23 - 29 March 2000
Issue No. 474
|Published in Cairo by AL-AHRAM established in 1875|
Pack of CardsBy Madame Sosostris
* Wasn't it moving to see all the children bringing flowers and presents to their mothers on Mother's Day? I must tell you, dears, I think it is a lovely custom and I am doing all I can to encourage it. It is really like having a second birthday, with plenty of gorgeous flowers and presents and a lot of pampering and no one to make unpleasant remarks about one's age and the spinning wheels of time.
The other day, as I was admiring a splendid wood carving by Hassan Heshmat, representing a mother and child, I happened to chance upon this very different, but still adorable, interpretation of the timeless mother and child portrait, involving one of our dear colleagues and her infant son. She made me promise, though, not to disclose her identity, because she believes she may have overdone the makeup a tad. If you ask me, I think that it was perfectly appropriate for a fancy-dress party and very indicative of her great sense of humour. Anyway, since the child did not insist on anonimity, I can tell you without betraying any secrets that the little boy in the picture is none other than baby Ashod, our very precious Nora Koloyan's son.
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* Although not very scientifically-minded, as you may have guessed from my sometimes trivial chatter, I am not one to refuse an invitation to Cairo University's Faculty of Science Diamond Jubilee celebrations, which will take place under the auspices of Minister of Higher Education and State Scientific Research Mufid Shehab and President of Cairo University Naguib Hilali Gowhar. Eighty of the most prestigious alumni of the faculty will be honoured on that day. I was not a bit surprised to find the name of the pioneer of scientific journalism in the Arab world, Salah Galal, on the list of luminaries.
Those of you who have an interest in the superior endeavours of the human mind may recall that the late Galal was one of Al-Ahram's brilliant jounalists.
* Another very interesting event will also be taking place under the auspices of Minister of Higher Education and State Scientific Research Mufid Shehab on 27 March, on the occasion of the publication of the celebratory volume A Rose in the Buttonhole of the Noble Knight in honour of Renaissance man and former Culture Minister Tharwat Okasha, who pioneered the dissemination of world art in Egypt. The event, taking place at Le Méridien's La Palme d'Or, is launched by Kuwaiti poet and philanthropist Soad Mohamed Al-Sabbah, who initiated the publication of a series of reference books celebrating the achievements of a number of contemporary pioneers in Arab culture
* On 25 March, dears, an art exhibition will be held by three of our most gifted Al-Ahram colleagues: the supervisor of the plastic arts page Makram Henein, our very own Around the Galleries compiler and art critic Nagwa El-Ashri, and head of the caricature department Nagui Kamel. Lutfi Saleh, who is known in New Jersey, where he lives, as Lodvic, is also participating in the exhibit, which will be inaugurated by Culture Minister Farouk Hosni, Al-Ahram Editor-in-Chief and Board Chairman Ibrahim Nafie and National Cultural Centre Board Chairman Mustafa Nagui. The show, lasting until 3 April at the Opera Art Gallery, will show an exciting array of various techniques: in El-Ashri's abstract works, powerful designs and optimistic, bright colours are interwoven, while Henein's illustrations (no doubt familiar to you from the Weekly's Diwan of Contemporary Life) are uncompromising yet serene in black and white illustrations. Kamel's versatile talent will be reflected in his coloured, black and white art works, in addition to his unique bronze busts of figures including former UN Secretary General Boutros Ghali and the late Lutfi El-Kholi. Of course, Kamel has also sculpted busts of Nafie and tycoon Osman Ahmed Osman, among others. As for Lodvic, he uses his mouse as a brush, then reproduces his works on canvas.
Four works shown at Al-Ahram exhibition: bust of Ibrahim Nafie by Nagui Kamel, El-Ashri bright outlook, computer reconstruction of Makram Henein by Lodvic, Henein illustration
* I do love it so when all the trees burst into an abundance of blooms, and next Saturday, you will find me at Shadicor Gallery in Heliopolis, where I will celebrate the opening of its exhibition on spring. Painter Esmeralda Haddad will be the guest of honour. The exhibition, running until 27 April, will include Yvonne Ezzat, Isolde Schmidt, Hassan Rashed, Reda Abdel-Salam, Sanaa Burhan, Safwat El-Qadi, Adel Sabet, Maged Abdel-Razeq, Mahmoud Abdel-Mawgoud, Madiha Metwalli, Mervat Attallah, Nadia Ramses, Hoda El-Ghayati and Laila Hindi. I have not managed to get a pre-show peek, but informed insiders tell me the bright colours and themes reflect the upcoming season's gaiety.
* While I do enjoy feasting my eyes on original works of art, do not think that the rising sap has caused me to neglect the more abstract of my numerous intellectual gifts. And to prove it to you, you will find me in the front row at the American University in Cairo's Oriental Hall on 27 March, listening avidly at a symposium titled "Integrating Social Dimensions with Egypt's Economic Reforms". The speakers will be prominent writer Milad Hanna, senior advisor to the minister of economy and foreign trade Mahmoud Mohieddin, and professor of sociology at AUC Madiha El-Safti. Rest assured that I will dazzle you during the Q&A session that follows.
* Well, darlings, our dear Nazli Madkour has done it again and will be exhibiting 30 beautiful paintings in mixed media on canvas and paper. This is Madkour's twentieth show, opening tomorrow at Safar Khan Gallery in Zamalek. I am sure that you are quite familiar with her works, which have been exhibited literally all over the world. If not, I would suggest that you pick up a copy of Women and Art in Egypt, published in English in 1993. This time, Madkour is tackling the relationship of man with the universe, no less.