Culture – Daily News Egypt https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com Egypt’s Only Daily Independent Newspaper In English Sat, 11 Jul 2020 12:38:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.1 On 5th anniversary of his death, DNE celebrates the life and career of Omar Sharif https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/07/10/on-5th-anniversary-of-his-death-dne-celebrates-the-life-and-career-of-omar-sharif/ Fri, 10 Jul 2020 10:43:38 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=735724 Sharif and Hamama worked together as co-stars in several films, including “The Lady of the Palace”, “Struggle in the Port”, “I don’t sleep”, and “River of Love”, amongst others.

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Today marks the fifth anniversary of the death of award-winning Egyptian icon Omar Sharif. Sharif left behind millions of loving fans and friends mourning his loss.

 

Sharif’s death came a few months after his former wife and the love of his life, Egyptian diva Faten Hamama. In all of his interviews, Sharif recalled what Hamama represented for him. They had one son, but they divorced in the mid-1970s.

Sharif and Hamama worked together as co-stars in several films, including “The Lady of the Palace”, “Struggle in the Port”, “I don’t sleep”, and “River of Love”, amongst others.

Born in the city of Alexandria to Christian parents of Lebanese and Syrian origins, Sharif later converted to Islam to marry Hamama.

Sharif was Egypt’s biggest box-office star when director David Lean cast him in 1962’s “Lawrence of Arabia.” But he was not the director’s first choice to play Sherif Ali, the tribal leader with whom the enigmatic T.E. Lawrence teams up to help lead the Arab revolt against the Ottoman Empire.

Daily News Egypt interviewed Sharif in 2010, in which he discussed his acting career, his thoughts on life, religion and the future. He stated he preferred acting in English, because “you can act still”, unlike with Arabs, Italians and French who move their heads a lot when they speak.

In the interview, Sharif also said: “When one sees what people from different religion do to each other, and kill each other, it is ridiculous”. He added that in all three Abrahamic religions, believers think they are the ones who ought to go to heaven.

“Now, why should God in His great justice, make somebody born, if they are not going to paradise? It is absurd. The people made it absurd,” he said.
Here is a throwback to 2010, when the Lawrence of Arabia spoke to Daily News Egypt, about his career, religion, and his life spent on the road.

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Culture Ministry to document architectural heritage of Egypt https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/07/08/culture-ministry-to-document-architectural-heritage-of-egypt/ Wed, 08 Jul 2020 00:57:04 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=735595 Visitors can find out more information on Egypt’s heritage by scanning QR code placed on each iconic building

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Minister of Culture Inas Abdel Dayem launched, on Tuesday, the “Memory of the City” initiative aimed at documenting the architectural heritage of Egypt.

The initiative also looks to monitor the social conditions of previous residents of the historical areas it covers, through the National Organization for Urban Harmony (NOUH).

Abdel Dayem said that architectural heritage represents the history of civilisations and forms the features of urban life and how it develops. She added that Egypt’s rich and varied architectural treasures are the result of multiple historic influences that came together to form the country’s unique heritage.

The minister added that the “Memory of the City” initiative constitutes a human mission and a historical responsibility that contributes to preserving the features of Egyptian civilisation.

In 2018, the NOUH, headed by Mohamed Abu Seida, launched a similar project entitled “He Lived Here”. Under the project, the organisation added a sign on iconic buildings of Egyptian arts and culture, as well as on buildings in which martyrs once lived. The signs include a QR code that, when scanned with a smartphone, links to a biography of the famous figure.

Abu Seida noted that heritage areas are the jewels in the crown of Egyptian neighbourhoods, prooving that Egyptians have managed to interact with all cultures and architectural styles.

He added that the NOUH is keen to preserve the country’s architectural identity that distinguishes it from others. This is represented in setting building standards in heritage areas and defining building densities, external colours and other measures that guarantee protection of the character of these areas.

The initiative will also publish a series of books that shed light on the history of heritage buildings in Egypt. The books will also tell stories related to each building, in addition to identifying its residents.

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MIU students launch awareness campaign on good personal hygiene habits https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/07/07/miu-students-launch-awareness-campaign-on-good-personal-hygiene-habits/ Tue, 07 Jul 2020 18:32:25 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=735522 The “Halawa Gowa wa Barra” (Beauty Inside and Outside) campaign looks to focus on the lack of good self-hygiene practices, especially among working class people.

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Eight students from Department of Mass Communication at Misr International University (MIU) have launched a campaign aimed at changing personal hygiene habits among working class citizens.

The “Halawa Gowa wa Barra” (Beauty Inside and Outside) campaign looks to focus on the lack of good self-hygiene practices, especially among working class people.

The campaign aims at changing the attitudes of people towards self-hygiene, by increasing their knowledge on caring for their health as well as their appearance.

The campaign targets the country’s youth, and is considered the first Egyptian awareness campaign on self-hygiene for this segment. Previous campaigns that have been undertaken in Egypt focused more on promoting products, or were targeted at children.

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Egypt Culture Ministry to reopen six museums starting 7 July https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/07/06/egypt-culture-ministry-to-reopen-six-museums-starting-7-july/ Mon, 06 Jul 2020 21:27:39 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=735494 Dr Khaled Sorour, Head of the Fine Arts Section, said that the museums will be reopened in two phases starting from 7 July.

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The Ministry of Culture announced on Monday that six museums, affiliated to its Fine Arts Section and the Cultural Development Fund, are reopening their doors to the public on 7 July.

Dr Khaled Sorour, Head of the Fine Arts Section, said that the museums will be reopened in two phases starting from 7 July.

Sorour said that the Alexandria Museum of Fine Arts, and both the Mohamed Nagy and Mahmoud Mokhtar Museums in Cairo, will open on 7 July.

He added that the second phase will start on 14 July, and will see Museums on Taha Hussein, former president Gamal Abdel Nasser, and Mustafa Kamel reopen.

Sorour asserting that the all preventive measures adopted by Egypt against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) will be enforced at the museums to ensure visitor and employee health and safety.

Dr Fathy Abdel-Wahab, Head of the ministry’s Cultural Development Fund (CDF), confirmed that work on museums affiliated with the fund will begin on 7 July, with the second phase to start on 2 August.

Abdel-Wahab said that three museums will be opened on 7 July, including the Umm Kulthum Museum inside the Manasterly Palace, and the permanent exhibition at the Prince Taz Palace in Cairo. The Naguib Mahfouz Museum will be open to visitors starting from 2 August.

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Iconic actress Ragaa El-Gedawy passes away at 81 from COVID-19 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/07/05/iconic-actress-ragaa-el-gedawy-passes-away-at-81-from-covid-19/ Sun, 05 Jul 2020 09:57:42 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=735355 El-Gedawy was one of Egypt’s most beloved and prolific actresses, with a career spanning over six decades.

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Veteran Egyptian actress Ragaa El-Gedawy passed away early on Sunday following a lengthy 43-day battle with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). She was 81.

The acting legend tested positive for the virus on 24 May, days after finishing filming for television series Le’bet El-Nesyan (“Game of Oblivion”), which was screened during the holy month of Ramadan.

Following her diagnosis, she was transferred to an isolation hospital in Ismailia governorate, where she was largely remained in the intensive care unit.

El-Gedawy was one of Egypt’s most beloved and prolific actresses, with a career spanning over six decades.

Born on 6 December 1938, in the north-eastern city of Ismailia, El-Gedawy moved to Cairo as a child following the divorce of her parents. She was enrolled in a Franciscan boarding school, where she learnt French and Italian.

Those language skills led her to finding work as a translator in a Cairo advertising agency in the mid 1950s. That planned career in marketing, however, fell by the wayside after she won the 1958 Miss Egypt beauty pageant which, at the time, was a natural precursor to a career on the silver screen.

The veteran actress made her debut in popular Egyptian film Douaa Al-kawrawan (“The Nightingale’s Prayer”) in 1959.

El-Gedawy went on to appear in hundreds of films, theatre plays and television shows throughout her fruitful six-decade career. She also collaborated with almost all of the country’s best writers, directors and actors of successive generations.

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Ministry of Culture announces schedule for resumed theatrical, musical activities https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/07/04/ministry-of-culture-announces-schedule-for-resumed-theatrical-musical-activities/ Sat, 04 Jul 2020 18:52:09 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=735322 On Saturday, Minister of Culture Inas Abdel Dayem approved the programme for resuming the theatrical activities in two phases.

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The Ministry of Culture has announced the programme for resuming theatrical and musical activities across Egypt, after three months of closure due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

On Saturday, Minister of Culture Inas Abdel Dayem approved the programme for resuming the theatrical activities in two phases.

Theatres across the country are to present 30 plays that will take place in both in-door and out-door venues.

In the first phase, Cairo Opera House’s El-Hanager Arts Center will start presenting theatrical activities as of 16 July. It will present the famous Egyptian puppet operetta El Leila El Kebira, in addition to four other plays which will be performed in the El-Hanager Theatre and the Cairo Opera’s open-air theatre.

The second phase, which starts in August, will include all in-door and out-door theatres across the country.

Ismail Mukhtar, Head of the Theater Art House, said that a set of distinctive performances has been prepared for launch this summer. He added that the Ministry of Culture’s online initiative will present new plays that will be produced starting from this month.

The plan includes resuming activities at the Balloon Theater on 10 July, Mohamed Abdel Wahab Theater in Alexandria on 16 July, and National Circus on 9 July.

Meanwhile, a host of theatres’ will reopen to the public on 17 July. This includes the National Theater, Talea Theater, Al-Ghad Theater, Youth Theater, Opera Malek, Floating Theater, Puppet Theater, Bayram al-Tunsi Theater, Metropol Theater and the Children’s National Theater.

Earlier on Friday, Abdel Dayem had also approved the new programme for resuming activities at the Cairo Opera House. A total of 40 concerts will take place at the newly-established open-air theatres as part of the programme.

A group of Egyptian and Arab musicians and singers will participate in Cairo Opera House’s new programme. These include megastar Mohamed Mounir, veteran musician Omar Khayirat, along with acclaimed singers Ali El-Haggar and Medhat Saleh.

The activities at Cairo Opera House will start on 9 July, with the Grand Fountain Theater in operation, followed by the Open Theater and Alexandria’s Sayyed Darwish Theater in Alexandria on 10 July.

Magdy Saber, Head of the Cairo Opera House, announced that visitors will be able to make reservations for concerts online.

The theatrical shows and concerts will be held at a maximum capacity of 25% to ensure the safety of attendees and staff, alongside social distancing and regular disinfection of theatres.

Classes at talent development centres will continue to receive students, as individual training will resume on 10 July.

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Egypt’s Culture Ministry to re-open 16 public libraries after 3-month closure https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/07/02/egypts-culture-ministry-to-re-open-16-public-libraries-after-3-month-closure/ Thu, 02 Jul 2020 15:50:00 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=735208 Minister of Culture Inas Abdel Dayem announced, on Thursday, that her ministry will re-open 16 public libraries in 10 governorates across Egypt from 5 July. As the country’s cultural activities gradually resume following closures to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the Ministry of Culture will re-open 12 libraries affiliated to the General …

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Minister of Culture Inas Abdel Dayem announced, on Thursday, that her ministry will re-open 16 public libraries in 10 governorates across Egypt from 5 July.

As the country’s cultural activities gradually resume following closures to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the Ministry of Culture will re-open 12 libraries affiliated to the General Egyptian Book Organization.

This comes in addition to the re-opening of Cairo’s 26th of July Library, and other libraries in Giza, Minya, Assiut, Aswan, and Ismailia.

Meanwhile, Abdel Dayem also said that the General Egyptian Book Organization will operate in two shifts to prevent overcrowding and congestion.

She added that Egypt’s various cultural, intellectual and artistic activities, and the rest of the country’s libraries, will be re-opened in a second stage starting from mid-July.

The minister emphasised that work at all Egypt’s cultural facilities will adhere to the state-imposed preventive measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus, and preserve public safety.

She explained that the facilities will be working at a maximum 25% of their capacities, in addition to having sanitisation devices placed at entry points. Visitors will also have their temperatures measured, whilst also applying social distances measures.

Abdel Dayem asserted that the Ministry of Culture will form committees to monitor the implementation of these procedures.

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Egypt’s cultural activities to resume mid-July https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/07/01/egypts-cultural-activities-to-resume-mid-july/ Wed, 01 Jul 2020 13:44:10 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=735136 Cairo Opera House reopens with a bang as Egyptian star Mohamed Mounir scheduled to perform

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The Ministry of Culture announced that Egypt’s cultural activities will resume in mid-July, with a maximum capacity of 25% in all facilities under its umbrella.

The ministry has booked a distinguished return for the Cairo Opera House, with renowned Nubian singer Mohamed Mounir set to perform the venue’s first concert after reopening.

The resumption of cultural events across Egypt comes after a three-month hiatus due to government-imposed lockdown on the back of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Minister of Culture Inas Abdel Dayem asserted that all facilities under the ministry’s umbrella will adhere to precautionary measures against the coronavirus.

Mounir’s concert, which is set for 17 July, is the artist’s first performance at the Cairo Opera House in 15 years, local media reported.

The singer is currently preparing to release a clip of the song El-Naas Fy Balady (People in My Country) on 3 July, celebrating the 7th anniversary of the 30 June Revolution.

Dubbed “The King” by his fans, Mounir is best known for many compositions inspired by Nubian folklore, though he also has a large pop repertoire. Mounir recently performed an online concert from his home, in which he presented a collection of his most famous songs.

Since the onset of his career in the 1970s, Mounir has collaborated with many renowned poets, including Salah Jahin, Fouad Haddad, and Sayed Hegab. He has also collaborated with musicians, joining the likes of Fathy Salama, Yehia Khalil, and Hani Shenouda on stage.

Mounir’s unique vocal timbre and colour helped him walk the path to fame, becoming one of the most beloved musicians in the Arab world.

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Culture Ministry to resume activities mid-July by opening theatres https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/06/25/culture-ministry-to-resume-activities-mid-july-by-opening-theatres/ Thu, 25 Jun 2020 01:28:25 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=734441 All cultural facilities will reopen with 25% capacity limit, says Inas Abdel Dayem

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All cultural and artistic activities will resume from mid-July, as theatres open up again to the public, Minister of Culture Inas Abdel Dayem announced on Wednesday.

The minister noted that all cultural facilities will be allowed to open with up to 25% of their capacities, while adhering to precautionary measures against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

In a statement, Abdel Dayem said that the resumption of cultural activities indicates Egypt’s ability to address challenges.

She added that cultural institutions must commit to the 25% capacity limit. This measure comes in addition to applying social distancing, and providing audiences with an educational guide to maintain public safety.

Abdel Dayem explained that her ministry will form a committee to follow up on the implementation of these procedures at all cultural sites.

The reopening decision includes all museums which are under the Ministry of Culture’s supervision, art exhibitions, national circus shows, theatres, and cultural and intellectual evenings. The Cairo Opera House will also reopen under the same set of precautionary measures.

The statement added that the ministry will also resume all cultural events which were halted due to the pandemic, in addition to the resumption of granting licenses for artistic events.

Abdel Dayem pointed out that the Ministry of Culture will continue releasing cultural content online as part of its electronic initiative, “The Culture in your Hands”.

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Google Doodle celebrates Egyptian feminist Huda Shaarawi’s birthday https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/06/24/google-doodle-celebrates-egyptian-feminist-huda-shaarawis-birthday/ Tue, 23 Jun 2020 22:37:13 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=734318 Despite an unhappy private life, she grew from a somewhat passive woman, frequently forbidden by her husband from visiting friends or relatives, to a nationalist. She was also vociferous as a driving force in Egypt’s flourishing feminist movement.

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Google Doodle celebrated, on Tuesday, the 141st birthday of pioneering Egyptian feminist Huda Shaarawi.

Shaarawi, who was both feminist and nationalist, is considered the founder of Egypt’s women’s movement in Egypt. She established numerous organisations dedicated to protecting and enhancing the rights of women.

Born on 23 June 1879 into a prosperous family in Minya governorate, Shaarawi was raised and educated in Cairo receiving an elite education at home.

Her father, Muhammad Sultan Pasha, was active in Egyptian nationalist politics. He also held a variety of government posts, before becoming a member of the Chamber of Delegates in 1876.

She was married at age 13 to her elder cousin, Ali Shaarawi, who, by that stage was already in his late 40s.

Despite an unhappy private life, she grew from a somewhat passive woman, frequently forbidden by her husband from visiting friends or relatives, to a nationalist. She was also vociferous as a driving force in Egypt’s flourishing feminist movement.

At 44, Shaarawi was elected as the president of the first Egyptian Feminist Union, which she co-founded in 1923, and activism became central to her later life.

Within only one year of its establishment, the Egyptian Feminist Union managed to pass legislation having a minimum marriage age set by law.

In 1924, the first secondary school for girls opened in Shubra, and Egyptian women were soon permitted to obtain a postgraduate education. Shaarawi’s activities were also key to founding the Arab Feminist Union.

With both halves of the couple struggling for the liberation of Egypt and women’s rights, Shaarawi’s relationship with her husband grew stronger.

Shaarawi said, “My attention was drawn from my private life to serving my country, and the Egyptian national movement brought my husband and me closer to each other.”

She had a journey of emancipation and a move away from social convention, the beginning of which is most apparent in her drive to establish the Intellectual Association of Egyptian Women in 1914.

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Mass Communication graduate challenges COVID-19 in new short film https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/06/23/mass-communication-graduate-challenges-covid-19-in-new-short-film/ Tue, 23 Jun 2020 17:10:31 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=734260 Short films have seen a rise in popularity and demand as people are spending more time at home in lockdown, to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

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In a return to acting, three of the most prominent theatre actors at Cairo University’s Faculty of Mass Communication will release a short film next month.

Sharea El-Salaam, or “Peace Street”, was written by scriptwriter Mohamed Mostafa Abu Shama, and directed by Mahmoud Mostafa, which tells the story of an ordinary citizen who lives on El-Salam Street.

Sharea El-Salaam, which runs for 30 minutes, will be released in July, and is set to be presented at national and international competitions. It describes the simple life of a 40-year-old ordinary man, through a variety of short depictions of moments that he experiences.

Due to the ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the film faced many challenges during production, with shooting having to be halted several times.

“Although we started filming at the end of 2019, most of the film’s scenes were actually shot during the coronavirus pandemic,” Mostafa said. “However all the film festivals were halted as preventive measures taken by many countries all over the world.”

He added that the team now has to wait until the world gradually ends lockdowns and film festivals reopen again, to finish up the film for participation in festivals.

Short films have seen a rise in popularity and demand as people are spending more time at home in lockdown, to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

In the 1990s, Cairo University’s Faculty of Mass Communication saw many graduates who went on to become their generation’s silver screen stars, including Mona Zaki and Mostafa Shaaban.

Alaa Al-Dakhakhani, who works as a television reporter with the Associated Press (AP), also participated in Sharea El-Salaam.

The film is Mahmoud Mostafa’s second cinematic experience as a director. It is dedicated to the memory of Omar Al-Sheikh, a distinguished television and theatre director who died prematurely, at the age of 41, following an illness.

Before his death, Al-Sheikh worked with Mostafa on many plays at the Faculty of Mass Communication’s theatre.

Students from the faculty class of 1998 presented several promising theatrical performances in that period, winning many awards at the Cairo University’s Festival for Theatre.

The most prominent award the team received was the Cairo University Shield for the Best Theatrical Performance for the play, “Egypt External Night”. It was written by Abu Shama, directed by Al-Sheikh, and starred Al-Dakkhani.

The coronavirus pandemic, which was first identified in China in December 2019, has had a sweeping effect on all aspects of life. While the repercussions on the entertainment industry may pale in comparison to the virus’ clear health threats, the ripple effects do have global implications for those who make a living producing and distributing films, music, and entertainment.

And along with atomising life as we know it, the pandemic has entirely disrupted all festivals, entertainment shows, and film making. There remains a great deal of ambiguity over when things will return to normal, and when activities like going to the films can safely resume.

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New Roman-era discoveries made in Luxor https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/06/22/new-roman-era-discoveries-made-in-luxor/ Mon, 22 Jun 2020 19:43:49 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=734172 The kilns, which were discovered along with a huge mud wall also dating from the Roman Empire, bear burn marks, the ministry said.

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A number of circular-shaped mud brick kilns dating back to the Roman Empire have been unearthed in Luxor, the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities announced on Monday.

The kilns, which were discovered along with a huge mud wall also dating from the Roman Empire, bear burn marks, the ministry said.

Mostafa Waziri, Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, said the discoveries were made by an Egyptian mission during restoration work of Luxor’s Kebash Road, one of the largest ancient walkways.

Waziri added that these ovens might have been used to make pottery. He noted that the wall was found in the western part of the Kebash Road at the Temple of Khonsu, within the precincts of Karnak Temple.

The wall is 2.5 metres high and 3 metres in width, and consists of 17 courses of mud bricks. The mission has also uncovered a wall that was built from three horizontal rows of sandstone blocks. The wall was an extension of another wall which was built to protect the eastern bank of the River Nile from the changing water levels during the flood season.

This wall extends for about 3km, from the front of Karnak Temple in the north to the Luxor Temple in the south, along the Kebash Road.

Waziri said the mission’s members have taken all the necessary protective measures against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), wearing face masks and practicing social distancing.

In 2017, Egypt started prospecting work along the Kebash road area as part of a road rehabilitation project. It also aimed to reveal evidence of hidden sphinxes with ram-heads, for which the Temple at Luxor is famed. The work comes in preparation for its upcoming opening as the longest open-air museum in the world, with 1,200 statues lining both sides of a 2.7km-long road.

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Kurt Cobain’s acoustic guitar sells for record $6m https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/06/22/kurt-cobains-acoustic-guitar-sells-for-record-6m/ Mon, 22 Jun 2020 09:30:31 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=734050 Sale of legendary musician’s guitar is said to have set several records

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A guitar played by Nirvana’s lead vocalist Kurt Cobain was sold at auction in Beverly Hills, California on Sunday, for a record $6m, the Associated Press (AP) reported.

The guitar was made famous in Nirvana’s 18 November 1993 MTV Unplugged performance, with the subsequent live album one of the grunge rock band’s only acoustic recordings. The performance took place less than five months before Cobain tragically committed suicide at the age of 27.

Bids opened at $1m for the record-breaking sale, with the guitar, a 1959 Martin D-18E, eventually sold to Peter Freedman, owner of Rode Microphones.

Other items sold at the auction, as part of the Music Icons event by Julien’s Auctions, included a guitar owned by Prince, a belt worn by Elvis Presley and a gown worn by Madonna. While all of these items fetched several hundred thousand dollars, none could quite compete with Cobain’s guitar.

The previous record for the most expensive guitar was set in 2019, when Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmor’s instrument was sold for around $4m.

Souvenirs of Cobain’s life regularly fetch high figures, but the acoustic guitar marks a new record.

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Egyptian ‘Wonder Momma’ beats coronavirus https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/06/22/egyptian-wonder-momma-beats-coronavirus/ Sun, 21 Jun 2020 23:09:02 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=734030 Rania Genena, a mother to a one-year-old baby boy and 5.5-year-old son and works as Quality Manager for FieldCore in Cairo, started working from home in line with the company’s office response plan to ensure the safety of its employees. Rania’s husband, Essam, works as a video cameraman for BBC Arabia. 

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The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) had reached Egypt by mid-February this year. A month later, the country’s schools were closed and all activities were stopped as part of the government’s preventative measures to combat the virus’ spread.

This presented Egyptian mothers with young children, in one of the Middle East’s most populous countries, with a serious dilemma – how to keep children occupied at home and help them have some form of social interaction with peers.

Rania Genena, a mother to a one-year-old baby boy and 5.5-year-old son and works as Quality Manager for FieldCore in Cairo, started working from home in line with the company’s office response plan to ensure the safety of its employees. Rania’s husband, Essam, works as a video cameraman for BBC Arabia. 

By the nature of his work, Essam is excluded from travel restrictions and during the day has to cover events. This leaves Rania to juggle the responsibilities of her job while being a mother, teacher, friend and a governess to her children. 

“I had never imagined that one day in my life I would have to stay at home because of a virus. It’s just like in films,” says Rania.

When schools and day-care centres closed, like so many other mothers Rania’s life became more demanding.

“It’s been challenging to adapt working from home.  Sometimes while I am on work calls, the kids are crying or making a terrible racket looking for attention.  But I have to deal with it,” she adds. “I started saying to myself ‘What should I do to cope with the kids?’ My son has loads of energy! I then realised that there are hundreds of other mothers in the same position.”

Rania began thinking of a solution – a trait she has refined working as a quality manager who has to think on her feet and find quick-win solutions when unexpected issues threaten to jeopardise the level of customer service delivery during a project or an outage.

Within an hour, she says, she had her response to this societal impact of the virus – a Facebook page for Cairo mums dedicated to keeping children entertained and mums sane. Rania did not want to copy an existing page, so she searched online communities, only to discover that there was no such platform for mothers in her home city.

“My job is ‘quality’ and as quality is also one of our company’s core values, it has become entrenched in who I am.  So, as I was exploring starting the page from scratch, I wore my quality hat to come up with a page that would add real value for its users,” Rania explains modestly. 

She reached out to a friend and GE colleague who works as Lead Tender and Project Sourcing Specialist at GE’s Cairo office, Jasmine Ahmed Fouad, to discuss the idea.

The two women put their heads together and in a flash Wonder Momma Beats Corona! was brought to life.

Neither of them had previous experience in managing social media platforms, besides their own personal Facebook page, for which Rania says she seldom has time. They did not know what response they’d get. A thousand followers eventually would be nice, they thought.

During the first four days of posting videos and activities for kids, they had hoped that at least a few mothers and children would benefit. 

As days quickly rolled on, more and more mothers joined the conversation, sharing ideas of activities to keep children busy.  Some even posted videos of what their own children were doing to stay entertained. Within a month, the page had reached an enthusiastic 8,500 followers.

The page continues attracting scores of social media followers – not only in Egypt, but as far afield as Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Canada, the US, Germany, Australia and the UK. 

More than 11,000 mothers are now engaged in sharing tips how to keep kids entertained with cooking lessons at home, painting ideas, planting seeds and caring for plants in the house – there’s even been activities getting children to restore things around the home.

The success of Wonder Momma Beats Corona! was not only noticed by a local toy store in Cairo that decided to sponsor prizes for a competition, but also caught the interest of the BBC TV’s news desk in London (not by any doing of Rania’s husband!). This resulted in a live interview with Rania being aired on the station’s Arabic channel.

This all goes to show how a simple act of kindness can spread its love across the world.

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Opinion| Walk the peaceful path on International Yoga Day https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/06/21/opinion-walk-the-peaceful-path-on-international-yoga-day/ Sun, 21 Jun 2020 17:53:10 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=733994 The theme of this year’s International Day of Yoga is Yoga at home and Yoga with family. Practicing Yoga together is a wonderful way to spend time with our loved ones.

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I’m sending my warm greetings to all yoga enthusiasts in Egypt on the occasion of the 6th International Day of Yoga.

Yoga, a gift of ancient India to the world, has become a way of life for millions across the world. As a mark of the immense popularity of Yoga, the world commemorates 21 June every year as the International Day of Yoga.

Indian Ambassador to Cairo Rahul Kulshreshth’

In the present times, where people all around the world are adapting their lives to the new reality of a pandemic, yoga has become even more relevant. It has helped many maintain a healthy routine during the long periods of lockdown and boosted their immunity and sense of balance in these extraordinary times. The theme of this year’s International Day of Yoga is Yoga at home and Yoga with family. Practicing Yoga together is a wonderful way to spend time with our loved ones.

Technology plays a key role in enabling the learning of Yoga, particularly during this time where social distancing is a necessity to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. In this regard, playlists of animated 3D videos of the Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi, a keen practitioner of Yoga, practicing various Asanas are available. These videos have been made available on YouTube and are available in the following languages:

English: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLKrFtLRqyz6MWIswWKBazJOux333ZMyvX

Arabic: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLKrFtLRqyz6OeC4_A2fxGhnaB4sNA9u5h

Let us all contribute to the global healing process and make wellness a part of our lives by embracing Yoga. Kindly do share these videos to inspire others as well.

People at peace with themselves can build peaceful and healthy societies and a harmonious world.

 

Indian Ambassador to Cairo Rahul Kulshreshth’

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Culture Ministry announces State Awards 2020 winners https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/06/20/culture-ministry-announces-state-awards-2020-winners/ Sat, 20 Jun 2020 17:25:29 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=733905 The council members who are entitled to vote for the State Awards winners were limited to only 36 members. The state precautionary measures to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) were also put in place during the meeting.

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The Supreme Council of Culture held its 64th meeting, on Saturday, to vote for the 2020 State Awards winners. The meeting, chaired by Minister of Culture Inas Abdel-Dayem, took place at the Cairo Opera House.

The council members who are entitled to vote for the State Awards winners were limited to only 36 members. The state precautionary measures to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) were also put in place during the meeting.

Since 1958, the prizes are granted in the fields of social science, arts, and literature, and are distributed across four divisions: the Encouragement Award, the Excellency Award, the Appreciation Awards, and the Nile Award – the highest honour.

The Ministry of Culture announced the winners for these awards as follows:

The Encouragement Award

Arts

Drawing: Hend Hassan Sayed

Porcelain: Mohamed Ahmed Hassan

Theatrical performance: Salwa Ahmed Mohamed

Designing costumes for theatre: Marwa Mohamed Saleh

Directing a long documentary: Mostafa Ashraf Ahmed

Literature

Critical Analysis of Literary Text: Reda Attia Iskandar

Poetry: Hatem Mohamed Abdel Halim

Novel: Ahmed Atallah Mohamed

Novel for children aged 9-15: Haitham Abd Rabo El Sayed

Translation: cancelled

Social Sciences

Sociology: cancelled

History: cancelled

Geography: Manal Samir Shalaby 

Philosophy and Psychology: Muhammad Mamdouh Ali

Youth: Fathi Muhammad Fathi

Book and Publishing: Nermin Abdul Qadir Imbabi

Environmental Culture: cancelled

Management Sciences: Ayman Al-Sayed Al-Bagouri

Economic and legal Sciences

Environmental economics: cancelled

Egyptian economy between independency and dependency: cancelled

Trade Laws and Private International Law: Haitham El-Sayed Ahmed

Popular Culture and the Principle of Equality and Non-Discrimination: Youssef Mohamed Wardani

The Excellence Award

Late director Mohsen Helmy and Dr Ahmed Ragab Mansour won Egypt’s Excellence Award in Art.

The Excellence Award in Social Sciences went to Ibrahim Al-Desouki Abdullah and Dr Anwar Hamid Ahmed.

In Literature, Dr Ahmed Mohamed Belboula and Dr Fawzi Mahmoud Ahmed won the Excellence Award.

The Appreciation Awards

Arts: Dr Hoda Wasfi and Dr Farouk Al-Jabali

Literature: Mohamed Lotfy Hassan, Yaqoub Ishaq Qalini, and Abdullah Abdel-Fattah Al-Tatawi

Social Sciences: El-Sayed Amin Shalaby, Sami Al-Sayed Abdel-Aziz, and Ahmed El-Sayed Ahmed

The Nile Award

Arts: Writer and director Lenin Al-Ramly

Literature: Professor of Folklore at Cairo University Ahmed Morsi

Social Sciences: Former Minister of Social Solidarity Jouda Abdel-Khalek

Arab Creators Award: Sudanese Artist Muhammad Omar Khalil.

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Egypt amends filming, photography regulations at archaeological sites, museums https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/06/17/egypt-amends-filming-photography-regulations-at-archaeological-sites-museums/ Wed, 17 Jun 2020 01:09:53 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=733540 50% reduction on shooting in desert areas surrounding antiquities, says Waziri

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The Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities is amending regulations of photography and filming at archaeological sites and museums across Egypt, according to Mostafa Waziri, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities.

The amendments will include all types of personal and commercial photography and filming, whether for television or cinema.

Waziri told Daily News Egypt that the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities provides brochures containing all information and prices for different types of photography and filming in both Arabic and English languages on its website.

He added that the ministry will also provide a variety of daily, weekly and monthly packages for Egyptians and foreigners, in accordance with the regulations approved by the Supreme Council of Antiquities.

He revealed that the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities has recently seen an increase in photography revenues, as these packages have received demand from production companies creating TV series, programmes, and advertisements. This growing demand for filming at archaeological sites markets these filming packages and encourages more production companies to shoot their films at these areas. It has, in turn, a positive effect on the ministry’s financial resources, and promotes antiquities locally and internationally.

Waziri added that the Supreme Council of Antiquities has approved a 50% reduction in fees for cinematography, television, and video filming that take place in desert areas surrounding archaeological sites.

He emphasised that the ministry believes the positive nature of commercial photography will lead to increased attention to Egypt’s historical attractions, and attract more visitors to the country.

Waziri also mentioned that there are specialised committees looking into creating exclusive photography offers, and choose the best offers from international companies.

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‘Ahalyna’ offers online medical help for COVID-19 patients self-isolating at home https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/06/16/ahalyna-offers-online-medical-help-for-covid-19-patients-self-isolating-at-home/ Tue, 16 Jun 2020 09:00:09 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=733457 Doctors in the initiative follow up with around 88 cases, says co-founder 

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A group of Egyptian doctors have established a first of its kind online hospital offering medical consultations and follow-ups for coronavirus (COVID-19) patients with mild symptoms.

Ahalyna Corona Care is a medical initiative involving 170 volunteer doctors, some of whom work at quarantine hospitals, providing patients self-isolating at home with online medical care.

The initiative began with a limited number of healthcare workers, before expanding after physicians of different specialisations expressed their desire to volunteer.  

Paediatrician Hani Abdul Hamid, one of the doctors who contributed to launching the initiative, told Daily News Egypt they were initially a group of six or seven doctors who were following up on cases among relatives and acquaintances. 

They later decided to expand the scope of their medical consultations after the Ministry of Health announced that cases showing minor symptoms could be quarantined at home. 

He added that his colleague Dr Sherif El-Metwally suggested establishing an online hospital to unify their efforts, and to allow more patients to benefit from their consultations.

On the first day of Eid Al-Fitr, El-Metwally created a Facebook page for the initiative and began to speak with other doctors to find volunteers, Abdul Hamid said. 

He added that a team was formed to receives online messages and ask cases about their conditions via the page, before referring them to doctors of various specialisations, including intensive care, chest medicine, and cardiology. He noted that during the third day of the Eid Al-Fitr holiday, they were receiving between 50 and 60 messages a minute, but the number of messages has since declined.

The referred patients then talk to doctors who follow their cases, with almost 80% of the cases are going into recovery. Only around 5-10% of cases see their symptoms become severe, with doctors working for the initiative usually advising them to head to a fever hospital or call Egypt’s coronavirus hotline 105. 

Abdul Hamid said that there is no direct cooperation with the Ministry of Health, but they prescribe the ministry’s COVID-19 treatment protocol for those quarantined at home.

He stressed that the doctors on the page do not prescribe medicine for patients, who have already undergone medical testing and received medicines. 

“Doctors follow up with around 88 cases, with doctors usually very quick to respond,” Abdul Hamid said. “We do this out of our social responsibility, as this is our duty.” 

Rasha, a 40-year-old teacher who asked to be introduced by her first name, is one of the patients who resorted to Ahalyna Corona Care after suspecting she had the virus.

As an asthmatic, Rasha had initially headed to a clinic where she was diagnosed with bronchitis. 

“I asked the doctor if I have coronavirus and he said maybe,” she said.

After possible coronavirus symptoms continued, and fearing that she would have to head to a fever hospital, Rasha sought help from Ahalyna Corona Care.

“I owe Dr Hani Abdul Hamid my recovery, as he followed up on my case until I got better,” Rasha told Daily News Egypt.  

Earlier in May, the Ministry of Health said that coronavirus cases with minor symptoms will be quarantined at home. It published the protocol and instructions for home self-isolation. 

Bags with preventive supplies, face masks, disinfectant, thermometers, and medicines of Egypt’s treatment protocol for the coronavirus, alongside follow-up cards, have been distributed to coronavirus patients self-isolating at home. 

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International competitions turned my hobby into a career: Egyptian cartoonist https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/06/16/international-competitions-turned-my-hobby-into-a-career-egyptian-cartoonist/ Tue, 16 Jun 2020 08:00:07 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=733458 With coronavirus pandemic, I joined international competitions on health, which encouraged me to draw

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The Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) recently organised a global art competition to capture the range of human emotions surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

As we experienced the best and worst of all possible human emotions, the “United against Corona – Express through Art” competition called on professional and amateur artists worldwide to express their emotions, ideas, and thoughts through their artworks.

The international competition elicited an staggering response with over 8,000 submissions, of which 210 artworks were shortlisted after the first round of selection. Egypt was among the top four countries in terms of the number of participants in the competition. 

Young cartoonist Omar Mostafa was the only Egyptian who won a prize in the competition’s Digital & New Age Art category.

He spoke to Daily News Egypt about his journey as a cartoonist and how his 10-year-long hobby led him to win international art competitions.

Could you tell us about yourself, and what first led you to art?

My earliest training as an artist began through Egyptian veteran cartoonists, Nagy Kamel and Mustafa Kamel. In 2002, I tried to work as a cartoonist at Egyptian newspapers, but I did not succeed, and for 10 years drawing was only a hobby for me. However, the year 2012 was a turning point in my career, when an artist saw my paintings and advised me to apply to international competitions. In 2012, I won at an international competition in Romania.

What makes your work unique?

The ideas behind my work are always new and creative. In my last painting, I simply used the fact that there is no treatment yet for the coronavirus (COVID-19). So I drew a capsule of medicine and inside it is a home, because until now the only way to curb the spread of the virus is staying at home.

What does your work aim to say?

The message I meant to send is staying at home is the most effective way to avoid contracting the coronavirus, so I drew the home inside a capsule to say that the active substance of this therapeutic capsule is your home.

What has inspired you?

Following the latest developments of the coronavirus pandemic, I joined international competitions on health, which encouraged me to draw several paintings using different perspectives, helping me to come up with this idea quickly, to finish the painting in two days.

Are there are any international awards you have received?

Yes, I participated in many international competitions and exhibitions and received many awards. In 2012, I received a diploma in an international competition in Romania (International Salt & Pepper Satirical Art Salon).

In 2013, I won in an international competition in South Korea, whilst also obtaining a medal of honour from the Indian ambassador in Egypt, also in 2013. I was also chosen by the American company HeadMetal Comics, as one of the best three artists for the year 2013. I also won a Special Award in an international competition in Syria, 2014, in addition to receiving a certificate of appreciation in the Lebanon International Contest 2014.

I have won the honorary award in a 2014 international competition in South Korea, and received a certificate of appreciation from the Chinese Cultural Center in Cairo 2014. In 2015, I got a certificate of appreciation in the Lebanon International Competition, and was also awarded by the Muzeul Eminescu Museum. In 2017, I also received an honorary medal from the Indian Ambassador in Egypt for a painting of Mahatma Gandhi, as well as receiving an Encouragement Award from the Arab Water Council. I also won the gold medal at the Cultural Hafrish in 2016 and the 2019 Excellence Award of Philosopher Lao Zi & Zen Master Huineng Caricatures in the Eyes of Artists International Competition.

My paintings have been published in Greek, Iranian, Bulgarian, Korean, Turkish, Russian, French, Romanian, and many others countries.

What are the basic techniques you used in your winning paintings?

I use a mixture of digital drawing, using computer software.

What role does the artist play during times of crisis, such as we are seeing now?

The artist’s main role is to spread awareness, and provide people with the right information they need to handle the crisis.

Who is your biggest supporter?

The biggest supporters in my artistic career are my family, in addition to Nagy Kamel and Mustafa Kamel. When I started publishing my paintings on Facebook, my works were criticised by many artists as a strange art, but some great artists have encouraged me. These include the Syrian cartoonist Raed Khalil, who published four pages of my works in his “International Cartoon Magazine”.

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Calgary Underground Film Festival announces 2020 online line-up https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/06/15/calgary-underground-film-festival-announces-2020-online-line-up/ Mon, 15 Jun 2020 09:00:10 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=733320 This year’s edition includes three world premieres, 22 feature films

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The Calgary Underground Film Festival (CUFF) announced the line-up for its 17th edition, last Friday, and has, like other festivals and events worldwide, announced its shift to an online platform.

Now scheduled to take place on 22-28 June, fans of the festival will have the opportunity to watch the newest genre-defying independent films not streaming anywhere else.

The festival’s online format will also ensure that these films find an audience while film festivals around the world remain on pause and cinemas are closed. 

“This festival will look different to most, but our whole team is really looking forward to this new festival format,” said Festival Director and Lead Programmer Brenda Lieberman, “Not only do we get to provide our regular audience with some amazing new films, but we also have the unique opportunity this year to have new audiences experience what we have to offer.” 

This year’s line-up includes 22 feature films showing for the first time in Alberta, alongside three shorts packages, and other special events, such as four nights of drive-ins at Big Rock Brewery. 

CUFF will open with punk comedy and Sundance hit Dinner in America directed by Adam Carter Rehmeier. The film follows a punk rocker and a young woman obsessed with his band. Similar to the in-person festival, audiences will only have one chance to watch this film at a 22 June live event online. 

“I loved this film from the minute I started watching it at Sundance. I think I was 5 minutes in, and I had the feeling like I had found our opening film,” Lieberman said, “We’ll be doing opening night as a live event, as close to our in-cinema experience our audience knows and loves, including a live introduction, followed by the screening, and ending with a live Q&A.”

Following the live opening night event, which is scheduled to start on 23 June at midnight, the line-up of films will be available on-demand until midnight on 28 June. With a few exceptions, all films will be available to watch for the duration of the festival and are available to anyone in Alberta. 

The Found Footage Fesitval: Quarantine Qlassics, a staple of CUFF, is also set to make a return on 23 June. In the brand-new virtual show, Joe Pickett, from The Onion, and Nick Prueher, of Late Show with David Letterman, will present a wide-range of VHS delights to get focused on the theme of quarantine. 

Other CUFF 2020 highlights include a live presentation for the World Premiere of Five Bucks at the Door: The Story of Crocks N Rolls. The film tells the story of a bar in Thunder Bay that put Canadian music on the map.

The film’s director, Kirsten Kosloski, who resided in Calgary for 13 years and was involved with FFWD as a music writer, film critic and editor, will participate in a live Q&A.

It will also include a co-presentation with Sled Island for the world premiere of This Film Should Not Exist, a documentary about the 1990s garage rock band Country Teasers.

The world premiere of Sleeze Lake from CUFF alumni Andrew J Morgan and Nicholas Nummerdor will also be screened. Similarly, the four drive-in events at Big Rock Brewery will see the screenings of the films Random Acts of Violence (which will be shown across two nights), as well as Synchronic and Uncle Peckerhead (which will also be available on line). The drive-in events will occur between 24 and 27 June.

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The secret language of Egypt’s goldsmiths https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/06/15/the-secret-language-of-egypts-goldsmiths/ Mon, 15 Jun 2020 08:30:37 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=733316 Remnants of old Jewish community remain in Cairo’s goldsmithing community as reminder of historic turbulence

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Communication and the ability to express ourselves throughout our typical day satisfy one of the most basic human needs. We communicate with other people assuming that they understand the words and expressions we use. If you visited one of Egypt’s famed goldsmiths, you will not just find yourself lost amongst beauty and centuries-old skills that remain very much in use today, but you will also come across unfamiliar words such as “Yafat”, “Ashfour”, and others. These seemingly incomprehensible words to the outsider are, in fact, trade-specific terminology for business dealings among Egypt’s goldsmiths.

They use these words to discuss among themselves, without having to give away their meaning to others. It is their unique inherited language that gets passed on from a generation to another.

Goldsmiths use this secret language to say what they wish to in front of their customers, and to categorise them between wealthy and poor, and whether what is offered to them is real gold or fake.

The first to really study and develop a dictionary of secret languages used in Egypt was the late thinker Mohamed Lotfy Gomaa (1886 – 1953).

In his book Any Sem (All secret languages), he wrote about the secret language of the jewellery and goldsmithing community. Gomaa noted that there is a difference between what can be termed as “special language” and what can be defined as “secret language”. He noted that the former is not intended to conceal, but rather ensure quick understanding among its users. Special languages are, in fact, artistic, that are formed in terms of the profession they serve. The second, the secret language, originates from a spirit of fear and hostility between classes, with its goal is to protect a team or group from others.

Egypt’s Jewish community, who were particularly active in the country’s gold trade, had their own special language among themselves. This special language was passed on to the Egyptians working with them, who learned how to speak it as they learned the profession.

The language is now passed from a generation to another, and has become a part of their daily lives, even outside work.

It was left as a still used relic of Egypt’s history when the gold industry was inherited by Egyptian families after the Jewish community left the country.

The special language became as much a part of the gold industry’s heritage, with some modifications. This means that the word “yafi”, which is Hebrew for “good” became “yafet”.

The terms mentioned by Gomaa in his book also included “dafesh” means a man or a customer. When “Dafesh Ashfur” is used, it means that they are dealing with a poor customer, or when “Ifkas” is used, it means to drive the customer out. In turn, using “Itheps” means to take care, “Bar” means fake gold, “Yafet” means pure gold, or a wealthy customer.

And the Egyptian gold merchants still use us the Hebrew numbers in their commercial dealings, including  (1) ahad, shnayin (2), shlosha (3), shloshin (30), shishin (60), shefin (70), shmonin (80).

In the 20th Century, almost all Egyptian Jews lived in either Cairo or Alexandria, and they dominated the gold markets. The trade was particularly concentrated among the country’s Karaite Jews, a minority off-shoot community which today exists mostly in Israel.

Over the course of the mid-20th Century, after the 1948 creation of Israel and the rise of Arab pan-nationalism in Egypt under President Gamal Abdel Nasser in 1954, Egypt’s Jewish population more or less vanished.

The rising political tensions forced many to flee or face arrest and discrimination due to their religious beliefs – even if they had been in Egypt for generations. There may well have still been a few Jewish goldsmiths in 1967, when the Six Day War broke out between Israel and several surrounding countries, including Egypt. But by then, the country had long become inhospitable to its Jewish citizens, and the few remaining were expelled.

By 1970, no Jewish goldsmith shops were still operating. Today, fewer than 10 Jews of the once 85,000-strong community present in Egypt in 1950 remain. Where Cairo’s goldsmith quarter rang out with the hustle and bustle of everyday noise, including school boys selling kosher snacks for lunch, today the Jewish presence lives on only in the few scattered, Hebrew-derived phrases still in use.

In the early 1900s, Cairo’s goldsmith quarter was home to a large Jewish population, which had resided in Egypt for centuries. The departure of the Jewish community in the 1950s and 1960s was swift and sudden, leaving many Jewish goldsmiths to abandon their businesses or hastily gift them to their non-Jewish assistants and colleagues. Few shop owners operating today will openly discuss this period. It’s not known what percentage of shops in the 1950s would have been Jewish-owned.

In a report presented by the Hebrew Al-monitor website, it took note of a study carried out by Israeli researcher Dr Gabriel Rosenbaum, a professor at Jerusalem’s Hebrew University.

“In the Egyptian Jewish community, as in many Jewish communities, some elements of Hebrew vocabulary embedded within the Egyptian Arabic vernacular served as a secret language,” Rosenbaum, who specialises in Egyptian Jewish affairs and the modern Egyptian language, wrote.

Profession-specific languages allowed merchants to discuss trade topics and private matters in front of customers.

He added, “The most highly developed secret language is that of the goldsmiths, which was used for centuries by the Jewish (mostly Karaite) goldsmiths in Egypt, and was later adopted by their Muslim and Christian colleagues, many of whom use it to this day.”

According to Rosenbaum’s study, the gold merchants traded in Egypt dating back more than a thousand years, with many of the words they use dating to the ancient Hebrew used by Egyptian Jews during the Middle Ages. Rosenbaum, more specifically, places the words to the 8th Century AD.

Many of the phrases Rosenbaum discovered combine Hebrew roots with Arabic grammar. For example, some merchants would warn one another about a possible thief by using the word “ganneb”.

The term comes from the Hebrew verb ‘ganab’ or ‘to steal’, but is in an Arabic-language declarative second verb form. As Rosenbaum would write, “Another term for warning against thieves “ienaymak”, which is a combination of the Hebrew word enayim” (eyes) and the Arabic suffixed possessive pronoun -ak for the second person.” It translates very simply as – “Watch out!”

Among the words that have roots in the Hebrew and are used in the gold market until now, include “Defesh El fe shalak” “the man standing with you”,“ shokok” (money), “admon” (used gold),”al defsh maftlosh shokok” (a customer who does not have money), “Hanrbes” (we will go), “Dabr” (was given) and “Geft” (don’t speak).

In his study, Rosenbaum listed a number of words circulating in the gold market today, including the word (Yaffet) “Yafet” which means “good”. He notes that this word is still used in modern Hebrew, and is used to express the opinions of merchants on the quality of the product. This compares to the word merchants use, “ashfoor”, which has no roots or equivalent in Hebrew.

The word “zahub”, which is a word taken from the original Hebrew word “zahav” meaning gold, was used to refer to the Egyptian gold pound. The word “halah”, meaning “going” in modern Hebrew is used by merchants with each other to take care of the customer. This has its origins also in ancient Hebrew, derived from “halakh”, or “ahalakh”.

The word “admoon” is used to refer to “used or old gold”, or a piece of jewellery that has been repaired, polished, and offered again for sale. Rosenbaum notes that the source of this word in Hebrew is the word “kadmon”, which means “ancient” or “old”. As in Egyptian vernacular, this is indicated by the letter K which in this word remains silent, so instead “Adamon” is pronounced instead of “kadmon”.

These words remain an important relic of Egypt’s past which had been in the country for millennia. So, the next time you go out to buy a piece of gold, will you be able to hear these words?

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Egypt imposes COVID-19 related preventive measures on archaeological missions https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/06/15/egypt-imposes-covid-19-related-preventive-measures-on-archaeological-missions/ Sun, 14 Jun 2020 23:13:58 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=733297 Workers obliged to wear face masks and gloves, whilst ensuring regular disinfection of digging tools

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The Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities outlined on Sunday regulations for all archaeological missions operating at archaeological sites across Egypt, amid the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Secretary General of the Supreme Council for Antiquities, Moustafa Waziri, said the ministry’s preventive measures oblige all members of archaeological missions to have their temperature checked daily.

He explained that workers have to wear face masks and gloves, and ensure their digging tools are regularly disinfected. The number of workers allowed at open-air excavation sites should not exceed 30 individuals, with social distance regulations applied, he added.

However, only four people, including the antiquities inspector, would be allowed inside tombs or burial chambers at any one time, he said.

Waziri asserted that all workers should take the necessary safety and health precautions while eating or drinking during breaks.

The Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities has also discussed the plan to open museums and archaeological sites nationwide. These include such notable attractions as the Baron Empain Palace in Heliopolis, the Sharm El Sheikh Museum, the Royal Vehicle Museum, and the Fustat’s National Museum of Egyptian Civilization.

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Culture Ministry to present virtual theatre performances on YouTube https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/06/06/culture-ministry-to-present-virtual-theatre-performances-on-youtube/ Sat, 06 Jun 2020 18:28:27 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=732602 Programme to present international works in creative Egyptian style, says Inas Abdel Dayem

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Minister of Culture Inas Abdel Dayem has announced the launch of virtual theatre performances programme, entitled “Laugh – Think – Learn”, presented by the Theater House and the Egyptian National Theater.

She added that a total of 10 theatre performances has been created, inspired by a number of short stories by Russian playwright Anton Chekhov, and performed from an Egyptian perspective. They will be showcased on the ministry’s official YouTube channel on 8 June at 9:30 pm.

Abdel Dayem said the theatrical show aims to develop and enrich the activities that are part of the “

”Culture Between Your Hands” initiative. It looks to stimulate awareness and increase knowledge by presenting theatrical works from around the world.

The show is an Egyptian representation of the original Russian plays, including creative commentary on the theatrical works and content analysis.

Considered one of the greatest short fiction writers in history, some also consider Chekhov to be the founder of the modern short story form, with his influence observed in a diverse group of writers.

He described the Russian way of life during his lifetime, using a deceptively simple technique, and he is regarded as an outstanding representative of the late 19th-century Russian realist school.

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Cairo International Film Festival starts accepting submission for 42nd edition https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/06/04/cairo-international-film-festival-starts-accepting-submission-for-42nd-edition/ Wed, 03 Jun 2020 22:38:37 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=732393 Mohamed Hefzy continues as festival’s president, Ahmed Shawky appointed as artistic director

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The Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF), scheduled for 19-28 November, has started accepting submissions for its 42nd edition.

The festival’s management will be guided by the Egyptian government and the World Health Organization (WHO) on the necessary health and safety protocols for guests and participants. 

The modified festival comes following a successful 2019 edition, as Minister of Culture Enas Abdel-Dayem confirmed the renewed presidency of Mohamed Hefzy. Film critic Ahmed Shawky has also been appointed as the new artistic director of the festival, succeeding veteran film critic Youssef Cherif Rizkallah who passed away last year.

Hefzy said, “The coronavirus pandemic has imposed a considerable challenge to the international film industry. Nevertheless, CIFF’s management is committed to holding a successful and safe edition if the situation allows while emphasising on the safety and well-being of its staff as well as local and international guests.”

Shawky added “The task of maintaining the success of the last two editions will be not be easy especially in the unprecedented challenges facing the film industry due to the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic.”

This year’s edition of the festival will apply the Gender Parity Pledge 5050×2020, committing to promoting gender equality and transparency in film-related events. The CIFF will become the first Arab festival, and second African festival, to join this commitment launched during the 2018 Cannes Film Festival.

During the 2019 edition, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) awarded the festival with the Oscar qualifying film festival status. This year the Best Short Film in the ‘Cinema of Tomorrow’ competition will be eligible to compete in the Animated and Live Action Short Film category of the Academy Awards.

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Legendary director Youssef Chahine’s films to shine again on Netflix https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/06/03/legendary-director-youssef-chahines-films-to-shine-again-on-netflix/ Tue, 02 Jun 2020 23:56:31 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=732301 In June, Netflix is set to present four films by the late Egyptian film director Youssef Chahine.

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During lockdown, Netflix viewers will likely have watched everything the platform has to offer. This does not, however, mean that the giant company does not have anything new to offer.

In June, Netflix is set to present four films by the late Egyptian film director Youssef Chahine.

Over half a century, Egypt’s most acclaimed director tirelessly worked on innovative cinematic works. The Alexandria-native became an inextricable part of modern Arab cinema’s fabric, with each of his films more daring than its predecessor.

Youssef Chahine’s unique style and bold choices not only artistically represented the Arab region’s voice, but also communicated it to the world. His challenging but artistically beautiful films paved the way for the future of Arab cinema.

The four classic films include Iskindereya Leh? (Alexandria, Why?) produced 1979 that won the prestigious Silver Bear Award at the 29th Berlin International Film Festival.

The autobiographical drama tackles Chahine’s upbringing in his hometown, Alexandria, via the platform of a complex story that draws a picture of Egyptian society during World War II.

Netflix will also give its viewers the opportunity to watch 1954’s Seraa’ Fi Al Wadi (Conflict in the Valley), the first film to feature golden couple Omar Sharif and Faten Hammama.

The film portrays a family rivalry in the Egyptian countryside via a love story between its two leads.

The twice-banned 1995 film, Al Mohager (The Immigrant), which was inspired by the biblical tale of Joseph, is told from an Egyptian perspective, will be also showcased in the network.

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Culture Ministry discusses preventative measures for resumed activities https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/06/02/culture-ministry-discusses-preventative-measures-for-resumed-activities/ Tue, 02 Jun 2020 13:48:06 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=732246 Date for reopening of cultural activities yet to be announced

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Minister of Culture Ines Abdel-Dayem met with Cairo Opera House Chairperson, Magdy Saber, and several representatives from the ministry’s cultural sectors, to discuss preventative measures for when cultural activities resume.

During the meeting, the minister and the attendees discussed ways of investing and improving the equipment needed to hold open-air cultural events in the Cairo Opera grounds.

The meeting also tackled the required safety measures once the government’s co-existence plan comes into effect, to curb the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

In a statement, the ministry announced that work has begun on new cultural productions aimed at spreading awareness on the coronavirus. They will also highlight the struggles of the country’s army, police force and medical teams in battling the pandemic.

The discussion was attended by Saber, in addition to the opera’s artistic and administrative team, head of Cultural Production Sector Khaled Galal, and head of Theatre Production House Ismail Mokhtar, among others.

Although the ministry has yet to provide information on a potential date for a possible cultural reopening, the meeting’s main target was to prepare for a possible return to cultural activities in the near future.

All cultural activities have been suspended across Egypt since 9 March, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

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International Day of Yoga: Indian Embassy in Cairo launches free online classes on 16 June https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/06/02/international-day-of-yoga-indian-embassy-in-cairo-launches-free-online-classes-on-16-june/ Tue, 02 Jun 2020 07:30:34 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=732200 Classes aim to boost general well-being and productivity

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In celebration of the International Day of Yoga on 21 June, the Embassy of India in Cairo will offer a series of free online yoga classes to businesses and their employees across Egypt.

This year, as part of the celebration and promotion of health and wellness through yoga, the embassy will provide a 90-minute class for three days starting from 16 June. The sessions, which will start at 18:00, are set to include gentle asana or stretching exercises, Pranayam (breathing techniques), and relaxation techniques.

The classes will target employees as yoga is well known to help boost productivity, improve decision making skills, and increase the ability to multitask whilst also enhancing a positive attitude.

Yoga is much more than a method of burning calories and toning muscles. It is a mind and body workout, encouraging practitioners to flow through strengthen and stretch poses along with deep breathing techniques to relax the mind and body.

While other exercises take care of physical aspects, yoga goes beyond that to help practitioners control and create a healthy mind and body.

Launched in 2014 following an address to the UN General Assembly by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, 21 June has come the international day for celebrating and practicing yoga.

The Embassy of India in Cairo has, for the past five years, also celebrated the International Day of Yoga in Egypt. It uses the day to promote well-being and help people worldwide come together, and discover a harmony with nature.

The celebration is supported by various global leaders, with over 170 countries participating every year in the event.

Widely practiced in the modern age for its immense health and relaxation benefits, Yoga is a spiritual practice that uses breath control, meditation, and the adoption of specific body postures called asana. The practice of yoga is frequently used for its power to heal the entire body.

There are more than 100 different forms of yoga, with some fast paced and intense, and others that are more gentle and relaxing. Yoga is an invaluable gift with an extensive and ancient tradition in India. It encourages a holistic approach to health and well-being, bringing unity of mind and body, thought and action, in addition to creating harmony between man and nature.

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Veteran Hassan Hosny leaves behind 50 year star-studded legacy https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/05/30/veteran-hassan-hosny-leaves-behind-50-year-star-studded-legacy/ Sat, 30 May 2020 11:38:43 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=731868 Stalwart of Egyptian cinema, Hassan Hosny, hugely popular with audiences, widely recognised for his contribution to Egyptian arts

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Hassan Hosny, the veteran comedian and stalwart of modern Egyptian cinema, passed away in the early hours of Saturday from a heart attack. He was 89.

Born in Cairo in 1931, he discovered his passion and talent for acting during his school days during which he took part in many shows. In the early 1960s, the up-and-coming star joined the military’s theatrical group, where he performed in numerous shows during this time.

He would go on to enjoy an esteemed career in theatre and film spanning over 50 years, starring in countless films, including Nasser 56 in 1996, and 2000’s El Nazer. He was also one of the most active actors of his generation, taking part in almost 500 theatre and cinema works.

Hosny was given the nickname El-Ashash by audiences, due to his ability to shine in any role he was given. Such was his profound talent, he could get under the skin of each of the characters he played, roping viewers in to the storyline.

Over his extensive and varied career, the Egyptian actor was awarded numerous medals and awards by the Ministry of Education for his acting and contribution to the art form.

Hosny was also considered a great supporter of young actors, having switched, part-way through his career in the mid-1990s, to co-starring in films with many young actors.

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MACIC celebrates World Day for Cultural Diversity with webinar https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/05/23/macic-celebrates-world-day-for-cultural-diversity-with-webinar/ Sat, 23 May 2020 14:22:52 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=731621 The webinar started with an inspirational song released by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), titled “United We Fight”.

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The Maulana Azad Centre for Indian Culture (MACIC) in Cairo organised on 21 May an online seminar to help communities better understand the value of cultural diversity and living together in harmony.

Following the destruction of Bamiyan’s world famous Buddha statues in Afghanistan in 2001, the world now celebrates the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development every year on 21 May. The event, which is sanctioned by the UN, looks to promote diversity issues around the world.

The webinar started with an inspirational song released by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), titled “United We Fight”.

It was attended by MACIC Director, Liyaqath Ali, the Chairman of El Sawy Culture Wheel, Mohammed El Sawy, the Director of the Italian Cultural Institute, David Scalmani, and the Director of the Korean Cultural Centre, Yang Sangkeun.

The song was created to help people around the world remain united and to ignite hope during the fight against the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The UN emphasised the importance of the day for celebrating cultural diversity saying that 75% of the world’s major conflicts have a cultural dimension. Bridging the gaps between cultures is, as a result, urgent and necessary, not only for global peace and stability, but also for its growth and development.

The event confirmed that bridging gaps between peoples and cultures is a major feature of all cultures around the world. In Indian philosophy, it is underlined in the concept of Vasudhaiva Kudumbakam, or Sanskrit for “the whole world is one great family”.

The Holy Quran also mentions that humans were made in peoples and tribes to know and understand each other.

Quoting the saying in Arabic “a man could be the enemy of what he knows not”, the seminar stressed that cultural centres of different countries have the responsibility to bridge the gap between different cultures. This can be done through educating people about the cultures and civilisations of each other, whilst transforming them into enlightened citizens.

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Grand Museum receives 346 artefacts from Old, Middle Kingdoms https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/05/19/grand-museum-receives-346-artefacts-from-old-middle-kingdoms/ Tue, 19 May 2020 13:50:07 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=731331 One of most important artefacts transferred is rectangular board for seven oils used during burial rites

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The Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) has received a collection of 346 artefacts from the Old and Middle Kingdoms, including 10 statues of King Senusret I. The artefacts had been housed in the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square.

Atef Moftah, the General Supervisor at the GEM, , said on Tuesday that the statues of King Senusret I were deposited inside the Great Hall. This has been done in preparation for their placement in the museum’s permanent exhibition space.

Dr Al-Tayeb Abbas, Director General of Archaeology at GEM explained that the statues were discovered in 1894 inside a hole at the mortuary temple of King Senusert’s pyramid in Fayoum governorate.

The limestone statues, depicting a young Senusret sitting on a throne, were transferred to the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square in 1895.

Senusert I was the second pharaoh of the Twelfth Dynasty of Egypt, and is considered one of the most powerful kings of this Dynasty.

Abbas added that one of the most important of artefacts transferred is a rectangular board for the seven oils which were used during burial rites, featuring black inscriptions and seven oval-shaped openings.

Other finds include an offering table used by the Pharaohs Sneferu, Djedefre, and Khufu, a statue of fifth dynasty official Akhethotep who was second only to the Pharaoh Djedkare, and an Old Kingdom wooden statue of a lady.

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