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Meet the talented members of the Tiatro troupe

Tiatro is an independent theatrical troupe that was formed by 26-year-old Omar El-Moutaz Bellah in 2001. They started with five members and have now reached 120, 15 of whom come from other countries. Interestingly, none of Tiatro’s members was originally a theater person. The relatively young El-Moutaz Bellah – commonly referred to as Egypt’s Hitchcock …

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Bitter taste of reality

Out of time and place, but distinctly relevant to the here and now CAIRO: Al-Batreeq: Hathayan Fil Ro b Wal Horria (The Penguin: Hallucinations about Freedom and Terror), written and directed by Omar El-Moutaz Bellah, was recently performed at Metropole Theater on the periphery of the 18th Cairo International Festival for Experimental Theater by Tiatro …

Daily News Egypt

In the spirit of Ramadan

ALEXANDRIA: Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar is a month Muslims await from year to year. In keeping with Islamic traditions, Egypt witnesses an increase in good deeds throughout the day and full mosques during the night. People all over Egypt anticipate the arrival of the month of Ramadan. Many people embrace the …

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TV producers more than generous with Ramadan offerings

Egyptian and satellite channels gear up for the biggest season of the year “Ramadan Kareem. We use these words to greet each other at the start of the month of fasting. The phrase translates as “Ramadan is generous, marking the surplus in everything: food, dessert, traffic jams and most of all the number of terrestrial …

Daily News Egypt

Reliving a piece of history

An insider view into the new TV production Halim One of the central figures of his age, he was an intricate part of the government. Despite dangers, he never traveled with a motorcade or even a bodyguard. I became absorbed in him for two reasons: this is a man who seemed to have no fear …

Daily News Egypt

Analysts say Bush wasting his time with address to Mideast population

Agence France-Presse CAIRO: Arab commentators on Wednesday dismissed U.S. President George W. Bush s appeal for democracy directly to the people of the region as a patronizing and doomed effort to give a new face to Washington s reviled policies. In a speech at the UN General Assembly Tuesday, Bush conveyed his message by addressing …

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Egypt's top Muslim leader demands clearer papal apology

Associated Press CAIRO: The grand sheikh of Al-Azhar Mosque, the Sunni Arab world s most powerful institution, demanded on Tuesday that Pope Benedict XVI apologize more clearly for insulting Islam. The pope s remarks were insulting to Islam and Muslims, and (he made) a religious and scientific mistake, Grand Sheikh Mohammed Sayed Tantawi told papal …

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Egyptian regulator to unveil takeover code on Nov. 1

Reuters DUBAI: Egypt s capital markets regulator will introduce a takeover and acquisition code governing publicly listed companies on Nov. 1, the exchange chairman said. Hani Sarie-Eldin said the Egyptian Capital Market Authority (CMA) drafted the policy due to growing interest in Egyptian companies from regional and global investors. In 2005, nine Egyptian firms, mainly …

Daily News Egypt

Informant's letter to Clinton irrelevant to bomb-plot case, government says

Associated Press NEW YORK: Recent complaints by a discontented paid police informant to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton should have no impact on a subway bomb-plot case, federal prosecutors argue in court papers. A letter sent to Clinton last month by Egyptian-born Osama El Dawoody in which he complains about his treatment contains no new information …

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Gaza's human calamity

While the world’s gaze remains focused on Lebanon, less than 200 kilometers south in Gaza, a human time bomb is ticking. Some 1.4 million people in Gaza – more than half of them children – are packed inside one of the world’s most densely populated areas with no freedom of movement and no place to …

Daily News Egypt

Resettle or return

Sudanese refugees frustrated by hardships in Egypt dream of being resettled, but there are few slots for thousands of refugees. CAIRO: Sudanese refugees who escaped from the bloody conflict in Darfur say that anything is better than the atrocities in their country. But as they find a safe haven in Egypt, they end up unemployed …

Daily News Egypt

Egyptian dance brings life to City of the Dead

Agence France-Presse CAIRO: In the depths of Cairo s City of the Dead, Umm Essam unveils her latest creation: a blood-red bellydance costume, complete with golden pearls. But there are no models or podiums in this dressmaker s tiny workshop hidden deep in the alleys of one of the city s oldest cemeteries. At the …

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Reworked Othello falls short

The Temple Independent Theater Company s latest experiment is a lavish production of meek content CAIRO: In their reworking of the Othello parable, directors Ahmed El-Attar and Nevine El-Ibiary pose an interesting question: Is the Moor tragically doomed even without the interference of Iago? Unfortunately, their production is not fit to provide the answer. Few …

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Fresh music to suit all tastes

SOS Music Festival a success for all concerned CAIRO: The first ever SOS Music Festival took place on Friday, showcasing a wide variety of new Egyptian music for an enthusiastic crowd at Cairo International Conference Center s Chinese Garden. Brain Candy opened the event, warming up the crowd in the afternoon sun with their distinctive …

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The American mind

Where would you expect conspiracy theories about 9/11 to be disseminated in Cairo? A coffee house in Sayeda Zeinab, Al-Azhar or any of the multitude of so-called “popular quarters of the city – filled with Shisha smoke, and permeated by the smell of molasses-soaked tobacco (otherwise known as me’assel) mixed, perhaps, with the subtle whiff …

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Gaza's human calamity

While the world’s gaze remains focused on Lebanon, less than 200 km south in Gaza, there is a human time bomb is ticking away. Some 1.4 million people in Gaza – more than half of them children – are packed inside one of the world’s most densely populated areas with no freedom of movement and …

Daily News Egypt

Crime scene: Explosives theft warrants swift action

Avian flu back in the news; woman tries to sneak gun into Egyptian Museum CAIRO: Crime journalists, over the past week, have had their work cut out for them. The crime pages of the local newspapers were packed with reports of various types of crimes. A quarry incident in Sinai warranted special attention, as explosives …

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Iran ready for unconditional resumption of nuclear talks: FM

Egyptian FM defends Iran’s right to peaceful nuclear technology HAVANA: Iran is ready to resume unconditional negotiations on the standoff over its nuclear program, its Foreign Minister Manoucher Mottaki told diplomats in Havana, Non-Aligned Movement delegates said Wednesday. In response to the call by the NAM, the Islamic Republic of Iran has also expressed its …

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Experimental Theater Festival challenges boundaries

Groups come from all around the world to participate and sample other cultures’ theater The set erected at the entrance to the Dar El-Opera complex gives a flavor of what this year’s Cairo International Festival for Experimental Theater hopes to achieve. In the sedate setting of the complex’s modern buildings, the façade of an utterly …

Daily News Egypt

Anyone can make a movie

SEMAT caters to the needs of independent filmmakers Over the last decade Egypt’s independent filmmaking industry has been on the rise. With the establishment of the first independent Egyptian production and distribution company, SEMAT, it has begun to take a more organized and hence influential shape. SEMAT was established in 2001 after a group of …

Daily News Egypt

SOS concert features original music of all varieties

Wust El-Balad plays at promotional event for concert, announces new album CAIRO: Top Egyptian band Wust El-Balad gave a performance to a small group of lucky fans at City Stars’ Virgin Megastore yesterday afternoon at a promotional event for the SOS music concert that is being held later today. In the first festival of its …

Daily News Egypt

Egypt wants Palestinian borders first before Mideast talks

CAIRO: Egypt is to present the UN Security Council with a plan to reverse the timetable of the moribund roadmap for Middle East peace by fixing the borders of a Palestinian state before resuming talks. The roadmap, drafted in 2003 by the quartet of Middle East diplomatic players – United States, United Nations, European Union …

Daily News Egypt

Assi Helani launches charity single in Cairo

Pop star joins forces with WFP to raise awareness for child hunger CAIRO: Lebanese pop star Assi Helani last week launched his new charity single Baadak Saket (You Remain Silent), unveiling the video in a Cairo press conference with the World Food Programme (WFP), which produced the single. It is hoped the video will help …

Daily News Egypt

Preserving Egypt's heritage – but at what price?

Preserving Egypt’s heritage – but at what price? CAIRO: The complications over renovations in Islamic Cairo span beyond the conflicted attitude of its residents. Experts who study the old city have been up in arms on many counts. Caroline Williams, an Islamic Architecture specialist, had an article featured in the recently published book, Cosmopolitan Cairo, …

Daily News Egypt

Poor now need certificates to receive rations

Government cuts subsidized products and clamps down on recipients CAIRO: Millions of people in low and limited-income brackets depend on what ration cards (subsidized food supplies vouchers offered by the government) provide them to cover a small part of their basic needs. The Ministry of Social Affairs has recently announced that in order to acquire …

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Preserving Egypt's heritage – but at what price?

CAIRO: Protruding from the corner of a torn up, dirty street in the Gamaliya neighborhood of Islamic Cairo is the clean and imposing, freshly restored Old Cairo Wall. The ancient gateway to the early city currently embraces one of the poorer parts of Cairo. Residents trek through the mud caused by exposed water pipes to …

Daily News Egypt

9/11 Footnote: Egyptian, security guard and a false accusation

Associated Press CAIRO: They were different men going in different directions – one a visiting Egyptian student on scholarship, the other an ex-cop in a dead-end job as a hotel security guard. But an aviation radio left in a high-rise hotel brought Abdullah Higazy and Ronald Ferry together as an unfortunate footnote to the Sept. …

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