Culture – Daily News Egypt http://www.dailynewsegypt.com Egypt’s Only Daily Independent Newspaper In English Sat, 25 Feb 2017 17:28:13 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Daily News Egypt.. Egypt in focus http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/23/daily-news-egypt-egypt-focus/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/23/daily-news-egypt-egypt-focus/#respond Thu, 23 Feb 2017 16:09:34 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=616312 The post Daily News Egypt.. Egypt in focus appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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CCDC celebrates the end of 5 Ra2s http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/22/615945/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/22/615945/#respond Wed, 22 Feb 2017 10:00:12 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=615945 The festival was held as part of CCDC’s five-year anniversary

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Gathering in the heart of Garden City, many dance professionals and enthusiasts met for a static night, all about humanity’s most animated form of expression. The last day of the contemporary dance festival, 5 Ra2s, by Cairo Contemporary Dance Center (CCDC) took Cairo’s community of dancers to ROOM art space for a movie screening and a following talk.

The cosy night revolved around a projector screen, which saw the unfolding of the stories of “The Man Behind the Throne.” The documentary movie narrated the day-to-day thoughts of one of the world’s most prominent dance choreographers: Vincent Paterson.

The movie was directed by Kersti Grunditz Brennan and was screened for the first time in Sweden in January 2013. Meanwhile, the movie’s first screening in Egypt was at ROOM earlier this week.

“I chose this movie out of an endless list; however, the choice was made within the given context we were trying to focus on, opening up the whole range of the dance world. We do not want to limit dance to its contemporary form; we want to show that it is spreading around us in much richer forms than we think,” said Karima Mansour, founder and artistic director of CCDC.

Known for his work with pop legends such as Michael Jackson and Madonna, Paterson is solid proof that diversity is key in the field of dance. The movie’s main message is to face the threat of self-destructive fame as well as to put all types of dance on one level—without stigmatising commercial dance.

“ROOM, among our other partners such as Zigzag and Zawya, is a very important space in the independent scene. I think that it is crucial for us to collaborate with such entities and to help and support each other; to be able to make use of what each can each offer to the other,” said Mansour.

During the festival, CCDC collaborated with quite a few local art destinations to showcase the different aspects of dancing. ROOM is notoriously known for hosting local and international gems from different forms of art. The small space includes a coffee shop, a library, a space for musicians, and a projector for unique movie screenings.

“Our collaboration gives us the opportunity to expand our audience and reach out to different segments of spectators,” said Mansour.

Having said that—after a week of diverse entertainment and informative talks—the first season of 5 Ra2s was rapidly over. Even though an upcoming second season is still more a request from the festival’s crowd rather than an announcement from the organisers, 5 Ra2s already seems to position itself as a prominent event in Egypt’s independent art scene.

According to Mansour, the last day was not only about celebrating the festival, but also an opportunity to celebrate the centre’s overall achievements.

“We are celebrating five years of Cairo Contemporary Dance Center; that, in itself, is a major achievement. We made it for a good five years; it is a milestone that deserves celebration,” said Mansour passionately.

Furthermore, she was also fond of the fact that they have reached the graduation ceremony of the centre’s first students, who are already working in the field now but still remain connected to CCDC.

“We just had our very first festival, and it happened, and it worked. It was on a very big scale with a lot of collaborations and support. This is another step to think of in terms of realising the importance of going down that road and continuing regardless of all the obstacles and difficulties,” said Mansour joyously.

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Ramses II statue to be restored in Luxor Temple   http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/21/615867/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/21/615867/#respond Tue, 21 Feb 2017 10:00:17 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=615867 Aiming to inspect the restoration processes of one of King Ramses II statues that was destroyed in the fourth century AD, Dr. Khaled Al-Anani, the Egyptian Minister of Antiquities, and Irina Bokova, director-general of UNESCO, visited the city of Luxor along with Governor Mohammed Badr. The statue was destroyed as a result of a devastating …

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Aiming to inspect the restoration processes of one of King Ramses II statues that was destroyed in the fourth century AD, Dr. Khaled Al-Anani, the Egyptian Minister of Antiquities, and Irina Bokova, director-general of UNESCO, visited the city of Luxor along with Governor Mohammed Badr. The statue was destroyed as a result of a devastating earthquake that swept the country at that time.

Dr. Mustafa Waziri, the general director of Luxor monuments, declared that the first edifice in Luxor Temple was adorned with six statues, two in a sitting position and four in a standing position. However, many of these statues were destroyed, and the temple only has two remaining statues in a sitting position and one in a standing position.

Therefore, the idea of restoring and re-installing the statue came up and was approved by the Ministry of Antiquities and the Governor of Luxor, who supported the idea by providing the required materials for the restoration process. The work started in November 2016, and an Egyptian expert made the necessary studies for re-gathering the remaining parts of the statue.

According to the official page of the ministry, the statue is made of gray granite and weighs 65 tonnes and has a height of 10.8 metres. Waziri also added that the work will continue day and night in order to finish this huge project that will change the looks of Luxor temple forever.

From her side, Bokova expressed her admiration for what has been implemented by the hands of the experienced Egyptian workers who have previously worked in the restoration of many of the statues on the western bank of Luxor.

Last week, Al-Anani and Bokova reopened the fully restored Stoppelaëre house in Luxor. The house belonged to the deceased French archaeologist Alexandre Stoppelaëre, who worked for the Ministry of Antiquities during the 1950s. The house was rebuilt by the leading Egyptian architect Hassan Fathy. After the restoration efforts, the house will be turned into a training centre for locals who want to learn 3D technology and photography arts.

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A horror play incarnates the fight between humans and demons http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/20/615801/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/20/615801/#respond Mon, 20 Feb 2017 11:30:50 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=615801 The troupe adds philosophical perspective to novels, coming out with a play blending horror, thriller, and philosophy, says director

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Aiming to introduce Egyptian audiences to horror theatre and provide a different perspective of this kind of art, “Al Ferqa 500 B” theatrical troupe will start its tour outside Cairo on 2 March. The show will be hosted by Abdel Moneam Gaber’s theatre in Alexandria after the great success the play achieved during ten continuous nights in Cairo. The play “Ibn Eshaq’s Manuscript” is based on a bestselling novel of the same name by leading horror author Hassan Al-Gendy.

“For the last few years, we witnessed that comic plays dominated the theatrical scene in Egypt, and we started wondering what is the new genre we should present,” said Ahmed Zaki, the writer and director of the play.

“We found this interesting novel and started working on its theatrical treatment starting from June. However, we found out that we need to add another philosophical perspective to come out with a play that blends horror, thriller, and philosophy,” he added.

The play mainly tackles the eternal conflict between Adam and the demon, and it added many different characters to the original ones extracted from the novel.

“We cannot claim that we are the first artists to present a horror play in Egypt, because we have already seen a previous play called “Half Dead,” taken from a novel by the same author. However, we can claim that we are the first ones to present horror with these advanced techniques that managed to engage the audience from the first minute,” he noted.

The play presents an intensive dose of breathtaking horror at the first 15 minutes of the show and then takes the audience into a journey inside their minds and souls. That was not an easy task, as he spent a month and a half fully dedicated to working on the treatment of the novel.

“We were surprised by people’s feedback about the play and that is why we decided to perform in Alexandria. Although it is usually too costly for us to move all the equipment and materials we need, we are always interested to meet new people with different backgrounds to spread our philosophy of art,” he said.

In fact, this wasn’t the first play performed by “Al Ferqa 500 B”, as they have previously presented many other artistic works for a number of leading novelists and writers such as Al-Warta “The Predicament” by Tawfiq Al-Hakim, Al-Mazad “The Auction” by Khaled Al-Sawy, Unshudat Al-Dam “Blood Song” by Mustafa Mahmoud, and many others.

“We now have 40 artists in our troupe. This number includes musicians, writers, directors, and actors, as well as stylists and technicians. However, we consider ourselves amateurs who don’t earn a living from this hobby,” he noted.

In his opinion, the theatre in Egypt cannot be a method of gaining enough money and raising children. Unlike any other profession, theatre artists must find other jobs. Their theatre depends mainly on various self-funding techniques.

“We collect money from each other and pay for the expenses of decorations, clothes, and equipment. After that, we collect another amount of money for reserving a theatre for the shows or travelling to perform in other governorates. People ask us what we gain, but we always say that meeting the audience and conveying a message to them is our main motivation,” he explained.

However, he is always optimistic about their loyal fans, whom follow the kind of art they present everywhere. Since the troupe started in 2011, they managed to create their own audience, whom they can easily contact through posting on social media. Therefore, they don’t usually need to pay for advertising and publicity.

“Currently, we are working on two new different plays: a comedy one and a horror one. We are hopefully expecting a lot of success with them,” he concluded.

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50 Shades Darker screening in Egyptian theatres http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/20/50-shades-darker-screening-egyptian-theatres/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/20/50-shades-darker-screening-egyptian-theatres/#respond Mon, 20 Feb 2017 10:30:29 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=615803 The trilogy faces global campaigns accusing it of promoting violence, abuse, and emotional disturbance

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With anticipation, enticement, and thrill, Egypt’s female audience is waiting for the second part of 50 Shades of Grey. After the Twilight Saga, the film series is the second obsession for audience to follow the love story happening between Anastasia, the innocent young lady, and Christian Grey, the dominant successful young businessman.

After the huge success of the first instalment of the romantic drama, 50 Shades Darker is now showing in Egyptian theatres. In a press release, Four Star Films, the sole films’ distributor of Universal Pictures and Paramount Pictures in Egypt, said the film started to be screened on 15 February in all cinema theatres.

Known for their adult content, the films feature explicit, erotic scenes. This is the reason why the first part of the series was not screened in Egyptian cinemas.

With a romantic twist, the trilogy of 50 Shades of Grey takes the audience behind the closed doors of a dominant-submissive sexual relationship. This includes the practice of bondage, discipline, dominance, submission, and sadomasochism, commonly known as BDSM.

The motion pictures are a depiction of English author E.L. James’ trilogy Fifty Shades of Grey, one of the best-selling books of all time, selling more than 100 million copies worldwide and translated into 52 languages. The novels have been dubbed by many as “mummy porn” or “Twilight for grown-ups.”

On the international level, the films were reprimanded for their sexual violence content. Civil society organisations in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia fought hard to encourage the public to boycott the film.

Before the release of both the first and second instalment, an online campaign called “50 Dollars, not 50 Shades” widely spread among social media users with the hashtag #FiftyShadesisAbuse.

The campaign that aims to boycott the film trilogy stated that while the films seem to beautify a relationship that allegedly rests on love, it in reality presents violence, abuse, and emotional disturbance.

The campaign also requested that instead of buying cinema tickets for the film, people could donate the money for shelters fighting domestic violence and supporting women trying to escape their partners’ abuse.

On Valentine’s Day, the screening date of 50 Shades Darker, North America-based The Domestic Violence Organization published a Facebook post stating, “this Valentine’s Day, we’re asking you to remember that love shouldn’t hurt. Healthy relationships involve open communication, partnership, equity, and respect.” The organisation said that these attributes are not part of the relationship portrayed in 50 Shades Darker. The organisation continued to say that “we’ve partnered with the National Center on Sexual Exploitation to urge moviegoers to boycott the film and donate to a domestic violence shelter instead. Take a stand with #50DollarsNot50Shades by giving what you can to a shelter’s wish list.”

The campaign directed against the trilogy was adopted by London Abused Women’s Centre, Collective Shout, Culture Reframed, and The National Center on Sexual Exploitation.

In a press release, the organisations stated the reasons for fighting the film: “Hollywood is portraying the Fifty Shades story as a risqué, passionate romance, but it’s actually a story of sexual and domestic abuse. Christian Grey, the male lead, consistently displays the traits of an abuser through possessive, manipulative, coercive, and violent behaviours, including frequent stalking. Anastasia Steele, his ‘lover,’ is consistently isolated, threatened, and manipulated, yet she comes back to Christian time and time again because she thinks her love can change him. As the story progresses, Ana, who was first fearful and disturbed by Christian’s controlling behaviours and dark sexual practices, gradually becomes desensitised to his harsh treatment. The Fifty Shades series is permeated with graphic scenes of violent sex and sexual abuse. Its lead male character exhibits classic hallmarks of a sexual and domestic abuser, and yet Hollywood is portraying his relationship with Ana as a sexually titillating Cinderella story.”

In a study conducted by Amy E. Bonomi, Lauren E. Altenburger, and Nicole L. Walton and published in the Journal of Women’s Health about the effect of the trilogy, it was stated that the film showcases “dangerous violence standards being perpetuated in popular culture.”

Other than the physical abuse, the study also identifies emotional abuse throughout the film’s plot, depicted in the form of stalking and intimidation. Their study said that “our analysis identified patterns in Fifty Shades that reflect pervasive intimate partner violence—one of the biggest problems of our time.”

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The Cairo Literature Festival celebrates its 3rd round in the presence of writers from 18 countries  http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/19/615702/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/19/615702/#respond Sun, 19 Feb 2017 11:30:36 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=615702 In the presence of poets and writers from all over the world, the Cairo Literature Festival kicked off its third round. Mohamed El-Baely, who has been a journalist for around 14 years, founder and director of Sefsafa publishing house and the director of the festival, plans to transform his publishing house into an integrated cultural …

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In the presence of poets and writers from all over the world, the Cairo Literature Festival kicked off its third round.

Mohamed El-Baely, who has been a journalist for around 14 years, founder and director of Sefsafa publishing house and the director of the festival, plans to transform his publishing house into an integrated cultural foundation.

The festival was celebrated as a part of this plan, which is being achieved in cooperation with volunteers, the Egyptian Ministry of Culture, civil associations, embassies, and foreign cultural centres in Egypt.

Thanks to these connections and continuous travels of the people involved in the festival, the festival gathered guests from all over the world, including Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Kuwait, Turkey, Germany, Switzerland, and the Netherlands.

This is the third consecutive year for the festival to be celebrated. The first time it included 13 countries, the second time it went up to 15 countries, finally reaching 18 countries this year.

The festival witnessed a confident start during its first issue, which took place in 2015. Turkish writer Orhan Pamuk, who had been awarded the 2006 Noble Prize in literature, was present.

“This time, women were the heroines,” said Mohamed El-Baely, since the motto of the festival was “Women are the ink and the soul of writing.”

Writers from 18 countries participated in the 2017 Cairo Literature Festival. Those were Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Kuwait, Turkey, Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Canada, the UK, and the US.

Another factor that made the 2017 festival’s round special was the participation of countries from central and Eastern Europe.

Jana Putrle Srdić, a Slovenian poet who read her poems at the festival, commented regarding this, saying that there is a lot of literature being translated from Arabic and Hebrew to Slovenian but not many translated vice versa unfortunately. “This is why I consider this festival an opportunity to enhance literature exchange between Slav and Arabic literature in both directions.” she added.

Srdić’s poetry can be described as a free verse one with an existential narrative. Her poems connect man to nature, not in the old romantic tradition, but rather in a contemporary way. “Through my poems, man, nature, and technology interact,” she says.

Suzana Tatrik is another Slovenian who participated with her book Parallels, published in Slovenia in 2007, was awarded the most prestigious Slovenian prize (the Prešeren Award) and was translated to Arabic. “The reader will see the world from a sincere and unhypocritical point of view, the one of a child. However, it is not children’s literature.”

Tatrik said, “I am very happy and proud to take part in this festival as this is my first book to be translated to Arabic, while very few books are translated from Slovenian to Arabic.”

Last but not least, work written in English had a notable presence, since writers from Canada, UK, and the US took part.

With her book The Disappeared—which tells the story of Canadian Anne Greves, whom falls in love with Cambodian Serey—Canadian author Kim Echlin participated in the festival. Through this fictional story, readers can witness the revealed forces, including the political ones, that have an effect on love everywhere.

The Disappeared was nominated for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and won the Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Award for Fiction.

END

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French archeologist’s antique house turns into local 3D training centre in Luxor  http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/19/615699/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/19/615699/#respond Sun, 19 Feb 2017 11:00:32 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=615699 The technology will be used for chronicling closed tombs for future generations

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When the French conservator Alexandre Stoppelaëre, who worked as an archaeologist at the Ministry of Antiquities in the 1950s, wanted to build a house, he could not possibly find a better one than the talented Egyptian architect and pioneer Hassan Fathy. Fathy’s task was to turn established walls into a real home for a man who was fond of monuments. Turning out to be a masterpiece itself, the house combines the simplicity of Fathy’s design and the huge, elegant domes he was known to apply in fancy mansions. Located in Luxor, Stoppelaëre’s house is currently among Egypt’s most valuable heritage due to its design and decoration.

After it had already slowly started to decay, Minister of Antiquities Khaled El Enany and Swiss ambassador to Egypt Markus Leitner, in the presence of Irina Bokova, director general of UNESCO, reopened the fully restored Stoppelaëre house on Friday.

The restoration process is part of the Theban Necropolis Preservation Initiative. The initiative is a collaboration between Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities, Switzerland’s University of Basel, and Spain’s Factum Foundation for Digital Technology in Conservation.

“Switzerland is committed to preserving Egypt’s rich historical legacy. Restoring Stoppelaëre’s house preserves a valuable 20th century building while offering a venue from which work can be undertaken to preserve Egypt’s ancient history for generations to come,” said Markus Leitner.

 

The restorations were applied by the Centre of Conservation and Heritage with a team of local craftsmen.

After its opening, the house is scheduled to turn into a training centre for locals to train on 3D technology and photography, which will also be used for heritage preservation purposes.

 

These recording technologies will be applied to the preservation of heritage and will be done at high-resolution and used for the creation of exact facsimiles of tombs that are now either closed to the public for conservation or in need of closure to preserve them for future generations.

Stoppelaëre’s house is located near the facsimile of the tomb of King Tutankhamun, which was installed in 2014 as the first phase of the Theban Necropolis Preservation Initiative. The scanning of the tomb of Seti I is currently being carried out.

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Arts carnival to be held in Zamalek for the second year http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/19/615697/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/19/615697/#respond Sun, 19 Feb 2017 10:30:50 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=615697 After the outstanding success of its first round, faculties of fine arts, art education, and music education in Zamalek organise their second annual arts carnival that hosts hundreds of students, art fans, and public audience. The carnival will be held on 24 February and will showcase various kinds of arts for the interested attendees. “This …

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After the outstanding success of its first round, faculties of fine arts, art education, and music education in Zamalek organise their second annual arts carnival that hosts hundreds of students, art fans, and public audience. The carnival will be held on 24 February and will showcase various kinds of arts for the interested attendees.

“This year, the carnival is divided into three sections. The first one contains the exhibitions where the students’ paintings, photos, projects, and handicrafts are sold,” said Dr. Ehab Ezzat, vice dean for society and environment development.

The second partition contains commercial handicrafts, accessories, and clothes made by amateurs and professionals from outside the faculty.

“We do not only give our students a chance to market their products, we also give ordinary people a chance to meet their target audience and start building their own brand,” he added.

The third part of the exhibition includes other kinds of arts such as puppet shows, free portrait drawing sessions, and Indian dancing shows.

“The embassy of India contributes with a band and a dancing group that will introduce people to the Indian culture,” Ezzat noted.

In his opinion, the main goal of this carnival is the societal contribution. “We need normal people to get familiar with our faculties’ different activities and the quality of our students’ work in different fields. We also aim at making a close connection between three important faculties who are able to show their work to the surrounding community,” he added.

The carnival gives all the students an equal chance to exhibit their work. The faculties do not have any preference or filtration of any of the presented materials. However, the preparations of the carnival are usually not easy. It goes through a long process of meetings with the student union members, holding a survey, submitting a proposal for the carnival, and choosing the members of the organisation teams.

“Last year, we received an amazing feedback from the participants and the guests. This time, we will hold the carnival on Friday in order to provide more people with the freedom to come and we expect larger numbers of people to attend,” Ezzat said.

However, that is not the only project by the arts faculties. “We are currently working on a big project called “Eshaa” that aims mainly at developing slum areas. It’s a mid-term project that will finish within a year and two months,” he added.

For instance, with the help of other faculties, such as medical schools, the project will be able to survey the deprived areas and map diseases in each of them.

“However, the faculty of fine arts is supposed to provide a programme for improving the arts education in the deprived schools and study the lifestyle there to know how arts can be used to utilise the talents of those residents,” he concluded.

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UNICEF celebrates its 70th anniversary with its latest goodwill ambassadors  http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/15/615513/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/15/615513/#respond Wed, 15 Feb 2017 11:00:50 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=615513 Ahmed Helmy, Mona Zaki, and Donia Samir Ghanem join a list of international celebrities from 190 countries  

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For 70 years, with the help of the Egyptian government, the United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has played an effective role in improving Egyptian children’s lives. From protecting the children from child labour, young marriage, and female genital mutilation (FGM) to raising parents’ awareness in bringing up their children, UNICEF plays one of the most life-changing roles in Egypt.

The 70-year anniversary took place in Egypt and was attended by society’s most famous superstars and public figures, where UNICEF celebrated its newest Egyptian goodwill ambassadors. The ambassadors were comedian Ahmed Helmy, young actress and singer Donia Samir Ghanem, and renowned actress Mona Zaki.

The ambassadors are here to help the association deliver its messages and raise people’s awareness regarding the causes UNICEF fights for.

UNICEF has been supporting children’s rights in Egypt since 1952. Bruno Maes, UNICEF’s representative in Egypt, stated that the celebrities’ role is as important as the role UNICEF plays in improving both children’s and parents’ lives, saying, “Helmy, Donia, and Mona are not only famous artists; they are also champions with a cause and passion, volunteering their time and capitalising on their fame to serve children’s issues, and working to become an integral part of UNICEF’s advocacy for children.”

In separate videos, the artists shared some of their personal life experiences as parents, expressing their emotions and stating the changes that had happened in their lives after having children.

“Today, I raise my voice for all children and share their hopes and pain. I know for sure that all parents wish the best for their children. But sometimes we judge them according to our standards and hurt them by our actions. We need to get closer to our children, understand their needs, and respect them,” Zaki stated in her speech.

The celebration also witnessed the attendance of Ghada Waly, Minister of Social Solidarity; Sahar Nasr, Minister of International Cooperation; and Nabila Makram, Minister of Immigration and Egyptian Expatriate Affairs. Through their speeches, the minsters showcased problems facing Egyptian children that should be heavily spotlighted by both government and civil society organisations.

Nine million children are below the poverty line. They face more forms of violence than physical and emotional violence, such as early marriage and FGM/C,” Waly stated.

“I would like to put two issues on the agenda of the new ambassadors: child-trafficking and children with disabilities,” Makram said.

As for Nasr, she focused on improving neglected rights, stating that “I would like to cooperate with the new ambassadors in our children-related projects in the ministry, such as school nutrition. It’s a project that supports children development and decreases child labour and out-of-school rates.”

The new ambassadors joined the global list of UNICEF’s international goodwill ambassadors, including David Beckham and Orlando Bloom, and Middle Eastern artists, such as Kazem El-Saher and Nancy Ajram.

“I am happy to engage with UNICEF and will exert my utmost efforts to be an effective voice, which will contribute to making a positive change in the lives of our children,” Helmy concluded.

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Zurich hosts Egyptian Sunken Secret Exhibition for the first time http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/15/615507/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/15/615507/#respond Wed, 15 Feb 2017 10:00:34 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=615507 After its successful tour in Paris and London, Osiris Egyptian Sunken Secrets Exhibition was hosted by Rietberg Museum in the Swiss city of Zurich between 10 February and 12 July. In a big press conference that was covered by a number of local and international media outlets, the Egypt Minister of Antiquities, Khaled El-Anany, provided …

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After its successful tour in Paris and London, Osiris Egyptian Sunken Secrets Exhibition was hosted by Rietberg Museum in the Swiss city of Zurich between 10 February and 12 July. In a big press conference that was covered by a number of local and international media outlets, the Egypt Minister of Antiquities, Khaled El-Anany, provided information about the importance of the exhibited pieces that tells the mythical story of Osiris, the ancient Egyptian god of rebirth, and were found in the old cities of Thonis-Heracleion, Canopus, Abo Qeir, and Alexandria eastern port.

“The exhibition hosts 319 relics that were found below the Egyptian coasts, starting from the 2000s and going back to the Pharaonic, Roman, and Greek eras,” Elham Salah Al-Din, head of the museum sector in the Ministry of Antiquities, said.

The relics were chosen from the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, the Graeco-Roman Museum, the Alexandria National Museum, and the Bibliotheca Alexandria Museum. The process of hosting such rare pieces is not an easy task.

“The exhibition has been held many times before in many countries around the world. We never deal with individuals, we always communicate with authentic governmental institutions which provide some offers for receiving the relics. We always deal with reliable insurance and packaging companies. The relics must be shipped on EgyptAir flights to guarantee their security,” she added.

According to MySwitzerland.com, the exhibition features some outstanding exhibits, such as the colossal statue of Hapy, the personification of the inundation of the Nile, which is more than five meters tall; the life-sized sculpture of the sacred Apis bull; the shrine with the oldest Egyptian calendar; and the statue of Queen Arsinoe II, that testifies to unique sculptural skills.

The exhibition is open for visitors from all nationalities for six months. An official from the Ministry of Antiquities must accompany the relics in exhibition for the whole scheduled period.

“Foreigners are obsessed with Egypt’s ancient era and when we announce holding any Egyptian exhibition in any country, we usually receive a lot of attention and positive feedback. This can be a great way for reviving the tourism sector in Egypt again and attracting bigger numbers of tourists,” she added.

In her opinion, this exhibition would benefit Egypt on many different political, educational, cultural, and economic levels.

“The exhibition is not only a good source of income, it also introduces Egypt’s name and civilisation to people in many different countries and sends an important message about the stability and security of Egypt’s current circumstances. It also builds strong connections between Egypt and the major countries where people study Egypt’s ancient history in their educational curriculum,” she explained.

However, the different countries always have various interests in the Egyptian monuments. “American exhibitions always pay more attention to the fame of the Egyptian kings and queens, especially Tutankhamun, Ramses, and Tuhotmos. However, European exhibitions prefer to host specialised exhibitions on certain topics such as agriculture, beauty, science, and others,”

Since the outbreak of the 25 January revolution and the political and security unrest that followed it, the tourism sector has witnessed a lot of challenges because of the decreasing numbers of tourists.  However, this led to the revival of the domestic tourism, which was a new phenomenon, from different perspectives.

“The last few years have witnessed increasing rates of foreign tourism in Egypt which is a promising indicator. Also, the big numbers of the Egyptians who visit the museums and historical places can be considered another healthy sign, thanks to the print and broadcast media which played a great role in attracting people to domestic tourism,” she noted.

The success of this exhibition opens the door for many other international offers the ministry is currently receiving.

“We received some offers from museums in China, Germany, Spain, and other countries, and we are currently studying their documents to come up with the best strategy for the exhibitions that will be held between 2017 and 2019. We are also working in the new Egyptian museum under the direct supervision of the minister himself,” she concluded.

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The unseen sides of Egypt http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/13/unseen-sides-egypt-4/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/13/unseen-sides-egypt-4/#respond Mon, 13 Feb 2017 10:00:53 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=615288 The top pictures posted on Instagram by amateur photographers

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Abdullah Mahmoud Ahmed Allam Hisham Abd El Hamed Yehya Mohamed Youssef Gika 2 Rania Alla ElDen Mohamed Haroon Kholoud Ashraf ] Ammar Eid

Photography has always been a form of stating reality. It’s 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 haven’t found any 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 talents seeking a platform, Daily News Egypt publishes pictures taken by citizens displaying their daily activities.

These pictures are the  best pictures from January posted on Instagram 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 10 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 present 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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David Hockney’s swimming pools: a Brit’s artistic take on California http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/09/david-hockneys-swimming-pools-a-brits-artistic-take-on-california/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/09/david-hockneys-swimming-pools-a-brits-artistic-take-on-california/#respond Thu, 09 Feb 2017 12:42:00 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=615080 The post David Hockney’s swimming pools: a Brit’s artistic take on California appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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California was his muse and helped make him famous. Swimming pool artist David Hockney has since returned to his native UK, where the Tate Britain is presenting a “best of” exhibition spanning six decades of his works.When he was a child, David Hockney’s favorite seat on the double-decker bus was up front in the first row on the upper deck. It provided him the best view of the urban and rural landscapes whizzing by. “I always wanted to see more!” the British painter says in Randall Wright’s 2015 documentary film, “Hockney.”

Later, already an acclaimed artist, he took endless photos of his surroundings, recorded everyday scenes, sketched friends, houses, passers-by and other people he felt were interesting.

Hockney has long incorporated digital technology, working with fax machines, color copiers, using his iPhone as a sketch pad or drawing on an iPad, creating highly fascinating works of art. Currently, the artist is designing a stained-glass window for London’s famous Westminster Abbey – the church where Britain’s kings have been crowned and buried for centuries. iPad on his lap, Hockney often sits in the vast space and watches the play of light in the interior of the Gothic church.

A down-to-earth star

Painter, bohemian, chain smoker – David Hockney is at home all over the world. He is one of Britain’s most important artists, and highly acclaimed abroad. The Queen appointed him a member of the Order of Merit in 2012.

But his many awards, including a prestigious Praemium Imperiale global arts prize in 1989, languish in drawers – they mean nothing to him. Hockney sees himself as a worker, and often gets up at the crack of dawn to take advantage of the early morning light. “I can get excited watching rain on a puddle. And then I paint it,” he explains his passion for landscapes.

The British artist turns 80 this year, but he is as curious and adventurous as ever. Over the course of his unsettled life, he has painted about 2,000 pictures, many of them large-sized. Hockney created thousands of photos, sketches and drawings, often as drafts for large works.

He moved to Los Angeles in the 1960s and had a considerable influence on Pop Art in the US before returning to his native Britain in 2000. Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg and many other great names of the era were his friends. His starkly colored acrylic paintings fetch high prices – the famous pool painting “Beverly Hills Housewife” sold at an auction for a record $ 7.9 million.

The eternal anarchist

Hockney eventually returned to LA, but is for the most part aloof of the enterprising art scene, he told German weekly “Die Zeit” last year. He admitted he is quite deaf, so he doesn’t go out in the evening anymore.”If I go to parties at all, I do as the aristocrats do: I’m the last to arrive, the first to leave,” he said, adding that he does enjoy friends’ daytime visits to his studio.

The British artist’s past few years have in fact been his most successful, including major exhibitions of recent works in London, Paris and Cologne in 2015/16. The public adores his colorful works. If painting had categories like serious and pop as the music world does, Hockney would be listed as one of the pop artists, German newspaper “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung” once wrote about the artist.

The Tate Britain in London is currently showing a retrospective of his entire works, the best of 60 years of painting, photography and video art. “David Hockney” is open to the public from February 9 to May 29, 2017, before the exhibition moves on to the Centre Pompidou in Paris and then the Metropolitan Museum in New York.

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Actor Richard Gere talks with Angela Merkel about Tibet http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/09/actor-richard-gere-talks-with-angela-merkel-about-tibet/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/09/actor-richard-gere-talks-with-angela-merkel-about-tibet/#respond Thu, 09 Feb 2017 11:54:00 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=615086 The post Actor Richard Gere talks with Angela Merkel about Tibet appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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Just before the premiere of his new movie at the Berlinale, actor Richard Gere met with Angela Merkel in the Chancellery. They discussed the situation in Tibet – and perhaps mentioned a certain US president, too.In Berlin for the premiere of his latest movie, a thriller called “The Dinner,” US actor Richard Gere met Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday morning.

The meeting may add a little bit of glitz to the chancellor’s image during her current campaign for re-election. Meanwhile, the star has his own set of political issues to discuss with the German leader.

Best known as Julia Roberts’ seducing partner in the 1990 romantic comedy “Pretty Woman,” the Hollywood star is also a long-time advocate for human rights in Tibet and a friend of the Dalai Lama.

The talk between Gere and Merkel was officially “about the current situation in Tibet,” said Merkel’s spokesperson Steffen Seibert.

As an activist, Gere has also been involved in different campaigns for AIDS awareness and the rights of tribal people around the world. He once described US involvement in the Iraq war as “a tragedy.”

Although further details about the talk were not revealed, it can be presumed that US president Donald Trump’s name was also mentioned.

Having once described a Trump presidency as “everybody’s nightmare,” the actor has also praised Germany as a model of stability that can inspire his own country, which he sees as “very chaotic at the moment.”

He also commended “the courage of the German people and German leaders” on the refugee issue on Wednesday during a meeting with Claudia Roth, one the parliament’s vice-presidents, who also happens to be a personal friend.

Support from the Clooneys

Compared to the former reality TV star now heading the US government, the German chancellor rather shuns glamour. Still, she has regularly taken time to meet Hollywood big names.

During last year’s Berlinale, Merkel hosted George and Amal Clooney . The actor’s wife is a renowned human rights lawyer. The Clooneys had praised Merkel’s policy during the refugee crisis, as Germany had taken in 1.1 million refugees in 2015.

On Spielberg’s set

While Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks were shooting the thriller “Bridge of Spies”in November 2014, Merkel visited the set on the Glienicke Bridge linking Berlin and Potsdam. Spies used to be exchanged on this bridge during the Cold War.

Merkel also invited the filmmaker and the actor to the Chancellery afterwards, where they discussed the fall of the Berlin Wall.

eg/kbm (with dpa)

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Aswan Heart Center signs a contract with Elsevier for its online nursing platforms to achieve clinical excellence http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/08/aswan-heart-center-signs-contract-elsevier-online-nursing-platforms-achieve-clinical-excellence/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/08/aswan-heart-center-signs-contract-elsevier-online-nursing-platforms-achieve-clinical-excellence/#respond Wed, 08 Feb 2017 11:30:08 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=614763 The hospital is setting the stage for the improved development of nursing skills and clinical knowledge in Egypt Aswan Heart Center (Magdi Yacoub Heart Foundation) signed a three-year contract with Elsevier, a pioneer provider of scientific, technical, and medical information products and services, for its online nursing solutions: Clinical Skills and ClinicalKey for Nursing. ClinicalKey …

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The hospital is setting the stage for the improved development of nursing skills and clinical knowledge in Egypt

Aswan Heart Center (Magdi Yacoub Heart Foundation) signed a three-year contract with Elsevier, a pioneer provider of scientific, technical, and medical information products and services, for its online nursing solutions: Clinical Skills and ClinicalKey for Nursing.

8-2-1ClinicalKey for Nursing offers evidence-based digital information, including nursing monographs, books, journals, practice guidelines, and core measures with nursing recommendations—allowing nurses to make faster, better decisions about patient care, improve daily workflows, and increase efficiency. Clinical Skills is a powerful digital resource with more than 1,300 evidence-based skills and procedures with competency management features, ensuring alignment, consistency, and competency with professional nursing standards.

Aswan Heart Center is leading the way in Egypt by implementing Elsevier’s solutions to standardise the development of nurses’ clinical skills and to improve access to evidence-based knowledge. This aims at ultimately empowering nurses to drive better patient care and support their daily practices to achieve clinical excellence at the hospital.

“We are pleased to work with Aswan Health Center and to support their effort to achieve excellence,” said Ahmed Abd Elnaby, Elsevier’s regional sales director for the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region. “We believe there is a great opportunity for Elsevier to add value to the nursing field in Egypt.”

In 2015, Elsevier signed a multi-year agreement with the Egyptian government, which supports the country’s aim to further develop a knowledge-driven society and strengthen its position as an educational hub in the Arab region. The national licence provides access to ClinicalKey through the Egyptian Knowledge Bank (EKB).

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I Want a Divorce tackles women’s struggles in Egyptian society http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/08/want-divorce-tackles-womens-struggles-egyptian-society/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/08/want-divorce-tackles-womens-struggles-egyptian-society/#respond Wed, 08 Feb 2017 10:30:57 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=614757 Over the past few years, we have licensed to some terrifying statistics about the rapidly increasing numbers of divorce cases. The Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) recently estimated one divorce is filed every four minutes. Although divorce is considered a mutual responsibility between husband and wife in many countries, women are still …

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Over the past few years, we have licensed to some terrifying statistics about the rapidly increasing numbers of divorce cases. The Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) recently estimated one divorce is filed every four minutes.

Although divorce is considered a mutual responsibility between husband and wife in many countries, women are still blamed for it in Arab societies.

Aiming to shed light on women’s suffering before and after divorce, Marsel Nazmy and Doaa Helmy released their first short story collection, titled “I Want a Divorce” that generated waves of criticism and praise on social media because of its courageous way of tackling such a sensitive issue. The book was released at the Cairo International Book Fair and a signing party was held on 5 February to discuss the different stories mentioned in the book.

Divorce“The whole thing started a year ago when Doaa and I decided to write something about Egyptian women,” said Nazmy, the co-author of the book. “When Doaa suggested publishing a short story collection about divorce, I was drawn to the idea because it tackles the suffering of thousands of women from different educational and social backgrounds,” she added.

As journalists in Al-Bawaba News, the two writers usually receive complaints regarding different family problems and their relevant legal procedures. Such experiences have helped them come closer to women’s struggles to get a divorce. Through the sentences of the book, the reader relates to a story or two as they depict the psychological and physical suffering of many women in our society.

“We didn’t want the book to provide statistics or information; however, we tackled the issue from a literary perspective by presenting 13 short stories where you can see the suffering of women who are asking for a divorce or divorced women who suffer from people’s judgmental views,” she noted.

Although all of their stories are inspired by true events, collecting stories from women was an easy task.

“We were surprised that many women were interested in sharing their personal stories with us, so we decided to change their names and identities in order to protect them. When you read the book, you understand that divorce is not a luxury, it is always the last path to salvation,” she added.

In her opinion, Egyptian women still have a hunger for telling their stories in spite of the pervasiveness of social media networks. Therefore, they are ready to share their experience, secrets, and sufferings with anyone they trust, because they need someone to listen to them.

However, creating harmony between the different stories was a big challenge that the two writers had to wrestle with.

“At the beginning, we were concerned about having two authors with two different writing styles and approaches in one book; however, we managed to overcome such a problem by creating a homogenous spirit for the different stories and melding some of them together,” Nazmy explained.

Although this was the first book for the two writers, they didn’t face any problems in publishing it. “We counseled our colleagues and they advised us to submit a draft to Atlas Publishing House because they support novice writers. They were excited to publish the book and the whole procedure went very smoothly,” she said.

The success of the short story collection encouraged Nazmy and Helmy to start working on a second book that will be published soon.

“Doaa is my partner and I love working with her because we understand each other. Therefore, we are holding brainstorming meetings to come up with a new idea for our next literary work that will tackle women’s problems from a new perspective,” she concluded.

 

 

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Thailand extends free tourist visas http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/08/thailand-extends-free-tourist-visas/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/08/thailand-extends-free-tourist-visas/#respond Wed, 08 Feb 2017 09:55:00 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=614836 The post Thailand extends free tourist visas appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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The Thai cabinet has extended its free tourist visa programme to 21 countries until the end of August to boost tourist arrivals. The stimulus measure came after waning tourist arrivals, especially from China.The free tourist visa programme waives the 1,000-baht (28.50-dollar) fee for applications abroad and halves the visa on arrival to 1,000 baht. The programme was initially planned to end in May.

The 21 countries include Andorra, Bhutan, Bulgaria, China, Cyprus, Ethiopia, Fiji, India, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, the Maldives, Malta, Papua New Guinea, Romania, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.

Last week, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) forecast a 10 percent growth in tourist spending this year at more than 2.77 trillion baht, up from 2016’s 2.52 trillion baht. According to TAT, Thailand hosted nearly 33 million foreign visitors last year.

The stimulus measure came after waning tourist arrivals, especially from China, as the Thai government cracked down on cheap tours, pressuring Chinese tourists in Thailand to buy products or services not included in their programmes.

isi/ks (dpa)

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Jack Nicholson to star in remake of German hit comedy ‘Toni Erdmann’ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/08/jack-nicholson-to-star-in-remake-of-german-hit-comedy-toni-erdmann/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/08/jack-nicholson-to-star-in-remake-of-german-hit-comedy-toni-erdmann/#respond Wed, 08 Feb 2017 09:44:00 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=614840 The post Jack Nicholson to star in remake of German hit comedy ‘Toni Erdmann’ appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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After a seven-year break from film, Jack Nicholson is set to star alongside Kristen Wiig in an American remake of the Oscar-nominated German comedy “Toni Erdmann,” according to a US report.Jack Nicholson is expected to star in the English-language version of the acclaimed German film “Toni Erdmann,” according to a report published Tuesday by trade magazine “Variety.”

The 79-year-old star was thought to have retired from film acting; his last appearance in a movie went back to 2010, in James L Brooks’ “How Do You Know.”

Even though it did not win the Palme d’Or, Maren Ade’s “Toni Erdmann” obtained unusual critical acclaim at the Cannes film festival in 2016.

The film didn’t win at the Golden Globes either, but an Oscar as best foreign film on February 26 is still a possibility, as it is among the five nominees in the category.

The bittersweet comedy tells the story of a father whose life has been characterized by a series of cheap pranks and who tries to reconnect with his career-focused daughter. Jack Nicholson would take on the father’s role with Kristen Wiig as the daughter.

But why a remake?

Fans of the German film might find the idea of remaking it questionable. However, the trend is not new: Since American movie audiences don’t seem to like subtitles or dubbing, Hollywood often remakes successful foreign movies. “Three Men and a Baby” from 1987 was based on a French film, while “Scent of a Woman” (1992) originally came from Italy. “The Birdcage” (1996) also had a French role model, while “Interview” (2007) stemmed from The Netherlands.

The German comedy-drama “Toni Erdmann” is also notoriously long – 162 minutes – making it an unusual format for the US.

According to “Variety,” Nicholson was so thrilled by the original that it was his own idea to get “Toni Erdmann” remade.

The author and director of the original had already been asked about a possible remake in 2016: “We’ve had interest but I have to think about it. It depends. There are so many things remade. I don’t feel the need that it’s remade but it depends on the conditions. Everybody has his price,” Maren Ade told news agency Associated Press.

Her conditions appear to have been fulfilled; Ade is also attached to the project as executive producer. No director has been named yet.

eg/kbm (AP, dpa)

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Cairo Contemporary Dance Center celebrates its first generation with five-day dance festival  http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/07/614587/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/07/614587/#respond Tue, 07 Feb 2017 10:30:40 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=614587 CCDC is very first full-time contemporary dancing school not only in Egypt but in Middle East; says marketing officer 

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For years, Egypt’s educational system included all types of arts, except for dancing. Other than the Higher Institute of Ballet, both, schools and universities, focus on implementing and improving the visual artistic skills of students. This includes art and music classes in schools and a faculty of fine and applied arts. However, those who harbour a passion for the various types of dancing would be left out of the privilege of completing their infatuation with proper education.  This was until Cairo Contemporary Dance Center (CCDC) opened its gates to them.

Photo Handout to DNE
Photo Handout to DNE

Celebrating the graduation of CCDC’s first generation, aiming to spread the joy of dancing, and let people explore the world of professional dancers, CCDC is to hold “5 Ra2s” (five-day dance) festival.

For a week, the centre will open the doors of Cairo’s most famous cultural venues, for audience to join the graduates’ activities, with which they end their three-year journey in the dancing school and step forward into the world of professionalism.

The festival allows people to enter the world of dancing through films, sessions, workshops, and open classes. The audience will also get to see documentaries about history’s most famous choreographers.

CCDC is an independent space for contemporary dance in Egypt and the first full-time contemporary dance school in Africa and the Arab world.

“This is the very first full-time contemporary dancing school, not only in Egypt but in Middle East,” said Nicolas Gilles, CCDC’s marketing and communication officer: “These students study everything theoretical and practical about dancing; starting from the history of contemporary and classical dance, reaching the human body’s anatomy, which would help students to understand more about their abilities.”

Photo handout to dne
Photo handout to dne

Established in 2012 by the well known Egyptian choreographer, dancer, and teacher Karima Mansour, the centre welcomed 35 students since its opening; 15 of them in the first class which is set to graduate and the remaining 20 as part of the second generation.

The students age between 17 and 27, says Gilles. All of those who either attend their public classes or asked to join the school have stated that they had been looking for a long time for a platform where they can freely follow their passion towards dancing, yet with no success, he added.

From February 13 to 19, the festival will start with handing the students their certificates, delivered by the UNESCO International Dance Council.  While on the second day of the festival, Zawya will host the premiere of the film “Pressure” which documents the performance that the graduate students did during the Hal Badeel Festival in 2013.

The third and fourth day include open classes and sessions for the audience to experience by themselves some of the open classes the centre provides people with.

“Some of these classes will be given by some of the CCDC students, who decided they want to follow their professional career as choreographers,” Gilles explained, adding “people should see for themselves what the centre offers its students.”

On the festival’s last day, the public will get to see and discuss the movie “The Man Behind the Throne,” directed by Kersti Grunditz, about Vincent Paterson, choreographer for Michael Jackson’s dances.

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10 things you should know about the Berlinale http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/06/10-things-you-should-know-about-the-berlinale/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/06/10-things-you-should-know-about-the-berlinale/#respond Mon, 06 Feb 2017 15:11:00 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=614629 The post 10 things you should know about the Berlinale appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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Richard Gere and Penélope Cruz will be there, and you can watch a new TV series about a fictional, Nazi-run Britain. From stars and prizes to politics, here’s everything you need to know about the Berlinale.1. How many films are being shown?

The 67th Berlinale, which runs from February 9-12, 2017, presents a total of 399 films. The number of showing is much higher as many of those films are being shown multiple times. Over one quarter of the films on the agenda were directed by women.

2. Is there one overarching theme?

No. There are several themes that dominate the various programs. Some of them focus on the fate of refugees, such as the in-competition contribution of Finnish filmmaker Aki Kaurismäki, “The Other Side of Hope.”

Also this year, the Berlinale, in keeping with its long tradition of focusing on political topics, is presenting numerous documentaries. As 2017 is the 100th anniversary of the October Revolution, some of the contributions deal with political utopias. The section “Panorama” shows films on homosexuality, as well as African films and films dealing with racism.

Even though it’s been all over the news, the name “Donald Trump” wasn’t mentioned at all during the Berlinale’s opening press conference. “Our program in itself is already a strong form of protest,” responded Berlinale director Dieter Kosslick when asked how the festival would be responding to the new US president.

3. Which stars will be there?

This year, Hollywood actors including Richard Gere and Ethan Hawke, Cillian Murphy and Robert Pattinson will be making appearances. The female stars that’ve marked Berlinale in their calendars tend to be from Europe, such as Cécile de France, Penélope Cruz, Catherine Deneuve and Kristin Scott Thomas. Australian stars Geoffrey Rush and Hugh Jackman, as well as German actors Nina Hoss, Moritz Bleibtreu, August Diehl, Bruno Ganz and Hanna Schygulla are also expected.

4. Which German films are being shown?

This year, German films are strongly represented with 104 works shown in various program sections, as well as three films in competition by Volker Schlöndorff, Thomas Arslan and Andres Veiel. In addition, young German filmmakers will be shown exclusively in the series “Perspektive Deutsches Kino” (Perspective on German film). Thirty-six German films will run in the section “Lola” which caters to foreign film distributors.

5. Which international highlights can be expected?

Expectations are high for some films in the competition including works by Aki Kaurismäki (Finland), Agnieszka Holland (Poland,) Sally Potter (Britain,) Hong Sangsoo (South Korea) and Alex de la Iglesia (Spain,) as well as US filmmakers James Mangold and Oren Moverman.

Also drawing a lot of attention are two films directed by actors, namely American Stanley Tucci and Austrian Josef Hader. The works of big-name directors will be shown in other sections, including James Gray, Raoul Peck, Fernando Trueba, Bruce LaBruce and Romuald Karmakar. The Berlinale also offers a platform to new discoveries and lesser-known filmmakers that have promising careers ahead of them.

6. Which program series are particularly important?

In addition to the competition and the well-established series “Panorama” and “Forum,” the section “Generation” tends to draw crowds. Many Berlinale fans love this part of the festival as it’s directed towards very young audiences. But there’s also something in store adults. The section “NATIVe” shows films focusing on indigenous peoples in northern Europe. “Kulinarisches Kino” (Culinary cinema) not only shows works on food and the environment, but also invites audiences to actually sit down and enjoy a real bite. Finally, the “Berlinale Shorts” fascinates short film fans.

7. What does the Berlinale contribute to cinema history?

Traditionally, the Berlinale also takes a look back at the past. This time, the historical retrospective is devoted to the science-fiction genre with both well-known newer films from Eastern Europe and Asia. The series “Berlinale Classics” presents restored historical works that haven’t been viewable in original for a long time, among them Helmut Käutner’s “Schwarzer Kies” (Black gravel) and the Mexican film “Canoa.” The digitally upgraded zombie classic “Night of the Living Dead” is likely to give viewers the creeps this year.

8. Does the film festival also present TV series?

Yes, watching entire series has become a tradition at the Berlinale. This year, viewers can look forward to “4 Blocks” by Marvin Kren featuring Berlin’s drug and clan scene, as well as “SS-GB” by Philipp Kadelbach, which is set in a fictional Britain where the Nazis were victorious. Historical film fans can enjoy Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s innovative 1972 TV series “Eight Hours Are Not a Day” in its restored version.

9. Where are the films shown?

Throughout the entire city. The festival’s focal point is Potsdamer Platz, where the in-competition films are shown every evening. Other traditional locations are old movie theaters like Zoopalast and Delphi in the western part of the city. The “Berlinale Goes Kiez” section brings movies to local Berlin neighborhood cinemas.

10. Which awards can be won?

Golden and Silver Bears will be handed out to the competition winners on February 18. Since 2006, the GFF Best First Feature Award, endowed with 50,00 euros, has been presented to a promising newcomer each year. Starting this year, there is yet another new award aimed at producers and directors of documentaries, the “Glashütte Original Documentary Award.

There are additional awards handed out to films in some particular sections, like the Teddy in the “Panorama” section, which goes to a gay/lesbian film. This year, the Italian costume designer Milena Canonero, who became known by her work with Stanley Kubrick, will receive the Honorary Golden Bear. The Berlinale Camera 2017 goes to Chinese film distributor Nansun Shi, Australian actor Geoffrey Rush, and Egyptian film critic Samir Farid.

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Ballet music that changed the world http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/06/ballet-music-that-changed-the-world/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/06/ballet-music-that-changed-the-world/#respond Mon, 06 Feb 2017 14:18:00 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=614633 The post Ballet music that changed the world appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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This hour we’ll hear a remarkable period instrument orchestra from France with music from the 20th century: “Jeux” by Claude Debussy and “Le Sacre du Printemps” by Igor Stravinsky. Imagine the production: the legendary Russian dancer Vaclav Nijinsky, the visionary choreographer Sergei Diagilev, sets by Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse, and music by Debussy. The historical context of “Jeux” makes one wish that a time machine were available. The title translates as “Games.” When Nijinsky commissioned Debussy to write it, he asked him to imagine a dancer in a tennis outfit jumping after a ball that’s flown out of the court and into the park – where he meets two girls. He finds both attractive, and eventually it’s a ménage a trios.

So much for the visuals. Describing the audio, musicologist Herbert Eimert wrote, “It’s like an ingenious hand is tossing sounds to sounds according to a spectral method which has the colors glow and then blend.”

About this program with music by Debussy and Stravinsky, conductor Francois-Xavier Roth adds, “Our work was to recreate an orchestra from the beginning of the 20th century in Paris. So all the instruments are originals, restored, and we play like they played then – even on historic gut strings. So can you imagine gut strings in ‘Sacre du Printemps?'”

Those are in fact the kind of instruments actually used when Stravinsky’s revolutionary ballet music premiered in Paris in May of 1913, causing a major scandal.

It’s said that the composer got the idea for the piece in a dream: wise old men watching dancing young women and men awakening to love. After an ecstatic dance, a virgin is sacrificed to the god of spring. It’s all based on ancient heathen cults in Russia.

Claude Debussy
Jeux (Games, excerpt)

Igor Stravinsky
Le sacre du printemps (The Rite of Spring)

Les Siècles
François-Xavier Roth, conductor

Recorded by West German Radio, Cologne (WDR) in the Beethoven Hall, Bonn on October 2, 2016.

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Cinedelta: a step towards reviving the documentary film industry in Egypt http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/06/cinedelta-step-towards-reviving-documentary-film-industry-egypt/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/06/cinedelta-step-towards-reviving-documentary-film-industry-egypt/#respond Mon, 06 Feb 2017 10:30:53 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=614352 Aiming to provide professional training to amateurs from around the Delta region about the latest editing and storytelling techniques in the documentary film industry, Cinedelta project was launched in 2016 through the fruitful cooperation between the Italian non-governmental organisation Ricerca e Cooperazione and Fig Leaf Studios. The programme provided 20 Egyptian students with a series …

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Aiming to provide professional training to amateurs from around the Delta region about the latest editing and storytelling techniques in the documentary film industry, Cinedelta project was launched in 2016 through the fruitful cooperation between the Italian non-governmental organisation Ricerca e Cooperazione and Fig Leaf Studios.

The programme provided 20 Egyptian students with a series of workshops, lectures, master classes, and documentaries productions. The first edition of the project was funded by the European Union in partnership with major international institutions in Egypt such as the Goethe Institut, the Swedish Institute Alexandria, the Danish Egyptian Dialogue Institute (DEDI), Institut Français d’Egypte, the British Council, the Alexandria art museum, and the Library of Alexandria.

8-1-2“Unfortunately, we have a small number of documentary movies in Egypt with limited distribution, although this genre became very popular worldwide and started to receive increasing rates of demand,” said Islam Kamal, one of the co-founders and mentors of Cinedelta project.

In his opinion, the filmmaking training fields are no longer restricted to the graduates of the Higher Institute of Cinema or the other academic institutions. Thus, the programme decided to reach amateurs in their cities in order not to oblige them to move to Cairo. The programme compensates students for their transportation fees if they study outside Delta or Alexandria.

“The main selection criteria are based primarily on passion. We choose amateurs who have some previous experience in shooting videos and photos and have some background knowledge about documentaries,” Kamal added.

The programme hosted 20 training sessions with 20 local mentors as well as trainers from France, Denmark, Scotland, and the US, whose main aim was to improve the ability of Egyptian independent filmmakers and support the production of their short documentaries.

“The students finished their training sessions last August and started implementing their projects since September. We witnessed the progress they achieved throughout the process and how they became more aware of the value of cooperative team work. They also developed interest in certain specialised fields such as writing, shooting, editing, and others,” Kamal noted.

Cinedelta: a step towards reviving the documentary film industry in EgyptThis month, the programme is also hosting the Cinedelta Documentary Film Festival. The festival began on 1 February and runs until 9 February. It is being held in Alexandria, Tanta, and Rosetta to improve the regional distribution of independent Egyptian films and reach out to audiences that otherwise have a harder time accessing these films.

“The festival will host screenings of a big number of short documentary movies that are open to the public at low prices. The students’ movies won’t be competing in the official competition but they will be screened separately,” Kamal said.

Among the outstanding documentary projects produced by Cinedelta students, Eman Abdel Aziz’s movie about the changes in the architectural style of Al-Mansoura city and the destruction of the ancient palaces there highlighted some of the problems the governorate is suffering from.

“In another movie, Beshoy Kamel discussed the historical roots of the marriage offices and showed the influence of this idea on society and its development over time,” Kamal added.

Although the project’s founders are currently studying the possibility of establishing an academic institution for teaching academic courses in the field of documentaries, the procedures are quite complicated as it requires cooperation with different ministries and legal institutions in Egypt.

“We are currently contacting various documentary film schools in Germany to exchange mentors. We are also working on a new project aimed at producing a manual that will be distributed in hard and soft copies to amateur filmmakers all over Egypt,” Kamal concluded.

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Romantic novels are the cure, dream, and getaway for people in current circumstances: novelist Rasha Samir  http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/05/614207/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/05/614207/#respond Sun, 05 Feb 2017 12:00:36 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=614207 In spite of the increasing numbers of published books and novels in the Cairo International Book Fair this year, dozens of readers expressed their discontent about the poor quality of some released literary works that raised waves of criticism and sarcasm. However, Sa’alqaqi Honak (I will meet you there) by prominent writer Rasha Samir was …

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In spite of the increasing numbers of published books and novels in the Cairo International Book Fair this year, dozens of readers expressed their discontent about the poor quality of some released literary works that raised waves of criticism and sarcasm. However, Sa’alqaqi Honak (I will meet you there) by prominent writer Rasha Samir was one of the outstanding novels that attracted a large audience because of its unique treatment of the current social circumstances from a romantic perspective.

In an interview with Daily News Egypt, Samir, whose novels reached the top of the bestselling literary works over the past four years, revealed some secrets about the preparations for her latest novel and her future projects to turn one of her novels into a TV series. She also criticised the current situation of the Egyptian literary scene in Egypt.

After the great success you achieved with your novel Gawary Al Eshq (Slaves of Love), what is the new perspective you try to present in your latest novel?

After the success of any of my novels, I always fear that any upcoming novel would not meet the expectations of my readers. After my novel Girls in Stories came Gawary Al Eshq and suddenly the idea hit me: why don’t I write something away from politics, religion, or basically any topic that causes a fuss.

I’ll Meet You There is a story about love, feelings, and how a single woman can live her whole life searching for love in the eyes of every man she meets. Then she meets the guy who gives her power to be free and overcome her fear by just being her mentor. How they meet and where? That is the core of the story.

rasha samir novelWhat were your preparations for this novel? And how much time did it take?

It took me two years and a half to finish this novel and six more months to revise and choose the name and cover. The story takes place in Isfahan and Shiraz. I haven’t been to those places so writing about them from sheer imagination wasn’t an easy task. Going through every novel and article written about old Iran—the culture, how they dress, eat, and celebrate—was a big challenge that I hope to have succeeded in. I also knew two ladies from Shiraz who helped me by email through the details and I already dedicated a special thank you to them at the end of the book.

What are the main messages this novel tries to convey to your readers and how do you present issues of love, persistence, and oblivion in it?

The main message is the essence of love. How to find it, how it strengthens you from inside, how it makes you more powerful and tolerant, and how it makes you a human.

This time, the novel provides a message to both genders as it is a parallel story of a young lady (Nilover) and a young man (Yehia). It is a message to everyone to think deeply, meditate, search your soul for all those feelings that shape your life, and draw your steps. The whole idea is showing that people from around the world from all eras suffer the same problems and live through the same scenes separately.

I represent feelings along the pages with Yehia narrating one chapter and Nilover another and so on. Each chapter holds the name of one feeling (love, fear, envy, hatred, passion, pain, lust, regret, etc.). Also, there is a part about fate and how it twists things, taking us from one road to another.

In a country where people encounter a lot of economic and social pressures, what is the value of the romantic novels in your opinion?

I guess it is the cure, dream, and getaway. Love is the one thing that people never lose and if they do, then they lose the ability to live. Believing, loving ourselves, our country, and each other is the solution to getting over the crises and pain. Even if it seems a bit idealistic and very factious, it is the truth. At least I believe in what I write and I think my readers do too.

How did people receive the novel? And how many book signings will you hold?

I was so worried about how people will react as readers are always on the edge of their seats, telling me that the gap between my releases is unbearable and that they are anxiously waiting.

After Gawary Al Eshq, I was so nervous but then Sa’alqaqi Honak got released and boomed. My phone almost exploded from the large number of texts and phone calls of admiration and people telling me that they loved how the book was totally something new and almost a dream.

So I finally slept and got some rest after all the sleepless nights. I made my first book signing at the Cairo International Book Fair and I was really glad to meet all my fans and readers. I am having another one in the book fair, then I will present the novel in a big book signing at Diwan Bookstores in Zamalek and Heliopolis in February and March.

rasha samir novelWhy do you choose the Egyptian Lebanese Publishing House to publish your novels?

I believe that the success of any novel depends on both an author and a publishing house because it takes two to tango and a mutual effort to succeed. After four series of short stories that I published in the Egyptian Book Organization, I decided to write a novel and I was told they are the best in choosing the quality of what they publish. So I went with a friend who introduced me to them and they received my first novel with pleasure and gratitude.

How do you develop your writings from one novel to another?

I read a lot and since I also write a weekly page of literature criticism in Elfagr newspaper, being in the process of reading a novel weekly and criticising it improves my writing and my taste in choosing the better from the worse.

How do you evaluate the current situation of the Egyptian literary scene in Egypt and why?

Unfortunately, I believe it is terrible, although we can’t deny that there are a lot of youngsters who have a great taste in reading. Yet, there are a lot of useless titles that came out in the book fair this year. The problem is not the title; it is the content which is ridiculous and almost nonsense. Strong culture is the front picture of any society.

Reading is the golden key to development. I am not criticising the quantity but the quality; publishing houses should publish books worth publishing. In my opinion, the book fair needs to be re-evaluated by the government.

What are your upcoming projects and literary works?

I am currently working on republishing two of my old series of short stories as many readers are ordering them and all the copies are sold out. Also, I am working on the dramatic treatment of converting Gawary Al Eshq into a TV series produced by the MBC channel. I am celebrating the success of Sa’alqaqi Honak for now, then taking a rest.

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Berlin 24/7: The season’s filthy weather http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/05/berlin-247-the-seasons-filthy-weather/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/05/berlin-247-the-seasons-filthy-weather/#respond Sun, 05 Feb 2017 09:29:00 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=614250 The post Berlin 24/7: The season’s filthy weather appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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Berlin in winter makes people sick and depressed. Columnist Gero Schliess advises visitors to stay away from the city and hope for better times – like the summer.Warning. This is an urgent warning for all people traveling to Berlin: It is now winter in the German capital. It’s cold, dark and forbidding; days are dull and nights are dreary. Berliners look even more annoyed than usual – and even deeper into their bottles of beer and vodka.

Gloomy Berlin winters

Fog and ice turn even the shortest walk to the bakery or neighborhood drive into a dangerous adventure. The worst thing is that the weather is really bad in winter. That’s also what my taxi driver says, while his wipers confirm this by pushing dirty sludge from one side to the other on the windshield.

Take my warning seriously: Do not come to Berlin during the gloomy winter season. Make a detour to avoid the city. You are bound to meet melancholy, or at least cold, as the author of this column recently experienced – probably while cycling on icy roads. Siberian winds bitterly blow through boulevards, across vacant lots and under bridges. Despite all preventive measures, the chill crawls underneath your coat, wool sweater and scarf to grab your throat with an icy grip.

What’s he so excited about?, readers might be tempted to ask. After all, it’s winter everywhere in Germany. Yes, that’s true – but in Berlin it’s particularly desolate and inhospitable. Maybe winter seems even more violent and ugly here because of the way it contrasts with recent memories of the “other” Berlin, the summer Berlin, when every single breath is a celebration of life. Scenes keep flashing back – barbecuing in the park, playing ball with the family, parading through the city for Gay Pride or the Carnival of Cultures.

Now the city looks grey and repulsive. Streets are empty; even rats stay hidden in the sewers, searching for warmth. Meanwhile, anyone who needs to get somewhere in this darned widespread city, waiting for that bus or tram that never arrives, is exposed to Berlin’s cruel temperatures.

During the holidays, it was at least possible to find some consolation and distraction with spiced mulled wine and kitschy Christmas lights. But now Christmas is long gone.

The only lights left

The last lights left flashing are from police cars. Security measures have increased in the city’s streets, not only because of the devastating Christmas market attack in December, but also because crime generally rises when it is protected by the long, dark nights.

My neighbor here in Prenzlauer Berg shocked me when she told me that a man had followed her on her way home from the tram station and started physically harassing her. She didn’t have pepper spray with her. She screamed in panic and her intimidator fled.

A few days later, I met a colleague at the gym near Gendarmenmarkt. Nothing had happened to her yet, but she still felt unsure. Both women have now signed up for a self-defense course.

This all deepens winter depression. For those who can’t afford a second house in the Maldives, there aren’t many options left but to hold on to the words of my dear taxi driver: “Summer is more fun.”

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How Paris’ 100-million-euro art heist happened http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/01/how-paris-100-million-euro-art-heist-happened/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/01/how-paris-100-million-euro-art-heist-happened/#respond Wed, 01 Feb 2017 15:40:00 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=613892 The post How Paris’ 100-million-euro art heist happened appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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It was the art heist of the century. Lax security at Paris’ Museum of Modern Art led to a massive theft in 2010. As the alleged thief stands trial, an art insurance expert explains why theft can’t always be prevented.Dubbed “Spiderman,” 49-year-old Vjeran Tomic went on trial earlier this week for his alleged involvement in the 2010 Paris art theft at the Museum of Modern Art, which saw the disappearance of five masterpieces by artists like Matisse, Picasso and Modigliani. He is alleged to have had two accomplices. The works, whose total value amounts to 100 million euros ($107 million) remain lost.

The gallery above explains how the thieves were able to pull off such a spectacular heist. In the interview below, art insurance expert Dirk Heinrich explains how secure museums are and why the lost works cannot be sold.

DW: Mr. Heinrich, a thief climbs through the window of a museum in the middle of the night and takes off with 100 million euros worth of fine art. Is that normal?

Dirk Heinrich: It’s devastating that something like this can happen. But theft is not something that can be avoided altogether. It seems that the thief had an easy time of it in this case, since numerous security measures were either not in place or not working properly. Apparently the museum was aware of that and didn’t make any effort to amend the situation. Perhaps the thief knew that. He may have gotten a tip-off.

The paintings still have not turned up. If you had insured the Museum of Modern Art in Paris, would you have to pay the damages?

Yes, we likely would have had to pay. We’ve had similar cases. In one case, two Picassos were stolen in Switzerland. We were able to respond relatively quickly. According to regulations, we continued investigating the theft together with both the authorities and with a private investigator. We were able to solve the case after three years and the objects were returned.

Where do paintings like these end up – with wealthy private collectors who commission the thefts?

That’s the essential question. I don’t think that these are all commissioned thefts. If that were the case, the objects would turn up after the buyer dies and the heirs go into the building where they’re kept. But we haven’t had a case like that in recent decades, where a private secret museum has been found in someone’s basement.

Except for Cornelius Gurlitt, who was hiding art treasures in his apartment…

Yes, but that case didn’t directly have to do with theft.

Has your insurance company been blackmailed by art thieves? It’s cheaper to pay the thieves a fraction of the value than to reimburse the owner for the entire artwork.

The stance our art insurance company takes is very clear: We don’t pay ransom. That would get around fast.

Do art museums sufficiently protect their collections?

In the Paris case, they did not. But in the countries I am familiar with – Germany, Austria and Switzerland – they do more and more. Here, there is a great deal of awareness when it comes to security. Still, you can’t avoid gaps in individual museums’ security systems. We offer consulting in this area.

Do museums adequately insure their artworks?

No, not usually. The government has liability in more and more cases, such as in Austria. Each museum doesn’t insure itself; the state is liable.

If I wanted to insure a Picasso worth around 50 million euros, how much would I have to pay?

In general, we don’t insure individual works of art, but entire collections. There are no set prices. It depends on the individual situation. Where is the object located? Is it at home or in storage? Is it secured or not? Is it going to be lent out or transported? With this information, a risk profile is compiled. If the object is optimally secured, then the insurance costs less.

Dirk Heinrich is the director for Germany and Austria at the AXA ART insurance company in Cologne.

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New Polish WWII museum at the center of a political standoff http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/01/new-polish-wwii-museum-at-the-center-of-a-political-standoff/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/01/new-polish-wwii-museum-at-the-center-of-a-political-standoff/#respond Wed, 01 Feb 2017 14:33:00 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=613896 The post New Polish WWII museum at the center of a political standoff appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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Poland’s populist government wants to take control of the new World War II museum in Gdansk. A last-minute court decision has unexpectedly blocked the takeover, for now – but the complicated legal battle isn’t over yet.A court order on Tuesday extended the independence of Poland’s Museum of the Second World War in Gdansk. The ruling came a week after a previous court decision that allowed the government to gain control of the museum.

The museum’s director, Pawel Machcewicz, expects the court’s latest move to allow him to stay at the helm of the museum until at least its public opening in early March. Yet further court proceedings could still allow the governing Law and Justice party (PiS) to take control of the museum in the future.

The government is opposed to the international approach of the museum. Its exhibits focus on the civilian suffering of the many nations involved in the global conflict. Party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski has for years criticized the concept, saying he would prefer a museum that focused exclusively on Polish suffering and military heroism, according to news agency AP.

Having lost 17 percent of its population during World War II, Poland is the country with the highest national death toll from the conflict. The museum accordingly devotes space to the country’s wartime experience; setting it in a broader international context aims to add depth to the exhibition, explained director Machcewicz.

Political reasons

Beyond criticism of the concept, many observers rather recognize political motivations. The project was launched in 2008 by then-Prime Minister Donald Tusk, now a top EU leader and longtime rival of Kaczynski. It has been speculated that the current government does not want to see the realization of their rival’s vision.

The government’s alternative plan is to merge the new museum with another one that is currently in planning: the Museum of Westerplatte and the War of 1939. However, critics say this second museum may never be built. The move is widely seen as a way to change the current director, appointed by Tusk.

At a cost of 104 million euros ($111 million), the Museum of the Second World War in Gdansk is Poland’s most expensive yet.

eg/kbm (AP, AFP)

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Wrap-up of 2017 Cairo International Book Fair’s latest novels  http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/01/wrap-2017-cairo-international-book-fairs-latest-novels/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/01/wrap-2017-cairo-international-book-fairs-latest-novels/#respond Wed, 01 Feb 2017 11:00:03 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=613716 The fair offers the audience 670 publications fiercely competing in various genres

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Under the title “Youth and Future Knowledge”, the 48th edition of the Cairo International Book Fair was launched on 26  January, hosting literary works from 670 publishers from 35 Arab and foreign countries. With the aim of reviving the cultural scene in Egypt, small and big publishing houses released a variety of literary works that blended different genres including romance, sarcasm, thriller, horror, and science fiction.

This year, Dawen publishing house gave a chance for a big number of novice writers to introduce their first literary works to the Egyptian book market. By presenting a variety of books and novels including Blue Hole by Shady Farahat, that takes the readers onto a journey in the Blue Hole diving area in the Sinai, and Logharetm by Amir Atef, a thriller novel that questions how a writer can be a victim of the characters he creates in his books, the house encourages young talented writers to let their works get the spotlight. In addition, the house published a number of other novels such as La Zal Hayan (He is still alive) by Mohammed Farouk El Shazly, Carbon 14 by Mohammed Fouad Eissa, Manicure by Ahmed El Qady, and others that received waves of praise.

Meanwhile, Dar El-Shorouk has released a number of notable books from well-known writers such as Al Washm Al-Abyad (The White Tattoo) by Osama Allam, a novel that tackles a love story between an Egyptian immigrant in Canada and a black girl and the ethnic barriers that face them; Noor by Youssef Zidan, the novel in which he focused on women’s oppression in Arab communities; in addition to Alazeen Labaso Al Balto Al Abyad (Those who wore the white gown) by Hassan Kamal, a book that sheds lights on the struggles of doctors in Egypt in a sarcastic way. The publishing house also released Ahmed Khaled Tawfeek’s latest book The Mystery Behind Sentences, in which the writer conveys his personal experience in writing and gives tips on how to become a creative writer.

For the fifth time, the writer Shereen Hana’y has also chosen Al-Rewaq publishing house for publishing her latest novel Asfar Al Nhayat that tackles the destruction of nature and the laws of gravity, blending thriller, mystery, and entertainment. Similarly, after the great success of her novel Gawary Al-Eshk (Love Slaves), Rasha Samir has cooperated again with the Egyptian-Lebanese house for publishing her latest novel Alqaky Honak (I’ll Meet You There), in which she portrays the conflicts and hardships that encounter Yehya and Nelover’s complicated love story.

With Noon publishing house, Ahmed Younis, the radio presenter, managed to achieve a record by selling 10,000 copies of his first horror novel Nader Foda. The house has also published a number of horror novels including Al Maskoon (The Haunted) by Khaled Atwa, and Nag’ El Mawta’ (The Dead’s Resort) by Hussein El-Sayed. However, on the top of books published by Toya house comes Al Hayah Ala Sath Al Bateekh by Ahmed Atef, one of the popular social media sarcastic writers who managed to gain great popularity with his critical posts of some artistic works.

In such fierce competition where a huge number of alternatives can be found, the audience is always considered the biggest winner who will benefit from the various genres provided.

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Exhibition combines legacy of Islamic manuscripts with contemporary art  http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/01/613712/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/01/613712/#respond Wed, 01 Feb 2017 10:00:00 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=613712 These productions don’t only highly indicate the talent of our artists, but it also shows that Islamic art is not trapped within a certain era or a specific platform; says monument expert

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Inside the walls of the ancient Mohammed Ali mansion, where the beauty of nature perfectly matched the glory of the golden era, people were invited to discover the harmony of modesty and Islamic manuscripts’ magnificence, in an exhibition that combined the heritage of Islamic art with a new creative perspective.

A portrait, featuring young ballerinas flying with their hands crossed above their heads and with wide opened legs as they are flying viewed from the windows of Islamic manuscripts shapes, standing beside another necklace designed as old Islamic era accessories, grabbed most people’s attention at the opening of Islamic Manuscripts’ Shining exhibition.

The exhibition is organised by the Arab Organisation for Heritage and Islamic Arts in cooperation with Aswan University, and under the supervision of the Ministry of Antiquities.

By displaying several types of portraits, sculptures, lanterns, and accessories—all sharing the theme of Islamic designs and manuscripts—the exhibition aims to revive the wasted legacy after it has been invaded by the western modern art style.

The exhibition is also a part of a larger social activity aimed at reviving everything that is related to Islamic designs called Highlighting the Art of Islamic Manuscripts. (Photo Handout to DNE)
The exhibition is also a part of a larger social activity aimed at reviving everything that is related to Islamic designs called Highlighting the Art of Islamic Manuscripts.
(Photo Handout to DNE)

The exhibition is also a part of a larger social activity aimed at reviving everything that is related to Islamic designs called Highlighting the Art of Islamic Manuscripts.

For three days, starting from Tuesday, seminars and workshops will be held for students in order to discuss methods of combining modern art with Islamic heritage, including shapes, designs, colours, and used materials.

“Organising such an exhibition in Cairo by members belonging to Aswan University is an expanding step in order to make Islamic art popular across all of Egypt from south to north,” said Abdel Kader Mohammed, president of Aswan University. “Our message is to help youth revive their identity and heritage and save the individuality that we inherited from our ancestors.”

The art pieces were made by both students at the faculty of applied art, Aswan University, and professional painters and professors who wanted to take part of such an initiative.

The displayed art pieces expressed the current social concerns and fears, yet with Islamic designs. The ballerina portrait was a symbol of freedom people might see enclosed within Islamic boundaries.

Painter Azza Fakhry wanted to combine ballet as a modern dance that resembles liberty, beauty, and calmness with Islamic geometric patterns, which some might consider crossing borders, to come up with a mesmerising final creation showing the beauty of both sides.

“I aimed to send the message that we can freely live our lives without giving up the boundaries society and religion frame us with and still enjoy what we’re doing,” she explained.

This social initiative created a wider aspect of modesty and legacy.

“This initiative spreads Islamic culture in a creative and contemporary form,” says Ahdab Hosney, the initiative’s main organiser. “These art pieces resemble the different eras of Islamic rule since it began until today; each presenting a different aspect of a different era.”

The contemporary art can be detected from the colours and patterns and the legacy is all in the Islamic shapes.

Mohammed Abdel Latif, professor of Islamic and Coptic monuments at Mansoura University, expressed his astonishment of the ideas and their methods. “These productions don’t only highly indicate the talent of our artists, but it also shows that Islamic art is not trapped within a certain era or a specific platform. The creativity of combining the past and the present in one shown piece is mind-blowing,” he concluded.

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Lerwick pays fiery tribute to Viking past http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/31/lerwick-pays-fiery-tribute-to-viking-past/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/31/lerwick-pays-fiery-tribute-to-viking-past/#respond Tue, 31 Jan 2017 16:03:00 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=613745 The post Lerwick pays fiery tribute to Viking past appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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The festival “Up Hella Aa” takes place every January in Lerwick on the Shetland Islands, which lie in the middle of the North Sea around 400 miles from Edinburgh.The Shetlands are closer Norway than mainland Scotland and their residents are fiercely proud of their Norse heritage. Some 60 vikings will parade on Tuesday through Lerwick, Shetland’s biggest settlement, trailed by around 1,000 torchbearers known as “guizers” – dressed in eclectic costumes, from superheroes to pop bands – who will end their procession by throwing their torches into the replica longship.

Every year, an experienced viking is appointed to lead the parade and becomes known as Guizer Jarl, from the old norse word for “chief”. Lyall Gair, 37, from the nearby town of Quarff, has been preparing to become this year’s Guizer Jarl for 15 years. “Everything is pretty personal, from the suit design to the way you want your galley finished,” he told. “It all ties into a saga and the history of the vikings,” he said.

A team of volunteers has been working on the construction of the wooden, dragon-shaped longship since October. “We work two nights a week, averaging about four hours a week, and on Up Hella Aa it is sent to Valhalla,” Gair said in reference to the vast hall ruled by the god Odin, where slain fighters were said in Norse mythology to travel upon their death. “Obviously it’s a little bit emotional, but it’s the end of a journey.”

The tradition of Up Hella Aa is only around a century old, but its roots stretch back much further. Dr Ian Tait, curator of the Shetland Museum, told: “Around the year 800 outgoing Scandinavians, who we now call the vikings, left in search of land, treasure and adventure. “The first place they reached was Shetland and the island became an entirely Scandinavian society. “In 1469 Shetland was pawned by the Kingdom of Denmark to Scotland in lieu of payment for a dowry for a dynastic marriage, but when Denmark finally raised the money Scotland reneged on the deal,” Tait explained. “After a few centuries Denmark gave up its claim and Shetland became part of Britain.”

Following the Napoleonic wars, rowdy veterans returned to Shetland and began holding all-night parties around bonfires of burning tar barrels. In the late 19th century Shetland authorities formalised the event, taking inspiration from the Scandinavian mythology and sagas which were popular throughout northern Europe at the time. Tait added: “Here in Lerwick it was the perfect amalgamation of forces – the growth of an urban centre, young men with spare time and disposable income, and the Scandinavian imagery.” Daniel Kim, 34, a physician, travelled 4,500 miles (7,200 kilometres) from Houston, Texas, to witness Up Helly Aa. “It’s very unique, it’s very remote – it’s something that you don’t see on TV a lot,” he told. “It’s just completely different and outside our norm.”

isi/at (afp)

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What to expect this year at the Berlinale http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/31/what-to-expect-this-year-at-the-berlinale/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/31/what-to-expect-this-year-at-the-berlinale/#respond Tue, 31 Jan 2017 12:54:00 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=613756 The post What to expect this year at the Berlinale appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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Along with highlights from the 67th International Berlin Film Festival’s packed program, the seven jury members who will be picking the winning films this year have been revealed.The bear is exhausted – or at least that’s the impression the mascot of Berlin’s international film festival gives on this year’s Berlinale poster, as a huge brown bear is pictured leaning against a column of one of the city’s U-Bahn stations.

However, with less than 10 days to go before Germany’s largest film festival kicks off, exhaustion isn’t an option for the Berlinale’s director, Dieter Kosslick.

Kosslick: ‘Focus on Europe’

From February 9-19, festival-goers from all over the world will fill up Berlin’s numerous movie theaters. Europe will be a focus of the festival this year, according to the Berlinale’s director.

“It will deal with the history of Europe and its wars,” Kosslick told German news agency dpa. “It’s also about the loss of two great utopias, those of the formerly politically divided East and West of Europe. People no longer trust capitalism – and they stopped believing in communism a long time ago, too.”

One thing is certain: There is bound to be many discussions surrounding US President Donald Trump and his policies during the festival. The Berlinale has long been considered the most political of the world’s major film festivals; current political issues are often raised during the films’ Q&A sessions.

A highlight among the political-historical works is “The Young Karl Marx,” which will premiere at the Berlin film festival.

Competing for the Bears

Twenty-four films will screen as part of the competition in the Berlinale Palast, with just as many red carpet events on Potsdamer Platz. Some of the works on the list are screening out of competition, while 18 of them are running for the Golden and Silver Bear awards.

Opening the 67th Berlin International Film Festival is the biopic “Django,” about jazz legend Django Reinhardt.

German cinema is well represented in this year’s competition. Oscar-winning director Volker Schlöndorff is presenting his adaptation of a Max Frisch story, “Return to Montauk.” Thomas Arslan is releasing his new film, “Bright Nights,” and Anders Veiel is also in the run with his documentary, a biography of the famous German artist, “Beuys.”

Five other German co-productions will be vying for the vote of the jury, led by Dutch director Paul Verhoeven.

Aki Kaurismäki and Josef Hader

Prominent filmmakers such as Aki Kaurismäki (Finland), Danny Boyle (UK) and Agnieszka Holland (Poland) are among the highlights of the competition. The directorial debut of Austrian actor Josef Hader is also highly awaited. The US is in the contest as well, with James Mangold and Oren Moverman. Films from Asia, Latin America and several European countries are also on the list.

Experimental films

The 47th Forum, a section of the festival that focuses on political cinema while featuring experimental and unconventional forms, boasts a rich program in 2017. Of its 43 films, many are from Latin and North America.

Cinematic classic gems from Morocco and South Korea promise insight into lesser-known film cultures.

The three-hour film, “ORG,” by Argentinean filmmaker Fernando Birri, now aged 91, is highly awaited. Loosely based on a story by Thomas Mann, it is an experimental collage of 26,000 clips that has rarely been screened since its release in 1978.

The Berlinale: world cinema hub

The Panorama section, which features modern art-house cinema as well as films that will be released in theaters throughout the year, includes 51 works in its program. Here, too, feature films and documentaries from all over the world are combined. It offers the opportunity, for example, to discover a New Zealand film by a Samoan director.

Under the theme “Future Imperfect. Science. Fiction. Film,” the Retrospective section is set to explore both the past and the future. “To select the films for the retrospective, we were inspired by our exhibition ‘Things to Come,'” says Rainer Rother, director of the section and of the Deutsche Kinemathek. “The retrospective explores the history of the genre through different countries such as Denmark, Japan, Poland or former Czechoslovakia.”

Fans of film history can also look forward to the program in the Classics section. It will feature among others “Avanti Popolo” by Israeli filmmaker Rafi Bukaee, a tragicomedy about the absurdity of war, directed in 1986.

Movie-goers will be spoiled for choice once again this year: The entire program includes screenings of some 400 films. Along with the sections Competition, Forum, Panorama and Retrospective, the Generation program offers films for a younger audience. Culinary Kino is a section devoted to film and food and the section NATIVe features works by aborigines.

With all the premieres, several stars will walk the red carpet, among which Catherine Deneuve, Richard Gere, Geoffrey Rush and Ethan Hawke.

Berlin’s film market

Producers, distributors and film buyers will be meeting at the European film market (EFM), where over 9,000 participants, production companies and investors are already registered.

Selected young filmmaking talents will once again be meeting in Berlin during the Talent Campus.

If that’s still not enough, there’s also the latest trend that’s been taking over film festivals: TV series screenings. New formats will be shown during the Berlinale, and the Drama Series Days are planned for February 13-15.

With such a packed program, by the end of the festival on February 19, the expected 400,000 movie-goers will probably look just as tired as the Berlinale’s bear.

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Iranian artists featured in Berlin amid outrage over Trump’s travel ban http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/31/iranian-artists-featured-in-berlin-amid-outrage-over-trumps-travel-ban/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/31/iranian-artists-featured-in-berlin-amid-outrage-over-trumps-travel-ban/#respond Tue, 31 Jan 2017 12:28:00 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=613615 The post Iranian artists featured in Berlin amid outrage over Trump’s travel ban appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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While Iranian passport-holders are temporarily banned from entering the US, top Iranian artists, authors and musicians take the limelight in Berlin. The Goethe-Institut presents a three-month series, “Iranian Modernity.”With numerous exhibitions and publications raising the profile of Iranian art in recent years, and auctioneers welcoming items from the central Asian country in their catalogues, works from the central Asia country have grown in popularity. The Goethe-Institut in Berlin is responding to this trend with a three-month cultural program entitled “Iranian Modernity,” which seeks to offer a more complete picture of the country.

Berlin-based Iranian actress and cultural expert Narges Hashempour told DW that part of reason for this renaissance of Iranian culture was on account of Iranian artists finding themselves in an “in-between” state of mind, whether they had moved abroad or continued to live in Iran.

“These constant changes in Iranian society provide an impulse for artists. This is what makes Iranian art so dynamic: Everyone is searching for alternatives,” Hashempour said. She also added that US President Donald Trump was choking these dynamics with his policies by sealing his country off from the Muslim world.

“Trump’s radicalism is dangerous,” Hashempour stressed.

With US President Donald Trump’s recent travel ban for holders of passports from Iran and six other Muslim-majority countries, the timing of the Goethe-Institut’s event couldn’t have been more apt. However, political awkwardness has not just arisen between Iran and the US lately, but also between Iran and Germany.

Sensational Tehran art exhibition canceled

After the nuclear deal framework signed between Iran and the West in 2015, Germany tried to improve cultural exchanges between the two countries.

A major exhibition of international art from Tehran’s Museum for Contemporary Arts (TMoCA) was scheduled to open its doors at Berlin’s National Gallery in December 2016. The show was largely based on the collection acquired by Farah Diba Pahlavi, the wife of the late shah Reza Pahlavi.

But the mammoth event had to be canceled after Tehran failed to produce export permits for the artworks. Which events exactly led to the calling off of the exhibition remains unclear.

Germany-based Iranian artist Parastou Forouhar had criticized the project early on due to its lack of transparency. “Germany and Iran wanted to create a beautiful art and culture backdrop. But the deal was too controversial to achieve the desired effect,” she said.

Works by Iranian artists on show in Berlin

All this makes the current program by the Goethe-Institut all the more relevant. Through April, organizers Nikolai Blaumer and Florian Bigge are presenting works by 27 Iranian artists from Iran and another 15 who live in exile, including musicians, filmmakers and literary figures.

“The long isolation of their country has done a lot of damage in Iranian society,” organizer Florian Bigge told DW. “Many Iranian artists are hungry for dialogue with the rest of the world.”

The event coordinators write that Iran’s cultural life is colorful and diverse and much more complex than the age-old conflicts between Islam and secularism, reactionary and revolutionary thinking, and regressive and progressive forces.

To examine the definition of modernity, the Goethe-Institut has invited Iranian philosophers Mesyam Sefidhkosh and Hossein Mesbahian for a panel discussion.

Emphasis on exile literature

Several events during the three-month program look at Iranian writers and their approach to their work. Authors like Nahid Tabatabai, Belgheis Soleimani and Nasim Marashi will contemplate the issue of remaining loyal to their cultural roots while writing as part of the Diaspora.

Another writer featured during the talks is Mahmoud Dowlatabadi, whose works are forbidden in Iran. Still, he is considered one of the most prominent representatives of contemporary Iranian literature. Authors Shahriar Mandanipur, who lives in the US, and Amir Hassan Cheheltan, who lives in Iran, are scheduled to discuss Iranian literature created both within the country and abroad.

In addition, German-born Shida Bazyar will introduce her first novel, “Nachts ist es leise in Teheran” (It’s Quiet at Night in Tehran), which travels from the present to the eve of the Islamic Revolution two generations ago.

A number of Iranian musicians will also share their work in the events series, including Ata “Sote” Ebtekar in collaboration with audiovisual composer Tarik Barri and instrumentalists Arash Bolouri and Behrouz Pashaei. Their amalgamation of electronic sounds with traditional Persian instruments create, as they call it, a veritable “Persian techno apocalypse.”

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