Monday,19 February, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1279, (21 - 27 January 2016)
Monday,19 February, 2018
Issue 1279, (21 - 27 January 2016)

Ahram Weekly


Compiled by Nevine Khalil

Al-Ahram Weekly

Egypt unveiled the Middle East’s first museum dedicated to fossils that showcases an early form of whales, now extinct and known as the “walking whale”. The construction of the much-hyped Fossils and Climate Change Museum in Wadi Hitan [Valley of the Whales], Fayoum, was funded by a $2.17 billion grant from Italy. Its centrepiece is an intact, 37-million-year-old and 20-metre-long skeleton of a legged form of whale that testifies to how modern-day whales evolved from land mammals.

The sand-coloured, dome-shaped museum is barely discernible in the breathtaking desert landscape that stretches all around. “When you build something somewhere so beautiful and unique, it has to blend in with its surrounding... or it would be a crime against nature,” the museum’s architect Gabriel Mikhail said, pointing to the surrounding sand dunes.

Rami Malek: Pharaohs in Hollywood

Egyptian-American actor Rami Malek won Best Actor in a Drama Series at the 2016 Critics’ Choice Awards this week for his lead role in the critically acclaimed computer-hacker psychological drama, Mr Robot. The 34-year-old actor previously starred in Night at the Museum, 24, and The Pacific.

“I’m so proud to be counted among such fine actors,” Malek said during his acceptance speech. “I’m grateful for my mum — she is fearless; my family, and everyone who helped me get this far. I wouldn’t be here without Sam Esmail — he is a disturbingly brilliant and profound voice.” Malek was referencing the show’s writer, director and producer also Egyptian-American Esmail.

Last week, Mr Robot won a Golden Globe for Best Drama Series, beating even the smash hit Game of Thrones. Christian Slater, who plays ‘Mr Robot’ also won a Golden Globe for Best Television Series Supporting Actor.

Although Malek was widely expected to pick up the Golden Globe for his performance as a security engineer and vigilante hacker with social anxiety disorder, the award went to Mad Men’s Jon Hamm. Malek was also previously nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award for his role in Mr Robot.

Malek, born to Egyptian parents in Los Angeles in 1981, studied acting at the University of Evansville and has a twin brother, Sami, and one sister. He began his Hollywood career in guest roles on several television shows, before making his feature film debut as Pharaoh Ahkmenrah in the comedy Night at the Museum (2006) alongside Ben Stiller, and reprised his role in the sequels Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (2009) and Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb (2014).

In a television interview with Arabic media, Malek said he was “disgruntled that for some time all Hollywood roles for Middle Eastern people were those of a terrorist. It’s sad to see people going out to play just this role, to play the villain.” He added he always wanted to do something else, play a variety of roles of complicated characters and show range. “The fact that I am of Egyptian descent, speaks to the changes that are hopefully taking place in Hollywood these days.”

In 2010, Malek returned to television in a recurring role as the Egyptian-American suicide bomber Marcos Al-Zacar on the eighth season of the Fox series 24. Later that same year he received critical acclaim for his portrayal of Corporal Merriell “Snafu” Shelton on the Emmy Award-winning HBO World War II mini-series The Pacific.

If we do not find a direct link between the crime that [former president Hosni Mubarak] is convicted of
and the funds in Switzerland, we will not return these funds [estimated at $650 million].
Michael Lauber, Swiss attorney-general. Aswat Masriya

In the crosshairs

The corruption lobby in Egypt is bigger and more dangerous than we fathom.
Fahmy Howeidy,

Will Hisham Geneina be held accountable, and will parliament face its first difficult and sensitive task of questioning the head of the Central Auditing Organisation? Or will Geneina preempt everyone and publicly apologise or resign?
Adel Al-Sanhouri,
Al-Youm Al-Sabei

Boon and bane of the dam

The Renaissance Dam is merely the latest test of countries’ willingness to share water. There may soon be more difficulties. Ethiopia plans to build other dams on the river, which could further affect downstream supply... If Egypt is made to feel at the mercy of its neighbours, it may not have finished rattling its sabre.
The Economist

Mortada Mansour, a pugnacious Egyptian politician, likes to boast that he beats his rivals with his shoe — so much, in fact, that he has lost count of the number of disputes he has settled in that manner.
The New York Times

Egyptian Essence: $32 million for security

Egypt will spend $32 million to improve tourist security, according to Tourism Minister Hisham Zaazou. Measures include increasing security cameras and personnel, sniffer dogs, X-ray machines, surveillance cameras and metal detectors in Sharm El-Sheikh and Hurghada, as well as at archaeological sites.
The Associated Press


After banning live coverage and threats against several parliamentary correspondents to block them from attending because of their coverage of the sham performance of committees, security guards [on Sunday] stopped reporters from entering — including two from the official news agency.
Ahmed Khair Eldeen

It’s just that they don’t even want us to enjoy a good laugh.
Islam Alhalwany

Laws being passed without discussion is a crime against every Egyptian who trusted [MPs] with their future. Banning live coverage is also a crime. The role of an MP is to monitor the executive branch, not take orders from it.
Sherif Saleh


During the days of 25 January [2011], I knew the air downtown had changed. It was more like a spring breeze.

It will remain the most noble and honourable revolution in Egypt. It will remain a source of fear for anyone who takes charge of the country.

Everyone using this hashtag [I participated in the January revolution] will be tried for joining the 25 January Movement or the 25 January Organisation. The point is, we will all be put on trial.

add comment

  • follow us on