Sarah El Sirgany

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Latest by Sarah El Sirgany


Insults, foul language traded at film festival conference

CAIRO: A question about the involvement of businessman Naguib Sawiris in the funding of the Egyptian film Istughomaya (“Hide and Seek ) torpedoed the film’s premiere into a cussing session between producer Hany Gerges and film critic Yehia Zakaria. Screened at The Cairo International Film Festival, the movie is one of three competing for awards …

Sarah El Sirgany

It's a musical but they keep the solos to a minimum, thankfully

Nothing But That reintroduces the forgotten genre in festival s main competition Mafeesh Gheir Keda (Nothing But That)Director: Khaled El Haggar: Script: Kawthar Mostafa and Azza ShalabyActors: Nabila Ebeid, Khaled Abol Naga, Sawsan Badr, Ahmed Azmi, Arwa and Rola MahmoudBy Sarah El Sirgany Daily Star Egypt staff CAIRO: I was preparing myself for the worst; …

Sarah El Sirgany

Omkara: An Indian adaptation of Othello offers nothing new

CAIRO: If you are in the mood to see how Othello the Moor sounds like in India, then the Bollywood adaptation of Othello may be just what the doctor ordered. Omkara, an official entrant in the competition section of the Cairo International Film Festival, combines the elements of the Bollywood productions with the Shakespearean plot. …

Sarah El Sirgany

Theatrical premier overshadows "Cut and Paste" screening

Egyptian film applauded by critics and gets a thumbs up from cast’s families CAIRO: It started like any other film screening at the Cairo International Film Festival: film starts, people watch, press conference starts, some critics make uninteresting comments, few ask witty questions then everybody goes home. This was the drill until the premier of …

Sarah El Sirgany

"Lethal Weapon" star's visit is part of outreach effort

Commercial films have been his stepping stone to reaching his goals CAIRO: In the “Lethal Weapons series of films, Danny Glover was usually the butt of Mel Gibson’s jokes. But in Cairo for the International Film Festival, Glover was serious about breaching cultural divides around the world. Dressed in a brown suit and a white …

Sarah El Sirgany

NDP media blitz on constitutional amendments

Opposition criticizes official party’s stranglehold on media CAIRO: The ruling party is planning an aggressive campaign to promote its policies and proposed amendments to the constitution, announced the website of the National Democratic Party. Aly El-Din Helal, the secretary general of the NDP media committee, said party officials have already started visiting different governorates to …

Sarah El Sirgany

Film festival president responds to criticism, reflects on expansion plans

CAIRO: Always under heavy criticism, the Cairo International Film Festival isn’t an easy task to handle and in the past three months, newly appointed President Ezzat Abu Ouf has been facing the heat. Since previous President Sherif El-Shobashi’s sudden resignation, Abu Ouf has been appearing on TV gracefully responding to mounting criticism, diplomatically welcoming advice …

Sarah El Sirgany

Festival sink or swim?

The success or failure of the Cairo International Film Festival hangs in the balance Five reasons why we think the Cairo International Film Festival will succeed: 1. International celebrities Jacqueline Bisset and Danny Glover. French actress Jacqueline Bisset is one of the icons of both French and American cinema. The legendary actress has worked with …

Sarah El Sirgany

It is politically correct to denounce the veil?

Veiled women face discrimination in the workplace and public spaces CAIRO: In a country with a predominate Muslim community and age-old traditions that encourage a modest dress code for all women regardless of faith, it is surprising to many to hear that veiled women face discrimination. It isn t just the recent controversial statement made …

Sarah El Sirgany

Culture Minister Farouk Hosni will not back down over veil remarks

In a tit-for-tat war of words, Minister of Culture Farouk Hosni is demanding that parliament apologize for the way MPs referred to him during a heated discussion on Monday and Tuesday. Angry MPs who charged Hosni had no right or authority to criticize the hijab headscarf called on the government to force the culture minister …

Sarah El Sirgany

Farouk Hosny feels the heat in Parliament

CAIRO: Farouk Hosny, Minister of Culture, is currently facing mounting pressure from MPs to issue an apology for calling the hijab head scarf repressive or resign. Hamdy Hassan, a Muslim Brotherhood MP told The Daily Star Egypt: “This is the least thing we can do to him. Instead of promoting our Egyptian culture and its …

Sarah El Sirgany

Mubarak says he will lead the nation "as long as heart continues beating"

President gives strong indication that he intends to remain in power for some time yet CAIRO: President Hosni Mubarak won’t step down and it is not clear whether the planned constitutional amendments will allow more candidates a fair chance to run in presidential elections. I will carry on with you, crossing to the future, shouldering …

Sarah El Sirgany

Religious scholars slam Farouk Hosny for anti veil remarks

Minister’s supporters fear disproportionate reactions for expressing their opinion CAIRO: Farouk Hosny, Minister of Culture, set off a firestorm late last week when he criticized the hijab head scarf and those who chose to wear it. His remarks garnered swift and often angry reactions from Egyptian and Arab religious scholars, some of whom said Egyptian …

Sarah El Sirgany

Mubarak to introduce constitutional amendments

But will the reforms go far enough, ask analysts The Egyptian political arena is rife with speculation regarding President Hosni Mubarak’s promised package of democratic reforms and his speech to Parliament regarding constitutional amendments on Sunday. Sweeping constitutional amendments are expected, but analysts and opposition party members say there is no clear idea how acute …

Sarah El Sirgany

Egypt unable to resolve Palestinian-Israeli conflict, experts say

Too many factors beyond Egyptian control in regional clash CAIRO: Egyptian efforts to bring about a peaceful resolution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict go beyond merely negotiating the release of a captured Israeli soldier, said Ambassador Soliman Awad, after President Mubarak met with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday. But according to many experts and critics, …

Sarah El Sirgany

New Egyptian Austrian Business Council to push for bilateral economic relations

CAIRO: Representatives of Egypt and Austrian public and private sectors came together this week to celebrate the establishment of the Egyptian Austrian Business Council. The high profile event included speeches by Minister of Industry and Trade Rachid Mohammed Rachid; Ambassador Mostafa El-Fiqi, president of the Egyptian Austrian Friendship Association; and Richard Schenz, vice president of …

Sarah El Sirgany

Government signs two agreements for landmines and Luxor development

UNDP to supervise two long-term projects to develop areas in North Coast and Upper Egypt CAIRO: We won t leave a stone unturned, said Fathy El-Shazly, head of the National Committee for Clearing Landmines in the North Coast, in reference to a project to clear the areas infested with landmines left behind in conflicts stretching …

Sarah El Sirgany

Starting education early leads to later success

Early childhood education needs attention in Egypt, Arab states CAIRO: Hosted in Cairo for the first time, the Sixth Education for All (EFA) High Level Discussion summit focused Monday on one of the most overlooked development issues in the Arab Middle East – early childhood education. According to Unesco’s EFA Global Monitoring Report 2007, childhood …

Sarah El Sirgany

France backs Egyptian plan to break Darfur deadlock

The third way may be the key to breaking the stalemate CAIRO: France pledged to step up its peacekeeping funding and to cooperate with an Egyptian plan to break the diplomatic stalemate that has paralyzed peace efforts in the war torn Darfur region of Sudan, according to reports. The Egyptian plan could see troops from …

Sarah El Sirgany

Experts see agreement in Egyptian, French approaches to Darfur crisis

US backing away from insistence on abidance to UN security resolution CAIRO: French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy confirmed with President Hosni Mubarak in Cairo yesterday his country’s willingness to arbitrate and resolve the Darfur crisis peacefully. Douste-Blazy arrived in Cairo on Saturday to discuss regional issues as well as map out a strategy to resolve …

Sarah El Sirgany

Egyptian public unfazed by US Democratic win

The few who follow midterm elections are not optimistic regarding American plans for the region CAIRO: In the United States, excitement over the midterm elections reached fever pitch on Tuesday night as the Democratic Party was poised to overrun the Republicans in both branches of Congress: the Senate and the House of Representatives. But for …

Sarah El Sirgany

Religious leaders unite to take on problems of AIDS sufferers

The Chahama network will support people living with AIDS and vulnerable groups CAIRO: The First Network of Arab Religious Leaders Responding to AIDS launched today with the aim of uniting various organizations and religious leaders to raise awareness and support people living with AIDS. Muslim and Christian sects from 20 Arab countries formed the Chahama …

Sarah El Sirgany

Cairo Film fest celebrates its 30th anniversary with added competitions

Arab cinema, digital films and Latin American productions mark the festival CAIRO: In celebration of its 30th anniversary, the International Cairo Film Festival has added two competitions to its proceedings to encourage Arab cinema and digital filming, says Youssef Cherif Rizkallah, the festival’s artistic director. This year Latin America has been chosen as the celebrated …

Sarah El Sirgany

Raised rubbing shoulders with stars

Growing up in the entertainment world, Adel Ashoub’s turn to cinema is hardly surprising Growing up in the fast-paced, high-profile world of celebrities can produce conflicting effects on an impressionable boy. For Adel Ashoub, however, it made him fall in love with acting and taught him never to be scared of a rolling camera. The …

Sarah El Sirgany

Government formulates strategy to combat potential bird flu pandemic

Migratory season arouses concerns over a recurrence of last year’s battle with avian flu CAIRO: Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif chaired a meeting Monday with the national committee for combating bird flu to map out a strategy should a pandemic hit Egypt. According to the World Health Organization, The world may be on the brink of …

Sarah El Sirgany

Student union elections marred by violence, controversy on Egypt campuses

The chants have become familiar: National Security, out, this is our university and it will remain free; who runs the university, the dean or Internal Affairs, shouted protesting university students on campuses throughout Cairo and the governorates. In the latest such protest, students at Helwan University demonstrated against the arrest of 28 of their colleagues …

Sarah El Sirgany

Egyptians sound off on Saddam Hussein execution verdict

CAIRO: While reaction to the execution verdict handed down to Saddam Hussein has been split along sectarian lines in Iraq, Egyptians had mixed reactions. “I’m for the verdict in essence but I’m against the form, Samer Soliman, assistant professor of political economy at the American University in Cairo said. “I don’t have any doubt that …

Sarah El Sirgany