24 Feb. - 1 March 2000
Issue No. 470
|Published in Cairo by AL-AHRAM established in 1875|
Pack of CardsBy Madame Sosostris
* The international edition of Al-Ahram took part in Egyptian Cultural Day, held by the Scholars' Union in the United Kingdom and Ireland, at Leeds University in Britain, under the auspices of Al-Ahram Editor-in-Chief and Chairman of the Board of Al-Ahram Organisation Ibrahim Nafie. Egypt's media and tourism offices were among the participants and Al-Ahram's London office displayed a most interesting collection of posters and books on culture, science, religion and economy. A documentary videotape in Arabic and English titled "Egypt: Past, Present and Future" shown during the event was praised abundantly by scholars and artists. "It is crucial to reinforce ties among Egyptian scholars and expatriates living in Britain," stressed Nafie, who suggested that Al-Ahram publications were an appropriate vehicle to achieve this goal. Al-Ahram is to organise a series of exhibitions in several British universities, informing the Arab community in Britain about the accomplishments of modern Egypt.
Egypt Region International Economy Opinion Culture Features Focus Heritage Profile Travel Living Sports People Time Out Chronicles Cartoons Letters * This week has been so pleasantly active, highlighted by the preparations for the12th International Model United Nations conference (the first of the millennium, by the way) which will be taking place at the American University in Cairo from 7 to 12 March. To get the ball rolling, a UN reception was organised at AUC on 20 February during which Mr Edmund Caine, resident regional coordinator of the United Nations, gave an enlightening speech on the important role this organisation plays in Egypt, enhancing peace and security, focusing on humanitarian issues and promoting economic and social development. UN agencies like the ILO, UNDP, and UNHCR have contributed to the development of Egyptian society and have successfully supported a large number of NGOs working in Egypt, he added. This reception was specially organised to enhance awareness of the UN role. Soha Abdel-Ati, Model UN secretary-general, emphasised that "the UN affects the lives of many people, including Egyptian people, and that is why students should be aware of the issues tackled by the UN and be able to help in resolving these issues." I could not have put it better myself.
* I was re-reading The English Patient recently and was suddenly overwhelmed by a yearning for the desert. Rather than go on a trek, which, as you may know, is not always totally devoid of danger, I decided to do the next best thing and take myself to AUC's Sony Gallery, where 36 colour photographs of the desert by Eric Blijboom will be on display starting 28 February. I trust they will take me through the Western Desert to areas around Farafra, Dakhla and Kharga oases, and give me an opportunity to dream at leisure over scenes of chalk rocks, sand dunes and swirling sandstorms, Roman ruins, camels and noble Bedouin. Darlings, I can't wait; this is going to be so much more comfortable and enjoyable than the real thing!
* Valentine's day is over, of course, but I thought I would tell you about a charming initiative to celebrate that day by Le Méridien Pyramids. The management threw a party for the hearing- and speech-impaired, as part of a campaign cleverly titled We Are Planting Love. The event took place under the supervision of the hotel's general manager, Barry Curran, and included a distribution of presents. The highlight of the party was of course the arrival of famous actress Athar El-Hakim, as well as famous TV anchor Tarek Habib and the crews of Channel 3 and of the NileSat specialised Family and Child channel.
* Among the annual events and community services that have become the trademark of Le Méridien Heliopolis, the management, ably assisted by their lovely marketing, communication and public relation manager Nihal Zamzam, will organise the first year 2000 tennis tournament, which will be held at the Smash Tennis Academy starting Friday 25 February and will last until 2 March. The participants will be veteran players and businessmen who also happen to be members of the major sporting clubs in Egypt. The tournament will be sponsored by big names like Air France, Adidas, Iberia, Travco, Gouna Beverages, Wisdom Tours and many others. Egyptian tennis champions such as Mo'taz Sonbol, Ashraf Ali Ibrahim, Hoda and Ola Baligh, Sherine El-Saqqa and Nadine Delivanos will also participate. Needless to say, I have pulled out my red Venus Williams tennis outfit and am looking forward to showing all these champions a thing or two.
* A mosaic exhibition by Ketty Abdel-Malek is on at the gallery of the Italian Cultural Centre until 29 February and, if you enjoy very clever craftsmanship that resembles ancient Greek mosaics as well as extremely bright colours, I believe this show is one you will enjoy immensely.
* An exhibition of graphic displays by Iraqi artist Suad Khalil entitled A Babylonian Dialogue was recently inaugurated at Salama art gallery in Mohandessin under the auspices of the permanent representative of Iraq in the Arab League, Sultan Al-Shawi. The exhibition, which reflects the artist's vision of war and peace and the Iraqi landscape through the use of specific motifs and symbols, will last until1 March.
* The Ministry of Culture and the Culture Palaces of Mansoura have organised a symposium focusing on the recent TV series about the life and career of the great Umm Kulthoum. The event was attended by Ali Abu Shadi, head of the Culture Palaces, and Daqahliya Governor Mohamed Mustafa El-Shennawi.
* A number of students from Al-Mahalla Tal'at Harb Secondary School who belong to their school's environmental protection club were keen to learn about the way we do things at Al-Ahram Weekly. During their visit to the newspaper's offices and press, they quizzed layout editor and member of the Society for Writers on Environment and Development Mahmoud Bakr on environmental topics. They were then led on an extensive tour by our Editor-in-Chief Hosny Guindy, who was quite impressed by the intelligence of their pointed questions and their dedication to the task at hand.
* More Weekly news tidbits are pouring in as I write, and I will share one of the most exciting with you, my pets: Rehab Saad of the travel page has just become a member of the prestigious Egyptian Travel Writers' Association. I do love to see my young colleagues busying themselves with such dedication.