Saturday,17 November, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1407, (30 August - 5 September 2018)
Saturday,17 November, 2018
Issue 1407, (30 August - 5 September 2018)

Ahram Weekly

Silver and gold

Nevine El-Aref sums up a week of Ministry of Culture activities

Abdel-Wahab Theatre
Abdel-Wahab Theatre

The Cairo International Festival for Contemporary and Experimental Theatre (CIFCET, 10-23 September) celebrates its silver jubilee this year. It features 23 productions from Egypt and 35 from the rest of the world. Switzerland is the CIFCET’s guest of honour this year, marking the 30th anniversary of the Swiss Cultural Centre in Egypt. The opening ceremony will be one of the highlights of the festival, featuring a performance by the Swiss mask theatre troupe Mummenschanz, one of whose founders in 1972, the Italian-American artist Floriana Frassetto, is being honoured. As well as a special War and Peace programme featuring work from Iraq, Syria and Palestine, CIFCET Director Sameh Mahran said five previous grand prix winners will be performed again to celebrate the silver jubilee. Established in 1988 by former minister of culture Farouk Hosni under the title the Cairo International Festival for Experimental Theatre (CIFET), CIFCET was regularly held until 2010. It was suspended following the 25 January Revolution in 2011, resumed in 2016 under a new name.

Under the auspices of Culture Minister Ines Abdel-Dayem, the Al-Hanager Cultural Symposium organised its new round, titled “The new Suez Canal: History and Future” to celebrate the third anniversary of the new Suez Canal. Khaled Galal, the head of the Cultural Production Affairs Sector, said a musical night by renowned Egyptian singer Mohamed Tharwat will be held on the fringe of the symposium.

Next week in Alexandria, Abdel-Dayem will officially inaugurate the Abdel-Wahab Theatre, which is being reopened after renovation and development of its equipment. According to Adel Abdou, the head of the Folk Art House, the renovated theatre is “an addition to the cultural infrastructure and a beacon of enlightenment”. The renovation left the distinct architectural style of the theatre untouched but the stage — now one of the largest in Egypt — was rebuilt, hi-tech lighting, sound and security systems were installed and wheelchair-friendly ramps added along with a new curtain and screens. The complex now includes a new administrative buildings, training halls, a theatre arts school and a library.

Through the National Library and Archives Egypt participated in the 84th Malaysia International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) World Library and Information Congress in Kuala Lumpur (24-30 August). The opening ceremony took place at the Plenary Hall with the participation of over 3500 delegates from over 110 countries. The congress, entitled “Transforming Libraries Pathway to Convert Communities”, aims to highlight the influential role of libraries in changing and developing societies and nations.

The deadline of submission for the Golden Talent competition for the disabled, organised by the Cultural Development Fund (CDF), has been extended to 10 September. The competition is calling on singers and musicians between the ages of 16 and 35 to apply for the competition by submitting an application at the CDF premises on the Cairo Opera House grounds. Shortlisted participants will be contacted to audition for the competition, in which they are encouraged to draw inspiration from the traditional Arabic repertoire. The first three winners in each category will awarded a financial prize, a medallion and a six-month scholarship study opportunity. The jury includes such veteran musical figures as Amr Selim, Alaa Fathi, Taheya Shamseddin and Gihan Al-Nasser.

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