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Latest in Culture


Aging, algorithms and Nora Ephron

By Hillel Italie/ AP Nora Ephron is thinking about algorithms. She wonders what they are. It’s one of those concepts, such as Twitter and heavy metal, that exist only to remind her she has lived too long. Unsure of her own definition, she takes a little nip from that electronic flask in her handbag, that digital …

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UNESCO cultural heritage list swells to 229

NAIROBI: The UN now considers more than 200 cultural practices from all over the world as "intangible" world treasures after adding 51 candidates to its list, officials said Wednesday. The United Nations cultural organization UNESCO added four practices to a list of traditions in need of urgent protection during an inter-governmental committee meeting this week …

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Sphinx-lined road unearthed in Egypt

CAIRO: Egyptian archaeologists have discovered a sphinx-lined road in Luxor that led to the temple of Mut, the ancient goddess worshipped as a mother, the culture minister said on Monday. Farouq Hosni said in a statement that 12 sphinxes were found along the road, which runs east to west adjoining the already discovered Kabash path …

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Cairo Film Fest to focus on Egypt themes in world cinema; faces timing concerns

CAIRO: The 34th Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF) will kick off on Nov. 30 with the theme “Egypt in the Eyes of the World’s Cinemas,” CIFF President Ezzat Abou Ouf said Thursday. Nineteen films from countries like England, Spain, Mexico, Italy and the United States that were set in Egypt or tell the stories of …

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‘Port of Memory’ explores Jaffa’s past and present

By Caroline Curran CAIRO: One of the outstanding films screened at the Third Panorama of European film, which wrapped up on Tuesday, was Palestinian filmmaker Kamal Ajafari’s “Port of Memory”. The hour-long film, a joint production of Palestine, Germany, France, and the UAE, was shown twice during the six-day Panorama. Aljafari hails from Ramleh, Palestine and …

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Berlin Philharmonic returns to the Arab world after 42 years

The Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra returned to the Arab world for the first time in 42 years with a concert in Abu Dhabi. Under the baton of British conductor Sir Simon Rattle it performed classics by Joseph Haydn, Johannes Brahms, Alban Berg and contemporary composer Brett Dean at the Tuesday evening concert at the opulent Emirates …

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One on one with ADFF director Peter Scarlet: Part 2

By Joseph Fahim Peter Scarlet, who has previously held positions in the Cinémathèque Française and the San Francisco International Film Festival, has been an ardent, long-time supporter of Egyptian cinema. During his reign as the Artistic Director of the Tribeca Film Festival, Scarlet succeeded in introducing the American art-house audience to modern Egyptian cinema for the …

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French ‘etoile’ Legris brings new shine to Vienna ballet

A welcome revival is taking place at the Vienna Ballet under its new director Manuel Legris, who already plans to rival Paris or Moscow with an array of premieres and a new category of principal dancers. Long neglected in a city of opera and music, the newly-renamed Vienna State Ballet recycled old favorites like "Swan …

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New York museum to return Tutankhamun relics: Egypt

CAIRO: Egypt’s antiquities council said on Wednesday that New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art has agreed to send back treasures believed to have been taken from the tomb of the legendary pharaoh Tutankhamun. The museum agreed to recognize Egypt’s right to 19 relics in its possession since early last century, the council said in a …

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On Islam offers Muslims, non-Muslims chance to go on ‘virtual hajj’

CAIRO: In the virtual world Second Life, users can engage in many different activities such as building virtual property, trading, traveling, and this year, going on hajj is no exception. On Islam, an Islamic website, created a Hajj Island on the virtual world Second Life which allows anyone to perform the hajj rituals. Second Life …

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One on one with ADFF director Peter Scarlet: Part 1

For as long as I can remember, the name Peter Scarlet has been associated with Arab and Egyptian cinema. Scarlet, who has previously held positions in the Cinémathèque Française and the San Francisco International Film Festival, has been an ardent, long-time supporter of Egyptian cinema. During his reign as the artistic director of the Tribeca …

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Reba serves as model for young acts’ success

By Chris Talbott/ AP Think of this as the Reba McEntire edition of the Country Music Association Awards. Country music’s most recognizable woman is up for just one award, but she inspired and led the way for the new generation of female talent that swept through nominations this year. Young singers like Miranda Lambert, Hillary Scott …

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Iran police crack down on underground rap scene, says report

Iranian police have made a string of arrests in raids targeting the capital’s underground rap scene, the Tehran-Emrouz newspaper reported on Monday. An unspecified number of "boys and girls were arrested, and Western musical instruments and alcohol seized" in Friday’s raids, the paper quoted Tehran police chief Hossein Sajedi-nia as saying. "These bands recorded underground …

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Art lovers see restorers in action at Vatican Museums

Curious art lovers who visit the Vatican Museums can now witness the restoration, until recently carried out behind closed doors, of some of the gallery’s most prized large-scale masterpieces. In a glass-walled workshop set up in one of the courtyards of the immense building, visitors can watch restorers work on two clay angels by Bernini, …

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Saudi uncovers first-ever pharaoh-culture antiquity

RIYADH: Saudi officials on Sunday announced the discovery of the country’s first-ever artifact from pharaonic culture — a 3,100-year-old inscription carrying the signature of King Ramses III. The inscription was found near the northwestern Saudi oasis town of Tayma, about 200 kilometers (120 miles) southeast of Tabuk, a key stop on ancient trade routes, said …

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Journeys in Mecca and Medina with Faruk Aksoy

Omer Faruk Aksoy is a man who has had the privilege of performing the Hajj many times. He is a veteran photographer and documentary filmmaker originally from Istanbul and has lived and worked in Saudi Arabia for the past 29 years. On Sunday, his first ever exhibition of rare images from Mecca and Medina opened …

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Judith Butler: Imagining the impossible

By Maya Dukmasova CAIRO: On Tuesday, Judith Butler, eminent philosopher, writer, activist and professor of Comparative Literature at the University of California, Berkley delivered the Edward Said Memorial Lecture at the American University in Cairo’s downtown campus. Butler, who is renowned for her groundbreaking philosophical contributions to the areas of ethics, gender studies, queer theory, feminism, …

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Archaeologists unearth 3,400 pharaoh statue

CAIRO: Egypt’s antiquities chief says archaeologists have unearthed the upper half of a red granite statue of a powerful pharaoh who ruled nearly 3,400 years ago. Zahi Hawass says the statue was discovered on Thursday at the site of the funerary temple of Amenhotep III, one of the largest on the west bank of the …

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Clowns, dancers and puppets bring cultures together in sea festival

Alexandria, the Pearl of the Mediterranean, outclasses Cairo, Mother of the World, with its genteel poise. Although it’s claimed Alexandria is more cosmopolitan than Cairo, this coastal city presents itself as a grand old lady, kept young by the fresh sea breeze, nostalgic for its past European connections. Separated by the Mediterranean Sea from Europe, …

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Actress Jill Clayburgh dies at 66

NEW YORK: US actress Jill Clayburgh, who was twice nominated for Oscars for her portrayals of independent women, died of leukemia on Friday, the New York Times reported. She was 66. Clayburgh’s husband, the playwright David Rabe, told the Times she died at her home in Lakeville, Connecticut. She is best remembered for her role …

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Book prize on a platter for France’s Houellebecq?

By Myriam Chaplain-Riou /AFP PARIS: For over a decade the biting, sex-fuelled satire of France’s best-known living writer Michel Houellebecq has shocked and delighted readers in equal measure, but the country’s top book prize has stubbornly slipped through his fingers. But this time the writer, who came within a hair’s breadth of a win on two …

DNE

Building bridges with graffiti art

By Mohammed Ali LONDON: We hear government officials, academics and politicians talking about the problems of multiculturalism and community cohesion, but I feel they have left one resource untapped when it comes to finding solutions: art. In fact, I often make the bold statement that graffiti art has the power to change the world. Art that …

DNE

Jazz with an Asian flavor

“In Jazz, you have to be either shocking or impressive,” said Eftekasat keyboard player Amro Saleh, basking in the smoky glow of stage lights as he addressed a crowd of several hundred. “Unit Asia is both.” The Japanese-Malaysian-Thai jazz ensemble certainly lived up to this double whammy in its performance at Sawy Culturewheel on Tuesday …

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Cairo meets to bring cultures together

CAIRO: Civil society organizations as well as a handful of intellectuals joined forces with the Ministry of Culture to launch “Cairo Meeting,” an event that aims at promoting cultural dialogue and cooperation. The two-day event that took place last week at Cairo University, the Opera House and Salah Eddin Citadel under the slogan “ Beauty: …

DNE

Back to basics at the Venice Architecture Biennale

Exhibitions by international architects, artists and designers continue to attract record crowds at the 12th Venice Architecture Biennale this week. The biennale, which opened on Aug. 20 and runs through Nov. 21, features an impressive program of exhibitions, lectures and performances. The Architecture Biennale is an offshoot of the Venice Biennale, which has been held …

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Nani Croze – East Africa’s answer to Gaudi

By Helen Vesperini/ AFP Visit Nani Croze’s glassworks outside Nairobi and you could be forgiven for thinking that like Alice, you’ve fallen down a rabbit-hole and landed in Wonderland. Kitengela lies on a dust-blown plain outside the Kenyan capital, just beyond a small village full of ramshackle bars. A couple of kilometers further on, Croze’s glassworks …

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France honors ‘beloved’ US novelist Toni Morrison

Toni Morrison is "beloved" in France, the country’s culture minister said Wednesday, as he inducted the celebrated US novelist into the elite Legion of Honor society. In a ceremony in a gilded hall in the ministry, Frederic Mitterrand pinned a red and gold medal onto the celebrated author’s jacket as a scrum of photographers snapped …

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Tense family ties in ‘When We Leave’

By Maya Dukmasova While Fatih Akin has stepped away from his usual treatment of heavy subjects such as the search for identity and experiences of immigration with “Soul Kitchen,” Austrian Feo Aladag has picked them up again in the powerful drama, “Die Fremde” (When We Leave). The plot focuses on Umay (Sibel Kekilli), a young Turkish …

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A brand new start for Fatih Akin

By Maya Dukmasova A warm, fuzzy movie is always a pleasure to have, especially when the plot is not too sappy, the acting not too false, and the happy ending is preceded by enough dramatic tension. In all of these aspects, Fatih Akin’s “Soul Kitchen” is a great success. Up until the release of his 2009 …

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Film academy to honor Godard’s art, not ideology

Amid concerns that Jean-Luc Godard may harbor anti-Semitic views, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is moving forward with plans to honor the filmmaker at its second annual Governors Awards. Godard is to be honored alongside film historian and preservationist Kevin Brownlow, director-producer Francis Ford Coppola and actor Eli Wallach at a private …

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