Al-Ahram Weekly Online   10 - 16 January 2008
Issue No. 879
Published in Cairo by AL-AHRAM established in 1875

Pack of cards

This icon captured by Sherif Sonbol's lens depicting Saint Demiana and the 40 virgins is located at the Church of The Virgin Mary, known as The Hanging Church, Old Cairo. The church lights are designed according to the ancient Coptic style.

The new year bore good news for thousands of employees in Al-Ahram Establishment. For the first time in many years, the country's biggest media organisation achieved an all-time high of LE166 million in net profits during the 2007 fiscal year. Thanks to the unique organisational and administrative skills of its newly appointed Chairman of the Board Mursi Atallah, the establishment managed to pay off a great deal of its old debts and intends to expand its activities in 2008. In recognition of his achievements, several departments in Al-Ahram honoured Atallah by presenting him with trophies of excellence over the past week.

* Al-Ahram Hebdo Chief Editor and head of the Arab Writers Union Mohamed Salmawy held a lunch banquet at his villa in Dahshour in honour of French singer Charles Aznavour. The lunch was held on the sidelines of the French celebrity's visit to Egypt to perform in Alexandria and the Cairo Opera House where the charismatic Aznavour stirred his audience with his immutably beautiful voice. The lunch was attended by former tourism minister Mamdouh El-Beltagui, head of the Publishers Union Ibrahim El-Moallim, former Italian ambassador to Egypt, Antonio Badini, and his wife Dounia and singer-cum-actress Anoushka to mention but a few.

* Sheikha Fatemah Al-Fasi held a lavish party at her villa in Shabramant village in honour of the arrival of the newly married couple Rania, daughter of the Moroccan Ambassador in Egypt Farag Al-Dokali, and her husband, Engineer Zoheir Al-Sabati, head of a US mega-communications company, from their honeymoon. The party was attended by Lebanese Ambassador in Egypt Khaled Ziyada, Tunisian Ambassador Abdel-Hafez Al-Herqam and his Palestinian counterpart Monzer Al-Degani. A number of stars were present, including actors Khaled Zaki, Ahmed Maher and Fadia Abdel-Ghani.

* On the occasion of celebrating the New Year, the Egyptian Nile Variety Channel organised a party at the Four Seasons Nile Plaza Hotel featuring Lebanese bombshell Haifaa Wahbi.

Wahbi had the party rocking with some of her famous hit songs. During the event, veteran writer Mona Serag honoured Wahbi, granting her the award of the most popular star in 2007. A galaxy of Egyptian movie and TV personalities attended the party, including actresses Ghada Adel, Elham Shahin, Sawsan Badr, Somaya Al-Khashab, comedian Mohamed Heneidi and singer Angham.

* Congratulations! Amid a bevy of stars, handsome actor Hussein Fahmi and budding actress Leqaa Sweidan tied the knot at a wedding party at Fahmi 's restaurant overlooking the Giza Nile. Among the attendees were veteran actors Omar El-Hariri, Hani Ramzi, scriptwriter Mohamed Galal Abdel-Qawi, director Atef Beshai, TV announcer Amr El-Leithi, singer-cum-actor Samir Sabri, actresses Lubna Abdel-Aziz, Lebleba, Wafaa Amer, Ayten Amer, Sahar Rami and her husband actor Hussein El-Imam. Of course, the newly married couple, TV stars Mustafa Fahmi -- Hussein 's brother -- and Rania Farid Shawqi were there to welcome the guests, along with Hussein 's daughter Menna and her fiancé, aspiring actor Sherif Ramzi. The party featured singers Ihab Tawfiq and Tamer Hosni. We wish the admirable actor success in his fifth marriage, after his marriages to Na'ila Moharam, gorgeous actress Mervat Amin, Anne Taraboulsi and Hala Fathi.

* After ending his official mission with President Hosni Mubarak, Congressman Steve Israel paid an unofficial visit to the Pharaonic Village and was welcomed by its director Abdel-Salam Ragab. He toured the tomb of Tutankhamun, as well as the museums of Napoleon Bonaparte, Gamal Abdel-Nasser and Anwar El-Sadat.

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