Culture – Daily News Egypt https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com Egypt’s Only Daily Independent Newspaper In English Wed, 22 Jan 2020 20:15:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.1 Madbouly launches 51st Cairo International Book Fair https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/01/22/madbouly-launches-51st-cairo-international-book-fair/ Wed, 22 Jan 2020 20:15:24 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=719929 900 publishing houses participate at this year’s edition, an increase of 153 additional publishers than last year showcasing their books over 808 sections. The 51st edition witnessed the participation of 38 countries and 925 scheduled cultural activities.

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Egypt’s prime minister, Moustafa Madbouly inaugurated the 51st Cairo International Book Fair at Egypt International Exhibition Centre, on Wednesday.

Madbouly roamed the fair which runs until 4 February under the theme of “Egypt, Africa: the Diversity Culture.” During his tour, he visited the section dedicated to the Ministry of Defence, and Senegal the Guest of Honour. The 51st edition of the Cairo International Book Fair selected Gamal Hamdan as the main figure.

900 publishing houses participate at this year’s edition, an increase of 153 additional publishers than last year showcasing their books over 808 sections. The 51st edition witnessed the participation of 38 countries and 925 scheduled cultural activities.

The Ministry of Transportation announced the transportation lines provided for visitors from across the city. The book fair provides 98 bus lines from most areas of Cairo and Giza, with average tickets EGP 6.

The fair ticket prices increased to EGP 5 in this year’s edition.

The 51st year’s edition introduced fair’s ambassadors to promote and raise the world’s attention to the fair. This year’s ambassadors are Zahi Hawwas, prominent actress Samiha Ayoub, famed football player Mahmoud Trézéguet, and the internationally accredited abstract artist Ahmed Moustafa.

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Antiquities’ replicas to be sold at Cairo Int’l Airport by end of January https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/01/20/antiquities-replicas-to-be-sold-at-cairo-intl-airport-by-end-of-january/ Mon, 20 Jan 2020 20:29:36 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=719704 Executive Director of the Archaeological Models Production Unit at the Ministry of Antiquities Amr El-Teiby stated that the batch is to be offered based on a protocol signed by the Ministries of Antiquities and Tourism, and Aviation.

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The first collection of antiquities’ replicas will be available for purchase at the Cairo International Airport’s duty free by the end of January, according to local media.

Executive Director of the Archaeological Models Production Unit at the Ministry of Antiquities Amr El-Teiby stated that the batch is to be offered based on a protocol signed by the Ministries of Antiquities and Tourism, and Aviation.

The replicas are the closest in shape and quality to the real relics, unlike the commercial ones that are commonly sold at bazaars. The antiquities are to be made by the Archeological Models Production Unit, which is more accurate in shaping the antiquities, more than the commercial ones, according to El-Teiby.

“We have a number of experts in making antiquities replicas,” he assured.

El-Teiby explained that the replica antiquities are the first of their own to be sold at the airport, explaining that they will soon be available also at Sharm El-Sheikh, Luxor, and Aswan airports.

  

The selling process comes as a part of the ministry’s plan to develop the replica production lines in order to meet the high demand of purchasing Egyptian relics.

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Egypt concludes its 4th Group Psychotherapy Conference https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/01/20/egypt-concludes-its-4th-group-psychotherapy-conference/ Mon, 20 Jan 2020 16:06:35 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=719690 A group of psychiatrists presented entertainment and singing performances led by Mona El-Rakhawy, professor of psychiatry at Cairo University, explaining that the association believes that there is a close link between mental health, arts, and creativity.

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The Egyptian Association for Group Therapies & Processes (EAGT) concluded its 4th International Conference in Egypt for Group Psychotherapy and Group Processes, entitled “Action, connection, and inclusion,” on Saturday at the Triumph Hotel in the 5th Settlement.

The conference was attended by Yehia Rakhawy, conference president and co-founder of group therapy in Egypt; Richard Beck, president of the International Association for Group Psychotherapy and Group Processes (IAGP); Refaat Mahfouz, the vice-president of the conference; Nasser Loza, president of the World Federation for Mental Health, and a group of senior psychologists from 40 countries.

The conference discussed, during its opening session, several issues that represent a collective psychological challenge, most notably group therapy for trauma, integrative psychological treatment, the use of antidepressants with group psychological therapy, group therapy for children and adolescents, training and education in group psychological treatments, group therapy for couples and family therapy.

A group of psychiatrists presented entertainment and singing performances led by Mona El-Rakhawy, professor of psychiatry at Cairo University, explaining that the association believes that there is a close link between mental health, arts, and creativity.

Mona El-Rakhawy said that the conference is attended by about 40 Asian, African, American, and European countries, with the aim of enhancing communication, networking, and joint teamwork to raise awareness of methods and approaches of collective psychotherapy.

El-Rakhawy explained that the international conference coincides with the Egyptian parliament’s discussion of the mental health law, as the conference brings together doctors of different nationalities who live different collective educational experiences, which contributes to enriching discussions about the law.

The Conference also seeks to fill gap in the media’s handling of mental health and linking creative and psychological areas such as cinema, theatre, and writing.

The Conference is the largest event of its kind in the field of mental health in Africa and the Middle East.

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46th Cairo Film Society Festival for Egyptian Cinema to kick off 25 January https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/01/20/46th-cairo-film-society-festival-for-egyptian-cinema-to-kick-off-25-january/ Mon, 20 Jan 2020 08:00:33 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=719685 Minister of Culture Inas Abdel Dayem supports the festival as one of the oldest, as it started in 1960.

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With the aim of tackling Egyptian society’s reflections on silver screen, the 46th Cairo Film Society Festival for  Egyptian Cinema is to kick off 25 January, offering audience an opportunity to see the most successful films presenting Egyptian live in a year.

Minister of Culture Inas Abdel Dayem supports the festival as one of the oldest, as it started in 1960.

The festival is an independent initiative and is currently run by cinematographer Mahmoud Abdel Samie. It targets preserving and highlighting the domestic talent presented at cinema production, as well as recognising the legends that have given their blood, sweat, and tears to the industry.

For six days, eight films from Egypt’s 2019 productions are to be screened at the Artistic Creativity Centre of the Cairo Opera House.

Out of 33 applied films, only eight managed to reach the final shortlist. The films list are “The Guest” directed by Hadi El-Bagoury,  “The Secret Men’s Club” by Khaled Al-Halafaoui,” The Passage” by Sharif Arafa, “Blue Elephant 2” Marwan Hamed, “The Treasure 2” by  Sharif Arafa, “Rizk’s Sons 2” by Tariq Al-Erian, “Imagination of the Dead” by Khaled Mer’ai , and last but not least “When We Are Born” by Tamer Ezzat.

This year’s honour is dedicated to some of the Egyptian legends who have left an eternal imprint in the annals of cinematic scene, including veteran actor Tawfiq Al-Deken, screenwriter Abu Al-Seoudd El-Ebiary.

This comes along some of the Egyptian contemporary artists like director Dawood Abdel Sayed, scriptwriter Wahid Hamed, musician Mounir Al Wassimi, artist Lotfy Labib,  interior designer Nihad Bahgat, and critic Salah Hashem.

The legendary actress Samiha Ayoub is to be this year’s Guest of Honour, celebrating her long years of fulfilling art career, spanning over 60 years in theatrical, cinematic and dramatic works.

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Initiative for visually impaired Egyptians to receive art education https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/01/20/initiative-for-visually-impaired-egyptians-to-receive-art-education/ Mon, 20 Jan 2020 07:00:37 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=719680 It aims to integrate the visually impaired community into Egyptian society through providing basic photography, art skills

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In a world where darkness is the only colour pallet the visually impaired recognise; recognising shapes, colours, and pigments becomes a faraway dream for them. Yet, this fact is about to change for some of this segment that will soon explore the art of painting through their sense of touch and raised line art.

Through a workshop taking place early next month, the Awladna organisation for children with disabilities in cooperation with the Japanese Information and Culture Center, target a group of visually impaired people with the aim of teaching them the basics of painting, defining shapes and colours, and how to create them.

Awladna is an NGO that is specialised in providing people with disabilities, especially children, rehabilitation through art, workshops, and training sessions. The organisation’s annual forum takes place in cooperation with UNICEF and the European Union (EU), and under the umbrella of Egypt’s ministries of youth and sports, social solidarity, higher education, tourism, and manpower and immigration. Awladna showcases the social struggles of people having a disability, as well as highlighting those who managed to overcome them.

The organisation highlights the achievements of disabled individuals and, through the forum, states recommendations based on personal experiences with the requirements of having a decent life for disabled people in Egypt.

“I believe that art has managed to rehabilitate people with a disability more than any other activity, even sports,” Soheir Khedr, the founder and director of Awladna organisation, told Daily News Egypt.

Khedr stated that through this cooperation, the organization is able to provide the visually impaired a chance to learn a new form of inner expression, “which leads them into brining out what is hidden inside of them.”

The workshop is dedicated to providing a number of visually impaired people with the basics of photography, lines that shape a portrait, and painting through raised line art.

Through it, participants get to learn the basics of illustrating portraits.

The initiative targets facilitating the rehabilitation of the visually impaired community in Egyptian society, through providing them with artistic skills that help represent themselves and speak to their hearts out.

“If they are always kept inside the NGOs hosting them, they would never find a chance to fit into society or feel like any other member. Only through art can they find such a securing feeling,” Khedr added.

The workshop is to be held at the Cairo Opera House, under the instruction of an expert Japanese artist that is specialised in teaching photography and art to the visually impaired.

“The initiative was firstly established by the Japanese Information and Culture Center that reached out to us, requesting to provide groups of visually disabled people in order to teach them such fascinating art,” Khedr said, adding “I personally long to attend the workshop in order to know its details and how we can teach this art to them.”

She, further, elaborated that the participating groups are not only restricted to children, “but open to people of all ages, who are in need of art to express their souls.”

Looking forward to what is beyond a few-hour workshop presented to only a limited group of people, Khedr is planning to expand the initiative and grow its target group.   

“We will make sure a number of Egyptian artists attend in order to learn about this educational system and its details, in order to teach as many people as possible who will not have the chance to attend,” she stated.

The workshop comes as a part of a series of activities that Awladna foundation holds every month.

Khedr explains that that the organisation’s main goal is to provide a decent life to people with disability and their children.

“That is through developing their skills, and raising their awareness as well as society’s of their rights, and needs,” she explained in the press release published by the foundation about the event.

The event takes place a month before the 4th Awladna International Forum for Arts of Gifted that runs under the theme of “Technology… Our way”.

Khedr concluded by highlighting that only through such activities, one can explore the “huge potential that disabled people, especially children, have.”

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Google celebrates 106th birthday of Egyptian lawyer Moufida Abdel Rahman https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/01/20/google-celebrates-106th-birthday-of-egyptian-lawyer-moufida-abdel-rahman/ Mon, 20 Jan 2020 05:55:32 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=719679 Born in Cairo on 19 January 1914, she was among the first women to graduate from Cairo University’s Faculty of Law and became the premier female attorney in Egypt. Her determined efforts in and out of the courtroom helped forge the path to political equality for Egyptian women.

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Today’s Doodle, illustrated by Cairo-based guest artist Deena Mohamed, celebrates Egyptian lawyer Mufidah Abdul Rahman on her 106th birthday.

Born in Cairo on 19 January 1914, she was among the first women to graduate from Cairo University’s Faculty of Law and became the premier female attorney in Egypt. Her determined efforts in and out of the courtroom helped forge the path to political equality for Egyptian women.

While practicing law, Abdul Rahman  built relationships with like-minded women advocates and was inspired to co-found the National Feminist Party, a women’s organisation fighting for universal suffrage in Egypt. Her social advocacy led her to be recruited into Bint al-Nil (“Daughter of the Nile”), a feminist union seeking to overcome sociocultural repressions that the women of her era faced.

In 1951, Bint al-Nil founder Doria Shafik led an interruption at the Egyptian Parliament to demand women’s right to vote and hold political office. In response, Shafik was summoned to court and handpicked the esteemed Abdul Rahman to defend her.

Considered to be a case against not only Shafik, but also the Egyptian women’s rights movement as a whole, the trial presented a critical opportunity for advocates to have their voices heard. Abdul Rahman’s impassioned defence of Shafik fanned the flames of the cause, and that landmark case helped Egyptian women take their right to vote in 1956.

This Doodle also highlights the more personal moments in Abdul Rahman’s life, from being the young lawyer who received payment in eggs and fruits to the mother who enjoyed a rich family life with her nine children and supportive husband.

Throughout her distinguished career, Abdul Rahman defended over 400 court cases, became a member of Egyptian Parliament, and never stopped fighting for justice.

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Quaint little hole in the wall downtown selected by CNN as Egypt’s best Molokhia https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/01/19/quaint-little-hole-in-the-wall-downtown-selected-by-cnn-as-egypts-best-molokhia/ Sun, 19 Jan 2020 17:03:28 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=719612 Fasahet Somaya offers around three home cooked dishes daily for only two hours

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Egypt’s Downtown, a place one can go to experience the most beautiful architecture that showcases Egyptian social class and heritage, has many small restaurants tucked away in its alleyways that make some of the most mouth-watering dishes Egypt has to offer. Fasahet Somaya, (Somaya’s Open Place) is one of these places, and CNN recently selected it as one of the best restaurants for Egypt’s world renowned Molokhia.

Fasahet Somaya is a small restaurant, located in Huda Shaarawy street. The Egyptian cuisine is named after his owner, Somaya Al-Asyoty. The cosy restaurant is designed make you feel right at home and visitors are welcomed to enjoy Somaya’s home cooked meals every dinnertime.

The nine-year-old restaurant opened its doors when the owner feltthat her passion for food should go beyond her close circle of friends.

From only a few regular attendees, to thousands of visitors everyday, Fasahet Somaya is currently one of the most famous hubs of Egyptian food for Downtown residents.

Unlike any other restaurant, Fasahet Somaya does not offer a wide menu to select from. It only serves two or three dishes, which she cooks differently. Opening for two hours only, Somaya usually closes her doors before seven, as she regularly runs out of food due to high demand.

Somaya, who masters the art of home cooking, does not have a set menu for weekdays. She is known for roaming the market and getting whatever calls to her. Through the restaurant’s Facebook page, she announces what’s on the menu for the day along with its price, which is always quite reasonable.

The always smiling lady, personally serves her visitors, and has even become familiar with some of her regulars, who come to eat regardless day’s menu, as she frequently mentions in a number of Televised interviews.

Somaya’s most famous dish is Molokhia, one of the reasons behind her fame in the big city of Cairo. The home-made and mouth-watering plate is one of the most unique plates one can ever try in Cairo, especially if one gets to catch a meal at Somaya’s place.

Molokhia (also known as Jew’s mallow) is considered the national Egyptian dish, along with fava beans. The green soup is usually made with chicken, lamb, rabbit, shrimp, or even fish. However, it is most known in Cairo to be served with chicken or rabbit.

Soup is widely spread across the Middle East and North Africa, however, it is cooked differently in Egypt, where the leaves’ spine is removed before they are finely chopped and cooked with chicken or meat broth with a pinch of garlic and coriander.

Molokhiya was consumed in ancient Egypt, where the name “molokhiya” is thought to originate from.

The plate is added to CNN’s must try Egyptian foods, along Falafel, Fattah, Mahshi, and liver.

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Egypt’s young pharaoh, TUT in Australia’s Boston exhibition https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/01/18/egypts-young-pharaoh-tut-in-australias-boston-exhibition/ Sat, 18 Jan 2020 20:27:41 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=719517 The exhibition showcases 150 antiquities from the pharaoh’s personal belongings, 60 of which are travelling out of Egypt for the first time

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Roaming the world and causing an intense state of Egyptomania, the exhibition of young Ancient Egyptian Pharaoh “Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh” will cause a stir in Boston, Australia, after settling for over six months in London.

The exhibition is to kick off in Boston by mid-June, running for only a limited time, according to the exhibition’s official website. The artefacts will be on display at Saunders Castle on Park Plaza shortly before they are again packed to their new temporary home at the Australian Museum in Sydney.

The Boston exhibition is just one stop in its grand tour around the world, with planned visits to four other European counties within its 4-year-temporary exhibition. It showcases 150 antiquities from the pharaoh’s personal belongings, 60 of which are travelling out of Egypt for the first time ever.

The antiquities include the world’s most famous golden mask, the gilded wooden bed fashioned especially for his funeral with carved lion feet-golden coffins, and 3D models which the museum prepared in order to take visitors through time to see the glories of the Egyptian civilisation.

Boston is the third stop after the young pharaoh’s belongings broke French records in Paris, topping the list of France’s most visited cultural events this year with over 1.4 million visitors within a few months of its inauguration.

The numbers of visitors that attended the exhibition in London were not yet revealed. However, 285,000 tickets were sold before the exhibition opened its doors, which is more than the number of tickets sold before its opening in France.

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Government launches Upper Egypt’s first cultural festival https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/01/16/government-launches-upper-egypts-first-cultural-festival/ Thu, 16 Jan 2020 00:00:45 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=719379 Hosted at Dendara Temple, the festival to kick off 27 February

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As part of their policy to attract attention to unknown touristic destinations, Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities and Tourism are to hold Dendara cultural festival in Qena, Upper Egypt.

The cultural festival aims at highlighting Qena’s heritage as one of the most prominent cities in terms of antiquities and handicrafts.

Minister of Antiquities and Tourism Khaled Anany and Minister of Culture Inas Abdel Dayem met on Wednesday to discuss the details of the festival which will kick off 27 February until 3 March.

Dendara Temple, one of Egypt’s most well-preserved temples, will host the event. Belonging to goddess Hathor, the temple is built in Greco-Roman style, with giant stone columns, carvings and hieroglyphics decorating it.

The temple will host several musical concerts and shows by prominent and young talents.

   

Abdel Dayem stated in the meeting that the festival is the first of its kind in Upper Egypt, explaining that it sees the light under the directions of President Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi who previously announced that 2020 is the year of culture.

She asserted that the festival is one of the ministry’s efforts in rebuilding people’s consciousness through soft powers.

For his side, Anany explained that the combined efforts between different ministries attracts people’s attention towards the beauty Egypt’s antiquities, elaborating that at the end it serves the purpose of reviving tourism across governorates.

The meeting also witnessed a discussion between two ministries to hold a cultural festival in Bubastis (Tel Basta) after the conclusion of Qena’s festival.

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Ancient military base accidentally discovered in North Sinai https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/01/14/ancient-military-base-accidentally-discovered-in-north-sinai/ Tue, 14 Jan 2020 13:51:02 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=719193 The alleged Roman base contains military fortune and several connected tanks believed to provide convoys with water

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While working on an underground construction site at the new industrial area in North Sinai, workers stumbled upon an ancient military fortune and water tanks buried under layers of mud, according to statement published by the Ministry of Antiquities and Tourism.

Ayman Ashmawi, head of the ancient Egyptian artefacts sector at the ministry, stated in a press release that the unearthed relics are a part of a historical military site. The antiquities were found at an archaeological site located in North Sinai near of which an industrial area is being established.

The ministry started the excavation work in the area in order to save the site.

Ashmawy revealed that the ancient military site was found fully covered by layers of mud and surrounded by a number of marches leading it to completely block from eye site, adding that once they were discovered, the ministry reached out to the Armed Forces construction company to hold the structure work in order to save the site.

He further elaborated that the construction company reformatted a new road and placed the structure away from the recently discovered military base.

The exact time and era in which the military base belongs to has yet to be discovered, as archaeologists are still working on saving it. However, primarily studies indicate that it was built in the Roman era.

Archaeologists believe that the site was built at the end of the Roman Empire in order to protect Egypt’s eastern entrance. Evidence indicate that it was reused during the Islamic era for protection, before the interior space was repurposed.

Several Greco-Roman antiquities were previously discovered in North Sinai, which was a provincial capital of the Roman Empire.

The fortune was found built from red brick, near a number of connected water tanks that were also made of the same material and covered from the inside by a thick layer of mortar.

Three towers were also found in the site. The first is oval shaped, and overlooks the South-West area. As for the other two, they are shaped in a U design, overviewing the eastern side of the fortune.

The large number of tanks vary in sizes, shape, and architectural design. However, being located all in one place indicates that the area was also a water station for nearby residents. It is also believed that the tanks were used to provide the passing of convoys, and ships with enough water, as the Mediterranean use to extend to this area.

Last year, a large structure believed to be a main senate building for the Roman Empire was unearthed near the same archaeological site. The 2,500-sqm building is also made of bricks and limestones, and divided into several open amphitheatres.

Last year, the ministry also unearthed an ancient Roman-Ptolemaic maintenance workshop which was used to repair ships in North Sinai.

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AUC graduate creates 3D technology programme for base-of-thumb osteoarthritis patients https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/01/13/auc-graduate-creates-3d-technology-programme-for-base-of-thumb-osteoarthritis-patients/ Mon, 13 Jan 2020 19:29:59 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=719098 My vision has always revolved around innovating and creating technological solutions that can serve society, says Haider

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A fresh graduate from the American University in Cairo (AUC) received the university’s Tomorrow’s Leaders Scholarship for designing, fabricating, and programming a mechanical engineering prototype to evaluate the forces between the hand and splints worn by patients suffering from base-of-thumb osteoarthritis with 3D printable technology.

AUC alumni, Belquis Haider, developed her project at the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom, through which she aimed to provide patients with osteoarthritis better mobility in their joints.

“The aim of the project I worked on was the instrumentation of a splint with soft-sensing technology for evaluating the mechanical forces and patient compliance,” Haider explained. “This is significant to inform future designs of splints, especially that there are no data to justify their use, and this can also lead to a customized patient treatment.”

In the early stages of osteoarthritis, splints have been prescribed to limit joint movements and reduce pain, but there is little knowledge about the optimal design of splints, considering how they interact with the patient’s hands. There is also limited data on patient compliance with the treatment, according to a press release published by the AUC.

“Sensing technologies is an area that has been of interest to me for a long time due to the ubiquitous nature that render them useful in various applications,” said Haider.

“My vision has always revolved around innovating and creating technological solutions that can serve society. Our society in the Middle East and North Africa is in dire need of technological breakthroughs and innovations that are accessible, sustainable, and serve existing needs,” Haider elaborated, adding “I believe that the education and support I received from AUC are what propelled me toward success.”

The young talent also programmed and integrated a wireless platform to stream the data collected by sensors to a mobile application for clinical evaluation. This involved an iterative design process, manufacturing of soft sensors, and mechatronic component selection and programming.

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Sharm El-Sheikh Heritage Festival: unfolding the beauty of Bedouin culture https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/01/13/sharm-el-sheikh-heritage-festival-unfolding-the-beauty-of-bedouin-culture/ Mon, 13 Jan 2020 10:38:10 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=719035 Festival to start 16 January, including Egypt’s 3rd Camel Race

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Sharm El-Sheikh is known for its mixture of sunny weather, mountainous nature, and luxury resorts, but the city’s beauty has a hidden aspect that will see the light next week at the Sharm El-Sheikh Heritage Festival. Several ambassadors and ministers are to attend the festival.

The festival, organised by the Ministry of Culture, will kick off on 16 January, presenting Bedouin handicrafts, cultural performances, and the 3rd Camel Race in cooperation with the UAE. It revives one of the still extremely unique sports in Egypt and the Middle East.

Camel races were used to resolve conflicts between Bedouin tribes and to unite them. The race is still a regular competition among Bedouin tribes in Sinai, however, just like many of their cultural lifestyle activities, camel races are away from the spotlight.

The UAE sent Egypt eight of its finest camel species, specially trained for camel races, according to local media portals

Such activities come to unveil the legacy of this community which still clings to its heritage and remains uninterrupted.

As an inseparable and vital part of the heritage, handicrafts shape a huge part of Sinai women’s identity. The females there are famed for making unique clothes and pottery works.

The festival hosts 100 female artisans, from both Egyptian and Emirati sides, who still rely on handicrafts as a source of income. Traditional South Sinai female clothing are handmade and black-coloured. The embroidery of Sinai women’s clothes is usually the most complicated, using a mixture of different colours which vary based on each tribe and area.

Sinai’s most famous embroidery comes with bright fluorescent colours. Over the years, each tribe came up with a special ‎geometric figure marking their identity. It became an identification for each tribe.

The festival also comes to show the artistic side of the people of South Sinai. Despite the modernised music instruments, Bedouins in Sinai still rely on other tools to produce music, including jerrycans, car batteries, and sometimes even bullet containers.

As an essential part of the Bedouins identity, poetry is also part of the Heritage Festival. Dozens of Egyptian and Emirati poets are to recite their poems in the event. In addition, a live cooking show for Bedouin food is to be part of the festival.

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51st Cairo International Book Fair kicks off 22 January https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/01/13/51st-cairo-international-book-fair-kicks-off-22-january-2/ Mon, 13 Jan 2020 10:34:30 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=719051 Tickets jumps to EGP 5, this year’s edition commemorates Gamal Hamadan, as 900 publishing houses from 38 countries participate

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Only less than two weeks come between us and one of Egypt’s biggest cultural events of the year, the 51st Cairo International Book Fair (CIBF). The bookworms’ platform graces us for the second year in a row at Egypt International Exhibition Centre, located in the Fifth Settlement, with another increase in the ticket price, reaching EGP 5.

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA)’s biggest book fair kicks off on 22 January, and for two weeks it gives millions of visitors the chance to purchase books from more than 900 publishing houses, and to attend hundreds of cultural activities.

This year’s edition comes under the theme “Egypt, Africa: the Diversity Culture”. Senegal comes as the 51st edition’s Guest of Honour, and Gamal Hamdan is the fair’s main figure.

Minister of Culture Inas Abdel Dayem said the fair’s last edition witnessed remarkable success, “with expectations that this round will even beat the previous one, as we started working on it right after the conclusion of the golden jubilee of Cairo International Book Fair.”

Abel Daayem’s statement came at the press conference, which took place on Sunday at Al Manara International Conference Centre.

“Through this platform, I invite every family to come join our attempts in creating lightened generations that face the extremist and terrorist thoughts with knowledge and culture,” she said.

Abdel Dayem told Daily News Egypt that in 2019 the ministry held over 70 book fairs across all governorates, some of them were the first to ever host book fairs, a path that she aims to continue this year.

“This policy will keep going in 2020, and we will start with one book fair gala that will take place in Port Said that was previously announced to be Egypt’s cultural capital 2020,” she said.

The 51st CIBF’s main highlights are the increased of number of participating publishing houses, reaching up to 900, with 153 more publishers than last year showcasing their books over 808 sections.

This comes fixing one of the biggest criticisms the General Egyptian Book Organization (GEBO) faced last year, which is banning a number of publishing houses from participating at the fair. This led some, including the Azbekeya bookstores, to inaugurate a parallel private book fair in order to compensate their loss.

Some 38 countries participate in this year’s round, with three more countries than last year’s edition and 925 cultural activities.

This year also marks the first time the fair has a mobile application, through which visitors get to explore the books of their favourite authors, and figure out their choices on display areas, prices, and a map on how to reach them. It also offers users a schedule of activities at the fair and their locations along with updates notifying users of registered changes in any of them. The application is to be out for public within two days, and available for both IOS and Android users.

This year’s edition also brings the fair’s ambassadors, a promoting initiative that seeks to raise the world’s attention to the fair. This year’s ambassadors are Zahi Hawwas, prominent actress Samiha Ayoub, and famed football player Mahmoud Trézéguet, as well as the internationally accredited abstract artist Ahmed Moustafa.

Haitham El-Hajj Aly, head of GEBO, the body that organises the fair, explained at the press conference that this fair’s ambassadors are more of an advertorial campaign for internationally famed figures that have the effect of raising attention to it.

He said that in cooperation with Egypt’s Ministry of Transportation, public transportation has been asked to increase the capacity of their lines going to the book fair after complaints describing the new location as too far from the city centre.

“We are trying to avoid all the mistakes we had last year, and our only excuse is that, last year, we were still getting to know the place and explore its map. Now that we are fully aware of it, we are intensively working to take all of the notes we received last year,” he added.

The GEBO chairperson further pointed out that the budget of this year’s fair is still open as the “Ministry of Finance provided them with all of their needs in order to have the CIBF to meet international standards.”

Cultural activities highlight:

The fair has four main halls: Gamal Hamdan, Africa, the future, and the cultural café. Through each, a number of activities, workshops, roundtables, and gatherings are to take place in order to discuss an angle of the main theme.

In Gamal Hamdan’s hall, a number of discussion tables are to take place with figures including artists and figures like Zahi Hawas, Nadilka Mandela, the granddaughter of Nelson Mandela, and Ministers Mohammed Mokhtar Gomaa, Inas Abdel Dayem, and Ashraf Sobhy.

In the Africa Hall, a number of discussion tables and initiatives are to discuss the relationship Egypt has with African countries, and tools of communication between both sides, especially younger generations.

As for the cultural café, it is mainly to discuss the jumps in literary formats, the way it depicts the reality, and reflects it over the years.

The CIBF will run until 4 February.

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Alexandria’s revamped synagogue highlights ancient Jewish community glory    https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/01/11/alexandrias-revamped-synagogue-highlights-ancient-jewish-community-glory/ Sat, 11 Jan 2020 19:27:15 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=718895 Built over 4200 metres, the ancient house of worship is one of the only two synagogues located in Alexandria.

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Three years ago, walking by Alexandria’s Jewish synagogue Eliyahu Hanavi felt more like sneaking into a construction site. It was almost impossible to walk past without tripping over time strewn rubble and debris. The crumbling walls, the timeworn poles, and the faded wooden architecture once looked beyond saving, but after a much-needed face lift, the synagogue has become a beautiful addition to the timeless beauty of Alexandria

The Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, Khaled Anany, reopened on Friday the six and a half centuries old Jewish synagogue after two years of intensive restoration work. The opening came as a part of Anany’s tour in the city, in which he followed the restoration of two of the oldest houses of worship in the city.

The Jewish synagogue is located in the heart of charming Alexandria, in a a neighborhood once considered working class, Kom El-Deka.

Built over 4200 metres, the ancient synagogue is one of the only two synagogues located in Alexandria, and one of the only 11 Jewish buildings in Egypt. Eliyahu Hanavi is believed to be a Hebrew prophet.

As one of the oldest Jewish houses in Egypt, Anany stated that reopening the Eliyahu Hanavi synagogue is considered a message to the whole world “that the Egyptian government cares about the Egyptian heritage of all religions.”

The opening ceremony was attended by Mohamed Tariq Sharif, Governor of Alexandria, Mustafa Waziri, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, Ahmed Al-Wassief, Head of the Egyptian Tourism Federation, Hossam Al-Shaer, Head of the Egyptian Travel Agents Association, and Ahmed Youssef, the Chairperosn of the Egyptian Tourism Promotion Board. Also present at the ceremony was Zahi Hawas, the renowned Egyptologist.

The synagogue was built in 1354. However, it did not survive Napoleon Bonaparte’s invasion of Egypt in 1798, and was badly damaged during one of his attacks. Under Mohammed Ali Pasha’a ruling era, the royal family funded and directed the renovation of the synagogue, presenting to the world its beauty since the 1850s.

Eliyahu Hanavi synagogue was added to the list of the World Monuments Fund’s list of monuments at risk three years ago just before it underwent restoration. This came as the result of rainwater leakage that started around seven years ago, causing the women praying area upstairs to be destroyed. The synagogue’s condition further deteriorated after a part of its roof collapsed.

The Ministry of Antiquities announced the latest renovation plans in mid-2017. With the cooperation of the Armed Forces Engineering Authority, it allocated EGP 62m for the synagogue rehabilitation.

The restoration included filling in cracks in the wall, the chandeliers, wooden chairs that can hold up to 700 persons, and the marble donation boxes which were made for the Jewish community to financially support each other. It also included installing flame retardant lighting systems, as well as repairing the mosaics decorating the walls, windows, and floors.   

The house includes one of Egypt’s rarest religious museums that holds 50 ancient versions of the Taurat.

It was once one of the most active religious houses for Jewish people in the previous century, especially when the community was flourishing in the 1940s, with almost 80,000 Jews in Alexandria. The community, which currently consists of less than 20 people,

considered the restoration of their house of worship a complete accreditation and revival to their almost vanishing community.

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Caves made entirely from coral reefs, five hidden places in Giza Zoo https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/01/11/caves-made-entirely-from-coral-reefs-five-hidden-places-in-giza-zoo/ Sat, 11 Jan 2020 11:50:23 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=718764 The zoo was established by Egypt’s Khedive Isma'il Pasha in 1891. Although the zoo lost its membership in the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums in 2004 (WAZA) for ignoring the recommendations of WAZA inspectors, the zoo still boasts the greatness of the Khedive era in Egypt.

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Giza Zoo is the second oldest and largest zoological garden in the world. It was described as the jewel of the African zoological crown. Two out of five most mesmerising places in the zoo are open to the public. The other three are closed, only to be opened for special occasions. These places include caves, artificial streams, and the Eiffel bridge.

The zoo was established by Egypt’s Khedive Isma’il Pasha in 1891. Although the zoo lost its membership in the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums in 2004 (WAZA) for ignoring the recommendations of WAZA inspectors, the zoo still boasts the greatness of the Khedive era in Egypt.

Eiffel Bridge

It was bridge was built 10 years before the world-famous Eiffel Tower, designed by the same engineer Alexandre Gustave Eiffel.

Eiffel, who was famous for building the most important and largest metal constructions, built the bridge on two large artificial mountains, specially designed for the bridge.

The bridge was designed to be the highest point in the garden in order to allow its visitors to witness the entirety of the zoo and its rare plants.

The bridge has two entrances which are closed by two large iron gates on both sides. Above each gate, there is a logo picturing Khedive Ismail, topped by the royal crown.

Gablet El Shamadan (Mount of Candlesticks) and the wishes cave

The artificial mountain was created by a Turkish engineer in the era of Khedive Ismail. Its entrance is characterised by a group of sea snails. It has a cave decorated to be like the bottom of ocean. There are also candlesticks hanging from the roof. It has a few chairs made of stones and decorated with engraved tiles.

Royal Mount

The artificial mountain is one of the most beautiful sites in the zoo. The coral reefs of which the mount was made came from the Red Sea. The place was designed in the form of a maze, full of caves and paths, so that visitors can feel as if they are on an adventure trip surrounded by rare trees.

In order to keep the coral reefs alive, the cave contains small waterfalls. Inside the mount, there is a cave which houses the King’s Chair, a beautiful chair with a crown carved on its head and faces a statue of a lion aimed for protection. The cave also used to have two mirrors reflecting the entrance of the cave.

Zoological museum

The museum, which consists of three floors, displays mummies of hundreds of animals, reptiles, birds, and insects. The museum is the only one in the Middle East and Africa that exhibits mummies of rare and even extinct animals.

Once the museum’s visitors get to the second floor, they witness the mummy of a rare white deer, a species of deer that use to roam the Nile Valley 100 years ago.

The museum also displays a pharaonic mummy of the Sobek, an ancient Egyptian deity, which is associated with the Nile crocodile. The Sobek is represented either in its animal form or as a human with a crocodile’s head. Sobek was also associated with pharaonic power, fertility, and military prowess, but served additionally as a protective deity with apoptotic qualities, invoked particularly for protection against the dangers presented by the Nile.

The Japanese booth

Although the booth is considered Japanese, it is only the exterior that is designed in the traditional Japanese architectural style. The interior of the building was designed in the traditional Islamic style, with the fountain inside was Mughal inspired.

The booth acts as a photo gallery for the park, having pictures of the garden’s most important visitors such as foreign presidents and famous art and sports figures.

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Egypt reopens Jewish synagogue in Alexandria https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/01/11/egypt-reopens-jewish-synagogue-in-alexandria/ Sat, 11 Jan 2020 08:08:17 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=718739 During the inauguration , a documentary film on the city of Alexandria was presented on the cultural diversity and its embrace of all religions, presenting also the history of the Jewish synagogue and its construction in 1354.

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Egypt reopens the two and half century old Jewish synagogue, Eliyahu Hanavi, after three years of restoration on Friday.

Khaled Al-Anani, Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, said that Egypt is unique in its cultural and civilisational diversity.
He added that the opening of the Jewish synagogue in Alexandria after its restoration is considered a message to the world that the Egyptian government cares about the Egyptian heritage of all religions.

This came during the opening of the Jewish synagogue in Alexandria after the restoration process, in the presence of Mohamed Tariq Sharif, Governor of Alexandria, Mustafa Waziri, President of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, Ahmed Al-Wasif, President of the Federation of Tourism, Hossam Al-Shaer, President of the Chamber of Tourism, and Ahmed Youssef, the Head of the Egyptian Tourism promotion board.

During the inauguration , a documentary film on the city of Alexandria was presented on the cultural diversity and its embrace of all religions, presenting also the history of the Jewish synagogue and its construction in 1354.

The minister said that he witnessed the opening and inspection of a number of holy places of worship between Cairo and Alexandria, where he inspected the Royal Al-Fateh Mosque in Abdin district, then inspected the ancient church of Alexandria and went to open the Jewish synagogue after the restoration operations that lasted for nearly three years.

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Ruler of Sharjah gives Egypt 425 rare artifacts https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/01/05/ruler-of-sharjah-gives-egypt-425-rare-artifacts/ Sun, 05 Jan 2020 18:35:22 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=718371 Last year, Sharjah returned 345 Egyptian historical artifacts to Egypt.

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Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, the sovereign ruler of the Emirate of Sharjah and member of the Federal Supreme Council of the United Arab Emirates, presented Egypt with 425 rare Egyptian artifacts, from multiple eras before and after Christmas, in a loving and appreciative touch to Egypt, so to play an active educational and informational role in all Arab countries.

The artifacts, which arrived in Cairo, date back to different time periods from predynastic period in the fourth millennium BC, spanning the ancient, middle, and modern kingdoms, the Ptolemaic period of the fourth century BC, Roman period of the first century BC, and then the Coptic era starting fourth to sixth century AD.

This rare group includes stone, porcelain, wood, and bronze statues representing various Egyptian deities, including but not limited to: Amun, Isis, and others. It also includes wooden coffins decorated with colours, human and animal mummies, birds and fish, necklaces and bracelets of precious stones, pendants, and animal models representing falcons and fish, from alabaster and wood.

Last year, Sharjah returned 345 Egyptian historical artifacts to Egypt.

Sheikh Sultan won the 2013 Heritage Personality title from Egypt in recognition of his efforts, and his continuous giving at all levels, especially for safeguarding heritage in the Emirates, the Arab world, and the Islamic world.

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Google marks birth anniversary of Nabil Ali, Arabic Computational Linguistics pioneer https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/01/04/google-marks-birth-anniversary-of-nabil-ali-arabic-computational-linguistics-pioneer/ Sat, 04 Jan 2020 20:48:40 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=718241 Google described Ali’s innovations in computational linguistics, as the Arab world’s first step into the Information Age.

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Google celebrated last Friday the birth anniversary of Nabil Ali, the pioneer of Arabic Computational Linguistics, featuring him in a doodle on the search engine.

Google described Ali’s innovations in computational linguistics, as the Arab world’s first step into the Information Age.

Working for over 20 years as an engineer with the Egyptian Air Force and with various computer and electronic companies around the globe, Ali created programmes that enabled computers to understand Arabic in digital form.

He believed that digitisation of the Arabic language is the way to connect Arabic speakers with the rest of the world.

Ali was born in Cairo, 3 January 1938, studied at Cairo University, and received PhD in Aeronautical Engineering. Ali published several papers, books, and technical reports in order to support the developments he made in the field of computational linguistics.

He also won several awards, including the prestigious Saudi Arabian award, the King Faisal Prize, in 2012, recognising his pioneering contributions to the Arabic Language and Literature.

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Santa asks: have you been a good boy last year?! https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/01/02/santa-asks-have-you-been-a-good-boy-last-year/ Thu, 02 Jan 2020 10:00:22 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=718137 Meow Tours: an initiative aiming to raise awareness of animal rights in Egypt

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Animal rights activist Mostafa Abdel Aty founded a special organisation, called Meow Tours, aiming to raise awareness about animal rights in Egypt, and give the people an opportunity to help out animals in their communities.

Meow Tours wants to increase the public’s empathy towards animals, particularly stray animals, and teach the people not to harm animals under the slogan, “If you don’t love them, leave them alone”.

“There is no reason for any animal to attack, unless it was harmed or provoked, so we spread awareness of animal rights and how to deal with them,” Abdel Aty said.

We also organise visits to animal shelters, which are numerous, including in Abu Sir, taking to the streets to feed cats and dogs in Cairo’s Maadi and Downtown, and Alexandria.

The initiative is charitable and make use of people’s support, whether by supplying food or playing with the animals.

In regards to Meow Tours’ 2020 plan, Abdel Aty said, “We have held 18 events within nine months, and we hope that the number of volunteers will grow and our events increase. I also hope to create a permanent team of the initiative.”

“Many people volunteered with us despite they had animal phobia, but they were able to overcome their fears and could play with dogs until they were fully comfortable with animals. I hope that we can reach out more people to change the society’s culture in dealing with animals,” he added.

 

Photos by Mahmoud Fekry

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50 Years of Art exhibition showcases Mohamed Zenhom’s glass masterpieces at Opera House https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/01/01/50-years-of-art-exhibition-showcases-mohamed-zenhoms-glass-masterpieces-at-opera-house/ Wed, 01 Jan 2020 14:19:35 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=718033 The exhibition was held under the patronage of Minister of Culture Enas Abdel-Dayem, while artist Farouk Hosny, former culture minister, and Mohsen Salah, CEO & Chairperson of Arab Contractors, participated in the opening of the event.

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Cairo Opera House hosted last Friday a new exhibition titled “50 Years of Art” by veteran artist Mohamed Zenhom.

The exhibition was held under the patronage of Minister of Culture Enas Abdel-Dayem, while artist Farouk Hosny, former culture minister, and Mohsen Salah, CEO & Chairperson of Arab Contractors, participated in the opening of the event.

The exhibition showcases 60 works of art by Zenhom, combining large-space panels up to 2m x 2m with lead-fired glass processing, polyester sculpture, wool, and glass masses. The exhibition also includes works of glass sculpture, and glass-coloured photography, or what is known as “glass painting”.

Zenhom is considered one of the pioneers of architectural glass art in Egypt, presenting his own vision in life, as the art pieces displayed include a painting reflecting life amid destruction. He expressed it by portraying the Egyptian man as victorious, capable of continuing his life after his fight against terrorism.

The exhibition also includes works focusing on originality and modernity, in which heritage was employed in the internal and external architecture in accordance with the latest developments of the era. Among them is the dome of Al Nour mosque in Abbasiya, which was made of glass, in addition to the dome of the Hilton hotel, the glass and ornamental ceilings of the political Economy and International Law Association, the wall of the Constitutional Court, the ceiling and the opening Al Sayeda Zeinab mosque in Cairo and Ali Zain Al-Abidin mosque, in addition to the restoration work on Al-Hussein mosque.

Zenhom is a pioneer of the glass industry in Egypt and the Arab world. Right after graduating from a top architecture programme, he was quickly considered an elite in the architectural world. His works became renowned around Egypt and throughout the Arab world. His abilities took him to great acclaim, allowing him to restore and beautified famous buildings.

This included Al-Azhar, Sayda Zeinab Mosques, and many others. He also beautified the Aswan and Luxor airport and restored facilities that no one has worked on before, including the Fifth Settlement tunnel and others.

He also headed large restoration groups containing professors and students from a mixture of arts, monuments, and architecture specialties.

Mohamed Zenhom, who holds PhD in adornment of glass, presented many art works over fifty years. It moved from being local to being regional and even international, presenting works of art in a manner that suits the countries in which they were created. It is a school of creativity, boldness and innovation, combined with the beauty of the past, the modernity of the present, and the speed of contemporariness.

After the age of 60, it seems that it would have been better for him to retire and enjoy the history he created, but instead, he went on to establish a scientific platform by which he can complete his journey. The Arab Society for Civilization and Islamic Arts, the largest association of arts, architecture, and humanities in the Arab and Islamic world, aimed at promoting scientific research in the field of arts, architecture, and cooperation in order to enhance the Arab world.

Zenhom became head of the glass department, and after the age of 60, the Arab Society for Islamic Arts was established and he became part of its Board.

He held 50 art exhibitions, including 25 individual exhibitions, 20 3D art pieces, and 50 flat art pieces.

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GEM to open in Q4 of 2020: Al-Anani https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/12/31/gem-to-open-in-q4-of-2020-al-anani/ Tue, 31 Dec 2019 17:38:05 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=718001 GEM`s entry ticket price will be EGP 400, EGP 60 for foreigners, Egyptians, respectively

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The Grand Egyptian Museum will be inaugurated in the last Quarter of 2020, according to Minister of Tourism and Antiquates Khaled Al-Anani.

Al-Anani told T.V media that President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi will soon announce the exact date of the inauguration.

He said roads leading to the GEM will be expanded to be better than they are now, adding that entry ticket prices for the GEM were set two months ago.

He revealed that the value of the entry ticket for foreigners will be EGP 400, while for foreign students it will be EGP 200.

Concerning the entry ticket price for Egyptians, he stated that it would be EGP 60, pointing out that the GEM will display 5,000 artifacts, of which 2000 are artifacts not  exhibited before.

GEM will host the complete collection of Tutankhamen’s belongings for the first time in history since they were discovered.

The mega museum is considered one of Egypt’s most instrumental players in luring tourism back and reviving the country’s main source of income.

The opening was planned to take place in 2018, then it was postponed till reaching the last quarter of 2020.

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Misr for Sound & Light begins implementing the Tahrir Square lighting project https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/12/31/misr-for-sound-light-begins-implementing-the-tahrir-square-lighting-project/ Tue, 31 Dec 2019 17:16:52 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=717991 This comes in the framework of President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s plan to develop Khedive Cairo, and the Prime Minister’s instructions to develop a vision for the development and revitalisation of Tahrir Square, Egypt’s most famous square, to become the most magnificent shrine within compared to other archaeological and tourist sites.

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Misr for Sound & Light, a subsidiary of the Holding Company for Tourism and Hotels of the Ministry of Public Enterprises, has started implementing the Tahrir Square lighting project, as part of its development plan, in collaboration with a number of government agencies.

This comes in the framework of President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s plan to develop Khedive Cairo, and the Prime Minister’s instructions to develop a vision for the development and revitalisation of Tahrir Square, Egypt’s most famous square, to become the most magnificent shrine within compared to other archaeological and tourist sites.

The company, according to a mandate from the Council of Ministers, started working on the first stage of the field lighting project by supplying and installing external lighting units for the Egyptian Museum and its garden, as well as lighting units for the square and obelisk.

The second stage will include the supply and installation of aesthetic lighting units for building facades overlooking Tahrir Square. The lighting project will be funded by the New Urban Communities Authority.

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Dancing in the Light: exhibition chronicling the journey of Egypt’s first prima ballerina https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/12/29/dancing-in-the-light-exhibition-chronicling-the-journey-of-egypts-first-prima-ballerina/ Sun, 29 Dec 2019 18:35:27 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=717793 Living in a time when calling a woman a dancer was an insult, Magda Saleh’s talent brought her nothing but praise, pride, and making dreams come true.

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When the nine-year old angelically beautiful young girl stood in line waiting for the audition of Egypt’s first ballet school, wearing her custom-made white dress embroidered with red flowers her mother spent hours making, she never imagined that she would only be a few steps away from carving into Egypt’s art culture, becoming the first Egyptian female ballerina ever in history.

After her first audition at such a young age, the stage soon became Magda Saleh’s second home and her place of genuine joy. Throughout her life, the stage welcomed her shining performances and ballet shows with the Bolshoi. Chronicling her long years in paving the road of elite art performances in Egypt, the American University in Cairo (AUC) hosted an exhibition about Saleh’s life.

Under the name of “Dancing in the Light: An Egyptian Ballerina Story” one gets to travel back in time in an era where Saleh reshaped the reality of women in dance and introduced society to new definitions of class and beauty.

Living at a time when referring to women as dancers was considered an insult, Saleh’s life witnessed nothing but praise, pride, and making dreams come true.

She was among the first five scholar females at the Bolshoi Academy in Moscow, which pushed her through a professional path that made her become the very first Egyptian professional prima ballerina. Even retirement was not the end of her achievements, after having the title of dean bestowed on her at the Higher Institute of Ballet and then becoming the new founding director of the New Cairo Opera House.

For Saleh, ballet is all about freedom and the ability to express her heart out.

“As a performer what I revealed in most was the physical freedom I sought to achieve and maintain through years of gruelling training to master the infinite complexities of academic ballet technique,” Saleh said, starting her talk.

At AUC’s Tahrir Cultural Centre (TCC), the exhibition tackled Saleh’s milestones, through a number of pictures, portraits, and official newspapers that wrote about her at the time.

The exhibit starts with a few snapshots of her as a little girl, stretching and straining into difficult poses before being admitted to the School of Ballet, leading up into photos of her performing in front of late president Gamal Abdel Nasser. It was after that performance that she was honoured with the Order of Merit.

“These [pictures] document the development of my ballet career from early steps until its culmination as Prima ballerina of the Cairo Ballet Company, until my finale in 1971/72 performing with partner Abdel Moneim Kamel as guests artists with the Bolshoi and Kirov ballets, two of the world’s most illustrious companies,” Saleh told Daily News Egypt.

The exhibition, is divided into three parts. The first is Saleh’s historic photographs of the founding of the Egyptian Ballet, drawn from her personal archives.

The second part of the exhibition consists of a luminous array of ballet images captured by the extraordinary eye of great Egyptian photographer Sherif Sonbol.

“I organised the exhibition of a selection of these breathtaking images at the New York Public Library of the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center. It was reviewed extensively by the New York Times, and the photographs remain in the Library collection,” Saleh added. While the third is a screen of Hisham Abdel Khalek’s award-winning documentary “A Footnote in Ballet History” that also features Saleh’s life.

Saleh believes that without the role Tharwat Okasha played in establishing what is currently known as Egypt’s Ministry of Culture, she would not be where she is now. Okasha, who was a member of the Free Officers movement, later created an Academy of Arts with a Higher Institute of Ballet in 1959.

Through the school, Magda and four other girls received scholarships for the Bolshoi School.

“When I was first requested to curate this exhibition, the look I found at Magda Saleh’s face captured my heart,” says Ola Seif, the exhibition curator. “Throughout the hundreds of pictures I looked through in order to come with the 40 images on display. That determining, passionate gaze of Saleh’s took over my soul and caught me by fascination.”

Seif, a curator of photography and cinema collections at the AUC, believes that Saleh’s determination and powerful soul are what led her into achieving the things she did, “and you can clearly see these things through her eyes in the captured photos.”

However, the road was not always flowery and bright. Born to an Egyptian father, who was vice president at AUC, Saleh was faced with the refusal of her father of having his only daughter perusing her career as a ballet dancer.

“She always mentions the constant refusal of her father, as he, like the majority of the Egyptian community at the time, believed that ballet is only a hobby to practice at leisure time,” Seif added.

However, with the support of her Scottish mother, she managed to flip the coin and follow her passion. “I just wished to add a photo including my mother, who was a great source of wisdom throughout my life, advising and supporting me throughout my career, and without whom nothing would have been possible. She kept me going during the most challenging of times,” Saleh remembered.

Decades after, Saleh still believes that the biggest milestone in her career was becoming a prima ballerina, at the Bolshoi, then showcasing Egyptian ballet when professionally performing in Egypt.

“The ultimate milestone of course was being invited to perform with my partner Abdel Moneim Kamel as guest artists with the Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow and the Kirov Ballet in Leningrad, as well as in the state theatres in Novosibirsk and Tashkent. It was a signal honour and a rare privilege, but also a huge responsibility since we were representing Egyptian Ballet which our Soviet teachers had established,” Saleh recalled.

The exhibition is open until the end of January every day at TCC in Downtown Cairo.

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The world awaits the GEM’s inauguration in 2020: Japanese ambassador https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/12/28/the-world-awaits-the-gems-inauguration-in-2020-japanese-ambassador/ Sat, 28 Dec 2019 18:36:51 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=717710 Japan will excitingly encourage the Egyptian players including the Football National Team and the Egyptian Judo team, the ambassador assured, noting that the Egyptian-Japanese relations will continue to strengthen next year.

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The world is awaiting the Grand Egyptian Museum’s (GEM) inauguration in 2020, the Japanese ambassador Masaki Noke said in a Saturday statement.

He asserted that his country is providing the needed technical and financial support to the GEM’s construction, set to be the world’s biggest museum.

“Japan is proud to support the GEM that will present Egypt’s civilisation to the whole world. GEM will preserve and restore Egypt’s heritage and monuments,” the ambassador added, noting that 2020 will witness Egypt’s participation in the 2020 Summer Olympics from 24 July to 9 August.

Japan will excitingly encourage the Egyptian players including the Football National Team and the Egyptian Judo team, the ambassador assured, noting that the Egyptian-Japanese relations will continue to strengthen next year.

“There were several events that promoted our countries relations in 2019 including Egypt’s presidency of the African Union (AU) and its close coordination to boost Africa’s  peace and development in line with Japan’s hosting of the Tokyo International Conference on Africa’s Development (TICAD) last August,” the ambassador mentioned.

President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi visited Japan twice in 2019, firstly in June to attend the G20 Summit in Osaka before he visited Japan in August for the TICAD, the ambassador noted, adding that Al-Sisi met with Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzō Abe to discuss boosting bilateral relations.

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The Egyptian female world rowing champion seeks to raise awareness about the sport https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/12/28/the-egyptian-female-world-rowing-champion-seeks-to-raise-awareness-about-the-sport/ Sat, 28 Dec 2019 14:39:41 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=717678 “We have everything that it takes for the sport to be more popular than it is. It’s a pharaonic sport that is engraved on temples, and anyone can practice it as the Nile is open for everyone,” ElZohairy says

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Despite being 29 years old, and struggling to find a rowing school to accept her in Egypt, World Record Holder Asmaa Al- Zohairy was already engrossed in the sport and could not resist learning all its details about water and one’s soul.

Within only two years, Al-Zohairy was able to overcome all the milestones and join Egypt’s Rowing National team after achieving the world record of rowing 1104m only in four minutes in her age category. Afterwards, she broke another record at the 2018 National Indoor Rowing Championship, setting another new Egyptian record that has yet to be surpassed by any other female rowing player.   

While having her eyes set towards the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Al-Zohairy decided to open her own rowing school in which she accepts people of all ages, especially women who are categorised as too old to learn the sport, just like she was .

“When I started rowing, I found that there were very few schools in Egypt as the sport is quite unknown in Egypt. So, through my school I want to open my doors to people of all ages, especially the old ones to learn and enjoy it the way I did,” she told Daily News Egypt.

She explained that rowing has taught her a lot of things, including self-rhythm and connecting to nature, which she wishes to help others learn as well.

The school is named scull and blades, and it opened its doors to very few people “whom were all my friends that only wanted to support,” she explained, adding “but soon after they tried rowing and saw the difference it made to their lives, they started committing and bringing others.”

Within a year, the school managed to have a team of 30 rowing passionate members that exercise daily, other than the individuals who show up on a weekly basis to learn more about rowing.

“We have everything that it takes for the sport to be more popular that it is. It’s a pharaonic sport that is engraved on temples, and anyone can practice it as the Nile is open for everyone,” she added.

The world champion aims to raise people awareness about rowing, and to start spreading the spirit of trying it, especially “as it has no specific requirements in body or age, as most other sports have.”

All pictures were taken by Fadel Dawood.      

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Egyptians celebrate Mouled Al-Hussein https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/12/28/egyptians-celebrate-mouled-al-hussein/ Sat, 28 Dec 2019 09:43:25 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=717558 The mosque was built in 1154 during the Fatimid Caliphate. It is believed that Al-Hussein’s head was buried in the mosque.

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Every year, hordes of Egyptians head to Al-Hussein Mosque in Al-Azhar district to celebrate the Mouled (birthday) of Al-Hussein ibn Ali ibn Abi Taleb, Prophet Muhammad’s grandson. This year, the Mouled came in the same day of Western Christmas. Al-Hussein has a great significance to Muslims and especially Shia and Sufis, who celebrate his birthday every year.

The mosque was built in 1154 during the Fatimid Caliphate. It is believed that Al-Hussein’s head was buried in the mosque.

Sufism, which is the mystic branch of Islam, emphasises the inner search for God and the renunciation of worldly matters.

Sufis regularly visit the shrines of the Ahl al-Bayt (the family of Prophet Muhammad), and “walis” (people deemed to be favoured by God or the Islamic variation of saints), and attend festivals that celebrate their birthdays.

It is estimated that Egypt has more than 15 million Sufis, who are part of 78 tariqa (Sufi order), the most prominent of which is Al-Rifaaiya, which has more than two million followers, and Al-Azmiya, which has about a million.

The festivities in Old Cairo have a fair-like nature, including games, performances and a market place. This year, Mouled of Al-Hussein lasted from 20 to 25 December, ending on what is known as Laila El-Kebera (big night).

The festivities include food distribution, singing of Islamic enchantments, various games, where traditional “Tanoura” dancers roam the place to revive his memory. With these enchantments, attendees perform the famous “Zikr” where they move back and forth.

Photos by Mahmoud Fekry

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Meet the Egyptian hidden soldier behind the world’s first wheelchair scuba diving experience https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/12/26/meet-the-egyptian-hidden-soldier-behind-the-worlds-first-wheelchair-scuba-diving-experience/ Thu, 26 Dec 2019 11:30:11 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=717513 The dive, which took place in Egypt’s Sharm El-Sheikh back in 2012, is still annually celebrated as it marks the world’s first modified wheelchair that is used in scuba diving.

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Throughout his long years as a professional certified diver in assisting people with physical disabilities, December cannot pass by without remembering veteran diver Tamer Salman’s experience that showcased the meaning of will power, dedication, and passion.

Through the British Artist Sue Austin in her “Creating the Spectacle” project in which they modified wheelchairs to move underwater using scuba diving equipment, Salman was the anonymous soldier whose work was one of the pillars of the project’s success, as the only Egyptian diver in the assisting team.

Salman, who has been working as a certified diver since 2006 in Sharm El-Sheikh, was the only supporting Egyptian diver that carried the wheelchair throughout the dive, supporting the engines throughout the strong currents of the Red Sea’s Ras Muhammad National Park.

The dive, which took place in Egypt’s Sharm El-Sheikh back in 2012, is still annually celebrated as it marks the world’s first modified wheelchair that is used in scuba diving.

Salman’s pictures of carrying the wheelchair throughout the trainings went viral on social media, as his assistance is still considered one of Egypt’s diving achievements, garnering him much accolade even today.

“As a PADI Accessibility Award, Austin’s dive was not my first to do with a person with disability. However, I can tell that is the most unique one,” Salman remembers, “when diving with disabled people, there is usually this sense of fear or uncertainty a diver gets you see in them. However, this was never the situation with her. It was always about breaking the records, and making the impossible happen.”

The 54-year-old Austin, who received her certificate in scuba diving in 2005, has been depending on the wheelchair since 1996. The British artist is specialised in multimedia, performance, and installation.

“She aims to find dramatic and powerful ways to re-position disability and Disability Arts as the ‘Hidden Secret’. She argues that this ‘secret’, if explored, valued and then shared, can act to heal the divisions created in the social psyche by cultural dichotomies that define the ‘disabled’ as ‘other’,” a statement previously published through their website stated, showing Austin’s urge to discover underwater gems.

Her dream of swaying the underwater world through the wheelchair started in 2010, and after three years of intensive work with a team of technicians in order to provide the wheelchair with a bespoke fin and foot-operated acrylic strip, she decided to have the first experience in Sharm El-Sheikh.

“She always mentioned that the Red Sea’s underwater treasures is what captured her heart the most throughout her years of diving in various places across the world,” Salman explained.

“The real-life training started in December, and lasted for around a year and a half including sessions in the UK, before the actual dive took place,” he added.

Salman, who was at first only a supporting diver was among the team that faced an unexpected struggle at the Ras Muhammed diving spot, “that is one of the hardest places to scuba dive in, despite having the most mesmerising underwater sceneries.”

According to Salman, the currents of Ras Mohammed is one of the strongest waves in the Red Sea’s diving spots, which required human assistance to power the wheelchair motors.

“At first, it felt impossible to carry out the weight of the chair and all of the supplies, but I was at the time a part of the dream, and was determined into making it true.”

For four separate weeks, Salman carried the wheelchair throughout the 45-minute trials, which led to muscle exhaustion, leading doctors to believe that he cannot complete the experience until the end.

“I was informed several times that my leg muscles cannot carry all the weight for such a long time. But all I could find myself doing the next day, is getting dressed up to meet the team and continue our training,” he laughingly stated.

The dive was chronicled in a documentary film, entitled “Freewheeling”, in which Austin’s underwater journey was captured in a video where she is seen moving her arms to guide her through the water, where she wears a dress with her long hair flowing freely, as she navigates through schools of fish and pasts massive coral reefs.

The documentary was created as part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad in conjunction with the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics.

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‘Abla Fahita’ to be turned into Netflix original TV show in 2020 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/12/26/abla-fahita-to-be-turned-into-netflix-original-tv-show-in-2020/ Thu, 26 Dec 2019 11:00:27 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=717509 The satirical puppet show will be Netflix’s second original series in Egypt after ‘Paranormal’

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Netflix, the world’s leading online entertainment service, announced on Monday the production of new TV show Abla Fahita, based on Egypt’s controversial TV programme hosted by the puppet character Abla Fahita in 2014, and to be released in 2020.

Abla Fahita first started back in 2011 on social media and the character gradually developed to soon be a part of a weekly TV show, called Live from the Duplex, broadcasted on CBC channel, where Abla Fahita presents a combination of social satire with some political content and a part of each episode was dedicated to hosting a famous person.

Netflix announced in a statement that the new show is to “follow the amazing adventures of Abla Fahita after becoming one of the leading stars in the Arab World, her life turns upside down when she finds herself being chased by the law and society. This will be Abla Fahita’s first attempt at acting in a scripted series, having entertained millions of audiences on television before.”

Limited for 18+ viewers, Abla Fahita has come to be known and loved as the critical female puppet with a sharp tongue. Her conversations are never free of sexual innuendos, and she often makes fun of her own show’s guests of honour.

“Damn this globalization! I barely had enough time for my own show and now they want me to do a series,” Abla Fahita said in a statement commenting on her partnership with Netflix.

“The only thing that made me consider their offer, is that Netflix will release the series in more than 20 languages and it will be watched in 190 countries by more than 158 million viewers with their relatives worldwide. I always say that Egyptian comedy is a great product for export after the Egyptian cotton. And it’s obvious how the world today is a sad place in dire need of laughter. Nothing beats the Egyptian Sense of humour to relieve the world of its misery,” she added.

The Netflix series is to be produced by OKWRD production in cooperation with ASAP Productions, and executive producer Amin El Masri.

The satirical puppet show will be Netflix’s second original series in Egypt after Paranormal, which is based on the best-selling book series in the Arab world by late author Ahmed Khaled Tawfik, Ma Waraa El-Tabea’a, directed by Amr Salama, and produced by Mohamed Hefzy.

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Videos showing blue whales in North Coast likely to be fabricated, Environment Ministry  https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/12/23/videos-showing-blue-whales-in-north-coast-likely-to-be-fabricated-environment-ministry/ Mon, 23 Dec 2019 05:30:50 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=717162 Whale sounds at such a low frequencies that humans can barely hear

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The Ministry of Environment denied the appearance of whales at the Egyptian north coast, but  stressed at the same time that the presence of whales in the sea is a good sign for the environmental state of the Mediterranean.

Many videos were circulated on social media users with sounds that seem similar to that of the blue whales.

The ministry also clarified that these videos might have been fabricated, stressing that there were no blue whales sighted in the any the north coast cities.

“It is likely that these clips were deliberately fabricated by installing the sound, and the Ministry of Environment confirms that the sounds accompanying the videos contradict the sounds produced by whales to communicate with each other underwater,” the ministry’s statement said. 

The statement further explained that the sounds of a blue whale are at such a low frequency that they are difficult for humans to hear without audio devices.

According to the statement, many local and international exerted efforts in the past few years in order to conserve the whales, owing to their important role in keeping ecological balance.  

The ministry called on citizens not to harm or disturb whales if they saw them, saying that all whales in the Egyptian coasts are not harmful. 

Blue whales are the largest animal ever to have lived on Earth. These magnificent marine mammals rule the oceans at up to 100 feet long and upwards of 200 tonnes, according to National Geographic.

The blue whale’s tongues alone can weigh as much as an elephant, and their hearts, as much as an automobile.

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Khaled Anany: the minister behind the world’s Egyptomania https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/12/22/khaled-anany-the-minister-behind-the-worlds-egyptomania/ Sun, 22 Dec 2019 16:43:15 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=717139 Anany to takeover the ministry of tourism beside the ministry of antiquities

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Egypt’s Minister of Antiquities Khaled Anany was appointed on Sunday as the Minister of Antiquities and Tourism. Anany, 48, has been holding the position of minister of Antiquities for over three years since he was appointed in 23 March 2016.

Anany graduated from the faculty of tourism guidance and received his phD in Egyptology.

The ministry witnessed a noticeable flourish following Anany’s adopted policy, which mainly focused on increasing international attraction towards Egypt’s antiquities, through a number of temporary exhibits abroad, as well as activating Egyptian excavation missions work which led to a number of remarkable discoveries in the past two years.

Soon after Anany was appointed, Egypt witnessed the largest number of temporary exhibitions ever taken place at one time. This includes the most famed Tutankhamun belongings’ exhibition which triggered people’s Egyptomania in every country it visited, breaking records in some of them like France that listed it as the most visited cultural event in the country’s history.

There were a number of other temporary exhibitions like the Egyptian Sunken Secrets Exhibition that roamed three countries, and The Golden Treasures of the Pharaohs exhibition which also witnessed a huge success in the countries it visited over the past two years.

In a number of speeches, Anany explained his focus in reviving antiquities tourism, asserting that these exhibitions are the way of promoting tourism in Egypt and inviting people into exploring more of Egypt’s glorious ancient civilisation.

He further stressed several times that the on-display relics are Egypt’s message of safety, and peace to the world. Through his international visits and exhibition inaugurations, he highlighted that Egypt’s antiquities are the soft power that is capable of fighting terrorism. 

The Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM), which witnessed a jump in establishment at Anany’s three-year charge, is also expected to play a prominent role in tourism sector within the next few years. The museum, which is planned to open to the public in 2020, will host the complete collection of young Pharaoh Tutankhamun, some of which were never on display before.

The international travel guide book, Lonely Planet, named Cairo as the third top city that tourists should visit in 2020 due to the GEM’s inauguration. 

Anany previously mentioned that the GEM is to be a key player in the revival of Egyptian tourism, especially through its planned gala opening celebration that the world’s leading presidents are to attend.

Through his years as Egypt’s minister of Antiquities, Anany also focused on renovating touristic sites that have been closed for decades due to their almost collapsing conditions. This includes the Bent Pyramid, which has been closed for 84 years, as well as Baron Empain palace after being closed for decades.

He also brought back the work of Egyptian excavation mission. For two years, 25 missions of all Egyptian archaeologists have been digging throughout various excavation seasons all across Egypt. As a result, the missions unearthed dozens of relics from different eras. Years 2018 and 2019 were dubbed the lucky years of the ministry as almost no week passed without the ministry announcing a new discovery, most of which were uncovered antiquities through Egyptian missions. 

As the former director of the Egyptian Museum and the National Museum of Egyptian Civilisation (NMEC), Anany also advocates inaugurating new museums in governorates and districts that never had one before. This includes Hurghada and Sharm EL-Sheikh Museums that are planned to open in 2020, as well as reopening Tanta Museum after 19 years of closure.

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