Culture – Daily News Egypt https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com Egypt’s Only Daily Independent Newspaper In English Wed, 20 Nov 2019 23:23:50 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.1 Delving into ancient Egyptians’ fascinating coffins world https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/11/20/digging-into-ancient-egyptians-fascinating-coffins-world/ Tue, 19 Nov 2019 22:35:44 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=714447 When you see the fingerprints of ancient coffin makers, you feel connected to those people more as humans, not just their skills, says researcher

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While the ancient Egyptians believed in the sanctity of afterlife, their coffins expressed those beliefs in the most heart capturing, mesmerising way. The Pharaonic coffins’ alluring colours, the sharpness of their details, and their perfectly shaped designs summed this civilisation’s glorious eminence.

With the aim of presenting a deeper look into the world of fascinating ancient Egyptian tombs, the Bibliotheca Alexandrina (BA) held a workshop for 40 museum curators and conservators. Under the title “Understanding Ancient Egyptian Wooden Coffins”, the workshop provided participants with a practical training on the examination, carpentry, and construction of ancient coffins.

The workshop took place at the BA, in cooperation with the Fitzwilliam Museum at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, and the museum sector at the Ministry of Antiquities.

Held with the participation Helen Strudwick, an Egyptian antiquities associate curator at Fitzwilliam Museum; Julie Dawson, head of Conservation at the Fitzwilliam Museum; and several Egyptian curators and conservators at the Ministry of Antiquities, the two-day workshop focused on covering all aspects of coffin making at ancient Egyptian’s various Dynasties.

From the shaping of the wood, until the final decoration touches that are drawn with the vibrant use of self-made colours, the workshop took participants into a journey across time when the glorious era of human evolution shaped the history into recognising the most illustrious civilisations.

The training targeted providing Egyptian archaeologists with the chance to explore the techniques the ancient Egyptians used in making coffins out of raw objects. It also aimed to provide them with the needed skills to discover the traces of these tools, and the capability of identifying different types of coffin construction. Moreover, it discussed the techniques that can be used to examine coffin construction from a technological and Egyptological point of view as well as exploring the materials and techniques for decorating coffins.

“The reason of which we are focusing particularly on coffins is because we have been working on such project at the Fitzwilliam Museum for about five years, in which we have been carrying out an in-depth research about coffin making, leading us to explore much details about the field,” Strudwick told Daily News Egypt.

The training included a detail description on the wood types that were used in coffin making, as each type requires a certain treatment in order to be ready to draw and engraved on.

A part of the lectures was dedicated not only to introduce participants to the tools used by carpenters throughout different Dynasties, but to also gave them the chance to use them on their own in order to understand the techniques of cutting, shaping, and smoothing the coffins. These techniques were considered a technology leap at the time.

From Strudwick’s point of view, the more people got to know about the struggle carpenters had, the more they get to appreciate some of these amazing objects that they see all the time in the museums in Egypt.

The replica tools ancient Egyptians used included a pull saw, adze, chisel, and awls.

“When they [participants] witness the process of turning wood into coffins, they get to understand the ancient Egyptian handicrafts talents, and the ways they smartly overcame the challenges,” she explained.

For decades, Strudwick had had her heart captured to Egyptology. Nonetheless, that never prevented her from falling even deeper for the coffin making industry for as she got to “personally witness the human touches in it.”

“When you see the finger prints of the carpenter who held a certain coffin before it was still wet, you feel connected to the people of that era more as humans, not just the skills of the extremely talented minds who came up with things way before any other civilisation did,” she explained.

Following the same path is also Dawson, who believes that digging more in the field of coffin studying makes you see another hidden perspective of the ancient Egyptians.

“For most us, these people [ancient Egyptians] seem quite remote. However, getting in depth of the stages of coffin making make you understand their struggles with the materials, the mistakes that they did and the things they had to do in order to fix those mistakes. This gets you close to them as you start connecting yourself to them as a human being who does mistakes every day,” she described.

The colours used in decorating the coffins were among the discussed topics of the workshop. Throughout their presentation, both Dawson, and Strudwick discussed their experiences in coming with colours similar to the ones ancient Egyptians used in their coffin decorations.

“They had a wide use of colour palate, and through a number of experiences, we discovered the long process they went through to reach for colours such as Egyptian blue,” Dawson said in her lecture.

The Egyptian blue is a colour coming out of mixing silica, lime, copper, and an alkali. The components are mixed together undergoing 850 °C heat for over 100 hours in order to bring it out. However, if the same components are mixed under higher heat, from 100-120°C, they bring the colour green.

According to both scientists, Egyptology is one of the rare sciences that have evidence left for people to examine decades after the absence of their creators, something that does not exist in many other cultures like Northern Europe.

“It is just fascinating how they came up with their own colours, and the techniques that made them stay still after all these decades,” Dawson said, adding, “It is a special and extremely extraordinary to be able to hold a piece of wood that is thousands of years old, and can seem like a piece of wood that was cut down and treated yesterday with its shape and colours. There is no culture that can provide researchers with such a thing but the Egyptian culture.”

Hussein Abdel Bassir, the director of BA’s antiquities museum, said that the coffin science in Egypt lacks the proper attention and acknowledgment. Archaeologists instead are still focusing on the human ties between dynasties to facilitate the evidences they have about their death reasons, mummification, and burial locations.

This is presented in the Egyptologists awareness of the tiniest details of the ancient Egyptian families through examining and researching their mummies. However, they still miss the latest technologies in coffin studying part.

From Abdel Bassir’s point of view, that the main goal behind this workshop is develop the archaeologists working in number of museums in Alexandria in order to explore the latest techniques in the field of coffin science, parallel to their knowledge in antiquities, dynasties families and mummification.

This is to be applied in the documentation of coffins construction in Egypt, in order to explore more about that ones that have been reused, and others that have similar construction types.

“This does not deny the archaeologist human calibre is quite unique in Egypt, we are just aiming to complete the missing parts of the image in order to have a fully experienced human calibre in our museums,” he added.

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The Egyptian Museum celebrates its 117th anniversary with two exhibitions https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/11/17/the-egyptian-museum-celebrates-its-117th-anniversary-with-two-exhibitions/ Sun, 17 Nov 2019 11:30:02 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=714154 The celebration was attended by the Minister of Antiquities Khaled Anany and the Minister of Immigration and Egyptian Expatriate Affairs  Nabila Makram, along with 40 foreign ambassadors and public figures.

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For over a decade, the Egyptian Museum has been a lightening hub reflecting the glorious ancient gems from ancient Egypt. Celebrating its 117th anniversary, the Ministry of Antiquities inaugurated on Friday two temporary exhibitions at the museum.

The celebration was attended by the Minister of Antiquities Khaled Anany and the Minister of Immigration and Egyptian Expatriate Affairs  Nabila Makram, along with 40 foreign ambassadors and public figures.

The first exhibition tackles education in Egypt’s various eras, and the second exhibition features the unearthed discoveries of the mummies found in one of the 21st dynasty’s cemetery.

  

Anany explained that the Egyptian Museum is considered an ancient monument that was established even before museology itself, and it reflects one of the most glorious and ancient civilisations throughout history.

He further stated that the museum is planned with the help of the Louvre, the Egyptian Museum of Turin (Museo Egizio), Egyptian Museum of Berlin, the British Museum, and the National Museum of Antiquities in Leiden, in addition to the French Institute for Oriental Archaeology in Cairo, to be renovated.

The renovation plan aims to list the Egyptian Museum on the UNESCO’s World Heritage List. The operations are funded by a European Union grant of €3.1m. The new applied systems aim to put the museum back on the top attraction touristic spots after the artefacts collection of King Tutankhamun were transferred to the Grand Egyptian Museum, preparing for its opening in 2020.

The education exhibition comes within the context of dedicating 2019 to be the year of education. It displays the tools which we used as a part of the educational system over the eras.

Among the mummies showcased in the second exhibition are the ones which were discovered earlier this year in Al-Assasif necropolis. El-Assasif is located South of Dra Abul-Naga necropolis on Luxor’s west bank. It is known to be an enriching necropolis containing a number of individual cemeteries that date back between the 18th and 26th dynasties.

The 33rd dynasty mummies were buried one metre beneath the ground. The cachette found consisted of two lines, the first had 18 tombs, whilst the second had 12 tombs belonging to a number of women and three children. The tombs were buried by high ranking priests in a storage gated with lime to prevent robbery.

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First Roman catacomb unearthed in Saqqara necropolis https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/11/17/first-roman-catacomb-unearthed-in-saqqara-necropolis/ Sun, 17 Nov 2019 11:00:57 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=714143 The material from our discovery of the Roman catacomb at Saqqara suggests that Greco-Roman influence was stronger in Memphis than in contemporary Upper Egyptian culture; says mission director 

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At the enriching Saqqara necropolis, ancient Egypt families were not the only cohorts tempted to grave their glory and bury their individuals and groups beneath the ground, surrounding them with decorated walls, praying inscriptions, and personal belongings. Archaeologists recently discovered used Roman land where they buried their dead, making it the first catacomb from the Roman era to be discovered at the necropolis.

A few days ago, an Egyptian-Japanese mission discovered the first Roman catacomb in Saqqara dating back to the first or second century AD on the eastern side of Saqqara.

The director of the mission Nozomu Kawai of Kanazawa University in Japan, told Daily News Egypt, that the importance of this discovery lies mainly in the fact that it is the first Roman sepulchre found in the area.

“This is the first discovery of the Roman catacomb at Saqqara necropolis. We know that there are Roman catacombs in Alexandria, but it’s the first time in Saqqara,” he said.

The mud brick catacomb consists of a stair entrance that leads into the burial chamber made of limestone, as well as a niche that displays statues for Sokar, Thoth, and Anubis with Roman inscriptions depicted beneath.

The chamber contained a number of human burials that were mummified. Outside the catacomb, a number of brick burials with inscriptions that date back from the Roman period to the Coptic period, as well as a mud brick that is believed to date back to the Old Kingdom.

The mission also unearthed a stele with Greek inscriptions, which Kawai believes was reused and the inscriptions were added later.

According to state-media outlet, Al-Ahram, “In front of the stele, five terracotta figurines of Isis-Aphrodite, Roman ramps, and small pottery vessels were found. The mission also found a pair of symmetrical guardian lion statues made of limestone, each one measuring 55cm in length, 33cm in height, and 19cm in width.”

Kawai explains that the discovery revealed essential elements that lead them into exploring more of the Roman era culture, and connects a number of dots to have a wider image of Roman lifestyle at the time.

“Generally, the culture in Upper Egypt during the Roman period retains more traditions from the Pharaonic period. The material from our discovery of the Roman catacomb at Saqqara suggests that Greco-Roman influence was stronger in Memphis than the contemporary Upper Egyptian culture,” he explained.

The area, in which the catacomb was discovered, was never excavated before. The mission’s discovery saw the light in a coincidence, as Kawi was in process for looking for something else.

“Originally, I was looking for the New Kingdom Cemetery at North Saqqara as I am an Egyptologist majoring in New Kingdom Egypt. After conducting surveys in this area for two years, we have concluded there may have been the rock-cut tombs in the eastern escarpment of the North Saqqara plateau,” he asserted.

The survey led the mission into excavating at an “area that has never been explored by any archaeologist in the past”, only to discover the first catacomb of its kind in the necropolis.

The excavation will continue around Saqqara for further discoveries.

“We just found the tomb chamber last season. We hope we find more archaeological evidence that will explain the funerary religion in Memphis during the Roman period,” Kawai concluded.

On a similar note, the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities announced that an Egyptian mission found another huge discovery within the same area of Saqqara necropolis in which the remains of huge cats were unearthed.

The discovery, which took place at the Bubasteion archaeological site, is to be fully announced by the end of November. However, the ministry stated on its Facebook page that Minister Khaled Anany visited the site on Thursday in order to follow up with the discovery’s latest updates.

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Deaf Film Lab: MENA’s first filmmaking workshop for the hearing impaired https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/11/16/deaf-film-lab-menas-first-filmmaking-workshop-for-the-hearing-impaired/ Sat, 16 Nov 2019 14:47:22 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=714067 Unlike the mainstream misconception, these people are not special needs, they just communicate in a different way than the rest of people do, says founder

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“I never imagined that one day I can make a film about us, to invite people into the details of the hearing impaired community, and let them explore it,” said 19 year old Islam Mohammed with a wide smile, describing how he felt about his dream coming true with sign language.

Mohammed, along with 11 other young people, successfully made their first steps in the world of filmmaking with the support of Deaf Film Lab.

Deaf Film Lab is an independent initiative aiming to teach people with hearing impairment filmmaking as a part of their integration in society, allowing them to be a part of the international art scene. The scene which they have no access to in Egypt with the absence of sign language films or even translated versions in various media portals.

The initiative is a part of Cinema Everywhere, an Alexandria-based individual project purposed to introduce alternative cinema and independent films to the marginalised and culturally deprived audiences in Alexandria, Upper Egypt, and other governorates.

The three year old initiative just wreaped the fruits of its labour earlier this year with the graduation of 12 young people who produced three films all on their own, going through the whole production process.

“It all started as a question at one of Cinema Everywhere’s screenings in one of the hearing impaired NGOs, where we used to screen a number of sign language films,” Waguih El-laqany, founder and director of Cinema Everywhere told Daily News Egypt.

“What if we want to learn filmmaking to do films like these, how is that possible?!”

Waguih was silenced with the young boy’s question. Knowing that he had no answer, as there is no single academy to teach deaf people filmmaking, he could not let go of the dream the young boy had beyond that question.   

Soon after that film screening, Waguih decided to establish his own workshop with the support of interested NGOs to teach a group of hearing impaired students photography basics.

“I just wanted a miniature workshop to see the things I should focus on and provide in order to facilitate communication between the tutors and the students,” he explained.

In his second trial, with the help of the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (AFAC), the team organised the Middle East’s first filmmaking course for the hearing impaired.

For 24 days, eight men and four girls, aged 15 to 20 learned all the parts of film production. From writing the script, to post-production, the group explored all techniques and theories.

“Unlike the mainstream misconception, these people are not special needs, they just communicate in a different way than the rest of people do,” Waguih highlighted.

“They are very smart, passionate, determined and quick learners. They just need a way to explore the same knowledge others get to have,” he added.

He further explained that as a closed community, they just need to be opened up to society at large and have a connection with it, and art is that sort of connection.

The Deaf Film Lab aims to create a learning hub for people with hearing impairment to learn about all types of art, as well as having a platform in which they can practice the techniques they learn, and have their work exposed to the world.

“I’m aiming to turn the workshop into a permanent art centre, in which people from across the region can join and learn about filmmaking, as well as artists to hold lectures,” he explained.

Waguih is currently seeking funds for the centre, and the support of interested institutions.

The 12 students made three films, all were about their struggles in the community, and their efforts to fit in.

Among the produced films was Msh Fahem (I don’t understand), which tells the story of a young man with hearing impairment who does not know how to read or write, and slightly knows sign language. The film follows his life as he has no way of communicating with people until he meets a group of people willing to adopt him and teach him sign language.

El-Le’ba (The Game) is another film of the group’s production. The film tells the story of one of the very famous games hearing impaired people enjoy. Through the plot, the filmmakers aim to introduce their unknown world to other people, including their means of entertainment.

  

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Ancient Egyptians collected Sacred Ibises for sacrifice, mummification https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/11/13/ancient-egyptians-collected-sacred-ibises-for-sacrifice-mummification/ Wed, 13 Nov 2019 21:44:17 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=713878 DNA studies reject the idea that Egyptians domesticated Sacred Ibis for ritual use.

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Ancient Egyptians collected Sacred Ibises from their natural habitats to be ritually sacrificed then mummified in the holy traditions of the ancient Egyptian gods.

 

According to the findings of a recent study, mummified bodies of Sacred Ibises were found at the Egyptian catacombs that are famous for this kind of bird. Findings from the paper suggest that priests sustained short-term taming of the wild Sacred Ibis in local lakes or wetlands.

DNA studies reject the idea that Egyptians domesticated Sacred Ibis for ritual use.

Sacrificing birds was a common practice between 664 BC and 250 AD, and was also worshipped in ritual service to the god Thoth, and subsequently mummified. 

The study published on Wednesday in PLOS One journal by researchers at Griffith University, Australia, explained that these mummified birds were found stacked floor to ceiling along kilometres of catacombs in ancient sites across Egypt, totalling millions of birds.

For centuries, scientists were amazed from where the ancient Egyptians got access to so many of these birds. 

Despite some ancient texts indicating long-term farming and domestication may have been employed, the researchers in the current study collected DNA from 40 mummified Sacred Ibis specimens from six Egyptian catacombs dating to around 2500 years ago and 26 modern specimens from across Africa. 

14 of the mummies and all of the modern specimens yielded complete mitochondrial genome sequences. These data allowed researchers to compare genetic diversity between wild populations and sacrificed collections.

The researchers found that the genetic diversity of mummified Ibises within and between catacombs was similar to that of modern wild populations. 

This suggests that the birds were not the result of centralised farming, but short-term taming. The authors suggest that the birds were likely tended in their natural habitats or perhaps farmed only in the times of year they were needed for sacrifice.

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Egyptian mega star Amr Diab celebrated in Times Square https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/11/13/egyptian-mega-star-amr-diab-celebrated-in-times-square/ Tue, 12 Nov 2019 22:15:31 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=713790 The billboard comes as a part of Spotify’s Global Cultural initiative, aiming to spread Arabic songs to people living outside the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

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In the middle of New York’s Times Square, where thousands of international celebrities are celebrated with billboards viewed by millions of people every day, giant shining billboards of Egyptian Superstar Amr Diab were lit up in acknowledgement on Tuesday for his accomplishment of becoming the most listed Arabic singer on Spotify in the United States and Europe.

The billboard comes as a part of Spotify’s Global Cultural initiative, aiming to spread Arabic songs to people living outside the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

Diab’s songs were included on various international and regional playlists, where his music continues to spread around the globe, according to a press release published by Spotify.

“Music is a language that speaks emotions and not only words. I am blessed to have

touched people around the world with my music,” ​Diab​ told Spotify.

“Spotify has allowed so many artists to connect with fans beyond borders and I am glad for that,” he added.

The music platform offers more than 50 million tracks from all over the world, freely provided to the public.

For his side, Managing Director of Spotify Middle East and Africa Claudius Boller said, “Bringing the world to artists and artists to the world is a fundamental part of what Spotify is about.”

“Experiencing Amr Diab’s devotion to Arabic music for nearly four decades straight and witnessing his fanbase expand across the world is beyond incredible. Today we are celebrating Diab’s legacy and we are proud to see him shine so brightly – literally – on the global stage,” he added.

Dubbed as the Rock, Diab’s songs have not only witnessed a gala attraction in the Middle East, but according to Spotify, the artist has a massive listening base in the US, which became the number one country streaming his music on Spotify, followed by Sweden and Germany.

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UNESCO’s workshop tackles underwater cultural heritage for the first time in Egypt https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/11/11/unescos-workshop-tackles-underwater-cultural-heritage-for-the-first-time-in-egypt/ Mon, 11 Nov 2019 19:25:12 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=713623 I believe the main deficiency we have in underwater archaeology in Egypt is the matter of showcasing the heritage we have; says Khalil

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Over the decades, the legacy of the ancient Egyptians and the subsequent empires expanded to much more of what archaeologists discovered underground. While scientists exert their efforts in expanding excavation work underground, treasures are laid opposite to the land, deep in the sea, waiting to see the light.

For those who do not work at the Ministry of Antiquities, exploring a maritime heritage to treat and preserve it is essential. However, this is coupled with missing information that the Alexandria University’s Centre for Maritime Archaeology & Underwater Cultural Heritage aims to provide during its latest workshops.

Under the title of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) role in the Preservation of Underwater Cultural Heritage in Egypt, 19 workers from the country’s various ministries underwent an intensive workshop to learn about the country’s hidden underwater heritage, and the tools to preserve it.

The five-day workshop took place for the first time a centre for Martime Archeology and Underwater Cultual Heritage at Alexandria University with the cooperation of  the Egyptian National Commission for Education, Science, and Culture at the Ministry of Higher Education,  the UNESCO Office in Cairo, and the Ministry of Antiquities.

As the only country having a training centre for underwater heritage, the workshop was dedicated to the individuals engaged in the exploration of underwater antiquities in order to learn more about the laws surrounding antiquities, and the UNESCO’s 2001 Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage.

According to the UNESCO’s latest study, there are 150 drowning cities in the Mediterranean only, and more than three million shipwrecks. Alexandria is the second city in the Arab World which discovered underwater antiquities in 1910. With few main famous underwater cities, including the Heracleion ancient city. Alexandria is considered one of the most enriching cities in the world, for having dozens of unspotted underwater archaeological sites. 

“Most of the archaeology work is interdisciplinary with a number of other fields like media, environment, and education. So, we needed to break the circle of antiquities members only in order to let others explore the most of the antiquities they are to be part of,” Emad Khalil, founder and director of the Alexandria University Centre for Maritime Archaeology and Underwater Cultural Heritage, told Daily News Egypt.

Throughout the workshop, the 19 participants learned about the research process, diving, unearthing water relics, as well as preserving them.

Egypt’s struggles in saving maritime heritage

At the conference hall of the Alexandria Library, Emad explained that the process of underwater cultural heritage is divided into three categories: research, preservation, and capacity building.

Egypt signed the UNESCO’s 2001 convention in 2017. As one of the enriching countries in the fields of underwater heritage, the country faces limited challenges in the research process, compared to other challenges the country faces.

“The struggle we have about the equipment,  can be solved with the support of international entities. However, the real struggle is in the preservation of underwater antiquities,” he added.

“Unlike on-ground antiquities, the maritime heritage is unguarded. In museums, you stocktake the relics so if anything goes missing, we instantly figure out. Nonetheless, this does not apply when it comes to underwater archaeological sites. Up until now, no one knows the exact number of antiquities located in Egypt’s various territorial waters, which leaves us clueless if anything gets stolen,” he explained, stressing,

“We urgently need a systematic underwater survey across the Egyptian coast!”

  

Adding the legal and social reasons, the struggles pile up. In the Egyptian law, there is only a single article dedicated to underwater heritage preservation. Maritime antiquities preservation comes in the Egyptian law as a part of the 1983’s 117 saving relics law, which according to Khalil, “insufficient, as both of them have different aspects and tools of preservation.”

He explained that adding the preserving regulations of underwater heritage to terrestrial antiquities is inaccurate..

All of these are added to what have become regular milestones to antiquities saving in Egypt, including the very limited number of research teams, and the paralysing logistics facing any excavation requirements.

Khalil pointed out that the legal regulation part in the preservation is considered the easier part of the process of the underwater antiquities’ preservation.

Lack of public awareness

Despite discovering thousands of water antiquities, Egypt does not have museums for underwater discoveries so far.  The Ministry of Antiquities has one temporarily exhibition named, “Sunken Cities: Egypt’s Lost Worlds” that roams a number of foreign countries showcasing 293 artefacts that tell the tales of the two underwater cities: Thonis-Heracleion and Canopus.

“I believe the main deficiency we have in underwater archaeology scene in Egypt is the matter of showcasing the heritage we have! The fact that we have an exhibition about the Egyptian underwater antiquities that has been booming around the world in the past five years, and the moment it returns the country, the relics go straight to storage is just unbelievable, and unacceptable!” Khalil ironically said.

Before the inauguration of  Sunken Cities: Egypt’s Lost Worlds exhibition in the United States last year, 1,000 tickets were sold in the first day of promoting the exhibition’s opening only, according to a press release by the Ministry of Antiques, the time at which also stated that almost all of the tickets for the exhibition’s first day sold out once they were released for sale.

“Despite that, we still do not have a single maritime museum at a country that overviews thousands of water kilometres, and hundreds of underwater archaeological sites,” Khalil concluded.

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15 countries to participate in Colours Festival for paints in December https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/11/11/15-countries-to-participate-in-colours-festival-for-paints-in-december/ Mon, 11 Nov 2019 17:25:19 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=713614 Paints market achieves EGP 15bn annual sales, this year saw 15% increase in exports, says festival head

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The sixth edition of Colours Festival (Arabic for Alwan), an Arab and African paints forum in Egypt and the Middle East, will be held in Sharm El Sheikh on 6-9 December under the auspices of the Chamber of Chemical Industries of the Federation of Egyptian Industries (FEI) and South Sinai governorate.

Ashraf Ibrahim, CEO of Eye Vision for Marketing and Consulting and organiser of the festival, said that 1,700 attendees will participate in the festival from 15 countries, leaders of Arab and African companies, chambers of commerce, businesspeople, and dignitaries working and interested in the paints and decoration sector. All of which will attend to get acquainted with the latest industrial developments in this field and open new export markets for the Egyptian product.

Since its launch, the main objective of this festival is to increase the paint sector’s sales within the Egyptian market, which exceeds EGP 15bn annually, opening new markets for Egyptian producers and seeking investment opportunities for Egyptian companies in a number of participating countries.

“This year witnessed an increase in volume of domestic production in the paint market by 15%, which was fully exported abroad in accordance with the agreement made with the Libyan Chamber of Commerce and Industry during the festival’s previous edition as part of the reconstruction plan in Libya, which accounted for 75% of total exports of paints alone,” said Ibrahim.

He further noted that the festival’s upcoming edition will include several Arab and African countries to promote and create new opportunities for Egyptian products in these countries.

“This year will witness the participation of delegations for the first time from Italy, Czechoslovakia, and Mauritania, as well as from Arab countries like Libya, Iraq, Kuwait, Palestine, Algeria, Sudan, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia,” Ibrahim elaborated.

“In addition, major Egyptian construction companies will participate in this year’s festival in order to open new outlets for paint companies to market their products and supply to these companies in the presence of unprecedented urban movement in Egypt,” he added.

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Happens 13 times a century: Mercury to transit across the Sun on Monday https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/11/10/happens-13-times-a-century-mercury-to-transit-across-the-sun-on-monday/ Sun, 10 Nov 2019 19:14:23 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=713552 Mercury, the smallest planet in our solar system – excluding Pluto which lost its planetary status – is a rocky, crater-ridden, atmosphere-less uninhabitable planet with temperatures ranging from 427C in the morning to -173C at night.

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Mercury will transit across the Sun on Monday, for the first time since 2016, in an event that will not occur again until 2032.

Mercury, the smallest planet in our solar system – excluding Pluto which lost its planetary status – is a rocky, crater-ridden, atmosphere-less uninhabitable planet with temperatures ranging from 427C in the morning to -173C at night.

Because Mecury is the smallest planet in the solar system — a third the size of Earth, 1-200th the size of the sun — and will pass in front of the sun, it is recommended that observers use serious optics with solar filters.

Mercury’s transit phenomenon begins at 2:30 pm Cairo time. Mercury is on the left edge of the Sun’s disk and will continue its path until 5 pm.

Gad Mohamed El-Qady, head of the National Research Institute of Astronomy and Geophysics, said that people will need a solar telescope to observe this phenomenon, such as the one available in Helwan Observatory. He added that the observatory will be open for the public interested in astronomy and want to watch the phenomenon.

Only two planets can be seen in transit from Earth, Mercury, and Venus. Transits of Mercury happen 13 times in a century. While, the transit of Venus happens only twice in a century, in an eight-year interval. The last two happened in 2004 and 2012, thus, the next ones will be in 2117 and 2125.

 

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3,000-year-old pharaonic wheat reveals secrets of ancient domestication  https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/11/06/3000-year-old-pharaonic-wheat-reveals-secrets-of-ancient-domestication/ Tue, 05 Nov 2019 22:54:43 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=713172 The origin of human urbanisation is closely linked to the discovery of cultivating cereal crops, which have been the most important part of the human diet since the earliest times to this day. 

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About 12,000 years ago, humans have begun establishing a sedentary, agriculture-based society following the discovery of agriculture in the Near East, from where it has expanded throughout Europe, Asia, and Africa, together with various domesticated plants and animals.

The origin of human urbanisation is closely linked to the discovery of cultivating cereal crops, which have been the most important part of the human diet since the earliest times to this day. 

In a study published on Monday in the Nature Plants journal, an international team of researchers led by University College London mapped the genetic code from a sample of wheat harvested over 3,000 years ago, that was excavated in 1924 from the Hememiah North Spur site in Egypt.

The sample, which is currently on display in the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology at UCL, have been stored there for 90 years. It showcases the scientific potential of museum specimens.

The Romans called it “pharaonic wheat” because it was the most common type of wheat in ancient times.

“We found that the genome of a 3,000-year-old Egyptian emmer wheat had most of the genetic characteristics associated with ‘domestication’ by that time. Of domesticated emmer wheats with comparable genetic data, the Egyptian emmer wheat was most similar to modern emmer grown in Turkey, Oman, and India,” said the study’s lead author Michael Scott from the UCL Genetics Institute.

According to Scott, the findings of the study suggests a genetic connection between the early eastward and southward expansions of emmer cultivation, which started in the Fertile Crescent region, distinct from northward and westward expansions. 

Regarding the methods that have been used to reach to the results of the study, Scott explained that a suite of protocols and analysis methods have been developed recently to obtain and validate ancient DNA sequences. Over time, DNA breaks into smaller fragments and accumulates a characteristic pattern of mutations. 

“Once we are confident that we have authentically ancient DNA, we can compare sequence variations against DNA from modern samples. The ancient DNA from this Egyptian sample was of good quality, probably due to locally dry environmental conditions,” he noted.  

Emmer wheat was one of the first cereals to be domesticated in the ancient world around 9700 BC. In the Fertile Crescent, its cultivation has moved to Southwest Asia, North Africa and Europe with the spread of Neolithic agriculture. 

Emmer had a special place in ancient Egypt, where the main wheat planted in Pharaonic times, and its value lies in its ability to give good yields to poor soils, and resistance to fungal diseases, such as stem rust spread in wet areas, according to Mohamed Abdeen, the researcher in plant breeding and quantitative genetics at the Agricultural Research Centre. 

“Since there is a strong similarity in the form and genotype between the wild and domestic species, studies have shown that wild wheat emmer is an ancestor of the domesticated emmer,” Abdeen said.

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Pane Vino: bringing elegant Italian cuisine to Cairo    https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/11/06/pane-vino-bringing-elegant-italian-cuisine-to-cairo/ Tue, 05 Nov 2019 22:52:00 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=713170 The place’s interior design is all about wood and brown colour, which gives you the feeling of warmth, cosiness, yet the giant windows overviewing the blur river’s cruises creates the feeling of width and relief.

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While Cairo’s best season of the year starts, autumn’s light breeze, slight freshening cold would not get any better without a mouth-watery, fresh Italian food at a place overviewing the Nile. At Garden City’s Intercontinental Semiramis, Italian cuisine served at its best at Pane Vino restaurant and cafe.

The second-floor restaurant provides visitors one of a kind food experience, not only for the capturing view of the Nile and the city, but as it takes you in time and place to Italy’s elite eateries with nothing but luscious baking smell and pasta’s various choices of types and sauces.

The place’s interior design is all about wood and brown colour, which gives you the feeling of warmth, cosiness, yet the giant windows overviewing the blur river’s cruises creates the feeling of width and relief.

Pane Vino, literally translated into bread and wine, is all about bakeries. With a wood stove located in the middle area of the restaurant, the fresh, crusty, fluffy complimentary was the perfect start of a following, satisfying various plates.

Consisting of bâton salé and mini sized stuffed bread, served with olive paste, the welcoming compliment was considered one of the best plates of the meal. The fresh dough is fluffy, freshly baked and moist.

For the main course, we ordered the most requested plates, according to the waiter, which are Linguine Al Frutti Di Mare, misto di mare alla griglia, and cotoletta alla milanese.

  

Inguine Al Frutti Di Mare was officially named the best plate of the evening. The huge pasta plate is served with red sauce, calamari, shrimps, salmon, and sea bass garlic. The pasta was well-cooked, and the sauce was the star of the table. Very balanced in sourness and sweet and the thickness, the red sauce’s texture was perfect. As for the sea food, the shrimps and calamari were seasoned and cooked enough, unlike most of the similar plates, in which the seafood is overly cooked to the extent of losing their shapes.

Overall, the plate was actually one of the best pastas the team ever had, and the most recommended plate in the restaurant.

Misto di mare alla griglia came as our second favourite plate. The grilled sea bass, salmon, shrimps, and calamari were garlic flavoured and served with rice and grilled vegetables.

The seasoning of the plate was intense, yet the garlic provided an extremely mouth watery smell for the plate. The moistness of salmon and calamari was unbelievable as they melted in mouth. With the taste of the grill burn, they brought together a well-balanced, must try plate.

As for the cotoletta alla milanese, it was extremely large in portion, filled with pan fried veal fillet that was served with salad.

The veal was crispy from the outside and moist from inside. The light brown veal pieces were well cooked from all sides, however, if you are an intense-flavour fan, make sure to request seasoning the fillet before frying them.

For the dessert, we went for pistachio-flavoured panna cotta, which was also the perfect conclusion of one fulling experience of Italy’s most popular dishes.

The panna cotta was creamy, yet light with an overcoming taste of pistachio. It is quite recommended as a sharing desert after the totally fulling food amount.

The high-end eatery offers its visitors both indoor and outdoor areas, with the availability of shisha and eastern drinks art the outdoor area. As for the prices, the place is considered one of the high-cost restaurants in the city, but totally worth it for the service, view and delicious food.                                          

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Digging into the colourful world of Egypt’s Golden era musicians https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/11/06/digging-into-the-colourful-world-of-egypts-golden-era-musicians/ Tue, 05 Nov 2019 22:48:34 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=713158 Wagih Yassa’s Saba exhibition is dedicated to Umm Kulthum, yet features several veteran artists

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For decades, dozens of Arab generations grew up listening to the iconic voice of Um Kolthum. She stunned the Arab world with her unmatchable voice when she sang in a concert, the whole audience got mesmerized by her performance.

Like millions of others, the euphonious vocals of Um Kolthum were the companion of veteran artist Wagih Yassa’s long days in Canada. Through her songs, he escaped into a fantasy sphere in which vibrant colours, vivid images and uncertain shapes were the main surroundings. In his latest exhibitions “Saba” Yassa attempted to introduce his fantasy world to the public, presenting several Umm Kulthum portraits along with other artists from Egypt’s golden music era.

Inside Zamalek’s Picasso Art Gallery, one can run away from the dusty grey city of Cairo, into Yassa’s colourful world. Throughout his 40 on display portraits, he captures a moment of stillness in which veteran musicians are showcased in vibrant colours and vague shapes.

Most of the exhibition is dedicated to the legendary Umm Kulthum. Yet, few portraits were the exception and presented Yassa’a perspective of Sayed Darwish, Riad Al Sunbati and Baligh Hamdi.

“I’m head over heels for Umm Kulthum. Throughout my years of artwork, each exhibition of mine had to have one or two portraits of her. At first, I wanted the whole exhibition to revolve around her, but I was afraid of redundancy. Thus, I decided that this exhibition will be mainly about her but will also host some other artists,” Yassa told Daily News Egypt.

In his exhibition, Yassa features Umm Kulthum with her famous singing poses, with her head up, eyes closed, while holding her famous napkin in her hands.

“When you dig deep into her story, you would figure out thatUmm Kulthum is a remarkable woman; she is unbelievably strong, smart and powerful. It is not only about her voice, but all about her choices of the lyrics, rhythms, and orchestra that brings out the best of her,” Yassa said in a voice full of admiration for his beloved icon, adding “her performances of the songs are just tremendous that couldn’t help but leave you as a listener astonished!”

To feature her, Yassa dug into Umm Kulthum’s videotaped performances, in order to capture her movements and facial expressions. As he “could not find any pictures of her, so I worked on pausing her concert videos and paint from them.”

The bright contrasting colours are the main theme of Yassa’s painting, as well as the unshaped figures; something that, according to him, unintentional, but it is the way he sees artists in his imagination.

“All of the paintings appear like they are images from a dream; they are all brightly coloured, yet vague. One has to focus in order to see the figures clearly, and put more effort to detect their character,” he explained. Yet, for him, this was never a disturbing element, as he believes that figures he captures “are not the real stars of a portrait, but the combination of shapes, colours and contrast are the main focus in his artwork.”

As for the distinguishing colours, having all of the tapped concerts in which the figures he drew are captured in black and white, opened a wider window for his imagination to use nothing but shining, eye capturing hot colours.

However, Yassa assured that he never intended to have any of the final on display portraits the way they are when he started drawing them.

“This is what art and passion all about. You have an image in your head, you start working on it, your hands move you towards something else, to find out that the final result is way different than what you had in mind in the first place,” Yassa concluded. 

The exhibition runs until 7 November at Picasso Art Gallery. 

  

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Sharmoofers, Nesma Mahgoub to perform at U-23 AFCON’s opening ceremony https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/11/04/sharmoofers-nesma-mahgoub-to-perform-at-u-23-afcons-opening-ceremony/ Mon, 04 Nov 2019 20:45:20 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=713008 The U-23 AFCON includes eight teams divided into two groups, where Egypt is placed in Group A. Egypt will play Mali on 8 November in the opening game, then Ghana on 11 November, and Cameroon on 14 November. Cairo Stadium will host the first group matches.

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Egypt’s Sharmoofers band and singer Nesma Mahgoub will perform in the opening ceremony of the U-23 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), which will be held in Egypt on 8-22 November, according to Presentation Sports, the organiser of the ceremony.

The U-23 AFCON includes eight teams divided into two groups, where Egypt is placed in Group A. Egypt will play Mali on 8 November in the opening game, then Ghana on 11 November, and Cameroon on 14 November. Cairo Stadium will host the first group matches.

For Group B, it includes Nigeria, Zambia, Ivory Coast, and South Africa. The El Salam Stadium will host the second group matches.

The top three teams of U-23 AFCON will qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

This year’s tournament is the third edition. The previous editions were hosted by Morocco and Senegal.

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AUC launches university’s first Media Club https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/11/02/auc-launches-universitys-first-media-club/ Sat, 02 Nov 2019 18:43:47 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=712808 “This year was productive. While we celebrated the AUC’s centennial, we stressed on a number of messages, including education quality that got us our international accreditation,” said AUC President Francis J. Ricciardone.

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Planning to have the students perfectly qualified for the media scene, the American University in Cairo (AUC) launched last Thursday the University Media Club, an entity to support media and communications students aiming to enter the journalism and media sector. The club, whose members are writers, editors, TV anchors, and journalists, aims to train communications students at the latest media techniques in order to be ready for the market.

It also facilitates services to its media club members in covering AUC’s events, workshops, and exhibitions as well as having access to the AUC Bookstore, which is currently one of Cairo’s biggest bookstores having several rare authentic books in various fields.

“This year was productive. While we celebrated the AUC’s centennial, we stressed on a number of messages, including education quality that got us our international accreditation,” said AUC President Francis J. Ricciardone.

“Throughout this year, we established some centres, including the Tahrir Cultural Centre, eleven centres to train graduates from public universities, and The Alexandria Water Resilience Center of Excellence,” he added.

Moreover, Ehab Abdel-Rahman, AUC Provost, stated that the Media Club comes as a step towards the university’s path in qualifying its students, “not only to find appropriate job vacancies, but to create vacancies through productive startups.”

He further asserted that the centre is to help students receive training at Egypt’s most prominent media outlets to be up to date with the market and the possible ways to develop the media.

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Katy Perry celebrates her birthday at Giza Pyramids https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/11/02/katy-perry-celebrates-her-birthday-at-giza-pyramids/ Sat, 02 Nov 2019 18:42:04 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=712809 Dark Horse singer referred to the ancient Egyptian civilisation in her celebration, highlighting the connection she feels having with it

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Following the trails of hundreds of celebrities who come to the land of Pharaohs to celebrate their special occasions, America’s barbie Katy Perry visited Egypt over the last weekend with her superstar fiancée Orlando Bloom to celebrate her 35th birthday.

Photos of the couple, who announced their engagement during last Valentine’s Day, have spread over social media showcasing their visits to different places across the country, before Perry confirmed her trip with her husband-to-be and mother through a post on her official Facebook page.

The Dark Horse singer referred to the ancient Egyptian civilisation in her celebration, highlighting the connection she feels with it.

“Ancient Egyptians believed that when you pass on, your heart had to be weighed. It had to be lighter than a feather to be qualified for the trip to the afterlife. My mother has called me feather since I was a little girl, and I hope after all is said and done, my heart is as light as one. This is 35 [at the] Egyptian Pyramids,” she wrote.

Moreover, Bloom, who starred in the Pirates of the Caribbean, expressed his astonishment with the treasures of ancient Egyptian civilisation, stating “it’s like looking out over the entire cosmos. Egyptian magic got my heart open to a download of love for my Scorpio’s, and wonder women both celebrating their birthday.”

The couple shared several photos they took together with the Giza Pyramids in the background. Perry is known for her fascination with the Pharaohs which was highlighted in her ‘Dark Horse’ music video.

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Tutankhamun’s temporary exhibition opens its doors in London https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/11/02/tutankhamuns-temporary-exhibition-opens-its-doors-in-london/ Sat, 02 Nov 2019 18:31:21 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=712800 285,000 tickets were sold before the inauguration

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Egypt’s Minister of Antiquities, Khaled Anany, inaugurated Tutankankhamun’s temporary exhibition on Friday in London, in a gala event that was attended by some of Britain’s elite and the veteran Egyptologist Zahi Hawas.

The exhibition, titled “Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh”, is to settle for six months at the city’s Saatchi Gallery. The young pharaoh’s exhibition showcases 150 antiquities from the pharaoh’s personal belongings, of which 60 pieces are travelling out of Egypt for the first time. London comes to be the young pharaoh’s third stop after Los Angeles and France.

Tutankhamun’s belonging on display are part of its grand tour in which it is planned to visit five other European counties within its 4-year-temporary exhibition.

Egyptian footballer Ahmed Hegazi was also among the attendees whom showed their support to their Pharaoh’s exhibition.

In his speech, Anany said that the 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 which attracted over 1.4 million visitors, becoming the most visited cultural event in the history of France.

“Today, the young king comes bringing sunshine to London, along a letter of love and peace from Egypt to the British,” Anany said.

Anany invited attendees to visit the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) which is to open its doors to the public in 2020, as well as the Sharm El-Sheikh Museum which the minister is currently preparing.

The exhibition will last until 3 May 2020 before it starts another journey in four other countries, including Australia and South Korea. The tour will last until the end of 2022. After the tour comes to an end, the relics are to return back to the GEM, where they will join the rest of the 5,000 relics found at the king’s burial chamber in 1922.

 

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My deepest desire is to create art that can tangibly contribute, touch people’s lives positively, and spread joy : Ahluwalia https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/10/30/my-deepest-desire-is-to-create-art-that-can-tangibly-contribute-touch-peoples-lives-positively-and-spread-joy-ahluwalia/ Wed, 30 Oct 2019 14:35:59 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=712502 I spent a long time studying Egypt’s influence in the world of goldsmithing, jewellery making, says the award winning designer

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“Faced with a choice of Engineering or Design school, I chose the field of design right after high school,” Reena Ahluwalia told Daily News Egypt.

Born in India, and later moved to Canada, Ahluwalia is recognised as one of the top Master of Design and art in Canada. Not only is she just a jewellery designer, but she is also a painter and a professor. She is one of a handful of living jewellery artists whose work is featured on a Belgian postage stamp.

One of her most prominent achievements was the creation of a Diamond Tiara for HRH Kate Middleton, as a tribute to the British Royal Wedding. 

Daily News Egypt interviewed Ahluwalia to know her sources of inspiration, her love for diamonds, and her views on jewellery designs.

 

Tell us about yourself, what first led you to the direction of making jewellery?

I was lucky to have a childhood where I had the freedom to explore and experiment. I was always busy painting, sketching, sculpting, and loving it all. Faced with a choice of Engineering versus Design school, I chose the field of design right after high school. I graduated from India’s design and art school, the ‘National Institute of Fashion Technology’. Immediately after graduation, I landed my first job as a jewellery designer in one of India’s largest diamond companies.

India has more than one billion people, there were 10,000 applicants for art school and seven sets of exams. Only 12 students were selected. I was too young to know this was such a privilege, as I thought I was so good. In hindsight, I look back and think about how fortunate I was.

How did you turn jewellery design from a hobby to a job?

Immediately after graduation, I landed a job as one of 50 designers at one of India’s largest diamond jewellery manufacturers, Suraj Diamonds. When I was asked what I needed for work, I demanded not to sharpen pencils or a quiet spot, but a camera and funding for a trip around India. Miraculously, my bosses agreed, and I started on what would be a rich journey of inspiration.

Why do you love working with diamonds?

I love diamonds! Diamonds have been my material of choice since I started designing jewellery. They have been my material of choice throughout my life! They have become a medium for me to express stories that I want to share. For me, they are truly poetic, majestic, and symbolic. Diamonds are geological masterpieces, forged by nature, billions of years ago. Within our planet’s history, diamonds are earth’s oldest preserved minerals and have captured the human imagination, unlike any other mineral.

Why did you start painting diamonds, and what are the stories you are telling through this aspect of your work? 

I paint highly nuanced, hyper-realistic diamonds with ultra-magnified facets. In my paintings, diamonds have stories and soul. They are spellbinding. My reason to paint is to celebrate our shining human spirit and beauty through diamonds. I believe each one of us is like a diamond. For me, diamonds are much more than just specimens, they are metaphoric and symbolic. I want to express this essence through my paintings. I paint to express, not to impress.

Which one of your jewellery designs do you admire the most?

One of my current favourite pieces is a spinning diamond ring from my ‘Coronet by Reena Ahluwalia’ collection called ‘Inner Brilliance.’ I have used a patented coronet setting where seven stones come together to create a dazzling solitaire effect. My signature design element is a ‘pointer’ that points to the true centre of our being – our inner brilliance. A constant reminder to stay connected to what’s most valuable to us, including pillars of our values – our family, friendship, love, passion, health, and dreams.

What is your favourite diamond shape? 

I love step cuts.

What is the strangest request for a custom design piece of jewellery you have ever received?

An elaborate body ornament from head to toe for royalty in the Middle East. It was fabulous.

What is your view on the jewellery industry in the Arab world? What needs to be improved?

The significance of jewellery in our human history is undoubted. There are many challenges today, including change in our consumer values, shaped by factors such as technology, automation, artificial intelligence, climate change, shared economy, etc. We in the jewellery industry need to reflect on how to stay relevant. At the same time, I want to stress that until there is humanity, there will always be a desire to adorn oneself.

What works for the jewellery industry is the diversity of design, the strength of craftsmanship, knowledge of materials, and well-established supply chains. Ultimately, it’s the strength of its people, many of whom have invested generations in this industry. 

 

We need to refocus on the metaphoric qualities of diamonds. Support people and communities to be co-creators and collaborators. With that learning, can we shape the diamond conversations of tomorrow? I believe today we need outside-in thinking. By curating end-user collective intelligence across different disciplines and mediums, we may generate conversations around jewellery to make people gain a new vision of how we want to tell stories of the future through jewellery.

You have donated an original piece of artwork titled ‘Hope.’ It was sold at an auction at the event for children affected by illness, abuse, or neglect. What does giving mean to you?

My deepest desire is to create art that can tangibly contribute, touch people’s lives positively, and spread joy. I believe the biggest impact one can make is to those around you. So being able to give back means the world to me and for me, is a measure of a truly successful life. Each year, I donate my paintings and prints to generate funds. The sales rose to about $50,000 for the charity Jewellers for Children.

What about your painting of the historic Mouawad Dragon diamond and Mouawad Dynasty Diamond?

It’s an honour to be commissioned by Co-Guardian Fred Mouawad. He allowed my artistic vision to shine, by trusting my storytelling ability and imagination, that is what I am known for. To paint a series of historic diamonds for legendary diamantaire Mouwad is an experience I treasure.

 

Have you seen the jewellery of Tutankhamun? Or did you read the book “The Pharaohs Jewellery” by Cyril Eldred?

I have seen some artefacts from the Tutankhamun tomb, but not the entire collection. I am deeply interested in jewellery symbolism and history and have spent a large amount of time studying Egypt and its influence in the world of goldsmithing and jewellery making. 

 

Tell us about your design style. What makes your collections unique in the industry?

My signature style is all about precision, geometry, fluidity, and movement. Creating jewellery with deep meaning, symbolism, and technical innovation is a key part in making my collections unique.

You are the go-to designer for some the biggest names, as Rio Tinto diamond, Forevermark, De Beers Canada, Aaron Shum. How did you get to where you are now?

I have the ability to put the soul into stories and stones through my design. I feel it’s also because the industry has seen my growth as a designer, set by many examples of success, my passion to push my creative boundaries and innovate. I am very focused, constantly filling my reservoir of knowledge that benefits the collaborations, and desire to enrich my collaborations by delivering much more than was asked. I am very cautious of who I collaborate and partner with for the same reason, as I want our visions to better the outcome.

Can you tell us more about the story behind The Mudan Diamond Watch which was awarded a Guinness World Record?

The Mudan Watch earned the Guinness World Record for Most Diamonds Set on A Watch. It’s an incredible art-piece featuring 15,858 diamonds, totalling 50.01 carats. The watch is set in 18K gold with my diamond painting on the dial. It is a co-creation between Aaron Shum and I. Peonies flowers served as inspiration, as they symbolise nobility, honour, and wealth. My hyper-realistic diamond painting on the dial represents the shining nobility that we carry within.

 

What are the upcoming trends in the jewellery design industry?

Jewellery trends pretty much reflect the culture shifts and changes. Daintier diamond necklaces that are single strand are trending. Colours in gemstones, materials (feathers, woods etc), or metals (eg. Titanium). Movement in jewellery is big. I am noticing a re-emergence and a surge in spinning jewellery in worldwide trends after I introduced my line ‘Coronet by Reena.’ 

Style always reflects culture. Our present culture reveals our need for self-expression and individuality, our digital identity, shedding excess in a world full of information overload, making deep emotional connections, making an impact through our actions. As a result, we are seeing light-weight minimal, modern, and geometric shapes with classically-styled undertones. Today, the winning jewellery is the one that has a deep emotional connection to our aspirations, and identity and lets us wear our story and message on ourselves, literally.

 

Tell us about your partnership and collaboration with Aaron Shum – the motivation behind it, the concept, plans?

Both Aaron Shum and I are known in the jewellery industry for our technical innovations, so it was great to form a partnership to combine our ideas and come up with collections together. We both are at a stage in our careers where we like to work with folks who can push our thinking and creative boundaries. We currently have three collections: Coronet by Reena – a mesmerising spinning diamond and gemstones set jewellery collection with a worldwide patented setting. My signature design element in the collection is a ‘pointer’ that points to the true centre of our being – our inner brilliance.

 

What’re your views on the current global jewellery sector? Demand-wise, what currently sells in major consuming market, white or coloured diamonds? Is it value appreciation that’s giving an edge to coloured diamonds to win over whites as an investment vehicle? 

 Percentage and demand-wise, white diamond jewellery sell more than coloured diamond jewellery. It’s a matter of availability and rarity. As far as coloured diamonds go, rarity, colour, size, and provenance are important factors, making them investment favourites. But they represent a very tiny percentage in the overall global diamond supply. Let’s also not forget that white diamonds of exceptional size, rarity, and provenance still and will continue to succeed in keeping their value.

Samples:

‘Canoe’ Canadian Diamond Necklace:  This magnificent  28.96 carat necklace was the International winner of the Canadian Diamonds Master Craftsman Award. Rio Tinto Diamonds Global Design Competition 2011-2012.

Forevermark ‘Eternal’ Diamond Necklace: 85-carat ‘Eternal’ necklace, crafted for Forevermark select jeweler Vummidi Bangaru Jewellers (Est.1900) Reena: “The necklace is inspired by the promise of eternal love.

‘Mudan’ watch has 15,858 diamonds and Reena Ahluwalia’s diamond painting on the dial. A co-creation between Aaron Shum & Reena Ahluwalia.

The ROYAL DIAMOND TIARA I designed for the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton! This tiara was among the few that Kate Middleton, now Duchess of Cambridge, considered wearing for her royal wedding to Prince William. Together, Royal Asscher & Reen worked on this extra special tiara.

a spinning diamonds ring from my ‘Coronet by Reena Ahluwalia’ collection – called ‘Inner Brilliance’. I have used a patented Coronet setting where seven stones come together to create a dazzling solitaire effect.

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Grand Egyptian Museum receives 140 artefacts https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/10/29/grand-egyptian-museum-receives-140-artefacts/ Tue, 29 Oct 2019 19:40:53 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=712304 The transferred relics will be showcased at the old kingdom hall at the GEM, while the others will be on display over the stairs of the museum.

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 The Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) received on Monday 140 artefacts from the Tahrir’s Egyptian Museum, preparing for its grand opening planned to take place in 2020.

The artefacts belong to various historical eras from the pre-dynastic period to the Greco-Roman era.

Among the most important transferred relics, an alabaster statue for King Khafra who was the ruler of the fourth Dynasty, as well as a coloured statue made of limestone for a priest called Kay.

The statue featured the priest while sitting on a chair, and his wife sitting next to his left leg with her names carved above her head and his son next to his right leg. Among the transferred relics was also a sarcophagus of king Senusert.

 For his side, the Director-General of Archaeological Affairs at the GEM Al-Tayeb Abbas stated in a press release that the transferred relics will be showcased at the old kingdom hall at the GEM, while the others will be on display over the stairs of the museum.

So far, the number of giant and heavy antiquities transferred to the new museum reached up to 42 pieces, which were all transferred by Egyptian experts.

The exact opening date of the GEM was not yet announced. But the Ministry of Antiquities revealed it to be in the second half of 2020

The museum is planned to show the complete collection of the young king Tutankhamun, which is expected to heavily flourish tourism in the upcoming years. Almost all of the beloved Pharaoh’s belonging were transferred to the museum.

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Ahl Masr Foundation endeavours social acceptance for the burnt https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/10/29/ahl-masr-foundation-endeavours-social-acceptance-for-the-burnt/ Tue, 29 Oct 2019 18:14:57 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=712401 Our awareness campaign is daring and shocking, but so is the truth, says founder

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“I still remember the first case that prompted me to open this organisation. She was an infant girl that got burnt during her baby shower, as her mother accidentally forgot a lighted candle near her bed. Her situation was bad, but she could have been saved if she was admitted into a hospital immediately. Nonetheless, she was not accepted in any hospital, until she passed away,” said Heba El-Swedy, the founder of Ahl Masr Foundation, Egypt’s first and only NGO to focus on burn prevention and treatment for free.

El-Swedy’s remarks came during a roundtable that took place on Sunday in which the foundation celebrated the launch of their latest campaign Ehna Ne’dar “We Can” that focuses on rehabilitating the burn causalities, and facilitate their engagement in the society.

Under the theme “Humanity Burn Free”, the campaign targets raising people’s acceptance to burn victims and limit their bullying. It also aims to promote the foundation which is the only one in the Middle East that is specialised in treating burns, and highlighting their prevention reasons.

The hospital is currently in its latest stages, before the official inauguration which is planned to take place by the end of 2020. Despite its unfinished establishment, the medical team of the hospital treat some cases with burn injuries at other hospitals, with which Ahl Masr is currently cooperating.

Since the establishment of the foundation two years ago, it managed to treat 4,000 people with different burn injuries. Nonetheless, the team faces numerous struggles, as large number of hospitals refuse to admit burn causalities.   

“Burns are unlike any other critical cases. They have to be immediately treated within the first six hours, and within certain circumstances in order not to infect or be infected by any other case,” El-Swedy explained.

Egypt is one of the highest countries in terms of burn deaths. About 250,000 people suffer severe burns every year, of whom 60% die due to not being saved within the first six hours following the injury.    

“While we are always looked at as a medical entity, the truth is we are just a social foundation that aims to enhance the living conditions of the underprivileged social classes that suffer the most from burns due to their living circumstances. It always starts with a poor community in an undeveloped residential area” said Adel Ahmed, the Health Sector Manager at Ahl Masr.

About 70% of the annual admitted patients come from underprivileged areas, in which they live in flammable shanty houses. Ahmed explained that most of the burnt cases – the team met so far – could have been easily avoided, with social awareness.

He further added that the hospital is built over an extremely unique design that was made specially to consider social factors. The hospital is planned to have 200 beds, and 20 intensive care units (ICQ), the cost of each is up to EGP 4m.

El-Swedy explained, “The cost of this type of ICQs is quite larger than any other ICQ, providing a separate ventilation system.”

Parallel to providing the required treatment, the foundation seeks to provide patients with psychological support to help them recover and reengage in the society. That is through awareness campaigns that targets raising people’s acceptance to others who “look differently.”

“About 99% of burnt children are deprived from education, not because they are incapable of learning, but because schools do not accept them for no apparent reason. While those in schools suffer bullying and peer mockery,” El-Swedy said. “Our role [Ahl Masr] is to provide them with rehabilitation at the same time of spreading the idea of acceptance among others.”

When asked about the severe criticism the foundation was met with last Ramadan due to its shocking TV ads, she explained that the ads reveal only the slightest part of the heart-breaking truth.

“Yes, the campaign was daring and shocking, but so is the truth! How would you beautify reality, when it is dark!” she wondered.

  

“People need to understand that burn injuries require their support,” she asserted. 

Last Ramadan’s ad featured the story of a mother mourning her little daughter’s death in a fire that overtook their apartment while celebrating her fourth birthday. In the background a song speaking of her daughter and the happy times they had together was playing.

While the ad’s purpose was to move audience about a story that occurs almost every day to thousands of people, it backfired due to its “cruelty” as people described.

The 50-second ad featured the devastated mother while remembering the hospitals that refused to offer her daughter treatment despite the severity of her injuries

“This story took place in real life, and the mother of that girl was devastated and broke down when we were shooting the ad, but she insisted on doing it, as she wants people to help similar mothers not to lose their children. However, we are aiming to tone it down in our future campaigns that we have people’s attention” El-Swedy said.

The foundation is currently calling for the United Nation to specify an international day for the burnt, under the name “Humanity Burn Free Day” to encourage cultural acceptance for those who suffered from life-changing burns.

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Curtain rises on London’s Tutankhamun exhibition on 1 November https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/10/26/curtain-rises-on-londons-tutankhamun-exhibition-on-1-november/ Sat, 26 Oct 2019 18:25:28 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=712108 Exhibition comes 12 years since young king’s treasures’ last visit to the British capital

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The young Pharaoh Tutankamun’s treasures are to temporarily stay in London for exhibition from 1 November after its tremendous success in Los Angeles and Paris last year.

The British capital is to host the exhibition “Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh” for six months, as a part of its grand tour in which it is planned to visit five other European counties within its 4-year-temporary exhibition. The exhibition showcases 150 antiquities from the pharaoh’s personal belongings, 60 of which are travelling out of Egypt for the first time.

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 the visitors through time and place to see the glories of the Egyptian civilization.

The Square Mile’s exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery is the ancient Egyptian King’s next stop after it broke the French records as the most visited exhibition in the history of the country, with over 1.4 million visitors. It was also met with a huge success in the United States attracting more than 500 million visitors within its six-month stay. As for London, the exhibition’s official website revealed that tickets are being sold for £26.95 for adults.

The exhibition comes 12 years after the last time London has seen any of the young king’s treasures. In the last temporary exhibition that took place in 2007 at the O2 venue on the banks of the River Thames in south-east London, 130 of Tutankhamun’s belongings were put on display.

Tutankhamun’s exhibition is a part of the Egyptian Antiquates Ministry’s policy to hold several temporary exhibitions across the world for promoting tourism in Egypt, especially ahead of the opening of the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM). 

The exhibition will last until 3 May 2020 before it starts another journey in four other countries, including Australia and South Korea. The tour will last until the end of 2022. After the tour comes to an end, the relics are to return back to the GEM, where they will join the rest of the 5,000 relics found at the king’s burial chamber in 1922.

Minister of Antiquities, Khaled El-Anany, formerly said the total value of insurance for the 166 antiquities of King Tut which are exhibited abroad is $862m.

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 Eid El-Solh: Siwa’s annual celebration of peace https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/10/23/eid-el-solh-siwas-annual-celebration-of-peace/ Wed, 23 Oct 2019 13:00:47 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=711878  Last week, Siwa’s citizens gathered in “Eid El-Solh” (the reconciliation festival), a cultural festival in which the whole community attends to announce the start of a new year with nothing but peace and serenity amongst people.

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 Away from the mainstream Egyptian cultural, religious, and national celebrations, at the far west of the country, lies one of the most conservative societies in Siwa Oasis, where the citizens celebrate their reconciliation festival.

 Last week, Siwa’s citizens gathered in “Eid El-Solh” (the reconciliation festival), a cultural festival in which the whole community attends to announce the start of a new year with nothing but peace and serenity amongst people.

Every year, the three lunar nights of October witness the gathering of the whole Oasis’s citizens to revive the promise of keeping the peace and maintaining safety and love among people.

Siwa’s men gather for three days, on top of Gebel Dakrour (Dakrour Mountain), one of the highest mountains in the area, where they spend their days away from home, praying, singing Islamic enchantments, strengthening ties, and resolving issues among the adversaries.

By the fourth day, they gather at a giant table filled with the traditional dish of ‘Fata’ that the whole families have cooked together, before they march towards one of the biggest mosques in Siwa, for the Imam to announce the conclusion of the ceremonies. Fata consists of rice, bread, and meat, three components that are available in every home. The families support either by food or money for the giant table to take place.

The annual celebration has been taking place for hundreds of years. It goes back to the time the eastern and western dwellers of the oasis were at war until the war ended with the help of a Sufi Sheikh named Muhammad Al-Madani who decided to end the dispute through gathering the elders of all the tribes and making them all eat from each other’s food.

Since then, the celebration has been taking place every year.

All photos were taken through the lens of Fadel Dawood

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Third Art D’Égypte reimagines Al Mu’izz Street’s aged narratives  https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/10/23/third-art-degypte-reimagines-al-muizz-streets-aged-narratives/ Wed, 23 Oct 2019 10:33:04 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=711809 Every year, we set the bar too high, going for Al Mu'izz Street was crazy, but we managed to make it come true, says curator of Art D’Égypte

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Through the brick alleys of Al Mu’izz Street, the beautiful architecture of Fatimid Cairo, and the simple small similar shops of handicrafts dominating the scene, visitors immerse into a journey through time. Within the captivating timeworn buildings of Al Mu’izz Street 28, contemporary artists gathered to redefine the aspects of the hoary beauty that still captivates hearts, in their latest exhibition “Reimagined Narratives”. 

The exhibition is the third edition of Art D’Égypte’s series of cultural art exhibitions, taking place at four ancient buildings inside Al Mu’izz Street, highlighting the Islamic Cairo’s UNESCO world heritage site. 

The third edition of the exhibition will take place at Bayt Al Suhaymi, Qalawun Complex, Moheb Al-Din Abul-Tayyeb Hall, and Maq’ad Mamay Al-Sayfi building where the 28 artists will present their inspiration of re-imagining the narratives of the past.

The exhibition mixes between contemporary art and the Egyptian heritage bringing a creative blend of the reintroduced artwork that blends modernism with authenticity together. For three weeks starting from 26 October, Al Mu’izz Street’s four buildings will be opened to the public to explore, with the availability of a mobile application that facilitates the tour by defining the buildings’ places, and the number of artworks showcased.

 “Every year, we set the bar too high. Going for Al Mu’izz Street was crazy, but after the first two editions which took place at the Egyptian Museum, and Al-Manial palace, and with the strong convection of the team, we managed to make it come true,” Nadine Abdel Ghaffar, the curator of Art D’Égypte told Daily News Egypt. 

For months, the 28 artists roamed in the place, heard and read about its history, the tales verbally inherited by its inhabitants, and the myths believed to lie among some of its abandoned aged buildings, in order to come up with their perspectives of how these tales reshape the current art scene of the Street. 

The 28 Egyptian contemporary artists showcasing their work this year are Ahmed Askalany, Ahmed El Shaer, Ahmed Farid, Ahmed Karaly, Ahmed Keshta, Amir Youssef, Diaa El-Din Daoud, Farida El Gazzar, Fathi Hassan, Ghada Amer, Hany Rashed, Heba Y. Amin, Huda Lutfi, Ibrahim Ahmed, Ibrahim El Dessouki, Ibrahim Khatab, Islam Shabana, Karim El Hayawan, Marianne Fahmy, Marwan Elgamal, Medhat Shafik, Moaaz El Dmasy, Mohamed Monaiseer, Mohamed Shoukry, Mohamed Banawy, Sherin Guirguis, Tarek Naga, and Yasmine El Meleegy.

Art D’Égypte offers this year a cultural awareness programme to the residents of Al Mu’izz Street, whom according to Abdel Ghaffar, stayed the longest to in the streets from 1500 years, to educate them about the value of their heritage and ways to safeguard it. 

“These young people lived all of their lives among this beauty, that they were no longer aware of its importance. We worked with these people to give some values of cultural heritage, and arts,” she said.

The cultural awareness programme is divided into two sections: The Theatre of Cultural Values, and The Heritage Guardians. The former is several theatre performances which focus on conveying the values of art and creativity, while the latter is a series of workshops conducted by specialists in the fields of contemporary art, heritage awareness and archaeology for students of the neighbourhood. 

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My Father’s Museum: an artist’s attempt at clutching his late father’s memories    https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/10/23/my-fathers-museum-an-artists-attempt-at-clutching-his-late-fathers-memories/ Wed, 23 Oct 2019 10:31:49 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=711810 The true value of things, are not in their price. But in the memory it leaves you with; says artist

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After the passing of Hany Rashed’s father, the frivolous objects he spent his lifetime collecting as a hobby, have become a priceless treasure that connects the artist with his father. The remaining memory of his late father’s physical existence was only presented through his father’s collectables, that were soon the showcases of Mathaf Baba (My Father’s Museum). Rashed is one of the participating artists of the Art D’Égypte’s latest exhibitions, Reimagining Narratives.

At Al-Muezz street’a Bayt Al-Suhaymi, Rashed showcases some of his father’s collectables which he spent his lifetime collecting.

“After my dad passed away few years ago, I started digging into the things he collected most of his life. Most of them were either broken or without a real meaning; nonetheless, it felt like they are the only thing connecting me to him now,” Rahsed told Daily News Egypt.

The exhibition showcases a number of rusted keys, broken chains, glasses, and timeworn birth certificate; things that almost exist in everyone’s home, and were a part of almost all Egyptians’ childhood.

“Digging deep into these things left me with one continuous question ‘why did he leave me all of these things?’,” he explained. He soon started a Facebook page with the name of Mathaf Baba.

The pictures of Rashed’s father collectables were met with huge success after detailing how he personally connect to these things.

“Most of them already have things similar to the ones I posted belonging to their parents or grandparents who died. Soon, the trivial things that almost everyone threw away, became the real connection we all share with our lost ones,” he asserted.

The Facebook page started receiving pictures from people who want to share with others the things that were left with from their loved ones.

“The true value of things, are not in their price. But in the memory it leaves with you. My father could have left me money, but I would not have remembered him the way I do now,” he concluded..

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Lonely Planet lists Cairo as the world’s third top destination for 2020  https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/10/22/lonely-planet-lists-cairo-as-the-worlds-third-top-destination-for-2020/ Tue, 22 Oct 2019 19:04:05 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=711762 “For Red Sea and Luxor holidaymakers, a Pyramids and GEM add-on will also become a doddle with Giza's newly inaugurated Sphinx Airport set to operate domestic flights,” Lonely Planet said.

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The international travel guide book, Lonely Planet, named Cairo as the third top city, tourists should visit in 2020. The mega guide reference named Cairo’s Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) to be an attracting magnet to tourists in the upcoming year. 

The museum, which is scheduled to open its doors to people in 2020, will showcase the complete collection of Egypt’s young Pharaoh, Tutankhamun. The website expects that it will be a kick boost to tourism, especially after the inauguration of the Sphinx Airport that would pave the way for domestics flights.

For Red Sea and Luxor holidaymakers, a Pyramids and GEM add-on will also become a doddle with Giza’s newly inaugurated Sphinx Airport set to operate domestic flights,” Lonely Planet said.

Cairo gets into the list after a complete absence in the list in the past five years. The grey city comes in third place after the Salzburg Festival in Australia, and the centennial of Washington, DC. 

The city’s most important listed touristic spots were the Pyramids of Giza, the Egyptian Museum, the Museum of Islamic Art, Al-Azhar Mosque, and Al Mu’izz Street. 

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2nd Manial Palace festival kicks off celebrating Mohammed Ali’s 144th birthday  https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/10/21/2nd-manial-palace-festival-kicks-off-celebrating-mohammed-alis-144th-birthday/ Mon, 21 Oct 2019 21:33:48 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=711614 Festival aims to ameliorate the popular taste and revive Egyptian musical heritage, says founder 

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After the huge success it witnessed last year, the second Manial Palace Festival for classical music is to kick off on 28 October. In the heart of Cairo’s glorious Mohammed Ali Palace, overlooking the Blue River, the public is invited to experience the second edition of the festival, where a large number of international classical music artists will gather in concert. 

The festival is organised by the Friends of the Manial Palace Museum Association (FMPM), under the umbrellas of both Ministries of Culture and Antiquities, and financed by the European Union. It is also sponsored by several foreign embassies in Egypt, including the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Cairo, and the Embassy of the Slovak Republic, as well as the French, Italian, and Austrian Cultural Centres.

“We were encouraged by the major success of the first edition last year that we have decided to make some expansions in the second edition that we have been preparing for a year now,” said Prince Abbas Helmy, the head of FMPM, adding that “the new edition is distinguished with the artistic diversity that creates a unique combination between universal classical music and our special traditional works.” 

The FMPM is a non- profit voluntary organisation in 2005 headed by Prince Abbas Helmy grandson of Khedive Abbas Helmy and nephew Prince Mohamed Ali Tewfik, the founder of the museum in the palace.

The festival aims to shed light on some of Egypt’s most important antique buildings, as well as highlight the importance of their restoration. Some of last year’s revenues went to preserve some of the late king’s antique collection in the palace and develop the museum’s display and lightening system. 

It also targets highlighting the charm of the mixed European and Islamic designs of the royal house, built by Prince Mohammed Ali Tawfik. Through several classical music concerts, the world’s best musicians will get the chance to play inside the halls of the custom mansion.

“The festival aims to ameliorate popular taste and revive Egyptian musical heritage through joint concerts and workshops between musicians from different parts of the world,” Prince Helmy pointed out. 

 

 

This year’s revues are dedicated to training the curators of Mohammed Ali Museum, as well as organising school trips for the museum dedicated to schools in underprivileged areas.

The Manial Palace was built between 1899 and 1929 and was handed over to the Ministry of Antiquities in 1955. It still showcases the personal belongings of Mohammed Ali. This year’s festival celebrates the 144th anniversary of the birth of Prince Mohamed Ali.

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30 priests tombs unearthed in Luxor hidden only a metre under earth https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/10/19/30-priests-tombs-unearthed-in-luxor-hidden-only-a-metre-under-earth/ Sat, 19 Oct 2019 19:15:44 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=711423 The cachette was found consisting of two lines, the first with 18 tombs, and the second with 12 tombs belonging to women and three children

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While Egyptian missions exerted their efforts to dig dozens of metres beneath the ground, looking for their inherited legacy, it only took them one metre of digging to find a cachette of 30 tombs belonging to priests from the 22nd Dynasty on Luxor’s West Bank in Al-Assasif necropolis.

The Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities Mostafa Waziri, stated on Saturday in a press conference that an Egyptian mission discovered the huge cemetery one metre under the ground in an unfamiliar place. 

The press conference, which took place near the discovery’s location in front of Hatshepsut temple at Jabal AlQurnah, was attended by the Egyptian Minister of Antiquities Khaled Anany, and prominent Egyptologist Zahi Hawas, as well as Luxor Governor Moustafa Alham.

The cachette found consisted of two lines, the first had 18 tombs, whilst the second had 12 tombs belonging to a number of women and three children. The tombs were buried by high ranking priests in a storage gated with lime to be prevented from robbery.

The mummies of the priests were found wrapped in linen and in good condition, as appeared in the pictures. The unearthed tombs varied in condition between being fully decorated, and blank. The inscriptions on the tombs depict the priests of Amun presenting offerings, as well as inscriptions from the ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead.

Unlike the traditional burial places in the area, the 30 tombs were buried in a storage right beneath the ground, which is considered one of the most enriching archaeological sites in the world due to the number of discoveries made there. El-Assasif is located South of Dra Abul-Naga necropolis on Luxor’s west bank. It is known to be an enriching necropolis containing a number of individual cemeteries that date back between the 18th and 26th dynasties.

The discovery comes as a result of the latest excavation season that started in the area two months ago. The unearthed treasure is considered the first to be fully discovered by an Egyptian mission, without the help of any foreign excavation mission.

This comes almost a week after Hawas revealed two huge discoveries in the area, an industrial area where the golden decorations of the kings’ tombs were created on the West Valley, and 30 workshops to store and clean funerary coffins on the east side of the Valley of the Monkeys.

For his side, Waziri stated that five missions are currently excavating the area; three of which are Egyptians.

One of the missions is directly headed by Hawas, who stated in the last discovery that he is currently looking for the Nefertiti tomb which he believes to be located somewhere in the valley. Hawas, further stated that the excavation is currently taking place in the area near the tombs of Ramses VII, Hatshepsut, and the tomb of Ramses III, and behind the tomb of Merenptah, the son of Ramses II.

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Fabrica theatre band wins best music award for Queen’s reduplicated music medley  https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/10/18/fabrica-theatre-band-wins-best-music-award-for-queens-reduplicated-music-medley/ Fri, 18 Oct 2019 06:00:07 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=711275 When I first saw that it lasts for seven minutes, I didn’t think I can last until the end; but it captures you at every minute; says MoziMotion film festival founder 

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 The legacy of Queen’s everlasting songs still sheds its light on younger performers whom, decades after the original releases, still get inspired by the heart-touching rhythms and the moving lyrics. The Egyptian performing musical theatre company, Fabrica, won the Best Music Video Award at the 9th annual MoziMotion-iPhone Film Festival in the Netherlands, for their performance of Mercury Rising: A Queen Tribute, a reduplicated medley of the band’s most famous songs. 

In a video, the troupe captured its spectacular performance of the prominent band’s most famous songs. As the camera follows members of Fabrica backstage, each comes out singing parts of Queen’s songs, each adding a new vocal layer.

The video saw the light last January, a few months after the release of the award-winning Bohemian Rhapsody hit theatres causing a buzz from the performance of Egyptian actor Ramy Malek as Freddie Mercury. This starring role got him the Academy Award for best acting. 

The seven-minute, one-shot video is directed by Mohamed Koushi, with art direction and choreography by Omar Warda. 

“What captured everybody’s attention was – and it shows that they’re theatre actors – the first, I would say, 90% of the first, is a continuous camera roll, it’s all one take. You go all the way to the end and if you mess up, you’ve got to start all over again,” said MoziMotion co-founder, Ruben Kazantsev.

The fact that Fabrica members are also theatre actors helped raise the ranks of the video. According to the jury, the single-shot showcased them actually acting, not just performing the songs emotionally. 

“The acting is brilliant. Wardrobe change is brilliant,” Kazantsev added. “It’s a no-brainer that this takes the first place.”

“When I first saw that it lasts for seven minutes, I didn’t think I could last until the end; but it captures you at every minute,” Kazantsev pointed out.

The medley’s arrangement was made by Mohab Kaddah, with music production, recording and piano by Mina Samy, and mixing and mastering by Ali Farouk at Blue Mango Studios. Co-Founder and CEO of Fabrica Neveen Allouba produced the video and was responsible for the musical supervision.  

The 30 members of the troupe took part in the video performing almost all the hit songs of the band. 

The video captured the hearts of the jury, due to the number of songs they managed to perform in a single shot. 

“In true Queen fashion, they made it last seven minutes,” Mobile Movie Days anchor Cesar Majorana said.

The team was showered with praise, also for the fact that they come from Egypt, to be the first reviving Queen’s music videos, just like the band was the first to shoot a music video. 

“I love those guys and girls from Egypt. Brilliant work,” said Mobile Movie Days founder Ruud van Gessel.

The medley was shot at Al-Falaki Theatre in downtown Cairo, at the stage of the American University in Cairo’s old campus. 

Fabrica entered the scene in 2013, under the support and supervision of Soprano singer, Neveen Allouba. The band is known to localise international shows, including the Egyptian translation of the Musical “Les Misérables,” Brecht’s “Threepenny Opera,” as well as adapting local shows such as El-Leila El-Kebira (The Big Night) by Salah Jahin and Sayed Mekawy to the stage.

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The transfer of Tutankhamun’s mummy to GEM on hold until Egyptologists approval https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/10/16/the-transfer-of-tutankhamuns-mummy-to-gem-on-hold-until-egyptologists-approval/ Wed, 16 Oct 2019 17:38:12 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=711152 Waziri said that the final decision is to be taken in a conference next month, attended by 600 Egyptologists from all over the world, to discuss the danger of moving the mummy from Luxor, and the process of restoring it to join the complete collection of the young pharaoh that will be on display at the GEM.

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Mostafa Waziri, Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, told international press that the decision to transfer the mummy of Tutankhamun from its burial chamber in Luxor to the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) is not confirmed yet and is awaiting the approval of hundreds of Egyptologists, according to state media outlet, Al-Ahram.

Waziri said that the final decision is to be taken in a conference next month, attended by 600 Egyptologists from all over the world, to discuss the danger of moving the mummy from Luxor, and the process of restoring it to join the complete collection of the young pharaoh that will be on display at the GEM.

The statement came after Waziri’s visit last week to the young king’s burial chamber in the Valley of the Kings, to follow up, along with the Minister of Antiquities Khaled Anany, with details of placing the lid of Tutankhamun’s tomb after its restoration.

In his statements, Waziri asserted that the risk of transferring the mummy lies within the fact that it is made of organic elements, which requires special treatment. “In case of transferring it, the mummy will be on display at a certain room for organic relics, including his chariots, and his golden throne,” he explained.

The conference’s decision will be submitted to a committee of the Supreme Council of Antiquities to make the final decision.

The decision of moving the young king’s mummy is faced by a wave of criticism by a number of Egyptologists, and tourism decision makers.

The GEM is planned to showcase the complete collection of Tutankhamun, which for some means evacuating Luxor of its most attractive tourist attraction, and emptying the city of all its treasures.

The members of the Travel Agent Association Luxor announced their refusal to transfer the mummy along with all of its other belongings to the GEM, explaining that it would leave the city without any major tourist attraction, since all of Tutankhamun’s other belongings were already transferred to the museum, which is planned to be open in 2020.

Nonetheless, Waziri explained that the tomb of Tutankhamun cannot absorb the large amount of people contentiously visiting it, as the surrounding atmosphere inside of the tomb – humidity and ventilation- is deteriorating, which also hardens the process of restoring the mummy inside of it.

  

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AUC mechanical engineering students win global competition for creating a robot to assist people with special needs https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/10/15/auc-mechanical-engineering-students-win-global-competition-for-creating-a-robot-to-assist-people-with-special-needs/ Tue, 15 Oct 2019 19:43:27 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=711071 After flying with their ready to go robot to the States, the team was shocked that all the robot’s part were fried from the airport scanners.

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A robot that supports people with special needs and facilitates their locomotion won five American University in Cairo (AUC) students the first place prize at the Student Mechanism and Robot Design Competition in the United States, making them the only Egyptian team nominated for the competition in 10 years.

The competition, held by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), is considered one of the biggest scientific competitions for undergrad projects in innovation and societal enhancement.

The five students Mostafa Sedky, Fares Fawzi, Sarah Elfeqy, Mohamed Samy, and Mariam Hegazy are all mechanical engineering seniors at the School of Sciences and Engineering at the AUC. Two out of the final teams competing for first place were from the AUC.

The initial idea behind the robot was to provide assistance to people with physical needs whilst ascending the stairs. However, after being nominated as finalists for the awards, the team modified the prototype in order to walk, and undergo a number of tasks that facilitate moving for the handicapped.

“The technology of the robot provides the base for extending its function to surgical robotic arms or using it as a search and rescue machine. The team focused on stability and efficiency to stand out among the other competitors,” the AUC mentioned in a press release.

Sedky, one of the team members, explained that after setting the basic idea, a flow of possible functions and services the robot can provide to the ones in need took over the five talents’ minds.

“We shifted the whole idea from just being able to climb stairs to something we can continue to innovate,” Sedky said.

The mechanical engineers spent two months to design, create the parts of the robot, and finalise the prototype, then worked one month on building before the final prototype was ready.

Throughout the intensive months of work, the five members spent their days at the AUC’s mechanical engineering workshop, which according to Sedky “had everything.” For the nights, they spent the extra working hours at the Robotics Club where they “had everything they needed on campus.”

After flying with their ready to go robot to the States, the team was shocked that all the robot’s part were fried from the airport scanners. Yet, this did not stop them from pursuing their dream, leaving them scrambling and looking for the needed parts in the US, and to rebuild the entire robot within a day.

The AUC announced the award, two days after it was ranked as one of the top 200 worldwide universities in the annual QS Graduate Employability Rankings, with a graduate employment rate of 86% within one year after graduation. The ranking places the AUC above all Egyptian universities. 

Within this context, the Executive Director of AUC’s Career Center, Maha Guindi explained that such a rank comes as the “AUC partners with employers on several fronts. Apart from on-campus recruitment, the Career Center engages employers in the career education of AUC students.”

“Employers participate in AUC’s job shadowing programme; professionals from various industries are invited to represent career fields at career exploration events; and organisations offer internship opportunities year-round to help create career awareness among students and enhance their experiential learning process,” she added.

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Ancient industrial area, 30 funerary workshops discovered in Luxor amid excavation for Nefertiti’s tomb https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/10/13/ancient-industrial-area-30-funerary-workshops-discovered-in-luxor-amid-excavation-for-nefertitis-tomb/ Sun, 13 Oct 2019 21:13:59 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=710825 Zahi Hawass revealed the unearths stating that the excavation mission is the biggest of its kind since Haward’s mission that discovered Tutankhamun’s burial chamber

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The buried treasures of Luxor’s valleys have been lying for years waiting to be unearthed to fascinate the world with their captivating details and stunning beauty. Veteran Egyptologist Zahi Hawas revealed two of Luxor’s biggest discoveries last Thursday, an industrial area where the golden decorations of the kings’ tombs were created on the West Valley, and 30 workshops to store, and clean funerary coffins on the east side of the Valley.

The announcement came in a press conference that was attended by the Minister of Antiquities, Khaled El-Anany, and the Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, Moustafa Waziri. The conference is part of the team’s visit to Luxor to discuss the ways of returning the lid of Tutankhamun’s sarcophagus inside the burial chamber of the young Pharaoh’s tomb in the Valley of the Kings, and following up the tomb’s restoration.

Located at the Valley of the Monkeys in Luxor, the industrial area is the first of its kind, according to Hawas’s speech. Several relics were found inside the area, including clay tanks and water storage from which workers used to drink water while working.

The relics found inside the area indicated that it was used for making the golden decorations used in royal coffins. The decoration beads were unearthed, as well as shapes of the wings of Horus symbols with which most of the coffins were decorated.

The second discovery took place at the East Valley. The workshops were detected to store and clean the furniture placed in the tombs, and a number of the 18th dynasty relics were detected inside of them. Among the discoveries was also a cemetery titled K65, where a number of tools used to build burial chambers were found. The cemetery is similar to the one found next to the burial chamber of Tutankhamun in the area of where the tools workers used to build the cemetery were discovered.

The Egyptian mission is currently looking for the tomb of Nefertiti and her daughter. Hawas said in the press conference that he believes the queen’s tomb is located somewhere in the valley, as he believes “that the wide valley between the tomb of Amenhotep III and Ay could be the area that contains the tombs of the Amarna family,” according to state-run media outlet, Al-Ahram Online.

The excavation is currently taking place in the area near the tombs of Ramses VII, Hatshepsut, and the tomb of Ramses III, and behind the tomb of Merenptah, the son of Ramses II.

Hawass explained that this excavation mission is the biggest that took place since the one that Edward Hawart did in 1921, when he discovered the Tutankhamun’s tomb. He added that the mission has been working in the site since December 2017.

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