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Curious couture

Some people love shopping for Christmas gifts. They get a kind of festive cheer from it, a tingle of excitement at the prospect of lighting up somebody’s face with that perfect present. For others, Christmas shopping is akin to having bamboo inserted beneath the fingernails, only more painful, and it tends to go on for …

David Stanford

Eid in the Land of the Rising Sun

During Eid Al-Adha, I skipped slaying sheep in the streets of Cairo and went to visit my girlfriend in Japan instead. Culture shock hit me like a 50-kilo sack of rice five minutes after I stepped off the plane in Osaka, when the customs agent digitally scanned my fingerprints and my retinas, then found my …

Daily News Egypt

7 ½ reasons why I hate my lovely iPod

Every time the word iPod is mentioned in a conversation someone has to interrupt, sigh and say dreamily: “I love my iPod. The truth is the iPod is one of the most overrated devices known to man. Most people have been brain washed into thinking that the best MP3 players are produced by Apple Computers, …

Daily News Egypt

Belly dancing, a now silent art.

I’ve always been puzzled by belly dance in Egypt. It is such a characteristic feature of the culture and yet most Egyptians tend to regard the art as a skeleton in the nation’s cupboard, not daring to utter a word about it in polite conversation. At parties and henna nights, girls vie over who’s the …

Daily News Egypt

Center helps children, parents deal with developmental disorders

For parents of children suffering from behavioral problems, learning disabilities and developmental disorders, the Learning Resource Center in Maadi is considered a haven, offering therapy and solutions for problems that can become major impediments to children’s development. Established in September 1996 by three Beth Noujaim, Maha Helali and Nasser Loza, the center provides diagnosis and …

Daily News Egypt

Links of Interest: Do-it-yourself

If you are an alien that has recently found itself on Earth in human form, worry not, the web is here. The site www.instructables.com offers amusing step-by-step instructions on everything from tying one’s shoelace to baking cookies to building a solar panel. There are ongoing contests on the site to encourage and foster the instructor …

Chitra Kalyani

Funky Islamic fashion struts conservative catwalk

After years of turning heads with her riotously colorful frocks in Malaysia, fashion designer Tom Abang Saufi can t decide whether to shed a few shades on her batik dresses for the Middle East. If you wear red and fuchsia in the desert, you ll stick out like a sore thumb, she says. (But) it …

Daily News Egypt

La Taverna: Zamalek coffee shop gets a facelift

Zamalek’s 26th of July Street has loads of dining options, at least until you reach the intersection with Brazil Street, at which point restaurant choices basically become non-existent. Until recently, Coffee Roastery was the lone option on that side of the tracks, but its light menu and dark ambience were always missing a little something …

Kate Dannies

Unique gift ideas and where to find them

It is that time of the year when expectations are set high by friends and families whose birthdays and anniversaries you ignored or forgot over the year. Armed with good intentions and hope, it s time to make your holiday purchases. Cairo, to the surprise of many, offers a plethora of possibilities for those seeking …

Heba Elkayal

In search of a baladi bar

A while ago, I promised to show a visiting Englishman a bit of the Cairo nightlife. He’d seen the pyramids and a few plush hotels, but so far he’d neglected to explore one of the city’s key attractions, the Horreya bar in Babeluq. With its marble table-tops, old wooden chairs, high ceilings and nicotine-yellow paintjob, …

David Stanford

An Egyptian shaabi wedding is a feast for all senses

As I was heading out one night on my way to a fashion show at Townhouse Gallery, a friend, Haitham, stopped me in my tracks with an especially eager ahlan wa sahlan. Haitham runs a small copy shop on the first floor of my building, and we exchange greetings whenever our paths cross. “You must …

Daily News Egypt

New Xbox 360 'Scene It?' game a crowd pleaser

The Scene It? trivia game series may have started as a DVD-based board game, but the franchise is really coming into its own on the Xbox 360 console. Microsoft s Scene It?: Box Office Smash ($60 bundled with four Big Button controllers; $40 standalone) builds on the game s first Xbox 360 edition with new …

Daily News Egypt

Whirlwind through London

It’s never too late is my travel motto. As a notoriously bad vacation planner, my trips abroad are usually whipped up at a whim never more than two weeks in advance – but that doesn’t mean I can’t make the most of it. Although such travel whims could seem a bit too extravagant in the …

Daily News Egypt

Stepping Out: A walk downtown evokes memories of Cairo's old glory

Living in a city that seems to grow and change everyday, it’s easy to forget the rich history that is embodied in the buildings and streets of central Cairo. Cairo’s downtown was built by Khedive Ismail, who strove to create a “new city that was European, modern, and easy to secure. This meant wide boulevards …

Kate Dannies

Links of Interest: Santa Claus is Coming.

What better way to meet up with Santa Claus than pay a visit to www.northpole.com? Young visitors to this cute, cozy, and Christmassy spot can look forward to Santa’s personalized stories and answers to questions like “How does Santa get up and down my chimney? Mail services also exist to send letters to Santa (expect …

Chitra Kalyani

Capturing life with flair

At a time when Egyptian talent and interest in photography is increasing, the work of Toufic Araman has garnered exceptional attention. In less than four years, Araman has learned not only how to handle a camera, but how to capture a variety of subjects with a unique eye. A versatile photographer, Araman is a photojournalist, …

Heba Elkayal

Golf in Egypt: Ayman Fathi heads Egyptian Golf Federation

The Egyptian Golf Federation (EGF) is the sports federation of golf in Egypt, working much like federations that govern football and other sports to regulate official aspects of the game such as rules and its players. Since the advent of new golf courses in Egypt, Khaled Abou Taleb has headed the EGF, during that time …

Daily News Egypt

Eklego: Young duo nominated for dynamic designs

This year’s Emirates Glass LEAF Awards were said to be the most hotly contested competition since the inception of the award five years ago. Recognizing excellence in architecture in both residential and commercial sectors, the awards emphasize innovation of design, structural design and sustainable development. Representing the best of Egypt’s young talent are interior designer …

Heba Elkayal

Red carpet glamour at the Cairo Film Festival

It’s not everyday international and Egyptian stars strut their stuff down the same red carpet, especially when this carpet is rolled out in the heart of Cairo. It was a rare chance to see – and scrutinize – the best and worst dressed celebs, from the elegant to the haughty, the simple to the extravagant. …

Heba Elkayal

Links of interest

Ever stumbled upon a website that excited or intrigued you? Below are a couple of my favorites, proving that there’s more to be experienced on the internet than Facebook and Wikipedia. The first is www.yousendit.com, which allows you to send large files of up to 100 MB from a free personal account. Simply upload a …

Chitra Kalyani

Artisan delights for the ethnically inclined

It all started with jealousy, said Mounaya Gallery’s owner Ghada Abdelhak-Khalife laughingly. She is as warm as the gallery she has been running in Zamalek for three years with the help of her sister Rufayda and niece Rudayna selling artisan handcrafts. “I was jealous of non-famous brand boutiques abroad selling special pieces that are brand-less …

Heba Elkayal

BEDOUIN LIVES: Bedouin and buses

The Bedouin have a simple attitude to driving speeds, there are only two: full speed or no speed. There is nothing in between. They do not wander around or cruise the desert or roads in a carefree manner. They do not peruse the landscape with a benevolent eye or take the time to stop and …

Daily News Egypt

Tom Ford dresses newest James Bond

NEW YORK: When it comes to fashion, few would argue that 007 is anything less than a 10. Along with sports cars, gadgets and sex appeal, an impeccable sense of style is a hallmark of the now 46-year-old James Bond movie franchise, which expands to 22 films with the release of Quantum of Solace. The …

Daily News Egypt

"ItzaBitza" infuses child education with videogame fun

SAN FRANCISCO: Margaret Johnson had such a tough time finding fun learning games for her daughters that she created a company to market a game she created that uses computer play to teach reading. With technology powerhouse Microsoft as a partner, Johnson on Wednesday debuted the first of what she hopes will be a line …

AFP

Dubai Museum: Where power is not in numbers

After settling down with a book and coffee while waiting for my first flight to Dubai, I started reading about the history of this UAE state. From the pages of my guidebook, I came to learn that 1799 marks the date of the town’s first record. Further on, it mentioned that its museum was established …

Daily News Egypt

The tissue issue

Picture this: you’re in a fancy restaurant, had one or maybe two drinks, nature calls and you have to go – um, powder your nose. You hurry into the ladies room; you want to get back before those delicious hot bread rolls are served, you enter the toilet, lock the door, take the position of, …

Daily News Egypt

2,000-year-old gold earring found in Jerusalem

A luxurious gold, pearl and emerald earring provides a new visual clue about the life of the elite in Jerusalem some 2,000 years ago. And its discovery was a true eureka moment for excavators. The piece was found beneath a parking lot next to the walls of Jerusalem s Old City. It dates to the …

Daily News Egypt

Candy for your body

Like candy to a child’s eyes, the jewelry of the self-taught designer Dima Rashid has become quite a sight for women to wistfully stare at. It is never an easy decision to make: the liquorice sticks or the strawberry lollies? The ruby and sapphire earrings or the tourmaline necklace? The options are endless and, unfortunately, …

Daily News Egypt

Links of interest

Ever stumbled upon a website that excited or intrigued you? Below are some of my favorites, proving that there’s more to be experienced on the internet than Facebook and Wikipedia. Ever wanted to know what the meaning of the song was, but didn’t find friends who shared your niggling concern with the line “you’ll give …

Chitra Kalyani