Pack of cards
On the fringe of the fifth International Samaa Festival for Spiritual Music and Chanting, which concluded its activities yesterday at the Salaheddin Citadel and Al-Ghouri Caravansary, a workshop was held and conducted by artist and founder of the festival Intesar Abdel-Fattah featuring four troupes from India, Zambia, Egypt and the United States. Bassam El-Zoghby was there with his camera.
photos: Ayman Barayez
To mark the end of his term, the Indian Ambassador to Egypt R Swaminathan welcomed guests at the garden of his residence in Zamalek, overlooking the Nile, for a Ramadan Iftar. They enjoyed a sumptuous meal to the sound of live music by the Rajasthani Sufi troupe -- in Cairo for the Samaa Festival. Present were US Ambassador to Egypt Anne Patterson, head of the Iranian Affairs Mission in Cairo Mujtaba Amani, former minister of tourism Mounir Fakhri Abdel-Nour, Minister of State for Scientific Research Nadia Zakhari, former minister of religious endowments Mohamed Abdel-Fadil El-Qousi (who talked about the strong ties between Egypt and India), presidential candidates Amr Moussa and Hamdeen Sabahi, Saudi Ambassador Ahmed Al-Qattan, deputies to the minister of culture Hossam Nassar and Mohamed Abu Seada, Al-Ahram writer Aisha Abdel-Ghaffar, Mohamed El-Noubi and Tarek El-Senoutti, TV anchor Dina Farouk and artist Farid Fadel.
Swaminathan seized the opportunity to express his thanks to all Egyptians and wished Egypt more progress and democracy: "I hope to be back in Egypt, Umm Al-Donia -- the mother of the world," he concluded, before singing, in Arabic, Dalida's famous song Helwa ya Baladi (My Country is Beautiful).
The Moroccan Embassy gave a reception celebrating King Mohamed VI's coronation, with Moroccan Ambassador Mohamed Farag Al-Dokali and his wife Khaira Al-Fassi at the helm.
Among the attendees were French Ambassador to Egypt Nicole Galey, Italian Ambassador to Egypt Claudio Pacifico, German Ambassador to Egypt Michael Bock, US Ambassador to Egypt Anne Patterson, Greek Ambassador to Egypt Chris Lazaris, Bahraini Ambassador to Egypt Khalil Al-Zowadi and his Omani counterpart Sheikh Ali Bin Khalifa Al-Harithi, as well as Secretary-General of the Arab League Nabil El-Arabi, former prime minister Abdel-Aziz Hegazi, former minister of antiquities Zahi Hawass and other high-profile figures.
The Paralympic Games Committee, headed by Hossameddin Mustafa, held an Iftar at Sonesta Hotel in honour of the Egyptian football team after participating in the Olympics in Turkey. Actresses Nabila Ebeid and Fardous Abdel-Hamid topped the list of attendees there to congratulate the team; Ebeid herself was honoured for her career in cinema in the course of the event.
Also present were newly appointed Minister of Sports El-Amri Farouk, head of the National Council of Sports Abdel-Fattah El-Banan and actor Tarek El-Dessouki.
photos: Abdel-Hamid Eid
Actress Olfat Omar organised a Sohour in honour of her friends at Al-Saraya Boat, attended by -- among others -- singer Ehab Tawfiq, singer-cum-actress Maye Kassab, singer Iman El-Bahr Darwish, actor Maged El-Masri, directors Omar Abdel-Aziz, Ahmed Yehia and Mohamed Abu Seif, Dina Abdallah as well as composer Nader Nour.
A number of celebrities gathered for the opening of a new Ramadan tent named The Door of Cairo at the Novotel Hotel in Gezirah. The ceremony was attended by celebrities including actors Mohamed Nagati, Dalia El-Beheiri, Mona Hala and former minister of administrative development Ahmed Darwish.
ExxonMobil Egypt celebrated the conclusion of its MECA (Mechanical, Engineering, Construction, Architecture) programme, implemented by 21 ExxonMobil Egypt volunteers at Ain Shams University. They provided lectures and workshops on the practical application of the subjects the students were studying, holding a competition in which three teams of students were announced as the winners. Andy Wells, the chairman of the Board of Directors of ExxonMobil Egypt, congratulated the three winnings teams (SML, Global Oils and Innolub). For their part, the students stressed the benefits they gained from direct contact with ExxonMobil. Amir Ayman, a member of MECA, stressed ExxonMobil Egypt's close engagement with students and its effective contribution year after year.
Nihad Shelbaya, public and Government affairs manager was there to award the students.
Celebrating 10 years of success, Eftekasat, by now a world renowned jazz fusion band, is presenting its fifth annual "Sufi Jazz Tour", with concerts at the Cairo Opera House, Teatro Alexandria, the Sufi Bookstore and El Sawy Culturewheel in 13-17 August. This year the band features two Moroccan musicians, Hicham Bajjou and Mehdi Nassouli, who will bring a Moroccan sound to Eftekasat's usual mix of traditional Sufi and jazz music, including genres like Gnawa, Malhoun and Andalusi and instruments such as Gambri and Karakeb.
The "Sufi Jazz" Project was introduced in Ramadan 2007 when Eftekasat presented a series of successful concerts in collaboration with local Sufi musicians; the band featured the Jordanian singer and songwriter Ruba Sakr in 2008. Sufi Jazz Tour 2012 is partially funded by Al-Mawred Al Thaqafy. (see Listings P.20)