16 - 22 March 2000
Issue No. 473
|Published in Cairo by AL-AHRAM established in 1875|
Pack of CardsBy Madame Sosostris
Darlings, you know how fashionable the Holy Family is these days -- well, last Wednesday I attended the Samuel Habib Centre's screening ofJesus in Egypt, a 75-minute digital video film directed by renowned film director Khairy Bishara. Khairy, of course, is no novice at directing religious retrospectives: many among us still remember his beautiful Secrets of the Heart, which was produced three years ago and so successfully portrayed many of our indigenous cultural characteristics. Details from paintings punctuate sequences depicting the sites where Khairy brings to life Jesus, Mary, Salome, Joseph the Carpenter and the kind-hearted Egyptian Klom, while the towns and villages look timeless, inhabited by people who could well be directly related to the Holy Family. The voice-over, placing the Holy Family in its contemporary Egyptian historical context, was based on the research of Adib Naguib. And isn't it touching that Bishara dedicated the film to his dear wife Monika?
The highlight of the celebrations marking the centennial of the birth of one of Egypt's greatest singers, Mohamed Abdel-Wahab, was a gala evening at the Opera house during which the Cairo Symphony Orchestra and the Opera Chorale conducted by Mustapha Nagui interpreted beautifully a selection of Abdel-Wahab's operatic works. I was really impressed by their rendition of the famous Quays wa Layla
photo: Sherif Sonbol
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Equally aesthetically stimulating, albeit in a very different way, is Margo Veillon's Egyptian Harvest. I must confess, darlings, that I could not wait for the official opening on 22 March and so I took myself to the Cairo Berlin gallery where I managed to get a very unofficial peek. All I can say is that this is one exhibition not to be missed.
"A Flower on the Face of the South" is the lyrical name of an interesting exhibition of works by artist Farahat Zaki, which will be opened by Presidential Adviser Osama El-Baz on 19 March at the Grant Gallery. For the time being, the mystery is complete and I would be at a loss to guess what kind of bloom the artist has in mind.
More straightforward are the Folkloric Impressions which you can glean at the World of Art in Maadi where Fathi Afifi, Hassan Rashed, Naguib Mahmoud ansd Hassan Kamel are offering refreshingly new interpretations.
Did I ever tell you how much I love cakes? Of course, you would not know it by looking at slender me, but I really do. Well, Le Méridien Heliopolis asked me to sample a very special specimen, and I could only oblige. It was baked on the occasion of the hotel's first tennis tournament, which took place at the Smash Tennis Academy, and was presented during the gala dinner that followed the six-day competition. While Hussein Ghaleb, general manager of the hotel, was busy thanking the numerous sponsors, I spotted the cake -- creatively shaped like a tennis court -- and decided at once to have a quick game. Need I tell you more?
Our dear friend and colleague Injy El-Kashef has taken temporary leave from Al-Ahram Weekly to give birth to baby Yassin, who made his appearance in this world on 12 March. Although I have not visited the mother and child yet, I know that they are both doing very well and that Yassin was born with a full head of luxuriant hair, which was only to be expected given his mother's splendid mane. Well, I will be seeing Injy and the baby soon, at the subou' to be held on the seventh day after Yassin's birth, and I will be able to give you an update then. I can tell you already, however, that he will be creative, imaginative and a bit of a dreamer. How do I know? He's a Pisces, dears.