|Al-Ahram Weekly Online
24 - 30 January 2002
|Published in Cairo by AL-AHRAM established in 1875||Current issue | Previous issue | Site map|
CIFF gets new directorMINISTER of Culture Farouk Hosni has finally named the new president of the Cairo International Film Festival. Sherief El- Shobashi, formerly Al-Ahram's Paris bureau chief and currently undersecretary of state for foreign cultural relations, has been appointed this week.
The position had been vacant since the resignation of actor Hussein Fahmi following the last round of the festival.
Operatic farewellHEAD of the Cairo Opera House, Samir Farag, was among the mourners gathered at Monday's funeral of the soprano Rojina Youssef, who died, aged 65, after a long illness.
Youssef, best known for her roles in La Boheme and La Traviata, achieved enormous popularity among both audiences and critics. Retiring from the stage, she went on to supervise the translation of libretti at the Cairo Opera House.
El-Ansari controversyAN ARAB-FRENCH controversy surrounding the renewal of Nasser El-Ansari's term as general director of the Institut du Monde Arabe is reported by Al-Hayat. According to the London-based newspaper French officials are refusing to back El- Ansari's nomination for a second three-year term because Egypt is in arrears in paying its membership dues, and because of concerns over his managerial style (deemed too archaic and bureaucratic) during his first term.
El-Ansari remains the Arab states' only nominee so far; a fact with which the French members of the board have taken issue, preferring to have a choice of several nominees presented for the post. The Egyptian ambassador to Paris, Ali Maher El- Sayed, downplayed the rumours, asserting that Egypt has been paying its dues regularly for several years now and that El- Ansari enjoys a very respectable reputation among Arab cultural circles.
Camilo José Cela (1916-2002)CAMILO José Cela, Spanish novelist and writer, passed away in Madrid last Thursday at the age of 85. The author of 70 books in various genres: poetry, stories, articles and travel books, in addition to 12 full-length novels, Cela won the Nobel prize for literature in 1989.
Cela introduced tremendismo to Spanish literature; a straightforward style of writing markedly different from the lyricism that had characterised the writings of the preceding generations of Spanish novelists.
Born on May 11 1916 Cela's law studies at Madrid University were interrupted by the outbreak of the civil war in 1936. Fighting as a corporal on Franco's side, he was seriously wounded.
Among his most popular novels are The Life of Pascual Duarte and La colmena (The Hive) each at one point banned in Spain. His writings inspired many other novels leading to the establishment of what came to be known as the school of Madrid realist writers.
In 1991, he set up in Iria Flavia one of the best-endowed writers' museums in the world where all his manuscripts, editions and notes are stored.
Cela is survived by his second wife, Marina Castaño, and by a son from his earlier marriage.
Yehia El-Alami (1941-2002)EGYPTIAN director Yehia El-Alami died on Saturday at the age of 61.
El-Alami's career, spanning 39 years, included many positions within the Egyptian Radio and Television Union. He was at one time director of the production sector and, until his untimely death, director of the cinema bureau at the Media Production City. Though he has tens of works to his name as a director (including some 38 films), it was with his television dramas that he achieved the most renown. These include Raafat El-Haggan, starring Mahmoud Abdel-Aziz, a multi-part series depicting the true life story of an Egyptian spy in Israel from the 1950s to the 1970s, and which was a hit throughout the Arab world. He was also responsible for the popular series Huwa wa Hiya, starring the late Soad Hosni and Ahmed Zaki, Dumu' fi 'Uyoun Waqiha, starring Adel Imam, and the dramatisation of Taha Hussein's autobiography Al-Ayyam, also starring Zaki. El-Alami's most recent work includes Nisf Rabi' Al-Akhar and Banat Afkari, which aired this Ramadan and featured Mahmoud Mursi and Ilham Shahin in the lead roles. At his funeral actors, actresses, directors, scriptwriters and media figures gathered to pay their last respects.
Yehia El-Alami is survived by his wife, actress Tahani Rashed, and their only daughter, Sherine.
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