|Al-Ahram Weekly On-line
28 Sep. - 4 Oct. 2000
Issue No. 501
|Published in Cairo by AL-AHRAM established in 1875|
Many happy returnsSir- I seize this opportunity to congratulate you for your issue no. 500 of the highly esteemed Al-Ahram Weekly, especially since I had the honour to witness closely the effort exerted during each and every one of the 500 weekly issues! With a very low profile of celebration, such an event should not have taken place so unnoticed. What I consider as a celebration, however, is tangible in the outstandingly graceful profile of David Blake, written so elegantly by the definitely gifted Khaled Abdallah.
Knowing David Blake, or Frank, personally, I have always categorised him as a highly cultured man, whose deep and intense knowledge of music, and art in general, supersedes any human concepts of artistic value. His peculiar and highly sophisticated outlook upon art, ranks him among very few connoisseurs in this rich realm, rendering his artistic critique one of a rare and subtle nature that one would hardly witness among other critics. Amazingly, Frank exhibits all that in the most modest manner, and in an attitude of rather humble self-esteem, which adds to the beauty of his human nature. I do not think anyone could have so sincerely and artistically conveyed this to the readers better than Khaled Abdallah, to whom I extend both my admiration and congratulations, for a profile I consider the best of all the previous 499!
To each and every member of the Weekly staff (including myself!), I extend my hearty wishes for another 500 successful returns of issues as interesting, enlightening, informative, educational and unbeatable as the past 500.
Egypt for allSir- Along with many other members of the Egyptian intelligentsia who enjoy reading Egyptian history, I am delighted with the publication of Selim Hassan's worthwhile 18-volume Ancient Egypt.
This book, printed under the auspices of Mrs Suzanne Mubarak's Reading for All Campaign -- at the giveaway price of LE5 a volume -- should prove to be a boon for young scholars who may not be able to pay something like LE30 a volume, the usual price for books of this size.
Thank you, Mrs Mubarak!
Renovation driveSir-I am amazed anew every day on emerging from my home. I never know what I will find when I open the front door and step into the street: a road crew gleefully digging into the lumpy asphalt with jackhammers, open manholes surrounded by groups of men earnestly debating which of their number will have the honour of descending into the city's bowels, or benches being unloaded from trucks in the middle of the Corniche on a busy afternoon. Roads are laid then dug up again days later; footpaths are transformed overnight into minefields of protruding cables and lethal paving stones.
Are the coming elections the reason for such frenzied activity? Surely there must be more to it than that. It is not the season for spring-cleaning, however, so I remain perplexed.