Al-Ahram Weekly Online   12 - 18 June 2008
Issue No. 901
Published in Cairo by AL-AHRAM established in 1875

Pack of cars


Sketching Anatolia

Turkish artist Nazih Danyal's cartoons, currently on show at Al-Hanager Art Centre, depict Turkish traditional styles, slightly altered into the artist's own style.

The cartoon where Shakespeare takes the place of Romeo under Juliet's balcony is a fine example of how Danyal was inspired by the drawing techniques in the traditional Turkish shadow play Karagöz. In most of his works, Danyal integrates the past with the present, and the global culture with inherited traditions.

If anything, the exhibition shows how Danyal has an unmatched eye for detail, which is reflected in every single work of his.

(for details see Listings p.3)

The Smart Village in 6th of October governorate was the venue for an address a few days ago by US Ambassador to Egypt Margaret Scobey to participants in the Leadership in Education and Development (LEAD) scholarship programme, which provides scholarships to 54 Egyptian public school students to study at the American University in Cairo (AUC). The programme is a partnership between the Ministry of International Cooperation, USAID and AUC. Two students, one male and one female, from each governorate are selected annually based on comprehensive selection criteria including academic achievement, community service, as well as contributions to arts and sports. Through the programme, the students develop leadership skills to enhance their careers and to participate actively in their communities and in Egypt's development. In addressing the students, Scobey said, "Egypt really has a remarkable history and its accomplishments are evident around us -- from the Pyramids to the art of the ancient past to its competitiveness in trade and leadership in the region. Today, it faces another great challenge -- one that countries around the world face -- the challenge of preparing its youth to compete in today's global society."

Tonight, the Sound and Light Theatre at the Giza Pyramids Plateau will host Greece's Mikis Theodorakis Orchestra, which will play favourite and lyrical songs of Mikis Theodorakis. The orchestra was founded in May 1997 by musicians who had performed with Theodorakis and knew his work well.

Having made its debut in June 1997 at the Exoni Theatre of Glyfada, the orchestra has since then performed numerous times in Athens and the Greek provinces, appearing with distinguished performers, as well as young promising artists, including Alexia Yerasimos, Andreatos Dimitris Bassis, Yiannis Bezos, Lakis Chalkias, Yiorgos Dalaras, Maria Dimitriadi, Manolis Famelos, Maria Farandouri, Petros Philipidis, Ioanna Forti, Petros Gaitanos, Vangelis Germanos, Alkinoos Ioannidis. (see Listings p.3)

photos: Ayman Barayez

On the occasion of naming Khaira Al-Fassi, spouse of Moroccan Ambassador Mohamed Farag Al-Dokali, president of the International Club for the coming year, a lavish reception was held at the Sofitel Al-Gezirah Hotel, under the auspices of Hoda Maher, spouse of former foreign minister of Egypt, Ahmed Maher, and current president of the International Club. Attending the grand event were Saudi Ambassador Hisham Al-Nazer, Spanish Ambassador Antonio Lopez Martinez, President of the International Union of Muslim-Christian-Jewish Dialogue for Peace Education Ali El-Samman, Al-Ahram back page editor Mona Ragab, Editor-in-Chief of Al-Beit magazine Silvia El-Naqadi, media figure Sanaa Mansour and several club members, such as Hala Fawzi, Samia Abul-Fottouh, Fayza Farid and Nousa Mehrez.

The Qatar Symphony Orchestra received a standing ovation at its world premiere in Doha. The original orchestral work commissioned by the Qatar Foundation to celebrate the history, development and future of Qatar as a nation was composed by oud virtuoso and composer Salem Abdel-Karim, one of the Arab world's greatest living musicians. Over 2,000 guests from around the world attended the performance at a specially conducted venue at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel earlier this month. The first of its kind in the region, the philharmonic orchestra comprises more than 80 international musicians and follows the classical four-movement symphonic form, blending traditional Qatari motifs into a classical European orchestra context.

At Al-Orman Park's main gate, the "I Can Stop AIDS" official campaign was launched last Friday from 7-10pm. It was an exciting participatory event targeting celebrities and key public figures to raise awareness and sensitise them regarding HIV/AIDS. It provided a basic introduction to HIV/ AIDS and tackled relevant topics such as transmission, prevention and the regional and country situation, in an interactive tunnel of activities.

The campaign aims to mobilise opinion leaders to speak accurately and positively about the hidden faces of HIV and fight related stigma. The event was jointly sponsored by the joint United Nations programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS Secretariat), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

A media meeting was held last Saturday at the Four Seasons Hotel at Nile Plaza on the occasion of the launch of a campaign to raise national awareness of the Gardasil vaccine that protects against the human papillomavirus (HPV) which causes cervical cancer. Among the many involved gynaecologists and paediatricians who participated in the meeting were Ahmed Rashed and Omayma Idris, professors of gynaecology at Cairo University, Ahmed El-Beilidy, professor of paediatrics at Cairo University, as well as Hassan Sallam, professor of gynaecology at Alexandria University and head of the Suzanne Mubarak Alexandria Regional Centre for Women's Health and Development.

After taking Egypt by storm last year with her flamenco dance show, world renowned flamenco dancer Mar’a Pagés is back with one of her most successful works, "Songs, Before a War". Pagés will perform at the Cairo Opera House on 18 June and at the Great Hall of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina on 20 June. This time, Pagés 's Dance Company will participate in the launching of the National Fund to Fight Virus Hepatitis, initiated by the Liver Institute and the Ministry of Health, and held under the auspices of Mrs Suzanne Mubarak.

Pagés is a most famous name in the world of contemporary flamenco. Her shows reflect her artistic accomplishment and her diligent search of new forms to express the genuine spirit of flamenco. "Songs, Before a War" is a call for reminiscence and nostalgia. (see Listings p.3)

The Maulana Azad Centre for Indian Culture (MACIC) hosted a lecture titled "Continuity and Change in the Egyptian Culture" delivered by none other than famed novelist and Editor-in-Chief of Akhbar Al-Adab magazine Gamal El-Ghitani.

El-Ghitani was awarded the first Egyptian State Prize for Novels in 1980 and was the guest of honour at the International Frankfurt Book Fair in 2004. The lecture was attended by former foreign minister Ahmed Maher, Indian Ambassador A Gopinathan as well as a number of avid Egyptian literature readers and media figures.

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