Pack of Cards
It is certainly proving to be a lovely year so far for us social butterflies, my dears. This week I was privileged enough to be amongst the lucky few who attended the very close-knit family gathering celebrating the engagement of Rowais Sarwat Abd El-Shahid and Yasmeen Hosny Guindy.
The parents of both youngsters were beaming with pride and joy as they watched the happy couple dance the night away. My dear friend Sarwat Abd El-Shahid, a lawyer of the Supreme Court and former state counsellor, and his charming wife Afaf couldn't have been prouder of Rowais, who is an up and coming mechanical engineer.
Yasmeen, of course, is the lovely daughter of our very own editor-in-chief, Hosny Guindy, who, along with his fabulous wife Moushira, had a great time celebrating this momentous event.
Praise is also in order for my friend Hany Wahba, the DJ who kept the good times flowing all night long via a carefully crafted play list of all the best tunes. The talented Injy Bakhoum also did a great job with the flower and candle arrangements that added just the right touch of elegance to the occasion.
Both Yasmeen and Rowais are AUC graduates and have a great future ahead of them. On behalf of the entire Weekly family, I wish them a happy future together, and offer my warmest congratulations to both sets of parents as well.
This week, I joined some of my colleagues at the Weekly for a cozy meeting with a delegation of US congressional staffers during which an informal exchange of views on current issues, and especially US-Egyptian relations, took place. The meeting, co-arranged with the American Chamber of Commerce, was attended by AmCham's VP for programmes, Hamed Fahmy, as well as Dalia Wissa, the chamber's US relations liaison. Also present was Abdel-Moneim Said, director of the Al-Ahram Centre for Political and Strategic Studies.
After Weekly Editor-in- Chief Hosny Guindy welcomed the staffers, Managing Editor Hani Shukrallah opened the floor for discussions, and a lively exchange of views began. The young, dynamic staffers seemed highly capable of delving into the most serious of subjects, much to the satisfaction of the Weekly's staff and the other guests in attendance.
The staffer's one-week Cairo tour has also included meetings with high-ranking government officials, including President Hosni Mubarak's political adviser, Osama El-Baz, Minister of Petroleum Sameh Fahmi, as well as members of parliament, the ministry of defence and the foreign ministry. The delegates also met with Egyptian and American businessmen.
This is the second time AmCham has hosted Congressional staffers in an attempt to encourage them to see Egypt "as it really is" via cultural, social and political discussions and excursions.
Today is the last day, my dears, for you to experience one of the most memorable, eclectic art exhibitions this city has ever seen. "The Other Half" is what it's called, and it features works by the contributors to the Egypt Almanac. So what's the Egypt Almanac, you might ask. Well, it's a highly useful annual publication that tells you everything you need to know about Egypt -- from politics to economy to society to culture.
The Almanac's publisher, Paul Geday, decided a good way to give his book a little extra push would be to ask those who had provided material for the Almanac to exhibit some of their non-Almanac work in a gallery space. And thus "The Other Half" was born.
No one could have imagined the intense creative outpouring that resulted. In fact, three of my very dear colleagues here at the Weekly are amongst those exhibiting their talents at the show. Senior writer and editor Tarek Atia reveals his artistic side with an impressive display of digital photography he took for his very own popular and successful Web site, cairolive.com. It may, I believe, be the first time a continuous slide show of digital photos on a computer screen have been shown at a Cairo gallery. Veteran photographers Randa Shaath and Sherif Sonbol, meanwhile, have three pieces each in the show -- Randa's revealing the magic of the silver screen, and Sherif's bringing out the spirit of ballet -- and all revealing just how much they've each mastered their craft.
The exhibit -- which has been showing at the Mashrabiya gallery downtown since Sunday, and ends with a celebration tonight -- is definitely not to be missed, also featuring the work of Barry Iverson, Claude Stemmelin, Dana Smillie, Paul Schemm, Amgad Naguib and many more of this city's most talented artists.