Al-Ahram Weekly Online   9 - 15 October 2008
Issue No. 917
Published in Cairo by AL-AHRAM established in 1875

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Glittering on the Nile

On the Nile Corniche, Nader Habib captured the Gezira Tower's new look as the building lit up in different colours and surprised Egyptians of all ages, as they flocked to the banks of the Nile to enjoy the night breeze during the Eid Al-Fitr holiday. Gezira Tower's new decorations coincided with the commemoration of the 6 October victory.

At CityStars cinemas, Zai Al-Naharda (Like Today) was privately screened. The new film stars the promising Ahmed El-Fishawi and actress Basma, and was directed by Amr Salama. Meanwhile, the private screening of Kobulat Masrouqa (Stolen Kisses), a film that recently picked up a number of prizes at the 24th Alexandria International Film Festival, was held at Maadi Family Cinema. The film stars budding actresses Yossra El-Louzi and Nermine Maher, alongside actors Ahmed Azmi, Bassem Samra, Mohamed Karim and Shadi Khalaf. It was directed by Khaled El-Hagar.

The cast of the hit series Asmahan, unanimously acclaimed as this Ramadan's best TV drama, celebrated the success of their big work at the Cairo Sheraton Hotel, live on TV programme Daawa ala Al-Sohour (Invitation for Sohour) presented by Safaa Abul-Soud. Asmahan, starring Syrian actress Sulaf Fowakhergui, Egyptian actor Ahmed Shaker, actress Ghada Ibrahim, Lebanese actress Ward Al-Khal, was directed by the Tunisian Shawqi Al-Magari. It is about the short, controversial life story of legendary Syrian singer Asmahan, who was accused of espionage for the Germans during World War II.

photos: Abdel-Hamid Eid

The National Council for Human Rights (NCHR) organised a contest for distinguished media production in the field of human rights for the year 2008, part of its national project presided over by Adel Qoura. Highly watched TV series Sarkhet Ontha (A Feminine Scream) had the lion's share of prizes. The prize for best actress went to gifted actress Dalia El-Beheiri, while the best actor award was given to actor Tarek Lotfi. Raed Labib was named best director, while the prize for best scriptwriter was given to Mohamed El-Gheiti. The contest honoured a galaxy of actors and actresses, among them veteran actor Mahmoud Yassin, actress Poussy and actor Kamal Abu Raya. The celebration was held at the Semiramis Hotel, and prizes were distributed by Qoura, former information minister Mohamed Fayek, actress Nihal Anbar and member of the National Council for Women Zeinab Radwan.

For the first time in Cairo, Tunisian artist Ghalia Bin Ali held a thrilling concert at Al-Geneina Theatre in Al-Azhar Park. Bin Ali, who is a renowned dancer, actress and visual artist, performed her musical show Romeo and Laila inspired by the Arab love tale Qais wa Laila, blending together Arabic and jazz music. Her troupe consists of three musicians. She lived in Belgium most of her life. Her tour has since taken her back to her home and across Europe.

photo: Ayman Barayez

The newly-appointed French Ambassador to Egypt Jean Félix Paganon held a lavish reception at the headquarters of the French Embassy on the occasion of an Egyptian-French Friendship Gathering. The reception was crowned by the presence of Minister of Higher Education and State for Scientific Research Hani Hilal, President of the International Union of Muslim-Christian-Jewish Dialogue and Peace Education Ali El-Samman, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs Nihad Abdel-Latif, veteran novelist Gamal El-Ghitani and his wife, Alaaeddin children's magazine Chief Editor Magda El-Guindi, as well as Editor-in-Chief of the quarterly journal Al-Demoqrateya (Democracy) Hala Mustafa.

Three students from Palestine and two from Yemen have been awarded full scholarships to study at the American University in Cairo (AUC), as part of the newly launched Tomorrow's Leaders Scholarship Programme initiated and co- funded by the US State Department's Middle East Partnership Initiative. The programme provides undergraduate scholarships and internship opportunities at AUC to students from the Middle East and North Africa who have displayed the potential to become future leaders in the region. A total of 16 students will be selected over three years from the Middle East and North Africa, based on their academic excellence, leadership potential and proven track record in community service and volunteer work. "This most recent scholarship programme reflects AUC's continuing commitment to provide educational opportunities to a diverse group of high-performance students from Egypt and the region," said AUC President David Arnold.

Ramatan Culture Centre located in Taha Hussein Museum, Haram Street, resumes the 10th round of critical review seminars of Ramadan soap operas organised by its diligent director Mohamed Nawwar. On 12 October, the centre will host a seminar about the second part of Ramadan's hit TV series Al-Dali introducing its crew, including veteran actor Nour El-Sherif, who played the lead role, director Youssef Sharafeddin and scriptwriter Walid Youssef. The seminar starts at 7pm and will be preceded by the screening of one of the serial's episodes.

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