Al-Ahram Weekly Online   2 - 9 November 2005
Issue No. 767
Published in Cairo by AL-AHRAM established in 1875

Madame Sosostris
Pack of Cards
By Madame Sosostris

By Lubna Abdel-Aziz

Pack of cards

By Madame Sosostris

photo: Ayman Barayez

A coterie of luminary figures turned up at the delightful party celebrating the 60th anniversary of the United Nations. The gala event was held at the Open-Air Theatre at the Cairo Opera House, last week. The resident representative of the UN in Cairo Antonio Vigilante welcomed the guests on behalf of Secretary-General Kofi Annan. Among the distinguished guests were actor Adel Imam as the goodwill ambassador of the UN for refugees; and the UN ambassador for population the enchanting actress Safiya El-Imari. A galaxy of stars were also present including handsome actor Khaled Zaki ; the highly-esteemed actor Omar El-Hariri ; actress Nabila Ebeid and singer Simone. The World Health Organisation spokesman Ibrahim El-Kerdani attended along with head of the Egyptian Association for Fighting HIV/Aids Sawsan El-Sheikh ; Qalioubiya governor Adli Hussein and a number of ambassadors from different Arab and foreign countries.

Last week, my colleague Amany Abdel-Moneim attended the AUC Press celebration of its new press publications at the Amir Taz Palace. A galaxy of distinguished authors were welcomed by the Director of AUC Press Mark Linz and his assistant Nabila Aql. Among publications exhibited were A Child from the Village by Sayed Qotb, Street Children in Egypt by Nashaat Hussein and our colleague Samia Abdel-Nour 's revised and expanded edition of her book Egyptian Cooking and Other Middle Eastern Recipes.

photo: Sherif Mahmoud

The President of the French University in Cairo Tahani Omar inaugurated an artistic event at the veritable institution's headquarters in Al-Shorouq City last week. The event hosted a miscellaneous art exhibition featuring 45 contemporary artists. West Al-Balad pop band performed many of their contemporary Arabic songs. Also some of the multi-talented students of the university who are also members of the university band enchanted the audience with absolutely delightful songs. A galaxy of dignitaries attended the event including the head of the projects at the university Violette Fayeq and a number of lecturers, professors, faculty heads and deans.

It seems, my darlings, that the Arab Music Festival is bringing about more than a pleasant surprise this year. The Cairo Opera House held a press conference concerning the festival on the occasion of its 14th round which is scheduled to take place from 18-27 November 2005. For the first time, the festival is going to present musical and dance excerpts of some of the late veteran artists like actor Ismail Yassin ; singer Mahmoud Othman ; and renowned composer Sayed Darwish. The festival is also going to honour a galaxy of artists for their long-standing professional careers, amongst them the esteemed Saudi singer Mohamed Abdu ; vernacular poet Mohamed Hamza ; violinist Hassan Sharara ; veteran composer Mohamed Sultan ; nightingale singer Hani Shaker ; as well as media figure Wagdi Qandil.

Last week, my energetic colleague Ghada Abd El-Kader who hopped from one event to another was invited to attend Ramadan tent of Horreyati magazine organised by Mohamed Abu El - Hadad, chairman of the board of Al-Tahrir Publishing House and Mahmoud Nour, editor-in-chief of Horreyati magazine. This party was held at the Merryland Park in Heliopolis. The programme was full of beautiful surprises. We listened to the Oriental Troupe headed by Hisham Abdel-Aziz Mahmoud, the son of the famous singer A bdel-Aziz Mahmoud present a lovely mixture of religious incantations and old classical songs. Then, the famous singer Rola Zaki one of the talents staring in the TV programme "Starmaker" sang modern Arabic and classical English songs with DJ Walid El-Hariri. Last but not least, the pop singer Mahmoud El-Esseili charmed the audience with his latest hits. She also went to see the celebration of Korba Night in the northern Cairene suburb of Heliopolis. The celebration was organised by the Organisation of Developing the Services of Masr Al-Gedida (Heliopolis) in coordination with the Culture Ministry, El-Sawy Culture Centre and Cairo Governorate. Among the dignitaries who attended were Mrs Suzanne Mubarak, chairman of the Organisation of Developing the Service in Heliopolis; and Chairman of the NDP's Policies Committee Gamal Mubarak. Al-Leila Al-Kebira ballet (The Big Night) written by the famous poet Salah Jahin, composed by Sayed Mekawi and directed by Abdel-Moneim Kamel was presented.

My dear colleague was also invited to attend a musical concert by Al-Shorouq band at El-Sawy Culture Centre, Zamalek. The troupe presented a unique collection of songs of the late singer Farid Al-Atrash. The maestro of the band, Raafat El-Demerdash, played on the entrancing reed pipe.

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