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Latest in Culture


Maria’s for Mexican: Authentically stellar cuisine

I will feign deafness if I ever hear someone criticizing the concept of a fine dining Mexican restaurant in Egypt. Tex-Mex fried mozzarella sticks and buffalo wings from Chili’s is not really Mexican, and lord were we missing something on the city’s dining scene until Maria’s came along. I was a little surprised at first …

DNE

Rabindranath Tagore immortalized in philatelics and embroidery

By Sankalita Shome Rabindranath Tagore, the Indian Nobel Laureate in Literature, is no stranger to Egypt; he was great friends with renowned Egyptian poet Ahmed Shawqi and the words that he penned for Egypt seem almost prophetic in the aftermath of the January 25 Revolution. He said of Egypt that it is “the land where the …

DNE

After much hesitation, Wust El Balad performs in Ramallah

CAIRO: “Would they call us traitors? Would the government spy on us upon our return? Would the local press try to manipulate our actions to tarnish our image?” These were the types of questions the popular band Wust El Balad and their manager Rami Heikal wrestled with when deciding whether to travel to Ramallah and …

DNE

French choreographer Roland Petit dies at 87

Acclaimed choreographer Roland Petit, whose creations dazzled stages from Paris to Hollywood and inspired dancers, writers and designers has died. He was 87. The Paris National Opera said Petit’s wife, Zizi Jeanmaire, informed them that the choreographer died on Sunday in Geneva. No cause of death was given. Jeanmaire, ballerina turned music hall performer who …

DNE

Tropfest provides creative platform for amateur filmmakers

Talk about great timing. Abu Dhabi-based Twofour54 couldn’t have picked a better moment to partner with international film festival concept Tropfest to create Tropfest Arabia 2011, a short film festival for aspiring filmmakers from the region. Twofour54 is a government initiative aimed at developing a sustainable Arabic media industry across all platforms. Founded by Australian …

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Hemingway leaves indelible mark on Pamplona

Room 217 in the Gran Hotel La Perla, swankiest hotel in northern Spain’s bull-running city Pamplona, has barely changed since Ernest Hemingway last slept here. There are a few alterations the American writer might have abhorred — a plasma television, air conditioning, and a price of up to €1,800 ($2,500) a night during the San …

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Folk singer Facundo Cabral killed in Guatemala

One of Latin America’s most admired folk singers, Facundo Cabral, was killed Saturday when three carloads of gunmen ambushed the vehicle in which he was riding, prompting expressions of anguish from across the region. Authorities said the performer’s concert promoter was apparently the target. Interior Minister Carlos Menocal said the Argentine singer and novelist was …

DNE

What’s in a name? That which we call Meetphool

By Maha ElNabawi What’s in a name? That which we call Meetphool.net – potentially the most revolutionary website to hit the performing arts sector in Egypt and likely the entire Mediterranean region. The website is suffused with the traditions of theatre. According to their website, Meetphool derives its catchy name from “the fool” – a theatre …

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Team unearths first Roman-era basilica in Egypt

CAIRO: Egyptian officials say archaeologists have unearthed the first basilica erected in the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria. Antiquities authorities say the basilica is dated to the Roman era and was built on the ruins of a temple from the Ptolemaic reign that ended with the death of Cleopatra. A statement Thursday says two parallel …

DNE

Laugh like an Egyptian

By Chitra Kalyani It’s astonishing that stand-up comedy did not gain stage-presence in Egypt up until a few years ago. Local talents at the “Freedom of Funny” show far outstripped the highlight of visiting artist Ronnie Khalil’s “Brezidential Brobosal” at Sawy Culture Wheel on Thursday. Musical duo High on Body Fat, composed of the portly …

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Cy Twombly, post-war art giant, dead at 83

Influential US artist Cy Twombly, who died Tuesday aged 83, was a key figure in the post-war abstract art world with a career spanning six decades. Renowned for his vast canvasses adorned with scribblings, the artist let his creations speak for themselves, rarely giving interviews or appearing in public. The director of the Lambert collection …

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Revolution-themed interpretation of Bejart’s ‘Pyramide’ ballet misses the mark

Ballet can now be counted amongst the artistic disciplines touched by Egypt’s recent revolution. The January 25 Revolution has prompted a wave of cultural production, much of it inspired by scenes and experiences from the lead up to Hosni Mubarak’s ouster on February 11. “The Pyramids and the Revolution,” a ballet adapted from famed French …

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Super 8’ message: Technology not our friend

By Ted Anthony/ AP It’s convenient to assign J.J. Abrams’ “Super 8,” one of this summer’s biggest movies, an easy, modular genre: Intrepid small-town kids encounter the unknown, engage it, handle it far better than the adults and find that their emotionally sensitive behavior brings their community salvation. Call it the E.T. Effect. Look closer, …

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‘Elliot’ writer’s opera dropped over gay character

A community opera involving hundreds of children and written by the author of "Billy Elliot" has been canceled after the writer refused to remove lines spoken by a gay character in which he calls himself "queer." Education officials said the school removed 300 pupils due to appear in the production because of offensive and derogatory …

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Bai Ling reveals dark memories of Chinese army

Actress Bai Ling said she is confronting a dark chapter from her past: sexual abuse she suffered as a teenager at the hands of Chinese army officers. Bai, 44, who was a soldier in a People’s Liberation Army performance troupe from age 14 to 17, told The Associated Press in a recent interview that she …

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Ibrahim El-Batout on ‘Hawi’, his upcoming movie and future of cinema

  F ive years ago, former war reporter and documentary filmmaker Ibrahim El-Batout was another aspiring filmmaker with an atypical vision deemed incongruous with the homogenous local film scene. A couple of years later, El-Batout became the most influential independent filmmaker in the country, turning the industry on its head and paving the way for independent …

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The Cincinnati kid, Ali and The Hustler

CAIRO: In the salons the tassel-loafer lounge lizards glad-hand groupies. Revolution? A bump in the road, they bluster. The tables will turn, you’ll see. Or will they? The government is calling the bankers’ bluff. Send the players to the video store to find out which hand to play this week. In The Cincinnati Kid (Steve …

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Ancient Egypt treasure gate unearthed in Luxor

CAIRO: Egyptian and French archaeologists have unearthed a 2,700-year-old stone gate belonging to Nubian King Shabaka while digging near Luxor’s Karnak temple, the ministry of antiquities said on Sunday. The gate, which was found to be "in good condition," once led to the room holding the king’s treasures, the ministry said. "It is the first …

DNE

THE REEL ESTATE: Life before the revolution

Three years ago, a little indie film with no stars called “Ein Shams” (Eye of the Sun) came out of nowhere to take the Egyptian film industry by storm, challenging censorship, sidestepping shooting permissions’ circle of hell and ultimately becoming the first independently-financed film to acquire a commercial screening in Egypt. Over the past three …

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Egypt(dot)Now to capture revolutionary youth spirit in 18-day festival

CAIRO: About a month after the protests started in January, Mariam El-Hitami was speaking with a friend of hers who had been active in the demonstrations and was recovering from a rubber bullet that hit his left eye. “Let us build Egypt,” El-Hitami, one of the organizers of Egypt.Now, remembers Jawad Naboulsy telling her. Friday, …

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A ‘Byrd’ singing disco of our time

By Chitra Kalyani Since marketing his first single when he was 15, electronic artist Neobyrd has figured out the formula. “To get signed you need to spend 40 percent [of your time] doing music, and 60 percent marketing yourself,” said the artist at the launch of his album “Transbyrd” at Cairo Jazz Club on Monday. It …

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Pirate radio airs dreams amid tear gas and fear

As tear gas fired by riot police lands inside their Syntagma Square camp, the brains behind a pirate radio station broadcasting Greek Indignants’ dreams of a new revolution vow to stay the course. The music is hardly cutting edge, coming straight from the era of the uprising against the US-backed Greek colonels — "Riders on …

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SODIC Art Symposium: First attempt at public art

With his distinctive light blue eyes and soft demeanor, famed Egyptian sculptor Adam Henein stood observing the towering metallic figures. The statues, numbered at about 20, directed their gaze at the horizon of the desert in which they were standing. It was early June on a balmy summer’s evening when the sun started to set, …

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Shoes come in all sizes

By Chitra Kalyani “The future of football is female,” proclaims one of the texts that tie the collection of photographs at Sawy Culture Wheel. German photographer Claudia Wiens launched her exhibit, along with the book, titled “Shoe Size 37 – Women’s Football in Egypt, Palestine, Turkey and Germany” on Saturday. Supported by Goethe Institute in Cairo, …

DNE

French Egyptologist who saved Nubian temples dies

PARIS: French Egyptologist Christiane Desroches-Noblecourt, known for her books on art and history and for saving the Nubian temples from flooding caused by the Aswan Dam, has died at the age of 97, her editor Telemaque said Friday. In a career spanning more than half-a-century, Desroches-Noblecourt also helped preserve the mummy of King Ramses II, …

DNE

Large inscribed limestone blocks unearthed

CAIRO: French archaeologists have unearthed hundreds of 3,000-year-old colored limestone blocks believed to have been used to build the sacred lake walls of a temple dedicated to the goddess Mut. Egypt’s minister of antiquities, Zahi Hawass, says the blocks were unearthed in San El-Hagar in northern Egypt. Hawass said in a statement Monday the blocks …

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Impressions in an Arab mirror

By Chitra Kalyani Phillipe Vincent pinches bits of air around the table when describing his play to Daily News Egypt. Despite what the title suggests, “An Arab in My Mirror” does not provide a reflection of one community in another, but rather several impressions of characters in both worlds. “The present is an air pocket,” said …

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Egypt to restore ancient boat found near pyramid

CAIRO: Archaeologists have begun excavating a 4,500-year-old wooden boat found next to the Great Pyramid of Giza, one of Egypt’s main tourist attractions, Egypt’s top antiquities official said Thursday. The boat is one of two buried next to the pharaoh Khufu in what appeared to be a religious custom to carry him in the afterlife. …

DNE

THE REEL ESTATE: A fateful journey into the dark soul of Russia

What is the Russian soul? That is the questions great novelist Fyodor Dostoyevsky spent his life trying to answer, an elusive question that never left me during my trip to Russia a couple of months ago. My memories of Russia have been largely blissful. I did not take a liking to Moscow; a humongous, unkind …

DNE

Serbia’s icon-painting nuns combine religion and art

On the wooded slopes of southwestern Serbia’s Golija mountain, a dozen nuns at the Gradac monastery have devoted their lives to God but have not turned their backs on their lifelong passion: painting. Twenty years ago Jasna Topolski, already a famous artist who had graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Belgrade, arrived at …

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