Al-Ahram Weekly Online   2 - 8 March 2006
Issue No. 784
Published in Cairo by AL-AHRAM established in 1875

Pack of cards

photos: Ayman Barayez

Speaking of which, my lovelies, I particularly enjoyed the Egyptian Oscars on this, their 27th round -- a chance to reunite with my very beautiful actress friend Madiha Youssri, the head of the jury. And the results could only instill joy: Lotfi Labib as best supporting actor, Youssef Maati for best script and Omar Kayrat for best film score -- all thanks to Adel Imam 's big hit Al-Sefara Fil-Emara (Embassy in the Building); Imam too was honoured in the festival. The best actor and best actress awards went to Ghada Adel and Ahmed Ezz for Mallaki Iskenderia, Yasmine Abdel-Aziz and Fathi Abdel-Wahab for Farhan Melazem Adam (Farhan Follows Adam). Best song and best supporting actress went, respectively, to Yuri Mraqadi and Soad Nasr for Al-Hayah Montaha Al-Lazzah (Life is the Ultimate Pleasure), while Isaad Younis came out best producer. Closing ceremony attendees included Olympics Committee major general Mounir Sabet, my good friend head of the National Cinema Centre and Chief of the Censorship Authority Ali Abu Shadi, the charming actress Libliba and the very desirable star Mahmoud Yassin.

Now, now, my beauties: Misr Language School students were fortunate enough to have among them the gorgeous American superstar Vanessa Williams -- at a remarkable open day organised by the head of the Egyptian and Arab Olympics Ismail Othman, as well as the Olympics regional manager Magda Moussa and regional Goodwill Ambassador for the Middle East and North Africa, my very attractive friend actor Mahmoud Qabil. Present were such very close friends as actors Ezzat and Maha Abu Ouf, the Greek Ambassador to Egypt Panayotis Vlassopoulos and -- my very own companions, dears -- the wives of Jordanian diplomats.

The Catholic Centre's 54th Festival for Egyptian Cinema -- a favourite event, if ever there was one -- concluded its activities last week, dears. It was my very pious friend Father Mazloum who handed out the awards, condemning the horrid cartoons misrepresenting Prophet Mohamed in a truly admirable gesture of solidarity. Participants included, as well as the awe-inspiring Al-Azhar Religions Dialogue Committee advisor Ali El-Saman, such wonderful actors as Hala Sedqi, Pussi, Omar El-Hariri and El-Sayed Radi. And the winners were, my little ones: actress Menna Shalabi as best actress for her role in Banat West Al-Balad (Downtown Girls) and actor Ashref Abdel-Baqi as best actor in Khaali Min Al-Cholesterol (Cholesterol Free); actress Sumaya El-Khashab, for her part, was singled out for her role in the TV series Al-Haqiqa Wal-Sarab (Reality and Illusion).

All of which is not to congratulate the lovely Heba Lotfi. It was at the Semiramis InterContinental Hotel that she was married to Ali Sherif Shaaban. Heba is the daughter of senior press consultant Ahmed Lotfi.

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