Sarah El Sirgany

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Latest by Sarah El Sirgany


Immerse yourself in creamy Italian pasta at Saluti

Walking into Saluti is like stumbling into an Italian flag. The pasta restaurant on Amman Square is covered in green, white and red, decorated with glass containers of different types of uncooked pasta. Actually, the pasta is everywhere, on the walls, on the shelves and even under the glass covering the white tables. You can …

Sarah El Sirgany

Argentina prepares to meet African champions today

CAIRO: The Argentinian national team arrived in Cairo Monday for their friendly with the Egyptian national team to be held at 8 pm tonight at the Cairo Stadium. Dressed in their blue tracksuits, team Captain Javier Zanetti and Sergio Agüero accompanied their coach Alfio Basile to a press conference late Monday. Walking into a semi-filled …

Sarah El Sirgany

Fan on a mission

CAIRO: On Sunday, Nada was on a mission. She was on a plane full of football fans heading to Ghana, fully prepared to cheer on the national team during the African Cup of Nations. She initially bought the ticket (covering a return plane ticket, lunch, transportation to the Accra Stadium and access to the game) …

Sarah El Sirgany

Fairytales mix with blurred reality

It s clear through the first scenes of Seachd: The Inaccessible Pinnacle that the relationship between the two main characters Aonhgas and his grandfather have deteriorated over the years. Tension tears through the silence as Aonhgas visits his dying grandfather after what seems to be a long absence. The few words the two exchange at …

Sarah El Sirgany

Fighting the war within

L ennimi Intime opens to a confusing setting: a battalion of French and Algerian soldiers is spearheading a series of operations in the heart of Algeria during the Arab country s fight for independence. The villagers they meet are battling with their affiliation, whether to support the National Liberation Front (FLN) or the French Army. …

Sarah El Sirgany

Racism gets some Dutch kicking

When Wouter, an advertisement director, searches for an idea that best represents Dutch society and the foreigners in it for his first art-house film, he immediately dismisses multicultural dialogue. It’s overused, he explains. But Wouter is only a fictional character in Albert ter Heerdt’s film “Kicks, which bases its commercial and artistic success on multicultural …

Sarah El Sirgany

Children, volunteers get up close and personal at fun day

CAIRO: In the morning the place looked like a relaxed picnic. People sat in groups on blankets, enjoying a sunny day in the small Maadi garden. A group of late teens and 20-somethings were chatting, playing football or trying their hands at a game of tug of war. If it wasn t for the popcorn …

Sarah El Sirgany

Adopt a child for a day

CAIRO: In celebration of the Universal Children’s Day (UCD), people are invited to adopt a child for one day and make them feel like they are part of a family. This is the theme behind this Friday’s “4 Our Kids UCD event in Maadi, which will team volunteers with orphans, forming a family unit that …

Sarah El Sirgany

Galal Amin reconsiders his choices in an honest reflection on life

CAIRO: Economist Galal Amin’s autobiography was lauded for its piercing honesty. But this doesn’t mean there was no criticism. There was. Ironically a large portion of it was directed at this honesty, a critique which Amin himself agrees with. “What Life has Taught Me, published earlier this year and now in its second edition, surveys …

Sarah El Sirgany

'Pause' for a crash course in bad service

The few times I’ve been to Pause Café I was dismayed by their slow inattentive service. The place is remarkably understaffed. The food isn’t great either. Nonetheless I kept on going back. It’s not easy to find an open air café away from traffic noise and the imposing cloud of car exhausts. Not in Heliopolis …

Sarah El Sirgany

A full Asian tour in a metropolitan island

While it was difficult at first to imagine that a 704-square-kilometer island could hold so many ethnicities and cultures, just by standing close to Raffles Statue and looking at the river, it’s easy to understand the contrasts Singapore combine. Here, it was clear how Singapore has infused these cultures and intertwined the different phases of …

Sarah El Sirgany

US ambassador reaches out to TV viewers in Arabic

CAIRO: There is no American pressure on Egypt, said Francis Ricciardone US ambassador to Egypt. In an interview on the popular TV show, El Nas we Ana (The People and I) hosted by Hussein Fahmy, the ambassador said he only hears about this type of talk. There is no such thing as a country controlling …

Sarah El Sirgany

Seasonal business: a headache for some and a necessity for others

CAIRO/NORTH COAST: Trendy dining has slowly crept into the summer routine that was mainly dominated by meals on-the-go and restaurants that are dodgy at best. The increasing influx of beachgoers to popular resorts and hangout spots on the North Coast made the idea of opening popular Cairo restaurants and cafes in this summer getaway appealing …

Sarah El Sirgany

Flawless film flows with no gripping features

“Is it our mistake or is something wrong with this country? Youssef (played by Sherif Mounir) asked his friend in a moment of despair. This line that comes halfway through “Qass We Lazq (Cut and Paste) carries the essence of the film, currently playing in local movie theaters. Although the conversation was grim, reflecting on …

Sarah El Sirgany

Etisalat launches services May 1

CAIRO: In a lavish setting, Etisalat Egypt announced the launch of their services on May 1, downplaying the anticipated pricing war in favor of a promise of better services and quality. The company, which won the bid for the third mobile network license mid last year for LE 16.7 billion, announced the start of two …

Sarah El Sirgany

Al Aswani's novel scores critical success, controversy

CAIRO: It s always a challenge for a writer to release a sophomore book after a successful debut. It s even more challenging when the debut achieves unprecedented success. Labeled as the best selling Arabic novel in recent years – so popular that it was turned into a big-budget film that grossed millions at the …

Sarah El Sirgany

It's all about the sex in Chicago

When Alaa Al Aswani first released Chicago as a series of stories in the weekly Al Destour, he started getting letters warning him from letting the veiled protagonist, Shaimaa, fall into the trappings of illicit relationships – premarital sex to be exact. And as Shaimaa s relationship with Tarek, one of the characters, became more …

Sarah El Sirgany

Affordable sushi at my place

If you are one of the people who regularly crave sushi then you are either loaded and willing to pay the big bucks or you practice admirable self control. In Cairo, sushi is expensive. It s offered in restaurants where they charge you for the mere act of taking you to the table you reserved …

Sarah El Sirgany

UN and aid agencies warn of Darfur tipping point

Crisis is at a dangerous junction they say Cairo: The United Nations (UN) and affiliates have issued a statement calling for urgent change in Darfur as the situation is becoming untenable. In a joint statement issued in conjunction with such organizations as the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and World Health Organization (WHO), the UN …

Sarah El Sirgany

10 ways to get your resume in the trash can

Some think that putting information together on a piece of paper is what a resume is all about. They are wrong. In a world with thousands of job seekers, if not millions, resumes compete for employers attention. Fiascos are ignored without a second thought and the rest are judged with the scale of very good …

Sarah El Sirgany

Government bird flu guidelines ignored, say officials

Cairo: The latest fatalities due to the H5N1 strain, known as the bird flu virus, are due to poor hygienic practices and a resistance by poultry and bird handlers to put into effect government warnings, health officials have charged. When Hanan Aboul Magd, 39, succumbed to the virus in the Nile Delta province of Gharbiya …

Sarah El Sirgany

A Star is born

Khaled Abol Naga talks acting, Egyptian cinema and future projects Cairo: For years, the name Khaled Abol Naga conjured up images of the tall, handsome jeune premier who played roles defined by his looks. This impression was cemented by his hugely popular TV show Eshar Ma ana (Spend the Night with Us) and his first …

Sarah El Sirgany

Clooney's visit turned eyes to Darfur, but a solution needs more

Expert says solution requires total changes in approach of Sudanese government and diplomatic mediators CAIRO: The George Clooney-led celebrity squad that visited Egypt this week has definitely garnered attention to the Darfur crisis, but could they bring about a solution? Hani Raslan, expert on Sudanese affairs at Al Ahram Centre for Political and Strategic studies, …

Sarah El Sirgany

Muslim Brotherhood apologizes for 'militia' demonstration . sort of

CAIRO: Muslim Brotherhood students, who dressed in hooded militia garb during a recent demonstration against government crackdowns on political activism, have regretted their actions but fell short of a full apology or promising to refrain from repeating such events. Two of the students apologized on satellite TV on Tuesday. Accompanied by Brotherhood MP Mohammed Beltagui, …

Sarah El Sirgany

Muslim Brotherhood students dress as militias in Al Azhar sit-in

Brotherhood leader say incident is misinterpreted, stresses the organization doesn t have a military wing CAIRO: Students affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood demonstrated in militia-styled outfits on Al Azhar University campus last week. And although the demonstration sparked questions as of the direction of Brotherhood policies and their possible adoption of violence, the ministry of …

Sarah El Sirgany

Chinese film defies critics and wins the Golden Pyramid

Egyptian film Cut & Paste is another big winner at the 30th Cairo Film Festival CAIRO: Chinese film The Road, came out the clear winner at the 30th Cairo International Film Festival, taking home two prizes and the Jury s Special Mention in a lackluster closing ceremony Friday. The tearjerker, following the story of a …

Sarah El Sirgany

Mexican film eyes the Golden Pyramid Award

La Ultima Mirada (The Last Gaze)Director and scriptwriter: Patricia Arriaga JordanCast: Sergi Mateu, Marisol Centeno, Arcelia Ramirez, Gina Morett CAIRO: One of the strongest contenders in this year s festival competition, La Ultima Mirada (The Last Gaze), has lived up to critics anticipation. The Mexican film has gotten the thumps up from critics involved in …

Sarah El Sirgany

Sri Lankan film substitutes minimum dialogue with artistic cinematography

SankaraDirector and scriptwriter: Prasanna JayakodyCast: Thumindhu Dodantenna, Sanchini Ayendra, Nilupa Heenkendaarachchi and KA Milton Perera CAIRO: The struggle between the material and the spiritual takes center stage in Sankara, the Sri-Lankan offering to the competition section of the Cairo International Film Festival. “The title of the film can t be summed up in one word, …

Sarah El Sirgany

Spanish film dreams of a world with no borders

CAIRO: Documentaries were a no-show at the Cairo International Film Festival this year but Spanish director Antoni Verdaguer did manage to present a glimpse of the overlooked genre in his film Raval Raval , mixed fiction with real footage. Like the title suggests, the film is named after the Spanish/Catalan city in which Verdaguer currently …

Sarah El Sirgany