Culture – Daily News Egypt https://dailynewsegypt.com Egypt’s Only Daily Independent Newspaper In English Sat, 15 Jun 2019 14:17:52 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.1 Google celebrates Ahmed Khaled Tawfik’s birth anniversary https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/06/10/google-celebrates-ahmed-khaled-tawfiks-birth-anniversary/ Mon, 10 Jun 2019 20:56:31 +0000 https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=700180 Al-Karma publishes his latest short story collection

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With his famous square-shaped eye glasses, unchangeable hair style, and calm look, Google featured the photo of late novelist Ahmed Khaled Tawfik in a doodle celebrating his birth anniversary. Calmly sitting in front of his stories’ famous portrayed characters he spent decades in formulating.

 

The youth’s godfather, as he was always known among his passionate readers, who grew up living beneath the metaphysical world he created in his most famous novel series, Ma Wara Altabia (Paranormal), closed his eyes for the last time in April 2018 at the age of 55, due to a chronic heart condition.

 

The doodle featured the senior, smart, ironic doctor Refa’at Ismail, who was the main character of Tawfik’s Paranormal.

 

Also, in commemoration of his birth anniversary, Dar El Karma publishing house released Tawfik’s latest short story collection which he wrote just before his death. The collection was named Rofakaa’ El-Leil (The Night’s Mates).

 

The publishing house agreed with Tawfik’s family to publish the last 11 stories he wrote, on his birthday, on 11 June. The stories come to end a long career of Tawfik’s enriching writings over the past 20 years.

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‘Cartoons for Future’: Artists react to climate crisis https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/06/09/cartoons-for-future-artists-react-to-climate-crisis/ Sun, 09 Jun 2019 10:57:25 +0000 https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=699995 Exhibition in Germany brought together 100 cartoons by international artists commenting on global climate emergency

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One hundred drawings by international artists featured in “Cartoons for Future”, an exhibition in Dortmund, Germany, portrays the school strike for the climate, plastic in the sea, mountains of garbage, traffic chaos, water pollution, and the exploitation of developing countries by Western corporations.

The illustrations offer insight into how the global emergency is being viewed from different parts of the world.

 

 

As students in Dortmund have also been taking part in the “Fridays for Future” demonstrations for some time, the mayor of the city was impressed and wanted to show his support for their concerns, therefore, he came up with the concept of an exhibition with curator and artist Bernd Pohlenz.

The “Fridays for Future” demonstration is a weekly protest on the lack of action being taken toward climate change.

“A child who is now 4-years-old will probably live to see the turn of the next century. And then you obviously start thinking about the future,” said Pohlenz, who is also a father of six children and a grandfather of four.

As the administrator of the toonpool website–a collection of nearly 300,000 drawings by 2,500 artists from 120 countries–Pohlenz had access to a large selection of cartoons and decided to choose exactly 100 of them to be put on display at the exhibition.

The artists come from all places such as the Netherlands, Australia, China and Burkina Faso — a reflection on the diversity of the drawings themselves.

Thought-provoking, shrill, in colour, or black-and-white, some are outright funny or ironic while others play on dark humour.

The drawing for the exhibition’s poster, the Mona Greta, was created by Pohlenz himself. He combined the famous painting by the humanist and naturalist Leonardo da Vinci with a portrait of the star teenage climate activist, Greta Thunberg.

From frequent flying to the exploitation of developing countries

The drawings of the exhibition are organised according to different themes, such as global meat production, cheap flights, politics, human rights, and exploitation. Some artists point the blame at various countries, depicting for example Germany’s love of cars, the ignorant climate policy of the current United States administration, or Western countries stealing resources from developing countries.

One drawing mocks the so-called environmental zones established in Germany: It shows a 20-metre stretch of road that’s car-free — but surrounded by a detour route clogged with stinking cars.

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Christie’s puts anonymous Tutankhamun’s statue on bid https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/06/09/christies-puts-anonymous-tutankhamuns-statue-on-bid/ Sun, 09 Jun 2019 10:51:49 +0000 https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=699989 Auction house contacted Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities sending details of statue, other auctioned relics

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A head statue of the world’s most famous pharaoh, Tutankhamun, is to dazzle antiquarians next month when it goes under the hammer in London’s Christie’s auction house on July 4.

 

The unique, 3,000-year-old stone statue is expected to be sold for £4m with only one problem of not detecting its provenance.

 

The slightly chopped statue which shows the young king as god Amun is part of a long chain of antiquities that are auctioned at Christie’s for an audience fond of ancient Egyptian civilisation.

 

 

The head statue depicts the young famed king with his famous calm look, sharply lined eyes, and perfectly shaped lips.

 

Despite the fact that the origin of the statue was not announced by the famous auction house, experts explained that it was once showcased at the Karnak Temple where the tomb of Tutankhamun and most of his belongings and featuring statues were unearthed, according to the Financial Times.

 

The auction house has contacted Egyptian authorities and sent all the details of the statue; however, no official statement has come from the ministry of antiquities yet.

 

The head is not considered a new, unrecognised relic among antiquities’ collectors. It is reported to be a well-known relic that has been exhibited in Spain and Germany for students to study ancient Egyptian art.

 

Christie’s did not announce the place and time the statue was found. The auction house stated, according to the Financial Times, that it goes back to 1960’s “when Christie’s said it formed part of the collection of Prince Wilhelm von Thurn und Taxis, a German collector. It subsequently passed through the hands of dealers until bought by the current owners in 1985.”

 

This was all before 1983 when Egypt regulated its Antiquities Law by banning trade and taking relics outside the country.

Laetitia Delaloye, head of the antiquities department at Christie’s, told the Financial Times that the beauty of the statue dates back to the Amarna period, which followed Tutankhamun’s ruling decade.

 

“The beauty of the lines and the way they’re carved are a testament to the Amarna style,” she said, according to Financial Times.

 

Delaloye added on to explain that, “artists retained the new style even after Tutankhamun restored older religious traditions.”

 

Aside from the statue, there are several other relics from different eras, such as the Ptolemaic era, on sale with the starting price of $101,000.

 

 

Among the items that are to be sold a day before Tutankhamun’s statue is a late period Egyptian polychrome wood coffin for Khamhor that dates back to the 26th dynasty, a statue of a Ptolemaic era bronze cat, a middle kingdom Egyptian gesso-painted wood funerary model of a boat, and a late period fragmentary Egyptian green faience lion.

 

The auction will take place exactly one year following another bid in which Christie’s sold dozens of Egyptian antiquities in 2018.

 

One of the sold statues was a bronze statue of Ihy, which dates to the late period among the 26th and 30th dynasties.

 

Ihy, whose name means the “sistrum player,” is the son of Horus and the goddess Hathor. He is always featured playing the sistrum, a musical instrument played by ancient Egyptians.

 

In 2016, Christie’s also sold a limestone relief that dates to the new kingdom, and a rare Egyptian red quartzite head of King Akhenaten, as a part of the Resandro Collection, which contained dozens of rare relics.

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Unseen sides of Egypt https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/06/03/unseen-sides-of-egypt-6/ Mon, 03 Jun 2019 08:00:45 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=699789 Top pictures posted on Instagram by amateur photographers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Saudi Arabia celebrates Eid al-Fitr with 13 Arab artists https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/06/02/saudi-arabia-celebrates-eid-al-fitr-with-13-arab-artists/ Sun, 02 Jun 2019 15:33:06 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=699755 Kingdom to hold seven concerts in the first two days of Eid

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Celebrating the lesser Bairam (Eid al-Fitr), Saudi Arabia is to hold one of the biggest Eid festivals in the Middle East, bringing together 13 artists from across the region to perfrom by the end of the week.

Among the artists are the Egyptians Angham and Mohammed Hamaky who will perform at Dhahran Expo in Dammam.

The festival includes seven concerts over the first two days of Eid on 6-7 June in different cities across the country.

Following the country’s 2030 vision, adopted by Prince Mohammed bin Salman, what was once to be known the world’s strictest countries, when it comes to music and art, has become an open platform for various musical events, after music has been an underground affair for decades.

The concerts will also include some of the Middle East’s most beloved singers: Hussein Al-Jasmy, Asala, Andullah Al-Rweshid, Nawal El-Zoghby, and Ramy Abdullah.

The first official musical concert was held in Saudi Arabia in late 2017, and was performed by the Lebanese star Hiba Tawajy. A year later, Egypt’s pop star Tamer Hosney rocked the country with a huge concert that was sold out a few hours after it’s announcement.

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“Zodiac”: 15-episode drama series steals audiences’ minds https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/05/30/zodiac-15-episode-drama-series-steals-audiences-minds/ Thu, 30 May 2019 12:00:30 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=699579 For 1st in Middle East, thriller, mystery combined together under one roof with pharaonic twist

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Soon after the drama competition kicked off in Ramadan, audiences started grabbing their chairs for their most preferred shows, and anticipating the series’ plots. Among the major famous names starring in shows with dozens of millions in production budget, the star of a short, young production series, started raising the flag of an unpredicted huge success. “Zodiac” is a 15- episode drama, which participated in Ramadan’s hot season, and strongly succeeded in attracting audience attention, and soon after the hearts of the viewers.

Taken from the original story Hazak Al-Youm (Your Horoscope For Today) by the late veteran writer Ahmed Khaled Tawfik, “Zodiac” is the first drama series screened from the late writer’s top hit novels.

The series stars a number of young faces, some of them have been only introduced to people in the past few years, including Asmaa Abu Yazed, Mai El-Gheity, Ingy Abu Zeid, Hend Abdel Halim, and Mohammed Mahran, while others marked their first real appearance in a drama show, including Ahmad Talaat, and Ahmed Khaled Saleh.

The thriller series takes audience quivering into the world of a group of university students who dig deep into discovering the mystery of a famous astrologist in order to write an investigative report about him. However, they end up finding themselves cursed with a “pharaonic curse” that leads to the death of all of them each depending on his horoscope.   

For the first time in the Middle East, a thriller and mystery are combined together under one roof with a pharaonic twist. The series screens on VIU, an online streaming platform.

Daily News Egypt met three of the show stars, Mai EL-Gheity, Ahmad Talaat, and Ahmed Khaled Saleh to know more about the details of their roles, how they prepared for them, and the backstage details.

Both El-Gheity and Talaat said that they never got the chance to read the most sold short story of Tawfik.

“When I was offered the role and knew that it was taken from the story, I was afraid to read it in order not to get confused by the written characters and the way “Zodiac” is shaped out of it. However, reading it now, I can clearly see they are two totally different paths,” El-Gheity told DNE.

Walking the same path was Talaat, who is being really presented to the audience in this show through his role (Henry) the warlock.

“All of my life, I yielded with people who are affectionate readers of Ahmed Khaled Tawfik, however, unfortunately, I did not had the chance to read this story before “Zodiac”,” he added.

Unlike them, Ahmed Khaled Saleh, who steadily spoke of his memories as he read the book at a young age, never imagined a day where he would be presenting a part of it to the world.

From Saleh’s point of view, he believes the series combines a number of unique elements, but the fact of combining the pharaonic legacy is a wining card for the show to have the attractive plot capable of getting people to follow it.

The three young stars explained that they met large number of challenges preparing for their roles in “Zodiac”, especially with the lack of an actual reference for such a genre in the history of the Egyptian cinema or drama.

“It took me a long time to portray Mariam [the character] in my mind. She is a normal introvert, that rarely takes easily to people, however, she is also kind and does not know how to break her natural stiffness,” EL-Gheity elaborated.

However, the biggest struggle was the one facing Talaat in presenting the character of sorcerer.

“I could not find any source of information about how he should talk, look like, or deal with people. The most difficult part was to draw the image of Henry in my head, and how he acts when he acts, when he is doing his rituals and bringing back the dark spirit to life. Even when I looked, I could not find any reliable source of acting in order to portray the performance from,” he added.

Talaat had to dig very deep in order to find a real warlock, who approved to open up to the details of spending time in the paranormal world, and allowed him to read some of his used pharaonic words, however he used them to revive positive energy.

“Zodiac” was announced to be the first part of a series chain of Ahmed Khaled Tawfik’s stories.

Originally, it was not planned to participate in Ramadan’s drama race. However, soon after the plan changed, and producers decided to enrol it in the schedule.

Having a 15-episode series is queer when it comes to the one-month race. Nonetheless, for the actors, it was a positive step to take, in order to break the repetitive subjects of Ramadan drama series.

“For me, being a part of a concise show, is way better that stretching the series to the double number of episodes it needs in order just to follow Ramadan path,” EL-Gheity asserted.

As for Talaat, he added that this is a plus, that makes the sow gains attraction instead unlike what people may see.

“I have been following 30-episode-long series whose plots can be all presented in just four episodes! And the rest is only a chain of boring, unimportant events, something I do not prefer to be a part of,” he explained.

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Ramadan traditions across the Gulf https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/05/30/ramadan-traditions-across-the-gulf/ Thu, 30 May 2019 10:00:36 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=699470 The UAE is characterised by iftar on the ground and it has a special character in Ramadan, where tents and trailers are spread on the ground, and on the coasts of the sea as well.

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The traditions of the month of Ramadan vary from one country to another, especially in the Gulf countries, where there are many ways of celebrating and naming the nights. The inhabitants of the Gulf countries love the customs, exchanging visits, and discarding the differences before the arrival of the holy month. They are also similar in preparing houses to welcome guests on iftar tables and spending Ramadan evenings.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the most prominent in its customs and traditions in Ramadan because it is the most sacred place for Muslims due to the cities of Mecca and Medina. Many Saudis are keen to spend the holy month in Mecca and Medina and visit it from all cities of the Kingdom, in order to spend the whole month or part of Ramadan there, as spirituality is unparalleled in these two patches of earth.

Kuwait, the country in the north of the Arabian Gulf, is known for its early preparations for Ramadan. Older men, young people, and those who enjoy a vacation from work, must be present in a certain diwans and are often attached to houses there.

Diwans in Kuwait are places where men meet. In Ramadan, they turn into boards for preaching, advice, and guidance, and narrating the stories of the prophets, the companions, and the scholars.

In Oman, Ramadan markets are particularly popular.

In the markets of the Sultanate, the colours of Ramadan goods are varied to attract attention and there are essential natural materials for juices and sweets from India, Iran, Pakistan, and China.

The UAE is characterised by iftar on the ground and it has a special character in Ramadan, where tents and trailers are spread on the ground, and on the coasts of the sea as well.

In Bahrain, the youth of the same neighbourhood meet in tents prepared for the Ramadan iftar, and the familiarity increases and differences and hatred are lifted. The poor do not feel different from the rich; they all sit next to each other, eating the same food.

One of the most important customs in Qatar and the rest of the Gulf countries is usually known as “Ghabqa”. It is a well-known tradition in the Gulf region, and the families invite people to their tables after the Taraweeh prayers wearing their national garments. It is one of the ancient and traditional customs.

In the past, the Ghabqas were held in the same neighbourhood, where the people of the neighbourhood gather in one’s house or tent. The men eat and then the women. Men converse and listen to the sermons of the elders. The iftar tables spread the spirit of peace where people meet.

The word -Ghabqa is a late Ramadan dinner preceding suhoor, which is a correct Arabic word. It came from Ghobuq, the camel’s milk that is drunk at night.

In the middle of the month, Gulf families hold a celebration to encourage children and reward them for fasting.

In this social event, children celebrate by going around the village after sunset. They move from one house to another, asking for sweets or money while singing special rhythms which might differ from one region to another. Children, in this tradition, sing inherited rhythms such as “Qaranqasho yo nas, atona shwayat halwah” (Oh people, Qaranqasho time, give us some sweets), followed by “doos doos fi almandoos, hara hara fi a’sahara,” an almost meaningless song but with a pleasant rhyme to urge house keepers to give out sweets. Accordingly, house residents give out some Omani sweets or money to the children. In return, the children will sing another song praising them.

The name of this night varies between the Gulf states. For example, in Qatar, it is known as “Qarnqawh”. In Kuwait and the eastern side of Saudi Arabia, it is called “Qarqayan”. In Oman it is named Qaranqasho.

The origin of the word is to Qorat El-Ain (Watercress) in Ramadan, which means human pleasure and feeling satisfied, but the name changed over time to indicate the knocking of children on house doors.

The origin of the name dates back to the birth of Hassan bin Ali, peace be upon him, which was the night of the half of Ramadan, and when the Muslims knew the birth of Hassan, they went to the Prophet, peace be upon him, to celebrate his birth, and this time is celebrated by the Gulf States.

Among the traditions, girls’ clothing must differ from that of boys, so that the girls’ dress is a headscarf of light cloth embroidered with gold thread, accompanied by gold jewellery as well, while wearing a white headdress or a hat.

Some families provide children with the so-called Eidet El-Eid. These celebrations are held from the Maghreb of the 15th night of Ramadan until the time of suhoor.

In some countries, girls and boys clothing depends on the folklore of the country, away from the gilt and gold-threaded clothes, to express the country’s cultural and historical destination.

With development, there has been some difference in the celebrations of Gargee’an, where the gates of the streets and small neighbourhoods are also areas for the distribution of candy and nuts to children, and in high-end areas they distribute cans and contains gifts with sweets and nuts.

In some countries, such as Oman, malls and parks hold celebrations attended by children and families, who are given candy and gifts as they sing. They also hold competitions between children. In all countries, the way rich people celebrate it is at wedding halls by inviting families, friends, and neighbours.

In the past, all of these rituals were accompanied by the decoration of houses and the renting of folk bands to dance and sing. Each house keeps a basket full of candy and nuts with a cup in the middle used to give children an equal share of sweets.

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Ramadan in India https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/05/29/ramadan-in-india-2/ Wed, 29 May 2019 11:30:51 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=699437 Mosques in India play a pivotal role during this month in invoking the values of benevolence and prayer. They open the doors to all for iftar at sunset and also long prayers during the night

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The first mosque in India was built in 629 AD. India is home to nearly 190 million Muslims who reside across the length and breadth of the country.

The principles of Ramadan are universal and it is no different in India where the holy month calls for practicing self-discipline, prayers, self-control, and to inculcate the virtues of charity, forgiveness, and kindness. In a country with harmonious co-existence of diverse religions and customs, Ramadan in India reflects the deep sense of unity in diversity that is evident in the streets of its cities, towns, and villages as well as in the lives of the Muslims and non-Muslims alike. The holy month also witnesses extensive humanitarian and financial aid and assistance extended to the marginalised in the form of Zakat and Sadakah (charity).

Mosques in India play a pivotal role during this month in invoking the values of benevolence and prayer. They open the doors to all for iftar at sunset and also long prayers during the night.

Ramadan in India has several historical influences which make it unique. ‘Roza’ is the Urdu equivalent of the term for Sawm in Arabic which is used to denote fasting. Suhoor – the pre-dawn meal- is known as Sehri and it traces its origins to the Persian language – the language of the royal courts during the Mughal rule.

While the Sehri meal is usually simple, parties with family and friends characterise the iftar meal. Indeed, the festive part of Ramadan in India is widely celebrated by holding iftar parties which are attended by people from all walks of life and religious affiliations. Vibrant street parties where even strangers are welcomed are not uncommon.

The larger cities rival each other in laying out lavish iftar spreads. Truly, the incredible variety of cuisines on offer during the celebrations across India make it an unforgettable experience. From the Mughalai fareat Old Delhi with its spread of kebabs, tikkas, jalebiand pheni; Mumbai’s mouth-watering phirni and other milk cream and mawa-based sweets; delectable Haleem in Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and Kolkata; Rangooni Palatas in Surat; to a veritable smorgasbord of rich regional dishes in Lucknow and Srinagar, besides numerous other dishes, Ramadan in India is truly a gastronomic delight.

The holy month of Ramadan emphasises the pluralistic nature of Indian society with its diversity in religions and cultures.

The embassy of India in Cairo offers its best wishes to the Egyptian people on the occasion of the holy month of Ramadan.

Mr Rahul Kulshreshth, Ambassador of India to Egypt 

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How Muslims around the world observe Laylat Al-Qadr https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/05/29/how-muslims-around-the-world-observe-laylat-al-qadr/ Wed, 29 May 2019 11:00:21 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=699427 Mosques are decorated in the last 10 days of Ramadan in preparation for the reception of Laylat Al-Qadr, and mosque workers begin to receive hundreds of worshipers in an atmosphere of spirituality

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Laylat Al-Qadr (the night of decree)is the night sought by Muslims all over the world. It is better than a thousand months. The customs are different for each country to celebrate the arrival of the night said by the Prophet to be one of the last 10 days of Ramadan, while a large number of scholars said it is the night of the 27th of Ramadan. 

In Egypt

Mosques are decorated in the last 10 days of Ramadan in preparation for the reception of Laylat Al-Qadr, and mosque workers begin to receive hundreds of worshipers in an atmosphere of spirituality. On the night of the 27th of Ramadan, worshipers in the mosque continue praying until dawn. Some scholars are honoured during the international competition for the Holy Quran and are usually celebrated. The President of the country addresses the people to celebrate.

The ways of the celebration of the presidents of Egypt have varied, such as celebrating with the family and his hometown, and some travelled to Mecca, while some of them celebrated with the people at an official ceremony.

The habits of the people of Saudi Arabia in Laylat Al-Qadr

When the last 10 days are approaching, mosques are crowded with worshipers in preparation for Laylat Al-Qadr. On the night of the 27th of Ramadan, worshipers inside the mosques continue praying until Fajr (dawn) prayer.

Libya

Muslims in Libya refrain from offering Libyan food such as “Bazine and couscous” to be present in one night only this month, the night of the 27th, as women make “bazine” in the countryside and “couscous” in the cities to celebrate Laylat Al-Qadr in mosques.

The rituals of the people of Morocco

The rituals of Laylat Al-Qadr in Morocco differ from most countries. Each region is characterised by its own rituals, from the reception of Ramadan and the preparations. However, the celebration of the Laylat Al-Qadr is very similar. All regions of Morocco gather to celebrate it between the 26th and 27th of the month of Ramadan.

This evening is characterised by a spiritual atmosphere where mosques are filled with worshipers until early dawn. Moroccan families buy good types of incense to decorate houses and mosques. They then go to visit the graves, their families and relatives to take care of them, carrying dates and dried figs.

Moroccans are also very interested in children that night. Parents encourage children to fast for the first time in their lives. Families celebrate this event by buying traditional clothes and drawing henna on their hands and taking them to the neighbourhood photographer to take pictures.

It is interesting to note that children start eating a full egg tonight after their parents just fed them half an egg because they do not fast, to indicate that they have moved to fasting. Families also prepare cousins and distribute food to the poor at the gates of mosques.

In Algeria

In the last 10 days of Ramadan, the people of Algeria are accustomed to go to the shores of the sea and to light candles of different colours along the beach. Single girls and even married women extinguish the candles with seawater, and each wishes a different wish, either for marriage or for having children or healing from a disease, repeating a specific prayer.

Tunisia

The people of Tunisia celebrate by marriage. This night, the fiancé presents gifts to his fiancée or the couple goes out together to buy gold ornaments for the wedding.

Families take advantage of this opportunity for circumcision, and then the children are dressed in traditional clothes and a fez with money inside it.  Wealthy families also circumcise young people in poor families and public events are organised.

Tunisians also tend to visit the cemetery.

Mauritania

On this night, Mauritanian families ignite certain types of incense to expel evil and evil spirits. Needles are heated and used on specific parts of children’s bodies to avoid devils.

In Sudan

Mosques are complete with worshipers, and families are keen to spend the whole night inside the mosque and take children to participate. Some distribute books and offer campaigns to introduce the Islamic religion and its ethics. They stay at mosques until dawn praying.

In Turkey

The Turks wait for the coming of Laylat Al-Qadr, like most of the peoples of the Islamic world, where the Turks are keen to exchange greetings with each other.

Thousands of Turkish Muslims and Balkan citizens gather to take part in the revival of Laylat Al-Qadr in the historic Süleymaniye Mosque in the state of Adrineh in north-western Turkey. Süleymaniye is an architectural masterpiece of Ottoman architect Sinan Pasha. Other mosques are also very crowded on this blessed night, and it is revived by reciting the Quran and performing acts of worship and singing songs and lessons after the evening prayer.

In Iran

Iranians are very interested in the Laylat Al-Qadr and people go to the mosques to raise their hands by praying to Allah and repenting and weeping till the morning. The government also allows them to arrive two hours late to work on the following day.

Iranians like the voice of Egyptian Quran reciters, especially Abdul Basit Abdul Samad.

The Iranians celebrate the night on the 19th, 21st and 23rd nights, as well as on the 27th day. They have events celebrated by the Shiites in the month of Ramadan, the 19th day, the anniversary of the beating of the emir of the believers on Ibn Abi Talib, the 21st day for the martyrdom of Imam Ali as the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan called Jerusalem, in which millions of fasting people take to the streets in the marches against Israel and its atrocities.

In India

In the last 10 days of the holy month, the Muslims of India perform prayers at mosques. Muslims are very much interested there to observe Laylat Al-Qadr and consider it the night of the 27th. They prepare for this night as if it is the night of the feast where they wear new clothes. They pray and read the Quran. On the morning of the 27th, they visit the graves and read the Quran to the dead collectively.

In Thailand

Muslims in Thailand believe that the occurrence of Laylat Al-Qadr comes with the appearance of universal signs, such as the curvature of trees. And, if a man sees these appearances and calls for Allah, he will be answered immediately as long as he seeks only one thing. The 27th of Ramadan is also when Muslims there finish reading the entire Quran.

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Revived 13th Cairo International Biennale  https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/05/28/revived-13th-cairo-international-biennale/ Tue, 28 May 2019 18:20:05 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=699355 The Biennale is organised by the ministry of culture. It is planned to take part at three venues including the Aisha Fahmy Arts Complex, the Palace of Arts, and the Egyptian Modern Art Museum.

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After eight years of absence from the cultural scene, the 13th Cairo International Biennale is to kick off on June 10, lasting for two months through which it offers audiences different international art schools in Egypt.

The Biennale is organised by the ministry of culture. It is planned to take part at three venues including the Aisha Fahmy Arts Complex, the Palace of Arts, and the Egyptian Modern Art Museum.

The Minister of Culture, Inas Abdel-Dayem stated in a press release that reviving the Biennale is an international achievement in Egypt’s art and culture scene, asserting that it proves Egyptian leadership.

She added that the Biennale successfully rose amid international biennales, since the first edition in 1984, that was brought to light by former minister of culture, Farouk Hosney.

The two-month event is planned to host 80 artists from 50 different countries. Prominent Egyptian artists like Ahmed Badry, Ahmed Kassem, Hazem El-Mistikawy, and Reda Abdelrahman, are included in them.

As for the awards, the 13th Cairo International Biennale offers participants five awards instead of three, as it used to ever since its establishment.

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Songs has embedded Ramadan in Egyptian culture https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/05/28/songs-has-embedded-ramadan-in-egyptian-culture/ Tue, 28 May 2019 10:00:31 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=699212 Ramadan rituals are related to Abdelmoteleb singing “Ramadan Gana” (Ramadan is here), and Mohamed Fawzy singing “Hato El Fawanees” (Bring the lanterns).

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Shortly before Ramadan starts and when you go to the markets to buy the month’s supplies you will notice the “Yamish” table decorations, the lanterns and the background music and songs which are not related in our minds with the holy month, giving us a sense of nostalgia and anticipation for the new month.

Ramadan rituals are related to Abdelmoteleb singing “Ramadan Gana” (Ramadan is here), and Mohamed Fawzy singing “Hato El Fawanees” (Bring the lanterns).

You would never see Ramadan ending without the goodbye songs played everywhere, promising anticipation for the month next year.

You hear the Qur’an recited before Maghrib and the Adhan by Sheikh Mohamed Refaat, who is a distinct feature of Ramadan and has become part of the legacy of Ramadan Tawashih and songs that we never get tired of listening to.

An example is “Mawlay”, a Muwshah written by Abdelfattah Moustafa and composed by the creative Baligh Hamdy. Even though the Sheikh refused to sing a composed piece by Hamdy, however, after the success of that Muwashah, they cooperated in many religious Tawashih afterwards.

All the Ramadan songs initially emerged from the Egyptian radio. Before TV was popular, singing contests were famous on the radio, and it was the sole channel people resorted to in order to make their songs heard by the public. During that same era, the “Wahawy ya Wahawy” song appeared along with the “Ramadan Gana” song.

In 1934, a shy young man from Sharqeya presented his song, and quickly became the famous composer and singer Ahmed Abdelqader, who was one of the first people to join the Egyptian radio.

At that time, 15 minutes were given to each composer to enable them to play three songs for the radio. Before Ramadan arrived in the mid-‘30s, Abdelqader presented three songs, including “Wahawy ya Wahawy,” and “Ramadan Gana.” Officials refused that he would sing them all, so he sang one of them and the other was sung by Abdelmoteleb.

The lyrics of “Wahawy ya Wahawy” are written by Hussein Helmy El Manasterly.

There are many stories on what both words mean, however, the more accurate explanation is that both words originate from the ancient Coptic language, as the words “Wahawy ya wahawy eyaha” originated from “Wah wah Aeyah Aeyah”. It is a statement that means “Long live Aeyah”, who is the mother of Ahmos, after Ahmos managed to beat the Hyksos. Aeyah means “moon” or “crescent”, so Egyptians continued to celebrate the moon every year using the same statement. As Arabs entered Egypt, the statement became part of the Egyptian folklore, eventually becoming part of the famous Ramadan song “Wahawy ya Wahawy.”

We all know these songs by heart, and even non-Egyptian Arabs know them by heart and they still give us a sense of joy; however, some songs are more loved and more related in our minds to Ramadan.

Hallo ya Hallo

It is said that these two words were first used when Al Moez Le Deen Allah Al Fatimy arrived to Cairo after it was built by Gawhar Al Saqally. When he entered the city, it was during Ramadan, so children sang “Hallo ya hallo” which means “We wants sweets”. Children continued to sing the song over time, making it a habit in Ramadan.

Some of the song lyrics were changed and the song was eventually sung by Sabah and composed by Mohamed El Mougy. The rest of its lyrics were written by Mohamed Halawa.

Ramadan Gana

The lyrics of Ramadan Gana tell us that Ramadan is approaching. They are written by Hussein Tantawy and composed by Mahmoud El Sherif. Even though many years have passed and the form of singing changed as well as public taste, this song remains a ritual of celebrating the month of Ramadan.

Marhab Shahr El Soum

When Ramadan is about to arrive, this song can be heard everywhere with “Ramadan Gana.”

“Marhab Shahr El Soum” was released in 1966. It is one of the most beautiful songs to welcome the holy month, written by Mohamed Ali Ahmed, and composed and sung by the late Abdel Aziz Mahmoud.

Hato El Fawanees

Written and composed by the great late artist, Mohamed Fawzy. In our minds, it is strongly related with the celebrations of Ramadan and buying lanterns for children, decorating homes, and streets.

Aho Geh ya Welad

This song is a Ramadan classic that Egyptians have been significantly attached to. Written by Nabila Qandil and composed by Ali Ismail, the song reflects the happiness of Egyptians, whether adults or children, with the month of Ramadan.

El Ragel da Hayganenny

Among the songs celebrating the arrival of Ramadan and praising its days, Sabah and Fouad El Mohandes came up with this song which carries humour and reflects the habits of Egyptians during the month. It describes the tables of Egyptians in Ramadan in a comic way. The song was written by Hussein El Sayed and composed by Mohamed El Mougy.

Mesaharaty

Even though this is not a song in a traditional way, it is one of the main heritage songs that enchants us in Ramadan, composed and performed by Sayed Mekawy. The lyrics are by Fouad Haddad.

Aho Geh ya Welad, Hayaso ya Banat, and Sebhet Ramadan

These are songs that live in us and are loved by the people for their great correlation with Ramadan.

In the last 10 days of Ramadan and with the preparations of Eid, you will find the songs of Ramadan taking a different form and characteristic, with more sadness about the end of Ramadan. Some of these songs would include the following:

Ya Baraket Ramadan Khalleeky

This song was sung by Mohamed Roshdy, written by Mohamed El Shahawy, and composed by Hussein Fawzy. It is one of the most beautiful Ramadan songs.

Wallah be Oudah ya Ramadan

A song by Mohamed Kandil, stating how much Ramadan is loved by Egyptians and how they miss it. Its lyrics recall lovely nostalgic feelings.

Tam El Badr Badry

In the last days of Ramadan near Eid El Fitr, this is the song that takes over, telling people Ramadan is ending very soon. It is sung by Sherifa Fadel, and known by heart by all Egyptians.

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Netflix revives Egyptian favourite novel series ‘Paranormal’ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/05/27/netflix-revives-egyptian-favourite-novel-series-paranormal/ Mon, 27 May 2019 17:25:35 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=699261 The new production is Netflix's third series from the Middle East. It will be produced by the director Amr Salama and film-producer Mohamed Hefzy.

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Netflix, the world’s leading online entertainment service, has announced its first Egyptian drama series based on Ma Wara Al-Tabia (Paranormal) novel series, the best-selling horror books of the late Egyptian notable writer Ahmed Khaled Tawfik.

The new production is Netflix’s third series from the Middle East. It will be produced by the director Amr Salama and film-producer Mohamed Hefzy.

“Netflix’s original third series from the Middle East will be based on the Paranormal by late writer Ahmed Khaled Tawfik,” Netflix MENA declared on Twitter on Monday.

“I am very proud to cooperate with Netflix to produce Paranormal series which I adore,” Hefzy replied to Netflix’s announcement on Twitter. “I am also excited to work again with my friend and colleague, director Amr Salama. I am sure that we will produce a perfect series that will comply with international best practices.”

Meanwhile, Salama also commented, “It was my dream from the beginning in the film making field to direct the Paranormal in a different vision to Netflix’s audience in 190 countries around the world.”

One of the most popular Egyptian authors, Ahmed Khaled Tawfik, died at 55 in April 2018 in a hospital in Cairo. He is best known for his books specialised in fantasy, horror, and science fiction.

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Life of young fisherman by the Nile https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/05/27/life-of-young-fisherman-by-the-nile/ Mon, 27 May 2019 16:00:35 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=699168 ‘Being born and raised near the Nile, brings you closer to it. It also shapes your relationship with the creatures living in it,’ says Mahrous

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From the moment he opened his eyes, Mostafa Mahrous sees fishing as a main part of his life. For him, fishing is as important, permanent, and stable as any other life aspect.

Mahrous grew up in Al-Badrashin city, Giza, on watching fishermen gathering at the bank of the Nile every morning and leaving by noon with nets filled with different kinds of fish.

Not so long after, the young fisherman knew that he will have a passion driven life. Fishing fills his soul with enthusiasm and makes him live peacefully. Unlike his peers, Mahrous did not spend his childhood in just playing. He invested the after-school vacation in learning fishing techniques all on his own.

“Being born and raised near the Nile, brings you closer to it. It also shapes your relationship with the creatures living in it,” Mahrous told Daily News Egypt.

Growing up, Mahrous felt the bond growing with the Nile.

“I used to follow fishermen to learn fishing techniques. I used to spend hours doing nothing but watching them,” he said. Keeping a close eye on them for years, he soon started applying what he always watched.

Mahrous uses a simple basic driven fishing tool, called Al-Gobia. It is a cylindrical shape net, made of steel, and sometimes plastic, with only one open side. It is usually used by solo fish catchers, in shallow waters, and known to be an efficient tool of catching fish with different sizes.

“It suits me the most, as it catches a lot of fish,” he explained, asserting that it is the most effective tool for people fishing in small groups, seeking reasonable amounts of fish.

The 19-years-old Mahrous uses his home-made Al-Gobia every day for fishing near his home, either before or after he goes to his technical school.

“Summer is my favorite time of the year; other than the fact that I spend my whole summer vacation in fishing with Al-Gobia, with my friend who is also interested in fishing techniques, the Nile usually has more types of fish in summer that I get to catch in large amounts,” he said.

Mahrous and his family consume some of the fish he catches and he sells the rest.

All photos captured by Fadel Dawood.

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Ramadan across Africa https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/05/26/ramadan-across-africa/ Sun, 26 May 2019 15:00:56 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=699074 The month of Ramadan is similar there to many Arab countries as everyone awaits viewing the crescent, knowing the first day of fasting, and performing Taraweeh prayers in mosques.

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The customs and traditions of world countries vary, and each country has its own unique customs, which become part of the culture of the people and creates their own characteristics. We will be shedding light on some of the African customs in Ramadan

Cameroon

It’s composed of 45% Muslims with 250 tribes living in it. Muslims and non-Muslims gather for iftar together. In Cameroon, mosques are opened, and community centres and churches welcome Muslims at tftar time.

The month of Ramadan is similar there to many Arab countries as everyone awaits viewing the crescent, knowing the first day of fasting, and performing Taraweeh prayers in mosques.

There is usually a characteristic of the Cameroonian people, which is the opening of the doors of houses throughout the holy month, in preparation for receiving any fasting person at the time of the Azan (call to prayer) before reaching home. They enter and have iftar with the people of the house, which consists mostly of soups, meat, chicken, grills, fruits, friend banana, and French bread.

Dates are a basic dish on the Ramadan table, even though Cameroonians prefer to eat meat.

Some of the Cameroonian young people have copied the tradition of a Mesaharati from other countries so they wake people up using drums at the time of suhoor (dawn meal), especially since the custom of Mesaharati is nearing extinction.

One of the most important traditions of the people of Cameroon is exchanging gifts between spouses and engaged couples, and when the announcement of the start of Ramadan is declared, children come out with drums to let people know it is the start of the holy month.

Children in Cameroon celebrate the month of fasting in the middle of it, not at the beginning, by wearing traditional clothes, strolling around houses collecting sweets and cash, and then cheering for the announcement of Laylat al-Qadr (Esteemed Night), as well as launching fireworks to celebrate Ramadan in front of Sultan Square.

Eritrea

Muslims there prepare to receive the month of Ramadan two weeks or three weeks before it arrives, as various dishes and appetisers are prepared, especially red sauce paste, consisting of hot red peppers, in addition to special types of spices and called in the local language “Aldalkh,” and distributed to neighbours.

During the nights of Ramadan, there are sessions called “Samra,” including sessions for women and girls only.

Eritreans have a post-breakfast rite, where tea and coffee, which are roasted and grilled with ginger and cardamom, are placed in a special jar called “Gabna” made of pottery. A special table is prepared with cups, sugar and a bukhoor incense which are a main tradition. Next to it, Hambasha – a bread made of flour, sugar, yeast and margarine – is served. Families gather around the table and have their coffee and tea on three different stages. The first is called “the Cup”, the second called “Baraka” (blessings) and the third is called “Khadr”. In the Capital, Muslims bring food to mosques every Friday and Monday and festivals are held in the last 10 days of Ramadan.

Tanzania

Tanzania is an African country with a Muslim population of 30-40%, and there are no official figures because the Tanzanian government prohibits population statistics from a religious perspective.

Muslims there live in freedom of belief and practice religious rituals and have their own customs and traditions.

In the middle of the month of Shaaban, (before the month of Ramadan) Muslims begin to prepare for the month of Ramadan by decorating mosques, streets, and shops with lamps and lights, as well as starting family visits in preparation for the holy month.

Tanzanians are very interested in fasting dutring Ramadan. The age at which fasting starts is 12. Restaurants owned by Tanzanian Muslims are closed during the day.

Before the Azan (call to prayer) of Maghrib (sunset), some mosques announce the time of iftar by beating some drums and then people head to their homes.

Ramadan meals in Tanzania include dates with which they start their breakfast with alongside with sweetened water, and coconut-flavoured rice with vegetables and fish. As for drinks you will find tea with vanilla and tropical fruit juices.

Djibouti

Djibouti is an Islamic state located in the Horn of Africa, and most of its inhabitants are Arabs such as Omanis, Yemenis, and African tribes.

The most important custom there includes married women only wearing the so-called “shield”, which is the country’s traditional costume which country women wear on feast and holiday nights. The men wear the “Makawy” which resemble the Indian sari. Men wear it around their waists.

A strange Ramadan habit there is that the people of Djibouti stop eating fish throughout the month of Ramadan, as it causes thirst during fasting.

Near the end of Ramadan, specifically on the 27th day, people go out from mosques chanting goodbye to Ramadan.

Muslims who break their fast usually eat Sambousa, Hatees, Tharid, and lamb meat. As for sweets, Djibouti is famous for Mukhbaza. They also drink tea with cinnamon sticks.

Kenya

When the start of Ramadan is announced, cities with a Muslim majority are decorated with coloured fabrics and the occasion is celebrated in a festive atmosphere. Muslims walk around exchanging congratulations and beating drums.

Also, before suhoor, they beat drums to wake fasting Muslims up and sing Islamic songs which urge everyone to fast. Sometimes they would gather in mosques for a group iftar and everyone would share food together.

In Kenya, people have sweet foods to overcome thirst. They eat traditional foods like cooked rice with coconut, and it is usually served with fish or chicken. Sokoma are served as appetisers. They are cooked cabbage with tomatoes and onions. Usually, these meals are served with Kenyan tea, and before Fajr (dawn) everyone gathers in mosques bringing tropical fruit and water bottles to prepare for fasting the next day.

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Backstage programme opens technical training gate to deprived youth https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/05/26/backstage-programme-opens-technical-training-gate-to-deprived-youth/ Sun, 26 May 2019 13:25:36 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=699066 The programme comes to professionally train young people to become theatrical production professionals.

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With the aim of supporting young under-privileged youth and providing them a window of professional training up to the community’s requirement, Studio Emad El Din has launched the Backstage programme with the Tawasol foundation at Ezbet Khairallah, one of the biggest informal housing areas in Cairo.

The programme comes to professionally train young people to become theatrical production professionals.

The Backstage programme is not the primary phase of the training series, as Studio Emad El Din has already designed high-quality training programmes such as the 2BContinued Lab and Festival which has allowed many backstage theatre trainees in professionally establishing themselves within the industry, according to a press release.

The 11-year partnership between the Studio Emad El Din and Tawasol, comes under the vision of the studio to “offer access to diverse young artists from different segments.”

Ezbet Khairallah is among the informal settlements where citizens lack access to primary services such as water, sewage, and electricity.

The programme was established by Ahmed Al-Attar, the founder of Orient productions and Studio Emad El Din.  According to the press release, it has been further developed and designed by Nevine El Ibiary, the director of the Workshop and Residency programme and co-founder of Studio Emad El Din and director of the 2BContinued Festival.

“The young trainees are well-integrated during their second phase of training through participating in the Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival (D-CAF), thanks to their motivation, being very attentive, interested, and eager to learn, said El Ibiary.

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Vigo Video, Tawasol Ramadan charity campaign enrols underprivileged children into schools https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/05/26/vigo-video-tawasol-ramadan-charity-campaign-enrols-underprivileged-children-into-schools/ Sun, 26 May 2019 13:13:43 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=699063 Application will donate an amount for each new download of Vigo Video during this period

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When speaking of the spirit of good deeds, helping others, and charity, nothing beats the holy month of Ramadan, in which people are all dedicated toward making others’ lives better. Following that lead, Vigo Video, one of the most leading video streaming applications in the Middle East, announced a partnership with Tawasol, an Egyptian non-profit organisation supporting the education of children in underprivileged areas. 

“I only dream of going to school like other children, and wearing the uniform. Yet [what stops me from doing so] my father does not have any money,” that was the ultimate dream of young tearful Aya before a photo of her was captured with her shedding tears.  A few seconds later, Aya’s life was about to change, due to the help of Vigo Video, and Tawasol. 

With the hashtag of #RightToSchool, the campaign kicked off on Saturday. For six days, the application offers contributing money to help enrol children into schools with every participating user publishing a video with the hashtag and a specially-designed sticker, which uses a small blackboard background effect reflecting a schoolroom to encourage users in the live streaming rooms to be creative.

“The holy month of Ramadan is the best occasion for the Muslim world to do good deeds and raise awareness on how to help underprivileged people in Egypt and many other Arab countries. I am glad that Vigo Video has partnered with us to let more people know about what’s happening and show love for the needy,” Tawasol co-founder Yasmina Abou Youssef said in a press release.

The statement added that the campaign also allows users to donate to Tawasol by simply sending virtual gifts to broadcasters on Vigo Video. In addition to that, Vigo Video will donate an amount for each new download of the Vigo Video application during this period.

Tawasol was founded in 2008 to provide free high-quality education to children of informal housing areas in Cairo, who never attended school due to their families’ social and economic conditions. Its educational programme offers an interactive curriculum that is certified by the Egyptian Ministry of Education. In addition, it provides handicraft training to the students and the women in the area, which equips them with an additional skill and an income source. Tawasol also provides free high-quality health care services and treatment for area residents.

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Watch It obtains exclusive rights in screening Egypt’s national productions https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/05/26/watch-it-obtains-exclusive-rights-in-screening-egypts-national-productions/ Sun, 26 May 2019 13:05:42 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=699031 Agreement comes to digitalise content considered Egypt’s artistic legacy, document heritage of Egypt’s art scene in past decades

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Two weeks after it saw the light for the first time, and was met with an intensive wave of criticism, and a number of technical problems, an exclusive streaming mobile application buys the exclusive rights of the National Media Authority’s historical productions that are mainly most of Egypt’s media shows until the early 2000s.

The United Company for Media Services announced on Friday signing a new protocol with the National Media Authority granting it the intellectual property of all national productions throughout its history.

The agreement comes to digitalise the content which is considered Egypt’s artistic legacy, and to document the heritage of Egypt’s art scene in past decades. With the agreement, Watch It, is to be the only official digital library of Egypt’s golden era’s shows and series. The domination of the past comes in sequence, after the company took over all the country’s private TV channels, Al-Hayat, CBC, Al-Nahar, and DMC.

Tamer Morsi, the United Company for Media Services’ CEO, stated that all international production companies are heading toward digitally owning the exclusive intellectual properties of media productions, just like Watch It, according to Al Shorouk News.

As for the head of the National Media Authority, Hussein Zain, he said that the protocol comes as part of their responsibility of saving Egypt’s media content, and helping to screen it in an updated technology.

The mobile application was abruptly launched at the beginning of Ramadan, by Egyptians Media, Egypt’s largest, most dominating media services agency, and Synergy production company, with the announcement that it will be the only platform screening 15 Ramadan series, and a number of TV shows, produced by the same entities, that will not be uploaded on YouTube. The application offered a monthly subscription for EGP 99, and an annual one for EGP 999. this comes unlike previous seasons, where producers aired their shows on YouTube right after their TV screening, making use of YouTube ads, and considering the number of watches as a success indicator. However, this season, only a few drama shows are uploaded with this option.

A few days after its launch, almost every screening website offering any of the exclusive series was blocked in Egypt, leaving audiences with only one available solution. However, the application was also met with a number of technical problems that users complained about, which led the owners to advertise that the application will return the money paid, and offer the application for free for the holy month of Ramadan.

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Most popular foods on Ramadan tables worldwide https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/05/23/most-popular-foods-on-ramadan-tables-worldwide/ Thu, 23 May 2019 11:00:21 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=698854 Saudi Arabian tables cannot do without the Kabsa in Ramadan with its distinctive spices, served with rice, lamb meat, chicken, or sambousek

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Egypt

Even though Egypt’s Ramadan table is rather familiar for us, it is an object of admiration for others. the most important dishes on Egypt’s Ramadan table are duck, Rokak, Mahshi (stuffed vegetables), Keshk, Rabbits, and Molokheya.

Libya

Al Bazin is a main dish on Libyan tables in Ramadan, especially the first few days of Ramadan. Poems were written on Al Bazin to describe how delicious it is. Libyans use their hands to eat that dish. It is made of a paste made from barley flour, tomato sauce, and sheep meat. Libya is also famous for Imbakbaka which is made of pasta and meat or chicken.

Tunisia

Brik is one of the main dishes in Tunisia in Ramadan. It is of a Turkish origin and looks like Gulash. It is stuffed with parsley and tuna, then fried in oil.

Algeria

Barley soup (Dashisha) is a soup made from barley, noodles, and spices like turmeric, ginger, and sweet pepper.

Chakhchoukha is a dish made of boiled eggs in tomato sauce, chili, and onions. Cumin is often added to it.

Syria

Kibbeh is considered a main dish on the Syrian table, served in several ways. It would be grilled or fried. As for appetisers, they are made of Tabbouleh and Fattoush, which are main dishes on Syrian tables as well, even though they are only kinds of salads which consist of vegetables, toast, and olive oil.

Palestine

Palestinian cuisine is characterised by special spices and olive oil. The most important dishes on the Palestinian Ramadan table is the Maqluba, and in older times it was named the “eggplant dish” because eggplant is a major component in it, and it is said that when Salah Al-Din opened Jerusalem, people celebrated his arrival by serving eggplants to him and he liked it very much and called the dish Maqluba (inverted) because it had to be served upside down in dishes.

Jordan

The most important and most important dish on the Jordanian table is the Mansaf dish, which is the national dish of Jordan.  It is said that the origin of the name of Mansaf (blowing up) comes from eliminating Jewish covenants that prohibit cooking meat with milk. Mansaf is made of lamb meat, rice, plums, spices, yogurt, and nuts.

Lebanon

The most important dishes are Tabbouleh, Man’oucheh, Kibbeh, meat with dough and grape leaves.

Malaysia

Rice remains the main dish on the iftar table in Malaysia with meat or chicken. There is also a dish called “Nasi Kerabu” made with distinctive blue-coloured rice (which is cooked in butterfly pea flowers). This is served with fried chicken or fish, grated coconut, keropok (fish crackers), salted egg, vegetables, and a variety of savoury sauces such as sambal.

Emirates

Harees (mash) is the most important dish in Emirates. It dates back to the 17th century and is known in various countries of Asia and India, and it is deemed the master of the dinner table and consists of cooked wheat served with meat or chicken.

Sri Lanka and Pakistan

The Sambousa is a main dish in these countries for Iftar, which is a sheet of dough with different fillings of vegetables, meat, or cheese

India

Muslims eat a dish called “Dahi Bahdi” similar to falafel with yogurt and boiled lentils, and another dish called Halim which consists of wheat, meat, and gravy. There is also a dish of bourbon and Shibati fish with curry sauce.

Philippines

Curry is mainly prepared on the Ramadan table in the Philippines, which consists of meat and different spices.

Qatar

Thareed is one of the main dishes in Qatar and consists of bread, meat, and gravy with vegetables.

Morocco

One of the most popular Moroccan dishes is Moroccan Harira. It is made from chickpeas, lentils, fresh vegetables, and sometimes beef. All ingredients are placed in a tomato sauce on low heat with spices such as saffron and ginger are added.

There is also “Chebakia.” an authentic dessert of Moroccan heritage. Moroccan tea is a main part of family evenings which extends from after Maghrib (sunset) until a few hours before Suhoor (dawn).

Turkey

One of the most important ways the Turkish celebrate Ramadan is their keenness to eat a third meal between Iftar and Suhoor between 10 and 11 pm. These meals usually consist of the same foods preferred by Turkish families on iftar, such as fresh vegetables, meat, and some famous sweets in Turkey.

One of the famous dishes is pide bread which means “pie”. This is a word of Persian origin. This kind of bread becomes very popular in Ramadan which people wait in lines for before the ovens hours before iftar to get this kind of bread. It is considered an appetiser.

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabian tables cannot do without the Kabsa in Ramadan with its distinctive spices, served with rice, lamb meat, chicken, or sambousek. Although the origin of sambousek is actually India, it is strongly present on the tables of the Gulf region.

Chechnya

Chechen restaurants are famous for healthy foods and generosity. There are also Chechens who say that if you cook for three, the fourth person must also feel full.

Chechen foods are not spicy, instead, they rely on herbs that have health benefits and good smells. The most famous dishes are Shibalgash, which is a dough stuffed with pumpkin and cheese, and a dish called Qlanche, a popular dish that consists of meat or boiled chicken, wheat flour, and garlic.

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“By the people, for the people” El Nas Hospital hopes to ease children’s pains https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/05/23/by-the-people-for-the-people-el-nas-hospital-hopes-to-ease-childrens-pains/ Thu, 23 May 2019 10:30:28 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=698876 New hospital to start operation in Q4 of 2019, with capacity of 557 beds, says Hassouna

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Ramadan is known for producing many advertisement campaigns for many brands.

Being a spiritual month, many NGOs, hospitals, and charity organisations that rely on donations exploit Ramadan to attract more people to donate through advertising.

During the last years, NGOs and hospitals used heart touching commercials to move the people emotionally and get you sympathy with the poor or patients. But since last year after many people criticised this way of campaigning, most of the NGOs turned to make ads in an exhilarating manner but also deliver the message. They started to rely on actors, singers, or media figures in advertisement believing that those people can change impact the people positively.

Among the exhilarating ads this year was the El Nas hospital (Hospital of the people) that called for the people to donate for the hospital so they can continue equipping the hospital which has been already established.

You will be amazed when you know that the managing director of this hospital is a woman, Anisa Hassouna. Daily News Egypt interviewed Hassouna to know more about this hospital that is considered as the largest free pediatrics hospital in the Middle East and Africa.

Hassouna stated that the Al-Joud Foundation is planning to open the first stage of El Nas Hospital in the fourth quarter (Q4) of this year, noting that the first stage of the hospital will be specialised in treating children with congenital heart defects.

She added that Al-Joud Foundation signed an agreement last year with Khamis Asfour Foundation for the management and operation of the hospital.

Hasouna added that the foundation has completed the construction of the hospital since 2015, and the necessary medical equipment is expected to arrive in July.

She explained that the total capacity of the hospital is 557 beds. while the capacity of the first stage of treating children with congenital heart defects is up to 110 beds.

“The first phase includes 16 outpatient clinics, two operation rooms, and a radiology centre.  The hospital is seeking to recruit 50 doctors and 200 nurses to work in the hospital,” Hassouna disclosed.

She mentioned that they chose the name EL Nas to reflect the idea of the hospital that it is for the people and founded by the people.

Meanwhile, Ahmed Fathi, director of the hospital, told DNE that the total cost of medical equipment in the hospital is over EGP 55om, including EGP 250m in the first phase.

Fathi explained that the hospital was built on 30 sqkm and includes 45 outpatient clinics and a blood bank.

He pointed out that there are about 27,000 children who are born every year with a heart defect in Egypt, with only 13,000 cases treated while the rest are on waiting lists, noting that EL Nas hospital seeks to reduce the number of waiting lists and to treat all cases for free.

Fathi pointed out that the hospital plans to conduct 1,500 operations every day.

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Omani author Jokha Alharthi wins prestigious Booker International Prize https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/05/22/omani-author-jokha-alharthi-wins-prestigious-booker-international-prize/ Wed, 22 May 2019 20:32:07 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=698913 Her novel ‘Celestial Bodies’ allowed her to become first Arabic-language writer to win the Man Booker International Prize

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Female Omani author Jokha Alharthi won the 2019 Man Booker International Prize for her novel “Celestial Bodies,” the award jury announced on Tuesday. The work tells the coming-of-age story of three sisters in an Omani village and was originally published in Arabic.

Jury head Bettany Hughes described the novel as “a book to win over the head and the heart in equal measure” at a ceremony in London.

Hughes added that the author’s style is marked by “subtly resisting cliches of race, slavery and gender.”

The prestigious Man Booker International Prize focuses on writers outside English-language areas. It serves as a counterpart to the Man Booker Prize for English-language novels. The 50,000 pounds financial award is to be split between Alharthi and her translator Marilyn Booth.

Alharthi is the first female writer from Oman to have her work translated into English. Her latest success also makes her the first Arabic author to claim the Man Booker International Prize.

“Celestial Bodies” also delves into the subject of slavery in Oman, which was only outlawed in 1970.

“It’s a sensitive subject and kind of a taboo,” Alharthi said in an onstage interview, adding that, “But I think literature is the best platform to discuss sensitive issues. And slavery is not exclusive to Oman – it’s part of human history.”

“I am thrilled that a window has been opened to the rich Arabic culture,” she later told reporters.

The 40-year-old professor had studied Arabic poetry and Classical Arabic Literature in Edinburgh before returning to Oman to teach at Sultan Qaboos University in Muscat. Her works include three other novels, two children books, and several collections of short stories.

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Strange Ramadan traditions from around the world https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/05/22/strange-ramadan-traditions-from-around-the-world/ Wed, 22 May 2019 11:00:35 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=698721 Daily News Egypt looks into the strangest traditions during the holy month from around the world.

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With Islam being such a widespread and ancient religion, it has blended itself with many of the local aspects from region to region. This has given birth to several traditions celebrating Ramadan along with the unique flavours of each country. Daily News Egypt looks into the strangest traditions during the holy month from around the world.

Chechnya

On the morning of the first day of Ramadan, the Chechens visit graves of their relatives and Sufi gatherings are held. Children whose birth coincides with the holy month are named “Ramadan” for boys and “Marha” for girls.

Tajikistan

During the holy month, children roam neighbourhoods in groups carrying bags to collect gifts while they sing cheerful songs. Muslims break their fasting with tea and milk drink, known as “Shershay”.

Maldives: The people of Maldives go to beaches in the last night of Shaaban to sight the crescent moon with naked eye. The Iftar meal usually includes seafood and fish during Ramadan.

Turkey

Once the Ramadan crescent is sighted, homes are sprayed with air fresheners of musk and rose water.   

Indonesia

Schools and universities are given leave for a week until they are used to fasting.

The traditional drums, called “Al-Budok”, are danced to in order to celebrate the coming of the month.

Pakistan

The people of Pakistan hold large celebration where all children who fast for the first time gather to encourage them and they wear gold-coated head covers to be distinguished.

Young people in Pakistan, particularly Peshawar, are turning to an old-fashioned game to keep them occupied during the late Ramadan nights – egg fighting. The game involves using a brightly coloured boiled egg to crack your opponents’ egg, and has been played for generations in Pakistan.

Mauritania

One of the popular traditions of the people of Mauritania during Ramadan is to read the entire Qur’an in one night.

Men also shave their heads before the month of Ramadan to grow new hair during the holy month, which they call “Ramadan hair”. Many young people tend to marry during the month of Ramadan so their marriages would be blessed.

Nigeria

Rich families daily host the poor over Iftar.

Uganda

People in Uganda fast for 12 hours as the equator passes through the country.

The relatives and neighbours gather everyday at one of the houses for a group Iftar. Bananas are essential in the Iftar meal.

Thailand

Muslim families in Thailand sacrifice cattle or birds. The neighbours exchange Iftar meals, and women gather in a large yard in front of their houses to eat together.

Yemen

In Yemen, the people paint their houses and buy new utensils during Ramadan. They give more attention for decorating tables for Iftar in the streets and hold celebrations.

Sri Lanka

Once the moon crescent of Ramadan is sighted, people decorate their houses. The restaurants and coffee shops are closed until Iftar, while others open temporary shops serving food and drinks next to mosques during Ramadan. They are called “Dekak”.

Bangladesh

One of the most important traditions in Bangladesh during Ramadan is buying religious books as a huge book fair is held at the beginning of the month and continues until the end of Ramadan.

Russia

The fasting period in Russia sometimes reach 22 hours, making it the longest fasting period in the world. Nevertheless, people are keen to fast and pray in mosques. In Moscow, the Ramadan tent is considered an important event and an authentic Ramadan habit. It can accommodate more than 600 people. For Iftar, kafas, a traditional drink, is preferred in Ramadan. In Tatarstan, the Muslim who is unable to fast can donate RUB 100 for every day they don’t fast.

Kazakhstan

Muslims receive Ramadan with joy. Expats return to the country to spend the month with their families. They also sacrifice cattle. People are keen to pray in mosques.

One of the most important customs there is the huge Iftar party held at the Hazrat Sultan Mosque which can accommodate up to 10,000 worshipers. The Iftar is attended by the head of state.

The people there break their fast by drinking camel or horse milk. The most famous dish is Ramadan is the mutton with rice and nuts.

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Al-Karma to publish Tawfik’s last short story collection in June https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/05/22/al-karma-to-publish-tawfiks-last-short-story-collection-in-june/ Wed, 22 May 2019 07:30:34 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=698754 The publishing house agreed with Tawfik’s family to publish the last 11 stories he wrote, on his birthday on 11 June.

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The long fulfilling literary life of the Egyptian novelist Ahmed Khaled Tawfik is yet to find an end, despite his death. Al-Karma Publishing House announced on Tuesday issuing Tawfik’s last short story collection, Rofakaa’ El-Leil (The Night’s Comrades), that Tawfik wrote just before his death last year.

The publishing house agreed with Tawfik’s family to publish the last 11 stories he wrote, on his birthday on 11 June. The stories will see the light to end a long chapter of Tawfik’s enriching writings over the past 20 years.

Dubbed “Youth’s Father”, Tawfik was one of the main writing pillars of 1990s and 2000s. With over 500 fantasy stories, he crafted a world which has soon become familiar among almost all these generations’ bookworms.

Tawfik closed his eyes for the last time in April 2018 at the age of 55, leaving behind millions of mourning children that still post their pictures of continuously visiting his grave which has carved on it, “the man who made youth read.”

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

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

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Fashionably featuring beguiling beauty of Maasai people https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/05/21/fashionably-featuring-beguiling-beauty-of-maasai-people/ Tue, 21 May 2019 14:30:48 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=698665 Exhibition presents traditions of tribe through fashion eyes of photographer Zaher

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In what was planned to be a normal family tourist visit to Kenya, young photographer Amina Zaher could not help but twist it due to her passion, and view the life of Maasai tribe as one giant fashion show. The appealing, vibrant in colour outfits, were the famous designs which have been worn for thousands of years, yet are still trendy, and every passing person in Zaher’s eyes was a model awaiting to be internationally spotlighted, with the timeworn alleys of the ancient village being the runway through which swaying models took grabbed her heart. The photographs of Zaher’s 10-day visit brought her to her very first art exhibition, “Kenya Aesthetics.”

At Maadi’s Arcade Art Gallery, Zaher captured peoples’ hearts with her photographs in which she featured the large number of the Maasai people. Specialised in fashion photography, Zaher presented the life of the village in a creative way, through a number of art-directed photographs featuring the people in an authentic form without it being a “staged fashion photography or a candid documentary photography.” It was a passion-driven output, which reflected the “mutual visual, aesthetic, and intimate conversation that I was having with them,” as she described it.

“The moment I laid eyes on the people of the Maasai, I could not believe they were real. Their captivating skin tone, and the layered vibrant clothes, along with the way they mixed these things together–it was like they were out of this world,” Zaher told Daily News Egypt.

Through her project, Zaher aimed to let people explore the Maasai culture through her eyes, as a fashion stylist and art mixer. The 27 captured images brought the tradition of the Nilotic ethnic group inhabiting northern, central, and southern Kenya and northern Tanzania, with their culture which has not changed despite being well-educated and capable of change.

“At first, I saw a number of them walking separately in Kenya, that is when I was moved and made the decision to photograph them. I asked the driver to take me into the village which was the heavenly gate to tremendous hidden treasures,” Zaher explained.

Like thousands of foreign photographers, Zaher was touched by the way the tribe is dressed in Shuka, which is a piece of fabric that can be worn in different styles, their huts which are mainly built of cow dung, marriage rituals that require women to shave their heads, and their lifestyle in which they drink blood. However, Zaher did not only capture random moments, she created that a mini setup to portray the images instead of just spontaneously snap them.

She captured the life of these people in thousands of photographs that were taken in a fashion composition, with fixed backgrounds from the same fabric people wore. She explained the reasons behind taking a photo with a background that is covered with the same fabric the model was wearing as it would grab the attention to peoples’ faces “which is most expressive.”   

“I was shocked with the fact that they willingly stick to the inherited tools, not because they are financially forced to, but beautifully because they are willing to; they still live in homes mainly made of cow dung, and wear the outfits their ancestors have been wearing for ages,” she added.

In her photographs, Zaher focused on human features and figures, something which she explained to be normal as the faces of the Maasai people are what attracted her the most, and also because it is a part of her professional photography experience.

“Each one of the people I came across had his/her own character, which is way more important that the way they looked like. Having a unique personality popping out of a photo is the whole target of photography,” Zaher asserted.

The exhibition runs until 30 May.

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Traditions, folk customs of Ramadan in Bosnia, Herzegovina https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/05/21/traditions-folk-customs-of-ramadan-in-bosnia-herzegovina/ Tue, 21 May 2019 13:30:31 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=698657 Geographically, Bosnia represents the central, eastern, western and Herzegovina regions of the Neretva river basin region.

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The Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina is a Balkan country in south-eastern Europe. It is nearly a country that is closed off without any coasts except for a coast extending on 26 km on the Adriatic Sea. The difference between the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina is a geographical difference. The majority of them are Muslims.

Geographically, Bosnia represents the central, eastern, western and Herzegovina regions of the Neretva river basin region.

Bosnia and Herzegovina are considered a Muslim country and Muslims are called “Bosniaks”. The people of Bosnia and Herzegovina maintain their Muslim identity, which has not changed over time since the opening of Bosnia and Herzegovina by the Ottoman armies. The name of the capital Sarajevo is of a Turkish origin, and Muslims represent 80% of its population.

Welcoming Ramadan

Preparing for Ramadan starts a while before the month begins, as Muslims go about cleaning the mosques which volunteers and young people fill and decorate.

When the start of Ramadan is confirmed by the state, different forms of celebrations start in Bosnia, and you can see lanterns and lights everywhere.

Ramadan is considered a chance in Bosnia to spread the sense of takaful (sponsorship) and paying the debts of the indebted as well as collecting donations for the needy.

In Bosnia, Ma’edet Al Rahman (Mercy Table) brings together people of all religions and families, relatives and neighbours are all invited.

The historic yellow citadel is one of the most beautiful places chosen by the people of Bosnia for iftar (breaking the fast) given the beautiful view. From there, the Azan (call to prayer) and cannon (to signal the beginning of eating) can be heard throughout the entire city, announcing that it is time for iftar.

Firing the cannon is a tradition that developed in the 20th century and stopped during the period that followed WWII as firing cannons was banned. The tradition then came back to life in 1997, two years after the Bosnia and Herzegovina war.

Ramadan in Sarajevo is distinguished with a kind of pastry called “Somon”. Its distinctive smell and taste spread are noticeable in Ramadan, so the people of Sarajevo believe that the smell of Somon is the real smell of Ramadan, and that is why you can easily see long queues in front of bakeries during Ramadan.

Bosnian people prepare popular dishes that are specially made in Ramadan. One of their famous dishes is “Tupa”, which is a mix of eggs, milk, and cheese. It is served as a side dish. Also, specific kinds of bread are baked in Ramadan as a way of honouring for the month. Some of the most famous foods on iftar tables in Bosnia include pita bread, cabbage, stuffed turkey, salads, kabab, pies stuffed with meat or potatoes, cheese, and spinach.

In Ramadan in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the markets get crowded as the period between noon and afternoon witnesses great demand by fasting individuals who purchase their vegetable, meat, and legume needs to prepare iftar before Azan Al Maghrib (sunset call to prayer). Politicians and public figures in Ramadan in Bosnia pray Taraweeh (special Ramadan prayers) around the country without tight security.

After iftar and Taraweeh prayers, coffee shops open their doors before the people of the city and tourists from various countries.

One of the main things that distinguishes Bosnians is their strong connection to coffee. To them it is more than a drink that they have known since the time of the Ottomans. Coffee is a national drink and all families have manual copper devices to crush and brew coffee.

One of the main daily habits of Bosnians in Ramadan includes reading the Qur’an during the period from noon to afternoon. This allows Bosnians who do not know Arabic to listen to Qur’an in Arabic. In the capital, Sarajevo, a Ramadan Festival is organised to offer many cultural, social, and religious activities such as a group iftar, shows, and classes in mosques. The festival starts on the first day of Ramadan at the yellow citadel. The activities continue in various historic buildings in the city.

The people of Bosnia get excited about the Eid (feast) following Ramadan and congratulate one another. Their main traditions before the Eid are decorating homes, spraying nice-smelling air fresheners, and wearing new clothes. Usually, the first day of the Eid is devoted for family and cemetery visits. Bosnians also have the habit of giving young children money during the Eid.

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“Kushaf”: most famous Ramadan drinks https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/05/21/kushaf-most-famous-ramadan-drinks/ Tue, 21 May 2019 11:30:17 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=698641 In Egypt you would see Egyptian families' great demand for Yamish, and each Egyptian kitchen would have Kushaf where a mix of Yamish is prepared.

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One of the most authentic Egyptian traditions is buying Ramadan “Yamish” to make “Kushaf” and other kinds of Ramadan sweets. 

Many history scholars believe that eating Yamish dates back to ancient Egyptians who made sweets and decorated them for children to eat.

Yamish is an Egyptian word used in the Fatimid era. It means dried fruits and nuts. Dried apricots, figs, coconut, hazelnuts, peanuts, and cashews are among the main types of Yamish.

The caliphs in the Fatimid era would distribute Yamish to the poor all Ramadan.

In Egypt you would see Egyptian families’ great demand for Yamish, and each Egyptian kitchen would have Kushaf where a mix of Yamish is prepared.

Egyptians usually began the habit of buying Ramadan Yamish during the reign of the Fatimid state in the period 365 AH – 567 AH, which ruled Egypt for some two centuries.

One of the most famous selling markets of Yamish in Egypt is the Qusun area founded by Prince Saif al-Din Qusun at Bab Al-Nasr street during the 18th century AH. The market was the destination of most merchants coming from Syria and with their goods of oil, soap, pistachios, hazelnuts, and walnuts to be sold before Ramadan.

The market of Yamish moved in the 9th century AH to the area of ​​Gamaliyah and then to Boulaq Abul Ela, then to Rawd al-Farag and then to Souq El Sokareya, which sells varieties of Yamish and Ramadan drinks as a main commodity provided as a kind of entertainment and also to guests and it is likewise given to children who carry lanterns and roam around houses singing famous Ramadan songs.

Kushaf means a drink made from dried fruits, dates, and raisins drenched in water. It is a word of Persian origin.

Qamar Al Din

Ramadan drinks vary, but the most famous of them all is Qamar Al Din. It is famous in the entire Arab world and is made of squeezed and dried apricot kept in plastic packages. It then drenched and has sugar added to it before it is ready for drinking.

It is said that the origin of Qamar Al Din dates back to 1400 AH in Syria which was famous for making it. It is believed that Al Waleed bin Abdel Malik, the Umayyed caliph, used to order the drink to be distributed to the people in celebration of Ramadan.

Liquorice juice

Ancient Egyptians used the drink Liquorice juice as a treatment for stomach diseases, which is why they called it the Royal Drink. Doctors would mix it with bitter medications to hide its taste, but it has then become the drink of the public in the Fatimid era.

The character of the Liquorice juice seller is folkloric with special distinctive clothes and statements he repeats.

Liquorice juice comes from a plant found in Syria, Europe, and Egypt but is mainly famous in Egypt as a Ramadan drink.

Jallab

It is one of the drinks Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine are famous for. It is a mix of dates, grapes, water, rose water, pine, and raisins.

Carob

It is famous in the Mediterranean region as it is cultivated in Libya, Palestine, levant, Morocco, and Cyprus. It moved from there to Ramadan tables through Arab merchants. It treats illnesses of the respiratory system. It was mentioned in the Bible under the name “Bread of St Hanna”. Carob is drenched in water for several hours then filtered and has sugar added to it.

Tamarind

It is a drink coming from India. The pulp of the Tamarind is soaked in water and mixed with hibiscus and you can have it during iftar because it counters thirst.

Sobia

An Egyptian drink made from coconut, milk, and sugar or honey. Some say it dates back to the era of Mamluks.

Vemto

Vemto first appeared in Manchester city in Britain as a healthy alternative for beer. It was marketed as a drink that gives energy and vitality. It is one of the most famous drinks in Gulf countries as about 35m bottles of Vemto are sold every year, and half the quantity is sold in Ramadan.

Doum

Recently added to the list of Ramadan drinks, doum is a tree found in Africa and Upper Egypt, and has many medical benefits. It is known that Doum is one of the juices which treats stress, cools the body, and improves digestion.

To get doum, soak it for a long time in water or boil it and add sugar and filter it.

Abri

It is one of the main drinks on a Sudanese table, as it gets prepared even before the start of Ramadan. It is made of white corn sprayed with water until it blossoms then left under the sun. Corn is then minced and mixed with sweet spices like cinnamon and ginger. It is mixed and left for fermentation and subsequently shaped into circular slices heated on stoves and put away until Ramadan. It helps those who are fasting resist thirst.

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Ma’edat Al Rahman: Long history of spreading joy, from Medina to Cairo https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/05/20/maedat-al-rahman-long-history-of-spreading-joy-from-medina-to-cairo/ Mon, 20 May 2019 12:45:57 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=698558 The first Ma’edet Al Rahman in Egypt was in the era of Ahmed bin Toloun in 880 in the fourth year of his rule

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When the coming of the holy month of Ramadan, the streets of Cairo are filled with “Ma’edat Al Rahman” (tables of mercy) which is a vital ritual in Ramadan illustrating social solidarity – something which characterises the holy month.  On these tables are displayed all kinds of foods according to the neighbourhood they are in, providing Iftar (break of fast) for the needy and passers-by.

The name of these tables is inspired from Surat (chapter) Al Ma’eda in the Qur’an. It calls for the spreading of mercy amongst Muslims, as this was the main reason for these tables during the era of Prophet Muhammed. It started with a group from Al Ta’ef who arrived when the Prophet was in Medina and they announced their conversion to Islam, so the Prophet then sent them their iftars and suhoor (meal before fasting) meals, and the caliphs followed Prophet Mohamed’s tradition. Omar Ibn El Khattab established “Dar Al Deyafa” (the hosting home) to provide iftar for those who were fasting.

The first Ma’edet Al Rahman in Egypt was in the era of Ahmed bin Toloun in 880 in the fourth year of his rule. He had prepared a feast to which he invited merchants and dignitaries on the first day of Ramadan, then he ordered them to open their homes to feed the poor. He also ordered that this decision be applied everywhere. This feast was when the idea of Ma’edet Al Rahman started in Egypt.

Over time, the tradition disappeared then came back again during the era of Al Mo’ez leldein Allah Al Fatimi, as he prepared a Ma’eda (table) for the people who pray in Amr Ibn Al Aas Mosque. The food was cooked in his palace then distributed to the poor. Some of the tables were of a length of 175m. In the Fatimid era, the palace workers would provide a major store of sugar and flour as well as sweets such as kenafah, qatayef, and baklava and they would distributed them to the people of Egypt.

It is said that the tradition of Ma’edet Al Rahman dates back to the Abbasid period during the rule of Haroun Al Rashied as he would set tables in his palace and he would roam around them in disguise to ask the people breaking their fast about the quality of the food so that they would tell him their opinions honestly without compliments.

The Mamluk ear in Egypt was famous for the generosity of the rulers in spending on the poor and the needy as extra wages were given to workers, students, and orphans.

Ma’edet Al Rahman remained a tradition related to Ramadan throughout Islamic eras and the rich would race to prepare tables every year.

In the 20th century, the tradition returned again under the government sponsorship of the Nasser Social Bank which would prepare a table near Al-Azhar Mosque to feed 4,000 persons. The first Coptic table of that kind was set in the Shoubra neighbourhood in 1969 in Al-Afadal Square. Since then, these tables were seen and remain present in the streets of Egypt.

Over the past five years, the presence of these tables has become more prevalent and a place for the poor to find various kinds of foods. Some of the most famous Ma’edet Al Rahmans in Egypt are located in Al-Azahar, Al-Hussein, Al-Sayed Zeinab, and Ramses Square.

These tables can also be found near restaurants which serve ifrar.

Many mosques in Egypt prepare these tables through collecting money from people who pray.

In the villages of Upper Egypt, young people go out on highways and sit on the side of the street close to iftar the time and invite car drivers to join them.

Ma’edet Al Rahman in Qatar

That tradition also remains famous in many other Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia, Emirates, and Qatar. Charity organisations are keen on setting tables, providing dates, and ready meals so that people can both pray the Maghrib (sunset) prayer and have their Iftar.

In Qatar, those who set these tables take into consideration that there are guests on the table who come from different countries, such as India and Bangladesh, so the food is prepared to suit the taste of these other cultures.

Ma’edet Al Rahman in Nigeria

In Nigeria, there exists is the largest number of Muslims, even compared to Africa, as Muslims represent 65% of the total population. The main dish in Nigeria would be the “Cono,” which is made of corn, fat, sugar, and cocoa soup (crushed rice with sugar and milk).

A few days before the start of Ramadan, some major companies and institutions prepare initiatives of Ma’edet Al Rahman across the country in Ramadan. In the morning, volunteers and workers work together to prepare the meals, and before iftar people start coming in to eat.

Ma’edet Al Rahman in Syria

In Ramadan, Syrians have many rituals and traditions despite the ongoing war. The tables are prepared in Syrian cities and have become a point where residents of a neighbourhood of all levels gather around one table.

Some Syrian cities are famous for this tradition and continue to retain it as Syrian women prepare the best dishes for Iftar.

Ma’edet Al Rahman in Turkey

The tradition also continues in Istanbul to celebrate Ramadan. Usually, gun shots are fired before Maghrib and Ma’edet Al Rahman is prepared for the poor and the needy in public squares, in cooperation with charity organisations.

The Turkish are divided into two groups during Iftar. The first prefers to eat dates then only a small amount of food. They then pray and continue their iftar after Maghrib prayers, while others prefer to have ifrar first.

The tables of Iftar would have dates, olives, cheese, and Turkish soup, as well as Dawood pasha kofta, and Beida bread.

Ma’edet Al Rahman in Somalia

In Somalia, Ramadan is distinguished by many iftar tables near mosques or inside mosques so people can eat then pray.

Ma’edet Al Rahman in the Philippines

The idea of having iftar tables has spread in the Philippines as some of the pilgrims saw them in Mecca and they took the tradition to their country.

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Reviving cinema’s faded glory through 55 street film theatres across 50 Egyptian cities https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/05/19/reviving-cinemas-faded-glory-through-55-street-film-theatres-across-50-egyptian-cities/ Sun, 19 May 2019 13:00:01 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=698423 Cima Masr initiative to expand to over the 27 governorates, reaching over 35 million citizens, compensating Egypt’s 250 shut cinemas at last 10 years

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When the first cinema show was ever brought to Egypt in 1896, and the industry started flourishing soon after, attracting people from all around the world to see the motion clips displayed on the giant screens with people moving, dancing, and talking, no one imagined that decades after that historical moment, cinema conditions would deteriorate, like many other services, to the extent of leading one of the world’s cinema industry pioneers into limited cinema theatres to only the two biggest cities of the country. A status quo that is fought by Cima Masr’s latest initiative.

Cima Masr is the county’s latest campaign aiming to revive the glory of Egyptian cinema, through establishing 55 street film theatres across the 27 of Egypt’s governorates.

The initiative is launched by the Egyptian Foundation for Strategic Studies and Research (EFSSR) which is an independent, non-profit regional organisation that works towards the development of a modern understanding of corporate, social, and educational awareness.

The three-year plan aims to create affordable entertainment means to all family members through the establishment of 55 cinema theatres across 33 feddan in order to open a window for over 35 million citizens to watch movies with tickets for 10 EGP. It also aims to recreate Egypt’s missing content of family drama that does not include vulgarity, nudity, or any inappropriate content.

The campaign is to expand to over 50 cities, creating an avenue for people to witness the documentation of the nations’ history and the future, through relying on present facts.

Starting from this year, the initiative is to establish 20 theatres in the first phase of the governorates, and followed by another two within the upcoming year.

Theatres are designed to seat 345 persons per show, including 24 spots for physically challenged members.

“One of the things that led us into believing the severe need for this project was our study which showed that 85% of Egypt’s total cinema theatres are located in Cairo, while the other 10% are in Alexandria, leaving only 5% of the theatres are spread across the rest of the governorates, out of which 250 theatres were shut down in the last 10 years,” Chairperson of the board of trustees at EFSSR, Hany Ghoneim, told Daily News Egypt.

The EFSSR is focused on conducting research which seeks to benefit local communities throughout Egypt.

In his speech, at the initiative’s event launch, Ghoneim asserted that Egypt has been a leading film industry. “Although the situation has recently changed, we hope to restore the industry to its former glory,” he declared.

The other pillar of the campaign is to produce films and open a gate for the talents to showcase their unseen abilities in film making. Cima Masr plans to screen eight to10 locally produced films funded through the campaign.

The self-funded campaign opens doors for wider circulation and marketing to producers across the governorates with a guarantee of success despite the reduced ticket price, which is much less than commercial tickets that usually range from EGP 25-150.

“The reason behind expensive tickets in private theatres, is because they want to cover the production expenses at theatres the films are to be screened at. But when we expand the screening platforms, offering alternatives than the few available numbers, there is no need to sell the film for such ticket prices,” Ghoneim told DNE.

Nonetheless, the reduced prices will never affect the production quality, which the EFSSR will exert the highest efforts into making them match international standards.

“The screened films will match the market’s finest productions when it comes to storylines, production, and directing. However, the only element our committees will focus on, is to have the production match the criteria of a family show,” Ghoneim added.

The campaign aims to invest experts’ experience into shaping young talents toward professionalism.

“We are keen to foster an environment where local artists are able to articulate their skills; whether it’s script writing, acting, casting, or directing, we make sure they have the appropriate guidance as well as the means to facilitate their endeavour,” said Cima Masr’s Business Development Manager, Hady El Baghoury, in the press release.

“This does not only helps shape the next generation of stars, but also supports our vision of recapturing the magic of Egyptian cinema,” he added.

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The Netherlands wins the Eurovision Song Contest https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/05/19/the-netherlands-wins-the-eurovision-song-contest/ Sat, 18 May 2019 23:05:00 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=698408 The post The Netherlands wins the Eurovision Song Contest appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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Bookies favorite Duncan Lawrence has won the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv with his power ballad “Arcade.” An exclusive performance by a 60-year-old pop diva also ensured the night would never be forgotten.Twenty-five-year-old Dutchman Duncan Laurence won the 2019 European Song Contest in Tel Aviv on Saturday night with his catchy ballad "Arcade."

Laurence won 492 points to beat Italy's Mahmood and 24 other contestants to take Eurovision glory.

Russia, Switzerland and Norway made up the rest of the top five respectively after the votes from judges in 41 countries and viewers were tallied.

"This is to dreaming big, this is to music first always," Laurence said as he received the iconic microphone trophy.

Read more: Opinion: Should the Eurovision Song Contest be politicized?

Dutch entry singled out

In the weeks leading up to the competition, the Dutchman had hardly budged as the far and away favorite among bookmakers and experts.

The ballad he sang of love and loss was co-written with his compatriot Wouter Hardy and Joel Sjoo from Sweden. It's a song that moves many to tears, delivered in a bare-bones production:

The Netherlands has won the contest four times before, with the most recent win in 1975.

Madonna fans disappointed

Ahead of the contest, there had been much hype about an exclusive performance by Madonna, which Canadian-Israeli billionaire Sylvan Adams paid for to the tune of $1 million (€895,000). However, the 60-year-old Queen of Pop received less than stellar reviews on social media after her new take on her 1989 hit "Like a Prayer" was sung out of tune in parts.

Further controversy erupted when Madonna's dancers briefly wore Israeli and Palestinian flags on their backs during her performance in an apparent call for unity.

Iceland's entry, Hatari, displayed scarfs with Palestinian flags as the results were being announced, forcing Israeli TV to cut away quickly.

Diverse styles and opinions

"The most important thing is that you stick to who you are," said Duncan Laurence at the subsequent press conference. An openly bisexual artist, he is seen as a role model in the LGBTQ community in Europe.

The Netherlands, with 492 points, was followed by Italy (465), Russia (369), Switzerland (360), Norway (338), Sweden (332), Azerbaijan (297), North Macedonia (295) and Australia (285).

It was an evening of widely diverse styles and opinions. As the jury votes came in country by country, the top favorites traded places again and again: Russia, Italy, Sweden, The Netherlands and surprisingly, North Macedonia, which hadn't been predicted as a favorite but had long held a commanding lead.

After all 41 countries had announced their votes from music expert juries, the points were announced from the televoting, dramatically altering the results.

Germany, which placed 21st out of 26 in the jury vote, was the only country to be awarded zero points from the public voting.

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Ramadan in the Maghreb https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/05/15/ramadan-in-the-maghreb/ Wed, 15 May 2019 10:00:55 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=698168 The atmosphere of Ramadan and the celebration of the coming of the holy month are similar in most Muslim countries, but there are details for each nation in their customs and traditions.

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In Morocco they call the month of Ramadan “Sidna Ramadan” because it is the best month of the year, and they receive it with decorations in all houses and shops, and close cafes and restaurants during the day.

In the past, women gathered on rooftops waiting to see the first moon of Ramadan, and the joy of the arrival of a dear guest on the people of Fez, followed by the “Nafar,” carrying a long pipe blowing seven puffs in either the mosque silo or walking through the streets of the old city and its old elegance announcing the coming of the holy month.

Once the crescent has been confirmed, Moroccans start exchanging greetings, saying: “Awashir Mabrouka”. The phrase is spoken in Moroccan colloquial meaning “blessed days”. It means dividing the month into 10 days for mercy, 10 for forgiveness, and 10 for freeing hell.

Newspapers and books are enjoying great popularity in the holy month, as Moroccans are more interested in reading.

It is also a special practice to play sports between Asr (afternoon) and Maghreb (sunset) for everyone.

They are good moments of entertainment. Weeks before Ramadan, the people of Morocco prepare their dishes and traditional clothing for decorations at each mosque.

One of the most important customs of the people of Morocco is gathering on the first day of Ramadan in the house of the father or grandparent of the family.

The Moroccan housewife is very interested in decorating the house and preparing it to receive guests from the family and neighbours. The house is adorned with natural flowers and green herbs.

One of the most popular customs of the month of Ramadan is the celebration of the first fasting of the children on the day of Ramadan, especially on the 27th of it. Celebrating this day is a manifestation of traditional Moroccan customs.

If the fasting child is a girl, she eats dates with her family, but in north Morocco, the child would eat a date on a wooden ladder to highlight ascending from fasting. Girls under puberty are characterised by a new dress, which is a traditional Moroccan women’s dress. Their hands are covered with henna inscriptions and their small bags are filled with dates, walnuts, and nuts.

The most important Ramadan dishes are Harira, or soup with vegetables, and the couscous is served every Friday in different ways. Grilled meat with tomato sauce is also served. As for the Moroccan iftar (braking the fast), Harira comes first. It is a sign of Ramadan, so they are considered the main dish for iftar. It is a mixture of a number of vegetables and spices served in traditional dishes called “Zlayev.” They add dates, milk, and eggs. Ramadan desserts are common, including “Shabakia” and “Sefof”, as well as dates.

During the holy month of Ramadan, Morocco organises collective iftars arranged by some charities, Islamic and otherwise, which are supported by the state.

And in Tunisia

The night before Ramadan is named “Kersh Night” and the celebration of the holy month begins before it is received. The month of Ramadan is celebrated as the month of weddings. Girls are engaged and given gifts on the 27th night, which is referred to as the season.

Some families also celebrate Lailat al-Qadr with the circumcision of their children by organising religious events prepared by Muslim groups until the time of suhoor (last meal before fasting).

Families from the wealthy classes organise nights called “Salameh” to mark the month of Ramadan. “Salameh” is a group of religious songs of Sufis. These celebrations are restricted to men. Women sometimes participate from afar.

It is customary for Tunisians to break the fast with dates and milk, perform Maghrib (sunset) prayer, and then return to the iftar table, which is characterised by Ramadan specials. Tunisians begin Ramadan iftar with the words “Sehat Sherbetkom”, which means health and wellness.

And the most important dishes on the Tunisian table is the Tajine in different types. Tajine is a popular dish that differs from one area to another.

The most important dessert dishes are “Raffees”, made of rice cooked with dates and raisins, or “Madmouga” made of sheets of fried dough, fragmented and stuffed with dates and sugar. In the north-west of Tunisia, porridge is prepared with flour, ghee, and honey. In the coast, pies are made with raisins. “Barracuche” is thick flour granules cooked with varieties of vegetables.

Algeria

Before the holy month of Ramadan begins, Algerians greet each other by saying “Sah Ramadankom”. Families begin to prepare and repaint houses, buy new utensils, and kitchen utensils, prepare all kinds of spices, and start shopping for Ramadan sweets such as dumplings, heart almonds, and other sweets.

Algerian families hold special celebrations for children who fast for the first time. Girls wear new dresses and sit as queens. Amidst a joyous celebration of their first fast, they sit in a high place at the time of iftar until they feel the attention and appreciation. Many Algerian families prefer to circumcise their sons on the night of the 27th of the month.

The Algerian table in Ramadan is characterised by a basic dish, Harira, as a soup. It is also unique to serve some foods such as “sweet meat”, a dish made of meat, dried plum, raisins, and rose water, and “Barboche” which is a couscous dish.

In addition to the soup, the bourak and the sweet tajine are appetisers.

For the dawn suhour meal, Algerians mostly eat couscous and “mousouf,” a dried couscous with raisins and yogurt.

Not only are Algerians interested in eating during the month of Ramadan, they are also keen on religious duties and worship, where mosques are crowded during Taraweeh prayers, and musical festivals vary widely, especially in the second half of the month. Many musical societies celebrate with different types of popular and Andalusian music.

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Eurovision 2019: Narrowing down the field https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/05/14/eurovision-2019-narrowing-down-the-field/ Tue, 14 May 2019 21:29:00 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=698187 The post Eurovision 2019: Narrowing down the field appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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In a show of dazzling effects and extreme stylistic variety, 10 musical acts have qualified for the Eurovision song contest finale in Tel Aviv. Front-runners Greece and Australia were among the acts to make it through.After a colorful first semifinal Tuesday evening in Tel Aviv, the 10 countries selected to go on to the finale are Greece, Belarus, Serbia, Cyprus, Estonia, the Czech Republic, Australia, Iceland, San Marino and Slovenia.

The seven countries eliminated from the competition are Poland, Portugal, Montenegro, Finland, Hungary, Belgium and Georgia.

Elaborate productions

2019 marks a return of dazzle at Eurovision from a big LED screen. The most spectacular effects were employed in Australia's entry. Kate Miller-Heidke's "Zero Gravity" was all about the show, with the opera singer and two female acrobats resembling puppets impaled on poles, swaying this way and that as though floating in outer space. If only for its impeccable kitsch, the act was bound to go on to the finale, and with it, Australia has maintained its unbroken streak of always qualifying.

With Hatari's song "Hate Will Win," Iceland's entry had equally elaborate production values. In the background, red chains on the LED screens seemed to suggest that people have become machines.

Hatari growled and screamed a song of protest against capitalism. The three-piece band was supported by three backing dancers, all clad in rubber outfits, harnesses, masks and chains.

Estonia's Victor Crone had a far less forbidding message. In his upbeat ditty, despair gives way to fragile hope, then consolation and confidence. Crone's background as a music writer in Tennessee, New York and at Capitol Records in Los Angeles was apparent.

Surprising results

Serbia's entry, Nevena Bozovic, wore a black gown with one leg exposed. With much waving of her braceleted arms and tossing of hair, she sang her ballad "Kruna" (Crown) as background colors from the LED screen swirled and spiraled in a vortex up to the heavens.

In "Better Love," Greece's Katerine Duska, with her husky, dark, versatile voice, delivered a celebration of femininity. She was backed up in her all-female act by sword-bearing dancers in diaphanous chiffon-clad gowns who cavorted in front of a flower motif backdrop of lilies.

Certainly the biggest surprise of the evening was the qualification of Serhat from San Marino. His song "Say Na Na Na" was all fluff and no content before a candy-striped LED backdrop. This is the second Eurovision entry for the songwriter, music producer, TV host and producer.

In "Friend Of A Friend," the Czech Republic's young band Lake Malawi brought pure, feel-good pop, with lead singer Albert Cerny jumping between rectangular lit boxes.

The qualifiers also included a love song from Slovenia: singer Zala Kralj and guitarist Gasper Santl performed "Sebi" on a dark stage.

A colorful galaxy unfolded in the background, but the couple didn't budge from their position at center stage and gazed into each other's eyes throughout the three-minute song.

Netta's return

Opening this year's songfest with the motto "Dare to Dream," Netta Barzilai, last year's Eurovision winner, dazzled with a performance of her winning song "Toy," flanked by an army of dancers all wearing her trademark red garb.

Voting in the first semifinal was allowed for the participating countries, joined by Israel, Spain and France. Their decision determined half of the final result; the other half was determined by judges, experts in the music industry named by the participating public broadcasters.

The second semifinal for the Eurovision song contest will be held on Thursday, with the grand finale scheduled for Saturday.

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