Sarah El Sirgany

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Latest by Sarah El Sirgany


Three military trials adjourned for final verdict

CAIRO: The military trial of 19 activists arrested in Cairo on June 28 and 29 was adjourned Monday to Aug. 17 where a final verdict is expected. The trials of 13 protesters arrested in Alexandria on July 22 and of army officers arrested on April 8 in Tahrir were also adjourned to Aug. 22 for …

Sarah El Sirgany

The whole policy has to change, says economist Galal Amin

CAIRO: To identify and write about a problem and for 40 years watch as it deteriorates while the warning messages are ignored is a frustration economist Galal Amin is all too familiar with. He calls his 40-year-long writings on Egypt’s identity crisis as the nation grappled with a growing ‘foreign complex’ a Greek tragedy — …

Sarah El Sirgany

Lisbon treaty to only have structural effect on EU regional policies

CAIRO: The Treaty of Lisbon, which came into force in December 2009, doesn’t signal a change in European Union foreign policies, but it would be felt in few structural changes, Ambassador of the European Union Delegation in Cairo, H.E. Marc Franco told Daily News Egypt. In a press conference held last Monday to mark the …

Sarah El Sirgany

'Welad El-Am': A simplistic confrontation with a reinvented enemy

Espionage and intelligence have always had a special appeal on screen where mystery and thrill are placed in a larger-than-life context along with the compulsory notions of nationalism and patriotism. The genre has proven specifically popular in Egypt, manifested in the millions of teenagers who bought Nabil Farouk’s pulp series “Ragol El-Mostaheel (Man of Impossible) …

Sarah El Sirgany

Avati takes on the eccentricities of friendship at Bar Margherita

It might seem like a macho bar, with no wives, fiancés or girlfriends allowed inside. But Bar Margherita is, for those who give it a closer look, a place where friendships are made, where mistakes are ultimately forgiven, and where the bonds holding its patrons together remain unbreakable. The Italian film “Gli amici del bar …

Sarah El Sirgany

Lithuanian film probes desolation, hope in black and white

It’s difficult to classify the Lithuanian film “Vortex; on one hand the story is grounded in a grim reality, and on the other, many scenes veer towards the artistic, the abstract and sometimes the surreal. Set during the reign of the Soviet Union in the last century, the suffering of the characters is inescapable. But …

Sarah El Sirgany

'Madholal Keep Walking': A sermon on victims of terrorism

Even though there has been a glut of films about the victims of terrorist attacks and those arrested on mere suspicion, the subject is still a rich soil that can yield more. The quality of such films largely depends on the freshness of the perspective. Is it a new approach to the story? Is the …

Sarah El Sirgany

Mr Cool talks of cinema as entertainment, discusses his career

Waving a sizable Egyptian flag, Samuel L. Jackson greeted journalists at the Sofitel Hotel, who had been waiting for him for almost an hour. But the grand entrance wasn’t the only unique feature of the Friday event. The press conference organized for the Cairo International Film Festival honoree was unlike that of his fellow Hollywood …

Sarah El Sirgany

Egyptians lose their way in Alkamissi's sinking 'Ark'

With his bestselling debut novel “Taxi, Khaled Alkhamissi emerged as a compelling storyteller in command of the world of colloquial Arabic, while his newspaper articles left readers in awe of his poetic language and eloquent analogies. The anticipation for his sophomore book was charged with high expectations. The wit that characterized Alkhamissi’s compilation of conversations …

Sarah El Sirgany

The niqab debate: Integration vs. alienation

CAIRO: We live in a world with so many gods and sometimes with no god at all. Even those who pride themselves on worshiping the same god do so each in their own way. The many faiths and sets of beliefs render any discussion of what’s religiously right or wrong irrelevant. But as social animals …

Sarah El Sirgany

Lost in the 'Replacement's' maze

It’s always a pleasure to see Ahmed Ezz on the big screen; put his name on a poster and I’ll buy a ticket to the theater. Not only for his good looks, but Ezz has steadily matured as an actor over the years. It’s a delight to see what steps, big or small, he has …

Sarah El Sirgany

One hijabi guinea pig at a time

CAIRO: Over six years ago, I sat in a Zamalek café with an American journalist discussing my decision to wear the veil. It was more than a year after Sept. 11, a time when the Iraq War – as part of the ongoing, American-led “War on Terror – was just a possibility and there was …

Sarah El Sirgany

INTERVIEW: Al Khan author celebrates book launch

It’s common knowledge among Tarek Shahin’s friends that Omar, the protagonist of Al Khan, the daily comic strip Shahin authors, is his alter-ego. Omar has left a banking career in London to become the publisher of the fictional Al Khan magazine in Cairo. Meanwhile, Shahin continues to lead a career as an investment analyst living …

Sarah El Sirgany

Sense of defeat

CAIRO: In Tahani Rashed’s award-winning “El Banat Dol (Those Girls), a documentary about street children, a teenage girl describes how she doesn’t fight back when men gang up and rape her, one after the other. By giving in to their assault, she explains, she avoids being locked up in a room to be raped repeatedly …

Sarah El Sirgany

A film to protest against

Infusing a socio-political theme into a satirical comedy is a feat many filmgoers thought comedy star Ahmed Eid is capable of. After all, his starring roles in “Film Thakafi (Educational Film) and “Lailat Seqout Baghdad (The Night Baghdad Fell) cemented his reputation as one of Egypt’s few film stars who could juggle between comedy and …

Sarah El Sirgany

Heneidy cashes in on education problems

Hearing the buzz surrounding the release of Mohamed Heneidy’s new film “Ramadan Mabrouk Aboul Alamein Hamouda, I presumed Egypt’s former number one comedian finally sought redemption or is at least trying to make up for the unfunny, tasteless atrocities he had released over the past couple of years (“Wesh Igram is one film that comes …

Sarah El Sirgany

No police please, this one is an emotional drama

It’s not easy taking a predictable story and throwing out the thriller element that represents its commercial appeal to focus instead on the human relations that make the fabric of the narrative. But it’s a feat that French director Safy Nebbou has learned to master. In 2004, his debut feature “Le Cou de la Girafe …

Sarah El Sirgany

'Picture culture' taken to an extreme in Lithuanian film

Gaile is a speech therapist and an eccentric character, who can only develop emotions when she sees herself on screen. Throughout the confusing 20 minutes it took audiences to discover this about the lead character of the Lithuanian feature “Kolekcionier (The Collectress), the slow-paced film seemed to wonder without direction. Gradually, obscurity turns into anticipation. …

Sarah El Sirgany

Secrets and hope in 'Blind Sunflowers'

As the guest of honor in this year’s Cairo International Film Festival, Spanish films have so far awed audiences with beautiful dramas, thrillers and romances. “Los Girasoles ciegos, (The Blind Sunflowers), one of Spain’s two entries in the festival’s International Competition and the Spanish contender for the Best Foreign Film Oscar nominations, is no different. …

Sarah El Sirgany

Addicted to acting: an interview with Asser Yassin

For Asser Yassin, acting isn’t about creating a character from scratch, but rather searching within one’s self for certain traits that can be accentuated on screen. But when playing intense roles, such as drug addict Mohamed in his latest film “Zay El-Naharda (Just Like Today), this approach has had dire repercussions. “It’s very psychologically hectic, …

Sarah El Sirgany

Muslims, Jews and the free speech debate

Last year, a Spanish court found two cartoonists guilty of offending the royal family by drawing a caricature of the Spanish crown prince having sex with his wife. They were fined ?3,000 each. “I don’t see the world up in arms defending freedom of expression, my editor told me after listening to the news on …

Sarah El Sirgany

Osama Gharib toys with colloquial patriotism in new hit book

I couldn’t resist the catchy title. Apparently a lot of people couldn’t either. Those who hadn’t heard of Osama Gharib’s chart-topping book were initially taken aback by the first part of the title: “Egypt is not My Mother. Spread in large font over the head of a blank-faced belly dancer standing on a dim stage, …

Sarah El Sirgany

An adolescent analysis of Arab emasculation

As the opening credits of “Leilat El Baby Doll (Baby Doll Night) started rolling, my expectations rose with every name of the cast members emerging on screen. Each actor of this star-studded ensemble is capable of carrying a movie on their own – in fact they have done so repeatedly in the past. The list …

Sarah El Sirgany

Amnesty slams Egypt for illegal detention of thousands

CAIRO: The Ministry of Interior holds around 18,000 administrative detainees in “degrading inhumane conditions, Amnesty International said in its 2008 report on human rights in Egypt. “Some had been held for more than a decade, including many whose release had been repeatedly ordered by courts, the report said. The report said the conditions in which …

Sarah El Sirgany

Shahira Zeid: Jane of all trades

Overlooking an investment portfolio that contains a number of successful businesses, Shahira Zeid could easily be mistaken for a workaholic. She, however, is not. “I just learned to work eight to 10 hours a day, she said, comfortably revealing her ‘secret.’ Zeid is the vice chairman and CEO of MZ Investments, a private equity group …

Sarah El Sirgany