Al-Ahram Weekly Online   25 - 31 January 2007
Issue No. 829
Published in Cairo by AL-AHRAM established in 1875

Pack of cards

photos: Ayman Barayez

Until 14 February at the Zamalek Art Gallery, Culture Minister Farouk Hosni, wearing his artist's hat, is showing his latest exhibition of paintings, "Optimism", comprising 44 paintings, 42 of which he executed in the course of 2005. Hosni told the Al-Ahram Weekly that he is always optimistic when he go to his atelier to paint. The opening featured an array of high- profile figures including artists, journalists, writers and officials: Head of the Cairo International Film Festival Ezzat Abu Ouf, actresses Lebleba and Yousra, novelist Khairy Shalabi, IT expert Hisham El-Sherif, Head of the Arab Publishers Union Ibrahim El-Mo'alem, actor Mahmoud Abdel-Aziz and his wife TV presenter Boussi Shalabi, Head of the American University in Cairo (AUC) Press Mark Linz, Norwegian Ambassador Lasse Seim, Italian Ambassador Antonio Badini, writers Naem El-Baz, Mona Ragab, Amal Bakir and Anis Mansour, painter Neven Guindy, head of the ASHA News Agency Abdallah Hassan and businessmen Naguib Sawiress and Mohamed Abul Enein.

At the Flamenco Hotel in Zamalek, the Regional English Language Office of the US Embassy in Cairo organised a conference entitled "Shaping and Sharing the Way Forward". A three-day event supported by the US State Department Office of English Language programmes, will bring education experts from the US, North Africa, Turkey, Central Asia and Arab countries to Cairo. These experts will share their research and expertise in state-of-the-art practises of teaching English as a foreign language using the new multi-media teacher-training programme, "Shaping the Way We Teach English: Successful Practices from Around the World". Among the participants were Leslie Opp-Beckman of the University of Oregon, Joan Shin of the University of Maryland and Souad Shakir of the Egyptian Ministry of Education.

photo: Yousri Aql

Egypt has been chosen as the base for National Geographic to launch a new Arabic edition targeting the young. Present at the celebration were the Managing Editor of the magazine Dahlia Ismail, chairman of the board of Nahdet Masr for Publishing Mohamed Ismail and President of the American University in Cairo (AUC) David Arnold.

Mohamed El-Setouhi, Washington correspondent for Nile News Channel, was elected president of the Washington Association of Arab Journalists (WAAJ). El-Setouhi won 23 votes, more than double the number of votes won by his only rival, Hanan El-Badry of Rose Al Youssef, who was supported by 11 out of 40 WAAJ members. Four other members were elected along with El-Setouhi to be members of the executive committee: Mohamed Dalbah of Al Jazeera, Tarek Rashed of the ME News Agency, Emad Moussa of Al Jazeera International, and Barbra Ferguson of Arab News. Only Talha Gibriel, bureau chief of Al Sharq Al Awsat, failed to garner enough votes to join.

Soon after the elections, El-Setouhi confirmed the need for unity and cooperation to strengthen the association and promote its mission in Washington. He called on Arab journalists to join the group, stressing that the association will never be manipulated for political purposes.

Today in Luxor, the General Organisation for Cultural Palaces, headed by Ahmed Nawwar, is launching a project entitled "Painting Egypt by Egyptian Eyes", a large scale, high-profile event to which 10 artists: Ibrahim Ghazala, Hassan Abdel-Fatah, Mustafa El-Fiqi, Sameh El-Banani, Farghali Abdel-Hafez, Saleh Abdel-Mo'ti, Sayed Saadeddin, Ezzeddin Naguib, Mohamed Orabi and Assem Abdel-Fattah will be contributing. It aims at documenting the most distinguished features of the Egyptian environment in paintings to be displayed in a number of exhibitions that will tour various governorates.

At the Russian Cultural Centre, Russian Ambassador Mikhail Bogdanov held a ceremony to celebrate 47 years since the building of the High Dam, a project to which the Soviet Union contributed. The ceremony included a photography exhibition of black and white pictures as well as a documentary on the project in its different stages. The event closed with the honouring of the Head of the General Organisation for Cultural Palaces Ahmed Nawwar, who received the shield of the Russian Foreign Ministry in the presence of Hoda Abdel-Nasser, the eldest daughter of late president Gamal Abdel-Nasser, filmmaker Youssef Chahine and head of the High Dam Builders Association Saad Nassar.

World famous Egyptian actor Omar Sharif became the honorary president of Cadre - The Audio-Visual Development Foundation. Cadre, an organisation whose members are predominantly filmmakers and critics presided over by film critic Samir Farid, will launch two new film festivals in 2007 -- the Woman Film Festival (8 to 16 March) and the Silent Film Festival (20 to 26 June) -- as well as the third European Union Film Festival (9 to 18 May) and the second Intercultural Dialogue Festival (11 to 21 September). Cadre's activities include supporting film production and publishing books on cinema.

photos: Bassam El-Zoghbi

On board the Nile Crystal boat, overlooking the Nile in Maadi, with the Oriental sound of Al-Semsemeya and the dances of Al-Tanoura in the background, the Egyptian Day for Intellectual Property Rights and the 10th anniversary of establishing the Contact Point Organisation for Intellectual Property Rights Protection were celebrated. Presiding over the event was Fakhreddin Abul-Ezz, who honoured a number of media luminaries for their efforts in raising awareness of the importance of protecting intellectual property rights. Among the honourees were veteran TV announcer Moufid Fawzi -- of Hadith Al-Madina fame, together with the talented TV announcer of West Al-Balad, Shafki El-Monairi as well as Al-Ahram Chief Editor Osama Saraya and other Al-Ahram figures including Naglaa Zekri, Marwa Haddad and Mohamed Baraka.

The Nahdet Al-Mahrousa NGO, founded and run by young people, launched a new project aimed at helping children at risk in Egypt. The "Children at Risk" project is part of a larger social-responsibility programme initiated by the NGO last March.

The project aims to alleviate the social challenges facing children at risk -- particularly the homeless, and seeks to open channels for direct help. This is through raising the awareness and engaging the community in activities that target homeless children, who are deprived from basic protection, guidance and supervision and are often exposed to exploitation and abuse. To provide the audience with background information on the issue, the project organised a lecture titled "The Street Children Issue: What's Your Role?" at Al-Sawy Culture Centre. It was organized in collaboration with the National Council of Childhood and Motherhood (NCCM) and the Hope Village Society (NGO), where Manal Shahin, the 16000 Child Help Hotline Programme Manager at the NCCM, presented the issue on a national level, divulging its root causes and the NCCM's proposed strategy to combat it, while Hana Abul-Ghar, Hope Village's Board Member, focused on the problems facing children on the streets and Hope Village's efforts to help them.

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