8 - 14 June 2000
Issue No. 485
|Published in Cairo by AL-AHRAM established in 1875|
Pack of CardsBy Madame Sosostris
* What is more glamorous than a beautiful car? That's right, dears, a dress from one of the top French couturiers. This is why BMW group Middle East and Al-Fotouh Company for Vehicle Assembly are combining their launching of the BMWx5 Sport Activity Vehicle with the BMW Haute Couture 2000 Fashion Show. I was told by my dear friend Brigitte Lefebvre, Christian Dior's charming Middle East representative, that there are some great surprises in store for us. I may have bumped into some of you at the open air theatre of the Opera House yesterday evening. How lucky we were to receive invitations to the lavish event!
Egypt Region International Economy Opinion Culture Features Travel Living Sports Profile People Time Out Chronicles Cartoons
* Darlings, I hope that you remember the "Japan Culture Week 2000" we talked about last week. Well, one of the most interesting events in this Japanese manifestation is the Imperial Court Music and Dance concert Gagaku, taking place at the Opera House's Main Hall on 8 and 9 June. This, the first ever Gagaku concert to be presented in the Middle East and Africa, will be performed by the Music Department of the Imperial Household Agency. The word Gagaku literally means sublime music. It is the oldest style of Japanese music and dance, and has been preserved for nearly 1,200 years by the imperial court and some Buddhist temples. Isn't that exciting?
* A few weeks ago, when I was telling you all about the American University in Cairo Press's 40th birthday celebrations, I did not know that there was more to come, but apparently they are launching an ambitious, expanded international publishing programme and last week opened a New York branch, located on the premises of the university's New York office. The branch will be headed by Chris Terry as North America marketing manager, who will coordinate all advertising, conference and Internet promotions and cooperate closely with Books International, the new distribution centre of the AUC Press. I do not know if you have noticed, but for the past couple of years AUC Press has provided us with some of the most interesting publications on ancient and modern Egypt, Arabic literature in translation, Middle Eastern history and politics, Islamic art and architecture, reference works, guides and a glut of just published novels, romance, science-fiction and detective stories that require a visit to their book stores at least once a week, if one does not want to miss out on the new publications. And just this morning, as I was making my weekly rounds, I spotted a new title that will be most useful when I try to identify the various temples whose names I always get mixed up.
* Our dear Alexandrian colleague Alaa Riad phoned me from Moscow just the other day. He is there attending the Alexandrias of the World festival, which is being held this year in Alexandrova, 130km from Moscow. Egypt's ambassador to Moscow, Reda Shehata, spent a whole day with the delegation from our very own Alexandria. In order to meet the group from the Egyptian Embassy, Bolshoi theatre principal Vladimir Vasiljev also made a special trip to Alexandrova -- his first visit. The city's 70,000 inhabitants considered this a great honour, which they had enjoyed thanks to the Egyptians. Did you know that this festival was the brainchild of Major-General Hazem Abu Shleib, head of the Regional Tourism Authority in Alexandria? He launched it in 1992, when representatives of 16 cities from around the world bearing the name of Alexandria joined in. In Alexandrova as head of the Egyptian delegation, he extended the good wishes of Alexandria governor Mohamed Abdel-Salam El-Mahgoub to Egypt's representatives in Russia.
* Amazingly beautiful -- there is simply no other way to describe Maye Ostowani on her wedding day. Maye and Omar Dajani got married last Thursday in a spectacular wedding party on the Nile. This was an event that few people who knew the couple wanted to miss -- in fact, Maye's friends came from all corners of the world to see her off. They flew in from the US, Italy, Spain, Ireland, Saudi Arabia and Australia. Maye's Weekly friends were all there, of course: Peter Snowdon came especially from Belgium for the occasion, while our very own Managing Editor Hani Shukrallah, Nevine Khalil, Mariz Tadros and Fatemah Farag spent hours in the countdown days discussing the big event.
Guests danced the night away at the pool-side wedding until the early hours of the morning, sipped champagne and tasted the best Le Méridien's chefs could cook up. Hisham Abbas added dazzle to the night, but friends and family needed little encouragement. The DJ could hardly keep up with the energetic crowd's requests.
Maye and Omar, who as I write are honeymooning in Italy, will be settling down in Florida, where Omar works as a computer expert. Our former Weekly colleague will be deeply missed.
* More wedding bells dears were heard at the very beautiful wedding ceremony of Tamer Bakhoum and Nihal Ragai Kamel Gouda last week as the two said "I do" in front of an assembly of family and friends. Tamer, who is following in his father's footsteps, is the son of my dear friends renowned gynecologist Shafiq Bakhoum and his charming wife Shahira, while the dashing bride, an engineer in her own right, takes her grace from her mother Evelyne who looked resplendent on this occasion. The reception, animated by DJ Hani Wahba took place at the sumptuous Mirage City Golf Club in Qatamiya Heights where the guests danced until they dropped and our good friend and famous caricaturist George Bahgory worked overtime, immortalising the event in his sketch book.
* My good friend Maged Farag has launched his very popular summer programme and is inviting you to party at the Royal Club Mohamed Ali where he boasts that he can accommodate up to 4000 guests.Well I do not think that Maged means that all of them should turn up at once but to tell you the truth on hot days, I have often had the sneaky suspicion that they had done just that. Still, the gardens are so extensive, and the pool so large that no matter how crowded, one seems to always be able to find a little corner in which to relax with a good book, or watch the pretty white egrets dive for fish in the Nile.
* Cats have a tough life on Cairo's streets but some of them are more privileged than others as photographer Thierry Gicquel observed while visiting AUC's campus. Here the feline population is relatively protected and can usually count on the generosity of the many students who do not mind sharing their elevenses with them.