Culture – Daily News Egypt https://dailynewsegypt.com Egypt’s Only Daily Independent Newspaper In English Sun, 22 Apr 2018 12:00:56 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.1 Egyptian-Swiss Karim Noureldin’s latest installation art connects India with Middle East https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/04/22/egyptian-swiss-karim-noureldins-latest-installation-art-connects-india-middle-east/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/04/22/egyptian-swiss-karim-noureldins-latest-installation-art-connects-india-middle-east/#respond Sun, 22 Apr 2018 12:00:56 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=657434 Spanning three continents and two cultures, as well as two disciplines, the work of Swiss-Egyptian artist Karim Noureldin is increasingly receiving the attention it deserves. This year the Swiss private banking group Julius Baer asked him to work on a site-specific installation. With offices in 20 countries, the group decided to unveil the work for …

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Spanning three continents and two cultures, as well as two disciplines, the work of Swiss-Egyptian artist Karim Noureldin is increasingly receiving the attention it deserves.

This year the Swiss private banking group Julius Baer asked him to work on a site-specific installation. With offices in 20 countries, the group decided to unveil the work for the first time at Art Dubai. Noureldin sat down with Daily News Egypt for an interview in which he opened up about his ties to the Middle East and his work with Julius Baer.

Photo Handout to DNE

“It was a very generous commission and an exceptional opportunity. The work is everything I wanted it to be,” he said.

The commission involved the development of two large textile installations, both produced in India. Textiles have increasingly become part of the artist’s repertoire but, at the focus is his interest in elaborate, geometrically abstract designs. The two wall-sized installations can be loosely compared to tapestries but were sewn by a family in India. Given that common decorative themes can be found between the Middle East, India, and even traditional European art, it was a solid choice.

The work took over six months to complete and started with careful pen sketches and then a trip to India to meet with the families and workers.

“I have become friends with these people when I visit them,” the artist said with a smile when discussing his relationship with his art labourers, adding that ensuring they worked under ethical standards was an important part of his directorship of the project.

The did not only include a commission, it allowed him to travel to India to develop his work and the Middle East. Noureldin said his work draws on the inspiration of Islamic art in the region. 

The son of a middle-class Egyptian engineer who completed his doctorate in that field in Zurich, Switzerland, while completing his studies, the elder Noureldin met and eventually married a Swiss woman. The father frequently took the young Noureldin to Egypt each year where he was fascinated with the lure of the pyramids of Giza and Egyptian gastronomy.

“I never learned fluent Arabic, but Egypt is in my DNA,” he said. “I’m always cold, and I have a family now, but my wife and I still talk about moving somewhere warm,” he said. He leaves the thought to linger in the air as he reflects on a move to the Middle East. 

Photo Handout to DNE

Upon each visit to Cairo as a child, his first contact with Egyptian culture would be the police officers at Cairo International Airport.  

“Masri? Masri?” they would ask Karim Noureldin. It was the Nasser era, and the state was eager to find conscripts for the army, but Noureldin never held Egyptian citizenship. In fact, over concerns he would be obligated to serve in one of Egypt’s wars with Israel—a real concern given that the artist was born in 1967—the October 1973 war and its aftermath briefly stopped the family’s trips to Cairo. 

He soon found his passion in the art world and studied visual art at various institutions in Switzerland. He has described his artistic career as a research journey, and that journey has taken him around the world, and he sojourned in the art hubs of London and New York, as well as Rome. Pencil and paper remain his primary interests, but the artist has expanded to include textiles, site-specific installations, sculpture works, and photos. However, his work remains loyal to its use of bright colours and geometric designs. As such, his work has influenced a group of younger Swiss avantgarde architects.

Ten years ago, however, he returned to Cairo not as a visitor to his family or as a tourist, but as an artist in residence. This time there was no father to translate the questions of the airport police. His apartment overlooked a Misr petrol station, the iconic logo of which featured the pyramids which so fascinated him as a child. While in Cairo, he deeply studied the country’s social and political history, looking for inspiration.  

His sojourn in Egypt produced a book which looked at Cairo through an unusual lens. Cairo’s businesses invariably have roll-down storefront gates. Painters are hired to give these gates some colour and work at night when the shops are closed. More often than not, simplistic geometric designs, stripped lines in bright colours, and in other places triangles, were used. Images of these Cairo doors were compiled in a book by the author with the title “MISR”. The book also includes images of cars on Cairo’s streets wrapped in dust covers. The photos were taken in a way that even this seemingly every-day action appears as found-art. But, not in the manner of Marcel Duchamp, but as a geometric and artistic abstraction. The book can be read in English or be flipped over and read in Arabic.

 “I work in the abstract [and geometric designs], so there is an inspiration in my work in Arabic and Islamic art for which I have an affinity. I am culturally a European, but I am comfortable in any large city in the world.” 

Today, he lives in Lausanne, where he works as a professor at the University of Art and Design. In this role, he is again bridging two worlds, the artistic and the academic. 

“Some companies collect art, but Julius Baer might be one of the best at collecting in the corporate world. There is a family feel in their behaviour and philosophy in their collecting,” 

Noureldin is also a family man; his wife is French and he has children. His study is in Lausanne, his gallery is in Basel, and he works with three different dealers. He credits Switzerland’s small size—each city is only a train-ride away—for his ability to work across the country.

“Of course I would be open to doing more work in the Middle East as an artist,” the artist said with a grin. “I would be thrilled if there were more opportunities. Right now, I am very busy back in Switzerland.”

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Cairo Opera House to hold two concerts in Saudi Arabia https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/04/21/cairo-opera-house-hold-two-concerts-saudi-arabia/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/04/21/cairo-opera-house-hold-two-concerts-saudi-arabia/#respond Sat, 21 Apr 2018 16:32:46 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=657467 The Egyptian Minister of Culture Inas Abdel Dayem said that Saudi Arabia will host, for the first time in its history, two consecutive concerts of the Cairo Opera House at the King Fahad Cultural Centre in Riyadh next Wednesday and Thursday. Cairo Opera House prepared an artistic programme for its first visit to Saudi Arabia, …

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The Egyptian Minister of Culture Inas Abdel Dayem said that Saudi Arabia will host, for the first time in its history, two consecutive concerts of the Cairo Opera House at the King Fahad Cultural Centre in Riyadh next Wednesday and Thursday.

Cairo Opera House prepared an artistic programme for its first visit to Saudi Arabia, which includes art created by great composers and poets, and will be performed by the opera’s stars, accompanied by the band led by maestro Mostafa Helmy.

The two concerts will also be accompanied by an exhibition of rare photographs, documenting the history of the opera and the most important events held on its stage.

Meanwhile, Abdel Dayem praised the rapid steps taken by Saudi Arabia in recent years that focused on forging new paths in the cultural and artistic spheres.

Saudi Arabia witnessed a chain of decisions that are new to the conservative kingdom. Last year, the kingdom was the last country to allow women to drive, attend mixed musical concerts, and to receive healthcare without the presence of a male guardian. Meanwhile, days ago, it witnessed the launching of its first cinema.

Earlier in 2018, it witnessed the first concert of many Egyptian singers, including Tamer Hosny.

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Sohag Museum to be inaugurated by president after 29 years of planning: antiquities minister https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/04/19/sohag-museum-inaugurated-president-29-years-planning-antiquities-minister/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/04/19/sohag-museum-inaugurated-president-29-years-planning-antiquities-minister/#respond Thu, 19 Apr 2018 19:03:57 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=657403 75% of GEM complete after receiving EGP 3bn in government funding

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Khaled El-Anany, Egypt’s minister of antiquities, said his ministry will soon open Sohag Museum after 29 years of planning for its establishment, adding, “the museum is ready and we are waiting to set a date for our President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi [to inaugurate the building].”
The minister added, at a press conference, that the Antiquities Ministry receives significant support from the political leadership, as it received about EGP 3bn in 2017 to be used for several major projects, including the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM).
“The governmental financial support allowed us to resume the work [on the GEM]. The percentage of completion was 20% 24 months ago, but it increased to about 75% now,” noted the minister.
“We were very lucky to have made many important discoveries last year and I promise you will hear about new discoveries in the coming period,” said El-Anany.
The American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt (AmCham Egypt) organised a tour and a conference at the National Museum of Egyptian Civilisation in the attendance of the antiquities minister on Thursday morning.
The National Museum of Egyptian Civilisation is a promising and unique project, said the minister. He added that the ministry, while celebrating World Heritage Day, was happy to have the AmCham Egypt visit on the sidelines of the celebration.
AmCham Egypt President Tarek Tawfik said that the chamber was honoured to promote the identity of Egypt in collaboration with the antiquities minister, adding, “Egypt is the hub of civilisation; day by day, we unveil the treasures that are under the ground.”

 

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Israel’s 70th: not a happy celebration for author Lizzie Doron https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/04/19/israels-70th-not-a-happy-celebration-for-author-lizzie-doron/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/04/19/israels-70th-not-a-happy-celebration-for-author-lizzie-doron/#respond Thu, 19 Apr 2018 10:53:00 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=657361 The post Israel’s 70th: not a happy celebration for author Lizzie Doron appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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Award-winning Israeli author Lizzie Doron became renowned for her books depicting the Jews’ traumas. When she started researching the life of Palestinians — and became friends with the enemy — everything changed.DW: Israel is celebrating the state’s 70th anniversary this year. What does it mean to you?

It’s a day with many, many questions. As a child I had a different image of my country, of my people. I was sure we were dreamers with a wonderful dream to be liberal, to stand for freedom, to build a state for the Jews, while letting other people come in and share our traditional beliefs with us. We were sure we’d find a shelter for us after the Second World War. And you know, step by step, there were changes.

As in a love story and as in a dream, a fantastic dream, reality is not the same. And now, I don’t feel the joy of celebrating. I feel that it is rather a time to be brave enough to ask deep questions and to try to understand why many things went in a wrong direction — at least from my point of view.

Read more: Israel at 70: What does the future hold?

Do you think of Israel as your homeland?

I think that Tel Aviv is my homeland because I cannot see myself spending my life in the West Bank as a settler. I cannot see my life in Jerusalem in a very religious city. So I have a place in my country. But I must say that one “Heimat” right now is not enough for me. And I think that I am lucky enough to share my life in two cities [Eds.: Tel Aviv and since a few years Berlin]. And that is a very interesting point of view, because as you understand I didn’t mention countries. I mention specific places with a very specific atmosphere. And I think that right now I prefer to choose cities to spend my time and my life.

How do you perceive Jerusalem?

Jerusalem signifies for me the place that divides people, where the past is more important than the present, where God takes more place than people. Jerusalem has the ingredients to build a divided society and deal with a non-rational way of thinking about people, life, state of minds, trying to exclude others. And I think that Jerusalem symbolizes a different dream.

There is also a hidden fight in Israel as to which city will lead the country. They have totally different values and a different way of living: If Tel Aviv is a city which stands for freedom, for human rights, for accepting everybody, Jerusalem — and I am not only talking about the Jewish communities — everybody wants to be the exclusive religion or tribe or community and to defeat the others.

So the question is whether the country will go the Tel Aviv way or the Jerusalem way?

Yes, and in an way it is a huge discussion. I think that Israel is a country that has established two identities. One is democracy, and the other one is being the Jewish state. And I think that those two values cannot work together. Because being Orthodox or being religious doesn’t work well with democracy. And looking at the situation right now you can see a lot of secular liberal non-religious young people who at least are curious to try and to check the options of living in other countries, which is not the case with religious people.

Read more: Israeli writer Amos Oz: Trump did one thing that every other country should also do

Two of your books, “Sweet Occupation” (2017) and “Who the Fuck is Kafka” (2015) were translated and published in Germany but never came out in Israel. Why?

I was a kind of an icon in the Israeli society, representing the “second generation” who wrote the stories of Holocaust survivors, victims, and I was in a way one of those writers who told the Jewish story and helped build the Jewish narrative.

When in 2009 I met a Palestinian guy, this was for me a turning point, because I was so surprised that I had only been digging into my own story, without knowing the story of my neighbors. And when I decided to write stories about the Palestinians and their life under occupation, I was sure that was a kind of continuity with my historian’s work on Europe, then the Holocaust. I wrote two books which dealt with the Palestinian story, and I was very proud. And when I came to my publisher, he was so surprised that I had switched my main topic. And he said that Holocaust sells better. And he rejected my last two books.

But I must say that after meeting on a personal basis a Palestinian living under occupation, visiting his family and living his life, I knew I was dealing with the right topic. And that is my new mission right now.

Discovering people behind the image of the enemy was a great moment in life. First of all, it reduces fear and it gives you much more opportunities, you can make changes in your life. And I really feel that on a personal basis, not just as a writer, I am a lot freer after meeting the “terrorist,” the “demon.” The one who was supposed to kill me has become one of my best friends.

Read more: Israel’s Netanyahu marks independence day with a warning

So writing has changed your perspective?

Much more, because those Palestinian stories changed my family story, if I may say. We now share our time between Tel Aviv and Berlin. And there’s also the reaction of our friends, those who are right-wing or those who cannot really understand what happened to me. Many think that something very bad happened to me, many cannot understand my wish to stay in Germany, in Berlin. Most of my friends right now are Germans or Palestinians and I have just a few Jewish friends.

Read more: Lizzie Doron: Coming to Germany from Israel for equality, freedom and compassion

But why did you choose Berlin? The Germans were the ones who killed six million Jews.

First of all, although I was born in Israel, my mother originally came from Vienna. She secretly had a lot of difficulties to accept Israel as a country. My mother would come during the night read to herself out loud German literature. She was sure that I was deeply sleeping and was in the middle of a dream, and she read out loud Goethe and Schiller and Heine. And it was like a mantra, every night I heard the German language.

And on good days, when she had money to celebrate holidays or birthdays, she always cooked for me Wiener Schnitzel. And as a desert it was always an Apfelstrudel with vanilla sauce.

So I grew up with a deep, deep feeling that there is another place for us. Something awful happened and my mother had to change her location, but she couldn’t change her culture.

So at home, I got the German historic stories and culture, and outside in Israel I was taught the Zionist dream, to be a soldier, to be strong, to be Israel. And in these two worlds I heard the story of the Holocaust.

One thing my mother told me all the time is that there is no Holocaust survivor who survived without getting a helping hand from someone. After she passed away, I found out that she was saved by a SS-German doctor. And after the war, she went back to bear witness in his trial, asking the judge not to kill him because he saved her.

And I feel this gave me the value of choosing people, not nations, not religions. And maybe, because of that, the feeling of hatred towards Germans in general was not my personal story. And I feel that right now it is easier for me to speak with German people who really understand the price of wars than with Israelis who still believe that with war can defeat the enemies. So I am thrown between those two nations and people and I am wondering where is the best place. Not just wondering, but I am wandering from one place to another. But I think choosing Germany was obvious for me. It’s a part of my identity as the Jewish identity is a part of my identity.

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The ‘Markle sparkle’: Why Prince Harry’s fiancée reminds people of Princess Diana https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/04/19/the-markle-sparkle-why-prince-harrys-fiancee-reminds-people-of-princess-diana/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/04/19/the-markle-sparkle-why-prince-harrys-fiancee-reminds-people-of-princess-diana/#respond Thu, 19 Apr 2018 07:16:00 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=657385 The post The ‘Markle sparkle’: Why Prince Harry’s fiancée reminds people of Princess Diana appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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Who exactly is Meghan Markle, the 36-year-old fiancée of Prince Harry? With one month to go until the wedding of the year, a new biography on the American actress-cum-future princess’s life hits the bookshelves.Meghan Markle has captured the imagination of young wannabe princesses around the world: An attractive young woman, who has dug her way into the heart of Britain’s most eligible bachelor, is transforming the way many people perceive the age-old institution of the Royal Family.

Celebrity biographer Andrew Morton, who has chronicled the lives of several members of the Royal Family including Princess Diana and her son Prince William, says in his newly published biography on Meghan Markle, entitled “Meghan — A Hollywood Princess,” that she is bringing “star quality” to the monarchy — something he also refers to as the “Markle sparkle.”

Read more: Queen’s lingerie maker Rigby & Peller loses royal warrant over bra-fitting details

“Meghan is an exciting and genuinely charismatic addition to the Royal Family — she makes the House of Windsor seem relevant again,” Morton says about Markle.

“She will complement her husband and the august institution she has married into, bringing a freshness, diversity and warmth to the chilly corridors of Buckingham Palace.”

And he might just be right: If you scratch a little underneath the surface of Meghan Markle’s Hollywood credentials, you will see an intelligent and devoted defender of human rights in addition to the gifted and driven actress. But how did Meghan Markle become such a multifaceted young woman?

In his book, Andrew Morton highlights the major stages of the 36-year-old’s life, whose background and upbringing were anything but average — and whose upcoming role as a member of the Royal Family might just be the greatest role she has had to play in her life.

Read more: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle set wedding date for May 19

Not just a pretty face

Growing up biracial with her parents divorced early on into her life, Rachel Meghan Markle had to learn how to assert herself and stand up for her values. She staged a protest at her school against the first Gulf War in 1990, and just two years later she wrote a letter of complaint to Procter & Gamble in response to an ad campaign, which inadvertently cast women as belonging in the kitchen to do the washing up.

Aged only 11, Meghan Markle told the consumer goods giant that she wished to see a world of equality, where the value of women wasn’t confined to domestic life. “I don’t think it’s right for kids to grow up thinking these things, that mom just does everything,” she said at the time. She thereby contributed to having the wording of the TV ad changed to sound more inclusive. Markle’s campaign even got her on the news, perhaps foreshadowing her future on the silver screen to come.

Andrew Morton emphasizes that it was also because of her mixed-race background that Meghan Markle displayed “a readiness to view the world from different perspectives, from both sides.”

“Meghan’s letter-writing campaigns, her interest in current affairs, her purposeful travelling and gender awareness, were all of a piece with a young girl embarking on a journey where feminism could coexist with femininity,” Morton writes in his biography.

Meghan Markle’s parents and teachers realized early on that the young girl was strongly driven by her social conscience, and looked up to those who were devoted to making a change — especially women. One of those role models in Markle’s life apparently was Princess Diana of Wales.

The ‘D’ word

In his biography, Andrew Morton says that Meghan Markle cried when images of Princess Diana’s funeral were broadcast around the world, as did thousands of people around the globe. But with Meghan Markle, that moment may have hit a particularly sensitive nerve, as she reportedly admired the Princess of Wales throughout her teenage years.

Read more: Why I didn’t watch Princess Diana’s funeral

Morton says Meghan “was intrigued by Diana not just for her style but also for her independent humanitarian mission.” Both Meghan Markle and Princess Diana have indeed stood out for their care and compassion, but Morton’s biography takes those parallels even further:

“It is interesting that those who taught her, or knew her, spontaneously mention the ‘D’ word in the same breath as Meghan,” Morton writes. “Comparisons with Diana are inevitable.”

“Similarities can been seen in her broader humanitarian work and popular, glamorous appeal.”

A childhood friend of Markle’s, Ninaki Priddy, is even quoted in the book as saying that Markle “wants to be Princess Diana 2.0.”

Whether or not Markle will live up to those standards is yet to be seen, however, with a series of public and private charitable appearances in recent months, Meghan Markle looks set to make headlines for more than just her classy outfits.

Read more: How Princess Diana became a fashion icon

The other side of Meghan Markle

However, Morton also stresses a key difference between Diana and Meghan Markle: “She is a woman who is camera-ready, not camera-shy.”

“In some ways, the groomed and camera-ready Miss Markle was the woman that Diana always strove to become.”

The camera clearly loves Meghan Markle, but Meghan Markle also loves the camera. Her four-season stint on the successful TV series “Suits” proves that she is a confident actress, who knows how to present herself in the best possible light — a skill the Markle picked up early on growing up in Los Angeles in the shadow of the glamour of Hollywood.

But Morton’s book also alleges that along with bringing her global success, her stardom also resulted in her turning more shallow: He stresses that Markle has come to be extremely protective of her personal brand, writing, “a networker to her fingertips, she seemed to be carefully recalibrating her life, forging new friendships with those who could burnish and develop her career.”

Morton’s biography suggests that this was also the reason for Markle ending her first marriage with film producer Trevor Engleson. Thus, Morton’s account of Meghan Markle’s life and her motivations also sounds cynical at times — and perhaps justifiably so. But Morton also repeatedly acknowledges Markle’s strong sense of right and wrong, presenting Markle’s ambitions in context: “This is at heart an old-fashioned story of local girl makes good.”

History in the making

Whatever resulted in Meghan Markle’s divorce continues to play a major role in the discourse about her upcoming nuptials with Prince Harry. Former British MP Ann Widdecombe publicly criticized Markle as not appearing to be “prepared” for the role of the wife of a highly-ranking member of the Royal Family. However, those comments hit a sore point with the House of Windsor.

Meghan Markle will be the “first divorced biracial American to take her place in the House of Windsor,” Morton writes, stressing that in doing so, she “will be making history.”

Both race relations and divorce have been contested issues in the Royal Family, with historic events such as the abdication of Edward VIII or Prince Charles’s reluctant marriage to Diana have shown in the past. Accepting Meghan into the fold of the Royal Family is seen as the latest exercise in the past 20 years to modernize the House of Windsor and its reputation.

A ‘royal’ after all

Meghan Markle’s marriage to Prince Harry highlights not only the more liberal approach to divorce the Royals have taken since Prince Charles’s second marriage to Camilla Parker Bowles in 2005, but also a more relaxed attitude towards race relations.

Over a century ago, Queen Victoria’s friendship with her Indian attendant Abdul Karim caused a major scandal at the royal court — to a point that nearly all documents pertaining to Abdul Karim’s existence were destroyed upon Victoria’s death. These events were recently dramatized in the 2017 movie “Victoria and Abdul,” featuring Judi Dench and Ali Fazal in the lead roles.

But the times have changed since the Victorian era — even within the inner circles of the Royal Household, with reports suggesting that Meghan Markle was warmly welcomed by her future in-laws during Christmas last year.

Read more: Prince Harry’s and Meghan Markle’s German roots

In one point, however, Meghan Markle has failed to stand out. Though technically a “commoner,” Meghan Markle’s paternal bloodline actually goes back to King Robert I of Scotland, who reigned in the early 14th century. Morton also quotes a genealogist, saying Markle is a 24th generation descendant of Edward III, who ruled England during the 14th century. In fact, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, it would appear, are “very, very distant cousins.”

Regardless of race, Meghan Markle’s blood appears to run at least a little bit blue.

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Biker Zone celebrates 5th anniversary this year https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/04/18/biker-zone-celebrates-5th-anniversary-year/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/04/18/biker-zone-celebrates-5th-anniversary-year/#respond Wed, 18 Apr 2018 12:00:55 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=657255 Following the smashing success of the previous four rounds of Biker Zone, the first and most renowned Egyptian event in the field of outdoor sports, adventure sports, extreme sports, motorsports, and bicycles, Phenomena—the organiser of Biker Zone—announced the date for holding the fifth round: 4-5 May 2018 at Cairo Festival City, in a big celebration …

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Following the smashing success of the previous four rounds of Biker Zone, the first and most renowned Egyptian event in the field of outdoor sports, adventure sports, extreme sports, motorsports, and bicycles, Phenomena—the organiser of Biker Zone—announced the date for holding the fifth round: 4-5 May 2018 at Cairo Festival City, in a big celebration for the event’s fifth anniversary.

Over the past four years, Biker Zone has become the talk of the town and attention for many Egyptians of different social classes and ages to become a success story born from a mere idea.

The 2017 edition of Biker Zone welcomed over 14,000 visitors, including 4,000 bikers and cyclers, featured over 70 brands across 35 big exhibitors like Ducati , Havoline, NGK, Yamaha, Nacita, Benelli, and Uber. In addition to a classic cars show, rally teams parade, and some local underground bands such as Pick A Street, visitors were also treated to paragliding, bike stunt shows, and off-track shows

“We are very proud and happy with the success of Biker Zone for the fifth year in a row,” Mahmoud Mazen, managing director of Phenomena said. “This year the event holds many new zones and different great surprises. All lovers of sports of all ages will enjoy themselves and spend a great time with us, which is our main intention from this event. It’s another successful round for Biker Zone with many more to come in the future,” he added.

Biker Zone is considered the first and biggest get-together of all adventure and free sports’ lovers of all kinds, such as motorsports and air bikes, safaris and desert activities, four-wheel-drive vehicles, scouts, capoeira, parkour, and many other creative, free sports, and activities.

This year’s event is held in the presence and under the sponsorship of many multinational companies to introduce several products and services that serve the needs and interests of the event’s visitors.

The fifth round of Biker Zone will witness the launching of several new activities and products. 

Another newly launched zone is the free sports zone Get Moving, which basically aims at supporting, motivating, and showcasing several independent sports that are increasingly being met with strong public support and interest.

The organisers also mentioned that one of the most important zones is the off-road zone, allocated to desert adventurers and lovers of four-wheel-drive cars and desert motorbikes. They also announced the existence of many new surprises and important statements in the coming period.

Yes, it is a different event that happens once a year…gear up for the fifth round!

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Saudi Arabia opens first movie theater with ‘Black Panther’ screening https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/04/18/saudi-arabia-opens-first-movie-theater-with-black-panther-screening/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/04/18/saudi-arabia-opens-first-movie-theater-with-black-panther-screening/#respond Wed, 18 Apr 2018 10:10:00 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=657263 The post Saudi Arabia opens first movie theater with ‘Black Panther’ screening appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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Reforms in Saudi Arabia taking place under Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman include lifting a 35-year ban on cinemas in the desert nation. A showing of “Black Panther” is scheduled for a test screening in Riyadh.For the first time since officials lifted a 35-year ban on cinemas in Saudi Arabia last year as part of a modernization drive in the highly conservative kingdom, a cinema will open for a test screening Wednesday in Riyadh. Movie theaters are set to open to the larger public next month.

Selected for the special occasion is theUS blockbuster “Black Panther,” a super hero story following characters in the fictionalized African nation of Wakanda which has been smashing box office records since its release two months ago.

Read more: Afrofuturism: Between science fiction and reality in Africa

Only a test

“It will be the first in a series of test screenings,” the information ministry’s Center for International Communication told AFP news agency. The screening at the new cinema in the King Abdullah Financial District will be attended by industry specialists in advance of the movie theater opening to the general public in May. Among attendees is Adam Aron, chief executive of AMC Entertainment, which granted the “Black Panther” license.

The cinema is the first of an anticipated 40 cinemas to open 15 cities across the Middle Eastern kingdom over the next five years. International theater chains have long eyed the country as an ideal place for expansion, with its population of 30 million people, a majority of whom are under the age of 25.

At the moment, Saudis splurge on visits to neighboring tourist hubs like Dubai, where they see films and visit amusement parks while on holiday.

Read more: Film ‘A Silent Revolution’ features Saudi women who went straight to the top

A part of a larger reform package

The move to re-open theaters comes as part of a reform package by the kingdom’s 32-year-old leader, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is likewise said to be behind the reforms that will see women driving in the country next June — a practice previously banned — as he has vowed the nation will return to “moderate Islam.”

The cinemas, along with added spending on festivals and concerts, are being opened as bin Salman seeks to balance unpopular subsidy cuts in an era of low oil prices with more entertainment options — despite opposition from religious hardliners.

ct/eg (dpa, AFP)

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China to offer visa-free travel to its own ‘Hawaii’ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/04/18/china-to-offer-visa-free-travel-to-its-own-hawaii/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/04/18/china-to-offer-visa-free-travel-to-its-own-hawaii/#respond Wed, 18 Apr 2018 09:28:00 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=657271 The post China to offer visa-free travel to its own ‘Hawaii’ appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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China unveiled plans Wednesday (April 18) to permit visa-free travel to its southern island of Hainan, as Beijing pushes international tourism to the tropical destination in another step to open up the region.The new policy will start in May and allow travellers from 59 countries to visit Hainan for 30 days visa free, said Qu Yunhai, deputy director of the State Immigration Administration at a press conference in Beijing. Among the countries to be included in the programme are Russia, United States, France, Britain and Germany, according to the official Xinhua news agency.

The new rule will give Hainan less stringent visa requirements than in the rest of China, where travellers have to apply for visas through Chinese consulates abroad. The policy “embodies our resolve and approach to move one step further to opening to the outside world”, Qu said.

The liberalisation comes as part of a package of reforms to remake the island as a free trade zone and a beacon of openness for China.

On Monday, China announced it would allow Hainan to develop horse racing and explore opening new types of lotteries connected to sports and international competitions.

Beijing also said it wants to position Hainan as a “centre of international tourism consumption”, a goal which has faced slow progress despite sandy beaches and massive spending on plush resorts.

The province attracted fewer than a million foreign visitors in 2016 — compared with over seven million in Thailand’s Phuket, according to data compiled by Bloomberg News.

The new policy is being implemented by China’s State Immigration Administration, a new agency formed during a government shuffle announced in March. Previously, some international visitors to the island could avoid China’s visa requirements if they were on a shorter trip and travelling as part of a tour group.

(AFP)

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Why Catalan separatists are singing a traditional German children’s song https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/04/17/why-catalan-separatists-are-singing-a-traditional-german-childrens-song/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/04/17/why-catalan-separatists-are-singing-a-traditional-german-childrens-song/#respond Tue, 17 Apr 2018 09:58:00 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=657143 The post Why Catalan separatists are singing a traditional German children’s song appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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A dusty German children’s song has gained new life after Catalans misheard the lyrics as “Viva Puigdemont” and turned it into a viral sensation. The hashtag #BiBaButzemann now leads to posts from the separatist movement.A German children’s song has become a beloved anthem of Catalan separatists. A woman listening to the radio broadcaster RAC-1 noticed a lyrical similarity between the chorus “Bi-Ba-Butzemann” and the chant, “Viva Puigdemont” (“Long live Puigdemont,” a reference to the ousted president of Catalonia).

Read more: Catalans rally for freedom and return of independence leaders

After the broadcaster played the song repeatedly, the original German folk song went viral on You Tube and Twitter.

Although Germans would say you’d have to bend your ear quite a bit to hear “Viva Puigdemont” in the lyrics, in Spanish, the V and B are pronounced similarly, turning “Bi-Ba” into “Viva.”

People in Catalonia went on to adapt the text at demonstrations held over the weekend, where the melody was played by a variety of musical instruments, including the accordion and drum duet seen in the tweet below.

In one video montage making the rounds online under #bibabutzemann, clips of Spanish Prime Minister Mariano, dancing at a wedding, are spliced with the song over the top.

The original song

In the German traditional folk song, children sing the lyrics “Es tanzt ein Bi-Ba-Butzemann” in alliteration as they tell of a Bogeyman who comes in at night. He dances and shakes his hips in the hallways of a house just before bedtime, distributing apples from a sack to all the good kids.

First appearing in Germany in a book by one of the Grimm brothers in 1808, the song was used as a warning to stay away from the demons, who will tempt them.

ct/eg (with dpa)

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High Five: 5 bizarre nicknames you wouldn’t supect are used for Queen Elizabeth https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/04/17/high-five-5-bizarre-nicknames-you-wouldnt-supect-are-used-for-queen-elizabeth/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/04/17/high-five-5-bizarre-nicknames-you-wouldnt-supect-are-used-for-queen-elizabeth/#respond Tue, 17 Apr 2018 07:57:00 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=657152 The post High Five: 5 bizarre nicknames you wouldn’t supect are used for Queen Elizabeth appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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The British monarch is also a great-grandma and a wife, which is why the Queen doesn’t only have official names and titles, but also different unsuspected nicknames.Commonly known as Queen Elizabeth or the Queen, her full name is Her Majesty Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Mountbatten-Windsor.

Elizabeth is also her mother’s name; her second name pays tribute to her great-grandmother, Alexandra of Denmark, and her third name to her two aunts, Princess Mary, Countess of Harewood, and Lady Mary Elphinstone.

Her family name combines her royal house, Windsor, and the family name of her husband, Prince Philip.

Until 1917, the royals didn’t use family names and they still aren’t very common today. While they were serving in the military, Prince Harry and William used “Wales,” a name based on their father’s title, Prince of Wales.

Read more: 5 European celebrities whose real names you’ve probably never heard of

If you’re a normal person and want to address the Queen, there are strict protocol rules to follow. When you meet her, you must keep quiet until she talks to you first. You are to correctly address her with “Your Majesty” and subsequently “Ma’am.”

Of course, the etiquette doesn’t apply to her family members. Like in most families, they use their own nicknames for the Queen. Our High Five ranking above reveals them, while the gallery below explores five unusual gifts given to the British monarch.

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SOMA gallery to host Youssef Ragheb’s Full Fathom Five exhibition https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/04/16/soma-gallery-host-youssef-raghebs-full-fathom-five-exhibition/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/04/16/soma-gallery-host-youssef-raghebs-full-fathom-five-exhibition/#respond Mon, 16 Apr 2018 19:29:37 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=657116 The Cairo-based SOMA art gallery will host an exhibition by artist Youssef Ragheb, named Full Fathom Five, which opens on 17 April and will last until 7 May. The exhibition will include text and images, which will move in parallel narratives, but will also briefly cross paths. The concept behind the exhibition is to show …

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The Cairo-based SOMA art gallery will host an exhibition by artist Youssef Ragheb, named Full Fathom Five, which opens on 17 April and will last until 7 May.

The exhibition will include text and images, which will move in parallel narratives, but will also briefly cross paths.

The concept behind the exhibition is to show a “metaphorical account of the transformation process taking place in four stages: battle for survival, dementia, death/transformation, and beyond. The narratives morph both visually and contextually, according to the nature of the stage from the physical to the metaphysical,” according to a press release from the gallery.

Ragheb is a freelance illustrator and an art professor. He obtained a BA, an MA, and a PhD from the Faculty of Art Education of Helwan University. He has been exhibiting his work in Egypt and in other galleries all over the world since 1995.

He teaches at his alma mater and is also an instructor at SOMA Art School. He is also an affiliate adjunct faculty at the American University in Cairo.

“In our continuous support and pride for Egypt’s contemporary artists, we are happy to announce a unique exhibition,” Ragheb said.

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A famous Viking king’s treasure discovered on German Baltic Sea Island https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/04/16/a-famous-viking-kings-treasure-discovered-on-german-baltic-sea-island/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/04/16/a-famous-viking-kings-treasure-discovered-on-german-baltic-sea-island/#respond Mon, 16 Apr 2018 11:22:00 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=657040 The post A famous Viking king’s treasure discovered on German Baltic Sea Island appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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Archaeologists are thrilled with the discovery of a valuable cache of silver from the late 10th century on Germany’s largest island, with coins linked to the legendary Danish king Harald “Bluetooth” Gormsson.Archaeologists have unearthed bracelets, necklaces, rings, beads and brooches across an area of some 400 square meters (around 4,300 sq. feet) near Schaprode on the German island Rügen. They also discovered a so-called Thor’s Hammer pendent, as well as around 600 coins, 100 of which can be linked to the reign of the legendary Danish king Harald “Bluetooth” Gormsson. Bluetooth lived from 910 to 987.

Read more: Atacama mummy mystery solved: Alien-like skeleton was a human

‘Great significance’

“This treasure is the largest single discovery of Bluetooth coins in the southern Baltic Sea region and is therefore of great significance,” said Michael Schirren, archaeologist and excavation director with the State Office for the Preservation of Culture and Historical Monuments in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.

On the neighboring island of Hiddensee, gold jewelry linked to Bluetooth and his contemporaries was discovered back in 1872 and 1874.

King Bluetooth

Bluetooth (“Blåtand” in Danish), who was born a Viking, is considered the founder of the Danish Empire. He united Scandinavia, established Christianity there and initiated reforms. Historians report that, after losing a battle in the Baltic Sea region to his son Sven Gabelbart, the controversial ruler fled to Pomerania in 986, where he died one year later.

Incidentally, the Viking king’s nickname, inspired by his dead tooth with a shade of blue, was picked up Swedish company Ericsson to name its wireless technology standard, Bluetooth. The “B” of the company’s logo is also Bluetooth’s initials written in ancient Danish runes.

ls/eg (with dpa)

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Lost in Space: A family journey in outer space https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/04/16/lost-space-family-journey-outer-space/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/04/16/lost-space-family-journey-outer-space/#respond Mon, 16 Apr 2018 10:00:53 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=656992 Netflix’s latest reboot of 1960s hit show features fractures of modern families, struggles of rebounding

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“It’s a story about a normal family in extraordinary circumstances” as the show’s stars describe it. Like millions of “next door” families, the Robinsons are a family that fights to rebound their shattered relationships; except that instead of spending a day out together at a mall, the Robinsons take a trip to space where they get lost and bonding becomes their only way to get out.

Lost in Space is Netflix’s latest series which just went online on Friday 13 April. Rebooted from the show that was once a huge hit in the 1960s, the series is set 30 years from now, when Earth is no longer a livable planet and discovering new worlds for humans to restart their lives has becomes a must.

Starring Molly Parker and Toby Stephens, the sci-fi drama show takes audiences to a mysterious frozen world, where the spaceship of the Robinsons crashes, letting them discover along with the family the surrounding danger, aliens, and constant fear, as well as the road to fix the shattered ties bounding the family members.

Daily News Egypt met the stars of Lost in Space in Dubai, where they celebrated the premiere of their show, and discussed how it presents perspectives that are no longer far from expected nowadays.

The Robinsons are one of the many other families who are sent to different planets across outer space after Earth has been devastated with wars and pollution and civilisation has broken down because the planet had become inhabitable

Featuring the reality of family bonds

The Robinsons are one of the many other families who are sent to different planets across outer space after Earth has been devastated with wars and pollution and civilisation has broken down because the planet had become inhabitable. On their way to what they once believed to be a “paradise planet”, the spaceship gets lost and crashes on another one, which is far from what they had expected.

While exploring the living creatures on the planet, the family deals with the fact that they are exploring as much about themselves as well. Through flashbacks, audiences slowly collect the missing puzzles of the reasons behind the absent family bond.

Unlike the 1960s version, the show presents a modern aspect of families’ lives, where the family is actually broken, connections are deeply disturbed, and ties are almost worn-out. With a separated husband, John (Toby Stephens), and wife, Maureen (Molly Parker), and a wrecked relation between the father and his children due to his absence most of their lives, the plot also features the struggles of rebounding that becomes essential for their survival.

“The 60s was the era in which people often had the image of idealising families. Nowadays, our idea of a normal family looks more like these people in the show; it is a splendid family, with parents as strangers and the children coming up against real obstacles,” Parker said.

“If it’s going to be a family show, then the families have to recognise themselves through the screen. We had to present normal families, and modern families are all complicated,” said Stephens.

In his role, John is an army soldier who does not know any language but violence and orders. With the continuous wars Earth had been subjected to, emotions for him are a talent he no longer masters.

He noted that while the writers were working on the show, they made sure that overcoming the families’ personal issues was an element as important as fighting the exterior problems that are happening on the planet.

As the plot unfolds, each of the family members start recognising that they need to change in order to fix their dysfunctional relationships.

“I believe that audiences nowadays are much more sophisticated than the ones who were watching the original Lost in Space. I don’t think anyone would care about whether they make it out of the planet or not, if they did not care first about whether their relationships would get fixed or not,” Parker noted.

While the family struggles to overcome their lost bond, Maureen Robinson, the mother, plays the dominant role in the main key that saves the family and leads them towards their way out.

Female leading role

While the family struggles to overcome their lost bond, Maureen Robinson, the mother, plays the dominant role in the main key that saves the family and leads them towards their way out.

“The role of Mauren is, untypically, written in a much more male form when it comes to personality,” as Parker describes it. “She is a science expert, a logical person, and seeks to find a solution to every problem; something she aims to cover with her lack of emotional intelligence.”

The show offers a large scale of women empowerment, not only with the dominance of female actresses, but also by portraying the mother as the leading family member who first initiated the space trip and follows that with her decisions to get them out of it. 

“When I was first approached about doing the show, I was told that Maureen is the leader and the hero of the show,” Parker said.

As she went on, Parker mentioned that one of the things she liked the most about her role is that it highlights women’s strength without actually directly mentioning it.

“As the show displays it, 30 years from now, not only is Maureen as capable—if not more—as John in dealing with crisis and taking care of her family, but nobody even talks about it,” she said.

According to her, female empowerment is not a point of discussion in the series, “because hopefully, 30 years from now, we would not have to be talking about whether women are strong. We all know that they are!”.

However, the show also manages to portray the leading woman whom every other character follows as a human being with lots of troubling issues.

“It’s great to play a woman who is as capable as Maureen but still has her own flows and fights. She’s very demanding with some serious issues,” Parker added.

The Robinson children’s message to the world

The Robinson’s three children play a remarkable role in portraying the effect of a family’s loosened connections on children. Taylor Russell plays the role of Judy, the strong-willed and confident older sister who comes from the mother’s previous marriage, while Mina Sundwall portrays Penny, the middle sister who is always quick-witted and definitive. Meanwhile, the youngest child, Will, is portrayed by Maxwell Jenkins, and is the most sensitive, creative child who sees the good in everyone and makes friends with robots.

The young artists believe that their roles send great messages to those around their age who watch the show, as they see that the show features uncommon circumstances, yet, the children’s personalities have much in common with everyone else’s.

From their point of view, family is the main theme of the show, which is always presented in the slogan they keep saying: “the Robinsons stick together.”

“Despite the fracture of the family, the family soon realises that they have to stick together and I believe that is the most important message that can be sent,” Jenkins told Daily News Egypt.

In his role, Jenkins plays the character of the sweet-hearted, brave, and innocent child who would dig deep until he sees the good seed inside of everyone he sees, which makes him the first to form friendships with the robots of the planet.

“I love that Will is capable of looking beyond the exterior in anyone and tries to find something in common between both of them. Even when he meets a robot, he is still able to find the good inside of it,” Jenkins said, explaining the reasons he was attracted to the role of Will.

He further added that the message Will can deliver is highlighting how people can accept others’ differences. “I think that this is a quality in a perfect world we’d all love to have,” he added.

Jenkins mentioned that he believes that Will’s main message would be reaching out to others.

“If someone watches Lost in Space and connects to the relationship Will shares with the robot, it would probably teach him to reach for someone he would not probably do; someone who is probably alone and scared just like the robot was,” he concluded.

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Egyptian photography project Banned Beauty wins top prize in World Press Photo Contest https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/04/15/egyptian-photography-project-banned-beauty-wins-top-prize-world-press-photo-contest/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/04/15/egyptian-photography-project-banned-beauty-wins-top-prize-world-press-photo-contest/#respond Sun, 15 Apr 2018 08:00:22 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=656883 Project documents Cameroonian girls’ breast ironing, stories beyond it

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An out-of-focus black and white portrait captures a young girl with a wide gaze looking directly into the camera in anguish, despite her emotionless features, while her tiny breasts are tightly wrapped with a piece of cloth to prevent them from growing. The image was one of several others that were captured by Egyptian photographer Heba Khamis, leading her to win first prize in the World Press Photo Contest this year, becoming the third Egyptian photographer to ever be granted the award.

Most of the captured shots were intentionally taken out of focus, depicting the girls’ emotional condition
(Photo from Heba Khamis official website)

Under the name Banned Beauty, Khamis featured the stories of young girls in Cameroon who get their breasts ironed in order to prevent them from growing, due the belief of their mothers that this reduces their chances of being raped and hopefully saves them.

In a set of black and white portraits, she documented the brutality of girls who go through breast ironing, mostly under the age of 10, at the hands of their own mothers and grandmothers. Meanwhile, her portraits offered another perspective; their mothers’ love mixed with agony in doing such acts to their daughters.

By documenting several mothers massaging their young daughters’ breasts with hot stones or heavy sticks in order to prevent their breasts from developing, Khamis spotlighted how largely common the act is among Cameroonians, adding the stories of most of the girls that allowed her to capture them while undergoing the painful process that lasts for a month on a daily basis.

Flattening breasts is a habit that remained globally unknown, until 2006, when the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) discovered it accidently. According to the statistics published with the photo series, local NGOs estimated that around 25% of women in Cameroon have undergone some form of breast flattening; in some areas that rises to over 50%. The habit also spreads across neighbouring countries in west and central Africa.

Most of the girls Khamis featured in her project are aged between seven and 11. The methods used to flatten their breasts are usually either with a hot stone or a thick wooden stick and stone to pressure the breasts, preventing them from growing.

Most of the girls Khamis featured in her project verify between seven and 11 
(Photo from Heba Khamis official website)

Meanwhile, most of the captured shots were intentionally taken out of focus. With the emotionless faces and the surrendering bodies, Khamis featured the agony, instability, and misery these girls endure.

Graduating from the Faculty of Arts of Alexandria University, Khamis shifted her career to photography to specialise in documentary photography, focusing on social and humanitarian issues in Africa.

Khamis is the third Egyptian photographer to win this award after Mohammed Gad had won third place for his documenting of late president Anwar Al-Sadat’s assassination in 1981, and photographer Mohammed Al-Lou also won third place for his photograph of former president Hosni Mubarak during his trial in 2011. 

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Man Booker International Prize 2018 shortlist celebrates indie publishers https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/04/13/man-booker-international-prize-2018-shortlist-celebrates-indie-publishers/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/04/13/man-booker-international-prize-2018-shortlist-celebrates-indie-publishers/#respond Fri, 13 Apr 2018 09:46:00 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=656808 The post Man Booker International Prize 2018 shortlist celebrates indie publishers appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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With story settings ranging from the Parisian music scene to the invaded streets of Baghdad, the international edition of the prestigious British literary prize shortlists diverse titles all published independently.Six authors and their translators are competing for the €58,000 ($71,000) Man Booker International Prize, including four European language titles, one South Korean and an Arabic work by an Iraqi author.

The prize is a counterpart to the Man Booker Prize for English-language novels and is open to books published in any language that have been translated into English.

Following the announcement of the shortlist on Thursday, the prize’s judging panel’s chairwoman, Lisa Appignanesi, said the nominees promised “sparkling encounters with prose in translation.”

Read more: George Saunders wins Man Booker Prize

“We have mesmeric meditations, raucous, sexy, state-of-the-nation stories, haunting sparseness and sprawling tales; enigmatic cabinets of curiosity, and daring acts of imaginative projection,” she said in a statement.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, such diversity of authors and stories all hail from independent publishers.

“The World Goes On,” a collection of stories by Hungarian author Laszlo Krasznahorkai, who also won the 2015 prize (top picture) when it celebrated an author’s career instead of an individual book, was published by indie Tuskar Rock Press. The publisher has two titles vying for the prize, with “Like a Fading Shadow,” Spanish writer Antonio Munoz Molina’s story of the assassin of Martin Luther King Jr, also making the shortlist.

Read more: A perfect list ‘for Donald Trump’s birthday’: Man Booker prize reveals 2017 shortlist

Other nominees included Ahmed Saadawi’s “Frankenstein in Baghdad,” which depicts real and imaginary horrors after the US-led invasion of Iraq, as well as “The White Book” by South Korea’s Han Kang, who won in 2016 for “The Vegetarian.” French writer Virginie Despentes’ “Vernon Subutex 1,” a journey through Paris’ bohemian underworld and Polish novelist Olga Tokarczuk’s novel of travel, “Flights,” were also shortlisted.

The winner will be announced on May 22 at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, with the prize money shared between the author and translator.

Read more: Korean writer Han Kang’s success ‘represents a change’

sb/eg (AFP, AP)

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13 cultural references that made Friday the 13th unlucky https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/04/13/13-cultural-references-that-made-friday-the-13th-unlucky/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/04/13/13-cultural-references-that-made-friday-the-13th-unlucky/#respond Fri, 13 Apr 2018 09:36:00 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=656809 The post 13 cultural references that made Friday the 13th unlucky appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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Through myths, books and films, Friday the 13th has become an unusual day — even for those who aren’t superstitious. The makers of the same-named movies might know a thing or two about this.In 1980, a slasher film featuring a masked killer was shot on a budget of $550,000 — and obtained nearly $60 million at the international box office. “Friday the 13th” has since turned into a franchise that includes not only many movies, but also novels, comic books, documentaries, video games and game boards.

Jason, the iconic fictional character haunting Camp Crystal Lake, is a cult figure that is even reproduced in hipster tattoo designs. His hockey mask is one of the best-known images of horror movie culture.

If the US horror franchise is mostly associated to the genre’s popularity in the ’80s, a few more sequels were released after that infamous decade. The 12th slasher in the series was released in 2009.

Since that year, a 13th sequel to the 2009 reboot has been rumored to be in the works. The initial release date was announced for August 13, 2010. It was then pulled from that slot and the project was put on hold.

Ever since a script has been completed in 2011, different release dates have been announced — always on a Friday 13, obviously. Yet producers have kept pushing that date back.

The last planned release date was October 13, 2017, but the project was officially shut down in February 2017. It’s perhaps not that surprising: After all, it’s the 13th film — and there’s something about that number…

Click through the gallery above to discover more cultural references that contributed to the Friday the 13th superstition.

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‘Witch It’ wins top prizes at German Computer Games Awards https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/04/11/witch-it-wins-top-prizes-at-german-computer-games-awards/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/04/11/witch-it-wins-top-prizes-at-german-computer-games-awards/#respond Wed, 11 Apr 2018 09:21:00 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=656675 The post ‘Witch It’ wins top prizes at German Computer Games Awards appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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The most important prize in the country’s gaming industry, the German Computer Games Awards selects innovative games in 14 categories. This year’s winners include “Huxley,” “Assassin’s Creed Origins” and “Townsmen VR.”The German Computer Games Awards (Deutscher Computerspielpreis), were presented on Wednesday in Munich. First awarded in 2009, it is the most prestigious accolade in the German game industry, recognizing innovative and educational games mainly produced in the country.

Hide and seek with ‘Witch it’

This year’s big star was “Witch it,” by Hamburg-based indie developers Barrel Roll Games. Their new title won in the category Best German Game, Best International Multiplayer Game as well as Best Youth Game.

“Witch It” is a multi-player hide-and-seek game set in a medieval world where farmers need to join forces in order to chase witches in their village. The witches can turn into objects, which makes them hard to find. Players need to work together to catch them.

Read more: Germany to recognize eSports as an official sport

Escape game meets VR technology: ‘Huxley’

Escape VR, Berlin-based developers specialized in virtual reality environments, won in the category Best Innovation with their game “Huxley.”

The virtual reality adventure allows up to eight players to participate in a mission at the same time. Equipped with VR glasses, they need to find their way out of the escape room. For now, the game can only be played in Berlin, but other locations are already being planned.

‘Townsmen VR’ — another virtual reality game

The winner in the category Best Design, “Townsmen VR,” is also set in a medieval context. HandyGames, indie developers headquartered in Giebelstadt, came up with this historical strategy game with an innovative style.

The aesthetics of the game and the perspective of the village are reminiscent of the virtual god video game “Black & White,” which was highly acclaimed when it came out in 2001.

As in “Black & White,” players in “Townsmen VR” can use their virtual hands to get involved in the action of the game and speed up the progress of the village. VR technology creates effects that feel impressively real.

Read more: How video game makers are expanding storytelling for adults

Learning geometry in a playful way with ‘Monkey Swag’

Going on a treasure hunt with pirates is certainly more fun than plain geometry, and that’s what “Monkey Swag” is all about. The players hardly notice that they are learning through the treasure hunt, adding to the game’s educational value. The developers, Tiny Crocodile Studios and kunst-stoff, won in the category Best Children’s Game.

Read more: Countries with the highest computer game sales

Recognizing young talents: ‘Ernas Unheil’

Another game that was recognized for its educational value was “Ernas Unheil” (Erna’s mischief). The award went to its five young female developers, who are students of the University of Applied Sciences in Berlin.

The designers created a mystery game for children based on a book. If you only read the book, however, you won’t understand the story. Readers find their way through the adventure with an app. “By combining an app with a book, we aimed to make books more interesting for children,” explains Lisa Forsch, one of the five developers. Depending on which decisions are made, the children reach one of 24 different exits.

A journey in Ancient Egypt with ‘Assassin’s Creed Origins’

Although the German Computer Games Awards mainly recognize German titles, there is also a Best International Game category. The award went to “Assassin’s Creed Origins.”

The latest episode of the popular adventure series, set in Ancient Egypt, features outstanding design and a lot of action.

The recognition given to French game developer Ubisoft is a symbolic one, while the other awards come with prize money to help develop the German gaming industry.

The Association of German Games Industry and the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, the co-sponsors of the endowment, invested a total of €560,000 ($692,000) in the 2018 awards — €10,000 more than the previous year. A 55-member jury decided on the winners in 14 categories from a total of 432 candidates. The focus is on promoting innovative, culturally relevant or educational computer and video games primarily produced in Germany.

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Upper Egyptian identity revived in spearing competition https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/04/10/upper-egyptian-identity-revived-spearing-competition/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/04/10/upper-egyptian-identity-revived-spearing-competition/#respond Tue, 10 Apr 2018 12:00:26 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=656405   Far away from the city’s modernism that demolished the inherited Egyptian identity, citizens of Upper Egypt still hold on to their elders’ cultural rituals, which “El-Mermah” (Spearing) is one of. El-Mermah is the oldest fencing competition in the history of Egypt. On their horses, young men of Upper Egypt, especially in the region’s south, …

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Far away from the city’s modernism that demolished the inherited Egyptian identity, citizens of Upper Egypt still hold on to their elders’ cultural rituals, which “El-Mermah” (Spearing) is one of.

El-Mermah is the oldest fencing competition in the history of Egypt. On their horses, young men of Upper Egypt, especially in the region’s south, gather annually to showcase their abilities of fencing while riding on their horses, as well as exhibiting their abilities of dancing with their horses.

Hundreds of young men train on a daily basis for this competition, of which the winner holds the social honour of mastering dealing with horses and fencing.

The competition is usually divided into two parts: the first is where the participants compete to achieve higher points by reaching the body of their opponent, while the other is the art of dancing with the horse while riding it to the bass of drums.

The competition still holds significant cultural importance in Upper Egypt. While hundreds travel from different cities to participate in it, thousands of people come to witness the intense competition in which art is mixed with sports.

The spearers are seen as knights of sorts. Back in the old days, having such abilities was essential for wars. However, thousands of years later, the social view of the person holding the winning title of El-Mermah competition still holds a respectful, honoured place in the whole Upper Egyptian community.

All photographs taken by Ahmed Dream.

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‘The Simpsons’ fires back in political correctness controversy in TV and books https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/04/10/the-simpsons-fires-back-in-political-correctness-controversy-in-tv-and-books/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/04/10/the-simpsons-fires-back-in-political-correctness-controversy-in-tv-and-books/#respond Tue, 10 Apr 2018 09:17:00 +0000 https://dailynewsegyptcom-mokannggxlave7h.stackpathdns.com/?p=656533 The post ‘The Simpsons’ fires back in political correctness controversy in TV and books appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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The latest episode responded to comedian Hari Kondabolu, who had criticized the show’s portrayal of its Indian character, Apu. “The Simpsons” also feeds into to a larger debate about updating literature.In Sunday’s episode of the popular TV show “The Simpsons,” Marge Simpson picks up her favorite childhood book, “The Princess in the Garden.” Soon after beginning to read the book aloud to her daughter, Lisa, Marge realizes the book is offensive and racist, and she sets out to reword it into a version that is more appropriate for 2018.

Read more: 100 days of Trump: The Simpsons take stock

But the resulting tome no longer makes sense. Deflated, Marge says: “It takes a lot of work to take the spirit and character out of the book … what am I supposed to do?”

Turning to speak to the show’s viewers, Lisa responds: “It’s hard to say. Something that started decades ago and was applauded and inoffensive is now politically incorrect. What can you do?”

The two suggest, “some things will be addressed at a later date, if at all,” while the screen pans out to show a framed picture of Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, an Indian immigrant shop owner and a long-running Simpsons’ character who critics have accused of perpetuating racist and stereotypical images of South Asian immigrants in the US.

Read more: Celebrating 30 years of Lisa Simpson’s environmental activism

The bedtime story scene was “The Simpsons” production team’s response to the latest controversy over Apu raised by Indian-American comedian Hari Kondabolu. The comedian wrote and starred in the documentary “The Problem with Apu,” directed by Michael Melamedoff, which used Apu as a reference point to explore how the media pushes problematic stereotypes of South Asians. The film, which premiered last November, interviewed actors of South Asian descent such as Aziz Ansari, Aasif Mandvi and Kal Penn.

The response of the show, known for lampooning current social and political topics, was hardly satisfactory for Kondabolu.

Kondabolu took to Twitter, writing: “Wow. “Politically Incorrect?” That’s the takeaway from my movie & the discussion it sparked? Man, I really loved this show. This is sad.”

He also argued that the response of “The Simpsons” was not a personal attack on him, but rather a broader indication of the difficulty surrounding the evolution of media representation in response to shifting societal understanding of stereotypes and discrimination.

The topic of changing a television, movie and literature content to suit the times is hardly new.

Overtly racist language is, understandably, one of the first things to go when a fictional work is updated. Even some classic books had titles that seem preposterous by today’s standards.

For example, the well-known murder mystery, “And Then There were None,” by Agatha Christie, was orginally titled after a British blackface song that included a racial slur.

The gallery above takes a look at some of the books that have been updated in English or in German to fit the times.

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Egypt marks beginning of spring with Sham Ennessim celebrations https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/04/09/egypt-marks-beginning-spring-sham-ennessim-celebrations/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/04/09/egypt-marks-beginning-spring-sham-ennessim-celebrations/#respond Mon, 09 Apr 2018 16:42:26 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=656513 Thousands of Egyptians took to public and private gardens, amusement parks, hotels, and boats to celebrate the ancient holiday of Sham Ennessim. Once a date to mark the start of spring for ancient Egyptians, beginning the harvest season, the holiday has taken a more secular turn to become celebrated by the majority of Egyptians, regardless …

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Thousands of Egyptians took to public and private gardens, amusement parks, hotels, and boats to celebrate the ancient holiday of Sham Ennessim.

Once a date to mark the start of spring for ancient Egyptians, beginning the harvest season, the holiday has taken a more secular turn to become celebrated by the majority of Egyptians, regardless of religion.

Although opposed by ultraconservative Islamists as an “un-Islamic,” as it is derived from ancient Egyptian methodology, in relation to agriculture, and as it is falls on the Monday directly following Orthodox Easter Sunday. Egypt’s major Islamic institutions have allowed the celebrations.

Egyptians eat mostly fish-oriented cuisine, especially salted grey mullet, known as feseekh.

Celebrations often take place in outdoor places, and depending on social class, they include gatherings at public parks, picnics by the Nile, and parties at up-scale hotels.

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French film icon Jean-Paul Belmondo at 85: his most memorable roles https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/04/09/french-film-icon-jean-paul-belmondo-at-85-his-most-memorable-roles/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/04/09/french-film-icon-jean-paul-belmondo-at-85-his-most-memorable-roles/#respond Mon, 09 Apr 2018 10:04:00 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=656510 The post French film icon Jean-Paul Belmondo at 85: his most memorable roles appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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“I would say I’ve done everything I wanted to,” says Jean-Paul Belmondo. Take a trip down memory lane as the star of the French New Wave and countless gangster movies celebrates his 85th birthday."You really suck," says Jean-Paul Belmondo playing small-time criminal Michel Poiccard at the end of "Breathless," a 1960 movie directed by Jean-Luc Godard. It's with this sentence that the career of this now-legendary French actor took off.

It wasn't his first film, but it was his breakthrough. At the age of 26, he embodied the free spirited French rebel who accepts no rules except his own.

Read more: 'The Death of Stalin': The film that dares viewers to laugh about the Russian dictator

With his role in "Breathless," he became one of the central figures of French New Wave cinema of the late 1950s and 1960s. It was the cinema of the unconventional, independent and unpredictable; its directors dared to innovate and create new aesthetics.

Jean-Luc Godard, Francois Truffaut and Claude Chabrol — three major directors of the cinema of that era — all wanted Belmondo in front of their cameras.

Workaholic, chameleon and male icon

Looking at Belmondo's career, one can have little doubt that he enjoyed his job.

Out of the 80 movies in his filmography, half were shot in the 1960s. His roles have also shown that he is a versatile performer who is not afraid of taking up very different roles. Even though people may know him mainly from crime and thriller features where he portrayed gangsters or cops, he also starred in melodramas with Romy Schneider and Alain Delon.

Read more: Cold-blooded killer and sex symbol: The cult roles of Alain Delon

His distinctive features and typically macho attitude made him shine in many films of the 1970s and 1980s. During those decades, he starred in his most popular titles, including "The Professional," whose theme song by Ennio Morricone made the film famous across the world.

Belmondo was his own stuntman

He didn't need a stunt double for the many dangerous and spectacular scenes he took part in — he did them himself.

In the 1980s, he made fewer films and returned to his theatrical roots by performing in classical theater productions.

Read more: 'Black Panther' bumps 'Frozen' off top 10 movie list

His health took a turn in 2001 when he was admitted to a Paris hospital after suffering a stroke. The actor had to laboriously learn to speak and walk again. However, as soon as he was healthy, he was back on stage.

Still a superstar at 85

His most recent film, "A Man and His Dog," was released in 2009. However, it was a flop with critics and the public. Belmondo later apologized for the work, but acknowledged that the film had helped him overcome the effects of his stroke.

In 2010, Belmondo was honored by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association for his life's work. A year later, he received the Golden Palm in Cannes. Venice also honored the actor in 2016 with a Golden Lion, and in 2017 he received the César award in Paris.

Although he has not shot movies for a long time and prefers to live a quiet life, Belmondo is still celebrated as a superstar in France. When asked what he wanted most on his 80th birthday, he replied: "Life, life, life, life."

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Münster: a sleepy city of culture turns into a crime scene https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/04/07/munster-a-sleepy-city-of-culture-turns-into-a-crime-scene/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/04/07/munster-a-sleepy-city-of-culture-turns-into-a-crime-scene/#respond Sat, 07 Apr 2018 17:50:00 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=656487 The post Münster: a sleepy city of culture turns into a crime scene appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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Münster is well-known throughout Germany and beyond as a lively student city with lots of culture. The city made global news when a van was driven into a crowd in the old town.Several people were killed and injured when a van was reported to have rammed into a crowd in the city Münster on Saturday afternoon.

The city is known for its quaint architecture and teeming student life. With one of the highest student populations in the country, Münster’s Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität (WMU) is also considered one of the best universities in the country – especially for the legal profession.

Münster is also recognized beyond Germany for its famous cathedral, its historic architecture and its lively cultural scene. Because of all its attractions, the city in the western German state of North Rhine-Westphalia remains a tourist magnet throughout the year.

A hub for culture

Münster’s ancient architecture was nearly completely destroyed in World War II. It dates back all the way to medieval times.

The city with a population of 300,000 draws many visitors each year.

It has won the award of being Germany’s most bicycle-friendly city. There are nearly twice as many bicycles in Münster as people.

The city is surrounded by romantic landscapes and inviting hiking trails.

The city also attracts visitors for its rich cultural scene. Once every ten years, it hosts the “Münster Sculpture Projects” highlighting sculptural art from around the globe. The event attracts more than half a million visitors, and most recently took place in 2017.

German television viewers are also highly familiar with the layout and overall look of the city thanks to the popular “Tatort” show, which airs on Sundays. Every couple of weeks, an episode of “Tatort” takes viewers to Münster, where Police Officer Frank Thiel investigates the latest crimes. Having become a crime scene itself, the city will have to take its time to reel from the events of April 07.

From May 09 to 13, the city will host the German Catholic Convention (“Katholikentag”), which takes on the motto “finding peace” this year. Until then, the city will have to look for its own peace after the tragic events.

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More than a ladies’ man: The new Casanova Museum explores the man behind the myth https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/04/06/more-than-a-ladies-man-the-new-casanova-museum-explores-the-man-behind-the-myth-2/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/04/06/more-than-a-ladies-man-the-new-casanova-museum-explores-the-man-behind-the-myth-2/#respond Fri, 06 Apr 2018 12:36:00 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=656416 The post More than a ladies’ man: The new Casanova Museum explores the man behind the myth appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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Giacomo Casanova is known worldwide as a ladies’ man, but he was much more: a priest, a spy and a writer. He now has a museum dedicated to him in Venice.Venice has a new attraction that’s sure to delight many tourists: the Casanova Museum and Experience.

Founder Carlo Parodi remembers noticing throngs of tourists wandering in search of a sign pointing out the house on Calle della Commedia where Giacomo Casanova was born on April 2, 1725. That gave him the idea to open a museum honoring the city’s famous son, the first of its kind, in the city’s grand Palazzo Pesaro Papafava.

The Venetian lover seduced many beautiful woman in palaces like the one that now houses an exhibition about him. He was, however, more than a notorious seducer of ladies.

Read more: How to avoid the tourist masses in Venice

Playboy, priest and poet

The exhibition seeks to show Casanova as “the man beyond the myth.” It gives viewers a glimpse of eighteenth-century Venice and shows what makes Casanova an “eclectic and complex character, even today,” according to the museum’s curator.

Casanova, Parodi says, was a great thinker, writer and philosopher who has unjustly gone down in history as a great seducer of women. The museum shines a light on the many other aspects of his personality, professions and callings. After all, he was a poet, writer, diplomat and secret agent.

Although no one knows where Casanova’s is buried, his life philosophy remains alive today. As he once said: “I have loved women, even to madness, but I have always loved liberty better.”

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‘Grotesque’ selfies banned at Cannes Film Festival https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/04/05/grotesque-selfies-banned-at-cannes-film-festival/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/04/05/grotesque-selfies-banned-at-cannes-film-festival/#respond Thu, 05 Apr 2018 08:27:00 +0000 https://ddkjdg95759587fkbf.ceoarabic.com/?p=656321 The post ‘Grotesque’ selfies banned at Cannes Film Festival appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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Is this the end of the red carpet selfie hunters? The director of France’s glamour film festival says that violators of the newly imposed selfie ban will not be let in to see films.Thousands of festival goers take selfies every year as film stars walk the red carpet at the French Riviera film festival.

But that relatively recent tradition has come to an abrupt end: In an interview on French radio on Wednesday, Cannes Film Festival director Thierry Fremaux announced that red carpet selfies will be banned this year — and likely in the future.

Fremaux said that masses of selfie hunters cause the festival to become “disorganized” and the program to “run late.” But he also cited aesthetic concerns. “[Selfies] are not beautiful,” he said. “They are grotesque. They are ridiculous. We want to restore a bit of decency.”

He did not, however, explain how the ban will be enforced.

Read more: Cate Blanchett to head Cannes film festival jury

No flats — or Netflix

Cannes Film Festival is famous for its many rules. After flat shoes were arbitrarily banned from the red carpet in 2015, a number of women were dismissed from the premiere of the Cate Blanchett film “Carol” because they weren’t wearing heels. The rule-bound festival organizers soon drew the ire of Hollywood actresses like Emily Blunt, who said it was “very disappointing” and that she prefers to wear Converse sneakers.

The selfie ban follows on the heels of the March announcement that Netflix feature films are prohibited from entering the Cannes competition.

Read more: Opinion: The showdown between Netflix and Cannes

“Any film which is selected to compete will have to be released in theaters,” explained Fremaux in a recent interview with Variety.

“Last year, I thought I could convince Netflix but they refused [to release films in theaters]. That’s their economic model, and I respect it,” he said, adding: “But we are all about cinema and we wish to have films that play in competition get released in theaters. That’s the model of film lovers and Netflix must respect it as well.”

Fremaux also stressed that this year’s event, which runs May 8-19, will address gender disparity in the film industry by ensuring an equal proportion of women staff at the festival, and especially in “selection committees” so as to highlight the “importance of the ‘female gaze’ during the selection process.”

Read more: What a history-making Oscar nomination reveals about gender equality in Hollywood

“The world is not the same since the Weinstein case; it has woken up. And it’s fortunate,” he explained.

jt/sb (AP, AFP)

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Tahya Misr Fund enhances living conditions of Upper Egypt’s citizens https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/04/04/tahya-misr-fund-enhances-living-conditions-upper-egypts-citizens/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/04/04/tahya-misr-fund-enhances-living-conditions-upper-egypts-citizens/#respond Wed, 04 Apr 2018 13:00:17 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=656146 Away from the beauty of Nubia, where tourists always go and become fascinated by the quietness and peace that surrounds the houses’ bright colours, and its kind people, lie thousands of unseen Nubians that suffer from severe poverty and inhumane living conditions, where they do not have access to drinkable water or functioning sewage systems. …

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Away from the beauty of Nubia, where tourists always go and become fascinated by the quietness and peace that surrounds the houses’ bright colours, and its kind people, lie thousands of unseen Nubians that suffer from severe poverty and inhumane living conditions, where they do not have access to drinkable water or functioning sewage systems.

With the aim of providing better living conditions to citizens of Upper Egypt, Tahya Misr Fund is to start implementing projects in several essential sectors, in collaboration with the Aswan Governorate.

The projects cover the fields of housing, health, sanitation, drinking water, civil protection, youth, and sports, with an aggregate funding of EGP 320m from the fund to serve a number of beneficiaries.

The project covers a wide range of Upper Egyptian citizens who live in Aswan, Nasr El Nouba, Idfu, Kom Ombo, and Darau, which are areas with some of the worst living conditions in Egypt, in order to provide a decent life for all the people of Aswan.

The development plan for Nubia and Aswan comes in response to President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s calls at the Aswan Youth Conference to complete all developmental projects in Nubia and Aswan before the end of June 2018. The executive committee of Tahya Misr Fund responded to the president’s call and has set an urgent plan to support the projects in Aswan.

Improving healthcare is one of the most essential parts of the plan. This will be applied through establishing and equipping a new Tahya Misr dialysis centre in Aswan and developing and equipping Benban Kibli hospital and the health unit in the village of Nazl.

The plan also includes the construction of a fully equipped firefighting unit in the new city Al-Sadaka, the provision of 264 housing units in Khor Balula area and 432 housing units in Al-Tawisa, a sewage system in Al-Tawisa, and the rehabilitation of drinking water systems in Kom Ombo.

Moreover, the plan extends to developing the Nasr El Nouba youth centre, the provision of six housing units in Jabal Al-Zalat, as well as the construction of sewage networks (regressions, expulsion lines, and lift stations) in 10 villages, and the completion of the houses of Nasr El Nouba’s villages.

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'I Have a Dream': On the lasting power of Martin Luther King Jr's words https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/04/04/i-have-a-dream-on-the-lasting-power-of-martin-luther-king-jrs-words-2/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/04/04/i-have-a-dream-on-the-lasting-power-of-martin-luther-king-jrs-words-2/#respond Wed, 04 Apr 2018 08:01:00 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=656219 The post 'I Have a Dream': On the lasting power of Martin Luther King Jr's words appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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50 years after the assassination of civil rights activist Martin Luther King, his words — and especially his 1963 “I Have a Dream” speech — have an unparalleled resonance. But why has his voice had such staying power?"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today."

Those words, delivered by Martin Luther King Jr. from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on August 28, 1963, continue to resonate 50 years after the death of the pastor and civil rights activist.

They are part of King's iconic "I Have a Dream" speech that has since been taught in schools, reprinted in university textbooks, featured in numerous documentaries about the era, quoted by former US President Barack Obama, and even sampled in music by the likes of Michael Jackson and rapper Common.

Read more: 50 years after Martin Luther King Jr.'s death, a dream of equal opportunity unfulfilled

For fellow civil rights activist John Lewis, who also spoke that day at the "March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom" in 1963, it wasn't the words alone that influenced people. The current Democratic Congressman who as a young man was on the frontline of the civil rights movement, spoke on the "Newshour" program on PBS about King's own unique charisma

"Dr. King had the power, the ability, and the capacity to transform those steps on the Lincoln Memorial into a monumental area that will forever be recognized," said Lewis. "By speaking the way he did, he educated, he inspired, he informed not just the people there, but people throughout America and unborn generations."

Rhetorical strategies

From a rhetorical perspective, the man who would come to embody the US civil rights struggle had employed many speaking strategies that ensured his words would resonate with his audience. A preacher by vocation, King interwove not only references to his Christian religion, but drew on biblical stories and quotations that would be especially meaningful to the public gathered before him.

"I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, hill and mountain shall be made low," he said. "The rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight. And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together."

By combining scriptural reference like this with vocabulary taken from traditional American hymns like the patriotic anthem "America" — which recites that "My country tis of thee, sweet land of liberty" — King created his own unique voice through a rhetorical process known as "voice merging."

The effect was to stir up emotions that move beyond the meanings of the words themselves, relying instead on the emotional impact of the greater meaning.

Read more: Opinion: Germany needs heroes like Martin Luther King Jr.

The "I Have a Dream" speech may be King's most memorable, but it is neither the first nor the last to employ this strategy. In his "Letter from a Birmingham Jail," written on April 16, 1963 after King's arrest in Alabama for civil disobedience, he wrote:

"Just as the prophets of the eighth century B.C. left their villages and carried their 'thus saith the Lord' far beyond the boundaries of their hometowns, and just as the Apostle Paul left his village of Tarsus and carried the gospel of Jesus Christ to the far corners of the Greco-Roman world, so am I compelled to carry the gospel of freedom beyond my own home town. Like Paul, I must constantly respond to the Macedonian call for aid."

Even without knowing the particular Bible story references, parallels are drawn that allow for readers of the letter to grasp the intended meaning.

King's impact today

King's rhetorical abilities were so powerful that immediately after delivering the speech at the Lincoln Memorial, the civil rights activist landed on the FBI's radar as a person to watch closely.

Indeed, some conspiracy theories link the FBI with King's death, causing some to note the irony when the intelligence organisation released this tweet on the 49th anniversary of his assassination.

On the eve of the 50th anniversary of King's murder, King's rhetorical gifts were literally passed down through the generations as his granddaughter Yolanda Renee King addressed a massive crowd at the March for Our Lives rally in Washington D.C. on March 28.

"I have a dream that enough is enough. And that this should be a gun-free world — period,” she said, reviving her grandfather's ultimate dream to live in a non-violent world.

At an April 2 ceremony held in Boston – where King obtained his doctorate in theology and met his wife, Coretta Scott King – to read the "I Have a Dream" speech for the public and consider its lasting impact, Deval Patrick, Massachusetts' first black governor, reiterated that King's words were just as inspiring today.

"It was a prophetic speech at its time, and it's a prophetic speech now like so much of King's speeches. They are timeless, poetic and challenging and they spur us to action," he said.

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Egypt mourns young generations’ ‘godfather’ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/04/03/egypt-mourns-young-generations-godfather/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/04/03/egypt-mourns-young-generations-godfather/#respond Tue, 03 Apr 2018 18:41:05 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=656099 Ahmed Khaled Tawfik dies at 55 

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Egyptians were hit Monday night with the sad news of the death of author Ahmed Khaled Tawfik, after a years-long battle with heart conditions, his friend Ayman El-Gendy announced in a Facebook post. Tawfik, known as the youth’s “godfather”, closed his eyes for the last time at the age of 55 in Al-Demerdash Hospital.

Tawfik was a Tanta-based physician and novelist. He wrote more than 200 books over his writing career.

Minister of Culture Inas Abdel Dayem mourned the loss of the “godfather who always enriched the cultural scene in Egypt and the Middle East with several critical books and novels.”

He was dubbed the godfather as his very first writings “Ma Wara’ El-Tabia’a” (The Paranormal), a set of small pocket-size horror and thriller stories that began being published in early 1990s. The stories magically drew a world of rationally impossible events that happen to the elder, ironic doctor Ref’at Ismail.

The almost 70-year-old haematologist always faces mysterious phenomenal and metaphysical events for which he constantly collects evidence to solve.

Egyptians were hit Monday night with the sad news of the death of author Ahmed Khaled Tawfik
(Photo by Amun Mowafy)

For 11 years, Tawfik wrote 81 serial stories that were a huge success and for years topped the list of bestseller teenage stories.

Tawfik’s stories played an essential role in the 90s generations, to the extent of calling him Ref’at Ismail, due to the similarities between his personality and that of the fictional character he created.

Through his social media accounts, Tawfik always expressed his ultimate life goals, which were based on encouraging a major number of young generations to read.

“RL Stine once said, ‘I want to be written on my grave: He made children read.’ However, I want to be written on my grave, ‘the man who made youth read,’” Tawfik tweeted before he died.

The news caused a huge wave of grief and agony among social media users, who all agreed on how essential the role Tawfik played was in shaping their childhood and creating a world that they used to escape to.

His funeral was attended by tens of thousands of weeping fans, several of whom said, “his loss is as heart breaking as losing a real father.”

In 2008, Tawfik wrote his most successful novel, which shook the Egyptian reading community, Utopia. Based on poverty statistics at the time, Tawfik forecasted how Egypt would be in 2023.

What Egyptians realised soon after is that his predictions would most likely come true, as in Utopia, Tawfik forecasted that Egypt, in the near future, would be a combination of two different contradictory communities located within the same boarders.

Utopia, the city of virtues, is the first one, in which the elites live in an area surrounded by high walls and security guards, with only certain people allowed entry. The other community is for the underprivileged, where all its residents are below the poverty line and mainly survive based on their need for food and drugs.

Through Utopia, readers are introduced to a frightening society, where no middle class exists, and people are divided into two categories: the extremely rich and the unbearably poor.

When the novel was first published, it was widely acclaimed by the public and heavily publicised. Tawfik’s thrillers, science fiction, and his very own style of satire were about worlds that would not come true; thus, people could not fathom that the ideas behind Utopia would slip into reality, despite the author’s predictions that society would one day replicate his novel.

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 Dangerflow performs onstage concerts with Ahmed Sheba, other Egyptian artists  https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/04/03/dangerflow-performs-onstage-concerts-ahmed-sheba-egyptian-artists/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/04/03/dangerflow-performs-onstage-concerts-ahmed-sheba-egyptian-artists/#respond Tue, 03 Apr 2018 17:28:54 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=656017 Dangerflow, an American hip-hop group from Miami, Florida is bringing their exciting sound to Egypt for a series of concerts in Cairo and Alexandria, according to a Tuesday press statement from the US Embassy in Cairo. Dangerflow’s visit is a part of the US Department of State’s American Music Abroad (AMA) programme, which is the second in the embassy’s Al …

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Dangerflow, an American hip-hop group from Miami, Florida is bringing their exciting sound to Egypt for a series of concerts in Cairo and Alexandria, according to a Tuesday press statement from the US Embassy in Cairo.

Dangerflow’s visit is a part of the US Department of State’s American Music Abroad (AMA) programme, which is the second in the embassy’s Al Hakawateya series, featuring storytelling through music, following the successful collaboration between American artist Chelsey Green and Egyptian artist Dina El Wedidi in 2017.

The group will collaborate onstage in Cairo with Ahmed Sheba, Sawarekh, Tarek El Sheikh, and Mai Abdel Aziz, added the statement, noting that the group will also travel to Alexandria for a concert in collaboration with more Egyptian artists from 17 to 20 April.

Dangerflow will perform at Al-Azhar Park on Friday 13 April. However, a free performance open to the public will take place at Misr University of Science and Technology on Monday 16 April.

The group will conduct workshops with Egyptian musicians and exchange ideas with Egyptian youth on how music can inspire, uplift, and empower communities, and encourage the next generation to make positive choices, the statement read.

The American Music Abroad programme sends talented American musicians around the world as cultural ambassadors on multi-country tours where they engage with international audiences through public concerts, interactive performances with local musicians, jam sessions, workshops, and media interviews, noted the statement.

Since the famous American trumpet player Louis Armstrong visited Egypt in 1961, the US Embassy in Cairo has highlighted collaborations between American and Egyptian musicians through various programmes and activities.

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Facebook: ‘The truth has been lost’ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/04/03/facebook-the-truth-has-been-lost/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/04/03/facebook-the-truth-has-been-lost/#respond Tue, 03 Apr 2018 12:33:00 +0000 https://ddkjdg95759587fkbf.ceoarabic.com/?p=656009 The post Facebook: ‘The truth has been lost’ appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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After the recent data abuse scandal, Facebook wants to make it easier for its users to protect their privacy. But big data entrepreneur and technology critic, Yvonne Hofstetter, doubts that anything will change.Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg has repeatedly apologized for the fact that British political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica could illegally mine data from 50 million Facebook users to support the election campaign of US President Donald Trump.

Indeed, scandal-hit Facebook has recently promised to improve user privacy, partly by stopping third-party data providers from directly targeting customers on the social media site. But many say such stop-gaps are unlikely to be enough to counter a growing backlash.

And for the time being, Facebook doesn’t want to change the fundamental business model that allowed the data breach to happen.

The social network earns $40 billion a year by selling personalized advertising. For that, it needs to know the habits of its users.

Yvonne Hofstetter, an essayist and author who has published widely on big data, artificial intelligence and the share economy, tells DW that she’s skeptical about the potential for reform.

Read more: Could departing advertisers kill Facebook?

DW: What does Facebook know about us today?

Yvonne Hofstetter: Everything. Anyway, more than your wife.

What exactly does Facebook’s algorithm really do?

Facebook monitors your complete online behavior via cookies. Even if you’re not on the Facebook page, it records your other movements online. Much more data is collected than many people realize.

Your raw data is like a journal that you deliver over years. The algorithms connect the data and find out things about you.

Why is this potentially dangerous for personal users?

All the data you leave is fluid, it does not stay on Facebook.

I once saw something on the table of a German media company that read “target list.” The company said: “We want to get to know our customers better. We want to do exactly what Facebook does. We do not have this data, but then we just buy that data, such as from professional data brokers.”

Now this target list [could include you — editor’s note] and could be on the table with anyone. It could be your employer, or the state or your insurance or health insurance company.

Facebook has always said our data is not used by outsiders. But in the current case, we experience the opposite.

How is this data used to manipulate people’s opinions?

Many people have not understood the actual value of this information, which is not just to look into your past but to control and regulate your future. That’s what Cambridge Analytica and Facebook are all about. They want voters to decide in accordance with the way they have been manipulated. And you believe you have decided yourself!

Read more: India sends notice to Facebook over possible election manipulation

I’ve read that you do not use a smartphone. How else can we sufficiently protect our data?

You cannot protect your data sufficiently. Many settings are created to take data from you. That’s what the economy wants, and it looks as if they’re achieving this.

We live in a system of governance called democracy but we have little sense of what that means or what it means when data is used against you. Other states such as China use exactly the same technologies to achieve the opposite of freedom, namely total surveillance and the cementing of a repressive system.

Are there opportunities for change in the use of social media data?

No, I’m pessimistic. We are sitting in a cave, we feel very well and do not want to hear what’s out there. So when people like me explain that “reality looks very different out there,” nobody cares.

The truth has been lost on social media. Everything is now equally valid, whether it’s a fact, an opinion or a lie. And of course, that’s fatal for democracy. Social media has done a great job of fragmenting us into many individual opinions and then putting us into filter bubbles. Now we have a political opinion-forming problem.

Read more: What role did Cambridge Analytica play in the Brexit vote?

What is required to change this?

Facebook, Twitter, Uber, Airbnb — the whole platform economy says: “We are only technology providers. What’s happening on our platform is none of our business. We don’t have any liability for that.”

So I want to urgently classify these platforms. Then I notice: Facebook is a media company. And that’s why it has to be held responsible for its content.

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Spotify: How a Swedish startup transformed the music industry https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/04/03/spotify-how-a-swedish-startup-transformed-the-music-industry/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/04/03/spotify-how-a-swedish-startup-transformed-the-music-industry/#respond Tue, 03 Apr 2018 12:32:00 +0000 https://ddkjdg95759587fkbf.ceoarabic.com/?p=656010 The post Spotify: How a Swedish startup transformed the music industry appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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As the popular music streaming service goes public today, Spotify is set to continue to revolutionize the music business. But who ultimately profits?Eleven years after it was founded, Spotify finally goes public on April 3. As the company’s CEO and co-founder Daniel Ek explained on his blog a day earlier, Spotify seeks to put itself “on a bigger stage” by listing on the New York Stock Exchange.

“Spotify is not raising capital, and our shareholders and employees have been free to buy and sell our stock for years…The move doesn’t change who we are, what we are about, or how we operate,” he wrote in the blog post.

Read more: Spotify: Market unicorn prepares to go public

Analysts expect Spotify’s first day on the NYSE to be volatile due to uncertainty as to whether the company — which has lost more than 2.4 billion euros ($3 billion) since it started — will be the next corporate chart-topper.

“One of the big questions about Spotify is whether they can take it to the next level like Netflix has,” said Daniel Morgan, senior portfolio manager for Synovus Trust. He says the video streaming service has created a hugely successful subscription-driven franchise with “spectacular returns for the company’s investors.”

Music industry disrupter

Spotify was established in 2006 by Ek and Martin Lorentzon, two Swedish entrepreneurs who have since become billionaires. It was centered around the idea of a legal platform to distribute music online at a time when illegal file sharing sites dominated this market segment.

Spotify’s popularity marked the music industry’s shift from physical to digital, to embracing the internet rather than fighting it, with the platform has helped to spread the medium of streaming services in many parts of the world.

Spotify says it currently has 159 million monthly users, including 71 million paying subscribers. Its value is estimated to be as much as 19 billion euros ($23.4 billion).

Nonetheless, many competitors have since emerged, includingApple Music, Amazon or the local players such as Deezer or Saavn, which focuses on Hindi Music. They all aim to win a slice of the music streaming market, which grew by 60.4 percent in 2016 according to the annual report by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI). That year, Spotify controlled 44 percent of the overall subscriber share.

€32,500 for 10 million streams

But while Spotify is undoubtedly the driving force of a turnaround in the music industry, the service has not posted a profit since it launched.

The company with full-year revenue of more than 4 billion euros ($4.95 billion) in 2017 said it aimed to boost its subscriber numbers from 30 to 36 percent this year.

Revenue is one of Spotify’s key problems: The service has repeatedly come under fire for obscuring how much it actually pays to artists, which has caused the public question whether the service is fair.

Nashville-based singer-songwriter Perrin Lamb said in 2015 that he received $40,000 (€32,500) in royalties for 10 million streams of his single “Everyone’s Got Something,” making the average per-stream payout around €0,0032.

In 2016, Forbes magazine quoted a report showing that there is no set fee for downloads, and that per play revenue allocation is highly variable, meaning a reliable “average” is almost impossible to ascertain.

Same old song

Spotify has not only changed the way artists are paid for their music — but also how they create it. With Spotify’s focus on playlists, it has become much easier to find new music; but it has also made traditional albums almost irrelevant.

Read more: Spotify hit with $1.6 billion copyright lawsuit

Writing in The Guardian last year, music business and technology journalist Eamonn Forde said that recording companies tend to create single multi-format songs to “keep the plates spinning” in the Spotify age. The goal is to get more revenue from one composition, he noted, with Spotify’s number one ranked song in 2017, “Despacito,” having billions of hits due to the many different versions and remixes that have been released.

The future of music?

“Spotify’s model of letting people stream songs on demand is proving more popular than paid downloads, curated playlists, or internet radio broadcasting,” said eMarketer principal analyst Paul Verna. “Spotify is a ‘cool’ brand, and teenagers especially love it. This bodes well for continued brand loyalty, which is a big factor in the stickiness of music services,” he added.

However, Spotify’s stock exchange debut may have been poorly timed as tech stocks are being dragged down by worries about privacy and Facebook’s handling of private data. “Spotify will be lumped in with other tech stocks, which have been battered lately because of Facebook’s data privacy issues,” Verna said.

Read more: Facebook to change privacy controls amid data scandal outcry

The concern is justified since Facebook has been credited with playing into Spotify’s success: In 2009, Spotify won the public backing of Facebook co-founder and chief Mark Zuckerberg, who posted: “Spotify is so good.”

Meanwhile, the Recording Industry Association of America said that revenue grew 16.5 percent in 2017, which marks the biggest increase since the dawn of online music in 1999.

jt/sb (with APFE, Reuters)

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