Al-Ahram Weekly   Al-Ahram Weekly
16 - 22 December 1999
Issue No. 460
Published in Cairo by AL-AHRAM established in 1875 Issues navigation Current Issue Previous Issue Back Issues

Front Page

Pack of Cards

By Madame Sosostris


I am so pleased to tell you dears that our board chairman and Editor-in-Chief of Al-Ahram Ibrahim Nafie has just returned to Cairo in good health, after undergoing a surgical intervention at Washington Hospital Centre. Nafie must have missed the numerous, daunting responsibilities that go with his position because no sooner had he touched down at Cairo Airport than he appeared at the paper and resumed work with his usual dedication. Some of our young colleagues should look no further for inspiration.

el-bazDarlings since I sometimes do serious things though I much rather play as you well know, I decided last week to attend an interesting symposium at the Mubarak Centre in Damanhour. The topic of the debate was Arab Horizons , something we all have a stake in of course. Political adviser to the President Usama El-Baz delivered the key address and an sparkling discussion followed. Among those present were Beheira Governor Ahmed El-Leithi and Ali Abu Shadi head of the General Authority for Culture Palaces.

Since the Fatimid Caliph Al-Mu'izz Lidin Illah was welcomed by little children waving festive paper lanterns when he entered Cairo one evening in Ramadan of 969AD, the colourful fawanis have become an integral part of the holy month, as indispensable to its atmosphere as the yameesh. Here, the lens of our very talented photographer Mohamed Wassim has captured the little gadget in a light that bestows upon its cheap metal frame and glass panels the mysterious hues of a precious jewel.

There are so many festivities to attend, one really does not know where to begin. This year, for the first time, the main hall of the Opera House will present a programme of Christmas Carols entitled Christmas 2000 and performed by a Coptic Chorale on 19 and 22 December. It will include a first part featuring traditional Christmas carols sang by famous soprano Nabila Erian and a second, for the young at heart who prefer their carols with a dab of salsa.

On the occasion of Ramadan, the Patriarcate of Helwan and Al-Ma'sara has organised its annual iftar at the convent of Father Barsoum El-Erian, to celebrate the beginning of the Muslim month of fasting. During this traditional event, guests of the two faiths have an opportunity to get to know each other, and come to a deeper understanding of the meaning of national unity. Our dear colleague Mahmoud Bakr who attended, was very happy to meet with old friends whom he rarely has a chance to see in the course of his busy life.

Jean-Michel Jarre is not the only one into organising big hoopla at the Pyramids and I am sure that you will be coming once more by the thousands, this time to see for yourselves all these terrible men in their roaring machines who will congregate at the foot of the Pyramids at the end of the rally Paris-Dakar-Cairo next year. Apparently in celebration of the second millennium, our capital has been chosen as the last stop of this famous international race Rami Siag who is the Egyptian organiser of the event was telling me, adding that all the participants are very excited at the idea of crowning the rally with a visit to the Pyramids which will give it that very particular historic flavour so fashionable these days.

On the occasion of the launching of the World's Children Report, UNICEF's Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa Ibrahima Fall has hosted a sohur last Monday at the Cairo Capital Club. The guest of honour was famous Syrian writer, playwright and actor Doreid Lahham who is UNICEF goodwill ambassador for the Middle East and North Africa.

Our dear Sameh Abdallah, deputy head of the diplomatic section of Al-Ahram, was elected president of the newly formed Foreign Affairs League of the Press Syndicate which aims to promote relations with international organisations and help its 100 members to follow international developments closely. That sounds quite interesting wouldn't you say?

More young people are getting engaged these days as the century comes to an end. Our dear colleague from Nisf Al-Duniya Photographer Mohamed Hegazi is no exception: he has just announced his engagement to Gihan Al-Banna a ravishing graduate in English Literature. We wish the charming couple many happy days.

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