the headquarters of the Papal Palace of Castel Gandolfo - photo by Ahmed Gomaa
7/2/2018 9:39:43 AM
<![CDATA[Egyptian caricaturist earns worldwide fame with distinguished works]]>
The beginning.. Just a hobby

How did you discover your talent?

Ahmed says: I spent my childhood years in Alexandria, and drawing was just a hobby for me at the time. My drawings were average, nothing was extraordinary there, just like any ordinary child trying to discover his true talent while he could actually be more in something else. However, I always and from an early age looked at cartooning and caricaturing as a special art, and I was particularly fond of the caricatures of great Egyptian artists and those in magazines and newspapers, and I tried to learn from them all the time. A caricature is not a drawing, but a deep and complex idea especially if it was not accompanied by a written commentary or illustration to the drawing.

Who is your role model in this field?

I have many, especially that my father is an avid reader of newspapers so you can always find some in our house. No matter how reality has changed and how the internet has replaced printed newspapers, but these great figures belong to a generation with a special culture. I specially loved the cartoons of Salah Jahin, Abd el-Monem Rakha, Alexander Saroukhan, and of course Mustafa Hussein. And on the global level, my role model is Iranian artist Arash Foroughi.

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Can any talented painter become a caricaturist?

Definitely not. Creating a caricature needs an artist who has a special vision and a different mode of expression in addition to a vast culture, the ability to express an idea by drawing rather than by words, and this is the genius of cartoons, that even an illiterate person can understand them, and here lies the challenge.

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How could you turn your talent into a profession?

I learned and practiced a lot, and I’m still learning. I asked a lot of questions to anyone who works in the field, and I asked the great artists who are still alive a lot of questions about the details of their works, and they really helped me a lot. With the great advances in technology, I had the ambition to offer a different art and I started to learn through graphic tablet programs.

The trash was where my drawings ended up one day

What was your point of departure to the world of fame as a caricaturist?

At the beginning, I published my works on my personal Facebook page and I monitored people’s reactions, and I found they liked my works a lot and that they started to circulate them widely. One day I received a call from a Lebanese journalist who asked me to publish my works in the Kuwaiti newspaper Public Opinion, especially the sports edition, and that’s what happened. Yet I still had the ambition that caricature would one day become more than just a hobby for me, but rather a profession and a job because I believe that extreme local popularity is the way to global popularity, that’s why publishing in Egyptian newspapers was crucial for me.

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So what did you do?

The experience was a very challenging one, and one day I completely lost hope that the kind of art I was offering could be my future. After I decided to move to Cairo to find a publisher for my works, I visited to a huge newspaper where I met a cartoonist who took a look at my works and who asked me about the kind of tools I used in creating them, and when I told him that I use Digital Art which is a tool well-acknowledged and well-used in the west, he said that he cannot acknowledge this kind of work because it has to be created with pen and paper and not with electronic tools. I argued back with him saying that art cannot be evaluated by the kind of tools that were used in creating it, but rather by its value because drawing or painting can be done with countless tools, for some paint on water, some on sand and some on glass and each has their own style. He responded to this by telling me that a job that could befit me would be in an advertising agency, and at that moment all the hopes I carried from Alexandria to Cairo took wing and I felt extremely frustrated, and I even told myself that I was not going to think of professionality ever again, and that I’d return to Alexandrian and look for a job. After I left his office, I threw my drawings in the trash can.

What happened afterwards?

A journalist in the same institution saw me in a state of utter despair, and he asked me if I was the one who made these drawings. I said yes, so he asked why I was throwing them, and he took them out of the trash can and told me to follow him, and I did. He took me to the office of the editor-in-chief and told him that I was a young artist with a great talent. The editor-in-chief took a look at my works and seemed amused and content by it, and he agreed that we should cooperate. And this was how my first publication came into being. I received a call later on from Nabil al-Seginy, Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Al Ahram, and he told me that my work was great and that he and his colleagues admire it a lot and that I should pay him a visit. So I did, and he presented me to the editor-in-chief of Al Ahram Al Arabi magazine where I started publishing my works. In the special annual issue, I drew 30 characters which made the issue record the highest sales figures in the history of the magazine. I also published in Rose al Yusuf.

The development of the art of caricature

Do you think that the art of caricature can still compete in the world of social media end electronic journalism?

Yes, because like any other art, it has to cope with changes in technology and in audiences so it could stay influential. On the technological level, there are new programs which can help a caricaturist enhance his work, such as Digital Art. On the level of the audience, the competition has become fierce and it is very challenging for a caricaturist to convey his message in a swift, smart and strong way in a world where a lot of changes happen in a fraction of a second, so an artist has to cope with such speed and to even be quicker than it.

How much time does it take to finish one portrait? And what are the most difficult facial features that you come across?

It takes about 8 hours to finish a portrait, and the most challenging facial features are those of elderly people because of their many details like wrinkles.

The most influential artist in 2018

What are the most significant honours that you have received, and the most notable international exhibitions that you have contributed to?

I contributed to many international cartoon exhibitions in Cyprus, Ukraine, Morocco, Indonesia and Croatia, in addition to the Fifth International Caricature Forum in which 76 countries participated. The most important honours I received was the title “the most influential artist in the Arab World in 2018” among 30 other Arab influential figures each in their own field. I also received honours from the Ministry of Youth and Sports and from the Ministry of Culture, as Minister of Culture Inas Abd el-Dayim inaugurated my recent exhibition and told me that the exhibition rooms of the ministry will host my works for free. Also, I’m preparing right now for a new exhibition for my works in Paris.

What are your future ambitions?

I dream to be one of the world’s finest caricaturists, and to be a goodwill ambassador for Egypt because many of of my fans are foreigners. I also wish to receive an honours from President Sisi as a young artist with talent, and there are many of us out there and many Egyptian role models in many fields. Creativity might not be a way to make money, but it is certainly a means of communication and expression and something that helps make the world a better place.
7/2/2018 2:19:35 AM
<![CDATA[Box Office: 'Sicario 2,' 'Uncle Drew' Overperform as 'Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom' Repeats No. 1]]>
“Fallen Kingdom” picked up $60 million from 4,485 locations in its second outing, bringing its domestic tally to $264.8 million. Even with a 59 percent drop, the dinosaur tentpole has nothing to fear. To date, the Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard-led sequel has pocketed $932 million globally and is well on its way to crossing $1 billion. Overseas, the Universal and Amblin Entertainment blockbuster pulled in $56.1 million this weekend.

“Sicario: Day of the Soldado” bowed with $19 million in 3,055 locations, while fellow newcomer “Uncle Drew” racked up $15.5 million from 2,742 theaters. Meanwhile, the third outing of “Incredibles 2” stayed at No. 2 with $44.6 million from 4,410 locations. That takes the Disney-Pixar sequel’s domestic total up to $438.8 million in three weeks.

“Ocean’s 8” continues to stay in the top five, stealing another $8 million from 2,345 theaters this weekend. In four weeks, the Warner Bros. heist film has amassed $114 million at the domestic box office.

Earlier in the week, “Sicario: Day of the Soldado” and “Uncle Drew” were targeting openings between $10 million and $13 million. The follow-up to Denis Villeneuve’s “Sicario” scored a better debut than its predecessor, which opened with $12 million in 2015. The critically acclaimed original film — which scored three Oscar nods — picked up $84 million globally during its theatrical run. The sequel hasn’t gathered the same praise, earning a B CinemaScore and an average 64 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. To compare, “Sicario” received a 93 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. Still, critics praised Josh Brolin and Benicio Del Toro for their performances. Stefano Sollima took over directing duties for “Soldado,” while Taylor Sheridan returned to pen the script.

Like “Sicario 2,” Lionsgate’s sports comedy “Uncle Drew” — based on the Pepsi commercial starring NBA icon Kyrie Irving — also served as counterprogramming against a series of superhero tentpoles. The film received an A CinemaScore, though its Rotten Tomato average was slightly less enthusiastic at 67 percent. As expected, the audience was 59 percent male, while 58 percent of moviegoers were over the age of 25.

At the specialty box office, Neon’s “Three Identical Strangers” made $163,000 when it opened in just five theaters. That’s a per screen average of $32,000 — a solid start during a summer where documentaries have fared exceptionally well.

Another documentary, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor,” ranked in the top 10 at the domestic box office again. Morgan Neville’s film, focusing on beloved children’s show host Mister Rogers, made another $2.3 million from 654 theaters in its fourth frame. In total, it has grossed $7.5 million.

The 2018 box office, which just hit $6 billion in record time, is up 9.3 percent, according to ComScore. Meanwhile, the summer box office remains a force, up 15.3 percent compared to last summer, which was the lowest popcorn season in over a decade.

Next weekend sees the release of Marvel’s “Ant-Man and the Wasp” starring Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly. The superhero sequel is currently tracking between $68 million and $80 million.

“The much-anticipated debut of Disney’s ‘Ant-Man and The Wasp’ will get the momentum train rolling again with what will be the latest in an impressively long line of box office and critical hits for the Marvel brand,” said Paul Dergarabedian, box office analyst at ComScore.

7/1/2018 7:54:31 PM
<![CDATA[Egyptian guitarist receives diploma from British Academy of Music]]>CAIRO – 1 July 2018: Egyptian guitarist Waheed Mamdouh received a diploma in classic guitar from The Supreme Council of Music at the Royal British Academy.

Mamdouh performed in the Emirati singer Ahlam’s concert which was held on Saturday in Morocco; he will also participate in Souk Okaz Cultural Festival.

Waheed is a shining star in the Arab world; he masterfully blends Spanish guitar tunes with the Arabic heritage. He performed in many places such as the Cairo Opera House, and the Guitar and String Quartet Concert in the UAE.

He collaborated with several artists such as, Amr Diab, Assala, Hussein al-Jasmi, Nancy Ajram, Sherine, Hany Shaker and many others.

7/1/2018 7:46:35 PM
<![CDATA[GEM logo, inspiration, branding and a reflection to different historic perspectives]]>
The idea of the logo was inspired by the actual design of the museum and its environment and surroundings.

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The logo illustrates the unique design of the museum, which overlooks the Giza pyramids.

In addition, orange was the color chosen for the logo as it represents the setting sun over the pyramids.

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The museum's name is written in smooth Arabic cursive writing, inspired by the desert that surrounds the museum.

Lebanese-Dutch designer Tarek Atrissi

Tarek Artissi Design website published an article showing how the GEM logo is actually original.

Lebanese-Dutch Tarek Atrissi is one of the most recognized designers across the Arab world. He has gained an international reputation for his work and has received prestigious awards and honors along his design career.

The following article was published on the designer’s website:

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Scheduled to partially open in 2018, The Grand Egyptian Museum will be the biggest museum in the Arab world. Currently built near the pyramids of Giza with an exhibition space of about 40,000 square meters, the building complex is intended to accommodate up to 15,000 visitors a day.

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Top companies from around the world were commissioned for the various design components of the project (architecture, exhibition design, graphics). Tarek Atrissi Design was commissioned to develop the core branding concept of the new museum in collaboration with Atelier Brückner. The goal for the project was to design the basis of the full branding solution for the museum, setting up a detailed and broad visual language that the museum can follow internally to build and operate a recognizable visual identity.

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The design of the logo was inspired by the unique shape of the museum building. The top view of the architecture – considered as the fifth façade of the museum – was replicated in a graphic form that included a custom made contemporary Arabic calligraphy with the name of the museum. The positioning of the logo shape is dynamic and constantly changes when it is used, reflecting how the museum has been designed to create connections to the rich landscape around it- including the pyramids, the city of Cairo and the Nile. The Logo design reflects the different historic perspectives seen from within the museum building, and symbolizes the connections made between the interior vs. the exterior space of the building’s unique location and design.

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The dynamic graphic shape of the logo becomes the main element in the graphic language created for the museum, extending beyond it to create perspectives that crops visuals or photographs from the rich collection of the museum showcasing the history of Pharaonic Egypt. The branding concept and branding assets, as showcased in this page, were delivered to the internal design team of the Grand Egyptian Museum to be used and managed further internally within the communication needs of the museum.

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All photos are courtesy of Tarek Atrissi Design website.


7/1/2018 7:30:08 PM
<![CDATA[statuette of Osiris uncovered at King Djoser Step Pyramid in Saqqara]]>

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Mostafa el-Waziri, the head of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, announced that the statue was found in a small incision between the huge blocks of the pyramid’s eastern façade.

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Waziri added that the statuette is for Osiris, the god of resurrection and eternity, and depicts Osiris wearing the double crown, and holding a feather in one hand and a scepter in the other.

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The statuette's height is 63 cm and its width is about 15 cm. Head of the Saqqara archaeological site, Sabri Farag, said that a priest of Saqqara probably concealed the statue in this area. The statuette is currently under restoration.

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A 30-ton archeological sarcophagus was also found below a building in Alexandria governorate, Egypt, by the security forces on Sunday.

Inspection of the sarcophagus revealed that it is made of black granite; the security forces coordinated with the Engineering Department of the Armed Forces, as well as the Tourism police to extract the sarcophagus.

Ayman Ashmawy, head of the Ancient Egyptian Antiquities Sector, said that the tomb was found at a depth of five meters beneath the surface of the land. It is noted that there is a layer of mortar between the lid and the body of the sarcophagus, indicating that it had not been opened since it was closed.

7/1/2018 5:59:23 PM
<![CDATA[In pics: Antique sarcophagus found by security forces in Alexandria]]>
Mostafa Waziri, General Secretary of the Supreme Council of Antiquities announced.


Inspection of the sarcophagus revealed that it is made of black granite of about 265 meters in length and it has a height of 185 cm; the security forces coordinated with the Engineering Department of the Armed Forces, as well as the Tourism police to extract the sarcophagus.

Ayman Ashmawy Head of the Ancient Egyptian Antiquities Sector said that the tomb was found at a depth of 5 m beneath the surface of the land. It is noted that there is a layer of mortar between the lid and the body of the sarcophagus indicating that it had not been opened since it was closed in antiquity.

Alexandria is full of ancient Egyptian antiquities, which makes citizens illegally dig to search for these monuments below their buildings.

In 2015, the security forces arrested three brothers with 35 artifacts in their possession; the brothers were digging below their homes in search for more artifacts.

7/1/2018 4:46:39 PM
<![CDATA[The tale of the magnificent Pharaonic mastaba of Hesy-Ra]]>
The panel is made of wood with height 115 cms and dates back to the Old Kingdom's Third Dynasty, ca. 2686-2613 BC. The panel is one of six panels from the Mastaba of Hesy-Ra at Saqqara.


Hesy-Ra mastaba depicts magnificent wall paintings and marvellous Old Kingdom wood carvings; such as its outstanding relief panels made from imported Lebanese cedar. The mastaba is the only known example of a painted tomb from the Third Dynasty.The mastaba was discovered by Egyptologists Auguste Mariette and James Edward Quibell in 1861; then its wooden panels and valuable artifacts were brought to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.


Hesy-re mastaba is of great importance as it shows the developments in the structure and decoration of tombs when compared to other mastabas that were made in earlier eras. The mastaba also reveals new ideas related to ancient Egyptian funerary cult and new beliefs pertaining to the afterlife.

Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities Mustafa el Waziri visited Saqqara archaeological storehouses on Sunday, February 11, to select some artifacts to exhibit for the first time at the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir and the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM).

Waziri explained that a number of false doors, offering tables, and wooden painted coffins, as well as other distinguished artifacts were chosen from the Saqqara archaeological storehouses to be exhibited within the museum display.

The Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities is currently working on the maintenance and restoration of Djoser Pyramid located in Saqqara.

The projects sector of the Ministry of Antiquities previously announced that it has almost completed the restoration work of the Djoser Pyramid; the pyramid will inaugurate very soon.

Renowned Egyptian archaeologist Zahi Hawas followed up on the restoration works carried out at the Djoser pyramid in an effort to consolidate the 4,600-year-old monument against time. The Djoser pyramid is the first stone structure in history built by King Djoser, a king from Egypt’s Third Dynasty.

The Cabinet decided to allocate LE 15.3 million ($845,309) to support the restoration and maintenance of the pyramid. The process had stopped in 2011, after the UNESCO report issued in September of the same year stated that the pyramid’s exterior facades suffered from lack of maintenance over the centuries.

Additionally, the removal of the dirt blocks from the pyramid's body led to the creation of many large cavities in several areas, as well as the appearance of many blocks hanging without pillars to support them.

The report also confirmed the existence of some problems in the restoration work. Later, rumours spread that the pyramid was removed from the World Heritage List.

The restoration work on the pyramid began in 2006 and was scheduled for completion in 2009. But fears for the safety of the pyramid increased after the UNESCO’s report, which acknowledged that many irregularities occurred due to the work of the maintenance company; hence, all restoration work has stopped since then.

These irregularities were technical, particularly in the use of limestone to plug the openings that emerged in the pyramid's body, leading to the distortion of the pyramid's external shape. Also, the excessive load on the pyramid became a threat.
7/1/2018 1:55:23 PM
<![CDATA[Cellist brings sounds of 'peace, coexistence' to ruins of Iraq's Mosul]]>
Dozens of people attended on Friday as Wasfi, in full concert dress, played on a makeshift stage among the most iconic religious monuments of Iraq's second city.

The venue lay between the Catholic church of Our Lady of the Hour with its famed clock tower and the remains of the iconic Hadba ("hunchback") leaning minaret next to the Nuri Mosque, destroyed during the battle for the city.

Wasfi was joined by the violinist, guitar and oud players of local band Awtar Nerkal.

"This music is a message from Mosul to the whole world, of the concepts of security, peace and coexistence," said Wasfi.

The dual Iraqi-US national is former conductor of Iraq's National Symphony Orchestra and has been nicknamed "Iraq's Rostropovich" after the Russian maestro cellist.

The music was "a call for companies, investors and organisations to come and take part in the reconstruction of the city, especially its destroyed Old Town", the bearded and bespectacled artist said.

The impromptu concert came in the same week that Iraqi authorities finally launched clean-up operations in the city that jihadists held for three years until their ouster in July 2017.

Several times over the past three years, Wasfi, who was born in Cairo, has taken his cello onto the streets of Baghdad to play at bomb sites shortly after attacks.

7/1/2018 11:04:28 AM
<![CDATA[Macron to visit Nigerian music legend Fela Kuti's nightclub]]>
The New Afrika Shrine located in the teeming Lagos district of Ikeja replaced Fela Kuti's original club that burnt down in 1977, but for millions of fans it still represents the original Shrine built by the musical maverick.

"The Shrine is a must-see place," said Olivier Laouchez, the head of the TRACE media and entertainment group and organiser of the event Macron will attend, adding that Lagos is "Africa's cultural capital".

The evening will feature concerts, fashion shows by leading African designers and a meeting with stars from Nigeria's booming Nollywood film industry.

Lagos is also giving Johannesburg -- the other African cultural hotspot -- a run for its money in the art world with its annual Art X event.

"There is clearly something abuzz in Lagos, with auctions mushrooming, and this will explode," said contemporary art specialist Marie-Cecile Zinsou, who is based in neighbouring Benin.

"The idea is to show the richness and diversity of African cultures," said Laouchez.

"Europe does not know Africa or at least its cultural dimension."

Macron, who is visiting the Mauritanian capital Nouakchott to attend an African Union summit on Sunday, will go on to Nigeria's capital Abuja for talks with his counterpart Muhammadu Buhari on security and terrorism, before coming to Lagos, a vibrant megapolis of 20 million people.

- The Afrobeat king -

Fela Kuti came from a patrician Nigerian family whose pioneering music and quest for social justice made him an international star and the bugbear of Nigeria's former military rulers.

Called the "black president" by adoring fans, Fela Kuti's trademark style, christened Afrobeat, featured songs in his native Yoruba and pidgin and were searing indictments of corruption and incompetence.

Ibrahim Tcha-Tchere, a veteran employee of the Alliance Francaise cultural institute in Lagos, said Macron's visit was fitting given that "France has always had great cultural cooperation with Nigeria.

"It was the French who organised Fela's first European tour in 1981," he said.

"Then his sons Femi and Seun launched their international careers in France."

The shrine is a big hall, painted brown and yellow, with patterns of green, red and black, suggesting African symbolism.

Laouchez joked that organising the event was no cakewalk, saying: "It requires great organisation because there are frequent power cuts and you have to ensure that the ceiling fans do not fall on the heads of guests... but it's exciting."

"Musically speaking, the new Nigerian Afrobeat movement is global," he added, pointing to stars such as Davido, Wizkid and Mr Eazi.

7/1/2018 10:59:44 AM
<![CDATA[Actress Vanessa Paradis marries French director: report]]>
Wearing a cream-coloured ruffle dress with flowers in her blonde hair, Paradis married Benchetrit at the town hall in Saint-Simeon, east of Paris, the report said.

Photographs on the website of Le Parisien showed a smiling Paradis leaving the town hall arm-in-arm with Benchetrit, wearing a navy suit, as wedding guests threw confetti over the couple.

The small ceremony was attended by a few dozen guests, including Paradis' 19-year-old daughter Lily-Rose Depp, born during her 14-year relationship with American actor Johnny Depp which ended in 2012, the report said.

Paradis and Benchetrit, both 45, made their relationship official in August 2017.

The French singer and actress began her career as a model before becoming a huge film and music star in France.

Paradis has two children with Depp, Lily-Rose and son Jack, but the couple never married.

7/1/2018 10:51:22 AM
<![CDATA[Mumbai's Victorian Gothic and Art Deco buildings win UNESCO status]]>
The decision was approved at a UNESCO meeting in the Bahraini capital Manama.

A not-for-profit team of enthusiasts are in the process of documenting every single one of Mumbai's Art Deco treasures but they estimate there may be more than 200 across India's bustling financial capital.

The majority of them, built on reclaimed land between the early 1930s and early 1950s, are clustered together in the south of the coastal city where they stand in stark contrast to Victorian Gothic structures.

"The Victorian ensemble includes Indian elements suited to the climate, including balconies and verandas," UNESCO said in a press statement announcing the decision.

"The Art Deco edifices... blend Indian design with Art Deco imagery, creating a unique style that has been described as Indo-Deco," it added.

The two vastly different architectural traditions face off against each other across the popular Oval Maidan playing field, where enthusiastic young cricketers hone their skills.

On one side lie imposing and rather austere 19th century buildings housing the Bombay High Court and Mumbai University, with their spires and lancet windows.

On the other side stand sleeker buildings boasting curved corners and balconies, vertical lines and exotic motifs.

They were built by wealthy Indians who sent their architects to Europe to come up with modern designs different to those of their colonial rulers.

"Mumbai's Art Deco buildings have always lived in the shadow of the Victorian Gothic structures built by the British but this recognition by UNESCO today helps elevate Art Deco to its rightful place," Atul Kumar, the founder of Art Deco Mumbai, told AFP.

"Across a 22-acre stretch of playing field we have two distinct architectural styles. One symbolic of India's colonisers. The other representing the aspirations of a new, wealthy Indian class."

Mumbai's Art Deco buildings house residential properties, commercial offices, hospitals and single screen movie theatres, including the popular Regal and Eros cinemas.

Their characteristics include elegant Deco fonts, marble floors and spiral staircases.

Most of the Art Deco buildings, including along the three-kilometre long palm-fringed Marine Drive promenade, are five storeys high and painted in bright colours such as yellow, pink and blue.

Some of Mumbai's most recognisable buildings are built in the Victorian Gothic style, including the city's famous main train station, which used to be known as Victoria Terminus.

The Bombay High Court, Mumbai University and the headquarters of the city's civic authority are other examples of that style.

They were built in the 19th century as Britain strengthened its hold over India. Many of the edifices boast tinted windows, flying buttresses and ornate carved figures.]]>
7/1/2018 12:50:00 AM
<![CDATA[Singer James Arthur urges more mental health support in music]]>
The 30-year-old former “The X Factor” winner, who has previously spoken about his battle with anxiety, said awareness of the pressures facing performers has increased.

“Mental health ... is of paramount importance in the music industry I think and maybe there should be more (help) in place,” Arthur, an ambassador for British mental health charity SANE, told Reuters in an interview.

“It’s very important that people speak out and ... aren’t condemned for cancelling gigs,” he said.

The death of 28-year-old Swedish DJ Avicii in April shocked the music industry. His family said the performer, whose real name was Tim Bergling, had struggled with life and “could not go on any longer.”

“People are definitely more aware of how demanding it is to be a superstar DJ for example like Avicii - a tragic thing happened there,” Arthur said.

“It’s tough ... you don’t have time to really embrace a lot of stuff, and especially in the DJ world. It’s like sometimes they do two New Year shows, they have to fly from Australia to New York in the same night ... I mean I struggle with three gigs in a row.”

Arthur, known for ballads like “Say You Won’t Let Go” and “Naked”, was catapulted into the spotlight when he won the 2012 edition of British talent show “The X Factor” and topped the charts with single “Impossible”.

The singer, who said he was now “in a good place”, added he is now branching out into different genres, such as his latest more up-tempo “You Deserve Better” song and collaborating with DJ Marshmello and rapper Juicy J for the track “You Can Cry”.

“I’m about trying lots of different things and being versatile,” he said.]]>
6/30/2018 4:38:53 PM
<![CDATA[In pics: Abusir 'Taposiris Magna', one of the most dazzling archeological cities]]>
Abusir dates back to the Ptolemaic era and includes several ancient Egyptian monuments, such as the Taposiris Temple, which was a religious shrine built for Isis, and a lighthouse that resembled the Lighthouse of Alexandria.

Taposiris temple

Taposiris Magna - Wikipedia

Taposiris Temple was established by Pharaoh Ptolemy II Philadelphus between 280 and 270 BCE. Huge slabs of limestone, extracted from ancient quarries that are now still in the city, were used to build the monument’s walls. According to Greek biographer Plutarch, the temple denotes the tomb of Osiris, which is the translation of the name.

Most of the remains of Taposiris Magna today date from the Graeco-Roman Period. The temple also contains bronze artifacts related to the worship rituals of Isis: a jug, lamp, balance, statues and vases, all of which date back to the Roman Ptolemaic period. An ancient church was also found inside the temple, and gold coins dating back to the Byzantine period were found near the temple.

Abusir lighthouse

The Pharos of Abusir, a likely copy of the famed lighthouse of Alexandria, adorns

Abusir lighthouse is similar to the Lighthouse of Alexandria, especially in terms of size and that it followed the same architectural style. The lighthouse consists of three main floors and there are stairs which were destroyed and restored in the modern era.

Recently, some scholars believed that the lighthouse was a large old mausoleum and some believed that it was a lighthouse used for maritime purposes.

A carved bath in a rocky plateau below Taposiris temple

Abusir developed during the Byzantine Emperor Justinian era (527-565 CE). Many bathes, markets and houses were built during the period. The emperor also built a government palace for the prosperity of the city market.

Justinian was Byzantine Emperor from 527 to 565. He was very successful in notable building of some of the worlds greatest architecture. - CC via Wikipedia

The director of Alexandria Antiquities, Adly Rushdi, affirmed that Abusir is one of the cities rich in antiquities. He also said that the Egyptian expedition discovered statues of Cleopatra and another statue that was the spokesman of the emperor at that time, which was placed as the first statue of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina.
6/30/2018 4:24:53 PM
<![CDATA[Quincy Jones honored as Montreux Jazz Festival kicks off]]>
Jones, 85, received a medal and silver plaque from the Swiss lakeside city stating that a hall had been renamed after him as the two-week festival kicked off with a concert by John Cale.

“Man, it sure feels be good to be back in my second home. It feels like family, it is family,”, Jones, who has 27 Grammys, told the crowd at the House of Jazz, a new venue for 600.

“My soul is smiling,” he said, sporting a blue baseball cap marked ‘University of the Hood’, while seated after being escorted into the room in a wheelchair.

“Montreux has always been the Rolls Royce of all festivals, I tell everybody in the world,” Jones said.

Jack White, Nick Cave and Jamie Cullum join Massive Attack and punk icon Iggy Pop at the 52nd edition of the festival, where the eclectic line-up also includes hip hop and electronic music, the organizers said in April.

Jones - producer of Michael Jackson’s best-selling album ‘Thriller’ in 1982 - served as co-producer with festival founder Claude Nobs from 1991-93, bringing Miles Davis and others to the famed stage.

“He is a great ambassador of jazz music,” festival director Mathieu Jaton told the audience.

Laurent Wehrli, mayor of Montreux, told Jones: “For your information, we have not given a medal like this in 10 years. Claude has his medal too.”

Jones is due to host an evening for jazz aficionados on July 8 with musicians including Robert Glasper, followed by a late-night jam session expected to go on into the early hours.]]>
6/30/2018 3:58:32 PM
<![CDATA[Zewail’s book collection arrives at Bibliotheca Alexandrina]]>CAIRO – 30 June 2018: The late Ahmed Zewail, the Egyptian chemist and Nobel prize-winner, had a treasury of books that he kept during his productive life.

His family decided to donate his collection of books to Egypt’s Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Mostafa El – Fiky, the library manager, said on Tuesday.

According to El-Fiky, Zewail’s collection of books was kept in his house in the U.S. and combined several genres such as scientific, literary and historical prints. The scientist’s biography was also found printed in different languages along several volumes of his scientific breakthroughs.

Zewail’s wife, Dema Faham, is the one who donated her late husband’s books to the library. The collection consisted of personal photos of the scientist throughout recognition ceremonies during his significant scientific career.

It is worth noting that Zewail who was also a citizen of the U.S. was assigned as the scientific and technology advisor of the previous president of the U.S. Barrack Obama.

The late scientist was also part of the first scientific envoy from the U.S. to the Middle East.

The scientist received his Nobel Prize in 1999 for his works/invention in Femto-Chemistry: the study that focuses on chemical reactions in very short durations.

Zewail died in 2016 at the age of 70. It is worth noting that Bibliotheca Alexandrina receives donations and collections from different organizations, individuals and entities regularly that enriches the place and offers a vast collection of books for locals and visitors alike
6/30/2018 3:51:30 PM
<![CDATA[Drake on course to smash streaming records with 'Scorpion']]>
Spotify said the album was streaming at an average rate of 10 million times an hour on Friday, while Apple Music said “Scorpion” was the No. 1 streamed album in 92 countries.

On the 25-track double album, Drake, 31, confirms long-standing rumors that he has fathered a son, but does not name the mother.

“Single father, I hate when I hear it,” he raps on the final track “March 14.”

The album also features collaborations with Jay-Z, Nicki Minaj, Ty Dolla Sign, and posthumous vocals by Michael Jackson.

“Scorpion” follows Drake’s best-selling 2016 album “Views” and his 2017 release “More Life,” which set a record across all music streaming services of 385 million streams in its first week of release.

The Recording Industry Association of America said on Friday that Drake had become its top digital song artist, with 142 million digital single sales units, ahead of Rihanna and Taylor Swift.

Streaming services in 2017 became the recording industry’s biggest single revenue source, overtaking sales of physical albums and digital downloads. Rap officially surpassed rock in 2017 as the biggest music genre in the United States.

“Scorpion” is a joint release on Warner Bros. and Universal Music-owned labels OVO Sound, Young Money Entertainment, Cash Money Records and Republic Records.]]>
6/30/2018 3:27:03 PM
<![CDATA[Amman hosts the 24th edition of the Franco-Arab Film Festival]]>
This festival is considered one of the most significant film festivals in the movie industry.

The festival this year in its 24th edition will be hosted in the Jordanian capital Amman.

“This year’s festival will revolve around the theme of forced or voluntary migration and the internet displacement of young people who claim their rights,” said the IFJ Director Stephane Delaporte in a press conference announcing the festival.

Countries such as Egypt, Algeria, France, Iraq, Jordan, Morocco, Palestine and Tunisia are all participating in the festival with different movies.

Joint film production between France and Arab countries will also participate.

Discussions among guests, filmmakers, master classes and workshops makes the festival more intriguing.]]>
6/30/2018 3:21:09 PM
<![CDATA[Amr Diab Summer concerts ]]>
Diab will be singing a number of songs from his upcoming album which is scheduled to be released by the end of summer. He is currently conducting the last touches on his new album with Egyptian musician Tarek Madkour.

The Egyptian singer performed a concert in St. Petersburg, Russia on June 18. This concert was tailored to support the Egyptian national team in the 2018 World Cup.

Diab’s first album was titled “Ya Tareeq” (The Path) and 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.

His most famous album is “Nour el-Ain” (The Apple of My Eye), which brought him to the international scene and earned him the title of “The Father of Mediterranean Music” for his style of blending Egyptian and western rhythms.

6/30/2018 3:04:11 PM
<![CDATA[16th International Summer Festival will kick off on July 16]]>
Bibliotheca Alexandrina will be working with other institutes for some of the events in the festival. The Hellenic Foundation for Culture will be screening the Greek movie “The Aunt form Chicago”, the French Institute will screen French classic “Jules and Jim and Pro Helvetia”, while the Swiss governmental institute will be preparing a concert by OY band.

The programme consists of two family days, the first is on July 27 and the second on August 5, 2018. They will feature workshops and various activities for children and a puppet show at the theatre.

All events are ticketed except for the ones that are free entry, such as the “Jules and Jim and Pro Helvetia” and “The Aunt from Chicago”, and two other films concentrated on directing actors. The first is by director Ahmed Abdallah El-Sayed and the second is about acting, by actor Ahmed Kamal.

The International Summer Festival is a huge cultural season and a tradition that the Bibliotheca Alexandrina has created in order to add color and a unique taste to summer in Alexandria. The Art Center at BA is aiming on presenting a variety of art, in addition to classic Egyptian art which attracts a diverse audience.

The festival begins on July 16 and ends on August 18, 2018. ]]>
6/30/2018 1:09:23 PM
<![CDATA['Sicario' star Isabela Moner on getting the measure of Del Toro]]>
But the five foot (1.5 meter) Cleveland native steals scenes alongside seasoned veterans like Josh Brolin and Benicio del Toro in the brutal action sequel to 2015 crime thriller "Sicario."

The actress, who turns 17 in a few days, got no kid-gloves treatment filming her role as a kidnap victim in the fierce, emotional and R-rated "Sicario: Day of the Soldado."

"Basically, I was treated the same way that the adult actors were, which I appreciated a lot, because I can handle it," the actress told AFP in an interview in Beverly Hills about her latest role.

Filming for the highly-topical story of drugs, terrorism and human trafficking at the US-Mexico border began on a cold November morning in late 2016 at a ramshackle adobe house in Albuquerque.

Moner soon discovered that playing a victim of violent crime meant putting up with all the privations that the adult actors endured, including being bound and gagged.

"It was really intense. For the first few takes of that scene, they actually used duct tape on me because I was okay with it for some reason," she told AFP

"Now I'm like, 'Why would I do that? Why would I agree to that?' But back then I was like, 'Oh yeah, sure, let's get into it.'"

Moner was best known for the Nickelodeon series "100 Things to Do Before High School" before she became a bona fide movie star with last year's "Transformers: The Last Knight."

- Big head -

In "Soldado," which hit US theaters on Friday, she plays the innocent but spoiled 12-year-old daughter of a Mexican gangster leading one of the cartels suspected by the US of trafficking jihadists across the border.

The film reteams Oscar-winner Del Toro, as the mysterious attorney-turned-assassin Alejandro, with federal agent Matt Graver, portrayed once again by Josh Brolin.

Del Toro, who shares most of his screen time with Moner after kidnapping her, has a reputation for his intense approach to his craft, but his young co-star says this is just "his exterior."

"It took a bit for him to warm up to me, and for me to warm up to him, kind of like in the movie. It was kind of like sizing each other up, kind of like, 'What are you about?'," she said.

"But once the filming process happened we were forced to be buddies, because we spent hours in the Humvee, all of us. He's not that hard to get along with, to be honest. He's just kind of quiet."

As for man-of-the-hour Brolin, who has starred in "Deadpool 2" and "Avengers: Infinity War" this spring, the first thing Moner noticed, she says, was his literally, physically, anatomically big head.

"He's so funny, oh my gosh. And he's like a little kid," she said, breaking into a broad grin.

"I think he stopped aging at one point inside, and he's just like this really fun guy and I'm so happy for him."

- 'Little tomboy' -

Moner grew up in Ohio and still lives in Cleveland, but says she feels more in touch with her Peruvian mother's culture, despite her "Americanized" accent when she speaks Spanish.

"I don't think I related to the Irish Catholic surroundings that was my environment when I was growing up. (Mom) raised me speaking Spanish in the household and we ate Peruvian food a lot."

Moner's transformation into a TV star was somewhat ironic, given that she grew up in a home where cable TV was banned in favor of sending the young girl and her brothers to play outside.

"I was a little tomboy growing up but we had to go to the library every weekend if we wanted some form of entertainment," she said.

"And I would gravitate towards the Shirley Temple, Judy Garland section of the library, and I would just pop that in and watch on replay because kids can watch movies over and over again."

The family lost everything in a house fire around 10 years ago and, needing something to keep her occupied, the younger Moner was signed up by her mother for an am-dram performance of "The Wizard of Oz."

"I wanted to be Dorothy but I got a munchkin," she laughs. "I fell in love with it. I don't know when I started getting good at it. But I mean I guess I'm okay," she says.

Moner's ambitions for the future include working with fellow former child star Natalie Portman -- "the best part about 'Star Wars'" -- and, one day, directing her own movie.

"I think that would be an awesome opportunity for sure, and I would give it my all, everything that I have."]]>
6/30/2018 12:38:55 PM
<![CDATA[Glasgow art school to be partially demolished after blaze]]>
Flames tore through the Glasgow School of Art's famous Charles Rennie Mackintosh building on June 15, destroying four years of restoration work after a previous blaze.

Glasgow City Council confirmed parts of the building need to be brought down after surveys found that a sudden collapse "is likely, rather than possible".

Demolition work is expected to start in the coming days.

Raymond Barlow, the council's head of building control, said: "This building has undergone substantial stress in recent days.

"With each passing day a sudden collapse becomes more likely. It has become urgent that we take down the south facade.

"As the process begins it will be likely that the other walls will also need to be reduced.

"We do not know what effect this will have on the rest of the building so I have to be clear this site remains dangerous -- and is becoming more dangerous."

A restoration project, set to cost between £20 million and £35 million ($26.5 million and $46.5 million; 23 and 40 million euros), had been returning the institution to its former glory following a fire in 2014 - - which began when a projector ignited gases from foam used in a student project.

The cause of the latest fire has yet to be determined. Building renovators were just weeks away from installing a new sprinkler system.

The building's Glasgow-born architect and designer, Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868-1928), was a leading exponent of Art Nouveau, whose distinctive lines and lettering remain influential.

The building was a landmark in Scotland's biggest city with special government-protected status.

The school's alumni boast recent Turner Prize for art winners Simon Starling (2005), Richard Wright (2009) and Martin Boyce (2011).

Others include "Doctor Who" actor Peter Capaldi, "Harry Potter" and "James Bond" movie actor Robbie Coltrane, and members from the Scottish rock bands Travis and Franz Ferdinand.

6/30/2018 10:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[BIAF to honor Hakim, Angham]]>
The BIAF that will be held under the auspices of the Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri honors every year figures from different fields such as art, politics, culture, music, finance and humanitarian services.

The festival introduces unique personalities and figures that left a special or unique mark in the world. The first edition of the BIAF was launched in 2010.

The festival always takes place in the Yacht Club Hotel Zaitunay Bay, Beirut.
On the day of the event, Hariri holds a reception for all BIAF honorees and committee members.

Last year the festival honored Waheed Hamed, the Egyptian author and renowned script writer, among the honorees.

hakim biaf

Hakim is a renowned “Sha’abi” [folk] singer in Egypt. With the help of Hamid el-Shaari, Hakim released his first album “Nazra” under the Slam Records label in 1992.

His success was immediate and propelled him to fame in Egypt. He released an album in 1994 called “Nar” which represented Egypt at the Festival des Allumées in Nantes in the same year, and obtained a nomination at the Kora Awards in 1997.

The singer collaborated with Narada Michael and Olga Tañon in 2002, James Brown in 2004 and Don Omar in 2007. He is one of the most prominent representatives of Jeel or Gil music, a synthesis of Sha'abi and Western influences.

Hakim performed at the Olympia Theater in Paris on September 23, 2017 and was the third Egyptian singer to perform on that prominent theatre after the great late Egyptian singer Abdel Halim Hafez and the legendary Umm Kulthum.

angham biaf

Angham is a popular Egyptian singer who started her artistic career in 1987. She presented a group of sucessful songs such as "Etegah Wahed" (One direction), "Toul ma enta be'ed" (as long as you are far), "Akteblak Ta3ahod" (I sign to you a pledge), "Mahzoma" (Defeated), among other popular songs.

Angham was the best-selling female pop artist in 2003. She is famous for her wide vocal range and romantic style. Angham performed recently along with the veteran Saudi singer Mohamed Abdou in a concert in Bahrain on January 25.

6/29/2018 2:37:15 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt, France to boost cultural co-op: Spokesperson]]>

According to Presidential Spokesperson Bassam Radi, a cultural cooperation was agreed upon during the meeting between Egypt and France.

The new cultural partnership comes within the major projects that Egypt is currently constructing, including the Arts and Culture City, International Opera, and the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM),Radi told Egypt Today in an interview.

The new cooperation will be utilized to reflect the ancient cultural and civilization heritage of both countries, taking into consideration France’s wide experience in fields of museums, arts and culture, which will be a rich contribution to ongoing Egyptian projects.

On June 7, Romatet visited Cairo 57357 Children Cancer Hospital and announced that Egypt and France will cooperate in a new cancer network to raise funds for cancer treatment and promote support for cancer patients in Egypt.

He met with head and founder of the hospital, Dr. Sherif Abul Naga, as he expressed his admiration of the advancement the hospital made in the field of treating cancer for free.

Egypt and France have historical and strong relations in all aspects including political and military, economic, cultural and trade.

Macron's visit to Cairo strengthens Egyptian-French relations

CAIRO - 30 October 2017: Upon the invitation of President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, French President Emmanuel Macron will visit Egypt in early May on his first official visit since assuming office last year, according to an official at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

French companies have executed the Cairo Metro, launched the Nile Sat satellites, installed a mobile phone network, restored the Suez Cement Factory, and constructed the Alexandria Oil Refinery, water supply stations in Fayoum and the 10th of Ramadan industrial zone, terminal 3 at Cairo Airport and its radar, an electricity station in Tanta, a wastewater treatment station in Gabal al Asafar, a thermal power station in Suez and Port Said governorates, and natural gas liquefaction plants. It also contributed in the construction of Bibliotheca Alexandria.

From 1974 through 2016, 40 cooperation protocols and agreements were signed between both countries in support of the economic development in Egypt. In 2016, 10 memorandums of understanding, valued at €308 million, were also signed.

6/29/2018 1:00:47 PM
<![CDATA[Kendrick Lamar vows no complacency after Pulitzer]]>
In his most extensive remarks since he was announced as the prestigious award's recipient in April, the 31-year-old told Vanity Fair magazine in an interview published Thursday that any good news "motivates me to do more."

I don't want to get complacent. If you asked seven out of 10 people, 'What would you do if you got the Pulitzer Prize?,' they'd say, 'I'd put my feet up.'

"But that would make me feel I'd reached my pinnacle at 30 years old, and that wouldn't make me feel good," he told the magazine.

Lamar said the Pulitzer "should have happened with hip-hop a long time ago" and praised the talents of older rappers such as Jay-Z, Eminem, Snoop Dogg and the late Tupac Shakur.

"It took a long time for people to embrace us -- people outside of our community, our culture -- to see this not just as vocal lyrics, but to see that this is really pain, this is really hurt, this is really true stories of our lives on wax," he said.

The Pulitzer board recognized Lamar for "DAMN.," saying the album was "unified by its vernacular authenticity and rhythmic dynamism that offers affecting vignettes capturing the complexity of modern African American life."

Lamar, who in the magazine profile recalled going hungry as a child in the historically deprived Los Angeles community of Compton, has turned to verse to tackle race relations and his own internal searching set to music that incorporates jazz and spoken word.

With the Pulitzer, Lamar joins the company of major US composers such as Aaron Copland and Charles Ives as well as, more recently, jazz greats including Ornette Coleman and Wynton Marsalis.]]>
6/29/2018 12:49:36 PM
<![CDATA[Hugh Grant on marriage: 'a nice cozy thing to do']]>
“We’ve got three kids together, we live together, and I didn’t like the moment at immigration,” Grant said in an interview.

Grant, 57, wed Swedish television producer Anna Eberstein, 39, with whom he has three children, at a low-key civil ceremony in London last month.

“Immigration people would say, alright, all the Grants through here, and I’d go through with my children. And all the others through there. She’d go through with the nannies. It wasn’t right,” the “Love Actually” star said.

Grant had often said he was not a believer in marriage.

“I still think it’s a nonsense really and so does my wife by the way. But it just seemed like a nice cozy thing to do,” he added.

Grant, best known for playing a bumbling English man in romantic comedies like “Notting Hill” and “Four Weddings and a Funeral,” switches gears in his current project, “A Very English Scandal,” which premieres in the United States on Amazon on Friday.

The actor plays the late British Liberal Party leader Jeremy Thorpe in the television mini-series which recounts the story of love, murder and politics behind Thorpe’s 1970s trial and acquittal on charges of conspiracy to murder.

Grant said he hesitated before taking the part, but added, “It was so obvious I should do it. It’s a great part. It’s a fascinating piece of history.”]]>
6/29/2018 12:43:23 PM
<![CDATA['Bowie Bonds' creator sues Ed Sheeran for copying Marvin Gaye hit]]>
The lawsuit was filed by a company owned by David Pullman, an investment banker who in 1997 arranged the pioneering $55 million sale of “Bowie Bonds,” which made David Bowie the first musician to sell bonds backed by royalties from his catalog.

According to the complaint filed in Manhattan federal court, “Thinking Out Loud,” which peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in February 2015, copies the “melody, rhythms, harmonies, drums, bass line, backing chorus, tempo, syncopation and looping” of “Let’s Get It On,” which hit No. 1 in September 1973.

Other defendants include Sony/ATV Music Publishing and the Atlantic record label.

Representatives for Sheeran and Atlantic did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Sony/ATV spokesman Paul Williams declined to comment.

Those defendants have denied any infringement in a related lawsuit filed by heirs of the late producer Ed Townsend, who co-wrote “Let’s Get It On” with Gaye. Pullman’s company, Structured Asset Sales LLC, owns one-third of Townsend’s estate.

Sheeran, 27, has faced infringement claims over other songs, including “Photograph” and “Shape of You.”

Gaye was fatally shot by his father in 1984 at age 44.

On March 21, a federal appeals court upheld a $5.3 million judgment for Gaye’s family against Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams for copying from another of his songs, 1977’s “Got to Give It Up,” for their 2013 smash “Blurred Lines.”

Pullman, 56, invests in music, entertainment and other intellectual property assets, and securitizes some of them.

In an interview, Pullman said people interviewed for news coverage about “Blurred Lines” noted similarities between “Let’s Get It On” and “Thinking Out Loud.”

He said three musicologists compared the songs independently and found them “substantially or strikingly similar,” a legal standard used to determine infringement.

“We wanted to do everything right in terms of the detail,” he said.

Other recording artists to face copyright claims in recent years have included Miley Cyrus, Drake, Kendrick Lamar, Led Zeppelin and Madonna.

While many cases are settled or dismissed, Pullman said artists should not wait until after their songs become hits to get necessary permissions.

“It’s sort of ‘catch-me-if-you-can,’ after the fact,” he said.

The case is Structured Asset Sales LLC v Sheeran et al, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 18-05839.]]>
6/29/2018 12:39:12 PM
<![CDATA[Baghdad book market turns the page on a new Iraq]]>
Censorship was lifted when a U.S.-led invasion toppled Saddam in 2003 but far from an upturn in sales these days Hissam sometimes sells just a few books at his shop on Mutanabbi Street.

The street on the banks of the River Tigris where dozens of booksellers have shops and traders used to ply books from trolleys is in some ways a symbol of the city’s shifting fortunes.

Since 2003, the market has seen a boom in new shops, books and publishers. It even recovered from a bomb attack in 2007 that killed around 30 people.

Filmmakers, musicians and painters flock there on Fridays, gathering at the market near a statue of Mutanabbi, a 10th century poet.

Baghdad’s security has improved since a sectarian war in 2006-2007 but many people have more pressing needs than books. Surviving economic hardship and inflation caused by Iraq’s loss of oil revenue and procuring fuel for generators are higher priorities.

“In 2003, business was booming. New book shops sprang up and books from abroad arrived,” said Hissam, sitting in his one-room shop amid books about politics, religion and academic subjects.

“Now people have no time to buy books,” he said.

In addition, higher customs duties to offset lower oil revenues has raised the cost of book imports and uncertainty following elections in May has hurt business, booksellers said.

“The number of people buying is not the same as before the election,” said bookseller Ahmed Hawi Ismail.


Mutanabbi Street has for decades been a center of Iraq’s intellectual life. The city’s literary tradition is summed up in the saying: “Cairo writes. Beirut prints. Baghdad reads.”

Because online book-buying is almost unheard of in Iraq, people browse for hours in bookshops or arrive with handwritten notes of titles they want.

Iraqi publishers pump out new books but street vendors also sell everything from guide books for the Baghdad museum that was looted in 2003, communist propaganda from East Germany from the 80s and picture books showing Iraq’s better days in the 70s.

“Demand for fiction is high,” said Abdul Sattar Jabr, a professor at al-Mustansiriya University, after buying an old Russian history book in Arabic. He said more than 1,200 Iraqi novels have been published since 2003.

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Yet the profile of readers is changing. On two visits the book market was mainly frequented by older readers. Young book buyers were often students preparing for seminars.

“The older generation of Iraqis is dying. Young people are more interested in smartphones and the internet,” said Adnan Mansour, a 75-year-old retired human resources manager who has come to the market since 1959.

Over tea at the well-known Shabandar Cafe he recalled days when sellers ventured out with trolleys full of books. He has collected some 6,000 books, filling even his bedroom. This time he bought six academic books on religion.

Hissam, his favorite seller, said he would stay in business even if he makes a loss.

“It’s not good business these days but I simply love books,” he said.]]>
6/29/2018 12:30:25 PM
<![CDATA[On the wall: Art inspired by Michael Jackson displayed in London]]>
“Michael Jackson: On the Wall” features an array of portraits and Jackson-inspired works including a quilt, collages, videos and installations.

Also on display is a jacket adorned with cutlery and “Equestrian Portrait of King Philip II (Michael Jackson)” by New York artist Kehinde Wiley, the last commissioned portrait of the star before his death in 2009.

Work on the painting, which depicts the “Thriller” singer wearing armor and riding a horse, started before Jackson’s death and was finished posthumously.

The show is at the National Portrait Gallery until October, then heads to France, Germany and Finland.

6/29/2018 12:18:36 PM
<![CDATA[China issues new rules to stop movie stars evading tax]]>
It said illegal payment practices, including the drawing up of fake contracts in order to falsify income declarations, were driving up production costs, undermining overall product quality and damaging China’s film industry, now worth $8.6 billion.

New standards needed to be formulated to cap payments granted to actors, with salaries not permitted to exceed 40 percent of total production costs, it said. Payments to stars should amount to no more than 70 percent of total wage costs.

The document also said measures needed to be taken to rectify the “blind chasing of stars” among Chinese youth, curb the “growing tendency towards money worship” and prevent “the distortion of social values”.

It said “social benefits” should be the biggest priority, and the one-sided pursuit of box office returns, ratings or online clicks should be “firmly opposed”.

China said earlier this month that it would launch investigations into tax evasion in the country’s film and television industry after a series of famous names were accused of signing fake contracts.]]>
6/28/2018 6:30:00 PM
<![CDATA[Independent record labels get boost from streaming music services]]>
Now, with streaming services such as Apple Inc and Spotify Technology SA becoming the dominant form of distribution for recorded music, at least some of that long-held dream seems to be materializing, according to a new report from the Merlin Network, a UK-based nonprofit group that negotiates with the streaming services on behalf of more than 20,000 independent record labels and distributors and handles routing payments.

In a report released on Thursday, Merlin said it has paid out $1.5 billion to its member labels. And $500 million of that - about a third - came in the 12 months ended in June. Merlin said that total streams for its members were 14 billion for the month of March, up 57 percent from a year earlier.

“The emergence of these all-you-can-eat streaming services has democratized a huge amount of music,” Merlin’s chief executive officer, Charles Caldas, told Reuters in an interview. “You don’t have to walk into Tower Records and be bombarded with whatever’s being marketed that week. Once you’re engaged with music, you’ll start to get recommendations that are actually based on your listening behavior.”

Streaming has become core to independent labels’ businesses, the group found, with nearly 70 percent of labels saying their digital revenues come mostly from streaming, the report found.

There’s also evidence that independents are capturing some of the highest-value streaming users. Merlin analyzed half a trillion streams over the past four years and found that music from independent labels got 25 percent more streams from paying users of streaming music versus free-tier users. In other words, the most committed music fans willing to pay for music are listening to independent music at higher rates.

“That instinctively feels right to us,” Caldas said.

Streaming music revenues have boosted the entire music industry, helping it return to revenue growth after years of declines during the downloaded music era.

Global recorded music industry revenues hit $17.3 billion in 2017, the third consecutive year of growth, according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. The growth was driven by global streaming revenues, which expanded 40 percent to $6.6 billion last year, the group reported.]]>
6/28/2018 5:30:00 PM
<![CDATA[Dogs have their day at 'Patrick' film premiere]]>
Dressed in a blue bow tie around his collar, pug Harley, who portrays the title character, patiently posed for photographs at the event held in a private London garden, although sometimes he needed the odd treat to stay in a sitting position.

Sitting on a small throne as well as posing beside some popcorn and champagne glasses, Harley was quite the star as guests, who brought their own pets, scrambled to get a look at him.

The film tells the story of teacher Sarah, played by British actress Beattie Edmondson, who inherits her grandmother’s spoilt pug Patrick. While she struggles with the dog at first, things then start to change and look up for her.

“He’s probably the most professional actor I’ve ever worked with. He’s just very like on the mark, always hits his mark, always gets his tricks right, does it in one take,” Edmondson told Reuters of Harley.

“But...(he) isn’t very sociable. He’s a bit of a diva. He really doesn’t want to socialize with me between takes which I was quite upset about.”

Harley was joined at the premiere by other pugs, sausage dogs and spaniels among others, some also wearing bow ties or small hats. Most of the canines were on their best behavior before heading into the screening tent.

The film’s cast and crew brought their own pets, with Edmondson’s mother, comedienne Jennifer Saunders, who also has a role in the film, posing for pictures with her whippet.

Harley gets up to all sorts of tricks in the film and director Mandie Fletcher said she worked closely with his trainer for all his scenes. “When you put it together, it still amazes me how he looks like he’s acting,” she said.

“I loved working with the dog, I know people say you shouldn’t but quite honestly it just relaxes everything.”]]>
6/28/2018 4:30:00 PM
<![CDATA[Port Said hosts Korean K-Pop World Festival Egypt]]>
About 10 Egyptian competitors engaged in the festival which was held within the framework of the Korean cultural convoy spearheaded from Ismailia.

South Korean Ambassador in Cairo Yoon Yeo-cheol said Port Said and Ismailia house the largest number of fans of the South Korean culture and this was behind selecting Port Said to host K-Pop World Festival Egypt.

The festival is meant to promote amicable and cultural ties between the two countries, he said, pledging to organize more cultural events.]]>
6/28/2018 3:00:00 PM
<![CDATA[Netflix to show 'Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee' S10 in July]]>
The American stand-up comedian Jerry Seinfeld will continue to host the show.

The whole series has been moved from the digital network Crackle after distributing nine seasons to Netflix; the program will include interviews with big names, including Ellen DeGeneres, Kate McKinnon, and Tracy Morgan, among others.

The show hosts celebrities who join Jerry Seinfeld for a cup of coffee and a ride in a classic car and they share their stories along the way. The talk show started in 2012.

6/28/2018 11:30:00 AM
<![CDATA[Bibliotheca Alexandrina launches 'Wall of Knowledge' exhibition]]>
Through the "Wall of Knowledge" project, the BA developed an Augmented Reality (AR) mobile application in order to increase public engagement with Egyptian art and heritage displayed at museums using smartphones and tablets.

This project depends on distributing pre-designed posters, strategically located inside museums, which include basic information about a specific art piece or heritage topic.

Using the app, users are able to extend this information by superimposing virtual text, images and 3D objects over the poster. The Wall of Knowledge experience is currently available at the Egyptian Museum (EM), the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization in Cairo (NMEC), and recently at the BA Antiquities Museum, in Alexandria. More museums are currently under development.

Regarding the Book of the Dead experience, the latest Wall of Knowledge experiences are developed to tell one of the most interesting stories of Ancient Egyptian civilization, The Book of the Dead: The Papyrus of Ani, which has cursive hieroglyphs and color illustrations that date back to around 1250 BCE, in the XIX Dynasty of the New Kingdom of Ancient Egypt.

It is displayed at the British Museum. Using the Wall of Knowledge app, users can interact with Ani’s Book of the Dead in different three languages Arabic, English and French. ]]>
6/28/2018 11:10:42 AM
<![CDATA[Grey’s Anatomy’s Season 14 breaks female Muslim stereotype]]>CAIRO - 28 June - 2018: The star of Grey’s Anatomy’s season 14, Sophia Ali (known as Dhalia Qadri), managed to break the Muslim “hijabi” stereotype in western television.

The creator of the TV series, Shonda Rhimes, is well known for breaking stereotypes and surpassing boundaries; hence, she killed most of the show’s characters and managed to break the hijabi stereotype by casting Dahlia Qadri, the first hijabi lead character in the show.

Spoiler alert!

The star’s most famous scene in the show was in episode 13, when a young boy was rushed into the ER with a rapid arterial bleeding and she took off her headscarf and tied it tightly on his thigh to help stop the bleeding.

Upon witnessing this scene, Owen was surprised that she took off her hijab to help the young boy, to which she said “hijab is a symbol of [her] faith, but [her] faith is about service and compassion.” Later on, Owen returned her headscarf back to her after having it washed.

This scene managed to send good vibes about Islam to the world, as when Dahlia had to choose between keeping her scarf on and leaving the boy to die or help the boy by taking off her headscarf to wrap a tourniquet around the wound, she picked the latter.

Grey’s Anatomy has been running for 14 seasons since 2005, and it has been very influential in the field of television. Hijabis were present in season 13 in the background as nurses.

Qadri is a symbol of a strong, courageous woman who is not only passionate about helping people, but also kind, humorous and competitive. She also has a crush on Dr. Jackson Avery, and who doesn’t!

6/28/2018 11:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Karara, Mimi, Doweidar re-unite for new film production]]>
Post the great success achieved by their recently broadcasted series "Kalabsh 2' (Handcuffs), aired in numerous local channels in the past holy month of Ramadan, the trio decided to come up with a new drama series that will be aired next Ramadan.

The project is another production of Synergy Productions, which is owned by Tamer Morsy.

The success of the trio is not only evaluated by the series’ viewership across social media platforms or TV channels; in fact, it comes with a special recipe of understanding among the three men and portraying what concerns the common man.

Karara was finally able to be in the front row of Egyptian superstars and the Arab world after six years of hard work and determination.

The trio is hoping to invest in a new drama series that will follow in the footsteps of the previous series: "Kalabsh 2".

Meetings among the actor, director and scriptwriter will be planned in the coming days to further discuss matters that concern the production and creation of their new, much anticipated film, which the trio confirmed is going to be a great surprise to their fans.

Rogina, Mahmoud al Bazawy, Hala Fakher and Ahmed Salah Hosny are among those who participated in "Kalabsh 2", and all of whom were part of the great success it achieved.

6/28/2018 10:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Banksy's Paris street art 'blitz' a tribute to rebels of 1968]]>
Stencilled images in the style of the mysterious British graffiti star began appearing on walls across the French capital last week. All were unsigned, leaving a lingering doubt that they might have been by a imitator.

But late Monday the Bristol-based artist posted his latest two Paris murals on Instagram neither of which had yet been found by his fans.

"Fifty years since the uprising in Paris 1968. The birthplace of modern stencil art," he quipped under a self-portrait as a masked rat carrying a utility knife that he uses to cut out his stencils.

Cheekily he sprayed it on the back of a road sign outside the Pompidou centre modern art gallery, which houses Europe's biggest collection of contemporary art.

Banksy took on the rat as his avatar -- a symbol of the vilified and downtrodden -- in hommage to the Paris street artist Blek le Rat, who started out in 1986 when a general strike by students and workers brought France to a halt.

Banksy sprayed a rat wearing a Minnie Mouse bow under the caption "May 1968" near the Sorbonne university

The movement produced an explosion of street art and ingenious graffiti slogans, some of which have become legendary.

Banksy sprayed another rat wearing a Minnie Mouse bow under the caption "May 1968" near the Sorbonne university over the weekend, one of the centres of the uprising, which was read as a wry take on the decline of French revolutionary spirit.

The Disneyland Paris theme park just outside Paris is now one of the French capital's biggest employers.

The artist, known for his sharp political and social commentary, made headlines Sunday with another Paris mural of a refugee child covering up a swastika sprayed over the patch of pavement on which she was sleeping.

Placing it right next to a former refugee centre closed down in March by the French government was seen as an attack on President Emmanuel Macron's crackdown on migrants.

Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo, who set up the centre, was quick to hail the mural. "Sometimes an image is worth a thousand words. Humanity and pragmatism rather than populism," she tweeted in a dig at Macron, who had argued the shelter was making Paris a magnet for migrants.

In his first clandestine "blitz" of the French capital, Banksy also created a image of girl huddled in mourning in a fire exit next to the Bataclan concert hall, where 90 people were massacred by jihadist gunmen in November 2015.

His final stencil -- which he posted to his Instagram account on Monday evening -- shows a genteel old rat couple out for a walk along the River Seine near the Eiffel Tower.

Banksy's work has sold for more than $1 million at auction, and fans have already covered some of the new Paris works with Plexiglass to protect them.

However, his mural of the migrant girl was defaced with blue spray paint late on Sunday after news of its discovery spread on social media.

The band are playing the French city of Lyon on Sunday.]]>
6/27/2018 3:46:51 PM
<![CDATA[Reviving buried Ancient Egyptian art, design]]>
“As long as our civilization remains trapped in museums, books and documentaries without being introduced to people’s daily life whether nationally or internationally, we will never be aware of its greatness. But, resurrecting it makes us remember our roots,” Kamal told Egypt Today.

Because of her eagerness to revive Egyptian heritage in a way that fits the modern era and shows the world the glory of Ancient Egyptian art and design, Kamal designed in 2016 contemporary Pharaonic design in style, the wing sofa, which later nabbed the International Product Design Award from the world’s professional designers.

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Shaimaa Kamal designed in 2016 contemporary pharaonic design in style, the wing sofa, which nabbed later the International Product Design Award- Shosha Kamal Design House’ official Facebook page

In January 2016, she began to design the wood-painted gold wing sofa, which was presented in May 2018 alongside other pieces from her Pharonic furniture line at the great Luxor Temple where she got her inspiration. This came as a part of Cairo Bank’s advertisement for Ramadan this year to shed light on young people who succeed in building something different.

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Shaimaa Kamal’s the wood-painted gold wing sofa was presented in May 2018 with other pieces from pharaonic furniture line in the great Luxor Temple where she got her inspiration, as a part of Cairo Bank’s advertisement in this year’s Ramadan-Shosha Kamal Design House’ official Facebook page

To redesign the wing image found on Tutankhamun’s chair in a more modernized way, she abstracted the original design from all its colors, making the wing’s lines sharper and straight, made of wood-painted gold, at the sofa’s back. In the meantime, she designed a basic and silent front without any decoration to make the wing “the hero of the design” and serve its greatness.

According to the piece’s description, the sofa’s used materials are wood-painted in copper for the back and pure white leather for the seat to communicate the luxury and the causality of the pieces.

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Shaimaa Kamal’s wood-painted gold wing sofa was presented in May 2018 with other pieces from her Pharaonic furniture line at the great Luxor Temple where she was first inspired, as a part of Cairo Bank’s advertisement in this year’s Ramadan-The International Design and Architecture Award’s official Website

Upon completion, the wing sofa design competed with the world’s pioneering designers’ in the 2016 International Design and Architecture Award.

Although she has entered many competitions, she says this competition was very special to her as only one designer who can receive the award as opposed to the case with other competitions; hence, it is very challenging, revealed Kamal.

Besides, the International Design and Architecture Award is unique in targeting global ordinary audiences as the award is not judged solely by a professional jury. The shortlisted entries are presented online, after being chosen by the jury, to get the acknowledgment of ordinary customers and clients in the vote along with professional designers as well.

Kamal believes that her piece was chosen among many other international designs to win the award given global thirst for Ancient Egyptian civilization. The sofa is the first attempt to revive Ancient Egyptian culture and create uniqye, contemporary Pharaonic design, she added.

She further remarked that she owes the 50 percent of the credit to the original designer, who created it 4,000 years ago, and the other 50 percent to the modern designer, who has reinterpreted the wing into a modern style.

After winning the competition, she completed her Pharaonic furniture line of a 10-piece collection, including the wing sofa, with each piece reflecting a single icon such as the scarab, Horus’ eye, the key of life or the snake.

Early work

Kamal formerly studied business at the German University in Cairo and worked in marketing at Unilever. However, she found this path unfulfilling and sought to pursue her lifelong interest in design.

A trip to Milano, Italy, changed her life as she accidentally saw a fly at the airport announcing that the Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid, the first female winner of the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2004, had established a new center of art in Milano.

“At first, I did not know Zaha Hadid, so I decided to google her to know more about her. Upon being introduced to her works, I felt there was something common between us; both of us are Arab women who love art. So, I quit when I returned from Italy and went off for a year to study Interior and Furniture Design at the Florence Design Academy in Italy.”

It was during her time pursuing graduate studies that she decided to interpret Pharonic Egyptian motives and culture in a contemporary way.

“Most of my designs are Pharaonic as when I was in Italy, I felt depressed that my studies included all design styles of the world’s civilizations, except for Ancient Egyptian style although pharaohs were the first to excel at designing.”

Upon returning to Egypt, she opened her own company, Shosha Kamal Design House, aiming to pursue her entrepreneurial drive.

Greek Campus’ renovation

The first project she took up upon her return from Italy was renovating the exterior of a former American University in Cairo building in Downtown, the iconic Greek Campus now serving as a startup hub.

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Shaimaa Kamal maintained the building’s historic glamor of the Greek architectural style and introduced, at the same time, figures of Pharaohs climbing the building in a race toward its highest point- Shosha Kamal Design House’ official Facebook page

Inspired by the diversity of human beings, Kamal brought two civilizations and different eras together; she maintained the building’s historic glamor of the Greek architectural style and introduced, at the same time, figures of Pharaohs climbing the building in a race toward its highest point.

“The Pharaohs resemble youth’s daily efforts, trying to reach highest levels of success,” she said.

Meanwhile, pop art blended the modern world with the past found in the ancient building style. Hence, the climbing pharaohs were colored with red, yellow, blue, orange and green, she says.

The Great Zayed Memorial

“This project is what I most proud of, as it was made for the 57357 hospital; it is a great honor for me to design something that the kids would see every day and distract them from their pain.”

Shaimaa said that Dr. Shreif Abu el-Naga, the vice president of the Children’s Cancer Hospital 57357, asked her in 2015 to collaborate on a project that would honor the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al-Nahyan for his generous contributions to the hospital.

The award-wining interior designer decided to honor him in an Egyptian way. “When Pharaohs honored someone, they linked his existence to the sun, so I followed their tradition.”

Kamal worked on the design and execution of the memorial its for three years in collaboration with a including sculptress Rossana Corrado and the head of mechanicalEdward Nokash. The final product is comprised of a flock of 75 pigeons forming the face of Sheikh Zayed.

“The memorial moves twice a day; once at sunrise, to symbolize his birth, and another at sunset, referring that Sheikh Zayed has left our world, but his goodness still surrounds us… the memorial reflects that Sheikh Zayed is born from the greatness of sun and the prosperity of pigeons.”

A composition by acclaimed musician Omar Khairat plays for sunrise, while one by musician Hisham Kharma plays at sunset. The memorial is characterized by its beauty, and was inaugurated in early 2018.

Kamal Pharaonic furniture line is slated for release by the end of 2018.

6/27/2018 1:39:19 PM
<![CDATA['Ladayna Aqwal Okhra' presents nothing new to viewers]]>
Anyone who has watched Yusra’s series will know their systematic three-stage development. The first stage is the “nice, wronged and downtrodden” Yusra, who then, in the second stage, becomes a weird and out-of-character persona. The final stage of the series is when the actress suddenly decides to step up and take charge of her predicament and regains control of her life. This is precisely the development of the character of Amira, the judicial figure in “Ladayna Aqwal Okhra”.

Directed by Muhammad Ali and written by Amin Jamal, “Ladayna Aqwal Okhra” hit the headlines and was the talk of social and audio/visual media before it was even aired for reasons unrelated to the actual content of the soap but due to its theme/opening credit song. The controversial choice of Fadel Shaker by the production company caused an uproar that resulted in the singer being suddenly dropped after the song was released on YouTube.

Al Adl Group continued their Ramadan tradition of working with the likes of Nelly Kareem and Yusra, which makes one ask why they continue doing so. Should a production company not experiment and work with different stars every year? Otherwise, such production companies fall into the trap of repetitive production, a notion that is certainly evident from Al Adl's Group collaboration with Yusra in the past few years.

“Ladayna Aqwal Okhra” is a tale of corruption and power, exploiting media and technology to serve one's personal gains. In it, we find Amira, played by Yusra, dragged into that world by coincidence when she hits a young man with her car and takes him to hospital, only to be told later that there was no accident and that no one was injured — hence, the main character begins her journey in solving this mystery. Yusra is not alien to the role of being a mother, and she does excel at it, as you can feel her warmth and love for her children, Fatema (Salma Abu Dief) and Ali (Ahmed Hatem), while she is still grieving for her other son who died in a car accident.

No one can fault the acting of Yusra, as her acting ability and long history speaks volumes. The problem is with the script and the way the character of Amira is portrayed as an angelic figure who, after being served the death penalty, suddenly turns into this super human who manages to dodge the police as she travels from one place to another, even daring to go home and see her children and friends. She even ventures into her enemies’ homes and threatens them, all without a single police officer catching her. The last few episodes of the series felt like they were either too rushed, presumably to meet the deadline of that magical 30 episode or they were written by a different team, as they were far-fetched and clichéd: the protagonist wins, and the antagonist is exposed and everyone turns against them.

The most positive feature of “Ladayna Aqwal Okhra” is undoubtedly the superb acting of Shereen Reda, who was very convincing as the power hungry and corrupt Malak Al Badrawi. This Ramadan, we saw so many actors and actresses play that evil character role each with their own touch and style, but none as believable as Reda's portrayal of Malak — her classy and chic appearance, combined with her firm but calm manner, made her the perfect fit for this role.

Sadly, Reda is the only actress with exceptional input; and, while the drama does host a few stars, none had an impact that is worth writing about.

6/27/2018 1:00:00 PM
<![CDATA[‘Wasf Masr’ Encyclopedia to be re-printed]]>
He further stated that nine parts of the book remain missing in the stores of the organization, and the remaining 27 parts were sold years ago.

voyage d'egypte 014

Ali further stated that once the nine parts are found, the remaining parts of the book will be re-printed to be ready for the public by 2019.

Furthermore, Ali stated that parts of "Wasf Masr" (Description of Egypt) can be found in the Golden Jubilee of Cairo’s Book Exhibition.

voyage d'egypte 009

The parts ready for re-printing will be printed in the presence of the inheritors of writer Zoheir al Shayeb, who translated 13 parts of the famous book.

voyage d'egypte 007

It is worth noting that the translation project for "Wasf Masr" started in 2004 and ended by 2009.

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"Wasf Masr" Encyclopedia also includes paintings that require decoding. This is one of the causes of the delay of the re-printing process.

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FILE - The book Description of Egypt

An original copy of the book was destroyed after the Egyptian Scientific Institute was burned down during riots in 2011.

voyage d'egypte 015

France's Napoleon Bonaparte arrived in Egypt with more than 160 historians, artists and scientists during the French campaign in Egypt between 1798 and 1801. However, French General Jean-Baptiste Kléber, who was in charge of the campaign after Bonaparte left Egypt after only one year, is the one who formed committees to study all aspects of the Egyptian society to document their findings in a book celebrated until today.

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The book was collected between 1803 and 1828. It included more than 3,000 paintings depicting various scenes of Egypt and was promoted as a major scientific, literary, historical and artistic work that refuted many old assumptions about Egypt and spared future generations of much work to discover secrets of the ancient country.
6/27/2018 12:42:08 PM
<![CDATA[MINAAZINE specializes in uniting people through inspirational story-sharing]]>
The magazine’s staff explores the lifestyle and cultural details of people coming from the MENA region (Middle East & North Africa), in addition to Diasporas in other countries (Jews outside of Israel).

MINAAZINE quickly witnessed a community for itself, featuring photographers, artists, designers and more. Any experiences/stories that can be used to inspire someone else are welcomed with arms wide open by the community of the magazine.

The publication was founded in New York City by Egyptian-American Nadia Azmy and Saudi- American Alaa Balkhli and has branches in Cairo and Jeddah.

Numerous inspiring figures/stars took over the magazine’s Insta-stories section during Ramadan, in which they shared with fans how they spent their Ramadan days.

Hundreds of fans thought the stories shared with the stars were great experiences to learn from.

6/27/2018 11:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Zap Tharwat to celebrate his new album in Alexandria]]>
Zap Tharwat has recently released his new album "Al Madina" which includes eight songs, seven of which are duos with different artists. He collaborated in his album with the music producer Sary Hany.

Ahmed Tharwat, aka Zap Tharwat, is a rapper, song writer and Co- founder of Axeer Studio. Tharwat rose to fame in 2011 during the time of the Egyptian revolution; he collaborated with Cairokee and Asflat during that time. His songs focus on the social and political problems of the 21st Century.

Zap Tharwat is considered to be the voice of young Egyptians, releasing various songs such as, "Kateb Le Bokra Gawab" (I am writing a letter for tomorrow), "Bahlam" (I’m dreaming), "Hayaty Ana" (My life), and "Kefaya" (Enough).

6/27/2018 10:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Culture Min. announces program for June 30 revolution celebrations ]]>
Egypt’s cultural venues including theatres, circuses, museums, and Cairo opera houses will be open for public for free next Friday and Saturday, Minister of Culture, Ines Abdel Dayyem, announced on Tuesday.

The ministry’s Theatre House and Cairo Opera House will organize several free performances. Also, the Balloon Theatre, National circus and cultural houses will provide a group of activities and performances suitable for different categories of people, including kids and people with disabilities, for free. Similarly, the Fine Arts’ sectors will be holding several seminars in the museums.

General Egyptian Book Organization will organize the first-ever book fair to be held in the delta province of Damietta and its prime resort city, Ras El Bar.

“The June 30 revolution was made by the people and its annual anniversary is a feast that is celebrated by all Egyptians; this emphasizes the public awareness, their quest for a better future and their commitment to the comprehensive strategy,” Abdel Dayyem said in a statement on Tuesday.

Next Saturday and Sunday are declared to be public holidays for all employees in private and public sectors.

On June 30, 2013, Egyptians took to the streets and public squares to demand the ouster of former-Muslim Brotherhood affiliated-President Mohamed Morsi, who was sworn in as the president of Egypt in June 2012.

Massive protests broke out in protest to his rule characterized by the domination of the Brotherhood figures over high governmental positions.

Shortly after Morsi was sacked by then-Defense Minister Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, the Rabaa al Adawiya mosque and its adjacent area as well as Giza’s Nahda square became the main places for the Muslim Brotherhood rallies.

Rabaa sit-in disturbed the lives of the district residents, “the sit-in was actually an attempt to impose a new reality, even on Rabaa residents,” prominent salafist preacher Yasser el-Borhami said earlier.

The protests at Rabaa sit-in used to remove the tiles of the pavements to forge barricades and block the roads surrounding the sit-in.

Since the ousting of President Morsi, Egypt has seen growing waves of extremism washing over the society and spawning numerous deadly attacks. Among these attacks was the terrorist attack that hit Al-Rawdah Mosque and left more than 302 Friday prayers congregates dead in late November.

A month earlier, the Interior Ministry announced that 16 security officers had been killed during clashes with militants in Wahat in the Western Desert; the clashes also led to the killing of 15 militants.

6/26/2018 5:14:24 PM
<![CDATA[Solidarity minister praises 4 Ramadan drama series free of drug scenes]]>
Celebrating the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking on June 26, Wali praised drama series "El Waseya" (The Legacy), "Amr Wake’a" (Matter of Fact), the Arabic version of "Al-Shareet Al-Ahmar" (Red Band Society), and "Waklenha Walaa" which were broadcasted during the holy month of Ramadan.

In a press conference, Wali reviewed statistics collected by the Addiction Treatment and Abuse Fund’s media observatory, concerning the percentage of drug scenes in the 2018 Ramadan drama series.

Statistics have shown positive results, including the decrease of smoking scenes to 6 percent instead of 13 percent last year. The drug abuse scenes also decreased to 2 percent from 4 percent in the previous year, according to the statistics.

Wali said that drama plays a pivotal role in shaping children and youth's awareness of a number of social phenomena, especially smoking and drugs, which was clearly shown by the national research announced by the fund in 2017, showing that media has been the number one source of information about smoking and drugs among secondary school students.

Head of Egypt's Supreme Council for Media Regulation, Makram Mohamed Ahmed; Director of the Drug Control and Addiction Treatment Fund, Amr Osman; in addition to a number of Parliament members and drama critics attended the event headed by Wali.

Ashraf fawzy (8)
Head of Egypt's Supreme Council for Media Regulation, Makram Mohamed Ahmed (C) attends the meeting - Egypt Today/Ashraf Fawzy

During the event, Wali affirmed her keenness to meet Egyptian drama makers every year, especially at the end of Ramadan, to discuss the analysis results of drug and smoking scenes incorporated in Ramadan drama series.

Wali said that the World Health Organization (WHO) presented the initiative of the media observatory of the Drug Control and Addiction Treatment Fund during a high-level meeting held last March in India’s capital of New Delhi, as part of the efforts exerted to combat promotion for tobacco products that kills over 7 million people each year, according to the WHO.

Ashraf fawzy (10)
a press conference to reviewed statistics collected by the Addiction Treatment and Abuse Fund’s media observatory, concerning the percentage of drug scenes in the 2018
In September 2017, Wali signed a conference cooperation protocol with Ahmed to counter the misuse of substance abuse and addiction in the media.

During the conference, Wali stated that the protocol aims to take all the necessary steps to activate an ethical code relating to the treatment of substance abuse and addiction. Those codes were decided in 2015 under the patronage of President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi.

"A total of 5,000 scenes featuring smoking and drug abuse have been aired in TV series in the last three years during the holy month of Ramadan," Wali said, pointing out that this is considered a serious attack against the country.

She stated that the Ministry of Social Solidarity recorded 2,428 scenes of smoking and drug abuse in the Egyptian drama aired during Ramadan 2017, in a total of 56 hours and 33 minutes.
6/26/2018 4:43:23 PM
<![CDATA[Venezuela's Gustavo Dudamel to lead youth concerts in Chile]]>
"This is the start of something that will last throughout one's life," said 37-year-old Dudamel, currently the music and artistic director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra.

Abreu, also a Venezuelan, died in Caracas on March 24 at the age of 78.

The music program he pioneered, the National System of Youth Orchestras of Venezuela, or "El Sistema," has been replicated in more than 40 countries.

It seeks to provide low-income children music education to build confidence and rise out of poverty.

Dudamel told reporters that the Santiago concerts will bring together members of Chilean youth orchestras with musicians from ensembles based in Vienna, Berlin, Los Angeles and Gothenburg, as well as two Venezuelan orchestras, Nacional de Venezuela and Simon Bolivar.

For the performances, the conductor said he chose some of Abreu's favorite pieces, including Beethoven's Seventh Symphony and Tchaikovsky's Fourth Symphony.

Some 500 children from across Chile are also set to travel to Santiago to attend the second performance.]]>
6/26/2018 3:36:06 PM
<![CDATA[Toxic Fan Culture: A 'Star Wars' Story]]>
Releases like "Rogue One" and "The Last Jedi" made a fortune giving women and characters of color like Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Finn (black actor John Boyega) screen time alongside the traditional male, white heroes of the series.

But the inclusive Disney era ushered in by 2015's "The Force Awakens" has its own Dark Side -- the vile online behavior of a vocal minority offended that their sacred cow is being stolen.

"It would be unfair and too general to say that 'Star Wars' has a fandom problem. What it has is a white male fandom problem," said film writer Kayleigh Donaldson.

This toxic subset of devotees -- overlapping with elements of the far-right and the misogynist "incel" men's movement -- are angry that the new films are no longer targeted solely at them.

Amid the vitriol about untrammeled political correctness, it is worth noting that "Star Wars" still lacks gender parity and, even in the Disney era, has a long way to go before it can be a paragon of inclusiveness.

The most female-friendly release, "The Last Jedi," features women during less than half of the running time while men get two-thirds of the dialogue in "The Force Awakens."

"Yet this is enough... for these toxic fans to cry propaganda and claim 'their Star Wars' is over," added Donaldson, in an essay for the SyFyWire entertainment website.

"The mere inclusion of women and people of color is enough for them to cry foul and claim they're 'taking over' the franchise."

- Sacrilege -

"The Last Jedi," in particular, is accused of destroying the legacy of "Star Wars" by tearing up a carefully-constructed, decades-old mythology and promoting liberal identity politics.

While Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker) and Adam Driver (Kylo Ren) have avoided the slings and arrows, Kelly Marie Tran, an American cast member with Vietnamese roots, has been mercilessly attacked.

Tran, who plays mechanic Rose Tico, wiped her Instagram account earlier this month after prolonged sexist and racist abuse by a legion of trolls.

Her page on the Wookieepedia "Star Wars" reference site was edited to change her name to "Ching Chong Wing Tong" and she was described as "stupid, autistic and retarded."

Hamill has come to Tran's defense, tweeting a picture of the two of them and writing: "What's not to love? #GetALifeNerds."

The movie's amiable, patient director Rian Johnson has faced death threats and endless abuse from those who seem to see him as more of an existential threat than Darth Vader.

A petition demanding the removal of "The Last Jedi" from the "Star Wars" canon has attracted 107,000 signatures while another asking for a personal apology from Johnson passed 10,000 on Monday.

This is a movie that critics loved, and its lowly 46 percent audience score on Rotten Tomatoes appears to have been artificially depressed by bots unleashed to game the system.

- Mockery -

It's not just "The Last Jedi" that has roused the mob.

Ridley deleted her Instagram after being hazed following the release of "The Force Awakens" and sought therapy to cope with the stress.

Her co-star Boyega has been fielding accusations of committing sacrilege since fans found out there was going to be a black Stormtrooper in the "Star Wars" universe.

The toxic fan culture surrounding "Star Wars" actually pre-dates the perceived political correctness of Disney, which bought Lucasfilm for $4 billion in 2012.

Child star Jake Lloyd and actor Hayden Christensen -- both white and male -- drifted out of Hollywood after relentless mockery for their performances in "Star Wars" creator George Lucas's prequel series.

Meanwhile, the people who hung Lucas out to dry for ruining their childhoods are part of the same movement clamoring now for him to save "Star Wars" from Disney.

While the trolls may not have come suddenly out of a clear blue sky, the toxicity of their obsession has been intensified by the megaphone of Twitter.

But it's not time just yet to despair and beat a retreat to the solitude of Luke Skywalker's ocean-bound sanctuary on Ahch-To, says David Opie of online lifestyle magazine Highsnobiety.

"Instead of fighting what we hate, the best way to win is by 'saving what we love,'" he wrote, borrowing the powerful words of Rose in "The Last Jedi."

"Nothing captures the Rebel spirit more than celebrating the things that matter to us most and treating others with respect. As long as we keep doing that, the Dark Side of the Star Wars fandom will forever be kept at bay."]]>
6/26/2018 3:33:49 PM
<![CDATA['Amr Wakea' makes Karim Fahmy Egypt's James Bond]]>
The trailer seemed to indicate that the series would be a one of a kind drama; especially that it stars a group of prominent actors. How misleading can a trailer be is something the audience slowly came to realise.

Even to describe the plot is a challenge as there is no clear storyline; all we can identify is the story of a policeman called Hamza (played by Karim Fahmy) who encounters various problems and obstacles while confronting a terrorist group that is targeting Egypt. The drama continues to present a series of problems that super Hamza solves, which at times is very frustrating for the audience who feel that the writer of "Amr Wakea'" is insulting their intelligence.

Which brings us to quite a puzzling question; why are so many series this Ramadan focusing on terrorism? A topic that is painful and traumatic for so many viewers across the Arab world, and one that they want to totally forget about.
Just like James Bond, Hamza is seen saving a child and his whole school from a bomb, then rescuing an entire basketball match audience from a nerve gas attack; he also saves his only daughter from her kidnapper, all single handedly and without getting hurt.

Sadly, Karim Fahmy is a star loved by many people who had big expectations after the success he achieved in the last few years with roles that might not have been leading roles but were far better and more effective than his role in "Amr Wakea", such as his roles in "Hekyeat Banat" and "El Hesab Yegmaa"'.

Every scene of the thirty episodes of "Amr Wakea" is full of exaggeration and coincidences that are far-fetched.

However, some actors still managed to shine despite the poor quality of the soap opera like Nabil al-Halafawy, Ahmed Wafiq and Malak Qoura.

Halafawy proved that experience plays a major role in the way the character is presented. Halafawy appeared as an exceptional and suave character which is a reminder of why he has remained a star along the years of his career.

Wafiq proved that being the lead actor does not necessarily make you the better actor; as Fahmy was far less effective. Wafiq was convincing because he was like ordinary people, so the viewers believed him.

Qoura played Halafawy's only daughter, the Instagram celebrity who is quite naïve and innocent; she seemed natural and at times quite funny. Again, this soap opera proves that actors can make you like or dislike a character regardless of the poor quality of the plot.

Another two disappointing aspects of "Amr Wakea'' is showing disabled Farah (Reem Mustafa) as a depressive character who is unwilling to accept her disability, which is a repetitive portrayal of people with disability, offers nothing new to the canon of drama and fails to reflect reality; the question here is why include a disabled character when you are not offering an alternative portrayal?

The other disappointment, which is actually both worrying and irritating, is making Syrian Nedhal (played by Lebanese actor Nicolas Maa'wad) the one behind all the evil acts and a part of a big terrorist organisation. Why make him Syrian? And why does the foreigner have to be a villain?

All in all, "Amr Wakea'' ended up being one of the biggest failures despite the audience's high expectations.

6/26/2018 3:29:00 PM
<![CDATA[Ali el-Haggar to perform at El Sawy Culture Wheel]]>
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 has also performed in several theatrical plays, movies, and TV series.

Haggar is expected to perform the songs of his recent album “Ma TakhdyBalek” (Please Take Care). He will also sing some of his classic hits such as “Hona al-Qahera” (Here is Cairo), “A’mBatata” (Uncle Batata), and “Dehket al-Masagen” (The Prisoners’ Llaughter).

Moreover, he will sing a collection of his iconic soundtracks such as “Bawabet al-Halawany” (Halawany’s Gate), “Al-Mal walBanon” (Money and Sons), and “Masa’letMabdaa” (A Matter of Principle).
6/26/2018 1:56:42 PM
<![CDATA[Ingalls Wilder dropped from US book prize over racism]]>
The decision comes with many in the United States reassessing historical and cultural legacies, leading to monuments being taken down and buildings renamed as the country grapples with ongoing racism and discrimination.

The Laura Ingalls Wilder Award will now be known as the Children's Literature Legacy Award, the Association for Library Service to Children announced.

The ALSC said the decision was made in consideration of "expressions of stereotypical attitudes" in Wilder's work that are "inconsistent with ALSC's core values of inclusiveness, integrity and respect, and responsiveness."

"While we are committed to preserving access to Wilder's work for readers, we must also consider if her legacy today does justice to this particular award for lifetime achievement, given by an organization committed to all children."

Wilder won the first award in 1954. Other winners are E.B. White, the author of "Charlotte's Web" and Theodor Seuss Geisel, author of the Dr. Seuss books.

Critics have highlighted anti-native and anti-black sentiments in Wilder's work for decades, although her books are still published, read and loved by many.

In 1952, a reader complained to publishers Harper's about the author's characterization of the West as a place where "there were no people. Only Indians lived there," The Washington Post reported.

Harper's in 1953 decided to change "people" to "settlers" but other criticisms focused on her depictions of Native Americans and some African Americans.

Wilder was born in 1867 in Wisconsin, becoming a school teacher and moving to Missouri with her husband in 1894, dying at the age of 90 in 1957.

Her first book, "The Little House in the Big Woods" was published in 1932 when she was 65. It told the story of five-year-old Laura and her pioneer family in Wisconsin.

It was followed by "Little House on the Prairie" in 1935, "On the Banks of Plum Creek" in 1937 and "By the Shores of Silver Lake" in 1939.

The books inspired the hugely popular 1974-1983 television series "Little House on the Prairie" starring Melissa Gilbert.

The ALSC is part of the American Library Association, founded in 1876.]]>
6/26/2018 12:13:22 PM
<![CDATA[Berlin museum returns Nazi-looted treasure]]>
The heirs in turn agreed to sell back the medieval artifact, "Three Angels with the Christ Child", at an undisclosed price to the Bode Museum, which will keep it in its collection.

The agreement meant "righting an injustice", said the head of Berlin's public museums, Michael Eissenhauer, who thanked the heirs for the "grand gesture" that will keep the priceless piece on public display.

The delicately carved 25 centimetre (10 inch) tall sculpture from around 1430 shows three floating angels in the clouds holding a cloth on which lies the sleeping infant Jesus.

It once belonged to the private collection of Ernst Saulmann, a Jewish industrialist, and his wife Agathe, an architect's daughter who was one of the few female pilots of her era.

As Adolf Hitler's thugs stepped up their campaign to terrorise Jews, the couple fled Nazi repression in late 1935, initially for Italy.

The Nazis confiscated their wealth, including their land and business, a mechanised cotton mill, as well as their private library, art collection and Agathe's plane.

The more than 100 artworks were sold off at a Munich auction in 1936.

The exiled Saulmanns in 1938 left fascist Italy for France, which the Nazis invaded two years later.

The couple were interned in France in Camp Gurs, where Ernst Saulmann's health severely deteriorated. He died a year after the war ended, in 1946.

Agathe, having suffered depression after the horrors she endured, committed suicide in 1951.

In recent years, their descendants hired researchers who managed to locate 11 of the art objects, which had ended up in five German museums and three private collections abroad.

"My family was able to reach different agreements with all these institutions and collectors," said one of the heirs, Felix de Marez Oyens, at a press conference.

"However, the Bode Museum is the only institution that conducted independent research and approached us with the results."

On the verge of tears, he added: "I am convinced that Ernst and Agathe Saulmann would have welcomed this agreement".]]>
6/26/2018 11:30:00 AM
<![CDATA[Rattle bids Berlin Philharmonic farewell as chief conductor]]>
Rattle was joined by his Czech-born wife, the mezzo-soprano, Magdalena Kozena, in a program at Berlin’s wooded outdoor amphitheatre, the Waldbuehne, that included works by George Gershwin, Joseph Cantaloube, and Aram Khachaturian.

The British-born maestro, now 63, has already started a new job as music director of the London Symphony Orchestra, but will continue to live in Berlin with his family.

The Berlin orchestra was “born in struggle and will always be in that state”, Rattle said in an interview published on the Philharmonic’s website.

He said the orchestra was unlike any other he had worked with, more like “an absolutely gigantic string quartet, with all the arguments and verbal violence and frustrations”.

Even after a decade-and-a-half in charge, Rattle said it was still a mystery to him how the orchestra worked, but it had ultimately embraced more educational outreach, a wider repertoire and new programming.

With live streaming and an appeal to students, the orchestra had shed its elite image and opened itself to be “more cosmopolitan and diverse”, Berlin’s Tagesspiegel newspaper said.


“The world has changed an enormous amount. And they are in an incredibly privileged position, whether they realize it or not. I think they are now more part of the beating heart of the city,” Rattle said of the Philharmonic.

The conductor thanked “my wonderful orchestra” and “my dear Berlin public” at a performance on Wednesday at the orchestra’s concert hall.

On Saturday, thousands of people had braved driving rain to attend a full dress rehearsal, instead of watching the German team play in the World Cup.

With 34 performances, Symphony No. 2 by Johannes Brahms was the most played work of Rattle’s tenure, followed by Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, which was performed 26 times.

During his years as conductor, 53 new musicians joined the orchestra, and it performed 40 world premieres.]]>
6/26/2018 10:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Canopic jars discovered in tomb of Karabasken in Luxor]]>
The new discovery was announced by Mostafa Waziri, general secretary of the Supreme Council of Antiquities; Fathy Yassin, head of the Egyptian side of the mission, explained that the uncovered jars are made of Egyptian alabaster and probably held viscera.

As a result of the pressure of flood water the jars had fallen over and one of them was broken into several fragments. They underwent emergency cleaning and consolidation performed by the conservation team. Although the contents of the jars were damaged by floodwater, the jars still contained a large amount of resin. The sizes of the jars (with lids) vary from 35.5 to 39.4 cm. The lids depict a human, a baboon, a jackal and a falcon and are skillfully carved and modeled by three different artists.

Waziri pointed out that the canopic jars were found in a nearly cubic cutting in the floor in an intrusive burial compartment cut into the south wall of the Pillared Hall in the Kushite tomb of Karabasken (TT 391).

On her part Elena Pischikova, director of the South Asasif Conservation Project, said that the jars are belong to the "Lady of the House Amenirdis" from the 26th Dynasty.

The South Asasif Conservation project was founded in 2006 with the aim of restoring and reconstructing the damaged and partially collapsed Late Period tombs of the South Asasif necropolis, Karabasaken (TT 391), Karakhamun (TT 223) and Irtieru (TT 390). During its 12 years of work, the Project found thousands of fragments of the collapsed decoration of the tombs and reconstructed the Second Pillared Hall and part of the First Pillared Hall in the tomb of Karakhamun. The restored tombs will feature sophisticated carvings and paintings of the 25th and 26th dynasties.

jars 2
A well-preserved set of canopic jars was discovered in the tomb of Karabasken (TT 391), in the South Asasif Necropolis on the West Bank of Luxor - Ministry of Antiquities Official Facebook page.

Previously, a gold coin from the Islamic period was discovered by an Egyptian-French mission during an underwater excavation at Abuqir Bay in Alexandria.

According to Ahram online, the coin, which holds a verse from the Quran and dates back to the reign of the Omayyad Sultan Abdel Malek Ibn Marawan, was carved in pure gold.

The underwater excavation is expected to discover in the coming period more of Abuqir Bay's hidden treasures.

It is worth mentioning that two exceptional discoveries were revealed on Sunday, April 22; the discovery of a marble head of Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius in Aswan and an Osirian temple in Luxor.

The year 2018 is considered the year of archeological discoveries. The remains of a Greco-Roman temple was uncovered by an Egyptian archaeological mission from the Supreme Council of Antiquities while performing excavations at Al-Salam archaeological site on Wednesday, April 4.

The Egyptian Minister of Antiquities Khaled el-Anany announced on Feb. 24 the discovery of eight tombs that contain about 40 coffins of Pharaonic priests and more than 1,000 Ushabti statues in the Tuna el-Gebel area in Minya governorate.

This discovery was described by Anany as one of the most important archaeological discoveries unearthed in recent times. The archeological discovery is documenting some issues related to the lives of ancient Egyptians in Minya province tens of centuries ago.

6/25/2018 5:05:31 PM
<![CDATA['The Band's Visit' wins 10 Tony Awards]]>
The dialogue is in heavy English accent, with little Arabic and Hebrew, thus evoking the atmosphere of co-existence in the Middle East. “I am part of a cast of actors who never believed that they’d be able to portray their own races,” said Ari’el Stachel, an Israeli-American who won a Tony for his Broadway debut as Egyptian band member, said on Egypt Independent website.

“We’re getting messages from kids all over the Middle East thanking us and telling us how transformative our representation is for them,” Stachel continued.
It is worth mentioning that the other big winner at the 72nd annual Tony Awards, who left with six Tony Awards, including best play, was "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child".
6/25/2018 3:03:40 PM
<![CDATA[S.African anti-apartheid photographer David Goldblatt dies at 87]]>
"He passed away peacefully in his sleep at 5:37 am (0337 GMT) in his home in Johannesburg," Liza Essers, the director of the Goodman Gallery, told AFP.

He will be buried Tuesday in Johannesburg.

For millions of people outside South Africa, Goldblatt work's lifted the veil on the nightmare of apartheid, under which the white-minority government's enshrined racial divisions under law from 1948.

In 1988, he was the first South African to be given a solo exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York.

A year later he founded the Market Photography Workshop in Johannesburg in 1989, which has since become a hub for developing young talent in the city.

In post-apartheid South Africa, he remained a revered figure and even turned down a national honour in protest against a proposed state secrets bill in 2011.

Two years later then president Jacob Zuma refused to sign the bill, which would have imposed penalties of up to 25 years in prison for the release of top secret documents, and sent it back to parliament.

"We have lost yet another of our own celebrated photographers, who through the lens built a reputation as one of the country’s leading documenters of the struggles of our people," President Cyril Ramaphosa said in a statement.

"He captured the social and moral value systems that portrayed South Africa during a period of the apartheid system in order to influence its changing political landscape," said the president.

South African art conservator Monique Vajifdar described Goldblatt as "one of South Africa's most accomplished social chroniclers."

"A great tree has fallen and we have lost one of our national living treasures," said Vajifdar.

He is survived by his wife Lily, three children and grandchildren.]]>
6/25/2018 2:44:50 PM
<![CDATA[Cairo Opera Ballet Company, Reda Dance Troupe perform at Caffeina Festival]]>
Caffeina is a renowned Italian cultural summer festival that occurs in Viterbo city. The festival is very rich and includes numerous events, such as book releases, cultural discussions, readings, concerts, and exhibitions, among others.

Key Egyptian officials were keen to participate in this festival such as Minister of Culture Ines Abdel Dayem, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities Mostafa Waziri and renowned Egyptian archaeologist and former Minister of Antiquities Zahi Hawass. The festival which runs from June 22 - July 1 is taking place at the Palazzo dei Papi.

On the sidelines of her visit, Abdel Dayem will meet with Italian Minister of Culture Dario Franceschini, the head of Rome Opera and the head of Santa Cecilia Orchestra to further enhance art and cultural cooperation between the two countries.

Abdel Dayem will then inaugurate the permanent Egyptian exhibition at the Pope's Palace in Viterbo, the first residence for the Catholic Church’s popes, 200 years before being moved to the Vatican headquarter. The exhibition is set to include ancient Egyptian and Coptic artifacts.
6/25/2018 2:21:07 PM