Deena Douara

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Latest by Deena Douara


Could Nowheristan become Everywheristan?

CAIRO: Michel Elefteriades is a busy man. “I am a clown, a philosopher, a warrior and an artist. This, besides being the self-proclaimed emperor of a “supernation, he hopes will take over the world. Literally.. “Nowheristan is his imagined utopian empire, complete with constitution, embassies, a political structure and citizens with passports. The idea is …

Deena Douara

Nepad launches e-Learning schools in Egypt

BEHEIRA: A small village school in Kom Hamada, Beheira on Sunday recently became the first school in North Africa to be fully equipped with wireless Internet access, Smart boards (interactive whiteboards), and fully equipped computer labs. The official launch of the program was held at El Haddeen Secondary School. Five other Egyptian schools outside Cairo …

Deena Douara

New wheat-alternative crops to raise Egypt's export potential

CAIRO: Dandara Development & Investment Co. (DDI) is on the path toward irrigating parts of Upper Egyptian desert land and introducing new wheat alternatives, lupin and quinoa, with large potential for export and local use. With such an initiative gaining momentum, Dandara CEO Hashem El-Dandarawy hopes to put Upper Egypt “on the map in terms …

Deena Douara

Bloody it is, but a real diamond as well

Every now and again a movie with a message comes along hoping to make a difference in the world. Or, it aims to rake in an Oscar or two through its lofty presence. We will never know a filmmaker’s true motivations and perhaps it matters little because the two are not mutually exclusive. These are …

Deena Douara

Three local outlets take home coveted international award

CAIRO: Winning the race against Dubai and Saudi Arabia, Egypt raked in the much-coveted New Millennium Award. The annual Award, given to the top 105 restaurants, hotels, or caterers, went to Sakkara Country Club & Resort, The Concorde El Salam Hotel, and the First Mall s La Gourmandise restaurant. Ibrahim Sami, owner and general manager …

Deena Douara

Bird flu continues to threaten developing world

CAIRO: In recent weeks, Egyptian media has highlighted the dangers of the possibilities that the current H5N1 avian influenza, also known as the bird flu virus, could spread or mutate. Warda Eid Ahmed, 27, from Beni Suef was the 11th Egyptian to die of the H5N1 strain of bird flu in Egypt in lat January, …

Deena Douara

The value of travel: End for a means?

CAIRO: The advertisement piqued my interest: “A very exciting trip , it said to “major Pharaonic sites, which, though rarely visited are “really out of this world. The day-trip to neighboring Sharqeya governorate was organized by some friends who spread the word via email, guaranteeing a mix bag of Egyptians and expatriates all hoping to …

Deena Douara

El Borg restaurant makes mini-waves

Most fish restaurants have a common problem. You sacrifice pleasurable atmosphere for good food. Unattractive Kleenex boxes sit atop even less attractive tablecloths, resting atop easily-cleanable tile floors, reminding customers that they are just there to eat and will be making a mess. And for some reason, these restaurants tend to be bright with high …

Deena Douara

Britain's famed Royal Philharmonic Orchestra graces Egypt

CAIRO: Egypt has hosted the Bolshoi Ballet, heard Dizzy Gillepsie, and watched the Royal Shakespeare Company, but until last night, it had never experienced the impeccable sounds of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO). Rounding off their 60th anniversary, the RPO presented the first of three local concert performances at the Cairo Opera House, featuring Egypt’s …

Deena Douara

Golden fingers: Up close with Ramzi Yassa

What do you do if you’ve been dubbed “the most important of all Egyptian musicians by your country’s flagship publication; have won a string of international awards, and performed with the greatest classical musicians in the world’s top venues? If you were Ramzi Yassa, you would go to Spain, Russia, Macedonia, Belgium, France, and Kuwait, …

Deena Douara

Helping to "illuminate" the illiterate, one woman at a time

CAIRO: A teacher praises her students as she inspects their half-filled Arabic copybooks, some perfect, some with mistakes. What is different about this class though is that when time is up at 4 pm, nobody wants to leave. Almost an hour later they are still reading, writing, and teasing each other. Oh, and the oldest …

Deena Douara

Egyptian + foreigner = marital harmony or chaos?

What happens when an Egyptian – “conservative , “traditional – marries a foreigner – “liberal, and “independent ? Cultural differences abound, and bliss would seem difficult to find within mixed marriages. And indeed, it often is. Kristine fled the country when her Egyptian husband started getting violent. This, after she discovered that he was having …

Deena Douara

Abstract, beautiful and entirely Egyptian

It may be a set of decorative utensils. On the other hand, it might be a man and a woman looking at each other. Yet again, it just might be whimsical, 3-dimensional Rorschach test, in which case it would probably be better to keep quiet. Natural materials merge with commercial objects harmoniously, all draped in …

Deena Douara

Avian flu strain takes on more lethal form in recent deaths

CAIRO: Warda Eid Ahmed, 27, from Beni Suef was the 11th Egyptian to die of the H5N1 strain of bird flu in Egypt, the most recent victim of an upsurge of contractions this winter. Investigations into two Gharbiyah province deaths in December – those of a 16-year old female and her 26-year-old uncle – reveals …

Deena Douara

Some women, some dreams, some stories

Forget Freud; how does Om Abdu interpret her dream of seeing a pale blue shirt on her sister’s husband? Clearly it means he’s cheating on her sister. Far-fetched? Not so far; the next day she and her sister discovered this to be true. What women dream about and how they interpret their dreams formed the …

Deena Douara

Royal melodies to grace two opera houses

CAIRO: If you’re into classical music, the British Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) is as good as it gets. And you don’t have to go all the way to the UK to enjoy them. The world renowned orchestra will be touring Egypt with three performances at the end of January, their very first live performance in …

Deena Douara

Egypt detects new human bird flu case

CAIRO: Doctors in Egypt have detected a new human case of the H5N1 bird flu, the 19th in the country so far, health ministry spokesman Abdel Rahman Shaheen said Wednesday. Warda Eid Ahmed, 27, from Beni Sueif, was hospitalized on Jan. 13 in Cairo before being diagnosed with bird flu four days later. The young …

Deena Douara

National Geographic to launch first Arabic youth magazine in Egypt

CAIRO: What’s yellow, glossy and read everywhere? With 40 million readers a month in 31 languages, National Geographic magazine has certainly been read all over the world, but until now, not in Arabic. But starting Jan. 23, Arabic-speakers will have their own glossy scientific magazines to peruse thanks to the joint production efforts of National …

Deena Douara

Cold temperature waves flow into Egypt

CAIRO: While colder regions have enjoyed warmer winters this year, fueling fears of global warming, Egypt will be entering the first of many cold spells Fawzy Ghoneimy, Director-General of the Center for Analysis and Forecasting told The Daily Star Egypt. December has been an unusually cold month and January will likely see temperatures dip closer …

Deena Douara

Divorce in Egypt: Why so many young couples are quitting so quickly

Getting married in Egypt is an arduous process. Many negotiations are settled, and arrangements solidified to ensure the couple’s compatibility. Finally, it all culminates in a beautiful day that ends with a night waited for since the first accidental glimpse of an R-rated movie. Still, marriages are just not working. They are getting increasingly fragile …

Deena Douara

The underground sounds of Egypt emerge

Ahmed Selim and partner Fahd El-Gammal can’t do anything right. The founders of the new, local Kawalis-Misr (Backstage Productions) will be launching the first-ever compilation CD of independent Egyptian musicians across Cairo on Jan. 15, making many mistakes along the way. First, they let the artists have free reign over which songs to record and …

Deena Douara

Motorola and Mobinil to expand network in Egypt and introduce WiMax

CAIRO: “Connect the unconnected was the theme behind Motorola’s Future Technology Seminar, conducted in conjunction with partner Mobinil, announcing a joint expansion of the GSM network to serve remote areas and improve service quality. The expansion project will cover Cairo, the Delta, Alexandria, and the North Coast to add three million new subscribers. Against a …

Deena Douara

Boycotting campaign to resurface with Starbucks opening

CAIRO: An unlikely coalition of Islamists, reformists, youths and Socialists are uniting against the overwhelming powers of a cup of coffee. Starbucks, however, is not just any cup of coffee. Internationally the chain has been criticized by leftist activists for using globalization tactics, promoting consumerism, and stifling competition. Regionally, however, the debate is centering in …

Deena Douara

Cilantro café on fire

CAIRO: A small fire erupted at Cilantro’s large Mohandiseen location Monday, at about 11 pm, causing some damage but no major injuries. Office manager Abdel-Latif Farahat told The Daily Star Egypt that the reason for the fire was a problem with the central air conditioning, which caused an electrical short circuit near the wooden bookshelves. …

Deena Douara

Truck confiscation blamed for garbage collection protest

CAIRO: Approximately 300 garbage collectors protested Sunday against having more than 15 of their cars and licenses confiscated by their employers, the Garbage Trucks Authority, the daily Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper reported. The paper quoted garbage collector Mohamed Mansour as saying that the Authority took the cars in response to a letter sent to the head …

Deena Douara

Truck confiscation blamed for garbage collection protest

CAIRO: Approximately 300 garbage collectors protested Sunday against having more than 15 of their cars and licenses confiscated by their employers, the Garbage Trucks Authority, the daily Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper reported. The paper quoted garbage collector Mohamed Mansour as saying that the Authority took the cars in response to a letter sent to the head …

Deena Douara

Leading architect discusses corporate projects and change in Egypt

CAIRO: Egypt’s skyline is famous for its Pyramids, one-time remarkable lighthouse, and some aesthetic mosques. But what have we done lately? Hisham Youssef, Senior Design Manager of International Projects with leading architectural firm Gensler, spoke to The Daily Star Egypt about how architecture is changing in Egypt, where Egypt has an edge over the States, …

Deena Douara

Cost of diabetes and heart medicines to go up

CAIRO: The cost of 94 different medicines used to treat diabetes and heart disease increased over the Eid Al-Adha holiday by between 10-55 percent. Sherif Bassawy, secretariat for the Pharmacist’s Syndicate, told The Daily Star Egypt that the increase was “normal for Egyptian companies because it had been a “very long time since they increased, …

Deena Douara

Egyptians outraged by Saddam Hussein's hanging

CAIRO: Saddam Hussein has always been a controversial figure but ironically, his execution may create even greater contention. He was praised by the several US administrations in the beginnings of his reign, then vilified as a ruthless madman, respected by some Arab allies and hated by others, and then finally in his final years mocked …

Deena Douara

A little something different with every bite at Massimo

Had Massimo s food not been great, bias would certainly have influenced my taste buds. Fortunately my journalistic integrity was not tested since every bite of every side dish, main course and drink was spectacular. And the reason for my bias? As we walked into the restaurant, the hostess greeted me so warmly, for a …

Deena Douara