Culture – Daily News Egypt Egypt’s Only Daily Independent Newspaper In English Wed, 12 Dec 2018 15:30:58 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Egypt, Saudi Arabia strengthen cultural ties through handicraft agreement Wed, 12 Dec 2018 15:30:58 +0000 Prince Salman emphasised Egypt’s important role in culturally interacting with Arab states

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For decades, the Egyptian heritage has been inseparable from handicrafts which are still a main source of income for thousands of Egyptians who do not consider handicrafts a talent, rather more of an inherited skill. 

Abdel-Dayem said at the signing, that the agreement is the start of enriching the cultural ties between the two countries, explaining that the programme aims to exchange handicraft skills and knowledge between Egypt and Saudi Arabia

In an attempt to enrich and exchange that heritage with Saudi Arabia, the Minister of Culture, Inas Abdel-Dayem, signed a cooperation agreement on Tuesday to exchange expertise in the field of handicrafts, with the Head of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage, Prince Sultan bin Salman.

Abdel-Dayem said at the signing, that the agreement is the start of enriching the cultural ties between the two countries, explaining that the programme aims to exchange handicraft skills and knowledge between Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

The programme will encompass the exchange of information in all fields connected to handicrafts, whether economic or social, with a thorough discussion on the role of technology and science in that field.

It will also contain workshops for both partners, to follow-up on the latest updates, and the concerned institutions supporting handmade products.

From his side, Prince Salman emphasised the important role Egypt plays in culturally interacting with Arab states.

He stressed upon Saudi Arabia’s strong desire to benefit from Egypt’s long and rich history in creating handicraft products.

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Two cemeteries renovated in Saqqara Wed, 12 Dec 2018 15:00:18 +0000 Renovation included strengthening cemeteries’ collapsing walls, preserving their colour  

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Following the intensive programme of restoring the time-worn, almost collapsing archaeological sites and cemeteries in Saqqara, which the ministry of antiquities has been adopting for the past couple of years, two veteran warriors’ tombs, dating back to the Old Kingdom, were declared restored on Tuesday. This came during a statement published by the ministry of antiquities.

The Saqqara Saite tombs, located at a stela of the Persian Period, belong to two of the most prominent warriors of the Old Kingdom, ‘Badd-y-Est’, and ‘Psamtik’. The tombs were restored as part of renovating the area of the Persian stela project, with the cooperation of a German mission from the University of Tübingen.

Gharib Sonbol, director of the Central Administration of Maintenance and Restoration, stated in the press release that the Saqqara Saite Tombs Project includes restoring three tombs belonging to historical warriors, two of which were renovated. The process is funded by the University of Tübingen, and carried out by an Egyptian mission from the ministry of antiquities.

Sonbol explained that the restoration process included erasing all of the minerals, and substances filling the gaps of the carved inscriptions—which were no longer recognisable—at the cemeteries.   

Furthermore, he added that renovating the tombs included strengthening their almost collapsing walls, as well as preserving their colours.

The missions are to start renovating the third cemetery, once they complete studying its condition in order to set an appropriate restoration plan. 

Earlier this year, the German mission unearthed a mummification workshop and several burial chambers, dating to the Saite-Persian period (664-404 BC),during excavation work at the same area.

The mission also succeeded in uncovering a gilded silver mummy mask in one of the burial chambers of the main shafts, attached to the mummification workshop. The mask belonged to a person who held the titles of ‘The Second Priest of Mut’, and ‘The Priest of Niut-Shaes’. The mask is the first mask to be discovered since 1939. Moreover, an embalming cache, holding a large collection of pottery vessels, bowels, and measuring cups were found, paving the way to reveal more about the oils used in the mummification process in the 26th dynasty.

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How the European Film Awards could boost their image Tue, 11 Dec 2018 15:46:00 +0000 The post How the European Film Awards could boost their image appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

Films from Scandinavia, the Iberian Peninsula or the Baltic nations: The European Film Awards reflect the continent’s linguistic and cultural diversity. But there are still deficits in marketing for the European “Oscar.”Europe can probably only blame itself. Why do the European Film Awards, to be awarded this Saturday, December 15 in Seville, Spain, remain in the shadow of the Oscars?

The American awards naturally have a longer tradition as they have been awarded since 1929. The European Film Awards, on the other hand, have only existed since 1988. Still, that means they have been around for 31 years. Word should have long gotten out that the Europeans also have "Oscars" of their own.

European cinema is more diverse

But that's not the case. Global media focuses on the Oscars long in advance of the ceremony, but not on the European Film Awards. Why is that? Certainly not due to the quality of the films. On the contrary, one could even claim that European cinema as a whole is much more diverse, colorful and artistically appealing than the English-speaking continent of North America — even if it is less commercially productive.

This shouldn't imply that some outstanding films haven't recently won Oscars — especially by Mexican directors working in Hollywood. The Oscar remains first and foremost a prize in the purely English-speaking film world: It is awarded primarily to films from Hollywood, sometimes also from other parts of the English-speaking world.

The European 'Oscar' models itself on the American Academy

So why do the European awards stand in the shadows of its role model? The awards on both continents share many categories, with best film, best actors, best cinematography, best costume design, and so on. In addition, the nomination procedure in the run-up and the tension on the evening of the award ceremonies is the same. Europeans also organize and present the gala with similar professionalism as that of their Los Angeles colleagues year after year.

A "disadvantage" of Europeans is certainly their linguistic and cultural diversity. In this respect, the film award is a mirror of politics. When Europe sits at the negotiating table with the US, it is always difficult to speak with a single voice. Europe must continually pull itself together, and it does not have a uniform image. But why should this be disadvantageous in the field of culture, rather than seen as an advantage?

An attempt at understanding

Searching for explanations for the shadowy existence of the European Oscar, three notions emerge.

1. The United States has greater global pull when it comes to stars. A red carpet on which George Clooney or Julia Roberts walks is photographed a thousand times more than one on which Catherine Deneuve or Antonio Banderas appears. That has nothing to do with a lack of star appeal on the part of the Frenchwoman or the Spaniard. It simply has do with the global tabloid market, which formerly meant print and television, and nowadays means social media, which is fixated on English-language culture.

2. Which brings us to the second point, the media. And that's where Europe has to be critical of itself. Much European media falls under the spell of US stars and Hollywood blockbuster cinema. That often has to do with money, but not only. Films rake in billions of dollars. But should this be the determining factor in an awards ceremony revolving around categories such as best film or best actress? Europe, and the European media in particular, should be much more self-confident.

3. So, we come to point three. Marketing. Here, Europeans are really lacking. The European Film Academy should also be more self-confident. In America, producers invest a lot of money in the Oscar hype in the run-up to the gala. Accordingly, Europeans would have to do much more to boost advertising and promote the European Film Awards with a targeted marketing concept. Only in this way can we Europeans understand the treasure that the continent's cinema holds.

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Sherine Abdel Wahab,Saber Rebai to shine at News Year’s evening concert Tue, 11 Dec 2018 14:30:42 +0000 New Year’s Eve is one of the most anticipated, long-awaited nights for people to celebrate and welcome the new year with their beloved ones. This year, one of Cairo’s largest parties is to take place over the magical scenic Nile for the audience to sway with the rhythms and swing to the magical voices of …

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New Year’s Eve is one of the most anticipated, long-awaited nights for people to celebrate and welcome the new year with their beloved ones.

This year, one of Cairo’s largest parties is to take place over the magical scenic Nile for the audience to sway with the rhythms and swing to the magical voices of the Middle East’s superstars, Sherine Abdel Wahab and Saber Rebai.

At the Grand Nile Towers, over 3,000 attendees are invited to bid farewell to 2018, and entertainingly welcome 2019 at the concert organised by ADS Solutions. The event is planned to be the biggest and most unique of the holiday season. ADS Solutions stated that the event is to be magical, and more of a fairytale evening.

Hamdan Maghraby, the main organiser of the event informed Daily News Egypt that it is a part of the company’s plan to come up with the most fascinating event to create a new scope for musical concerts in Egypt.

“This concert is a way to support tourism, and it is planned to be a musical cresendo with two megastars like Abdel Wahab and Rebai,” he said.

Furthermore, Maghraby added that a huge projector will be displayed at the front of Meridian Hotel in order for the thousands of attendees to closely watch the event.

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Egyptian Museum to showcase rare coins collection Tue, 11 Dec 2018 14:00:14 +0000 Coins are all silver or gold as they are only metals that do not rust: Abdel Razek

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Following the chain of spotlighting the hidden gems stored in the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM), the museum is to showcase three rare collections of ancient coins which were used in previous trading eras.

The silver coins differ in size, weight, and carved-on shapes. One of them is a Greek coin belonging to Athens and are known with the Athenian chopped coin.

The ministry of antiquities has been following the programme of showcasing rare stored unknown relics for a year now, after Tutankhamen’s most famous antiquities were transferred to the GEM in preparation for its 2020 soft opening. The programme is applied based upon the request of Antiquities Minister Khaled Anany. 

The antiquities are either stored for years at the Egyptian Museum or have been recently restored, and they are showcased at the entrance of the museum for a week, with a brief about each of them. 

For her side, Sabah Abdel Razek, the director of museums at the ministry of antiquities and the general manager of Egyptian Museum said that the primitive coins were used in trade between nations.

She explained that the shape of these coins defined that they were used for trade in early ages, adding that some of them were chopped in a certain way which proves that the coin was used as a measure of the silver as a metal, not as a quantity of a currency.

Furthermore, she also added that some of the displayed coins were from Athens and that they were from the last stage of currency evaluation.

“Some of the coins are chopped in order to make their weight match the trade for goods, which is the way it the trading process was in that era,” she said, according to state-owned media outlet, Al-Ahram.

The displayed Athenian coins have the famous faces of the Athenians, while on the back they show an owl with large eyes.

“Some of them are deeply holed” Abdel Razek said, explaining that it is either a way of testing the metal to make sure it is silver or gold, or a way of stamping the coin to ensure it is worth trading with.

Moreover, Abdel Razek also added that the coins are all silver or gold as they are the only metals that do not rust.    

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'Yellow vest' movement: How artists see it Mon, 10 Dec 2018 15:42:00 +0000 The post 'Yellow vest' movement: How artists see it appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

French intellectuals agree on the fact that the “yellow vest” protest movement is a symptom of society’s fractures, but interpretations are divided: Is it utopian direct democracy or a dangerous populist drift?While most of the French population condemns violent acts associated with the "yellow vest" ("gilets jaunes") movement, named after the security jackets all car drivers must carry in their vehicle in France, the vast majority supports the protesters.

The movement started on November 17 as a direct protest against French President Emmanuel Macron's announced tax on fuel, a measure that would have directly affected the working class. The president's decision to eliminate a tax on assets for France's richest also contributed to incensing the movement.

Even though the government scrapped the fuel tax in reaction to the protests, the disparate movement has not slowed down. Other demands include taxing the rich, raising minimum wage or even having Macron resign.

The 40-year-old president decided to address the nation for the first time on Monday, after four weeks of demonstrations.

Not the spirit of May 1968

France is known as a country with a strong tradition of protest, which is why comparisons with the May 1968 student uprising and even with the Revolution of 1789 are inevitable.

However, some of the actors at the center of the student movement back in 1968 are quick to disparage the current protests as a movement that's dangerously attracted to authoritarianism.

A student leader during the unrest of May 1968 in France, French-German politician and author Daniel Marc Cohn-Bendit, who is now close to President Emmanuel Macron, points out that at the time, the protesters wanted to get rid of a general — Charles de Gaulle. "Today these people want to put a general in power," he told The Observer, referring to the fact that "yellow vest" spokesperson Christophe Chalençon has called for Macron's resignation to replace him with a "true commander, such as General De Villiers," the former chief of defense who resigned in 2017 after a disagreement with Macron.

Filmmaker Romain Goupil, another leader of the 1968 student movement, also describes the current protests as an "upside-down May 1968." "Our objectives were to change the society of consumption," while the "yellow vests" call for lowering taxes on fuel, he told France Info. "There is something nihilist in these demonstrations. There is no hope at all; it is not as joyful as May '68."

A rejection of intellectualism

As the "yellow vest" demonstrators are predominantly from the white working class, populist politicians such as Marine le Pen from the far-right National Rally (previously the National Front) and Jean-Luc Melenchon, who runs the far-left movement La France Insoumise (France Unbowed) have prominently shown their support.

"I hear people from la France Insoumise, talking about this being a great people's revolt and how the people are speaking, but these are the same ordinary people who pushed Trump into power," Cohn-Bendit said.

On the other hand, a series of authors and thinkers recognize the movement as a truly democratic one. These thinkers criticize opinion-makers who are too quick to categorize the protesters based on their political alignment.

"If one feature of any truly revolutionary moment is the complete failure of conventional categories to describe what's happening around us, then that's a pretty good sign we're living in revolutionary times," wrote anthropologist and activist David Graeber, best known for his book Debt: The First 5000 Years, in French newspaper Le Monde. "Intellectuals have for the most part done an extremely poor job understanding these changes."

Graeber points out that "these new movements do not need an intellectual vanguard to provide them with an ideology because they already have one: the rejection of intellectual vanguards and embrace of multiplicity and horizontal democracy itself."

The voice of the invisible

Edouard Louis, Didier Eribon and Annie Ernaux, three authors who have directly experienced life in small town France and described it through acclaimed autobiographical works, have all expressed their support for the movement.

"Right from the start of this movement we have seen 'experts' and 'politicians' in the media belittling, condemning, and mocking the 'gilets jaunes' and the revolt that they embody," wrote Edouard Louis in French cultural magazine Les Inrockuptibles. He rather saw in the protesters "bodies who almost never appear in the public and media space — suffering bodies ravaged by work, by fatigue, by hunger, by the permanent humiliation of the dominated by the dominant, by social and geographical exclusion."

Having grown up in a poor environment, the author of The End of Eddy therefore felt "personally targeted by the contempt and the violence of the bourgeoisie, which immediately came down on this movement."

Louis concludes that the initiative "must continue, for it embodies something right, urgent, and profoundly radical, because faces and voices that are usually reduced to invisibility are finally visible and audible."

Read more: French author Edouard Louis: Why Macron will lead voters to the far right

Similarly, Didier Eribon, author of Returning to Reims, a memoir about growing up in a working-class family that lived in provincial public housing, also believes the way the movement is portrayed is decisive.

During the student congress of the Left Party held in Berlin on Saturday, the French author said the "yellow vest" initiative needed to be claimed as a leftist movement. It's "a left-wing movement because it's protesting against neoliberalism and social violence," he said. "Reframing the picture of the movement means to reframe the meaning of the movement."

While she does not share all of the ideas of the movement, award-winning author Annie Ernaux sees in it "an insurrection against a power that despises, a government that ignores the life of people." Macron's arrogance can not only be felt in his policies, but in his words too — in one famous gaffe, he opposed "people who succeed" to those "who are nothing."

Taxing the ultra-rich

Ernaux feels that the strongest move Macron could make would be to reestablish the solidarity tax on wealth, but she believes "he won't do it," she told Liberation.

Thomas Piketty, a French economist specialized in wealth and income inequality, also analyzed in Le Monde the impact of the suppression of the solidarity tax on wealth, which applied to those in France having assets above €1,300,000 (nearly $1.5 million).

While the fuel tax was sold by the government as an ecological measure, it was also a way to compensate for the billions of euros lost through the scrapped tax on wealth, the author of Capital in the Twenty-First Century explained.

"Inevitably," Piketty wrote, this approach privileging the rich has led many people to feel "abandoned and humiliated by the Macronian discourse, and this is how we find ourselves in the present situation. The ruling power has made a series of factual, historical and political errors, which must urgently and can be corrected today."

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Chanel visits Temple of Dendur Mon, 10 Dec 2018 15:06:51 +0000 Brand's ambassadors filled front row, singer Pharrell Williams embodied King Tut

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After over a decade away from the big apple, Chanel made its grand come back in time for the annual Métiers d’Art show, which aims to honour the craftsmanship of the specialist workshops Chanel has acquired over the years. The city has always been referred to by Coco as a place where nothing is impossible, including resurrecting the Pharaohs.

Located at the heart of the Metropolitan Museum, the show was a gold-painted tribute to the ancient-Egyptian civilisation. Almost 1,000 guests were led to the Egyptian room, where the models walked around the monuments of Temple of Dendur, which dates back to 10 BC.

Walking like Egyptians—in contrast with the mighty surrounding walls—the picturesque models flaunted painted legs, stone-encrusted scarabs, statement beaded necklaces, and structured headpieces.

Naturally, the collection’s colour pallet embraced the warm hues of the desert, including gold and sandstone. Meanwhile, there was a notable number of long white chiffon gowns which were styled with oversized jackets and miniskirts. As for the accessories, the runway witnessed a number of gold-leather hats as well as miniature pyramids for clutches. On the other hand, gold leather boots in crocodile patterns accentuated the contemporary collection.

That said, the show also brought Egypt and New York much closer. Part of the collection featured distressed denim and leather trousers. Furthermore, Cyril Kongo’s graffiti prints saluted New York’s street art.

According to Chanel’s global creative makeup and colour director, Lucia Pica – the beauty features aimed to present a modern take on such a timeless source of inspiration. Twenty models were spray painted ahead of the show based on an order by Karl Lagerfeld, Chanel’s creative director. On the runway, the dramatic makeup technique appeared to be an illuminating layer of second skin.

Meanwhile, Pica chose to focus on Lagerfeld’s plan to add a futuristic spin to the theme. The expert veered away from the expected Cleopatra makeup look and focused instead on negative-space, creating freehand eyeliner design in black, white, inky blue, and gold. Furthermore, Pica delivered fresh and glowing skin.

In parallel, the show’s hairstylist, Sam McKnight, opted for saturated waves and tightly woven cornrows to match Pica’s same beauty lines.

Many of the brand’s famous ambassadors occupied the front row, including singer Pharrell Williams, who embodied a contemporary King Tut. Dressed in gold leather trousers and a long-knit sweater, embellished with a rainbow of stones – Williams was anything but subtle; accordingly, his pictures were one of the most viral scenes of the show.

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Taj Mahal ticket price rises fivefold for Indians Mon, 10 Dec 2018 13:51:00 +0000 The post Taj Mahal ticket price rises fivefold for Indians appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

The entrance fee hike is the latest attempt to reduce footfall at the world famous site. The sheer number of visitors risks causing irreversible damage, experts say.Authorities in India on Monday raised the price of a ticket to the Taj Mahal for local visitors fivefold. An all-inclusive ticket for Indian citizens has gone from 50 rupees ($0.70, €0.61) to 250 rupees.

International tourists will pay roughly $19 to enter the UNESCO World Heritage complex in northern India, up from $16.

"We want people to pay more to limit the footfall," an official from the Archaeological Survey of India, the government body responsible for upkeep, told the Agence France-Presse news agency. "This will cut down the number of visitors to the mausoleum by at least 15-20 percent and generate revenue for its conservation," the official said.

Indians make up the majority of the Taj Mahal's 10,000-15,000 average daily visitors. In 2016, nearly 6.5 million people marvelled at the white marble 17th-century masterpiece, built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan as a tomb for his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal.

Preventing damage

The move is the latest attempt to lower tourist numbers and reduce damage at the country's top tourist site. A few months ago, authorities restricted the number of tourists to 40,000 per day. Previously up to 70,000 people would throng the site at weekends.

Experts say the huge flow of people is causing irreversible damage to the marble floor, walls and foundations. Officials have also struggled to stop the white marble from turning yellow as pollution levels rise in the northern city of Agra. Further damage is being caused by excrement by insects from the noxious adjacent Yamuna river, one of India's most polluted waterways.

In July, India's Supreme Court threatened to either shut or tear down the monument over the failure of the authorities to protect it from degradation. The court asked the Indian authorities to consult international experts to speed up the conservation efforts.

Read more:Why was Taj Mahal excluded from Indian tourism brochure?

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I don’t just stand for women, but for human rights above all: Souad Massi Thu, 06 Dec 2018 15:00:03 +0000 Algerian France-based singer launches upcoming album in August, including Egyptian song

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Shining in an elegant black dress, Souad Massi, one of the most successful female singer-songwriter, guitarist in the Arabic-speaking world, performed on Wednesday an orchestral selection of her best songs, conceptualised and organised by SAWT Music at the Marquee theatre at Cairo Festival City, betwixt an outstanding reception from her Egyptians fans.

Photo by Asmaa Gamal

The selection included a number of her songs such as ‘Mesk Elil,’ ‘Raoui’, and ‘Ya Kelbi,’ as well as three others from her new album.

Massi, who was forced to leave her homeland, Algeria, after receiving several anonymous death threats as the civil war broke out, said that she believes that singing, writing, and composing music, are acts of resistance and rebellion against what she faced in her early life and her society’s disapproval of her choice to become an artist.

“It (the resistance) is never-ending,” Massi told Daily News Egypt. “I am trying to resist through my lyrics and music. It began at home with my family and in my country, when I was trying to convince them of my desire to become an artist. Despite their rejection at the first, eventually they supported me.” Massi stated.

Massi was born in 1972, in the poor neighbourhood of Bab el Oued in Algeria. Her family comes from Kabylia, the home of the Berber people.

She studied music, and used to play the guitar during her childhood years. At an early age, Massi joined the Kabyle political rock band, Atakor, before heading to France.

In the thick of all difficulties she struggled with, in 1999 she found a chance to leave all the restriction over her career when she was invited to participate in the Femmes d’Algérie concert at the Cabaret Sauvage in France, her second home until now.

As a woman, Massi tolerated much to accomplish her dream. “Women in the Arab world face difficulties in choosing a profession such as being an artist, doctor, or an engineer,” Massi said.

Photo by Asmaa Gamal

She pointed out that Arab people or families are afraid of women becoming artists. “it’s difficult,” she noted, but Massi eventually succeeded in turning her dream into a reality.

Massi launched five albums, including Raoui, Deb, O Houria and Mesk Elil. She received considerable popularity not just in the Arab world, but also in Europe, due to her music and choice of remarkable lyrics.

Her praise among Egyptian fans was increased by her appearance in the movie The Eyes of a Theft (2014), in which she joined Egyptian actor Khaled Abol Naga and Jordanian-Palestinian director Najwa Najjar.

“I was very afraid at first,” Massi admitted, “I hesitated a lot before accepting the role, as I was afraid of the acting experience and standing before cameras.”

However, Massi said that she enjoyed her experience, and described it as a great one. “It was filmed in Nablus. It was the only way I could support the Palestinian cause.”

Massi, who tackled in her songs subjects such as freedom, struggles, and resistance, said that she does not just “stand for women, but for human rights above all.”

Photo by Asmaa Gamal

“I am trying to considerately discuss with people those rights and issues (in society) in my songs, and to convince them (to change) not by force.”

Massi sings in Algerian, French, English and classical Arabic. She said that she carefully chooses her lyrics, especially the poems she performs. In her 2015 album El Mutakallimun, The Masters of Words, she revived the phrases of a number of prominent Arab poets, including Iraqi poet Ahmed Matar, who spent most of his life in exile due to his critical poems of Arab leaders.

“We go through many things. We read a lot, so we get influenced by writers and poets, which helps me in writing lyrics,” Massi elaborated.

She added that she studied music in Algeria. “Additionally, I was lucky to have lived in France, and to have been surrounded by global artists who affected my character.”

During a two-hour live concert, Massi chose to perform her new Egyptian dialect song, named Salam, ‘goodbye’. “It was written by Nader Abdallah, and composed by Khaled Ezz,” Massi mentioned.

Additionally, she prepared extra new songs, including two poems, one for Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish called I love you, and another for Baha’ Al-din Zuhair called My Lord.

The two songs, in addition to Salam, will be included in her new collection and album.

Massi said that there will be no new forthcoming cinema experience soon, yet she revealed that her sixth album will be launched in August next year.   

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Antiquated Egypt: cultural festival reviving extinct heritage Wed, 05 Dec 2018 16:14:31 +0000 Event kicked off Wednesday, lasting until 8 December at Al-Fustat

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For a long time, Egypt’s handicrafts were some of the most famous icons of the nation’s culture and legacy. Thousands of people earn their living from crafts they had learned by heart from their ancestors. Aiming to promote the hand-made crafts and revive the heritage which is about to go extinct,  The ‘Masr Ateka’ Festival (Antiquated Egypt) kicked off on Wednesday at Souq Al-Fustat in Old Cairo.

The festival will last until 8 December, showcasing Egypt’s heritage arts, and crafts, and is organised by Souq Al-Fustat artists. The event aims to revive the traditions which people are no longer connected to, and have replaced them by western traditions instead.

The artists sated in a Facebook post that they inaugurated this festival to have arts, crafts with music all in one place, with the aim of bringing together the different types of arts within the walls and atmosphere of the area known for having the best handicrafts in Cairo.

The five-day event will host exhibitors who will showcase their hand-made products throughout the day. It will also witness workshops and discussions on art and poetry. Among the showcased items are leather wallets, crochet clothes, handmade accessories, and handbags.

As for the musical concerts, four bands are scheduled to perform at the festival including ‘Mashrou’ Rouh’ (A Soul Plan) which combines Islamic and Coptic pieces together in songs adding a modern twist to them.

All events are free to attend.

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Egypt’s Cultural Week begins in Morocco Tue, 04 Dec 2018 18:53:47 +0000 Minister of Culture inaugurated Egyptian Cultural Week at Mohammed VI theatre in Morocco

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The Minister of Culture Inas Abdel Dayem, inaugurated the Egyptian Cultural Week at Mohammed VI theatre in Morocco on Monday, and the capital of Arab culture in 2018, Oujda, was chosen as a part of celebrating the week.

The celebrations were attended by Moroccan Minister of Culture Mohamed Al-Araj, who stressed on the opening night, that the Egyptian-Moroccan ties are deep and historic. He added that Egyptian cultural events provide a chance for his nation to be introduced to Egypt’s culture, which he described as rich and diverse.

The minister added that the Egyptian culture played a considerable part in the creation of the Moroccan one. As for Abdel Dayem, she stated during the opening ceremony, that the cultural relations between both countries are special, as they both share a long history of spiritual, cultural, and heritage legacy.

She elaborated that this relationship reflects the connection between the two nations, who are now like family members. She stressed that this unity helps build a bridge between both countries, linking the past to the future.   

The one-week event started with a musical performance by the Arab Music Ensemble: Mohammed Al-Khouli; Marwa Hamdi; Mustafa al-Najdi, and Nehad Fathy.

The week will also witness an intellectual symposium on cultural ties, and identity building between both countries.

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5th Egypt Comix Week kicks off Tue, 04 Dec 2018 13:30:49 +0000 We aim to give Egyptian comic artists chance to learn new aspects, techniques of this field, still limited in Egypt, compared to other countries in world, says Abdeen

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With anticipation, excitement and thrill, dozens of Egyptian comic fans gathered for the long-awaited for annual event, the 5th Egypt Comix Week, which kicked off on Monday.

The hub, through which comic fans get to assemble together and to meet international comic artists who are participating in international publications, will last for five days at Down Town’s Rawabet Townhouse theatre.

Organised by Sefsafa Publishing House, the event will witness a variety of workshops, roundtables, discussions, and exhibitions with the aim to provide the chance for people to explore the history of comics in Egypt and the Middle East.

Sara Abdeen, one of the organisers told Daily News Egypt that the event aims to spread the knowledge and culture of comics among Egyptian society, “which still believes that comics are only for children.”

“We aim through workshops that are being held by international artists to give Egyptian comic artists the chance to learn the new aspects, and techniques of this field, which are still limited in Egypt, compared to other countries across the world,” she added.

She stressed that this year’s round kicks off with the aim of focusing on the reciprocal relationship between the comics and reality.

The 5th round’s opening witnessed the participation of Samya Kullab, a Canadian journalist known for her enriching role in the global comics scene.  Her political-inclined comics were published in many international outlets including Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, Al Jazeera, IRIN, The National, the Globe, and Mail.

Among the workshops organised by the event, is a one by prominent German cartoonist Isabel Kreitz, which is to take place with the cooperation of the Goethe Institute.

The week also hosts a workshop with Peter Kopal, a journalist and cartoonist from the Czech Republic, who has so far produced over 40 comic books, as well as educational comic sources for beginners. He is also known for converting classics into modern comic books.

From Egypt comes Tarek Imam, an Egyptian writer known for being a pillar at writing four-dimensional visual stories.

Both artists discussed the current comics scene in the Egyptian and international markets, and discussing further details of creativity and innovation in both outlets.

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Egyptian children awarded for their talented glimpses of India Tue, 04 Dec 2018 13:00:35 +0000 Drawing competition for children held annually for past 24 years, coinciding with Gandhi’s birthday

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The Indian culture frenzy has been taking over the Egyptian society for the past few years. A close follow-up with the Indian sceneries, traditions, and artistic scene is currently being paid attention to as much as the Egyptian ones, if not more, which prompted the Indian embassy in Cairo to launch its annual art competition ‘Glimpses of India’.

The embassy held its prize distribution ceremony on Sunday, with the attendance of the renowned actress Merna Waleed, who awarded the prizes along with the Indian ambassador Rahul Kulshreshth at the Balloon Theatre in Cairo.

Glimpses of India is a drawing competition for young children which has been held every year for the past 24 years, coinciding with the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, to commemorate his achievements as the father of the Indian nation. The event is annually organised by the Maulana Azad Centre for Indian Culture (MACIC).

The competition encourages children to draw sceneries of Indian festivals, art forms, monuments, touristic places and monuments as well as image of the India of their dreams.

Glimpses of India also commemorates Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister of India, and Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, the first minister of education in independent India.

The 24th edition of the competition was held this year from 13-18 November throughout 19 Egyptian governorates.

“The competition received an overwhelming response. Over 13,000 children aged between 6-18 years from more than 1,800 schools participated in the competition,” stated the Indian embassy in Cairo in a press release. 

Several awards were granted to 320 winners in general categories, of whom 25 are children with special needs who were felicitated to improve their talents. The winners were chosen by a nine-member independent jury.

The jury awarded different winners of various governorates on 4-6 December in Mansoura and Ismailia.

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3rd GMM Summit: a hub for Egyptian filmmakers to connect with US experts Mon, 03 Dec 2018 06:30:46 +0000 “US has completely false preconceived notions about Arab world; I believe only way to combat these stereotypes is through films,” says an award winning film, television, and digital producer

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For young film makers who dream of making a motion picture that meets international standards and get a chance to have their film screened worldwide, the journey of turning their written stories into the silver screen is usually full of obstacles which stand between them and turning their dream into reality. Aiming to facilitate the process of turning filmmakers’ projects into real films, and to exchange cultural knowledge of filmmaking between the US and Egypt, the 3rd Global Media Makers (GMM)Summit took place last week.

The GMM is a cultural exchange programme, organised by the American embassy in Cairo, in cooperation with Film Independent, a US-based NGO which champions independent filmmakers and supports them to formulate and realise their stories. The initiative celebrated its third edition this year with a summit which connected Egyptian filmmakers with some of their peers and mentors from the US.

The programme, established in 2016, helps young filmmakers to improve upon their stories with a six-week intensive training session in Los Angeles, in order to develop their projects under the mentorship of leading US film industry representatives.

The summit witnessed the participation of 23 filmmakers, alongside six US experts and mentors from the film industry, in order to discuss means by which both sides could continue to work on the programme. Among the Egyptian prepared films in the past years, was Amr Salama’s film Sheikh Jackson, which was Egypt’s selection in the Cannes awards in 2017.   

“I believe that Egyptian filmmakers do not miss any storytelling talents. From what I have seen in the filmmakers coming to the programme, most of them need to learn how to package their stories and their deliver their voice to the world,” Maria Raquel Bozzi, the senior director of Education and International Initiatives at Film Independent told Daily News Egypt.

Bozzi, who has worked with 12 Egyptian filmmakers so far, believes that most of them want to tell stories that are rather loyal to where they come from, yet they lack the experience of how to translate them so they can attract a larger audience to their projects.

Bozzi was one of the mentors who helped Amr Salama while working on his film, by providing him with ideas and ways to intensely discuss the plot.

She expressed that most of the projects she saw and worked on recount stories of the struggles Egyptian live and “the love-hate relationship they have towards Cairo as a city.”

“Now that I am here, I can personally understand and relate to what I have been reading all the time. This is a fascinating city, there’s a lot of chaos and a lot of history and treasures as well, so there’s always that element in most of the applied projects,” she explained.

Effie Brown, an award winning film, television, and digital producer, is one of the participating mentors at the summit, said that the main element Egyptian filmmakers bring to the US is a great understanding as well as a cultural bridge.

“The US has preconceived notions about the Arab world which are completely false, and I believe the only way to combat these stereotypes is through films. And Egyptian filmmakers always bring these elements that we all can relate to as human beings,” she said.

Struggling to purchaseF their rights as a main theme of many film ideas, Brown added that after every film she reads, she is deeply convinced that all human beings are the same, regardless of where they come from.

“As a Black American female, I can truly say that many of our real problems are not told or mentioned in films. A lot of the films that are being showing in the US are about the dominant whom are white men. So, we also struggle to voice out such problems,” she added

In the press release published by the embassy, Ruth Anne Stevens-Klitz, the cultural attaché at the US embassy in Cairo said that the “connection between the Egyptian and US film industry is twofold; first in the widespread distribution of American films within Egypt, and second with the mentoring and cultural exchange opportunities offered by programmes like GMM.”

“We are thrilled to celebrate the impact of this programme for Egyptians and other filmmakers in the region,” she continued.

Film Independent offers filmmakers’ education and development programmes that help them improve their work, as well as opportunities to build a work that meets audience needs. Over the past years, Film Independent has helped 46 filmmakers from nine regional countries through the GMM.

Bozzi stressed that she had found a sense of urgency in Middle Eastern filmmakers, which she could not feel or find elsewhere.

“Urgency means the work starts getting powerful, driven by the urge that you [viewer] need to hear this story, and you cannot but pay attention to it, which is something I find great, and very engaging to the final produced film,” she explained. 

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Sylvester Stallone says he's hanging up his Rocky gloves Thu, 29 Nov 2018 13:46:00 +0000 The post Sylvester Stallone says he's hanging up his Rocky gloves appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

After more than four decades and eight movies as boxer Rocky Balboa, actor Sylvester Stallone is now done with the iconic character, according to an emotional video and message he posted on Instagram.The 72-year-old actor has shared a video on Instagram on Wednesday in which he says farewell to his legendary character introduced in 1976, the heroic underdog boxer Rocky Balboa.

The post reveals that his appearance in the recently released "Creed II" will be his "last rodeo" as Rocky.

In the "Creed" spin-offs from 2015 and 2018, the retired champ is called to train a new protege, Adonis Creed, played by Michael B. Jordan. In the video shot on the last night of the production of "Creed II," he tells his co-star Jordan, "Now you have to carry the mantle."

In the Instagram message accompanying the video, Stallone wrote that although he was sad to abandon the role, he was also thankful for the "ultimate privilege to have been able to create and play this meaningful character."

"The most wonderful thing of all, is that ROCKY will never die because he lives on in you," he wrote.

The first Rocky movie won three Academy Awards for best picture, best director and best film editing in 1977. Along with Charlie Chaplin and Orson Welles, Sylvester Stallone became the third man in history to have received a best actor and best script nomination for one film; he however never won the prized statuette.

eg/db (AFP, dpa)

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The myths and mysteries of Ancient Greece on show in Germany Thu, 29 Nov 2018 10:00:00 +0000 The post The myths and mysteries of Ancient Greece on show in Germany appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

Back in 1876, a German archaeologist found a golden mask he thought belonged to king Agamemnon. It is one of the highlights of a major exhibition on Mycenaean culture, one of Europe’s earliest civilizations.The Schloss Karlsruhe Museum is hosting the largest exhibition ever held on Mycenaean Greece's cultural history. Titled "Mycenaean Greece: The legendary world of Agamemnon," the show presents over 400 exhibits loaned from Greece, many of which are shown for the first time outside of the country.

"The visitors will be guided through an ancient world and can experience Mycenaean culture from its beginnings to its downfall," co-curator Bernhard Steinmann told DW.

The museum also aims to support Greece's efforts to fight against the looting of its antiquities: All exhibits come from Greek museums, as well as heritage agencies and secured excavation sites.

Homer, the guide to archaeological treasures

Paris, the son of the legendary king of Troy, Priam, kidnapped the beautiful Helen, thereby attracting the wrath of the king of Mycenae, Agamemnon. The events depicted in Homer's Illiad led to the Trojan War, which took place from circa 1260 to 1180 BC.
Heinrich Schliemann, a German pioneer in the field of archaeology and the study of the Aegean civilization in the Bronze Age, was convinced that Homer's epic reflected historical events.

He was 52 when he traveled in 1874 to the citadel of Mycenae in Greece, which was according to mythology Agamemnon's center of power. Two years later, the archaeologist made a sensational find: He discovered a grave with three skeletons and numerous burial treasures, including two ornate gold masks. Schliemann believed at the time that it was the tomb of the legendary Agamemnon.

However, scientists later realized that the tomb could not have been his, determining that the masks predated the period of the Trojan War by some 400 years.

Read more: 'Restless times' exhibition features Germany's latest archaeological finds

A flourishing culture — and an enigmatic downfall

Whether the Greek king actually existed still hasn't been determined with certainty. There is however archaeological evidence that Troy, the city described by Homer, did exist. From there, Europe's first advanced civilization found its way onto the European continent.

Impressive Cycleopan masonry fortifications were also found in Pylos, Athens, Tiryns and Thebes. The large palaces served as administrative centers with a sophisticated bureaucracy to monitor tax revenues and control the palaces' economy.

From the 15th to the 12th century BC, Mycenaeans dominated the Peloponnese, building magnificent palaces and trading with other civilizations. However, the empire mysteriously disappeared after 400 years. Scholars still do not now why the civilization was in decline by 1200 BC.

Remaining from the Mycenean period are rich tombs, jewelry and numerous bronze weapons.

Their fine ceramics also demonstrate their high level of craftsmanship: "The Mycenaeans mastered the abstraction of Minoan Cretan works and their motifs were used emblematically again and again," says Steinmann. Some of these artistic tendencies can be found in Art Deco or Art Nouveau.

Along with Schliemann's world-famous gold mask, the exhibition also includes other highlights. An ancient "crown" found in a tomb in Routsi, which was unknown to researchers until recently, will be exhibited for the first time. Also on show are artifacts from the Griffin Warrior Tomb, discovered near Pylos in May 2015 — one of the most important archaeological finds in Greece of the last 65 years.

"Mycenaean Greece: The legendary world of Agamemnon" runs from December 1, 2018 through June 2, 2019.

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Egypt’s oldest puppet show Al-Aragouz joins UNESCO’s intangible cultural heritage list Wed, 28 Nov 2018 17:02:10 +0000 The intergovernmental committee gathered for a week in Mauritius for their annual event, in which they consider the traditional knowledge and skills that need to be safeguarded by adding them to the list

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Egypt’s most famous traditional childrens’ puppet show, El-Aragouz, was accepted on Wednesday to be a part of the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list.

The intergovernmental committee gathered for a week in Mauritius for their annual event, in which they consider the traditional knowledge and skills that need to be safeguarded by adding them to the list.

Al-Aragouz is a wooden marionette puppet that is about to be distinguished within the city life. It first saw the light in Egypt in the Fatimid era. History books did not detect the origin of the puppet, but it was stated that it was not created in Egypt.

When it came to Egypt, that type of art was only exclusive to sultans and the elites. The art gained wide popularity in Egyptian society as it reflected the political, cultural and economic situations of the people through the puppets which appeared in different shapes and roles.     

Throughout the years, Al-Aragouz widely spread among all social classes, and became an inseparable part of different Prophet bith celebrations, also known as Moulids. It started fading away with the appearance of animation shows TV.

Currently, Wamda Troupe is still the only performing group of the show at old Cairo’s Bayt Al-Suhaymi. 

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An Indian’s first German Christmas market Wed, 28 Nov 2018 16:27:00 +0000 The post An Indian’s first German Christmas market appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

Winter marks the start of a magical time of Christmas markets in Germany. The festive bazaars attract millions of people, including DW’s Eesha Kheny who visited Cologne for her very first Christmas market experience.Moving to Germany from India, I anticipated that I would hate the harsh winter weather which would be a complete contrast to what I was used to from the tropics. What I couldn't have predicted however was how much I would fall in love with wintertime in Germany. The love affair started on a fateful November day as I stood in the middle of a Christmas market in Cologne.

Wearing my warm boots, woolen gloves and thick scarf, I was all set to dive into the wonderful thrills a Christmas market has to offer. Christmas is not a festival celebrated by Hindus, but since some of my closest friends are Christians, I grew up singing carols and taking part in the traditions. Christmas in India is a simple affair with small parties, a few shops in the market selling ornaments, bakeries preparing lots of rich plum or traditional fruit cake. The highlight is always the midnight mass at church on the eve of Christmas. By comparison, these elaborate German markets add a whole new dimension to Christmas.

Despite the rain, the place was festive. I joined the small groups of happy people, idly strolling through the narrow lanes. I passed rows and rows of red-roofed huts, awestruck at the scene unfolding before me. Together, these 150 decorated huts – topped with golden stars – create a Christmas village, at the big festive central market next to Cologne Cathedral. During my visit the mood was light and the vibe was merry, everyone seemed to be able to sense Christmas approaching. It was not hard to imagine that centuries ago, these winter markets began as a chance for residents to meet, trade goods and prepare for the cold months to come.

A centuries-old tradition

The markets date back to the late middle ages in Germany when regular farmers markets were extended during the Christmas season. Over time the popularity of this German tradition grew and other countries began to organize their version of them as well. Nevertheless, each year millions of people visit the hundreds of markets which are set up in Germany. The world-famous 'Christkindlmarkt' (which translated literally means Christ Child Market) in Nuremberg has a grand opening by the Christkind – these days portrayed by a young girl dressed in white with a gold crown and gold-winged sleeves signifying an angel – reciting a speech from the balcony of the Frauenkirche church. The other beloved old market is the Dresden Striezelmarkt which dates back to 1434. Its highlights include a 14 meter (46 ft.) tall Christmas Pyramid, an elaborate puppet show and delicately crafted figurines from the Ore Mountains. The one I went to, the main Christmas market in Cologne also features highly on the must-visit list. With its iconic setting in the shadow of Cologne Cathedral, the market expects 4 million visitors to flock here this year.

Countless strings of lightbulbs create a fairy lit canopy, through which I could see the gothic cathedral looming overhead. Also towering over the twinkling lights, and lit with 50,000 LED lights, stands a gigantic Christmas tree – a Nordmann fir-, which at a height of 25 meters is known to be the tallest in the Rhineland. The tree definitely forms the heart of the market. Underneath this canopy, a band was setting up on the center stage, ready to showcase its talents before an enthusiastic crowd. The 20th century has brought change to the markets turning them into entertainment events as opposed to merely a jolly place to meet friends. I guess these musical performances also motivate people to visit the markets, to listen to choir concerts and traditional songs and get into the Christmas spirit.

The warming embrace of Glühwein

The biggest revelation of the season for me was how absolutely delicious Glühwein, or mulled wine as it's commonly known in the English-speaking world, is. In India, I would usually drink a glass of red wine with a Christmas meal which compared to Glühwein now seems fairly ordinary. This warm elixir of herb and orange infused red wine is the perfect remedy for the dropping mercury levels. Glühwein is a traditional warm drink available at all Christmas markets throughout Europe. But Germany and Austria are particularly well-known for it. I was fascinated to learn that most markets have their own customized mugs which are made out of either ceramic or clay. They also come in different shapes such as goblets, cups or even boots. Most mugs have unique artwork which also includes the name of the city and year. As I paid the 2 euro (2.26 $ US) deposit – or Pfand as it's known in German – in addition to the cost of my drink, it suddenly struck me that these glasses would make the perfect souvenir. As a result I quickly acquired two mugs on just my first day at the market. I began to imagine starting my own collection of German Christmas market mugs but then calculating the potential cost quickly curbed my enthusiasm. After all, good things all come at a price and that amount of Glühwein would definitely not be cheap.

Oh, and the endless food!

Ambling with my mulled wine mug in hand, gently swaying to Christmas carols with a big smile on my face for me quickly became the definition of a perfect winter's day. But pleasure at Christmas markets knows no bounds. They are an adventure for the taste buds too, with the best of traditional German food and desserts on offer. As I ventured deeper into the market the fragrance of freshly baked goods filled the air, with a slight hint of cinnamon adding to that festive feeling. Munching on a packet of warm roasted chestnuts, I made my way from one end of the market to another, trying to decide what I would like to eat next. The choices I faced were definitely very different from back home in India where a buffet spread would include types of salads, curries, rice, croquettes and other meat entrées. By the end of my day at a German market I had already managed to compile a list of my favorites: Potato fries (known here as Pommes), crepes and 'Dampfnudel'. Although this would literally translate into steamed noodle, it is actually a white sweet roll served with warm vanilla sauce and fruit compote. But, for me, what really stole the show were the mushrooms in garlic sauce (Champignons mit Knoblausoße) prepared right in front of me in a large skillet. Such a feast for the eyes! And there was also crispy baguette to accompany it. Who knew Christmas markets in Germany could be such a delight for a vegetarian? Definitely not this Indian girl!

As I struck up a conversation with those people gathered around the food stall I quickly understood that I'm was not the only one won over by the delights of the Christmas markets. Vanessa Lage, a Brazilian woman who has been living in Germany for two years told me: "I'm a big, big fan of the Christmas markets – each year I try my best to come here as often as I can." She described how much she enjoys what she called the special Christmas mood that people seems to be in here, despite the cold. She added: "I really love it and I recommend it to everyone – if you are here at this time of the year you have to go to a Christmas market and enjoy this amazing experience!"

Goodies made in Germany

Germany is known around the world for its craftsmanship and this is really visible at Christmas markets. Art, craft and handmade products are a big hit here. The festively decorated market huts – Buden, as they are called in German – tastefully display the goods, enticing visitors to stop by. I was amazed by the intricate details on the wooden toys and Christmas ornaments. Locally produced in Germany by highly skilled craftspeople, these beautiful objects can also be shockingly highly priced. And yet, they are highly popular!

I navigated my way through the make-shift shop huts, filled with children and parents, equally squealing with delight at the sight of all the toys. Careful not to knock anything over, I visited a few huts, window shopping so to speak, until I found what I really wanted. Glass balls shone, cuckoo clocks chimed and the lanterns gleamed. Here you could find everything. But everyone's favorites (including mine) are the legendary nutcracker dolls. Resembling a toy soldier, these dolls, which are symbols of good luck, originated in the 17th century in the Ore Mountain region of eastern Germany. After some searching, I bought myself a small nutcracker doll along with a very typical German gingerbread heart. As I headed to a brightly lit hut for (yet!) another glass of Glühwein, I realized winters in Germany were not so bad after all! With all the Christmas markets now open, I am very much looking forward to a few beautiful weeks ahead.

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Renoir painting stolen from auction house in Vienna Wed, 28 Nov 2018 15:29:00 +0000 The post Renoir painting stolen from auction house in Vienna appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

A landscape painting by French impressionist Pierre-Auguste Renoir has been stolen from an auction house in Vienna. From the Mona Lisa to Edvard Munch’s “Scream,” here’s a look at other impressive art thefts in history.Austrian police are on the lookout for three suspects after a painting by Pierre-Auguste Renoir valued at up to €160,000 ($180,600) was stolen from a Vienna auction house during opening hours.

On display ahead of a planned sale at the Dorotheum auction house, "Golfe, Mer, Falaises Vertes," a landscape painted by the French impressionist in 1895, was removed from its frame on Monday evening, according to police.

"The men left the site through different exits and fled," Vienna police said in a statement. They released security-camera footage of the suspects, adding it was evident they were professionals.

The Dorotheum, Vienna's best-known auction house, confirmed a theft had taken place but gave no further details.

The painting was due to go under the hammer on Wednesday evening along with around 250 other works.

db/eg (Reuters, AP, dpa)

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Not By Force: online campaign combating marital rape Wed, 28 Nov 2018 11:00:34 +0000 Rape by husbands remains taboo in Egypt, leaving silent women suffering, psychological pain resulting

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When speaking of violence against women in Egypt, most people would typically think of physical and physiological abuse which women usually are at the receiving end from family members or spouses. However, very few would discern that being raped by husbands or being forced into sexual activity against the woman’s will is also included in violence against women.

With the aim to raise people awareness regarding marital rape, among the programme of the world’s celebration of the international day of combating violence against women and the beginning the 16 days of activism, the Centre for Egyptian Women Legal Assistance (CEWLA), launched, the Not By Force online campaign to counter marital rape.

CEWLA is an NGO seeking to empower women and speak about their rights, especially the ones that are not commonly spoken of in society, and are considered as a women’s duty, such as being forced to have sexual intercourse with her husband against her will.

In cooperation with the UN General Assembly’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, the campaign aims to shed light on the different forms of marital rape, by disclosing stories of real women who decided to speak up about their own experiences despite society’s restrictions.

In a statement published by CEWLA, the organisation stated that such acts of violence are usually not spoken of much like the others as the society is not aware of the fact that it is as equal as other types of violence are.

Shedding light on women’s reality in the Egyptian community, we find that there are several forms of violence that women are subjected to within or outside of the family. These numerous forms of violence are encouraged by negative cultural heritage, customs, and traditions, in addition to the deteriorating economic situation. While some of these have started to enter the public sphere of discussion, many still remain taboo. Sadly, violence committed by husbands within the sanctity of the home, is still a taboo subject, shed away from by the public, even when it reaches the level of rape, the statement reads.

Among the published story, was one belonging to a woman who wrote down her story with her husband’s abuse.

“Ever since we got married, sex was considered an extremely hard experience for me. He showed me no mercy,” the lady was quoted saying at one of CEWLA’s Facebook posts.

She continued he story saying that she was forced to sex by her husband to the extent of having nightmares. “If I would wake up in the middle of the night with his hands across my body, I would beg him not to get near me,” she was quoted saying.

“I would work for the whole day and return home back at night to do all the household work, and the minute I lay in bed, he did not care how tired I was, if he is mood for sexual intercourse then we have to do it. Otherwise, a series of other types physical abuse would start,” she added.

The lady described that she was afraid and could not speak to her family of what was happening to her, which led into other sorts of sicknesses that were later diagnosed as to be psychologically driven.

The campaign, started on 25 November, speaks of all sort of violence practiced by husbands, highlighting rape the most.

The 16-day event also includes psychological and social analysis of the results and effects of this form of violence. The campaign further discusses the cultural aspect of the issue, and why we need to raise sexual awareness and education for couples-to-be, as well as arguments on marital sex based on religious texts.

It all added up to the international conventions and protection mechanisms, and the legal view on protecting women.

Throughout their studies on cases of women undergoing violence from spouses, CEWLA found that not so many speak of this as a sort of violence.

The statement added that according to the prevalent patriarchal mindset that many people believe in, marital sex is considered a private issue and a taboo that women are prohibited from speaking about. They are also not supposed to complain about the pain they endure even if their husbands coerce them into sex without their consent, sometimes even during sickness or weakness. Many of the women who talked to the NGO used the expression “I feel he is raping me” to describe the level of suffering and psychological pain resulting from this oppressive relationship; hence, the expression “Marital Rape”.

In 2014, the population survey, under the ministry of health, documented that 267 married women in the study sample of 6,693 women were subjected to sexual violence from their husbands. It also found that 30% who had separated from their husbands had previously been subjected to violence at least once. This is similar to what was reported by the World Health Organization in 2013.

This report was conducted in several countries including Egypt, and documented 35% of women who are subjected to physical or sexual violence from their husbands.

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High Five: 5 artists whose works you will only recognize from on high Tue, 27 Nov 2018 16:14:00 +0000 The post High Five: 5 artists whose works you will only recognize from on high appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

What looks at ground level like random traces in the the snow or sand transform into complex artworks when viewed from the sky.By creating art that can only be seen from a bird's eye view, these artists demand that the viewer has a radically different perspective. This is not a recent trend.

The view from above has been captivating humanity for a long time, with ancient artworks created to be viewed from the heavens long before there were planes or hot air balloons.

To this day, these artworks that were seemingly intended for the gods are puzzling scientists.

For example, how did Nazca Indians in today's Peru conjure animal geoglyphs hundreds of meters in length more than 1,500 years ago?

While we can ascertain the methods behind contemporary large-scale artist works, they still manage to astonish us.

Some employ the simplest mediums – for example, by leaving tracks in the deep snow or raking figures in the sand on the beach.

They all have one thing in common: These works are huge and some are even recognizable from space.

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A steel rose: Isa Genzken at 70 Tue, 27 Nov 2018 15:43:00 +0000 The post A steel rose: Isa Genzken at 70 appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

Isa Genzken is one of the most important artists working today. At 70, she continues to wow with her shrill collages and sculptures, having long made a name for herself beyond the misnomer of “Gerhard Richter’s wife.”Photo collages held together with packing tape, colorful plastic parts on a pole, wheelchairs covered with red fabric and transparent plastic wrap, dressed up mannequins: Isa Genzken often draws on found objects from everyday life that she places in a different context for her conceptual art. Her preferred materials include not only colorful tapes, plastic, and mirror foil, but also wood, aluminum and concrete.

Impressed by modern architecture

It is no coincidence that the building materials she uses are reminiscent of urban architecture. The skyscrapers of Manhattan have fascinated Isa Genzken since she was 16, when she first visited New York City.

"As soon as I arrived, I felt like this was my city. Of all the cities I have come to know, I still love it the most. The architecture is something you can't copy," the interview-shy artist, who lives in Berlin, told the newspaper Der Tagesspiegel in 2016. Among her favorite buildings were those at the former World Trade Center.

In 2001, she experienced the attack on the World Trade Center up close, albeit initially via a television broadcast.

"For me, it seemed like a Spielberg film. I went to the World Trade Center in the evening and was horrified. There was still smoke in the sky, people gathering the remnants — chairs, furniture. It was hell."

Read more: David Hockney painting sells for $90 million, setting auction record

A rose for the new World Trade Center

To honor the tragedy, she had an eight meter tall steel rose erected this September next to the new World Trade Center (see image top). These oversized flowers run like a red thread through the work she has produced over the last 25 years. They reveal a completely different, poetic side to the artist and have become something of a trademark.

In 1993, Genzken placed an eight meter high rose in front of the villa of the art collector Frieder Burda. An equally large red rose made of stainless steel placed on the grounds of the Leipzig Trade Fair is also well-known. In New York, Genzken has also placed two oversized orchids in Central Park.

Psychiatry and Art

Isa Genzken was born in the village of Bad Oldesloe near Hamburg, a world away from "her city" of New York. In the 1970s, she studied at the Hochschule für bildende Künste in Hamburg and later went on to the Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf. Her teacher there was Gerhard Richter, to whom she was later married for more than a decade.

But while she was enthusiastic about skyscrapers, he preferred to pick mushrooms and the two went their separate ways.

When her relationship with Gerhard Richter ended, Genzken turned to alcohol and wasted her money in the clubs of Manhattan and Berlin. In recent years, she has been diagnosed with a bipolar disorder that results in emotional highs and lows.

In New York, however, she says, she is spared from these ups and downs. In 2013, the Museum of Modern Art dedicated a comprehensive retrospective to her work.

Read more:Bright, bold and blurred: Exploring Gerhard Richter's abstract works

The artist has participated in the international art show "documenta" in Kassel three times. At documenta 11 she showed "New Buildings for Berlin," abstract high-rise models made of colored industrial glass standing on slender poles. In "Fuck the Bauhaus, New Buildings for New York," she also created city models made of plastic, wood, shells, toys and mirrored sheets, thus exploring the architecture and utopias of modernism.

Another perspective

Genzken had her big breakthrough at the Venice Biennale, where she designed the German Pavilion in 2007. Here, too, she worked with mannequins dressed as astronauts, which she hung from the ceiling, and with toys, Venetian dressed skulls on pedestals and rolling suitcases on the floor. The associations range from the failure of a society of progress on issues of war and climate catastrophe. The latter was already suggested by the title of her show: "Oil."

"Her works are never just what you see. She has a very special, different view of things that is not invented, but real feeling," Genzken's long-time gallery owner Daniel Buchholz told the DPA news agency.

On the occasion of her 70th birthday on November 27, 2018, he will be hosting an exhibition for her — and hopes Genzken will attend the opening if health permits.

In 2014, the Kunsthalle Vienna showed an exhibition of works in which Isa Genzken dealt with urban architecture. The show was called "I'm Isa Genzken, The Only Female Fool" — a title that could also serve as life motto. In addition to sculptures and paintings, her entire oeuvre also includes installations, films, photographs and books.

In 2017, Isa Genzken was awarded the Kaiserring, one of the most important prizes for modern art. The reason given was that her installations and sculptures drew attention to the contrasts and brutalities in society. In addition, she has a pioneering role in the "international discourse of sculpture," in which, the jury said, she is a leader but "never without a bit of humor."

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Traditional Korean wrestling wins cultural heritage status Mon, 26 Nov 2018 14:56:00 +0000 The post Traditional Korean wrestling wins cultural heritage status appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

Wrestling from North and South Korea has been named an intangible cultural heritage. With this symbolic step on Monday, the world cultural organization UNESCO began its deliberations on new entries to the coveted list.For one week the UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage will be holding their annual meeting on Mauritius to decide which traditional knowledge and skills should be added to the worldwide list.

North and South Korea, two nations still technically at war, for the first time combined forces to list with the UN a type of traditional wrestling, known in the north as 'ssirum' or 'ssireum' in the south, in further sign of rapprochement.

In addition to North and South Korea, Germany is also involved with a multinational application: Blaudruck, or indigo dying with block printing, is a craft that only a few skilled trades in Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia and Germany still cultivate. This printing art from the 16th century ennobles an indigo blue fabric with typical white patterns in the form of tendrils, flowers and ornaments.

Almost 50 cultural forms have been nominated, including perfume art from France, reggae music from Jamaica and Khon Mask Dance from Thailand.

The Intangible Cultural Heritage List has been in existence since 2003 and pays tribute to traditional human knowledge and skills. It now includes more than 400 customs, performing arts, handicraft techniques and natural history from all over the world. These include rumba dancing from Cuba, traditional Chinese medicine or violin making from the Italian town of Cremona. The aim of the award is to preserve the living cultural heritage.

A total of more than 175 states have ratified the UNESCO Convention on the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. Germany has been a signatory state since 2013 and is currently represented with three entries: Organ building and music, falconry and the idea and practice of organizing shared interests in cooperatives. There is now a chance that blueprinting will add another German tradition to the list this week.

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Cemeteries join the digital app age Mon, 26 Nov 2018 12:44:00 +0000 The post Cemeteries join the digital app age appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

Grave site apps and tombstone QR codes are taking cemeteries into the 21st century — and keeping alive memories of the deceased, particularly those of dearly departed celebrities. But some worry about data privacy.Square QR codes typically featured in consumer advertising that take users to a relevant website via a smartphones reader have been appearing on tombstones in recent years. In Asian, and to a lesser degree Danish and Austrian cemeteries, QR codes feature on stone memorials as a way for mourners and visitors to access images and information about the deceased.

While stonemasons armed with a hammer and chisel can usually only include a name and a short salutation on a gravestone, QR codes and related websites are a virtual space where relatives and friends can exchange stories and share photos and memories — and can read the archived funeral oration.

Germans are a little more reticent, however. "We've been talking about QR codes for five years but they haven't really become accepted," said Michael C. Albrecht, who is responsible for media on the board of the Association of German Cemetery Administrators.

Just having a code isn't enough, he cautions. "You have to create and maintain a website, which takes time and effort and skills." Older family members of deceased persons are rarely interested, he says.

Read more: Are German cemeteries dying out?

Posthumous privacy

Data protection is also an issue. Some cemetery managers feel the QR code could violate new data protection guidelines, according to Gerd Merke, a law professor at Rhein-Main University.

But the consent of the deceased, given of course while they were still alive, is not required to publish posthumous personal data on a headstone.

"Postmortal personal rights exist, but legally they aren't binding," said Merke.

Graveyard apps

While QR codes are few and far between on German grave sites, an app called "Where they Rest" has proven much more popular. Initiated by the Foundation of Historic Graveyards in Berlin-Brandenburg, it shows people the way to the grave sites of celebrities and gives information on their lives.

Currently, the app points out more than 1,200 graves in 45 cemeteries in 32 cities that can be visited in reality or virtually — including Albrecht Dürer's resting place in Nuremberg and the graves of Bertolt Brecht and Johannes Rau in Berlin.

The idea is to use the app with its maps, information, audio guide and anecdotes like a history lesson.

Read more: R.I.P.: German funeral rites and practices

Disturbing the peace?

Visitors meandering across a cemetery, smart phone in hand, are neither disturbing the tranquility of the cemetery, says Michael C. Albrecht: "Cemetery culture is not static, it continues to develop."

It's a good thing when people are aware of cemeteries, he says, adding that some old graveyards even offer public tours. Apps, he says, help cemeteries present visitors with "a cultural added value."

Even the Pokemon Go hype two years ago that had people sprinting across cemeteries didn't necessarily bother the managers: "Suddenly, young people were flocking to the cemeteries," said Albrecht.

As long as it doesn't disturb other visitors, Albrecht believes that cemeteries must move with the new technological times. It seems the living can already look forward to a long virtual afterlife.

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Cairo’s Photo Week: a hub for photographers to develop their passion Mon, 26 Nov 2018 11:30:43 +0000 We aimed for Photo Week to be connecting line between photographers in Egypt, abroad, says founder

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Photography has always been a type of art which speaks to people’s souls and minds. Not only did the first edition of Photo Week offer to professional and amateur Egyptian photographers a platform to showcase their work, but also to learn more about the most recent photography techniques, frames, and technology. 

The event was organised by Photopia, an independent school photography in Egypt , Al-Ismaelia for Real Estate Investment, and Dakhli West El Balad, companies responsible of renovating the downtown area. The event started on Thursday the 22nd of November with the participation of more than 50 photographers.

At the alleys and streets of downtown Cairo, moments taken by various photographers were displayed for the mass population.

“After seven years of teaching people photography since Photopia opened its doors, it was about time to let them display what they have learned, and provide them with the chance to learn more from professionals from all around the world.” Marwa Abu-Leila, founder of Photopia, told Daily News Egypt.

In the first few days of its opening, over 400 photographers attended the nine-day event. The week offers photographers a hub with 90 keynote speakers and instructors, and 80 talks and panel discussions.

“We aimed for the Photo Week to be a connecting line between photographers in Egypt and abroad,” Abu-Leila added.

Under the theme “Tell Your Visual Story”, the event runs until the end of November. Abu Leila explained that the event was met with huge enthusiasm from Egyptian photographers who have been looking for a long time for a hub to showcase their work, even though displaying their work is only 20% of the whole week’s programme.

She added that the hub is a chance for amateur photographers to detect their abilities, skills, limits and helps them develop.

The workshops host professional photographers from all fields, including commercial, cinematic, fashion, documentary, and food photographers, as well as holding photojournalism workshops.

“The event is open to any photographer seeking to develop himself, not only those who studied in Photopia,” she asserted.

The speakers include Director Abu Bakr Shawky, director of Egypt’s participating film in Cannes Awards, “Yoummiden”.

Abu Leila said that the event is planned to take place every two years, in order to provide photographers with enough time to grow and understand new innovations within the field, which would be limited within one year.

During the event, various separate exhibitions are being held. “Sard” (Narrate) witnesses the participation of 11 documentary photographers, while “Heya Tahky” (She tells) opens a gate for 12 female photographers to share their stories of females living in Egypt, and “Qesas Okhra” (Other Stories) is a hub for amateur photographers to present their work

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Unseen sides of Egypt Sun, 25 Nov 2018 14:00:02 +0000 Top pictures posted on Instagram by amateur photographers

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Photography has always been a form of stating reality. It is the window through which people can look into the lives of others and the portrait that displays their daily life events.

While media portals are filled with pictures taken by famous photographers, many unknown talents use tools as simple as their mobile cameras to develop their passion for photography. Those, who have not found a platform on which to publish their photos seek to establish their own outlet by publishing these pictures on their social media accounts.

In an attempt to support young talent seeking a platform, Daily News Egypt publishes pictures taken by citizens displaying their daily activities.

These pictures are the best pictures posted to Instagram thoughout the holy month of Ramadan with the hashtag #DailyNewsEgypt. Each one of them reflects a unique side of Egypt—not mentioned in international media outlets—but that can be seen by the people actually living in the country.

Every month, the best pictures with the hashtag #DailyNewsEgypt will be reposted on the newspaper’s official account and published in the printed edition.

Daily News Egypt’s editorial team found that the published pictures represent the work of extremely talented young photographers. Moreover, they capture moments of pure beauty people rarely stop to enjoy amid the hurry of their daily routine.

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Ramesside period crypt discovered in Luxor Sat, 24 Nov 2018 19:00:45 +0000 “The tomb was buried under 300 metres of debris”: Waziri

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Within the same month of discovering eight tombs in Saqqara, the Minister of Antiquities, Khaled Anany, announced another discovery of a Ramesside period tomb in El-Assasif, Luxor.

The announcement came in a press conference on Saturday which the minister held in the area of the discovery. The tomb was discovered by the hands of an Egyptian archaeological mission that was working in the area for several months.

Anany said the tomb belonged to Thaw-Rakht-If, the person who was responsible of supervising the mummification shrine at the Precinct of Mut. The mission also discovered at the original entrance of the tomb where Horiwho, a high-ranking priest of Ptah under Ramesses II, was buried.

Two sarcophagi containing mummies were found inside the tomb. Anany described the sarcophagi as “magnificent”, according to state media outlet Ahram Online, as their eyes inlaid with golden sheets.

Anany added that the mission has been working in the area since March and halted in May, before resuming its work in August. Moustafa Waziri, secretary- general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities stated in the press conference that the two mummies found in the tomb do not belong to its owner.

Studies revealed that the mummies actually belonged to a young boy and a girl who were buried in the tomb in a later period from the time it was built.

The tomb also contained 1,000 relics including masks.

Waziri told Ahram Online that “the tomb was buried under 300 metres of debris,” adding that it was accompanied with “five painted wooden funerary masks and a collection of ushabti figurines made of faience, wood, and burnt clay.”

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Berlin's East Side Gallery saved from property investors Wed, 21 Nov 2018 15:55:00 +0000 The post Berlin's East Side Gallery saved from property investors appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

The East Side Gallery now belongs to the Berlin Wall Foundation, which aims to protect the famous section of the former wall that divided the German capital.There will be no further construction projects at Berlin's East Side gallery, the 1.3-kilometer remaining stretch of the Berlin Wall that has been covered with art, also known as the "world's longest open-air gallery," Berlin Wall Foundation director Axel Klausmeier said at a press conference on Wednesday.

Mediaspree, one of the largest property investors in Berlin, has had the strongest impact on the area surrounding the monument. Since the beginning of the 1990s, media companies, a large concert hall as well as office buildings and a residential tower were built around the East Side Gallery, while the bank of the Spree River behind the former section of the Berlin Wall was completely modernized.

Now the property surrounding the wall section has been transferred to the Berlin Wall Foundation and all development plans have been stopped. Berlin will contribute € 250,000 ($285,000) annually to the preservation of the monument and the maintenance of the area.

After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1990, 118 artists from all over the world were invited to paint what would become the East Side Galley. In the years that followed, some of the works of art were removed; new ones emerged. The paintings that were most damaged by erosion and vandalism were renovated. Despite international protests, one section of the gallery was removed in 2013 to create luxury apartments.

A symbol of joy and opression

The protected area is now to be expanded into an educational and artistic memorial. Every year, around three million visitors come to the East Side Gallery, but it so far lacked a professional infrastructure for tourists.

Among other things, an exhibition on the history of the section of the wall is being planned, said Klausmeier. It will commemorate it on one hand as "a symbol of how the German division was peacefully overcome and on the other hand as a testimony of the inhuman border regime." At least 10 people were killed between 1961 and 1989 trying to cross this section of the wall.

eg/ (with epd)

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Israeli artists fear that a new funding law will stifle political criticism Wed, 21 Nov 2018 12:06:00 +0000 The post Israeli artists fear that a new funding law will stifle political criticism appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

A proposed law in Israel is designed to cut funding for cultural projects that are critical of the government. Can Culture Minister Miri Regev succeed in demanding “loyalty” from Israel’s artists?The Jaffa Theater has for some time enjoyed a reputation as Israel's most subversive stage. Israel's Culture Minister Miri Regev, a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's conservative Likud Party, has referred to the theater as the country's "terror stage."

The theater's artistic director Yigal Ezrati initially welcomed the nickname, hoping the publicity would bring in further theatergoers. But now he is frightened: If a proposed "loyalty-in-culture" law passes the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, he will lose all his public funding – and likely the Jaffa Theater itself.

Targeting 'incitement to terror'

Ezrati says that for the longest time, he thought that Regev's suggested law was just a threat and would never become a reality. Her draft bill has now cleared its first Knesset vote, paving the way for major changes in Israel's cultural landscape. It requires two more readings to become law.

The legislation clearly states that it is designed to slash government funding to cultural institutions which "contravene the principles of the state" – referring concretely to "incitement to racism, violence and terror." Regev has threatened that the Jaffa Theater would be among the first to lose government subsidies.

The Jaffa Theater, located about 5 kilometers south of central Tel Aviv in the ancient Arab town of Jaffa, presents itself as a stage that advocates a message of peace: It features plays in both Arabic and Hebrew. Its three artistic directors consist of two Israelis and an Arab.

"We are an example of peaceful coexistence," Yigal Ezrati explains. "We want to provide a voice to all sides and believe that the audience is intelligent enough to make up its own mind."

Subversive theater

But the theater has, in the past, staged plays featuring verses by Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish, who in some of his works denies the existence of Israel as the Jewish state; or produced a drama about a young Palestinian, who was arrested for inciting Palestinians to "rebel" against authorities as part of a social media campaign; or shown a movie about a woman in Gaza, who during the First Intifada (1987 – 1993) called on Palestinians to engage in peaceful protest.

For Culture Minister Miri Regev, these works all qualify as incitement to terror – as defined in the draft bill.

"That's insane," Ezrati responds. "Theater has to provoke and raise social questions. No one dashes out of a theater to throw bombs at civilians. That idea is simply ridiculous."

Miri Regev's dificult relationship with artists

For years, Regev has expressed her staunch opposition to a number of Israeli artists.

In 2015, she terminated an agreement with choreographer and dancer Arkadi Zaides after he had used video footage provided by the nongovernmental B'Tselem foundation, which had been taken in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

In 2016, she stormed out of the Ophir-Awards, Israel's version of the Academy Awards, because they, too, had made references to Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish.

In 2017, after the premiere of the movie "Foxtrot" by Israeli director Samuel Maoz in Venice, Regev declared that the film smeared the reputation of the Israeli Defense Forces, adding that Maoz was a disgrace to Israel. However, Regev had not even seen the film at the time when she made the comments, but had merely heard that the picture showed Israeli soldiers murdering young Palestinians.

Regev is also responsible for evicting the non-profit Barbur art gallery from a building in central Jerusalem earlier this year after it allowed the left-leaning "Breaking the Silence" NGO to hold an event in the premises; "Breaking the Silence" is an association of former Israeli military personnel, who hold critical views on Israel's occupation policy.

Dangers to democracy

At the time of the "Foxtrot" controversy Miri Regev announced that she would stop government funding for such films. Now, it would appear, she is making sure that her pledge is enshrined into law. And that draft law encompasses far more than just "incitement to terror."

Regev's ultimate goal is to have carte blanche to cancel government funding for all organizations that support projects that deny Israel's right of existence as Jewish nation state, regard Israel's Day of Independence as a day of mourning, or destroy the Israeli flag.

Actress Esty Zakheim believes that the draft law has to be viewed critically: "I'm in no way against loyalty to the government or protecting our flag. It has nothing to do with art if someone –pardon my French – decides to take a shit on the Israeli flag. But everyone has the right to express their opinion – even if I don't like it."

Petition against propaganda

Zakheim is the chairperson of the Israeli actors' guild Shaham. Her organization launched a petition against the law – alongside other cultural institutions. A total of 2,800 artists signed the document, including internationally recognized creatives like author David Grossman, sculptor Dani Karavan and arts scholar Micha Ullman.

They all demand that the Knesset refrains from signing the bill into law – for one reason: the draft bill specifies that the ministry of finance would no longer be in charge of government subsidies for cultural institutions; instead, that power would be deferred to the Ministry of Culture. In other words, Miri Regev could get to have an ultimate say in each decision.

"When one person gets to decide, which artist is to receive funding and who gets rejected, we lose our democracy," Esty Zakheim says. "It doesn't matter if that person is politically left or right, religious or not – if they get to impose their views on everyone else, we can no longer claim to have a democracy."

There is still a considerable way to go until the draft bill could be signed into law. Esty Zakheim is actively trying to prevent that from happening by calling lawmakers daily in a bid to prevent them from voting in favor of the law during the next two readings in the Knesset. And she is finding allies, as there is disagreement among politicians, too.

Opposition leader Tzipi Livni expressed her doubts about the draft bill even before the first reading in parliament: "There won't be any culture left if it is under the control of the government. Instead of culture, we'll get propaganda."

Snow White or Evil Queen?

However, the public is divided on whether or not Regev's plans would amount to nothing but government propaganda, as a recent art installation in Tel Aviv shows: Earlier in November, a statue of Miri Regev surfaced overnight on the square in front of Israel's national theater, HaBima. With pitch-black hair and a snow-white gown, the Regev statue gazes at a giant mirror. Is she supposed to be Snow White – or the evil queen? The statue is designed by artist Itay Zalait.

Next to the Regev effigy, Zalait had also erected a sign, saying "In the heart of the nation" – in reference to Regev's remarks in the past, referring to migrants in Israel as a "tumor in the heart of the nation." He explains that he had placed the sign there to make people wonder whether artists had now replaced migrants as the new enemies of the state.

"Some passers-by criticized me as a traitor right away," he explains. "Some saw it as a critique on Regev, others thought my depiction of her was beautiful." With so many diverging views, Zalait thinks he succeeded with his public performance: "Everyone sees something different in a piece of art. There is no correct interpretation."

Tel Aviv: Israel's beacon of creativity

Regev, however, continues to defend her bill as the only way forward, saying the Palestinian artists in particular were abusing freedom of speech to attack Israel: "You want us to finance people who speak of (Palestinian) martyrs, who appeal to those who want to see us devoured, who support insurgencies?" she said, adding that her law was not designed to hush people – but only to cut off government funding in such instances.

Yigal Ezrati believes that Regev's statements serve the sole purpose of justifying hypocritical views. "Without government subsidies, theaters won't survive," he explains, highlighting that more than half the budget of the Jaffa Theater comes from state coffers. Ezrati explains further that the Jaffa Theater is prepared to take the issue to the Supreme Court, if need be.

He can also hope to receive support from the mayor of Tel Aviv, Ron Huldai. Before his reelection, Huldai had announced that he would assist artists affected by Regev's cuts. He stressed that Tel Aviv had always been a beacon of creativity and diversity.

Ezrati, however, wonders: "For how much longer?"

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Memorabilia Paraphernalia: photography exhibition diving into one’s memoirs Wed, 21 Nov 2018 11:30:52 +0000 Entering inside Zamalek’s Picasso art gallery, is more like into stepping into nostalgic chamber

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It was once said that great photography is about depth of feeling, not depth of field, a quote that could not be better applied but within the frames of Egyptian photographer Romany Hafez’s captured moments, which are showcased in his latest exhibitions ‘Memorabilia Paraphernalia’.

Entering inside Zamalek’s Picasso Art Gallery, is more like into stepping into a nostalgic chamber, where people are surrounded with black and white memories of both themselves and Hafez’s. In his second solo photography exhibition, Hafez unlocks a window to showcase the memories of places, people, and even himself, allowing people to dig deeper into the places where memories are shaped and shared.

The photography exhibition opened its door to the public on Sunday, with dozens of black and white frames that were captured in Siwa, Aswan, and Hungary and will run until 6 December.

“Paraphernalia is the obsession of collecting things, and my obsession is to collect and document memories, that is why I could not find any better name but this to entitle the exhibition” Hafez told Daily News Egypt

Hafez’s main passion is the visual ideas he experienced in a place while capturing photographs or the memories of those people who are captured in a photo, “that is why all of the showcased photographs are timeworn places, or alleys in which I lived a memory, even though they might not be familiar to all people,” he explained.      

In his visual portraits, Hafez mostly presents people deeply looking towards the audience or the viewer, with confident gazes, humble appearances, and steady feet. As for the landscapes, he focuses on long narrow roads with antiquated used objects most of the time. The exhibition saw the light as a result of 15-years of a professional photography passion. 

He believes that memories leave their mark inside one’s soul, and he aims to feature them through his work.

Producing only black and white photographs is another passion Hafez has.

“When you want to speak about memories, nothing is more beautiful than black and white shades. These two colours add a sense of nostalgia to your thoughts, leaving people the space to colour the scenes and memories with the colours they want and feel are more suitable,” he explained

Hafez also added that the easiest thing in this world is to capture a photo with various colourful shades. “Yet, the real challenge is to memorise a strong moment, in black and white and let it speak for itself, like a strong, heart-capturing, concise quote,” he said.

Some of the showcased photographs, capture high-speed trains, and moving people.

Hafez explained that in such images he aims to compare between moving memories and the stable ones carved in one’s mind.

“When trains pass by me, I always like to think that it’s carrying many people inside of it, each with his own memories. So, while I am standing still, many people’s stories come across mine without even them knowing or recognising this,” he commented.     

The photos were taken in Siwa, Aswan, and Hungary, as they are the three places closest to Hafez’s heart with many memories shared in them.

“I came across several people who also share with me the fact that these three places are very special to us. So, I documented the place for both them and myself,” he concluded. 

All photos taken by Ahmed Hindawy

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