Al-Ahram Weekly   Al-Ahram Weekly
25 - 31 May 2000
Issue No. 483
Published in Cairo by AL-AHRAM established in 1875 Issues navigation Current Issue Previous Issue Back Issues


Pack of Cards

By Madame Sosostris

* The renowned sculptor and portraitist Saad Metri, has just finished a sculpted head of Al-Ahram 's Editor-in-Chief and Chairman of the Board Ibrahim Nafie. Metri says that he has tried to imbue his sculpture with Nafie's calm spirit, intelligence and authoritative power as the head of the Press Syndicate but did not want to reproduce faithfully his facial features. The head is created on a base shaped like three pyramids that symbolise Al-Ahram Organisation with Nafie's head on its top. Unique figures who performed special roles in Egyptian society inspire Metri's creativity. Sculptures of presidents Hosni Mubarak, Anwar El-Sadat, revolutionary leader Ahmed Orabi and Nobel laureate Naguib Mahfouz form part of his oeuvre.

Saad Metri Ibrahim Nafie

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George Bahgory * My good friend the famous caricaturist and painter George Bahgory, is particularly pleased these days. The companion of his salad days in Paris, Minister of Culture Farouk Hosni has just opened his new exhibition, amidst a crowd of admirers, artists and photographers of course. While Bahgory made the honours, leading the minister from painting to painting, one could hear them exchanging souvenirs and pleasantries about the good old days which made many of us quite nostalgic my darlings. I in particular kept dreaming of the time, not so long ago of course, when I was one of the adored Muses of the Qartier Latin. Needless to say, my dear George's exhibition went exceptionally well.

* "Talent my dears does not always hail from Paris, neither does it need to reach a comfortable maturity to be appreciated. A recent experiment has just shown that we have many budding artists just waiting to be shown the way. "How can I use a big brush? Can I draw a small chicken inside the coloured eggs for Easter?" More questions and many answers were heard during a two months course, organised recently by the painter Ihab Lutfi and Abdel- Aziz El-Guindi, assistant professor at Faculty of Fine Arts, Helwan university for a group of children whose ages range from 6 to 9. The training on drawing tools took place in Lutfi's atelier. Once the work was done, the result, it was decided, was worthy of being exhibited at the Children's Third Salon, taking place at Qatr El-Nada Hall, in Mohandessin. Jamila El-Guindi, Farah and Nelly El-Sharqawi, Salma Ahmed and Laila Mahmoud's entries were selected as most representative of the remarkable results achieved.
* More art coming your way, dears as Blaise Godet, ambassador of Switzerland to Cairo, opened a co-exhibition by the Swiss artists Jean Crotti and Jean-Luc Manz at the Cairo Berlin art gallery in Bab Al-Louk. The exhibition, running until 3 June, comprises roughly 50 watercolour paintings by the two artists who used the same technique and material but entirely different approaches. Crotti, who lives in Egypt, exhibits the paintings he created under the influence of an Egyptian ambience while Manz, who paid Egypt a visit last year, returned to Switzerland in order to paint his works.

* Medina, Egypt's leading magazine on architecture, interior design and fine arts distributed the prizes of its Student Design Competition and Design Excellence Awards in a ceremony that took place last week at the Cairo International Conference Centre. The participants were asked to design a chair, lamp and table designed to live harmoniously together. The prestigious jury included Ingo Maurer, a German lighting designer with showrooms in Milan, Munich and New York, Mohamed Taha Hussein, professor of contemporary art history and design at the Faculty of Applied Arts, Helwan University and Christian Lepretre, a French interior designer with offices in Egypt, France and the US. The upscale kitchen designer Amr Helmy also attended the ceremony. The first prize was split evenly between Engineer Shahira Hamed Fahmi, a professional designer and assistant professor at the Architecture Department of Cairo University and Samer Adel Seyari, a student of architecture at Alexandria University. Other prizes were awarded to Taher Mohamed Said, an architecture student at Ain Shams University, a student team from the same university, and a team from Cairo University. The winners will travel to the Milan International Furniture Fair in April 2001. This prestigious event includes the Salone Satellite, an exhibition for young designers aimed at bringing them face to face with the furniture industry.
Vive La France * The celebrations of Vive La France were launched yesterday dears, and will last until 2 June. Organised by the Semiramis Inter-Continental in cooperation with Air France they will feature haute couture summer fashion 2000 collections including Adolfo Dominguez, Barbara Bui, Chloe, Ines de la Fressange, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Jitrois, John Galliano, Lolita Lempicka, Rochas, Sonia Rykiel, Vivienne Westwood, Pierre Balmain, Balenciaga and many others. And while you feast your eyes you will be able to sample southern French specialties prepared by guest chef Francis Chauveau, who has come all the way from Cannes and the renowned restaurant La Belle Otero, to provide your taste buds with a rare pleasure.

Mimi Sidqi * Never fear dears, now that Mimi Sidqi is here. Having learned in faraway lands up-to- the-minute techniques to keep us young and beautiful today and forever, she is back in Cairo, ready to apply her knowledge masterfully on your faces and bodies. We will all be able to look like Meg Ryan for a long long time unless of course you are partial to the Sophie Marceau look. If you don't believe me why not ask members of the Innerwheel Sphinx to invite you to Mimi's lecture which they have organised for 29 May?

* Our very talented Khaled El-Fiqi whose numerous photographs you have had plenty of opportunities to see on our pages has just won the Kodak competition first prize for a rare shot of a rescue operation during the earthquake in Turkey. Of course we at the Weekly have always known about Khaled's gifts; you may remember that we did published this picture on our front page at the time, as ample proof of our acumen.

* Some people are more gifted than others and some can excel in many fields at the same time, like Samir Sabry who obtained a PhD in Commercial Law from Boston University and soon after the award ceremony will be attending another solemn one, organised in his honour by Pope John-Paul II during which the Pope will recognise his role in helping young victims of cancer and children with special needs.

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