Al-Ahram Weekly Online   26 June - 2 July 2008
Issue No. 903
Published in Cairo by AL-AHRAM established in 1875

Pack of cards

Ladies in red

The Red Poppy Ladies percussion troupe from China presented an exotic and exhilarating performance on drums captured by Sherif Sonbol's lens

at the Cairo Opera

House's open-air theatre.

photos: Mohamed Adel

It seems that music is in the air these days! The Music Festival celebrations saw two exciting musical events organised. The first, planned by Al-Sawy Cultural Wheel at the Orman Public Park in Doqqi, witnessed an overcrowding by Al-Sawy frequenters who enjoyed listening to the Eftekasat band playing oriental and contemporary jazz, as well as Nagham Masri and Wust Al-Balad bands performing contemporary Egyptian songs. The audiences were mesmerised by the powerful voice of Sheikh Ahmed El-Toni chanting his best Sufi songs. The event also featured a show by Al-Sawy Puppet Theatre that simulated the concerts of late legendary singer Abdel-Halim Hafez.

With the Cairo Citadel as the background, the second event took place before a large gathering of music lovers from all ages who came to listen to the French Saxophonist Florent Cornillent and DJ Haze playing music inspired by African beats. The Nubian music was performed by Khedr El-Attar while the Medhat Fawzi Centre in Mallawi performed sticking dances. The star of African raggae in north Côte d'Ivoire, Tiken Jah Fakoly, rocked the audience with his songs.

Last week, Minister of State for Environmental Affairs Maged George distributed the Environmental Media Awards for 2008. The event was organised by the ministry, in cooperation with the Egyptian Environmental Education and Outreach Programme. Recipients of the prizes were journalists: Mohamed Abdel-Maqsoud from Al-Akhbar newspaper and Hanan Badawi from Al-Osbou newspaper.

At the special Environmental Education contest, winner of the first prize was Hanan Fekri from Watani newspaper, while Heba Ghoneim from won the second prize.

In the field of photojournalism, the first prize was shared by Sherif Mahmoud from Al-Ahram newspaper and Khaled Gamal Ibrahim from Al-Akhbar. As for the documentary films and radio reports, the first prize was jointly given to Maye El-Shafie from Egyptian TV and Nagwa Hassan from Egyptian Radio.

photo: Ayman Barayez

Italian Ambassador to Egypt Claudio Pacifico held a lavish reception at his residence in Garden City on the occasion of the bestowal of the Decoration of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic to renowned archaeologist and Secretary- General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities Zahi Hawass. He is the second Egyptian to receive this prestigious award with the rank of commander after Ambassador Mushira Khattab.

The event was attended by Moroccan Ambassador to Egypt Mohamed Farag Al-Dokali, Al-Ahram back page editor Mona Ragab, Editor-in-Chief of Al-Beit magazine Silvia El-Naqadi, actresses Poussi and Lubna Abdel-Aziz, singer Mohamed Tharwat, the People's Assembly head of the Foreign Affairs Committee Mustafa El-Feki, Executive Director of the Grand Egyptian Museum Mohamed Ghoneim, as well as former Minister of State for Environmental Affairs Nadia Makram Ebeid.

Maye Erbel 's culture salon introduced veteran Al-Ahram columnist Salama Ahmed Salama who talked about the Egyptian and German media through his personal experience after working in the 1960s and 1970s in Germany. German Ambassador to Egypt Bernd Erbel, the People's Assembly head of the Foreign Affairs Committee Mustafa El-Feki, Al-Ahram Weekly Chief Editor Assem El-Kersh, and head of the Democratic Front Party and Al-Ahram International Politics magazine Chief Editor Osama El-Ghazali Harb were present. The event was enlivened by Mushira Essa 's piano recital of classical pieces.

photo: Mohamed Omar

Cairo Opera House head Abdel-Moneim Kamel has announced that the opera Aida will be performed in China on the sidelines of the Beijing 2008 Olympics. Aida is due to be presented for four days from 10 to 13 July. The press conference held on 23 June, in which Kamel made the announcement, was attended by the opera singers who will perform in Beijing, including tenor Reda El-Wakil, soprano Iman Mustafa, artist Hassan Kami and the Cairo Opera Ballet Company Director Erminia Kamel. A Chinese Embassy official was at the press briefing.

photos: Abdel-Hamid Eid

The Nile City Cinema witnessed private screenings for two films: the first is Said Hamed 's Ala Gamb Yastta (Pull Over) and its premiere was attended by the cast of the film: comedian actor Ashraf Abdel-Baqi, actresses Rogina and Arwa. The second film is Masgoun Transit (Transit Prisoner), directed by Sandra Nashaat and starring veteran actor Nour El-Sherif, rising star Ahmed Ezz and gorgeous TV actress Iman El-Assi in her first appearance in cinema.

At the AUC's 85th Annual Undergraduate Commencement ceremony, AUC President David Arnold handed over 352 students their bachelor's degrees, last Thursday at the Cairo International Conference Centre. Forty-four students graduated with highest honours, 53 students with high honours and 51 students with honours. Among the AUC's several awards granted were the Mohamed M El-Beleidy Academic award, which went to Journalism and Mass Communications graduate Salma El-Ghitani and Business Administration graduates Dina El-Gammal and Sherine Mohamed. The Ahmed Zewail Prize for Excellence in the Sciences and the Humanities was given to mathematics graduate Hend Wagdi Nashaat, while the Ahmed El-Mehallawi Family Award was granted to Political Science graduate Mahmoud Bizzari. Among graduates from prominent families were psychology graduate Shorouk Ahmed Ibrahim Nafie, granddaughter of former chairman and chief editor of Al-Ahram Ibrahim Nafie, Business Administration graduate Ahmed El-Nokaly, grandson of former minister of tourism Fouad Sultan and nephew of former minister of state for environmental affairs Nadia Makram Ebeid, mechanical engineering graduate Makram Riad Makram Ebeid.

Last week, the Diwan Bookstore in Zamalek held the book signing ceremony of Soheir El-Mosadfa 's first novel entitled Miss Egypt, published this month by the prestigious Al-Dar publishing house. Poet Afifi Matar, writer Talaat Radwan, novelist Mikawi Said, co-owner of Al-Dar, novelist Taher El-Barbari, graphic designer Mohamed Salah, owner of the house, as well as a number of journalists came to celebrate another valuable addition to feminist fiction publications in Egypt.

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