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Latest in Culture


On art and life: Biennale winner speaks out

T here’s something about Amal Kenawy. Intriguing, warm but with a hint of coolness, open yet reserved, Amal Kenawy is like her living room which inspires wonder the moment one enters. It’s a clearly unique space, with her multi-faceted personality asserting its identity. It’s colorful and playful, a room which draws you in, and encourages you …

DNE

‘True Grit’,’127 Hours’ receive writers noms

Huge hits such as "True Grit" and "Inception" will be up against smaller films that include "127 Hours" and "The Kids Are All Right" for screenplay honors from the Writers Guild of America. "Inception" and "The Kids Are All Right" were among guild nominees for best original screenplay, along "Black Swan," "The Fighter" and the …

DNE

‘Social Network’, ‘Inception’ earn producer honors

The Facebook tale "The Social Network," the British monarchy drama "The King’s Speech" and the sci-fi blockbuster "Inception" were among best-picture nominees Tuesday for the Producers Guild of America Awards. Other nominees are the survival story "127 Hours," the psychosexual thriller "Black Swan," the boxing saga "The Fighter," the lesbian family tale "The Kids Are …

DNE

Show Dance promises magnificent journey, fails to deliver

“Jack of all trades, master of none.” This saying accurately epitomizes the new French dance show, unoriginally entitled “Show Dance,” which made its way to Cairo this week. Offering up a plethora of subpar dance numbers spanning a wide spectrum of styles, including Latin, rock ‘n’ roll, swing, flamenco, and boogie to name a few, …

DNE

British actor Pete Postlethwaite dead at 64

British actor Pete Postlethwaite, who earned an Oscar nomination for his role in "In the Name of the Father," has died aged 64 following a lengthy illness, a friend announced Monday. Journalist and friend Andrew Richardson said he died peacefully in hospital in Shropshire, west central England, on Sunday. Postlethwaite had been receiving treatment for …

DNE

World’s longest-running soap turns 60 with tragic twist

"The Archers," the world’s longest-running soap opera, marked its 60th birthday over the New Year weekend with a plot twist that saw one of the BBC radio show’s best known characters fall to his death. Feted by some as the essence of Englishness, "The Archers" features everyday tales of rural life in the fictional village …

DNE

Singer Akon preaches African unity back home in Senegal

Senegalese-American rapper and songwriter Akon called for greater African unity as he arrived in his home country to perform last week at the world’s biggest celebration of black arts and culture. The six-time Grammy nominated singer, who recently released a single on which he collaborated with the late Michael Jackson, will perform at the final …

DNE

British government bids to save Beatle’s birthplace

The British government stepped in Sunday to stop Beatles legend Ringo Starr’s birthplace from being bulldozed. Housing Minister Grant Shapps has written to Liverpool City Council urging a temporary reprieve for 9 Madryn Street, in the Dingle district, which is scheduled for demolition. The childhood homes of band-mates John Lennon and Paul McCartney are popular …

DNE

Afghan clowns raise laughs in war-torn Kabul

Two Afghan policemen stand paralyzed by fear in front of a plastic cup. But this is not some farcical scene from the battle against the Taliban — it is a sketch from a new clown show in Kabul. The performance, put on by nine members of the Azdar troupe, seems improbable in a country locked …

DNE

Revolutionary book that inspired Gandhi turns 150

It was 150 years ago that the book "Unto This Last" was published, a groundbreaking work that turned economic thinking on its head and profoundly influenced the views of many including Mahatma Gandhi, the father of Indian independence. Gandhi first read the subversive masterwork of political economy by John Ruskin in 1904, during a train …

DNE

Beirut gallery at the center of Lebanon’s art revival

Emerging slowly from a troubled past, arts and culture are clearly a priority for the city’s present and future. Lebanon’s capital, a picturesque city of bombed-out shells and sparkling new structures, home to just 1.2 million people, is host to some of the region’s most exciting exhibitions and events, managing to rival the state-sponsored cultural …

DNE

Guy Manoukian wows Cairo with twist on classic music

In what was undoubtedly one of Cairo’s best concerts of 2010, Lebanese Armenian maestro Guy Manoukian took the Cairo Opera House by storm, wowing the audience with his cutting edge take on Arabic classics along with his own unique compositions. The sold out performance on December 20 was a landmark moment in composer-pianist Manoukian’s career: …

DNE

THE REEL ESTATE: A survival tale, an elusive art piece and one glorious fable ignite Dubai

The recently concluded Seventh edition of the Dubai International Film Festival has had its fair share of highs and lows: A disappointing Arabic fiction competition and a stellar Asian/African sidebar; an exciting showcase of short Arabic films and an insubstantial Mexican tribute. The “Cinema of the World” selection in particular was rather uneven, offering a …

DNE

Moroccan writer Taia challenges homosexual taboo

Novelist Abdellah Taia, who has won acclaim in France and readers abroad, has challenged a taboo in his native Morocco and won’t back down: he is the first writer to come out as gay in a country that bans homosexuality. For 37-year-old Taia, who has lived in Paris for the last decade, being homosexual and …

DNE

‘Miramar’ opera marks Mahfouz centennial

The operatic adaptation of Naguib Mahfouz’s “Miramar” was met with no less enthusiasm when it played this month at the Cairo Opera House Main Hall than during its debut run in 2005. The Dec.14-17 show had a decidedly short run that was largely overshadowed by the Opera House’s packed pre-Christmas and New Year’s schedule. “Miramar”, …

DNE

ANHRI condemns call to ban ‘678’ in movie theaters

CAIRO: The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) condemned the complaint filed to the Prosecutor General calling for banning the movie “678” about sexual harassment, in a statement issued on Wednesday. The Social Justice Association for Human Rights (SAJHR) filed a complaint to the Prosecutor General earlier this week claiming that the film “678” …

DNE

Abbaseyya Psychiatric Hospital to be made into an Islamic heritage site, says SCA

By Sarah Carr CAIRO: The building that houses the Abbaseyya Psychiatric Hospital will be made into an Islamic heritage site, the Supreme Council for Antiquities (SCA) announced in a press statement on Wednesday. Minister of Culture Farouk Hosni announced that a scientific committee formed by SCA Secretary General Zahi Hawass decided on Tuesday to initiate the …

DNE

Baritone from Harold Melvin & Blue Notes dies

Bernie Wilson, a baritone member of the rhythm and blues group that produced the 1972 hit "If You Don’t Know Me by Now," has died. Wilson, 64, died early Sunday at Kresson View Center in New Jersey, following a stroke and a heart attack, his cousin, Faith Peace-Mazzccua, said Monday. Philadelphia International Records, the former …

DNE

‘Empire Strikes Back’ among 25 film registry picks

Darth Vader proclaiming he’s Luke Skywalker’s father, Tony Manero preening in his underwear and an early 20th-century deaf activist speaking in sign language are among the images that will be preserved by the Library of Congress as part of its National Film Registry. The 25 films selected this year include "The Empire Strikes Back," the …

DNE

Web helps revival of old Arabic poetry in Lebanon

Zajal, an old form of improvised Arabic poetry that enjoyed its heyday in Lebanon before the 1975-1990 civil war, is making a tentative comeback with thousands of fans on Facebook and YouTube. Traditionally an emotional oratory duel between two men, zajal once drew crowds of tens of thousands who revered its artists as poets of …

DNE

South Sudan recording stars sing ‘independence’

JUBA: "Let us go, we can make it," Mary Boyoi sings softly in a flute-like voice as she sways to the rhythm, sharing a dream that south Sudan will choose independence in next month’s referendum. Boyoi, a rising pop artist, is one of several singers who are literally using their voices to get out the …

DNE

Soloist Ousso: Seeing the whole world anew each day

There is an unstoppable force that drives Ousso (Mohamed Lotfy), Egypt’s foremost guitar player. It is not just his love for music, but his belief in people, in young musicians, in the possibility to change and improvement, in the importance of learning and developing one’s skills, and in the great outcome of devotion to what …

DNE

Joharah Baker’s acceptance speech at the Eliav-Sartawi Awards

First of all let me thank Search for Common Ground for this award. I would also like to thank my own organization, MIFTAH for providing me with the platform from which to express my views. I am truly honored to have been chosen for what I feel is my humble contribution to the world of …

DNE

Hungry Chinese collectors dominate Paris auctions

Chinese collectors with cash to burn dominated Paris auctions in December, displaying a ravenous appetite for pieces from the country’s imperial days with a focus as much on investment as nostalgia. Hotel Drouot, one of the French capital’s top auction halls, recorded its top sale of the year on Dec. 14 when an 18th-century Qing …

DNE

Thailand bans film about transgender father

Thailand’s film board has banned a movie about a transgender father struggling to raise two children, a move the director says highlights the conservative side of Thai society despite its freewheeling reputation. The National Film Board ruled earlier this week that the film, "Insects in the Backyard," cannot be shown in Thailand because it contains …

DNE

Bhutto niece tells all in ‘Songs of Blood and Sword’

By Caroline Curran Fatima Bhutto is the self-proclaimed black sheep of Pakistan’s foremost political family. Although little known compared to some of her more famous relatives, Bhutto is making a splash this month with the publication of her book: “Songs of Blood and Sword: A Daughter’s Memoir.” Niece of current President Asif Zardari and deceased former …

DNE

2010 was a ‘Perfect Gift’ for Canadian Tenors

A year after releasing their first hit album, the Canadian Tenors are delivering "The Perfect Gift," a compilation of traditional and contemporary holiday music. "You have the classics like ‘O Holy Night’ and ‘Silent Night,’ but there are songs that are not necessarily Christmas-specific," explained tenor Victor Micallef. "Some great producers worked on that, as …

DNE

Hits, misses and sleepers of 2010

By Hillel Italie/ AP Dead men were big sellers in 2010, from Stieg Larsson and his Millennium trilogy to Mark Twain and the autobiography he wanted withheld until 100 years after his death. Among the living, George W. Bush’s “Decision Points” became a quick million seller and defied expectations for the former president, who left office …

DNE

YEAREND SPECIAL: Cairo art scene embraces new trends

By Mariam Hamdy This year has been a relatively intriguing one for the arts in Cairo. Despite the fact that most of the exhibitions didn’t resonate significantly with viewers or critics, there appears to be new trends in Cairo’s art scene that are worth some attention. New gallery spaces are being introduced and artists of all …

DNE

YEAREND SPECIAL: The best films of 2010 have little chance of wide viewership

By Joseph Fahim The life of a critic is a solitary one, largely spent in front of a big screen with an audience that mostly shares the same tastes, opinions and lifestyle. The dissociation from real life is an accepted upshot of our daily routine. Perhaps that’s why I was somewhat flabbergasted to find myself engaging …

DNE