Monday,20 August, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1294, (5 - 11 May 2016)
Monday,20 August, 2018
Issue 1294, (5 - 11 May 2016)

Ahram Weekly


Compiled by Doaa El-Bey

Al-Ahram Weekly

President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi celebrated Labour Day with Prime Minister Sherif Ismail and heads of trade unions. However, a coalition of 36 workers and syndicates and unions believes there is no cause for celebrating Labour Day this year because they denounced legislation drafted by the government which is considered to be “anti-worker”. The two bottom pictures showed a stamp and a mural done in appreciation of the role of workers in building the society.

Ahmed Shawki: The emir of poets

The Ahmed Shawki Museum in Giza celebrated last week the 89th anniversary of the declaration of unanimously Ahmed Shawki as emir al shuaraa, or “Prince of Poets”, in 1927.

The celebration, titled “Prince of Poets in Pictures”, showed a number of rare pictures of Shawki with prominent figures of his time including statesman Saad Zaghloul and comedian Naguib Al-Rihani. 

Shawki (1868–1932) was one of the greatest Arab poets; he was also a dramatist who pioneered the modern Egyptian literary movement, most notably introducing the genre of poetic epics to the Arabic literary tradition. He wrote famous verse plays like The Death of Cleopatra and Antara.

Shawki’s prominent family had Turkish and Greek as well as Arab roots and was well-connected, with a strong presence in the court of the Khedive of Egypt.

On completing his secondary education Shawki attended law school, obtaining a degree in translation. He was offered a job in the court of the Khedive Abbas II, which he immediately accepted. After a year working in the court of the Khedive, Shawki was sent to continue his studies in France, where he was influenced by the works of French playwrights like Molière and Racine.

He returned to Egypt in 1894, and remained a prominent member of the Arab literary community until the British forced him into exile in southern Spain in 1914. He remained there until 1920.

In 1927 he was crowned Prince of Poets by his peers throughout the Arab world in recognition of his considerable contributions to the literary field.

Shawki’s poetry can be divided into three periods: the first, during his position at the court of the Khedive, consisting of eulogies in praise of the khedive and in support of his policies. The second comprised the period of his exile in Spain, during which his feeling of nostalgia and sense of alienation directed his poetic talent. The third stage, after his return from exile, comprising his mature style, was reflected in his plays that were published during this period.

“On two consecutive trips to Kuwait and UAE, I met many Egyptians who asked me the same question: where is Egypt heading? My answer has always been: I have no more information than you do. However, the fact that the question is posed is worrying. It indicates that there is a problem that should be dealt with. When people ask this question, rulers should realise that it is a legitimate question.”
Ammar Ali Hassan, Al-Watan

Conflicts in the region

“Did you notice the scene that is being drawn for the Arab region? Most of the Arabs are divided into Sunni and Shia. The Sunnis are divided into Salafis and Brotherhood members and the Shias to reformists, conservatives, supporters to Iran and opponents of its terrorism. We have conflicts between Arabs and Kurds, Arabs and Amazighs as we see in Libya. And lately we see a conflict between Egypt and Saudi Arabia on the popular level because of the two islands. I am not discussing who these islands belong to now because that can be settled by reference to maps and documents. But we should not allow a popular war to erupt between the two countries especially when official relations are very good.”
Emadedddin Hussein, Al-Shorouk

Old and strong relations

“The strong relations between Egypt and Bahrain show the degree of mutual appreciation between the two peoples for the longest time. The cultural and friendly relations have bound the two countries ever since Al-Manama was the venue for the first Egyptian educational delegation to the Gulf, the first Gulf newspaper and the first book were published there and the first primary school in the region was built in the kingdom.”
Makram Mohamed Ahmed, Al-Ahram

#Aleppo on fire

“The media of some Arab governments are not ashamed of using the war in Syria to ask for more aid from the Gulf countries for sheltering Syrian refugees (Jordan and Lebanon). Others are not ashamed to identify Al-Assad’s responsibility for killing, destruction and genocide with that of his opposition, who were not involved in crimes against humanity like what is going in Aleppo at present – killing women, children and men while the world turns a blind eye to all these practices.”
Amr Hamzawi, Al-Shorouk
“There is ambiguity, a blame game and escape from responsibility in Aleppo. There are violations and killing of civilians, that is a fact. There are liars who heap the blame on other parties, and that is a second fact. There are superpowers who colluded against Syria, and that is the third fact. And there are civilians who were lost as a result of what war mongers are doing, and that is the fourth fact.”
Osama Kamal, Al-Watan

Egyptian Essence: 500,000 visitors in one day

“The General Manager of the Giza Zoo stated that the zoo is ready to receive half a million visitors on Easter Day. He added that the revenues of the zoo have reached LE40,000 daily and that they are working hard to regain its international status as a member of the World Association for Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA).”


“Storming the Press Syndicate was done in celebration of two occasions: Labour Day and World Press Day. Each state celebrates in its own way.”
Elhami El-Merghani

“Banning a syndicate meeting or stopping syndicate members from meeting or celebrating Labour Day is as dangerous as storming the Press Syndicate. Do not allow an apology to make us forget these two incidents that are just the beginning to what is to come.”
Mohamed Farid Saleh


Mai El-Sadany @maitelsadany 
Dunno if irony is lost on this government, but security storming of Press Syndicate for the 1st time the day before World Press Day.

Hala Safwat @HalaLoCa  
#Egypt’s Press Syndicate head demands minister of interior resign after #police storm syndicate’s headquarters.

Sarah Mohsen @sarah_m94  
Dear Sisi, journalism is not a crime, but storming press syndicate IS a crime!
Mohamed Soltan @soltanlife  
Truly a dark day in #Egypt’s unprecedented crackdown on freedoms & press.

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