Culture – Daily News Egypt Egypt’s Only Daily Independent Newspaper In English Sun, 14 Oct 2018 18:03:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Two statues of Ramses II, Horus God, transferred to GEM for restoration Sat, 13 Oct 2018 20:01:05 +0000 Soft opening is planned to include Tutankhamun’s entire treasure collection which includes 5,200 artefacts

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Two granite statues for Ramses II and Horus God were transferred on Saturday from Al-Masalah Garden in Zamalek to the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) to be renovated and after the completion of the restoration process they will be prepared for display at the soft opening of the GEM.

The statues are planned to be among the displayed monuments at the GEM museum’s soft opening, which is to take place early 2019.

Both statues were transferred from where they have been discovered in Al-Matariya archaeological site in Cairo to the garden in Zamalek in 1962.

The GEM’s general supervisor, Tarek Tawfik, stated in a press release that the statues are to immediately undergo renovation.

The Ramses II statue is one of the rarest statues of the king. The black granite relic displays the king sitting on a chair carved with Egyptian hieroglyphs. The three-ton statue’s height is over 2 metres.

As for the statue of Horus, it is made of pink granite, and its height is 120 cm.

The one-ton statue features the ancient Egyptian god as an eagle.

The process of preparing the statues to be transferred took two days, in order to wrap Ramses II statue with foam, and put the other one inside a wooden box to facilitate their transfer from one place to another. 

Transferring the statues comes as a part of a long chain of renovating moments to prepare them for the soft opening.

Earlier this year, a giant Ramses II colossus was also transferred for restoration at the GEM. The preparations of transferring the giant statue lasted for three months.

The statue was originally transferred 11 years ago from its location in one of Cairo’s most crowded streets, Ramses, where it overlooked Cairo’s main train station connecting the capital with other governorates, to the storages of the GEM, where it was kept until building the museum is completed.

The biggest museum in the world is expected to have its full opening in 2022. The soft opening is planned to include the museum’s atrium, Grand Staircase, and its Tutankhamun hall, as well as the Golden King’s Gallery, which will put on display, for the very first time, as well as Tutankhamun’s entire treasure collection which includes 5,200 artefacts.

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'100 German Must-Reads' launched at Frankfurt Book Fair Fri, 12 Oct 2018 15:12:00 +0000 The post '100 German Must-Reads' launched at Frankfurt Book Fair appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

The world’s largest book fair served as the launching pad for DW’s bilingual literature special project. “100 German Must-Reads” recommends and presents 100 remarkable German novels that can also be read in English."Knowledge of German literature in the US can certainly be expanded," said DW reporter David Levitz Thursday at the Frankfurt Book Fair event launching the project 100 German Must-Reads.

Levitz and his German colleague, DW literature editor Sabine Kieselbach, introduced the bilingual literary multimedia project at the book fair. In the project, the two hosts summarize each book in short, entertaining videos, making the main idea of the book accessible.

Author Jenny Erpenbeck, whose novel Visitation is listed among the 100 must-reads, was also a guest at the discussion that launched the new project.

Read more: 'Great literature is regional': German author Eugen Ruge in interview

Kieselbach pointed out that Erpenbeck was one of the only German authors whose works have almost all been translated into English — something which is also the case for literary greats such as Thomas Mann.

That was one of the first criteria for selecting books for the list. Many renowned German novelists might have only one title available in English, while others simply couldn't be included since their works only exist in the original German.

Project visitors might notice that literary giants such as Johann Wolfgang von Goethe are also missing among the 100 recommendations. The reason is simple: All selected novels were published in the 20th and 21st centuries. Hate mail complaining that Goethe wasn't on the list is still to come, quipped Levitz.

History: A dominant theme of German literature

Another topic that was broadly discussed during the panel in Frankfurt was the importance of the Nazi era and the Holocaust in the selected German works.

Kieselbach pointed out that the issues that would lead to World War II had already been addressed in novels that were written before it even started, citing for example The Oppermanns by Lion Feuchtwanger. The novel portraying anti-Semitism and the rising Nazi party was published in 1933, which is the year Hitler took power in Germany. "Feuchtwanger was a literary visionary," said Kieselbach.

History remains a literary theme in many of the selected books published after 1945 as well, with works covering post-war history of West and East Germany or the fall of the Berlin Wall, among other things. Even some of the most recent novels, such as Katja Petrowskaja's Maybe Esther (2014), deal with aspects of the Holocaust and Germany's past. History never stops being a topic, Kieselbach said.

Jenny Erpenbeck's novel Visitation brings together 12 characters who she uses to cover the major historical events of Germany's 20th century history. The author pointed out that only one of those stories reflects her own biographical background, as she aims to go beyond her personal story when she writes.

For DW's Levitz, the "external perspective" on history and German society was also particularly important. Born in Florida, the reporter has been living in Germany in 2010. He believes that whoever "reads through this list will develop a different understanding of Germany and Europe." The books offer deep insights into European history, he added.

German literary humor

The panel also discussed how the 100 selected books don't just focus on the country's dark history but also feature humor. All participants of the discussion agreed that German novelists can be funny and humorous, despite widespread cliches against this.

The panel agreed that German humor is not necessarily loud and in-your-face, but is rather a subtle and quiet one that finds its place in the background. Titles as varied as Wolfgang Herrndorf's Why We Took The Car (2010) or Jurek Becker's Jakob the Liar (1969) were cited as good places to start discovering this particular form of humor.

Women underrepresented

Not much could be done to fight the fact that female authors only make up about 30 percent of the list, the DW presenters said. "Especially for the first 70 to 80 years of the 20th century," there simply weren't that many women who were published, Kieselbach said, adding that the list can continue to grow in the future.

For now, the 100 recommendations offer a unique list of works that were first written in German and that are also available to English readers.

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The sole Jewish survivor remembers the Odessa massacre of 1941 Thu, 11 Oct 2018 14:20:00 +0000 The post The sole Jewish survivor remembers the Odessa massacre of 1941 appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

Mihail Zaslavsky is the only known survivor among the tens of thousands of Ukrainian Jews who were sent to barracks to be executed or burned alive in October 1941. The 93-year-old told DW how he escaped the Nazis.Mihail Zaslavsky was 16 when his hometown Odessa, the metropolis on the Black Sea, was occupied by Romanian and German troops in October 1941. On October 22, a bomb attack on the Nazi headquarters killed 67 of the occupiers. Retaliation followed: For each German or Romanian dead officer, it was ordered that 200 “Bolsheviks” should be killed, and 100 for each dead soldier.

However, there were no more “Bolsheviks” in Odessa. Actually, hardly any men were to be found there at all. The Nazis therefore turned onto the Jewish population, predominantly women and children. They were sent to former ammunition warehouses on the outskirts of the city, where they were shot or burned alive.

Mikhail Zaslavsky, the sole survivor of the 1941 Odessa massacre, shared his memories with DW.

DW: How did you experience the events from October 1941?

Mihail Zaslavsky: I was born in Odessa and love my city. That’s why I was involved in defending Odessa in August and September 1941, like all teenage boys. We set up barricades by digging cobblestones out of the street, we cleaned up destroyed houses so they would not collapse and we helped out injured people.

October 16 was a black day. The occupying forces reached our city. I am Jewish. My father, my mother and all my ancestors were Jews, as well.

On October 19, 1941, a fascist Romanian officer came to our house with two soldiers and a Ukrainian interpreter. We were told, “Jews, pack your things! You have 20 minutes.” My mother grabbed what she could. When we came out, the neighbors from our house were standing at the gate.

I looked around. There were neighbors from the surrounding houses in front of every gate: the boys with whom I played football and grew up with, people I saw every day, neighbors who were friends or enemies. All these people had one question written on their faces: “Why?”

And what happened next?

We were brought to the school number 121. That was a new school with four stories. We were detained there until the morning. The next day, escorted by barking dogs and the blows of riffle butts, we were led to the prison on the old Portofrankskaya street. On both sides of the streets, there were friends, schoolmates and their parents who couldn’t help us and watched in shock. But there were also rascals who came and grabbed our bags away from us.

We were locked in jail, with 16 people in a cell that was conceived for one or two people, in arbitrary groups, without any consideration of the children, women or elderly people. We weren’t allowed to use restrooms. We all had to — pardon me — empty ourselves right there. I was a 16-year-old boy, and there were young women, young children. I found it terribly unpleasant. We picked a corner, put up a piece of canvas and used an old pot … but I don’t want to go into more details.

On October 22 at 4 p.m. the commanders’ building [of the occupying forces] was blown up. About a hundred fascists were killed, as we later found out. Among them was city commander Ioan Glogojanu. Of course they blamed the Jews. The next morning we were sent to the artillery warehouse.

Did you already know about the explosion?

Yes, someone had told us.

I was carrying my five-year-old brother, and we had barely reached the bunker when they yanked him away from me. I was given a terrible blow in the back. I could not tell if it was from a foot, a rifle butt or a baton, but in any case I was sent to the side, where men, including elders and teenagers, were standing. We were brought to the last building at the back. My mother and my siblings — I was the oldest of five — landed in another barrack.

After some time I heard a motor. A car was coming. Everything was showered with gasoline or another fuel and set on fire. After some time, when everything was burning, I noticed that the fire had burned a whole on one side of the building. I rushed through it.

As I said, I was young and athletic, and I was fighting for my life. I came out and there was a barrier, but it wasn’t a barrier like in concentration camps, it didn’t have barbed wire. So I found my way through the fence and ran. I immediately heard machine guns shooting in the background.

I heard screams. I heard bodies falling. I heard footsteps. I turned around and saw that the other warehouse was burning, and that the flames were raging into the sky. I reached a corn field that had already been harvested, so I snaked my way through it until I reached a area covered with trees. I fell there, breathless.

I rested there until the evening. Then in the evening I went through back areas and alleys of Odessa — I knew the city very well —until I reached the Polish cemetery. I climbed over its wall and spent the night there.

Right in the cemetery?

In the cemetery, in a tomb. I stayed all day in the tomb without food or water and I went into the city the next night …

What I went through during the occupation the following two and a half years is not a story I can tell you in two minutes. I went underground, I used a fake identity. I had papers from the Romanian police with my photo and even my fingerprints.

On April 10, 1944, Odessa was liberated, and I joined the army the next day.

Who did you lose in the flames of the artillery warehouse?

My sister Eva, 12 years old, and another sister, Shenja, who was 9, my young brother Ilja, who I had carried there. My mother had baby Anna in her arms. They were all burned to death. They became ashes. It is said that the smell of the burned bodies was in the air for several days.

Did you go back to the place where it all happened?

Yes, I did. The memorial, however, was only recently set up by us, the association of former concentration camp inmates. But I went back there every year.

Read more: Babyn Yar: Germany remembers victims

Now there are houses, garages and vegetable gardens there. How do you feel about this?

It’s normal, life prevails. The important thing is that this never happens again. Rememberance is more important than memorials.

You went to the front as soon as you could. Seeking revenge?

At the beginning there was anger and outrage, yes. Let’s say that I was a deserving soldier. But you can’t spend your entire life hating. Time eases the pain, and other worries take over. I have two children, three grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. I have told them this family tragedy, but they feel far away from it all.

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The Odessa massacre: Remembering the ‘Holocaust by bullets’ Thu, 11 Oct 2018 14:02:00 +0000 The post The Odessa massacre: Remembering the ‘Holocaust by bullets’ appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

German and Romanian officials are attending a memorial service for the 30,000 people, mostly Ukrainian Jews, murdered on October 22-23, 1941. The massacre has been a long overlooked page of WWII history — until now.On October 12, 2018, Shalimovka, an area of new housing development on the outskirts of Odessa, will be the site of an unusual event. The German and Romanian ambassadors will make appearances there, and Holocaust victims’ organizations will travel to take part, too. During the event, a speech from German Chancellor Angela Merkel will be read aloud, the RathsChor choir from the northern German city of Bremen will perform, and a rabbi from the liberal reform branch of Judaism will recite a kaddish, a hymn of praise to God that is often part of mourning rituals.

This kaddish will be recited for all those who died on one October night in 1941 in that very place.

Is it a memorial service that, like so many others, recalls the innumerable crimes of Nazi occupation during WWII? Not quite, for the mass murder of Odessa’s Jewish population, known as the 1941 Odessa massacre, is a black hole in Western Europe’s culture of memory.

Romanian and German occupiers, and Ukrainian collaborators, too, exterminated over 30,000 defenseless individuals — women, children, prisoners of war. No one ever took responsibility for the criminal tragedy — until now, 77 years after it took place.

Read more: The sole Jewish survivor remembers the Odessa massacre of 1941

A forgotten tragedy

Marieluise Beck wants to change the situation. The former expert on East European affairs for the German Green party co-founded the Liberal Modern Center (Zentrum Liberale Moderne), a think tank dedicated to defending liberal democracy.

With the help of this center, Beck not only organized the memorial event in Shalimovka, but also motivated the official German and Romanian sides to jointly claim responsibility for the massacre. The appearance of the German and Romanian ambassadors together on the site of these horrors is a long overdue gesture — and a sensation.

The complicated initiative came about following a personal experience. “I got the idea one year ago when, much to my horror, I realized I had never heard about the so-called ‘small Babi Yar’ in Odessa,” Beck said. Babi Yar is the site in Kyiv of a much more well-known Nazi massacre of Ukrainian Jews that took place the same year.

She had accompanied Bremen’s RathsChor to Ukraine for a joint performance with the Odessa Philharmonic. At one point during the trip, the musicians and Beck got lost and ended up in the small interior courtyard of a Holocaust museum run by volunteer activists. After a visit there, the group saw the city with different eyes. Beck wrote Chancellor Merkel and quickly received her backing.

The 1941 Odessa massacre

“Everything is fastidiously documented,” says Pavel Kozlenko, the 48-year-old lawyer who voluntarily leads the Odessa’s Holocaust Museum, founded in 2009.

On October 16, 1941, following two-and-a-half months of bitter fighting, the Soviet Red Army surrendered Odessa. Romanian troops backed by the Nazi-German Wehrmacht marched into the city.

Known as the “Pearl of the Black Sea,” Odessa’s capture was a major strategic victory. Some 250,000 inhabitants remained in the city, including some 90,000 who were Jewish.

Around 6:45 p.m. on October 22, a bomb went off in the heart of Odessa, right near Romanian headquarters. The device, which likely had been placed there before the fall of the city, killed 67 people, including 16 Romanian and four German officers.

Revenge measures were announced: For every dead officer, 200 “Bolsheviks” must be executed. For every soldier, 100. The one problem? There were no more “Bolsheviks” in the occupied city and practically no adult men at all, apart from the 3,000 prisoners of war. Odessa’s males had long ago joined either the army or the partisans. Jewish civilians became the victims of the retaliation.

The actual massacre occurred overnight between October 22 and 23. Up to 30,000 people, including the prisoners of war and many Jewish civilians, were corralled and locked into nine empty munitions depots at the edge of the city. Execution by gunfire failed; people were packed in too close to one another. Instead, the building was doused in gasoline and set on fire. Similar exterminations took place elsewhere in Ukraine over the following months and weeks.

Museum head Kozlenko describes how a special committee investigated the massacre site after the war, measuring the ground and its contents. “The number of victims could be calculated by determining the proportion of bone remains found in the ashes.”

Holocaust in Ukraine

Kozlenko proudly displays the many items in his small, volunteer-run museum, which receives practically no state support. “No one bothers us about our work, but no one helps us, either.”

When it comes to the Holocaust, Kozlenko believes that Ukraine lacks an official culture of remembrance. There is no state museum recalling the over 1.5 million Jewish victims. No one officially takes care of the many memorials erected by survivors after the end of the war. Volunteers and historians have identified over 1,500 execution sites. Victims were typically also buried here without any grave markers.

“Most of these places are not in city centers or towns but in outlying areas,” Kozlenko says. “Sometimes it was a pig stall, sometimes a shut-down factory on the outskirts of town.”

Death by gunfire

Kozlenko believes that caring for these places should be the task of the Ukrainian state, and he is surprised this isn’t yet the case. “Ukraine still doesn’t see the Holocaust as part of its own history, or as a tragedy of Ukrainian citizens,” Kozlenko says.

He cites the American historian Timothy Snyder, an expert in the history of the Holocaust, who has pointed out how the Holocaust has become synonymous in the public perception with the industrial-scale killing that took place in places like Auschwitz that served as both concentration and extermination camps. In comparison, the “Shoah by bullets,” as Snyder terms the mass shooting executions undertaken by SS and police battalions in numerous eastern European villages, remains a blank spot in Holocaust remembrance — in western as well as eastern Europe. Moreover, unlike the concentration camps, hardly anyone survived the mass shootings, meaning no one was able to pass along the story.

The Soviet rule also played a role. “In the Soviet era, the historical memory landscape was destroyed,” Kozlenko says. “Jews hadn’t been murdered — Soviet citizens had been.” His great-grandfather had been burned to death in the munitions depot near Odessa in October 1941 — “as a Soviet citizen, but because he was Jewish.”

Read more: Claude Lanzmann, director of Holocaust film ‘Shoah,’ dies at 92

A remembrance ceremony like no other

Children’s playgrounds, concrete housing complexes, urban garden allotments: A small memorial is the only thing today in Shalimovka that recalls what happened there 77 years ago. There is no mountain of shoes or glasses like at Auschwitz.

And still, “Whoever comes to this place with an open heart senses that a shudder is buried here under the asphalt,” the German politician Beck says. “Germany has to make a statement in the sense of accepting historic responsibility, which in this case can only be asking for forgiveness. There is no way to make amends.”

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Acropolis remained closed – tourists are angry Thu, 11 Oct 2018 13:57:00 +0000 The post Acropolis remained closed – tourists are angry appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

Almost all ancient sites and museums in Greece were closed due to a strike by museum guards and employees of the Ministry of Culture on Thursday.Hundreds of tourists who were not informed about the strike went back to their hotels angry. “That can’t be. I came from Australia to visit the Acropolis and now I can’t see anything,” a tourist from Perth said on Greek television (ERT).

The Ministry of Culture criticised the strike. The employees had called for protest because many ancient sites were on a privatisation list of the Greek state. The government stated that this had been a mistake that had since been corrected.

is/ch (dpa)

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‘German Angst’: Pinpointing the collective fears of a country Wed, 10 Oct 2018 14:52:00 +0000 The post ‘German Angst’: Pinpointing the collective fears of a country appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

An exhibition in Bonn focuses on the fears of Germans, demonstrating how certain topics such as immigration and surveillance had already been portrayed as threats decades ago.Angst: The German term has long found its way into the English language, keeping along the way its “typically German” reputation.

For example, last August, the British newspaper The Times titled its analysis of the “ugly protests in Chemnitz” as “German Angst.” But is fear really stronger in Germany than elsewhere?

The exhibition “Fear: A German State of Mind?” held at the German history museum (Haus der Geschichte) in Bonn from October 10, 2018 through May 19, 2019, looks into this question.

“There is a higher emotionality in Germany,” the curator of the exhibition, Judith Kruse, said at the show’s press presentation. “The Germans have a particular need for security,” added Walter Hütter, president of the museum’s foundation.

Focusing on four fears

When they started collecting ideas for the exhibition two years ago, the curators identified nearly 30 types of collective fears shared by Germans. “Fear: A German State of Mind?” focuses on four of them: immigration, nuclear war, environmental destruction and surveillance.

Read more: Donald Trump terrifies Germans above all else

The show features over 300 exhibits, including films, posters, newspaper clippings, advertisements, letters and other contemporary depictions related to the topic.

For example, one large-scale photo portrays anonymous people whose shaved heads have been covered by a tattoo of a code bar (top picture). The 1983 work warned against a population census West Germany aimed to introduce that would use computers, a novel techincal application for the time. The questions asked in the census were deemed too personal and evoked fears of Orwellian surveillance. After a heated debate and a lawsuit, Germany’s Constitutional Court annulled the census and determined it should be revised.

Read more: German Angst 2.0: Protecting data online

In another installation of the exhibition, visitors can hear a recording of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s “Wir schaffen das!” (We can do this), a catchphrase she often repeated in 2015 to reassure the population that Germany could deal with that year’s unusual influx of immigrants. The audio loop is accompanied by a sculpture from Düsseldorf’s Carnival parade showing the German chancellor in a boat that’s being capsized by a wave labeled “Flüchtlingswelle,” or the wave of refugees.

Read more: Two years since Germany opened its borders to refugees: A chronology

The exhibition also shows how repeated reports on West Germany’s dying forest in the 1980s triggered fears that were as strong as those related to impending nuclear war.

Refugees a reoccuring topic

“Fear has seized the Germans, fear of the stranger,” wrote Spiegel magazine in an issue covered with an image of masses of refugees pushing their way into Germany. That was not in 2015, but in 1992, when an influx of refugees from the former Yugoslavia became another source of fear.

By putting the threats of the past into perspective, the exhibition shows that the current ones aren’t necessarily new. Fear of a certain issue can be seen as “a phenomenon coming in waves,” said Hütter, adding that the media has often contributed to strengthening these fears instead of sticking to the straight facts.

How exactly does fear turn into a collective feeling? Who profits from it? Why are so many Germans afraid of immigration despite how it contributes to Germany’s current economic success? Why are German voters turning their backs on established parties? The exhibition at the Haus der Geschichte doesn’t answer these questions, but it definitely opens the discussion.

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Pictures Worth Thousand Words Wed, 10 Oct 2018 12:00:00 +0000 ‘Journey through Thailand: Land of Unforgettable Experience’, celebrated by Royal Thai Embassy

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Millions of Egyptians among people from all over the world visited Thailand throughout the past years. They recounted stories of the country’s mesmerising sceneries, charm, and serenity, memories they will return to Egypt with. However, was Asmaa Gamal’s main focus was roaming the whole country to discover all its hidden cultural gems which are rarely revealed to the world, which she featured in her latest photobook, A Journey through Thailand: Land of Unforgettable Experience.

Photo Handout to DNE

A Journey through Thailand: Land of Unforgettable Experience photobook’s publishing was celebrated by the Royal Thai Embassy last week. Captured by the young Egyptian photographer, Asmaa Gamal, the book sheds light on every rich cultural ritual Thailand is known to have, apart from the well-known touristic destinations Thailand is famous for.

Gamal, with the help of the Royal embassy in Cairo, and the Tourism Authority of Thailand, roamed the country last March for 10 days, captured the Thai legacy represented in people’s daily lives, and activities.

“We wanted to present Thailand to Egyptians through one of them” Chainarong Keratiyutwong, Thai ambassador in Egypt told Daily News Egypt, “it could have been much easier to ask for a Thai photographer to capture photos presenting the national culture, however, there are some things that as  part of the community you become familiar with, so we wanted an Egyptian photographer to portray Thailand from the eyes of Egyptians.”

Keratiyutwong believed that the most essential factor of this photobook is that it shows Thailand in a different way, which relies on photos more than text.

“People nowadays do not read much, so writing thousands of words about the beauty of the country will not capture attention as much as a rich, well balanced photo, captured by a talented photopher like Gamal,” he explained.

Photo Handout to DNE

Gamal, who also works as a photographer for DNE, said in her speech that she aimed to tell a story with every photo she took, which can be said without any words.

“It is always said ‘use pictures, they’re worth a thousand words.’ As a photo journalist, I wanted to write stories with my photos, and to capture the moments they portray,” she said.

The celebration took place at the Hilton Cairo in Heliopolis, where an exhibition of some of the book’s photos were exhibited.

The launch witnessed the attendance of about 80 guests, consisting of diplomatic corps members, representatives from the Egyptian government, as well as tour operators.

“We wanted to organise the exhibition in an open place, where random people walking by could simply see the beauty of the country through pictures, without having to go to a certain art platform in order to do so,” Keratiyutwong explained.

The book displays some of Thailand’s areas, which are not as famous as most of the touristic destinations. Throughout her journey, Gamal roamed Thailand from north to south, covering the lives of Thai people who are far from being tourism destination visits.

Photo Handout to DNE

“We took her to the mountain residents at the north, Buddhist temples, and massage schools, and of course we did not completely miss the more famous spots like the floating market,” the ambassador further added.

The embassy plans to further distribute the photobook to libraries, and other entities in Egypt, so as to ensure that this bilingual book, English and Arabic, which serves as an invaluable source of information about Thailand, can reach a wider Egyptian audience.

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Bollywood superstars speak up about their sexual harassment, joining #MeToo campaign Tue, 09 Oct 2018 15:00:43 +0000 Since global #MeToo went viral, many actresses shared stories of being asked to provide sexual favours, being sexually harassed by directors, filmmakers

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Indian superstar and former Miss Universe Tanushree Dutta, joined on Sunday a long chain of female superstars fighting sexual harassments in the cinematic scene, and accused prominent Indian filmmaker Nana Patekar of sexually harassing her in 2008.

The superstar reported to the police that “Patekar behaved inappropriately towards her during the making of a romantic comedy in the same year,” according to AFP.

Her accusations sparked reaction similar to the #MeToo campaign in Bollywood, with several actors and actresses expressing their beliefs towards the case.

Dutta stated the details of the incident earlier this week in an interview, before she headed the next day to the police station to file an official complaint. 

“Dutta visited the police station last night, and submitted a written complaint,” Shailesh Pasalwar, a Mumbai police inspector, told AFP.

“We are investigating the case but right now, it is not a FIR (First Information Report, or a formal investigation) but a written complaint about a harassment incident,” he added.

Peteka was not the only filmmaker Dutta accused of sexually harassing her. In the same interview, she also said filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri had behaved inappropriately towards her during the shooting of the 2005 movie “Chocolate: Deep Dark Secrets”.

For their sides, Pateka and Agnihotri denied all accusations. In a statement, published by Dutta last week, she stated that she had received a legal notice by both artists “denying her accusations”.

Dutta is not the only Indian actress to speak up about the sexual harassment she faces from Bollywood filmmakers.

Since the global cause of the #MeToo went viral, many actresses shared their stories of being asked to provide sexual favours, or being sexually harassed by directors or filmmakers.

Last year, movie star Swara Bhaskar said she had been harassed by “an unnamed director” early in her career.

Bhaskar also added that there is a “casting couch” culture, where young women are expected to exchange sexual favours to secure film roles. Bollywood’s cliquey nature also made it difficult to go public, she said, according to AFP.

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Overnight tourist stays banned on Thailand's famed Similan islands Tue, 09 Oct 2018 08:23:00 +0000 The post Overnight tourist stays banned on Thailand's famed Similan islands appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

Overnight tourist stays on Thailand’s popular Similan islands were banned starting Tuesday, as the government took another step toward tackling environmental problems caused by mass tourism.The ban covers all overnight stays except for those operated by certain licensed deep-sea diving tour companies, according to a Royal Gazette published Monday. Day trips will still be permitted.

The Similan islands, located 80 kilometres north-west of Phuket, are one of the best-known island groups in the Andaman Sea. The area's renowned corals and marine life have suffered in recent years as tourism to the islands increased. The ban follows the closure in June of Maya Bay, popularized by the 2000 Hollywood movie "The Beach." In late September, the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation resolved to indefinitely close Maya Bay until damaged corals in the area are fully rehabilitated.

The pristine beach on Koh Phi Phi island was formerly visited by more than 5,000 tourists each day – twice the actual capacity the beach could accommodate. The initial plan to close Maya Bay for only four months was scrapped as damages remained extensive, the department said.

Thailand's booming tourism industry, which contributes to more than 20 percent of the country's gross domestic product, has seen a constant rise in tourist numbers, from 32 million visitors in 2016 to 35 million in 2017, and an estimated 38 million this year.

is/ch (dpa)

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Nobel for Economic Sciences goes to US’s Nordhaus, Romer for climate change, sustainable growth Mon, 08 Oct 2018 18:15:42 +0000 Award went for methods designed to address how we create long-term sustainable economic growth, global interplay between economy, climate

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The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences to two American economists, William D Nordhaus, and Paul M Romer on Monday.

The award went for Nordhaus and Romer for the methods they designed in order to address one of our time’s most basic and pressing questions about how we create long-term sustained, and sustainable

economic growth, as well as tackling the global interplay between the economy, and the climate.

Romer demonstrated throughout his work, how knowledge can function as a driver of long-term economic growth. Previous macroeconomic research had emphasised technological innovation as the primary driver of economic growth, but had not modelled how economic decisions and market conditions determine the creation of new technologies. Paul Romer solved this problem by demonstrating how economic forces govern the willingness of firms to produce new ideas and innovations.

On the other hand, Nordhaus in the 1990s became the first economist to create a model that “describes the global interplay between the economy and the climate,” the academy said. His model presented the most efficient remedy for problems caused by greenhouse gases as a global scheme of universally imposed carbon taxes.

Nordhaus argued that climate change should be considered as a “global public good,” like public health and international trade, and regulated accordingly, through agreeing on a global price for burning carbon that reflects its whole cost, and this primary cause of rising temperatures could be traded and taxed, putting market forces to work on the problem.

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Frankfurt Book Fair: Spotlight on Georgia, a country of contrasts Mon, 08 Oct 2018 14:53:00 +0000 The post Frankfurt Book Fair: Spotlight on Georgia, a country of contrasts appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

Georgia is the guest of honor at the 2018 Frankfurt Book Fair. The small Caucasus republic presents richly diverse literature.Despite its geographic location, Tbilisi looks very much like a European capital, lively and oddly beautiful.

In the 19th century, merchants, bankers and widely traveled tradesmen created wide streets and spacious mansions in the city center. However, the old town is full of narrow cobbled streets. There is scaffolding everywhere as many ornate buildings are being restored: Georgia's capital is shedding the crumbling remnants of the Soviet era.

Uneasy past

Prize-winning Georgian playwright and critic Davit Gabunia has an eye on the changes in his city, the country and its people. Where is the young republic headed after decades of Soviet occupation, and how is it dealing with its past?

"We need many more years of stability, peace and an economic upswing before we can start dealing with the past," says Gabunia.

Georgia's past is marked by centuries of foreign rule, exploitation and oppression, Stalin's system of injustice, Soviet propaganda and finally, the hard times after independence in 1991, including unstable power structures, a dilapidated economy, corruption, violence and the battle for the renegade republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

The tense political situation has kept people so busy that no one has the time or peace of mind to deal with the past, says Gabunia — "even if that's where they will find the roots of all the problems."

Davit Gabunia: a thriller with a political backdrop

That is also the reason why Georgian literature is so illuminating. It meanders through the small country and its history, tells tales of people and takes an unabashed look at the country's chasms and upheavals.

Farben der Nacht (which translates as "Colors of the Night," not available in English yet), Davit Gabunia's debut novel, is a crime thriller and a glimpse of a society where homosexuality is a taboo, machismo is widespread and where, basically, it's every man for himself.

The thriller takes place in the summer of 2012. Political events serve as a backdrop to his story. People were dissatisfied with President Mikhail Saakashvili and tens of thousands took to the streets in protest as videos emerged showing that prisoners were tortured in the country's prisons.

A parliamentary election on October 1 saw a change of power as Bidsina Ivanishvili, a billionaire oligarch, took office as prime minister, promising a pro-Western shift, only to step down voluntarily a year later.

Georgian culture, argues Davit Dabunia, is a culture of extremes. The protagonists of his story may be regular people but they find themselves in extreme situations, he adds.

Nana Ekvtimishvili: tales of violence and strong women

Nana Ekvtimishvili grew up in a village near the capital, right by a children's home. The relic from the Soviet era housed children no one wanted in abject poverty.

As a child, the author played with these children, and remembers them talking about a ritual in a pear orchard, where newcomer girls were raped by the other children.

After coming across some of her former playmates begging in the streets 20 years later, she wove her childhood memories into a disturbing novel, titled The Pear Field.

Nana Ekvtimishvili is known in western Europe as a filmmaker. She studied in Potsdam, Germany, but the stories she tells all take place in Georgia. Women are at the center of these stories, women who take the bull by the horns and seek change.

People in the country aren't used to taking stock of situations, says Nana Ekvtimishvili — one of the worst legacies of Soviet rule. They just haven't learned to initiate change themselves, she adds.

Archil Kikodze: an identity crisis

What will the future bring? Will everyone find their place? Author, photographer, actor and tour guide Archil Kikodze has traveled extensively throughout his country and Tbilisi, which makes him a wanderer between worlds with a strong sense of observation.

His award-winning novel Southern Elephant follows a narrator through a day in Tbilisi, while several flashbacks send the reader back to the 1920s. Kikodze tells the story of an identity crisis filled with ethical conflicts and questions about a right or wrong way of living, about truth and truthfulness.

The Soviet era damaged Georgia's society, says the author. It left traces in every family.

The Southern Elephant, he says, is the story of his generation. Once, after a public reading of his book, a young girl came to thank him, saying that she now understood why her uncle drank so much and why her neighbor was the way he was.

If it stays peaceful in Georgia, says Kikodze, then society will develop one step at a time. Young people are already more open, more colorful, freer, "But my generation still has many complexes that we've been carrying with us our entire life."

Today Georgia aspires to further integrate into the west. English has replaced Russian as the first foreign language people learn and they can travel to the EU without a visa.

Georgia's literature is certainly a great way to discover the country's contrasts and changing culture.

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'Africa the lab': Postcolonial scholar Achille Mbembe awarded Gerda Henkel Prize Mon, 08 Oct 2018 10:21:00 +0000 The post 'Africa the lab': Postcolonial scholar Achille Mbembe awarded Gerda Henkel Prize appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

The Cameroon-born scholar of postcolonialism, Achille Mbembe has been awarded the Gerda Henkel Prize, one of Germany’s most renowned honors for scholarly research in a move the foundation hopes inspires others."His deliberations on Africa's place in the global order are both controversial and unsettling and have made an enduring mark even far beyond fundamental debates on postcolonialism. They focus attention on 'Africa the Lab,' beyond all the customary stereotypes and highlight links between colonialism, racism and capitalism that still require a more thorough discussion here in Germany as well."

Those were the words with which the jury for the Gerda Henkel Foundation explained their decision to award the 2018 Gerda Henkel Prize to Achille Mbembe, an award he will receive on Monday in Dusseldorf.

A criticism of racist thought structures

Achille Mbembe has been one of the most important thinkers on the African continent since the early 2000s. In his books, including Critique of Black Reason and Out of the Dark Night, he criticizes existing thought structures that are racist, a critique which has brought him worldwide attention.

These books, the jury wrote, are "impressive testimonies to a highly independent way of thinking that shapes Mbembe's research throughout and is as critical as it is self-critical."

The historian and professor of political science was one of 134 scholars to be nominated for the bi-annual award. Endowed with €100,000 ($115,000), the Gerda Henkel Prize is one of the most important awards in the field of historical humanities.

An award to inspire other researchers

The decision to honor Achille Mbembe this year, says Michael Hanssler, chairman of the board of the Gerda Henkel Foundation, "Shows that outstanding scholarly work is being done on the African continent." He hopes "that this award for Professor Mbembe will inspire and motivate many young researchers – not just in Africa."

Born in Cameroon in 1957, Mbembe earned his doctorate in history from the Paris Sorbonne and has also taught in the USA. His books have been translated into several languages, including Arabic, German, English, Italian, Dutch, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian and Spanish.

ct/eg (dpa,

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Why Egyptian girl with world’s longest scuba diving record did not make it to Guinness Mon, 08 Oct 2018 06:30:45 +0000 She published on her Facebook page, she has been preparing for 2 years for competition

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For two days and 5 hours, 14-year-old Reem Ashraf stayed underwater, to break the world record of the longest open saltwater scuba dive, previously scored by a female American diver, Cristi Quill. Ashraf broke the record on Friday, by staying underwater for 56 hours and 25 minutes, in the Gulf of Aqaba, in Sharm El-Sheikh.

Reem Ashraf

Despite that, Ashraf is not listed in the Guinness World Records book, as she was rejected due to her young age.

Reem’s father told local media outlets on Friday that the Guinness World Records refused to register his daughter in the competition at first, as it is required that any participant must be above the age of 16.

He added that later Reem was approved to participate in the competition only under the supervision of Guinness, which she refused, asserting that he is to file a lawsuit against Guinness for not listing his daughter’s achievement in their records.

The young girl started the journey on Wednesday morning, to get out of the sea on Friday.

In the application form, she published on her official Facebook page, Ashraf wrote that she has been preparing for two years for such a competition.

She said that such an achievement at her age is to ‘break the frustration barrier of frustration.”

In addition to the application, Ahsraf posted the approval e-mail she received earlier from Guinness to participate at the title of the world’s longest open saltwater scuba dive for females.

Despite that, the record of the Guinness Longest open saltwater scuba dive for females is still—at the time of print— registered under the name of Cristi Quill, who dived for 51 hours and 26 minutes at La Jolla Shores in San Diego, California.

After completing her dive, Ashraf told local media outlets that her victory is a gift for all Egyptians in the memory of 6th of October.

She said in an interview that the longest time she had slept while being underwater was four hours.

“I spent my time reading, drawing, and playing ping pong,” she said in a phone call to the privatively owned TV channel CBC extra.

Reem and her family moved to Sharm El-Sheikh two years ago in order to for Reem to practice diving. She stated that her passion for diving started at a young age, as she was inspired by her father, who works as an officer in the navy.

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Opera soprano Montserrat Caballé dies, age 85 Sat, 06 Oct 2018 08:38:00 +0000 The post Opera soprano Montserrat Caballé dies, age 85 appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

Critics and audiences the world over viewed Caballé as one of the great opera divas. A look at her successes and triumphs across diverse genres.As announced by The Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau in Barcelona, Montserrat Caballé passed away early Saturday morning. The famous operatic opera star will be laid to rest on Monday.

When Montserrat Caballé was born on April 12, 1933, her parents named her after a nearby mountain range close to Barcelona. Yet no one in the family might have dreamed that the newborn would go on to conquer the lofty summits of coloratura singing, or would be revered as the “queen of bel canto.”

From Bremen out into the world

After studying voice at a conservatory in her native Barcelona, Montserrat Caballé made her debut in 1956 at the Theater Basel, where she played the consumptive Mimi in Puccini’s “La Bohème.” Three years later, the young soprano joined the ensemble of the Theater Bremen, where she consistently developed her repertoire and studied diverse soprano parts.

As audiences in the rather restrained northern German city of Bremen enthusiastically applauded the singer, foreign houses also became aware of Caballé. When in New York in 1965, the soprano stepped in for singer Marilyn Horne, who had fallen ill, and performed Donizetti’s “Lucrezia Borgia” without a rehearsal. “This is the bel canto specialist we’ve been waiting for,” cheered enthusiastic critics after Caballé’s impressive performance.

Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti

This sudden New York success might have surprised the singer but it was a pivotal step on her international career path. In an interview about the Italian vocal style decades later, she said of her New York performance: “Bel canto always sounded too much like the cry of a rooster. Mozart was better. The conductor simply told me to sing it as though it were Mozart.”

Although Caballé often interpreted works by Mozart or Richard Strauss, audiences especially wanted to hear her perform virtuoso coloratura parts in operas by Gioacchino Rossini, Vincenzo Bellini and Gaetano Donizetti. Indeed, rising demand for the soprano saw her soon make appearances at the Met in New York, as well as major international opera houses in Munich, Hamburg, Berlin, Vienna, London, Paris, Milan or Buenos Aires.

A friend of Callas

After her meteoric ascent to the bel canto summit, Caballé became close with a colleague who was both admired and feared: Maria Callas. The two divas got along quite well, with the younger asking Callas for advice on difficult parts. The latter once described Caballé’s voice as a “light breeze on the skin.”

Caballé likewise had good relationship with soprano Renata Tebaldi, who was Callas’ fiercest competitor. The Spanish soprano was likely pleased after the international press labeled her the heir of the two celebrated divas in the 1970s and 80s. But amid the hype, bel canto remained the most important focus of Caballé’s wide-ranging stage repertoire.

Unafraid of rubbing elbows
The soprano’s fans didn’t just stem from the classical music scene. One of the opera star’s most famous admirers was Freddie Mercury, lead singer in British rock group Queen. In 1987, he and Caballé collaborated on the album “Barcelona,” with the eponymous title song reaching the top of the European pop charts.

The album’s reissue for the 1992 Olympic Games was again a major success. On her 1997 album “Friends for Life,” Caballé collaborated with pop greats like Bruce Dickinson from band Iron Maiden (covering the Queen song “Bohemian Rapshody”), in addition to Johnny Hallyday, Jonny Logan, Vangelis and Helmut Lotti.

In addition to her classical repertoire, the singer was also interested in the traditional music of her Catalan homeland. She performed numerous concerts with her daughter, the soprano Montserrat Martí.

A UNESCO ambassador, Caballé received countless honors such as the Federal Cross of Merit awarded by Germany. In 2007, she received the ECHO Klassik Prize for her life’s work.

‘The best voice in the world’

Freddie Mercury was just one of many who raved about Caballé’s voice, saying it was “the best in the world.” Critics praised the almost inexhaustible versatility of her repertoire, the unusually dramatic nature of her performances, and her mastery of vocal technique. She was revered not only as the “queen of bel canto,” but one of the greatest singers of her generation.

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Qalandiya International: Art shows for Palestinian solidarity Fri, 05 Oct 2018 13:48:00 +0000 The post Qalandiya International: Art shows for Palestinian solidarity appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

The fourth Qalandiya International exhibition opens with shows in the West Bank and Gaza, but also Lebanon and Germany, crossing borders the Palestinians themselves can’t pass.Mahdi Baraghithi has draped a shawl reminiscent of traditional Palestinian embroidery over his shoulders, black with brightly colored flowers. The motif is immediately recognizable in his collages, displayed in ornate gold frames on the walls of Birzeit University, north of Ramallah in the West Bank.

His artwork is part of the Qalandiya International art exhibitions that open in various towns in Palestine in October. The culture and art festival is named after the Israeli Qalandiya checkpoint, the largest in the West Bank.

The frames are a bit tacky, Baraghithi admits, but he adds that many Palestinian refugees have similar frames on their walls, “with paintings of Jerusalem and the other lost cities of Palestine” — paintings of places people yearn for, he says, and “that are out of reach.”

Mahdi Baraghithi’s family are refugees from Lydda, a city in Israel officially named Lod. Israeli troops captured the town in the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, killed hundreds of Palestinians and ousted the Arab population. Lydda stands for the trauma of the Nakba, as Palestinians call the 1948 events. Part of the Birzeit exhibition is dedicated to this city: “Lydda – A Garden Dis-remembered.”

The imagery of Lydda

A third-generation refugee, the 27-year-old artist has never set foot in Lydda. He lives in Ramallah and it is difficult for a resident of the Israeli-occupied West Bank to get permission to cross the border to Israel.

Baraghithi is not even trying to obtain one. He doesn’t want to lose his idealized perception of the lost city by confronting it with reality.

For years, he has been collecting everything he could find on Lydda’s past and present: family photos, newspaper clippings and social media posts.

In his collages, he adds Palestinian symbols like the key, which stands for the exiles’ return to their homes, photos of motorcycles, bulldozers, men in macho poses. Their faces are hidden by flowers.

Mahdi Baraghithi presents Lydda as he imagines the city to be, and he shows how not having a home has affected the Palestinian people; how society puts pressure on young men like himself to stand up as freedom fighters.

“You have to liberate your country, that’s what they teach us,” he told DW. “That makes for a lot of pressure.”

This year’s theme is solidarity

Every two years since 2012, Palestinian museums and culture institutes organize and stage art exhibitions aimed at bringing culture to towns with large Palestinian populations.

Throughout October this year, there will be shows and events in towns in the West Bank and Gaza, in cities in Israel with large Arab populations — and even in faraway New York, London and the German city of Düsseldorf.

The curators organized these shows mainly via skype, says Yazan Khalili, head of the Khalil Sakanini culture center in Ramallah, which is one of the nine Palestinian culture organizations participating in Qalandiya International.

It was a virtual round table, he says: Palestinians from Ramallah or Beirut can’t go to Haifa without Israeli approval, and very few are allowed to go to Jerusalem. The Gaza curators couldn’t even travel to the West Bank.

Gaza has been virtually closed off since the Islamic Hamas took power more than 10 years ago. Gaza and the West Bank are divided; physically, since Israel lies between them, and politically, because of the deep split between Hamas and the more moderate Fatah, the Palestinian party that rules the West Bank.

It’s quite an achievement that artists and others involved with culture in Gaza and the West Bank are even talking, the curators agree — and fittingly, solidarity is the Qalandiya International theme this year.

What solidarity means for the artists

Observers, however, wonder whether solidarity among Palestinians still exists.

People seem to think they are showing solidarity even if they only post a photo or a link on Facebook, argues Reem Shadid, co-curator of the project. It seems the kind of solidarity that made people take action and that liberated entire peoples is a thing of the past, she told DW. “We have to discuss new forms of solidarity.”

All the same, solidarity with Palestine is the focus in performances and panel discussions in New York, Düsseldorf and London.

Art has the power to unite

Qalandiya International certainly sees itself as a manifesto of solidarity among artists, who unlike the Hamas and Fatah political factions actually communicate and help one another.

“Art has the power to unite,” states Khalili. “Art wants to present a different form of politics, and in such fragmented times, culture argues that yes, there is solidarity among Palestinians.” That is how it has been for decades, he adds. Palestinians started demonstrating unity right after 1948 with folk songs, traditional tales and embroidery, Khalili says.

It’s really no coincidence at all that Mahdi Baraghithi wore a replica of a Palestinian embroidered shawl at the opening ceremony this week. For him, one thing is clear: Palestinians “are one people.”

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Anti-Semitic lyrics: German rapper pledges 'more respect' in future Fri, 05 Oct 2018 11:06:00 +0000 The post Anti-Semitic lyrics: German rapper pledges 'more respect' in future appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

German rapper Kollegah says that after visiting Auschwitz, he saw how offensive some of his most recent lyrics are to Jews. “I will never use words like those again,” he said in an interview.German rapper Kollegah clearly distanced himself from his controversial lyrics on his latest album with Farid Bang.

"I will never use words like those again," the hip-hop artist said in an interview with Stern magazine this week, adding that after visiting the Auschwitz concentration camp not too long ago, he and Farid Bang realized how offensive their lyrics really were.

'Disturbing experience'

The musician says the visit changed him, and that it was a "disturbing experience" that clarified a lot.

He said that he could never forget now that he's seen with his own eyes where human beings were gassed in the factory of death. It has made him "more cautious, and respectful."

Read more: Why gangsta rap's aggro style appeals to the masses

The International Auschwitz Committee had invited Kollegah and Farid Bang to visit the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial in the wake of a controversy surrounding the two rappers.

They were accused of anti-Semitism for lyrics such as "My body is more defined than those of Auschwitz inmates" and "Create another Holocaust."

The controversy over the lyrics had peaked when their album Jung, Brutal, Gutaussehend 3, (Young, brutal, good looking 3) won an Echo Music Award, Germany's top music prize.

The prize has since been entirely scrappeddue to massive outrage over the choice.

Humbling visit

The rappers visited the concentration camp privately and without media fanfare in summer.

"I stand for tolerance and am opposed to racist and religious prejudice," the 34-year-old musician told Stern, adding that perhaps provocation is a thing of the past for him. His visit has made him think twice before just simply rapping something.

Farid Bang apologized for the lyrics, saying he and Kollegah distanced themselves from "any and all forms of anti-Semitism and hate against minorities."

More than 1 million people were killed by Nazi Germany at the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp during World War II, the majority of them Jews.

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One year of #MeToo: A timeline of events Fri, 05 Oct 2018 10:46:00 +0000 The post One year of #MeToo: A timeline of events appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

A year ago, several women publicly accused Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct. Here’s a look back at the aftermath of the scandal that first rocked the film world and launched a worldwide movement.On October 5, 2017, The New York Times published the article "Harvey Weinstein Paid Off Sexual Harassment Accusers for Decades."

Several female actors claimed that Hollywood's most powerful movie mogul had sexually abused and coerced them. Many actors' careers were only made possible by being in the good graces of the powerful producer.

Everyone in the industry seemed to know about what was going on, but it was deliberately overlooked.

October 15, 2017:

Ten days later, Actress Alyssa Milano tweeted this sentence:

And tens of thousands took up her call.

Far beyond Hollywood's glimmering lights, all over the world, women who had experienced similar violence made their voices heard under #MeToo. Men as well. The hashtag was used some 200,000 times on Twitter in just the first day.

By day two, that number had risen to more than half a million. Women and men briefly described what had happened to them.

Milano received answers to her post that were shocking, even despite — or perhaps because of — their brevity: "I was nine…" Women wrote about grandfathers, stepfathers, bosses, and neighbors. And pain — pain that would not go away even as the years went by.

The hashtag #MeToo started trending on Twitter in more than 85 countries, spurring offshoots in other languages.

Victims revealed cases from the music industry, as well as from politics and the business world. Names such as George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Donald Trump were heard, but high-ranking politicians in other countries also were accused.

Here's a look back at events that happened after the breakthrough scandal.

October 24, 2017:

The scandal reached the fashion industry. Condé Nast, the publisher behind magazines such as Vogue, Vanity Fair and GQ announced it would no longer be hiring photographer Terry Richardson, after a Sunday Times article asked why he was still working for prestigious fashion magazines despite being regularly accused of sexual assault.

In January 2018 the influential photographers Mario Testino and Bruce Weber were also suspended from working with different fashion magazines after a New York Times article published testimonies of models accusing them of sexually exploiting them.

October 25, 2017:

The European Parliament member from Germany and Green Party politician Terry Reintke had already described in September how she had been a victim of a sexual attack in the German city of Duisburg.

In the aftermath of the #MeToo debate, the EU Parliament decided to deal with similar occurrences within its walls. The legislature passed a resolution: Cases of harassment and assault were to be investigated, cleared up and sanctioned.

October 29, 2017:

Actor Anthony Rapp claimed through the online magazine BuzzFeed that House of Cards lead actor Kevin Spacey had made unwanted sexual advances toward him when he was 14.

Spacey came out as gay in an apology to Rapp. A growing number of men also accused the star of sexual misconduct, including 20 employees of London's Old Vic theater. Spacey was artistic director at the Old Vic theater in London between 2004 and 2015.

Netflix ended House of Cards without him and Ridley Scott reshot Spacey's scenes in his already completed filmAll the Money in the World, replacing the disgraced actor with Christopher Plummer.

November 1, 2017:

Author Anna Graham Hunter wrote in Hollywood Reporter column "Dustin Hoffman Sexually Harassed Me When I Was 17," recounting her experience as an intern on the set of the 1985 film Death of a Salesman.

In the following weeks six more women revealed their similar cases from the 70s and 80s.

That same day, British Defense Minister Michael Fallon stepped down. According to a report in the British newspaper The Guardian, Fallon had inappropriately touched journalist Julia Hartley-Brewer multiple times on the knee during a dinner back in 2002, until she threatened to slap him.

November 12, 2017:

Hundreds of women, men and children came together in Hollywood to attend a "Me Too Survivors" march. They paraded down Hollywood Boulevard with signs and banners in protest against sexual abuse and rape. Their path also led them over the Walk of Fame, the sidewalk filled with the stars of legendary Hollywood figures, some of whom stood accused.

November 24, 2017:

The Swedish Academy, which awards the Nobel Prize in Literature every year, was also rocked by a scandal. The husband of one of the academy's members was accused of sexual assault. His name was later revealed; French photographer Jean-Claude Arnault was also a prominent figure of Sweden's cultural scene.

In October 2018, he was found guilty of rape.

December 6, 2017:

Time magazine announced its annual Person of the Year. Following Angela Merkel (2015) and Donald Trump (2016), it chose "The Silence Breakers," people who had spoken out as part of the #MeToo movement.

The accompanying article included the original founder of the term "MeToo," Tarana Burke, as well as stars such as Taylor Swift and Ashley Judd. The magazine underlined that its yearly selection was about honoring people who, in whatever form, impact social debates. In 2017, the magazine said, these people were the innumerable "Silence Breakers."

January 1, 2018:

Over 300 women from the US film industry started the foundation "Time's Up" against sexual harassment. Hollywood stars such as Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, Julienne Moore, Salma Hayek, Scarlett Johansson, Jennifer Lawrence, Susan Sarandon, Uma Thurman and Cate Blanchett are among its supporters. The fund provides subsidized legal support to people who have experienced sexual harassment.

January 3, 2018:

The first specific allegations in the German film industry were made. Actresses and former co-workers accused director Dieter Wedel of violent and sexual harassment in the 1990s.

Back then, Wedel was in charge of highly successful German TV films and series — and known for his iron-fisted approach on set. Several actresses spoke of harassment, even rape, in hotel rooms. Wedel denied the allegations and announced he would take legal action.

January 6, 2018:

At the Golden Globes Awards ceremony in Los Angeles, most guests showed up dressed in black out of solidarity with the #MeToo movement and the victims of sexual violence.

Oprah Winfrey made a rousing speech. "For too long women have not been heard or believed if they dared to speak their truth to the power of those men. But their time is up," the talk show host said.

Nobody, she added, should ever have to say "me too" again. The audience and millions of TV viewers were so enthralled by Winfrey's words that many would like to see her as a candidate for the next US presidential election.

January 9, 2018:

French film star Catherine Deneuve and 100 other French celebrity women published an open letter in newspaper Le Monde, harshly criticizing the "denunciation campaign" against men. "Rape is a crime, but insistent or clumsy flirting is not an offense," the women wrote.

April 26, 2018:

Comedy star Bill Cosby was found guilty in a sexual assault trial based on a case from 2004. Many other women came out with similar accusations.

On September 25 he was sentenced to three to 10 years in prison.

August 20, 2018:

The New York Times reported that actor Asia Argento, one of the prominent Harvey Weinstein accusers, had allegedly assaulted former co-star Jimmy Bennett while he was still a minor.

September 27, 2018:

A hearing was held to question US Supreme Court candidate Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, who had accused him of sexually assaulting her while they were in high school.

A whirlwind FBI investigation was conducted after the testimony. The Senate is voting on Kavanaugh's nomination on October 5.

October 5, 2018:

The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad for their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict.

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The filmmakers driving the new Golden Age of Mexican cinema Fri, 05 Oct 2018 07:55:00 +0000 The post The filmmakers driving the new Golden Age of Mexican cinema appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

Oscars, Golden Lions, Palms and Bears — Mexican film has made it to the top. Here’s a look at the country’s leading directors, actors and screenwriters who are behind the country’s cinema rebirth.Perhaps the most astonishing characteristic of the Mexican films that have been making it onto international screens since the turn of the century is that they appear to effortlessly merge art house style with box office success: movie-goers and film critics alike enjoy films like The Shape of Water, Babel and Pan's Labyrinth.

Mexican directors, script writers and actors have made a name for themselves on screens worldwide these past 18 years. They are regularly invited to the top film festivals, where they have received different awards. Mexican movies are popular and successful around the world.

The rebirth of Mexican cinema that started out in the 1990s is a movement that was labeled Nuevo Cine Mexicano, or New Mexican Cinema. A few Mexican movies had made an impression at film festivals and did well at national box offices during that decade, but what followed after the turn of the century was quite remarkable.

The last time the world had an eye on Mexico as a filmmaking nation was after World War II, when Spain's Luis Bunuel, the master of surrealist film, made a splash with his works from his new home in Mexican exile.

Following in Bunuel's footsteps

Inarritu, Cuaron und del Toro build on Bunuel to a point. They, too, offer the audience a magic union of stark realism and surrealist elements.

Mexico's new filmmakers are worthy successors of the great Spanish-born Bunuel, following in the footsteps of the iconic international movie director.

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New cultural centre bears name of Gamal Abdel Nasser in his hometown Thu, 04 Oct 2018 10:00:08 +0000 Nasser’s centennial anniversary will be celebrated in 2019, late president’s name endures

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The Ministry of Culture announced the opening of a new cultural centre named after the late Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser, in his hometown Beni Mur in Assuit governorate, with the aim to eternise his name as symbol of culture, music, art, and enlightenment.

Inas Abdel Dayem, minister of culture, and Assuit governor Gamal Nour El-Din, will inaugurate the centre on Sunday 7 October, in the presence of Abdel Nasser’s family members, and a number of cultural figures.

Abdel Dayem said that the centre will be a new artery for art, and creativity at the heart of Upper Egypt to fight extremism. She added, in a press release, that the new centre will support the cultural balance in the cities of Upper Egypt, and it will be a hub for exploring young talents.

The centre is built over a space of 1,200 sqm, and will have a small museum showcasing some of Abdel Nasser’s belongings, donated by his family to the ministry.

The centre will also include a panorama exhibition that will screen the Egyptian leader’s life story, conference room, bookstore, playground, and theatre, with a capacity of 145 chairs. The cultural centre was built by the National Service Projects Organisation.

Abdel Nasser’s centennial anniversary will be celebrated in 2019. Earlier this month, his grandson published a biography of the Egyptian leader.

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Egyptian cyclists set new Guinness world record by forming largest heart on GPS Thu, 04 Oct 2018 09:00:45 +0000 Event aims to raise heart disease awareness among Egyptians, says Philips CEO of North East Africa

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Egypt marked the World Heart Day by setting a new Guinness world record as large group of cyclists formed a huge heart on the global positioning system (GPS). The event, organized by the Philips International Charity Foundation, aimed to raise awareness about heart disease among Egyptians.

It was part of the ‘Back to Rhythm’ campaign, which concluded with the Guinness achievement, and involved several bike rides from different places covering 740km.

“It was a rigorous challenge, covering different terrains in harsh conditions across Egypt, but it was such a humbling ride,” Galal Zekri Chatila, a young Egyptian cycling adventurer, said.

“It is an honour to use my passion to send such an important message of staying fit and keeping healthy,” he added.

Chatila crossed Egypt from Cairo all the way to Aswan in the south, by bicycle, covering 1,100 km.

Iyad Al-Taiyeb, Philips CEO of North East Africa, stated that the event aims to raise heart disease awareness among Egyptians.

“In fact, the average Egyptian face the risk of heart disease,” Al Taiyeb said, adding, “as a result, it is vital that all citizens learn heart disease symptoms, and how to save others in the unfortunate event of a sudden cardiac arrest.”

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Sweden to close its Alexandria SwedAlex institute by end of March 2019 Thu, 04 Oct 2018 06:00:03 +0000 Dialogue between cultures, civilisations organised by Swedish institute will continue, says Mazoyer

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Sweden has terminated the contract of the Swedish institute in Alexandria, the SwedAlex institute, and plans to move the institute as soon as possible to another location in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

SwedAlex’s  activities will shut down by the end of March 2019, but the dialogue between cultures and civilisations in line with the Barcelona declaration which the Swedish institute has been organising will continue, Anna Block Mazoyer, director of MENA department at the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, told Daily News Egypt via an online enquiry.

“It is not yet decided when or where a new office will be opened, but we have a very clear intention to continue with the activities,” mentioned Mazoyer.

“Due to practical difficulties, such as the termination of rental agreement, and the limited travel links to Alexandria, the government has decided to relocate the institute,” a Friday statement from the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs explained, adding that Sweden’s presence through its embassy in Cairo will not be affected by the decision.

The Swedish institute in Alexandria is a Swedish mission funded by development assistance. It was established in 2000 to increase understanding between Sweden and other countries in Europe, as well as Egypt and other countries in the Middle East region.

Through its activities, the institute deals with issues that are important deal with political, economic, and social development in the region, or relations between countries in the region and the rest of the world, or that help to increase mutual understanding within the subjects of culture or religion. The institute is not an embassy, or one of the culture-oriented Swedish research institutes in the Mediterranean region.

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Revolutionary inventions in laser physics win 2018 Nobel prize in physics Tue, 02 Oct 2018 20:59:27 +0000 Donna Strickland becomes third woman to receive Nobel prize in physics

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The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences decided on Tuesday to award the Nobel prize in physics 2018 to American physicist Arthur Ashkin, with one half of the prize, and the other half went jointly to French physicist Gérard Mourou, and American physicist Donna Strickland.

According to the academy’s statement, the three scientists deserved the prize for their “Ground-breaking inventions in the field of laser physics.”

Ashkin deserved one half of the prize “for the optical tweezers and their application to biological systems,” as he invented optical tweezers that grab particles, atoms, and molecules with their laser beam fingers. Viruses, bacteria and other living cells can be held too, examined, and manipulated without being damaged. Ashkin’s optical tweezers have created entirely new opportunities for observing and controlling the machinery of life.

The other half jointly prized shred by Mourou and Strickland was “for their method of generating high-intensity, ultra-short optical pulses.”

Gérard Mourou and Donna Strickland paved the way towards the shortest and most intense laser pulses ever created by humankind.

“The technique they developed opened up new areas of research, and led to broad industrial and medical applications, for example, millions of eye operations are performed every year with the sharpest of laser beams” according to the academy’s statement.

“We need to celebrate women physicists because they are out there… I’m honoured to be one of those women,” said Donna Strickland, who became the third woman to receive the Nobel prize in physics, joining Maria Goeppert-Mayer in 1963, and Marie Curie in 1903.

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New platform on Egyptian artisanship, design to be launched: Art Jameel’s head of Heritage Tue, 02 Oct 2018 15:00:44 +0000 Interview with George Richards on organsition history, activities, upcoming projects

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Located in Fustat, Cairo, the first known capital of Egypt under the Muslim rule, the Jameel House of Traditional Arts hosted hundreds of Egyptian artists who are ardent for traditional arts.

George Richards, the head of Heritage at Art Jameel

The institute was launched in 2009 by Art Jameel, an independent organisation that fosters and promotes contemporary art, cultural heritage protection, and creative entrepreneurship across the Middle East, North Africa, Turkey, and beyond.

The Jameel House of Traditional Arts provides Egyptians with classes in traditional Islamic geometry, drawing, colour harmony, and arabesque studies, as well as specialised training in ceramics, glass and gypsum, metalwork, and woodwork.

Furthermore, around 20 students graduate each year of the institute and join the many alumni who connect through the programme’s alumni club and participate in the annual alumni art exhibition.

Daily News Egypt sat down for an interview with George Richards, the head of Heritage at Art Jameel, on the organisation’s history, its branches, activities, and upcoming projects. The transcript for which is below, lightly edited for clarity:

Could you please tell us more about the managing structure of the school, and which entities, private or public support the school in terms of funding and management?

The Jameel House of Traditional Arts/Cairo opened in 2009, as a collaboration between Art Jameel, the Prince’s Foundation School of Traditional Arts and the Cultural Development Fund.

The two-year diploma programme is designed and delivered by the Prince’s Foundation School of Traditional Arts.

Which school was established first, since there are three present in different places around the world?

Art Jameel first opened a school in Cairo in 2009. This was followed by the Jameel House of Traditional Arts/Jeddah in 2015, and the Jameel House of Traditional Arts/Scotland is currently under development.

How the three branches of the school, in Cairo, Jeddah, and Scotland coordinate with each other?

There is a dynamic exchange of teachers, alumni, and artistic traditions between the different centres. For example, ceramicists from the Jameel House of Traditional Arts/Cairo have travelled across the Red Sea to Jeddah, where they are teaching participants in the one-year programme there. As the centres develop further, we are exploring even more creative connections between them.

What does the school offer?

The Jameel House of Traditional Arts/Cairo curriculum includes modules in geometry, floral decorative patterns, observational drawing, and colour studies. Students also learn crafts such as woodwork, ceramics, gypsum, and stained glass, and brass work.

The programme is rooted in Cairo’s rich, unique architectural and design history: this year, for example, students undertook fieldwork at Al-Ghuri Mosque in Historic Cairo, and produced new works inspired by the architectural features of the city’s Islamic monuments; students also took a new course in traditional Egyptian glassblowing at the Hodhod workshop in the City of the Dead.

Students graduate from the programme with a deep understanding of both the principles and practical application of the traditional arts, furthering opportunities for careers in the arts, heritage conservation, architectural preservation, and the creative industries.

Is the school accredited inside Egypt? And if the answer is no are you planning to achieve such goal?

At present, students graduate with a diploma from the Prince’s Foundation School of Traditional Arts, which is an accredited institution of higher learning in the UK.

Could you tell us more about the digital conservation projects of the school inside Egypt?

To-date, Art Jameel’s work in digital conservation has focused in Saudi Arabia. In Saudi Arabia, in a workshop located in the Jameel House of Traditional Arts/Jeddah, Art Jameel and the Factum Foundation for Digital Technology in Conservation trained 15 local participants in digital documentation techniques, such as photogrammetric and laser scanning, to record endangered architectural heritage in the Old Town (Al-Balad) of Jeddah. The team also recorded endangered examples of “qatt”, a traditional style of mural painting in Asir, southern Saudi Arabia. We hope to expand our digital conservation activities to Egypt soon.

Does Art Jameel plan to expand their activities in Egypt? And if so, how?

Art Jameel has expanded its programme of community engagement in Egypt, working with alumni of the Jameel House of Traditional Arts/Cairo to deliver workshops for children in underserved neighbourhoods. In 2017, we collaborated with Megawra, a creative hub, to deliver workshops for children in Al-Khalifa, and this year we have been working in Al-Darb Al-Ahmar with Bayt Yakan to hold a summer workshop for children and adults in the traditional arts and crafts, such as pottery and manuscript illumination.

Art Jameel is also launching the Atelier Cairo Art Jameel, a platform for Egyptian artisanship and design. Located in Zamalek, Cairo, the atelier combines a co-working space for upcoming craft designers, a public programme of workshops in traditional arts, and business training and incubator support for craft entrepreneurs.

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A Germany Year in the US: Opening up the conversation Tue, 02 Oct 2018 14:54:00 +0000 The post A Germany Year in the US: Opening up the conversation appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

As the “Deutschlandjahr USA” campaign is launched on October 3, Johannes Ebert, secretary general of the Goethe-Institut, talked to DW about what unites — and separates — Germans and Americans.DW: Mr. Ebert, are transatlantic cultural relations still important today?

Johannes Ebert: They are very important to us. German-American cultural relations continue to be very intense. They rest on a stable foundation. Postwar German culture was heavily influenced by America and remains so to this day. For example, I’m going to see the new Spike Lee movie with my kids tonight…

At the same time, important German cultural voices have been heard in the US — from Joseph Beuys to Gerhard Richter, to name just two.

And when Germany’s president recently opened a new place of intellectual exchange, the Thomas Mann House in Los Angeles, it was warmly received.

Of course, people working in the field of culture and those interested in culture in the US tend to be critical of the country’s current administration. We know that we only reach part of the population through cultural ties. But those relations are very close and intact.

But under Trump, they appear more fragile than ever. Do Germans and Americans now see the world differently?

One should differentiate between basic values, interests and goals. Both countries are, in my view, still committed to the value of freedom. Such values ​​do not change, not even through everyday politics. That’s the way it is, and I hope it stays that way.

We do see a change regarding interest-driven policies though. But putting national and personal interests first is a world-wide trend. There’s currently a strong tendency in the United States to fend off anything foreign or different, but that’s highly controversial in American society itself. So it’s important to maintain intense cultural ties while keeping in mind that maybe something has changed here.

So is the Year of German-American Friendship (“Deutschlandjahr USA”) a necessary charm offensive?

“Charm offensive” sounds like a short-term reaction. No: After intensive Germany Years in China, in India, in Mexico, we are now going to the United States — a country very close to us.

We are also designing programs beyond the metropolises. Working with existing networks, we’re giving players from Germany and the US an opportunity to pursue joint projects. The Deutschlandjahr USA initiative is not a short-term reaction to anything. But the events do stake a stand on the current state of German-American relations.

The Goethe-Institut has six locations in the United States. How are you contributing to Germany’s image there?

We are in very different locations. Today I regret that we closed institutes in the 1990s — in Houston, St. Louis and Seattle. That’s exactly where we should be today to pursue dialogue.

In any case, we are contributing to the current image of Germany through contemporary art, and very much through film. We have a very big film festival in San Francisco, “Berlin & Beyond”— the largest German film festival outside of Europe.

Another project deals with the handling of sensitive data.

And the German language also plays an important role in our work: Almost half a million Americans are learning German!

Apart from such large-scale projects, we run a student exchange program called the German-American Partnership Program, as well as the Transatlantic Outreach Program, which allows American history and social studies teachers to travel to Germany.

So we’ve been maintaining sustainable exchanges for many years and have been constantly shaping the current perception of Germany, and of the US.

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas announced Germany’s new strategy to deal with Donald Trump — described as a balanced partnership to act as a counterweight when the US “crosses red lines.” How does this fit in with “Wunderbar Together,” the slogan of the Deutschlandjahr USA campaign?

“Wunderbar Together” is an expression of many long-lasting relationships. Some 50 million Americans have German roots. We want to strengthen these relationships. But we also want to openly discuss our different points of view. That’s not a contradiction. It’s not a matter of unilaterally enforcing or postulating something. Instead, we want a conversation about things that are going well — and things that bother us at the moment.

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What makes Germany and the Germans special? Tue, 02 Oct 2018 14:30:00 +0000 The post What makes Germany and the Germans special? appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

British author Stephen Green has signed a book about German history that can be seen as a love declaration to the country’s culture. He tells DW why his “Dear Germany” serves as a role model for Europe and the world.DW: Your 2014 book, The Reluctant Meister: How Germany’s Past is Shaping its European Future, has a completely different title in its German translation: Dear Germany: Liebeserklärung an ein Land mit Vergangenheit (Dear Germany: a declaration of love to a country with a past). Why?

Stephen Green: The title was a result of a discussion with my German publisher, and I like it because it reflects some things that are important for me.

One is that Germany is indeed a country that I love and enjoy. I appreciate deeply all of the many aspects of its culture.

And “Ein Land mit Vergangenheit” [a land with a past] — that is clearly the case: German history still weighs heavily on the present.

In your view, what makes Germany and the Germans special?

First of all, you have a beautiful country. It is a country which I have spent much of my lifetime exploring. I’ve probably seen more parts of Germany than many Germans.

And secondly, it has a deep-rooted and fascinating culture, which expresses itself in the architecture, in the music, in the literature, in the philosophy, in ways of thinking about the world. In fact, I think there is no greater culture than the German one.

Your book primarily covers German history: You praise the country’s classical musicians, philosophers and writers. But are Germans still good role models today?

Yes, I think Germans are very important role models. One of the most striking things about modern Germany is the threefold miracle that has occurred since World War II. First, the economic success story, which is one aspect, I think, most people are familiar with.

Second, I think there’s a political miracle, too, which has not been properly celebrated. What has happened since 1949, when the Federal Republic of Germany began, is the emergence of one of the most deeply rooted and stable democracies on the entire planet. This was not necessarily predictable at the time, given the previous history of the Third Reich and before that the failed Weimar Republic.

And third, there is the way in which Germany has confronted the darkest aspects of its past. This did not happen over night; it took decades of painful soul-searching but it has been astonishingly thorough and remorseless.

I think that is a role model for humanity — and not just for the usual suspects (Japan, Russia) but for Britain with its long history in Ireland, or France with its Algerian past, for example.

If you had to specify, could you name three positive characteristics would you ascribe to Germans?

Three positive characteristics, let me think… let me put it this way, it’s not a direct answer to that question because I think there are many more than three positive characteristics in Germany: But I think what Germans are unique in is the deep commitment to getting things right. This shows up in the success of German industry and trade, it shows up in the way in which German philosophers have agonized about metaphysical and moral questions, it shows up in its culture, specifically in the music.

There is an intensity about the German approach to practical matters, to strategic matters and to big philosophical questions. It’s different from the attitude of the British or the French. And I do think that in the future of the European project, the country which is most likely to have a real deep and lasting commitment to European cohesion, is gong to be Germany. (I deeply regret the British decision to opt out — which is tragic for Britain, for Germany and for Europe in general.)

Now that we’ve covered the positive aspects, could you point out three negative attributes you see in Germany and Germans?

Well, I spent parts of my book exploring some of the characteristics of the German mood in the 19th century, which led up to the terrible events of the 20th century. At that time an almost unquestioning commitment to obedience, a sense of duty that was very deeply ingrained, the sense of victimhood resulting from earlier history — all this created a dangerous atmosphere towards the end of the 19th century.

But again, the remarkable story to me is how radically all that has changed. The Germany of now is utterly different. And this story of renewal, this story of resurrection really is one of the most extraordinary stories of any country in the world.

What is your vision for the future of Germany and its citizens?

Germany is a country with the strongest possible commitment to democracy. But of course there is no room for complacency.

The refugee crisis and Germany’s response to it has been a source of tension and stress. Yet Germany actually can hold its head high over the way that it handled that crisis. If I compare the German response in 2015 to that in my own country, which was shamefully mean and restrictive, I’m ashamed to be British.

Yes, the German response has produced what happened in Chemnitz. But the truth is that it was a generous human gesture in an hour of tragedy and need.

There have been times in history when Germany has shown the world a terrible version of leadership; but the leadership it has shown over refugees is an example to us all.

I hope Germany continues to have the courage to confront demons and to show a leadership based on generosity of spirit. This is what Europe needs — now more than ever.

If you’d like to find out more about German culture check out Meet the Germans on YouTube or at

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Florence Kasumba: Between Germany and Hollywood Tue, 02 Oct 2018 14:28:00 +0000 The post Florence Kasumba: Between Germany and Hollywood appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

Actor Florence Kasumba is successful on both sides of the Atlantic, starring in Hollywood blockbusters and major German television shows. She spoke with DW about the differences in working in both the US and Germany.DW: How did you get to Hollywood?

I get this question very often and it feels a bit strange to me. Yes I was in a Hollywood film, a blockbuster, but I’m here in Germany and my first Hollywood film was shot in Germany [Ed. Note: The First Avengers: Civil War]. For Black Panther, we all had to fly out to Atlanta where most scenes of the films were shot. That was my first longer stay abroad for such a large production.

But I like the fact that after I shoot these films I can return to my world at home. Simply because I can really relax here and life is different here. There are less paparazzi and I can do what I want. I came to this interview on the subway and no one talked to me. [laughs]

Does it make a difference for you to work in Germany or in Hollywood?

For my preparation it doesn’t make any difference. I look at my character and if I have questions, I can ask them. Otherwise, I’ve often experienced in Hollywood that if there’s a larger budget, we are brought in earlier in the process and we’re really prepared for the role. That means the training is longer than it is here, whereas here it is simply taken for granted that you need to make it work then and there. You come in, you’re shown the choreography and then you do it. I can do both, but I prefer to have a bit more time to prepare.

There’s this showdown at the end of Black Panther. The scene is about 16 minutes long. We spent a month shooting it, that’s incredibly long. In Germany, we sometimes shoot an entire film in a month. So that’s the main difference.

What was particular about the Black Panther shoot?

It was obviously special to act in such a huge film. The people involved were incredibly respectful and hard-working. I’ve noticed that you can get replaced very quickly if you don’t work well right away. I know that from musicals, in which each role is cast to different actors, to make sure that if someone is ever kicked out, the show can go on.

But I didn’t know this in the film world, because German productions have a smaller budget. You can’t shoot for a week and then say, “that was the wrong person,” but that can be done in Hollywood. We had reshoots there, too. That’s something I haven’t seen in Germany. The entire cast is flown in for three days – and actors come from all over the world. That’s never happened to me here in Germany. When we’re told the shoot ends on Sunday, I know I could leave on a vacation the next day. But not there.

This year you will be playing a Tatort detective alongside Maria Furtwängler. Is this an unusual experience for you?

Absolutely. I always used to watch Tatort at home. When I shot my first Tatort in 2005, I noticed how much I liked it. In 2010, I appeared in three Tatort episodes and I noticed that I found the work and my colleagues’ work interesting. And I was wishing I’d one day become a Tatort detective. And now I’m one of the investigators, and that’s special, because I’m sure it wasn’t an easy decision [for the producers].

In your previous Tatort appearances, you were sometimes cast as a suspect or a criminal, often in roles of a migrant. How does it feel to now be investigator Anais Schmitz?

I’m happy about it. My appearance or my origins didn’t play a role in theater productions, but I remember my first TV roles were sometimes post-synchronized, because it felt “disturbing” if someone looking like I did could speak perfect German. I didn’t understand this because I know so many people who, like me, grew up in Germany, who are my age and are the second generation of immigrant families and who simply speak normal German.

I’m happy that Germany is now going in another direction. A lot is happening right now. (Since I also work a lot abroad, of course, such offers were different from the very beginning. So if I now wish to play the girl next door, that’s a role where I say “Yes, I want to play that, just a normal role” — that was never an issue abroad. And I wish for all the other people, for everything that now comes, that one sees more diversity.) And that will come, I see that already now and there’s still a lot more possible. I hope that people dare to give a role to a person wearing a headscarf or someone who is black or someone with a disability a role without having to explain anything. Because these people are also normal in our lives.

Do you consider yourself a role model for others?

When the movie “Black Panther” came out, of course many young people saw the movie and viewed people with my skin color who were playing positive roles and are now role models so to speak. It’s incredibly important that you can say “Wow, I saw this person now” and then when you research “Who is she” and “Where does she come from,” you see that you can also be successful with this look. That’s the message for me at the moment, just to say “You have to stay true to yourself.” Of course, you need a lot of patience, and it doesn’t come overnight, but you can’t give up. And the more you show people like me, the easier it becomes for people to understand: Oh, ok, that’s how it is these days and that’s the normal picture we have here in reality. And why not on television, too?

Florence Kasumba is now starring as a detective on Germany’s oldest TV crime show, Tatort. She has also played in major Hollywood films, including Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War and Wonderwoman.

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‘Culture Connects’: 29 artists receive German order of merit Tue, 02 Oct 2018 10:14:00 +0000 The post ‘Culture Connects’: 29 artists receive German order of merit appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

Ahead of Germany’s national day, President Frank-Walter Steinmeier presented honors to 29 prominent personalities in the cultural world for their achievements.Under the motto “Culture Connects,” German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier honored 29 artists and cultural personalities with an order of merit in a ceremony held Tuesday.

The 13 women and 16 men received the honor for their “extraordinary artistic achievements or superb volunteer work or engagement in cultural policy in our country,” said Steinmeier ahead of the ceremony.

Steinmeier’s tribute to protest art

“Art must and should reap protest,” Steinmeier said as he presented the awards in his official residence in Berlin, the Bellevue Palace. “That we suffer protest in our society and country and know how important it is: that makes up our freedom.”

Among the more prominent recipients of the Cross of Merit in 2018 are film composer Hans Zimmer , artist Neo Rauch, photographer Jim Rakete, artist Wolfgang Tillmans, director Caroline Link (Nowhere in Africa) and actor Julia Jentsch (Sophie Scholl – The Final Days).

The 29 honored on October 2, 2018

The honors are bestowed upon both German citizens and others who have contributed to culture in a valuable way. Here’s the full list of those being honored:

Star chef Christian Bau;

Gallerist Ralf Becker;

Translator of Arabic literature Larissa Bender;

Translator of Hebrew literature Anne Birkenhauer-Molad;

Voice-over artist Christian Brückner;

Writer, historian and doctor of medicine Rainald Goetz,

Singer, producer and composer Annette Humpe;

Actress Julia Jentsch;

Director Caroline Link;

CEO of the Hanover Kunstverein, Ellen Lorenz;

First Culture Minister of the Federal Republic, Michael Naumann;

Photo artist Kathrin Ollroge;

Artistic director of the Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz and former co-president of the German-French Council for Cultural Affairs, Thomas Ostermeier;

Director Francois Ozon;

Musician and music educator Heike Preiss;

Portrait photographer Jim Rakete;

Artist Neo Rauch;

Choreographer Martin Schläpfer;

Clarinetist and founder of the International Youth Orchestra Academy, Ulrich S. Schubert;

Jazz and opera singer, Jocelyn B. Smith;

Artist and pro-European activist Wolfgang Tillmans;

Education policy activist and initiator of, Katja Urbatsch;

Choreographer and dance pedagogue, Be van Vark;

Fashion historian and researcher Barbara Vinken;

Comedian, musician, author and actor, Otto Waalkes;

Artist and restoration artist Gert Weber;

Artist, former CEO of the German Artists Association, Frank Michael Zeidler;

Film music composer Hans Zimmer;

Viola player and head of Bonn’s annual Beethoven Week, Tabea Zimmermann.

ct/eg (AFP, dpa,

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Celebrating 200 years of Silent Night Tue, 02 Oct 2018 07:49:00 +0000 The post Celebrating 200 years of Silent Night appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

Austria is showcasing a series of exhibitions to underline the 200th anniversary of the famous Christmas carol that was sung publicly for the first time on December 24, 1818.The lyrics of “Stille Nacht,” known in English as “Silent Night,” were written by assistant pastor Joseph Mohr (1792-1848) in Mariapfarr, in the Austrian state of Salzburg. Two years later, Mohr was transferred to another parish, Oberndorf, where he asked the local school teacher and organist Franz Xaver Gruber (1787–1863) to compose music for his poem.

As Austrian art historian and director of the Salzburg Museum Martin Hochleitner points out, “Silent Night” has since become “one of the most famous pieces sung by Christians around the world.”

The lyrics were translated into nearly 300 languages and dialects, demonstrating that “the song works everywhere,” added Hochleitner. He sees “Silent Night” as “an overarching brand.”

Austrians are undoubtedly proud that this early international hit was written in their country, even though it should be noted that Salzburg, its region of origin, moved during that period back and forth between the empire of Austria and the Kingdom of Bavaria.

A World Heritage song

The Austrian UNESCO Commission listed “Silent Night” as part of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of the country. The fact that it regularly inspired exhibitions and projects, and that it played a role in politics during the interwar period in the 20th century or under the Nazis also contributed to it being listed, said Hochleitner.

The bicentennial of the song is celebrated with a musical and a new book about it, as well as an app and 600 related events.

All locations related to the song’s creators, Mohr and Gruber, are involved in the festivities. Some of the already existing museums dedicated to their works have been renovated or extended for the festivities. Every location has its own part of the “Silent Night” story to tell.

Nine museums involved

The church in Oberndorf, the village where the carol was first sung, was demolished in 1906. A Silent Night chapel was built on the former location of the church. A Silent Night museum was also set up in the rectory of the church. It presents not only the story of the classic Christmas carol but also the cultural history of its time and the difficult conditions in which people lived back then.

The Salzburg Museum, the town where composer Franz Gruber was born, presents a temporary exhibition focusing on the song and its message. The show is divided in six sections inspired by the six verses of the song. It will be updated throughout the weeks before Christmas.

In the Silent Night museum in Hallein, where Franz Xaver Gruber long lived and worked, visitors can discover the life of the composer in a special way. It features the original sheet music and the musician’s guitar. Another highlight is a document by Gruber where he detailed the story of the song.

Altogether, nine different museums in various towns are taking part in the program titled “200 Years Silent Night — Austria’s Peace Message to the World.” The joint exhibition opened on September 29, 2018 and runs through February 3, 2019.

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Nobel prize in medicine 2018 goes to cancer researchers, Honjo, Allison Mon, 01 Oct 2018 22:10:08 +0000 Prize winners discovered cancer therapy by inhibition of negative immune regulation

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Nobel Prize laureate Tasuku Honjo said “I’m very pleased to hear that what we’ve done is really meaningful,” following the announcement of the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine on Monday.


For their discovery of cancer therapy by inhibition of negative immune regulation, the discovery that has revolutionised cancer treatment, and has fundamentally changed the way we view how cancer can be managed, the Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet, announced on Monday, its decision to award the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine jointly to James P. Allison, and Tasuku Honjo.


The two scientists established an entirely new principle for cancer therapy which depends on stimulating the inherent ability of our immune system to attack tumour cells.


Cancer is still one of the humanity’s greatest challenges, which is the main cause of death for millions of people every year, and until the discoveries that were made by Allison and Honjo, progress into clinical development was modest, according to a statement from the Nobel Assembly.


Allison who was born 1948 in Alice, Texas, the United States, studied a known protein which functions as a brake on the immune system, and succeeded in releasing the brake, thereby unleashing our immune cells to attack the tumours. Subsequently he developed this concept into a brand new approach for treating patients. He is a professor at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Centre, Houston, Texas, and is affiliated with the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy.


For his part, Honjo discovered a protein on immune cells and, after careful exploration of its functions, eventually revealed that it also operates as a brake, but with a different mechanism of action. Therapies based on his discovery proved to be remarkably effective in the fight against cancer as well.

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Egyptian stars to partake in international film ‘Jesus and the Others’ Mon, 01 Oct 2018 12:00:01 +0000 Award-winning Egyptian star Khaled Abul Naga and newly explored talent Mourad Makram are to participate in international film Jesus and the Others. The two stars are among 11 Egyptian talents to participate in the film, which is also written by Egyptian writer Fayez Ghali in 2009 and to be directed by Egyptian director Hisham Abdel …

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Award-winning Egyptian star Khaled Abul Naga and newly explored talent Mourad Makram are to participate in international film Jesus and the Others.

The two stars are among 11 Egyptian talents to participate in the film, which is also written by Egyptian writer Fayez Ghali in 2009 and to be directed by Egyptian director Hisham Abdel Khalek.

Abdel Khalek announced in local media that the film’s budget is €13m.

Internationally accredited Japanese cinematographer, Tetsuo Nagata, will also be working on the ambitious film project.

It features talents from the United States, United Kingdom, and Syria, adding that it is planned to be shot between Morocco and Italy.

Meanwhile, since the film will be shot outside of Egypt, the co-writer of the script, Fady Ghali, mentioned that it is “unnecessary to take approval from the censorship authority in Egypt.”

The film presents the trip of the holy family from Jerusalem to Egypt, according to Orthodox Christianity. The plot follows the story of Joseph, Mary, her cousin Salome, and young Jesus as they flee from King Harod by coming to Egypt.

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