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Latest in Culture


Egypt(dot)Now to capture revolutionary youth spirit in 18-day festival

CAIRO: About a month after the protests started in January, Mariam El-Hitami was speaking with a friend of hers who had been active in the demonstrations and was recovering from a rubber bullet that hit his left eye. “Let us build Egypt,” El-Hitami, one of the organizers of Egypt.Now, remembers Jawad Naboulsy telling her. Friday, …

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A ‘Byrd’ singing disco of our time

By Chitra Kalyani Since marketing his first single when he was 15, electronic artist Neobyrd has figured out the formula. “To get signed you need to spend 40 percent [of your time] doing music, and 60 percent marketing yourself,” said the artist at the launch of his album “Transbyrd” at Cairo Jazz Club on Monday. It …

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Pirate radio airs dreams amid tear gas and fear

As tear gas fired by riot police lands inside their Syntagma Square camp, the brains behind a pirate radio station broadcasting Greek Indignants’ dreams of a new revolution vow to stay the course. The music is hardly cutting edge, coming straight from the era of the uprising against the US-backed Greek colonels — "Riders on …

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SODIC Art Symposium: First attempt at public art

With his distinctive light blue eyes and soft demeanor, famed Egyptian sculptor Adam Henein stood observing the towering metallic figures. The statues, numbered at about 20, directed their gaze at the horizon of the desert in which they were standing. It was early June on a balmy summer’s evening when the sun started to set, …

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Shoes come in all sizes

By Chitra Kalyani “The future of football is female,” proclaims one of the texts that tie the collection of photographs at Sawy Culture Wheel. German photographer Claudia Wiens launched her exhibit, along with the book, titled “Shoe Size 37 – Women’s Football in Egypt, Palestine, Turkey and Germany” on Saturday. Supported by Goethe Institute in Cairo, …

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French Egyptologist who saved Nubian temples dies

PARIS: French Egyptologist Christiane Desroches-Noblecourt, known for her books on art and history and for saving the Nubian temples from flooding caused by the Aswan Dam, has died at the age of 97, her editor Telemaque said Friday. In a career spanning more than half-a-century, Desroches-Noblecourt also helped preserve the mummy of King Ramses II, …

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Large inscribed limestone blocks unearthed

CAIRO: French archaeologists have unearthed hundreds of 3,000-year-old colored limestone blocks believed to have been used to build the sacred lake walls of a temple dedicated to the goddess Mut. Egypt’s minister of antiquities, Zahi Hawass, says the blocks were unearthed in San El-Hagar in northern Egypt. Hawass said in a statement Monday the blocks …

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Impressions in an Arab mirror

By Chitra Kalyani Phillipe Vincent pinches bits of air around the table when describing his play to Daily News Egypt. Despite what the title suggests, “An Arab in My Mirror” does not provide a reflection of one community in another, but rather several impressions of characters in both worlds. “The present is an air pocket,” said …

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Egypt to restore ancient boat found near pyramid

CAIRO: Archaeologists have begun excavating a 4,500-year-old wooden boat found next to the Great Pyramid of Giza, one of Egypt’s main tourist attractions, Egypt’s top antiquities official said Thursday. The boat is one of two buried next to the pharaoh Khufu in what appeared to be a religious custom to carry him in the afterlife. …

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THE REEL ESTATE: A fateful journey into the dark soul of Russia

What is the Russian soul? That is the questions great novelist Fyodor Dostoyevsky spent his life trying to answer, an elusive question that never left me during my trip to Russia a couple of months ago. My memories of Russia have been largely blissful. I did not take a liking to Moscow; a humongous, unkind …

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Serbia’s icon-painting nuns combine religion and art

On the wooded slopes of southwestern Serbia’s Golija mountain, a dozen nuns at the Gradac monastery have devoted their lives to God but have not turned their backs on their lifelong passion: painting. Twenty years ago Jasna Topolski, already a famous artist who had graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Belgrade, arrived at …

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The reveries and delusions of Yasmine Chatila

Egyptian artist Yasmine Chatila is no newbie to Manhattan’s Upper East Side art scene — one of the world’s toughest art markets to break into. Born in Cairo with a master’s degree in photography from Colombia University School of Arts, Chatila again impresses critics and art aficionados alike with her new exhibition, “Reveries & Delusions” …

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Silence less golden in movies with talking, texts

It seems like such a quaint notion: Folks would go to the movie theater, buy their tickets at the box office, then sit down, shut up and pay attention for two hours to what was on the screen. Now, the piercing glow of cell phones lights up the darkness like so many pesky fireflies, and …

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Hip-hop the soundtrack of the Arab spring?

By Rose Hackman/Common Ground News Service Behind the scenes of the Arab spring since late 2010, hip-hop with a political twist has become a soundtrack to pro-democracy movements across the Middle East and North Africa. It may come as a surprise to some. How could hip-hop, a traditionally Western — and particularly American — music genre …

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E Street Band sax player Clarence Clemons dies

Clarence Clemons, the larger-than-life saxophone player for the E Street Band who was one of the key influences in Bruce Springsteen’s life and music through four decades, has died. He was 69. Clemons died Saturday night after being hospitalized about a week ago following a stroke at his home in Singer Island, Fla. Springsteen acknowledged …

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Croatian exhibition spotlights Tito’s iconic Galeb yacht

By Lajla Veselica/ AFP A local exhibition showcasing artworks banned by 20th century totalitarian regimes has lifted out of oblivion a powerful symbol of socialist glamour: former Yugoslav leader Josip Broz Tito’s famous presidential yacht Galeb. “We were looking for an attractive space to be a counterpoint to the art that we represent,” said Branko Franceschi, …

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Publishers low-key for 9/11 anniversary

By Hillel Italie/ AP The book world plans a low-key remembrance of the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Most of the works about the events will be reissues and updates of older works, from CBS News’ “What We Saw” to Noam Chomsky’s word-of-mouth best-seller “9/11.” The output will not compare to the first …

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An Ant’s Cry: The exploitation of the revolution continues

In the recently released Ahmed Fouad Negm biopic “El-Fagoumy,” director Essam El-Shamaa ventured to capitalize on the January 25 Revolution by inserting footage of the protests at the very end of the film. The footage bore no connection to the narrative which ends in 1979; this was simply a disgraceful stunt to put more bums …

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If pigs could fly: The imaginary world of Qarm Qart

By Chitra Kalyani “I don’t need a perfect picture,” says Qarm Qart, “I need a perfect subject. A man. A pose.” The rest “doesn’t matter, because I cut it.” Collage is Qarm’s means of creating an alternative reality, of taking scissors to the ugliness of this world and embroidering the rest with beads, glitter and sequins. …

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Film Society of Lincoln Center opens new home

As a trend-setting designer and architect, David Rockwell has done it all — from Broadway shows and a restaurant partly owned by Robert De Niro to children’s hospitals and a hip hotel near Times Square. On Friday, his latest creation will open: the permanent home of the Film Society of Lincoln Center, a $41 million …

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Sami Yusuf brings message of peace to Egypt

By Safaa Abdoun In the first concert for an international artist in post-January 25 Egypt, British Muslim singer-songwriter Sami Yusuf gave an astounding performance in a concert titled “United in Peace” held earlier this week. “When I got invited as the first international artist to perform in post-revolution Egypt, I accepted immediately and was delighted at …

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US, Chinese stars usher in Shanghai film festival

Susan Sarandon cracked jokes with Chinese actor Zhang Guoli. Matt Dillon tried out his Mandarin and Rupert Murdoch touted the new movie his Chinese-born wife is producing. Hollywood’s elite joined China’s biggest stars at the Shanghai Grand Theater to usher in the 14th edition of the country’s leading international film festival on Saturday — in …

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Queen hails king: actor Colin Firth leads British honors

Actor Colin Firth was rewarded in Queen Elizabeth II’s birthday honors list on Saturday after he played her father in Oscar-winning film "The King’s Speech." England cricket captain Andrew Strauss, Nobel Prize-winning IVF pioneer Professor Bob Edwards and veteran rock star Bryan Ferry were among hundreds of others honored by the monarch for their work. …

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A stimulating retelling of Ancient Egyptian stories

Ambassador Marc Franco, head of the European Union Delegation to Egypt, and his wife Rita Janssen hosted an intellectual night at their residence in Zamalek last week. Having vowed to use their residence as a hub for local as well as international arts, Franco and Janssen have held regular cultural gatherings, bringing together various professionals, …

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M.F. Husain: ‘The Picasso of India’

Artist M.F. Husain, who died in self-imposed exile on Thursday aged 95, was often referred to as "The Picasso of India" and was the most recognizable figure of the post-independence Indian art scene. But his vast body of work was overshadowed by controversy over his depiction of nude Hindu goddesses, which enraged ultra-nationalists, saw an …

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Bad vibrations in Tache Gallery

  Currently in Designopolis, Tache Art Gallery is exhibiting a new show titled “Good Vibrations” by Nadia El Tatawy. A staff member with a PhD in economics at the American University in Cairo, El Tatawy has been painting since the early 90s parallel to her academic career.   With an impressive number of participations in …

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Arab museum launches online exhibit on stereotypes

DEARBORN: The Arab American National Museum officially launched an online exhibit Tuesday that aims to explore — and overcome — Arab stereotypes that have influenced popular culture for more than a century. The exhibit, "Reclaiming Identity: Dismantling Arab Stereotypes," includes commentary as well as paintings, books, films and sheet music showing Arab culture as exotic, …

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‘Mormon’ propels old college roomies to stardom

After every performance of the hit Broadway musical, "The Book of Mormon," Josh Gad and Rory O’Malley bow side-by-side, a nightly celebration of a journey the two began as college roommates more than a decade ago. Since living together as freshmen at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Gad and O’Malley, both nominated for Tony Awards, …

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Unremarkable Negm biopic a tired history lesson

After months of endless speculation on the short-term fate of Egyptian cinema, the summer season finally arrives with a new batch of medium-sized, star-free films, all of which produced before the January 25 Revolution. And what would be more fitting than kick-starting the season with a biopic of Ahmed Fouad Negm, Egypt’s foremost anti-establishment vernacular …

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India’s ‘Kollywood’ seeks global movie spotlight

Science fiction film "Endhiran" was made in the south Indian language Tamil, but it pulled in huge profits from across the country and abroad — stoking global ambitions for "Kollywood." Named after the Kodambakkam district of Chennai where many studios are based, the Tamil film industry aims to match the success of the Hindi-language Bollywood …

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