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Latest in Culture


Egypt’s ‘Freedom Story’ in the making

Revolutions have a way of sticking with you – emotions run high, change is imminent and the sense of possibility is euphoric. The images of Egypt’s January uprising were striking, forever engraining the momentous events in the memories of those who witnessed them and captivating the world’s attention for weeks. “Egyptian Freedom Story: 25th of …

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A psychedelic evening with Yacoub Abu Ghosh

By Maurice Chammah Last Sunday the Jordanian jazz bassist Yacoub Abu Ghosh led his band through a set at the Cairo Jazz Club, a seemingly required stop on any local tour. Despite the holiday, the dark, smoky room had nearly reached capacity when the band, which includes two drummers, and a second bassist, took the stage. …

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Dedication to the hip hop cause

By Lily Grimes Earning something you desire increases its value, and so it was with Voice of the Streets, a free event showcasing rappers from Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, Tunisia, Libya and Egypt. A motley crew of about 80 people huddled outside the gates to the Gezira Youth Center in Zamalek last Friday waiting to be let …

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Arab teens rap out angry politics in Nazareth

Mai and Amane, Arab Israeli teenagers living in Nazareth, are happy to leave talk about boys and make-up to their peers. They have a political message and they’re telling it through rap music. The girls, only 15 and 16, make up the duo "Damar" — Arabic for "destruction" — whose mission is to expose what …

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Felting transforms raw material into work of art

Seven years ago, Jenne Giles was a San Francisco painter and sculptor who didn’t know felting existed. Now she works almost exclusively in the medium, stretching the possibilities of felt in fashion. There’s a soft-sculpture aspect to wet felting that is attractive to Giles, who sells her ruffled scarves in museum gift shops and online …

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Biology teacher wins France’s top literary prize

High-school biology teacher Alexis Jenni on Wednesday won France’s top literary award, the Goncourt Prize, for his first novel, "L’art francais de la guerre" (The French Art of War). The prize was announced by the Goncourt panel of literary bigwigs at the chic Drouant restaurant in Paris. The adventure story, a reflection on the heritage …

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Yemen protest singers whip up revolutionary zeal

SANAA: By nightfall, thousands of anti-government protesters in a scrappy tent city in Yemen’s capital Sanaa catch their breath and begin to cheer musicians clambering onto a rickety stage. "Let’s give a round of applause for the big hit, "Mother of the Martyr, Bride of Blood", their host shouts. Sometimes jubilant, sometimes mournful, protest songs …

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A mixed showcase for young Egyptian artists at Tache

Tache Art Gallery in Designopolis is currently hosting an exhibition titled “Pulse,” featuring the works of 47 emerging artists. The show sounds like an extraordinary feat, as putting an exhibit with as many young artists can prove to be quite the production. The exhibition presents work encompassing a myriad of styles, approaches and mediums. Sadly, …

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The loneliness of Gulf cinema

“Only 10 years go, the whole Gulf region lived in a total cinematic drought,” writes Masoud Amralla Al-Ali, artistic director of the Dubai International Film Festival and curator of a series of Gulf-based films at Arab Shorts 2011 in his program note. “The cinematic image that others had of us was always either stupid Bedouins …

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Picasso takes lead in big New York art sales

Christie’s and Sotheby’s hold their big autumn art sales in New York starting this week, with both houses looking to Pablo Picasso to excite a robust market. The prominence of important works by Picasso, Matisse and other modern masters in the impressionist and modern art sales at Christie’s on Tuesday and Sotheby’s on Wednesday reflects …

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Algerian film wins top award at Qatar festival

Qatar’s annual film festival gave its top award to filmmaker Merzak Allouache’s production of "Normal," a movie that follows disillusioned Algerian youth in the wake of the "Arab Spring" revolutions. The award, which carries a bonus of $100,000, was announced at the third annual Doha Tribeca Film Festival awards ceremony this week, alongside seven other …

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Filmmakers explore childhood at Goethe Short Film Fest

In the Arab world, youth are a constant hot topic in political and economic policies and discussion. As the world population officially reaches 7 billion this week, children make up the vast majority and are widely celebrated as “the future.” But in this context, the experience of actually being a child is secondary. Not so …

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New year, same Egypt at Arab Shorts 2011

When the Arab Shorts fest first opened in December 2009 at the Goethe Institute in Egypt, it filled a void, Goethe director Gunther Hasenkamp told Daily News Egypt at the opening of Arab Shorts 2011 on Thursday. After much ado, Goethe had decided that in the absence of another venue, it was an imperative for …

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Islam’s treasures back on display at New York’s Met

Masterworks of Islamic art will once again be on view at New York’s Metropolitan Museum, which next week reopens an exhaustive installation following an eight-year renovation. New York’s biggest and most comprehensive art museum unveils on November 1 its "New Galleries for the Art of the Arab Lands, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia, and Later South …

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A disappointing turn for Egyptian films at Abu Dhabi Film Fest

Egyptian film is a staple attraction in the regional fest circuit. No Arab fest can do without one or more Egyptian features, for obvious reasons. Egyptian films remain the most prominent and most popular industry in the Middle East. Egyptian film stars are always guaranteed to bring glitz and glamour to any Arab fest, attracting …

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Russia’s Bolshoi Theater to unveil spectacular refit

Russia’s historic Bolshoi Theater will finally raise its curtain on Friday after a massive, six-year overhaul that aims to create a state-of-the-art space for its world-renowned ballet and opera troupe. Stars including prima ballerina Svetlana Zakharova and French soprano Natalie Dessay will tread the new stage at a lavish gala attended by Russian President Dmitry …

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Arab films showcase turbulent, redemptive year

The Arab Spring of pro-democracy uprisings features prominently — both directly and more subtly — in the selections at the third annual Doha Tribeca Film Festival, kicking off in the Qatari capital this week. The festival, launched in 2009 in the tiny Gulf Arab state, seeks to showcase the work of Arab filmmakers who this …

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A divine display of Coptic art at St. John the Baptist Church

The Church of St. John the Baptist in Maadi has been known for hosting regular art exhibitions that aim at bringing people of all backgrounds, religions and nationalities together in the house of worship. This initiative, called “Caravan,” was founded by Paul Gordon Chandler, the rector of this Episcopal Church. The idea was to use …

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A new Graffiti takeover in the streets of Alexandria

This past weekend in seaside Alexandria, an artistic laboratory of cross-cultural dialogue, image creation, and creative collaborations colorfully conquered the streets surrounding the Lycee theater. Organized by the Goethe-Institute Alexandria, the “Graffiti: Style, History, Experience” project is the second part of a graffiti takeover initiative that began this past May with commissioned street murals created …

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Bell seeks to channel Tintin

Tintin always is flawless, courageous and heroic — right up to the point of being cartoonesque. That left British actor Jamie Bell, 25, with the challenge of turning the character into a believable, flesh-and-bones intrepid reporter for Steven Spielberg’s "The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn." Granted, Bell’s acting was enhanced by performance-capture technology, …

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Break-dancing and graffiti, Spanish and Egyptian

Thursday night, in the stark warehouse space of the Townhouse Gallery, a small crowd of young men and women stood around drinking soda and smoking cigarettes. Many wore track jackets and oversized baseball caps, baggy clothes and Adidas shoes. Some posed to have their pictures taken in front of graffiti adorning the walls, folding their …

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‘Chicken with Plums’ wins best film at Abu Dhabi Film Fest, with nods to Egypt

French film “Chicken with Plums” was the big winner at the fifth edition of the Abu Dhabi Film Festival, scooping the Best Narrative Film prize and a monetary award of $100,000 at the closing ceremony held on Friday evening. Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud’s follow-up to 2007 animation blockbuster “Persepolis” is a whimsical love story …

DNE

How the world discovered Naguib Mahfouz

By Maurice Chammah Although now widely considered Egypt’s literary ambassador to the world, Naguib Mahfouz was relatively unknown outside of Egypt until 1988, the year he won the Nobel Prize. Speaking in Cairo this week, Sture Allén, a professor of computational linguistics and member of the Swedish Academy that selects the winner of the Nobel Prize …

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Morocco dominates Arab entries at Abu Dhabi film fest

The regional film festivals’ fight over the limited pool of Arab films has intensified with every passing year—a fight not only to justify their existence but to matter. The cultural, political and economic changes spurred by the Arab Spring have caused this pool to shrink even further this year, and thus Morocco, the sole functioning …

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Tintin in Peril? Boy hero back in bother in Belgium

"Billions of bilious blue blistering barnacles!" As Tintin prepares to take on the world in Steven Spielberg’s blockbuster, the fearless boy reporter’s adventures are hotting up at home. Thirty years in the making, the Avatar-style film hits screens worldwide next week as the Belgium-born comic-book hero fends off racism charges, squabbles over his legacy, and …

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British author Julian Barnes wins Booker Prize

British author Julian Barnes on Tuesday won the Man Booker Prize, one of the highest-profile awards in English-language literature, at the fourth attempt for his novel "The Sense of an Ending." Barnes picked up the £50,000 ($80,000) award, which recognizes the best work of fiction by an author from the Commonwealth or the Republic of …

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Playful creatures in new sculpture exhibit

The Zamalek Art Gallery is currently hosting a sculpture exhibition by artist Gamal Abdel Nasser. An artist with a steady list of exhibitions since 1983, his sculptures have evolved and matured while always retaining a distinct style. The exhibition showcases a myriad of his styles, ranging from colorful masks and torsos, to figural representations and …

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Greek artist surprises with non-controversial beauty

  With no prior knowledge of Greek artist Yorgos Papageorgiou or his work, this was one of the few times I attend an opening with no preconceptions. But what I found at the Mashrabiya Gallery was a truly pleasant surprise.   It’s been some time since I came across an exhibition that does not attempt …

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Julian Barnes leads Booker Prize finalists

It has insults, rivalries and bitter accusations. The battle for Britain’s most prestigious literary award is proving to be a page-turner. Five judges, led by a former British spymaster, are meeting Tuesday to choose the winner of the Booker Prize for fiction, which brings a 50,000 pound ($82,000) purse, a big sales boost for the …

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Poland and Egypt, in music and verse

On Friday night, Egyptians and expats gathered under the glow of orange and blue lights outside Darb 1718 for an evening of music celebrating the diplomatic and cultural relationship between Egypt and Poland. A group of Polish and Egyptian musicians, led by Maria Pomianowska, performed music to accompany Arabic translations of poetry by Polish Nobel …

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