|Al-Ahram Weekly Online
4 -10 April 2002
|Published in Cairo by AL-AHRAM established in 1875||Current issue | Previous issue | Site map|
Palestine solidarityTHE GENERAL assembly of the Egyptian Writers Union issued a statement in support of the Palestinian people last Friday and sent letters to President Hosni Mubarak, Yasser Arafat and UN Secretary- General Kofi Annan.
The statement condemned Israel's rejection of the Saudi peace inititative and demanded that Arab people show their support of the Intifada in all possible ways. In the letter addressed to President Mubarak they asked him "to take whatever means [he] deem[s] appropriate to repel this attack and defend the pride of the Arab nation, including the deportation of the Israeli ambassador and severing ties with Israel."
A second statement calling for solidarity with the Palestinian people was signed by, among others, Youssef Chahine, Ahdaf Souef, Sonallah Ibrahim, Gamal El- Ghitani, Radwa Ashour, Mohamed El- Bosatie, Ibrahim Aslan, Youssef El-Qa'id, Tharwat Okasha and Moheiddin El- Labbad.
Art in supportEGYPTIAN sculptor Sabri Nashed's latest exhibition Palestine: An Unbeatable People was inaugurated by Minister of Culture Farouk Hosni on Sunday at the Egyptian Centre for International Cultural Cooperation. This is the first exhibition by an Egyptian artist in support of the Aqsa Intifada.
On the occasion of the exhibition, a number of documentary films highlighting the humanitarian plight of the Palestinians will be screened in association with The Egyptian Media Institute at the University of Jerusalem.
Calendar redrawnTHE ESCALATION of the war in Palestine has forced the replanning of the TV and Radio Union's celebrations of the 25th anniversary of Abdel-Halim Hafez's death. Halim's patriotic songs as well as nationalist anthems by a number of other singers were aired instead.
Similarly, the Cairo Opera House has postponed its planned performances in Upper Egypt in support of the Palestinian people. Concerts of Arab and Western music as well as symposia were to be organised in Qena, Luxor and Aswan.
Abdel-Wahab museumTHE MOHAMED Abdel-Wahab museum will be inaugurated mid April by Minister of Culture Farouk Hosni. Housed in the Arab Music Institute, where Abdel-Wahab sang some of his most memorable songs, the museum will include the late musician's memorabilia and personal belongings. Al-Ahram has donated a collection of rare photographs of Abdel-Wahab.
The museum will include a listening hall, a musical library and a display of Arabic musical instruments. Mohamed Thabet sculpture of Abdel-Wahab, donated to the museum, is to be placed at the entrance of the Institute.
The newly-restored Arab Music Institute, established in 1923, will be inaugurated at the same time as the museum.
Ansari reelectedNASIR El-Ansari has been reelected as director-general of the Institut du Monde Arabe for another three years. The unanimous vote by the six Arab ambassadors and six French cultural officials who form the board of the Institute reconfirmed El- Ansari in the position he has held since 1999.
Japan helps DarwishALEXANDRIA's theatrical scene received a boost when the Japanese government announced a LE1.4 million cultural grant to enable the Sayed Darwish Theatre to upgrade its sound and lighting equipment. The grant to the theatre was awarded under protocol agreements signed in 1981.
I love PeachTHE USAID-funded and Ministry of Education -supervised children's programme 'Alam Simsim (based on the American production Sesame Street) has achieved remarkable popularity with Egyptian schoolchildren -- 85 per cent of children in the countryside and 90 per cent of children in cities watch the show. A sample of 506 mothers and children aged two to eight revealed that the female character Khokha (Peach) was the most popular with children.
Independent Arab cinemaYOUNG film-makers from Egypt and Lebanon held a script writing workshop in Cairo. Egyptian participants included Ahmed Rashwan, Hala Khalil, Riham Habib, Ahmed Abdel-Fattah; from Lebanon Fayrouz Serhal, Wael El-Dib, Zeina Safir, Wael Noureddin and Nadim Gargoura.
The group is expected to hold a second workshop this month in Beirut. Their aim is to produce digital independent films that could be jointly produced by film- makers from several Arab countries.
Deconstructing AlexanderA CONTROVERSIAL history seminar, "The Other Face of Alexander the Great," was held earlier this week at the Egyptian Historical Society, reports Mustafa El- Minshawy. Speaking were historians Ishaq Ebeid and Mahmoud El-Sa'dani who delved deeply into some of the less lustrous -- and least contemplated -- sides of Alexander the Great's life. For, as Ebeid argued, alongside the common image of a courageous Macedonian conquer and a political and military genius "he was also despotic, rash and excessively ambitious."
We must go back to Alexander's early life for an interpretation of his aggressiveness, betrayal and abnormal psychic state. Within such historical psychoanalysis, Ebeid argued that "Alexander's mother, Olympias, is the one to blame for her son's excesses since she was vindictive, jealous, domineering and overly protective of him."
Despite the plethora of biographies and histories of Alexander he remains a figure shrouded in myth, and Ebeid's reinterpretation of his character was not to the taste of a sizeable proportion of the audience.
E-mail this page to someone© Copyright Al-Ahram Weekly. All rights reserved