|Al-Ahram Weekly Online
8 - 14 November 2001
|Published in Cairo by AL-AHRAM established in 1875||Current issue | Previous issue | Site map|
Books books books...LAST Friday the eagerly awaited 45th round of the Beirut Book Fair opened its doors at the Expo hall. Held under the auspices of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq El- Hariri, this round hosts 131 Lebanese publishing houses. Arab publishers are represented by 41 houses from Syria, Egypt, Libya, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, UAE and Morocco.
Meanwhile, the General Egyptian Book Organisation (GEBO) has announced the 2002 Cairo International Book Fair will open on 17 January. The Children's Book Fair is already scheduled to take place from 3 to 11 January.
and films...ON SATURDAY, the Damascus International Film Festival began its 2001 round. Italian director Nanni Moretti's film La Stanza Del Figlio (The Son's Room), winner of the Cannes Festival Palme d'or, was shown on opening night. Thirty-three countries are participating in the festival with 233 films. Of 16 Egyptian films being screened two are included in the official competition; Radwan El-Kashef's Al-Sahir (The Magician) and Dawoud Abdel- Sayed's Muwatin wa Mukhbir wa Harami (A Citizen, an Informer and a Thief).
This year's jury also includes two Egyptian actresses Nabila Ebeid and Raghda. And among those honoured by the festival are Egyptians actress Samira Ahmed and script writer Abdel-Hayy Adib.
and more filmTHE DIALOGUE of Civilisations -- a favourite theme for this year's crop of Lebanese cultural events -- was the focus of the Third Beirut Festival for Documentary Films, which ends today. Held at the Medina Theatre, the festival included films from Lebanon, Egypt, Palestine, Japan, the US, Belgium, France, Italy and Kosovo.
Palestinian film was well-represented, and screenings included Nagwa Naggar's Samt Al-Nisyan (The Silence of Forgetting) which discusses the fate of Jerusalem through the Hamra Movie Theatre which closed down in 1989 and the Swiss- Palestinian production Al-Sabbar (Cactus).
Honouring Dayf...ARABIST, linguist, and literary critic Shawqi Dayf was honoured last week by Dar Al-Ma'arif and the Libyan cultural institution Muntada Al-Qardabiya. The celebration, held at the Ministry of Agriculture's conference centre, was attended by dignitaries and intellectuals from across the spectrum, including Nasr Farid Wassel, the grand mufti, Pope Shenouda III and Minister of Agriculture Youssef Wali as well as many of Dayf's disciples from Egypt and the Arab world.
Dayf is revered as one of the foremost experts on Arabic language and literature. He is the author of 50 books which span the gamut from history of literature, to Arab-Muslim civilisational studies and Qur'anic exegesis, most notable among them being the Encyclopedia of the History of Arabic Literature. He is also president of the Al-Magma' Al-Laghawi (The Arabic Language Academy) based in Cairo.
and Abdel-SabourTHE SUPREME Council for Culture (SCC) is organising a symposium from 12 to 15 November to mark the 20th anniversary of the death of poet Salah Abdel- Sabour. Among Arab poets invited to attend are the Palestinian Samih Al-Qasem, the Yemini Abdel-Aziz Al-Maqalih, the Syrians Mamdouh Oudwan and Ali Al- Guindi, the Tunisian Al-Munsif Al- Wahibi, Mohamed Ali Shamseddin, and the Lebanese Joseph Harb. From Egypt Ahmed Abdel-Moeti Hegazi, Farouk Shousha, Ibrahim Abu Sinna, Helmi Salem and Abdel-Moneim Ramadan are expected to participate. In addition to studies on Abdel-Sabour's poetry and plays, documentary films on his life will also be shown. The symposium will also include eye-witness accounts by theatre directors who worked with him.
Arab libraries analysedIN SHARJAH, the 12th Conference of the Arab Federation of Libraries and Information started on Monday and is expected to end today. Held under the auspices of Sheikh Sultan Al-Qasimi, the governor of Sharjah, the conference hosts an Egyptian delegation of 70 librarians and information specialists. This year's conference centres on the theme of "The Arab Library in the 21st Century." Topics discussed include the status of libraries and information databases in the Arab world, and the laws and regulations that govern them.
Playing in RamadanTHE NATIONAL Theatre has decided to subvert a Cairene cultural tradition of recent years. Theatres had taken to closing their doors during Ramadan, a bow to market realities which favoured popular television during the Holy Month. This year, however, National Theatre Director Hoda Wasfi has decided to give the theatre only the first nine days of Ramadan off and to resume performances on the tenth. This decision is mainly due to the popularity of the current play, Osama Anwar Okasha's Al-Nass Illi fil-Talit (The People on the Third) which has been playing to full houses since April.
Post-war artLEBANESE Minister of Culture Ghassan Salame inaugurated the latest exhibition at the Sursuq Museum in Beirut earlier this week. Held as part of a year of Francophone culture, the exhibition reveals Lebanese paintings that had been stored in the ministry's coffers since the Lebanese civil war.
Mahfouz in AmsterdamA FESTIVAL in honour of Egypt's Nobel laureate Naguib Mahfouz will be held in Amsterdam from the ninth to the 14th. The festival includes the screening of films based on his novels as well as symposia discussing his literature. Of the Egyptians participating are actor Nour El-Sherif, actress Poussi, director Hisham El-Nahhas and literary critic Ibrahim Fathi. Mohamed Salmawi is also attending and presenting a paper on Mahfouz's recently published short stories Ahlam Fatrat Al-Naqaha (Dreams of the Recuperation).
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