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British actress Kate Winslet splits from husband

British movie star Kate Winslet has separated from her film director husband Sam Mendes after nearly seven years of marriage, their law firm said Monday. The surprise split puts an end to a golden couple of Britain s show business world, buttressed by matching Oscars and a host of commercial successes and artistic accolades. The …

Agencies

London's Carnaby St marks 50 years since Swinging Sixties

London s Carnaby Street, a potent symbol of the Swinging Sixties where the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and Jimi Hendrix hung out, is marking 50 years as a style icon – and looking to the future. Musicians, models and hipsters clad in flares and psychedelic colors made the street, and its flamboyant, independent clothes shops …

AFP

The comfort of dormancy

After tackling hunger in “Gou (Hunger), Egyptian novelist Mohamed Al-Bosaty turns his pen to another predicament troubling the Egyptian poor: housing. In “Ghoraf lil Egaar (Rooms for Rent), he tells the stories of six poor tenants residing in an old building in one of Cairo’s dilapidated neighborhoods. Their common, motionless lives embody, in many ways, …

Daily News Egypt

A night of Jazz moves from 'contemplative' to 'maddening'

Jazz pianist Bill Evans once said of his art form, “Jazz is a mental attitude rather than a style. It uses a certain process of the mind expressed spontaneously through some musical instrument. French group Abraxas Projekt, with Jérôme Paressant on soprano and bass clarinet, electronics and thumb piano, and Antoine Hefti on drums, manifest …

Annelle Sheline

In the footsteps of Moses, climbing Mount Sinai

ST. CATHERINE: In the Bible, Moses climbs Mount Sinai to receive the Ten Commandments. He was the chosen one, and I am a mere mortal. Divine intervention seemed unlikely as I stood at the base of the mountain, chilled to the bone at 2 am, with only the faint light from a smattering of stars …

Daily News Egypt

Egypt cancels unveiling of restored synagogue

CAIRO: Egypt has canceled the inauguration of a restored synagogue citing the Israeli oppression of Muslims in the occupied territories as well as excesses by Jews during an earlier ceremony at the synagogue. Egypt s Supreme Council of Antiquities restored the ruined Ben Maimon synagogue in Cairo s ancient Jewish quarter and was set to …

AP

3,000-year-old sarcophagus back in Egypt

CAIRO: A 3,000-year-old ornately painted coffin arrived back in Egypt on Saturday, 125 years after it was smuggled out the country, antiquities chief Zahi Hawass said. Hawass, who accompanied the casket home from the United States, told reporters negotiations to bring the ancient artifact home had taken a year and half. The sarcophagus dates back …

AFP

Egyptian born oil magnate in huge donation to Swiss museum

GENEVA: An Egyptian-born magnate behind the recent sale of huge West African and Iraqi oil interests to China has pledged 20 million Swiss francs to the art and history museum in Geneva, authorities said Friday. Addax chief Jean Claude Gandur s donation ($18.6 million) would double other private and public funding to revive a planned …

AFP

Hand-made 'films' a Vietnam man's passion

For half a century, Vietnamese artist Nguyen Van Long has been drawing films on paper and other media that he proudly screens, for one viewer at a time, with his own sound effects. My film is hand-made… that is the valuable thing. My film is not modern, Long, 63, says in an interview at the …

AFP

Ziad Rahbani: The concert that was not

Jazz started as the song of the slave: spelling freedom, rebellion, even mockery. Adapting itself to local flavors, it has since found many incarnations. The idea of breaking out of a rigid musical pattern, however, remains central to jazz. No surprise then that Ziad Rahbani, for his Oriental take on jazz, and for his outspoken …

Chitra Kalyani

A lighthearted, powerful exploration of gender issues

Occasional imaginative and probing works aside, most critics have grown weary of exhibitions that stick closely to standard gender problems. The reason could perhaps be attributed to the violent attitude some artists display against the opposite sex which, in many cases, reaches intolerable extremes. The title of Huda Lutfi’s current exhibition at the Townhouse Gallery, …

Mariam Hamdy

Mummy of Egypt's monotheist pharaoh to return home

CAIRO: The DNA tests that revealed how the famed boy-king Tutankhamun most likely died solved another of ancient Egypt s enduring mysteries – the fate of controversial Pharaoh Akhenaten s mummy. The discovery could help fill out the picture of a fascinating era more than 3,300 years ago when Akhenaten embarked on history s first …

AP

Spanish writer Miguel Delibes dies at 89

Miguel Delibes, one of Spain s top novelists whose works portrayed the country s upheavals following its 1936-39 civil war, died Friday after a lengthy battle with colon cancer. He was 89. Delibes, a former journalist whose works have been translated into some 30 languages, died at his home in the central city of Valladolid …

AFP

Royal Crown Revue: It's got that swing

If it ain’t got the swing, jazz icon Duke Ellington would have told you, it really don’t mean a thing. That twang of strings, those booming drums, and those burbling trumpets are almost hallmarks of an era of classical jazz. All of this and more comes in the strappy package that goes by the name …

Chitra Kalyani

Corey Haim prolonged tragic Hollywood tradition

Corey Haim s story is sadly familiar in Hollywood: A teen talent who discovered drugs as he tasted his first success and whose personal problems increased as his star-power faded. Haim died Wednesday at 38, another chapter in Hollywood s tragic history of careers ravaged by drugs. Brittany Murphy s career was rebounding when she …

AP

A lifeless Alice in wonderless land

The danger is too great of thus learning to look at solemn things in a spirit of mockery, and to seek in them opportunities for exercising wit. -Lewis Carroll. I can’t help feeling that Lewis Carroll (aka Charles Dodgson) would be disappointed with director Tim Burton’s take on “Alice in Wonderland. Burton imposes a hackneyed …

Annelle Sheline

Forcing connections: 'Brothers Karamazov' and Egyptian society

Adapting a novel for the stage is not an easy task. Adapting a seminal text such as “The Brothers Karamazov by Russian master Fyodor Dostoyevsky is even more formidable. Dostoyevsky’s classic novel about the complex relationship between a father and his three sons in feudal Russia has been a long-term endeavor for Egyptian director Mohamed …

Dalia Basiouny

Egypt to pay for restoration of all synagogues

CAIRO: Egypt will shoulder the costs of restoring the country s Jewish houses of worship said the culture minister Tuesday, two days after a historic synagogue in Cairo s ancient Jewish quarter was rededicated in a private ceremony. Farouk Hosni said in a statement that his ministry views Jewish sites as much a part of …

AP

Propaganda and Islam get the Berlin treatment

The “Jew Süss controversy No other film in this year’s Berlianle was met with the same kind of exaggerated hostility that has made, and broken, many films in past festivals as Oskar Roehler’s German entry “Jew Süss: Rise and Fall. The moment the end credits started rolling, a loud chorus of booing echoed from different …

Joseph Fahim

Record industry hits back at 'myth' of go-it-alone stars

Record industry bosses hit back at the myth that musicians no longer need them to become successful, insisting the Internet can help raise their profile but cannot make them stars. The success of the Arctic Monkeys, the British band who made their name through fan websites, and Radiohead, who decided to release an album for …

AFP

Oscar's big question: How did David slay Goliath?

For Hollywood pundits, industry folk and Oscar fans still paying attention on Monday, a major question remained: How did David slay Goliath? For as much as The Hurt Locker was the critics darling, it had three major strikes against it in its battle against the mighty James Cameron s Avatar. First, the box office was …

AP

Cairo Jazz Fest: Bringing music to the people

Music has to reach everyone, said Ziad Rahbani at the press conference held to announce the second year of the Cairo Jazz Festival. The Lebanese musician Rahbani, born to equally legendary parents Fairuz and Assi Rahbani, is the opening act of the festival which kicks off at Sawy Culture Wheel on March 11. What Rahbani …

Chitra Kalyani

Cairo reopens restored 19th century synagogue

CAIRO: The 19th-century synagogue of Maimonides in Cairo s ancient Jewish quarter reopened Sunday after a nearly two-year restoration by Egyptian authorities, participants at the opening told AFP. They said some 150 people attended the opening, including Yitzhak Levanon and Margaret Scobey, the ambassadors of Israel and the United States respectively. About a dozen rabbis …

AFP

'Hurt Locker' earns best-picture Academy Award

Iraq War drama “The Hurt Locker won best picture and five other prizes Sunday at the Academy Awards, its haul including best director for Kathryn Bigelow. Bigelow is the first woman in the 82-year history of the Oscars to earn Hollywood’s top prize for filmmakers. “There’s no other way to describe it. It’s the moment …

AP

'Precious' dominates Spirit Awards with 5 prizes

The Harlem drama Precious took the best picture prize as it dominated the Spirit Awards, winning four other honors that included trophies for stars Gabourey Sidibe and Mo Nique. Jeff Bridges won best actor for the country-music tale Crazy Heart during Friday s event honoring independent film, and Woody Harrelson won supporting actor for the …

AP

A woman's spirit in 'Dead Man's Cell Phone'

A while ago I watched playwright Eve Ensler talk on Youtube series “TED Talks about “embracing the inner girl. It strikes one as a cheesy idea, to own up to one’s own romantic, soft, vulnerable side. So it is perhaps with some measure of embarrassment that when young female audience members tell him during intermission …

Chitra Kalyani

Egypt retrieves prehistoric artifacts from Britain

CAIRO: Britain has sent back to Egypt some 25,000 ancient artifacts, some dating as far back as the stone age, Egypt s culture minister said on Thursday. The artifacts, packaged in 85 boxes returned to Cairo aboard an Egyptian flight on Wednesday, Farouk Hosni said in a statement. Retrieving the items came after long negotiations …

AFP